Tuesday, August 31, 2010

chooseday a.m.

currently drinking pumpkin spice chai. i've changed it up today. i know, i know...watch out. i'm feeling pretty rebellious this morning. it's fall in a cup i've decided. oh, and it rained super hard, super early this morning. perfect. i woke up to it hitting the window and fell back asleep to it. in case you didn't know, rain is a goooood thing...for farmers and for sleeping. at least that's what i've heard on the radio. i'm still working my way through this character study piece on moses. i've got questions. what was it about him that God would speak to him as a man speaks to his friend? i want that. more than anything else. so, what was it about moses that God chose to lead him so clearly? why did moses get the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night? here's my guess. no, here's my theory. i really don't think it was as much about who moses was as it was about who God is.

moses wasn't perfect. God came close. he struggled. God came close. got confused. God came close. had moments of weakness. God came close. He desired to use moses, to meet with the old shepherd. to breathe life into him as the leader of His chosen people. now, i've found that moses truly desired the King of Israel. he made time. had to have it. life depended on it. the lives of others depended on it. God found favor with moses. He loved him. see exodus 33:7-12 for all of that. last week with the kiddos, we covered the tent of meeting. what it was. why it was there. why moses needed it. why we all need it. every day. we found that God would, in fact, speak with our favorite old shepherd face to face...as if you were right here at sugar brown's talking life with me. CRAZY. but, oh so true.

and here's what's cool for this week. we learned all about the tent from the outside, but now we're getting the inside scoop. when God could have chosen to simply let us know about the tent, He chooses to open the door and let us in.

hear me say, i love college football. it's hard to talk about fall without mentioning it, really. perhaps the most powerful memory from being a kid was riding in the car from our house in brentwood to the stadium in downtown nashville. as a young lad, dad would drive and i would stare at the leaves because the fall season back home is stop and stare worthy. more colors than a crayola box. they're changing every day. from green, to yellow, to fiery red, to brown. i remember our vanderbilt car flag flapping in the wind and smiling the whole way to the game. the air was cool, but still warm enough to wear shorts with your favorite hoodie that 5x too big. that's the BEST. i remember walking on the field and touching the grass. even pulling some out of the ground and putting it in my pocket when i got older. i know, i'm a huge nerd. i remember the smell of the grills from the parking lot and the haze they'd all create in the north end zone. i remember the red sea of people in the northeast corner when bama or georgia came to town. i remember our old stadium shifting whenever anyone scored. listening to the visiting band play their fight song and they're fans going crazy more times than our fans went crazy. we didn't win many of those games, but i just remember walking in and out with dad...as long as he was with me. i wouldn't leave his side the entire game. the one time i did, i got wrecked by mike gandalfo who played linebacker back then. (that's a whole 'nother story). i love college football. most see it from a distance. with dad working with the program all those years and me interning with athletics there after college, i got to see the inner workings. go to practices. watch the guys fill up the "water cows." (thanks allison for teaching ryan and i that term). well, i was watching ESPN the other day and it showed the behind the scenes of alabama football. they're the enemy. but, i couldn't help but watch the inner workings of something i had only seen from a distance. i wanted to know how it functioned. i wanted to know who the players and coaches really were away from the games and the glitz. i was glued. i wanted to know what it's like for them. it was almost as if the curtain was pulled back and we were allowed in.

and that's what God does for you. and me.

check the end of chapter 33. HE LETS US IN ON THE CONVO...in the locker room you could say. and by doing that, He invites us all into the sacred spot. He lets us know it's possible for us to have that, too. instead of merely telling us what the tent was and why it was used, He takes us in. behind the scenes. in doing so, He gives us the inside on who He really is and who moses really is. i'm glued. you gotta read it. it's God's convo with moses inside the tent. moses doesn't want to go anywhere without God. he really says that if You're not going to come with me, then i don't wanna go (33:15). kinda like me with dad all those years. at least that's the way i see it. and then the last part of that chapter has completely changed my scope of the glory of God. moses asks to see Him. to see His glory in complete fullness. God's response to the old shepherd reveals that God is by far, the most glorious One over all of creation. every other pales in comparison. go read this part. do it. and then come back.

louie giglio has always preached to us to "never buy the lie that there is anything better than Jesus." he's right. everything else pales in the glory comparison. every other love pales in the glory comparison. think about it...our King is too beautiful for us to even fully view!!! WHAT?!?! even seeing His back is more wonderful and more glorious than any other kind of beauty (33:21-23). He actually has to protect moses from the extent of His glory! unreal. how beautiful. the sad part is the fact that my heart tends to chase things and choose things that have no glory compared to what i have read in exodus 33. glory is due Him and Him alone. at the moment i'm simply trying to put myself in moses' shoes. after seeing that, what would i chase after? what would i find to be beautiful? would i still choose sins that i realize aren't glorious? what would become important in my day to day? would i still buy things that i don't need? what would become important and what fluff would fade? all i'm saying is that every time i think about the glory of God, it makes me want Him. OVER EVERYTHING ELSE. it takes me deeper. and while i go on that path, the things i've previously held to be glorious and honestly, more glorious than Him simply look...DUMB. and utterly, SINFUL.

