Sunday, December 13, 2009

Some of my fav Christmas tunes!

“Glory To God In the Highest” – Downhere / How Many Kings: Songs for Christmas
“Love Came Down at Christmas” - Jars of Clay / Christmas Songs
"Here It Is” – Over the Rhine / Snow Angel
“Mary Did You Know” – Jason Gray / Bethlehem Skyline
“It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” – Shane & Shane / Glory In the Highest
“Eastern Star” – So Elated / The Bewildering Light
“O Little Town of Bethlehem” – Alli Rogers /The Silent Stars
“Adore Him” – Kari Jobe / Adore Him
“I Saw Three Ships” – Bruce Cockburn / Christmas
“Raise The Tree” – Trent Dabbs / Ten Out of Tenn Christmas
“Feliz Navidad” – David Crowder Band / WOW Christmas Album
“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” – Lanae Hale / Bethlehem Skyline
“What Child Is This” – Matt Wertz / Do You Hear What I Hear
"His Favorite Christmas Story" - Capital Lights / X Christmas
So what are some of your favorites?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Don't forget the stories!

Today I was catching up on some of Phil Cooke's recent blogs and came across this one which was totally dead on and a good reminder for all of us!

""How can you be a Christian in Hollywood?" The question still gets asked by well meaning believers, and I'm often stopped at conferences and workshops and asked to share the experience of how I ended up in the entertainment industry. I was raised a "preacher's kid," so early on in my life, I understood the power of great preaching, and the importance of communicating effectively - although I never had the slightest desire to be a preacher myself. But it wasn't long before I discovered the power of the "media pulpit."

Today, in a culture where few attend church anymore, the moral climate of this country is determined by movies, radio, and prime time television. The U.S. Census Bureau reports the average teen will spend nearly five months of this year watching TV, surfing the web, and listening to personal music devices. The reality is, television programs, rock & roll radio, and movie theaters are "church" for this generation - sadly, that's where young people today learn their morals, and codes of behavior.

But in spite of that great need, most films, television programs, radio specials, and websites produced by Christians are still poor quality, and have a limited audience. That's because for most Christians, the message is everything, and we've forgotten the power of a great story. It's interesting that when you study the life of Christ, you discover he didn't give theological lectures or teach doctrine. He simply told stories - powerful stories that changed people's lives. Stranger still, he usually only explained the meaning in private with his disciples - not with the larger audience.

I've always found it fascinating that Jesus Christ came to establish a faith that would transform the world, but was willing to risk just three years of ministry on telling stories. Today, most of us would have started a university or Bible College, created a statement of faith, written a systematic theology text, gotten involved in politics, started a non-profit organization, or at least started a partnership program for fundraising. Don't get me wrong, all of these things can be critical in ministry, but the fact that Jesus' priority was storytelling should tell us something about its power.

A great filmmaker once said that facts go straight to the head, but stories go straight to the heart. Most Christian filmmakers spend all their time trying to force a Christian message into the film, and they forget the most important thing - to tell a great story. You might take issue with that statement, but the fact is, no matter how great the content of your message, if no one watches long enough to see or hear it, you've failed. So that's why I tell preachers, teachers, writers, artists, filmmakers, and media professionals - tell a great story first.

I think it was old time movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn who said: "If you want to send a message, call Western Union." Great media projects aren't about sending messages, they're about telling great stories. Jesus understood the power of a story, and it's something we need to be reminded of today."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Choose differently

My post today centers around a beautiful story an artist friend, Christopher Williams shared in his current newsletter (pleeeease check him out...he will blow your mind in a most melodious way!!)

"I arrived and found I had a solid hour to take a snooze to prepare for my show. I found a deserted couch in the back room of the coffeehouse and laid down only to be awakened by the sound of a piano being played just a dozen or so feet near my sleepy head. Instead of getting annoyed at the disturbance, I took it in for what it was...old standards being lovingly played by an elderly woman wearing a bonnet who was rekindling some piece of her past by gliding her fingers across the black and white keys. I stood hidden from her view in the darkness of the back room and watched as she played with heartfelt emotion. She finished and then walked into the middle of the coffeehouse and introduced herself to a stranger sitting in a comfy chair. They got to talking and I remained in the background taking it all in - as I've been thinking alot about my story and what a gift it is to be able to travel and intersect with moments and other peoples stories along the way; really praying that I would have moments to see story unfold...and here it was before my eyes.

Grandma Corrie, as she is known to locals, goes to the Catholic Church on the corner every afternoon for Mass and then comes into the Ikebox coffeehouse...and as I learned, often stops to buy people cups of coffee; and that is exactly what she did that afternoon. Giving a $5 bill to her new friend, she asked him to buy himself a mocha, and to keep the change. The gentleman, dressed warmly to protect from the Oregon rain was of capable means to buy his own cup of coffee, so he hesitated to accept this gift from a stranger, yet finally and reluctantly he accepted her kindness. They sat and talked for a while longer, sipping on their coffees...and I witnessed him physically relax as they spoke their stories sweetly to one another, as just moments ago, they were complete strangers.

And what happened next I will never forget. Grandma Corrie, old enough to be this gentleman's mother, stood up and took her place behind him in the midst of the conversation and she began to rub his shoulders and neck slowly. He stopped talking, as she bent down and whispered something to him. I will never know what it was she whispered...but I believe it was a sweet reminder that he is loved, and possibly a prayer for him and his story...and then she kissed him on the head."

I don't know about you, but this story really captivated strangers stepping into each others stories...just for a moment of time where everything faded away into a complete and genuine moment of life happening. What an amazing gift! I truly hope that we all can witness, take part and step into moments like this during this holiday season in spite of the busyness we're surrounded by. Sadly, the busyness tells our story to build itself upon what we buy and give to one another, more so than what we can speak into one another. What a beautiful thing it would be if we took the time to choose differently...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mulling a thought

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow (1 Cor 3:6-7, NIV). As I read this today it got me that same light, should we also say that God makes things shrink (Job 1:21) for whatever reason?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

So thankful for...

On this Thanksgiving Day, I'm thankful for so much. Thankful especially for rice and beans that sustained me and my family these past three days and gave us much perspective and insight. Grateful for my family and friends and for the things I've learned this past year and the ways I've grown.... and thankful in advance for all the things I still have yet to learn. And boy am I ever grateful for second chances and that God doesn’t hold our mistakes against us. I’m always so amazed how He uses our poor choices to teach us something new that we may not have learned otherwise. And yet thankful doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about His unconditional love for never grows old or's always new and fresh day in and out!

Here's hoping your day has been filled with joy, love, peace, and thankfulness. And very few regrets!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


I keep waiting for my life
I keep searching through my mind
I keep wandering around
God only knows what I think I'll find
But I'll look anyway
And I'll arrive one day...
Waiting pretty much sums up my life, yet what it is I'm waiting for I couldn't even begin to tell you. Maybe it's direction, inspiration, purpose, or an epiphany of sorts, I don't really know. It's incredibly frustrating especially when you see your peers moving forward with a direction and progressing in their lives (not that I'm not thrilled and excited for them), and you're still here at the same point you were a few years further ahead or behind. But what I do know is that I'm called to wait for whatever that might be. I think waiting is the hardest thing to do for any of us. Forty-three times in the Old Testament alone we're commanded, "wait on the Lord." I guess waiting forces us to recognize we're not in control and it humbles us in ways we need to be humbled.

