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Wednesday, September 28, 2005


This is a day where this picture makes sense. I feel like a little boy in a big world standing on the edge of life. It's sometimes more than my insides can take. I want to show everybody that I'm capable, but sometimes I don't care to prove anything to anyone. I just want to crash and get it over with. So much of my energy is spent holding myself together. Sometime I just want to crumble into as many pieces as I already feel like I'm in. So I stand here, the little boy trying to be the big man standing on the edge of life wondering whether the next step I take will be the death of me....there's only one way to find out. Move forward...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

recording #2...

that's right...

this weekend I head to Columbus, OH for the second half of the recording experience with my beautiful wife. Dan McKay will be flying down from Chicago to meet us there. My brother-in-law, Cliff, and another buddy of mine, Dan Sidd, will be flying in from Minnesota as well. We haven't had as much time this go around to practice the songs making me a little nervous about our preparedness. We practiced last night and I'm happy with how things are progressing in such a short amount of time.

These are the next five songs that have been selected via drawing straws:
1. Shine
2. All for Love
3. The Story
4. Word of Fire
5. Come and Crucify

The first five songs that have already been recorded are:
1. You are More
2. Free Indeed
3. Pursue Me (or as some have said, "Puruse Me")
4. Awesome Love
5. Psalm 29

It should make for a well rounded album with different time signatures, keys, styles and content. I'm excited to wrap this thing up and get the mixing and mastering underway. I can't predict when the album will be completed, but I'm just excited that I'm finally getting the chance to do this. It's a dream come true.

My throat is sore, but my heart is soaring.

Monday, September 26, 2005

is it blogworthy...

it's funny. I've found that this online journal deal can turn into something it wasn't ever intended to be. I've seen myself starting to write only when I feel I have something noteworthy or eventful to share. I don't write if I don't have enough time to refine my words and tell a story that has some appeal to it.

The danger in this is that most of my life isn't outrageously eventful. It's small stuff. Little details. Living the simple moments of a day in relalive obscurity. Most of what I do isn't going to be written down for generations to come to study and model. I drive alot. I talk to people. I plan stuff. I teach some. I lead some worship occasionally. I play with my daughters. I spend time with my wife. I come home and watch T.V. at night sometimes. I read a good book. I write a note. I surf a website. I go to bed. I take a nap. I take the garbage out. I put the garbage can back in the garage. I build a campfire. I mow the lawn. I wake up early for coffee with a friend. I gather with the Impact community for a vision chat. I take the girls to the playground. I clean junk up around the house. I take a shower. I pop a stress zit on my forehead. I go to a garage sale. I watch the girls while Heidi cleans. I write a song. I build a bridge with a stranger. I try to be nice to people. I talk on the phone with someone. I worry moments away. I have sleepless nights. I watch Poker. I get the mail. I stop at red lights. I run an errand. I carry the weight of an awkward relationship. I absorb criticism. I troubleshoot situations. I try to be funny. I play the conversationalist. I go to the bathroom. I clean my cluttered desk. I break a sting on my guitar. I go to the youth group. I meet someone for lunch. I watch OSU. I watch NFL. I watch Prison Break. I read C.S. Lewis. I read Rob Bell's book Velvet Elvis. I buy some new music by Switchfoot. I meet with the Tech Team. I set my alarm clock. I learn some new vocabulary words like Grandiloquent. I make a reminder phone call to someone. I make decisions. I listen to people share their stories. I wage war against my flesh. I wage war a little more. I wrestle with futility and inadaquecy. I feel proud at the same time. I get humiliated. I wonder where God is sometimes.

yeah...alot of stuff...I don't know how much of it's blogworthy. But it's my life just the same. I like my life. Even if it's not worth reading about. So I guess I'm making a decision to write on this blog even when it's not engaging, entertaining, or enlightening, because most of my life isn't any of those things. It's the simple life of a person trying to live out the gospel...a tall order indeed.

Monday, September 19, 2005

inspiration...

Do you ever feel like you're in need of inspiration. Something. Anything. Just a shaft of light to break through the clouds of familiarity. Just a word from God that speaks freshness into a fragile faith. Just a conversation that flows without creative communication to stilt it up. I hate being a conversationalist in conversations...it leaves me wanting.

