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Category Archives: love

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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Aspen Grove Santa Fe New Mexico, originally uploaded by carlmc.

I’ve been a big fan of Ken Burns since the beginning, we are soul brothers of sorts. We are both intrigued with the Civil War and Baseball, and now nature. I’ve been patiently waiting and now his new series “The National Parks” begins this Sunday on most PBS stations.

I was reading local coverage in the Austin American Statesman today and was floored at the title of the first episode “The Scripture of Nature”. Brad Buchholz states in his article,

“…Burns sees the national parks in a spiritual realm….He explains the distinctly American notion, espoused by Emerson and Thoreau, of seeking and discovering God in nature.”

I doubt this to be a uniquely American experience, but I don’t argue the validity of the statement for myself and my brother Ken. I also like the following quote from a park ranger in the film,

What could be more cathedral in feel than the Grand Canyon or Yosemite Valley? When I think of Sequoia National Park, I think of a cathedral or a mosque, or a church, a place where you’re not necessarily worshiping the name of something, but the presence of something else. When you’re in a grove of giant sequoia, there’s no need for someone to remind you that there is something in this world that is larger than you are, because you can see it.

It is in these moments that I too find myself connecting with something larger than my ability to comprehend, but not too large for my soul to embrace. No words need be spoken, no thoughts entertained…
just to be in the moment. My brother Ken explains it better than I can,

The underlying theme of all (my) films is love. It’s an impossible word to actually enjoy in any intellectual discussion. But at the end of the day, what these people are — whether it’s Abraham Lincoln and his ultimate sacrifice; whether it’s Jackie Robinson and the load he carried; whether it was Louis Armstrong and the message he delivered; whether it’s John Muir and the ecstasy he described — at the heart of this is love. And every single person we interviewed — and many of the people we quote — always talk about the larger kinship. They say: You’re part of it all. You’re connected to everything and everything else. And that love is the ingredient of the universe. It’s so hard to talk about it, because love is (so often narrowly defined) as romantic love…or parental love…or sex. But love is all these other things. Love is the heart of religion. The Scripture of Nature: Is it not but the highest love there is?

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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
6-9pm

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

Today’s photo is mainly for the grandparents and family, but we could all enjoy the poem that follows…

ally lollipop

The Lollipop Castle gleamed in the sun.
The morning just started and so had the fun.
Strawberry cloudbursts covered the sky
As chocolate rabbits saluted,
waving, with bunnie ears high.
Then the swans on the lake
began their sweet glide
their smooth graceful beauty,
they just couldn’t hide.


And awakening the lakes
in their midnight blue dress
they were the keepers of peace and no less.
So, happy this hour of dawn and delight.
Merry the music of guardians bright.
Loving the moment of fantasy true,
watching the cloudbursts way up in the blue.


The Lollipop Castle and
its sleeping children
rose from their slumber,
opened eyes, then –
ran freely into wonderland’s street,
and into the Garden of Wishing on feet
that ran all the faster for all dreams came true
that felt all the freer for beauty came too!


God watched His children
and tinted the ground,
in sunbeams and magic
and the beauty they found.
And He and His angels were busy all day
Watching His children, their garden, their way.


As the carousel stood turning,
whirling round and around.
It’s music box twirling,
it’s pure magic sound,
Filling it’s listeners with it’s great joy,
their laughter, till truly it be
the perfect found poem of believers who see –
That goodness and dreaming can certainly do
A lot for our kingdoms
and these children who knew,
the loveliest thoughts can come from within
And they be the ponies of hope there within.


So, prancing ponies strut up and down
keeping your heads high, know not a frown.
For you hold the cup of kindness and good
You hold our children you horses, of wood,
And they be tomorrow of now, any land
They be the promise of love in all lands.

April 10, 1970
By Linda A. Copp ©

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.

peace

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Ally Scooter, originally uploaded by carlmc.

Summer is here, last week of school upcoming. Ally just graduated Kindergarten…won’t be long until she graduates High School. It’s all a blur…

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Bailey Brings It Home, originally uploaded by carlmc.

OK, so he’s not the fastest cat in 4th grade. The picture is a little misleading. Notice lanes 1 and 2 are not pictured here. That’s because they are hauling ass down the track about 5-10 yards in front. Bailey came in a very respectable 3rd place.

Sprinting is not his gift, he’s plenty fast alright. Third fastest in your age group ain’t bad, but it isn’t what Bailey is really about. But, it’s still fun to see him having fun, pushing himself, trying hard, and learning the joy of competition. Notice the look on the little boy to Bailey’s left, nothing but pure joy on his face. He’s losing, but he’s really not losing.

