Promise & I both have November Birthdays. This year I turn 29 and Promise turns 25. It’s here Silver Birthday and so she takes the priority in the celebrating this year. 🙂 Truth be told, I hope she always takes the priority!
As we’ve talked further about ‘what we want to do for our birthdays this year’, we’ve decided that we wanted do something with the celebration of life beyond our receiving. Trust me, we will celebrate, but, we want you to help us with the ultimate celebration this year.
We want to give our birthdays away this year. We want our birthdays to bring LIFE to some that may not celebrate another Birthday if we didn’t give it away to them!
We continue to discover the extreme need in the world for sustainable life giving resources. We’ve heard from our friend Scott Harrison and his team at Charity: Water that millions of people don’t live to see their 5th birthday. And why? Because they didn’t have access to clean, safe water. That reality has shaken us to do something. We need to not be okay with this happening while we’re alive.
So, this year, we are celebrating our birthdays like never before!!
We are asking for $25 from everyone we know – and every penny of the money raised will go directly to fund freshwater wells in developing nations through Charity: Water, an organization that we know and trust. Even better, every dollar is “proved” when the projects are complete, and photos and GPS coordinates are posted using Google Earth. How cool is that right?! We’ll get to see our work and giving come alive!! Now THAT is a cool birthday present.
Our goal is to raise $5000 by Promise’s birthday, 11-23-10.
Please consider helping us. We need 200 friends to give $25 to reach our goal. This is so attainable and we want to ask that you wouldn’t wait and consider it, but, that you’d join us now in helping dying people live by giving them clean water this year!! This is a party, this is a celebration, this is our heart…more birthdays for more people!
From time to time I want to post some of the music that we’re doing at Cornerstone. I know, for me, since Jarrett Stevens canned 7:22 @ North Point (only kidding jarrett), I’ve been hard pressed to find music online that we (as a team) can go and get creative ideas from week to week. Anyways, yesterday was a special day here at Cornerstone. A really good friend of mine from Nashville name Audrey Assad was here and helped lead music in our gatherings all day. These are a few of the videos from yesterday.
This first video is a new tune Audrey wrote called ‘Love is Moving’. WOW! If you don’t watch anything else on this post…watch and listen to Audrey’s song. Hopefully some of these videos will serve as a resource to inspire and encourage your ministry or life.
Today is one of those days where you remember the precious gift of your very breathe. I write this note as I’m just about to go to bed on this Friday the 13th, 2009 (a little weird). As I was winding down tonight the news popped on with a story and reported that a commercial plane had just gone down in the Buffalo, New York area. Oddly enough, I flew today and I also had 2 friends flying in to New York this evening too.
Immediately, when i heard the news of the crash, I had that ‘oh wow, what if that was their plane’ feeling. That’s a heart wrenching moment when your not expecting it. I shot out a text to my buddies right away and awaited a response. I finally got one back just a few minutes later. They had made it safe. Praise God!
The irony of the story is that I flew today too and so did 49 other people. The difference is for those 49 people their news wasn’t in favor of tomorrow for them. Their news was met with unexpected tragedy. For the friends and families of those lost in this wreckage it’s the beginning of a process of hurt, pain and restoration. My heart breaks for those people who now have to walk this painful journey of loss because of today. If you’re a friend or family of one of the victims and you’re reading this right now, just know you’re being prayed for in these days.The beautiful thing is that, if we’re willing to find it, there is great beauty in our brokenness. It’s actually a place where our relationship to God can become so simply, yet, articulately intimate.
This incident reminds me, as I get ready to shut my eyes for the night, that my days on this earth are numbered and I want to live my life in the fullness of who Gods made me to be in the Kingdom. While I have this life, I want to love well, play hard, work hard, cry hard, serve well and be an agent of change well!
I needed this unexpected reminder tonight. I’m bummed for the way I’m reminded, in the midst of this tragedy, but, I’m reminded that I want my life to count for great things here and now! What a hope I have in Jesus though. It’s a hope that rings out the anthem, as Louie Giglio says, that ‘even in death we win’ when we’re on the mission with Jesus. May my life reflect Him more today in this reminder and may the peace of God hug these families/friends so close as they wonder how to get through today.
