Thursday, August 31, 2006

Is this it?

I've caught myself getting caught up in politics of life and work etc.  You go to work everyday, you do your job, you work hard.  Is this it?  Is life just about making a paycheck and waiting on a promotion?  What a boring life, what a meaningless life that would be if that's all there was to this life.  I've thought about this a lot.  I think I have figured a little something out in my own life.  When my focus is off of the Lord and His Will, I can get caught up in the day to day.  I can find myself just going to work, thinking like the rest of the world, thinking almost like a lost person.  The cool thing I like about the way the Lord deals with me is this.  He never gives up on me.  He knows what I need to get me back and thinking clearly and focus my mind back on Him. 

I used to pick people up on the side of the road all of the time.  I've shared stories about that before on here.  It's the most amazing thing, some of the stories I've heard and just being able to hear the story of strangers.  I haven't picked anyone up in a long time it seems like.  I was leaving work today, after a long week at work, and just in processing thoughts, feelings etc.  A heavy week.  Well I'm leaving the office and I see two people on the side of the road.  I ask them if they need help and they need a ride, so they jump in my Jeep.  These were the sweetest people.  They were the most country people you could meet.  Their car broke down and the police had it towed away.  They didn't have any way to get home the day before so they had to sleep on the floor at someones house.  I had a bag full of chips in the back of my Jeep that they started eating.  (Thanks to Julie Edwards who gave them to me) They hadn't eaten anything, they were tired, thirsty, and just worn out.  We found their car and it need a new fuel pump.  They needed a ride to a town about 20 minutes away.  I honestly was tired and really didn't feel like going that far out the way.  It's funny how the Lord will bless you when you are obedient.  I gave them a ride and it gave us a chance to talk.  I heard about their life and what they had been through and really just paid attention to their story and where they were going.  They talked about how they really just wanted to get married.  I thought they were married, but I guess they were just dating.  We got to talk about the Lord and I found out that they were believers.  They were happy to finally get home and I was happy that the Lord encouraged my heart through talking to them. 

I've also learned that it is not cool to have poison ivy in randomly scary places on your body.  I don't think I have consistently woke up so early in the morning in my life.  Just scratching.  I feel like this is a temporary thorn in my flesh :)  Literally!  It's also not cool to have to get a shot in the hip.  I'm such a baby.

Monday, August 28, 2006

just like a kid again

When I was a kid, we would play in our neighborhood all the time.  We would go back as far in the woods as the river would let us, sometimes we would even push that line.  I loved being in the woods but occasionally bad things would happen.  Like the time my buddy Chad built a fort out of vines.  Vines that happened to be poison ivy and that I am extremely allergic to.  After spending the day in this fort and waking up the next morning with no sight, I realized that playing in a fort made of poison ivy was not good.  I had it in my eyes, throat, face, and well, you name it.  It's been years since I've had it.  I have to go the doctor immediately.  My mom said I looked like the elephant man.  It was bad. 

Well I woke up about 5AM this morning in torment.  Let's just say that I have poison ivy again and it's not in the best place.  It's on my face, my arms, my legs, and ...well let's just say the worst place it could be.  This is not fun. :(


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Lick the Bowl

Psalm 51:17 (New International Version)

