Friday, May 28, 2010

this is happening.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010



Monday, May 24, 2010

follow us. do it.


Friday, May 21, 2010



10 days. you guys can snag all the updates from the trip on twitter.
the link is you don't have to be a member
on twitter to get the updates. just type in the link. i'm gonna try and update
as often as i can during the trip! thanks for praying!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

breathe in, breathe out.

life’s busy right now. for all of us. it seems everybody has too much on their plate.
it can be completely overwhelming at times. at moments like this, i think it’d be great to
respond to everyone’s normal question of “how are you?” with a response like, “i’m
more stressed than i’ve ever been in my whole life. my brain might explode soon. that'd
be weird, huh?! thank you for asking. how are you ma’am?”

(i think silence would be her response)

i mean, that’s honest. i worry. we worry. i worry about the dumbest details. and this morning
i found hope. hope in freedom from worry. the hope isn’t in my words…it’s in His. jesus is
preaching to the thousands and to you. and me. it’s a great reminder from our King that He’s
the one ordering our steps. i’m cool with that. He knows much better than i. the key is
remembering who we belong to. the more time we spend with Him, the more we love and trust Him.
it's a pretty simple formula.

He says -

therefore, I tell you. do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body,
what you will wear. is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns and yet your heavenly
Father feeds them. are you not much more valuable than they? who of you by worrying can add a
single hour to his life? and why do you worry about clothes?

see how the lilies of the field grow. they do not labor or spin. yet I tell you that not even solomon
in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. if that is how God clothes the grass of the field,
which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you
of little faith? so do not worry, saying, “what shall we eat?” or “what shall we drink?” or “what shall
we wear?” for the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need
them. but seek FIRST His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you
as well. therefore, do no worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. each day has
enough trouble of its own.

matthew 6.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

titus part dos.

mornin y’all. es wednesday. the door of the shop is open. it’s cool and overcast out right now.
it’s a sweet morning. i wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. unless, it was on the front porch of
a farmhouse sitting on a swing watching the sun burn off the fog. when i worked crosspoint sports
camps in college we were at maryville college in the smokies for a couple weeks and i would try
to get down to the tennis courts super early to have that time to simply watch that and read.
weird, i know, but it's really pretty cool. ever since I was a kid I thought that would be the best
way to wake up. anywhose, they made an extra vanilla chai at the shop this morning, so i got one
for free. again, it’s a good morning. and my early meeting was so good. so stinking fun to watch
Jesus work in the lives of my little brothers. and a bunch of our high school gals were gathered in
the other corner of the shop to learn more about jesus. yes. i told you it was a good morning!
the talk tonight is out of titus 2. i don’t do this often, but a rough draft of the talk is below. it’s
the shortened version. in my mind, this may be the best way to go tonight. it may seem long,
but when spouted out, always comes out shorter!


i’ve recently come to the realization that jimmy john’s is my favorite sandwich place in town.
i. love. it. it’s healthy and I can get out of there for around six bucks or so. not bad. i get the
club lulu. it sounds like a party. it is. get it? club lulu? i'm laughing. anyway, it’s got bacon
and thus, a must. i probably eat there three times a week. seriously. it’s that good. last week,
i picked up the usual sandwich after our usual thursday night pickup bball game. on the way
home, there was a man with a sign that said “war vet who needs help” on the side of the road
at the traffic light. in that moment, i became convinced that Jesus wanted me to give that man
my sandwich. my famed club lulu. the cure for my hunger. the one with all the bacon. if
you’re thinking i’m about to come off conceited or arrogant because i’m telling all four of you
that read this booger that i gave this poor, hungry man my sandwich, I’m not.

i didn’t.

and it broke me.

i was two lanes over and decided I couldn’t get to him in time. in time? what was i gonna do?
go home and eat. what a joke. there was no deadline. i could have gotten it to him if i wanted to. i just didn’t
care that night. i guess i wanted some sort of safety. looking back, i despise safety. c.s. lewis
didn’t describe God as safe did he? no. he said, “He’s not safe, but He’s good.” in that moment
I didn’t love the poor. and as much as I say I love the poor and have a heart for those less fortunate,
my actions thursday showed I love myself. that night exposed a “blind spot” in my life as david
platt would say. after all, holiness is defined by what we do and not what we say. on the way home
i remembered what i read a day or two earlier. platt says, “no matter what we say/sing on sunday
morning, rich people who neglect the poor are not the people of God.”


