Sunday, July 26, 2009

I've been in a bit of a writing slump lately. I try to paint creativity in my brain and weave words together that will move someone...maybe even me. The words show up. They don't dance with each other. There isn't a unity of thought. It all seems so chaotic. I've been here before. Every songwriter goes through lulls...especially the sober ones. Maybe soon the lyrics, melodies, and imagery will dance together and create a song worth singing. However, I heard a song today that is better than anyone could have ever written. It will never win any type of Grammy. It will never get worldwide radio play. But people fall in love to it all of the time. It brings a smile to a room full of flannel shirt wearing "teen-angsters". It's a melody we've all heard before, but it NEVER gets old.

It's laughter.

I was reminded tonight of how much I love this song. My children were at a birthday party laughing, running, and splashing in a water park with others who were doing the same. I couldn't help myself. I laughed out loud. Their laughter plucked on my heart strings and the harmony of boys laughing with girls made for the best song I've ever heard.

I can't wait to listen to it again.

I wonder if I can buy it on iTunes. Probably not.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I stumbled in, barely putting one foot in front of the other, somehow found my way to the counter, and with every ounce of confidence I could pull from my cloudy brain said, "Could I get a tall latte?"

The problem. I wasn't at Starbucks. So, I stuttered and stammered until I found the correct words to say, eventually walking out with my latte in my hand and embarrassment on my face.

Language is paramount! Our context determines our language, or at least we should be sensitive to our context, so that we use the appropriate language. Part of the problem with not understanding our context when when we communicate is that our message becomes unclear. It is impossible to communicate the message if the hearer doesn't receive the message. If our message is as important as we say it is, then we must communicate it clearly. Better yet, we should know what we are talking about!

I often use words like sanctification, fellowship, church, Christian, but my culture doesn't really understand what these words mean, or they have a flawed understanding of their meaning because of what their context has reflected to them. Furthermore, I have got to understand the implications of these words, instead of just throwing them around like an infielder on opening day.

So...the issue is two-fold:
1. I have to communicate my message clearly to the culture in a language that is appropriate to their maturity and setting because the message is most important.

2. I have to understand the language I communicate and use it as it was intended. There is meaning behind the words used when communicating the message.

Finally, I learned that if we are to add credibility to our writing, then it's important to include a valid source, and philosophers are almost always a valid source. So, I will close with the words of the great Inigo Montoya:

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Keep the message clear, be sensitive of context, and know what your words mean.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jack Shepherd knows what it's like to be lost.
to have his foundation ripped apart
in the rubble of death
to see the face of a man who lost his breath
to death's blow to the gut
to wander in the trees only to lose track
of where his footprints have been

Jack Shepherd knows what it's like to be found.
to leave behind those
he's called his friends
to walk along winding roads,
stumbling in the potholes of self-doubt
to intoxicate himself with thoughts
of one who is found, yet wants to be lost again

Jack Shepherd knows what it's like to be lost and found.
so do we.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Well, I didn't sleep as much today as I slept yesterday, but did awake this morning feeling fresh and rested. Yesterday, we took a little trip to the zoo in Oklahoma City. This is something that we try to do in every new place we visit. It's good family time, and it's always fun to see how the kids are so excited to see each animal. Above all, it's a good time to be WITH each other. To me, that's what a vacation is about. Where we go is really irrelevant as long as we are together and have an opportunity to spend some time with friends. I am glad that we could spend this time with Tye, Bronwyn, Alexi, and Taryn. They are good friends...we have secret plans to steal all of them and bring them back to Texas...shhhh, don't tell them.

I also began reading a book called The Shack. I heard someone say the other day that this book "changed my life." It's funny to me when someone says that a book changed their life b/c books don't change lives. Not even the Bible. Books don't change people's lives b/c they are just words. It is God who changes lives. The Bible is a medium which He uses to facilitate this change and show us how God has changed lives throughout history. So, with that said, I don't intend on sharing the same sentiment that this book is life-changing. In fact there are things in the book that I think are potentially dangerous, but I won't get into that here. There was one thing that I did read that was good, as is the case with most things.

The main character is reflecting back on a time where he walked through The Great Sadness. This was a time when sadness was so heavy on his shoulders that he could barely function. We reflecting on this time he realized that there were many lies associated with The Great Sadness. This is SO true. In know this to be true because back in 2006 I walked through a Great Sadness myself. I became so convinced of lies about myself, my identity, my value...many more that I can't even recount. As I stand on the other side of that Great Sadness, I know:
1. God is faithful whether I believe it or not. His faithfulness is not contingent upon whether I think He is or not. He simply is. Even when all I could see was darkness, His Light was there. My vision was just narrow. It was as if I was squinting my eyes, only seeing the darkness. When my eyes finally were opened, the darkness was only a shadow. His Light far outshines the shadows. I love Him and am so very thankful to be loved by Him.

2. My wife is a perfect gift from God. She hurt so much for me during my time of darkness. It is difficult for me to even type this knowing how much pain I put her through. But this is not about recounting pain. The truth about a gift is that it's not deserved. So, she loves me and is one with me not because I deserve her. A gift is also something that is given. This seems simple, but the truth that resides there is incredibly weighty. She was given to me by God, by my Father who knows exactly what I need, who knows me more intimately than anyone else. When He wrote her name on my heart, He knew what He was doing. My wife is a beautiful, compassionate, loving woman. Kristi, I will spend the rest of my life loving you and learning how to love you in the way our Father has designed us to love each other.

3. My children need a father. They don't need my salary. They don't need my "perfection." They don't need words. They need me. They need me when I am standing tall, strong and confident. They need me lying face down, week and broken. The fatherhood thing is definitely a journey. I am learning as I go. Gracelyn and Caleb, I love you and will continue to raise you and father you as long as God plans for me to do so. As you grow, I want you to remember that everything I do as a father is done trying to show pieces of our Father's character to you. I'm proud of you.

God, thank you for the Great Happiness that I now live in. You are faithful.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Let's just say I caught up on sleep. I think I slept a total of 12 hours yesterday. WOW! I guess my body needed to catch up on some rest, so needless to say, I'm still a little groggy this morning, but am excited to hang out with my family and our friends.

We are at Tye and Bronwyn's house, and it's been nice being with them. We met Tye and Bron when we were a part of an organization called Apartment Life. We were placed at an apartment community in Plano as activity planners and resident care providers. Essentially our responsibility was to plan activities for residents and be available to provide for the residents' physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. It was a time when we were able to see what it looks like to extend the Love of God to all types of people. We absolutely loved it and are thankful for the relationships that were born out of this season. We shared a lot of laughs and some tears with Tye and Bron and consider it an absolute privilege that they would host us on this first leg of our vacation.

Well, I'm off to shower and go to the zoo. Maybe I'll actually be able to stay awake most of the day today.

Peace Out.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The past is a point of reference, not a point of residence.

hmmm... interesting

Monday, March 17, 2008

Well, if you still actually read my blog, you will notice a couple of things.  Yes, I have re-designed, and yes, it is 1:40AM!!!!  Not sure why I decided to do this project tonight.  I guess it's like change.  When it's time to change, no need to wait until you've got it all figured out.  No need to wait until you know exactly what the finished product will look like.  No need to wait for when you finally know what you want (as if anyone really knows what they want anyway).  No need to wait.  Change is inevitable...there's a cliche for you!  Better said change is the cultivation of life in the sediment of the heart where life still can be found even buried beneath the hardest stones.  So, change, re-design, re-develop, re-invent, re-do, re-make, restart.  And when you're done...well, you'll never really be done.  At least on this side of the sun.

Goodnight.  For now.