Monday, December 03, 2007

The Cost Of Being A Mystic Warrior

While recently connecting with other mystics and searching for those who blaze the trail in pursuit of the mission, I had one of the most moving encounters of my life. I was visiting a communist county in Asia, and went to visit the local "government sponsored" faith community in a city of well over 1 million people. Now, this community is a bit different than most government sponsored "clubs," as true warriors have infiltrated the leadership, and they are using their governmental seal of approval to advance the cause. As we went to the building where this community met, we encountered a lady sitting outside the gate. She looked like most of the other local people, but as we passed, she whispered, "Shang di bao ni," or "Most High God bless you." Needless to say, it was a shock for me to be greeted like that by a local person. She approached us and began to talk to us. She offered to take us into the meeting place for the local faith community. Once inside, she served us cups of hot water (it was very cold outside where she'd been sitting) and she began to tell her story. My American hosts are very good at Chinese, but they had a hard time following her story. So, at first I thought she might be mentally unstable, or even demon possessed as she become seemingly more and more agitated. As she told her story, she began to weep. Being Maygoren (from America), I had no idea what was going on. I understood nothing of what she was saying. After she left, my hosts began talking about what was going on, and what the lady had shared. It seems that she is not mentally ill or demonic. She is grieving. As best they could tell, either her husband or her son had been a follower of Yeshua. At some point, the local government had come and taken her significant person away at gun point and she hadn't seen them since. Her agitation was a soul wrenching expression of her pain. We met her again on the steps of the building as we were leaving. She had a copy of The BOOK, both parts (which is hard to get in this country). With outstretched arms, she gave it to my friends. I'm still not exactly sure why. I read into it that she wanted them to be able to give it to someone else who needs Father's Story in their heart language; a tribute to the work of a loved one taken by the government.

I always seem to come home with more of a culture shock than I leave with. What would the Faith Community in the West look like with that kind of passion? I'm not saying that there aren't people here with that passion or that wouldn't make the same sacrifice. I do think they exist here and are almost as rare as this woman is to her country. And that's a shame since there are so many more of "us" here. This lady reminded me that there is a cost to save the world. There is a cost to serve our Master, and many pay that cost every day around our world. What does it cost me? I recently read that 480 Yeshua people are killed every day for their belief, and for sharing that belief with others. We may one day pay that price, too, but not today. Will you join this lady in sharing no matter what the cost? She has been a milestone for me on my journey. May our Father bless her and multiply people like her in that closed country. And I hope He reminds us everyday that we are not our own and that we have been bought for Him at a high price. We are for His service.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Mystics

In my travels in the east, we were led to a group of people in search of the mystics, also. 6 decided to join the search and join the mission. They let the world know of their decision by going swimming, as it is commonly called in their culture. Now they are searching for others who need to know. Bring them up in your conversations with Dad. The family is bigger and the mystics are growing in numbers daily.

(BTW - i know the person is faceless. that's because his involvement could cost him his family, freedom, and life. His boldness puts me to shame for fearing the rejection of men.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Mystic

My search for the mystic will be taking me to Beijing this week. I'll post from there. I will be unable to be reached until after Thanksgiving.

Monday, October 22, 2007


We just got in from Ft. Worth, where Jeremiah took 2nd place in his bracket at the largest Tae Kwon Do tournament in North America. He had an absolutely phenominal time, and has worn his silver medal everywhere! I'll post pictures when I get them off of the camera.

On another note, you may remember my post some time back about making a Freebird's commercial. Here's an excerpt from their monthly newsletter that I just received:

"Award Winnings Ads 2nd Year in a Row It's all about you! - Nation's Restaurant News likes Freebirds Fanatics almost as much as we do. Last year they gave us an award for the Kate and Rita ad. We won again! This year the ad was about Jason, a long-time Freebirds fanatic and two of his buddies that camped out on the sidewalk in front of the Lubbock store the night before it opened in order to be that store's first customers. First of all, we may win awards because of our unconventional ad campaigns, but you are the reason for wins. It's your fanaticisms that are remarkable. We're simply the carriers of the message. So - our hats off to you, our loyal customers, for coming up with such antics that when copied and depicted in foil characters they become inspiring and award winning. You are all winners to us!"

RIGHT ON, Freebird's. Right on...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What would you do?

