Monthly Archives: March 2012

blogs and songs… what they have in common

let's all be mellow.

after yesterday’s post about the longevity of a song… the life of it…

it hit me, that’s also kind of true about blogs. with links and trackbacks and retweets and shares… you get the point.

the message in a blog is alot like a song. it has a longer life. it has the ability to keep breathing.

i love that.

makes me really glad that i’ve been trapping some of these new lessons i’m learning in my blog.

you see… almost daily i get humbled by something i thought i knew, but had to relearn. it’s almost comical how swiftly this happens.

and when i can trap it here and share it… it is good stewardship of the idea or lesson.

plus its really fun. and, as you know, i really love writing.

write on… i turned 39

moose lodge, the recording studio of jim "moose" brown and his sons, jeremy and josh.

today was my 39th birthday. woo hoo.

woke up to new tom’s, diet coke and a footloose movie.

work. writing and design.

lunch with my accountability partners at an old fashioned soda fountain.

dinner with the fam.

another trip to moose lodge. they asked if i minded coming on my birthday… to which i said, what better thing to do today than see your song come to life.

here is the epiphany i had yesterday when chatting with songwriter max t. barnes

i love writing. i have been writing for the last 30 years of my life. and writing professionally since i got out of college.

i really love writing.

until now, i hadn’t written songs. i wanted to, but i hadn’t.

you know what’s so special about it song? it has has infinite spins. it brings back memories and elicits emotions time after time… 

most of the things i write are things that will have one go-around.

we don’t do reruns in church, we don’t do reruns in magazines or in books.

everything i typically write is experienced once, maybe twice if it’s really spectacular…occasionally it is loved enough to be saved and dogeared…

but then there is music… you can literally listen to a beloved song thousands of times.

so… if there is a really important thought, idea, way of thinking of something… it is good stewardship of the idea to trap it in a song, where it will have the possibility to impact more people.

so, yeah. that’s compelling. and exciting.

i’m still writing shows and articles and curriculums and studies… but i’m really enjoying exploring this long-living method of sharing what i learn and is revealed to me…

just finished up my first song, Up In My Treehouse with Curt Campbell (sung by Curt Cambell and Caitie Hurst)… i cant wait to share it, listen to it and teach it to the kids in treehouse. got to do it at moose lodge with jeremy, josh and jim “Moose” brown. i’m beside myself.

and planning to make songwriting a regular thing… i love the wise use of ideas…

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when claps are a good thing


i have been wanting to write a song…

i called my friend curt campbell. we met while i was directing a school talent show and he was playing guitar for his daughter. we talked about songwriting and he wrote a song for me for last summer’s vbs. this time, i asked if he wanted to write a song with me. i wanted a song about a treehouse for our spring musical… and to use in our treehouses during the weekend worship experiences. i wanted something acoustic-y, earthy, organic.

I’ve talked before about God’s kindnesses to me. This was a big one. Not only did I get to write a song with Curt… but we got to produce the song tonite. It was magical. I wasn’t sure how the producing was going to happen… then i went to Haiti. While I was in Haiti I got to know Jeremy Brown… one of our long hollow team members who was along to be the audio engineer on a new singing project that Gerald has with the orphans. I’ve known Jeremy, of course, because we work together… but I had no idea the big bag of talents he was carrying around inside. I learned that he produces songs at his dad’s studio in Goodlettsville.

I shared the song with him and asked if he would produce the song… he shared it with his dad… who happens to be Jim “Moose” Brown, known for a little song he wrote called “5 o’clock somewhere” as well as playing keys on many country artists’ records (brad paisley, jamey johnson… the list goes on and on) and he can play a ton of other instruments, as well. His dad agreed to play for our record. (is it called a record?).

the night was full of wonderful surprises. Curt played two acoustic guitars. Jeremy played the drums and tambourine. Moose played the keys, guitar, mandolin. Josh played the bass, another electric guitar and came up with a great hook for the song. It was unbelievable to watch them navigate the studio and the instruments. It was a beautiful ballet of motion wrapped in a cloud of kindness. The mellow vibe, and the way this family interacts with each other is a lesson in love. The encouragement for each other was constant… and obviously something that is natural for them. Laura, Jeremy’s wife kept me company as all the musicians were doing their things… patiently and adoringly of her beloved family.

i got to play for a minute when we added handclaps. woo hoo. it was a magical night. the song is sooo much more than i ever imagined. the care that they took with the song was humbling and i am so grateful. isn’t that just like God… to give exceedingly, abundantly… i’m still in disbelief that this just happened.

the song is wonderful. the instruments are layer upon layer of awesome. the message of the song is just what i was hoping for, and even more than i thought to hope for. it invites you in… the only requirement is that everybody love everybody… i just love that.

