Hacking the equation without the formulas...

I just finished this great book by Kyle Lake. He's the pastor of University Baptist Church in Waco Texas. His worship leader is David Crowder. Anyway, the idea behind this book is that God has an overall plan for our lives and that He is not into micromanaging. I've heard people say things like, "I was getting ready to go out today and I was asking the Lord if He wanted me to wear a hat." Well, I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I'm pretty sure God doesn't care!! Use your frickin' brain! Is it sunny outside? Would your eyes benefit from the shade offered by a hat? Then WEAR A HAT MORON!!!! Anyway, sorry about that.... This book also spends some time studying the classic scriptures that people quote to say that God does have a specific plan for every minute of your life. For example, Jer 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you....etc." When you look at the context of the scripture God was saying that He knew the long term plans for a whole community of people, not the individual plans for one person's everyday decisions. It's a pretty fascinating book. A very easy read, it's more like you are sharing in a conversation with Kyle than reading something he wrote. I highly recommend. You can get it for less than ten bucks by clicking below. Stop being cheap. Buy it.

Click HERE to pick up a copy!!!

UPDATE 10-30-05

Kyle Lake died in a tragic accident this morning. Pastor Kyle was electrocuted while reaching for a microphone during a Sunday morning baptismal service. He leaves behind his wife Jennifer, a 5 year old daughter, and twin 3 year old sons.

CLICK HERE for more information


I've never noticed that cheez-its where such a lovely shade of saffron.

The installation of "the Gates" in Central Park has caused quite a stirring debate about what is, and what is not art.
I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Lectio Divina

I've done a video series at my church about the ancient practice of Lectio Divina. It's kind of a high tech version of a super ancient christian ritual.

Click Here if you would like to check it out!

grace and peace, jimmy

p.s. You need to have your media player updated to the latest version. i.e. windows media player needs to be at least ver. 9.0 peace, jd



The weather has been WAY wacky around here lately.
I was in Sacramento earlier today for work and this bad boy touched down causing all kinds of havoc! It was a pretty awesome display of power. It tore the roofs off of apartment buildings, and nearby houses, jacked up bunches of cars, and check this out... it picked up a port-a-pottie and threw it across the street!! Who's gonna clean THAT up?!?!?

It was really amazing to see, but it REALLY jacked up traffic. GGGRRRRRR



CLICK HERE to read the story of a Modern Day Martyr

"when two gunmen approached her, she pulled out a Bible and began to read. Her killers listened for a moment, took a few steps back and fired"



"My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me, Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my struggles alone."
Thomas Merton, 1915-1968, Monk/Poet


It was only a matter of time....

Just in time for valentine's day!!!
The "What Would Jesus Do" THONG!!!

I thought I had seen it all.


Mrs. Hayes. 1918-2005

Yesterday I went to a funeral for my boyhood Sunday school teacher Mrs. Hayes. She had been teaching Sunday school for a long, long time. She was even my dad’s Sunday school teacher. If we were still attending that church she would have watched my sons in the nursery. Anyway, the service was nice, lots of funny stories and fond remembrances.
Upon walking into the funeral home I noticed that the music sounded familiar. Then I realized they were playing my CD.
Let me tell you about the CD. I used to have a keyboard at home and I would spend my personal worship time just playing the piano for hours at a time. When my wife was pregnant with our first son she asked me to record a CD for her to sooth her nerves while she was in labor. The next time I sat down at the keyboard, I hit record and played for about an hour straight. The music on that CD was the first thing that my sons heard upon entering this world and that brings joy to my heart! The midwives that were at the birth requested copies of the CD and since then my music has been heard at hundreds of births. I’ve gone to weddings and doctor’s offices and heard my music. I have no idea how many people have heard this music. Turns out Mrs. Hayes was listening to the CD when she passed. And now the music was playing at the funeral.
It’s amazing to me that this simple act of personal worship has become a blessing to these people. I’m a musician. To me, I was just doing what I do. So as I was sitting in the funeral home I started thinking about people just “doing what they do” and how that can turn into a blessing to others. I looked at the beautiful woodwork around the altar and saw how it made the atmosphere so nice in the chapel, and how that must have comforted so many people over the years. Then I looked at the wrought iron kneeling benches, and thought of the craftsman that made these, and how many people have grieved, and remembered loved ones while kneeling on them. Then I looked at the flowers and thought of a person who loves nothing more than being on their knees in the dirt surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation, and all the thought and effort they put into making a beautiful arrangement that would comfort these people today.
These people were just doing what they do, but I like to think that they were doing it as an act of personal worship unto the Lord.

I learned something about Mrs. Hayes yesterday. I never knew that she had a son of her own. Apparently she lost her son when he was a young boy. She was, of course devastated. She was unable to have any children of her own after that but she loved kids, and she spent the rest of life serving children in Sunday school. It occurs to me that serving children was Mrs. Hayes personal act of worship. She didn’t do it for the fanfare, not to be recognized, she was just “doing what she does”.
At the end of the service my grandmother who is a dear friend of Mrs. Hayes asked for anyone that had been in her Sunday school class to stand up. Almost half of those in attendance stood to their feet. And those were only the ones that still live in town and were able to make the service in the middle of a work day. I know that thousands of children have gone through her Sunday school classes since she started teaching in the early fifties. What an incredible legacy.

Isn’t it amazing that when we “do what we do” as a simple act of personal worship it can have such a profound impact on so many?


WWJVF? (who would Jesus vote for?)

Don't get all pissy at me. I didn't say it. Jesus said it. I wouldn't argue with Jesus if I were you.

Seriously though, just because W. says he has God's direction and he knows God's will for our country does that mean that it is part of our christianly duty to support him, to keep quiet and not question him? I know, I realize, they already had the election, he won, he's in charge. I just can't believe some of the things that W. has gotten away with saying just because he tagged on some kind of reference to God. Don't get me wrong, I've done it a million times. I've used the Lord's name in vain to get dates, to get a job, to win friends and influence people, that's right, I did it. I'm not proud of it.
Anyway, whenever I hear the W. speak my B---S---ometer goes off like crazy.


life's like an hourglass....glued to the table

I just heard a new single from an up and coming artist Anna Nalick called "Breathe (2am)". I am blown away by the amazing way she crafts a song.....just beautiful. Her voice is amazing too. Anyway, in the middle of the song there is a lyric that says, "Cause you can't jump the track / We're like cars on a cable / and life's like an hourglass / glued to the table...". That line about the hourglass hit me hard. I have this mental image of a child struggling to turn over an hourglass that's been superglued to the table. Is life really like that?

I like the way Anna describes life. The sand running through the hourglass is the here and now. You can't stop it, you can't reverse it, you can't slow it down, you can't start over. The sand keeps going, life keeps going.
That makes me think heavy deep thoughts about the purpose of life. Is it about the destination, or the journey?

What about salvation? Is the sole purpose of salvation a "get out of hell free" card, or is it more than that? Is salvation merely a way to escape judgement or is it about bringing change to the here and now?

Are we missing the point on the "here and now" by being focused solely on "the end reward"?

Check out Anna's site, and listen to the song by clicking HERE.