Sunday, July 30

Jesus and Politics

Disowning Conservative Politics Is Costly for Pastor

I came across this article from the New York Times this morning. If you have a minute to read through it, the contents reveal some challenging thoughts. Drop me a line and let me know what you think.

Now they tell me...

Just got back from Scotland two nights ago and msn publishes this article today. Ten days was a perfect amount of time, but it wasn't enough to see all of Scotland. What an amazing in history and beauty.

Sunday, July 23

Rain on the hills

Rain falls on the hills as the sound of guitar and jimbey play their worship. My heart is feels like a song waiting, longing to be played. I've started three more songs in the past few days. I'm hungry to play the guitar we have carried to Scotland. I think about it more and more. I'm hungry to read the word. I have finally finished Matthew and am headed through Mark. I'm looking at the life of David again, particularly where he was chosen over all his older brothers to be the king of Israel.

Church was divinely appointed this morning. I was so touched by Him that I responded to a call for prayer. Kat prayed for me. I mean, she listened to the Lord, prayed in the Spirit and then prayed over me. It is so rare to find a church so full of life and running with fresh water. I drank fresh water this morning. So fresh that my tired perspective is changing. New directions? New possibilities? Aye. (yes)

It is time for change. Time to switch perspectives. Time to stop doing what I feel is good and right and responsible; time to listen to the Lord and talk with Him about my life. Time to follow in the path He has already set up for me. It may not be the practical, safe path. It may not be the one I have assumed. I need to be okay with fact, I think I really am okay with that.

We are headed to Iona tomorrow. Headed to the place where Christianity was carried into Scotland. I won't be here to update until I get home to the States. Can't wait to share the pictures...can't wait to write more updates.

Miss you all. And when I say "you"...I mean you...I have carried you in my heart.

Saturday, July 22

Touching History

Here are some links to places I've been this week. I am almost overwhelmed at the history here. I want to soak it all up...way more exciting than sitting through a high school lecture 10 years ago...way more exciting.

Paisley Abbey

Stirling Castle

Glasgow Cathedral

We still plan on seeing the Isle of Iona and Edinburgh before we leave. I might have to buy more batteries and another memory card for my camera. Beth, you would have a blast taking pictures here.

Wednesday, July 19

Glasgow And Its Patriarchs

The sun rises around 4am and the light of it still shines until somewhere between 10 and 11pm. We are further north than I thought.

We checked out Glasgow today and plan to return tomorrow to see a Cathedral and an art museum. Today we walked the streets with Leah's guitar, whom we affectionately named "Gertie". Lots of good architecture, street musicians, one street canvas and many, many people. It is not much different than here but then again it is. The parks are full of people eating lunch, talking, basking in the record high heat (which by the way happens to be nice and cool compared to Florida or the heat of the midwest). The accents are inflected with Scottish, sometimes easy to understand and other times easier just to nod and pretend you know what they are saying. People are very friendly here.

So we played a lot of guitar today. Or rather Leah did and I played a bit for a few moments here and there. I didn't mind listening, watching the people, snapping pictures, writing new lyrics in my journal. The peace of God surround us here. I feel as if we are on a mission or maybe God is on the mission and we're here to experience it.

We met Danny Boy and Kelly in one round-about park today. They had a two liter bottle half- filled with alcohol. Drunk as they were, they wanted to sing and Leah was their minstrel. We sang "Yellow" twice, "Clocks" and only part of an Emmy Lou Harris. A few of their other friends joined us too...also drunk. Try to understand Scottish and slur at the same is not easy. We stayed until I didn't feel quite safe anymore...Kelly was angry about us getting the attention and there were too many others around to feel comfortable. As we left Danny Boy told us (with much concern is in voice) to be very careful and stay safe as we walked around the city. Hmm...thanks for the tip.

We spent the rest of the day in an incredible park uptown a bit. The pigeons really do swoop in large masses through these parks you know. I have decided after much pigeon and seagull watching today that I do not ever want a statue made of myself to be placed in a park with birds. It seems to defeat the purpose of honor as they perch on the heads of these patriarchs and excrete their droppings as only birds can do. It's rather disgusting and quite ironic.

Another day is done...tomorrow I will wake up again in Paisley...the home of the actual paisley design...once home to some of the largest cotton a house that used to hold the family accredited for inventing spools of thread..or something like that. Can't wait to post the pictures.

