Sunday, October 5, 2008

Artist of All

Holy Sculptor of my heart
in loving labour, man your crowning art
Life's greatest organ, tireless fist - first flex?
Began when Your breath did bless

From dust we came and dust we use
in various textures, layers and hues
Dabbing, stabbing, splashing, stroking
till the offering's altarized, drying

The greatest lens of all
resides inside our eyes
Yet with self-made lens, we scan your sights
Optic truth, our precious, never-realized prize

Earth cracking thunder
inspired kettle drums smashing nonchalance asunder
Wall of sound? A waterfall
Brooks and streams, variations on Your theme.

Holy Sculptor of my heart
This temple walks and talks, hope's others gawk...
but the only form that's truly pleased
is humble, broken, on its knees.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mother's Touch

So, I've finally succumbed. All my life, my precious mother has been trying to get me to cook. I've resisted with valiance and great success. She's at times said, half-jokingly, half-sadly, that's "she's failed as a mother" because of my culinary dullardry. Well my mother is no failure. She's simply persistent, and her persistence has finally won out Praise God!
She's spent the last two days at my place cooking and teaching me to prepare food that I may cook on my own, and I'm incredibly excited.

I've recently discovered the joy of eating as healthfully as possible, the way God intended, and mother's recently discovered how to cook this way at a new level. Lucky me! See, too often veggie or even vegan dishes you "choke" down. Sweet goodness, it doesn't have to be that way!

I'm telling you, I've never eaten better, and never felt better. Well prepared vegetarian or even vegan food is so incredible, it's like my tongue's discovered a new country. Okay, okay...but I'm lovin' it and I'm lovin' my mum for her time and perseverance. Tomorrow we're making apple pie...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pillars of Thanks

'Tis been awhile since I've memorialized the blessings in my life. And it's a shame because I forget so easily.
I was talking with my buddy Keith tonight about just this situation. He mentioned how the Israelites used to erect altars and stone pillars to remind them of God's blessings (like crossing the Jordan, crossing the Red Sea). The times that God came through, when they clearly couldn't. And I've had a number of those moments in the recent past, so it's time to erect a virtual pillar of remembrance to God.

I truly wanted to attend a conference on Friendship Evangelism in April. Couldn't afford it. So God whispered to my life coach Debbie these words..."tell people your dream and tell them your dilemma". Within two days I had the money, it was waiting for me already. And my dream of finding a ministry that fits me was realized.

I've begun to see the countless situations that God puts me in where I can be that sliver of light, He's given me hope for my own faith, seeing it blossom under stress. He's helped me accept the process of knowing Him, accepting that I don't have to have it all figured out, He continues to lead.

I've been struck in the last month how blessed I am to have friends that truly, deeply, love God. They also love fun. And the outdoors. These two joys combined with one of those life-altering friends of mine, James. At our last camping trip, on the descent from the view pictured above, we began "freeruning" at full tilt down through the forest...leaping logs, dodging branches, bobbing and weaving. The freedom of that moment, the joy in nature...that's good stuff.

I preached my first sermon last weekend...and saw God absolutely rewrite my sermon the night before. Amazing to witness a clarity of thought that comes after deep prayer.

I could go on, but enough about me, what about you? What pillar of thanks would you erect to God right now? How's He come through for you?

It's always a blessing when we remember.

Monday, March 24, 2008


So when I started writing this, it's about 30 minutes before I turn 30. I used to think birthdays were unremarkable, not worth too much fuss or time. But my bud Karel figures it's one of the most worthy times to celebrate and tonight I realized he's right.

Have you ever had one of those moments when you actually glimpse the depth of what it means to live? It's like getting a sliver of what God sees. Like when you're able to imagine Heaven and actually SEE it, consider the mind-blowing intricacies of a human body, or understand and experience what love -true, selfless, intoxicating, fulfilling love -is actually like.

A birthday is an invitation to experience those sorts of thoughts. One day, 30 years ago, the most wonderful woman in the world gave birth to a squalling miracle of life. I couldn't feed, move or clean myself, yet now I do all that (with varying degrees of success :) and oh so much more. And that development has less to do with me and more to do with those around me.

A God who designed this miraculous body that grows, develops, changes, each cell with a purpose...simply because He said so.
A father who's given me balance, strength and true comradeship.
A mother who's bled love and devotion.
A sister who's inspired determination and my love of a cackle.

An extended family that's been a pillar of strength and support.

A friend, a Nubian king, whose deep thoughts and authentic heart propelled me to late hours and the dawn of my spiritual awakening.

A friend whose leap of faith hangs on my wall. He's felt the fear, did it anyway and inspired me to do the same.

A friend with his own country and a list of things to do before he dies.

A friend of true authenticity, who I call one of my closest, despite only several days spent in person.

A friend of astounding vocabulary, her stories having unparalleled hilarity and sublime, sardonic wit.

A friend who beckons to the great outdoors, lives and breathes the nature God's set before him.

