I am excited to be a stop on the 200 Pomegranates Blog Tour. Shawn Wood, a friend from back-in-the-day of Charleston Southern University, is getting the word out about his new book and I wanted to let you know as well. Shawn has also contributed to Church 2.0 and is speaking at several conferences that you may be at in the near future.

HERE WE GO:
Greg: Ok man. We have talked tech lots, we have talked worship lots and of course Gamecock football, but where did this whole Pomegranate deal come from?

Shawn: My first encounter with a pomegranate was through the cold drink at Starbucks and not the real fruit. I actually experienced my first pomegranate at a message planning meeting (which we have talked a lot about Greg) at Seacoast a couple of years ago. I thought it was an onion. We were looking at the symbolism behind the pomegranate in Scripture and most of us around the table had never actually eaten one so we had one as a sample the next week and then used it as a stage prop in the message as well. It’s a weird fruit really. Looks like an onion on the outside and a corn that had a really bad day on the inside. For some reason the old testament dudes really like them…I think it’s because they did not have Starbucks.
Greg: So I can see God in a lot of things (especially worship through art). How did you find God in a Pomegranate?

Shawn: Greg, having know you for quite some time, I think the easy answer is I am a very spiritual person and think of God a lot more than you. Not really. I actually heard a message in the early 1990’s that preached on the “lily work” and “pomegranates” that were carved into the tops of the columns at Solomon’s temple. It was one of those messages that just stuck like a good bowl of cheese grits. I have always had a bent towards the arts through music, design and building and my dad is a metal artisan so it just seemed to resonate with me. Then one day it hit me. This guys carved this stuff not as “art” but as worship. Art is usually viewed by people, but this stuff was 30 something feet in the air and no one would see it. I realized at that moment that we all have something to carve towards an audience of one. I think that pomegranates look like corn. I also really like corn too. Maybe that helped me see God.
Greg: A lot of the reviews I am reading talk about crying and laughing and then crying and laughing at the same time…what’s this emotional rollercoaster you are taking people on about?

Shawn: I think that emotions are a key-hole that God has created to people’s heart. Through emotions God can enter our lives and thus we can enter his story. That is when cool things happen. My hope would be that at the end of this book you would say what this reader did about it:
“I laughed a lot. I cried a lot. Then I laughed and cried some more.” —Shawn’s Mom

Greg: A lot of my readers are techies, pastors and worship leaders. How will this affect us?

Shawn: My hope is that people will realize that God is not waiting on them to become something they are not so they can do things they were never called to do, but that instead they will be the artist God has created them to be and do the things that they were uniquely created to do. This will mean as a Mom you see the impact you have on your children as a canvas before you primed to be painted like a the masterpiece God wants them to be. As an artist or worship leader you will see the people you lead and create with not just as people but as pieces of clay that when molded together will create a monument to who God is and as a artist you will see that your gifts, though seemingly distant from the story of God, are in fact not just footnotes in His story but cover art for His novel called “You”. If after that happens you do something of great value that can be appreciated by others, I will be a happy author.
Greg: I mentioned earlier that you that you are going to be live and in person at a few places. Where can I hear your story-telling live?

Shawn: I am so excited to be able to share at a few conferences this year. I get a chance to debut the book at Innovate 2008 at Granger Church which I am so excited about. If you are not planning on coming you should change your plans. This is a must-conference for every church leader in my opinion. I am honored to share the stage with the Granger Team as well as the unbelievable speakers headlining this year. In addition to that I will see you and hopefully many others at ECHO and also would love to see folks at Multi-site exposed and Outreach. Let’s connect! You can also hear my stories (good and bad) on my blog.

Greg: How do I get the book and can we have a sample?

Shawn: First and foremost – here is a gift to your audience…an advance look at the book (just email timschraeder@gmail.com). Also, I would love to have all of your readers please, please, please buy a (or three) copy (copies) of the book on Amazon.com on 8-8-08 to help with the book bomb.
Greg: What if somebody wants to host a stop on your blog tour?

Shawn: Have their people contact my people [timschraeder@gmail.com] and it’ll happen.

Greg Atkinson

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