Category: personal

where else to find us

I thought I might mention that Derek and I have started our own individual blogs this year.



We’ve always considered this blog to be our ministry and a place to write about spiritual things. But since we’re both artists and thinkers we both wanted blogs where we could just be our own characters. I blog about just about everything I’m into–technology, cultural critique, fashion, design, film, music, writing. I wanted a place where I could be both a horticulturalist and a fashion critic. Derek’s blog has got some great photos and poetry up. For the last year he’s been building a photography/performance space and making up theatrical characters.

Have fun exploring!

a little book on poverty and glory

I am terribly un-promotional. And a terrible ‘networker’ to boot. When it comes to publishing, something I love, the actual “publishing to an audience” part somehow eludes me. I like to write it, print it, or put it on the web but “publishing” implies that one is actually announcing and disseminating, telling others, cultivating an audience. As a writer, I’ve always found myself both in awe of and terrified of an audience. When I had a regular weekly newspaper column, sometimes with my picture included, people would recognize me, and I would sometimes cross the street to avoid them. It’s such a horrible instinct!

All of this to say, over five years ago I wrote a book. It is called A Little Book on Poverty and Glory. I spent a few months writing it, cultivating it, then I spent nearly a year laying it out and designing it. I commissioned an artist friend of mine, Linnea Spransy, to illustrate the cover. And paid a good penny to have a talented designer at Jolly Design in Austin to put it all together. And then I worked with both an independent letterpress in Chicago and an independent hand-sewing bookbinder in Madison, Wisconsin to bring it all together.

The result is a wonderful book, hand touched from start to finish. The cover won a national design award from AIGA, and is now included in the permanent collection of their design archives in the Denver Art Museum and in the Rare Books collection in Butler Library at Columbia University. How’s that for an unannounced book! And this hand-touched quality reflects the message, which is at its core about something quite mystical but missing from so much Christian spirituality: desire.

Because I put so much into the book, I was tempted to hide it for a long time. And I apologize for that. So here it is, an announcement, better late than never. I have about 125 copies left of first edition books. They are numbered and signed and for sale at Bread and Tongue Press. If you can’t wait to buy one, you can do so right here:

Bread and Tongue Press was a small press I decided to start with a vision of producing handmade quality books and zines. There are future projects coming. In the meantime, I am working on a new book. It is bigger in scope than “Poverty” but I’ve recently discovered that I have actually been writing this book all along. My computer is stuffed with essays that have never been published anywhere but are tied together by a strong thematic string. Hopefully this book will not take so long to reach readers. Sometimes artists like me need a push, need an engine–an agent, a manager, a publisher–who stands outside of them and says “lets take this to people now and stop fiddling with it.”

I am thankful for friends like Andrew Jones who just do it and don’t think twice. He wrote a kind blog about my book. I guess I’d say it’s my only promotional blurb!!

The releasing of the Bible in Czech Republic

Sometimes both space and time foreground a God-event. Such was the case in Czech Republic last week, where I attended and performed in the launching of our friend Sasa Flek’s translation of the bible. This is the first modern translation since the nation was under communism. It was a sixteen year labour, and is a gift for all of Europe. Many ambassadors and leaders from various nations attended the launch, which was an artistic and cultural restorational event.

The launch happened in Jan Hus chapel, where Hus originally preached the seeds of the reformation for which he was intensely persecuted. He had a dream that one day he would return and see the painting of the gospel stories on the walls restored by artists! On this day, last week, that dream started to come true!


ArtHouse Austin opening for Jen Mickelborough

The last year we’ve been working on a local space for artists to work and show/perform here in Austin. We’ve been so privileged to have some dedicated friends who were willing to come all the way from the UK and New Zealand to help us get the space off the ground, and instigate a creative community.

So we’re really proud to announce our first opening this Friday, of the textile art and paintings of Jen Mickelborough. Many of you who read this blog know Jen–who came here with her husband Fran via New Zealand and are returning this month to the UK. It has been amazing watching her beautiful, vibrant pieces come together over the last 3 months. If you live in Austin, you are welcome to join us!


a man and a woman

Listened to this song today. We forget how much we need each other, need the differences, need the ‘mysterious distance’ between the two.

“A Man And A Woman” by U2

Little sister don’t you worry about a thing today

Take the heat from the sun

Little sister

I know that everything is not ok

But you’re like honey on my tongue

True love never can be rent

But only true love can keep beauty innocent

I could never take a chance

Of losing love to find romance

In the mysterious distance

Between a man and a woman

No I could never take a chance

‘Cause I could never understand

The mysterious distance

Between a man and a woman

You can run from love

And if it’s really love it will find you

Catch you by the heel

But you can’t be numb for love

The only pain is to feel nothing at all

How can I hurt when I’m holding you?

