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The boat I travel in is called Surrender. My two oars are instant forgiveness and gratitude—complete gratitude for the gift of life. I am thankful for the experience of this life, for the opportunity to dance. I get angry, I get mad, but as soon as I remind myself to put my oars in the water, I forgive.

1x1.trans One Part of the Symphony | Lubbock Photographer

I serve. I do the dance I must. I plant trees, but I am not the doer of this work. I am the facilitator, the instrument. I am one part of the symphony. I know there is an overall scheme to this symphony that I cannot understand. In some way, we are each playing our own part. It is not for me to judge or criticize the life or work of another. All I know is that this is my dance. I would plant trees today even if I knew for a certainty that the world would end tomorrow.

Source: Planting Love One Tree At A Time, from Heron Dance, Issue 11

Just been thinking about this for a while. It’d be interesting to put percentages with each of these four loves. In my opinion, they’re in order. You almost can’t do the third without doing the first and second….

Would love to know what some of you who read my blog regularly think. Or better yet, let’s just do ‘em.

The love for equals is a human thing—of friend for friend, brother for brother. It is to love what is loving and lovely. The world smiles.

The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing—the love for those who suffer, for those who are poor, the sick, the failures, the unlovely. This is compassion, and it touches the heart of the world.

The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing—to love those who succeed where we fail, to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice, the love of the poor for the rich, of the black man for the white man. The world is always bewildered by its saints.

And then there is the love for the enemy—love for the one who does not love you but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain. The tortured’s love for the torturer. This is God’s love. It conquers the world.

Source: Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat

My daughter Alex was baptized this Sunday. Words don’t do justice to what’s in a dad’s heart. So, just thought I’d share.

Posted by: In: Christianity, Fun, Photography, Video 24 Aug 2008 0 comments

Just spent the weekend in Abilene at an event called Stop the Violence, Start The Love. It was envisioned by Chad Mitchell and his team/family/friends at Mission Abilene after multiple drive-by shootings, a few murders, and even a husband setting his ex-wife on fire. It was incredible. Especially considering it was the first year. There were tattoo competitions, a car and motorcycle show, and even a graffiti contest. I did a little shooting and then mixed my images in with others taken and produced a little show that was presented this morning at the Mission. So, it’s with that I present this, with all the best for the whole crew.

Posted by: In: Christianity, Journal 08 Nov 2007 0 comments

Just reading one of the many, many blogs that I scan regularly and came across this idea: More than anyone or anything else, we take God for granted. We’re on a planet that is spinning at 1000 mph around it axis and traveling 66,600 mph through space. We’ll travel 1.3 million miles today in our annual trek around the sun. So when was the last time you thanked God for keeping us in orbit? Probably never! We take it for granted.

1x1.trans Taking things for granted

And yes, I side with the big bang theorists and love my evolutionary theory but there’s just some things that we have to accept as being just too carefully created. Anyway….

Right next to God, I think I often take my parents and my wife for granted. What about you? My parents have become quite important in my life as of late and my wife is the bedrock of our home (making it into a true “home.” But yes, I often take them for granted. So, Richard (Dad), Kitty (Mom), and Mitzi (Babe), I just wanted to say thanks for being there, showing love even when it isn’t deserved, and keeping faith at the center.

Wow! Pretty mushy… but warranted.

Posted by: In: Christianity 07 Nov 2006 0 comments

 

A friend sent me this and although I don't normally propagate such stuff, it really spoke to me. So, I post it, thinking it may cause someone else to stop and think a bit too.

 

1. QUIT WORRYING: Life has dealt you a blow and all you do is sit and worry. Have you forgotten that I am here to take all your burdens and carry them for you? Or do you just enjoy fretting over every little thing that comes your way?

