spoken word

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father
Who art in heaven
hallowed be thy name.

That name,
The name we cannot tame,
And would not aim to try.

For your name’s above all names,
Relentlessly shows its fame,
And effortlessly holds its claim.

Your name it is holy.
Your name is the only
One that can
Be known as the I Am.

And so we stay
In your presence,
And we pray
Here in deference
And we ask:

May Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done.
It can be done;
It will be done;
The work’s begun

On earth
As it is in heaven

In you and me,
Friends, can you see
The we that we would be
If he’d not set us free
To be the we
That he
Can make us be?

Our lives are exchanged.
Our hearts have been changed.
Our passions rearranged.

And he has beseeched us,
Unleashed us,
Bequeathed us

The keys to his kingdom,
The work that must be done.
Here and now
We can plant and plow
He will show us how.

So don’t wait.
Don’t hesitate.
Don’t let it percolate,
Or let time confiscate
The power
We have in this day and hour.

My brothers and sisters,
We cannot resist this;
It is our existence
To become his assistants,
To make exchange,
To enact change,
To rearrange,
All in his name.

So that when we say,
“Give us this day
our daily bread,”

We mean instead:

Please, God, give unto us
The things that you have for us
That will make us victorious.

But first we must attend
To the things we must amend,
And the ways we still pretend
To be something other
Than the life you’ve uncovered.

So search our hearts and know us,
And show us
The brokenness in us.

Bring to mind our lapses,
And forgive us our trespasses.
Let the light of your face
Erase
My disgrace.
Replace
The trappings of this place
By the power of your grace.

For it’s by you we live
And give
As we forgive.
And choose not to pass judgments
On those who affront us
who trespass against us.

Perfection forgave us
And gives us
The means for forgiveness
Of others.

In your mighty name
Remove all our stains,
And precede us,
And lead us 
not into temptation
But
towards your redemption
Made possible by your preemption
of death.

Father, please deliver us
From evil
that may hinder us.

For we find ourselves connected
To the power that resurrected.
That power
It has seized us,
It frees us,
Sin flees us
because we have seen Jesus!

My mind cannot fathom
The wonder that can come,
That has come
For thine is the kingdom,
And the power,
And the glory.
For ever and ever
Amen.

See a performance of this piece.

Shadows: A Spoken Word

We all have questions, dangling thoughts that are unanswered, things we wonder but sometimes only in whispers. One of the tasks and responsibilities of artists is to poke at these kinds of questions and raise the decibels of those whispers. The team and I recently had the opportunity to develop a new piece that asks the questions and dives headfirst into the misconceptions many of us have about who God is… who he really is. This is that.

Editing and motion graphics: Andrew Schuurmann Additional motion graphics: Charles Booth Producer: Sherri Meyer Executive Producer: Paul Johnson

God Is Good: A Spoken Word

Sometimes the only way we get things done is because we have to; not because we're told we have to, we just have to. We put it off—whatever the it may be—for as long as we can until we can no longer. The pressure is too much, and the dam bursts. Even then, though, I don't always find that the water rushes. I have this vision of the dam crumbling and the water gushing into every bit of the low lying land. It doesn't happen that way very often. Usually, the dam bursts as a little chunk here and a little crack there. The water spurts out in comical sprays, like when you put your thumb over the end of a garden hose.

And these are the hardest kinds of ideas to wrangle. You're running half-crazed trying to make sense of why things are leaking here and spraying over there without the percipience to grasp that there is a titanic body of water waiting to break through what you once dismissed as a lovely little retaining wall.

This is the work we have to do because we're about to be swallowed up in it anyway.

This spoken word was one that had been writing itself in my circumstances and weaving itself in my deepest places for quite some time, but directing all that water into the neat rivers and ravines of sentences and rhymes was hard. Hard in a lot of ways.

But good too.

Note: It's in a couple pieces mixed in with the song.

Created alongside Jenny Potter & Andrew Schuurmann Song "Good To Me" by Audrey Assad Performed by Becky Ykema

More Than Pictures: A Spoken Word

God has been getting my attention. It may have begun as a whisper in my ear, but it has become a banging of drums and a battle cry, like being taken by the shoulders and shaken awake.

I've always distanced myself from the idea of mission, from the fact that God has called me to something that is less comfortable and less controllable than what is "normal." I have narrowed my definition of mission down to something that happens overseas or a project I can sign up for now and then. By this narrow definition I've been able to skate on by without an overabundance of guilt despite knowing in my heart that God's vision for mission must be much bigger than my definition.

Mission is seeing everything with new eyes, seeing within despair the incredible potential for beauty and the redemption God can bring. And mission is choosing to be one who is available to the idea that the beauty and redemption God can bring might be brought through me.

I'm still learning. I alway will be. But this is my missional confessional, my way of saying, "I'm awake!"