17 The sacrifices of God are [a] a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.

I know I have talked about this verse before, but I really do think it's one of my favorite verses. It seems that we (Christians) always have this tendency to go away from brokenness. It's tough to stay broken spiritually before the Lord when all is good, the salary is nice, the house is comfortable, and you have a 401k. We just have these comfortable lives and is a blessing, but usually causes me to take Him for granted. My brother shared a story with me this past week that broke me down spiritually. It's so neat how God can use people close to us to do that. I'm just blown away by God's interaction in my life. I had just been thinking and telling my brother that the Lord was in the coincidences of life and that, well, they really weren't coincidences and if you want to call those little crazy things that happen, "coincidences" then...I say that He is also Lord of them. Okay, that was a run-on sentence. Forgive me. It seems's like the ears of our heart have amplifiers on them and we can hear everything around us. Before, the Lord might have to scream for us to hear, but now, He can give a gentle whisper and we wake up. There are people in this life that live a life of brokenness and constantly are enamored with heartache. Our Lord was enamored, and we can know that He has been through anything and everything that we could ever think about going through. That's comforting. I just want to come to a place where telling people that "I love them" is fresh and sweet on my lips. It's not something that makes me feel uncomfortable or makes me feel weird. Lee Cunningham, whom I love, told me that he loved me as we left a party this weekend. That's brotherly love. People that care about each other w/o asking for anything in return. Jesus lived like that.

When I was a kid and my mom would make a cake. She would pour the batter out and then give me the bowl and mixer. Man, I am not going to lie, I would like this bowl until there was not an ounce of mix left. I would get my tongue between the mixer blades and get every last bit of it. It was sooo sweet. I am hoping that one day, I will seek the Lord and His Word with that intensity...well of course...w/o all the licking :)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Just a few details

It really amazes me that the Lord cares about the details of our lives.  I think we all know that He does, but I don't think we ever really thank Him for it or really believe that He is in the details.  I'm just now realizing that He is in every detail of our lives and we cannot surpise Him.  He was there before the world began, before we were thought of, and after we are gone, He will still be there.  He's in the coincidences and mishaps, He's everywhere.  That's good news.  I think I can rest in that. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Just sayin

You know, as I sit here and realize that the "f" key has come off of my keyboard, I also came to the conclusion that out of an entire day, this was the worst thing that happened to me. 

Today was the first "official" meeting of CrossPoint.  It was quite cool to have so many people in church and to see the entire football team and coach Bowden in church.  There was not enough room to sit, it was really cool.  We also had the start of our small groups which we are calling "connecting point" groups.  It was pretty neat to have them over to my house and get to know some of them.  I love having random people coming together, there is something that is electric in that.  The semi-awkwardness of it does it for me.  It looks like we have a very unique and awesome group of people and I'm excited to get to know them. 

So I just finished Rob Bell's newest book, "Velvet Elvis."  It was a really interesting read.  I would not consider it a very deep book but he does go through a lot of Jewish customs that will better help you to understand Jesus and the scriptures.  In one chapter of the book, he discussed coming to people and treating them with an agenda.  Do we group people in a "saved" and "not saved" category?  Do we love them based on what category they fit in?  He brings up the idea of service also.  How can we show people Christ?  By serving them, the gospel is good news for everyone is the point he makes.  If a woman in an apartment complex becomes a Christian, then this is good news for the entire apartment complex.  This woman should now be even more caring, giving, kind, and serve the people around her.  It makes sense.  I've been trying to get to know my neighbors.  I desire to serve them and want them to know Christ.  We have to give an account one day, I've been convicted lately that I haven't used everything I've been given.  Thank God that Jesus and the disciples didn't stay in the upper room, I'm glad they didn't post a sign, and invite people to come hear them.  I am glad they went out and found the lost people, reached them where they worked, and shared life with them.  I'm trying to really see Christianity in its purest form, the way Jesus showed it to us.  It's tough to read the book of Acts and not label them "super Christians."  They weren't super at all, that was "normal" Christianity.  Whew, I've got a long way to go. 

In other news, I have officially set-up a mini-recording studio in my closet.  Yes, I said, my closet.  I realized that it was the best place to set-up with the least amount of distractions.  When I just recorded in my room, I noticed that the mic would actually pick up the dog scratching herself, or well, maybe that was me, but anyway, I moved to the closet.  My first major personal project is to record the New Testament and eventually get it out on CD for you, my fine friends.  If you would like to record a few chapters for me, please email me and let me know.  It's been a great way to read through the scriptures and I hope it all works out! 