take a moment. he's right isn't he?

i was humbled. and at the same time, angry with who i really was in that moment. now let me say,
i’m not rich by my culture's standards. BUT, by our world's standards and compared with that man
who needed help, i had all the wealth this world could ever offer. if i can eat three square meals a
day i'm in the top one percent and thus, i'm rich. and I wanted my wealth more than i wanted to help
him. how selfish. sounds drastic. but, this is Truth.

fast forward. the next day, i got a call from dad and we began to talk. obviously, we’re rugged men
of the outdoors and so we talked about vandy baseball and our three game series in starkville against
state. we talked about the pitching rotation and how we really needed to win on the road to ensure
our place in the sec tourney. we then talked about how we hoped the vols didn’t make it since they
kill us in football and simply because they are everything that's wrong in the world.
we love you! it then turned to work and then to the flooding back home. to give a hint of
background, dad’s a photographer who happens to have a rare eye disease that greatly limits his vision
to do some everyday things. like driving. he can’t do it right now. hasn't for years. but he may one day!
the disease is called histoplasmosis. you’ve probably heard me talk about this before. well, the fam lives
in nashville and the whole town is attempting to get back to their feet after the big ‘ole flood. thankfully,
our house was spared but there were tens of thousands of others who weren’t as fortunate.

the next thing he said shocked me. he said that work would be slow on monday and tuesday and
that because of the slowdown he would be helping volunteer in the city. he wasn’t bragging. it’s
not his way. he just loves people. from the rich, to the poor in spirit and in possessions. he just
said there was an opportunity to meet at a church parking lot (he doesn’t even attend this
particular church) at 7:30am and simply head out for the day to help his city with a whole bunch
of people he’s never even met. pretty radical I’d say. dad knows he can’t see well right now at all.
it may be brutally hard for him to drive a nail into a wall because of the veins clouding his retinas.
he may have to ask a random guy on the team for a ride home because he can’t drive. loads of
obstacles it seems. so what? if it means going to lanes over, it means going two lanes over. he
chooses not to let it stop him and thus changes the community. and my heart at the same time.
he sets the example so that I can better do the same.

and I realized this week that it’s the same with paul and titus.

titus is the "true" son. paul is the leader. the dad.
paul looks out for titus. has a heart for titus. leads titus.
titus tries to listen. he may stumble, but wants to be better. soaks in everything dad says.
paul is constantly teaching. titus is watching. maybe even taking notes.
paul picks titus up even when he doesn’t know titus has fallen.

isn't it nifty how God knows and works out everything according to His divine appointment.
the Father is all about the details. your details. my details.
in the second chapter of paul’s letter to titus he simply tells his true son “in everything set them an
example by doing what is good. in your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech
that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing
bad to say about us.”

we could spend a whole talk on those two verses. we have.

paul exhorts titus to set the example. truth is, we don’t even have to speak to set the example. remember,
holiness is defined by what we do and not what we say. don’t miss the strategic pattern of disciple making
here. first, paul is transformed by the power of jesus and that leads him to set the example for titus. in
turn, titus is changed and is now leading the charge for the Gospel in the city of Crete. it’s titus’ turn.
paul is telling him it’s his time. paul’s passionately pursuing jesus in his city, while titus does the same
in his. it’s the Gospel way. set the example. you get the hint here that paul knows leading is a
struggle. he knows there are moments of failure. and moments of great victory. and when he didn’t have
to take the time to write his letter of encouragement to titus, he did. he cared. he acted. and here I am
so many years later being changed by it. paul is passionately pursuing jesus. that propels him to care.
and because he cares, he acts.

setting the example is vital. you may not even know people see you as an example. but we are ALL
called to be the example. we are ALL called to look like Him.
there's not much safe about that. i like that. safety doesn't fit what my heart really loves. it doesn't make
my heart beat fast.

a lack of safety challenges me to be more than i am. to be what only He can me. (read colossians)
in a way, i’m thankful for blind spots. they remind me I’m broken and in desperate need of the great Savior.
they humble me and actually help me hear the Spirit better. they bring me in tune with Him and make me
more like jesus.


secret songs are 24 oceans and on fire. switchfoot. couldn't pick just one.


ps. 1 - "when everything inside me looks like everything i hate, You are the hope i have for change,
You are the only chance i'll take." -jon foreman

ps. three - belize meeting is at 7:15pm tonight y'all!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

for the nations.

