Love poem for my redhead

Heads will turn to look and stare
At the girl with long red hair
At hips that sway, like long grass,
Watch them gaze as she walks past,

With skin so pale and very fair
Look at the girl with long red hair
The beauty of a freckled face
Her style, panache, her easy grace,

She enters a room, all are aware
And watch the girl with long red hair
Envious eyes that look and desire
The girl with hair like raging fire,

You may look and you may eye
And you may stare as she goes by,
For she has beauty beyond compare
And I love the girl with long red hair

by: Jessica Shailes

Around the corner

I’m here
And around every corner
I expect you to be too

How can you not be here
With the people you loved
Worshipping the God you loved

In every handshake and smile
In every note sung and foot stomped
You are here

Your legacy is alive and well
Love is your legacy
Love for one another and love for God

And what a rich legacy it is
One that I’m proud to pass on
To the next generation

A generation you never met
But a generation your life
Will definitely touch

I missed you today
Missed your love
Missed your joy

In the midst of the pain
I know that God is planting new life
That my heart is fertile soil
And in time He and I will reap 100 fold

Bellarive – Love Has Found Us

On the night of 1/27/10 Orlando based band, Bellarive ( led worship for a local student ministry ( from the top of a parking garage overlooking the city of Orlando.

Shot with 1 Canon 7D and a 35mm 1.4 lens

The band was only able to play through the song a couple of times, so I had to really experiment with some B-Roll. But all in all I really like how it turned out.

Edited in FCP, colored in Magic Bullet.

The truth about love

Alana Serna is in her 10th month on THE WORLD RACE. She’s a heck of a writer and the brutal honesty and courage is refreshing. Her latest post is below. You can check out her blogs at:

I gasped for air like the first breath after being released from a strangle hold. The once dark sky was bright with pure light. Still breathing deeply I looked around me. The last thing I remembered was my hands holding a bottle of bitter lies in my hand instead of my shield and sword of truth. I had been yelling words as equally as bitter as the lies I was consuming. My hands were empty. I glanced around the ground around me to see if my weapons were nearby. As I did, a pair of hands reached out to me. Looking up I found myself gazing into beautifully fierce green eyes. He held my gaze as I took hold of His hands. He helped me to stand on shaking legs that felt so strange and foreign to me. “Beloved, tell Me the Truth.”

I broke and purged before Him. Every bitter lie I drank was suddenly lying before me on the ground. He held pure Love to my lips and I closed my eyes as I drank deeply. Suddenly I was in a strong embrace. All around me voices were lifting me up in love and in prayers. Hands were tenderly pressed against my back, my head, my arms, holding my hands. I realized that I was in the midst of my tribe, holding tightly to one of our leaders. And it was in that moment I realized that God had won that battle… the victory was ours to celebrate.

I don’t know how I can explain what this really means other than to say, “Honestly, you just had to be there.” But I can say this. I realized this past week that it is far better to choose in… to choose to fight for the ones you love, and a very important part of that is to love yourself. For me, much of my Race experience has been trying to learn how to do just that… love myself. Prior to the Race I battled with self-esteem, self-image, etc. I wrestled with rejection and fell into the trap of living life on the defense. Much of this was based out of the war that had been waged on my family and on me even from a very early age. While this war had some major battles, most of the weapons used against us were subtle… things that are used against most families, like lack of communication, misunderstandings, sarcasm, reasoning away or self justification, etc. And when those little things added up it took its toll. Please hear my heart on this. No one was at fault in my family for this…

