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!