I could never take a chance

Of losing love to find romance

In the mysterious distance

Between a man and a woman

And you’re the one, there’s no-one else

You make me want to lose myself

In the mysterious distance

Between a man and a woman

Brown eyed girl across the street

On rue Saint Divine

I thought this is the one for me

But she was already mine

You were already mine…

Little sister

I’ve been sleeping in the street again

Like a stray dog

Little sister

I’ve been trying to feel complete again

But you’re gone and so is God

The soul needs beauty for a soul mate

When the soul wants…the soul waits …

No I could never take a chance

Of losing love to find romance

In the mysterious distance

Between a man and a woman

For love and faith and sex and fear.

And all the things that keep us here

In the mysterious distance

Between a man and a woman

How can I hurt when I’m holding you?

reelin up da arts flag

Still transitioning from europe to america, but glad to be coming into an arts season!

After rich time with tribe, it is nice to come home and start focusing on our passions again as artists! And also to have extended summer–it being texas. Lots of dialogue around the symbolic process this summer, and being refined as downloaders of God’s dreams. We really want Him to dream out loud through us. Nice to consider creative things with the french, the swiss, and the english–to get different parts of the picture He is contouring presently. There have been so many dreams and visions on this summer’s journey, and so many special moments of exchange around subjects which stir my being and my mind—so nice to come back jazzed and “in color”! To fly the funky flag again up over our castle!

Also got blessed by the polish folks we met, and the Jesus freaks in germany–long live da way of funky free!

“I feel alive she cried, i feel alive!–got to keep dis thang in motion–give Him da room to move, to move….in wisdom power and locomotion, go Man go!” (dj rift and da brooderhaufers)


…and the fire is burning…just back from poland at slot fest–christian arts fest; now on to freakstock in gotha, germany. Still always amazed at the diversity of Jesus friend’s globally! All these different reflections of Himself, so many parts of God to know and love! We meet the Jones in germany today who have been in berlin taking in that great city.

Samuel, Andrew’s oldest, went and helped at Rock on the Rock fest in Italy–we really wanted to go, but my neck got hurt in poland, and i could’nt drive–pray for continued healing–it is much better after having come to antwerp for a few days of recovery–so soft here in belgium–the people so naturally pastoral and friendly–pleasantness of Christ. Last year, i met a friend who started a christian kindergarden here in antwerp–he is german and has worked hard to make a Kingdom space for kids here with an entirely dutch speaking staff. He is german and likes results, so it has been hard to wait as God forms the staff and team and gives then His Vision. Frank is his name, and he would like to pass it off to a native belgian after five year–pray that he stay encouraged as he builds this place of haven and learning. Also, as we connect more with him, that we would be an encouragement!

Nice this summer to be meeting other artist and creators who bear His Name and allow Him the freedom to express Himself in fresh ways–europe needs us who know and have authentic relationships with Christ–it has had religion, but needs Jesus HIMSELF!! Pray that people will feel His Presence as we pass through the many places He has us in this summer.

We leave for germany tomorrow to rejoin the Jones, and then on to france–keep our energy up as well!

Nice to work with bryce and sam at slot–producing daily tv video shots, and then helping with their shows each evening–they did their huge 3d cube show one night in the main cathedral–it was so gorgeous and like performance art with a huge sharf of light rising up from the mainstage cube to decorate and animate the ancient ceilings of that cathedral in poland–the building was the largest medieval monastery in all of europe!! Slot fest has a website for pictures–we had our camera stolen (which is par for the course in travels, but still frustrating esp for Amy–so pray for her, as she also had her phone stolen–the enemy always hits her in the same way!)

We love and appreciate all your prayers–and be blessed afresh from europe!

poland and beyond

Amazing festival of new and old friends in the biggest medieval monastery in europe–very mysterious and enormous–Slot Fest! The polish people are so rich really! Learned sword fighting with abigail and archery with elizabeth Jones–camping with the Jones, and aiding bryce and sam who threw a worship 3d improv each night–the second to last they built the cube which is amazing–sam goes inside and it turns into a performance art happening with bryce and pascal groovin deep on the computers. Their art continues to inspire and improv–also andrew and i got to work for slot tv doing video. Each night the festival has a short called slot tv using graphic arts, and highlights of the day–but all impressionistic–much freedom to shoot artistically. I became obsessed with all the carnival skills being taught at the festival–unlike in america when you go to a ren fest etc, these guys were teaching actual sword fighting and archery and circus skills from guys who have been doing it for generations–very cool! Met lots of very colorful and spirit filled believers with His Heart for the nations–felt like a privelege to be there, and to be serving other leaders of the festival!

Now in prague for a break then on to italy. Just a short post to check in with friends following us in prayer. We were able to pray in many languages at the fest, and really felt free creatively while there. The fest is a good mix of old and new, and less music centered, more arts based, and the ancient castel was a great setting. If anyone needs me, call on my amercican phone.

Should be relaxed by the time we see many of you in france. Denny and Maureen are pressing in for their festival in italy–some warfare so please pray; we may also make it to berlin to see friends–so kee us lifted and not sick.

