20 April 2011


"The heavens declare the glory of God;
   the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
   night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
   no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
   their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
   like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
   and makes its circuit to the other;
   nothing is deprived of its warmth."

                                                              - PSALM 19.1-6 

Click here to see this passage in motion or simply watch the video above. 

09 April 2011

The Academy is Dead

The Academy is Dead
When once you tread upon the stone
Of man-made paths of thought alone
When you find you walk hollow halls
Of cognitive craft and curiosity falls

When you pass the world of living green
And the robin, her eggs go unseen
As you gaze upon vacant memories
Caught in lifeless theories

Without a pang for what is lost
From summer nights and yearly frost
To leave all wonder with tears unshed
Then the academy is dead

To think along the logic lines
While heart inside unheeded pines
And march toward the teacher’s mark
Oblivious to the path you embark

And chase the rays of lofty words
The world, her hurts go uncured
Even solving weighty postulates
As the orphan wants for advocates

Without a pang for what is lost
From summer nights and yearly frost
To leave all wonder with tears unshed
Then the academy is dead

The brush, the quill grow quickly dim
As causes sink beyond the brim
The reasons for deepest learning
Spark not the pen, ignite no burning

While the world, her hovels and homes
Are left behind and appetite roams
The young are dying with answers
Unable to shoulder life’s cancers

Without a pang for what is lost
From summer nights and yearly frost
To leave all wonder with tears unshed
Then the academy truly is dead

07 April 2011

The Stirring

There is something in a gentle spring breeze that awakens a dormant part of me.  I am internally stirred by those first warm heralds of the season. These stirrings are profoundly moving and refreshing. I breath them in deeply and a smile comes easily to my face.

It reminds me of something that God does in my heart from time to time. He brings a warm breeze that awakens my soul. Sometimes its during an insignificant event like taking out the trash that I  glance up at the sky and I am moved. Other times it comes through an honest conversation, a simple song or complex composition; many times I am moved by a Scripture or a memory. Often it is through a beautiful picture or well told story. These moments give me a glimpse into a world that is richer, deeper and truer than the everyday grind. We can experience them with a glance at the open sea, through a great meal with great company, a romantic evening of deep connection or a thousand other places.

We all have them. I think its the Spirit nudging us, waking us up to a world we are missing. What do we do when we realize that there is a world beyond our common experience? I'm no expert but I've attempted a few things so far.

Savor the moment. I try to linger in the moment with God and ask Him what He's doing. Then I try to write it down to remember, to revisit and to relive those moments of clarity because they help me navigate life on a deeper level.

Share the moment. Like a composer laboring to bring haunting notes from within into the light of day I attempt to fold those moments into the things I create. At other times I share it in a note, a quick hug or a passing smile. I share it in a deep conversation or a story.

Seek the moment's meaning. I try to let it fuel my pursuit of deeper things and let it lead me on a path of deeper discovery. What is God saying? Sometimes I'll just pray: God I can't awaken myself, only you raise the dead and numb, open my eyes to see what I cannot see. And I leave it at that.

  “Awake, you who sleep,
      Arise from the dead,
      And Christ will give you light.”

01 April 2011

5 Reasons I Read

If you know me you know I love to devour books. I love to read from the whole gamut of the buffet. I enjoy it all: nonfiction, Christian lit, fantasy, science fiction, historical biographies, epic poetry, how-to's, allegories, journals, and more. I love a sharp story, profound prose, and excellent enigmatic plots in action. Books are so much more than words on page just like a smile is far more significant than the moving of the muscles it takes to grin.

So without further ado, here are the top 5 Reasons I Read: 

1. I'm changed when I read. What we read has the power to shape us. Reading takes us on a journey of self discovery. Reading has the power to take the discerning reader into the thoughts, attitudes or ideas of another. In essence, good writing allows you to see what someone else sees. And I've found that even though there are other factors contributing to my personal growth, reading is one of the biggest: if I'm not reading I'm not growing.

2. Ideas have power and Truth has the most power of all. It's not that every book sets out to creatively present truth, but there are nuggets of wisdom to be gathered everywhere; from a blog post to an expansive novel. And those ideas--that I sometimes mine, other times glean and are often surprised by--have an influence on the way I view the world, decipher life and make decisions.

3. Reading makes me a better communicator. When I see how someone clearly communicates a sticky subject it helps me do the same. When I see a complex concept broken down into a simple children's story or succinct sentence it propels me forward in my craft as well. I want to communicate well: with my wife, with my son, with my youth group, my friends . . . I want to contribute not dilute the conversations I am in and reading helps me do that.

4. Reading makes my mind sharp. I believe that a lot of problems we fail to overcome are the result of fuzzy thinking. Sloppy reasoning. Silly oversimplification or a lack of examination. And reading exercises my mind to think critically, discerningly and effectively in my own life.

5. Discipleship happens as I read. I'll be the first to tell you I can't do it alone. I don't have the time, capacity or drive necessary to figure out life while I still breathe. And the cool thing is: I don't have to. Paul said, "Follow me as I follow Christ". That's discipleship: someone showing you how to grow so you don't have to spend all your time figuring it out . . . you can spend it living it out. That happens to me while I read. Men and women further along on the journey lead me.

I'm always looking for a good read. What have you read in the past year that you would recommend?