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Monday, February 28, 2005

Quick keys...

I was doing my devotion in Psalm 15 this morning. What a great section of the OT for insight on the kind of life God is looking for from us:
LORD , who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?

He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart
and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,
who despises a vile man
but honors those who fear the LORD ,
who keeps his oath
even when it hurts,
who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

He who does these things
will never be shaken.
I love how The Message puts it:
GOD, who gets invited to dinner at your place?
How do we get on your guest list?

"Walk straight, act right, tell the truth.

"Don't hurt your friend,
don't blame your neighbor;
despise the despicable.

"Keep your word even when it costs you,
make an honest living,
never take a bribe.

"You'll never get blacklisted if you live like this."
Type it up and put it on the dashboard - these are some great qualities to continue to aspire to.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

When God shows up

It goes without saying that something special happens when God shows up. That was the case this morning at our church. We had an incredible time of worship - one of those times that, when you're planning you think, "This should be cool," but when it is executed and the Spirit moves it is so much more than you ever would have imagined.

A special shout out to Todd Agnew. Grace Like Rain was a conduit for worship this morning. It was amazing to watch people really dig in deep.

Of course, digging in deep is the only true way to worship. I tell my worship leaders that I want them to leave spent on Sundays... to lay it all out there for God and everyone. I think it was either John or Charles Welsey who said, "If you light a man on fire, people with gather to watch him burn."

Just watched Jamie Foxx win Best Actor for Ray. Wow. What a movie and what a man. Foxx lost his grandmother this year but her legacy lives on. It reminds me of something Hugh Hewitt said: "Be the answer to this question to as many people as you can: 'Who has most influenced your life?'"

Back from the break... congrats to Clint Eastwood for Best Director and Best Picture for Million Dollar Baby. Gotta see it now (and Aviator and Hotel Rwanda and Sideways and... I just need to get out more).

Post-Oscar, I am reminded of the ability of movies to suspend reality and to communicate a story. Pictures, moving images, are the language of culture. Let's think about how we can use images, art, movies, etc. to impact our culture in its native tongue - not just in the church, but in the marketplace as well.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Hewitt Effect

This blog was spawned, as so many others have, because of Hugh Hewitt. Heard Hugh speak in Nashville and was thoroughly impressed with not only his intellect, but his passion. I read In But Not Of before I heard him speak and plan on paying my sons to read them in a few years (Connor is 11, Chase is 4).

Speaking of my sons, they are the Two Blonde Boys. What incredible gifts they are - so alike and yet so different. They make me a better man every day.

Which reminds me of the reality show I watched tonight. My wife and I are Reality TV junkies. Maybe not total junkies, but fairly hooked nonetheless. We were stoked that Jay won Project Runway - and shocked that Kara Saun didn't quite understand what "no favors" meant. Anyway, we were watching Wickedly Perfect and I realized that watching people engage in confrontation was, on one hand kind of fun, and on the other hand made me wonder if we need a new hobby.

So I came to read my blogs. Definitely more fun. Randy, the cabin looks great - I'm jealous. Jeremy, you and Erin make a great looking couple - I wish you all the best.

I was reading Psalm 2 today. It is a great passage that reminds me that I am a creature and He is the Creator (Psalm 2:8-12, The Message):
What do you want? Name it:
Nations as a present? continents as a prize?
You can command them all to dance for you,
Or throw them out with tomorrow's trash."

So, rebel-kings, use your heads;
Upstart-judges, learn your lesson:
Worship GOD in adoring embrace,
Celebrate in trembling awe. Kiss Messiah!
Your very lives are in danger, you know;
His anger is about to explode,
But if you make a run for God - you won't regret it!

"Celebrate in trembling awe." What a great way to think about it. God is not a "tame" God (the reference comes from C.S. Lewis in the Chronicles of Narnia when it is noted that Aslan is "not a tame lion"). In other words, don't play games with God. He knows you/me too well. Yes, He's a loving God; yes, He died for my sins; but don't pretend to put a show on for Him. That may work for other people, but not God. He know me!

Humility is so important. I definitely struggle with pride. Hewitt said, "When you're good, you usually want to be the best." That's what I want. I just need to be more successful at doing it with grace. Pride so negatively affects those around you. Normal Rockstar posted this on Feb.25 from C.S. Lewis:

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. - C.S. Lewis

My buddy Reggie does this so well. Reg is a fellow dreamer, boundary pusher, and gourmand. He inspires me to not settle. Reg has given me two items that I keep on my desk in plain sight. One is a note that he wrote that merely says, "Keep it simple. Think big." The other is a piece of polished metal that says, "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" Thanks Reg. You set a great example to treat people as more than ordinary. You regularly expand my mind. And you always make me laugh.

The final thought for the night comes, strangely enough, from the movie Lonesome Dove. It was on the Hallmark channel tonight. I've seen it at least 10 or 15 times, but this is the first time I have watched it since my grandfather died a couple of years ago. The tears of loss come very easily and I realize that the beauty of this world is accentuated by the pain. More than that, the pain is a reminder of the next world at the end of the journey where every tear will be dried and we know as we have been known and there will be no fear or shame. Who knew Lonesome Dove could stir up such thoughts of truth, beauty, and love.

I love you, Pop.

Friday, February 25, 2005

The journey begins...

An artist; a dreamer; a lover; a Lost Boy. Here begins the journey... The introspection and exposé of the heart of an artist.

My journey was renewed at the very first re:create; maybe even before that, when I first met Randy. It definitely gained steam that night at California Pizza Kitchen with Ken.

No matter the when, the why of the journey is the same: there is more to life out there - more truth, more beauty, more to love, more of me to give than I have been giving.

I was given the painting pictured here last November by the artist. He says of it:

The watercolor at the beginning is called "Dreamin'". It is a self-portrait. Ben Smallbone snapped it on a backpacking trip to Roane Mountain, TN, a couple of years ago. Somehow, this picture seems to capture my ethos. I am a dreamer. I want to always look at what is next on the horizon.

My next horizon starts here.