Collective Life

I stumbled upon the Rend Collective Experiment today.  I love this quote that describes them…

Rend Collective Experiment defies expectations even from the start of the bio. Not so much a band, more a bunch of friends collectively wondering how to make sense of the conundrum of life, God and community in and around their native Bangor, Northern Ireland.

Friends collectively making sense of the conundrum of life, God and community. That is a beautiful description of what I long to see all over Ann Arbor.   Rend Collective Experiment lives up to its name by engaging in new possibilities of expression through creative exploration.  The following video is a snippet of this exploration.

Here’s to collectively making sense of the conundrum of life, God and community in Ann Arbor!

Remembering: A Practice of Perspective

In light of my odometer induced reflections yesterday I have found myself greatly encouraged by how the Lord has been at work in my life over the past eight years.  More than this, my reflections gave me perspective.  Perspective that I am in great need of.  Not because I am struggling but because I am human and as such I forget.  My friend Tim Carpenter wrote an excellent piece titled The Art of Reflection, The Art of Remembering on this very thing that I’d like to refer you to.  Tim’s thoughts on this are priceless.  I can’t say it better myself, so I wont.  Just read what Tim had to say.  The following is an excerpt from Tim’s piece,

…failing to remember is part of what it means to live here on earth.  But I truly believe that one of the biggest stumbling blocks to whole-hearted and consistent commitment to Christ is the frantic pace of life that encourages us to forget all that God has done for us.

Read Tim’s Article

Whatever it takes…


The odometer on my dash turned 160,000 miles today.  The estimated distance around the equator is 24,902 miles.  That means I have traveled the equivalent distance of six laps around the world in my car.  That is a lot of time behind the wheel.  A lot of time on the go.  What have I done in all that distance?

…explored new places; earned a bachelors degree; gained some friends for life; married my beautiful wife; traveled the country; celebrated countless life events; endured many challenges; found a city to call home; bought a house; earned a masters degree; welcomed our first child into the world; joined a community of Christ followers; and have put my hand to the plow…

I have to be honest, I never would have imagined that watching my odometer roll over to a new number would send me on a trip down memory lane.  But here I am, taking stock of the past eight years of my life because I drive a high mileage car.  What’s most encouraging to me is to see how my relationship with God has become so much richer, deeper, and more meaningful to me as the complexities of life increase along this journey.  I continued reviewing my life throughout the day and while listening to a friends hip hop album at work, the lyrics captured my reflections in words.

It’s what life’s all about…

Knowing him.

A little more everyday.

Whatever it takes…

I trade it all in for knowing you!

Artist:  Namesake   Album:  Heart Back EP

What Difference Does it Make? – Part II: Right Question, Better Response

In Part I of this series, I believe that we are being asked the Right Question, “How does your belief in Jesus Christ make a difference in your life?”  However, I suggested that more times than not our answers to this question fall short of revealing the Glory of God because they inadvertently veil God’s handiwork by discussing spiritual disciplines and works.  We end up focusing on what we do for God rather than what God is doing in us and for us.

People desire to see how God is at work in their world.

When we focus on the doing for God those who are inquiring miss out on seeing how God is at work in and through us.  When discussed in a manner such as this it seem obvious.  Nevertheless, the vast majority of people I have encountered struggle to share their faith in a meaningful way that engages others.  So how do we respond to this right question in a better way? Read more

What Difference Does it Make? – Part I: Right Question, Lame Response

How does your belief in Jesus Christ make a difference in your life?

It’s a valid question being asked by seekers and skeptics alike.  When asked it provides an incredible opportunity to share of one’s personal experience with his/her creator.  However, more times than naught the Christian who is asked this question responds with vague or pat answers that do very little to answer the actual question.  The dialog may go something like this…

Inquirer:  So, I know you believe in all that God stuff and go to church regularly…but what difference does your belief in God make in your life?

Responder:  Well…(awkward and sometimes long pause)…for one I have hope because I know where I’m going when I die.

Inquirer:  But how does that hope make a difference in your life today?

Responder:  It gives me peace.

Inquirer:  How so? Read more

Neighbor or Not

I went for a walk with my daughter this evening.  The heat of the day was beginning to dissipate but not fast enough.  As I strolled through our neighborhood I couldn’t help but notice how few people were outside.  House after house the doors and windows were shut up with no one stirring outside.  For many neighborhoods in America this is likely the norm.  Not for ours.  It is not uncommon to see 20 people per day pass by our house walking, running, or biking.

So on this particular evening, Read more

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What is jAy2 News

Jay: a nickname for Jason
A2: a nickname for Ann Arbor
Together my news.
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