December 3, 2008
1 Comment

I believe a lot of living in community is knowing of what is happening outside of your own community of faith.

I had dinner with Steve “Hoose” Husmann the other night. He’s been a good friend of mine since freshman year shenanigans back at UT. If we are counting years, that would be 6 years. Wow. Anyway, it was great catching up. We talked about missions, our callings in life [or rather, lack of knowing] and faith in general. Steve’s been working on a documentary project called Malatya, named after the city in Turkey. It talks about the first Christian martyrs that were tortured and slain in April of 2007. If you attend Austin Stone Community Church, then you probably heard a lot about this, as teams from the church have been sent there and pastors close to the church are there in Turkey. Anyway, its a project about awareness, never-ceasing faith and the sovereignty and faithfulness of a loving God. Its an project that should drop you to your knees in prayer.


So I got home, popped the DVD into my laptop. I was curious to see what kind of filmmaking came from one of my most beloved, crazy friends… I was even more curious to see the commentary of Steve and Nolan, the film student that actually filmed it. What I saw moved me more than I had expected, especially at 1am. These were interviews with individuals that had not lost hope or faith because of the tragedy. Instead, they were encouraged and extending grace. And not in the way where we know we are supposed to because we are Christians i.e. “She really hurt my feelings when she stole my boyfriend so I’m going to say I forgive her. Then I’ll look all holy and stuff.. Yeah.” They actually forgave the Turks that were responsible. They are ready and willing to stand up for the Church, which, in Turkey, is a slight fraction of the whole population.

Are we willing to stand up for the Church here in America, where we cannot get thrown in jail or killed for saying we believe in Christ?

Please visit the website as developments occur. They are in the beginning to mid-stages of this project so any support, whether financial or spiritual, would be greatly appreciated! They, nor the Austin Stone Community Church, will be receiving any proceeds or profits- any monetary contributions are going directly into the project.


A Call to Action.

November 30, 2008
Leave a Comment

This is something that cannot be ignored.

[photo used from z.about.com]

If you are not aware of what is going on, educate yourself. Then do something. Here is a link to Watermark’s site with some links, a video and ways to help.

We need more reasons to jolt us out of our comfort zone. The truth is, there are millions of reasons- we just don’t see them, mainly because we change the tv channel.

Another link to the CBS site with a video of what’s going on. [Have I mentioned how much I love Anderson Cooper?

As listed on the World Relief site:

Your voice can be crucial to the people of Congo.  By standing in the gap to present the realities of injustice to those in positions of influence to change the situation, we embody the Biblical call to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.”--Proverbs 31:8

Find out more about Congo and the ongoing crisis.

  • Humanitarian experts say the on-going turmoil in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the deadliest conflict since World War II, with an estimated 5.4 million people killed since 1998. This is more deaths than Iraq, Afghanistan, and Darfur combined!
  • The DRC has the second highest number of IDPs [Internally Displaced Persons] in Africa.
  • Gender-based violence is so prevalent in the DRC that it has been called the “worst place for women to live in the world.”
  • The median age in Congo is 16.3 years. An estimate of only 2.5% of the population lives to be 65 or older.

A Community in Faith.

May 12, 2008

My dear friends,

I write this to you as I sit in a coffee shop, my mind racing with thoughts, books and study Bibles piling up around me. What are these thoughts about, you ask? Well… these are thoughts that have been rolling around in my head for the past 4-6 months but more in depth within the last 4 weeks.. and since then, these thoughts have been multiplying like crazy due to some amazing conversations I’ve had with about half a dozen people.

These are thoughts on Biblical community.

Most people think they are experiencing ‘community’ for an hour or two on Sunday mornings, maybe on Wednesday evenings if they are really religious. Most people call this church [or so I hear]. They live their lives as normal as possible, to the best of their ability. Then a week goes by, another Sunday rolls around, and they get to experience ‘community’ again.

There is something drastically wrong with this picture.

I am not writing this to try to revolutionize Biblical community. I just want to live in it. Not just a once a week gathering but day to day be involved in the lives of believers around me. Be the community. Be the Church. Be a part of something that the Lord has already put into motion. Our job is to jump in.

I also write this to you with no real tidy resolution…. [yeah, I know].

However, God is bringing me to action. I’d love to invite you to be a part of something. Something that is not necessarily anything new or cool [even though I think it is pretty fun]. It’s a Saturday morning breakfast: a time of eating great food, fellowship and prayer afterwards. What did the apostles do in Acts? They 1) devoted themselves to teaching and fellowship 2) as well as the breaking of bread and prayer. They committed themselves to community and being in tune with the Body as to sufficiently meet the needs of the Church.

I want to have a time where we can get together as the Body of Christ, not bound by topical Bible studies, small talk, denominations, church membership, surface relationships, busyness, just fill in the blank. What an amazing privilege we have to meet together as believers to spur one another on and bathe our city / neighborhood / families / friends in prayer!

Right now, I’d love to experience ekklesia in Dallas. So that’s going to be the name of the gathering/blog…although I thought SMAK was really stinkin’ creative [Saturday Mornings At Krystal’s]. Let’s just say that I won’t prevent anyone from calling it that….but I have a feeling this won’t be at my place all the time. I’d love to be able to meet in different areas of the city. For now, I’d be blessed to host it at my apartment. [“Hey, are you going to SMAK?” “Dude. Who’s not going to SMAK?…that’s the question..”]

If you feel moved to be a part of this, let’s chat. Email me. Once I talk to a few folks, I’ll send out an update on when we’ll meet up. I also don’t think meeting in community should be limited to any type of gathering. I want to know and experience what it means to be continually living in community and being intentional about it. Aaand I want this blog to be an open forum to discuss and update, to encourage and bless. So let’s have at it! [If you don’t comment, I’ll hunt you down. In a friendly Christian way…uhhh..what?]


Much love from Above,