Today started in a really rocky way. I'm actually at a conference in Grapevine (near Dallas) at the moment. I flew into Love Field this morning amidst a HORRIBLE thunder storm. As we approached for our landing, we hit turbulence unlike any I had experienced before. In fact, it was so bad that the pilot actually climbed to try his approach again, only to realize it wasn't any better with our second pass. After making an announcement to the Flight Attendants that they should stay seated unless it's an absolute emergency, he smashed us down onto the runway, plunging through the storm and to the tarmac. It was one of those moments where the plane was eerily silent (except for the lady next to me whose nervous chatter nearly drove me insane). I had slept most of the trip, but the turbulence woke me up in a hurry and I began to pray. It was simple at first. "Jesus, I may be hanging out with you sooner than I thought." was where it started. It quickly turned to, "Should I start asking the people around me if they are ready to meet Jesus?" It was a real dilemma for me since I didn't want to cause a panic, but at the same time, I really wasn't sure that we'd actually "stick the landing." About the time I decided I should wake the Tech student next to me to ask him how his eternity looked, I saw the runway out his window and we were down. Relieved, I sighed a collective sigh with all the other passengers. As I look back over the whole debacle, I wonder if I missed an opportunity or if I did the right thing. What would you do? No, really, I'd like to know; what would you have done if you had been me? I do know that I have a greater appreciation for life as I write this. I also have a greater appreciation for the shortness of life and the urgency of reaching the lost. There's a lot of work to be done in Lubbock and around the world. And none of us know how much time we have left. So let's get busy.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Two Guys Who Shouldn't Sit Together

This is a legit picture. These guys should really rethink sitting together. It's almost like one guy's shirt saying, "I'm with stupid," and the other guy's shirt saying, "Stupid."

Friday, September 28, 2007

Join My Ninja Army

Are you on facebook? If so, click here and join my evil ninja army!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Confession, of sorts (notice the tongue in cheek)

Okay. I have a confession to make. It's a moment that I realized I have a deep dark part of me that surfaces daily. But I must tell the whole story so you get a sense of my depravity...please read with great understanding as I bear my soul.
Here we go. As many of you know, I ride a motorcycle as my primary means of transportation. I ride a 2001 Harley Davidson Electra Glide Standard with Thunder Headers and Thunder head pipes. It's not just loud, it's a deep throaty loud that every bike should sound like. There have been times when I've started "Harley" and the sound has caused women to scream from being startled and children began weeping, covering their ears, and running. It's so loud and deep that as I rode to the "office" one day, my wife was at the bank drive-thru (around behind the building) and she heard me ride by.
Anyway, I digress. My schedule is as such that it's usually mid to late dinner time before I head home in the evenings. And some nights it's later. And my usual traffic pattern is to ride by a restaurant that is in my neighborhood. It turns out there is an employee of that restaurant that has a white Ford Mustang with an alarm that is sensitive enough that my bike will set it off. It has become a daily event for me to see if I can set that alarm off with my bike. As I ride by it, I drop a gear and accelerate until I see the Mustang's headlights start flashing (since I can't hear the alarm because of the bike). It's a regular part of my day to set that alarm off. Well, last Friday, as I watched the lights flashing and imagined the horn honking, this evil laugh escaped my lips..."Mwuaah hahahaa!" Then it occured to me: what if the kid who owns that Mustang thinks there is something wrong with his alarm and keeps taking it in to get it worked on? What if he thinks that someone in our neighborhood keeps trying to break into his car at work? What if he thinks his alarm doesn't work and quits setting it? All because I enjoy setting it off...Does it make me evil if I enjoy, nay seek out, setting this alarm off daily? What do you think?
Well, there it is. My dark secret is out. If any of you know where I could find help for this devious addiction, please let me know.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

