Movember or more fitting, Beardvember.

Posted November 2, 2010 by Tyler Williams
Categories: Uncategorized

Hey guys,
 
Some of you I haven’t talked to in ages but I wanted to inform as many people as I knew about this.
 
This Movember or Bearvember as I like to call it I’ve decided to donate my face to raising awareness about cancers that affect men.  My commitment is the continued growth of a moustache and beard for the entire month of Movember, and for the rest of my life which I know has and will generate conversation, controversy and laughter.

I’m doing this because:

·     1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer in his lifetime

·     1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime

This is a cause that I feel passionately about and I’m asking you to support my efforts by making a donation to support the great work of the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG.  To help, you can either:

–  Click this link http://us.movember.com/mospace/970352/ and donate online using your credit card or PayPal account
–  Write a check payable to Movember, referencing my name or Registration Number 970352 and mailing it to: Movember, PO Box 2726, Venice, CA 90294-2726
 
The money raised will help make a tangible difference to the lives of others, through the world’s most promising prostate cancer research and LIVESTRONG’s programs that support young adults and their families battling and surviving cancer. You can also visit the above link to join my team as well to help support this innitiative.

For more details on how the funds raised from previous campaigns have been used and the impact Movember is having please visit
http://us.movemberfoundation.com/research-and-programs/.
 
Thank you.
 
Tyler Martin Williams
a.k.a. The Messenger

Proud Member of Beard Team USA

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Overcomplicated or oversimplified?

Posted October 30, 2010 by Tyler Williams
Categories: Not Mine But Thine, Readings

I think it is way too easy for us to focus on gaining knowledge about Christ or of Christian ethics and lose sight of the truth. Truth; being the very person of Jesus; and how often do we lose sight of Jesus? It’s crazy to think that we either overcomplicate or oversimplify the gospel to the point of it losing it’s power and potency. It’s also pretty scary to think that by doing this to the Truth, or more directly to Jesus we end up pushing people away from the Word of Truth; rather than bringing people into the true faith in the truth and in love.

The ways that we overcomplicate the gospel is by piling too many steps, formulas, or ways in action that we must follow in order to have that right relationship with our Father Christ. This is what was happening in and around Jesus’ time on earth with the Pharisees. There were countless laws and rules that the Jews had to follow to be seen as holy, all the while missing the point or important things entirely. Jesus came and debunked all of the Pharisees teachings, and creating a bad name for himself in the eyes of the religeous folks, but he did this knowing that this would bring others into right relationship with him and the Father.

Jesus came and redeemed the broken, loved the contrite in spirit, emboldened his followers, hugged the loveless and the outcasts, touched the untouchables; He reversed everything they thought about what it truly means to be holy and truly religeous. This is how faith looks in it’s purest form, that if we love Christ first all the glory and riches and honor are added unto us. No rules or regulations, but an honest, transparent, fire-catching love for our Savior.

On the other hand, we tent to oversimplify the gospel by getting so far away from the rules. Then taking very few of the things that make true faith and putting too much importance on them, while leaving certain things to wilt away. For instance, we take the issue of going to church and zeroing in on this. Making it a mandatory thing and perhaps leading to taking away the desire and the wanting to go out of the picture. Which leads to the building having much more importance over the action of church and worship and fellowship. As if these things can only occur if we go to the “church” we meet in. Or the issue if reading or studying the Bible for 25 minutes a day for example, and using this gaining of knowledge or the putting in of my time, while the Bible becomes a faith bandaid. We use this as a ‘look at my faith, I read the Bible everyday.’ 

Or the subject of community; some christian circles of which I have been in and also been on the outside of, so I’ve seen this firsthand. But, the act of living in community is taken to the extreme and made out to be a matter of if you don’t live in the same city as the church you go to we are somehow living in sin or apart from Christ. But, I think is is more broad than that, it doesn’t come in such a pretty box with a neat little bow. Christ lived in community whenever and wherever he went. He is essentially and literally community himself, so; where Christ is so will be community. The actions Jesus took by loving on the people he came into contact with, is how we can live in ‘right’ community with each other. If we are loving Christ in all we do, wether in word or deed; than community will come with us, not containing itself in a zip code or a 1 mile square block. This is how we can be effective and non-complacent Christ followers. For us to be a willing people and to live available lives to Him, then there is no force in this world that can quench that flame.

