Only Where Graves Are

Hey friends. I hope you are doing great. 

I don't know if you recognize the season of Lent or not. I myself am new to the idea of abiding by the ancient church calendar, but I am finding it to be a beautiful way to celebrate the different seasons of Christian spirituality . It is also powerful knowing that churches across the entire world are praying, remembering, and learning the same thing. 

If you do recognize lent (and even if you don't), our paster Andrew Arndt just finished his first book which is a meditation for the lenten season. Each chapter is supposed to be read on a different day of Lent. It is elegant and powerful and I am proud of what he created. 

It's available via Google Books and you should definitely grab it. 

Sunday Morning Music: Then Came the Morning

This is some of the most exciting music we have heard in a long time. We absolutely love these guys. We love the gospel, country, and rock influences, and we love the heart these guys put in to this music. Their new album is fantastic and they are now on the top of my "To See Live" list. Check it out and let us know what you think. 

Sunday Morning Music: Vapor | The Liturgists

This is a song called Vapor by a group called the Liturgists which was started by a couple people in our church. This song has really meant a lot to me over the last couple months. It is beautiful and poetic and refreshing. The video that goes with it is really great too. The Liturgists have several albums on iTunes and Spotify with music, poetry, and meditations that are definitely worth checking out.

Happy Sabbath friends. Spend it well. 

Coming to Peace with Life and Death

A couple of weeks ago Donald Miller came to a church nearby. He is one of our favorite authors and if you have ever asked us to recommend a good book to read we have probably suggested “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years”. The premise of this book is how to live a good story with your life and make memorable scenes. It has really changed the way Nathan and I view life and is a big part in why we even write this blog which you can read about in our about page. 

Don talked about so many great things when we went to his talk and at first I couldn’t even figure out where to begin in this post or what to focus on. While contemplating it this week I got a phone call from my mom telling me that my grandma has congestive heart failure and Kidney failure and has been told she only has a week to live. Obviously that has been occupying my mind a lot and I am currently on a plane headed to Pa to spend my last days with her. So, in all of that, this is the stuff from his talk (and his book) that is directly speaking to my heart right now.

In his book he mentions a friend who writes everything down that he has ever done. When Don reflects on his own life he can’t remember a lot of it. Most of our lives are made up of a couple memorable moments that we really remember and are really proud of. If someone made a movie of us it would most likely be very short and pretty boring. This is not to say that every day has to be some grand epic adventure. It is intended to remind us to live every day with intention. Days are short and it’s easy to look back at the end of a day and realize that you got caught up in the mundane routine of work, TV, cell phones, etc. 

As I think about what must be going on through my grandma’s mind as she comes to peace with how she spent her days on earth and how she invested in people, it causes me to do the same in my own life. My grandma had a really tough life growing up. She endured more in her young age than I can comprehend. She could of easily become bitter or angry but instead she chose to live a better story with her life. It’s a choice we all have. She chose a story of love, sacrifice, and so much laughter and happiness. I know my grandma is pleased and has nothing left that needs to be said to anyone and no more memorable scenes that she wishes she would have done while she had the chance. 

What story are you choosing to live with your life? Are you making it a good story that gets told for generations? Are you choosing to make memorable scenes in your life? This week I encourage you and remind myself to live with intention. To be the hero in your story. To be someone who people are routing for and want to succeed. To be someone who is making a difference even in small ways. To step out of fear and to take risks for the sake of something better or valuable to you or others. To seek adventure and stories worth talking about.

I don’t wonder anymore what I’ll tell God when I go to heaven when we sit in the chairs under the tree, outside the city........I’ll tell these things to God, and he’ll laugh, I think and he’ll remind me of the parts I forgot, the parts that were his favorite. We’ll sit and remember my story together, and then he’ll stand and put his arms around me and say, “well done,” and that he liked my story. And my soul won’t be thirsty anymore. Finally he’ll turn and we’ll walk toward the city, a city he will have spoken into existence a city built in a place where once there’d been nothing.
— Donald Miller

Sing at the Top of Your Voice

This song hit me like a ton of bricks the first time I heard it on Fallon the other night. It is so simple but so freakin' powerful. I think a lot of people from my generation feel this way. The world has so embraced technology and 'social' networking that I think many of us feel like we are missing out on what it really means to be alive.

Life isn't about comments and likes, it is about loving fearlessly, feeling sand in our toes, looking at a million stars in the night sky, letting music bring us to tears, tasting great coffee, starting a family, getting lost, hearing the breeze blow through the mountains...and so much more. We only have a few years here on earth, do we really want to spend half of it staring at screens? 

Social networking and technology has amazing potential to be a great thing, but we have to find a balance. 

I suppose in some ways that is what this blog is about. It is Courtney's and my little attempt at getting out and trying to really experience life, and we hope it encourages you to do the same.

It doesn't take much, and the first step is simply "Put Your Phone Down". 

“We should run though the forest, We should swim in the sea
We should laugh, we should cry, we should love, we should dream
We should stare at the stars and not just at screens
You should hear what I’m saying and know what it means

To sing, sing at the top at your voice,
Love without fear in your heart.
And feel, feel like you still have a choice
When we all light up we can scare away the dark”
— Passenger