Monthly Archives: May 2010

freedom…

i keep seeing flags everywhere… its memorial day weekend. it’s time to return the salute.. thank the people that have been willing to lay down their life to protect yours and your freedoms.

it’s good to be free.

you know … we enjoy a personal freedom everyday as americans.

we have access to a personal eternal freedom everyday as human beings. if you are not free… soar today… thanks the ones who died for your rights for your freedom today…. find eternal freedom in the one who died for your soul…

reunited and it feels so good.

best ice in ft. lauderdale...

been driving around my hometown…

been eating at places i used to eat.

been seeing faces i used to see.

been hugging people i longed to hug.

been drinking hot tea out of debbie’s mug.

it’s good to “come home”… what a gorgeous place south florida is. what a great place to grow up. loved my school(s), loved my church(es), loved my people…memories of my dad are everywhere. people that knew and loved him still smile at the mention of his name. so do we. it’s good to hang out where you have roots. its good to reflect on what was good.

today… had crushed ice from jack’s! crushed ice makes my heart so happy…

tomorrow starts the series of reunion events that brought us down to south florida. while i’m traversing my roots and reconnecting with people that i’ve known for almost 3 decades (what??!!!!!!!! – ann carneal murphy was praying today for me and mentioned that we’d known each other for 3 decades. wow!)… i hope you will take time to review the people around you that are making an impression. thank them. be proactive. look around and see who is impacting you for good. who is entwining themselves into the fabric of your spiritual tapestry. who is infusing you with the teachings of the holy spirit. who is helping point you to the god who loves you and sent his son for you? who loves you like that? tell them thank you. recongize legacy-makers for who they are…

this one goes out to : my mom and dad, debbie and bill manwell, ann murphy, susan and bob gallion, susie and wendy hawkins… who have a place in the fabric of my spiritual heritage…

Galatians 4:4
But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance.

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don’t hold your breath

ah... who doesn't love the beach?

i’m leaving today  to go to ft. lauderdale, fl… where i grew up… for a youth group reunion. i started to think about how everytime i get closer to the beach… i feel like i can breathe better. i feel the tension lift from my shoulders. i see the vastness of god’s love for us in the tiny grains of sand that i know he has numbered. it is a cleaning and freeing place, as you watch the shore change with every tide. new sand is washed up. old sand is washed out. and the cycle continues.

when i was a senior in this youth group we went on a mission tour. in the meantime, i was having a crisis of belief… was i really a christian? my best friend of my life…wendy (hawkins) and i talked for hours and shared verses and memories and i walked away from the conversation more convinced than ever of my salvation. it would be a moment of introspection and testing that i would look back to countless times over the years to reassure myself.  do you have moments you can point to that are firm markers in your christian path that serve to encourage and sustain you when things are getting wiggy?! if so… write them down. tell the people that shared them with you.

so i was thinking of these things as preparing for the reunion. it’ll be fun. we’ll laugh. we’ll sing. we’ll worship together. but we will also celebrate a time when huge markers were placed in our lives and our legacies. we’ll pay homage to an era that shaped who we are as adult men and women. we will bring honor and glory to the god that gave us an eternal relationship.

let’s get back to the whole “dont hold your breath” thing… i realized i dont need to wait to get to the beach to breathe better. i dont need to get to a physical spot to get to a spiritual place. do it now. do it today. when i’m standing in airport security today… i will think about standing for the one who died for me.

its all about an eternal focus and correct filters. what filters do you have in place?

i adore this artist…you will too.

i met an artist that i adore, richard fudge because a writer friend that i also treasure, susan isaccs (she wrote angry conversations with god – an incredibly brilliant book where susan takes God to couples’ counseling. seriously!?)  posted a photo of the painting she purchased from him. i saw the painting… and had to know more about the artist.

In following fudge, I fell in love with his main character, Chester. Chester shows you how he feels, using his chest as the mask of his heart. Richard went through a paintful experience… Chester helped Richard through it and the rest of us gained an iconic figure to share the pains and joys of daily life.

richard fudge original

Fudge did something else that amazed me… he started a prayer journal. he started mailing this journal around the country to various artists involved in ministry… i asked how i could get involved. he sent me the journal, i painted a picture and a prayer in it. it continued to go around the country. i was driving through nashville in february and finally got a chance to meet richard fudge in person… and tour his studio/gallery/place of dwelling. i heard his story.

this week it’s his turn. he’s going on a trip to meet many of the artists he has been corresponding with across the country.

two years ago i did a similar thing. i went on a friend tour. i’ll tell you more about that one day. for now… let’s think about the things that richard has done well

-used his art to bring attention to his creator

-connected with other artists

-taken action on his desire to deepen relationships.

what can you do today to bring attention to your creator? how will you connect with other artists? what can you do to deepen the relationships you have? and don’t fudge on this one!

