29 December 2006

Sunday Mornings

homemade breakfast
strawberry milk
a thick newspaper
What memories do you associate with Sunday mornings?

k-os . sunday morning [follow link to MP3]
This could very well be the "feel good" song of 2007.
Regardless, it'll keep you dancin' thru the rest of 2006.

26 December 2006

Christmas Blessing

I'm so "addicted" to my nieces that I can't even wait to get home today and post pictures taken with an actual camera (as opposed to the one in my cell phone). I told a friend earlier today that, after spending some time with my family over Christmas, I was reminded that they are my greatest reminder of God's love for me here on this earth. What blessings He hath bestowed upon us.

This is my six-month old niece, Kiera. She is a beautiful reflection of the innocence and light that entered this World some 2,000 years ago with the birth of little baby boy who would one day save the World. Last night after all the commotion that occurs when opening gifts with your extended family (including four kids under the age of 6), I held Kiera in a quiet corner of the living room while she slept. As I often do when I get the chance to hold her, I just stared into her face. Tears streamed down my face as I lovingly observed her peaceful aura. It's heavenly! I can close my eyes right now and see her and feel all the emotions her presence drags from the depths of my heart.

A few minutes later she awoke, fussed a little and her mommy was quick to whisk her away into more comforting arms. And that's the way I like it -- as little crying as necessary, for all too soon, she too will face the darkness of this World. I guess my prayer is that just as the arms of her mommy will provide comfort during her infancy and childhood, the grown arms of that same baby boy will surround her and protect her at all times.

22 December 2006

That's what Christmas is all about...

For my readers without a high-speed internet connection, I've included the words from Luke 2:8-14 (KJV), as proclaimed by Linus at the end of A Charlie Brown Christmas:

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

15 December 2006

Six for '06

Here are six songs, released this year, that are not only musically stunning, but have meant a great deal to me for various reasons. If you've enjoyed them as well, drop me a comment. As always, follow the link to the MP3. And grab them quick, the links are only good for 7 days. For more information on these artists, check their links on the sidebar under [Nu]Sounds.

01Kate Havnevik - New Day
This song has every element necessary for a perfect song -- string arrangement, heavily-layered electronic programming, angelic vocals, smart yet simple lyrics, a slow build to start and a dancy ending. As Kate, herself, explains: "Its all about rising, waking up, coming to life and embracing a new day." It's a beautiful landscape of a song. A treasure uncovered as the last song on Melankton, which also happens to be one of the best albums of '06.

02Milosh - The City
Milosh states: "I started playing cello at the age of three and looking back on it with these older eyes, I have to admit that I have always had an intense attraction to songs that are sad, soft and beautiful." I can totally relate (except the part about the cello), no wonder I like this guy's sound so much. This track comes from the most beautiful album of the year, meme.

03Sparrow House - When I Am Gone
I recently blogged the lyrics of this song that really touch me deeply, but it's the stripped down innocence of the instrumentation that speaks the most to me. It's just that you believe everything he's telling you lyrically because his guitar and piano speak the same message in a different language. This is truly one of those tracks that you will have on repeat for an entire evening.

04Cat Power - The Greatest
I've blogged this one before. Just listen and tell me if her smoky vocals don't speak volumes beyond her already-dense lyrics. Fall in love, again. But just know that it has nothing to do with love.

05Band of Horses - The Funeral
Two guys. One extremely unique sound. I can't even tell you what this song means to me (and I mean that literally). The imagery of a "funeral" stirs my soul in ways that surpass the actual event. In all honesty, it represents something different every time I listen. Try it out for yourself.

06Thom Yorke - Harrowdown Hill
If you're a regular reader, you're probably sick of hearing about Thom Yorke at this point, but what can I say, the man is brilliant! Point and case, the short piano breakdown on this beautifully haunting track will subconsciously ring inside your head for weeks. We think the same things at the same time/We just can't do anything about it.

