After 9 years (this week), I looked through 7 journals for some perspective. In doing so I wondered if I could boil my journals down to 18 images – pages or moments that encapsulated the journey. A few are personal moments of transformation, several are quotes (from others and the voice in my head), and some are moments that I couldn’t forget if I tried. I have always liked journaling because it solidifies those moments (some good, some bad) by which we define ourselves and how we choose to interact with the world around us. Each of my journals gets a title before I even start writing, like “It ends and begins and ends again.” They don’t have to make sense … they just have to remind me that life is transformative.Read more…
As of the 1st of June, I have been at FUMC for 12 years. In that time, you have allowed me the space to make mistakes, to learn, to grow, and to heal. For me, this has been a transformational space (which is why it is not hard for me to imagine and hope that it will continue to be for many others in the future). You have guided and taught me on my journey to be a good father and a good human being (ok at least better). I think being ‘good human being’ is just letting the potential God has within you come out. And I don’t believe that can truly happen apart from connection to God and to a community of faith.
In much the same way Paul did in his letter to the Philippians, I want to thank you not so much for what you have done, but for how ‘who you have chosen to be’ has encouraged my girls and me to become more than we could have imagined apart from the grace and love we experience among you.
One year ago, Scott described how wonderful it was for his family to have the blessing of growing up in New Iberia, I realized what an honor it is for him to have hired me, knowing I would be his children’s youth director. I acknowledge that sometimes we ministers can get lost in ‘the job’ and lose sight of the organic nature of this diverse eclectic group called our family of faith. As I journey back on the pastoral road, with greater passion because of you, it is important for me to remind myself and you of your importance to me, so that the power and passion of the following words are clear … “it has been an honor for me – for you to be ministers to my children.”
I tell you this for three reasons (and I am happy to step on my own toes in reminding you of the three). Read more…
Why be a Calvinist, when you can be a hopeful romantic.
There is an element of chance in life, yet it doesn’t overpower the importance of perseverance and dedication. Things change but it is hardly by chance. Chance is that moment of uncertainty after a choice is made. The duration of change (the emotional) is proportional to the amount of time between choice and action. Before I get to far off in the philosophical and leave behind the playful – the fear of chance is the moment between when my daughter choses to change the paper doll’s clothes and the act of putting on new clothes: nakedness. Naked seems to be a good word to describe the point in which we feel all our emotions at once – joy/excitement and fear/uncertainty concerning the future. I have been trying to express this in art … this is what I have so far.
These are 2 prints I did for the Youth at FUMC New Iberia. One is of the Belfry (bell tower) of the church and the other is of the stain glass window in the belfry printed on old hymnal pages.
I used to say with pride that I was a Texan, then I realized that I have lived in Louisiana for over half my life. So, now I say I’m from South Louisiana. This might have saddened me 15 years ago, but now I revel in the mysteries and adventures this area brings. Its just backwoods enough to have a great oral folklore, but modern enough to call it folklore.
Grace is often described in black and white terms. In the religious tradition I was raised, there was grace and then there was dismissal. With age I have learned that grace is experienced in a spectrum. Expressions of grace are colored by the giver – his/her character, life experience, self-identity, etc.
He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Read more…