I think of the analogy of the trapeze artist. For a moment, which must feel like eternity, he/she is suspended in nothingness. She can't go back, but it's too soon to be grasped by the one who'll catch her. And she must wait in absolute trust. If she doesn't, it obviously could have major consequences for her. I guess I'm in a vulnerable place like this right now...I've been letting go of what God has called me to let go of, but I can't feel His hand catching me yet. And that's where the waiting part takes over. There are some days where I just feel like I'm free falling and wonder when He's going to catch me already! It's hard, plain and simple, and I don't always embrace it as I should. But then again Moses waited 80 years for a ministry that lasted 40 - two thirds of his life was spent getting ready. It's a reminder to me that life isn't measured by its length but by its effectiveness and impact for God. So wait I will and trust that He'll catch me (eventually).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Creative peeps

In his article, (Un)Common Traits of Creative People, author Dean Rieck states that “Creativity is really just a matter of how you approach things. It’s how you act or react to new circumstances. Your proclivity to look at things in a different way, To question. Experiment.” He goes on to suggest that we “Think of creativity like a muscle. The more you use it the stronger it gets. To increase your creativity, you simply need to act in creative ways and do what other creative people do”.

So, what do creative people do? They…

~ Have the courage to try new things, while risking failure.
~ Use intuition, as well as logic, to produce ideas.
~ Like to play. Humor and fun are the ultimate creative act.
~ Express what they feel and think.
~ Find order in confusion and discover hidden meanings in information.
~ Motivate themselves by tasks, rather than by external rewards.
~ Explore solutions to challenging problems.
~ Challenge assumptions and ask hard questions.
~ Connect old ideas with new insights.
~ Push the envelope to expand the boundaries of what is possible.
~ Test new ideas, and compete with others, based on results.
~ Watch how other creative people solve problems.

Anything else?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Way to go Volkswagen!!

I thought this was an uberly fantastic and creative idea by Volkswagen in Stockholm, Sweden. They have created a site called or The site features several videos all dedicated to the idea that "fun" is the easiest way to get people motivated to change. The three videos that are up there so far show how to make people not FAIL when putting litter in a bin, How to get more people to take the stairs than the escalator, and a teaser video of how to make recycling more fun.

"The campaign has just started up with a number of experiments in which the theory—that fun can change people's behavior—is tested in various situations," says DDB Stockholm creative director Andreas Dahlqvist. One of the most charming tests is a staircase in a Stockholm subway station that was converted into working piano keys—a way to convince commuters to take the stairs over the escalator. Another test uses sound effects to make throwing rubbish away properly a cartoon-like experience.

The Piano staircase resulted in a 66% increase in people taking the stairs than the escalator, and the fun noise making little bin resulted in about a 70% increase in litter in the bins!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The real perils of life

At 25, Lance Armstrong was the world's top-rated cyclist. Then he underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor and testicular cancer. Doctors gave him a 50% chance of survival. After he recovered one doctor admitted that he'd only given Armstrong a 3% chance. When asked if the rigors of cancer treatment had depressed him he said, "No, I thought being depressed would be detrimental. It was a very positive time in my life."

From then on Lance wanted something more; he wanted to race again which wouldn't be easy to say the least. At one point in his come back he actually quit right in the middle of a race, something he'd never done before. But he came back from that setback and went on to win, not one, but seven consecutive Tour de France races (1999-2005). An extraorindary feat and comeback! After winning his first Tour de France, he said, "If you ever get a second chance in life for something, you've got to go all the way." He shared something else which I thought very profound ~ "Without faith we're left with nothing but an overwhelming sense of hopelessness every single day, and it will beat you. I didn't fully see until the cancer, how we fight every day against the creeping negatives of the world, how we struggle daily against the slow lapping of cynicism. Dispiritedness and disappointment, these are the real perils of life, not some sudden illness."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Keep it REAL

Recently while on a visit to Seattle (Bainbridge Island), I went to THE BEST toy store on the planet, The Calico Cat I was there for over 2 1/2 hours and my friend and her 11 and 13 year old boys had to drag me out of there!! Anyway while there I saw the coolest version of one of my favorite childhood books, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. It's a tale about a stuffed rabbit who belongs to a little boy. He wants to be Real, but doesn't quite know what that means. So one day he asks the Skin Horse, "What is REAL?" The Skin Horse replies that when a child "REALLY loves you, then you become real." I think the Rabbit's next question is even more telling, "Does it hurt?"

In our culture, "Keep it real" has become a popular catch-phrase. But how often do we actually do it? How often are we truly real, authentic, open, and honest with people? As the Skin Horse tells the Rabbit, "Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby." When we're real with people, we have to take off that glossy, air-brushed exterior we like to show the world. Being real means we have to let stuff we aren't proud of hang out, let the pain and the brokenness be seen by someone else. When we're living authentically, we let people see beneath the surface of our lives to the bumps, bruises, tears, and stains.

The story continues on that the Rabbit "wished that he could become it without these uncomfortable things happening to him." Like the Rabbit, I think we're all afraid of the price of being Real. But there's also hope, because the thing that transforms us from the way we are into REAL is love. And the Skin Horse assures us that "once you are Real, you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."

The process that the Rabbit must go through to become REAL is a lot like the process Believers go through called "Sanctification." We are justified and saved (legally declared innocent) when we accept Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. Once this happens we start the process of sanctification, which means becoming more and more like Christ. It's a hard process, and it's definitely not comfortable, but the results are eternal. As our lives begin to reflect Christ's life more and more, we become more and more the way God intended us to be. And as this happens and we find our identities in Christ alone, we actually become more REAL in our everyday lives. If we're becoming what God intended and find our identity in Christ alone, then we don't have to worry about whether the cool and popular people like and accept us. As we are sanctified, we are freed to live life in an open, honest, authentic, and REAL way.

The boy did love the Rabbit until he became REAL. And thankfully God will love us until we are holy, sanctified, and real.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Book Signing / Fundraiser for Pat Tillman Foundation

Jon Krakauer will discuss and sign Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman. (Doubleday, $27.95). All of Jon Krakauer's books will be available for purchase and signing. In Where Men Win Glory, Jon Krakauer draws on Tillman's journals and letters, interviews with his wife and friends, conversations with the soldiers who served alongside him, and extensive research on the ground in Afghanistan to render an intricate mosaic of this driven, complex, and uncommonly compelling figure as well as the definitive account of the events and actions that led to his death. Infused with the power and authenticity readers have come to expect from Krakauer's storytelling, Where Men Win Glory exposes shattering truths about men and war.
Apparently Tillman was a huge fan of Krakauer's and had been carrying a copy of Krakauer's "Eiger Dreams" in his backpack when he was killed.

