Monday, May 23, 2005


"Believing is not that simple. Get rid of selfish ambition and expectation. This helps stay true to the story, stay real."
~Harrison Ford

i heard Harrison say this in an interview tonight. it really struck me.

belief is the core of who we are. who we believe we are, what we believe we are, why we believe we are. who we believe in, what we believe in, why we believe. belief, it is what drives us. it is what shapes us.

a man hobbles down the street, clutching a cane twisted with years as he is, never raising his eyes to see further than a step ahead. his hat is proper, yet dusty, cardigan buttoned neatly over long sleeve cotton shirt with a little wear showing. wool trousers pressed loosely with cuffs that sway like pendulums barely missing shoelaces which would surely snap with the slightest provocation. who is he? what does he believe about himself? why did you and i both just judge him?

belief, or lack thereof, will make you stand tall, walk down the street as a feather in a light breeze simply carried by the wind. not hurried, yet not lingering tooo long. enjoying each breath for what it is. no expectation, no selfish ambition. only belief that it is there. it is there for a reason, a purpose, though it may not know what that purpose is. the feather believes it has a purpose. if for nothing more than to be there in that moment, maybe it gives lightness to someone else just by being there. maybe it slows someones frantic pace. it does not have to know, only believe. and just be.

now what do you think of the man? yeah, my opinion changed a bit, too.

belief can make us strong, help us fly free, or weigh us down, drag us into further drudgery. depending what, or in whom, we believe.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

go see it, you must!!!

yes, indeed, i am old enough to have seen the first (released) Star Wars in the theatre, Episode IV. and tonight i saw Episode III, making the VI Episode Saga complete. (you know they'll be coming out with a 6 Disc Special Collector's Edition Set on DVD later this year - mo money mo money mo money!) and as my friend Johnny's buddy Chris discovered tonight, the super gulp (like 64 oz or a liter, some ridiculous amount) plastic cups they sell you at the theatre also serve as your own official Darth Vader voice modulator. no need to buy that special hundreds of dollars modulator! get yours at your local theatre for the bargain basement price of only $4.75, and it comes with free refills of your favorite soda! (Luke, I am your father. Buy some more popcorn to go with that refill. hey, where did that voice come from?) they could also serve as a makeshift urinal, if you didn't want to leave the theatre to pee (2 1/2 hour movie-be prepared!), as i pointed out, but i wouldn't want to try it. my brother says he has done this before, with a soda bottle no less, when he was stuck in a traffic jam and had to go. it worked, evidently with no "spillage or drippage," one of the advantages of being a guy i guess.

anyway, the movie is absolutely spectacular! truly! the cgi is amazing in this one and practically seamless. if you're a Star Wars fan, no explanation needed. you've probably already been 3 times this week, including the 12:01am showing thursday morning. it was good to finally see why Anakin needed the Vader suit (we get to see the first version, before it was upgraded). and my favorite part was when Yoda goes after the Emperor - he walks in the room and flicks his wrist, and the guards drop dead. man! you don't wanna piss that guy off!!! i still want to know though, why is it Yoda can jump, flip, twist, and fight like a monkey on crack, yet, he has to have a cane in order to walk? any thoughts?

the only thing we all agreed we really would have liked to see, that we didn't, is for Jar Jar Binks to "accidentally" get killed in some way. really, Lucas, it was your only mistake. forgive you, we do. we'd like to see some "alternate endings" in the aforementioned Special Collector's Edition DVDs with Jar Jar getting light sabered, or "me-sah tinks its-ah time to get outta here" then splat or boom or something blows him up or crushes him.

"hellooo gorgeous!"

not the cinnamon buns again!!!!!! bad taste can't be genetic!

hmmmm HMMmmmmm very strong, my kung fu is, today!!!

Dum Dum-Da-Dum dum-DAH-dum dum-DAH-dum
DUM DUM-DA-DUM DAUM-Da-dum dum-DA-dum

and guess what movie trailer i saw........THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE!!!!!! oh yeah!!!! coming in DECEMBER baby, yeah! it's gonna be LOTR type epic! whoooo-hoooooooo! hmmmm, one Epic Saga ends, another begins...

DECEMBER 9TH!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 16, 2005


i think my mom is about to have a meltdown and there are still 6 weeks to go before my sister's wedding. i was talking with mom on the phone today, and found our roles switched. nothing but fear and panic in her voice, almost a yielding, and me calmly but firmly reminding her that God is not a god of stress, or anxiety, or panic; that He says He will supply ALL our needs, not just financial, but also spiritual, physical, time, energy, emotional; ALL our needs. how strange it is to me when i become the advisor and mom becomes the advisee.

when i got off the phone with her, a scripture came into my mind: ...and we wrestle not against flesh and bone, but principalities... reminds me of John Eldredge - there is more going on here than meets the eye. we are in a world at war. i see John Travolta from the movie Michael sensing the tension in the air and his whole body prepares for the impending clash as he cries: Battle!