This past debrief all that I experienced was a sudden revelation of how much my coping mechanisms (solitude, justification of harsh words or actions, drinking, eating, sarcasm, etc.) affected those who love me. By pushing away I gave them the finger… by harsh words or actions I slammed the door… by drinking and eating I slapped them in the face… by sarcasm I lashed out in anger… the thought overwhelmed me. However in that moment I felt I had a Peter moment… being on the water and seeing the waves… but then Jesus speaks and the focus is brought to where it needs to be… on Him. In that moment of realizing the pain I was causing others I realized the love that was shared… I realized the overwhelming magnitude of that love and felt the strong arms of peace wrap around me. I realized that there is no reason for self preservation or defense. If you fight beside a brother or a sister there is no need to worry about what they will do to you… it is remembering what they will do for you… they will fight for you, love you, serve you, correct you, speak life over you, encourage you, intercede for you… But we all have to make that choice. And it starts with choosing to love yourself… speaking life over yourself… knowing that the person you see in the mirror is favored above all of creation by the One God… the King of Kings and Lord of Lords… Can you look in the mirror and see beauty? Or do you criticize the person you see? Do you speak with confidence, or do you trip over yourself apologizing for things you don’t really need to? Do you take time for yourself or do you get too caught up in putting other before you so much so you have forgotten how to let yourself be loved? I’m sure you can reason away any of these questions like I have in the past… but I would challenge you to sober up and answer these truthfully. Go through the chapter on love in the Bible and ask, “Do I do this with myself?”…

I challenge you with this because being in such intense community for these past nine months has taught me that you can only love others as much as you love yourself. I cannot love my teammates a lot if I don’t truly love myself a lot. But when we love ourselves we begin to put that off. We begin to share the gifts God has given us…For a few examples…My teammate Jessica is like that. She walks in a room and you can’t help but feel the joy that God has given her. Or Rebekah… she is a woman of such great confidence in who God has made her as woman, I can’t help but seek the same confidence and truth from my Father. Or Melina, she speaks and you can’t help but listen because the Spirit fills her with truth… DJ and Mike have such deep deep wisdom and insight you can help but want to listen and learn… But if one person is having a bad day on our team, we all feel it. If one of us is struggling we all feel it. So we cannot think that for one moment we are independent of that love. And if we lose sight of that, we deeply hurt those we desire to love. But the beautiful thing about it is that those people who love you, like my squad loves me, will be there for you… and the God who made you so wonderfully complex has always loved you… He loves you enough to put you in a position where He can love you through your family, friends, church, and even so that you can allow Him to love you through the way you choose to love yourself.

Via Mike Paschall’s Blog

The Dinner Table

I seem to be in a very strange transition, and I’m beginning to wonder if my parents weren’t right all along. The other day, my wife and I sat down for dinner, and with a baby in the not too distant future, my mind began to wonder about how our family meals will be. How much it will mean to me to have my kids at the dinner table. To watch them grow from meal to meal. To share our day together, what did they do in school and how was my wife’s day. Taking all that in, I started to remember how meals were at my house, and how quickly I tried to finish so I could go back outside and play with my friends or get back to my favorite videogame/book. What I remember most was not really caring about everyone else, but satisfying my stomach and then getting back to what I was doing. The thought crosses my mind about how different things would be if I could go back and change that knowing now what I know. “You’ll understand when you have kids of your own.” Begins to ring in my ears, and I realize that I’m beginning to understand what they meant when they said that. I thought I did, but now I’m not so sure.

The Challenge – Change the world!

We live in interesting times. That’s something we all wish for but never quite understand. Mostly because the word interesting is very vague, it can mean fun and exciting and it can also mean weird or strange. I say that because we live in a day and age where at the click of a button I can instantly communicate with millions if not billions. Go back a few years ago and we would have had to buy time on a local television station or a network in order to accomplish that, go back before that and it was radio. And pretty much any time before that reaching millions with any alacrity (quickness) was unheard of. The women and men who worked tirelessly for woman to gain the right to vote, had to travel all around the country speaking, debating, and hand out pamphlets just to get their voices heard. Before that abolishonists  had to do something similar to have their voices heard. They worked for years and years to change the minds of their neighbors and then their countrymen. In order to bring about some of the greatest changes the world has ever seen. Women won the right to vote and the opportunity to be seen as equals. Slavery was abolished. Wars were fought. And it began with a battle for the hearts and minds of the people.

Today we are still faced with bias and racism the battle for freedom still has to be fought for some. As the dream for racial and gender equality inches closer. Our society becomes more and more focused on technology. Lightening fast communitcation now allows us the ability to talk with anyone anywhere at just about any time instantly. We have email, IM, twitter, google, iPhones, and laptops that keep us up to speed with the world around us. News and information is everywhere we look. But the dreams of a utopian society are still a far off.

Why is that?

Why are more people depressed than ever? Why are there more divorces? Why are more people popping pills to keep themselves healthy, alert, and even happy?

