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]