13 December 2006

Let Go

It gains the more it gives
And it rises with the fall

* * *
So let go, let go
Just get in
Oh, it's so amazing here
It's alright
Cause there's beauty in the breakdown

Lyrics by Frou Frou, Let Go
Photo by Matthew Oliver

08 December 2006

When I Am Gone

Come on take me down
Once it’s lost you know we'll never have it back
And there was nothing I could do to change the facts
You know I tried, you know I tried

I threw you all I have
I should have known
It never falls just where you plan
And there are rules I was not meant to understand
I should have known, I should have known
Understand I should have known, I should have known

* * *

You put your love upon the cross
You know you sealed it in the darkness all along
Did you think that I could roll away the stone
I’m just a child, I’m just a child
You know I tried, I’m just a child, I’m just a child

Sparrow House - When I Am Gone [follow link to MP3]

Artwork by digital-eloquence

04 December 2006

Symphony of Life

I had the pleasure of hearing the Hershey Symphony perform this past weekend, under the direction of Dr. Sandra Dackow. The highlight of the evening occurred when a stage full of strings performed Morten Lauridsen's O Magnum Mysterium. Nothing against the choral, brass, wind, or percussion sections, but there is just something magical about the simple beauty of a stage full of strings. The piece was beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that I fought to hold back tears through most of it. It spoke so abundantly of wonder!

So today, my friend tells me that it's normally performed as a choral piece, and that Dr. Dackow arranged the orchestral version. It was a crushing bit of news. The pain of knowing that I may never hear it again, in that form, nearly moved me to tears a second time. I fear that in every sense, it was truly a one-of-a-kind, perfect piece.

But here's the thing -- do you not see the flawed reasoning above? It seems quite foolish to hang my head in despair over losing the perfect piece. I mean, I should be searching for that next piece that'll move me even more. And the fact that I went into the evening not expecting to hear such a beautiful piece should speak to me of the hope that exists for the next symphony. But in my humanity, all I desire is to hear that piece over and over and over again. I guess I'd rather be comforted by something familiar, than risk finding it in something unknown.

Photo by JK Orvik

01 December 2006

Woman At The Well

All the answers, all the gold
There was a guy back then

She forgot that he was told
She was a fountain then

Entire, inspired, down to the fast wire
She made a fountain then
In fire, in fire, down to the last wire
She was a fountain then

He was her friend
He was her friend

She supposes he is wet
She was a fountain then

She would owe her clothes and head
She let it move her then

Entire, inspired, down to the fast wire
She made a fountain then
In fire, in fire, down to the last wire
She was a fountain then

Sufjan Stevens - Woman At The Well [follow link to MP3]

27 November 2006

paz> peace

I'm feeling the pressure of being in the middle...of so many things. And it's due to feelings and anxieties I create inside of myself, not pressure from one side or another. It's something I do to myself when I remove God from the story of my life. It's like I unconsciously put on blinders and, all of the sudden, running away or choosing a side becomes so tempting.

And all that He really asks is that I trust Him...

So that He can use me in the process.

So that He can teach me.

So that I may become an instrument of His peace.

At the very least, that's my prayer.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me sow love.
Where there is injury; pardon.
Where there is doubt; faith.
Where there is despair; hope.
Where there is darkness; light.
Where there is sadness; joy.

-Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

23 November 2006


While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."

Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."
Matthew 26:26-28

He has modeled so much for us, including our actions on a day such as this.

It's so much more than a meal.

Or football.

Or even our family and friends.


22 November 2006

Simon Peter

Before he was able to say this:

"Tabitha, arise." [Acts 9:36-42]

He needed to ask this:

“Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” [Matthew 14:22-33]

And shout this:

“Save me, Lord!” [Matthew 14:22-33]

This tells me a lot about my own heart.

About my true desire to believe and the hope that underlies it.

About God's grace -- in the form of patience and understanding -- in the midst of my questions.

And, most importantly, about the power of Christ that resides in me.

What does it say of your heart?

19 November 2006


The world moves for love.
It kneels before it in awe.