i repent.

talking more about this with the kiddos wed. night. excited is an understatement. i've been changed. may that start in me this morning.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010



ready. expecting. praying. hoping. laughing.

it's impossible to walk away from a genuine encounter with Jesus and not be changed. it's impossible. i want authenticity and i want to be changed. please be praying that our hearts are soft enough that He can mold them into ALL He wants them to be.

gosh, that'd be cool.

this is the first wed. night of the new school year. time to set the tone! thankful for moses' example of what that truly looks like.


oh, "AND WHAT IS A WED. POST WITHOUT A SECRET SONG?!?!?" you ask? well, i'm GLAD you asked. tonight there isn't one. i know, i know. you're tearing up. please don't. i'm sorry. tissue? it's just that sometimes i've learned that it's good just to be still. tonight is one of those nights. as mike would say, "to just be still and breathe with Jesus." i just want to feel Him there. to hear Him speak. how precious the whispers. good stuff.

Monday, August 23, 2010

moses and changing leaves.

permission to ramble?


it's been a while. so long in fact, that i forgot my username and password to even use this booger...AHEM...blogger. it's not that i haven't been writing or thinking. contrary to popular opinion, i been doing BOTH! (insert wink here). i'm actually writing a book. only not really. but really, there's been a lot going on. for instance, i just got off the phone with my little sister and she apparently lives in texas now. bonkers. and i just filled my car up with a couple footballs and baseball equipment. oh, and a hoodie. why? because catch at the park is what FALL is all about. and sometimes it gets cold. that's why. this time of year is crazy, but it's also my favorite. really, the only problem i have with fall is that life adds a little bit of a routine. i struggle here. tis' true. routines and i fight. i want different. spontaneous. my heart doesn't yearn for a routine. or a schedule. i'm not knocking a schedule or organization here. i'm simply speaking out about how if i let it, the routine can weaken my heart. i don't want my walk or my life to feel "routine." let me correct myself...my walk and my life are the SAME THING. same thought bubble. my walk is my ENTIRE life. there. i said it. now, i've realized lately that God feels the same about my routine. hear me out. i'm not saying that God doesn't want us to be consistent in our relationship with Him. He WANTS consistency out of you. out of me. oh, does He ever want that. i'm not talking about consistency, i'm simply speaking on the fact that i have the tendency to get complacent in my routine and when i study Scripture i find nothing complacent in the way God looks at me. i want to somehow learn to love Him the way He loves me. think about it.

here's what i mean...i want to love God with my all. but with the crazyness of fall, i always remember my past struggles to keep it fresh. i always get "too busy" for Him. even saying that becomes routine for me. i hate that. what a cop out. the truth is, without Him, i'm NOTHING. i have nothing. i don't want the same struggle this time around. i want to believe and not doubt. to trust He's there, even when it FEELS like He might a skipped town for a bit. truth is, He never left me. or them. all this stems from Exodus. it's kicking my tail. platt says the most important time with God is the time that no-one else sees. BINGO. he's right. the most important moments are when it's just me and Him. this will always be my favorite time. don't get me wrong, i love preaching. speaking God's truth to people is truly something i don't deserve to do. and i love sitting with kiddos and breathing the Gospel into them...i do. but my favorite is when it's just me and Him. and i can honestly say, i don't think that's selfish. i actually think it's biblical. i'm in awe of the God who moves in Exodus. the events spoken there talk of a King i (we) don't deserve. it's a God who defies routine and invites adventure.

it's a love that shouldn't be ours, but through the Son, is.

for whatever reason, i started in Exodus 13. i've been going from there. trying to make my way through it. stopping. thinking. writing. i keep getting frustrated with Israel. i think i actually called them "a bunch a dummies" out loud in my house. real mature garrett...i know. i keep wanting to give moses a "good game" and tell him to hang in there. i'm serious. i keep wanting to tell Him it's worth it. just hang in there.

then, in the way that only Holy Spirit can, He reminds me that I look like Israel.

i hear God speak clearly, and then three days later i forget what He said. i even begin to wonder if He's even there. i'm just like them. He's not a jerk about it, don't get me wrong. He's actually kind about it. funny thing is, i actually LOVE Him more for calling me out. it's His kindness that leads me to repentance (i have so much to learn). it's crazy to me that most times, i want to put myself in moses' shoes, when my feet rightly belong with the masses of struggling Israelites. in 13, they cross the Red Sea. they even make a keepsake so that they remember what the Lord did in their midst. THEY SAW IT HAPPEN. they actually saw the manifestation of God in a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. and when evil was after them, God planted Himself firmly between His people and the enemy. He did that for them. and does that for you. every. single. day. moses and miriam even co-wrote a tune about it. and three days later, Israel forgot God. seriously. 72 hours later, they forgot the character of their Creator. forgot His ways. forgot His love. i do this. they complained. they failed to believe the God who had just parted the waters could provide for their daily food. i look just like this. and what did God do? gave them bread. Scripture says it actually showered down on them. He provided. again and again. literally, showering blessings upon them...upon us. i wonder how many times He's done that for me, and i never even noticed. gotta wake up. every good and perfect thing is from Him.

