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December 28, 2007

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Lovin Jesus, Proclaiming Hope for a lost and dying world, Music, Learning how to better follow my Lord and Savior, Playing my "guitfiddle", writing about random things making them sound country, mexican food, just food in general, live music, traveling, random fun, fireworks, big fires, anything adventerous,


Anything I can worship with, Nickel Creek, Brad Paisley, The King - George Strait, Keith Urban, John Rich, Josh Turner, Matt Wertz, Andy Davis, Dave Barnes, Sigur Ros, Explosions in the Sky, Chris Rice, Tim Hughes, Joss Stone, Coldplay, Jack Johnson, Dierks Bentley, Hillsong United, John Mayer, Mute Math, Rascal Flatts, Shawn McDonald, I love Piano, Grits, All American Rejects, Johnny Cash


Armageddon, A Beautiful Mind, Orange County, Batman, The Notebook, StarWars, LOTR, Anchor Man, Mean Girls, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, ... many more


The Barbarian Way, Uprising (McManus), Searching for God Knows What, Blue Like Jazz, Through Painted Deserts (Miller), Desiring God, Don't Waste Your Life (Piper), I Am Not But I Know I AM (Giglio), Wild at Heart (Eldridge) Best Question Ever (Stanley)

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All You Want...

How many roads did I travel
Before I walked down one that led me to You?
And how many dreams did unravel
Before I believed in a hope that was true?
And how long? How far?
What was meant to fulfill only emptied me still
And all you ever wanted...

Only me, on my knees
Singing HOLY, HOLY
You are HOLY, HOLY

How many deaths did I die
Before I was awakened to new life again?
And how many half-truths did I bear witness to,
'til the proof was disproved in the end?
And how long? How far?
What was meant to illuminate, shadowed me still
And all YOU ever wanted...

Only me, on my knees
And somehow all that matters now is

And all I have is gratitude to offer You

Holy, holy
Somehow all that matters now is YOU ARE HOLY

You are holy, holy
Somehow all that matters now is
You are holy, holy

Only me on my knees
Singing holy, holy
And somehow all that matters now is
You are holy, holy


- Nichole Nordeman "Holy"

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Notes From an Evening

     We wrap our arms around one another and pray in the front yard of the house we've called home, on Thursday nights, for varying amounts of time. In the moment a soft spoken tear wells gently in my eye. In an attempt to hide it I refuse to acknowledge it. As I make my way for my truck it quietly falls, cutting at my pride, as I reach for the door. I turn my back and walk away from something I know will never return.

     With memories tight inside our hearts, the lights turned off, the doors locked and the crowd dispersed, we all do the same. What we know as Atwood Family Fun has now come to an end.

     The night is warm in late June and annoying, repetitious fireworks screech in the distance. I take my seat in what is probably one of my favorite places on this earth and begin to ponder and attempt to concentrate. Tonight my seat faces west, so as I beg a question, I watch the sun set faithfully yet again.

      I beg the 'always productive' question of "why." "Why do seasons change?" I'm completely uncomfortable with it and have never grown to like it. Why do people I love leave? Why do people change? Why do things happen that are so far beyond my control but affect me so deeply? How can a human walk in and out of a life so quickly but leave an imprint on a heart that will be felt for eternity?

     The Atwood's home is only a small example of a season changing and coming to a close. But, tonight, I think it's the thematic concept more than the event that bothers me so.

     I'm drawn back to a passage that's big in my life. It's Hebrews 12:7-11

7It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

 8But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

 9Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?

 10For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.

 11All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

     Someone told me the other night the thing to know about this passage is that the translator got a word wrong. "Discipline" should actually be translated "training." So everywhere we read "discipline" we should read "training."

     All training for the moment seems not to be joyful, but it hurts like crazy, yet those who have been trained by it, afterwards, it yields the PEACEFUL FRUIT of righteousness. (jv paraphrase)  

     Season changing is not comfortable. It seems sooo… NOT peaceful. It is no fun (and it tends to happen rather rapidly in college), but it is all intentional. It is ALL to train God's children into who He has for them to be.

     As the night has quietly slipped up and covered my lovely 'boro for the evening I'm reminded of the trainer and His UNCHANGING faithfulness. Just as He brings the night, He WILL bring the morning.

