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Rare Form

The mission trip to Pascagoula was amazing. Convictions about life and community and church that I have been discussing with my family and little community over the past few months became a reality for me. Hard work was done, roofing homes was truely an act of worship, unity was realized, relationships were formed, solidified and nurtured.

I don't want to start writing too much about it because I couldn't stop. The result was a clear sign of new life in me. I was in rare form. I entered into a state I have not been in a few years. I began to operate out of this pure joy. The realization that what we had done in Mississippi is what we should be doing back home, became so real and natural to me.

On the 17 hour trip home I enjoyed one of the most entertaining road trips I have ever been on. My actions were reminiscient of me during my freshman year of college or my Point Loma days or the early days with the Ballmers and Hunsakers here in Findlay. If you were a part of any of those times in my life you may be able to identify what I am getting at. When I know I am doing exactlly what the Lord wants me to be doing and I am doing it in community and I feel united and at peace with my community a fire is ignited. My joy turns into pure enthusiasm for life and laughter and honesty and bonding. I develop this unquenchable need to spread joy to others and to give love selflessly. Somehow this mission trip unlocked that part of me. To be honest, it is a little embarrassing, because I can become quite hyper and a little out of control when I am in that mode... but it sure felt good to go there.

An hour after I was home the reality of the awkwardness surrounding the life of our church right now, but somehow The Lord was able to overcome that this morning and I was able to give life rather than suck it out of others, as I have fallen into the habit of lately.

So... the mission trip was AMAZING

Things my eyes were opened to in the past week or so:
*My attitude/actions at church/home have been very selfish rather than selfless for a while.
*My frustration/tension over church and what it could/should look like has pushed me toward a negative and critical nature
*I have been rather dead to most of those I go to Sunday church with, for quite some time... I just haven't invested myself in anything beyond hello and a quick smile.
*There is a need for renewal in me, which was begun, but not completed on the trip
*I have no clue what the Lord wants to do with our lives right now. I am in the wilderness, waiting for directions, but having a hard time discerning God's voice.
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Pascagoula

I am on a mission trip to Pascogoula, Mississippi. I am excited, yet unprepared. I have been working on a huge Master's class project every extra moment for the past 7 days. I stayed up till 1am, 3am, 1am and 6am consecutively... I also slept in a couple of those days to make up for it.

I am excited to be going on this trip, but ashamed it has taken us so long to respond. The moment the first hurricane hit the coast I knew I needed to be down here. I knew we needed to repond. It has taken so long to transpire. I know there is still a lot of work to be done, but coming down now seesm like it is more for us. Coming down immediately would have seemed like it was more for them, more for him. It seems like we fit it into our schedule, more than we adjusted our schedules to respond to a desperate need.

I am still excited about this time. I am excited to work outside, in the hot heat, with dirty hands and a worn down body. I am excited to be outside my comfort zone. These seem to be the times I can actually put myself aside and listen more intently to my Savior. It seems that I need to broken, physically/mentally/emotionally, in order to truly surrender my ego, my agenda, myself.

Dave & John B lost this grandfather this week. Pray for them and their family please.
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Coffee & Conversation: The Bible

We had Coffee & Conversation tonight. It is a spin off of Beer & Bull, which was a pasttime for me & my apartment mates in college. It began as something we did every 3-4 weeks, became every other week, became most weeks and now is at a point that it feels weird when it doesn't happen... at least once in a week. We gather. We eat often. We drink coffee always. We converse... the topics range from the authority of the bible (tonight's topic), to revelation, to the church, to propriety in worship. The Word is read, opinions are shared freely, and occasionally tension is subtely present. Tonight was such a night, but that is not why I am writing. I am writing because I have been a slacker... and because I realized I should always post our topics and major discussions on here. This is my community. This is our life together. This is why I began this blog in the first place to record our collective journey.

Tonight Major Topic: The Bible
Present: Five Couples and a Single Guy (mainly in our 20's) & 1-10 yr. old girl was in the room.

Major Questions:
1) Is the Bible inerrant?
2) Is the Bible absolute and authoritative?
3) Is the Bible literal (using Genesis 1 as the primary text for debate)?
4) Should Scripture norm everything else, or can Tradition, Experience, History, Archaeology, etc norm Scripture?
5) Can the Bible be both Historical and Narrative?
6) Is metaphor used in the Bible (ex: Job)? If so, how do you know when it is metaphor and when it is not?

It got intense. Whew! But, in the end it felt good and we were glad we brought it to the table. We experienced the Body in a special way. We debated. We disagreed. We got frustrated. We recognized truth from the other side. We understood one another more. We understood God more. Any thoughts on any of these questions from any of you. I am not looking to fight. I just want to hear where you stand on this and why. I will admit... i am still working this thing out.

Also... please pray for Dave & John B.'s grandad and family today.
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Two Week Vacation

We have been on vacation for two weeks now. We have the next two days off as well. I go back on Wednesday. I have never felt more disconnected, more distant, more removed from my church in the 5 years I have been here. I think it is because we have stayed in town to work on our house most of the time. When you are out of town everything is out of mind for the most part. When you are in town you still drive by the same places, see the same people, etc. We have intentionally not been present, and I think it has been good for us. I did start missing my teens this past week, but I think that is natural probably. There have been some somewhat major things going on at the church and I am completely out of the loop. That is a little wierd, but feels really good at the same time.

It has been a strange two weeks, but it has felt good to be mentally and physically removed from my vocation these past two weeks. Just some thoughts.
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