stand up!

25 02 2009

check out this amazing video that jay posted.  whoa.  i feel this!

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are you dangerous?

6 01 2009

“all men dream but not equally.  those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible.” – t.e. lawrence





what it was really all about a/k/a perception a/k/a less like scars

29 12 2008

2008 is winding down… lots of thoughts today.

what did 2008 bring to you? more importantly, how do you perceive what 2008 brought to you and how has your perception shaped your response?

“God is in the business of strategically positioning us in the right place at the right time.  but the right place often seems like the wrong place, and the right time often seems like the wrong time.”  –  mark batterson from in a pit with a lion on a snowy day (a book which i will be referring to a lot in the coming months)

sure, it’s cliche to say ‘perception is reality’, but it’s quite often true.  but the fact that your perception can often shape your reality can be dangerous, especially if your perception is skewed in any way.  if your perception is tainted, your reality will be twisted.

i love this song by sara groves called ‘less like scars’.  the essence of the song is that “time” is the great equalizer, and the perspective that it brings will often shine a light on what you thought “it” was, and reveal what “it” really was.

“less like tearing, more like building / less like captive, more like willing
less like breakdown, more like surrender / less like haunting, more like remember

and i feel You here, and You’re picking up the pieces, forever faithful
it seemed out of my hands, a bad situation, but You are able
and in Your hands the pain and hurt look less like scars
and more like character

less like a prison, more like my room / it’s less like a casket, more like a womb
less like dying, more like transcending / less like fear, less like an ending”

sara groves – “less like scars”

there is a lot of wisdom there, and that doesn’t happen overnight.  it takes time and a lot of spiritual maturity to get to the point where you can look back on the road that brought you to the place where you now stand and not only see it as purposeful, but truly believe that every moment was divinely deliberate, even though you couldn’t see it.  as ’08 comes to a close, can you look at what you thought afflicted you and see it as something that empowered you… can you see what looked like a scar and see it as character… intentionally and specifically designed to equip you for what you couldn’t see yet?

i believe 2009 is going to be an amazing and important year.  i strongly believe that if you look through the eyes of faith in ’09, you will see what ’08 was really about.





fear

14 12 2008

fear

when it comes to thinking about your life and the future… career, relationships, moves, life decisions, etc… i have come to realize there are two types of fear that are often encountered.

they are both rooted in “what if”, but they are very different.

the first is “what if it doesn’t…”, which can tend to have a paralyzing effect, keeping you tethered to the familiar.  the thoughts of it all falling apart keep a lot of people nestled in a comfort zone where, although not ideal, is consistent, predictable and safe.

the second and, in my experience, more powerful is “what if it does…”  this type can have an equally paralyzing effect, also hindering many people from cutting the proverbial umbilical cord, stepping into the unfamiliar and embracing the uncertain.  but here is where the road divides and the two are different.  rather than thoughts of it all falling apart, this type of fear brings with it thoughts of “what if it works and changes everything.”

i think it is the second type of fear that tends to be a catalyst to faith… when you no longer view your options as options at all, because quite often, options can be the enemy of faith.  when you realize that everything in your life could completely change and even though you have no idea what that might look like you are ready to embrace what’s next… that’s when things begin to happen.

some people have lived in a certain way or pattern for so long and have become accustomed to their particular situation.  they believe they have options and might do something different “someday”.  they believe that it is what it is, and fear of the waves keeps them on the shore.

then there are the kind of people who choose to shed the notion of options and embrace the challenge that comes with encountering the second type of fear, where the fear of the shore keeps them riding the waves.

i believe this was the kind of man Jesus encountered in luke 18.  how long he had been blind was immaterial.  when he heard Jesus was passing by, he knew his only other option was to continue to sit and beg… blind, and that really wasn’t an option at all.  surely he had built a lifestyle around his situation, one that catered to his particular disability, but he was tired of that.  staying the same was no longer optional, so he took a risk.    he called out to Jesus.

the bible says God has “planted eternity in the hearts of men,” and there is something about encountering that pivotal moment that connects with the eternal seed planted in each of us which challenges our limitations and dares us to do something we thought we could not do before.  something like… telling a blind man to see.

