The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

“The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.”

From the first moment I found out about the passing of Robin Williams, this line has been stuck in my head. Over and over and over it plays.

“The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.” Continue reading

On Being Immortal

“A man searches for something that will outlast his life. For immortality of a kind. For a way to change the world, to have his life matter” ~Orson Scott Card, Shadow Puppets

This morning, I just want to give you something to think about. What are you leaving behind that will outlast you?

The God of this City?

There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God

For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater thing have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
~ “God of This City” by Chris Tomlin

We sing these words, we raise our hands, and we close our eyes. And it’s a great song.

But do we believe it?

Do we really believe that He is the God of this city? Do we really think that greater things have yet to come & will still be done? Continue reading

The Edge of Your Comfort Zone

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”

I don’t really like discomfort. I don’t think anyone does.

Some of us find comfort in different things, so things that are uncomfortable for me, are very comfortable for others.

But life is boring when you are comfortable.

Think about it. If you sit in a big, comfy, chair all day, every day, what happens to you? You get fat. You become lethargic. Apathetic. You stop living. You die early.

Getting up and running or doing something physical isn’t comfortable. But it is so necessary for life.

The same is true of us mentally and spiritually. If we never get up and do something to exercise our brains, our spirit, our souls, then we become comfortable, and eventually we get spiritually fat, lethargic, apathetic, and lifeless.

Your life begins at the edge of your comfort zone. You need to get out beyond what you want to do, what you feel comfortable with.

Take a risk.

Do something dangerous.

Be wild.

Be crazy.

It’s the crazy ones who push to the edge of their comfort zone, and beyond, that will change the world.

Such A Time As This

He’s calling
Wake up child, It’s your turn to shine
You were born for such a time as this.
~ “The Anthem” by Jake Hamilton

Yesterday morning I took a friend to work, and as we were talking on the drive in, he said to me “Joel, I feel like this year is going to be a defining year for me.”

I have been feeling the same way as I have been thinking about this year. I feel like this is going to be a year where God defines and grows so many things in me. It’s awesome, it’s scary. Continue reading

Life and Love and Death

There is a sacredness in tears.
They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.
They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.
They are messengers of overwhelming grief…
and unspeakable love.
~ Washington Irving

This weekend was a whirlwind of a weekend. A weekend of polar opposites, yet of things so closely linked together.

Saturday I was at a wedding. A celebration of love. It was the wedding of two very unique individuals, and their personalities were reflected in the ceremony. There was this new life beginning in love. A life together, of two becoming one. And then I had plans on Sunday to go meet with two friends who are getting married. I am doing sound for their wedding, so I was meeting with them to talk about music and all that. I began Sunday morning coming out of one celebration of life and love, and preparing for another.

Then, in a split second, it all changed.
Continue reading

Our Greatest Fear

“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.”

This is probably one of my favorite quotes right now. Last night at youth group, Jonathan talked about dreams, and living out our dreams, and he said “The issue isn’t that we set the bar too high and fail, it’s that we set the bar too low and succeed”

We take these big dreams our ours, and we say “I can’t do that”. We say “That’s too big, I’m going to just set my bar lower, because I don’t deserve to shine.”

Last night was the best night for me to be my last night as a youth leader, because I got to see one of our students big dreams become something he never thought it would be. He had a dream to mobilize teens to make a difference for different causes around the world, so he started a thing called TMAD (Teens Making A Difference), and decided that he was going to focus first on helping organizations that are fighting child sex slavery. But then things stalled. He pushed to work on things, but nothing came of it. No one helped with the things he needed help with. Last night, we were able to help him achieve his dream by supplying him with one of his first steps…

One of his first steps to help raise the initial funds was to sell TMAD t-shirts. Without him knowing, we bought him t-shirts, so that way 100% of the sales from them can go to helping him with his idea’s.

He set his bar high. And he’s hit it. (please, take a minute and visit TMAD’s facebook page, you can find more info there, as well as pics of their new t-shirts)

As I begin to move away from youth ministry (which I talk about here) and into new things at work and at the church, I’m beginning to realize how much I hid behind “what I’ve always done”. I’ve set my bar low to something I know I can do, and even worse, I’ve succeded in it. I’ve said “I am not brillant”.

So as I step out into this realm of not knowing whats coming next, and preparing for the future, I want to take a page out of one of the youth’s book, and I want to set my bar high. I want to shine my light, and free others to do the same!