Thursday, July 22, 2010

Stephen Jacobs Photography

My buddy, Stephen Jacobs, is a gifted guy. Graphic designer by trade, artist by birth, this guy has the ability to capture emotion through the sketch of a pencil or through the lens of a camera. He captured some pictures for me of my time in West Texas. These will always have special meaning to me because of the beauty of that weekend. I'd like to share some of my favorites with you...

If anyone would like Stephen's contact info for photo shoots, album covers, graphic design, etc contact me. He is truly incredible.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Finding "The Shack" in West Texas

Ask anyone from Texas and they'll tell you that it has a beauty all its own. It's true. Open skies for days, beautiful sunsets, and a charm that is uniquely found in the people and culture.

Over there in my links I have a link to a "book i want you to read" called The Shack. It's a powerful representation of the unfailing love of God. Last weekend I travelled to lead worship for a retreat on a ranch in West Texas. I found God in a "Shack-like" experience I'll never forget. Dear friends, sweet times of searching, worship, exploring the vastness of this beautiful ranch, and seeing lives changed before my very eyes. Incredible.

There are several spots of oasis on the ranch were water trickles to make springs. Beautiful and peaceful.

This ranch has 40+ energy windmills on it providing enough energy for all of the city of Abilene and Sweetwater. The blades on those things are about 120 FEET long. crazy! Look at that sky!

Josh Hale--a great brother.

Channing and I were both on the leadership team for the retreat. Love this guy. God gifted me with his friendship.
Part of the fun of last weekend was connecting with old friends. Stephen Jacobs and David Gililland and I were Gamma Sigs together years ago. Great to be with them again! This picture was taken inside the mechanism of one of those windmills that had broken.

Sara Strader, Channing and me

David, Stephen and me...I'm thinking in this picture... "please hurry. There are snakes here."

Andrea, Sara and me. Sara led worship with me. She is so gifted!

As God takes the wind and makes energy through those windmills, He blew a breath of fresh air through me last weekend and created a new energy that I haven't felt in several years. I had a pretty amazing experience on the plane ride home. I was in the very back of the plane by myself and God brought Isaiah 35 alive to me in its entirety. There's no real way to describe what I experienced in that moment...a deep feeding at the core of my being, an overwhelming sense of His presence, an uncontrollable and swift current sweeping my sins and mistakes as far as the east is from the west. It was nothing short of life-changing. I'm grateful. Grateful for friends, grateful for mercy, grateful that God met me on a ranch in West Texas and built for me an encounter that I will never forget.

One day, years ago, Sandra Collins told me, "Build an alter here in your heart so that when you look back you'll remember the work of the Lord." Great words of advice that came back to me in a brand new way.

I love this verse from the old hymn "Come Thou Fount" by Robert Robinson written in the 18th Century. To raise an "Ebenezer" means exactly what Sandra Collins said to me that day. Build an alter here to honor this moment as a holy moment in time for the Lord.

Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

Praise God for His unfailing love. I'm living proof that He loves us in spite of ourselves!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy Birthday Weekend!

This weekend we are celebrating a couple of birthdays...the USA with fireworks and parades...and Maddie's with a masquerade ball! Maddie's party was so fun! Thanks to Sheryl and Gail's hard work and one or two props from the Gary Musick Scenic warehouse, it looked great! (if any of you are interested in themed parties for your kids, or for a celebration of any to me)

Here are some pictures from the party...

Sheryl made the cake. It was incredible!

Maddie turns 9 hard to believe!

We all got decked out for the party. Sheryl also helped make the girls' dresses. The red one is Sheryl's that she altered down to fit Ella.

Maddie and her friend, Macy Farley

My nephew Canaan had all the girls entranced over his ipad. He's a stud.

I love this of Sheryl and Maddie

Maddie and Ella

The kids made masquerade masks as their craft

Sheryl's sister Gail was a huge help!

Maddie and her friend, Chesley Moosher

Maddie, Macy Farley and Sarah Cagna

I love this of Sarah

Ella and Nonnie (my mom)

Maddie and Nonnie

Ella being Ella

Sheryl had a hilarious idea...she made a silhouette of a woman and put a dress on her so the kids could play "Pin the Mask on the Lady"


I made a mix CD for a dance party...the first song was "Masquerade" from Phantom of the Opera. The girls danced around to cute!


My mom gave Maddie something she's been hoping for for about 2 years. She was so excited. Nonnies are great!

Happy Birthday, Maddie!

Group pic!

Laura Laetz, Maddie, Sarah Cagna, and Macy Farley...the after-the-ball swim!