Monthly Archives: June 2010

a little campy

ha. it is.

ha. it is.

one of my kids already went to camp. another one is there now. and another one is going next week.

why? why do we send our kids to camp?

the answer is obvious but still bears repeating, but the question that follows may surprise you.

the answer: so that they can get in nature, get a change of scenery, get away from the distractions of media and get alone with the creator of the universe. this allows them to remember who he is and how much he loves them. that’s why i send my kids to camp. the side benefits: relationships made, experiences logged, friendships solidified.

the question… why don’t we send ourselves to camp?

why dont we get in nature? get a change of scenery? get away from the distractions of media and get alone with the creator of the universe. allow ourselves to remember who He is and how much he loves us.

it’s time we sent ourselves to camp. this doesn’t have to be literal camp, it can be your version of these things… but do it. get away with God… take a “trek” “Journey” “mission impossible” … whatever you want to theme it as…  let’s take a lesson from our kids, and get up close and personal with god.

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austin-tacious … i’ve neglected something.

austin-taciousyesterday i got to take an unexpected one day road trip with my bff to austin,tx.

while she was taking a deposition i was escorted around the city by a friend from college.

my heart was aching for a camera. my soul was getting filled to brimming by the sites and sounds i was absorbing. my thirst was getting quenched.

the trailer park eatery (small eatiries are nestled among a traditional looking “trailer park”. threadgills (a historic venue where stevie ray vaughn and willie nelson used to play. 6th street. the warehouse district. south lamar… the list goes on)

we listened to a song at threadgills by performer betty soo (i think she was probably betty sue but thought “soo” looked cooler!) i can’t adequately explain how highly shootable i found the experience. every corner had something interesting to look at… it was great to be hanging out with someone who loves the art of things too.

then on the drive home, an impormptu stop in waco uncovered such delights as common ground coffee shop/outdoor venue and harts & crafts, a house whose rooms seem to go on forever, revealing new treasures around each turn.

when i got in the car i realized something…. i dont spend enough time around new things and spaces that will inspire me. the fact that i didnt realize how thirsty i was for creative fodder until i tasted those drops of genius yesterday, pointed out to me how i had neglected the space inside that requires me to see and experience new things. i have a hunger and thirst for creative inspiration. it is inate. and it is true. and it comes from god. he has given me an insatiable desire for creativity.

i will be deliberately searching inspiration and then taking action with the things i see and experience.

what will you do today to find creative inspiration?

what do you do already to keep your mind fresh?

oh, for the glory

glory in the gift of family

glory in the gift of family

someone shared this thought with me yesterday…

“those that glorify themselves, glorify a little

those that glorify others, alot”

i wrote it on a post it note and put it on my desk.

i thought about it last night and tried to remember exactly how it went.

i found it this morning and had to share it with you.

isnt’ it great? doesn’t it make sense?

but wouldn’t you say it needs another line?

“those that glorify god, glorify everything”

spend today finding ways to glorify god. and things to glorify about him, to him, to others about him…

i’ll glorify god today by doing my best at work. by loving my family. by preparing my child for camp. by speaking kindness to those i encounter. i’m praying for even-temper and patience to help achieve these goals.

i’ll also disappoint him today, its inevitable, but he will know that it is not my hearts desire. he will forgive me because that’s what he does, but i will strive to glorify him today…

will you? and how?

Ephesians 1:15
That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!

stand out by blending in…

what?

stand out by blending in ad campaign

stand out by blending in ad campaign

it hit me today as i was developing more designs to go with this ad campaign how contrary to scripture this concept is. for the most part.

now… in the case of the product, it works. it’s a paintable coverplate and the the important thing is that  you can make it blend in with your space. you dont have to fight the battle of the white plastic rectangle anymore! woo hoo!

however… in our christian life, we are not called to blend in. we are not asked to stand out by blending in. although… many times we would like to think  we are. we like to use “in the world, not of the world” as an excuse to do the things we want to do and hang out with the people we want to hang out with… even if that may not be the best thing for our witness. we are actually called to be different.

remember in my cousin vinnie when vinnie is yelling at his girlfriend about fitting into the small town vibe and not being so obvious…. she looks at him with disdain and says “oh, you blend!” (i can hear this in my head right now and i’m laughing). her point was that he did not blend into the fabric of the small town either.

but, back to us… here now today. we are not asked to blend. we are asked to stand out. we are asked to be different. we are asked to hold up the mantle because of the life that has been purchased for us. we will stand out best by not blending in.

(i dont mean go stand on a street corner and shout at people, nor do i mean its our job to judge others… if you read this and thought of someone else that needed to read it, then you might want to rethink that. our focus here is identifying the personal ways that we can achieve closeness with the god who loves us. no one needs you to be their holy spirit, the holy spirit can do that without you or me, thank you very much… i am sharing the lesson i was learning today while i was developing this ad campaign.

i’m asking myself, what will i do today to stand out by not blending in?