Sunday, August 13, 2006

That was Neat

This was a very relaxing weekend. I haven't really felt good for the past month and have something wrong with my head. I went to the emergency room with a bad headache one night and I really thought I was going to die. I have been putting it off, but I think I am finally going to go get a brain scan. I just hate to pay all that money and then say that nothing is wrong with me. Oh well, I guess I'll finally go. Anywho. So this weekend I just hung around the house. I played on the computer, caught up on my geeking and talked to a friend of mine, Brent Sears. Brent is a really awesome guy. He's one of those people that you can meet and instantly know that he knows the Lord. He quit his job to follow the Lord and it turns out...a few months after he did that, he found out that they are closing his office. You telling me that God doesn't know our future? Wow. He has helped me a lot in getting started in doing voice-overs. He let me borrow a mic of his for a few weeks to get up and going. I think I am going to buy one just like it. So on Saturday, Cheatham and I drove around and looked at some investment properties. It's kinda fun, I feel like there should be a tv crew rolling around with us. Okay, maybe not. Saturday night, I just came home and watched a Josh Turner and Randy Travis special. So good. If you can check it out, do so, on CMT.

I woke up this morning and went to CrossPoint. It's just been amazing to see this church grow and be apart of it. We were probably about 60% of the building, it was great. Next week, the football team is going to visit and it should be crazy. I'm excited. I left church, came home, took a short lil nap, and then headed out to Greenville to meet my little girlfriend at Macaroni Grill. MMMM. I had a gift card that we have now used 2 times. Penne Rustica...mmm. We devoured it and then enjoyed a slice of cheesecake :) I drove my motorcycle over there so afterwards, we rode around some neighborhoods in Greenville and came back. I drove back to Clemson for a meeting at church. Now, for my whole life, I've never been a member of a church. I've felt the Lord dealing with me in this for a long time but just haven't found a church that I feel "apart" of. People said that I should just join a church and then it would feel like home to me. I just disagreed. I don't want to sit down at a meal, not like it, and then someone tell me, keep eating it, you will eventually like it. I have always felt like when the Lord wanted me somewhere, He would make it very clear. I have known for a few months that I wanted to join CrossPoint, but I kept missing the join meetings. Today was the day I was going to join. Well on the way there, my motorcycle breaks down just outside of Clemson. This is about right. I didn't get upset and quietly said in my heart that this was not from God and was from Satan :) I really believe that Satan wanted to keep me away from joining a church. You might think that is a little much, but I believe it 100%. I got the bike cranked enough to get me a mile and then cut off. I did this for about 4 miles and eventually had to push a little ways. I got home about 30 minutes late and enough time to jump in my Jeep and drive to the meeting. It was an informational night and just a chance for people to hear about the vision of the church etc. I fit right in. All of the things I have wanted from a church are there, teaching, people, style, evangelism. AND all the gifts that I have, I feel like can be used there! I really had to fight tears when they played some music. It just felt natural to sign my name on a card and commit my time and life to a place. I really look forward to what the Lord is going to do in and around the people there. It's exciting that He can use broken pots and pans to prepare a meal could last for eternity.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Chris Moody tells of the Proposal to the Lod

This is hilarious if you know Moody. He was self-proclaimed "Bachelor to the Rapture".

So Chris finally made the jump and got engaged. I tell you, this guy is completely out of his league as Lottie is a hottie as she is formally known as. I do salute you Chris for becoming "that guy" and making everyone wonder how you got such a hottie and beautiful woman. The only way is that the Lord has "done gone and blessed you." You have freely relinquished the pimp juice and invested wisely :)

I wish you the best :)

