Monday, April 27, 2009

Our Garden

Saturdays at our house are often spent outside. We cut the grass, pull weeds, cut roses and camellias, water plants, fertilize plants. Well a few weeks ago we potted some herbs, bell pepper and tomato plants. We have toyed with the idea of putting an actual garden somewhere in our back yard. As you know the first step is to break up the soil and get it ready for the seeds. Claire and I did that Saturday with only a grubbing hoe and her shovel she got in a kids meal at Chick-fil-A. Fun doesn't even begin to describe it! If we can get just a few meals worth of squash, cucumber, and zucchini, then it will all be worth it, but right now I am extremely sore.
This was the best image I could find of the grubbing hoe I used, perhaps because the one I used is easily older than I am. I'm not sure if our garden will look like this one, but here's wishing it might!

Friday, April 24, 2009

This and That

Rob Bell is the influential yet controversial pastor of Mars Hill in Michigan. His influence through his Nooma Video series and his books has been far reaching. Here is a link to a Christianity Today interview .

I also finished Run With The Horsemen last night. A wonderful contemporary southern novel. It has a similar feel to The Catcher in the Rye. A great read for the summer.

Cyd and I had some friends over for dinner last night. It was a wonderful time, even with two wild children running around at times! We enjoyed getting to catch up with them and reconnect. Tonight we have a Sunday school class fellowship that we are excited about. Hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Miller Time Above is a link to a review on the new album by Buddy and Julie Miller. Both are talented songwriters and musicians in their own right but have gained more notiority by supporting other musicians like Emmylou Harris and Bill Mallonee. I haven't heard the CD yet, but I can guarantee that it will be a great one.

A Day at the Farm

Thursday we went to my uncle's farm house in just outside Metter. We had a great time getting to see my two uncles on my Dad's side of the family. Claire loved riding on the 4-wheeler and the Mule. She did a little fishing, she actually caught 2 nice size bream within five minutes of putting her princess pole in the water. She did NOT like the dogs, especially the German Shepherd, but she survived. We had some great food: ribs, quail, catfish, etc. My uncle Allen gave me an old pair of his Costas and some great ABC (his roofing and sheet metal company) t-shirts. It was a great day! I realized how much I missed seeing my uncles.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Went Down to the Sea

I read this today in The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis and it fit really well with what I taught on tonight, Matthew 9:9-13. It's been bouncing around in my mind all day.
This is my endlessly recurrent temptation: to go down to that Sea (I think St. John of the Cross called God a sea) and there neither dive nor swim nor float, but only dabble and splash, careful not to get out of my depth and holding on to the lifeline which connects me with my things temporal.

It really makes you rethink what it means to call oneself a disciple and to follow Jesus, no strings attached, wherever he leads...

Movies and Motown

Last night Claire and I went to Movies and Motown presented by the Statesboro High School Chorus. It was a wonderful production. It was evident that Lisa Muldrew, the director, had invested in the students and worked hard with them learning their music. We had a handful of students in the show, so it was great watching them perform with excitement and enthusiasm. One of my students, Jessie Mooney, had a "solo". Actually she rapped in "Joyful, Joyful" from Sister Act 2. She and all of the students did a great job.

The evening reminded me of my days in the school chorus and showchoir...what a blast!!

I think my favorite numbers where "Joyful, Joyful" and "Proud Mary". My favorite singer, however might have been the faculty member sitting near me who was really, really, into the rhythm of the music.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Post-Easter Thoughts

In Mark 16:15 Jesus says, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."

How do we live in light of the resurrection? In light of Easter? Jesus told the apostles go into all creation, your world, the world outside your world and preach the good news, the Son of God who came, lived, died and rose again that we might have eternal life. St. Francis of Assisi said, "Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." To live in the light of Easter and the resurrection is for us to live out our faith and preach the good news of a life of love and faith, hope and joy in the presence of Almighty God.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

There is a quote from Frederick Buechner that I love. It goes something like this...The Lotus, the Crescent Moon, the symbols of other religions suggest life, the Cross, the symbol of Christianity was an instrument of death, it suggests at the very least, HOPE.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Song

I know I mention the work of Bill Mallonee quite a lot here, but I can't think of one artist who has shaped me more than he has. He has written a new song, an Easter Song, that is really, really poignant. It's a great reminder of the weekend that we are getting ready to celebrate as Christians. You can listen to it at Be sure to check it out.

