Monday, November 8, 2010


peoples of america. and beyond. the blog has officially moved here.

or you can just go to

THANKS and I'll see ya over there!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

secret church. future of forestry.

okay people, secret church is tonight and thus, i'm beyond stoked. i'm at the point where i just want to fast-forward 7 hours or so to 6:20 so we can start. there's just something about being quiet and still and focusing on something or Someone else. the students look forward to this more than i do, i think. we have this every 5 weeks or so and it's always such a blessing. it's toned down. raw. simple. and through this, God moves in HUGE ways. right now, we're praying for two countries in particular: saudi arabia and bangladesh. these people MUST know Him. a couple of our students have been consistently teaching the group about these countries and the people that live there. tonight, we all come together to focus on the Father and ask Him to be mighty in their lives.

the talk tonight focuses on the woman in luke 21. her act was applauded by Jesus and contrasted against the men in the temple and their "flowing robes." gal had guts. she had faith. she really, truly believed that Jesus was who He said He was. she believed Him enough to surrender everything. two coins never taught so much. check it out.

oh, and we just booked these guys for december 15 at s'crest! save. the. date. as if i wasn't already bonkers about Christmas...

Future of Forestry Christmas Tour 2010 Promotion from chris loope on Vimeo.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

header picture.

some of you have asked what the picture at the top of my blog is all about. some of you have not. i will answer both of you. the shot is of my grandfather's golf cart. it's old. it's been flipped. driven into the ground. mud-ified. all by myself and my family. the old golf cart is one of my favorite memories from being a kid back home. thus, a bit before i left, i took a picture of it. it's good to know where you come from and the kind of legacy you hold. what do i mean by that? well, every time i see that golf cart it reminds me of popie, dad and george. gotta be like them. not to mention liz, mac and robin. we destroyed that thing as a family! good times. great oldies. i just remember mom and sweetie looking out the window most likely thinking, "our kids are all nuts." love that. the picture simply serves as a good reminder because my memory is mucho stinko.



Monday, October 25, 2010

bowties & southern belles.

it's been a busy day and its only 1:30pm. car wouldn't start this morning. or yesterday. shout out to markus copeland and the electricians of his company for bailing me out both times. google 'em. copeland electric. ask for trevor. he's in charge. oh, and thanks to hays for getting me at the shop this morning. not having a car can be brutal. i need to be more thankful for the small mercies. like getting to spend time with crazy hays. the kid smiles and laughs more than anybody i've ever met and it's contagious.

i've been telling our high school kiddos and parents to get ready for wed. night.
this week we're covering why Jesus told the crowd to hate their mother and father if they wanted to be His disciple.
my first reaction was to laugh. i guess that's just me. i think i laugh when i hear crazy, serious, but completely far-fetched ideas! this has gotten me in trouble in many a staff meeting, but it's just part of me. i laugh. oops.

He's gotta be kidding. right? is Jesus kidding? joking around?? or is he incredibly serious? and if He's serious, how do i hate my parents? now, i could've answered that last question in a nanosecond around 9th or 10th grade. dad would yell at me from the bottom of the stairs to put on khakis and something that resembled a clean shirt and get to sunday school. i hated sunday school. and thus, i hated the person that made me go.

but, i don't think that's what Jesus is getting at. turns out, dad was right. they talk about Jesus in sunday school and thus, i needed to be there. i later found out who Jesus was and thus, liked sunday school a little bit more after that. parents are usually right. think of the song "hank" by ben rector. perfect illustration. go listen. let me say this, i am blessed to have incredible parents. and i'm not just saying this because they are two of the 3.5 people that read this thing. they are good. my parents have taught me more about Jesus than any sermon or sunday school class ever could.

dad laughs, wears bowties, and is bald. mom has brown hair and is a feisty, southern belle who wears heels to intimidate opponents. (okay, the intimidation part isn't true...but it's FUNNY). dad likes the movie, 2012. it is the absolute worst move of all-time. for serious. brutal. dad made all of us watch it together on the sb trip home last year. four. hours. long. we made fun. mom defended dad's movie choice the whole time. mom loves dad like that. mom always tells the truth. always. even if it hurts. dad is the proud owner of a red-ryder BB gun. mom won't let him shoot it in the house. mom makes her own drapes and changes the furniture around every 3 weeks. mom likes hardwood floors. so does dad. they are brilliant. mom went to tennessee. dad went to vanderbilt. because of this, mom usually wins games and dad usually loses them. mom likes hats. big ones. kentucky derby ones. i firmly believe these hats were used to embarrass me at church as a kid. dad likes lemonade. weird lemonade. mom does not. dad takes photographs. mom takes exception if you eat the last of the raspberry sorbet that's in the freezer. mom prays. dad prays. mom likes convertibles but hated my old wrangler. dad likes green lawn mowers. mom eats fish. dad catches them. mom likes listening to some group called manheim steamroller all Christmas long. dad loves the amy grant christmas cd. who doesn't? mom didn't like "elf" when i first made her watch it. neither did dad. they have since been converted and we watch it all Christmas long. over and over. mom likes shopping in downtown franklin. dad goes with mom for moral support. mom likes puckett's. dad loves puckett's. dad asked. mom said yes. oh, and i'm pretty sure dad was a hippie. he did have a mustache.

