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

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A night of Prayer and Worship

This past weekend I had the opportunity to join with about 50 Indians and a group from Nebraska in a half night of prayer and worship. I was stoked about this evening from the time I had found out about it earlier that morning. I was stoked to worship in a group setting and to pray for India and the World as well. What was cool though was how God through me into a leadership role that night.

One of the girls from Nebraska (Crystal), was supposed to Co-lead worship with one of the Indians (Bobby) who leads normally here for the Good Shephard Community Church. She had picked out the songs for the evening and Bobby was going to lead some and Crystal would lead some...

Well a young woman from the states on the Campus was very ill. Crystal and the girl (Tessa) had and have become really close friends in the last six weeks, and Crystal felt she needed to go to the hospital with Tessa...

To make a long story short, Crystal threw me into her position of Co-leader and handed me the music we would be doing that night. I am going through the songs and checking off the list in my head...

know it
know it
know it

uh....don't know it...The one i didnt know was a Jeremy Camp song called 'Empty Me'. No problem It's an easy one...(i learned it in about ten minutes). thirty minutes after I had recieved the information that I was going to co-lead, a group of us were practicing the Bobby to be found anywhere. 10 minutes (this could be a small exageration, maybe 25) before we were supposed to lead worship, he shows up...we quickly go through the songs and how we are going to sing them...blah blah blah.

I am going to let you in on a little secret...i love to lead and i love leading worship. And this night was one of the coolest and spirit filled nights i have had in a while. The worship went well. and the new song was a hit...Even though i began the song alone...(no one on the worship team wanted to we plowed ahead.)

the rest of the night of prayer was amazing and very fulfilling and spirit led. this was probably one of the coolest times of worship and prayer that i have had in the last four years. it may have been the atmosphere, it may have been the people, it might have been what we prayed for, but i am pretty sure it was because God was there!!

That night in the rainy motorcycle ride and the indian on the bike were singing at the top of our lungs 'empty me' by Jeremy Camp. I have fallen in love with this song...and made it the mini-anthem of the month for me. here it is...

Empty Me (click for the amazon clip. also a good purchase for the cd worship collection)

Holy Fire, Burn away
My desire, for anything
That is not of you, and is of me
I want more of you
and less of me

Empty me, Empty me
Fill Me
With you, With you

Later that night i actually learned how to play this song on the guitar. It now has more meaning and depth giving the fact that i can play it and sing it at the same time...

Sunday, July 24, 2005

-7:22 says farewell to Louie Giglio-

I recently found out (meaning today), that Louie Giglio will no longer be working with 7:22 ministries. This is a sad thing, but also a good thing for Passion Ministries to grow. For a few years now I have loved to listen to Giglio and his sermons. I especially like watching the weekly video feeds from 7:22 ministries. Now with Giglio not giving weekly Talks, it might be a little harder to find his Talks online. But all good things come to an end...or an end to a beginning. I look forward to seeing Giglio in his new role and what is going to come out of that ministry.

Here is a letter Louie wrote as a farewell...

"To all on the 722 journey:

Ten years ago 722 was just a dream, a fledgling idea resonating in the hearts of a few of us who longed to see the fresh wind of worship pulse through the streets of Atlanta. Somehow, in the providence of God, I was privileged to be standing in that moment, one of the early initiators of 722 who were willing to follow the gentle whisper of God’s voice and step into the unknown with Him. Before we had a name, we had a vision. And before we ever met for the first time we believed we were on to something special. As it turns out, God had a whole lot more in store than even we imagined.

Thus, most Tuesdays since 1995 have found me leaning into the 722 vision with an amazing team of fellow servants, longing to bring through the door a message that would make God happy and spur us on to lives that reflect His glory.

As you might know, 722 began with a six-week trial that spring, tumultuous days which brought my father’s passing and, later that summer, significant staff turmoil at the church where we began. The resulting staff changes left 722 homeless before it really had an official beginning, but soon doors opened for us to meet at another church and 722 officially began. And what a ride it has been!

The 722 story is a God-story, one bigger than any one person and one that defies simple explanation. Having a front row seat for all that He has done has been a priceless treasure, something for which I will always be filled with thanks and joy.