Hosted by Changing Hands Bookstore, Saturday, October 3rd at Dobson High School, 1501 W. Guadalupe Rd., Mesa, AZ, 7pm-9pm - Tickets are $36 and include one copy of Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman. Tickets are only available at Changing Hands Bookstore 6428 S. McClintock Dr. Tempe, AZ 85283 / 480.730.0205 Can't attend? If you'd like an autographed copy of Where Men Win Glory please call Changing Hands at 480.730.0205 to pre-pay and we'll have one or more copies signed and reserved for you and can be shipped. Doors open for the event at 6:00 pm. Event starts at 7:00pm. For more info:

Mish Mash

So much stuff to blog about, but can't seem to get anything written!! I think I'm suffering from the blogging blahs maybe and/or lack of time?! Anyway, I'm gradually working on getting myself to blog. It really is true the longer you let something lapse, the harder it is to get back to!

Aside from that I thought I'd share this and get your input....A catholic church in England unveiled this statue of Jesus showing an artists interpretation of how He might look today including a modern beard and hairstyle as well as some jeans. The parish priest said, “You are always looking for new ways to enrich people in the experience of Christianity and it is good people can be open-minded to appreciate it.”

So what’s your reaction and thoughts to putting Jesus in jeans? My initial reaction... what is he doing? dancing or rapping? And baggy clothes? that's so last year! Jesus should be in skinny jeans, preferably 7 for All Mankind. And of course, the most important burning question for Christianity..."what products would Jesus use for his hair?" ; )

Friday, July 31, 2009

Mindset of success

If you manage any people, if you're a parent, an athlete, a teacher, a leader, etc. you need to read this piece The Effort Effect by Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck. The article examines her thirty-year study of why some some people excel and others don’t. She postulates that people have two kinds of mindsets: growth or fixed. People with the growth mindset view life as a series of challenges and opportunities for improving. People with a fixed mindset believe that they are “set” as either good or bad. The issue is that the good ones believe they don’t have to work hard, and the bad ones believe that working hard won’t change anything. The view we adopt of ourselves profoundly affects the way we lead our lives. It also reveals that your mindset can determine whether you become the person you want to be, and whether you accomplish what you are truly capable of. Dweck also released a book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success that expands and further details this topic. I definitely plan on reading it!

Here's a sidebar from the article called “What Do We Tell the Kids?” You have a bright child, and you want him/her to succeed. You should tell her how smart she is, right? That’s what 85 percent of the parents Dweck surveyed said. Her research on fifth graders shows otherwise. Labels, even though positive, can be harmful. They may instill a fixed mind-set and all the baggage that goes with it, from performance anxiety to a tendency to give up quickly. Well-meaning words can sap children’s motivation and enjoyment of learning and undermine their performance. While Dweck’s study focused on intelligence praise, she says her conclusions hold true for all talents and abilities. Interesting....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

To let go....

To let go doesn't mean to stop caring, it just means I can't do it for someone else. To let go is not to cut myself off, it's the realization that I don't control them. To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences. To let go is to admit my powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands. To let go is not to try and change or blame another, I can only change myself. To let go is not to care for, but to care about; not to fix, but to be supportive; not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being. To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to effect their own outcomes. To let go is not to be protective, it's to permit another to face reality. To let go is not to deny, but to accept. To let go is not to nag, scold or argue, but to search out my own shortcomings and work on them. To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and relish each moment. To let go is to try to become what I dream I can be. To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future. To let go is to fear less and love more.

Friday, July 24, 2009

"I will sing you to me"

I recently watched the movie “Australia” with Nic Kidman and Hugh Jackman and thought it was a really good film, both historical and whimsical. But what stood out for me the most was one line "I will sing you to me" (definitely an awesome song in that line waiting to be written!!) There was a little boy in the film named Nullah, who is half white, half aborigine. He was a dreamer, the epitome of what I think we all embrace and love about children. Don't they live with so many less constraints in life than we do? Anyway, he would sing people to himself. The aborigines believe that songs can draw them to each other and to nature. Every time he had to leave his new mom and dad, who essentially adopted him, he would say, don’t worry “I will sing you to me”. The whole story is about this child, who is basically an orphan, finding a new life, with new parents. It causes me wonder how often God is "singing us to Him" and we don't even realize it or listen....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Happy Prince

One of the most moving stories I've ever read is Oscar Wilde's "The Happy Prince." Despite Wilde being jailed for debauchery by order of Queen Victoria, he at least understood that the Gospel isn't pretty. It's not about success or excellence, but about the bloodied remains of the Messiah nailed to lumber. If you're not familiar with Wilde's story, I really encourage you to read "The Happy Prince" at this link.

The story tells of a gilded statue named "The Happy Prince" erected in honor of a long-dead prince who was known for his lightheartedness. As winter approaches, the bejeweled statue becomes friends with a stray swallow on his way to the warmth of Africa. The swallow is concerned at the statue's sadness over the plight of the downtrodden in the city, so at the statue's request, the bird begins stripping all the gems and gold leaf off the Happy Prince and giving them away to the needy. In time, there is nothing precious left of the statue, and the dedicated swallow who once told exotic tales of Egypt to the statue, is chilled and exhausted.

Wilde's conclusion to his story:
The poor little Swallow grew colder and colder, but he would not leave the Prince, he loved him too well. He picked up crumbs outside the baker's door when the baker was not looking and tried to keep himself warm by flapping his wings.

But at last he knew that he was going to die. He had just strength to fly up to the Prince's shoulder once more. "Good-bye, dear Prince!" he murmured, "will you let me kiss your hand?"
"I am glad that you are going to Egypt at last, little Swallow," said the Prince, "you have stayed too long here; but you must kiss me on the lips, for I love you." "It is not to Egypt that I am going," said the Swallow. "I am going to the House of Death. Death is the brother of Sleep, is he not?"

And he kissed the Happy Prince on the lips, and fell down dead at his feet. At that moment a curious crack sounded inside the statue, as if something had broken. The fact is that the leaden heart had snapped right in two. It certainly was a dreadfully hard frost.

Early the next morning the Mayor was walking in the square below in company with the Town Councillors. As they passed the column he looked up at the statue: "Dear me! how shabby the Happy Prince looks!" he said. "How shabby indeed!" cried the Town Councillors, who always agreed with the Mayor; and they went up to look at it. "The ruby has fallen out of his sword, his eyes are gone, and he is golden no longer," said the Mayor in fact, "he is little better than a beggar!" "Little better than a beggar," said the Town Councillors. "And here is actually a dead bird at his feet!" continued the Mayor. "We must really issue a proclamation that birds are not to be allowed to die here." And the Town Clerk made a note of the suggestion.

So they pulled down the statue of the Happy Prince. "As he is no longer beautiful he is no longer useful," said the Art Professor at the University.

Then they melted the statue in a furnace, and the Mayor held a meeting of the Corporation to decide what was to be done with the metal. "We must have another statue, of course," he said, "and it shall be a statue of myself." "Of myself," said each of the Town Councillors, and they quarrelled. When I last heard of them they were quarrelling still.

"What a strange thing!" said the overseer of the workmen at the foundry. "This broken lead heart will not melt in the furnace. We must throw it away." So they threw it on a dust-heap where the dead Swallow was also lying.

"Bring me the two most precious things in the city," said God to one of His Angels; and the Angel brought Him the leaden heart and the dead bird. "You have rightly chosen," said God, "for in my garden of Paradise this little bird shall sing for evermore, and in my city of gold the Happy Prince shall praise me."

