Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Part of a great company

I am Adam
Barefoot on the fresh Spring ground
Nothing but possibility in front of me

I am Moses
After freedom comes
The hard work of walking into the unknown

I am Joshua
Without my mentor
Fearful but determined

I am David
A reluctant leader
Full of poetry and fight

I am Jeremiah
Mourning for possibilities lost
Not giving up

I am Nehimiah
Making space to rally around
Not afraid to pick up a hammer

I am Joseph
Quietly accepting
That I can make a home for God's coming kingdom

I am Peter
Can't keep my mouth shut
For good or for ill

I am less than I want
I am more than I admit
I have a friendship with God

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Little is big.

When a group gathers at my house, we like to talk about big things...religion, philosophy, theology and politics and how they all relate to one another. There is much dissatisfaction with the way things are in America among my friends. Many of us are weary of not knowing who to believe in the media and political arenas. Some have given up voting, others feel it a moral obligation to vote but feel it makes no difference and still others are passionate with hope that we can make a difference. When I think about war, powers at work and the game of politics I get overwhelmed.

Our last heated discussion led me to think that America is just too dang big! There is this pressure to change make a difference on a national and global scale. To do something really huge. But in the end, I can’t do that. It’s too big. Most people don’t even have time to work for the end of an 8 hour work day, you just want to be home resting with your wife and kids. Poverty, war, violence, drugs, gangs, global sex slave industry, abuse of political power, corruption, hunger, aids crisis, the uneducated, street kids, orphans, religious persecution and a hundred other things fade into the realm of “someone else’s problem”. It’s so big and I’m so tired and I just want to be a good Dad or Mom or student or something...

Then I read this great article by Chris Haw in the Prism e-pistle. Here’s a piece of it...

“I cannot talk about big concepts such as "changing the world" or "making a difference" apart from the tiny, mundane and seemingly ineffective actions of helping others heal. In other words, I'm wondering if healing acts can be anything but small, loving, and personal. Leo Tolstoy rings through my head, competing with the cacophony of militarism, globalization, and the calls to somehow stop them altogether, crying out, "everybody wants to change the world, but nobody wants to change themselves."

He is part of a little house like ours in Camden, NJ. It’s a small group of people living together and trying to love a neighborhood. And I think, this is where it’s at. If we’re all doing something, what we can do, where we are at, the world will change.

Perhaps just a little extra effort and sacrifice...sposoring a child through world vision or compassion international, giving up a couple of hours in the week to volunteer at something, supporting a missionary or heck, a career change and being a missionary! Maybe you can’t be president but you can be on city council or go to the meetings and speak up. You may not be able to change the plight of the poor third world farmer but you can grow your own garden or shop the farmers market or buy coffee fairly traded (they sell it now on the internet, save mart and starbucks...look for “fair-trade certified”). You may not be able to change the environment but you can recycle and compost and buy in bulk and waste less. You may not be able to close sweat shops but you can look for union made labels or shop at the thrift store first.

Little, done by a lot of people, turns into big. Changing yourself changes the world.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


I’ve got to stop getting life changing advise from soda bottle caps! If you will recall, my first journal entry on the old site was about a soda bottle cap telling me to start a I did. I started this fine web journal that I love doing...although, I must admit that I feel a lot of pressure to post but not so much anymore since my friends, Aaron, Terry, Aimee and Jaime don’t feel the need to post at all lately.

Last week, we watched “Riding Giants” a good film by Stacy Peralta (of Dogtown and Z-boys). It’s about big wave surfing and the men who pioneered Anyhoo...I would recommend it. It’s a fun documentary. The question I ask when I watch these “extreme sports” people is if I am missing a bit of what they have? What is this element that makes people want to try the seemingly impossible? I don’t think I have that piece. Or do I?

One of the stories is of a kid who noticed big, 30 foot waves breaking off the coast of Half Moon Bay, California. He loved surfing and had never tried surfing big waves. He tried to get a friend to go along but no one would try it with him. So he paddled for 45 minutes and surfed these monsters in treacherous, cold water. He did this all by himself for 15 years until the big wave surfing community found out.

What a challenge! If these guys can be that passionate about surfing, how many more other, more important issues in the world are there to lose your life pursuing. Some people actually die surfing these big waves. How much more is there to die for?

The call to follow Christ is a call to death. To lay down your life for your friends. Another thing that struck me about these guys is their willingness to die rescuing one another from a bad wipe out. But our laying down our lives can include but does not always mean actual death. I must lay down my life...lay down what I want to do and the things I feel important to serve the needs of others.

I felt such a challenge by this film that I wanted to show it to our little youth group. We talked afterward about what we want to do with our life and what we want to try that seems impossible. Several shared in the group and most shared one on one after. We talked about risk and dreams and reaching out for the impossible. Then Charlie bought me a soda from the grocery across the street, on the cap it reads, “Without risk there can be no pleasure.” What a wise little bottle cap. Someone told me once that faith = risk. As the song writer said, “If my reach doesn’t go beyond my grasp, then what’s a Heaven for and for what do I ask?”

The best inheritance I can leave my boys is to live a life of faith and watch God come through for us in ways we would have never guessed unless we took the risk of trusting Him. We do have that bit in us, we all do. The part that can look at the impossible and if you take the chance, have the ride of your life.