Saturday, March 25, 2006

some history

When I was 5, my parents pulled my sister and I aside to let us know about an upcoming move. We lived in Louisville, KY and my Father had accepted a position as the director of all music programs for a small, independent Baptist collage in Wisconsin. We rented out our house, the movers packed the truck and we headed off to pursue my parent’s dream of fusing ministry with their talents to disciple young people on a pastoral Christian campus.

The school was a “live in” collage with men’s and women’s dorms, duplex housing for all the teaching staff families, a lake, a chapel, class rooms, rec hall and a cafeteria all set back in a birch forest 20 minute’s drive from the nearest small town. My friends were all the staff kids. My years on the campus were full of exploring the forests and sand dunes, catching toads, swimming in the lake, riding my bike every where, building forts and trying to figure out girls.

It was a weird, wonderful place to have part of my childhood. During the school’s missionary conference I made the declaration that I would be a missionary whether God called me or not. I made my incremental commitments to Christ at the summer camp put on by the school’s students. I learned about religious control and politics which brought our time at this school to an end.

My Mom and Dad always had people over to our house. There was always some student joining us for dinner. They would throw parties for the kids. Dad formed a touring choir that would travel 2 months out of the year to promote the school and my folks especially poured into these students. They discipled and supported them, they loved them and created community. They made space even in their “off the clock” time to listen and encourage students. Some of them are missionaries and pastors and still correspond with my Dad.

Horrible accusations came from a jealous staff. We left the school. The dream over, my parent’s hearts broken, we moved back to Kentucky. Back into our old house. Dad taught music in public schools and university and Mom got secretarial work. I was 10.

Dad tells me that long before that, my parents dream was to buy a big house and run a ministry to help street people. But church people discouraged it. Then they sought to minister to young people and that was killed by the “teachers of the law.”

And here I am in Modesto, California. Another day, in another way, I seek to help and encourage street people and young people. My sons are 5 and 10. What will they say when they are 35 reflecting on the time we lived inside a church and Mom and Dad worked with this crazy group called YWAM, chasing a crazy dream? Will they remember that we were faithful? Will they remember our dreams? What will they have to fight through and for? How will this time shape their future?

My Dad was my best man in our wedding. His toast was simple. Glass raised in the very building I now live in he said, quoting a favorite song, “May all who come behind us find us faithful.” Amen.

Monday, March 20, 2006

My week

Just stealing a quick internet minute to blog. Here’s a play by play of my last week...

Monday - Amie and I packed the kids up and took off to see the new IKEA in Sacramento. We had a really fun day together. The boys love to try our every bed they have. They especially liked their new round beds with mosquito nets over them. Very exotic : ) Amie loves every inch of IKEA. Stella loves to be pulled around in a cart under shiny lights so she really had fun too. We’ve taken day trips to IKEA since we discovered them in Canada back in 1994. Even though IKEA is the symbol of mundane life in the movie “Fight Club”, we don’t care, we love it. Oh, and I had a great nap in their lounge.

Tuesday - Jimmy and Aaron and I meet Tuesday morning to plan out the week. So we did. Then we drove to up to the mountains to have a visit with Greg. On the way to Greg’s, I got really sick. Like, evil sick. I slid downhill all day. By the time we got home I had a horrid fever, chills, aches, all of it. I fell asleep around 8:30pm and woke up at 11 with my fever broken and I was out on the track at MJC by 5:30am the next day!

Wednesday - We worked on fundraising for our Thailand trip during the morning. I started my mailing list, Aaron did something on the computer and Jimmy started calling businesses. He secured us an interview on a pretty big christian radio station for 6:30am Friday morning. We delivered food in the afternoon and spoke at a Presbyterian youth group on Wednesday night. Part of the evenings festivities was “Capture the Cabbage” which is like Capture the Flag but with a cabbage cause of St. Patrick’s day. Jimmy and I were pitted against Aaron team-wise and my team won but Aaron says we didn’t on account of a technicality.