Sometimes when we're in the grips of excellence and success we become like the Mayor and Town Councillors in the story. Our ability to see true beauty in the less than perfect is thwarted and along with it the beauty of the Gospel.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Food, Inc - a documentary!

I think this is an important film everyone must see!! Sadly though it doesn't look like it'll be playing anywhere in Arizona!! That just may be an excuse to head to CA to go see it! ; )

Check out some reviews:
"I'm not generally in the habit of praising movies for being good for you, but Food, Inc. is more than just a terrific documentary—it's an important movie, one that nourishes your knowledge of how the world works."
- Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"Does for the supermarket what 'Jaws' did for the beach."
- John Anderson, Variety
"Don't take another bite till you see Food, Inc., an essential, indelible documentary."
- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Essential Viewing"
- Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
"3 1/2 Stars"
- Roger Ebert, Sun Times
"Required Viewing. One of the year's most important films."
- Rossiter Drake, 7x7
"You Have To See Food, Inc."
- Corby Kummer, The Atlantic
"See it. Bring your kids if you have them. Bring someone else's kids if you don't."
- David Edelstein, New York Magazine
"Excellent in every respect."
- Pete Hammond, Boxoffice Magazine
"A cleverly written and well produced documentary. Kenner crafts an intelligent, visually compelling argument grounded in old-fashioned investigative research and journalism."
- Maria Garcia, Film Journal International

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bash not

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about how people have been Obama bashing (trust me, I've done my share), but there's one thing I've come to realize...this country we call 'home' exists only by God's permission and power. Leaders don't determine the future of countries, God determines the hearts of leaders. "The King's heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; He guides it wherever He pleases" (Proverbs 21:1 NLT). The stubborn will of the most powerful politician can be directed by God as easily as a farmer reroutes a shallow canal on his farm. So wouldn't it be better to pray for our leaders and trust God to work on their hearts?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

When chalk meets the road!

In my mind, this is so stinkin' cool!!! What a great way to inspire hope and I think the Tour de France will be just the start for Chalkbot's!!

Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Nike and Armstrong's foundation for people affected by cancer, Livestrong, have created a robot that lets people from anywhere in the world chalk messages of inspiration, hope and encouragement directly on the course of the premier French bicycle race.

Users can submit messages via text message, the campaign website, online banners or Twitter for the chance to be printed on the Tour roads by a street-painting robot, Chalkbot. Wieden's executive interactive producer Marcelino Alvarez and technologist-cum-creative Adam Heathcott say that about 90 percent of the messages that have come through and been approved are from Twitter. And because of Twitter's characteristic character limit, the short Chalkbot messages, averaging less than 40 characters, have been some of the most poignant and well-written. Alvarez and Heathcott are both with the Chalkbot in France--see their photos of the robot and chalk messages in situ at the end of the story.

Once submitted, messages are queued and reviewed and up to 100,000 will be inscribed on the roads that make up the course. Approved messages are sent to the Chalkbot, which was developed in partnership with Pittsburgh-based mobile software design company DeepLocal and StandardRobot. Like a giant dot-matrix printer on wheels, Chalkbot sprays a liquid chalk mixture onto pieces of road about eight hours ahead of the Tour bikers. The person who originally submitted the message will then receive a link to a robot-captured photo of the chalk design along with its GPS coordinates as a record of their words in the physical world.

"James Moslander and I were very interested in making a digital experience a physical experience as well, something that exists out in the world that talks both ways," Heathcott says. "We started looking at the different things that exist out in the world for the Tour de France. One of the things we came across that's already being utilized by local Livestrong chapters was chalk. Historically in the races they've done chalking on the roads: messages of support for their favorite rider, hi Mom, whatever."

"Livestrong is an organization that doesn't just exist on a web forum," he adds." It's people that go out and do things to make change in our world, how we feel about cancer and how we go about getting it eradicated. They're out in the world, so making an experience out in the world, instead of one in their cubicle, speaks to people more directly. This campaign invites people from all over, people who can't normally participate in the Tour de France because it's too far away or because they can't afford to travel, to play a part in cancer awareness."

Once the idea for automated chalk messages was hatched, Heathcott thought of friends from Pittsburgh who had worked on street-writing robots GraffitiWriter and StreetWriter in 1998 and later formed DeepLocal and StandardRobot.

Alvarez says the major challenges of the campaign came after the robot was built and programmed. For one, the team had trouble finding chalk paint that's non-toxic, removable and in Livestrong's signature yellow. And then there was the issue of travel.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

This is written by one of my all time favorite devotion writers, John Fischer and I thought I'd shared it here!

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." (2 Corinthians 3:17)

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is proof—credibility—evidence of the fact that God is at work. (2 Corinthians 3:1-3)

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is adequacy—the ability to do what God wants us to do. (2 Corinthians 3:4-5)
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, all rules are off. We're operating under the singular law of love that encompasses all others. (2 Corinthians 3:6)

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is life. The law kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:6)

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is boldness to be who you are. (2 Corinthians 3:12-13) Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is no need to hide, or cover up, or put on a false front. (2 Corinthians 3:16)

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is hope. (2 Corinthians 3:12)

This weekend, while America celebrates its independence, we celebrate our independence from ourselves and our freedom to life in the Spirit. Risky, unpredictable, transparent, bold, adventurous, transforming life in the Spirit. Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Don't jump ship!

I ran across this recent blog post "Do it as the church" by David Gunner Gunderson (try saying that 3 times fast!) over at Raw Christianity. Everything written in this post resonated with me and David articulates so much better than I ever could the idea of doing things for Christ as a collective body, not as "individual mavericks." In his words (but I highly encourage you to read David's entire post

Sometimes we join together with like-minded individualists, and become a group of malcontents. We gather with our like-minded friends, brashly engage in all those grey-area activities that were unaccepted in our previous subcultures, rehearse our common hurts and revile others’ hypocrisies, condemn all the traditionalists, and verbally tear down the establishment (usually without erecting anything in its place). We reflect on our new priorities as so many imitations of Jesus the revolutionary, and we glory in our holy rebellions.

But this is not the answer. We don’t need just another individualistic maverick. We don’t need more Christians failing the church because the church has failed (and see the irony?). We don’t need more reverse hypocrites hypocritically condemning the original hypocrites. We need to bail water, lighten the ship, patch the sails, check the compass, strengthen the sailors, and take courage — not jump overboard.

Yes, we need men and women who will stand in the gap, and this will sometimes take unusual faith and unconventional wisdom. We need modern-day prophets to proclaim the sharp words that the Lord would have us hear. We need to re-examine the grey areas, deconstruct some traditions, pursue fresh obediences, and call each other to an increased faith, hope, love, and mission. But not out of self-seeking ambition and self-righteous reactionism......

Yes, wrestle through the issues. Ask the hard questions. Engage the culture, seek reformation, and act on the holiest of your ambitions. But when you do all of these things, do it as the church. Evangelize as the church, not as the self-representing cool missional guy that’s trying to distance himself from the gathered people of God. Show mercy as a member of the body, not as a young woman trying to prove a point. Protest a political agenda because it stands against the values of the kingdom of God and the gospel of Christ, not mainly because you want to go against the politicized grain of evangelicalism. And be sincere and authentic because you are the purified bride of Jesus Christ, not because you hope to lay the charge of hypocrisy at someone else’s feet. We — we — are the community of faith, those who have been baptized together into the corporate life and power of the Holy Spirit.....

