Thoughts,Songs,Writings,Rants,Encouragements, and Life

Monday, May 30, 2005

Oh God of mine (With NEW second chorus)

1st verse
Oh God, could you quench my thirst
And drench in your love
Oh God, could you feed my soul
That's starving for your truth
Oh God, could you speak out loud
So I could hear your voice

And you are awesome to me
And you are found through grace
and you have set us free
By the power of your sweet sweet name

2nd Verse
Oh God, could you pick up
And hold me in your arms
Oh God,could you give me signs
That show your perfect son
Oh God, could you bear my cross
To set me free of sin

And you are awesome to me
And you are found through grace
And you have set us free
By the power of your sweet sweet name
And you have captured my heart
So my soul must sing
And you have called me your child
For the glory of your sweet sweet fame

And I am falling on my knees
Lifting up my praise
And I am humbled by you Lord
For all my days

And you are awesome to me
And you are found through grace
And you have set us free
By the power of your sweet sweet name

Faith like a child

On my recent trip to Gujarat for a friends wedding I was blown away by something that Clark Kadwell did one evening. It was the day after Kishor and Elvina's wedding. Kevin, the kids, and I had come over to Kishors parents house for dinner. We were waiting outside and enjoying the night skies and good fellowship when there was a power outage and everything went black. Some of us saw this as the flippant reminder of how bad power is wherever you are in India. Flashlights were flicked on to shed some light into the pure darkness that we were now sitting in. Then out of no where a little boys voice could be heard, "dad can we pray that Jesus turns the lights back on?" The voice belonged to almost 4 year old Clark. Kevin replied with sure son why don't you pray. Now usually Clark would hide his head in his father's lap and say quietly " pray daddy." And this is what I expected to hear, but it was not what I , heard. What I heard blew me away. Clark began to pray in an innocent and fully believing voice. He asked that God could turn the lights back on so all the people could see again. There was a tone in his voice, a tone of complete and utter Faith. I kid you not, less than a minute later those lights went on at Kishors house. And there I sat basking in the light and marveling at the faith that young Clark had in Christ that he would indeed turn those lights back on. So often I think we as adults (by no means am i trying to generalize here but i think its true) have a lack of faith and utter our prayers and other offerings of worship out of duty and flippant routine than pure Faith like a child. I have always loved the passage in:
Mark 10:15-16-
"I assure you, anyone who doesn't have their kind of faith (refering to children) will never get into the kingdom of God."
For years I have clung on to this passage truly believing our walk and worship with the lord should be like that of a child. And for years I have tried to remember how i worshiped and dreamed about God and believed in God as a child. I think of myself as a dreamer and a passionate one at that, but I cant help but feel that most of my artistic and dreamer sides of me died while I went through the school system and learned rules and regulations. I find myself trying to get inside Clarks head when he prayed that prayer. What does it truly mean to have Child like faith and yet an adult mindset about God and HIS amazing love and will for me? How do i get back to the place where my faith defies all rules of this world and finds the heart of God again?
I think this weeks Jars of Clay's song "Faith like a child" will be played again and again and again. I want to know what faith like a child is. perhaps some of you have found it as well??

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Walking on Water...

Reflections of Faith and Madeleine L'Engle...
Okay all, here is another shameless ploy to get you to purchase something i like or enjoy, but this time i really recommend it. This book will change how you think and feel about art and worship. It will bring to life some new things that never seemed to catch your eye before in this world. This book really dig deep into your heart and streches it and begins to open up your mind to new ideas about faith, worship, and art and how all of them can glorify God in a new way. You will walk away from this book feeling more creative than ever before. For those of you who write, compose, sing, draw, dance, paint, flip out, have jobs, and so on your creative self will undergo a sort of liberation or new found passion to create and dream as our wonderful creator has made us so uniquely to do.

click on the link that say purchase books on your right. my moms website. then search for the book.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Top Ten animals

So this past week and a half I had the privelidge of going on a road trip with Kevin and the kids. On this road trip we saw many various types of animals, and they all have there own story behind them.