You better believe it!

then another scripture: For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Father, please take the spirit of anxiety and panic off my mom. give her peace. protect her. send your angels to wage the war going on around her and my sister.


i watched The Matrix again tonight. there was absolutely nothing on tv and it just felt like the right movie. there are so many correlations to spiritual warfare, becoming free in Christ, others believing in you even when you don't believe, and so much more in this movie. i think my favorite line (tonight) was from Morpheus: Don't think you are, know you are.

do i really know i'm a child of the King? do i know He calls me daughter, even heir? do i really really get that? can i even begin to embrace my calling? the new name He has given me - Beloved, Anointed One. can i even begin to get my head around that? what does that really mean?

Don't think you are, know you are. it's not about trying to understand it. just knowing it. believing it is the truth. the truth opens your eyes. it frees your mind, as Morpheus says. just knowing. believing.

What's going on?

He's starting to believe!

sweet Jesus, help me live a life worthy of the calling, as it says in ephesians. help me know who i am in You and believe. really really believe.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

"Put him in a bodybag, Johnny!!!"

so i competed in my first karate tournament in 8 years today. i saw a t-shirt on eBay (no, i didn't buy it, i resisted this time) the other day that said "Cobra Kai Dojo - Put him in a bodybag!" i was cracking up at it! it would have been soooo funny to wear that to the tournament! heee heeee heeeeeee!!! i may have to get one for next time ;)

i was more excited (and a teensy bit nervous) about having the honor and pleasure of singing the national anthem (brought out the pitch pipe-you can soooo get in trouble at the end if you start too high). i didn't know ahead of time that i would have a microphone, which really helps - don't have to push so hard. anyway, so i said a quick "okay, God. it's just you and me. just worship. just help me not embarass you or me (or my Sensei)" took a deep breath, and oh say can u see me totally NAIL that high note?! (oh yeah, totally took that last note up a fifth!) i was soooo breathing a HUGE sigh of relief after that! very groovy.

i said "thank you, Jesus" and breathed much easier. off to have fun competing! i competed in Weapons (forms with weapons), Kata (empty hand forms), and Sparring (point-style fighting/light contact). it's been 8 years since i last competed in a tournament. moved around a bit, no schools of my style nearby for a while. i started back in November of last year, and just was looking to "get back on the horse," if you will. i didn't really expect to place, though thinking it would be nice. i just wanted to go out and do my best, not embarass myself or my Sensei. i wasn't even planning on competing in Weapons, because i wanted to focus on Kata and Sparring, but my Sensei convinced me thursday night to pick something i was comfortable with and go for it. he said, "You can't win if you don't compete." true. he also reminded me that this is a double point tournament (you earn pts for placing, pts earn you a national rank in my karate style's association) and there might only be 4 or 5 people in my division. 4th place and up get points. so i said what the hey and went for it.

i kind of went in with the same attitude as singing. "lord, let this just be worship. me honoring you with my gifts. just you and me out here, God. me being the best me i can be." i have never felt so calm at a karate tournament in my life. it was almost a little too calm (you know?). i had a fantastic time and it was a very groovy day! much more fun than i've ever had at a tournament, even the times i won 1st place way back in the day.

oh yeah, i guess i should explain the pictures and tell ya what you've been dying to know - i was awarded 2nd place in Weapons, 2nd place in Kata, and 3rd place in Sparring! (in my division - 18-34year old Brown/Green Belts) not too shabby for my first tourney in 8 years, eh? whoo-hoooo! totally celebrated by having my first beer in months (you bet your sweet @$$ i did! - sometimes you just gotta say screw the calories, man! i'm celebratin'!!!) while supporting one of my buddies at her first Nashville gig tonight (yay katy! you rock, girl!). then i swung by the singlefocus class cookout for some free grub and to schmooze a bit, catchin up with people. i slipped out early, cause this chicadee is doesn't get up before 8 am most days and was feelin like an early (*gasp* yes, i said early) bedtime might be in order for tonight. i'm spent. sweet dreams for sure =)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

You Are Best Described By...