All the world to see
Time to look about and know
How the shadows come and go
How the breeze stirs the trees
How the blossoms grow

Sleep, baby, sleep
Sleep, gently sleep

[Taken from The Village]

13 November 2006


This photo makes me smile.

It makes me happy.

And dare I say.....it fills me with joy.

And the thing is, you probably have to know a little bit about the subject -- Thom Yorke (frontman of Radiohead) -- to fully appreciate the sheer child-like joy that exudes from his face. I mean, even the fact that he's riding a bike, just speaks of that innocence of our childhoods. You see, its the tension of the paradox here that speaks the loudest, for there is nothing about Radiohead's music (or Thom's recent solo effort) that speaks of happiness or joy. His music is best described as hauntingly beautiful, melodic art-rock whose lyrics float around that invisible line drawn in our souls that says: "Oh my word...this is just too real, yet at the same time, so overwhelmingly foreign."

And it's a good place to be at certain times in our lives

But its certainly no place to live.

Thom Yorke . Harrowdown Hill [Follow link to MP3]

I've been in this painting-funk for about the past 5 months where as soon I go to sketch something or actually put some acrylic on a stretched canvas, the joy of fully knowing the truth rears in beautiful head and this peace overtakes my need lay down the shadowy dark areas and emotions of my life.

And you might be thinking....Well then, paint the joy.

To which I would respond, I don't feel like it.

Maybe its because I think people would think I'm too run-of-the-mill for painting joy. Or maybe its because I think they wouldn't believe the joy I painted.

But I think what it really boils down to for me is this: There is something deep inside of me that yearns to bask in the dark places -- if only for just a period of time. In this case, just long enough to finish a painting.

But I can't live there. Even if I chose to.

For the Light fiercely pulls at my heart, even more so than the darkness.

And although that may sound like a trite answer, I'm almost certain I can't explain it any better.

Maybe I'll paint it someday.

10 November 2006

Rockin' the mid-calfs

Okay...so for purposes of journalistic integrity, I usually don't take requests for the subject matter of my posts, but I got the following comment in my last post from my 2 1/2 year old niece:

"Kiaya says...how about me uncle troy...I wear my socks like you."

So how am I supposed to say no to this? I mean come on...she melts my heart. Thanks for rockin' the mid-calfs with me, Kiaya. I love you.

07 November 2006


Time to lighten things up around here!

You'll notice that my niece, Kiera, is now styling her hair like me! She would like to thank her mommy for her impeccable sense of style. She's definitely the coolest 5-month old I know. I love you Kiera.

And I'd like to thank my stylist, Michelle, for her skillz on my hair. And yes, I have a "stylist." She's an artist folks -- but instead of brushes, paint and canvas, she uses scissors, water and hair.

Ed. Note: For more information than you ever wanted to know about the faux-hawk hairstyle, try this link. But be pre-warned, it's 5 minutes of your life that you'll never get back!!

05 November 2006

The Crossing...

I've spent many months building...

Building my support pylons;
And then carefully setting the deck in place.

It appeared safe.
And would have passed any man-made builiding specs.
But it never passed the test of my own heart.

So now
I've a long bridge to cross;
but alas, I can see the other side.

And therein lies healing, redemption, purity,
and many more attributes that are of God.

A land free from condemnation.

"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything." I John 3:18-20

03 November 2006

The Omission of Love

It occurs to me that some of the greatest acts
of love are not acts, but rather omissions,
or actions that one chooses not to take.

02 November 2006

My Desire

Father God,

I desire so many things in life.

So many things that are not of You.

So many things that further chain me to the vices You died to free me from.

And I have no idea why.

None whatsoever.

For my only true desire is to simply trust in You for a life that defies the gray in every sense of that phrase.


Jeremy Camp . My Desire [Follow link to MP3]

01 November 2006

A Year And A Day

So I've been in the blogging game for a year and a day now. At some point in early-October I started to think about what I'd do for my one year post. A bunch of stupid self-promotion ideas ran thru my head, until my better senses kicked in. And then one day it just hit me, after reading the following comment a friend of mine recently left in response to my Complete & Utter Randomness post:

Hey, I think this is one of your best posts. You should write about yourself more often! I know I totally write sagas, but you finally really shared something about you! Something that you like and something about where you came from.