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hunger games and Jesus

so glad i went to the movie with my boy. and his friends. and their moms… who are conveniently some of my favorite people too. i love that it worked out like that.

me and @quintythepooh

hunger games… i haven’t read the books, so forgive me if i missed something… but here was my first run. first impression. take away…

the main character takes the place of her sister, who would face uncertain death.

she enters the “games” without the intent of the other players… to destroy and kill and be the victor… no, our heroin helps other players, and causes an entire change to the game. because of her spirit… she actually preserves the life of another team member.

sound like anyone else you know?

think about it…

i’ll tell you. it made me think of Christ. it  made me think about a savior who volunteered to take my place, so that i would not face certain death. a savior who played the game differently than anyone else in all of history… which resulted in saved lives. the remnant. so 2 out of 24 lived… instead of just one. and he didn’t take lives unnecessarily to result in his ultimate victory.

he took our place. he volunteered to take our place, when we would’ve faced certain death. for eternity.

he brought us into victory with him. he preserved a place for us. if we would only follow him.


right?! just wow.

so glad i saw the hunger games with my boy.

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hungry for hunger games?

hunger games movie

tonite i’m going to a movie at 12:05 am with my son. i haven’t read the book…and i am not chomping at the bit to see the movie… but what i am chomping at the bit to do… hang with my teenage son.

i won’t miss this chance to share this with him.

yesterday, i almost gave away my ticket… the thought of being at the movies until 2:30 wasnt’ doing it for me… but then what my friend said really resonated.

my friend jamie said she wanted to go to have the experience with her son.

my other friend mitzi talked about going today with her son because they had both read the books and wanted to talk about it with him.

close call. i almost missed out. i almost gave up a chance to share something with my teenager. stupid stupid stupid.

whew. that was a close one…

now, i’ll go take a nap so that i ‘m ready for the big night.

what are you going to do today that is inconvenient for you… but crucial for your kid?

what eminem and blaikie have in common.

“so… i guess we have more than one person in a rap group in this family”

this is what blaikie said to me today after school.

her brother is in a rap group called “cold cut homies

i asked her what she meant.

she said that her friend “andrew page asked me to be in his rap group today.”

i said “really? who else is in the group?”

she said “just me and andrew”.

alrighty then.

you know what’s great about this?

i’ve given a “lecture” to college freshman at samford for the last couple of years about this very thing.


if someone invites you to do something new and creative… don’t miss the opportunity, just because its something you haven’t ever done before… jump at it.

and that’s what she did… that’s what we should all be willing and ready for.

so look out for li’l blaikie and her dope rhymes…coming soon, i’m sure of it.


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oh… you wanna peace of me?


well.. i got home last night. took a very warm shower. holla! and hallelujah! 

and today i realize i feel. i feel fuller. i feel sad. i feel happy. i just feel alot.

gerald said that the orphans unlock something in you that you didn’t know existed.

i agree. 

here’s the thing though… what i really feel is peace.

first of all… -peace is always my friend, because i know my eternity is secure.

but in addition to that… i feel peace about louna… love… richi… obu… robenson… clevins… and all of them.

•the kids i met are in good hands. they have been loved hard by my long hollow friends before i got there, and they will be loved hard by my long hollow friends that will continue to go be with them.

•my kids here are excited to hear all about each thing and are longing to meet the group that “picked me”.

•pastor dony has a plan … for the future of the kids we love.

•i have prayer. i know these kids are more prayed for than any other group of kids i can think of. a whole church worth of people… 

you know… this peace… it applies to everything.

we have access to eternal peace because of the promise of salvation,

and we have daily peace because of the vehicle of prayer we have been given.

choose peace today about something difficult.

trust me… it beats the heck out of chaos and stress.

this is where it gets interesting…

this is where it gets interesting…

elicia and all the love that goes with her.

so. today we talked about loving your enemies with the orphans.

we sang some songs about love.

we acted out and narrated the story of the good samaritan.

we did some application vignettes…

this is where it gets interesting.

you see, about a month ago we implemented a “quiet time” in treehouse, where kids are given 60-90 seconds to pray and ask God a question, and then to share if anything was put on their heart.