Thursday - When our friends, the Coffees, had an extended stay in San Francisco when their baby was born they began to develop friendships with the YWAMers there. Those relationships have been growing and were cemented when we went to help build a wall in their new building they obtained for their training programs. It was great fun to build a wall in a really old building as nothing is square anymore...the floor kinda smiles. I’m glad Jimmy know what he’s doing. Anyhoo, a big bunch of us went in on Thursday to celebrate the grand opening of this new facility. This place that was once a homosexual porn theater is now full of worship, prayer, bible study and missionary training! And our wall did not fall over.

Friday - I had a sickness rebound...and a phone interview at 6:30 am...3 minutes after I woke up. wow. A good afternoon though giving out food to our friends.

Saturday - I worked on Thailand letters (did you get one? cause I could get you one. We need all the help we can get!). We had a Thailand meeting. I was still sick. We ran concessions at a concert to raise money for Thailand. Thailand, Thailand Thailand. We’ll get there but I had to go to bed.

Sunday - Other YWAM friends from “Gleanings for the Hungry” in Sultana came to visit us. They came to New Hope Church and then we did a BBQ on South 9th street for all our homeless friends. It was a great day of outreach and getting to know one another. We prayed with families and played with kids.

Monday - Today. Spent time with the kids. Caught up on some e-mail. Saw “V for Vendetta”. Liked it but wished it was more. Chiropractor. Grocery shopping. Deal or No Deal (our new family favorite) and blogging. So there.

Friday, March 03, 2006


Not a lot of time for the internet lately. I’ve been very busy and away at a conference and I share a computer with about 800 other people. So what’s been going on...

My family is doing well. Little Stella is still really little...she grows long more than fat but that’s ok. She’s cute and a little crabby cause she’s trying to figure out the whole bowel thing. I don’t know why that’s such a problem for babies. Just let it out! It’s so easy for the rest of us. It’s a little too easy for some of us...and that's it...the precise moment I went too far. : )

My Father, Sister and Nephew came for a visit about 2 weeks ago. It was really good to have them here but bittersweet as my Dad has had a few strokes in the last couple years and they have really affected his behavior. He is inside of himself, quiet, not a lot of light in his eyes. He actually had a small one right before they came and went into the hospital as soon as they got home from his visit. He was released yesterday and is responding well to rehab. Please pray for him.

As soon as they left, Aaron, Jimmy and I were off to a great Youth With A Mission Conference in Chico, CA with all the leaders from the Southwest U.S. We were there for 3 days and had a blast with great teaching, refreshing praise times, good connections with new friends in the mission and restored vision for our work here in Modesto. We hiked a lot too as the YWAM center in Chico is way back in a beautiful canyon (no cell phones or internet for us either). Our first hike, Jimmy was our guide and took us into the wilderness where there was no trail...up a mountainside. We found deer skeletons, Aaron got poison oak (again) and my ankle is recovering nicely.

So I’m facing March a little more aware. Aware that I am in a war that’s fought everyday. God’s enemy would love me to think that it’s not that big a deal. That life is just life and it goes on and if we can make some kind of sense of it that’s good but if not we just exist and that’s all. I can sleepily walk through my days, watch a whole month go by and drowsily wonder where the time went between stuff I had to do to survive. But that mind set is a trap.

The matrix is real and we have to fight everyday to not believe the lies that seem so true right in front of our eyes. Today does matter. There are no “throw away, cut your losses” days. We are not meant to just make it. We are meant to pass from glory to glory. To advance on the darkness that would try and swallow the world around us whole. To brazenly walk into the darkness holding the light in front of us and driving it back.

God calls me today to be real in my relationships, passionate in prayer, diligent in study, determined in discipline, faithful in the small things, watchful for opportunity, obedient in response, harsh in dealing with my own rebellion, full of grace for others, reaching out with good works, strong in the Lord and in the power of HIS might, my mouth full of blessing, my heart full of love, my flesh dead and my spirit alive. He’s given us everything, everything, EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness says the scripture and he’s looking for people that are just crazy enough to believe it.

So let’s stick our feet out. Let’s tell the darkness that we will not move. Let’s lock arms with brothers and sisters, hold the line and start walking forward...forward to share the good news with a neighbor, forward to lend food, kind words and our ear to the poor, forward to support and encourage missionaries around the world, forward to pick a struggling brother or sister up, forward to remembering the elderly and weak, forward to point the way for an aimless young person and forward in awareness for every opportunity God sends our way today.