What? Here? Now?

living the unpaved.


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The Road

“You know how difficult it was for you to make the decision to drop everything and come here to walk the Road to Santiago in search of a sword. But this was different only because you were a prisoner of the past. You had been defeated before, and you were afraid it would happen again. You had already achieved things, and you were afraid  you might lose them. But at the same time, something stronger than any of that prevailed: the desire to find your sword. So you decided to take the risk.”

– The PilgrimagePaulo Coelho

I’ve blogged about fear and about doing things in spite of that fear, and after being here in the great city of New York for a little over a month, I am still wrestling with being here.

Here are some things I miss:

Look at that face.

Look at that face.

These lads. Among others.

These lads. Among others.

This awesome lake. Where it is not cold.

This awesome lake. Where it is not cold.

ALL OF THIS FOOD.

ALL OF THIS FOOD.

And I exchanged that for this…

This man is Tebow-ing some trash. Or crying. I choose crying. Cause NYC is DIRTY, son. Dirty.

This man is Tebow-ing some trash. Or crying. I choose crying. Cause NYC is DIRTY, son. Dirty.

There are so many ways the city is different, and so unlike what I am used to. I am not in love with NYC (yet?), and that’s okay.

After all, I am still grieving what I have left. I came here running after a new dream, and it is hard letting go of one you held onto for so long. The death of a future you had once invested so much in, following the new future where it calls. Grief is almost always for the mourner’s loss.

“I’m afraid,” said Ender quietly. “But I’ll go with you.”

“Tell me again,” said Graff.

“It’s what I was born for, isn’t it? If I don’t go, why am I alive?”

“Not good enough,” said Graff.

“I don’t want to go,” said Ender. “But I will.”

Graff nodded.

 Ender’s GameOrson Scott Card

A shared story is one that can help someone find a piece of humanity to relate to, so I share my story. How about you? When have you felt the death of one dream in following another? Or felt afraid to go where you were called?

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Lessons of the Day: Part 1

Over the past month, I’ve started Twittering life lessons that I come across. There’s almost always a new one everyday.
For me, these short glimpses are a way of challenging myself to a new leadership point, to see the world differently, and to rise to the challenge of what God is preparing for my life. You see, I’ve got somewhere to go and someone to be.  (1 Cor 9:22)
So enjoy them. They’re all 140 characters or less, nice short tidbits I try to live out everyday. I can’t really claim any of them; most came from people a lot smarter and wiser.

Feb 1st:
if you don’t speed, you don’t have to keep watch for cops.

pastor your family, even if your family is just you.

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.

“Don’t faint in the process, God is preparing you for what He is preparing for you.”

make peace with your past, so it doesnt screw up the present.

No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

overprepare, then go with the flow.

owe nothing to anyone, except love.

nothing is ever as big a deal as we make it out to be. ask the question: in 5 years, will this matter?

stop trying to be accepted and be exceptional.

do not be the poison, & whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. for His glory.

eating rocks may lead to broken teeth.

we are educated far beyond the level of our obedience. if you would just do what you already knew, you’d be dangerous.

be faithful (even unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.)

just because you win the battle doesn’t mean you were right.

don’t wear socks with sandals, unless you’re living in the feudal era japan.

a man came to Jesus.”If you will, you can make me clean.” Jesus took pity. “I will,” Jesus replied. “Be clean.”

i am not God.

jesus wins.

if you don’t have the audacity to act, you’re not a visionary, you’re a daydreamer.

build for where you want to go, not for where you are now.

you cannot be in two places at once.

The limit to your abilities is where you place it.

i must be intentional about being grateful and encouraging. it is not natural for me.

An idea without implementation isn’t creation. True creativity results in a product.

Handle every stressful situation like a dog. If ya can’t eat it or play with it, pee on it & walk away.

if we were meant for another world than this, what’s keeping us from building that world here, now?


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balancing excellence with brokenness

I’ve seen a pattern over the past couple of days between churches and /or organization leaders talking about the value of excellence vs. drive.

Drive being described as having vision, having a ‘hunger’ (via Steven Furtick), a deep desire to see the people of this world have an everlasting encounter with our Father in heaven, a deep desire to follow the mission of Christ.

I think it begs the question: (ah, so many, so little answers..)  can one matter more than the other? At what point does drive, passion overcome the talent? The need for excellence?

Perry Noble, I like what you’re throwing down.
If you’ve read his blog, great, if you haven’t you should. 
And if not: short version. I think Perry hits this nail on the head, and I’m not sure if he realizes it, but he probably does because he’s freakin’ Perry Noble.

