31 December 2010
I think my favorite new word from this year is "nontroversy." The drama, both in the media & in the lives of those around me, is too often sad & petty. Grow up, folks.
In 2011, let's work to swallow our pride, humble ourselves, & love. Not some nebulous, feel-good "love" that looks good on a résumé. Love Is A Verb.
Okay, that video is awful. Awesomely awful. Apologies. YouTube is a scary place sometimes.
Seriously, though, I do believe with all my being that God is love, Gospel love is serious business, & that Jesus Christ came to seek & save. If you've never given it a look, do so. Don't buy what others have told you, see for yourself. If it's been awhile & you're a bit rusty, look again. If you seek, you will find.
felix sit annus novus
K, love you, bye.
07 November 2010
- Fix grammar, spelling, and syntax in file names.
- Convert files (.mp3, .m4a, .flaac, etc.) to .ogg (Ogg Vorbis).
- Save a 500x500 cover art image in each album's folder.
- Edit the ID3 tags in the files to have correct information.
K, love you, bye.
24 October 2010
I'm not talking about what generally comes to mind in this arena. This isn't simply about old versus new, change just for the sake of change, or even about trying to "stay relevant." Our traditions come in many forms and the traditions we need to rid ourselves of are any that we have constructed that push people away and separate us from fully experiencing God together.
I've grown up in Christian community, in one form or another, all of my life. And I'm still anxious and uncomfortable any time I visit a new church for the first time. I can't imagine what it's like for an "outsider." Someone who is hurting, lonely, marginalized, and searching.
Church should be a safe place! Dammit, it should be the safest place! My prayer is that we would do everything we can to tear down any socio-economic, ethnic, racial, cultural, spatial, or religious barriers that we've erected that are keeping us from inhabiting the safest place for people to come just as they are.
Vicit agnus noster, eum sequamur.
K, love you, bye.
26 September 2010
“You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord.’ But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one. -- Matt 5.33-37
11 September 2010
Unfortunately, the plan didn't come together quite as hoped. I guess punks, hippies, and liberals, God bless 'em, aren't the most prompt. Fortunately, though, it still ended well. From what I could tell, the book burning proponents numbered three. On the other hand, there were more than two hundred folks in opposition to this foolish act. Law enforcement and media personnel were in place.
A Quran was placed on a grill. Immediately, several people walked up to it and, without a word, placed their hands over the grill and the Quran. The flustered antagonist turned to speak to the media. That's when a kid grabbed the Quran, hopped on his skateboard, and rode away.
I'm not making this up.
The small gang of book burning enthusiasts appeared confused and then annoyed. They looked around at the cheering crowd for a few seconds, got into their vehicles, and drove away. I was mostly just relieved that everything had progressed peacefully. The kid on the skateboard showed back up and gave the Quran to some folks from the Islamic center. It was something to behold.
“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.
“If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.
“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.
K, love you, bye.
23 August 2010
I've often heard people say things like, "God is so much bigger than we can comprehend." I've said it myself plenty of times. But I think I always had an unspoken addendum of "but I have God pretty much figured out." Mr. Rollins, via the book mentioned above, is helping me to understand more and more just how little I understand and I highly recommend following up on some of his wise words.
K, love you, bye.
08 August 2010
12 July 2010
24 June 2010
17 June 2010
I'm usually annoyed by overarching, broad generalizations. "I hate cats. They're evil." No, just like dogs, some are really cool and some you want to see how far you can punt. "Christians are all hypocrites." Yeah? Well... yeah. And if you want to follow Christ, you can add one more hypocrite to our numbers. (Please do!) We've all heard stereotypes turn racist and prejudicial. It's not a pretty sight. Don't buy into that junk.
Fathers' Day is coming up and I want to say "Thank You" to honorable fathers everywhere.
I suspect that most fathers through all of human history have been loving. I greive for those who were not. And ultimately, I'm drawn to our Heavenly Father.
15 June 2010
22 May 2010
17 May 2010
12 May 2010
28 April 2010
24 April 2010
I can't really run or jog due to a bum knee. So I try to walk as briskly as I can. And every morning at the park I get passed by these two, tiny, white haired ladies.