i thought it would be a good thing to do for the time with our orphans in Jeremie… ask them to ask God something…

but i think this got lost in translation.

when i asked them to bow their heads and ask God “who is my enemy that I should love this week?

one kid stood up and started pointing fingers and naming names. she pointed and yelled “LOUNA…. FALINE…..”

first of all HILARIOUS!!!!!

secondly, i thought, boom there it is. what if people always knew where they really stood with us?

do we communicate as clearly and efficiently as Elicia did?

no one has to wonder what she’s thinking. do they have to wonder about you?

i’m not saying go call out your enemies, i just know God used that experience to remind me how important it is to share…

and oh. man. it was so funny. i wish you could’ve been there.

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Painting. I love it.

today we got to do one of my favorite things. PAINT. and because the team is so kind, they let me paint a heart on two of the walls.

SCORE… the kids said it was “BEL” (beautiful). it’s so amazing how gracious and warm they are. and open with their encouraging and loving words and hugs.

are we like that? are we open with our encouraging and loving words and hugs? do we find ways to tell people what they mean to us?

today i learned 3 words, so that i could say them to the kids that have been hanging out with me the most. ritchi and louna. they are never far away.

today i got to look in their faces and tell them this: you are good. you are intelligent. you are important.

then we had our first organized bible school experience with them. we talked about Loving 1 Another. It’s funny, because in many ways, they should be teaching us the lesson.

They sang their little hatian hearts out. they listened to the story of david and jonathan, and how david went looking for away to remember his good friend… finding the crippled mephibosheth to take into his home. And they laughed with us when we displayed acts that are and aren’t love, and had them say which one. falling down is funny in any language, apparently. 🙂 they wrote letters to bring back to long hollow. then they mobbed us when it was snacktime… this is less disconcerting to me than most, perhaps its my kidmin training kicking in… but it’s still pretty wild. tonite we are heading back to watch NARNIA with them… they keep saying “pita… Alsan?” (later… Aslan?) good times.

you know, i really wanted to go to the beach for spring break… just didn’t know it was going to be a view from a guest house that i’m staying at…and viewing each morning and night between visits to the orphanage. and i really didn’t know how wonderful it was going to be.

What are the best ways you know of to show love?

My Haitian Posse

my haiti posse. too legit to quit!

you know… when i was heading to haiti… i had no idea i was going to be hoping to be chosen.

you see, when you first arrive, the kids scope out the options… then attach themselves to one person. they choose you.

you don’t choose them. they choose you. kind of like how God has chosen us. specifically us.

so, this is the crew that has chosen me. i’m so grateful because they are fantastic. they are witty, loyal, protective, enjoyable, confident, funny people.

they are quick to understand jokes, even though i know like 3 words of creole so far… they read eyes and faces, and i am told that i express a lot with my face, so that works out nicely for us.

ritchi and louna in particular, like to stick close. and they really like to guard my backpack for me. i wonder when is the last time i had a teenager begging to be my right hand man or woman… or guardian of the “stuff”.

i spent hours today drawing. i drew the name and made a piece of art out of it for any kid that wanted (my friends ritchi and louna kept wanting me to be “fini” so we could go do something else… but i’m really glad that happened today. because to see the face of a kid who has something with their name on it.. in colors that they had chosen… well, they beamed. they carried them around. some of them wanted me to keep them because it’s all they have to give.

never before was i so grateful for my favorite set of Papermate Flair Markers!!! and a sketch pad. OH… how i love to draw and OH how they loved to be celebrated. each moment i spent drawing on just their name, made them the star for a minute.

the team has really connected already and spent good time sharing what we are learning. tyler led a session tonite about how we can serve each other… and the coolest thing is that we not only heard what he was saying, but we already had multiple examples of how this serving is already taking place within our midst. love that! when you start out humbling yourself and looking for ways to be a blessing to others, you have the greatest chance for success in changing lives.

we decided the theme of this trip would be BIG LOVE.

and that’s what we want to share and show to the kids and to each other. nothing is greater than love.

and these kids… i already have BIG LOVE for them. for some reason God rescued them, preserved their lives and brought them to this wonderful place. and for some reason, God chose me and brought me to haiti to meet them… i will be praying for them and love to see the people they become.

the lessons are abundant. i think i’ll save more for later. today… consider who you can serve. and how you can serve them.

then… tell me about it. i love to hear stories of serving. and stories of you. the more i  know about you, the more i have to love about you. bring it on.

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