Tuesday, March 24, 2009


south by southwest (sxsw) is a HUGE film and music festival here in austin. i didn't catch any of the film part this year (hard to beat last year's movie with casey and staci). but my roomies and i caught lots of music. i spent all friday afternoon at progress coffee hearing some up and coming artists from denton. my two favorites were sara jaffe (sounds similar to regina spektor) and j. tillman from fleet foxes. you can find both of their stuff on itunes.

saturday, we hit up lecrae in the afternoon. thank you for finding this michael fermier. michael also brought our friend luke that we worked with at pine cove. it was great to see him too! then we grabbed some quick dinner at east side pies. pies as in pizza (some where confused on this). and garlic salt on the table in what appears to be a parmesan cheese container is a cruel joke.

then we headed over to auditorium shores to see erykah badu and explosions in the sky. i was most excited about this because it was an outdoor concert and the weather was perfect! however, erykah was over an hour late and only sang 2 songs and the sound system was not right or something for explosions in the sky so it was hard to hear. on top of the fact that everyone around us was smoking something, weed or cigarettes or something. i mean who is still smoking in 2009? so after deciding we had inhaled enough second hand smoke, we jetted out early.

did i mention that all of this was free? ya that is why sxsw is awesome! here are some pics from the outdoor concert at auditorium shores.so many people!!
entertaining ourselves as we waited forever for erykah badueven old people can put their hands up...still waiting for erykah, notice it is dark now, so we decided to take a group pic. oh and yes that is jimmy mcneal. yes everyone knows him and yes he was on the news.

Monday, March 23, 2009


as a follow up to matt's sermon yesterday, the proof of spiritual maturity:

"if you love a person so selfishly that you cannot risk their anger, you won't ever tell them the truth they need to hear. if on the other hand, you tell a person the truth they need, but with harshness and not with the agony of a lover, they won't listen to it. but if you speak the truth with lots of love evident at the same time, there is a great chance that what you say will penetrate the heart and heal." - tim keller, galatians: living in line with the gospel.

living sacrifice...

1I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:1-2

living sacrifice. a term i feel like i have heard all of my life. we sing about it, we talk about, but for me, it hasn't been until recently that i have finally begun to understand what it means. i thought i knew what it meant. i thought it meant that i was going to have to make sacrifices in my life to follow christ and that he would love me for it. give up the dream job that makes more money or is more fun. be single longer than i planned. do some things out of my comfort zone. give up some vacation time for kingdom work, etc. but i had no idea, that i was way off. a living sacrifice is not making a few painful sacrifices here and there. no. a living sacrifice is giving up all semblance of control in your life. you give it ALL up. you lay down all of your dreams and desires, saying that they are rubbish compared to the kingdom. sure god gives you desires and dreams, but if they are something that you cannot let go of or that you must have filled, then they are hindering you from sacrificing all. oh and you know what else, a living sacrifice does not keep track of all they have given up for the Lord, as if to brag about it or to hold it over the lord's head. as painful as it might be, they leave it all behind so that they may know the fullness of the lord and his glory!

i have made my fair share of sacrifices in my life, some for the lord, some i thought were for the lord, but were really for me and my attempt to live as a good christian. but i can confess, that i have not been a living sacrifice. the lord is continuing to show me all the things i cling to and love more than him and he is actually beginning to sever them. very painful, but the most fulfilling love and pain i have EVER felt. i hope that you can take some time to think about this idea of living sacrifice. i promise it is the hardest thing you will ever do, but i am tasting and seeing that it is the best thing i could have have ever done. i surrender all.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

adele concert...

i got to go see adele not too long ago. most people have heard of her by now, due to her showing at the grammy's. if you get the chance to go see her in concert, do it! i love her accent and she is just so fun. great crowd interaction. she even sang some michael jackson and had the crowd help.

adele playing it up. did you know she plays bass too
my concert buddies. wendy, sarah, me and erin.