My Little Dare Devil

"My little Dare Devil" When I say this, you probably think of the boy child, but it's not! Last night, Cayla, Jeremiah, and I went to our local amusement park for a school-wide event. Now, our kids think Joyland is a lot like Six Flags, but it's not. It's actually like a permanent traveling carnival. And most of the time, our kids want to ride the little boats that go in circles, or the little cars that go in circles, or the little planes that go in circles (you see a pattern here?). Well, last night I almost "tossed my cookies" riding the big rides with Cayla. She couldn't get enough! Jeremiah had met up with some of his friends and was riding rides he normally wouldn't ride. But the peer pressure begins early, and he went with the guys!
Cayla, however, spent most of her time riding with me, running from big ride to big ride, unable to get enough. She rode the big rollercoaster 3 times, the tilt-a-whirl twice, the Octopus, and several other lose your lunch kinda rides. There were some great moments that stood out to me as she and I rode together. Both times included me looking at her with her face in the wind and hair blowing back. She had this look of enraptured delight as she squealed with glee! The one moments that typified the night happened on this ride that we call "The Umbrella Ride." It's a ride that goes in a circle, but the circle is at a 45 degree angle to the ground, so it goes from ground level to about 35 feet in the air. And, although it's going in a circle, it's at a HIGH rate of speed so you feel like you are launching into space with each pass. Imagine a ferris wheel on steroids and leaning severly and you will have a pretty good picture. She was sitting on my right, with her legs extended into space, hair blowing straight back, and her eyes squinting. We were on the downside of the circle when I began to watch her to make sure she was having fun. As we bottomed out and started the upswing, her mouth curled into this elated smile and a squeal came out as she leaned her head back just a little. I'm sure she was imagining flying. I, too, was lost in the moment. But my joy came in seeing my little girl enthralled by the experience. As the ride began to slow, she looked at me and said, "Again!" I told her there were many more rides, and if we had time we would come back As the ride stopped, she looked at the attendant, an older man probably in his mid 60's, and told him, "Thank you." Then she took off running for the next near death experience. As we went back to The Galaxy, the big rollercoaster, she looked at me and said, "Thanks for cancelling your trip to come to Joyland with me." I was supposed to be meeting some friends to talk church planting and spend some time dreaming, planning, and being encouraged. I had actually told the kids we couldn't got to Joyland because I had to be out of town and Caryn had rehearsal. They were upset, but had been gracious to me since we were going to schedule something special later. Circumstances began to pile up on me yesterday morning, though, and my trip had to be cancelled because there was much to do here. Little did I know that Cayla would have such a good time. And I would have never guessed that she would understand enough to be grateful for cancelling the trip.
"My Little Dare Devil" was why my trip needed to be cancelled. And, because of last night, I see her in a different light. Usually the last to try new things, she really surprised me. I learned I have to help her see the upside to the new things, and not just ask her to do them. I can really see her heading into the dark world to make a difference for the Kingdom, hair blowing in the wind, mouth curled in a slight smile, and squealing all the way as she launches into the adventures of life. I also learned that I can slow down and enjoy the ride and not be so ready to rush off to the next thing. Some rides should be enjoyed twice! I'm glad I stayed home.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

My Own Theme Music

Du du da du da du...Sing it with me...
So maybe having a radio on Harley isn't the greatest idea...or it's the coolest thing ever. I have a habit of tuning into the classic rock station here every now and then to see what's on. I love the old Boston, Kansas, Rush, etc.
Well, twice this week "Bad To The Bone" by George Thuroughgood and the Destroyers came on while I was riding. On a big black Harley, when that song comes on, it's like having your own theme music. You slow down a little bit, settle into your seat a little deeper, and just know that you are who he's singing about!
Of course, the converse is true, too. Just after that, Sammy Hagar's "I Can't Drive 55" came on...and the next thing I knew I was zipping through traffic to the pace of the song...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Work Of God

"Then they asked him, 'What must we do to do the works God requires?' Jesus answered, 'The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.' So they asked him, 'What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' Jesus said to them, 'I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.'" - John 6: 28-33
The generations before us had a reputation for hard work. Our grandparents, for the most part, were known for their "pick yourself up by your boot straps" mentality and work ethic. Such is their reputation, that their generation was named "The Builder Generation." It's an attitude that permeates our American culture. When it comes to social justice, benevolence, or welfare, most USAmericans believe that you get what you earn. And we, like them, often times shift into "make it happen mode," knowing that God helps those who help themselves (that's not Scriptural thinking, though). I know that I find myself in that mindset often: If I am going to succeed or survive, I've got to do more and do better. I awoke this morning amazed at the fact that I have a house to live in, and took a certain amount of pride in the fact that I make my house payments and I am a provider. I actually earn enough money to provide a house, utilities, clothing, food, cars, etc. for my family. And it feels good. Then, during my quiet time, I came to this passage. Isn't it funny how often the Bible speaks to us in a relevant and timely fashion? In my morning of triumphant thinking, God brings His Word to my mind to remind me that I do not really provide for my family. It's Him who provides. The Jews of Jesus' day were guilty of similar thinking. They had given credited Moses for their provision instead of God. And now they were asking Jesus to provide for them like Moses so they would know He was from God. As always, Jesus' response is prolific: I am your provision. Initially, they ask Jesus what work they must be doing to be in good standing with God. He tells them that God's work is to believe in the one He has sent. So they tell Him, "If God sent you, provide for us." And Jesus reveals His nature to them as the provision they are seeking. That ought to be comforting, wouldn't you think? But, by the time this dialogue is over, Jesus has offended everyone and only His 12 remain. Does the thought that it's all up to Jesus offend you? Your gut reaction may be an emphatic "NO!" But think about it this way: do you really, truly, honestly trust Him and look to Him as your provision? If the answer to that is an emphatic "NO!" then maybe there's some work to be done; the work of believing in the One God sent to be your provision. In the midst of hard times, struggles, and turmoil, where do you look? Are you looking for a miracle? Are you trying to figure out how you could work harder to make things happen? Or do you look to the One who is your provision and trust Him to provide? Easy words to say, hard words to do. But necessary, none the less. Remember the words of Solomon, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways remember Him. Then He will make your paths smooth and straight." (Prov. 3:5-6 NIRV)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Speaking of Big Catfish