As it says in the Bible; “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perserverance; and to perserverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brother kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have these, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from past sins.” –2 Peter 1:5-9  

–Lord of heaven, may I turn away from this thing called ride and this narrow mindedness. I pray that you may allow me to see you and your purposes clearly with ferventness. Keep me excited and burning for your truth so that I may be effective and productive for you, rather than push or turn people away. May I live for noone and nothing but your glory. To this I commit my life. Amen.

Rid the Yard of Sticks.

Posted October 28, 2010 by Tyler Williams
Categories: Artish Things, Not Mine But Thine, Readings

The following article was written by David Crowder and it has fully touched my heart and I can’t help but share it with you all. It reminds me how narrow minded and self centered we are as a generation, a nation, and a human race. We are so consumed by what conveniences us and want to live in our personal little bubbles. We avoid eye contact everywhere we go and everyone is busy messing with their BlackBerry’s and Iphones to be bothered for anyone. I pray that the Lord can renew us and to break down our comfortable little suburban lives to be bothered by the people who need help. It breaks my heart that there is so much heartbreak, lonliness, lusting, sickness, poorness, and loveless people out there that we simply pass by without so much as a smile. Shame on us!!! Allow me Lord to touch people’s lives and invest in the needs of others, to be a tool for your glory, to bring people into the love that I have grown to know. Prepare to be blessed by this amazing story by an amazing man.

Rid the Yard of Sticks

By David Crowder

++ CATALYST MONTHLY EXCLUSIVE ARTICLE

It is a Saturday afternoon in Waco, Texas and I am at home sitting on the couch with my wife. The television is on and it is displaying a golf tournament and we are observing this through half-opened heavy eyelids. It’s rather lovely.

I feel the need to point out that I live in one of the more economically depressed sections of town, as in, seriously, two of our neighbors call themselves the Rockstars because, they sell “rock,” (as in crack cocaine) – they do a brisk business. So, again, this time with context, my wife and I are sitting on our couch on a Saturday afternoon watching the “sport” of golf with lots and lots of Fidelity and Buick commercials.

Abruptly, I am jarred from this, my privileged slumber, as, “David! David!” is yelled at loud volume from somewhere behind me. I now feel the need to point out that we do not have any curtains on our windows. We’ve been in our house 6 years and curtains have held only occasional importance, like now, with, “David! David!” being shouted from the street at the window located directly behind my head, which is again causing me to think, “Seriously, we’ve been here 6 years? We need some curtains.” I turn and peek over the couch. It’s John. I say this to my wife, “Oh, man. It’s John.”

John is an elderly black man who has no home. He is one of Waco’s homeless. He is my neighbor. He comes around and wants to pick up the sticks in my yard. He says, “David, I’ll just get these sticks out of your yard if you can spare a few dollars.” We do this often, rid the yard of sticks. It’s really helpful – you can imagine – the ability to move about your yard without the obstruction of sticks. So, here is John, standing in the street outside of my window, watching us watch golf, when he decides he needs to tell me something. Peering over the couch, my eyes meet with John’s and I am left with no choice outside of meeting John at my back door.

“Hey John.”

“Now, David. I don’t mean to disturb you. I see you and your wife in there just relaxing, watching the TV, the golf I see, my apologies.”

“That’s quite all right. What’s going on John?”

“Well, like I said, I don’t mean to disturb you, I just wanted to say congratulations.”

I pause. I’m not sure what my line is supposed to be. I had all of my lines ready. I had formulated them on my walk from the couch to the door. I have no idea what he’s talking about. I think to myself, John is genius. This is a new angle. I’m trying to anticipate his next move and I’m forming fantastic pieces of discussion that will totally make John get a real job and stop living on the street and asking me if he can pick up my sticks. I respond, “Uh, thanks.”

“Yep. You’re gonna do it. We’ve all talked and we know you’re gonna bring ‘em home. Just like last time. Yep, congratulations. We’re all pulling for you.”

“Uh, OK. Now what might this be regarding?”

“Those Dove awards. You’re gonna win ‘em! We all prayed and we know you’re gonna do it, you’re gonna bring ‘em home you hear me?”

I pause. I have no idea where to put this. John has basically told me that the homeless population near my house is 1) aware that there are such things as “Dove Awards” and 2) that my band and I have been nominated for some, and, 3) seriously? (!) The homeless had some type of meeting, or assembly, or whatever, and are praying we win? What on earth! That is the most ridiculous thing ever, and – what, seriously? Thoughts like this are in my head: David, you make assumptions that are wrong. You need to repent. You are evil.

