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Joe Jencks at The Warehouse, originally uploaded by carlmc.

One way that I’m constantly stretched at Journey is the musical talent brought in from across the globe. I’d never heard of Joe Jencks before today, but what an introduction. He had the house in tears on this song below. He’s playing a concert there tonight, if you get a chance check him out, or at least visit his site and buy some of his music.

Love is the Reason

There was a time when all I ever needed
Was your smile to drive away my rain
But now it seems that hopeful light is hiding
Behind a cloud of anger and pain

I thought everything I was looking for
Was right here within my reach

I think it’s time we finally take our chances
And let our hearts speak louder than our fears
Because love is all I ever wanted
Love is the reason I’m still here

Well the sage said to the fisherman on the boat
Cast your nets on the other side
And with nothing short of astonishment on their faces
They said, don’t you think we’ve tried

And he said, what if everything you’re looking for
Is right there within your reach

I think it’s time we finally take our chances
And let our hearts speak louder than our fears
Because love is all I ever wanted
Love is the reason I’m still here

I don’t know where our story goes from here
Too many pages left unread
Or how to carve a pathway through this labyrinth we’ve built
With all that’s left unsaid
What if everything we’re looking for
Is right there within our reach

I think it’s time we finally take our chances
And let our hearts speak louder than our fears
Because love is all I ever wanted
Love is all you ever wanted
Love is all we ever wanted
Love is the reason
Love is the only reason
Love is the reason we’re still here

© 2008 Joe Jencks, Turtle Bear Music, ASCAP

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Santa Fe Door 6, originally uploaded by carlmc.

Those of us fortunate enough to have a door, must pass through going to or from somewhere. They are all different, we are all different, what we believe or do not believe, does not matter. We must all pass through the doors of our lives as we see best, as our conscience/faith/morals leads us regardless of what we call it.

I found the following quote in David Dark’s newest book The Sacredness of Questioning Everything

“Every man should embrace those [dogmas] that he, being the best judge of himself, feels will do most to strengthen him in love of justice.” –Baruch Spinoza

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My friend Don Busby has a foundation supporting the fight against ALS here in central Texas and Austin. They have an upcoming event Flavors of the Town 2009

flavorsofthetown-org Picture 1THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

Help raise awareness & funds to support the fight against ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease

My friend Shelton is organizing a pub crawl this Saturday to raise awareness around human trafficking issues here in Austin. Here’s a snippet from the site:


Show up and help distribute coasters that tell the story of modern day slavery into bars, coffee shops and cafes in Austin.

This will be the first a several events in Austin and across the state.  Please join us at BookPeople, 3rd Floor, on Saturday, August 8. At 4:00pm.  Here’s the plan, we want you and your friends to come and enjoy an evening out, stopping at several different places over a few hours.  Well…with one small difference, you will be asking establishments owners or managers to “host” the coaster campaign.  “Host” just means the bar, coffee shop or café will take the coasters and put them out for patrons to use and read.  We will have sign up sheets for you to take down the information of establishments you visit.  On August 8th we will gather up at 4:00pm on the 3rd floor at BookPeople (6th & Lamar) get instructions on which establishments in which parts of town to hit and be sent out.

If you”d like to find out more, here is more info at What’s Your Response?

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The longer I live and the more encounters I have with other people, the more I realize I don’t know squat. And, the fact that I don’t know much allows me room to ask lots of questions and to make many, many mistakes because I know the graciousness of (most) people prevent them from saying to me, “What are you stupid? Do I have to explain this again you friggin’ idiot?” I have grown up in Austin and have been immersed in this culture of embracing the other, even if he/she is a weirdo from south of the river, or a yuppy from Westlake, or (insert subgroup here)…I knew from a relatively young age this city is different, or at least it used to be more so than it is now. Of course, each subdivision of the culture in Austin has always thought they know what is best for Austin, but in the past we at least were willing to accept the stupidity of our rivals as part of the deal that came with being an Austinite. Sometimes now, I’m not so sure…we seem to have lost our ability to accept the imperfections of others and ourselves and I think the city is in need of addressing this. When I say the city, I mean each of us in our daily relations with each other at home, at work, at Zilker, etc., etc. We seem to be congregating in our little cocooon’s afraid to engage the larger culture of the city in any meaningful way.

I don’t have any answers…just asking questions. It’s not what’s being said that I’m interested in, I’m more interested in what we are saying to each other.

Our little group has been talking a lot lately about how our values are expressed in our practices, and if we’re not careful our practices become so much more important than our values that we forget why we practiced these things in the first place. We all do it, we just don’t know we do it. So, sometimes we’ve gotta step back and listen to the poets and the artists to allow them to help us see another world is possible, another world is at work if we are willing to listen.