The irony of this comment lies in a little “secret” about my blog posts – nearly all of them are about me. Most people probably can’t understand how they relate to me emotionally, but they are all very intentional. From the words, to the pictures, to the songs – they all tell my story. In the truest sense, it is a diary of my emotional life.

And therein lies my greatest piece of art – shrouded in the mystery of my own emotional outpourings, my reader is able to see their life more clearly through their own emotional reaction to what I’ve published. It isn’t about figuring out what a post means to me, but rather, what it means to you. For my readers, I sincerely pray that reading my blog has never been about checking off another post, but a time when you can sit quietly before God and contemplate your own calling in this life.

May you hear His voice...

26 October 2006


There's just something about this picture that resonates truth so strongly. But truth in a vacuum is not actual truth. Only when the author of truth enters the picture does truth become reality.

Any thoughts?

22 October 2006

The Greatest

Once I wanted to be the greatest
No wind or waterfall could stall me
And then came the rush of the flood
Stars of night turned deep to dust
* * *
Once I wanted to be the greatest
Two fists of solid rock
With brains that could explain
Any feeling

Cat Power . The Greatest [Follow link to MP3]

orar> to pray

I believe in Jesus.

Not because I've read about him in a book.

Not because I've heard others tell me amazing stories about his life.

And not even because he will grant me eternal life one day.

I believe in Jesus because he has wispered deep into my soul.

I believe in the power of prayer.

Not because I've read about it in a book.

Not because its done numerous times during a worship service.

And not even because it was modeled by Christ in the garden.

I believe in the power of prayer because I believe in the power of Jesus.

19 October 2006

Complete & Utter Randomness

Sometimes I feel as if my life has been reduced to ironing and MP3s.

Okay...I'm being a bit dramatic, but I've been known to have such tendencies.

Anyway, Miller (and friends) are discussing the dilemma the church faces given the fact that our pastors are paid by those sitting in the pews -- an inherent conflict of interest, especially when our pastors actually work for God (and not the patrons of the church).

Besides a few thoughts I've offered on the subject, I've been thinking a lot about the very things I write about on this blog. It seems to me there was this point where I stopped writing for myself, and started writing for my audience. Or, more accurately, began thinking about it a lot more than I did when I first began. I'm approaching a year in the game now and have actually thought about giving it up for a while. But I have this fear that like the moment I make a decision like that, a million and one thoughts will like fly into my mind and I'll go nuts keeping the lid on.

I think the angst has something to do with the stuff I never write about because I figure no one will be interested. So I'm gonna remedy that situation right here and now. You know, like get it out of my system (and then move on)!

So back in my college days I used to be an underground party kid, or as the news media called us, a raver. Yes, those kind of raves -- with drugs, uni-sex bathrooms and lots of "freedom." But here's the thing -- I never went for any of that. I was there for the music and the dancing. It was always a spiritual thing for me in the sense that when your dripping with sweat, your heart's pounding at 180 beats per minute, the glo-sticks are floatin' and the bass of the techno is playing pong inside your head, there comes a certain amount of clarity that there is something much higher in this life.

Although I never entirely stopped listening to the music, the fact that I wasn't dancing and going to parties anymore attributed to a loss of appeal. But there are some guys in France that have like just been completely throwing down this amazing blend that is most commonly called dirty electro. Those "in the know" use words like "bangers" to describe such tracks and add that they will completely destroy the dancefloors, which innocently means it'll get the kids dancin! So I'll stop talking already and hit ya up with my two favorite "bangers" at the moment. See ya on the dancefloor.

Robbie Williams - Lovelight (Soulwax Ravelight Dub) [Follow link to MP3]
SebastiAn - Walkman [Follow link to MP3]

And if by some odd chance you actually like either of these tracks, drop me a comment or email and let me know. I'd be happy to point you to more of it.