Monday, March 16, 2009

don't miss out...

we have been teaching our kids about about determination this month. this is what we are teaching them this coming sunday. i was so convicted/challenged/encouraged by it, that i wanted to share it with you. this is part of the email i sent out to my volunteers in preparation for sunday.

determination - setting your mind to do what god has asked you to do.

bible story: desert blues (40 years in the wilderness) • numbers 14:1-39
bottom line: keep doing what you should do so you don’t miss something really good.

this is a familiar passage of scripture. in fact i am pretty sure we studied this not too long ago. but it still has lots to teach us. i really want to encourage you to read through this and study it for yourself before you think about what we are teaching the kids. joshua, caleb and the other spies have come back to report about the land that god has promised them. all the spies, with the exception of joshua and caleb report back that the people are too big and that this feat will surely be impossible. all of the israelites wept at this news that night. they lost hope. moses, aaron, joshua, and caleb all called out to the israelites to put their trust in the lord. they plead with them to obey the lord and to not be afraid, but all the israelites did was threaten their lives. then the glory of the lord appears. i’m sorry, did you catch that?!?!? read numbers 14:10. everyone saw his glory there. you’d think that would inspire some confidence, but nope. nothing. the lord is pretty angry and even thinks about striking them all with a plague. but moses intervenes and asks that the lord spare them. (i am pretty sure if people were threatening my life, i would have let the lord just take them. start with a clean slate, you know what i mean. clearly moses is a better leader than me and truly cares for his flock more than he cares for himself. a great leader.)

so the lord does spare them, but he does not just let it slide. he rips into the israelites for their disobedience. he disciplines them for their disobedience. he repeatedly tells them that they will die and suffer as a consequence and that this suffering is not short lived, but will essentially be for the rest of their lives. wow! does this seem a little harsh? perhaps, but he is punishing more than just a mere act of disobedience; he is disciplining them for their lack of trust in Him. they are trusting in themselves. he wants to rid them of this idol, so (like jeff preached about) he breaks them for their good. they are greatly saddened by this discipline and they admit that they have sinned, but then they try to fix things in their own strength (keep reading the rest of chapter 14). They trust in themselves again. they think they have some control. moses warns them, but they do not listen and they are or course defeated.

wow! so what do we have to learn from this? if your trust is in anything other than jesus, you won’t make it. the lord loves you so much that he will discipline you, even severely and for a long period of time, to sever you from all things you trust in. over the next 40 years of wondering, the israelites had the opportunity to trust the lord as they lived only by the bread and water he provided daily. and just to clarify, this godly discipline was not removed by the grace that came when jesus died on the cross. god’s unbearable wrath was removed by grace, but godly corrective discipline like this is still how god works.

so as we teach the kids the bottom line, i want to make sure that we hit on a few things. we will miss out on something good if we do not do what god asks, but more than a reward (such as the promised land), we miss out on living a life that trusts in him and is not enslaved to things here on this earth. god will discipline us and even withhold something good to teach us to love him more. don’t be afraid to tell the kids that there are consequences for disobeying god. but be sure and tell them that when we disobey him, it is usually a sign that we love something or trust something more than him. and he wants to remove all of those things from our lives, so he will discipline us (hebrews 12). if we find ourselves having trouble enduring or obeying, we should really be looking to see what it is that we love/trust more than god. sorry for the mini sermon, but this is a great opportunity to allow the spirit to expose what we and the kids trust in more than him.

the process of transformation...

yesterday's sermon was awesome. you need to listen to it. i wept. click here and listen to sermon called the process of transformation. so worth your time.

Friday, March 13, 2009

repent and believe...

this is another serious blog, but you had to know one was coming. i have been learning lots over the few months. i will spare you all the details because they are messy, but i hope that i can communicate the lesson to you clearly that the Lord has been teaching me.