"hey, haven't blogged in a couple days...why?" well, truth is, i was waiting until i had a finished thought so i didn't sound like an idiot. but then i realized that blogging isn't about a finished thought. it's the process of becoming. and so here's me thinking out loud. an ever-growing thought. the possibilities of looking like an idiot here are great, but "i'll give it a whirl" (a la kevin mcalister). here we go. so, the more and more i read Scripture and really study it, the more and more i see that jesus' heart is for the nations. sounds simple, right? heard it a thousand times, right? but to me this is revolutionary. just follow me on this one...His heart isn't just for lubbock. or nashville. or any other place that i'm really okay with him loving (or me being). His heart is for more than your town or country, too. His heart is bigger than my preferences, my culture and my selfish level of comfort. the hard thing is that i've come to realize that my preferences are incredibly shallow and childishly immature. i probably shouldn't be saying this out loud, but i thought it might cause community and your heart might possibly be somewhere near me on this. the truth is, if i love my towns and those alone, then i'm loving less than 1% of God's heart. and i want to love Him completely. i have learned that His heart is for the nations. ALL of them. it's not that i didn't know that before, but for some reason it means so much more now. to me, it matters more now. they matter more now. why now? i don't know. all i know is that He using lots of different things to awaken my heart to the beat of His. and His is for all nations. and thus, my heart is to be as well. and i want that. i want to love God's heart completely. it's what you and i were made for. my frame of thinking and loving is changing. and while it's difficult to decompress, (especially in a blog post), it's the most beautiful thing i can think of.

now, let me say that i do LOVE the nations and have loved the nations. i mean, i might just be a full-time overseas guy at some point. i don't know. whatever the Lord wills. thus far, i've been blessed to take His name to different countries all over the world. but now, i'm really wrestling with the way i live for the nations while i'm in lubbock. is that possible? and if so, what does that look like? i'm wrestling. i think its completely possible. but it's a "radical" shift in living. in spending. in saving. and in giving. "God doesn't bless us so that we can just get more and more stuff...He blesses us so that we can give more." it means a lot of things. i'm learning. i just know that it means i'm challenged to find the heart of God. i thought i knew what it meant, but i've come to learn it's more than i wanted to confine it to. i hate it when i do that. my brain likes to keep Him small. He's not. one way of loving God's full heart is educating my kiddos on the plight and daily life of believers all around the world. speaking of brothers and sisters in other towns and in other cultures. telling my kiddos how much He loves them. many of them meet in secrecy. many travel mile upon mile on foot to simply get to worship with their friends. no fancy lights. no sound system. no tvs. all they have is the Word and that is enough. david platt talks about this in radical. i stopped at that point and put the book down. would i be joyed if all i had was Him? would you? i want Him to be enough, but most times my life looks as if He's not. but HE is.

He is.

and tonight, with our HS and MS kiddos, we're having worship like so many of our brothers and sisters do around the world. without electricity. without the fancy gizmos. the guitars are put away. the speakers and sound boards are off. tonight, it's the Word. the hope is that our kiddos (and I) truly learn to come in expectancy to meet God. to hear Him. and be in awe of His Word. and simply know that He is enough. more than enough.


ps. i know this is long. thinking out loud will do that. i think a long blog post = spoonful at lunch tomorrow. we have to, it's brower's last day. boo. and i'll try and update you on how it goes tonight. if you are reading this before 6pm today, please pray that He speaks so clearly to us! and secret song is times off the tenth avenue north record. earphones on and turn it up. believe the words.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

so, so good.


graphic design is a personal passion of mine. i'm not great at it, but i love looking at good design. it inspires. the poster above makes my day. some of the best work i've seen in a while. it's a nashville flood relief concert poster from mattson creative. it challenges me to be a better designer and a better follower of jesus. anderson cooper said this about nashville today..."in nashville. so many people volunteering to help their neighbors who are suffering in the wake of the flooding. truly inspiring."