Social or civil justice issues are incredibly difficult objects to get my head around. It is a given that most of us desire to live in a just society; the awkwardness lies in agreeing upon just how exactly we arrive there. It’s easy to become pessimistic and passive even when attempting to effect change, i.e. after hearing Red Campaign marketing costs, or reports that mosquito nets I sent contributed to a water shortage crisis due to the nets actually working and people surviving malaria. Thus, obviously, it resulted in a rising population and a rise in water consumption, thus resulting in a water shortage, which now those same people are dying from.

To carry the story of God in a way that makes a real, tangible difference to those we live among can be really frustrating at times. I think the only way to not become paralyzed by the task, is, to get close enough to these issues for them to turn into names and faces that walk up to your fence on a Saturday; who lean in and yell your name and give you something that leaves you smiling and tearful and repentant and a little more in love with the people God has made.

 

David Crowder recently won four 2008 Dove Awards, including Worship Album of the Year for REMEDY , and Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year for “Everything Glorious.” David co-founded University Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, where he lives with his wife Toni.

He still works..

Posted October 13, 2010 by Tyler Williams
Categories: Not Mine But Thine

“The word of God is thus God at work,” implies that God is not done working in this world. He is a God who is living and active who never ceases. His word is the most powerful thing in all of this world. That is why is says the word of the Lord is a double edged sword, able to sever soul from physical being. This is why we must believe and live out the fact that He asks us to come to him. ” I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”-John 14:12-14

This brings me to my life the past 6 months or so, if not longer. My wife and I starting by feeling a calling to come to San Diego for His reasons that we are still trying to understand. Each step of this process has been ALL about the Lord and his plan in our lives. First came the calling after years of my wife and I praying that we will be used in a mighty way for his purposes. Next we paused and prayed and allowed God to invade our hearts before we made any decisions on our own. So I started looking for a job to provide the funds and location necessary to make the physical move happen. After countless days driving down to San Diego for job interviews, 3 months worth or so. It all came back to my first interview I had, accepting the offer and placing my trust in the Lord; with my family, finances, and moving. Then for the next month and a half or two months we spent pausing, praying and looking for a place to call home. We looked at many apartments, houses etc. and tried to make a few of them happen. All the while the first consideration of a place to live was being saved by the Lord. After becoming overwhelmed my wife and I decided to stop looking and just pray. No sooner than the next few days, I got a call from Nate Boland that the place next to them just became available. I called the land lady, interviewed, got the place. This concluded step/blessing number 3. 

Now that we have the job, and the place to live; it was now time to pause, pray and seek a new church home. We compiled a list upon recommendations and googling online to find a church. As well as more obvious, seemingly logical choices of a church. But that made it all the more reason for us to make this about what God wants in our lives. As we were in the process of praying and seeking, a co-worker approached me and told us about Journey Community Church, which is 3 miles from our house. We felt a pull to try the church out for the next few weeks. The first time we went they told us about the next 6 week series they were doing called We Pray, We Give, We Go. After feelling called to stay for the next 6 weeks, God began to work in our hearts and prepare us for the decision to make Journey our new home church, which we did. With much prayer and giving our desires to God, we felt that it was the next step in the process. This brings us to today, seeking the Lord in all we do and learning to simply call upon the name of the Lord and He will show us the way.

I think too many times, people in this world think it is too easy to call on God, it must not be real. There must be more to it than simply calling upon God’s name. There must be bullet points, or a formula to figure out who God is and what He wants for our lives. But that’s just it, He is a God who cares for us and he doesn’t want to get lost in the distraction of a 12 step program. He really just wants us to be broken by His love and calling. To come humbly, with awe and a desire to be healed; a desire to be made new. “All who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”-Romans 10:9

We can and will become new creations with the healing power of His graceful-like mercy. It warms my heart to know that He is there even when we’re broken, He is there when we need a hug; but more importantly He is there when we spit in His face to fill our own earthly, prideful desires. When we betray the Lord with a kiss, all to well knowing that we are going to sin against Him when we have the first opportunity. He is a patient God, a father who is just waiting and yearning for his sons and daughters to come home. To the home that is our safety, our refuge and our stronghold against all that this world is trying to break us down with.

–May I trust in you oh Lord, may you hear my cries; if I can just be honest with you. You know my every thought, my every desire, my every anxiety. May I find rest in you, and may I come home to stay in your arms oh Lord. Thank you for being there even when I turn my heart away from your face. You are the ONE and ONLY, the savior of my soul. Thank you my Father–

Jesus, Creator God

Posted October 8, 2010 by Tyler Williams
Categories: Not Mine But Thine

” The SON is the radiance of God’s glory…sustaining all things by His powerful Word.” –Hebrews 1:3–

How wonderful this statement is; to be honestly and utterly moved by the Lord’s powerful, handsome works. As the SUN radiates the most intense heat, deadly sun-flares, and pure smoldering power that can incinerate the soul. So goes the power of the SON who by His own hands created the SUN and every single property of that burning orb; without being burnt mind you!

