31 March 2004

Out of sorts...

I have been having a terrible week. It was an amazing weekend, I preached on Sunday night, a real sense of the Spirit, God spoke clearly with new words for us. Then Monday, it felt like I got punched in the stomach in a couple of conversations that I won't air out here. But it makes me want to say, why do I bother...

I pray the depression, or the depressor, away.

29 March 2004

New Look...

Thanks Cory for the new look. I like it. Cory Pina, ladies and gentleman!

26 March 2004

"Take responsibility..."

I was driving up to camp on Monday of this week and there is a certain part of the road that serpentine it way up the mountain where I usually turn off the radio/cd/tape/iPod and just pray for the next 10 minutes of driving. I was thinking about the sign that I just passed that needs a new arrow to direct people correctly to camp. Then, very clearly I hear "Take responsibility..." I say "responsibility for what?" Again, "Take responsibility..." I respond again, "for what, the sign. Yeah I need to tell those guys who told me about the sign to be responsible and fix it themselves!" Again, "Take responsibility..." Then I think about God speaking to Isaiah, "Who shall I send?" "Isaiah's response, "Send Me"

"Ok, Lord, I will take responsibility." I did not know for what I was taking responsibility. I would soon find out.

Next thing I know, I am sitting in a worship meeting volunteering to help lead our night time service until camp starts. I will lead for a month with the leader who is doing it now and she will be aware of the Spirit's leading and watch me. After the service we will debrief what happened and did she sense the leading in the same direction that I did or what did she sense. Next month she will sense the Spirit's leading and interject what she is sensing with me as I lead. With a debrief afterwards. The last month she will lead and I will accompany on piano.

I think that was what the Spirit was saying to me about taking responsibility and quit complaining, "If I was leading,..."

21 March 2004

What are we doing...

I have been in a conversation lately about the different things that we do at Calvin Crest. We have a ten week program from June to the middle of August that is the classic Summer Camp, and the in between time which is about 42 weeks minus some holidays winter weeks we have an outdoor school and guest groups that use our facilities.

The question is this... Does that add or detract from the ministry of Calvin Crest?

And this... What is the purpose of a Christian Camp and who should it avail itself?

Don't pass this one... Do we open ourselves for "nonChristian groups"?

Last and then I need to get another cup of coffee... Is opening for non programmed groups (meaning CC doesn't program directly or it is a nonChristian program such as an outdoor school for public schools) antithetical to a Christian camp mission statement?

This is a real conversation, weigh in.

18 March 2004

Prayer and conversation...

There is something about brothers and sisters of the Spirit being together. I spent 24 hours in Pacific Grove talking and praying with my friend Diane.

We did not pray with our eyes shut but in conversation. There was a sense of the spirit talking between us and it was not a "wouldn't it be neat if..." kind of conversation but one that continued to build between each other. I cannot explain it very well but it was more than great encouragement, even though it was, but more of listening and speaking truth to one another. It was not profound thinking but more like revelation. Glimpses.

Tonight, I was able to hear Rudy Carrasco speak in Fresno. The same thing took place. It was not just what he said, even though it was great, it was that a new thing was being revealed. A Glimpse. Again it is hard to explain. Not just an interesting idea, but a new way of seeing.

Jesus said, "consider the Ravens..." There is something to considering. It is of the Spirit. Stop and think. More than think but consider. Listen. Watch. Learn. Correlate. Contrast. Understand. Consider. Leave your doctrine for a second and allow the words to be fresh. Consider. Listen to the words. Forget all you thought you knew. Consider. Move from the place you always sit. Consider. Consider. Don't be religious. Consider. Try on a new shirt. Consider. Let the waitress order for you. Consider. Listen to a new radio station. Consider. Hang out with a person you don't like. Consider. Go to the Traditional service. Consider.

Rudy and Diane are catalyst for considering... They have had a huge impact in my life this week.


What a time...

This time of prayer and planning for summer was incredible. His voice was so clear, I had to write while I was driving. Themes, ideas, designs, love, new concepts,... incredible.

I don't know if I can put it into words yet but I will soon. It is good to be home but I sure liked being in Pacific Grove with the McKneeleys and God.

15 March 2004

I will be out of town...

I will be spending some time in prayer for the summer so I will take off tomorrow, Tuesday, morning. I will try to update, depending where I am. I need to figure out the summer and all the stuff that will go with it. Talk to you soon.

14 March 2004

they will learn what they see...

A new friend, Marcus wrote, (see comments for The blog as a camp tool below)
"I just want advice, and conversation about how to make camp a place to live more like God, in Jesus' ways, and less of just talking about Jesus. We talk about Jesus. Jesus talked about the Kingdom. I want more of that, and in the camp community. Suggestions? Thoughts?"

My response to him and to others asking the same question...

Marcus, the way of the Kingdom is to do the work of the Kingdom. Proclaim the freedom, power, and authority of the believer in the Kingdom. This means setting people free from their bondage, things that trip them up and hold them down (more than sin but the grip of it over their lives). Get them to understand the truth of the gospel in who they are as believers - SAINTS. Therefore we need to equip them to live as saints. Not just prayer warriors but people who fully believe that sin and death have been conquered.