Romans 12

Place Your Life Before God

1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

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follow your awake dreams…. what does that even mean?

people often say “follow your dreams”. ok, which ones? the ones that other people think should be your dreams? or you own actual dreams? the dreams that can make you a living? the dreams that can make you famous?

also… “dreams” is a funny word because its usually something nonesensical that comes to you in the night while you are asleep… i know, i know.  when people say “your dreams” they really mean… the thing you really want to spend your time and self doing. the thing that ignites your soul and fills you with a sense of purpose. and if that’s the case, i would contend that we have many “dreams”

-to use our talents in a worthy and valuable way, that will impact society and at the same time bring us joy

-to walk closely with the one who created us to be who we are, because lets face, who knows us better than the one who made us?

-to have a loving marriage

-to raise godly children

What are your wide awake dreams? The things that you dwell on…

Consider them, share them… but that’s not enough, you realize… you have to take action on them.

you have be deliberate about attacking and achieving your wide awake dreams.

Let’s consider the list I just made:

-to use our talents in a worthy and valuable way, that will impact society and at the same time bring us joy – look for ways to use your gifts. offer your talents up in arenas that excite you. get involved with people doing the things you want to be doing. make appointments to ask advice from others doing the stuff you want to be a part of. people love to give advice… just ask for it.

-to walk closely with the one who created us to be who we are, because lets face, who knows us better than the one who made us? – spend time with him. read his letters to you. read his instruction and treasure it in your heart.

-to have a loving marriage – start out by choosing people to date that have things in common with you (faith, how they feel about family, god, church, hobbies, personalities) you don’t find these people by hanging out with people that are not of like mind. i’m not saying dont hang out with people that are different from you, i am just saying identify core values and whether or not you share them. ask the people around you what they might see in those you are dating that you may not be able to see. get honest feedback and take action.

-to raise godly children – learn what that means. learn from the experts (coming soon, the results from the parent interviews i recently did). ask questions. make steps to give your kids the best opportunity to learn about the God who created them. put them in situations to be met by the holy spirit. surround them with people that agree and encourage the things that you believe are important.

If you have a specific dream… you want to be an actor, let’s say. Take this list and apply it. Take action. Surround yourself with people doing what you want to do. Get training. Practice. Put yourself in the way of opportunities. Ask the experts.

You want to be a writer… join writing groups, welcome feedback, put your work out there for people to see.

You want to be a singer… take lessons, ask advice from professionals. drown yourself in music. join choirs and ensembles. cultivate relationships with others that are singers.

You want to be a teacher… interview some teachers, take the necessary courses, practice teaching, learn about the different methods of teaching and own the one that fits you best.

All of this is pretty obvious to me, and I dont mean to insult you by telling you what you already know.

I recently listened to a lesson from Jeff Young… he said “have a bias toward action”. that means that you will be known as someone that takes action, whatever the cause or case. In the matter of achieving your WIDE AWAKE dreams… have a bias toward action. Take the necessary steps to get to where you want to go.

By the way, if you are 5 or 95 its not too early or too late to become a person of action. It’s an attitude and willingness to do the work to get there.

Is it embarassing to quote Larry the Cable Guy? Git R Done?

yeah… a little… but seriously… its time to get things done. your dreams should be the reality you are taking steps toward every day…. if you do, you will be living the dream. the wide awake dream.

the possiblities are endless

its true. there is no end to new things to see, new stories to be writtena and reaad and new songs to sing. you could search all day long and find still more to look at online. you cannot exhaust the possiblities of things to see. its phenomenal. and also it reminds me of the creative nature of God. it reminded me how unique we are… you know, the whole fingerprint thing, dna, etc.

top it off with a white bird.

top it off with a white bird.

god’s creativity is without end… what a blessing to us. what a gift.

yet, in the midst of his creativity, he is also constant. constantly there. constantly available. constantly aware. constantly loving us. constantly wanting us to choose him. constantly present. constantly knowing. art is a gift to us… the different artists and what they create are expressions of our own uniqueness…

share what artists’ work fills your soul and touches your spirit…

do not be anxious for anything… but give thanks… this time for my son

ok, so that’s a bit of a paraphase from my favorite verse(s)

Philippians 4:5-7 (The Message)

4-5Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

6-7Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

this week a crazy thing happened. my son had an emergency appendectomy.

quint preparing for surgery... little did he realize

quint preparing for surgery... little did he realize

i was out of town when i got a text that they were on the way to the ER because he had been throwing up all night. then i got a text that said he would be having surgery. he had appendicitis. i was relieved to know that dean cione ( a family friend and incredible surgeon) would be doing the surgery. i had the peace that passes understanding that God assures us is ours to claim. Dr. Cione is the same doctor that delivered the news to us that my dad had gone to heaven once he arrived at the hospital where my son would have his life preserved. (Presbyterian Hospital of Plano, Plano Presby).

it wasn’t until i got to the hospital (after he had the surgery… i changed my flight but still wasnt there at the appointed time) that i discovered that the surgery was just in time. if we had waited any longer it could’ve been a much larger problem. (side note: my cousin called to say that a teenager in LA had the same surgery and was now on life support… ).