my parents are legit. and thus, i'm finding it so incredibly difficult to hate them. and this whole "hate" talk comes from the guy who says we must "love our enemies" and even "pray for them." some would say that this is a "bible contradiction." the fact is, it isn't. Jesus is employing hyperbole here. i pulled up the little dictionary on my mac here (because macs are cool like that) and hyperbole is simply an exaggeration or a use of magnification. WHATTT????!?!

here's the point. Jesus is telling us to LOVE Him in such an way that our closest relationships on earth look like hate in comparison.

first thought: that is one INCREDIBLE love.

love for Him is magnified. 'till all others look like hate.


take a minute and sit back in your chair. think about that. really. sit and think. it's a love i don't fully know yet. why? because i truly love my parents and i have trouble comprehending loving Jesus in a way that would make my love for my parents seem hateful.

but, i must find that love, because i truly want to be His disciple.

i'm working my way through that thought this hour. and the next. and for a long time. i pray this moves in your heart, too. please be praying i communicate this effectively to a room full of high school kiddos on wed. night. they must know this if they want to truly follow Jesus and not just go to sunday school.

thanks for listening.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

preppy kids. old war buddies. rich young ruler.

okay. long time, no blog. my bad. forgive? THANKS.

the last couple days have been so interesting. simply, it's just conversations i've had that i didn't plan on having. God moments for sure. like this morning, for instance. i walked into sugar brown's and there sat the man, the myth, the legend, the dusty thompson. if you don't know him, DT loves all things prep. like nice socks and sweaters matched with the perfect scarf. he was on the rowing team at princeton and daily plays chess on the south lawn while drinking tea. herbal tea. with a crumpet. buttered, but not over-buttered. okay, that last part may be a tad inaccurate. anywhose, somehow he was in-between meetings and we got to catch up on all things life. from the power of the Gospel and ways to preach it and live it better, to preppy kids from the south, to the beauty that is the rangers beating the yanks last night. he doesn't know it, but things that he said in that 15 minute, between meetings convo, was exactly what i needed. so encouraging. don't tell him but i'm writing stuff he said down so i don't forget. i realize now that God planned this morning out. i mean, i know He does that, but this morning made me keenly aware of the truth. He's sovereign like that. even in the small stuff. bb talks about that a lot. "see God in the small things, garrett" he'll say. well, he's right. FINALLY. 'BOUT TIME!

(insert smooth transition here)

well, this week, we're taking what Jesus says to the rich young ruler in mark 10. in reality, Jesus is by far the most beautiful One over all the earth. He is to be our most prized possession. prized over our earthly money. our earthly drive for popularity. our fame. our glory. He is to pursued over all of that junk.

Jesus wasn't being rude to the young rich guy. in fact, Scripture tells us He looked at him and LOVED him. He loved the rich guy enough to tell him the hard things. that's what people who love us do. they speak truth into us whether it feels good at first or not. " order to follow me, you have to give up your wealth."

just like last week, it comes back to whether I love and yearn for things of this earth or things of Heaven.

i struggle. but, these tough sayings are re-shaping my heart. i think they're re-shaping our high schoolers, too.

in a biblical tragedy, the rich young man walks away from the Savior of the world. just walks away. sad. i've got to learn from this. i'm so scared of making the same mistake. i fear i make that same mistake, day in and day out. i'm sick of it. the heart focused on Jesus wants more...the heart focused on Jesus is completely unsatisfied by the things of the world. but, completely filled by Him.

will i risk everything for Him? give up all my stuff for him? is that was Jesus is asking? what does that mean for a high school kid? do they have to give up their stuff for Him? is what Jesus tells the rich young guy for everyone? anyone? you? me?

how do we know? well, God speaks to us. just like in Scripture.

you might remember my blog last week on old war buddies. if you don't, scroll down and then come back and read this. well, God apparently knew all about that talk, too. check. this. out. there's this older guy i met last week. my best guess is that he's really close to being 90. just a guess. he reminds me of my popie in nashville. that's where my guess comes from. we talked about fishing. DUH. after that, we wrapped up the quick chat (because we're guys and quick chats are what we do best) and i walked away. as i was walking away, i couldn't help thinking about how the older gent hurt his leg. i didn't want to ask him how he hurt it because i didn't want to be awkward. i heard he was in the first world war and i've also heard that many who've experienced this have a tough time talking about it.

i went back and asked.

he started sharing his story. he was in snowy, germany during the war. he was just a boy with a gun. he said it was a cold that i haven't known. he went on to say he was walking through a field and stepped on 3 mines. wow. then He said something that i am still wrapping my brain around. he talked about how he was alone. after the blast, nobody in his squad was near him. he was in a hole. the enemy all around. not a friend in sight. his leg was in bad, bad shape. true story. then he said, "God came to me." i was like, "what?" again, he said, "God came to me." he talked about how God just showed up in that hole. wasn't an audible voice, but in the way that only our God can, told him that he knew he felt alone out here in a foreign land with no friends around. God told him that He was with him and that He would give him strength to make it through. "after that, i wasn't scared at all," he said. so what did he do? he climbed out of the hole and drug himself half a mile through the german winter until he found his commander. "i knew He was with me...He told me in that hole that we was."

HE SPEAKS. thus, we can know and understand His will for our lives. the Spirit can help us understand the Scripture and how to apply it to our lives. and that includes what Jesus told the rich young ruler.

truly, God is someone worth risking everything for. when we get close enough, we learn he is so worthy of our trust. more than anyone else.

we're going through all these questions tonight at 6:20pm. see you kiddos and parents there.


ps. secret song for today is mat kearney's first cd. the best. nothing left to lose. if you don't have it...go get it.