My friend, Madd Matt, sent me these pictures taken at Lake Conroe near Houston. This catfish is slightly smaller than the one that produced the skeleton in my last post! Yes, that's an inflated basketball in his mouth.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

One BIG Catfish

Here's a picture of Jeremiah, who is just over 4' tall along side a catfish skeleton that is just over 4' long! Pretty huge. I read about a catfish that was just over 4' long and it weighed over 150 lbs. The fisherman trying to catch it was drug out of the boat to his death! 150 lbs. is a big fish.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Much Needed Vacation

Why does driving make you so tired? We spent about 7 hours driving yesterday to see Caryn's parents and hang out with some of our friends at Mosaic Arlington. And, for some reason, sitting in a car for that amount of time wiped me out.
Caryn's parents (Jim and Peggy Kean) are the park attendants at a state camp site. It's a primitive camping only facility, so it's not very busy in the heat of August. The humidity here is stifling. I know we grew up here, but how did we ever breath with all the water in the air? The Kean's have a 40' fifth-wheel trailer that is very nice, and sits within 100 yards of Lake Lavon. It makes for a great view, but the humidity is off the chart. We just got back from playing in the huge "sand box" (which is really a net less sand volleyball court), and Pawpaw is hosing the kids off outside. I can hear them squealing outside.
It's good to get away from home on a non-business related trip. I traveled a lot the last 6 months, but almost all of it was for ministry. So a trip like this offers the chance to not think about what's waiting at home.
Tonight we will get to spend some time with fellows church planters/pastors from Mosaic Arlington. We'll swim, cook out, and just catch up on life. And then, tomorrow, we'll get some of the best catfish in the world as we trek back to Lubbock. We really ought to do this more. I realized yesterday that my kids are growing up. Hahahaha, they just walked in from "showering" outside. They are running through the trailer naked and just giggling. Anyway, I was looking at Jeremiah's face yesterday and he has changed in the last week. He's growing up and even looks different. Our time with them will be gone before we know it. I am amazed that I spend so much time thinking about work (which will always be there and always need to be done) and not enough time with family. I'm going to make it a goal to take a family trip once a quarter, and to keep our weekly Family night sacred. After all, it does no good to reach the world and lose your family! If you ever need a place to get away to, come see us in Lubbock! We'd love to see ya!Peace, Jase.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Muppet Show

Have you ever seen The Muppet Show? There are these two character that sit in the balcony. Thier names are Statler and Mr. Waldorf. Well, imagine those two guys standing around my table at the coffee shop every morning and you'll have a great picture of my mornings...
Today's topic: that the word "expression" has it's roots in the same germanic word as "esspresso," meaning "in a hurry." Never mind the fact that "expression" is spelled with an "x" and "espresso" is spelled with an "s." As I try to convince them that the word "esspresso" is not spelled "eXpresso," Mr. Waldorf gets aggitated and begins to get louder as he tries to convince me that they are still the same. Statler eventually walks off to do "useless things," as he puts it. If only Fozzie Bear would show up and do a comedy routine to make this more bearable.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Post Mortem

As I discussed my love of writing with a friend this morning, we began to talk about how many authors and artists realize fame and influence following their death. We joked a little about that, not really knowing why, but landed on something else: our best work and effort is realized after our death, too. I understand this much more deeply than the author thing. When we die to ourselves, our hopes/dreams/plans for our future, and yield to Christ, we become something far greater than ourselves. And the only thing that can stand in our way is really us! The great part is that we don't have to physically die to watch what Christ does. If anything, just the contrary is true. We don't truly live until we die. People like Mother Theresa are shining examples of that. While authors like C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, or Dietrich Bonhoffer and artists like Buddy Holly and Keith Green achieve their greatest point of fame post mortem, the same is true of us, but we still get to be involved. When we lose our lives for Christ sake we find real life, and accomplish our greatest point of impact and influence. We are truly living sacrifices. Just a jiggy musing from a conversation this morning...