(I have a point, I promise, and am not simply rambling about P.N.)

There is a specific distinction to make between excellence in the church and passion in people.

When we look to surround ourselves in the Church (or anywhere else for that matter) we SHOULD strive for excellence in our WORK, but acknowledge and embrace OUR brokenness within ourselves that is covered over by the mercy of Christ.

Let me lay it out:

Church: deserves excellence FROM us (p.n.-   because we have the spirit of the almighty God working within us and for us and leading us, and have no excuse not to give Him our best!)
People: receive perfection FROM christ (i am broken. Jesus has got my back.)

God picked a bunch of broken, messed up dudes to spread the message of hope and salvation to the word. And they still messed up even while doing it!
but they KEPT DOING IT. 
They had the drive, the initiative, the passion to keep going, to have faith in God’s call for their lives.

Is that your final answer?
Hire people who are competent in their area, who strive for excellence, who think the Kingdom of God deserves nothing but their best effort, yet have mercy on their brokenness, and honor their faithfulness beyond their broken pieces.

 

(there’s my take. I’m no Perry Noble, but that’s what I’ve got. I appreciate all thoughts, clarifications, questions, and ‘you’re just plain wrongs’!)


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if i may…

may my searching after You be a desperate run.

may i long for Your presence so intently, that it consumes my soul.

may i become invisible. may i decrease, so You may increase.

may i cease to be seen, so that You can shine through.

may i hear what You see, so loud that it fells the walls.

may i love as You have loved.

may i be incomplete, that You may fill me.

may i be broken, that You may heal me.

may i be disturbed, that You may comfort me.

may i know beyond shadow of a doubt, that You have rescued my soul.


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tribal instincts…

from seth godin’s book, tribes:

“so here we are. we live in a world where we have the leverage to make things happen, the desire to do work we believe in, and a marketplace that is begging us to be remarkable.

and yet, in the middle of these changes, we still get stuck.

stuck following archaic rules. stuck in industries that not only avoid change but actively fight it.
stuck in fear of what our boss will say, stuck because we’re afraid we’ll get in trouble.

most of all, we’re stuck atcking like managers or employees, instead of like the leaders
we could become.

we’re embracing a factory instead of a tribe.”

what’s your factory? where are you stuck? where could you bust out?

this spoke to me today. i’m going to keep reading. keep hoping.


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so far, that has not gone out.

so many things we love.

the indie music because it is peaceful, and musicians because they breathe community and exhale their souls.We cannot help but be drawn to that. but i must be transparent and clear.

i love the indie lifestyle, because it feels peaceful, and that is but a taste of the peace my soul longs for.
but i don’t fit there.
my soul is a different kind of passionate. more fire and loud than trickling and soft.
and as much as music resonates with my soul, there must be something for which I am more passionate.
what is that? where can i go to seek that?

simply put, i thrive in service. to offer my life as a living sacrifice. to breathe in other souls like oxygen to lungs.

but how to be great…


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An Autobiography (or, a story in twelve parts) Piece Two

To lose life, but that was not the end of that year from hell. Oh no. Life was lost in different way, again. Divorce.

Severance.

Separation.

And all the other horrible words you can think of for such an act where people no longer are married and live under the same roof.

But this story is not about that story, only the effects of that story. That, coupled with death, makes for an interesting combination.

The human mind can only take so much tragedy, yet in the face of extreme tragedies, more resilience than we knew we had surfaces.

Surface it did, along with questions. Questions about life, about living, about dying, about the breaking point of relationships. It was then that the ultimate question came about in the mind of one so young.. the ultimate wondering.

Is there more to God than this?

There has to be more to God than this…

No longer cut and dry, no longer scripted faith, no longer easy answers. The world of black and white and white and black had a big grey lump dropped in the middle of it.

If you were to ask that question to yourself, what response would you give? Is there more to God than what you are seeking right now? Is there more to God than what you are being given by the institution that represents His name?

I return to C.S. Lewis, because so often someone else’s words are so much better than my own; he speaks in the Screwtape letters, of a person praying to God. The demons laugh amongst themselves, saying ‘Oh how much more powerful the prayers of Christians, if they would only pray to the God we know, that big huge powerful, frightening presence, instead of a spot on the wall, or some vague painting in their minds..” To pray to God as He knows himself to be, not as we perceive him to be.

At this turning point, the institution the young mind found itself in no longer served what God seemed to be screaming out in words as silent as a rainstorm.