Wednesday, September 21, 2011

An Evening of Justice and Worship

YWAM Modesto proudly presents "An Evening of Justice and Worship" from Steps of Justice, an educational, inspirational and practical initiative from Youth With A Mission.  Come join us for a night of music and challenge with Phil and Amy Cunningham and Chris and Jenna Wilson.  They will be with us on Tuesday night, October 18th at 7pm at New Hope Christian Fellowship, 300 Trask Ln. in Modesto.  This night is open to all.  A free-will offering will be taken to help support these families on the road with a most important message.

You can find out more about the tour, hear some music and read about Steps of Justice over at their website...CLICK HERE.  If you have any questions, call Chris Whitler at 209-404-4027

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Our life in a bag.

If you know me (Chris) and are around me for any time, you probably know that I carry a purse.  This has been the object of much humor at my expense but you know, purses come in handy.  Even Jesus told his disciples to take their purse with them on the road.  Mine is a reproduction of a WW2 map carrier's case.  Very manly.

 I thought I'd show you some of it's contents to let you in on what we're up to these days.  So, here we go...
First up is my Youth With A Mission (YWAM) journal and daily planner where I try to keep track of meetings and activities.  I have bought one of these little books for many years now from YWAM publishing and it is super helpful.  This week, it tells me about meetings with our little YWAM team here in Modesto, prayer gatherings with pastors, friends and other Christian workers in the city and it helps me remember stuff I've promised to do...visit or call folks I'm building relationship with, find furniture for a struggling family and help someone obtain their birth certificate.

Next there is a little note book I keep with a list of helpful numbers in the back for people I may encounter.  Numbers for the Modesto Gospel Mission, Salvation Army, a community housing service and Advancing Vibrant Communities, a great resource in our city for people with needs and one of the simplest and most beautiful ideas I've ever encountered.  I often give these and some other numbers away to people I meet on the street who are looking for real help from the community.

And the other book there (the one covered in Mickey Mouse comics) is a journal for thoughts about scripture, life and the future.  It is often the seed for blog posts like THIS ONE.

Next is a collection of stickers from my friends at Steps of Justice that I passed out today at our local Youth Pastor's Network meeting.  I was letting them know about an event we're hosting on Tuesday, October 18 called "An Evening of Justice and Worship".   It's at 7pm at New Hope Church in Modesto (300 Trask Ln.)  This is a great night of music and stories to challenge us to take a next step toward justice for the poor and oppressed peoples of the world.  Come and join us!

Next are some packets of seeds that I will be planting with Josh and Sam and our friend Bob in his back yard.  We educate our children at home and this will be one of our projects this year.  We are growing a salad...lettuce, carrots (which I am told take forever), radishes, onions and brocoli (which I am told will take a miracle.)  We're headed out this afternoon to get our hands dirty!

And finally, this is a poem that was handed to me by my friend Patrick.  We met him at our 9th Street Cafe that we host every Friday morning.  It's a cafe we set up on the street as a way to build relationships with the people that live there.  Through this time and getting reconnected at church, Patrick has rediscovered his faith and has been a wonderful addition to our cafe community.  He is quick to sit and listen to others and offer kind words and comfort to the broken people that come for a cup of coffee and friendship.  He is also very bright and quite fun to talk politics, religion and culture with.  I have re-posted his beautiful poem describing life on 9th Street at the YWAM Modesto website HERE.

Of course, nothing in my purse tells you about Amie dancing at the Modesto Junior College and teaching Stella to read or about all the kids starting up Awana and our new season of youth group at New Hope church or about the Fire Bowl that is a new communal blog I am hosting and me traveling to Canada in October to teach in a Discipleship Training School in Winnipeg.

Thanks for reading and for prayers and support.  Life, for all of us I'm sure, is a juggling act.  Please pray that we can be faithful to all we're called to.  How can we pray for you?

If you would like to support our work financially, send me an email and we can go through the several options there are to give.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Seek..His Kingdom and His Righteousness..."

 Matt 6

In Psalms, it says that our heart tells us to seek God's face.  Jesus instructs us to seek God's Kingdom and righteousness.  To search it out.  Life is a quest to find God and His work wherever it is hiding.

This tells me that the Kingdom of God is not obvious.  It is not necessarily with the loud ones on the street corners (proverbially speaking, of course).  It's quietly tucked away and it's up to us to look for it.

It's out there right now hiding in unseen sacrifice.  It's a mother who gives her children the only mattress on the floor.  It's the faithful in prayer closets pouring out their heart.  It's the gentle who take a friend's arm to go into the recovery meeting.  It's a wildflower by the road that is overlooked and dressed better than King Solomon himself.

It is for us to look for it, to seek it out and live in it's radiance.  And Jesus promises that God himself takes care of the rest of our lives.

Lead us, O God, to your Kingdom and the things you say are right - in lives and stories and homes and around tables and music and friendship and prayer and nature and laughter and sorrow and in a million other ways and things.

Help us see, help us hear, help us remember.