Friday, February 26, 2016

It's got to go somewhere, right?

I've been trying really hard in this election season to remember the things the internet has taught us:

1. Don't read the comments
2. Don't be that angry guy on Facebook
3. We're all just yelling over each other
4. Elections matter, but they also don't matter

Getting hard to remember.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


So what do you do when surrounded by need?

You can't help everyone, but we are aware of tremendous need in our cities, our country, and places all over the globe. So who do you help?

How do you help when you are also aware that your ability to help is limited by your own flaws, sinfulness, and selfishness? When the attempt to help may also unintentionally cause harm?

How is it possible to understand issues and situations much larger than yourself, to get to the root, to know where to dig in?

How do you know your motivations are right?

How do you find ways to use the gifts you have to benefit others?

What do you do?

What do I do?

Friday, October 22, 2010


"For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."

2 Corinthians 1:5


I read this yesterday morning. Yesterday afternoon, I found out a good friend of mine had lost a younger sibling, the second this year.

And I wondered about sin and the brokenness that exists in the world. So often, I think that Jesus doesn't understand my problems. That because he was God, he was somehow not really able to experience the worst parts of being a not-God person. But if on the cross, he did not just step in as a replacement for sin but actually became the sin so that sin would be destroyed, I reckon he knows a lot more than I give him credit for. For in becoming sin, he actually took on the weight of every measure of suffering that was, is, and will be. Essentially, he felt an eternity's worth of pain, including yours and mine. And I don't mean he just got "punished" for it but that he actually felt it.

Paul says here that those sufferings will "flow into our lives," and I take that to mean that we should expect such things. A faith that banks upon a smooth life is one with a paper mache foundation. I don't know what to say to my friend Parks as he copes with the loss of his brother; there are no words that can bring him back. I'd just end up sounding like one of Job's friends anyway. How can I even begin to know what they're going through?

So instead of giving them some trite devotional, I'll just continue to hope and pray that just as the Carpenter family has had an extreme measure of suffering flow into their lives this year, they will also see his comfort flow into their lives, too.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Consider this your formal invitation

This Saturday (October 23rd), I'll be dusting off some tunes off my two good records - Alive in the Fall and the.broken.headphones - in an attempt to do my part in helping my great friends John & Tara Dunn raise money to adopt a child from Ethiopia. You may know of John from one of my other slightly-less-good albums, specifically the track "The Ballad of Tae kwon John" from Flavor of the Year, Volume One.

And just so you know, he's still working to become a ninja in his spare time.

So here's the deal: it's completely free for you to come, though if you expect to eat anything, you'll need to RSVP to me or to Tara so that they can plan for the right number of folks. I reckon if you're not all that hungry, you can come anyway, but as best as we can, we're trying to get a head count. I hope that won't discourage you from coming out.

More specific details:
When: This Saturday, October 23, 2010
Where: The UGA Wesley Foundation chapel on Lumpkin St.
Time: 6pm
What to expect: Expect some music from yours truly. Expect to hear from John and Tara about their hearts for adoption. Expect to throw some money in the hat.

Seriously, I want you to come. Just let me know.

If you have any questions, send me an email, and I'll get you some answers.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Who are we following, really?

1 Corinthians 1:10-17 NIV

 10I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas[a]"; still another, "I follow Christ."

 13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into[b] the name of Paul? 14I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16(Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.


Seems we still do as the Corinthians did. I mean, everybody's got "their guy." I wonder if sometimes it's good to remember that neither John Piper nor Mark Driscoll, Tim Keller, Rob Bell, Francis Chan, Andy Stanley, Rick Warren or [fill in the blank with your Christian leader/author/pastor of choice] actually saves you from anything.

I'm not hating on those guys, by the way, just a reminder to keep your head on straight.


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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Being Somebody – Finding Our Worth

Madonna and Self-Worth

by Russ Masterson

“I have an iron will. And all of my will has always been to conquer some horrible feeling of inadequacy. I’m always struggling with that fear. I push past one spell of it and discover myself as a special human being and then I get to another stage and I think I’m mediocre and uninteresting and I find a way to get myself out of that again and again. My drive in life in life is the horrible fear of being mediocre. That’s always been pushing me, pushing me. Even though I’ve become somebody I still have to prove that I am somebody. My struggle has never ended and it probably never will.” (Madonna, Vogue, 1990′s)


Being Somebody when you are somebody is easy.
But it’s also unstable because you have to maintain your somebody-ness.
What if you could be Somebody when you are a nobody. That’s freedom.

We love recognition. We bask in the glory. Some recognition is nice, floods of it warps us, and we shouldn’t gleam our self-worth from it. The justification for our existence shouldn’t lie in achievement or recognition, because one day we will fail, then our self-worth will plummet. Depression will arrive. The fight to never fail is impossible, only exhaustion awaits that pursuit. We are left only to find our worth outside of ourselves.

This is the gospel: though I’m broken, though I’m small and love recognition too much, God still loves me through Christ!

Our validity is given, not earned. The love is given.

If you don’t know your important before you achieve you will become a slave to your achievement or the pursuit of it.

This is something I've been trying to really come to know over the last year and a half or so. My favorite part of Russ' post is this line:

"Our validity is given, not earned. The love is given."

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It's got to go somewhere, right?

I've been trying really hard in this election season to remember the things the internet has taught us: 1. Don't read the comments...