Monday, February 27, 2006

The First Line on the First Page

All I can say is good...

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In the beginning God...

The first recorded phrase of the Bible; four little words, huge implications. Before there was anything...God was. When it all started God was there, speaking it into existense. There's something about these four little words that stirs in me; a mysterious mixture of apprehension and peace invade my soul when I read them though I can scarcely understand the sheer weight and complexity of all that these four words carry. (Humbling side note: if I am unable to grasp the first four what makes me think I would have any luck with the following inspired truths?)

My senior year I studied the Pentateuch in short course (David Wallace=great teacher) and fell in love with Genesis 1 and 2, probably two of my favorite chapters in scripture. There is something cool yet humbling about the beginning of it all, ya know. No drawn out scientific explanation--just God. I love the balance between the magnitude of his creative ability and his personal care for his creation. Our God is freaking ginormous, yet willing to initmately breath life into man. That is truly amazing.

There are numerous times when I come back to these words, ones that are impossible to explain or fully comprehend. Last night, in the middle of the concert strangely enough, I was again taken back to the beginning, where there was no worry, no schedule, no decisions, just God. Lord take me back there, bring me into your presence. Remove everything else from my life so that I can experience you in all your holiness.
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pic of the day (I've got Ukraine on the brain today, so this makes me happy):

Friday, February 24, 2006


Did you see that movie The Fog? Good, me neither. But nevertheless I sure felt like I was on the set earlier this week.

I spent the earlier part of this week in A-town interviewing interns and attending some Lectures (more on that later). My plan was to drive back early Wednesday morning but when I awoke I was met with an unexpected surprise. A thick blanket of fog enveloped the landscape around me, thinning only in rare patches and diminishing visibility to less than 100 yards in every direction. I could not remember a haze so dense. Now one would expect the fog to clear as the day progressed, yet it never did. The whole trip from west Texas to Grapevine it seemed like I was driving alone, a few yards of pavement ahead and behind me were all I could see.

There are times (many in fact since I graduated) when this is how I have felt spiritually. Isolated, unable to see where I am or what lies ahead; and quite frankly, like driving through fog, it can be a fairly unnerving feeling, even frightening at times. And to be honest it sort of makes my stomach hurt.

Yet I’m comforted by the words of the Hebrew writer, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith.” God has paved a great path before us, one that is meant to be traveled by way of faith. Through uncertainty and concern, may we all seek the discipline to fasten our gaze upon our Savior and trust him as he leads us through the fog.
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pic of the day:

Thursday, February 23, 2006


The key to GSP's "Drive for Five" had nothing to do with hardwork, practice, or talent, and everything to do with me and my good fortune (just kidding guys--ya'll were great).

I ate dinner at El Fenix (not the chain, the real one in Abilene) on Saturday night before the show with some friends. Just as we were leaving my attention was drawn to the indoor fountain...which just happened to be surrounded by several small frog statues. I mean what are the odds, right?

As I posed for the photo below and pondered this obvious divine sign, I thought to myself "this is the night of the frogs." And indeed it was...
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pic of the day:

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I like chicken

see picture below...

Monday night at Bible study we talked about love, being it the day before Valentine's and all. As I have stated here before the past several months have seen me basically obsessing over the idea of love as it fits with faith, Christianity, and people. There were so many things I wanted my kids to hear that night about love but had no idea where to begin or which direction to head. So, I invited them to read and really listen to the greatest love story ever told, tthe story that is God's Word. We spent the majority of our time soaking up and taking in his truth, ya know, just allowing it to settle into our hearts and minds. Here's one of my favorite passages we absorbed that night:

...if I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, now matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love... --Paul, The Message
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Off to Abilene tomorrow, for what should be a great time of family and friends, sing song and intern interviews. Please keep us in your prayers...thanks.
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pic of the day:

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Belated Valentine

I read this on Mike Cope's blog yesterday and wanted to share part of it here. Deep words to ponder from Henri Nouwen, from The Inner Voice of Love:

Giving yourself to others without expecting anything in return is only possible when you have been fully received. Every time you discover that you expect something in return for what you have given or are disappointed when nothing comes back to you, you are being made aware that you yourself are not yet fully received. Only when you know yourself as unconditionally loved--that is, fully received--by God can you give gratuitously. Giving without wanting anything in return is trusting that all your needs will be provided for by the One who loves you unconditionally. It is trusting that you do not need to protect your own security but can give yourself completely to the service of others.

