i will not take these things for granted

thoughts on this and that in an attempt to live reflectively

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Location: Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

Friday, May 16, 2008

TAKE ACTION: China & Myanmar

Hello to anyone who still checks this blog. I just wanted to quickly provide a link to a page on CNN.com where you can choose from several relief organizations and make donations to help the much needed relief work in Myanmar, China and other places around the world...


Thank you for being generous to those in need. Many blessings.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Fortune Cookies

Here are the fortunes you'll find in my wallet. (Actually, you won't find them there, because you shouldn't be looking through my wallet!)
  • You are the greatest in the world. :)
  • Remember there are people who care deeply about you.
  • A friend will be important to you & your forthcoming success. (Definitely, but I would make friend plural: friendS.)
  • You constantly struggle for self improvement.
  • Your sense of humor reveals itself at just the right times. (I hope so.)
  • You are sympathetic to the problems of others.
  • Sometimes it would be wise to add a little chlorine to the gene pool. (I have no idea! But I think I agree.)
What are some of your favorite fortunes?


Thursday, August 16, 2007

An Argument for Environmental Action

As you already know if you've perused my blog, I'm in favor of doing what we can to take care of the environment (I've mentioned it here and here). Well, let me point your attention to an excellent, logical argument that explains why taking action is the best and only option. I think it's solid. Check it out and pass it on. And commit yourself to responsibly stewarding God's creation. Thank you.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Why should there be any starving artists?

Why, when it came time to choose a college and a major, did I, as a person with some artistic talent, feel that in order to put my talent to use and at the same time make a decent living I had to become an architect? Why, when I found that architecture wasn’t for me, did the architecture advisor warn me that in my decision to switch majors and study art I was taking the risk of becoming a starving artist? As an art major, why are media such as graphic design or photography seen as avenues to good jobs while painting, drawing, sculpture are not?

We reap the benefits of art everyday—from music on the radio, to TV shows and movies, to clothing fashion, to architectural design, to the books we read, to the posters and pictures and paintings we use to decorate our homes, and on and on it goes—yet art as a career is disparaged because it’s less lucrative than a degree in something like business or engineering.

But what would the world be without art?

Boring, lifeless. That's what.

I’ve been blessed this summer with a couple opportunities to travel—around the Czech Republic with my parents and around Italy (with a stop in Vienna, Austria, as well) with friends. And all of it centered on art. Whether enjoying the beauty of God’s artwork along the coasts of Italy or humanity’s artwork while craning my neck in the Sistine Chapel, or orbiting Bernini’s sculptures in the Borghese museum, or experiencing Hundert Wasser’s art and architecture in Vienna.

In the Hundertwasser museum, one of his quotes on the wall read something like: To paint is a spiritual experience.

It really is. Making art is very spiritual. As is experiencing the art others have made.

And God is the Great Artist. And we, created in his image, art artists as well.

We need to realize this again in our churches.

What happened to the days when churches supported artists—when they commissioned artists to create art to express the story of God in the Bible and church history and to help people to experience and connect with God? What if instead of just having paid ministers and missionaries, churches also had artists whose ministerial job was to create art and to teach others to create it as well—all with the purpose of helping God’s people to express themselves and their experiences with the Divine in their journey through life?

Could that not aid our worship?
Could it not help us to wrestle and mature spiritually?
Could it not be therapeutic and healthy?
Could it not provide avenues for sharing the good news with others?
Could it not serve as a vehicle for calling both the church and the world to more responsible and ethical living?

I think so. And I pray that our churches may experience renewal through the arts.

[And if a day comes when churches or individual Christians take artists under their wings, giving them the opportunity to create, I hope that those providing the money will not control those they've hired, but rather give them the freedom to create what they feel compelled to create, even if the end product turns out to be a criticism of the church or society.]

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Letters, Lots of Letters

Whew, it's been a while since I've posted anything, and don't hold your breath in anticipation of the next one, cause I'm making no promises. However, let me say that life is blessed here in Olomouc, Czech Republic. I've been sending out electronic newsletters every couple of months about my experiences here, and if you'd like to be included on my mailing list, let me know. Just get your email address to me somehow and I'll add you lickety split.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

Our mission team to Olomouc departs this Saturday, October 28th, for the Czech Republic. Can you believe it?! Please visit our team blog to get the details about our departure plans, and if you're in the Little Rock area on Saturday morning, come by and see us.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

24/7 Prayer Vigil

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted! I've been very busy getting prepared to move. We leave for Olomouc, Czech Republic, from the airport here in Little Rock on October 28th! It's less than six weeks away!

I've just expanded the the prayer support section of our mission team's website and now you can sign up to be a part of our 24/7 prayer vigil. We hope to raise enough prayer support to have someone praying for the team and the Czech people sometime during every hour of everyday for the next ten years. By signing up you're committing to pray weekly sometime during the hour you select. But, of course, in addition to that hour you're welcome to pray for us anytime!

Our idea for the vigil was inspired by the Moravian Church (Moravia makes up the eastern half of the CR), which in the 1700s set up a prayer chain that lasted 100 years uninterrupted! Amazingly, during the first fifty years, they sent out 226 missionaries from their little community in Hernnhut! Please go here to read more about them and to sign up. Thanks!