For a while now I’ve been sensing that still, small voice, gently calling and preparing me for a turn in the road. Of course it didn’t make sense to me that God would ask me to step away from something as successful as 722, a place where I could not only serve the city, but connect with the lives of people in places all around the globe. I mean, how many people can drive 13 minutes from their house every week and speak into the lives of people on every continent? Ten thousand communicators would give anything for the chance to do that. Me included!

But, best I can tell, that gentle whisper I’ve been hearing is the voice of the Shepherd. He’s the same Son of God who has in times past led me down interesting and somewhat risky paths. (Though there is no risk when God is in the equation, sometimes you have to take that step before you know for sure that He is!) Yet Jesus has never disappointed me when I have chosen to follow Him. Rather, He has always surprised me with much more than I could have ever dreamed. So, in light of Who He is, and how He has led me in the past, I am saying yes to Him and embracing the fact that my season at 722 is coming to a close.

During the ten years that preceded 722 I taught every Monday night as a part of a campus ministry Shelley and I launched in 1985. If my math’s right, that’s twenty years of speaking every week throughout the school year, something I have thrived on, poured my heart into and cherished. But, after two decades, taking a break from the routine of teaching on a weekly basis actually feels like a healthy step, one that I trust will allow me to continue to serve well in the next seasons of life.

Many of you have asked what’s next for me. Interestingly, the answer is, “What I am already doing is next.” My primary calling for the past 10 years has been (and continues to be) Passion Conferences and its offshoot, sixstepsrecords. It’s this Passion team I go to work with everyday and the Passion mission I am so humbled to lead. Because of my visibility with 722, most people assume that I am on staff at NPCC, and in some ways I have been sort of “quasi-staff” for a while now. But while NPCC is our church home, and a place I am honored to serve, my work address is Passion Conferences.

Like 722’s, Passion’s future is bright and emerging—a full time, year around endeavor. So in the days to come I’ll continue to do what I have been doing every day, seeking to lead well a movement of college students living for His fame. Passion’s office house is here, so I will still be living and working in Alpharetta. And I’ll still be around NPCC—worshipping, serving and speaking for Andy when the opportunity arises.

It would be impossible to fully express my thanks to those I have been privileged to walk beside on the 722 team, especially 722 founder Bill Willits, and in these recent years 722 Directors Billy Phenix and Joel Thomas. And I will miss the joy of sharing leadership with my friends in the 722 band, guys I love and respect so much.

And to each of you who have been a part of 722, thank you for allowing me to share a part of your journey during the past ten years. For that opportunity, I consider myself one of the most fortunate people in the world.

I will miss seeing your faces every week, but will not stop praying for you and cheering on the cause of 722!"

Friday, July 22, 2005

Today (this didnt really happen)

-Today-(written today)
I tried to have an intelligent conversation
My tongue got tied into undecipherable jargon

I tried to write a poem today
The rhymes just wouldn't come

I tried to create a magnificant picture
The ink blotted and the paint smeared

I tried to sing a song today
My voice didn't want to sing along

I tried to get my thoughts together
I wasn't in the 'right' state of mind

I tried to read a book today
The text was completely in code

I tried to complete the daily crossword
Couldn't get pass One Across...'Dog'?

I tried to play the guitar today
The chords wouldn't let my fingers strum

I decided I didn't do much today
However I did write down what I tried to do

...Ever have one of those days??

-The Beautiful Girl-(written my junior year of high school)
Beautiful girl standing next to me
You said that you needed to leave
Beautiful girl why Can't you see
No girl wants to spend time with me
Beautiful girl with your eyes so blue
You have lit up this entire room
Beautiful girl with your hair so brown
No other girl turned my life around
Beautiful girl in your pretty prom dress
I'm sorry, but I'm not one to impress
Beuatiful girl I dont know how to dance (it doesnt matter)
You wouldn't even give me a chance
But beautiful girl I'll let you go home
I really don't like you, just this poem

Thursday, July 21, 2005

As the artist's gather

" the role of the artist is exactly the same as the role of the lover. if I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don't see." -James Baldwin

