The Rise and Fall of the Verve Pipe

“To be great, be whole: do not exaggerate or exclude anything of what is yours. Be entire in everything. Put all that you are into the least you do. Be like the full moon, living aloft and shining everywhere.” ~Fernando Pessoa

Who’s Calling?
By Ian Lawton

Some pastors work themselves to the ground because they are “called” to be ministers. Sometimes, this is just a pious way of justifying bad boundaries between work and play, flock and family. Other times, I hear progressive pastors struggling for new language to describe a connection they have with their work. It’s a level of passion or connection to what is being done. It’s not just pastors who feel this passion. Anyone, in any work situation, will be more satisfied and more productive if they work with this deeper level of connection. It’s not just work either. We have more fulfilling relationships and recreation when we do more than go through the motions.

If I could delve a little more deeply into this phenomenon, I would describe this connection to our activity as becoming one with the action; becoming one with our work, becoming one with our partner or becoming one with our hobby. Subject and object merge, and the result is a thing of beauty. A person, or a group, living with such authenticity that observers would say “their actions and efforts are emerging from deep within them.”

In the last year I have seen it evolve in my 11 year old son, as he has discovered a passion for the stage. When he performs, he merges with the song or with the character he is portraying. Its a joy to behold; he becomes lost in his role. For a time, there is no separation between him and his work. He is truly “called” to be on stage.

As a leader in a church, its a joy to see people I work with finding this level of authentic expression. It happens all the time. In our emerging community, the staff express it in emerging ways. I couldn’t be any more excited to commend to you an event taking place in our community this Friday. For those within reach of Spring Lake, I urge you to get to C3 on Friday night. Brad Vander Ark has created a film called “Resurrected” which is an expression of his journey in and out of fame, and the lessons he has learnt about death and rebirth. Launching his film so close to Easter is perfect. For those not in reach of Spring Lake, I commend the dvd to you.

Brad works very hard for the church, as do all of the staff, not just because he is a hard worker, but because his work is an expression of who he is. He was “called” to make this film.

Brad has offered all of us an Easter gift; a call to live authentically in the face of trials and to allow our true essence to rise up from the ashes of despair. Being “called” is not about outcomes. It’s about authentic expression. Having seen the preview of his film, I know already that Brad and his film have become one. The film in its entirety will inspire so many to greater authenticity. Bring on Friday’s launch.

Click here for Ian’s Bio

Don’t Miss ‘Resurrected’ Premiere March 24

Grand Rapids-based rock band The Verve Pipe released Villains in 1996. Due to the huge popularity of the single The Freshman, the CD went on to sell over a million copies in the U.S. After a hugely successful World Tour, four top ten singles, a number one hit, and multiple television appearances on shows such as The Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Verve Pipe seemingly disappeared. The details surrounding the band’s fall from commercial grace have been largely unheard . . . until now.

Former bassist Brad Vander Ark presents Resurrected, a documentary featuring his previously untold perspective regarding the problems that led to the fall of The Verve Pipe.

The film begins where Villains ended, and through interviews with Brad and brother (and lead singer) Brian Vander Ark, traces the inside story of the band such as song writing arguments, recording delays, and political wrangling.

Resurrected examines both the deaths and rebirths of the band, but also the transitions which happen organically and almost unconsciously in each of our daily lives.

Check Out the Latest From Brian Vander Ark

Brian Vander Ark Resurrection Brian Vander Ark, lead singer of The Verve Pipe, brother of Brad, and amazing independent artist, just finished recording his latest album in Nashville. We are anxiously awaiting it’s release.

Brian has the incredible ability of expressing his true human essence through his music and his performance. We are ecstatic to have him performing here at the premiere release of Brad’s film “Resurrected” on Friday March 24.

Check out the lyrics from the brand new track off of Brian’s new album which is currently in production. “Bother” could very well be the first pop hit with a progressive Christian edge.

Check out some of the lyrics from “Bother”:

The first time I was born again
Everything was one more sin
I had Jesus on a notebook then
And a fear of his father

I was born again a second time
Conception wasn’t so divine
You gotta marry that girl and stay in line
And I didn’t want to be a bother

The third time I was born again
I left that girl that cheats and then
I found nirvana from within
Swallowed up in dirty flannel

A family that misunderstood
Why I had to leave that neighborhood
Well God’s reception wasn’t that good
And the devil had a clearer channel

So I turned to the government to make some noise
Because I had one vote and I had one voice
But you can’t be religious and pro choice
I don’t know why I even bother

Now I believe in God, there is no debate
But I believe in separation between church and state
I went back to the church to seal my fate
And they sent me to the father

He said “you can’t come in with that point of view
Just ask yourself what would Jesus do”
I would have said Jesus was a rebel too
But I didn’t want to be a bother

The last time I was born again
I found nirvana from within
Through the eyes of a girl who took me in
Swallowed up in dirty flannel

We went back to my neighborhood
And heard you can’t get to heaven just being good
I smiled and said that I understood.

Copyright 2006 Sid Flips Music Publishing L.L.C.

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