I just want to read a book that stirs me to the core. I want to see a movie that chases me down and pins me to the ground. (the movies released of late have been dismal) I want to taste and see that the Lord is good instead of what I've been accustomed to tasting as of late. I can't wait for fall...I want to see the mirth of each stroke of God's paintbrush.

I hate it, but I feel like I get used to things. Even the best of things like rich friendship, an awesome family, rippling brooks and gorgeous sunrises. I experience them, and yawn. What's wrong with me? I want to be inspired. But it seems like the more I try to get inspired, the less inspiring things become.

I've experienced so many wonderful things this week...but it's Monday morning...and it feels like most of that has leaked out of my system and I'm left limp and lifeless. I feel like I'm crawling into this day right now. What's my deal?

I read in the Psalm 77:2 - "...my soul refused to be comforted." Wow. Sometimes I feel that way. I feel like no matter what happens, my soul struggles to let it work its course. I hate feeling this way.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The immortals that we are...

Am I my brother’s keeper?
A more foolish question has never been asked.
There is hardly a thing more worth keeping,
more worth looking after.

Have you ever looked into someone’s eyes and seen eternity?
Just for a moment you’re carried to another place
Where there are endless days of undying life.
An inkling of immortality.

Have you ever come to the end of a conversation that seemed to never end?
Like a stray dog it follows you home
And stabs you with feelings of joy unspeakable.
Otherworldly words echo undiminished within.

Sons and daughters of Timelessness.
The offspring of Forever.
The seedlings of Infinity.
The image of Him who is beyond our imagination.

When people are seen as “godlings”,
You listen passionately
You share respectfully
You love boundlessly.

Under this law, every moment is everlasting.
Every word is eloquent,
Every sighting, elegant,
Every touch, ethereal.

People are precious.
Walking wonders; talking treasures.
Living, breathing miracles
Wrapped in perishable flesh.

A creature of humble beginnings
Living a story that never ends.
This fellowship of immortals
Roams the earth seeking to be sought.

Temper my senses; awaken my spirit.
Tomorrow, I want to chat with one of these beings
And share in our everlasting life.This could be good.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

My two year old...

Let me set the stage a little. My two year old, Taylor, is named after my favorite kind of guitar. She has blue eyes that can only be described as magical. She smiles incessantly. She loves to talk in little short phrases with a lisp that will make you tilt your head and say, "Awhhhh". She has a mullet, not a gaudy mullet, but a mullet nonetheless. Aly had a mullet, too, but it was the kind of mullet that marred the family name. I had to shave her head like Samson three times. It was like the back of her head was fertilized. Taylor, on the other hand, has a mullet that not only grows on her, it grows on you, too. The more you're around this mullet, the more you want one, not matter whether you chew tabacco or not. This little girl gives mullets a good name.

But this email is not about mullets. It's about something that my two year old does that takes me to the other side. Any chance I get to go to the other side, I seize it.

When she is eating something like candy, an apple or cheese for example, occasionally I will ask if I can have some. She will immediately take the particular item and lift it towards my mouth to feed it to me. I will take a small bite and before I can utter a word of thanks, she quickly says, "Tank U." It happens all the time. She thanks me for letting her share. I don't know if she understands the protocal of manners, but I hope she never does. At first, I was trying to correct her. "No, Taylor, you say 'You're welcome.'" What am I doing? What would it look like if we lived in a world where people thanked you for letting them serve you? Someone shovels your driveway and comes to the door when they're done and says, "Thank you." Someone stops to help you change your tire and before you can say it they mutter, "Thank you." Someone comes to the hospital to visit you and before they leave they say, "Thank you."

And you are left saying, "You're welcome.", which in this case will always be the shorter end of the stick. It's caused me to think of how many times I feel like others should thank me for all that I do to help them. What holy hogwash! I wonder how many blessings I've missed because I think serving is a way of getting thanked. The best thing anyone could ever give us is the opportunity to help them. "It is more blessed to give than to recieve." or putting it another way, "Tank U."