1. Elephant (first siting in india)
2. Camels (way to many to count)
3. Monkeys (big ones, small ones, some nasty ones and some cute ones)
4. Three frogs (hidden in a pool cave, had some fun with these for a while)
5. Lizards ( bathrooms, bedrooms, Car hoods etc..)
6. Cochroaches (Three in a bathroom and various other place)
7. A parrot called MeTwo (he repeats metwo all the time)
8. A wiener Dog named Ginger (reminded me so much of my own dog Buddy)
9. A snake/ Viper (interupted Kishors engangement ceremony, no joke VIPER)
10. Mouse (hidden between the wall and headboard of Kevin and mine hotel bed)

There is the update of fun loving animals from India...Tune in for more soon.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Coming to a record store near you!

August 2005

Switchfoot new highly anticapted album "Nothing is sound", will be hitting shelves of record shops across the world. The album was completed on May 4th 2005. "Nothing is sound", is sure to make every Switchfoot fan squel with delite! This album will prove that Switchfoot does belong a top the Billboard Charts and is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years of Rock 'n' Roll. Switchfoot first four albums have been somewhat of a delicious prequal to the "Nothing is sound" album. From "the legend of chin", "new way to be human", "learning to breathe", and of course "the beautiful letdown", all have been great albums that get better and better with each listen, but Switchfoot is getting better as a band as well. Each album their talent and song writing skills seem to step up to the next level. "Nothing is sound", will surely not disapoint the old fans or the new ones.

Here is what Tim Foreman (bassist/backing vocals) had to say about the album...
"We are in the final stages of mixing what we all feel to be our strongest record yet... which is scheduled to release... (dramatic pause) in early August. We feel like proud parents, and we can't wait to introduce you to our newest creation. I'm not sure if it's a boy or a girl, but it definitely has teeth. "
I dont know about you but I am completely stoked and excited to have this new album!!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Double Vision

I would encourage you all to read this. It is off of a recent site I found, this was sent to me in an e-mail. This guys story is amazing. Check out the site here, I gaurantee you will be floored at what you read and see.
The idea for this latest post started with a big imaginary number. A big number to setup the story. When I learned of blind identical two year old twins scheduled for eye surgery, and found they came from a nearby IDP camp, it seemed a perfect exercise for calculating high odds. I'd always loved the idea of a long shot.
I started with the odds of being born with an identical twin: about 1 in 240. That seemed less than I'd guessed, but made sense. Next, on to being born blind with cataracts in both eyes. A little more than 1 in 10,000. The last number to throw in, the odds of being born an Internally Displaced Person or IDP. A what?
What I knew of IDPS was limited to newspaper and television reports of people crowded together in camps waiting to go home. But after seeing many of the Liberian camps - I've learned they mean thousands squatting, living on top of each other in mud huts, rain leaking through unraveling blue and white tarps - the sun relentlessly forcing through cracking walls. They mean waiting for food handouts from the World Food Programme. At best "IDP" is a poor, abstract term that conveys little humanity and provokes too little thought.
The term was coined to differentiate from refugees. To describe people forced to leave their homes as a result of armed conflict, generalized violence, human rights violations or disasters. Yet because they didn't flee across a border, they don't quality for the benefits and aid money or the privilege of being called refugees.
This in mind, expecting a number similar to stats for blindness, i was shocked to find out the odds were almost identical to being born with a lookalike. That just couldn't be right. Yet more research pointed to about 25 million IDP's in our world. Out of our world pop of 6.4 billion of us that's 1 in 254. Unsurprisingly, Africa hosts more than half of the world's IDPS - six million of them in Sudan alone.
Yet even with a much lower global home to homeless ratio than expected, once I put the factors together, I got my very large number. Born with an identical twin, blind and displaced? Ready? Bad luck to the tune of 1 in 381 million.
Meet Assan and Alusan. They live on the doorstep of total darkness, their heads bobbing and weaving as they touch their faces and hands together outside the ship's gangway, waiting to be admitted. They have never seen their mother, never seen each other. They cannot see that they wear what surely must be donated matching outfits, rust colored shorts with oversized off-white shirts - a blue and red race car marking their tops and "bon voyage" their shorts.
The boys were born in the Caldwell IDP camp about forty five minutes from Monrovia - Liberia's capital city where our hospital ship is docked. Add one refugee mom to the picture. Initially from Sierra Leone, their mother, Ellen, had fled imminent danger during the country's ugly civil war in 1999 only to find herself embroiled in another war - Liberia's 14 year old conflict. Tough stuff, but their story turns here.
A neighbor in the camp told Ellen about our ship that offered free medical care and surgery. She came, and the boys were screened by our eye staff and scheduled for bilateral cataract surgery. The day before their big day, some excited colleagues and I piled into a dilapidated taxi and headed for the IDP camp about an hour away. On what we normally wouldn't call a road, splattered with 92 potholes and small lakes, we pulled up to the camp. We wanted to see the twins in their environment and make sure they didn't miss their important surgery date. After about an hour visit to the camp, we learned that they had left for Monrovia already.
I first saw the twins the next morning, and after a closer look, had to wonder whether an operation would prove successful. The mother looked at us hopefully, but their little eyes seemed all wrong - the cataracts seemed the least of their problems, for they had never built up the muscles that kept them moving in concert. The eyes were painful to watch, rolling aimlessly in opposite directions.
Two mornings later I huddled around their bed in the ward with a few others, watching Texas surgeon Dr. Glenn Strauss work. Dr. Strauss had removed their cataracts, and was now removing their eye patches for the moment of truth. I believe we were told not to expect a quick miracle of 20/20 vision - but what followed was memorable indeed.
The boys could see.
They could focus and track.
Yellow balloons came out and their little hands grabbed and punched them. They scanned our faces with clear black wide eyes, overwhelmed by new sensations as Dr. Strauss beamed and we laughed. A new meaning to the expression "wide-eyed" for us - we were proud parents watching our child take that first step, yet the gift of first time sight easily trumped that of movement.
We took them home to a relative's house in a Land Rover later that day, and watched as they showed off new eyes and new steps for a surprised extended family. We watched as they began exploring a new world on new feet - first in unsure wide circles, a half hour later in erratic, confident lines after each other, their first game of tag.
To see pictures go HERE.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