 

2. PUT IT ON THE LIST: Something needs done or taken care of. Put it on the list. No, not YOUR list. Put it on MY to-do-list. Let ME be the one to take care of the problem. I can't help you until you turn it over to Me. And although My to-do-list is long, I am after all… God. I can take care of anything you put into My hands. In fact, if the truth were ever really known, I take care of a lot of things for you that you never even realize.

 

3. TRUST ME: Once you've given your burdens to Me, quit trying to take them back. Trust in Me. Have the faith that I will take care of all your needs, your problems and your trials. Problems with a relationship? Put them on My list. Problem with finances? Put it on My list. Problems with your emotional roller coaster? For My sake, put it on My list. I want to help you. All you have to do is ask.

 

4. LEAVE IT ALONE: Don't wake up one morning and say, "Well, I'm feeling much stronger now, I think I can handle it from here." Why do you think you are feeling stronger now? It's simple. You gave Me your burdens and I'm taking care of them. I also renew your strength and cover you in my peace. Don't you know that if I give you these problems back, you will be right back where you started? Leave them with Me and forget about them. Just let Me do my job.

 

5. TALK TO ME: I want you to forget a lot of things. Forget what was making you crazy. Forget the worry and the fretting because you know I'm in control. But there's one thing I pray you never forget. Please, don't forget to talk to Me – OFTEN! I love YOU! I want to hear your voice. I want you to include Me in on the things going on in your life. I want to hear you talk about your friends and family. Prayer is simply you having a conversation with Me. I want to be your dearest friend.

 

6. HAVE FAITH: I see a lot of things from up here that you can't see from where you are. Have faith in Me that I know what I'm doing. Trust Me; you wouldn't want the view from My eyes. I will continue to care for you, watch over you, and meet your needs. You only have to trust Me. Although I have a much bigger task than you, it seems as if you have so much trouble just doing your simple part. How hard can trust be?

 

7. SHARE: You were taught to share when you were only two years old. When did you forget? That rule still applies. Share with those who are less fortunate than you. Share your joy with those who need encouragement. Share your laughter with those who haven't heard any in such a long time. Share your tears with those who have forgotten how to cry. Share your faith with those who have none.

 

8. BE PATIENT: I managed to fix it so in just one lifetime you could have so many diverse experiences. You grow from a child to an adult, have children, change jobs many times, learn many trades, travel to so many places, meet thousands of people, and experience so much. How can you be so impatient then when it takes Me a little longer than you expect to handle something on My to-do-list? Trust in My timing, for My timing is perfect. Just because I created the entire universe in only six days, everyone thinks I should always rush, rush, rush.

 

9. BE KIND: Be kind to others, for I love them just as much as I love you. They may not dress like you, or talk like you, or live the same way you do, but I still love you all. Please try to get along, for My sake. I created each of you different in some way. It would be too boring if you were all identical. Please, know I love each of your differences!

 

10. LOVE YOURSELF: As much as I love you, how can you not love yourself? You were created by me for one reason only — to be loved, and to love in return. I am a God of Love. Love Me. Love your neighbors. But also love yourself. It makes My heart ache when I see you so angry with yourself when things go wrong. You are very precious to me.

 

Please don't ever forget….

Posted by: In: Christianity 08 Oct 2006 0 comments

We have 263 churches in Lubbock, where’s the differences. When did we decide what makes ‘church’ church.

 

I’m in the worship service at The Mission as I type this. It is an emergent, quite postmodern church in Abilene.

 

We have a couple of churches similar in style in Lubbock (I’m a part of Heights Fellowship) but where’s the diversity? Argh! This is what I long for — people from all backgrounds coming together in worship of the One. There are people here who just parked their homes out front (their cars) and those who came from their nice homes. There is a professor of bible from Hardin-Simmons University helping to lead music and a long-haired, barefoot, elementary school teachin’ bass player along with smells and looks and casualness that would have people in some other churches saying this is of satan.

 

People on the floor, a guy painting a related piece of art, the guy who did the pastor’s tattoos hanging out outside the back door.

 

It feels good here. I feel home.