The idea of giving yourself to others is what Jesus embodied completely. You can read more of it here
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pic of the day, random graduation pic (notice how excited Clay, Brent, Dave and me are):

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


It has always been my favorite for some reason. As much as I love watching baseball at all levels, the Mavs, and college football...nothing quite does it for me like college basketball. Now that football season has come to a quiet end America turns most (save the Olympics, some NBA action, and pitchers and catchers reporting) of its attention to the NCAA.

To me college basketball is the purest form of sport (though early draft entries have begun to taint it slightly) with the best playoff system hands down. In fact if I could only see one major sporting event in my lifetime it would easily be a Final Four. How can you not love March Madness? I love watching the teams from no-name colleges slug it out with big guns like UConn and Kentucky and the smaller programs hoping Cinderella's slipper fits them best. Buzzer-beaters and upsets become instant March classics as ordinary kids like Laetner and Carmello etch their name into history as they're converted into household names.
For some reason growing up I can still recall watching almost every NCAA championship game going back to 1990 (the Runnin Rebel's title). And while my first love belongs to Coach K and the Blue Devils, I still have a ton of respect and appreciation for the college game and the masterminds who man the benches, men like Lute, Tubby, Bruce, and Roy. They, along with countless others, have done so much to promote this great game and raise it up to the high level it has reached today.

As teams make their push for the tournament, here's to what should be an exciting 2 months.
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Does anyone remember those mini basketballs that Pizza Hut used to sell every year during March Madness with all the Final Four teams on them? They definitely need to bring those back...
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pic of the day:

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The General

Most nights Avery Johnson can be found pacing up and down the Maverick's sideline, firing up his players and screaming at officials. However 2 nights ago I got a chance to see him light a fire under someone else's butt.

The Little General spoke at Students Standing Strong, a monthly gathering of Christian students at Grapevine and Colleyville high schools. I went with some of my kids to the event and had a good time. Now I'm not saying Avery should quit his day job (especially with this impressive 12 game win streak)...but the brotha' can really bring it--for reals! He spoke with passion and conviction, and it was great to see several students give their lives to Christ at the end of the evening. Praise God.

One particular thing Avery said stuck with me. He told us that he always tells his players not to listen to anyone but him. Ya shut out the media, forget what the critics say. He said, "Everything starts with a thought." In order for them to be champions in June, they have to start believing him now when he tells them they are champions.

There are so many people each day vying for our attention, trying to transplant their messages in our heads and our hearts. Companies, salesmen, politicians, friends, neighbors...some with input of value while others are worthless. Satan is the worst of all though, always feeding us lies, whispering uncertainty into our ears. No wonder so many people (myself included) struggle with insecurity. Sometimes it feels like I'm hooked up to an IV of doubt. I think if even the smallest inclination of negative thoughts (like Avery talked about) gets into our minds it can keep us from truly experiencing something wonderful and we will miss out on the fullness we long for, the satisfaction God wants to give us. Lord help us to block out everything that hinders us from knowing you, and drink deeply from your truth.
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pic of the day:

Monday, February 06, 2006

Short but Sweet

A wise man once said: stop.

He said, stop asking God to bless what you're doing.

Get involved in what God is doing - because it's already blessed.

--from Bono's speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in D.C.

Lord, help me to stop with my own agenda, to get out of the way, and to join you in the breaking in of your Kingdom.
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Thanks for your prayers this weekend. I had an amazing time with Emily!
pic of the day:

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Oh How I Wish Dallas Was in Tennessee

Have you ever seen that movie "Life is Beautiful?" I actually never did because that Benigni guy really freaked me out at the Oscars that year...but I heard it was a good film. Anyways, I kind of see myself as a life-is-beautiful-sorta-guy; someone who's an idealist(?) maybe; someone who desperately wants to view this world as wonderful regardless of personal circumstances.

Maybe that's why C.S. Lewis' words on free will in "Mere Christianity" touched my heart: Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing worth having that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having....The happiness which God designs for his higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they must be free.

What a beautiful description of our Heavenly Father and the way he designed us, giving us the liberty to join Him in something that brings true joy and happiness to our lives, a relationship with Him. If it was forced on us then Christianity and Jesus and love wouldn't be the same at all. But he didn't force it...he freed us to love and allowed us to experience the love of Christ. How comforting (and even overwhelming) is it to know that faith and the Christian story isn't just some accident. Paul says in Galatians "I want you to know brothers that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up" (1:11). The Supreme Being in the universe has orchestrated something big, beautiful, life-changing, and he has invited us to be a part of it. It's not just some old tale that a dude way back when thought is divine and eternal. Thank you Lord for freeing us and for making life extraordinary.
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And now...I'm off to Tennessee!!! Please keep us in your prayers this weekend--thanks.
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pic of the day, my cousin Carly and me at Winterfest