The Starry Night

by Vincent van Gogh

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

3 things you never talk about

girls, what is it about a guy paying attention to us and complimenting us that completely turns us from focused, intelligent highly functioning beings into distracted, scattered "oh what am i going to write today?" indecisive things of no spine mush? i swear, it is soooooo annoying! of course on the outside we're all about "what-everrrr" pretending we could care less, yet on the inside we're all giggly giddy skipping like a kid in the middle of the mall for no apparent reason lala-lala-laaaa heeheeheeheeheeeeeee.

ughhhh! stupid hormones. that's what about to turn 32 and never had sex will do to you. really messes with your head. we should remember what we learned in kindergarten: boys are stupid. i'm just a kid pretending to be 31? yeah, probably in many ways. i hope i always want to play with playdough and blow bubbles and fly kites and take hikes through the woods without a map.

speaking of no maps, do you think George W. had a map for being the President after terrorists attack the very icons of security we have come to depend on as a nation? yeah, i don't think so. being President has to be one of the hardest jobs in the world and i certainly wouldn't want to do it, to be under that kind of scrutiny and pressure to make the best decisions for not only our nation but how we aid and minister to other nations. i'm thankful we have a man leading this country who is seeking God's face. i'm thankful he asks us to pray for him. he's not trying to go it alone.

it challenges me to not go it alone. it completely humbles me that a new friend noticed, and shared that, my heart for worship shines through in conversation. it challenges me to live my whole life as worship. to let every thing i do, every word or deed, become worship. i know there's a song "...these hands were made to serve you, these arms were made to lift you up, i give my life to you in worship..." and this even challenges me further. just recently i've discovered new joy and how amazingly lighter my work load seems when i choose to let massage be worship. appreciating each person for who they are, how God sees them. not being afraid to use Christian music in my sessions. not being afraid to share my love for God in conversation. praying over people and letting God guide my hands.

yet i am challenged further to submit my everyday musings, ramblings, gossipings to God's authority. that whole speaking the truth in love thing again. and i've been reminded of Proverbs 18:21 that there is such power in our words. we can speak life or death. we can breathe life or death over people. what an humbling responsibility. my mouth gets me in sooooo much trouble. sometimes i really do speak without thinking. i yell obsenities at the driver that cuts me off. i interrupt someone's story with an observation or note of resonance when they really just needed someone to hear them, to listen to them. one thing i really took away from the BNC Workshop i went to was that so many times in life we aren't allowed to finish. we get distracted. we get interrupted. we aren't allowed to finish.

worship is translated in so many ways in the Bible. i actually tried to find a single definition for the word "worship" and there is not one single definition. there are quite a few words that mean worship. there are different kinds of worship. to praise, to bless, to adore, to sacrifice, to make an offering. all of these are different words, different types of worship. i want to worship by the way i acknowledge the guy behind me in the post office. the kind word i could speak instead of avoiding my boss when he is depressed. paying my bills ahead of time instead of (buying stuff i don't need on eBay and) waiting til they are actually due. doing a couple of things with excellence instead of a whole bunch of things just to fill up extra time.

you know, i actually started this post just because the same new friend that did the above mentioned noticing, said that his momma taught him there are 3 things you never talk about: sex, religion, politics. so i was gonna talk about 'em just because of the "never." because i'm in this pursuit of truth and daring to talk about what i was taught never to talk about. you know, the first rule of a dysfuntional family is that you don't talk. about anything. so i'm talking a lot. writing a lot. and it's funny, no matter what motive i start with, God seems to tweak it. change it. transform it. how can i not give what i say back to Him? how can i not worship with my words? He makes them so much better than i ever could. who really wants to speak death? to breathe death into someone else's life? He transforms my words so i can breathe life. so i can speak life.

thank you for challenging me, brother.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

to tell the truth and nothing but the truth

so i had a conversation last night after Kairos with a PLACE class buddy about the book i'm writing. she boldly asked me, "is there any way you can write this book without hurting your parents?" (Mike had been teaching about honoring our parents last night, and what it means to do that) while i totally didn't want to hear that question, i did need to hear it. i had to ask myself that question. and i totally wrestled with it.

my first answer was, "no, probably not. but i'm not gonna worry about it because it's not about them." i wanted to argue that this book is about being real, being true to the story, and i can't compromise the authenticity of the story just to spare someone's feelings. i have to tell the truth. i must be honest, especially with myself. i gotta keep it real. i was seriously wrestling with it, and myself.

after being thoroughly agitated with this question, i finally took it to the Father. i got real and honest with God, because deep down i do want to honor my parents-to acknowledge that they have value, and i also want to tell the story He wants me to tell.

and i felt God asking me what's this book really about?

me: "telling my story. telling the truth."

speak the truth in love

hmmmm. speak the truth in love. and there was my answer. so simple, yet so deep. because my love is never enough. i have to go to the source to really love people, especially my parents. God is love. i must ask to see them through His eyes, through the filter of His love. since God is love, i can speak the truth in God, the naked truth of what i might really want to say, and let Him transform it because He is love. then i can really "speak the truth in love."

that was a huge thing for me to hear last night. the challenge my friend issued, and then what God wanted to say to me through all that. because i really don't want anything in this book to hurt my parents. while they might not agree with everything i say or do, or may be offended by something i say, there's a difference between that and me directly hurting them. i can see that now. while i am not responsible for their feelings, i am responsible for responding to them in nothing but love and "taking the evil out of the world by taking the hurt into myself, and then take it to God and let Him transform it" like Mike said last night.

thank you, my friend, for challenging me to dig deeper, to really hear how God wants me to write this book. i was thinking i should tell the vignettes of my life from my perspective then (unedited) as it happened, and then share the perspective and understanding i have been granted now. i see now that there may be times where i have to let the "perspective then" become filtered through God's eyes so i don't share things that might be hurtful to others. so i can truly "speak the truth in love."