-Living in a world of false Security-

“Linus: Look Charlie Brown, you have fears and you have frustrations, am I right? Of course I'm right! So what you need is a blanket like this (holds up blanket) to soak up those fears and frustrations!
Charlie Brown: I don't know. I think most of life's problems are too complicated to be solved with a spiritual blotter!”
The title of this web-log is called “My Security Blanket.” Some of you might have thought the name peculiar or you might have understood a portion of the meaning behind the phrase. No, it is not some cute little line that was created to make people say, “Ah isn’t that nice?” There is a very important message behind that simple yet ever so loaded line. Many of you have seen the Peanuts’ gang or a Charlie Brown flick. Charles M. Schultz created the fun loving and yet ever so important and wise characters many years ago, (The date of their birth slips my mind at this moment). However Mr. Schultz created some amazing characters and certain memorable characteristics that belonged to those characters. In the process of the Characters growth over the years some of those characteristics have stuck close to me and others have faded from memory. (I still remember a former pastor each week would read the latest in the world of Peanuts from the pulpit each Sunday) One character though still sticks with me after all these years though.
Linus Van Pelt has a special place in my memory bank and he has helped me with some of my more philosophical thoughts. Why? Well Schultz chose to use Linus as a “children’s Philosopher” of sorts. Linus tended to bring the extraordinary down to earth. It may have been the amiable side of that little boy that caught our attention. Because when Linus had something to say, everyone listened to him. Remember all those old Peanuts’ flicks? Whenever Linus had a speech or something important to impart to the viewers and the gang? The lights would focus on Linus, the jokes would stop, and everything would get quiet. I still remember the moment in “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, when the lights faded and a single spot-light shined on one lone person. The person was Linus, giving his version of the true meaning of Christmas. The little boy had a knack for being humble, terse, blunt and yet captivating the audience and stealing the show. And yet there was that blanket…
The blanket that never went out of his sight and if it did he would sweat, tremble, and moan until it was back in his hands. That blanket was his security. Everything revolved around that blanket, life could not go on without it in his hands. Schultz coined the phrase “security blanket.” The expression has multiple meanings today. We easily create definitions for the popular saying. And yet one thing remains true about a “security blanket,” weather it is life, cars, women, sports, money, or an actual blanket. That blanket demands our thoughts and our attention. Our time and energy revolves around the blanket.
A few years back (about 5) I was trying to come up with a band name. I went through various un-cool metaphors and names for the band. At the time I was doing a twenty-page report for Mrs. Maki’s English class at Faith Bible High School. We had to choose someone from an already defined list of people and write a report on them and the affect they had on our lives and the world. No one on that list seemed to jump out at me and say lets dance for a month and get to know each other. I was really not liking this assignment at the moment. But there was a twist to come. Charles Schultz had recently died and Mrs. Maki added him to the list. Being such a big fan I decided this would be a great moment to get to know the creator of one of my favorite comic strips. For a month I researched, read, watched, ate, and dreamt of Peanuts and their beloved creator. It was over this period of time that my appreciation for Charlie and Snoopy moved aside and my new hero took the place of the latter two. As you can already guess, the hero is Linus. Linus captivated me with his quotes and that silly blanket. Here’s another good quote for ya: “Linus: I guess I talk too much. My mom is mad at me, my grandma is mad at me, everyone is mad at me. Yesterday my grandma drank 32 cups of coffee. I shouldn't have said anything. I suggested that perhaps her drinking 32 cups of coffee was not unlike my need for a security blanket. She didn't like the comparison.”