The church is deeply fragmented, and the fragmentation is only increasing. There are times to separate, yes, but there are also times to stand together, even when some to your left are a bit grimy, and some to your right have overdone the make-up....

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Life Lessons

I'm sure you all may have seen this list at one time or another, but I thought it worth posting as a reminder! Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, "To celebrate growing older, I wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. My odometer rolled over to 90 , so here is the column once more":

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.
Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's,we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Innovator's R different!

Research indicates that true innovator's brains are actually different from other people's brains. The big difference is that original thinkers - iconoclasts - innovators - whatever you want to call them, see the world differently than everyone else. Too many of us think "automatically" - in other words, we assume the way things should be, take a lot for granted, and don't challenge our perceptions. But innovators don't make those assumptions, and generally see the world the way it is. The secret of being an innovator? Bombard the brain with new experiences. Force yourself to see the world in different ways. Travel. Meet new people. Think from different experiences. Live a life of novelty.

It's no surprise many of our most innovative writers, artists, actors, filmmakers and more were a bit eccentric. They didn't live their lives the way everyone else thought they should. Jesus was a great example of someone who lived outside other people's expectations. As a result, these unusual people produce far more creative work because they refused to see "normal" as normal.

What's your experience? Is there a routine you can break out of? What behavior can you shatter that would give you a new perspective on living?

~ Insightful words from Phil Cooke

Saturday, May 23, 2009

October 16th!

Mark that day down on your calendars (October 16th, 2009) because that's when the movie adaptation of "Where the Wild Things Are" comes out!!!!!! I'm so excited!!!! And don't tell me you've never read "Where the Wild Things Are" a BAzillion times as a kid and/or with your kids!! Plus, anything with Arcade Fire in it, is already pretty amazing in my book!! : )

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Check this out!

Okay I'm a day, but nonetheless this is too cool not to share!! On May 19th, 1966, The Beatles started shooting one of the world's first music videos!! Shot on location at Chiswick Park in West London on a delightfully warm and sunny summer's day, The Beatles made history by recording two music videos (or, back then better known as 16mm films!) back-to-back for the forthcoming releases of Rain and Paperback Writer!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Death by technology?

Here's an insightful excerpt from a speech entitled "Informing Ourselves to Death" by Neil Postman

Technological change is always a Faustian bargain: Technology giveth and technology taketh away, and not always in equal measure. A new technology sometimes creates more than it destroys. Sometimes, it destroys more than it creates. But it is never one-sided.

The Benedictine monks who invented the mechanical clock in the 12th and 13th centuries believed that such a clock would provide a precise regularity to the seven periods of devotion they were required to observe during the course of the day. As a matter of fact, it did. But what the monks did not realize is that the clock is not merely a means of keeping track of the hours but also of synchronizing and controlling the actions of men. And so, by the middle of the 14th century, the clock had moved outside the walls of the monastery, and brought a new and precise regularity to the life of the workman and the merchant. The mechanical clock made possible the idea of regular production, regular working hours, and a standardized product. Without the clock, capitalism would have been quite impossible. And so, here is a great paradox: the clock was invented by men who wanted to devote themselves more rigorously to God; and it ended as the technology of greatest use to men who wished to devote themselves to the accumulation of money. Technology always has unforeseen consequences, and it is not always clear, at the beginning, who or what will win, and who or what will lose.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

...Just when you think you can't wait any longer...then it's the perfect time. And implanted somewhere in my memory is the same anxious waiting for the baby God to be born in a far away village. And then he was.

So, I take all these tiny hopes and faiths, and string them together as one giant hope and expectation for that same Jesus to revive and refresh us while we are waiting for his return. Like a cup of cold water on a long distance run. This exercise of waiting, and of experiencing a lifetime of little fulfillments, does my heart good. ~ Sandra McCracken

If you aren't familiar with singer/songwriter Sandra McCracken, then you need to be! If you are, then you know what I'm talking about! And oh yeah, the bald guy in the video is Derek Webb, Sandra's husband. Njoy!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Good kick in the pants

There's a song called "The Motions" by Matthew West that totally pierces my heart and convicts me to the core everytime I hear it and read the lyrics. I really encourage you to read the lyrics and then watch the video clip below. Man, it makes me ask myself if I'm really "being" all I can be for God (and I don't mean just "doing"). Am I truly living my life to glorify Him, an audience of One or am I living to glorify me and the world? Whether you're a Matthew West fan or not, you'll have to admit this song probes deep and really makes you think

This might hurt, it's not safe
But I know that I've gotta make a change
I don't care if I break,
At least I'll be feeling something
'Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life

I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day without
Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,"What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?

"No regrets, not this time
I'm gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love make me whole
I think I'm finally feeling something
'Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of this life

'Cause I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more daywithout Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,"What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?"

take me all the way (take me all the way)
take me all the way (I don't wanna go, I don't wanna go)
take me all the way (through the motions)
take me all the way
I don't wanna go through the motions

Sunday, April 26, 2009

...absolute humility

I've always been a huge fan of Oscar Wilde's writings and still very much am! He was honored as "First in Greats" at Oxford. He was the toast of London and was called "Our most quotable writer after Shakespeare." Yet I wasn't aware that his undisciplined living landed him in prison. From there he wrote some incredibly profound words:

"I must say to myself that I ruined myself. Nobody great or small can be ruined except by his own hand. The gods have given me almost everything. But I let myself be lured into long spells of senseless and sensual ease. I surrounded myself with smaller natures and meaner minds. I became the spend-thrift of my own genius. To waste an eternal youth gave me a curious joy. Tired of being on the heights, I deliberately went to the depths in search of new sensations. Desire, at the end, was a malady, or a madness, or both. I forgot that every little action of the common day, makes or unmakes character, and therefore what one has done in the secret chamber, one has someday to cry aloud on the housetop. I allowed pleasure to dominate me. I ended in horrible disgrace. There is only one thing for me now, absolute humility."

In the end Oscar Wilde lost his family, his fortune, his self-respect and his will to live. He died bankrupt and broken at 46.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

CONGRATS N PROPS to my music friends!!!

This past Thursday was the 40th Annual GMA Dove Awards in Nashville, TN and a number of my friends nominated took home some sweet lookin' Doves!! I'm so very thrilled for all of you and privileged to call you friends!! : ) Y'all know how to rawk the GOO!! ; )

Sue Smith ~ Musical of the Year

Joel Lindsay, Wayne Haun, Shelby Haun ~ Youth/Children's Musical of the Year

Josh Havens, Matt Fuqua, Jordan Mohilowski, Dan Ostebo who form The Afters ~ Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year

Brandon Heath ~ Male Vocalist of the Year, Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year, and Song of the Year
“I was surprised to receive Male Vocalist of the Year. With this honor, I hope my voice is not just for singing, but for teaching and confessing and questioning my own generation.”

Brandon Heath - Give Me Your Eyes from Brandon Heath on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

As if you haven't learned this by now...

You CAN'T judge a book by it's cover!! "Do not judge according to appearances, but judge with righteous judgement." John 7:24. Never has that verse been explained more dramatically than in the case of Susan Boyle!! Way to go Susan!!!