Sam’s oldest girl got sick at slot, she is getting better; also shannon was sick in antwerp, and i think is feeling better now. Today, we miss jessica here in prague camping near where we all used to live! It is her city!

We got to visit with sasa and katka in belgium–they took a respite at our place–good talks about the velvet revolution and the late 80’s–i always forget how amazing their testimony of Jesus is! They are planning to be in france with us so that will be cool, and we may see them today here in prague.

anyways, much love from the Way!


blasting into summer

Howdy friends! I just got back from a “deep south” spiritual tour of America. I will mention a single highlight worth its weight. God directed me to the grave of Martin Luther King and his wife Coretta King in a torrential rainstorm! I ended up at Ebenezer Baptist where Rev Luther grew up and eventually preached. The intensity coming off the grave, and the wonderful african american ladies who led me into that realm, where memorable beyond belief. The rains were so intense that one of the ladies lost her sheet music which went pouring down the road towards downtown–she and i chased it three blocks before snatching it up from the flood, and gathering that song!

I felt I was in the Presence throughout. I finally “got” that King was bringing a Kingdom context to race relations that few in the Church really had an understanding of at the time–or since. I felt that he had preached the good news of the Kingdom, and that this was part of my own generations call–to provide a larger Kingdom context for the arts, bussiness, culture etc. Not just the gospel of salvation as Billy Graham and others have carried nobly, but the gospel of the Kingdom–and this excited me! Also to be around another church father and martyr who was killed the year I was born!

Anyways, very rich journey, while Amy was in London conversing with our tribe, and bathing in the strength of unity among friends.

I also got to talk to the arts counsel chairman in Birmingham Alabama about his view of the history of that city and what the arts could speak into it! Got a deeper understanding of the south, and some of America’s undealt with issues. Not just race, but a general inferiority complex in relation to the North, and some unhealed civil war wounds–for America to become one and fulfill her destiny, much is still needed of Christ the breaker down of dividing walls.

In addition, have been reading a terrific–almost midrashic book- by an Irish priest called “Leaping”. Lots of joy and hope that God is unique in His expressions through each of us, and just wanting to enjoy being Himself in us. It resonates deeply with my heart’s song of God’s pleasure in expressing Himself through each of us uniquely–God enjoying the poem of Himself through us. That when we enter this, we feel, as David did in Psalm 139, the way of meditating on God through the uniqueness of our own identity! Each of us His Poems (Ephesians 2:10)

We are preping for Summer tours of eastern europe and arts festivals, and thrilled to have some folks coming with us this year, to taste the nations, and the different parts of The Body. I am going to get to be part of some leadership dialogues at Slot festival in Poland, and then amy and i are co-hosting a gathering of artist in the south of france–so should be rich and lots of God getting to be HIMSELF! Giving Him room to be, seems important just now.

Also we will be getting to meet and spend time with Pieter Bos of “Serving the Nations”, and amazingly insightful dutchman and his wife who ministers at the UN this summer. He wants to come to belgium and tour some art museums with us, so we are excited by that, getting to glean some from the older wiser ones! He has been knowing cities and nations much longer than us, and has a heart for people encountering the personalities of cities and nations as God does.

I am also working on a book just now, and trying to tell some of the story of my times in way which captures some of the life of what I have been privileged to bear witness to in my life.

While in North Carolina, also got to bear witness to the dedication of the Billy Graham museum–three presidents spoke, and God was happy. It ain’t cultural, but something larger than just one nation or one section of a nation! I felt Billy Graham’s humility and wisdom and his love of his wife!

I was able to be at the last Billy Graham evangelism conference in Amsterdam several years back, and felt priveleged as he commisioned so many missionaries from that place to go out with that particular power to carry the gospel of salvation. I feel so privileged to have grown up near so many men of such caliber-including my own father!

On another hand, hoping to visit Marc Chagal’s–one of my favorite Jewish artist, who did the opera ceiling in Paris—chapel he did just before his death. It is in Nice, france, near where we will be holding our gathering. I visited once, and it is amazing! He painted the whole old testament (torah) on a piano–you lift it up and there are all the prophets, major and minor–and conversing inside a piano, a metaphore of sound, music–perhaps the most abstract and direct art forms! He also did all the stain glass windows in the chapel–and each face the correct direction to illuminate them in the order of the key revelations of the Old Testament. I just love the use of symbol, even down to when light hits a certain window!

Today, I have been working on a poem about my time in Jerusalem. I went to school there for a year, and worked for an arab family near the damascus gate. I lost most of my writings at the border, bec they seemed a bit suspicious to a border guard, but they were mostly poems celebrating the essence of jerusalem and its humanity, and pulse. I miss living there.

Anyways, within a few weeks we will be back on european roads, which i also miss, and journeying with The Jones to slot fest, and getting to see our friends from prague; so we are excited to still be alive, and still be a place God can download parts of Himself, for His pleasure.

May He richly bless your summers!! Keep us ALIVE in You Lord!