Monday, August 07, 2006

The little things

What has always amazed me is does God think?  What influences His decisions to do certain things?  Why does He allow some to be healed of disease and others to die?  Ultimately, He is sovereign and in control of all things.  The Bible says that everything on earth is under Jesus' feet.  We trust that He know all things and all futures.  You can bog your brain down to think about it.  A co-worker of mine had a tragedy in her family.  Her son was in a jet skiing accident and had extensive brain damage.  His brain stem was badly damaged which usually means there is no hope.  People have been known to take people off life support once this happens from what I'm told.  The family has been around this boy and just waited to see what would happen, even though doctors have not been very positive in his outlook for life.  He's been like this for almost two months, no response.  I heard today that he is now responding and has miraculously come around and started to write on a dry-erase board.  He said he was hungry and wanted spaghetti.  He also named friends that he wanted to visit him.  It looks like he is a miracle in the working.  Huge praise.  I pray that if God does completely heal him that he will have a clear understanding of grace and love the Lord.  That's huge news. 

In other news, I really love how the Lord deals with me sometimes.  I've been out of myself for a while.  I'm sure you have all been there.  It's that part of faith that you just don't have a desire to do the things that you used to naturally do, well with God's help.  I haven't really done anything the past few months.  I read every now and then and still grow to an extent, but my life has not been the abundant life that I know is there.  The Lord has been slowly getting me back and it's neat when He does the little things that let me know that He still knows I'm there and cares.  I was telling a story about Tom Conlon tonight, a musician that I absolutely love and have for years.  I was talking about this one song he has, "Water", I've probably talked about it on here before.  It's one of the best written songs I have ever heard.  I was sharing a story about it with my roommies.  How God used that song many years ago as I was preparing to give a message one Sunday.  I had heard the song for years w/o fully understanding the meaning.  It was about 10 o'clock and I'm listening to it as I'm writing down some thoughts.  It finally hit me.  I had Tom's cell phone number so I called him.  "Hey Tom, this is justin tanner...blah blah, I finally understood and got your song."  I was just in tears sitting at my computer listening.  It just amazed me that I could listen to it all those years and never get it.  It was so refreshing to see what he was talking about.  The song is about getting outside of your comfort zone and sharing Christ with people.  He describes us as water that is just sitting, sitting, sitting so long that it has become stagnant.  I got this picture of water in an alley that has been sitting there for months.  It's smelly, green, things growing out of it, and it's just disgusting.  I realized that even though I have this gift of evangelism, I don't use it.  I'm rotten, literally.  Selfish, complacent, stagnant water.  He talks about picking a guy up on the side of the road, now that guy knows the Lord and has a family of Christians because you didn't have fear of picking someone up. 

So back to the story, I walk in my room after sharing this story about "water" and guess what's just started playing on my computer.  Yeah, "Water."  I just have to laugh and get a little teared up and say that God is still around, He hasn't gone anywhere.  He is still there and wants me to realize that He still cares about me and wants me to be a good steward of my life.  He's in everything, even the little things.

Water Lyrics

It's a silent night, I'm sleeping in my bed
A studio apartment with a dream in my head
But nothing much changes unless I change it
But one day when the time is right, i just might rearrange it

We are like water, we fit the container, we look for an outlet
we know we can't just remain there
It's all about flowing out into dry land
Open mouth, dirty hands.

I heard about you, making friends with a stranger
Now he's got a new family because you had no fear of a danger
But i had my days of waitin on a roadside,
for a friend like you, who wasn't afaid to give me a ride

We are like water, we fit the container, we look for an outlet
we know we can't just remain there
It's all about flowing out into dry land
Open mouth, dirty hands.

I found that I can be, a friend and a lover
I got sweet water to fill your cup
I got this well of life, the source is high above me
I just let it out, i just let it out
it keeps filling up, filling up, filling up with neverending love
Feeling up...

Children of the light, sons and daughters
sitting in buildings, standing water
maybe someday soon, our hearts will open
maybe one of these silent nights will rush like a river flowing

We are like water, we fit the container, we look for an outlet
we know we can't just remain there
It's all about flowing out into dry land
We are like water, we fit the container, we look for an outlet
we know we can't just remain there
It's all about flowing out into dry land
It's all about flowing out into dry land
Open mouth, dirty, dirty, dirty hands.
Making soil out of sand...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Haven't seen for a while

There was a song I used to listen to all the time called "Haven't seen for a while"...what a great song. Pat Mcgee band sang it. The greatest part was when he talked about "it's 5:15"...because I know what that time of day is like...i'm coming home from work, done for the day, time to relax. I like music.