How can we as mere created beings discount the reality of a maker; of the Maker? We can minimize the power of God to an explosion or bang to be more precise? It’s a coincidence! Really??

To just take the properties of a human being alone; the most complex creature in the universe; can baffle the beautiful minds of the smartest scientists who have and will ever attempt to capture this act into words. It is true that with our finite minds, we try and box-up and prioritize or categorize unexplicable events into small mathematical equations. Our best explanations apart from actually admitting that no coincidence we could ever imagine, could explain such a complex organism with a few math problems and theories. We come up with cute little stories such as Evolution, Humanism, or the Big Bang Theory, and the list goes on. 

If we would just pause and think with our hearts, we could stop long enough to trust that there is a God out there, at the very least. But if we were honest with ourselves, which is a crucial part; rather than focusing on what others think of our view. We would find complete and utter joy, peace and a love for this life we live. This live is just borrowed time! Stop! Close your eyes! Open the eyes of our hearts Lord, open the eyes of our hearts.

–To this will I commit my life. To living it fully, with reckless abandon, envious love, and most of all; complete reverence to the Father who art in Heaven–

 

Should sharks that attack humans be destroyed?

Posted August 23, 2010 by Tyler Williams
Categories: Readings

-This article was orininally posted on http://bushwarriors.wordpress.com/ and adapted by them3ss3ng3r!!!

Leona Lindner knew she would one day receive a devastating phone call telling of her son Nicholas Edwards’ death.  It was just a matter of time.  Nick’s pure passion for surfing had brought him a close counter with a shark once before, but he didn’t let it stop him from doing what he loved to do.  The 31 year old father of two died of injuries sustained when he was attacked by a shark off the South Point surf break in Western Australia’s Cowaramup Bay yesterday morning.  Now, West Australian surfing identity, Mario Vassallo, is calling for the man-eating shark to be hunted down and destroyed.

Vassallo criticizes “bloody greenie huggers” who want to protect sharks and calls research studies involved in tagging sharks to a “joke”.   He claims the tagging system designed to “keep an eye” on the sharks has failed in the case of Nick Edwards.  Apparently Vassallo would feel safer braving the ocean water again after the shark has been killed.

Vassallo’s demand has sparked much debate surrounding the idea of killing a shark for… well…. doing what sharks do.  Many surfers do not support Vassallo’s idea and explain that sharks are just part of the risk you take when you decide to engage in any ocean-going activities, including surfing.  Even the families of previous shark attack victims do not agree with Vassallo, along with the men who tried to rescue Edwards following the attack.  Rob Alder, who desperately attempted to resuscitate Edwards, explains, “To put it into context though, thousands of sharks are killed each year for their fins, we have one or two attacks worldwide when they mistake us for seals.”

True enough, sharks can mistake surfers for fat, tasty seals from there below-surface-view.  However, the chance of being attacked by a shark is less than the chance of being struck by lightning.  Department of Fisheries supervising biologist, Dr. Brett Molony, explains, “In the 218 years of records there’s been 99 attacks and 15 fatalities.”  Despite these facts, some still insist the attacking shark be tracked down and killed.

Shark expert, Hugh Edwards, says it would be quite difficult to track down the shark responsible for the surfer’s death, but that the species could easily be identified by the teeth marks.  With as many as 100 million sharks being killed each year, largely due to shark finning, killing another shark for something of this nature is questionable.  Even if the shark was identified and destroyed, there are plenty of other sharks in the sea that could make the same unfortunate mistake.

Now we come to you, Bush Warriors.  We want to know what YOU think.  Should sharks that attack humans be destroyed? Vote in the poll above this story and give us your opinion.  The poll will remain open until next Friday, August 27.  We will publish the results here and they will also be sent to the Department of Fisheries in Western Australia.

Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Nicholas Edwards in these hard times.  May you find peace knowing that he died doing what he loved to do (Nick once told his mother, “Mum I love surfing and if I am going to die then I will die doing something I love.”).

Read the full story.

–Don’t shoot them3ss3ng3r!!

Me first Maiden Voyage.

Posted August 1, 2010 by Tyler Williams
Categories: Artish Things, Photography

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