     So I tuck my memories back in my pocket, close my Bible and Journal, and simply pray. Rest in the maker…

                                                Clinging Yet Moving

                                                                    - JV

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Sometimes life gets crazy... but you can always dance when you know Jesus!

A huge storm... crazy lightning

Job 38:35 (if you can't see it there) Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, 'Here we are'?"

yeah... we goofed off, got wet and had a whole lot of fun... but there was more there... more than what just meets the eye of cool pictures... the stuff a camera could never capture

stuff inside a heart that scream "DANCE!", "you have something to celebrate", "that lightning bolt that almost killed you... You know the guy who designed and commands it and HE LOVES YOU and HE IS FOR YOU!"

"That desire to dance in the middle of a huge lightning storm... HE GAVE IT TO YOU!"


sometimes life can be no fun, sometimes life can be a lot of fun... but no matter where you are Jesus is holding and HE will NEVER let you go!

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
your perfect love is casting out fear
even when im caught in the middle
of the storms of this life
I won't turn back, I know you are near

and i will fear no evil
for my God is with me
and if my God is with me
whom then shall i fear
whom then shall i fear


I can see the light, that is coming
for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
and there will bean end to these troubles
but until that day comes,
well live to know you here on this earth

You keep on loving and you never let go...

I'll keep on singing!" - Matt Redman


"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither anfels nore demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither HEIGTH nor DEPTH, nor ANYTHING ELSE IN ALL CREATION, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:37-39

Can you dance?

Honestly... ?

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Sunsets and Journals

Something only I see, but now you



My journal: May 24th, 2006 – Somewhere over the North Pole


Sunsets,             One of my favorite of all God’s creations. I look to my left and see an amazing, blazing, red depression of the object that gives physical life to the earth. I know God painted this one just for me. I knew it when I opened my shade and saw it. So, I cut off my movie and picked up my journal in an attempt to somewhat preserve the moment.


Tonight we will stay in Newark. As badly as a want to get home, I’m content with only the next stop because it puts me on American soil and out of China. I love the country and the people, but I’m ready for home.


Wow, the sunset reminds me of my favorite Hawaii moments. Observing a sunset that simply stops time and allows God to scream “LOOK AT ME!!!” And I do. I look at that and know that the millions of brilliant colors coming from outer space point to a creator who is passionately in love with me. 


Now, I never even asked to be “romanced” here, but that sets a heart at ease?!


Below is a snow-covered tundra. One I’ve never really seen before. Even though cold and non-receptive the sun still exerts incalculable amounts of energy onto its surface. Makes me wonder if there are times in my life when I resemble the tundra? The sun is still exerting energy, faithfully rising and setting, but the tundra is simply not interested.


Not interested in the life that could be. Simply content being cold, hard, and barren. It’s not an issue of a lack of effort on the part of the sun. The tundra has to look at it rising and setting each day as it lays there stagnantly unchanged. 


May I never be like the tundra. I hope I spend every morning I’m blessed to be on this waiting room, ball of dust, we call earth waking up and draining every ounce of energy I can from the one who made the sun rise and set. The tundra is vast, intricately detailed, and beautiful… but it’s dead, barren, and lonely.


John 10:10 comes to mind

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”


                           Thank you for showing me, I’m ready to go… - JV
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Rhythmic Life

Walking while Chris Martin soothes my thinking mind with lyrics speaking of “igniting bones” and I’m counting in beats of four... the beat does not match up and I find myself disgruntled. Then realizing the song is not written in counts of four, but counts of three. So, mid-stride… I adjust


Sometimes life falls into this… We’re walking along counting in what we did last season or what we assume the count should be only to realize things are suddenly off beat. This takes a slight mid-stride adjustment then things are brought back together and one wonders why they spent so long on the three count when the four was right in front of them.  


“To dance in the rhythm of King Jesus”


Not walk, not abide, not think, not believe, not sing… but to DANCE in the rhythmic life that is lived inside of Christ Jesus alone.


  1. To Dance: To move rhythmically, usually to music, using prescribed or improvised steps and gestures.



What’s your rhythm?

What are you dancing to?

Are you dancing at all?


What does it mean to “dance in the rhythm of King Jesus?”


That’s beautiful language

 - JV

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my friends

my pix