THIS WEEK, I’m honored to be the featured VIDEO over at CreativeMondays.net! Headed up by the amazing Tim Noxsinz, I got connected to the #CreativeMondays community several months ago and feel humbled to be their first feature of the new year. I’m constantly amazed at the amount of talent and creativity in this crew. You can connect with them via Twitter on the #CreativeMondays open space, or on their website!
A few months ago, my 5 year old daughter had the privilege of being the flower girl in my niece’s wedding. Convinced she was an actual princesses for the night, I spent most of the reception time dancing with her…laughing, being silly…until she wore out around 10:30. After we got home around midnight, I wrote this song….
Hope you enjoy!
TWENTY YEARS AGO on this date, I stood before some of the most important people in my life and made the best decision I could ever make: to marry the girl who captured my heart.
I would not be who I am without her constant love, her consistent support, and her wonderful companionship. I'm blessed beyond measure.
Happy 20th Anniversary!
Or should I say, "Hello, World.."?
It's been too long since I've posted…and there are many reasons for that. I'll spare you the boring details. But beginning at 8pm on June 30. I will be officially fasting from Facebook, Twitter, etc. for ten days while on vacation.
Count 'em. Ten.
The Cottar Crew will be UPALO (unplugged and logged off) and enjoying some sequestered time on the beach chasing waves, getting sunburned, and being silly.
In the meantime, I hope you can take time to reboot. Recreation is re-creation. Rest is NOT a second-class use of your time. Take time to worship the Creator and enjoy His creation. I get the strong sense that, on my deathbed, my regrets won't be the relationships of family and friends I've been blessed with! And, just for kicks, here's a sermon I gave a few weeks ago titled, "Worship: What Matters". I'd love to get your thoughts!
(Thanks to Bob Kauflin, CJ Mahaney, and Louie Giglio for helping me grow in this..).
My resolutions this year are different than last year. While I do have some specific, personal things I want to accomplish in the next 12 months (getting back to my running regime, never using the words ‘epic’ and ‘fail’ again…), they’re pretty insignificant in the larger scheme of things. So here are my top 5:
5. Look closely. Life happens all around. I have friends who have travelled the world and don’t have much to report. I also have other friends who can walk down the street and see the whole world. I want to be the latter.
4. Listen intently. We all have amazing stories to tell. Stories of love and tragedy. Of heartbreak and redemption. Of grace and growth. God is in the process of redeeming all of creation, but sometimes noise drowns out the tale. In 2011, I will listen more intently to Christ’s story in and around me.
3. Tell boldly. What good is a story without an audience? What good is tragedy if the triumph is never told? I want to 'tell better'–not in a preacher-on-a-street-corner-kind-of-way, but like a painter who can't help but paint. I want to creatively use every color, every hue, every nuance to tell the story so that it resonates with us and accurately reflects the love God has shown.
2. Love completely. When I die, the only things that will eternally matter are my relationships–with Christ and with His Bride. If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but don’t have love……if I feed the poor and don’t have love….if I have faith that moves mountains or knowledge that understands crazy, theological secrets, and don’t have love…then what good is it?
1. Spend 2011 awake and wondering. Life gets hectic and it’s easy to autopilot through each day without engaging in the wonder of life and creation. Recreation is re-creation. Wonder begets wonder. Like Neo taking the red pill, I want to see how far the rabbit hole goes…
What about you? What are you striving towards in 2011? Did you make any resolutions? I'd love for you to share…perhaps together we can spur each other on towards living 2011on purpose.
I don't know where you may fall on the whole 'Halloween Thing". I have friends who love Jesus who sincerely believe it's solely Satanic and part of the downfall of our
family-values bubble world. On the other hand, I have other friends who passionately pursue Jesus and still approach Halloween with all the vigor of Quentin Tarantino and Rob Zombie.
Regardless, October 31 officially begins Chocolate Season in TomLand.
So, today I am officially declaring today 'Opening Day'. As any zit-marked, diabetic teen knows, Chocolate Season begins at Halloween, runs through Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Valentine's Day…and doesn't officially conclude until Easter. And, in most cases, it's extended through June, to cover Mother's Day and Father's Day!
Sa-weet Lord….Gracias a Dios!
I realize Chocolate Season makes it hard to prepare for Swimsuit Season, but with all the talk these days about skin cancer, overexposure, and the damaging rays of the sun, Chocolate Season is a much better (and healthier!) option.
I hope you'll join me! Let the games begin.
After letting the back-to-school dust settle, I started running again this week. I love/hate how it exposes my weaknesses and helps keep me durable. (I like being durable…) And it’s a great vehicle which reminds me of the benefits to spiritual discipline.
Stretch. No one likes to. Everyone needs to.
Run hard. If you only do what you’ve always done, you’ll only get what you’ve always gotten. You have to push yourself to experience something new.
Run everyday. If you only run on Sundays, you’re not going to see much, if any, progress. So, if you want to be a runner and only run one day a week, ….then good luck with that.
Rest. Everyone needs time to recover. Restore. Refuel. Re-create. And recreation is re-creation.
Don’t run alone. Most of us enjoy the zen-like solitude of running. But the fact is that it’s dangerous. Dogs. Cars. Construction. Even a sprained ankle is dangerous when you’re alone. Hurt and alone is a prescription for a dangerous fall.
It reminds me of I Corinthians 9:24-27:
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (ESV)
Hebrews 12:1 says to 'lay aside every weight…and run the race before us.'
I dare you to run this week. Are you up for what it can teach you?
Just a little self-indulgence here. recent pictures of our family (including some cousins). i am one incredibly blessed man…as you'll see when you press 'play'.
Thanks, @BartMillard and the MercyMe guys for the tune.
Just got Mom’s PET scan results… They found NO cancer in any other organs! Thank you, Jesus! It’s the best possible results we could have gotten in these circumstances.
She will start chemotherapy on Monday or Tuesday, and we’ll start fighting this thing head on.
Thanks so much for all your prayers in this. We still have a long, hard battle ahead of us… But we also have a God who specializes in the impossible.
May He be glorified!
Yesterday afternoon my dad called with the biopsy results.
My mom has been diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, a stage IV cancer that's particularly aggressive and nasty. As with a lot of IBC patients, it was misdiagnosed in December as mastitis or some kind of staph-like infection. Now that we have some definitive information, we want to be as aggressive in her treatment as the cancer is destructive to her body, so today she will begin 4-6 months of chemotherapy, followed by 4-6 weeks of radiation.
Please pray for us while we are dealing with the news and asking for God's guidance in her treatment and planning. We know this will be a hard fight. As often as you think about our family, please pray for her and for the rest of us.
May Jesus be glorified.