Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Donald Miller prayer

Here is the text from Donald Miller's prayer at the Democratic National Convention a couple days ago:

"Father God,

This week, as the world looks on, help the leaders in this room create a civil dialogue about our future.

We need you, God, as individuals and also as a nation.

We need you to protect us from our enemies, but also from ourselves, because we are easily tempted toward apathy.

Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left.

Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them.

Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.

Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.

Hep us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education.

Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony.

We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there. We need your help.

Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world.

A lot of people don’t like us but that’s because they don’t know the heart of the average American.

Will you give us favor and forgiveness, along with our allies around the world.

Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.

Lastly, father, unify us.

Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common.

And unify us not just in our ideas and in our sentiments—but in our actions, as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater than the one we have come to cherish.

God we know that you are good.

Thank you for blessing us in so many ways as Americans.

I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.

Let Him be our example.

Amen."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

bruce live

Last night I saw Bruce Springsteen in concert for the 11th time. That’s right, 11. One more than 10 (which was a nice round number, and one my wife thought was a good one on which to end my Bruce concert career).

But he was in Richmond last night; only an hour away, and I decided to save up my allowance for a couple months and do it. Kenny and I drove down, had a forgettable dinner at the Third Street Diner (Penny Lane was too crowded), and went to the show.

The concert was amazing. Back in the 80’s he played monstrous 4-hour marathon shows. Bruce is 58 years old now; the shows these days usually go about 2-1/2 hours. Last night he played for 3 hours. He talked about how special Richmond was—in the early days, it was the first place outside of New Jersy that he played.

Each concert is an amazing experience. (check this out: The Gospel According to Bruce Springsteen.)

There are times when the experience is transcendant. 10,000 strangers (or more, I once saw him with 50,000 at Mile High Stadium in Denver) joined together, connected by the music. And the music is incredible. Bruce sings about life--good, bad, relationships, tragedy, hope. He did a good mix of old and new; several of my favorite songs—"Badlands," "Cadillac Ranch," "She’s the One"...

I thought about how Bruce’s music has been the soundtrack of my life. I began listening seriously when my friend Jeff introduced me to Born to Run in high school.

I was fully converted when I saw him for the first time in Denver--November 11, 1984. Now, 24 years later, I hear the songs and each one takes me back to a different time in my life, bringing memories of an old girlfriend, or job, or home, or car... 

If you've never seen Springsteen; do it next time you get a chance. I've seen a lot of concerts; his are without a doubt the best.

Friday, August 08, 2008

good day, busy week

Great day yesterday; had lunch with good friend Joey Tomassoni. Joey has been instrumental, mostly behind the scenes, in much of what we have done at Convergence. Even more, he is just a really great guy. Loves God, loves people, really bright and encouraging. 

we ate lunch outside in Annapolis--it was a beautiful day. We were joined by two of Joey's friends, Brandon and Darren. Darren leads a ministry that has a lot in common with Convergence called Creative Paradox.

the low point was sitting on the beltway for 2 1/2 hours, going about 5 mph.

but the day got better with a great meeting with Amy, talking about getting some ministry stuff going and organized at Convergence.

I've got a paper due next friday, and a sermon to write for Sunday...but I'm going to bed...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

where the hell is matt?

check out this website--Matt traveled the world and filmed himself dancing in dozens of countries, sometimes alone, sometimes with lots of people. My friend David told me about it.

At first I thought it was just funny, but after a while felt it was really profound--watching this man dance with people all over the world. I got this sense of how no matter how different, or far apart we are, we are all connected. It's really kind of beautiful. Take a look.


final leg--Atlanta

We reluctantly left Alabama, but were really glad to arrive in Atlanta to stay with my cousin Brian and his wife Renee. They have two beautiful kids--Declan and Aislan. It was wonderful to see them, my uncle Larry and Aunt Judy, cousin Sean and his wife Debra, Sean's daughter McKinsey, and my cousin Jennifer's daughter Drew. 

I grew up going on vacations with Sean, Brian and Jennifer, and have stayed pretty close over the years. They are all super people, it is great seeing them, and their families...

It was a great way to wrap up the vacation--hanging with my cousins, and watching our children play together the way we used to.