I think a Wii Fit is what the doctor has ordered. Right? Hmm...
20 April 2010
that made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad,
and built the lofty skies.
I sing the wisdom that ordained
the sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at God's command,
and all the stars obey.
I sing the goodness of the Lord,
who filled the earth with food,
Who formed the creatures through the Word,
and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed,
wherever I turn my eye,
If I survey the ground I tread,
or gaze upon the sky.
There's not a plant or flower below,
but makes Thy glories known,
And clouds arise, and tempests blow,
by order from Thy throne;
While all that borrows life from Thee
is ever in Thy care;
And everywhere that we can be,
Thou, God art present there.
06 April 2010
02 April 2010
25 March 2010
It was a *%$@#+!? McDonald's advert.
22 March 2010
Welp. I dropped my laptop. The batteries (A & B, above) shot out a foot or so from the rest of the wreckage. The little plastic buttons that hold the batteries are nowhere to be found (C & D, above). A bit of gaff tape fixed 'er right up (E, F, & G, above). Not bad for an eight-year-old Dell Latitude C610, eh? :-)
20 March 2010
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For a guy that grew up on the High Plains of the Texas Panhandle, "hanging out at the beach" is quite new; I reckon I could sit in the sand, listening to the waves lapping up, just about forever.
I was invited to come by a couple that lives at the beach. Every Friday night they lay down some blankets, put out all kinds of drums, make grilled cheese sandwiches, and just love on anyone that stops. We were visited by families, teenagers, homeless guys, and folks in various stages of intoxication. The drumming skills were... more than just a bit rough and the sandwiches were... probably not what you'd consider gourmet.
But no one seemed to notice or care.
14 March 2010
I was trying to make God fit into the philosophies that I'd grown fond of, those that appealed to me. And when I couldn't reconcile the God of Scripture with my all-too-reasonable and well-thought-out worldview, I despaired. Surely I couldn't be wrong in my logic and reasonings?!
What had really happened to me was bigger than just doubts. I'd grown to always start with the premise of suspicion in regards to my Creator. (We all do, on some level.) I held God as guilty until proven innocent. I didn't really trust Him at all.
If you have time, give these two videos a watch. They're about an hour long, all together. It's my friend Andrew Olsen introducing some healthy ways to re-examine how we relate to and understand God. It's a breath of fresh air.
I have to agree with Teresa of Avila when she said, "The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too." And what a journey!? We're only as alone as we choose to be.
10 March 2010
07 March 2010
04 March 2010
03 March 2010
Instinctively, our reactions are guilt and hurt when they should be forgiveness and compassion. We put our masks on, pretending to be something that our experience denies. No matter how well intentioned we are, we will always inevitably come off as proud, pitied, and even pathetically deluded to how easily others see through our façade.
Luckily, by God's grace, we need not worry about masks at all! But will we, as followers of Christ, choose the path of ruthless trust? Or the path of trying to please?
24 February 2010
If you're not aware, Meg and I are now homeless.
Well, itinerant is more like it, I suppose. The last three years, while we lived in Amarillo, job #1 was for us to get our student loans paid off. We finished that up in September and began the journey which we are now on.
We left our jobs at the end of January and flew to England for the first two weeks of February to spend time with the Duncans. Those two weeks flew by entirely too quickly. We visited a number of towns and villages, mainly in the East Midlands of England, searching for a place to live, love, and serve. We're still not certain exactly what our ministry will look like, but we're continuing to search and pray.
Back in the USA, Meg and I have been making our way to Fort Myers, Florida, where we will be undertaking the New Mission Systems International COAT program. We're very excited about becoming NMSI affiliates. There'll be much more on that front soon.
In the last two weeks we've spent time in Fort Worth, San Antonio, and New Orleans. Lots of time in the car. And still a good 12+ hours to go 'til Fort Myers. Whew.
Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated and we'd love to hear from you. We'd be honored to have you partner with us in our ministry efforts. If you are interested in supporting us, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
ryan.m.mccracken AT gmail DOT com