Unless you've been living under a rock you've no doubt heard about Susan Boyle, the English singing sensation from the TV show Britain's Got Talent. The YouTube clips and other viral clips have been seen by over 100 million people. Living in obscurity her whole life, youngest of nine, learning disabled, bullied as a child, singing in her church and caring for her sick mother, she finally has her moment of glory and the entire world is watching. It makes me smile and cry every time I watch it! She inspires and gives underdogs (like me) hope! : )
So what is it that makes us so emotionally connected to this Cinderella story?? USA Today had some thoughts on the mater....Maybe it's:
• The was so annoying when they were making fun of her and it was awesome when she blew them away with her voice!!

• The surprise...."If you have expectations of someone, you need to be prepared to be surprised by them," says Paul Potts, the chunky former cellphone salesman who was the Susan Boyle of Britain's Got Talent in 2007 and has since sold millions of records as an opera-and-standards singer. His second album, Passione, arrives in the USA May 5. It's part of human nature to make judgments based on first impressions, but sometimes we allow ourselves to be misguided by first impressions.

• It's the guilt....there's no correlation between appearance and talent. If Susan didn't look the way she did, would there have been the same reaction? I don't think so! We make snap judgments based on appearance, and when we see those judgments were premature, we overcompensate by going so far in the other direction.

• It's the shame.....Susan Boyle forced people to recognize how often they dismiss or ignore people because of their looks. "Is Susan Boyle ugly? Or are we?" asked essayist Tanya Gold in Britain's The Guardian.

• It's the psychology....we want to believe in something higher, that there's meaning in life and that the ugly duckling can become the beautiful swan.

• It's the hope...there's hope still in this world; that dreams really can come true; that cynical people can be turned around; that maybe our best years are not behind us.

• It's the distraction... With everything going on in the world, this was a feel-good/underdog story.

• It's empowerment... a woman closing in on 50 had the courage to compete with the kids — and blew them out of the water! WooHoooo!!!

• It's the authenticity....Susan Boyle clearly has not been groomed to be a pop star, so we perceive her as the real deal and that's incredibly refreshing.
~ USA Today

Monday, April 20, 2009

The bar has been set folks....

Check this link out Tweamr...the value and power potential of social media impacting lives, seriously!
The world is changing. gets it. They, along with organizations of any size and in any industry, were the benefactors. The funds and awareness generated by Mr. Kutcher's brilliant 'stunt' are proof. The power-shift from traditional media to social media is no joke and it's not a fad. It doesn't matter what you think of his movies or TV shows - you have to give Ashton credit for converting the potential energy of his Twitter buzz into real dollars that will improve lives. The world won't change overnight, but this certainly is a milestone....maybe even the dawn of a new era, perhaps.

This is reeeally lame!!

Nationals bench Dukes after Little League-related tardy note

Sheep counting...

So, is Church Attendance down these days or is Sanctuary Attendance down? What are ways you see sheep grazing these days that make them harder to count? Are we still counting sheep the old way? Maybe all sheep aren't grazing the fields the way they used to. Many are grazing virtually, monthly, and creatively. Hmmm....just something to ponder.

Thursday, April 16, 2009 does "the body" good!

Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia released a study showing that caffeine makes people more open to logical argument, even when it runs counter to their previously held opinions. The caffeine group, across the board, tested out as being consistently more open-minded than the decaf group. This would definitely lend new credibility to the belief that conversations over coffee are a good thing (but didn't we already know this?! lol)

An open mind is necessary for any relationship to grow. You have to be open to another way of thinking to relate to someone, because we are all different – we have different backgrounds, different gifts, and we see things from different points of view. Lasting relationships grow out of accepting one another's differences. We appreciate each other more through consensus than through conformity.

This kind of open-mindedness in relationships is important for more reasons than just our differences. It is important because we are always changing, and since we are all in process, we have to remain open to that process in each other. My road will not be yours; yours will not be mine, even if we walk together. God has different plans for each of us. Jesus Christ did not die to create clones. He died so He could fill each one of our unique natures with Himself.

And finally, part of who we are becoming involves those closest to us. We are not who we are in a vacuum. We are a product of the people we know and how we have grown together. We shape each other. When this aspect is strong, there is a healthy push and pull at work. “As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 27:17 NLT)

Belief has commonly been associated with a closed mind. This is unfortunate because nothing could be further from the truth. Belief opens you up to God and gives you his Spirit to help reinterpret the world around you. Belief is all about discovery, and just as our relationships with each other are not static, neither is our relationship with God. We are constantly discovering more about God and his world, and we are constantly discovering more about ourselves and those around us. ~ John Fischer

So go ahead, pour another cup of joe for you and that friend. Open your hearts and minds to each other and see what happens!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Remotes on the brain...

Don't ask why I'm even thinking about this, but why are all remotes designed so that the user has to point the end to the tv? Wouldn't it be more ergonimic to hold the remote upright, so you can see the numbers better? The sensor shooter doo-hickey would be on the backside of the remote, so you can easily look at the remote, punch the button and shoot it at the tv. Maybe the sensor shooter is on the tip-top of the remote because it gives the remote control a sense of a magical wand and you a sense of power! You point the stick, it shoots out the tip....Ooooh! Although my idea for the remote control would be similiar to the memory eraser on "Men in Black." Kinda makes me wonder why the producers of "Men in Black" have them hold the memory eraser stick up when using it. Now imagine a remote with the added feature of a memory eraser for when you've just watched a bad movie or tv show? Or better yet take it to the movies and use it after you've seen a movie you can't believe you just paid $12.00 for!! This clearly could have possibilities!

Monday, April 13, 2009

State of Play

I have been waiting forever for the remake of this movie, State of Play and it's almost here!!! It releases world wide this coming Friday, 4/17 and I highly, highly recommend it even sight unseen!!! In the meantime, here's a clip and a most excellent article about this movie!!

The Last Hurrah of Hollywood's Hero Journalist?

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Friday unlike any other....

The wounds on his hands bled slowly. Pressure from the weight of his body held back the flow. If there had been no other sounds that afternoon, it probably would have sounded like the slow, steady drip off the eaves of a mountain cabin on a damp foggy night. But there were many sounds. Taunts from the soldiers, weeping and wailing from the women near the feet of Jesus, even careless laughter from children playing haphazardly around the perimeter of the crucifixion hill, oblivious to the significance of this particular execution. Small dark puddles would gather briefly under the top beam of the cross, only to be covered by the shuffle of a guard's feet. And then it would start in again: drip… drip… drip—little droplets seen but not heard. Mary saw them. She stared at the puddle through her bloodshot eyes while his life flashed before her, and it seemed to her that the earth swallowed his blood as if it had been created for this. As if it were drinking its fill and would thirst no more. Then she slowly turned her eyes up to his face, and her breath failed her. He already had her in the grasp of his eyes. It was the first time he had looked at her from the cross, and his eyes were full of the deepest despair and the deepest love she had ever known. In his eyes, it seemed as if she were falling—falling into a bottomless abyss. She looked until she could bear it no more and turned her eyes away so she could catch her breath again. Once more her gaze went to the small puddle in the dirt, and it seemed now that she, and only she, could hear the droplets landing, loud enough to shut out all other John Fischer

Powerful words! As a mom, my mind can't even comprehend, nor do i want to, that moment, thru the eyes of Mary, to see her son on the cross.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A heartwrenching saga!