So I've been gone from the blog for a while and for the few people who still check this thing, well I'm starting back. So a lot, well some, has happened since I last had something to say. My grandmother passed away a few weeks ago. I woke up on a Saturday morning and went into the garage to clean up a bit and just started thinking about her really randomly. An hour later, my mom called and told me that she had passed away that morning. It's really crazy when things like that happen, it gives me just enough scent to know that God is still around and still speaks to us clearly.

She was a beautiful woman. She was like the spiritual rock of our family. She was the type of person that could cook really well and then when she would pray, you would almost cry. You could feel the Lord in her voice and the things she would say. She had an intimate relationship with the Lord and read the Word all the time. She had so many books that she would read. I didn't appreciate my grandma until I got older. Growing up, the prayers were just something you did before you eat. I used to think they were kinda long and I was really ready to just dig into the little biscuits she made that must have been like manna in the Bible. They were so good. As I got older and the Lord got my heart, her prayers started to make sense to me. I realized that she really knew the Lord and everyone that knew her was positive that she had a relationship with him. She didn't grow up with a lot of money so she liked to always make sure people had enough food and always made sure she cooked enough so we could give food to people around her town who didn't have much. She thought about everyone and if she knew you were coming to her house anytime around Christmas, you better believe she was going to give you a present. It might have been a couple of tshirts or a couple pair of socks, but you got something and appreciated it.

As her health started to go down hill, she always could catch me just as I would leave visiting her and ask about our family. She wouldn't ask how much money each one of us had, how big our house was, or anything like that. She was always concerned about each person in our family and their relationship with the Lord. She prayed constantly for the people who didn't know Him. My grandmother and I shared this same passion for our family, our whole family to know Him, really KNOW HIM. I could never leave her bedside without crying so hard. She would pray and it got to me. I learned a lot from her and I wasn't around her all the time. She lived an hour away growing up and when i went to college, I was hours away from her. The only time I would see her was if I went home and would stop by in the nursing home.

She asked me years ago to speak at her funeral. Along with two of her pastors whom she adored. It was such a blessing to be able to do that. I got to speak at the graveside and what an honor I thought that was. I got to summarize a life that was well lived. I talked about how she was a servant and cared for people and their needs. She didn't have much, but made much of not much. I told a story about how her dinner table was set-up. Everyone had a chair except her, she had a stool. I didn't figure out the reason for the stool until I was a lot older. She wanted to sit on that stool so she could get up really quick if anyone needed anything. And don't you dare try and get up and get something yourself, this was a sin. She was a servant and I will miss her...our whole family will. The crazy thing about a life that is well lived is that it doesn't have to stop with her. I've learned a lot from her and hope to carry on what she left with. She wrote this letter for me to read at her funeral. Talk about convicting and loving bound in paper.

In other news, I have found a church, finally. I visited Crosspoint a few months ago and absolutely loved it within the first 5 minutes I was there. I've looked for years and haven't been directly involved with a church that I could call mine. I wanted a church that was open and fun but still taught the scriptures verse by verse. I found it and love it. We start meeting in Tillman auditorium this Sunday, fun times! I hope to do some video work and start shooting some videos around the campus and use it as an evangelistic type tool. Please pray for that if you will :)

In the last bit of news, I started doing some voice-over work. I have desired for many years to get into doing commercials, radio, etc. I finally bought some equipment to start recording. I have a few projects that have been on the back-burner for many years. Soon they will be :)

Oh yeah, I still have a girlfriend after many months, why she keeps dating me, I'm not sure :)

Until next time, have your pets ...well nevermind. :)