Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Grapevine's J-Mac

Just as good as the original J-Mac story:

Grapevine J-Mac


17 days...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Swallowed in the Sea

Human beings were created with purpose, not on accident. A relational God formed us with the intention that we would find true life in Him. Last week these lyrics from Coldplay's "Swallowed in the Sea" hit me in a new way. I feel like they speak truth concerning the Spirit that yearns deep inside of us:

Oh what good is it to live
With nothing left to give
Forget but not forgive
Not loving all you see

Oh the streets you're walking on
A thousand houses long
Well that's where I belong
And you belong with me
Not swallowed in the sea

I love the verse in Ecclesiastes 3 that say God has set eternity in the hearts of men. There is something inside of us that longs to break out of this temporary shell. Something that cries out for a home everlasting; for intimate community with our Creator. Something that believes we belong to Him.

And we do belong with Him. We do. Not engulfed by the world; not swept through the broad gate of destruction that so many find. But created, purposed, intended to dwell with our Heavenly Father, both now and forever.
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I have decided to alternate pic of the day with a new feature, video of the day.

video of the day (thanks Heath) :
GSP Sing Song '07- Sixth in a Row

Friday, February 16, 2007

Conversion Story

Lately I have been listening to Matt Chandler podcasts when I drive to and from Arlington to see Emily. The one playing late last night on my way home talked about what occurs when the "love of Christ slams into a person's soul" for the first time. I think this article is a perfect example of what happens: Born Again.
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pic of the day:

Thursday, February 15, 2007

a month...

When you're engaged, life is full of choices. Lately Emily and I have been faced with many: what kind of plates, towels, chargers (?), sheets, and silverware we are going to use. Which waffle maker, cheese grater, muffin pan, napkin ring, and spoon rest do we like best (I’m still trying to figure out exactly what is a napkin ring and charger). The colors for our bathroom (my vote for Mavs’ green and blue got shot down); invitations and stamps; dresses and tuxes; attendants, cakes, music, flowers…the choices never end. I mean I had no clue there was going to be 68 options for a salad fork. Fortunately for me, Emily does most of the choosing while I try to nod my head and say things like, “Whatever you want, dear.”

Life is full of choices. In Deuteronomy 30 God cuts down our options. He says we must choose between life and death, between His blessing and His curse. Pretty simple decision, right? And yet so many other “options” clutter our lives that we often fail to pursue what God desires for us.

This week I pray that we will make wise decisions. I pray that God will quiet the subtle voice of futility that Satan whispers in our ears. And I pray that we will all opt to pursue the One who is constantly pursuing us; that we will all choose life (and the right duvet cover).
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pic of the day:

Friday, February 09, 2007

36 days...

A collection of random thoughts, as I sit a mere 869 hours away from marriage...
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He could not do any miracles there, excepty lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith.

Personally, this passage is like a spiritual punch to the gut. A question resonates in my soul: "How is my lack of faith keeping Christ's Spirit from moving and working?" Troubled by this, I wonder if my less-than-mustard seed faith is holding back our kids (as well as me) from truly experiencing the fullness found in Christ?

I get frustrated because so much of my ministry seems to stem from my own efforts or energy, without much asking (and expecting) of God. Lord help me change this; help me mature in faith; teach me to trust, to ask, and to expect.
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Wade Phillips, though lacking in flare and pizazz (probably a good thing), will be a good fit for the Cowboys. He's a proven defensive guy (which we desperately need), and, like Dungy and Lovie Smith, does things the "right" way.
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Here's an interesting quote from an AP article What Drew us to Anna Nichole by Jocelyn Noveck (notice bolded part):
" show host Joy Behar...trying to put her finger on why we watched this strange woman over the years, she came up with two things: Dysfunction. And beauty. "No question, she was beautiful," said Behar, of ABC's The View. "We know people like to watch dysfunction. But beauty gives you something extra to look at. Dysfunction and beauty: Now that's something to watch.""
What a sad reflection of the brokeness of humanity; that the dysfunction of others is actually appealing to us.
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pic of the day:

Thursday, February 01, 2007

44 days...

February has arrived, with March 17th just lurking around the corner...
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I was humbled today as I read Luke 9:57-62 and was reminded of the cost of following Jesus:
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." 58 Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." 59 He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." 60 Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God." 61 Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family." 62 Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." NIV
The three encounters Luke records here all spoke a different truth into my life. Even when I willingly take the iniative to follow like the first man, I fall short in realizing the magnitude of the cost of becoming a true disciple of Christ. Jesus speaks of his own homelessness here, and beckons us to give up all the comforts of life to pursue his way.

With the second man's situation, I am reminded that even our most urgent priorities pale in comparisson to the urgency of the Kingdom. Not that burying one's father is unimportant, but we are shown that it is secondary; for essentialy if we fail to do it someone else will take care of it. However, the matters of the Kingdom will be left unattended unless we treat them with the urgency that Jesus demonstrated.

And lastly, I am really humbled by the third encounter, for it is the place I often find myself in; telling God I'm ready to go, but then making an excuse. The words of Christ are strong here, stating that those who fall prey to hesitation are not fit for service in God's Kingdom. Not fit, unworthy, useless.

Lord, forgive me for hesitating. Forgive me for living without urgency, for not considering the cost of belonging fully to you, for being useless. Help me deny myself, help me pick up my cross, and help me follow you today.
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pic of the day: