Saturday, December 29, 2007

Stranded so I don't forget

A year has passed, a page turned. Here comes a new year full steam freight train.

So what am I going to do? Who will I become this year? What opportunities will come my way that I am meant to take up? Will there be someone there to help me make my decision, or will I be alone to reach for what I think is right, to take what can at times feel like only my first steps as a man, learning the truth of what it takes.
It can be hard sometimes. But was life meant to be easy? I am not getting that impression so far. I may have it easier than most people in the world, but still just trying to decide whether or not your life and what you do with it has meaning doesn't come easy, even for me. Opportunity.
It feels silly that I should question, when I have just that, each day, the chance to become something more of who I am meant to be.

This evening on my way home, the engine died in the car I was driving. I had to wait for 2 and a half hours in the cold without heat, for AAA to bring a gallon of gas. This was quite frustrating in itself. When I finally drove off it began a most horrid start-stop routine that had me and probably all the other drivers around quite concerned. I was still about 2 miles away from the gas station, and I felt the frustration building. In times like this usually such a situation gives rise to a "damn" under my breath, and I will feel justified for a very short moment.
Opportunity. Yeah, I didn't get mad at the driver that was 2 and a half hours in coming, and I thought of all the people that must be colder than I was at the moment as I was waiting to curb my frustration... But this is getting ridiculous...
The thought of my faith at that moment reminded me that I was forgetting, and even blaming God for things that stemmed from my own mistakes, and I felt ashamed at that moment. The only way I would make it off this dark highway, I thought, is if I trust God. I said the only thing I could think, "God, please let this car start, and get me to the gas station. I am sorry, I do believe in you."
The car started, and drove as I said those words out loud. No more start-stop, not even a cough of the engine until I pulled into Speedway. it wasn't a formula, it was a heart change, and a transfer of trust from my flesh, to my Savior. It was absolutely humbling.

Are the hard things to teach us? I think so. It is the little things that count. The small things are that which will shape me into who I am becoming. Even though it is hard.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Something You Call Grace

I've got to climb to the top
Never stop, until I reach it
Until I feel that I'm gold
And that I'm in control
Of life and my thought
When I'm not, I still preach it
Because they're all going to see
if I start to fall or lose control.
I'm losing control...of this

I've been balancing on suspended pianos
And trying to stay composed
It makes the loudest noise when they begin to crash
With eyes on me, I force a laugh
You come to me and set me free

I cross my arms across my chest
This is not a gift I can accept
But I appreciate the sentiment
I've worked too hard for rightousness
To just lay down while you hand me this
And put my faith in something you call grace...from you.

I've been lost inside a cave without a lantern
At every sound I start to run
I feel my way around the dark without a pattern
If I would wait you'd come
to rescue me and sail away

I cross my arms across my chest
This is not a gift I can accept
But I appreciate the sentiment
I've worked too hard for rightousness
To just lay down while you hand me this
And put my faith in something you call grace...

[from you]
I've been trying to learn what is from you.
Because I've been trying to earn what is freely given.

Every sound that you
Try to just refuse
Does it give and take?
Keeps it in my face
And tell me that this blood
Was spilled in vain.

Cool Hand Luke ~ The Balancing Act

Can I put my faith where it belongs? Not in myself, not in the flesh or in pomises I can't hold on to.
But in grace I do not deserve. When I know he wants me back.

The Grace That Sustains

Current Sermon

If I try harder I will fail. Nothing I can do to make myself better will succeed. That sounds depressing, but I know that those are the words of freedom for a fallen man. The grace truth is the only thing that can save us from ourselves, and the bible makes it clear that grace is what God offers through Jesus. Nothing else can restore, save, emancipate, redeem... free. I am work in progress, but a work in the hands of a gracious redeemer who can relate to my weaknesses as he was in all ways tempted like I. "if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!" (Romans 5:10)
"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:38) He promises that I will not be seperated from Him, no matter what. I am insufficiant on my own, and no attempt will satisfy the law, but for grace He is enough, and for that I am humbled.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I am preparing to travel to Texas tomorrow for the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival & Academy.