Tuesday, July 18

Good Day..from Scotland :)

Leah and I landed in Edinburgh today around 10:30am. From there we found the bathrooms, an atm, and a bottle of water. We got two bottles of water for 1.30 pounds. We walked to the buses where we found directions to Glasgow, hopped onto the nearest bus and headed for the next bus stop. We waited there for about 15 minutes hopped onto a double decker bus and were taken all the way into Glasgow. Beautiful ride by the way. After reaching Glasgow's bus station, Leah and I grabbed a bite to eat. I had a bbq chicken sandwich and juice for under 3 pounds...I'm telling you...the food here is really cheap.

Leah and I then walked to what we thought was the correct train station and bought a ticket...and then found out we were in the wrong place. The tickets were still good...we were told that we just needed to hop onto another bus and be taken to the correct place. This time the ride took us through Glasgow...beautiful, historical city (pictures to come).

When we arrived at the city was a huge train station with lots of shops, people, trains. I would have taken pictures but we found our train was leaving within five minutes time. We hiked it to Platform 12 and took a short, scenic train route in Paisley. While on the train, I met Claire, a student at St. Andrews. I gave her bandaids for her blisters...she was headed to France to stay on the beach with some friends on holiday. People don't even ask where we're from...they automatically know that we're from the states.

So after the train, we met up with a taxi who took us to the ministry base we are staying with. I can't wait to post pictures...this house is a historical landmark...stone around the outside...winding staircase inside...large rooms and a gorgeous view of a lake the breas (small hills) of Scotland. The people who run this ministry have given us a room, linens, have taken us to the grocery store, and have invited us to cook out with them tonight. What a blessing. The kids who usually are here are out on ministry right now, so this great big house is quiet, peaceful.

I don't know what the next few days hold, but let me tell's off to a great start. God has ordered our steps.

Friday, July 14


We could actually see the sun move in the sky. Posted by Picasa

Walking at Sunrise

Here are the results of Beth and I's all nighter.
After the sun rose we walked another mile and a half to have french toast for breakfast at The Oasis. Mornings like these are few and far between.

 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 12

One American Dream

"If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life?
Or what shall a man give in return for his life?"
Matthew 16:24-26
I've been contemplating this verse for a couple of months now. It started at the end of the summer. I began to feel uncomfortable about my house hunting. I knew that needing a house in itself was not a bad thing, it was the expectation that I "should" have a house, "should" have a new car, "should" have the things that every adult in this day and age aquires...ipod, running shoes, vacation, white picket fence....the American dream.

Who said the American dream was the best dream? Who said that the American dream was God's dream? Why is it that when I have acquired exactly what I want, I feel that more is just out of reach?

I watched the sun rise this morning...and then tonight, the moon rose above the water. I watched the waves roll in on the sand throughout the afternoon. Tonight I looked up at the stars and saw at least two shoot across the sky. Ancient people would worship the sun, the moon and the stars as if each were god. Thankfully, I know better. But, even still, their beauty causes my heart to open up, to contemplate things beyond who I am. There is something about creation that reminds me of His greatness, His beauty, His love.

He is all I need. God, how I know that. I know it. I know it. And yet there's nothing I can do to make it more real. There's nothing I can do to make that fact work for me. That revelation alone does not get me the house, the car, a family of my own. I can't do anything to make God perform for me. And yet I am nowhere near to measuring up in my performance for Him.

How then shall I live? The question rolls over and over in mind. How do I live for God without always feeling guilty? How do I simply just live for Him because I love Him and not because I want something from Him?

What is God's dream for me? I have a feeling it is not my dream. I saw the fulfillment of my dreams. And I embraced the dream as it died in my arms. So I stand here, without a dream and without much hope for more. I don't know the measure of my days. I don't know anything beyond today, beyond what I see.

But I want to know. I want to see this great God who lays claim to my heart, to every single day of my life. I want to watch the sun rise in my heart and His oceans spring forth on the shores of this young life. When others see me, I want them to be reminded of Him, of their hunger for something more, something deeper.

I want to know Christ and to make Him known.

Early morning update

It's 4am.
Bethany is sitting across the room...still wide awake...
we're laughing about watching the sunrise.

Josh is home from Iraq...
I heard his voice loud and clear yesterday
we talked about a visit soon.

Three guys brought us girls beer tonight on the beach.
We declined the beverage but offered room to talk.
They asked me to play them a song on my guitar, so I sang to them about Jesus
and then passed the guitar on around the circle.
They hung out with Wen, Beth and I for at least an hour
as we were leaving they asked if we were on a missions
maybe so...seems we were comfortable in our boldness to share tonight.

Monday, July 10

Living it up in St. Augustine

Beth and I are very proud to say that we have graduated from the oldest schoolhouse in America.
Yeah. We know.
The crew. Photo-op after church.

*All photography credit goes to Beth our vacation photographer.
Posted by Picasa

Read It

 Posted by Picasa