Bailey you may not totally comprehend right now how proud I am of you, but someday when you have kids you will. I am proud not because you are pretty fast; instead I’m proud that you gave your best, and lived the moment.

“I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms….” Henry David Thoreau

P.S. Notice the kids cheering in the background. They probably didn’t even know who was running and if they did they didn’t really care who won. They were rooting and cheering because that’s what kids do.

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Waves by David Sifry

Waves by David Sifry

The post-Christian world has been proclaimed in Europe and is certainly making serious inroads in North America. I hope the prognosticators are correct, I am hopeful that “Christianity” as we’ve defined it in the west for the last 500 years is dead (or dying) so that it may be reborn, resurrected, redeemed for God’s purpose instead of ours. I have to keep reminding myself that the church is not the creation of man, that we are only here to participate in what God is already doing. We are here to provide witness to the beauty of the church and to seek justice…to practice love of God and each other.

Sometimes, I catch a glimpse of what it means to be the church in ways that don’t disrupt my sensibilities (I was not brought up in the church and I still get the creepy, heeby jeebies when church is being done as a proposition to be bought).  This week in Austin, I was fortunate to see the church being what I believe the church should be. A group of people who cared not for themselves, but instead cared only for others who needed them.

Tragedy struck an apartment complex in a consuming fire that left many families homeless. During times like these it is often the burden of family and friends and the Red Cross that provide most, if not all the help available to victims. This time was different.

I was checking my twitter feed that evening after work and noticed a lot of chatter about this fire from some local church leaders, Brandon Hatmaker from Austin New Church , Michael Stewart from Austin Stone, as well as  Justin Lopez.

From what little I know, Austin Stone ,who is moving into this St Johns neighborhood in northeast Austin, teamed with Ebenezer Family Church (Iglesia Centro Familiar Ebenezer) and stepped up to the plate to take care of these neighbors in a time of deep vulnerability. This is to be commended, but this is to be expected of neighbors.  But, what’s really cool is Austin New Church and my tribe Journey Imperfect Faith Community, and probably many other churches I’m not even aware of joined in this effort with volunteers and basic necessities. (If you are part of one of those churches or know of them, please leave a comment to let me know.)

I am not speaking as a church leader, and I’m not speaking for others and I can’t speak to how this help mobilized in other faith communities, but for us it was a couple of emails and a commitment by the group to provide clothing from our stash at the church and an agreement to go shopping for other needs. Wham! Just like that, less than 24 hours later our small community of people delivered on our promise to help. The power of people with the willingness to ask how can we help is I believe the unstoppable power of love. Like waves crashing the beach in succession the very earth is transformed!

And you came upon me wave on wave,
You’re the reason I’m still here.
Am I the one you were sent to save,
when you came upon me wave on wave.
The clouds broke and the angels cried,
You ain’t gotta walk alone,
That’s why he put me in your way,
And you came upon me wave on wave. –Pat Green

“I’ve never seen Austin churches partner in such a unified effort.It’s been amazing to see” -Red Cross Volunteer

But, I know this is the exception, not the rule. Otherwise, why would the Red Cross Volunteer be so amazed at the effort? I think we’re like the lost robot in this video; we need the kindness of strangers to help us get back on track, to help us find our way back into the journey we’ve been called to by our maker.

Once again, I’m speaking as just a guy who has not bought into any leadership or church model to redeem the world. I’ll leave the details to God. But, I will continue to ask questions of those who will listen. I’ll talk about that in my next post.

In the meantime, thank you to all my new friends and may we continue to bless those who need blessing. The seasons will change, but the needs will continue; so, may we commit to watch over each other, to listen, to love without condition.


ally6I waited for you my entire life, I did not know I was waiting…

but,

I was.

Since you’ve come, I see my past, our present, your future.

in your eyes…

I see your mother, perhaps that is what draws me still nearer to you, nearer than I could have ever imagined.

Happy Birthday baby girl.

Justin Dillon just posted an announcement to the cause Call+Response.
As members of the 21st Century Abolitionist Movement, we have a critical opportunity to seriously help former child slaves. $1.8 Million in medical supplies are ready to be shipped to care for 174 children saved out slavery in Thailand. This shipment is full of desperately needed medicines and equipment which will be sent on March 26th, IF WE CAN RAISE $26,000 IN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS. That’s a $70 return for every dollar invested. [100% of all donations goes to the shipment.] We need your help.
Please respond now to get nearly $2M in medical supplies to children rescued from slavery.
And don’t forget to add an “I Gave” widget to facebook page and challenge your friends to join the team of responders. http://www.clearspring.com/widgets/4900d1aaa4288756 With our gratitude for your partnership, The Call+Response Team

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