All the artists gather round
To reflect upon the day
Paint us your pictures and sing us your songs
Compose for us your notes and words so strong
Find the perfect line, for the perfect role
Write for us poems to soothe the soul
But most of all, bring us something
That we’ve been looking for
Yes, my friends a pathway to the Lord
For it is through your art we sometimes find him
We are let into his great and wondrous world
But do not be mistaken, for He is and was
The greatest artist of all time

And so I offer this:

I have finally found my place
Within the symphony of Faith
A fine tuned instrument
On which my Heavenly Father plays

And now my heart does know
How this story is to be told
A walking monologue
The supporting character in the show

And how life is a mystery
But you have let me be
A well-placed stroke
In this your lifelong masterpiece

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Singing about Pores

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to Singapore for a little R&R...(I shall not tell the true reason behind this little endevour incase some authority figures are watching this site!!) I was able to rest, read, sleep, eat, and read during this period of time...and man was it refreshing.

The historical landmarks I visited were two I had not seen in quite some time. So I decided to pay a visit each day to each one of these sites. The first was my all time favorite 7-11...the only place to get slurpees and hotdogs for under a buck. This is where I would purchase a snickers bar, sprite "ice", and two Tuna fish sandwiches, my favorite, I am a sucker for a good tuna sandwhich.(As refrenced above with Calvin and Hobbes). The second place of high regards was Burger King. Here we pay homage to the Jr whopper, Biggie sprite, and the medium fry. Overall I think my sightseeing was very fulfilling.

The highlight of this trip was getting to the airport (three hours early) in Singapore and soon after ariving being told that my direct flight to Hyderabad had been cancelled. This began a twelve hour tour from Singapore to Bangkok, Bangkok to Delhi, Delhi to Hyderabad. five-teen of us were supposed to be on that dierect flight to hyderabad. five-teen strangers to begin with. And yet over the course of 12 hours these strangers became acquaintances and soon were traveling companions. Watching each others back, luggage, and made sure the whole group was present. Funny how God throws curves at us like this sometimes. He pulls us out of our comfort zones and tells us, "hey, why dont you live a little!" To be honest with you...I enjoyed every minute of this adventure...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

-In Pursuit-

"God wills that we should push into His presence and live our whole life there. This is to be known to us in conscious experience. It is more than a doctrine to be held; it is a life to be enjoyed every moment of every day." A.W. Tozer- The Pursuit of God

For the past few months I have been on a journey. Not just this adventure of India that I am experiencing and loving, but a journey towards knowing Christ in a deeper more intimate and satisfying way. I have read and re-read books on growing closer to God and different ways to connect with God on a level of worhsip and being completely satisfied in Him.

I think John Piper put it best when he said, "God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him." Being that my theme for my life is taken from a popular Charlie Hall tune.
(All of life comes down to just one thing, thats to know you (God) and make you (Him) known.) Seeing this you would assume that my passion is to first know God on an intimate level and sedoncly as my profession of love and worship for Him,make Him known and bring Hm glory.
The problem I have found is the knowing Him part. Without it I cannot, no matter how hard I try to bring Him glory. It isn't that I do not long to be in his presence or to know Him. It isn't that I do not fear Him or come to the place of Awe when I see or find him. I have no problem with being in wonder of the mysterious Other that he is. The problem I have is getting to the place where I can find Him at a moments notice. Getting to the place where I am completely satisfied in Him. Finding the right "pathways" that lead me into His presence. Or better put the path that He wishes to use to get me to His presence.

The A.W. Tozer quote at the beginning of this writing is humbling and refreshing for me. It gets me thinking about how hard I really "Push" into God's presence. Is my effort a half hearted nudge or is it a give it all I have, with a barbaric scream attached to it? What I am learning is how HARD it really is to get into the presence of God. It takes work and effort. It takes practice to realize that we ARE alredy in His presence we just have to realize and understand how to find it and recognize when He is calling us into His presence.

For so long I have felt confined to know and experience God within certain limits; the church, the Bible, small groups etc...but what I am discovering is that I feel closer and more intimate with God when I am outside of those "limitations". I had the knowledge in my head, but it wasn't penetrating the heart. I had the longing and desire for more of Him, I just had to act upon those longings and desires. I had the passion to get back to Him, I just had to follow that passion to where He was waiting for me. I had to realize that to come into His presence he has to beckon or call me into that time with Him.