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i’m trading my sorrows…

it’s so good to hear people sing… to the lord. it was great to hear holly mcwilliams sing today in front of a room of 1-3rd graders at kidzone. growing up with a dad who’s close personal friends with psalty the songbook and boz the bear… she knows what she’s doing with this audience. but you know what else she knows how to do… serve. share. smile.

holly prays with great joy. the smile is in her voice.

holly shares great ideas. she gives the credit to the creator.

holly serves. when the curtain falls… she is moving equipment, enlisting volunteers, buying and arranging props… the list goes on.

would people say that of you? that you  share. serve. and smile.

Romans 14:18
because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.

Proverbs 15:13
A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.

Hebrews 13:16

16Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship—a different kind of “sacrifice”—that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.

Life is hard for alot of people right now. Really hard. And full of many sorrows… but also many joys. Trade in your sorrows today for the joy of the Lord. Start by looking at ways you can share. serve. and smile. Today. Looking at others allows you to look away from your own pain.

write on!

placed together by God.

so, you know i’m a writer. and you’ve heard me talk about my writing team. but let me tell you a few more things about this team.

we have discovered that everyone has different specialties. shocking, i know. but the good thing is that we write (for the most part) without ego, owning our different strengths and weaknesses.

for example: if we need something to have great action, jason vaile is our man. if we need to make sure the story flows in the right direction with the proper arcs and circles, alan tregoning is superb at this. where do we get wild ideas and non-linear concepts… doug goodrich. for witty and poignant dialogue, paula corbello reigns supreme. what about me? well… i specialize in getting the message across, ensuring biblical accuracy (i say with great trepidation) and appropriate content. now, each of us can do these other things as well… its just that someone else we know really excels at it…. so, this is how this might play out. i would write a script that really hits the message, but send it to jason and ask him to add the funny and more action. you get the idea. it takes the team.

God has shown us favor… we have written two sitcoms for prestonwood, various other video pieces and this past spring we wrote a show for ishine Knect… and we keep writing. we have worked on shorts together. the list continues to grow.

but you know what, it takes more than the team. it takes the supernatural power of God to bring it all together… as artists it can be tempting to get boastful and proud. but i think we are hearing a consistent theme, aren’t we?

Luke 14:11 (The Message)

11 What I’m saying is, If you walk around with your nose in the air, you’re going to end up flat on your face. But if you’re content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself.”

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our gifts are a liability.

… if they are not used to serve the one that gave them to us.

think about that. if you are not using the gifts that the creator instilled in you, yes, you specifically… then they become a liability. i dont know about you, but the thought of being a liability is not something that excites me. what does excite me, however, is using the gifts he has bestowed upon me … for an eternal purpose. that sounds a little churchy, right? but seriously… if you are going to use the gifts and talents afforded you, wouldn’t it be nice to know that your work has value that never ends?!

if one child learns a new thing about christ because of the way i’ve shared it (writing, video, design, brainstorming, event planning, discipleship, one-on-one contact, the list goes on)… then what greater joy can there be? how many people get to do things that they know have no end? well…. we all have the capacity for that. the real question is, will you choose to have eternal impact. will you choose to spread the word of God and the freedom found in his love and mercy… or will you not? and when you do… will you give him the credit? or will you take it on yourself.

this theme has permeated my bible study for the past few days, so i knew i had to share it with you. its way tooooo big to miss. consider this:

1 Corinthians 4:7 (The Message)

7-8For who do you know that really knows you, knows your heart? And even if they did, is there anything they would discover in you that you could take credit for? Isn’t everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God? So what’s the point of all this comparing and competing? You already have all you need. You already have more access to God than you can handle. Without bringing either Apollos or me into it, you’re sitting on top of the world—at least God’s world—and we’re right there, sitting alongside you!

you know what i love about creativity? you can’t even pretend it came from your human mind. i suppose you can pretend… but it wont be true. it will never be true that orginal thoughts and ideas did not come from the author of creation. you know? be careful not to boast in the gifts and talents that have been given you. this is a lofty calling and worthy responsibility. what are you going to do today to impact eternity?

the cast of big picture

the cast of the big picture at prestonwood

in this episode of the big picture the kids start to learn about what it means to witness something… then they go into a classroom where a teacher explains further what it means to be a witness. a witness to the things God has done. thank you teachers, for having an eternal impact.