Ed. Note: I'll be back to my (ab)normal self the next time I post. I promise.

15 October 2006

Between Darkness & Light

Did it ever hit you that we live on a plane between darkness and light?

A very thin plane.

Tonight I thank the Lord for revealing the darkness of my heart.

I thank Him for choosing not to remove it completely from my life.

I thank Him for letting me struggle with it on a number of different levels.

For Light is more appreciated in darkness.

13 October 2006


Currently Reading:
Story: Recapturing The Mystery
by Steven James
This is the story of God and His people told through narrative, poetry and scripture, all of which are intermixed perfectly, giving the reader the tools necessary to discover (or maybe rediscover) the beautiful mystery of our God.

Currently Listening To:
David Crowder Band . A Collision
I truly cannot say enough about this album. It's uber-creative and just offers such a fresh take on what modern worship music should be. And they hit every emotion on this album -- from the heights of Here Is Our King to the heartfelt contemplation that explodes to exuberance in Come Awake.

Current Life Quote:
"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do." -Edgar Degas

11 October 2006

Country Music Theology

I lost a bet the other week.

A friend beat me in a game of H-O-R-S-E.

So...I had to listen to country music for a week, whenever I was in my car (which is not a small feat, considering I spend about an hour commuting every day).

At times, it was rough. Like after a long day, instead of being greated by a long time friend like Thom Yorke (of Radiohead), I had to spend time with some strangers, whose experiences and realities are just so different than mine.

At times, I smiled. My dirty little secret is that I used to listen to country for about two years when I was in high school. So when a "classic" was played that I recognized, it took me back to those days. And yes, I was singing right along with the radio.

Overall, the week wasn't that bad. I even took home some pretty good life lessons that apply across the board -- regardless of your background...

I raise my hands, bow my head
I'm finding more and more truth in the words written in red
They tell me that there's more to life than just what I can see
I believe
-Brooks & Dunn, Believe

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you're talkin to the Man upstairs
That just because He doesn't answer doesn't mean He don't care

Some of Gods greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.
-Garth Brooks, Unanswered Prayers

If you're going through hell
Keep on going, Don't slow down
Yeah, If you're going through hell
Keep on moving, Face that fire
Walk right through it

-Rodney Atkins, If You're Going Through Hell

08 October 2006

Wake Up, O Sleeper

[E]verything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:

“Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
Be very careful, then, how you live -- not as unwise but as wise…because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. [Ephesians 4:13-17]

Night is weighing heavy now
Be quiet and wait for a voice that will say

Come awake, from sleep arise
You were dead, become alive
Wake up, wake up, open your eyes
Climb from your grave into the light

Bring us back to life

-David Crowder Band . Come Awake [follow link to MP3]

07 October 2006

The Information

Beck . The Information

This is the latest album from Beck, who is one of my favorite artists. I'm not gonna review the album or anything, other than to say its typical Beck in that you never know what to expect. He is, hands down, the most innovative artist in the music industry, and one of the most innovative in the world of art in general.

And I add that last phrase in there because the album artwork for this album is mind-blowingly innovative. The purchaser gets a blank slate -- okay, actually its glossy graph paper (like you used to use in math class) and a sheet of stickers. Yeah, I said stickers!! So the cover (above) is my handy work (I'm a minimalist), as well as the inside work below (with a little help from a friend on the art direction!).

(As always, click pic to enlarge)

05 October 2006

Harvest Moon

Tomorrow night marks the annual rising of the Harvest Moon.

As NASA eloquently explains: "Not so long ago, before electric lights, farmers relied on moonlight to harvest autumn crops. With everything ripening at once, there was too much work to do to stop at sundown. A bright full moon — a "Harvest Moon" — allowed work to continue into the night."