Saturday, August 04, 2007

They've done it again.

I must say that few bands impress me with their grasp of theology and culture. But Jars of Clay seems to be the exception. In "Love Song For A Savior" they show a deep understanding for the doctrine of Salvation. And, in their latest song, "Work," they capture the essence of the human condition. I am moved when I hear these lyrics:
I cannot trust these voices; I don't have a line of prospects that can give some kind of peace. There is nothing left to cling to that can bring me sweet release.
I have no fear of drowning.
It's the breathing that's taking all this work.
Do you know what I mean when I say, "I don't want to be alone"?
What I mean when I say, "I don't want to be alone"

On the nose! Life is hard. And no one wants to be alone.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Man, I've had NO time to blog, and now my blogging vein is clogged. I've got so much to get out there that I'm not sure where to begin. My summer traveling schedule has had me swamped, but now it's winding down. It seems like it was just yesterday when I thought, "Well, it's the end of May. Summer is coming." And now it's all but gone. So, all that to say there will be more coming...and very soon.

Friday, July 06, 2007

West Texas Karate Kids

Have I mentioned that I have been training in Tae Kwon Do? Jeremiah and I started training together in April. It has been a lot of fun. We are both Yellow belts now, having passed our Orange and Yellow tests. For our tests, there are 3 parts. The first part is Poomse. We must demonstrate the required forms (Jeremiah is 2 forms ahead already. I'm having to slow him down so he can remember which one he will test on!). We must also demonstrate proper form on kicks, stances, and punches as part of the forms.
The second part is called Gyoroogi. In the second part, we spar to show proficiency in fighting. It was funny because for my sparring match I sparred a man 4 belts higher than me. Grand Master Sang Kim thought it would be funny to let us spar for longer than normal...needless to say that I could barely move afterwards! I held my own very well. It wasn't a win, but I could have been destroyed and wasn't. Jeremiah LOVES to spar. He sees it as a fun competition/game. Most of the kids he has sparred are higher belts, but they take it too seriously and end up crying. The other kids see it as a fight (usually) and take it very seriously. Jeremiah sees it as two friends playing together by reigning blows down upon each other. It's so much fun to watch him because he is just loving it. He spends too much time watching me to see if I'm watching, though...oh well.
The third part of the test is called Kyuk Pha, or breaking. And it's simply that: breaking boards with your hands and feet. During our last test, Jeremiah and I had to use our hands. He didn't do so well with his hand. He hit it and it didn't break, so the blow was absorbed by his knuckles. After that, he didn't hit the board hard any more. I had to break two boards, and actually moved the instructor (I hit the wood off-center and knocked the instructor into the wall). My wood didn't break, either, but my knuckle felt like it broke. We both ended up using our feet to break the wood. I learned my lesson, though, and will be successful next time.
In the mean time, two great things have happened. One is that Jeremiah and I are sharing a hobby that we both greatly enjoy. The second is that I have built a relationship with the Grand Master, Sang Kim. He was the US Olympic TKD coach in 1984 and again in 2000. He has great influence in the TKD world and among the Koreans of our area. We've been working with his wife on her English skills, and I have been working on his TKD web site. He has given me the title of Spiritual Advisor to the dojang. Last month I had the opportunity to lead 14 students to Christ. It was pretty awesome. Be praying for us as we continue to build relationships there. Pray for more opportunities to share and see people come to Christ. Pray for our knuckles!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Life On The River