Where is the church in all of this? Why has Christianity seemed to have taken a back seat in modern day society? We have hope and joy more abundantly, but yet we become like the chameleon. We try to blend into society. What we want more than anything is to be normal. Even when normal is not looking so hot. Rather than change the world we sit back tell everyone we saw it coming first. We hate the ones that have been rightfully placed in authority over us. Rather than praying for them we puke and buy guns.

Does our trust really lay with Christ? Or do we trust in our own strength, in our firepower, or in how we are right morally?

The time has come for the Church to quit playing church and become the Church (the bride and body) that she was meant to be a kingdom of heaven. I’m trying not to bash, but it’s something God has really placed on my heart and not just for our land but for all.

So how does this happen, how do we change the world? Do we give more money? Do we give more of our time and energy? Do we read our Bibles more? Or Do we just need to lengthen our prayer time from five mins to twenty? And while all those things are good, the challenge the God has placed on my heart can be done on facebook or twitter. And it is simply this: Encourage one another. 1st Thessalonians 5:11 says, “So encourage each other and build each other up”. Rather than using modern technology to inform the world of your latest trip to the mall or how good the movie you just saw was. Instead post something meaningful. Post what God has been speaking into your life, post the scriptures that you have been reading, post something you saw that really encouraged you, post the victories Jesus has led you through. Or post the things that you are struggling with and see the outpouring from friends and family as they come to support you in your time of need. But more than that read what your friends are posting look for areas that you can help them look for places that you speak an encouraging word into their life and lift them up out of the lies of the enemy.

Changing the world has never started from the top and trickled down. Instead it has always started on the small scale, (2-3 people) and be brought up to the top with fire and conviction the likes of which is rarely seen.

So change starts with you, change the outlets that you have been so marvelously given to be outlets of encouragement, love, and joy. Chase away the spirits of depression and suicide from our instant-craving society.

Dream: Overpass

I’m standing under an overpass. Unlike most there are quite a few people around many walking both directions up and down the street. Cars are zooming along over us as well as the on the street just beside us. I can tell it’s some time in the future based on how everything looks and the style of their clothes.

I’m here to meet someone one. A woman that I love. In the back of my mind I know I’ve proposed to someone else, but this one is my true love. We hug and spend a few mins there ignoring the noise and the people passing around us, just the two of us and some nagging guilt in my head telling me that this is the one I should be with.

As we begin to leave a white van pulls up, and just like in the movies the sliding door opens and we jump in as quick as we can. Inside is my Pastor, Pastor Michelle, and some one else driving who I never see. The inside of the van is stripped to the metal panels, expect the two captains chairs that we are sitting in. PM sits across from us and hands us two metal snaps. (if you’ve ever seen a jacket that had metal buttons or snaps that were used instead of a zipper then you’ve got the right idea) I open the snap and inside is a red pill almost. I see out of the corner of my eye the woman I’m with take the pill. I follow suit and lick the pill right out of the snap.

That’s when I woke up. (Weird right?)

A Lifetime of Love

It’s been a little less than six months since I moved to Florida, but I feel like those months could easily have been a lifetime. Sometimes I find it hard to even remember the name of the town I used to live in, or remember the faces of my old friends. Those memories haven’t been wiped away, but new wonderful memories have been laid over top. Memories of new friends, new places to live and work, memories of an amazing new love of my life, and the return of an old love of my life to His rightful place in my heart.

There were times in my past when all I would do is dwell on the things of the past, old friends, old mistakes, or spend time wishing for a better life. But now I’m focused on the future, my regrets have been wiped away by hope and love. No longer am I haunted by the things I wish I had done, but rather I’m overjoyed by the thought of the things to come. God has blessed  me in a mighty way. He used pain and sorrow to get me out of a rut, out of a life headed no where, and into a life of love. If these last months have been a lifetime, then I look forward to a new lifetime,  a married life, full of joy and love.

I’m not naive, I know there will be tough times ahead. But I know, that through it all He will be there. At the end of the race we will look back, and not see the fights, saddness, or loss, no the good times will out way the bad. And we will see that even in the midst of the rough times God’s hand was there all along taking care of us, guiding us along the path.

I love you Arielle.