This reminded me of a book I recently read, Red Moon Rising: How 24-7 Prayer is Awakening a Generation. It's premised on a vision of unrelenting prayer. So much prayer that God would be unable to rest. On the night the movement was launched, a red moon -- a full, harvest moon -- hung in the sky. It's founder explained that, symbolically, it gave purpose to the movement: "I tell you," Jesus said, "open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest" (John 4:35) or as the Apostle Paul put it: "Now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).

I'm not sure what you're doing tomorrow night (Oct. 6) around 11:13 p.m. (Eastern) -- the time when the moon will be completly full -- but I hope to be in a field somewhere praying under the harvest moon.

For there is much work to be done...

Now is the day of salvation.

03 October 2006

innocence lost

innocence lost
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

30 September 2006

Like Rocks & Minerals

So I’ve been thinking about rocks and minerals…

I have this friend who is a geologist. He once told me that rocks and minerals are a product of their environment -- in the sense that they don’t get to choose what type of rock or mineral they want to become.

Coal is coal because it’s composed primarily of carbon, along with assorted other elements, including sulfur. So if a certain area is free of carbon and sulfur, you can bet that coal mining is not a staple industry there.

A diamond is a diamond because it’s formed by prolonged exposure of carbon-bearing materials to high pressure and temperature, in regions deep within the Earth. Which is why your neighbor isn’t out digging shallow holes all over his backyard.

God placed certain materials in certain regions of the Earth, and then subjected those regions to varying environmental conditions. All the rocks and minerals had to do was become what they were created to become.

Same goes for the depth of my spirituality…

I didn’t choose to know God at the level I do.

It wasn’t like I just decided one day to go intimately deep with God.

Rather, I choose to be open to His leading…

I choose to spend more time in prayer.

I choose to spend more time in his Word.

I choose to engage in artistic endeavors that reinforced His promises to me.

I choose to spend time with others who I could see were chasing hard after His heart.

I’m not sure how you connect with God, if at all, but the number of ways are limitless.

But the bottom line is that He longs to deeply connect with you.

And all He asks is that you be open to Him.

Open to change that He’ll bring about in a receptive heart.

After all, He’s the only one who can truly see the diamond buried deep in your heart.


freedom from moral wrong or guilt through lack of knowledge of evil

28 September 2006

Here Is Our King

Ever feel like the weight of the world is pressing down on you so hard that it all just seems too complicated? Or like no matter how hard you try to do good, there are just too many people against you, and the ones who are on your side appear to be rather apathetic? Or maybe you've tried something a number of different ways, but none seem to be catching? And the hardest part is knowing that deep down in your own heart, you're truly seeking to fulfill God's call on your life -- to expose this beautiful diamond that's been placed in your heart -- but all your actions seem to be for naught.

This happened to me on Sunday afternoon. I was defeated. I was dreading entering my place of service to the Lord. Felt like it was time to fold it up and just become another spectator in the greater scheme of His body. There was a sadness tracing through my inner-most soul that I can't even begin to explain.

And then it hit me...

Here is our king, here is our love
Here is our God Who’s come
To bring us back to him
He is the one, he is Jesus, Jesus

The rest of the song continued to play, but all I could hear were these words. All I was aware of was Jesus singing those words to me over and over. I was overcome with emotion. At that moment, I knew beyond all human doubt that Jesus exists, and that His Spirit speaks to us. And I can't explain it, or teach it, or even paint it, I JUST KNOW IT. So I picked my head up and walked into my place of corporate worship with a renewed outlook -- not because of anything I did, but because of what the Spirit had spoken into my soul just an hour earlier.

And this is the thing -- He didn't give me any answers to my questions, or a three-year plan for our place of worship, but He gave me something much more valuable -- HIMSELF.

Seek ye first...

The chorus mentioned above is from the song Here Is Our King [follow link to MP3], by the David Crowder Band.

22 September 2006

Good Times

Do something different this weekend...

Like running thru a public fountain without getting wet!

And yes, that bottom picture is me running thru a public fountain in Dallas.
Thanks to Tori for capturing the moment!

