Smiles are like MAGIC

A few weeks ago I overheard my oldest, Kenimer (age 7), say, “Mom – did you know that smiles are like magic?”, then proceed to unpack one of the most simple and profound teachings on love and honor I’ve ever heard.

Even if someone isn’t your friend, if you just smile at them, they’re nice – they smile back, and it’s like they’re your friend then…”

My inner-conversations hours later confirmed some things hidden down deep: “So, why do I fight harder to prove I’m right or someone else is wrong, when most of the battle could be fought with just a smile?”   [Read more…]

THIS is how we celebrate Christmas

I’ve always loved Christmas.

Long before I had a clue about Jesus, when Christmas was all about Santa, Rudolph, & ToysToysToys, there was always a magic about the holiday that set it apart from the others. Becoming a Christian years later only deepened my love for the holiday, as I – apart from the gifts & parties – solemnly celebrated God’s unique engagement with the world some 2000 years ago. Having children – yet again – took Christmas to a whole new level: now able to see more clearly God’s love for His children – and His unique Son – put a whole new perspective on Jesus’ birth.

This year’s Christmas set a new standard for me. [Read more…]

One creative’s struggle with discipleship…

I am a creative.

Bought my first record when I was 5: since, I’ve bought thousands – 8 tracks, vinyl, cassettes, CDs, and MP3s.  I don’t just listen to good music – I get lost in it – it envelops me.

Wrote my first song at 6 and and haven’t stopped writing since, recording multiple  CDs/Cassettes of originals with three different bands, and sang/played-on multiple other full-lengths and assorted other singles by other like-minded creatives.

I have done sculpture, placed first in competitions with my pencils and charcoals, and painted some unique portraiture with oils on canvas.

I do wood-working, building my own studio furniture, entertainment systems, desks, tables, and bookshelves.

I’ve written three film-scripts (directed two into short indie-films – no, you can’t see them), hundreds (maybe closer to a thousand) of poems, written one novel (& giving input on 3 others), and have developed a number of other literary ideas extensively.

I am a creative and I create, & am not afraid of that fact: I feel most alive when I am expressing myself creatively, and helping other unlock that same creativity.

When I create, I feel closer to God and see Him more clearly.

As a creative I will admit it: we creatives do not naturally “disciple” very well [Read more…]

REVIEW: John Mark McMillan – “ECONOMY”

I remember the first time I heard John Mark McMillian’s debut indie CD, HOPE ANTHOLOGY vol.1 (you can buy it for a reasonable price HERE).  It was later Summer ’02, & I was coming off of a multi-month Wilco-induced musical high brought on by the brilliance of YANKEE FOXTROT HOTEL and John Mark’s artsy indie-folk was just what the doctor ordered.  A couple years later I was one of the early-adopters who introduced “How He Loves” as a corporate worship song (thanks in part to the encouragement of Kelanie Gloeckler) years before the “sloppy wet kiss” controversy burned like wildfire through the church, much to my surprise: my only concern was the song’s wordiness, but it moved me to tears every single time I led it – even listened to it – so I didn’t really much concern myself with the debate. [Read more…]

Guilty as charged…

Back in ’02 while on a solo tour in support of Set on Edge’s “A Story to Cling To” I stopped at a tiny little church in some tiny little town in a big field somewhere out in the middle of nowhere.  You see, I believe – unashamedly and unswervingly – in the importance of the local church.  And I love to get a taste, on occasion, of those various expressions of Jesus outside my culture and comfort zone.  On this unique occasion, I accomplished that. [Read more…]