Sunday, January 14, 2007

Portrait of a Superstar

He’s a superstar.
They call him man’s star.
Hollywood lights shine bright;
Lush red-carpet unrolled tonight!
Limo door opens as he steps out;
Cameras flash and people shout.
Motives twist; heart contorts;
Blood surges with pride and sins of sort.
With a glint in his eyes,
He buys this lie.
Gleams and glistens,
Can’t help but listen.
Consumes their praise;
Starts the latest craze.
Like a ravenous beast,
Tonight he will feast.

In the dressing room he stares into the mirror,
Pushing aside the pain and the fear.
Paints on a smile,
Masking his disgrace for a while.
Ten minutes ‘til the show starts,
Featuring crooked ways and crooked hearts.

Curtain draws and crowd goes wild.
Everyone screams, “We love Kyle!”
A need to please consumes his soul;
His deepest passion and greatest goal.
Deep dark shadows encompass his heart
As he continues to play the perfect part.

Curtain closes and crowd cheers;
Some share laughter, others share tears.
Kyle has been a raving success!
He’s incapable of giving less.

Back in the dressing room he peers into the mirror,
Tears off the mask, and stares at the fear.
Pain, hurt, disillusionment, even doubt.
That’s what his life is all about.
His darkened heart is empty and hollow,
But his mechanical robots will still follow.
Because he’s man’s star.
He’s a superstar!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Urbana 2006!

Matt, Becky, and I just arrived home yesterday from Urbana 2006, representing First Baptist at a macro-level, and Come Thirsty at a micro-level. We had an AMAZING experience, which words cannot describe. Check out for webcasts of the sessions, music, drama, and videos.

Here are the top twelve things I learned/re-learned at Urbana.


1. Experiencing hunger and thirst for five days was slightly uncomfortable. Experiencing hunger and thirst on a daily basis is life-threatening. Smelling the aroma of food and watching others eat while I had very little to eat--knowing all the while I could do something about it if I really wanted--was mildly irritating. Knowing that millions of people in the world smell the aroma of food and watch others eat while they have nothing--knowing they cannot do anything about it--is sickening and breaks my heart.

2. The beauty of diversity. I can sing in multiple languages--French, Spanish, Swahili, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Creole, etc. and my heart cry is as fervent as when I sing in English. No matter what language I fumble my way through pronouncing in my singing, my eyes fill with tears as I sing to our great God--our great God who is ONE.

3. "Without Christ, I am like a fish out of water. With Christ, I am like a fish in an ocean of love."

4. Everything I have, I must give up, and then I will discover I have gained Jesus.

5. Drinking from the cup of Western theology (that which is rooted in materialism, individualism, prosperity, comfort, etc.) is to drink from a poisoned chalice.

6. The purpose of maturity is not independence, but interdependence.

7. Joy is one of the most important characteristics of Christianity. Joy and suffering can coexist; indeed, they must. Often it is only in deep suffering that Christ can strengthen me with His grace to persevere, and this produces joy.

8. In front of God, only God is great!!!

9. The new cry of my generation: whatever, wherever, whenever!

10. 6,000 church members leave the American church DAILY.

11. I am called to be "missional", not just "missionary."

12. All God's children have been weak men, and they do great things because they reckon that God can do great things.