Sunday, August 28, 2005

Cds and Veggies

I had a very productive day, gardening and doing yard work gave me a nice Saturday rhythm. Except for one hiccup. In the middle of all that I decided to check my e-mail and various web interests when I get roped in by a pop-up window with an offer for a free new laptop. The promise was that if I try out just a couple of their promotions that they would give me a new laptop. Now, my brother in law has won a new laptop from the internet and gave it to me so I thought I’d give it a try.

I got lost in the longest survey ever, then I picked a couple of promotions, then they wanted me to do a couple more, then they wanted me to do 6 more! An hour later, I’m fuming and give up. Now I’m enrolled in stuff I didn’t really want to do, my productivity has dropped and I’m all stressed out.

You can’t get something for nothing...unless...

One redeeming moment yesterday happened in our church garden. We had planted cucumbers in one spot and they didn’t seem to take so we pulled up the dying plants and planted zucchini. This we watered like crazy. I was picking zucchini, feeling around for the best one when under the plant I noticed a weird looking zucchini. It was, in fact, a cucumber growing under the zucchini!

God’s order is so beautiful and full of joy! First, you know what you’re going to get. There is no hidden agenda. When you plant squash, you know that’s what’ll come up. And every once in a while there’s a nice surprise like cucumbers under the squash. A wild, wonderful order.

And if anybody wants 12 CD’s for the price of one I know of a good promotion going on. Grrrrr!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Condi? Part Deux

Just as a follow up...At that same visit to the bookstore I checked out the bargin bin. What was in there? A compilation of Keith Green's music coupled with an hour documentary of his life on DVD for $5.77! I got it and this last Tuesday showed the documentary to my youth group.

It's been too long since we've had a voice like his speaking to the church. When I say "like his" I mean, one who not only talks about the works of Christ but does them as well. I told the kids that maybe God doesn't want a big celebrity to be that voice. Keith was uncomfortable with celebrity in the first place. Maybe God wants us to be that voice and live that life.

Keith Green's intense search and passion for God is not some unattainable thing because he was so much holier than us. He was not. He was serious though. Serious about living the gospel, about pouring out his life and going as far as he could in taking the love of Jesus to a dying world.

Where is the musician so passionate about his message that he will just give it away? Where are the people who are willing to live life alongside the hurting and addicted? Who will stop promoting themselves and promote Jesus? Who will work tirelessly to see the church come alive and be what God wants it to be?

It's only gonna be us folks. Keith Green is dead.

Monday, August 22, 2005


Why is it that our local. big, christian bookstore does not have “No Compromise”, the biography of Keith Green or “An Arrow Pointing to Heaven”, the biography of Rich Mullins but they do have the biography of Condoleeza Rice? Boo.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

9th St.

She was lying on her filthy bed with her closest companions, her cats, milling about the room. A half empty bottle of cheap beer still in her hand as she lay passed out. It was an extremely hot central valley day but she wore a coat. She is mostly inside of herself when she’s awake but as I looked on her sleeping with her motel room door open and the window left wide I was glad she was having this moment of peace. Sleep is rest for the body and a troubled mind. I left the prepared bag of bread and pastries inside the door on a little cluttered table. We try to leave things we know she likes. I realized then that I am just one face in this window. I am here maybe twice a week but she is always here. The realities I see and break over are hers all the time whether I witness them or not.

There is another woman in this motel in a wheel chair. She has a big dog for friendship and safety. He’s quite protective of his mistress so I only see her for a brief minute each week. A knock, then boisterous barking, a shouting match between her and the dog, then the door opens and we hand her a bag of food (she prefers chocolate cookies), “God bless you, Evelyn.”, “Thank you , you too”. and that’s it. Just a face in her door bringing what I can.

This is not enough. More and more, we are being pulled down to 9th Street. We now schedule to go twice a week. But even beyond that we need to engage in real relationships here in the most forgotten place in our town. No lunch truck comes by here. No park for the kids to play. The traffic is fast down 9th. The motels are surrounded by auto shops, trailer parks and vacant lots. It is not a nice place to be. No grass, just unforgiving concrete and broken glass. The working girls walk up and down past the 7 year old girl who has been sent to the store to get something for her drug addicted mother.

Please pray for 9th Street. Pray for us. Pray that God would help us find more ways to engage this toxic neighborhood with his grace, forgiveness and love.

Friday, August 19, 2005

I like spam but this is ridiculous

How can you get Spam in your comments! Does anyone know how to stop this or edit it or anything!?! Sheesh.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Too much everything, so little time

This afternoon, Amie and I watched “Stand By Me”, a Rob Riener film written by Steven King. This film is a part of the cultural psyche. Who hasn’t seen it? Me, that’s who so we rented it. I loved it. One more notch on the pop-cultural belt.

I’ve started to read Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Again, who hasn’t? Me. I don’t even know the story except that it has something to do with kids and a trial and racial tension and someone named Boo Radley. So I’m about to join the rest of you in knowing the story. I have purposefully not watched the classic movie so I can read it first.

But I missed my chance to read “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”...It’s just one of those things I’ll probably never do. I stopped reading “Les Miserables” because Amie and I got tickets to the play. “Big Fish” the novel is on my shelf because “Big Fish” the movie is in Aaron’s video collection.

Who are these people with the time to do all this stuff? There are so many things to do and experience sometimes I feel like I’m late on an assignment when the “no late fee” movie just sits on the counter and I’m not watching it cause there’s just so much to do! I leave books for weeks at a time...books that can be read at my leisure but every time I see them I get a little stressed cause I’m thinking about the next book I’ll read.

Then there’s this blogging thing (which I love) but if I haven’t gotten to it in a while I start to feel pressure. What’s my problem!?!

Then I learn that my whole youth group is addicted to something called “myspace” which is a web service I’ve yet to figure out but all the kids love it so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m so not digital though. I can fake it pretty good but I look at some of these “myspace” sites and I just get a headache. But I signed up...

Then there’s my brother-in-law who is a computer programer and he can be doing four things at once on two computer screens and sill have the presence of mind to chat with me online. Do you know what I do while I chat online? I sit and wait for the other persons response then I respond. One thing. That’s all I can do.

So with all this blogging and myspaceing and chatting and reading and watching to do...who the heck is doing anything else?

One of my favorite movies is “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” about St. Francis of Assisi with a kickin’ soundtrack by Donovan...Good ole “They call me mellow yellow” Donavan. One of the songs says “If you want to live life free, take your time go slowly, Do few things but do them well, heartfelt work grows purely. Day by day, stone by stone, build your secret slowly. Day by day, you’ll grow too, you'll know heaven’s glory.” Ahh. That sounds right.

You haven’t seen it? Where have you been?! Watch it! Watch it now!