Friday, June 29, 2007

Things I've Learned on Tour

  • I might actually enjoy taking a group entirely made up of middle school kids on tour more than a group of just high school kids.
  • Even in a crowd of people you can still feel alone.
  • Sometimes people you don't expect are the ones that make your day...
  • Go ahead, be silly and let the chips fall where they'll have more fun.
  • There is beauty in everyone.
  • Roll with whatever comes your way, leave the worrying for God...things will work out...often better than you expected in the first place ( or than you planned).
  • If you want something done the right way, have a back up prepared to step in and take over.
  • Sometimes good people make bad decisions.
  • Learn to acknowledge and appreciate those that have a desire to help and give them the chance to do so.
  • Kids love simple things.
  • Sometimes the last person you expected is the one that touches you the most.
  • Make an concerted effort to remember who you are and who is in control.
  • Live to serve.
  • Serve to Live.
  • Kids appreciate it (even if they are not good at communicating it) when you care for them. Never stop, even when you don't think you are getting through.
  • Don't be afraid to give complements and tell those around you that you simply are "happy that they are here".
  • Give out more compliments that you accept.
  • Listen to others.
  • Talk to God much as you can.
  • Don't be afraid to fact great leaders are experts at it.
  • Realize that things happen and to be flexible and enjoy the spice of that flexibility.
  • Remind teenagers that memorial sites are just that, and to be aware of those around that may be using their time there to reflect or connect with those past.
  • Reserve quiet time for yourself...make the's important
  • Embrace those that are different from yourself.
  • When you write blog entries while you are falling asleep at the end of a long day of touring there's no telling what you are going to say...

Monday, June 11, 2007

My Prayer

God, I need you.

That's no news to you, I ALWAYS need you...and you ALWAYS provide. You are good and you are good all the time.

Satan is relentless...he waits...he is always looking for a way in...a way to get at me. He disguises himself, he uses misdirection, trickery, illusion, boredom...fear. I am yours and because of that I call myself a Christian - taking on the name of your son. Over the years I have built defenses that you support...that are powered by your Spirit and your strength.

It's like a soldier's shield. He makes his shield to be strong, and to cover the areas that are most succeptible to attack. He doesn't have a shield that goes all the way around because he has other soldiers behind and around him to that will protect the back. Over time, he get's used to that situation...he uses it to his advantage. He makes his foe come straight at him and work to his strength. His foe has to come through his shield to get to him, and he doesn't "worry" about the back - some else has it.

Father, I've had to spread my shield all the way around me. Its like stretching fabric around an object that is too big for the fabric - you may be able to force the ends to meet at the back, but the fabric rips and stretches until it is thin - it tears here and there. The strong, thick shield is now thin and has holes. Over time I hope to shore up those holes and work on the overall thickness of the shield. But right now it's thin and has holes in it.

Satan want's to exploit this. He is jabbing at me through the holes in an attempt to weaken me. My attention is spread out because now I have to be aware of things all around.

Father, I need you to fill the holes. No, not just fill the holes, but to put your shield around me, to stand behind me and beside me...and in front of me. All the while filling in the holes and thickening my shield. It's a lot to ask, but you have told me that to "ask and it will be given to you" (Luke 11:9), so I ask. I am at your mercy.

And I know you will be faithful to me.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Far Cry

One day I feel at the top of the world
and the next it's falling in on me.

One day I feel I'm ahead of the wheel
and the next it's rolling over me.

One day I fly through a crack in the sky
and the next it's falling in on me.

"Far Cry"

Thursday, June 07, 2007


WANTED: Person of any age or ethnicity, can be male or female who loves God and wants to serve Him. The person will be flawed and need God to help them through each day. This person will enjoy talking about nothing at all or something very important and anything in between. This person will feel an urgent and burning need to share their greatest hopes, deepest sorrows, loftiest dreams, dreariest days and highest highs. He or she will not need an invitation to spend time with me or vice-versa. The person will ask for and accept help when needed and not keep track of such help. He or she will enjoy me because of who am I and not what I will be or the value I can add. This person will understand that I am human and I will make mistakes and also allow themselves to make those same mistakes. This person must be willing to make a lifetime commitment, even though time may change who we are and where we are.

WANTED - a true friend. No application necessary, just drop by - let's talk.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Granny's Porch

Consciousness starts growing in me as the sun starts to fill the room.

The birds have been up for hours...they have filled my dreams for the last few hours, but now I start hearing them. There are so many of them, yet I can pick out just about every one of them. They are talking to each other...I wonder what they are saying? It could just be a way of letting each other know "I'm here". God gave them a special gift - their songs are so soothing and the best alarm clock ever made.

My eyes are still closed...I don't want this feeling to end...I don't want to wake up - just yet.

I start to feel the cool air of a July morning in Arkansas - we are deep in the Arkansas country-side at Granny and Granddaddy's house. Just a few miles outside of Mountain Home (long before it became a tourist city).

Granny's porch is a simple screened in room attached to the house. My brother and I spend weeks at a time here with Granny and Granddaddy during the summer. I don't know it now, but it's some of the best times of my life.

Granny is making breakfast and I can smell the cooking from where I am. It doesn't really matter what she's making, it could be biscuits with chocolate gravy or eggs and doesn't really matter. It's the smell of granny's house in the morning. It's the smell of love.

Actually, I'm awake now, but I don't want this part of the day to end. Later it will be hot and humid. Later we may make a trip into town to the local grocery store. Later we will go fishing in the White River for rainbow trout where the river is so cold that it makes your legs numb when you stand in it. But for now, it's me, the breeze, the birds and granny's porch.

When you fish with Granddaddy you never come back without fish - he just knows where they are and when to catch them. Later my brother and I will explore down the rural road and into the woods. But for now, it's cool and calm. The day is just beginning and my covers are warm and soft.

I'm on granny's porch and life is good. I'm safe and loved and happy... Not a care in the world. For an 11-year old boy from the city, this is heaven...and now as a man of 40-something I go there often when the day is hectic, when I can't concentrate and I just need a little love and safety...

Reluctant Glorification?

Is it possible to take something that was crafted to be used in a way that was not for God's glory and use it for His Glory? In other words, is it possible to use something that goes against God's teaching and use it as if it doesn't?

I guess the question is does it matter to God if I use something that is messed up in regards to His commandments and teachings in my worship to Him? Or, is God only interested in my heart while I am worshipping Him?

When you put the question that way it almost seems silly to ask it. God IS concerned about my heart when I worship Him. Jesus told us through the gospel of Matthew that we have to come to Him without resentment in our heart

"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember
that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift." Matthew 5:23,24

However, he also said in John 4:24 "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." So now I wonder since He wants me to worship Him with my spirit and to come to him in truth then does that mean that if I know I use something that was originally conceived in error can I use it to worship Him?

This debate in my mind came while I was listening to one of my favorite CD's - "Exodus" by Bob Marley and the Wailers. Much of his music speaks of God, Jesus, Zion, and "Jah". I just started listening to the words a bit closer and I this makes sense! So I did a bit of research and it turns out that "Zion" is not the Zion I know of and that "Jah" is not a different name for Jehovah. (if you want to find out about what they mean look up "Rastafari Movement")

But if I speak these words and use them to refer to my God and for His glory does it diminish my worship to Him (even though I know where they came from)? If the earthly "audience" doesn't know that they were originally used in error does it matter?

I don't know.

P.S. Now I'm even more confused, since the Christian group Acappella did a song some years ago called "Talk to Jah" and grouped that name in with Jehovah. Yep, color me confused...

"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18