i'm almost done. promise.

last thing. what i love about moses is this. the tent of meeting. stop reading this and read this.
moses had to have the time that no-one else sees. it was his favorite. the only way He could make it through was the strength he gained from these meetings with his Father. "the Lord would speak to moses face to face, as a man speaks with His friend." he DOES speak. he DOES move. he DOESN'T leave. my hope is that the madness of a scheduled fall will not overwhelm. my prayer is that i remember what He's already done and trust Him with the future. and when evil may try and derail my path, to remember that He places Himself between me and the evil one. He does that for us. i won't fear simply because i have already talked with Him face to face. there, he calms me. there, He sets the tone for my life. there, He renews my spirit. and after that, there is no room for fear of any sort. just adventure.


ps...shorter posts coming. sorry.
ps dos...you just read part of the rough draft of the talk with the HS students on wed. night.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Thursday, August 5, 2010

the graham crackers.


(more on this later) - i was on a soccer team as a kid. this one's called the graham crackers. dr. graham sponsored us. GENIUS. i scored a goal here. pretty stoked about it. i stuck my tongue out when i shot as a kid. the fam never let me hear the end of it. still doesn't. i found this picture in dad's darkroom a couple nights ago. good times. come to find he also took pictures when i played goalie. i found pics of where i was getting the ball out of the back of the net. thanks dad for keeping me humble. those will not be posted here for two reasons...(1) it would make dad's day and (2) my goalie shirt is longer than my shorts and it makes me look like i'm NOT wearing pants. (enter smooth transition here)


here we go...i'm in nashvegas for my grandpa's 90th birthday party. crazy. when i got here, he was mowing the yeard. AHEM... yard! did i mention that yesterday was the hottest day in nashtown in 3 years? no? okay...yesterday was the hottest day in nashville in 3 years! i've been here since monday and i realize that i have been a failure at updating the twitter thingy since monday. my bad.
nashville es good. it's been fun and restful at the same time. i've been all over the place. monday i got the neatest chance to jump in the studio with josh and watch him finish the NEW album out soon. it is absolutely my favorite stuff he's ever done. i simply can't wait to have it both in the car with the windows down and in my ears before i go to sleep. it works both places. not many records do that. this one DOES. JUST SAYIN'. and there may or may not be an ice cream scoop in the background. but really, i got to sit and listen and watch the guy do work. incredible.
got rest. went to kairos at brentwood. i knew the Lord was stirring my heart during the day for what He wanted me to learn that night. seriously. i felt Him so much during that day. just kept telling me He going to show up that night. well...He showed up. i have pages of notes. i could talk about this night for hours. really. i will spare you, but ask me next time you see me.
i have no idea what we did. my memory is legit. sorry. fast-forward y'all.
7:30am at the lake. we struck out. three of the greatest fisherman you will ever meet caught 0 fish. they danced in front of us. cruel. i drowned my sorrows in buckets of shark week. and chick-fil-a breakfast. oh, and we went to puckett's in franklin (my absolute favorite place to grub) for lunch. their sweet tea was a fistful of awesome and i got the pulled pork sandwich on corn cakes with mashed potatoes. MONEY BABY. so good. we came home after franklin and then i got to head to mafioza's on 12south with the richardson's! connie. eddie. mclaine. coolest people. great times. it was a good day. and then mom and i got to sit out on the back porch with the lantern lights and lightning bugs. it was cool out by then. nice.
today we went to moe's. we don't have one in the LBK anymore, so today was a must. mac had to go to whole foods and he is currently cooking his version of pf changs mongolian chicken and the whole house smells wondermous. mom and i were feeling booklike, so we went to borders and then lifeway and we picked up some books. why? because it makes us look smart and we look really cool walking around the store. DUH. all kidding aside, i got two of mark driscoll's new books. one on doctrine and another about religion and it's inability to save. they both come highly recommended. looking forward to this. oh, and mom gave me a haircut. she loves me as i am, but i got the feeling she'd love me just a bit more if i looked normal. and she also said, "gar...you need a haircut." i was tipped off. so, she cut all my hair off. oh well! times they are a changin. tonight, i plan on eating a TON, watching a movie, sitting outside listening to the bugs, and finishing my message for aug 15. could really use your prayers for that one! there you have it. and i'll try to update on twitter starting tomorrow.

i took some pics on the trusty iphone and they are below. scroll down y'all. and i may or may not have posted a haircut pic on the twitter thang. schwelcome.