I did a photo shoot of my friend Jake smith a while back and thought I would share some of the shots. Cheers
I did a photo shoot of my friend Jake smith a while back and thought I would share some of the shots. Cheers
Was looking back on old photos of Cohen and found this one. I love this little man.
This was an older post from an old blog that I felt like republishing. enjoy!
I would have to say I am a fan of Starbucks. Now before you judge me and throw out everything I have ever written or sung let me explain.
How many times have you gone to some random coffee shop and ordered your usual, and gotten something not even close to what you remember a good cup of coffee tasting like. Well for me this happens a lot.
Now in Seattle to get a bad cup of coffee, well you have to kind a work to find one. It is more rare here than in other places. But as I travel all the time, and my coffee experiences out side of my city walls are well, an adventure to say the lease.
My drink of choice is an Iced Americano. I love them. No sugar, no milk, just an iced black cup of pure coffee goodness. You are probably saying ick. That sounds so nasty, and to some it probably is. It is strong and bitter and well tastes just like coffee, cause that’s what it is. Straight black coffee, and I love it.
So here is why I like Starbucks. I always know, what I am getting. Nothing to fancy but it is constant, and to me, well worth my searching of a local Bucks. Now every once in a blue moon when the bucks is nowhere to be found I stumble into a local coffee house to find my self pleasantly surprise. But more times then not, they are like you want what? How do I make that, and well that is a huge, run for the border, don’t do it, it is going to taste like poo, kind a of find.
Anyways all that to say, I went to Starbucks today and I didn’t want you to judge my reasoning of why I went there. Ha.
Something I have been talking about is “finding the simples” in life. Finding those moments of God in the everyday things we see so often.
Today it was raining, in good old Seattle. Who would of thought? I was sitting in one of those comfy little chairs that the bucks seems to fill there stores with. I was reading and well kind a just watching the people around me, go about their business.
Today there was this man who was sitting in the corner by the window reading a book and seemed completely oblivious to anything going on around him. He seemed to be somewhere else and was finding great Joy there.
Now let me take a sec and set him up. Cause he wasn’t the normal guy I would picture sitting in Starbucks and reading a book.
He had very shaggy hair, and a straggly bread and cloths that seemed to be from a few generations back. He was somewhat dirty and kind of looked like he needed a shower. He had very soft eyes, and well if you have ever seen the American Picture of Jesus, well he was quite close, minus the white robe. Now if I were to have past him on the street I would probably just have jumped to the conclusion that he was just another local homeless man. And well maybe he was, but I don’t usually see homeless men reading the bible and hanging out in a Starbucks.
As I watched him reading I was just really taken but the way he would read for a moment and then stare off into space sifting through the findings that he was discovering in the book that lay before him. He seemed so taken by it, as if it was the only thing in life that even mattered to him, and at that, maybe it was.
I wanted so bad to just go and sit down with him, and listen to what he had to say. To hear his story, and what had lead him to the Starbucks in which we sat.
I fear so often the result of what might happen that I miss out on what could happen. I feel as if this man had something I didn’t have; yet that is probably just a feeling I had. Never the less I still wish I had talked to him. I still have his picture so deeply imbedded in my mind. Hopefully I will see him again, and maybe this time I will go and hear what it was that he was finding.
As of now, to me, he is, the man in the corner.
A couple days ago I received some news that hit me so hard I truly felt I could not breath. The pain was way over my head. My mind started racing and thinking to my self that I didn’t know how to handle the blow of what i had just been given. As I wrestle for 2 days with anger and hurt, trying not to be bitter and choosing to walk in what we are called to walk in, that being forgiveness. it is one thing to claim we can forgive but is really different to lay down your pain and choose love. You could say that Good Friday this year was the realest it has ever been. That i truly felt a death of sorts. But as I sit here today focusing on the Risen Savior I am reminded that the reason Jesus died was for the breaking of sin and pain and death. I stand here today believing on the name of our lord Jesus, knowing that he is the only one who can save us from our messy lives.
I spent this Easter very alone. I longed today for family more than I have ever longed, but knowing that some how everything is going to be OK. Gods love does not change no matter the storms that life throw our way. Today I prayed and prayed that God would rise in me and in all of you. That his realness and truth would burst forth and life would be new.
I covet your prayers so much! I don’t know how to face the storm that lay in front of me.
if you can find the time to lift my life up, I ask that you pray Gods Strength in me that I might walk upright and to choose righteousness in the storms that I know I am going to soon battle my way through.
Tonight I watched Forest Gump and I would say that it has been a long while since I had seen it. I do say a great movie, and I think I had forgotten how good it really was. As I found myself lost in the character of Tom Hanks, my heart fell victim to his simply way of life. Live life honest and full and never look back wishing you would had done this or that. There is something about a good story that brings hope to our lives and stirs something deeper inside of us, or at least in me.
I wept all through the movie, not because of the story of Forest Gump but because of the story of my own life. I was saddened tonight at the fact that I sometimes just shut off. That I let my life go into what I would call, Autopilot. I am coming to the realization that sometimes to face the truth, it hurts, and it hurts a lot, and in order to heal and over come we have to face the mountains that lay before us. Just sometimes it is easier to not feel or least that is the lie that tempts us.
I want to love myself! That is in a way that says that I am satisfied with whom God has made me to be. I am learning that in order to love others we must first learn to love our selves. That until we feel true value of who we are there is no way we can see value in other people. I believe that is why the bible teaches us to love others the way we would love ourselves.