So, we're running the Rio Grande River just Southwest of Taos, New Mexico, in a section of the river called The Box. I've split the youth group into two boats, a guy's boat and a girl's boat. And it turns out that I am in the girl's boat with our 8th grade girls. As we approach the next set of rapids called Power Lines, our guide informs us that this is a Class 4 rapid. Now, if you didn't know, rapids can have a grade of 1 - 6. A Class one section of river is just a smooth flowing easy ride. Class 6 is unraftable. Our guide, Tony, is telling us about how we're going to set up for the steepest drop on the river. It drops 18' over the course of about 100 feet, and is a funnel that we have to slip through or we'll high side (get squished agains a huge rock where the water will trap us and we'll be stuck). We've worked all morning on listening to our guides commands and being able to work as a team. We're setting up to slip into the channel when all the other girls freak out and lean in instead of digging in and rowing forward as the guide commaneded. I, on the other hand, dig in with my paddle and steer us off course because I am the only one paddling. We smash the big rock, take on a huge wave, get slammed into the other side, and out I go. That's right! Out I go into a Class 4 rapid. I emerge from the 35 degree water and assume the white water rescue float (feet first on your back looking for the raft or the shore. I see both, but neither are close, so I just ride it out to the screams and yells of the folks still in the raft. They were no longer working their way through the rapid even though the guide was still barking commands. My exit from the boat distracted the team from the task at hand. Eventually, I see an Eddy (a still place on the shore where the water is not flowing) and manage to float into it. All is well, and I'll soon be back in the raft. But there were a couple of spiritual moments for me (aside from begging God to spare my life!) that happened along the river following the "incident," as we now call it. The first is that it's vital to follow the commands of the guide, just as it is vital for us to follow the commands of The Guide. Doing so can be the difference between being in the raft, in the water, or in even greater peril. There's no guarantee that we would have navigated the rocks successfully. We can look back though and see that we stood a better chance had we been doing what the guide wanted. That thought brought me to another thought...I was doing what the guide commanded us to do, but the rest of the team wasn't. The result could have been much worse. As the Body of Christ, we need to all be attentive to the commands of The Guide so that the team doesn't suffer. Yes, it's important to get team members back into the raft, but not to the detriment of the mission. As Jesus talked to His Disciples in Luke 15, he talked about some lost things that were sought after by the owners (sheep, coin, and son). If our team doesn't keep it's focus on the mission, we can become real busy trying to keep the 99 in the boat and miss the mission of our lives. So, that was my rafting trip epiphany. Listen to The Guide and stay focused on the mission. It was a timely message for the Bishop Family as we dig into the summer duldrums of collegetown, USA. Listen to The Guide and stay focused on the mission. Everything else will be fine. Peace, Jase

Thursday, June 14, 2007

There's A New Barista In Town

Many of you know of my great passion for coffee (so much so that it drove me to Seattle to visit the first Starbucks - a pilgrimage of sorts). Well, if you live in or around Lubbock, stop by Aroma's some afternoon and I'll make you your favorite drink! Due to a shortage of people at Aroma's, I am now the "fill-in" barista. So, come on by so I can experiment on you!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Politics and Friendship Update

Well, I thought you should know that "B" from my last post came in to Aroma's on Friday, sat at my table, and carried on a conversation like nothing happened on Tuesday and Wednesday. Who knows? But, everything is back the way it was as far as "B" is concerned.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Friends and politics

Yesterday the coffee shop became a battleground as two of my friends (we'll call them "A" and "B") fought about politics. One friend I agree with (A), the other I don't (B). But the one that I don't agree with (B) will never be changed by arguing, so I've never fought with him about his views. But yesterday "A" did go at him pretty hard. I'm not sure why. I don't think "A" thought he could change "B". I think "A" was just tired of being stereotyped by a generational bias that says that all conservatives are rich, money-grubbing SOB's (to put it in "B's" terms). It was pretty heated for about 20 minutes as "B" began yelling at "A". It was disturbing for me because "B" has been someone I've worked hard to be friends with for over a year. He's been family to our family, in spite of our differences.
Then, this morning, "B" told me that we could no longer be friends because I have such conservative friends. "B" informed me that he would no longer be bothering me with his boring liberal rhetoric. He then slammed his truck door in my face and drove away.
Sad day. Sad day, indeed.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

It's God who sends the fire.

One of my favorite passages of the Bible is the story of Elijah on Mt. Carmel. He's like the Rambo of the OT. He stands up to the pagans and proves that God is real, he brings down rain after a 3+ year drought, and then outruns the king's horse-drawn chariot back to town. This story impacts me every time I read it. But today, it struck me in a new way. Elijah's actions would have had no impact had it not been for the God who sends the fire. I am reminded that, in spite of my best efforts at relevance and impact, it is God who moves and impacts. God sends the fire, and not at my command, but in His time. When I get frustrated at God's lack of moving in the lives of the people I'm trying to impact, maybe I should be asking a different question. Maybe it's not because I wasn't relevant enough. Maybe it's not because my desire wasn't great enough. Maybe I just forgot that it doesn't depend on me at all. It depends completely on the God who sends the fire. I'm at Origins this week (a conference at Mosaic Los Angeles), and we are unpacking their core values. One of their values is Relevance to culture is not optional, which I believe with all my heart. I believe that an irrelevant presentation of the Gospel is sin. But, the greater sin is to think it depends on me and my relevance. God sends the fire, and my relevance is how I step aside for God to pour it down on the offering (me). I'm going to stop asking God to make me more relevant, and start seeking His Fire. That's the real point to the story of Elijah. And that should be the point of my life.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Cool Stuff

