About Joel

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So far Joel has created 192 blog entries.

Clinging to God

By |2020-08-02T06:44:10+00:00July 26th, 2020|discipleship, Jesus Christ, Kingdom of God, Memoirs, Spiritual Formation, Story, theology, Videos|

"Knowing God's intentions is what we need to hang on to when there's times of pain and suffering." - Dr. Jim Wilder on Susie Larson Live Recently, I shared a message on the posture of 'clinging to God' at the church where I serve. The topic that we are on is "Recalculating: when plans change." As I thought about this in my own life I have been humbled. From the high desert of the Navajo Nation, to sleeping on couches throughout my late teens and early twenties, I am thankful for all those who opened their hearts and homes to me as a young monk-ish nomad, itinerately walking everywhere. I am in awe of the [...]

You Captivate: throughout the seasons

By |2020-04-13T02:17:25+00:00April 13th, 2020|A Prelude To Tomorrow|

Seasons. I've heard it, and used it, for years. "I'm just in 'a season of...'" and fill in the blank. It has become a part of the 'christian' sub-culture's language. But as I've walked, ran, trudged, and crawled through this journey called life, I have seen literal seasons of weather so extreme (from Arizona to Minnesota) that when I use the metaphor of seasons, I do it thoughtfully. I love nature, and I've used the imagery of nature in my music often. "You Captivate" is a simple song of seasons. Whether the extremes of life feel dry, like the arid, hot desert, or like the downpour of Georgia rain. Or whether it feels like the overwhelming [...]

In This Hour

By |2020-03-27T19:53:39+00:00March 27th, 2020|A Prelude To Tomorrow|

Prayer. It all comes down to prayer. I've noticed over the years that many of my songs are prayer songs. Maybe because music is the easiest way to express my emotions, and of all else, most of what I have to say is to God. In a world that tries to divide life into secular and sacred, I disagree with that temptation to divide, and agree with Wendell Berry, who said something to the affect of: "There is no secular and sacred, there is only sacred and de-sacred." And I think it is the poets who live in the place of inviting people to see over (or rather through) the walls of secular/sacred in our [...]

Minimalism: A Gift To The Word “Simplicity”

By |2020-02-18T14:29:38+00:00February 18th, 2020|Minimalism, Simplicity, Spiritual Disciplines, Spiritual Formation|

Trends & fads. Society sure does have a way of sifting and sucking the meaning out of words, until all that is left is a mere carcass of letters and sounds, just a shadow of its original meaning.  Love, justice, evangelical - the list doesn't stop there, but those are some significant ones that come up a lot in my work that make me have to stop and ask the question, "Wait, when they say that word, what exactly do they mean?" It seems like one of those words has been "simplicity." All things being relative, "simplicity" means different things for different people - I get it. But sometimes it doesn't feel simple at all, and [...]

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