I posted the lyrics below from Bill's Facebook page.

music/words: bill mallonee BMI 2009

I heard you were mother’s pride and joy
she was pretty young when she had that baby boy
you were up against the powers and down with the man at the start
You had a hunger in your belly and the fire in side your heart

you said mysterious things like: “living looks more like dying.”
Now, you’re coming outta hiding (x2)

I heard they called your mother ’bout every name under the sun
I heard you turned your cheek a lot and bit your tongue
you had a knack for making friends who couldn’t pay you back
spending your coins on the wrong side of the tracks

picking up the tab after wining and dining
now, you’re coming outta hiding (x2)

spent some time in the underground just to get the lay of the land
spent some time with the sick to take them all on vacation
spent some time in the jail just to let the prisoners loose
spent some time on the gallows just to cut the hangman’s noose

all of these reversals are kinda exciting
now you’re coming outta hiding (x2)

I heard they kicked you to curb when your show went down like a storm
heard they stole your crown and gave you one of thorns
you when love gets close it can be perceived as a threat
and God you know we’ve got so much to protect

Still it looks like love is always and ever abiding
and you’re coming outta hiding

Some Favorites from the Last Month

Claire wearing my t-shirt from high school with all the fall sports rosters printed on it. The bottom is her pointing to my name. She thought it was really funny that our name was on a shirt.

Charlotte and Claire helped Papa Ted plow the garden. I promise they love riding on the tractor, even though you wouldn't know it by looking at these shots.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I had a professor in college tell our ethics class that he would give anyone an A who could come up with just one original thought. Nevertheless no one was able to come away with an A for their original thought. I never really thought much about that statement other than it being an amusing collegiate anecdote until this afternoon while I was doing some studying. C.S. Lewis in one of his addresses included in The Weight of Glory says this, "No man who values originality will ever be original. But try to tell the truth as you see it, try to do any bit of work as well as it can be done for the work's sake, and what men call originality will come unsought." There is a great truth in this statement that I have heard over and over again in life, do the best you can at telling your story and living your life, whatever that entails, then you can be used to accomplish great things for God. God calls us to all sorts of different vocations. There isn't a hierarchy of holy callings, rather each one finds the holiness of his or her calling as they do it well. Most people aren't going to reinvent the wheel in our respective vocations, it just isn't necessary, but we can be faithful at proclaiming God's truth in our lives and our vocations wherever we are, it is in doing this that we stumble upon something original and grand.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Who Defines Your Self-Worth?

I have worked with students in some capacity for the last 13 years and I have found one theme that surfaces in their lives over and over again, self-worth. Self-image and self-esteem impact the guys and the girls, the younger students and the older students. No one is immune. I have also found that this area of concern both for students and the ones that care for and work with them has multiplied exponentially. A recent statistic I came across said that 84% of TV sitcoms have sexual content in them. The growing trend of students asking for plastic surgery for their graduation present or even earlier, the support of parents to provide "safe" environments for alcohol and sex in their homes is alarming to me. The media and the culture in which teenagers find themselves immersed in are sending strong messages about who and what defines their self-worth. Body image issues, diet and exercise issues, popularity issues all strike at the core of a person's self-worth. And yet, I can't help but be reminded about what scripture teaches "All of us are what you made us," says Isaiah. David says, "You formed me in my mother's womb... Body and soul, I am marvelously made." Paul says, "We are God's workmanship, his masterpiece." John reminds us that the Father has lavished us with his love. The challenge for students and adults alike, is to see themselves as God sees them, and to allow God's view of us to define our self-worth NOT the media and culture around us. Like great pieces of art by Van Gogh, Picasso, and others God has made each of us unique and perfect in our own right, for he is the artist that defines our self-worth.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

VOL Live at Eddie's Attic

Vigilantes of Love have a new release!! A live disc, recorded earlier this year at Eddie's Attic, a great music venue in Decatur, GA. In college Cyd and I drove up to Decatur to catch a VOL show that was utterly amazing. An intimate setting but a club that has helped a lot of folks in the greater Atlanta area get some coverage and recognition. I wanted to make it to this show, but we just couldn't make it work. The CD is available at for only $4.50, a steal to say the least. The newly reformed band is a great mix and balance of their earlier sound with a heaping dose of Bill Mallonee's solo work of the last several years. It just might surpass the VOL live at the 40 Watt in my book. I was listening to it as I finish getting things ready for Wednesday night and realized I hadn't written about it yet.

The thing that's yours for free
Is the thing I need the most
Oh, stifles every boast, every boast
And this thing we cannot speak of
To painful to behold
Oh, this blister soul