I'm in LA for my second Origins Conf. I'm rooming with my friend, Roy, who just pointed me to a blog where I found the one of the coolest apps ever! Check this out:
This allows you to send emails via a phone call. You can even send to-do items to your Backpack pages. Awesome. I signed up tonight, and sent myself a Jott. Too cool. Check it out.
It's mentioned on a web site called

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Journey's First Baptism

This is Michael, and he is The Journey's first baptism! The pool was 56 degrees and I lost the feeling in my legs!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Snow Day

Well, it's actually the 7th of April and we got a couple of inches of Texas! Check it out:

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Biblical Eldership, Pt. 2

Here's a thought on elders: they are men appointed to lead the body. I was reading Titus and a commentary on this topic, and found this: "Appoint elders in every city as I directed you" (Titus 1:5b). By doing this, Paul is going against customary cultural practices because both the Jewish synagogue and Greco-Roman society commonly practiced one-man oversight. Thus Paul's choice of the elder structure of government is intentional. He is not simply accommodating himself to current social norms. His instruction to Titus establishes an apostolic directive that should be followed by Christians today.

Moreover, the appointment process seems to be the installation of a leadership model, and not just asking mature believers to lead.

If you have time, and want to read a VERY WELL written document on eldership, check this out:

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Elders or not...

Here's a question for all you scholars out there: What is your take on Biblical eldership? Some friends and I recently hashed this around, as we usually do, discussing the various ways to interpret the NT's suggestion for local church leadership/pastoral role.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Yes, The Black Hat

For all of you who guessed "the guy in the black hat", that's right. It's me at age 18. Here's another picture from that night...ugh, what a look that was...

Monday, February 19, 2007

A Blast From The Past

Wow! My High School mentors sent me a picture of me and the guys at a Youth Valentine's Day C&W banquet. I believe this picture is February, 1988. Can you guess which one is me? Yes, I am in the picture.

Monday, February 12, 2007

"They say that the road ain't no place..."

It's official: I'm old. I turned 37 a week ago, and didn't really think much about it. However, two Disciple Nows later, it's hit me. At both places there were leaders who were so young they could have been my kids. At the DNow in Groesbeck, there were several of the leaders who were teenagers in my youth groups. And, after two weekends on the road, my body is feeling it. Can anyone tell me why it takes 4 hours to fly from Lubbock, TX. to Harlingen, TX.? Ummmm, because you fly from Lubbock to Dallas; Dallas to Houston; and Houston to Harlingen. Thank goodness I'm home for the next 12 days. Then, it's a DNow in Seminole, a DNow in Houston, a ski trip to Telluride, a speaking gig in Houston, and a speaking gig in Tyler to round out March! Oi Vei! I'm feeling it this morning.

I remember a time when Lock-ins were a joy and required no recovery time. Now I have to recover from being up past midnight! I remember when a popping sound as I did something strenuous was a rarity. Now I have my own sound effects while doing routine things. If you ask Cayla how old I am, she'll tell you 37, but she says it like it's 86. And, honestly, if the average male lives to be around 72 years old, 36 is middle age, and I blew threw that a year ago.

A nostalgic look at how to know you're old:
*You know what "psych!" means.
*You know the profound meaning of "Wax On Wax Off".
*You know that another name for a keyboard is a "Synthesizer".
*You can name at least half of the members of the BRAT Pack.
*You know who Tina Yothers is.
*You wanted to be a Goonie.
*You know who Max Headroom is.
*You ever wore Flourescent, neon clothing.
*You could (or wished you could) breakdance.
*You believed that "By the Power of Greyskull," you HAD the POWER.
*Partying "like it's 1999" seemed sooo far away.
*You thought that Transformers were more than meets the eye.
*You wanted to be on StarSearch.
*You remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off.
*You have worn a Banana Clip, or knew someone who did.
*You owned a doll with "Xavier Roberts" signed on its butt, or knew someone who did.
*You knew what Willis was "talkin' 'bout".
*You HAD to have your mtv .
*You hold a special place in your heart for "Back to the Future."
*You know where to go if you "wanna go where everybody knows your name."
*You thought Molly Ringwald was REALLY cool.
*You actually thought "Dirty Dancing" was a REALLY good movie.
*You have heard of "Garbage Pail Kids".
*Punks actually "shocked" people.
*You knew "The Artist", when he was humbly called "Prince".
*You actually saw Ted Danson as the MacDaddy he played "Sam" to be.
*You remember when ATARI was a state of the art video game.
*You own many cassettes.
*You were led to believe that in the year 2000 we'd all be living on the moon.
*You remember and/or owned any of the CareBear glass collections from Pizza Hut, Or any other stupid collection of glass they came out with.
*Poltergeist freaked you out.
*You carried your lunch to school in a Gremlins or an ET lunchbox.
*You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the ONLY female smurf.
*You wore biker shorts underneath a short skirt and felt stylish, or know someone who did.
*You ever had a Swatch Watch, or three.
*You had a crush on one of the Corey's (Haim or Feldman).
*You had a crush on Bo Derek or Heather Locklear.
*You remember when Saturday Night Live was funny.
*You had WonderWoman or Superman underoos.
*You know what a "Whammee" is.
*You had a crush on Jon BonJovi, or knew someone who did.
*You thought eating Reeses Pieces would attract your own Alien.
*You have ever called 867-5309.
*You had a poster of Rob Lowe, Kirk Camron, or Michael J. Fox on your wall.
*You held the top score on PacMan.
*You owned a T-Shirt that said, "I shot J.R." or know someone who did.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My Freebirds Story