And where was He? Right beside me, in the people around me, in the silence, in the trees breeze, in the rain drops, in the music, in the books, in the poetry, in my food, and ultimately in ME...I just have to recognize Him everyday of my life.

-In Pursuit-
I want to, know you more
Than I ever have before
I want to, see your glory
To catch a glimpse of your face

I want to , stand in awe
Of the wonder of my God
I want to, be near you
In the presence of your fame

You love me, You own me
Took the time to get to know me
Never will you, let me go
For your hand has a hold...on me

You put this longing in my heart
You put this passion in my soul
You put this knowledge in my head
To ever seek you Lord (3x)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Nothing Is Sound

Track listing for Switchfoots new album. Coming this September, early...

Lonely Nation
Stars (listen)
Happy Is A Yuppie Word
The Shadow Proves The Sunshine
Easier Than Love
The Blues
The Setting Sun
The Fatal Wound
We Are One Tonight

Oh...and if that isnt cool enough for ya...Switchfoot is coming to India! Not just India though, Hyderabad, India...sometime late July-early August the boys( or perhaps just Jon) Will be in a place near me...whooda thunk???

Bring On the Foot!!!

Friday, July 08, 2005

-Lonesome One-

Lonesome wanderer, so far away from home
You don’t need to be alone
Searching soul, seeking to be whole
You don’t need to be alone
I will give you back
The wasted years
With my hand I’ll dry
Your tears
You’ll never ever
Be alone again
For I will always
Be your friend
Verse two-
Weary sinner, trying to face the unknown
I will never let you go
Wicked world, you shall have no hold
I will never let you go
I will give you back
The wasted years
With my hand I’ll dry
Your tears Y
ou’ll never ever
Be alone again
For I will always
Be your friend
I am the doorway to heaven
This can’t wait another day
How could you say tomorrow?
When I’m asking you today
End verse-
Precious Child, your story has been told
Now wont you go and make me known

Thursday, July 07, 2005


“Oh how my heart begs for you oh Lord
My one wish is to be your art
Fill me with awe and fear oh Lord
Let me see your face and all its glory
I wish to know the Other that you are
Paint me pictures no one has ever seen before
And let me dream of dreaming of you
Oh may my dreams connect to you
And lead me out of the mystery Into your arms…of love”

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Arie, Stephanie, Elin, and Me...Chillin
From the library of Ben

Friday, July 01, 2005

Me and my Dutch Brother Arie...Good Times!
From the library of Ben

john piper quote

Three weeks ago we got word at our church that Ruby Eliason and Laura Edwards had both been killed in Cameroon. Ruby was over 80. Single all her life, she poured it out for one great thing: To make Jesus Christ known among the unreached, the poor, and the sick. Laura was a widow, a medical doctor, pushing 80 years old, and serving at Ruby's side in Cameroon. The brakes failed, the car went over the cliff, and they were both killed instantly. And I asked my people: was that a tragedy? Two lives, driven by one great vision, spent in unheralded service to the perishing poor for the glory of Jesus Christ—two decades after almost all their American counterparts have retired to throw their lives away on trifles in Floridaor New Mexico. No. That is not a tragedy. That is a glory. I tell you what a tragedy is. I'll read to you from Reader's Digest (Feb.98, p. 98) what a tragedy is: "Bob and Penny... took early retirement fromtheir jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30 foot trawler, play softball and collect shells." The American Dream: come to the end of your life - your one and only life - and let the last great workbefore you give an account to your Creator, be "I collected shells. See my shells." THAT is a tragedy. And people today are spending billions of dollars to persuade you to embrace that tragic dream. And I get fortyminutes to plead with you: don't buy it.Don't waste your life. It is so short and so precious. I grew up in a homewhere my father spent himself as an evangelist to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost. He had one consuming vision: Preach the gospel. There was a plaque in our kitchen for all my growing up years. Now it hangs inour living room. I have looked at it almost daily for about 48 years. It says, "Only one life, twill soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last." John Piper - One Day