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what kid didn’t wish they had a treehouse…

treehouse

how far would you go to get alone with god?

just saying… didn’t you always wish you had a treehouse, or clubhouse, hangout… somewhere that you belong. somewhere that is special to you.

we’re often told to find a special place, and have a quiet time in that place. i was reading where paige armstrong was on tour, and created a little cubbyhole for herself… to get alone and be quiet with god.

what extremes do you go to to get alone with God? he wants our time and our conversation. he wants our daily. he wants to share our burdens and our joys. how far will you go to spend time with him?

James 4:7 (The Message)

7-10So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.

in other news… i was visiting a “treehouse” this weekend… a children’s ministry bending over backwards to reach kids where they want to be reached. when discussing the incoming interns i said i would be praying that they would be overproductive and undercomplaining… and then it hit me… that should be my daily prayer for ME. which reminds me of this… my favorite photographer, david edmonson, always says to underpromise and overdeliver…

what if we were overproductive and undercomplaining… we would always overdeliver! nice!

they call her love, love, love…

that’s the chorus in . but it made me think…

“wouldn’t it be great if that’s what people said about you? that you really knew how to love people.”

and that made me think…

what is the thing people notice most about me?

which made me think…

i have to ask you guys to think about what is the thing most people notice about you?

that you are kind? sensitive? loving? patient? unkind? grouchy? bossy? … this list is beginning to stress me out a little. people that were with me this weekend at a volleyball game full of sorry calls, they might say “irritable” or “outspoken” …ugh, that’s gross to think about.

the volleyball team was great. the reffing not so much, my ability to be calm and unaffected... not great at all.

now, before you get concerned and try to send me to anger management… let me tell you what actually happened. there was an inordinate amount of unbalanced “carry” calls. basically there were moments when i felt like i was watching a newcome (sp?) volleyball game (on the opposing side)… so, at one point i said rather loudly, “are you kidding me?!” not TO the ref, but i was on her end so of course she heard me, and i meant for her too… but she flipped out and threatened to give our team a techincal (this was not her first altercation with parents on our team that day…  anyway… i didnt say another word. but it was not a shining moment. i will tell you that one of the words i get alot is “laidback”… i was not, that day.

i want people to think love… love… love… i want them to be loved by me. i want them to see unreasonable supernatural love through me… because of christ in me. i want people to feel love when they are with me. i want them to trust love when they are away.

God is love. if we want to be love… we will only do so with him in us.

1 john 4:7-8 brothers, let us love one another, for love is of god and everyone that loves is born of god and knows god. he that does not love, does not know god.

who says you can’t do “clean” excellently?

the sactuary cast and crew

some of the cast and crew for sanctuary.

so… some of my favorite creatives:  Brandon Carmichael, Jason Vaile, Alan Tregoning, Chloe Moores, Lance Eakright and Candice Irion  hooked up with some friends from youplusmedia.com and totally rocked it!

we drew the category “Horror”… Jason and Alan (the writers) were totally stoked. no hesitation, whatsoever. the director, brandon, also stoked… nothing like a challenge! one of the actors and master rockin’ editor, Chris Wiegand, dir. of photography Justin Scheidt.

jason and alan spent all night writing… to hand it off to actors and a crew that would defy the odds by producing a short film in 48 hours that would wow the judges and look as professional as any movie you’ve seen. the spaces they had scouted were perfect for the genre. the actors fit the roles like a whole set of gloves, the weather held and the nice police officers allowed the use of semi-automatic weapons… for props. all in all it was a blessed event, evidenced by the BEST PICTURE award it won. next step vegas, baby.

want to know one of the reason i think this happened? we were sitting in the second floor of a small pizza place across from LaGrange in Deep Ellum… when someone asked the question ” will there be cussing”? there was a unanimous decision that this would be a horror film that would frighten and “creep out” without lowering any standards. wow! how many filmmakers would do that? the next thing… there was  a teenage actress on deck for the movie… the director called her mom and shared hte genre with her, but assured her that nothing untoward would happen with her daughter. you can see for yourself in the film that she was never put in a compromising situation, but it speaks volumes that the girl’s standards and age were considered above all else. it’s not as if there was another girl waiting in the wings had she decided not ot participate.

now, this was not a “christian” film per se. this was a film done with the personal testimonies of the artists creating it kept firmly in place. wow. humbling, right?! kudos and congrats to Sons of Thunder for their award winning Horror film “Sanctuary”.

this is a team that has been compiled and assembled over a 3 year span… how beautiful when things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose. hang out with other people that love God so that you can work together with them.

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