He said it so we'd never have to

Maybe it's partly because Easter is almost here, but I've been thinking about would you feel about having to stand on a stage and watch a video of every single sin you've ever committed? The angry outbursts. Selfish motives. Critical attitudes. Jealous intentions. Secret addictions. And so many others! I don't know about you but I'd be praying that stage would cave in or better yet there was a trap door to escape through. I can't help it but it still blows my mind that not only did Jesus carry my sins but carried everyone elses in his body onto the cross so we would stop living for sin and live for righteousness.

When you look at Him on the cross you see the gossiper, the liar, the cheater, the alcoholic, the porn addict, the child abuser, the murderer. And then He put Himself in their place, in our place! In a move that broke God's heart, He poured out all His righteous judgment on His Son. When Jesus cried from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" He said it so we'd never have to. What an unfathomable kind of love!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The London Broil Show

Okay, truth be told I'm not much of a fan of juggling acts. Seen one seen them all, right? At least that's what I thought until I had the chance to see these three guys of The London Broil Show(Duncan, Louie, and Matt) perform at the AZ Renaissance Festival!! These guys were not only amazing, but just off-the-cuff HAHlarious!!! Seriously, it was like SNL does juggling! Here's a video clip of them in action. Now mind you, they aren't in their Renaissance costumes which added a whole other element to their performance (just envision Duncan in a monkey vending suit know the wide-leg capri type pants, little vest, and box monkey hat / Louie in full leprechan apparel with beret'/ Matt in bloomenhoosier short overalls with a German hat...think The Sound of Music look!) Okay...without further's The London Broil Show!!! (I never did ask them where they came up with their name. : (

Monday, April 6, 2009

CRACK goes the bat!

Yep, baseball's back peeps! Spring training is over and ball parks everywhere opened today for another exciting season of an American tradition loved by generations of fans. Whether you're young or old, stepping foot into a baseball stadium can be a magical moment—no matter how many games you've been to. The energy is infectious and awesome moments regularly unfold! Take for example what happened in the AZ Diamondbacks opener today...Lopez and Clark double the pleasure, double the fun in opener!! I love expecting the unexpected in baseball....does life get any sweeter than that??!! Well, maybe if it happened with the Yankees, that would've been uber decadent! But hey, the season's still very young and I know my team won't let me down!! Go Yankees!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Keep running!

I saw the most unexpected place in my heart the other day. I saw a girl, who experiences life and often times situations or challenges and thinks "I can't do this…" a girl who even with the things she most passionately desires succumbs to fear and says "I really don't think I can…it's too hard" and to that girl, I say "Look around you. We're surrounded by people running towards a victory…cheer them on. Get outside your own fear for a moment and cheer them on!" Doesn't it change our perspective when we realize we are not alone? Everyone else is being challenged…getting worked over in their own way by life. And if we are not reminding each other, "you're almost there…way to go!", "you can do it…don't give up!" we'll miss out. Life in many ways is a race, yes, but more than that…it's a journey of love, passion, and pushing through pain. We need each other for that, to get through life. If you've never gone to a marathon…go and stand at the finish line and cheer for the people crossing. It may seem like you don't know them, but if you look closely…you'll see glimpses of yourself. And it will remind you to keep running…even when it feels like you can't.

Reading is FUNdamental!

Anyone that knows me, knows I looooove to read!! And below I've listed some impactful, fantastic reads I highly recommend!!

The Tangible Kingdom, by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay - Just a REMARKABLE read and in my mind is the way to do church!!! It will rawk and challenge you, go grab a copy prontO!!! It's one of those books you won't be able to put down!!

The Blessed Life, by Robert Morris - I would say it was THE BEST book on giving that I have ever read! Warning–when you read this book you will want to give something away!!

In A Pit With A Lion on a Snowy Day, by Mark Batterson - I think this is hands down one of the best books that I have read in a while. Mark did an incredible job with this work–it is a MUST READ!!!

The Four Obessions of an Extraordinary Executive, by Patrick Lencioni - I could NOT put this bookdown!! Phenomenal!!

Good to Great and the Social Sectors, by Jim Collins - Holy Smoley!! Another must read!!!

The Gutter, by Craig Gross - A missional book that was ahead of its' time!!! The emphasis of the book is on getting out of our Christian ghettos/gutters and into the ghettos/gutters of others. You NEED to read this book!!!

This book raised several questions that I've struggled with for a long time. I'd be curious to get your take on them:
Why do we keep ourselves locked up inside of Christian ghettos?
Why do we isolate ourselves from people who are different from us?
Why do we persecute Christians who value other human beings, and want to build relationships with them?
Jesus hung out with people in the gutter, why don't we?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Nothing happens....

Love this new campaign for Kit kat. It’s all about the planning and insight behind Kit Kat’s proposition. See for yourself:


Wow! Talk about extreme shepherding!! Just a brilliant and funny marketing ad for Samsung Electronics...kudos to them! Viral marketing at its finest!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Expectancy or expectation?

I've been re-reading Paul Young's The Shack and each time I do, I glean more profound nuggets! He wrote this about friendship....He says that a friendship has an expectancy…when we see each other we expect certain things to happen like conversation, laughter, etc. He explains, “Expectancy has no concrete definition; it is alive and dynamic and everything that emerges from our being together is a unique gift shared by no one else.” But when it changes to expectation……”Suddenly, law has entered into the relationship. You are now expected to perform in a way that meets the expectation of another. The living friendship deteriorates into a dead thing with rules and requirements. It is no longer about you and me, but about what friends are supposed to do, or responsibilities of a good friend.” he continues…..“Responsibilities and expectations are the basis of guilt and shame and judgment, and they provide the essential framework that promotes performance as the basis for identity and value." It's hard to live up to someone’s expectations. And I have to say Paul's words of wisdom for friendships/relationships are something to live by!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

In honor of the day....

10 things you may not know about Ireland:

1.Technically, it is an offense to be drunk in public in Ireland. Regulations introduced last year allow the police to issue on-the-spot fines for anyone caught being drunk in a public place in Ireland.

2. An Irishman founded the Argentinean Navy

Irishman William Brown (known in Spanish as “Guillermo Brown”) is one of Argentina’s national heroes. He is commonly known as the “father of the Argentine navy” and was an important leader in the Argentinean struggle for independence from Spain.

Brown’s family left Foxford in Co. Mayo for Philadelphia in 1786 when he was aged 9 and his father died of yellow fever soon after they arrived in the U.S.

He led an adventurous early life: he fought in the Napoleonic wars, was taken prisoner-of-war, escaped to Germany, before somehow ending up in Uruguay, where he became a sea trader. He then founded the Argentinean navy, when it was at war with Spain.

Today there is a statute of Brown in his hometown of Foxford, Co. Mayo, which was unveiled in 2007, the 150th anniversary of his death. in Argentina, there are 1,200 streets, 500 statues, two towns, one city and a few football clubs named after him.

3. Only two members of U2 were born in Ireland

David Howell Evans, more commonly known as The Edge, was born in London, to Welsh parents. Garvin and Gwenda Evans moved to Malahide in Dublin when The Edge was aged 1. Adam Clayton, U2's bassist, was born in Oxfordshire, England. His family moved to Malahide in Dublin when he was 5, and he soon became friends with The Edge.