quint is currently recovering, thankfully. he has an “exhaust pipe” (drain for the grossness), but he is eating, walking, talking, laughing (though it’s painful), and telling us that this is preferable to throwing up 13 times in one day.

we realized that now, all 4 of our children have been hospitalized. and glory to the God of all creation… all 4 of them have been preserved (quint-appendectomy, jackson-tonsils, kavi-RSV, blaikie-open-heart surgery for tetralogy of fallot). there is nothing that will make you grateful like the rescue of your child. we know that God does not have to show mercy or give the grace of life-giving breath to any of us… for even one second. we are eternally humbled that he has allowed us to have that for our children so far. it might be easy for me to say “god is good” when he has shown us favor. there are others who have lost their children… connor cruse is the one that is freshest in our mind. i cannot imagine a pain so deep and all encompassing.

today we are celebrating the rescue. we also celebrate the eternal life that exists for quint, jackson, kavi… we pray for the day that blaikie is called according to His purpose and an abundant life.

God has been kind to me. He has given me the peace that passes all understanding. Even in the midst of the waiting ( I was on a plane as he was in surgery and the people around me in the plane were praying, while marveling at the peace of God in my heart.) I pray you know that peace. We serve a great big God… who will give you peace if you answer His call.

When did God give you this peace? Share it… it will matter to others who need only call on his name.

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does your message have eternal value?

the message you are putting out there. the things that you are sharing and producing… do they have eternal value?

do you regularly use your gifts and talents to share the message of christ that has no end? do you tell the true story of jesus… does the world know that you are going to be spending your eternity with the father in his heaven? do you spend time and efforts on a timeless message… or do you subscribe to a world philosophy.

here are some things ask yourself:

if someone hears me, will they learn more or less about the god i serve?

if someone sees these will they keep an up close view of the creator that gave me these gifts?

if someone reads my words, will they yearn for more of the god that gave them to me or less?

do i mean that everything you do has to be an evangelistic outreach … no.

what i mean is that in everything you say and do… use an eternal filter. look at things through a viewpoint of how they will stand in eternity… how the choices you make will reflect the stirrings of the Holy Spirit.

why do we do the things we hate and hate the things we do?

Romans 7: 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

the deal is we’re human. and as christians – we’re forgiven. ahhhhhhh grace.

overwhelmed with gratefulness for grace. you have grace… and that is a message with eternal value.

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rejoice in the joys of others

Romans 12:14-16 (The Message)

14-16Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

celebrating tyler scheef... amazing actor and friend

As artists (as humans, frankly) sometimes it is hard to rejoice in the joys of others. If someone gets a part that you wanted, or lands a record deal while you are still singing in tiny venues to a crowd of your parents and their friends. Or what about when someone gets the job that you were applying for. or your friend wins homecoming queen… gets a spot on a sports team that you do not. sometimes it’s hard to rejoice in that… but the Bible tells us that it is the right way to be. It is important to share the joy that others are experiencing.

Consider the alternative, bitterness, jealousy and covetousess…these things tear at the very heart of a relationship. these things tear down, they do not build up… and when things are being torn down, no one wins. By withholding shared joy, you cheat yourself out of the opportunity to experience that joy. Would you have your friend (or sibling) suffer instead? Would that make your joy more complete? if so… then we have a bigger problem. as mrs. luce would tell you… “that’s a heart issue”.

who can you rejoice with today? who can you celebrate and encourage today by sharing their joy. did someone just get a new car, while you are still sittin’ on tens in a rusted out wrecker? did someone call you this week to tell you about something amazing that god has done for them? if they did… it’s because they want you to share the joy. don’t cheat yourself of the experience…. swim in the joy of others.

comment below with news of someone else that you want to celebrate! let us share the joy with you.

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do you see what i see?

dolan geiman mixed media.... he definitely sees things differently. love it.

dolan geiman mixed media.... he definitely sees things differently. love it.

do you know what is awesome about you? you see things differently than me.

if someone told you to draw a flower… and they told me to draw a flower – they would be different.

if someone asked you to make up a poem about love… yours would be different from mine.

if someone wanted to know your favorite movie… it would most likely be different from mine (unless of course you love the movie Grease and can sing every lyric… except for the inappropriate ones, of course).

the point is… we are all uniquely designed and created. because of that, i’m so grateful for you. i’m so grateful for our differences. i love that you will write something i may never write, or draw or sing (none of us are in danger of me singing in public), do you get that?

we hear alot about how our fingerprints are unique and our DNA, as proof of a creator… to me,  the way that we create something original to us every time we create is a BIG GIANT BRAZEN PROOF of a creator.

singers – every time you sing a song, it comes out differently and is the first time you’ve sung it exactly like that…you take breaths in different lengths.

painters – every time you stroke a  brush, your paint glides differently across the surface

writers – every new piece you write is the first of its kind

actors – every show is  a little different.

you see what i’m getting at… every minute of your day and your life is  a testament to our uber-creative creator and the things he has built us to do. we are so blessed.

Philippians 1:6 (The Message)

3-6Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

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