And that’s when it hit me…That blanket was his security. I thought about this for a while and came up with a few thoughts on the matter. Did I have a “security blanket?” If so what was it or who was it? I began thinking about where I find my security. And my thoughts went from worldly effects, to knowledge, and finally to Christ. We all have our own “security blankets.” Linus had his blanket; Captain Jack Sparrow had his pistol with only one shot, Bugs Bunny had his carrots, and now I had a bigger faith in my God.
That’s right; I realized that my security is found in Christ alone. He is my all and he is my everything. He takes up most of my time and energy and should take all of it. This blanket that I carry with me everywhere and sweat and go into convulsions when I am separated from it is none other than Christ. He is the one who I cannot live without. He is the one that I find complete security in. I listen to him and his commands, I pledge my allegiance to him and him alone. While the rest of the world searches over and over again for something to put their faith into and continually seek security in hopeless affairs; I have complete satisfaction in Christ and the security that he provides me. Check out this verse.
Proverbs 1:33 “But whoever listens to me will have security. He will be safe, with no reason to be afraid.” –The Holy Bible: Today’s English Version”
Okay wow…that blows me away. I have no reason to be afraid or fear safety when I listen to God and put my faith in him. Isn’t that amazing and breathtaking! How mind blowing is that!!! I don’t know about you, but that verse right there compels me to seek security in God alone. He is my “security blanket,” and will remain that way till I die. This world we live in searches for what that verse has to offer, but they do not find it. The wicked ways of this world only lead them further and further away from the true security that they seek. They continually seek and will not find. They have not found what they are looking for. Have you found what you are looking for in this life? How long will we as Christians cling to the ways of this world? Will we maintain the standards that our society sets in place for us? Or will we live on the edge and be found complete in Christ. We a incomplete wandering around this world clinging to what the next movie star and rock star hand feeds us and captivates us to believe. And yet if we were to pick up a Bible we would find so much more depth and truth in the satisfaction and refuge of Christ Jesus.
As you can imagine I wrote my paper on Schultz and made it known that he was the one who had coined the phrase “security blanket,” for the entire world to use and attach to. I also wrote many other things in that paper. Stupid facts that I had picked up from news casts and magazines that really were of no importance or relevance to who Schultz was at the time. I got a fairly good grade; as good as I put in the effort for. (That goes to show how important it is to apply your selves at school and in life.) That report brought a few good things into my life though. Some themes that continue to reoccur in my daily life: I grabbed a major life lesson out of the whole deal, I got a great metaphor to use later on in life, and I got my band name. Wow just like a TV sitcom everything gets wrapped up in the end, or does it?
“What in this life is your security blanket and why is it your security blanket?” No Sunday school answers…
“Linus: I start to feel lonely, then I get scared. Charlie Brown: I thought holding onto that blanket made you secure. Linus: I think the warranty has run out.”