Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm seeing the church in a new light these days.

After road tripping through the north west and the California coast i realized that I'm a part of the greatest story ever told. Its almost as if every narrative story line is based of off Jesus coming and dying. Its the greatest love story told. The greatest mystery ever told. Its pretty sci-fi if you think about it too. Angels and Demons living and fighting in a different realm, invisible to human eyes.

We arrived in Seattle with no place to stay and only a few destinations in mind. We saw the original Starbucks and the place where they throw fish. We met the guy actually. He was tall, kinda gritty, and talked Texas better than we did. We ate some amazing food and drank some amazing drink. But none of it would be possible without the help of a native Seattlite named Wyatt.

Wyatt is killer. The man. The dude.

We decided the first night there that we would visit one of our favorite churches, Mars Hill. And with the important question of where we were sleeping that night on our hearts and minds we figured that if these people were as generous as we thought they'd be we just might find a floor. After a service on how the church functions and hospitality from Mark Drsicoll we met this guy Wyatt.
Long story short, Wyatt treated us to some beds as well as some sweet breakfast of eggs! Then showed us around Seattle. The Lord answered our prayers so much during this trip. We had the best tour guide that ended being a close brother in Christ! (praise him!)

But here is the thing about the Northwest, or at least the parts we experienced. It is Church! Like Church for real. Honest, gritty, and sweet. Why would someone ever let four smelly road tripping Texans sleep on there floor much less spend the whole day with them...Jesus.

And they embrace culture as if its something that gives life. Not that i don't love southern Texas hospitality but sometimes its stale and fake. And is there really culture in the red-bricked suburbs of Houston or Dallas? Maybe. Hopefully. But we got to talk to some of the most honest and messed up people in the world right now. They were leading worship and making meals. Listening to good music. Being snobs about coffee, because they long to taste the good stuff while they're alive and not Folgers. Its weird, i know. But there is more than Folgers and its not the best part of waking up and in fact it was never in our cup the whole week.

I long to see this kind of attitude in Denton. The great part is i already do. I long to see this in my own life. The embracing of the good that God has given us here on the earth. Like french pressing good coffee that was roasted yesterday and talking about how we taste hints of Lemongrass and blueberries. As we sip, we're talking about what the God of the universe is teaching us and the areas that we don't trust him.

Art. Why would God give us art? Why would he let coffee grow? Why would he allow sun rises and at the same time sunsets in other places? Maybe its because he is good. Showing us his craft in the way the landscape rolls in Utah and juts out in Colorado. And then makes us miss it while we drive through Arizona on Hwy 10.

This is all very futile and overly romantic, i know. It was just good to get away. To fall back in Love with home by going far, far away. I think that God wired us like that. Maybe, but what do i know about how God wired humans...not much. But this much i know, that He is eternally good and one of the best artist I've seen. He writes the best stories and characters that many people use to create new stories in books and films. He writes songs through birds and people. He paints things like old rocks and sunsets. He colors the rivers that run through Washington a vibrant turquoise. I didn't water could be blue for real. He litters the beaches of the pacific with the blackest sands and river stones. They're no Galveston of course but still very nice.

It is good to get away. To fall in love with new places and people in order to fall back in love with the places and people that we come from.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

sonnet writing practice...

Jealous I am of what I do not have.

To want is to neglect what is begat,

And to throw out perfect production gave

In heaps of trash not but a few days had.

Consuming eyes and stomach will ruin all good.

I want but do not have because I tire

Of the beauty given me once nude,

Once pure, before fig leaves, serpents, and fire.

If God is real and love as well is real

I pray that He dies out of love for me.

I stain, consume, and run in hopes to feel

But in the end I am killing a Jew daily.

Religion will fail me time and again

And I make it a christ that won’t descend.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

O Autumn

autumn comes as hope
like breeze to the branches
as if God still romances his leaves

decades of harsh winter and summer
between living and not living
autumn comes swiftly in the formers' leisured leaving

one smells the oaks and sycamores turning
hearing rumors of another that's coming
one born of Nazareth, they call him Autumn ,

He is real and i pray he comes like fall, swift
o come, like Autumn, he is real like the changing of leaves
We shall call him Autumn

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

This isn't oregon trail anymore....

So I'm going to Portland!

Brad and Mirella Watson have moved to Portland about a week ago to start a church. Portland is supposedly the most un-churched area in all of the States. So this already seems like a daunting task, but I've talked to Brad and he knows he should be nowhere else. Brad had asked Grant, his younger brother and my best friend, and i to come live with him this summer in P-town; to hang out and meet people and to help in any way we could with the birth of this new church. Much to my dismay, Grant is staying Nashville in order to work and pursue some Music Business opportunities. (Which is totally sweet)

But I'm still going to live with these ex-Oklahoma(n?) newly-weds close to the city, hoping to meet all kinds of folks while I'm there.

It's funny because that is all i know. We've talked quite a bit but its hard to say what all will be going on when i show up...but i can't wait.

So be prayerful. Ask God to call many to himself. That his Spirit would move while I'm there and continue to move as this church begins. Pray for Brad and Mirella, that God would make them strong for his name. That their marriage would be strong and always reflecting Christ and his church.
Pray that my bible-belt upbringing won't make me want to run away from those who are different from me. That many would come to know the Lord in Portland.

Thanks. I'll do my best to do updates on this blog while I'm there. But if you want to learn more about whats happening now, read Brad and Mirella's blog. Also if you have twitter follow Brad and I. We will have lots of updates. @markapel @bradawatson

thanks for the prayers. Past, present, and future prayers.


I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. john 10:9-10

10While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"

12On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." matthew 9:10-13

Thursday, June 25, 2009

book list revised

finished nine stories...greatest read in a while

on chapter 14 of purpose driven life...surprisingly edifying and convicting(oh Rick)

Still only on the first few chapters of Mere Christianity...take it slow i hear, take it slow

Probably going to read either the Old Man and the Sea next, or Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters...

Also been skimming The Best American Non-Required Reading compiled by Dave Eggers and forwarded by Sufjan Stevens...great forward

Anybody have anything in mind to read? anything you've finished and think i should read?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Oh and brad watson's new book!

books for the summer

so here is the list for the summer:

Mere Christianity- C.S. Lewis

9 Stories- Salinger

The Purpose Driven Life- Rick Warren

The Old Man and The Sea- Hemingway

Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man- James Joyce

Poetry- E.E. Cummings, Walt Whitman, Sylvia Plath

This is all subject to change. Give me some opinions on these if you've read 'em.