Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I keep finding cool quotes...

"The job of the peacemaker is to stop war, to purify the world, to get it saved from poverty and riches, to heal the sick, to comfort the sad, to wake up those who have not yet found God, to create joy and beauty wherever you go, to find God in everything and in everyone."

- Muriel Lester

Monday, July 28, 2008

"I don't deny...that there should be priests to remind men that they will one day die. I only say...it is necessary to have another kind of priests, called poets, to remind men that they are not dead yet."

—G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pictures from my day

This is the inside of Viva Taco...it is a bus that is a Mexican restaurant. This is (left to right) Arlie, Jimmy's Dad, Pastor Sustar, Sylvester (owner and proprietor and cooking at the moment), John and Jimmy. We love the bus. The bus is good. The bus is here. It was good to be at the bus again. I would suggest the chicken burrito supreme...hot, freshly made and a quality like no other taco truck I've encountered (for my non-Californian readers, we get the best tacos from establishments that have 4 wheels and motors). This is an good picture from my day. Here's another taken by Joseph, the "super" at the Budget Inn on S. 9th St...

These were pretty fun and easy to be in. There are others.

There was the intense warfare of getting relationships right. There was prayer at the 9th street bridge. There was the picture of friends walking into one of the darkest, most depraved places I know of and calling for God's Kingdom to come and His will to be done. A picture of mercy as I saw people giving dignity to a broken man. I was in a picture of a family wracked by sickness and sadness. My mind took a snap shot of merciful hands asking for healing. A picture of hope super-imposed. Now an image of woundedness and grief...of a life never affirmed by a mother or father and even now a greater Father weighing in, filling up, setting free. On to, a circle of friends handing the dead parts over to Jesus. It is harder than it looks in the pictures. Next a scene of obligations fulfilled and letting go. Finally, my family with ice cream and laughter.

And in all of these pictures from today, there is a theme, a thread that links them all together. I don't know how these all fit into the same album but I close the cover on my day and the simple label on the front says, "Joy".

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"Do and dare what is right, not swayed by the whim of the moment. Bravely take hold of the real, not dallying now with what might be. Not in the flight of ideas but only in action is freedom. Make up your mind and come out into the tempest of living. God’s command is enough and your faith in him to sustain you. Then at last freedom will welcome your spirit amid great rejoicing."

Friday, July 04, 2008

Back on the ole horse

It's been a while since I've like, blog blogged so I thought I'd try something I've been thinking about for some time. In our garage is a box and several bags chock full of old, unorganized photos. Remember, you know, like an actual picture that you can hold in your hand? Well, I thought I'd go out there, stick my hand in one of the bags and what ever photo came out, I'd write about it...so here it is...

This is Michael...but he wanted us to use the french pronuciation of Mi-kai-el so we did. He was in Dunham, Quebec working with Youth With A Mission. Or Jenesse en Mission in French...in English it's YWAM, very blunt and awkward. In French, it's JEM which also convieniently means "love". ahhhhh. Michael was working there as a part of a language study school from England. As a requirement, he had to spend six months or a year (I can't remember which) in a French speaking nation. He was quite fluent. I remember him thinking the Quebec version of the language to be quirky and endearing. It's all French to me.

I was in Dunham also working with YWAM from the base in Cambridge, Ontario. In a story much too long to go into, we had to run our Discipleship Training School at a different location and the Dunham house was the closest and also available at the last minute. So here we came, 40 or so loud anglo-phones crashing in on a small, french YWAM base in a tiny village in Quebec about 7 miles from the Vermont border...in January. Our hosts were very gracious, it was extremly cold (we had to buy a heater to place on our engine block so our car would start in the morning) and the food was...uh...improvised. We had brought with us a large donation of frozen pasta dishes like tortellini and ravioli all of which we just kept outside. It stayed frozen no problem.

I did not keep in touch with Michael. He stayed in Dunham for a while after we were all gone. But I do remember a conversation I had with him. I remember it every once in a while. He was deciding whether to do his Discipleship Training School (DTS) with YWAM there. We were talking about the way we look to programs to fix us rather than looking to God. He had a very humble view. He told me that he didn't expect the DTS to change him completely but that it was just another season. An extra focused season maybe but one that would come to an end. His goal was to stay on the path toward God no matter what.

Seeing this picture today made me think of the four students from my church now, here in California, that are headed off to YWAM schools this Fall. Seasons come and go. I remember the first time James and Julie came to our youth group...they were just 13 years old. They graduated this year and are both off to YWAM. I'm very proud of them. They are already on that path and getting ready for an intensified season.

I remember when it was me. While those decisions actually did change the coarse of my life,it didn't happen the way I thought it would. For the most part, there has not been the big and the wonderful. It has been the small and the faithful that has made all the difference...friendship, simplicity and good work. Let's stay on the path.