A friend, a mentor, a man of artistic passion, zealous joyfulness and one with whom I experienced my greatest moment of happiness.

Friends that I've hurt, yet received forgiveness and wisdom.

A friend who showed what true love meant, and "laid down His life for [this friend]" that I may know Him now, and thank Him for eternity.

Truly...I am blessed.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


I had a spiritual retreat with these brothers of mine in Lethbridge last weekend. It wasn't planned, but then God's blessings are often surprises. And it was more than religious discussion. It was belly-aching laughter, hearty food, and the open, frank discussions of men. God nourishes us in many ways, and we were filled.
To my brothers Yual and Job, I say thank you. It seems that some of the people who most often strengthen you in life, often must leave you. But I believe it's so that they can bless others, and so that you can learn to move forward on your own. It's then we realize that distance can never erase the bonds of friendship.

Thankfulness . : . THE Reason

So it's taken me a month to come full circle since my last post. It's been a struggle to let God work in me. Yet today I had a breakthrough.

I've been convicted the last several weeks that my focus is off. I realized I didn't know Jesus. I know OF Him, but I've let my friendship with Him completely slide. And today, I got a greater glimpse of Him. Pray that it lasts!

Have you ever considered what it would have been like for Jesus to be born? Here's the Creator of all things, giving up an audience of angels, for a painful, bloody birth. Imagine all of those first experiences at birth. His first pain, His first chill, His first yell. The one that stuns me is His first smell.

Jesus was born in a barn, laid in a feeding trough. The King of Heaven volunteered to save our world, and his very first introduction to the earth...was the smell of animal feces. No parent on earth today would wish such a birth situation as that...but God chose it and it humbles me.

"The heart of the human father yearns over his son..he trembles at the thought life's peril. He longs to shield his dear one from Satan's power, to hold him back from temptation and conflict. Yet...yet...To meet a bitterer conflict and a more fearful risk, God gave his only begotten Son , so that the path of life may be made clear for OUR little ones".
~ Desire of Ages, p 48-9

I'm not a father, but I am a brother to a beautiful, wonderful sister. And I know what it means to pray and fear for her well-being in a world that's bent on the abuse of women in all forms. So when I consider what it meant for God to send His most precious child, to send Him to "meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss" (DA, 49)....I don't really know how to deal with that. The risk was huge, Christ could have failed, but the reward was worth the risk.

After reading this, I asked God for a simple principle that I could apply to remember this.
And the answer came quietly, but quickly - "Be thankful and receive".

So thank whomever deserves your thanks today, it's all you can do to repay them.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Jeremiah 29:13 has new meaning for me.

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

The last couple weeks have been a journey of struggle and discovery. Mostly discovering how good God is and how little I deserve it. But it's been that seeking "with all my heart" that's been the blessing. I've seen how dark my heart can be, how being a Christian most of your life enables you to think "you're all good". You're better than 95% of the world, abstaining from all sorts of bad stuff.

But it's the pride of the heart that kills. That's the root of everything. It brought down Lucifer and I've come face to face with it in my own heart. Somehow I thought I was a pretty good guy. But alot of that "good" was for selfish, "look at me" motives.

What a gift, to see my heart for what it truly is. Because here's the kicker...for the first time in my life, I've finally actually believed, TRULY believed, that I need a Savior. Ellen White talks about being able to see the "length of chain that was let down for us". When I finally saw the deep hole I was in, and finally saw my need, I've been able to receive the gift of hope. Because until I realized what I was missing, I couldn't receive what I needed.

So now I see differently. I see the greatest source of happiness -- purpose. Purpose to love and be loved by the Artist of All, to share that love in the unique way he's enabled me, and to see the potential for that love in every single solitary person. Praise God!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Reunions are a wonderful thing. My good bud Todd finally got himself hitched to a ridiculously wonderful woman, Brenda. We're all college friends, so it was an awesome gathering of the clan in Portland, just down the Columbia River where we all met, Walla Walla College.

I was struck by many things during the trip. It's an amazing thing to behold the change that comes over your friends when they
plunge into the creation of life, God's stunning metaphor for love. The strength, the awe, the depth it brings them's beautiful.

I was blessed to share the search for meaning and purpose with friends, many of whom are older than me, a gentle reminder that no one has it all figured out, but we're doing the best we can with God's guidance.

I was blessed by acquaintances who opened their home and their family to me, to become friends. These are people who appear incredibly nice, and you find out to your surprise, they're even nicer.

I was blessed by the joy of having no other purpose than to hang out and be comfortable with friends. No need to "catch up quick", just leisurely chatting, looking at wedding pictures, walking the dog.

I was blessed to laugh...alot.

I was blessed to smell the fresh, verdant Portland air.

I was blessed by a bite of coconut syrup on buttermilk pancakes.

...I was blessed to experience Jesus, his sacrifice, my unworthiness, in the most unlikeliest of places.