i. love. nashville.

listen, i know i've been talking about nash a lot this past week, but we tend to talk about what we most care about and i care about my family and hometown a good bit. in so many ways, my heart is there. so, i hope all the nashville talk hasn't annoyed you, but maybe even inspired you to help people the way they are. glass half full, right? right.

and if i could tell you what's on my mind these last two days, it's the way of living in the book above. get it. seriously. i'm almost half done. lots of underlining and margin writing on this one. i've gotta change. it's a tough process, but that's what the gospel does. it changes us. and i need that. need Him.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010


i'm excited for tonight. "i get to brag on my savior a little bit." chandler says that at times and i love the heart behind it. i love to preach. and that's an understatement. i love how when i get to teach, He really teaches me the whole time. i need that. wednesdays can often be the longest days, but they're always at the top of the most fruitful. don't misunderstand me, i'm not complaining at all. it's a huge blessing. love it. from one-on-one meetings with brothers, to seeing 10 high school gals gather together at 7am to simply study the Word, to everyone coming together to sing to and hear from the One at the end of the day. and please know that i know i'm not the One. i'm not good. but He sure is. i've been reading and re-reading the part in Scripture (john 15) where Jesus tells us that apart from Him we can do nothing. i always hear that. but, it's different to sit and think about it. i pray that He becomes more and more in me what I cannot be. i really want that. i mean really. tonight, we're starting through titus. good name. good book. lots to dig out. it's paul's letter to titus. i love how paul watches over him. even calls him his true son. fyi...he's not physically his kid. but spiritually, they're just that close. paul showed titus the beauty of jesus and brought him along as a disciple. and soon after, titus becomes a missionary with him. discipleship? yes. and now we find titus in crete. paul had to keep moving on without him for a time and this letter is paul's way of saying, "i'm still here for are ya kid?" crete's a town that desperately needs the God titus loves. and paul is shooting him a quick note to remind him of a couple of things. one of those things being his mission and how it's impossible to accomplish that on his own. we can forget that pretty quick. i tend to forget that so fast. it's not about me. He's got the limitless power. it's about me being desperate for it. the question is, am i? apart from Him we can do nothing. but with Him...


secret song / tis so sweet from jadon lavik. an oldie, but a goodie. gotta dig the hymns. simple and just what i need. oh, and we've got a belize meeting tonight! lots of balloons and paint to work with. see you guys there.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

range of emotions.

that's our YMCA. on the front page of cnn. now it hits a little closer to home. it's about a mile or so from the house. poor brentwood. some of my favorite memories from being a kiddo are in that gym. i was a baller there in the '90s. and we all pretended to be squints paladoris and rest of the guys at the pool those summers.

photo by kelsey wynns (atta boy k)

praying for you guys. wish i could be there to help.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

sunday night.

here i am, sitting next to pam. she is nice. and about to bake us a cookie cake. she is watching me blog and so i am saying wonderful things. not that i would ever say anything else. love the pam. it's been a really good day. busy, but good. watching slumdog with the peoples now. miss that place. my little sister from another mother, tiff, decided to support the 'dores today and thus she makes the blog. jeff picked it out for her. he does that every morning. jeff is a great judge of quality t-shirts. seriously. they're a pretty good team or something. today's been great. our belize fundraiser was a huge success! and after, i showed a whole host of witnesses how to clean dishes and properly dry them. i'm pretty pro. and brother jerry celebrated his 60th year of loving on people in Jesus' name. he really is one of the neatest people ever. and to thank him, there was a great reception and these sweet ladies made what could possibly be the greatest punch ever conceived. ask danny. legit. and, we all had a GREAT time with our new pal, brandon. God is so good. we are very grateful to have him on board! on the homefront, liz (the twin sis) made it safe back from the magical land called new york city. way to go sis. and the hard part of today was that she got home and Nashville is in real need of prayer with all the flooding. it's a lot bigger deal than i thought. mom and dad are good, but there are so, so many without power and whose homes are complete losses. so, if u can throw out a prayer for all the affected people back home, that'd be so cool. i know they'd really appreciate it. i know this entry is pretty random. sometimes, this is how my brain works.

more to come.