Scott Ginsberg is a business man, but he’s more than that…he’s a poet (in a linear kind of business like way). Scott is one of those ‘virtual friends’ I’ve come to know through this internetty thing. He wears a nametag everyday, has for the last 3,179 days and has learned many valuable lessons about people, about himself. I love this guy, and every once it a while he shares a moment of genius that applies to all of us, whether we are business people or not (i am not). He writes for the business market, but I read for the nuggets of wisdom that transcend genre…

Are you feeling a little high on the hog? Do you need a little attitude adjustment? Read the teaser below from Scott’s latest blog post and then the rest of the article and let me know what you think…

About once a month, I get an email from a reader who kindly points out a typo in one of my books.

This, in my opinion, is a victory. Because at least I know somebody’s reading. Other than my mother.

And part of me wishes I’d thought to include those typos intentionally, just for the purpose of measuring readership. But I didn’t. The typos are there (not because I’m savvy), but because I’m imperfect.

Even after writing nine books. Somehow, one or two always manage to squeeze by in each one. Dang it.

But I’m cool with that. Perfection is overrated anyway.

THEREFORE: Exerting your imperfect humanity is a hallmark of approachability.

In the words of U.S. Anderson, author of The Magic in Your Mind:

“When imperfectness enters a man’s soul, he is able to show that he does not live alone in the world, but with millions of others, in whose hearts exists the same animating spirit.”

What about you?
Are you willing to be an Imperfectionist?

If so, consider these practices for implementing a little imperfection into your daily life…

How to Be An Imperfectionist

“Stop trying to convince everyone you encounter that you’re invincible, unbreakable and infallible. Approachable means bustable. Approachable means crackable. Approachable means surrendering to your imperfections.” —Scott Ginsberg (The NameTag Guy)

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mixedseedsAlright all you church planters in Austin, I know you’re out there because you can’t pick up the Austin American Statesman without reading a story about a new church plant. What is your response to the genius that is Jon Birch? If you don’t subscribe to his blog, you need to because his no nonsense approach to questioning our perceptions about ourselves and the church is sorely needed in today’s world of churchianity.

I love this blog “I Stare at People”

She goes to local coffee shops and secretly paints portraits of people and her work is amazing, insightful, and playful at the same time. She often adds her own backstory to the encounters like the story about her schizoprenic subject in this post. I also enjoy watching people and guessing at their stories, watching their humanness when they are just being themselves. Anyway…if you like good art and want a birds-eye view of the people near downtown (you suburban wanna-bees know I’m talking to you) Austin this is a great blog for you.

Today our tribe celebrates its 5th anniversary as a faith family committed to each other and to the city of Austin. We are a group of misfits, of real people fighting addictions, trying to welcome the stranger, seeking to believe when we sometimes do not, and working to find ourselves within the context of the larger narrative. We are not like most of the churches in America, but we are a foretaste of the church that is to come…

journey flyer 1

journey flyer 2

We are not afraid to challenge each other, challenge the powers that be…to ask God some really hard questions. We are not cynical, we only seek to grow daily for the sake of ourselves, our families, our city, and the world at large.

“…redemptive skepticism is  religious commitment to avoid being swept up by bad ideas, especially ones that wear a godly guise and demand absolute, unquestioning allegiance. Sometimes you have to lose your religion to find it.”
David Dark from The Sacredness of Questioning Everything

If you’re feeling adventurous, come see us today or any Sunday @ 10:45ish. Our friend Sarah Hickman is playing for us to help celebrate.


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Here’s a great place in Austin to beat the heat…Know where it is?


I’m a visual learner, teach a visual medium, am bombarded by visual memories…

aspen_roadWe’re going back to the scene of the crime, 5 years ago we moved back to Austin after spending a tough but wonderful time in Aspen growing and learning who we needed to become in the next phase of our lives. We wouldn’t trade our experiences there for anything in the world, it has helped shape us into our present.

Every summer the kids beg us to go back, to see and experience what they can only vaguely remember. We tell the stories, they love the memories they don’t always possess…

So, this summer we’re going back. We’ll meander our way through the west Texas desert, up through the caverns, UFO’s, and adobe of New Mexico into…

the beauty of the San Juans‘s and our first love affair with Colorado in Telluride (I remember the cool evening of a July 4th watching the bombs burst over the canyon against the backdrop of Bridal Veil Falls) into…

Aspen to visit old friends and places including the ‘teacher’s ranch’ we lived on and the Woody Creek Tavern. The sprinklers downtown and the trails across the mountains will spring forth the memories and the stories and it’ll be good to remember who we were and what we learned in that place and from those people.

Then, we shall return home to resume our daily practices and for that I am grateful because we are where we need to be and not everybody is so fortunate…

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