I know I will be placed in a pretty conservative group of people, where I am not quite so... having to sift through the legalism versus truth, and have a clear view of what that truth is, but I know there will be a lot of good teaching as well... Regardless of what I take away from this week, I am thankful for this
opportunity to connect with like minded people, and learn from those
with experience.

Filmmaking is such an important art for Christians to develop, and
something we have been pretty bad at in the past. I don't think it is
something we should do unless we are passionate about the art itself,
and care to do it well.
My desire is that I will be able to make films that ignite the thirst we all feel in our lives, and will lead the viewer to the source of truth, Jesus Christ. That is my hope at least. Just like any art form, it
must be real and from the heart. Humble because the truth needs no
pride. Loving because Christ loved to death. Definitely not contrived.

I am contemplating a quote by C.S. Lewis that I read in the book "Desiring God" by John Piper, because it is so good:

"Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the
staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem
that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are
halfhearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition
when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go
on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by
the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."
-C.S. Lewis

So what is he trying to say here? Somehow it speaks to me in a rather deep way. Too easily pleased... caught up in doing "good" things when the promise of God is so much greater, to which our "goodness" is only mud in the slum being formed into a pie by a child. There is so much more in store! I thank God for that reminder, because I am far to easily distracted. I need to know that God's pleasure is greater, and I need to find it. I have only begun to ingest the concepts of this book, but just in the first chapter it has me thinking quite a bit. I think I will take it with me on my trip.

And I think I will take my iPod and listen to Falling Up as well. Captiva has me captivated, held in it's grasp of thought and excursion into fields of stars and shipwrecks. Yes there are some really good things in life.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

He chooses to follow his honest conviction against the flow of the world and what it values, rebelling against what he is told is his new truth, and instead fights to find who he is. His conscience leads him to find his true identity.
So do you choose to follow that thread of conviction you inherently know to be right, though it goes against what makes you comfortable? Do you instead adhere to the stickiness of God's word and rule - fighting against the lower nature? The nature that tends to war against God and separates us from His goodness...
Jason Bourne is in all of us. He is a fighter, and could carry his training to great exploits, doing what few others could do... But though he's been brainwashed, the truth remains in a voice inside his head. "You were not meant for this. This is not life." Just like him, we have that choice, and we can choose to ignore that voice, or instead follow it and become aliens, join a group of people who are despised for their beliefs and standards... Follow the world, or your purpose, which is in God alone.

Hard choice?

What if it means giving up what you think means the most to you? Your reputation, your job, your friends, your pride?

God will wreck your life, and send you on the run. Don't believe it? Look at those who were closest to Jesus on this earth. They followed His example, and were imprisoned, tortured and murdered. Yet still they counted it all gain. Look at the stories of people beyond the typical American Christian, in history's chronicles, and today around the world there still are disciples of Christ laying down their lives like He did.
But to them, it is worth it. They know that to obey the world, they would be rejecting a higher authority, a God who is worth dying for. Yes, it is hard, I know. Sometimes doubt nags my mind, and I wonder at the cost. Then I remember the scars that were taken undeservedly so that I could have life.
To be who God purposed you to be may not seem as exciting, perhaps it may turn out to be very tough, but think of who you live for, and why.

So the question: Jason Bourne or David Webb? Who will you be?

Are you going to follow the truth or what others tell you is acceptable?
Find who you are. The rest will follow.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

In a younger world

"If God made me the way I am should I always like who I am? Who is it I am becoming? What if it is nothing like what I am meant to be and how can I tell?!?" - my thoughts

These questions cut closer to who I am as a man belonging to Christ, and not so much what I chose to do. Why I live, and what I think, and what it is I truly care about... are not those things more important in the long run?

