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the dark's not taking prisoners tonight

It's been a minute.  Somehow we're 25% through 2018.  Somehow I've been at the paint studio I manage for 5 years.  Somehow time marches more swiftly by the minute.  I've heard that has something to do with getting older.  If so by the time I'm 50 a year will feel like 5 seconds.  Apparently time travel is a real thing.

Good Friday is the unofficial anniversary of when I started at the paint studio.  Unofficial only because I started on Good Friday, but Good Friday does not fall on the same day every year.  :)

I love Good Friday.  It's the day that we all need.  Obviously in the very real sense of we all need Jesus and Good Friday marks when he died for our sins.  But also in the sense of how crucial perspective is.

If we look at Good Friday on Friday, we see defeat.  We see that moment where you just stop breathing because this can't possibly be happening.  This can't be real.  If Jesus is the Messiah how did he let this happen?  What?  Why?  This is im…
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Resolve to be awesome

As with every new year, 2018 invariably brings along oodles of resolutions to lose weight, diet, join a gym.  If this is you, I have some words of encouragement and some pleas for you.  If that isn't you, most of these things still apply.
1. Don't approach 2018 with the mindset of punishing yourself.  Your body is amazing and wonderful.  Whether you're 100 pounds or 500 pounds or anywhere above, below, or in between, you are amazing.  You are created by the God who made the stars and mountains and trees and snow and hummingbirds and Northern Lights and pineapples.  That same artist made you.  You are a masterpiece, so please treat yourself (and everyone else) as one.  You do not deserve to be punished for not meeting the modern notion of how your body should look.  Your body is capable of marvelous things, work toward achieving some of those, like rad yoga poses or learning to dance, rather than beating yourself up.
2. Strike the word diet from your vocabulary.  Yes, diet…

a thrill of hope

Why do I believe in impossible things?  Because snow in Texas.  Because the Red Sox won the 2004 ALCS (and WS).  Because without fail the expectant yet weary hope of advent yields the birth of the Savior.I stood outside waiting for it to snow tonight.  From the first moment anyone dared mention the possibility of snow in the forecast, if all of the the variables lined up perfectly of course, my hopes skyrocketed.  I was certain it had to happen.  In a year of freak weather events, certainly snow had to be among them.I gasped as the snow started in earnest.  No matter how many times I see snow, it's always magical.  But it's especially wonderful in Texas where it "doesn't snow."  I had to hold back happy tears so they wouldn't freeze on my face.  But I delighted in this gift.  Thank you, Jesus.At youth group last night we talked about something in our lives that feels impossible or unimaginable.  As I sit here wrapped in so many pajama layers, a down comforter…

Let every heart prepare Him room

Why can't we put the nativity on the mantel?
Because the nativity is too big and it wouldn't be stable.
(Credit to my 14y.o. niece for inadvertently coming up with this joke!)Yep, there are pineapples on my Christmas tree.  I ❤️ pineapples.  And while there was nothing particularly spiritual involved in my decision to put pineapples on my Christmas tree, if you pay enough attention, you'll start to see Jesus in everything.Pineapples, in addition to being the finest fruit in all of creation, have long been a symbol of hospitality.  If you recall the Christmas story, hospitality was lacking when Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem.  The best the innkeeper could do was offer them a stable.  And so the King of the world was born in the humblest of places.If we're really honest with ourselves, though, how often do we resemble the innkeeper?  How often do we try to shove Jesus off into a small place in our lives and our hearts while we go about our business as usual?  Okay, J…

Harvey, You're Not Enough

I don't know how else to process the events of the past week and a half other than to write about them.  I recognize how absolutely fortunate I am to have gotten through the worst flooding event in American history with the scantest of trouble.  I do not write any of these things to complain, merely to process.  I am only choosing to share this publicly with the hope that my working through some of these things may help someone else.

Tonight at 6pm I finally mustered the will to head out to the grocery store.  The sky was mostly cloudy, which was a bit unnerving.  I headed to the store closest to home.  It's a fine grocery store, but I typically shop elsewhere with better prices and/or selection, but I really didn't want to go any farther than I had to.  Thankfully, in the wake of Harvey they actually had everything that was on the list in my head: coffee, kombucha, pizza, breakfast.  I didn't have the wherewithal to make a more useful list, but it got the job done.


Because a kitchen sink to you is not a kitchen sink to me

Okay, friend
Are you searching for purpose
Then write something yeah it might be worthless
Then paint something and it might bewordless
Twenty One Pilots "Kitchen Sink"
Absolutely love this song by one of my favorite bands.  It's not available for purchase, but you should look it up on YouTube.
I'll wait . . .
You know what, it's so good just go ahead & put it on repeat & then come back here.
You're welcome.
As a writer & a painter I really dig the lines above.
You know what the most important thing a writer can do?  Write.
You know the most important thing a painter can do?  Paint.
Notice I didn't say write the most amazing novel the world has ever seen, or paint the greatest masterpiece of all time.  Simply write or simply paint.  One of the best pieces of writing advice I ever received was to write everyday & don't expect that everything you put on paper is going to be worth keeping.
The same can be applied to every creative endeavor.…

I will tell you what I can

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. - John 1:5When the world is in turmoil, which is always even if it seems less bearable on some days than others, all I really know to do is to point people to truth.  When things are dark, the best thing anyone can do is to bring light to the situation.  I don't know of any better source of light to offer than Jesus, after all He has already defeated the darkness."Well you can't just throw Bible verses at someone's pain and go about your merry way."  I know that.  I also know that I have greater power to walk in compassion (literally suffering with) with those directly in my sphere of influence.  And you bet I'm going to point them to Jesus.  Because here's the reality, I can't heal their pain.  I can listen; I can be a friend; I can buy them coffee; but the only one who can begin to lift the burden of the injustices that everyone will face in this world to some degree or anot…