Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer summer summertime

For those of you who don't know, I am first and foremost a Florida guy. I was born there and lived there for the first 26 years of my life. I love the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Florida State Seminoles, which is kinda hard living so close to Tobacco Road and Carolina Panther fans. Regardless, I will always be a Florida boy at heart. I don't enjoy the cold, all though the occasional snowfall is nice to some extent.

I also enjoy Florida culture, and trying to share with others just how cool Florida really can be. And it has little to do with Disney or Universal Studios. No, Florida doesn't really have seasons (hot and then hotter don't count), there are no mountains or leaves changing, and the snow rarely falls all that far south of Jacksonville. In spite of that, there is a beauty of Florida that most people never see. If you have never taken a ride on an airboat, you've not experienced all that Florida has to offer. That's where Florida Highwaymen come in to shed some light.

During the 1950's, it was hard for self taught African-American artists to get art displayed in galleries, much less sold for a decent living wage. But one white artist went out of his way to help these painters. He was Albert Ernest Backus,or Bean as he was known in the Ft. Pierce community. It is estimated that he influenced hundreds of local painters, including the 26 African-American artist who came to be known as the Florida Highwaymen. This group of artist closely replicated his painting style of local landscapes, using whatever materials were cheaply available (upson board or masonite), and then sold the paintings out of their cars to the tourist flocking to Florida's beaches. During the 50's and 60's this group of artist sold tens of thousands of painting, usually for $20-25 each. These paintings today can now reach thousand dollars each at auction. For more info on these important Florida painters, check out their site here.

Meanwhile, there isn't much known about Bean. His work, while just as nice as the Highwaymen, is relatively obscure. But he changed so many lives by investing in others. It reminds me of what I read this week in I Corinthians 10:24: "Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others." I am constantly reminded that the greatest investment I can make is in other people. Barnabas is one of my favorite characters in the Bible. He stood up for Paul when no one else would, stood by John Mark when Paul wanted nothing to do with him, and was generally known as an encourager of others over himself. Who invested in you? Is investing in you? More importantly, who are you investing in?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Who's getting the best of you?

So I'll want to share a passion of mine - MUSIC! I absolutely love the way music speaks, shares and transforms. And I like almost all genres of music - from worshipful Christian to 80's Hair Bands to rap to Phantom of the Opera, and most points in between. One of the cool things about ministering to college students is constantly being introduced to new groups and songs.

One of my favorite groups is The Foo Fighters, fronted by Dave Grohl (former drummer of Nirvana, another fav). I've watched all of the specials I can find about this group, and just thoroughly enjoy the passion and musicianship of the band. If you are a fan of songs written with deep emotion, as well as some really funny videos, I would recommend Foo for your listening pleasure.

Dave wrote the song Best of You, and it is a painful song. It's been said that Dave wrote this song in response to a hurtful relationship that his sister was in at the time of writing. Was she being abused? Was she addicted to a harmful substance? Regardless, as someone who cared for her, you hear the pain he feels while being on the outside, unable to help her affect a healthy change. Click here to listen to an awesome live version of Best of You, and click here to view the lyrics.

My point to all of this rambling is this - does someone have the best of you? Does anyone have control over you? Better yet, have you let someone (or something) take complete control of your life and emotions? In 2 Corinthians 11:19-20 the Apostle Paul writes "After all, you think you are so wise, but you enjoy putting up with fools. You put up with it when someone enslaves you, takes everything you have, takes advantage of you, takes control of everything, and slaps you in the face." Wow - strong words, but how true.

So what's the answer? Give everything over to God. Let Him have control (Jesus Take the Wheel comes to mind - thanks Carrie). Romans 8:6b tells us "But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace". If you wanna know true peace, it only comes from Him. Give it a try - I can guarantee it's worth it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

and in this corner....

So I've decided it's time for me to join the wonderful world of blogging. I've watched my wife Becky blog for several months now and am so impressed with her abilities and creativity, and how she shares what's on her heart. My goal is to follow her, and others of you, in passing on what God points out to me.

I was gonna give you a rundown of who I am, and how I got here. But I've decided to let you learn about me one step at a time. Make it a bit more dramatic or interesting. I am currently a bi-vocational associate pastor for The Journey Church of High Point, NC. Check us out at I recently grew into this position, having headed up the college ministry (along with Becky) for almost 3 years. I also run an office that sells and installs flooring in multi-family housing units here in the Piedmont Triad.
So what's up with the title? I love plaid and flannel shirts. I mean that's pretty much all I wear if I'm not wearing a t-shirt. I'm stuck in the days of Nirvana and Pearl Jam. I make no excuses and take no responsibility for my senses of style. On a side note though today I just purchased my first suit of the last decade. Gotta look good for a wedding in just 13 days. So grab a Mountain Dew and relax - it should be an interesting ride.