Sometimes I wonder who's closer to the kingdom, Mr. Ministry Man or the little girl who is currently pulling on my pant leg?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Art Alive...

I'm watching the kids this morning...along with two other kids from our community. We went outside to swing on the tire swing, throw apples at each other, and make believe. Spending time with children is fascinating. Downright spellbinding. Right now as I type this bit of content, the two youngest of the clan are talking baby talk to each other as they play house. They aren't saying anything I understand, but they mysteriously understand each other. Slurred speech and cute little lisps and gurgled vowels and tongue-tied utterances. Their voice inflection changes and they have strategic pauses to communicate pathos in the midst of the communicative chaos. One is talking on something that is serving as a phone of sorts. She sounds like receptionist that just had a stroke. They are nodding their heads and handing each other toys like their transaction has huge ramifications. Oh boy, one just yelled at the other chiding her for her lack of attention. Emotions are flaring. Oh look, they just worked through conflict resolution and are back at it with full strength.

They have just started to play with dolls. Well, to me they're plastic dolls, to them, full fledged little human beings needing tender love and care. They are wrapping them in blankets and patting their backs as if they are going to belch out pent up air bubbles. One just yelled at the other because she stole her blanket, I think we have the motherly instinct coming out at age two...fascinating.

I don't have much time, so I best cut to the chase. We were upstairs a little bit ago and I witnessed something astounding. We were watching Noggin, which is a children's cartoon network. It has shows like Connie the Cow and Maggie and the Ferocious Beast and Blue's Clues and Sesame Street. I like it. It's clean, wholesome and simple. One of the shows that comes on in between cartoons is called, "Art Alive". When it comes on, no matter where the kids are in the house, they all run to see this 2 minute segment that arrests every fiber of imagination in their little souls. Today, Aly saw that it was about to start and she yelled, "Hey everyone, Art Alive is on. You have to see this!"

This is a two minute deal that shows a little child drawing stick figures and houses and trees and birds, etc....and then the second half of the show animates these child-like rederings into a brief story. I don't know excactly what captures the kids attention in this show, but I think it has to do something with art and the fact that it's alive. I guess it's amazing to me that at such an early age art means something to them, and more intriguing is the fact that we all want things to come alive. We inherently have a trigger inside that values artistic expression and the coming to life of dead, inanimate things.

Art alive...a simple show...a profound reality.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

My tail bone...

Our bodies are made up of hundreds of bones all working hard to pull their weight. Each of them work feverishly to make our lives productive and useful, but on occassion one of them stops dead in its tracks and says, "I'm going on strike." Such is the case with my rebellious tail bone.

The tail bone is located down there below the small of your back and just above the sphincter region. It it usually tucked away in obscurity making no bones about needing affirmation or recognition. It is perfectly fine living where the sun don't shine. But on this day, for whatever reason, it wanted to let me know that if it wants it can single-handedly ruin my life.

I rolled out of bed this morning and before I could say, "Jack be nimble"...I was kneeling on the floor crying "Uncle". I slowly straightened my body only to have the muscles contract around my tail bone sending me to the floor begging for mercy. It is the kind of pain the makes you breathe in real deep and hold your breath until the pain subsides. I found myself holding my breath alot this morning.

Here's a news flash for ya, every muscle in your body is hooked to your sphincter muscle, every single one. If you smile, it constricts. If you straighten your leg, it tightens. If you cough, it kills. If you laugh, you feel like fainting in pain. If you slap someone high five, your tail bone is gripped by your sphincter and held like a boa constricter until you want to weep like a little girl. Your sphinter muscle is the hub of all other muscles. I didn't know this, until today.

I'm currently sitting on a pillow. I've taken pain medication. I've crawled in my office. I've grimmaced in pain getting in and out of my car. I've shed a tear once when I jerked my body a certain way and it sent a shock through my whole body. I can't believe how one bone, one simpel bone can immobalize and paralyze you. My quality of life today has been functioning at 15% and I'm being optimistic.

No bones about it, the tail bone is the king bone of the body. Have you said thank you to your tail bone lately?