Best Feeling Ever

I received a phone call this morning at 6 AM from the Austin Independent School District, a recorded message announcing that school was cancelled today for “inclement weather.” That inclement weather is a winter storm blowing in, icing over the roads and teasing Austin with a tiny bit of snow, a rarity for Central Texas.  …

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Morning Prayer

READING IN TODAY’S NEWS, One of the 29 people trapped in a New Zealand coal mine is a teenage boy who’d only been on the job for an hour when an explosion rocked the mine. Joseph Dunbar had celebrated his 17th birthday last Thursday, according to news reports from New Zealand. His mother, Philippa Timms, …

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Joy Ride (Embracing the Seasons of Life)

When I served as a youth worker back in California, we asked the kids at our church to give a Saturday a month to serve at a convalescent home. We’d scatter through the hallways, going into the rooms of the elderly, sitting down next to their beds and listening to their stories. We’d often strum our guitars …

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How to Skip Stones

By Paul Richardson
To me, wine tastes about as delicious as gasoline. Yet, having been a waiter for six years, I understand the wine drinking ethos. Most folks who order a glass of wine with dinner are simply casual wine drinkers. Their motivation is to impress their dinner companions, and they really don’t have a clue as to whether they are drinking something exquisite or worthless.
Some rare people, though, don’t just casually drink wine. They are actual connoisseurs. Now, I must point out that you should not be allowed to say the word connoisseur unless you can pronounce it with a French accent, which counts me out. Wine snobs … I mean, connoisseurs, don’t just put wine in their mouths and guzzle it down like a dog standing over its dish. For wine connoisseurs, drinking wine is really more of an experience.
Skipping stones is sort of like this.

ACCELERATE your MOTIVATION (without coffee)

Have you ever forced your eyes open on a Monday morning and dreaded the thought of getting out of bed?   I sure have.   On some days we feel invigorated and activated; on other days we have little desire to do anything. For many parents, getting our children to practice the piano or finish …

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Cheesecake Factory

The more I seek you, the more I find you …

One morning when I was a little boy, I noticed my mom in her chair near the window. She sat quietly, staring into empty space. She was longing for something … desiring, hungering. I asked her what she was thinking about. I will never forget her answer.

Surrounded by Infinity

By Guest Contributor Sharon Toews

What does it mean to experience “the renewal of your mind.” Typically I have thought of this in terms of purification or beginning to desire the things of God instead of the things of this world. I believe these are both common and valid interpretations, but I feel like I understood a fresh aspect of this verse today.

Our minds naturally function according to the rationality of this world and tangible reality. But we are exhorted: “Do not be conformed to this world,” or, as noted in my Bible as another possible translation, “to this age.” We are called not to be conformed to this world, this age, this blip of finiteness suspended amidst an unfathomable eternity beyond the confines of time and space and our feeble understanding of “reality.”

When we accept Christ, we are set free from previous worldly notions of what is possible, realistic, and logical. Indeed our whole being is being renewed and reoriented, and yet there is

The Truth Will Set You Free to Improvise

Today is Sunday, my day of REST. So its time to have some fun and think about something unusual, out of my normal life pattern. Rarely do I get to listen to some of history’s greatest creative prodigies talk freely about the creative process. This interview with Bill Evans (1929-1980) is worth watching. He was a brilliant and innovative jazz pianist, and one of the most influential creative forces in the history of jazz. His insights into the creative process extend way beyond music. In this video he is talking about jazz technique, but I’m thinking about my life, relationships and work. Notice his persistent idea that the jazz innovation emerges from truth. Here, an artist talks about truth in the realm of music much in the same way that a theologian talks about truth in theology. To me that’s

The Anchor of the Soul

 In “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for …” (Hebrews 11:1) In the closing weeks of World War II, the American cruiser U.S.S. Indianapolis was churning westward in the Pacific Ocean en route to the Philippines.  Just after midnight, an enemy submarine emerged into the balmy air and launched two torpedoes into …

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Improv, Creativity and Resistance

THE GREATEST IMPROVISATIONAL ATHLETE in my generation was Ervin “Magic” Johnson, the great point guard of the Los Angeles Lakers. When Magic was gliding down the court no one in the world had any idea what he was about to do with the ball. Whatever he did usually shocked everyone, including his teammates, and it almost always generated baskets.

As great as he was, it would be impossible for Magic Johnson to