“The world is neither so full of evil that we cant enjoy it nor so full of goodness that we can abandon ourselves to it. When we see something beautiful there is always the qualifying thought that it has been tarnished. When we see something ugly, there is always the qualifying thought that there is something of the Creator hidden there.”
-Steve Turner

...so much truth in the raw simplicity of this statement...maybe the tarnishing is both the fallen world and the cracked, tainted lenses through which we view it...we can neither recognize beauty nor escape evil.


And you must remember love
is like a dollar in your hand
You can't take to your grave
What was made to spend...



"This is MYSTERY: to experience something we cannot manipulate and abandoning ourselves to One we cannot control. Embracing mystery demands that we refuse to stand over our history, examining it and judging it with aloof, sterile detachment. Mystery takes it in like a child's first step onto the vasat expanse of the white sands of the beach. Surrendering to the smells, the cool spray form the incoming tide, the warm sun, and the grainy coolness shifting under his feet, he simply enters into the ocean's world. The young heart has no way to know what it is he is dealing with; he simply has to dive in and feel it for himself."
-Winn Collier, Restless Faith


you are my greatest friend
you are my deepest need
you are my loudest cry
you are my everything

you are my only hope

you are my forgiveness
you are my every breath
you are my comfort here
you are my everything

you are my only hope

the maker of the earth
the giver of my life
the healer of my heart
forgiver of my soul
you are my only hope

-Robbie Seay Band


Happy Easter

I found out some things about Easter this weekend. Easter has nothing to do with eggs or little fluffy bunnies or a load of candy bound to gift us endless cavities. Its not even really all that much about family, at least not the family tree type family we normally spend time with on this occasion. It was this weekend when I didn't see my "family" and I didn't go "home" and I didn't sit on the lap of a rabbit in the mall or dye eggs or even eat candy that Easter was still powerful and real and meaningful. It is about Christ setting off a string of events that set into motion a new and revolutionary way of thinking and living, where family transcends the simple flesh and blood of dna and a group of unrelated humans can come together for a day and share a meal together and form a family even if they have only just met. It is when another "family" that is related unreservedly invites you in to spend a few hours and then a few more and then a meal and then the night if you wish and another meal the next day and you play with their dogs and swing on their porch and get the sense that you are a part of their family if only by "Someone Elses" FLESH and BLOOD. Christ did a curious thing in his death and resurrection. He started a war and he started a bloodline, his bloodline. It is when believers come together as a family, loving uncondtionally and putting aside differences, that we deal out our blows in this waging war and become a beacon of light to the world around us.



"Adversity is like a strong wind. Not just that it holds us back from places we might otherwise go. It also tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that afterward we see ourselves as we really are, and not merely as we might like to be."
-Memoirs of a Geisha


Applications smaplications

I hate applications, maybe more than ab workouts, maybe more than people who come into Einsteins at 2:55 (we close at 3:00) and want a panini of the worst kind and a mocha, maybe even more than pickles do I hate applications. Not really because I hate the application itself, but simply because of the difficulty of the process. Let me explain what I mean. Each school does it totally different. One wants you to print it out and fill it out by hand and mail it in. One has it online (welcome to the 20th century). Some have part online and part by hand. They all want your testimony, or rather "personal statement" but each wants it written in a different way. I've written my calling to ministry about 10 different ways in the last few weeks and I can't even tell you really what my calling is.....to love? people maybe, isn't that we're all called to. And my poor references, I think they now hate me and instead of writing positive things are writing hate mail to the schools about me. And they can't use the same letters, oh no, each school wants it done differently. Geez...I hope that the next stage of life is more exciting than the process of preparing for it.


Happy Palm Sunday

Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small

Love so amazing, so divine

Demands my soul, my life, my all

O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross
Bids me come and die and find that I may truly live

O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross

All who gather here by grace draw near and bless
Your name


Back at square one

So, after months of slamming doors and indecision, I am back to where I started working yet another summer with my favorite camp, M-fuge. On Monday afternoon I turned down a job in Colorado, uncommitting to the only thing that I had comitted to, only to receive a call the very next morning out of the blue from Lifeway offering me an opportunity to work camp another summer. Now, I'm no idiot, I know an open door when I see one and after I got over my initial disbelief and shock at the ride God has taken me on, I readily accepted the position. I will be the Student Leadership Apprentice Director working my second summer in a row at M-fuge Belmont University. It feels good to have something solid and concrete. I thought I had made a mistake somewhere along the line, that I had messed up and made a bad decision and that I was just going to have to pick something I didn't want to do. But I now know that the Lord has me just where he wants me, good thing to...the plank was getting shorter each day.


What the crap

I just have to sit back and laugh at my life right now. Do you ever have those times where you just think you get it figured out and then wammy....God swoops down like a tazmanian devil (did I just call God a devil? On a scale of 1-hellbound how bad is that?) and spins you till your dizzy and facing another direction. It is one of those things where you're like, "Okay, what the crap...what are you doing? I know you're doing something...I just don't quite understand the what's, why's, where's and when's about it. I just don't quite understand you." Hello A.J. My name is God and in case you hadn't heard my ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts. And in case you hadn't heard again, thats a good thing...a really really good thing.


Power, beauty and other things of that nature

Amos Lee sings a song called Soul Sucker (which I think is an interesting title) and in it he says, "Nothing is more powerful than beauty in a wicked world." I was listening to that today and then i came across this verse in Corinthians...
"For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power." 1 Corinthians 4:20
Now if the Kingdom of God is a matter of power and there is truth in what Amos Lee says (that nothing is more powerful than beauty) then there must be a strong correlation between the two....that the Kingdom of God is deeply connected to beauty or that in fact the two may be one in the same.
What of beauty though when Isaiah prophesies about the Kingdom of God coming to earth and he says, "He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him..." I am left believing that the Kingdom operates under a totally different definition of beauty than I do, than the world does. The power of the Kingdom of God is wrapped up in the ideas that Jesus lived and died for..ideas like loving ones neighbor as oneself, forgiving one's enemies, freedom to the captives, turning the other cheek, hope to the oppressed, equality for all people, eternal reward, giving to receive, dieing for the sake of living and so on and so on...truly beautiful concepts and practices.
In Acts 1 the disciples are asking Jesus when he is going to restore the Kingdom and he says that it isn't for them to know, but that they will "receive power when the Holy Spirit come on them" to be his kingdom to the ends of the earth. I can't think of anything more beautiful than the Kingdom of God and I can't think of anything greater than Jesus giving us full "power" to live out that beauty, true beauty, to this wicked world.


Larger than life

"Never doubt that a group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed its the only thing that ever has."
-Margaret Mead
I wonder at the truth in this statement. Is it possible to "change" the world? Is that all it takes... .to be "thoughful" and "committed"? That sounds too easy. Then I watch a film like "Invisible Children" or "Erin Brokovich" or read stories about people like Martin Luther King, Coach Harold Jones (of Radio), Salome Thomas-El and Mother Theresa as proof that what Margaret Mead said is true. These acts may not have changed the world, but they changed and are changing the world of someone or someones.
I wonder if my life will have this same impact, if the Lord will awaken my heart to a "Radio" or a group of children in some city overseas, or a prostitute about to be stoned by her peers. And I wonder if I will be aware enough to think about something or someone other than myself, to be"thoughtful" about it. And I wonder if I will take it a step further and press foward and turn "thoughts" and "words" into actions...into commitment. It is one thing to talk about an issue, for anyone can do this (and most people do), but it is an entirely different story to act on something, to sacrifice for something, to give your life to something, to actually live up to your potential as a follower of Jesus.