i love this piece by marianne williamson.  it speaks of the second type of fear… the fear that dares you to move, take a leap of faith and reach to embrace what has always been just beyond your grasp.  so, what if it does work and everything changes?  i dare you to find out.

our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. it is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. we ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? actually, who are you not to be? you are a child of God. your playing small does not serve the world. there is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. we are all meant to shine, as children do. we were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. it’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. as we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

marianne williamson





call me crazy

9 09 2008

i don’t know who wrote this, but i came across it earlier this year and find myself reading it often.  it inspires me. it fuels me. it provokes me to be greater, push harder, dig deeper and go farther. it makes me laugh when i hear ‘no’ and walk on top of what other people might swim through. it ignites my faith. it spurs me on toward what i’m here for.

i’m so crazy!

i’m blessed to have some equally or even more crazy folks in my life who also drive my desire to be even crazier…  here’s to all you crazies out there!

here’s to the crazy ones.
the misfits. the rebels. the trouble makers.
the round pegs in square holes.
the ones who see things differently.
they’re not fond of rules.
and they have no respect for the status quo.
you can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
about the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
because they change things.
they invent.
they imagine.
they heal.
they explore.
they create.
they inspire.
they push the human race forward.
maybe they have to be crazy.
how else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?
or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
we make tools for these kinds of people.
while some see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius.
because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.





ever growing, ever changing

27 04 2008

when i first set out with the gideon chronicles blog, my intent was to have outlet exclusively dedicated to some of my more “purposeful” and significant thoughts, musings and/or ramblings. i was feeling like I needed to narrow the focus of my blogging somewhat, and the blog you are reading is the result of that desire.

however, i have lately been thinking about this approach as well as the fact that i actually have 3 blogs… this one, myspace and my music blog, flava in ya ear. my blog and thoughts have been kind of segmented and it has had me thinking about life and how we can tend to segment and compartmentalize our lives, sometimes feeling overwhelmed because of the pressure to keep all the plates spinning, independently of each other. i’ve been thinking lately how absurd it is to think that we have all these different life elements that we try to keep separate from the others as if they don’t feed and flow into and out of each other. i recently heard someone talking about the term “faith life” or “spiritual life” in the context of people using these terms like they are actually separate and independent from the other elements of their life. after all, what parts of our lives aren’t spiritual or faith-centric?

that being said, i am going to be broadening the scope of the gideon chronicles a bit. sometimes i’ll be sharing something particularly purposeful, but i will also be sharing from the other pieces of me and my life that all flow into one another, making me uniquely me. it might be music, art, culture, humor, relationships, love, random thoughts, pictures, stories or any number of other things… but all together, they are the sum total of who i am striving to be and of the life i am learning to walk out every day… ever growing… ever changing…

hope you enjoy the ride…

if you don’t already, i encourage you to subscribe to my blog in a reader or
via email updates.

love one another.





excellence

12 04 2008

/// becoming… intentionally excellent \\\

why do we strive for excellence when mediocrity is required?

there is little demand in the commercial world for excellence. there is a much, much bigger demand for mediocrity. the truth is, I’m glad it’s this way.

imagine a world where all clients were wonderful, where we could produce whatever we felt like with no restrictions, with everybody having freedom to produce all their fantasies unfettered by tedious clients. what would we do?

we would react against it, saying, “isn’t this boring? how can we be dull? let’s do it badly, let’s make it ugly, and let’s make it really cheaply.”

that’s the nature of the creative person. all creative people need something to rebel against, it’s what gives their lives excitement, and it’s creative people who make the clients’ lives exciting.

excerpt from “it’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be” by paul arden

this is a great excerpt from this book. while the specific context it was written in applies to things of a commercial and marketing-type nature, the principle applies across the board.

there’s not a lot of demand to live and love with excellence these days. mediocrity seems to be the unfortunate status quo.

this is why people who live and love with such passionate abandon always stand out, are admired and sometimes idolized. these are people are go against the grain and say, “i refuse to allow my approach to life and love to be average.” they rebel against the low expectations dictated by the day’s culture and purpose in their heart to become more than what is expected.

is that you? are you becoming more than what they expect? no one was ever accidentally great.

mediocrity happens. excellence is intentional.

rebel!