21 September 2006

The Story Tree

My good friend Miller, the gifted visionary behind Toward Simplicity, is always coming up with innovative ways to shape and form us as children of the Living God. And, given the medium of the internet, especially in ways related to shaping us as an e-community. I'm a strong believer in this e-community vision, and I'm always looking for ways to boost participation therein.

His latest idea is full of potential and my prayer is that it'll take off and turn us into a stronger community, and, more importantly, bring healing to individuals and the body of Christ. It flows from the idea that sharing the stories of our suffering (and perhaps healing), will bring healing. So jump on over to Toward Simplicity and read more about this vision.

And then share your story.

I hope to share mine at some point.

18 September 2006

The Gate of Heaven

Jacob's Dream
Jack Maxwell

I had the priviledge to view this piece in person last weekend. In fact, it had just been completed earlier that day! It sits on the grounds of Abilene Christian University and was dedicated to the school in honor of a generous donor to the university.

It's a striking piece, no doubt. But there's always that one element that kinda sticks out in any piece of work -- and I was waiting for it to hit me. I stood at a distince and did a circle around it. But nothing really hit me -- there were just too many elements to take in.

When I returned to visit it the next day, I again stood at a distance, but this time was grounded -- I couldn't move.

It was the ladder that got me.

Notice that although the bottom rungs of the ladder are anchored in the stone, they eventually break forth in freedom. Look closely and you'll see that the individual rungs beautifully float -- for they are not supported by braces that touch the ground. Rather, they are supported by the invisible hand of God.

It reminded me of all my feeble attempts to "support" my own life.

It encouraged me to take hold of that one rung just outside of my comfrontable reach.

It was God asking me to climb the ladder of faith -- once again.

It was God daring me to experience all that He promises to His beloved in this life.

14 September 2006

Blood Brothers

This past weekend I traveled 1,500 miles to meet this one guy I met thru blogging.

Going in, I wasn't sure we had a whole lot in common, but knew that we both shared a passion for living a life beyond the bounds of normalcy -- each in our own unique way.

We're just two guys searching for something higher.

Something that looks like "walking in the dust" of this one Jewish guy who lived on this earth some 2,000 years ago.

Our weekend together dripped with God.

Before I left, he gave me the first pocket-knife he ever bought for himself.

Told me that he had carried it for years, and skinned squirrels and other small game with it.

I'm not into hunting or anything, and despite my status as one trained in the law, I know very little about the Second Amendment.

But what I do know, beyond all doubt, is that when another man gives you his pocket-knife, it's a pretty big deal.

I felt so unworthy...like I was taking something from one of his sons or something.

But he would be the first to remind me that we are all undeserving recipients of grace -- every single day of our lives.

Not one drop of our blood has ever mixed, but we are certainly brothers locked together by the blood of Christ.

Blessings, Miller.

06 September 2006

Long Awaited Journey

One of the things I always pray for is the opportunity, God willing, to come at last to see you. For I long to visit you so I can share a spiritual blessing with you that will help you grow strong in the Lord. I'm eager to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. In this way, each of us will be a blessing to the other.

~Romans 1:10-12 (NLT)

So I'm going to Texas to see a man about Jesus.

Not sure if I'll get a chance to blog from the road, so it may be a week until we catch-up again. Until then...

01 September 2006


Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

Sarah Williams
The Old Astronomer to His Pupil [1868]

26 August 2006


Richard Long
Carrara Line
Guggenheim Museum

21 August 2006

Painted Horses

This is a short film that a couple of friends helped to make as part of The 48 Hour Film Project in Baltimore, MD. As the name implies, they had 48 hours to write, film, score and edit the film. For those not familiar with the film-making process, this is an extraordinary feat. And the end result is well-worth the time it will take you to watch it. UPDATE: The film won two awards -- it tied for Best Cinamatography, as well as Production Design.

It's a tale of two sisters who've come home to attend the presentation of a special award to their father. In a forced attempt to re-connect with each other and their childhood, they discover something important about themselves...and each other. The end result is a natural and mutual respect for the other, to which no words are necessary.