I saw Switchfoot in concert for the first time two weeks ago. The song This Is Your Life was one of the highlights of a very energy charged concert. That message that stood out above all the lights and the performance. (Cool as the concert itself was, I got to meet them afterwords! They are some very cool guys... But I am getting off topic)
This morning before our pastor's message that song was played, and the question asked. "Are you who you want to be?" (I highly suggest watching this mornings message, and the past sermons in the series! You can watch them all online until Saturday the 8th: Southeast Christian Church - Sermons)
So I guess I have to ask myself that question, looking deeper than what I do (My work), or how others perceive me, but to really seek out the man I am inside. I am afraid of what I may find.

I guess we all feel that way at times. It is like we would rather be someone else than face who we truly are. But God gave us our own self to work with, and not another. In turn He gives us the power to choose everyday what will define us. He does give us passion for life at times, and wake up calls to our flesh at others... This is a part of living, and growing in Christ-likeness. It is an everyday choice. So perhaps in answer to those cutting questions, I can say both yes and no. We don't have to like who we are, when we realize we have become something that displeases God. It is in those times we should go to Him and pray for forgiveness, and ask for a will to change our habits daily. But at the same time, we need to thank God for his plan and purpose in making us who we are, and seek to use the gifts he has given us for His glory and pleasure.

For me, I have been placed in a field of work that I know I have been called in, and that I love. But I can't forget how much of a responsibility I have to be, as well as do what God has called me to. I am not just working to become a film-maker, I am working to become the man God has been forming in me from the foundation of the world, and no matter what I do, that is what will live on in eternity.

Eternity is a very long time to waste.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

July 19, 2007

I am an adult now... Officially.
So what does that mean? I really have no clue. Perhaps the idea of being able to make choices, the kinds of choices your parents made for you, are now your own to make... I guess that is what makes so many look forward to the age of 18, when you become responsible for your actions.
It is easy to lose that innocence and free spirit of youth, the kind that makes life always on a happy slant.

Kids want to be adults, and adults want to be kids.

I want to be me, thankful for where I am, right now. Who I am with, and what work I have been given.
A wise man, and grip by profession told me yesterday, "Remember that wherever you are, there you are."

Here I am.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Making Your Mark

Life comes with that challenge. You probably know the one I refer to quite well, it is a search for a fundamental answer to a question we all are born asking, whether we are aware of it or not.

"Who am I? And why am I alive?" It is so basic, but at the same time, many have given up on finding an answer, and others (un)settle on going through the motions of living, trying everything that seems to promise some degree of happiness.
If you are indeed human, I am sure you search for purpose and something that seems to make sense and answer those nagging questions.
So do you settle? Do you keep moving on? What are you supposed to do? Life feels doomed to a bummer ending before it ever began. I don't know about you, but everyday I awake from dreams I can't explain, entering a world that I more often than not, feel very confused about, and then do things to keep myself alive and pursue dreams I hope come true, but like my cunfuzled night dreaming, I can't explain why I dream them and feel that my purpose lies in them.

Is it true then, what Solomon says in Ecclesiastes? "Meaningless, all of life is meaningless."

Something is not right. Something is terribly, terribly wrong. I was made for more than this, I just know it!
Why do some people seem to just know the answer? Why do people who seem to lose the most of what makes us the happiest, somehow the most joyful people we know?

Back to the challenge, to find meaning...

Its seems most of our American culture today seems to be sculpted around entertainment, thoughtful or not. Just keep looking at images meant to distract, and your eyes are kept away from the truth.
The truth is that all is not right here in this world. As close or as far as you choose to look, there is suffering that screams for help, for compassion from those more fortunate.
And we seem to make as little of an impact as we can on very much of anything, and avoid both conflict and the knowledge of pain in others. For all of us, it is much easier to watch people live life, than really live our own the way we were meant too. And as a challenge, as much for me as anyone else, nothing but knowing the dangerous, fascinating, and very real God of the universe, and having a relationship with Him can make sense and give a very distorted image the clarity of eternity.