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."
Mark 1:14-15

a while back i heard a speaker (darrin patrick) at a conference i went to that said that the gospel is just as much for believers as it is non-believers. i was like, "well of course." but then he said that many times, we as believers don't live like the gospel is for us. i was intrigued. he said the gospel comes down to two things, repent and believe. repent and realize the gravity of your sin. we are totally depraved and wretched and as hard as we try, we will never measure up. so we need to repent. we need to repent of chasing after other things, for looking to something else to fill us, for desiring to be on control and in charge because we are prideful, etc. repent. i think i get that pretty well. i see my need for repentance. i see my junk and depravity. i have even begun to see the root of my surface sin and in fact i feel horrible about it. i have lived in shame. but this repentance did not fix my sin problem, in fact it only increased my shame and so i retreated within myself.

then comes the second part, believe. believe that i am fully accepted by God because of Jesus. believe that his grace is sufficient. believe that when he died on the cross he freed me sin and shame. believe that he is all that i need. believe that no matter how many times i play the part of the whore he still loves me and never leaves me. the gospel is the combination of both of these. a repentant heart and trust in the Lord. i err on the side of not believing. others err on the side of not repenting and therefore they abuse grace. they lack a true understanding of the gospel, just as i do.

now i have known these things in my head since i was a kid, but i thought of salvation as like a general admission pass. it got me in the door, but then i needed to do the rest. i needed to live by the law and ya, his grace was nice if i slipped up, but good christians didn't really slip up. and i for sure didn't believe his grace would cover me. i tried to pull myself up by my boot straps and fix all my own problems. i can see my issues, so being the fixer and the doer that i am, i set out to make them better. this is the gospel i have lived by for a long time. i would never say it with my mouth or teach it this way, but this is exactly how i lived. i didn't believe that the gospel still applied to my life now that i was "in with god". i didn't believe. i still wanted and had control over my morality and standing before God and others. i had forgotten that jesus died for me, he lived for me, and he now lives in me. if i am able to do the right stuff on my own, then i nullify christ's death. (galatians 2:21). i think i thought i was doing God a service by living a certain way, and because of that he kinda owed me. or even that i was making up for my sin, as if i could ever make up for it. again i would never have said this, but if you examined my heart, you would see that this is how i lived. but i am learning that i am completely sinful and fully accepted. that is the gospel. and for the first time ever, i am really starting to believe this. i can no longer muster up my own righteousness but i am finally resting in the fact that i am justified and christ's righteousness is my own because of his death on the cross.

so repent and believe. since i have not believed and i have rejected parts of the gospel, i have served other idols in search of fulfillment, even though all i needed is found in the gospel. (an idol is anything other than the lord that grabs my heart and i serve it effortlessly. we often don't recognize these until they are threatened) i have traded the creator for created things. i have looked for ways to control my world and my circumstances. i have looked to other things to satisfy my desires, which i feel are needs, but have really turned to lusts. then i am angry that god is not fulfilling those. so i keep trying to do better so that he will. but he does not want to satisfy my lusts, he wants me to know and believe that i am loved by him and that his love overwhelms any needs or desires i have. this news is changing my life. as the lord reveals and exposes my idols and harlotry, he keeps pointing me to his gospel and his love. and i think for the first time in a long time, if ever, i surrender. i have quit trying to do it and i am learning to believe it.

the lord has used the following things to bring this to light in my life and if this resonates with you or interests you or if i have just confused you, i would encourage you to check these out:

Galatians: Living in line with the truth of the gospel
by Tim Keller
When People are Big and God is Small by Edward Welch
Leading your Community to Gospel Repentance - Darrin Patrick's talk from the Leadership Conference

buds weekend in the atx...

two weekends ago, some of my college buds came to austin to visit. staci flew in from okc. ashley flew in from tulsa. becki and her fetus flew in from nashville. and casey drove on down from the big d. it was awesome! rather than writing a forever long post (like i have before) i am just going to hit the highlights and post a few pics. here are some of my favorite moments.