It reminds me that it's always the things that come naturally in life that are the most rewarding to one's soul. In fact, "forcing" naturally implies a lack of respect for the other.

Are you forcing anything in your life?

Maybe it's time to reconsider your efforts. Step into the shoes of another, examine the situation from their point of view and then extend them the compassion that you'd expect to recieve.

17 August 2006

You don't know what you've got...

...till it's gone.

So one of the great things I've always appreciated about my office is that the common walls are lined with artwork. Monet's, Picasso's, O'Keeffe's and Miro's, to name a few. Abstracts, landscapes, and stills. From impressionists to realists. It's truly a mini art gallery.

So today I walk in and they're all gone! Nothing but dirty white walls and empty picture-hangers. So stark. So uninviting. I truly feel empty. I miss them. The color they added. The inspiration they supplied. The fresh air they breathed.

Turns out the maintenance guys are painting next week, so there's no need to despair; as the artwork will certainly re-appear against freshly painted walls of white that should only serve to draw out the beauty of each piece of work even more so than before.

So what's my point? Why am I writing this? Well first, to point out the necessity of art in our lives. But more importantly, to encourage you to buy some artwork to fill the blank spaces on your walls (and in your heart). Or better yet, create your own.

15 August 2006

Everyone's Starting Over...

The Diggs - Everyone's Starting Over [Link to MP3]

So this is my favorite song of the summer.
And it seems especially fitting for a day like today.

09 August 2006

True Love Waits

I'll drown my beliefs
To have you be in peace
I'll dress like your niece
To wash your swollen feet

Just don't leave, don't leave

I'm not living
I'm just killing time
Your tiny hands
Your crazy kitten smile

Just don't leave, don't leave

And true love waits
In haunted attics
And true love lives
On lollipops and crisps

Just lonely, lonely...
Just lonely, longing...

Radiohead, True Love Waits
Lyrics by Thom Yorke

04 August 2006

Orange and Yellow

Mark Rothko
Orange and Yellow (1956)
Oil on Canvas

"I’m not an abstractionist. I’m not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on. The fact that people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I can communicate those basic human emotions...the people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when painting them. And if you say you are moved only by their color relationships then you miss the point." ~Mark Rothko (1903-1970)

31 July 2006

The Weight

I'm feeling the weight today.

I've felt it before, but today is another story.

My prayer is for liteness of being.

27 July 2006

Life Support

Today I'm reminded of the blessing of true friends and a close-knit family.

For those of you who have touched my life...know that I'm grateful for the times in which you have made me laugh, shared a tear, sought out my advice, lifted my spirits, laid down your life for me, prayed for me, forgiven me, loved me, listened to me, silently taught me, pushed me to greater heights, corrected me, showed me perspective, spoke truth to me in love, trusted me, modeled Christ to me...

Seriously, words can't even begin to express the feelings these memories evoke in my inner spirit.

Most importantly, know that I'd do the same for you. Any time. Any place. Any circumstance.

Much love and respect...

23 July 2006

Truly Seeing Yourself

May you believe in God...
But may you come to see that God believes in you.

May you have faith in Jesus...
But may you come to see that Jesus has faith that you can be like him...

A person of love and compassion and truth.

A person of forgiveness and peace and grace and joy and hope.

Rob Bell . Dust . Nooma 008

20 July 2006


Currently Reading:
Red Moon Rising: How 24-7 Prayer is Awakening a Generation
by Pete Greig & Dave Roberts
This is a story of God bringing his people across the globe back into true prayer by revealing His wonder therein. Highly Recommended.

Currently Listening To:
Thom Yorke . The Eraser
The Radiohead frontman briefly steps away from the band and puts together a nice collection of tracks. This is a minimal album (as far as instrumentation goes) that doesn't sound minimal. It's haunting, peaceful and beautiful. Harrowdown Hill is the highlight of the album.

Current Life Quote:
"Prayer itself is an art only the Holy Spirit can teach us. Pray for prayer. Pray until you can really pray." -C.H. Spurgeon