Monday, May 02, 2005

a little peek

yeah, yeah, i haven't written in a while. more to come soon, i promise. the BNC Workshop was incredible and i am still absorbing and processing everything i took away from it.

i actually wrote the first couple of pages of my book the other night, after the first day of the workshop. i've been writing here and there, bits and pieces, but hadn't actually put a "1" at the top of a page and started with the first line that i already knew. so anyway, finally did it. and shared it at the workshop. with good response =) and feedback, too, of course. man, that was a huge monkey off my back!

okay, okay, okay. twist my arm, why don't ya? i'll share a sneak peek:



Everybody has a story to tell. the words flashed onto the movie screen in my mind as i drove to work on a Tuesday afternoon in February. i could see them clearly there, on a page. i knew this had to be the first line of a book.

i was never really serious about writing a book. it was something i just joked about with my friends after telling them yet another story of failure turned success or just simply grace that saved my ass from being grass under the perverbial lawnmower once again. they usually say something like "wow, that's a great story" and i say "yeah. i should write a book about that one day." and we laugh and carry on, neither of us taking it seriously.

i guess i started taking that "yeah, i should write a book about that one day" stuff seriously when a title for a book struck me one night, The Late Great Escape Artist. i thought, wow, that would be a GREAT title for a book. so the next time me and my pal, the one that occassionally shrinks my head for free (you know you have one, too!), are sharing our latest adventures i randomly say, "oh, you know that book i'm always saying i should write? a title struck me the other night, The Late Great Escape Artist. whaddya think? is that a great title or what?" we both agree it is a fantastic title, of course. so i just tuck it away, still not believing i'm really gonna write a book.

a few months down the road, i'm driving to work on a cloudy Tuesday afternoon in February. words flash into my head, visibly on a page. Everybody has a story to tell. i just kind of simmer on 'em the rest of the day. they're not distracting, yet, i can't get the image of those words on a page out of my head. it's been burned into my mind like a computer screen that's been left on for too long. it is so obvious to me it's the first page of a book. i can even see the big number "1" in the center of the top of the page. i'm still more of the mindset of "me? write a book? ppphhhhbbbbtttt! yeah, right!" but there's a part of me that knows i need to do this, i am destined to do this, to tell my story. to be naked on the page in front of God and everyone, to be just me. there are so many people whose stories have influenced me, helped me along the way. it makes me want to share my story, too.

i want to be sure i'm doing this for the right reasons, so i actually say the words "i think i'm supposed to write a book" out loud in my small group that meets on Wednesday nights. this is really scary, because, you know, saying it out loud makes it real. and i share with the girls there that if i'm supposed to write this book, i really want it to be about the story that God wants to tell through me, not about the story i want to tell. and without me even asking, Tabitha prays over me for confirmation, which is totally what i want and can't verbalize because my head is still in the "me? write a book? ppphhhhbbbbtttt ! yeah, right!" stage.

we start the study for the night after everyone finished in their prayer times. we're listening to a Louie Giglio CD series. less than two minutes into the lesson, and Louie says the words, " know it's really not about my story, it's about God's story..." and i almost fell off the couch. i had just said that less than five minutes prior when asking them to pray about this book thing for me. i'm doing a double take, and making a note to self to re-listen to the first couple of minutes of that session after we're done for the night, just to be sure i'm not imagining things. i do the double check afterwards, re-listening to those first 2 minutes. yep, he said it. i sat there with my eyes bulging out of their sockets, mouth poised to catch them, air escaping between my quivering lips as i put my weight down on the floor.

wow, that was fast. i guess we're gonna do this thing.

and then other things, like a buying a new desk and a new computer, started falling into place at just the right time, just amazing prices, deals i still don't believe sometimes. $25 for a brand new desk that is now selling for $65 at the same store. $150 for a refurbished computer, etc. i even got a scrolling mouse thrown in for free (guy at the computer store said i was "just cool enough to pull that off"). talk about your ball, rolling! i didn't even know i picked it up. the process seemingly started without me and now i am caught up in this unfurling avalanche that is just clearing the way almost effortlessly. if there were any doubts still hanging around that this book thing is for real, i started kicking 'em out. but, anyway...

but, anyway. that's what my granddaddy used to say when he had gone chasing a rabbit in the middle of a story, to get back on track. i can still hear the grumble-crunch-pop of the gravel under tires as his truck would come up the driveway after delivering the day's mail...