1. casey's massage story.
2. the cookie lounge + yahtzee. oh and i won, btw.
3. rock band for hours and hours.
4. becki having a contraction from playing the drums during rock band.
5. staci's huge bowl of soup from vivo.
6. the sr pic photo shoot at the arboretum.
7. getting to go to church and worship with people i love so much.
8. string cheese. sunkist. girl scout cookies. and honey mustard pringles. sounds gross, but don't judge.
9. endless hours of laughter.
10. the cupcakes from becki's shower.
11. our walmart hoodies.
12. 5 friends sleeping in one room.
13. naming becki's fetus teri. thank you bass.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

a man that fights...

i am a man who will fight for your honor
i'll be the hero you're dreaming of
we'll live forever
knowing together that we
did it all for the glory of love
by peter cetera

this song has been stuck in my head the last few days. i love it! i mean it is not the most biblical view of love, considering that we are fighting for the Lord's glory and not our own, but it is a much more positive view of relationships. there is hope. relationships and marriage are worth fighting for and working through. i think that brings some comfort knowing that both parties are willing to fight.

our church recently did a sermon series on marriage, sex, singleness and divorce. it was really good, but also very eye opening. our society sees relationships and marriage as something that will make them happy and that is it. if somewhere down the road, he or she does not make you happy, you end it and look for someone else. you have a right to. you deserve to be happy. i mean the bachelor this week was the PERFECT example of this. and it kills me that he didn't even want to try. he didn't want to fight. he just wanted someone to make him happy and well with the possibility that molly could make him happy, why even work through the hard stuff with melissa. just leave her and move on. you deserve it, jason. and i love that he said that he didn't lie to melissa. that he loved her and had strong fellings for her that day, but not now. i mean i think we can all empathize with that. some days we feel better and act better than others. however, the world tells us if you do not feel it, then it must not be right. wow!

the world has such a a flippant view of marriage and relationships and for sure not a biblical one. i can't expect non-believers to get it or to be held to this standard, but sadly i think many of us believers have bought into it. marriage is not supposed to be about us. (nothing is about us!!) it is a picture of the covenant Christ made with us and he NEVER leaves his bride, no matter how many times we play the whore, he remains faithful. no matter how many times we keep him at arms length or just don't feel it with him, he is there. he will never leave us nor forsake us. he does not feel one way one day and a different way the next. he fights for us and pursues us. marriage is not about completing ourselves but about being a picture of the covenant that God made with us. now i am sure that marriage has many benefits. i have seen many in the lives of those around me, but if we think that our spouse is to complete us and make us happy, well then sadly it will end. we are not and cannot fulfill that role. we will be just like jason, feeling love and warm fuzzies one day and nothing next and then we will wonder if there is someone else out there. but if we look to christ to be the one who completes us, then we will not look to others to do that and we can truly love each other, even during the hard times, rather than looking for a new person to fulfill us.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

what are you doing right now???

this is the question that haunts me each time i get on facebook. i feel like i should put something there, but i don't feel the need to let the world know all that is going on in my life. but i recently have come up with a solution to this. if you know me, you know there are ALWAYS songs stuck in my head. i am always singing. i love music. it sticks in my head and if you want to know the real truth i sometimes, no always, i picture my life to a soundtrack of all genres. i am always looking for ways to share this musical joy with the world around me. this combined with my confusion as to what i should put on my facebook status has led me to this idea. each day i get into my car, put my ipod to a certain fun playlist, and hit play. whatever song comes up becomes my facebook status for that day. i started this on monday with beat it. so check out my facebook page to share in my musical happiness. you can go ahead and picture me singing the song too, because it is likely that i am.

and to add to this status craze. i have joined twitter. i am also not sure what to put there. i really just joined because i like to see what others have put. but i can't just be a twitter mooch. i need to contribute. so each day i draw a new slang flashcard and type the definition in as my twitter status. i hope to increase the world's vocabulary.