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Katrina, Katrina, Katrina... You naughty girl

I really have no clue what our response to Katrina should be. Part of me wants to load up a van with supplies and head down there to offer my services... I want to buy a little boat with a small outboard motor and go rescue folks from their homes, or bring them bottles of water, or offer them some crackers and cheese... I want to help an old couple clear the rubble off their homestead of 60 years... I want to go to a displaced orphanage, gather up all the children and bring them back to Ohio to help them find homes for until something can be done for them...

I watched a video today and felt completely helpless. I have no way of REALLY making a difference for those people. I know that "we" can. I know that our church, or community, or this county or "The Universal Church" could, but it would make us really uncomfortable and really inconvenienced and really self-righteous and it would really take some of our time and money.

I am cynical.

I wonder if I really could find a displaced orphanage, and if the Lord really is laying that on my heart, or if the Christ-following community in Findlay really could meet their need... Their real, tangible, present need for a home.

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I have this fear that there are pompous christians (little "c" is intentional) sitting out there saying things like, "New Orleans should have seen this coming." and "Those people down there deserved this, I have heard what goes on at Mardi Gras." and "Judgment people. Judgment. Haven't you read the story of Sodom and Gomorrah?" People like that really get on my nerves. If you are one of them call me and I will explain.
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Christianity Today

I would never have turned to this magazine for such a captivating and challenging article. In the September 05 issue of Christianity Today (which oddly enough is already out???) there is an article called

"The New Monasticism" - a fresh crop of Christian communities is blossoming in blighted urban setting all over America.

I read the article. I contemplated moving. I tried to determine how difficult it would be to convince our entire community with us, and to live in community, such as those in the article. I sit here wondering if this is still in our future. The article includes tons of good quotes, but there is one section that focuses on our place in life:

"Community living is also difficult, especially for families, to sustain over the long tern. 'The whole [American] culture is set up for married people with careers and kids to live in houses and to be mobile as a unit,' Paris says. That can cause problems for communities that include married couples and their children, who at some point feel the need to move on to create a life for their family."

That is odd. I am feeling a draw to leave the "life" we have created for ourselves, to leave our "careers" behind, and to make a life for our family... In community. I read this article and I am moved by the compassion the wear on their sleeve. I am motivated by their lifestyle of surrender, sacrifice and service to the neglected, addicted, poor and disenfranchised. I am drawn to strengthen their voice against the oppressors, to shout loudly by their side for aid, to lead by the example of lifestyle. I feel a push to live in the neighborhoods, rather than visit them 3 or 4 times a year.

I don't know what those feelings are about. I don't know if they are real, or justified, or God- induced, or fleeting. I may feel differently in the morning. Kelly's heart may sing a similar song, or it may ask for a different tune. I know full well that God would have to put it in us both for any kind of real response to occur. I recognize that I don't feel release from Findlay necessarily, in fact I have felt very drawn to it lately. Perhaps this is a stirring for Findlay, an eye-opening of the poverty and injustice in our own town.

So what can I do here? In Findlay, Ohio. What is God calling me to do where I am at? How can I respond in the place I find myself, my family? That is the question I must ask and somehow respond to, with my life and my resources.

Read the article. It may stir something in you. Or maybe it won't.
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Halle, just close your eyes...

Decision to start letting Halle put herself to sleep today
+ Me being at work all day
+ Kelly already feeling stressed starting back to work (at home)
+ Me having to go to VBS tonight

= A Really, Really long and tearful day for my wife

We need to do it, but it is so hard on Kelly.
Please support her in prayer.
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Our First Fuzzy's

This past Saturday began a new chapter for us. We met at Fuzzy Bernstein's (a Jewish-Italian Deli in downtown Findlay... the story is still to come on this). Kelly, Halle and I, Benji & Sarah, Chris, Christy, Hannah, Megan and Isaiah, Hal, Ryan & Leslie and Brandon decided to gather for prayer discussion and togetherness. These are all people we have regularly gathered with in the past few months (except Brandon whom I just recently met), so it wasn't like it was "brand new" to us. Most of us have heard one another views, expressed our own convictions, complications and concerns, ate together, played together, relaxed together. The newness lied in the location, the intention and the expectation.

Our expectations are high in one sense, and not in many others. We expect to discover what true community means in a deeper and more meanigful way. We expect to enjoy gathering each week. We expect to live life together. We expect to explore the Scripture together. We expect to apply truth to our lives together. We expect togetherness.

We don't expect that everyone will understand us, because we have already encountered those who don't.

Good times. I can't wait to live the life ahead of us together.
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