Let us not forget:
Genesis 3:19 – Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return
While sitting in ‘Sweet Tomatoes’ with Ryan, Jason, Matt Maher and Kenny Butler, earlier this week, the dialogue was started about songs we think could work acousticly. We then talked about songs that really maybe couldn’t be changed from their original format. We all had a few thoughts and then the legendary Matt Maher (if you don’t know who Matt is…he wrote the song ‘Your Grace is Enough’…no Chris Tomlin didn’t write that…the genius Matt Maher did…give him credit!) just mentioned that the Hillsong United tune ‘Break Free’ was one of those songs.
Well, later in the week we just could not refuse the chance to prove Matt Maher wrong. So we did and here’s what we came up with for it. Also, don’t forget to watch the bonus video of the acoustic version of ‘Your Grace is Enough’. I’ll just say in advance, you won’t be able to ‘get enough’ of this goodness. Let me know what you thought…leave a comment! 🙂
Promise and I had the chance to spend some time with our good friend, Troy Grover (check out his website). and this link to see our VIDEO. He did a shoot with us while we all spent the week up in Seattle at the Tangeman house. Troy is an awesome guy and we ‘hope the best for him’. He’s gonna be an epic photographer. There’s this odd part of me that hopes he’ll be my future brother-in-law too. He’s dating Promise’s sister Aimee. Now, that being said, it may have been TOO SOON to make that statement. HA!
We got a chance to go out and around where Promise grew up here in the Bremerton/Silverdale, Washington area and I think we captured some great photos. Promise knows all the great spots in that area and she got us situated well (as you’ll see in the photos) and then Troy just clicked away. Additionally, we got to take the ferry over to the city of Seattle and can I just say, ‘I LOVE THAT CITY’! We had an AMAZING time celebrating this beautiful season that God is writing in our lives.
We’d love to hear what photo’s you liked! Shoot a comment over after you’ve finished looking.
first off, who did you vote for today!? did you vote? if you didn’t here’s my pole:
I had an incredibly awesome experience as an American voter in these last couple days. Last night, I had the chance to sit down on go over all of the candidates, all of the props and all of the issues. It has been a simply fantastic time, personally, to regain a love for this country and it’s possibilities. It’s been awesome to discuss with friends, families, pastors, right, left, moderates and more on what it means to be American.
The thing that I’ve most appreciated are the dialogues I’ve been able to have on what it means to be Kingdom Agents in America. I’ve sensed that a fundamental responsibility I have as a Christ follower is to vote through a Kingdom lens and to be a Kingdom agent with how I struck the ballot today.
I’ve personally had HUNDREDS of dialogues on this stuff and some of my favorite ones with Promise, Chip and Amy Neal, my brother, my co-workers and those of you who read my blog. As Chip and I prayed this morning, after we voted, at the end of the day God is still God and His sovereign plan is still coming regardless of who’s gonna sleep in The White House for the next 4 years. What a hope we have in Jesus and we do have a responsibility to reflect Him well, if we claim to be following Him, as we go to the Polls today.
The last thing is that I, honestly, for the first time in awhile, just felt so proud to be an American (can you hear the song just caressing your ears…hahahah?!). The above picture is of the line I stood in at 5:45am this morning with a bunch of excited Americans that were ready to vote. It was awesome! I love that we can actually be a voice for the Kingdom in how we vote. I love that I can discuss, agree and disagree openly and honestly. I love that we are FREE. How liberating. Be proud today and high five someone and just say ‘WOO-HOO, America’. hahaha. Is anyone else feeling me on this one?! It is such a blessing to live in this country!!??
Thanks to all of you that read this blog and interact on it and I hope to further be a source of great dialogue that challenges us to think deeply and respond carefully! it’s a lot of fun. I’d love to hear your experience through this process and how you felt today.