I was talking with a good friend tonight about the way we see ourselves. About how that view alters the way we live and the things we do. If we feel small or dumb, useless or ugly it affects how we act and the life we live. Yet if we feel beautiful and loved we radiate with joy for there is nothing better in the world than to be fully loved. I am trying to let the love of God penetrate my hardened heart. You see I have a hard time seeing the good in myself. I struggle with the view of who I am more than you would ever know. You might think that because I stand on a stage that somehow I am granted some kind of bubble the shields me from all the impaling hurts this life throws at us but it is far from the truth. I am insecure and scared just like the rest of us that is if we really get honest with our selves.
But the truth is that we are perfectly and wonderfully made in the image of God. That regardless of our history and our fault that God still sees the potential of greatness within our human shells. We are the making of his hands and the wonder and glory of who he is.
We are his masterpiece!
“That according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith- that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
And now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us. To him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus through out all generations, forever and ever, amen.” Ephesians 3:16-21
I was reading in my journal this morning and came across this scripture out of Ephesians. Sometimes it’s hard for me to rest in the fact that God loves us perfectly. I know my sin and selfishness all to well, and if it were me, I would not find a place of love for myself. It is incredible to me that God finds us lovely. That some how he can see through our mess and see something that is beautiful and without blemish, and what I think is even more amazing is the fact that his love for us is the very thing that brings him glory. There is nothing that we have done, or that we are doing or even that we are going to do that can separate us from the love and glory of God.
Jesus please forgive us of our messy lives, and our inability to love fully. Please give us the grace to rest in the fact that it is by you and your glory only that we might find life. I give you my life today and pray that I have the strength and courage to lay down my life tomorrow and everyday after. I pray for strength to trust in your unfailing love. I ask for your shelter from the lies of this world and the clarity to see the truth that only you give. I ask for joy to rise in our hearts that our lives might become pictures of an unfailing love, and an unfailing God. Let us boast only in the cross that has conquered all death and let your love transform our minds to see the world through your eyes. Amen!
A couple days ago I was in the kitchen when I heard Cohen screaming “dada” I rushed to see what it was he was yelling about and low and behold I found Cohen with my Wallet. He had found it laying on the coffee table and started pulling out my cards and well found my Drivers License and was joyfully waving the license in the air yelling “dada”. He was so enamored with the fact that my picture was on this card. The wheels had started turning and he wanted so badly to inform me that I was on this tiny little piece of plastic. Sometimes I wish I could get in his head to see what the discovery process of his little mind looks like. If something could ever melt your heart it is the joy and love of a little human excited about who you are. I fear for the day that daddy is not as exciting as he had once thought him to be. But for now I will take what ever I can get.
Cohen is such a little love bug. Sometimes I will be sitting on the couch and he will climb up next to me in just start impaling me with hugs and kisses. He will give me the biggest hug then stand up and just giggle as if he some how knew I needed just that very thing. The joy God is bringing me through him is so undeserved and yet so needed all at the same time. God is healing my lack of a father through the fathering of my own son.
This last week has been a melting of the heart kind of week. I feel that spring has finally come and the winter’s ice is starting to finally melt away. My heart has been in a very cold place for a while and I would have to say that I have found my self very angry with God. But know matter how much I want to stay angry, when he chooses to come in the anger just seems to melt away and all that is left is a very hungry heart that is longing for more of the father’s warmth. He has been whispering sweet words into my heart and mind, the gentle “I love you” and the “hang in there kiddo, I will never leave you nor forsake you”. My life has felt like a hurricane now for over a year. I have found myself screaming to God, “where are you”, “why won’t you show up and heal this mess”. I don’t understand God by a long shot but he never fails to show up. Sometimes it is just not on my timing, well most of the time it is not on my timing. But I stand here in the warm spring day with a hunger of God’s love saying, “I am yours, all of me, anything and everything, I belong to you”.
I don’t know if I have ever confessed this but I collect rare cichlid. For those of you who don’t know what a cichlid is, it’s a breed of fish that is usually imported from either Africa or South America. Now there are cichlids found all over the world but the types that I like are mostly found in lake Tanganyika in Africa. I love them for their color and weird behaviors. They very territorial fish and do all sorts of dances to gain dominance over the other fish. They are very beautiful fish to watch. I have always loved fish and have had tanks the bigger part of my life. In fact before the whole music gig, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I can stare at fish for hours. I make a trip to the local fish store 2-3 times a week just to see if they got any cool new fish in that I have never seen before and to pick the fish mans brain (AKA Gabe).
Now if you don’t know who Gabe is you need to stop reading this and go back and read the post right before this. And it will answer all your million questions. 🙂
Gabe has got to be one of the most knowledgeable people on fish I have ever met. He knows everything you could think of about them, from breeding to PH to types of fish. He is so knowledgeable that you can show him random pictures of pretty much any fish and he will not only name it off but can tell you its scientific name as well. He must read fish encyclopedias for fun or something. I am way impressed with his fish knowledge. I would go in and pick his brain so much it is how we became friends. He coaches me on how to set up their true habitats so that I can get the best color and activity out of my cichlids and I in exchange am introducing him to the creator of which he is so enamored by.
I think that if I were to be any type of creature it would have to be some kind of fish. Their world to me is almost surreal it is so beautiful.
I find that things like this are the very things that show me that God exists. I can’t stare into this world and believe it just happened, no matter how hard I try. It is just to perfect to be some random act of chance. All are free to believe what they may but for me God is in everything, it is just a matter of whether you look for him or not. I know if one looks long enough they are bound to find the presence of greatness.
I say that next time you are stressed you take a trip down to the local fish store and just stare at the little slimy scaly fishes and let your mind wonder about a world that is different than your own.