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Monthly Archives: June 2006

The College World Series started this weekend without the Longhorns. As strange as that seems, especially to us Orangebloods, it is true. The world can keep moving even without us in Omaha…probably a good lesson in there somewhere. However, as a tribute to my horns and their coach Augie Garrido, I’ll repost something from last year that caught my eye during the season. FYI…football season starts in 77 days, 3 days, 3 hours, 45 seconds, not that anybody is counting.

The UT and A&M baseball games were on TV this weekend and on one of the days they had UT coach Augie Garrido “miked up” so you could hear what he was saying during the game. I love that kind of stuff because those who have never been in the dugout can hear what really goes on. Granted many times it is not something you would want your little kids to hear, but I think Augie’s dugout is a little different.

An example from one of the times ESPN was listening in…The A&M pitcher was being changed and as the next two UT hitters were waiting and watching, Augie came out and said, “How ya’ll doin’?” in his best Texan accent (he’s from California, much to the consternation of many a Texas fan. He’s kind of like an alien to us…he drinks wine, uses fancy words, etc. Kind of like those who follow Christ…people think they are weird… kind to strangers, joyous in heart, committed to something/someone bigger than themselves…you get the picture). The kids looked at him with a smile and he said, “You didn’t know it, but my mom was a Texan.” And then he went back to the dugout. You’re saying so what?

I think this is a wonderful glimpse into the community that Augie has created at UT. Rarely does a coach expose his human side and joke with the kids, especially in the heat of battle. I listen to him each Tuesday on the radio and many times he stresses that his job is to teach this young men how to become better men, not just good baseball players. I’ve heard the same about Mack Brown and UT football community…that it’s about more than football, it’s about molding young men. It’s about meeting people under their circumstances and maybe leaving a little of your heart with them when you go.

Shouldn’t we in our church and neighborhood communities strive to model and teach our children in the same way? Shouldn’t we strive to encourage and hold up and show our fellow man what it is to live in the shadow of the Cross? If we don’t who will? The world only cares about how productive they are…not who they are. Maybe we should go ask, “How ya’ll doin’?” and really mean it…

“If we’re to be the light that shines for all of man, then how can we light the way if we don’t go to them? I believe to know God’s heart is to meet them where they are. In all that’s said and done, in everything you do, just let your life glorify the one who shines on you. I believe we worship Christ when we show the world His light.”
—lyrics from “Shine On” by Mercy Me

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Bailey recieved a gift from his grandmother yesterday in the form of a book entitled “Cars & Trucks…Draw and Color”. The book has various vehicles with sketched instructions on how to draw each vehicle. It starts with simple cars and moves to more complex drawings like firetrucks. He sat for hours working his way through the book and by 11pm last night he had drawn some amazing sketches using the book, a pencil, and his eyes.

With a simple, creative device in the form of a book he was allowed to explore and to learn. By encouraging his creativity and his love of drawing at a level he understands and is engaged with, we are allowing the gifts that God has given him to be used and in these beginnings we see a future of joy and passion for art that he will have the rest of lhis life. We have no idea where his gifts will take him, whatever those gifts may end up being, but we do know that by encouraging him to explore freely those passions he does have, God is at work in and through him.

As we begin the process of transforming our family ministry at UA and the arts are emphasized as the medium for the message to our children, we must keep in mind that the love, the joy, the passion of art is very important to the well being of our children. They learn, they experience, they engage the world differently than you and I and we must remember that as we teach them about art and beauty and of God and His creation. We must be careful not to become Reptillia, but instead to become more like CS Lewis, or JK Rowling, or JRR Tolkien. In so doing, we teach them to appreciate all that God has created and will help them to create.

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We’ve been on vacation and will be until next week, so excuse (or rejoice) the lack of postings here. In the meantime, here is a survey from our church on Big Questions about life. Please let us know what you think, it’s a no obligations, no guilt, no sales survey. Here is the email…

Hi There!

Sometimes churches (including us) give lots of Big Answers to questions that people aren’t even really asking.

Can you set us straight? We want to hear about the Big Questions YOU are asking. If you have a minute or two, would you mind clicking on the link below and telling us about your Big Questions?

All responses are anonymous when they come to us (we have no way of telling who answers the survey or anything about them), so nobody will be bugging you or anything like that.

Here’s the link:

www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=197672249223

Thanks so much!

p.s. If you are a member at UA, would you please forward this email to three or more of your friends (who are not UA members) and ask them to complete the survey too? Thanks!

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I was recently informed that my blog didn’t make the cut for the 9Rules.com network. I was immediately disappointed, and since we were on the road to Florida, I couldn’t check the list to see who had made it. I felt anxious because I wanted to see who had been so worthy. I needed to gage my efforts against theirs. I was jealous like a spurned lover and needed to see who the other guy was! So, the first thing I did when we arrived was to look at the list, the long list, 111 sites long! My first thought, how could there be so many and yet, still leave me off the list? I hurried through the list looking and there at the bottom was the Servant Blog. It caught my eye and so I went to see for myself. What an incredible site! It has a purpose, a mission, a movement to bring Christ to people. It is a ministry dedicated to a cause.

The thoughts began to swirl in my head as I remembered some readings I’ve just started (or re-started) from Brenda Ueland, from Guy Kawasaki, from Bono’s conversations with Michka Assayas. And, I remembered the encouragement I’ve received from some of you in my writings. And, I remembered the work I’m engaged in with the vision teams at UA. And, I remembered all the little, quiet ways that Christ is at work in my life and in the life of the church.

I have a purpose, a mission, a movement to which I belong! I have a ministry dedicated to a cause! But, the Simple Gestures blog is not the vehicle through which that work is going to happen.

This blog is more about me and my desires to encourage, to exhort, to share my joys in Christ in ways that I’m incapable of doing in my everyday relationships. *It is my expression of truth, of art, of love that has no other outlet. *

Great art, said Tolstoi, is when a great man who has the highest life-conception of his time tells what he feels. Then the infection is universal. Everybody understands it and at once. —Brenda Ueland

“For instance, I know people who consider themselves most refined, and who say that they do not understand the poetry of love to one’s neighbor, or self-sacrifice, or of chastity. So that good, great universal art may be incomprehensible to a small circle of spoilt people, but certainly not to any large number of plain men.” —Tolstoi

And so, now I think I’m beginning to understand. As Christ said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

This blog is for the expression of my thoughts on life with Christ. Nothing more, nothing less. My work continues, but the truth revealed through this medium is about me and my desires to share that truth with those who care to listen. It is not about a mass-audience. It is not about changing the world. It is not about anything but a desire to express the wonder, the amazement, the joys, the trials of life lived for Him. As Van Gogh wrote to his brother about the beauty of the lamp post against the water and the sky, “It is so beautiful I must show you how it looks.”

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When we lived in Aspen I became enchanted with a guy who writes for the local Aspen Times newspaper. He is funny, yet insightful and serious about his love for the town and the community. He grew up there and has a vested interest in the place and the people. I long to have that attachment to my community that he displays in his writings.
Here is a post on a trip he took with his kids to Mexico on a mission trip. Each year in Aspen, the kids do various ‘experiential’ learning trips and the trip to Mexico is a highlight for the middle school kids. I was fortunate to be involved on the periphery with some of these things and was witness to the transformation of kids and teachers and parents when they engage in ‘otherness’ with those who are not as fortunate to live in places like Aspen or even Austin. His name is Roger Marolt. Check him out, you just might become addicted to his writing.

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