A Texas Sun – A Coffee Room Floor – A Headphoned Head

Sitting here looking for inspiration.

I see it in the sun, crowning with green newly moist earth
The cars ever passing, the wheels ever turning
I see it in the floor, dirtied from the rubber of worn out souls
Time always running, life never stopping
I see it in the coffee sippers, the endless commuters and in the questioning smiles of attention seekers
Production at all cost. No time to think. Or not to think.

What is the “it.”

A lost longing for the thing only fully known when found.

Starting up again.

It’s high time I started blogging again. So here goes.

Today I am writing notes to some folks I love and appreciate. I am actually handwriting them. I wonder, what affect does that have on people? What effect does it have on you? I would love you thoughts.

In an age when personal communication is vastly pixelated, are handwritten notes and letters becoming that much more meaningful? I hope so. Because there is certainly much more meaning in them when I write.

In fact, for some reason I often feel more of a prophetic edge to my writing when seeking to encourage through stationary that through say… facebook. Perhaps it is the time I am spending and the extra through required.

What do you think?

Symbolic Actions in Worship – my thoughts

I grew up in a time when the church was still in the midst of a pendulum swing towards intellectualism and reason. Sacraments (as I now know them) and symbols in the church were talked about almost as if they were magic. Furthermore, my family life was mostly devoid of experiences that incited my senses to experience God in mystical physical ways. Today, I long for those kind of tangible, repeatable experiences that captivate my senses in a procession towards truths and realities about God that my mere mind cannot fully translate.

Our culture is increasingly image-based and experience-focused. No longer can someone be “convinced” God is a good Father. They must experience it. If we were to glean from the past, the foundational symbolic activities that so defined their worship, I believe the result would be a harvest of folks who are waiting for the right symbol to unlock their hearts. Following Christ, after all, is primary a participatory endeavor.

True, a renewal of the mind (Romans 12) is often the driver towards Christ-activity; however, our minds are not fully renewed until our actions testify to it. Even from a purely secular educational standpoint, these kinds of symbolic participatory activities are clearly more effective then directly teaching as a constant, poignant reminder of the transcendent values they represent.

My favorite places…. (Essentials Red Vineyard 09 Week 1 Post)

“For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Red Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt.

One of my favorite pictures of me as a boy is of me walking alone on a northern Michigan trail around the small lake that my grandparents lived on.  I am standing alone, comfortable in my surroundings, with a beautiful fern frond in my hand.   If I don’t specifically remember that scene, I remember many like it.   In one I am walking or running alone on a Lake Michigan beach, separated from my family by a few hundred yards, and alone in swirl of creative thoughts, songs, and amusement.   In another, we are hiking at a State park and I am running – running with pure joy on my face as I dodge maples, jump over fallen birches, and crash through crackling leaves with no other purpose then to really feel alive.

I realize now that I was worshiping.  Sometimes I actually was thinking about God.  At other times just the fact that I felt more alive, more HUMAN, was reflecting glory to God.  Here I am reminded of that quote from Iraneous that the glory of God is man fully alive.

Often, as my mom used to say, I just needed to be alone.

Soon, I realized that I was an extrovert, and I often succombed to the silent pressure for all to become extroverts.   I would never have expressed that I enjoyed being alone, but as I reflect back on it, I always found a way to get there.  Although I think I would have survived high school a lot more easily if I had taken even more time to be alone.

Nature is a space I have often sought for experiencing God.  I live in the suburbs, so I have to drive to get somewhere really pretty, but I am learning to heed the call to find God spaces that are near me.  There is a drainage ditch that runs through the middle of my subdivision.  It is about 30 yards wide.  Well, because it hardly even rains here in Texas, it is almost always dry.  There, I go sometimes with a camp chair and just sit under the trees, watch and listen to the crackling leaves, and allow the embers of humanity to ignite into a heart blazing with love and wonder for my Love, my Creator, my Savior.Huntsville, TX

Essentials Blue Vineyard 09 Creative Project

“For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt.

Below are the lyrics to a song I wrote about creation.  I was struck powerfully by the realization, during this course, that  far too few songs address God’s wondrous beauty and creativity.  What I have here is an attempt to craft something that the gathered community can sing together in a worshipful response to the fact that we have an inheritance in that creativity and beauty.

We are creators and the created.  We both enjoy his creations and jump into the divine dance of creativity.  God as creator has long been one of Christianity’s most well worn descriptors for our Lord.  Mankind’s longing for and recognition of beauty is universally recognized – in both spiritual and secular circles.  So songs that declare that God is the owner and originator of beauty and creativity are bound to stir interest in believers and non-believers in getting to know him.

I do not have a chord charts available or a recording as I am merely a drummer and barely able to put words to a page (cue the laughter).  However, I intend to work with my co-laborers in worship and music to put something together with this for our community.  Since I am already starting the next course, I thought I should get this up even without a recording.

Creator God


You are light, you are life

You are beauty glorified

All creation testifies

To the splendor of your eyes


Come all you creatures and sing to our Maker

Jump in the river that flows with his laughter

Dance in the pleasure of the Son and our Father

Shout he is good (and) his love lasts forever


You are the water walker

A tree top stalker

All you made is under your feet

You are the lighting wielder

Broken heart healer

Alleluia to the King of Kings

A quote about the Bible from N.T. Wright

“…to be a Christian while not letting the Bible do all the things it’s capable of, through you and in you, is like trying to play the piano with your fingers tied together.” [1]

We must ask ourselves, “What else should I be allowing the Bible to do through me?”

[1] N.T. Wright, Simply Christian (Harper One, New York) 174.

The effect of soaking in theology for worship leaders (essentials blue 09 – week 4)

“For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt.

Long have I appreciated the Worship leaders and pastors who not only get up in front of folks and emote, but have the ability to construct foundation theological experiences that lead people into accurate understandings of the saving work of Christ, the activity of the Holy Spirit, and the love of the Father.

For this reason, I am loving the mental and theological crunches that Dan and the Institute is asking us, (a group gifted in emotional expression) to go through.   In his Week 4 Video summation Dan described his hope that our soaking in these truths about God and the outworking of his kingdom would flow over into our writing, our songs, our literature our preaching, our relationships, and our approach to Christianity.  I can already see it happening in me and the others in my church that are walking with me through this course.

In my sermons, I have a renewed focus on inviting the heavenly and earthly spheres to interlock and creating “thin” places where our citizenship in the heavenly kingdom can be more fully tasted.  In my prayers, I feel more authority and confidence as I freely embrace the members of the Trinity as a collective and as separate entities.  I have been given language to more creatively and vividly express the activity of the kingdom and the purpose of God throughout the ages.

Indeed, becuase of this course, I already feel a renewed hope that I am playing an important role in God’s kingdom.  I am a reconciliar, a SalvificStoryTeller, an ImageBearer, and a SubCreator.  I am not divine, but I there is something of a pilot light of divinity that lights my furnace and keeps me hot for God and the kingdom.  Oh God that you would turn up the thermostat in my personal life, in my pastoring, and in my worship leading!