I was recently contacted by Freebirds about helping with a commercial. I called in and told the story of our camp out at the Lubbock Freebirds. They made it into a commercial with me narrating. Here it is: Enjoy! And, if you live in a Freebirds market, it's playing on TV even as I type this.

Video Blogging

I have a bit of a dilema. Freebirds sent me my commercial this morning, and I want to post it here, but I'm not sure how. If any of you techno gurus out there can coach me thru posting it, I would be grateful and forever in debt to your wysiswig debt.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Tabernacle is Moving...

I've just finished a great conversation with the owner of Aroma's (Yes, I know they changed the name to Aroma's Therapy, but old habits die hard...), and it looks like The Journey has a new location for our Gatherings. Starting February 4, our worship gathering will be moving to the coffee shop. We'll be changing our time to 6:30 - 8:00 for The Gathering. It's an exciting time for us as God asks us to pack up the tabernacle and move across town with it.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Illusionist

Last night, after putting the kids in bed, Caryn, Ken, Miho, and I watched "The Illusionist." It was a rather entertaining movie. Aside from a greatly predictable plot, it was clean, engaging, and fun. I give it a thumb up!

Friday, January 12, 2007

How shall two walk together?

"Daddy, they said I am beautiful today." It was Cayla's first response to me after her first day back at school. As I mentioned last week, she got her ears pierced, and apparently the boys likey-likey. But the breaking of a father's heart in watching his little girl worry about what the boys think of her appearance is overwhelming sometimes. There was an instance earlier in the year where a new girl came to Cayla's class and started getting all the attention. Cayla wanted to know if she could wear a headband so she would be prettier and get the boys attention back. The odd thing is, she is a beautiful little girl that is well loved and well cared for by her family. We tell her all the time how great a person she is, how beautiful, creative, and energetic she is. And yet, she sees herself through the eyes of her peers. Normal? Certainly. Healthy? Probably not. But don't we do the same thing? Every one of us has a Father who loves us, cares well for us, tells us of our great attributes and loves us inspite of our bad ones. We have a Father who sees in us so much more than I see in my daughter, and yet, I base my self image and worth on my own impression of other's view of me, or my distorted view of myself. This week I am dwelling on my Father's view of me. I am focusing on allowing Him to define me. I will not allow others to define me. It's not just a healthy thing for my little girl, it's paramount for my own health. But there's more to it than that. My dear friend, Claude Townsend, used to ask me how well I accepted myself. Dr. Townsend had a slight speech impediment AND a Mississippi accent, so it is very distinct in my memory. He'd say, "On a scale of 1 - 100, how well do you accept yourself?" I would answer with a high number, saying, "Oh, on the average, probably 80% of the time." He would respond with, "That's good. How much does God accept you?" Of course, the answer is 100%, now that I am His child. Then Claude would say something very profound. He would pause and then say, "If God accepts you 100%, why don't you? Amos 3:3 says, 'Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?' IF we are going to walk with God, don't you think we need to agree with Him and see things His way?" So true were his words nearly a decade ago that they have stuck with me to this day. How can we walk with God if we don't agree to walk with Him? And how can we agree to walk with Him if we don't see things His way? The agreement to make this journey with God is an agreement to see things His way. And that goes for how we see ourselves. Let me ask you a question. How well do you accept yourself? Today rest in the FACT that God accepts you 100%. When He looks at you, He sees His Son in whom He's well pleased. Don't worry about how others see you. Find yourself in Christ today and be at peace.