Only Bono and Larry Mullen Jr. were actually born in Ireland.

4. The British Embassy in Tehran is on a street named after an Irishman

In 1981, shortly after the death of IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands, the Iranian government changed the name of the street where the British Embassy is located from "Churchill Boulevard" (after the British Prime Minister) to "Bobby Sands Street."

British Embassy Staff were then forced to route everything through a side door in the building to avoid showing their address as The British Embassy, Bobby Sands Street, Tehran.

5. Up until around the early 1990s, Ireland had a low per capita consumption of alcohol

When the word "Irish" comes up, "drinking" is never far behind. And today, Ireland alcohol's consumption is very high by international standards. A 2006 survey found that the Irish spend a higher proportion of their income on alcohol than anyone else in Europe. It also found that the Irish were the worst binge drinkers in Europe. So the recent evidence supports the old Irish drunkard stereotype.

But Ireland's alcohol consumption per population was moderate for much of the 20th century. There was a high level of alcohol abstinence in the country – something usually more associated with Protestantism – which was promoted by the Catholic Church.

As the Church's moral authority declined, however, and as the country became wealthier, the Irish started to drink a lot more - finally earning themselves that old heavy-drinking stereotype.

6. A Belfast hospital is a world leader in kneecap reconstruction

During the Troubles, the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast had one of the top trauma units in Europe. At one point as many as 100 victims of "limb executions" were being treated by the hospital every year, whose advances included external “limb scaffolding" that enables partial healing for bone damage too severe for reconstruction.

7. Ireland has the fourth largest stadium in Europe

Dublin's Croke Park, the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association, is the fourth largest stadium in Europe. The 82,300-capacity stadium was redeveloped in 2005 and is now the fourth largest: only Camp Nou in Barcelona, Wembley in England, and Olimpiysky in the Ukraine, are bigger.

Rugby and soccer were banned from the stadium up until 2007 because of a long-standing rule banning “foreign” games. The rule was relaxed when the country’s main soccer and rugby stadium, Lansdowne Road, was closed for redevelopment.

8. In the summer of 2007, it rained in Ireland for 40 days straight

Even by Irish standards, 2007 was a wet summer. By August 24, it had rained in Ireland for 40 days - fulfilling an old Irish proverb that says it will rain for 40 days if it rains on St. Swithin's day (July 15). The rain usually takes a break in the summer for a couple of weeks and the rare sunshine sends the country pure mad!

9. Playboy was banned in Ireland until 1995

In 1995 you could get Playboy TV but you couldn't get the magazine, which was banned under the censorship laws.

10. More Guinness is sold in Nigeria than in Ireland

That's right: Ireland is the third largest market for Guinness. Nigeria is at second, and Britain is first.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sometimes it's just a bad cat day!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Who's your Mordecai?

As a little kid, my grandad would share scripture with me about Esther (how many times I’d roll my eyes and not appreciate the wisdom he was trying to impart in my thick head! Lol) He’d share how Esther won a beauty contest, married a king, lived in a palace, uncovered a plot to exterminate the Jewish people and then saved them. Her story showed the importance of being in the right place, and being influenced by the right people. My grandad always said that where you are today is no accident. Mordecai, Esther’s mentor, challenged her and changed her life by saying, “Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14) Esther didn’t set out to be queen, but once she was, she had to decide between her comfort and her calling. It’s a choice we all make everyday whether we realize it or not. Grandad would also say that special people are sent to guide each of us. Without Mordecai in her life Esther might never have understood her calling. And without his help she might never have embraced it either. My grandad would always ask me, “who’s your Mordecai, Romi? Who knows you well enough to help clarify your calling? Who loves you enough to challenge you when you get off track, or strengthens you when you want to quit and turn back?” Of course my Mordecai was my grandad, but I was too young at the time to realize and fully appreciate that!

Today, I can't readily say who my Mordecai is. I've been praying for the last 2 + years for God to reveal that person to me, but to no avail. Either the people I've asked are too busy, don't want to make the commitment, or don't take the role of mentoring seriously. I have to admit it's been discouraging and causes me to wrestle with several questions: Does anyone think I'm really worth the time and effort? Am I expecting someone I'll never find? Am I completely unrealistic and missing the forest for the trees? What am I missing?? Maybe because mentoring others is second nature to me and something I deeply enjoy, I assume there are others willing to do the same for me. I mean after all not one of us is a composite of all of life's virtues; we all have blind spots and weaknesses. That's why we need others to speak and invest into our lives, right?? So why is it so hard to find people that care enough to do so?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Can't help myself...

Bollywood meets hiphop!! Luv this movie and soundtrack as if you couldn't tell!! : )

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Rosa Loves

Rosa Loves is one of the coolest non-profits out there, imho! If you aren't familiar with it, please definitely check it out!

Rosa Loves is less about charity and more about awareness, awareness that we are all a part of something greater and are therefore joined by common threads. Accepting this truth means accepting our place in community, and more importantly, accepting responsibility for each other. This isn't to undermine personal responsibility, but it seems that "personal responsibility" sometimes is used as a crutch - an excuse - to ignore the suffering around us. This chosen ignorance is the architect of deep social chasms that keep us from venturing to burdened and suffering places.

The hope is that people come to experience Rosa Loves not as a charitable company, and not even as a company that does the things it does because they are "good things to do." But instead that people will realize this is what we as people were intended to do.

Rosa Loves is not a "Christian" company. "Christian" should not be used as an adjective. Rosa Loves is a company that seeks creative ways to serve others, not coerce, and do it for the glory of God.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Puzzle Pieces

I just love this piece by Lawrence Kushner in Honey from the Rock and think it beautifully states our God-wired need for community!!

Puzzle Pieces

Some seem to be born with a nearly completed puzzle.
And so it goes.
Souls going this way and that
Trying to assemble the myriad parts.

But know this. No one has within themselves
All the pieces to their puzzle.
Like before the days when they used to seal
Jigsaw puzzles in plastic,
Insuring that all the pieces were there.

Everyone carries with them at least one and probably
Many pieces to someone else’s puzzle.
Sometimes they know it.
Sometimes they don’t.
And when you present your piece
Which may be worthless to you,
To another, whether you know it or not,
Whether they know it or not,
You are a messenger from the Most High.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Church hurts sometimes

Maybe it's because my church has been doing a sermon series on the sins of the Church, but lately I keep running into more and more people who have been deeply wounded by the Church. Things that a pastor or a leader said or did to them, lack of a welcome, a large dose of guilt. By far, the greatest infraction that I notice repeated over and over again in the stories of pain, are instances of judgment. People were hurt because they were excluded or judged by someone at their church. I hope that you can see how much it hurts others when we measure, judge or condemn them. I hope that we can see that the only people that Jesus crushed were the religious hypocrites who judged others. Jesus spread love. God's love is big, broad and wide, and He does not draw lines of separation, only circles that take people in. The Church will never win people by judging them. If you see someone that you don't like, or you don't like what they're doing, just love them. Reach out and give them the gift of grace just like God thankfully extends to us each and everyday. It starts with me and it starts with you...