Monday, June 16, 2014

Shameless self-promotion - It's about time.

Check out this guy's artwork... Photography Prints This is just a sample. Check out my paintings and digital photos. Greeting cards and iPhone cases are also available!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Heaven in Haiti

While we were in Haiti, each of us on the trip was touched by the beauty, purity, and love of the land and children we encountered. For me, this trip brought me into a full understanding of the hope of Heaven that trusting Christ provides. On Saturday night as we sat on the roof reflecting on the day, it dawned on me that our trip was half finished. As the disappointment began to hit me, I realized that this experience didn’t have to be the end of it.

I knew I could plan another trip to visit. I knew I could always come back here. But the reality that came down on me like an overwhelming waterfall of emotion, awe, and amazement is that the Kingdom of God offers this and much more perfection. Like a tidal wave, I heard a voice that said, “You realize this is only a momentary goodbye, you will be reunited in Heaven. You will play in Heaven; you will find this peace and more in Heaven.”

And with that statement, I broke down and began to sob. Not because I was sad or hurt, but because I was overwhelmed by the gift I have been given.

That moment brought the reality of the gift of the cross directly into my head and heart with a vivid clarity better than any high-definition screen I have yet encountered. It struck me that when He died, Christ knew of this particular moment, and my particular life. He knew that in this world, so many struggles and situations would prevent me from finding the peace that He knew of Holy presence. He knew I would trust Him, and He would be able to give me hope here on Earth, and joy in life beyond.

On the following day, we went to the orphanages and played with the children. There was a bittersweet reality, knowing that it was our last day there. But for me, the reality I now understood far more completely had set in. This was only a temporary goodbye. Whether I would one day come back to Haiti in this life didn’t make much difference to me anymore. I now have the security of knowing I will be playing with all these kids in Heaven again one day soon.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

...and then God showed up.

Really? Really! Really? (I could go on like this for about an hour) "and THEN God showed up"?

There are just some pieces of the Christian religious vernacular that just drive me to the end of my wits. Like when you give a greeting and say "God Bless." Just what exactly does that mean? Are they just words you put together because you want to show that you are "churchy"
Or, is it shorthand for "I am so glad to see you today, glad that a person like you is in the world, and that I get the opportunity to know you. I pray that our love grows as we walk toward eternity together in Christ, and I pray that God blesses you along the way."
(I can't wait to meet the person who claims their God bless means the latter)

So, with that rant out of the way, let me move to the phrase that begins this post. It is usually used while recalling an experience in a spiritual retreat, or some conference, but even in description of everyday events. While I am not opposed to people realizing the presence of God in their lives, the problem I have with the phrase is (wait for it...) GOD IS ALWAYS HERE! HE NEVER JUST 'SHOWS UP'. It isn't like He is taking care of errands and then realizes He is late for an important prayer meeting and has to fight traffic to get there.
That is what happens when I am on the fence for some social event for the evening. It's like I haven't fully committed, then those at the function are totally surpirsed I made it. Is the faith of some Christians so small that when they intentionally get together to have a spiritual experience they are surprised that God has shown up?

The Bible says that we are to be in constant prayer. That every moment of our life should be spent knowing and connecting with God. That our most intimate and personal moments should be fully revealed to Him. If we are to believe that and obey from our belief, then how can we possibly say that God just transiently shows up?

So, know that's where I come from, and I refuse to load my conversation with empty phrases to let others see that I am religious. I pray that they can see the change God made in me and the love of Christ flow through my actions. I often don't tell others I will keep them in my prayers. I would feel a failure to not take an intentional moment each day to specifically pray for these people. I just find comfort in saying I will keep you in my thoughts. God is always talking to me, and I try to remember to direct my ways to Him. So, He knows my thoughts, and if I am thinking of others with loving intention, He understands my desire for whatever they need.
In these conversations, the one thing I ask for myself is that if I do nothing more in a day, at the very least, I love.

Friday, October 2, 2009

To Revive the Creative

Lately my creative spark has been hitting the kindling of my soul. I have become intimately reconnected with the joy of pushing a color into place on the canvas, and remembered that some of the things I wrote back in the times I couldn't remember much weren't all that bad. Some are even relevant ten years later.
The crazy part is that back then I wanted fame through it. Now I just want to share.

Check it out:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Megachurch, really?

I was listening to a podcasted sermon today. It was from a very insightful pastor of a multisite church with a large congregation. I think that's a good way to describe it. Then again, there is that other word. I am sure you've heard it. It is nice and it rolls off the tongue, but it really means nothing because it doesn't actually describe its subject. The word: Megachurch.

I know I shouldn't harbor hatred, but I hate that word. It is ridiculous. From the greek root, there is a numerical disparity. I know that 1000 kilobytes is a megabyte, but I don't know of such a thing as a kilochurch. Could it be some type of high growth medium sized church? NO. The large churches attributed the prefix of mega, are large indeed. But I would like to posit that they are actually nowhere near as large as they seem. They certainly don't have membership of one million people - although by that definition, most of the major religious sects could claim the moniker. These "megachurches" also do not consist of an association of 1000 churches with 1000 members each.

Although these things would be great goals for a church, and miraculous if achieved, they just are not what is being accomplished. What is happening is that people are coming to know the Gospel, developing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, becoming immersed in the mystery of the trinitarian nature of God, and being touched, taught, and restored by the Holy Spirit. How glorious this truly is!

Yet here lies my problem with the term. Megachurch, really? NOT UNTIL THE WHOLE WORLD HEARS!

Until the whole world hears. There are over six billion people on this careening rock, and the grouping together of less than 1/1000th of a percent of them under the same roof worshipping Jesus does not constitute in my opinion something Mega. In that light I am way more inclined to call it a microchurch - Just as each human is a microchurch. The goal is to make Jesus famous. Until all hear the Gospel, there is nothing mega about it. The point, to steal a little genius from Andy Stanley, is that "God loved, God Gave. We believe, we receive" (reference John 3:16 - you might have seen this at a sports venue or something like that)

There is much left to do in the world until His return. Each of us has the responsibility to be a growing microchurch, part of a growing microchurch that partners with other microchurches. Then, when the whole world has heard, and Jesus has returned to claim this world as His own, - and only then - we may experience Megachurch.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

It's about time.
everyone else is doing it.
of course the peer pressure only comes from the voices in my head.

But whatever, welcome to my thoughts.
I have no idea where this will go.
I plan to throw out some old poetry and mix in some new epiphanies.
-and since those don't come as often these days,
then probably some mundane venting as well.
hope you enjoy the journey.