As in Matthew 9 and 10, Jesus has given us, as He did then, authority (this is not a faith doctrine but truth) to do the things He calls us to do. The way to teach it is to live it. Let them see the freedom, power, and authority of the Kingdom in your life. If they just see you talking they will be talkers, if they see you praying, they will be prayers, if they see you loving, they will be lovers, if they see you setting people free, they will be people who pray and love people to freedom...

The way of the Kingdom needs to leave our blogs and enter our hands, feet,... lives. If we practice that what we read Jesus doing in the Gospels and the disciples in Acts and make it our lives instead of Academic conversations, I believe we will see the Church come alive. But if we stay in the shadows of our computer monitors we will never see an emerging anything.

I believe...

Invited to instead of running from...

I heard a guy say this morning that he got tired of the protestant-evangelicals because they rarely stand for anything. It is more about what they are against than what they are for.

I tend to be against more than I am for these days. I am frustrated with the church but am not really doing much toward implementing change. I provide a ten-week experience that hopefully models my heart but for the rest of the year, I am lonely and painfully bored with meetings that perpetuate meetings that don't bring people together in unity and faith, but mediocrity and fear. Fear to be different, ...to question, ...to struggle, ...to miss anything, ...to believe.

I am thinking that maybe this summer will be a thesis of sorts as to what I truly believe the church should be. Try to actively participate in the questions of why gather and what should be done in the time of meeting. I won't call it church, that is confusing, but The Meeting. The body is still the body, but what do we do outside of the Meeting as a body instead of basing the body on The Meeting. We will look at our beliefs and program out from scripture and early documents what it means to gather as the body of disciples instead of just have meetings because it is what we do in a schedule.

I want it to have an effect on the daily practice so that a disciple would leave with the beginnings on how do I live as a disciple. Judge it by does it work in November. It will be sad if the only camaraderie is from the week instead of an ongoing gathering and conversations of the local community to strengthen the faith.

We are breeding shallow people. What would happened we didn't pay our commenting bill of $29.00 a year or a terrorist group attacked all the blog sites. To whom would we talk? Heaven forbid we meet someone at the Traditional service to share our hearts and listen to theirs. What will it take for us to see the Spirit that gave words in scripture so that we would live in step with Him rather than debate over the meanings.

I read blogs more than I read His word. I type more than listen to His Spirit. I bitch more than rejoice.

13 March 2004

The blog as a camp tool...

In the conversation generated by "I thought I should post this since I don't have..." many brought up, ok it was Sean and I, about the place the blog would have in a camp setting. It is taking the place of real conversation - face to face, so that you don't know what someone is truly thinking until you read about them in your blog. This cannot be righteous.

So what is a blogger to do? There is so much pressure on us to keep up a blog that maybe we can't waste our thought and opinions in real time because the only one to hear it is the one in front of us and they are probably not paying attention anyway because they are thinking of what they are going to blog later about that person...

I know my daughter is still in conversations with people she met at camp many years ago. Emailing back and forth, IMing, text messaging... In my day we would be pen pals. Now it is instant. Eliacin from Puerto Rico can be a part of a conversation with many people from like Marco at Boundary Waters Experience in Minnesota, Sean Oldroyd, a chef at Calvin Crest Conferences near Yosemite, Billy E, a pastor in Texas to an African American Presbyterian congregation, James, a student in Fresno, Timbo, another student in Biola, Rudy, a busy person... all interested in what he has to say without licking a stamp.

The blog can be an incredible follow up tool as was shared. It could continue a speaker or a counselor has with the new people they encountered (a 70's term) during the week or weekend at camp.

I just have a huge concern as does others that we would isolate ourselves.

I like being with you with even if I never get to see you.

12 March 2004

The conversations continue...

I am not blogging anything new because there is a great conversation going on in the comments below... Check it out. I will blog something new soon.

08 March 2004

I thought I should post this since I don't have commenting available for the time being...

This was sent to me recently... I didn't get permission to use his name but I thought it should be part of the discussion...

Hey Tony

I'm not a fan of all the emerging stuff because most of what I've seen in the four years of having read and studied it, has been so far removed from the Biblical description of church, I can hardly understand how they even use the Bible as a resource in good conscience. But I really thought your question of what an emerging camp looks like was interesting. Rather than lay my thoughts out in some "thus saith the Lord" kind of statements, I'm going to leave room for debate, opinion, interpretation, and prayer. And I'm going to go about it as what I think camp should look like, emerging or not. Call me aesthetically un-minded.

If the camp isn't relentlessly affirming the authority of scripture and the greatness/magnitude/dynamic/quenching/the million other applicable adjectives of God, it should rethink how it's doing camp. An emerging camp should be like any other environment where there is error - the word of God is brought to bear upon the way people think. I don't mean that combatively, I mean it compassionately. If I were destroying myself in prostitution or some other sin that's easier to hide, it's not loving to coddle and affirm my action, it's loving to confront what's separating me from the most ultimate love the universe has and ever will know.

More streamlined...

If you judge your camp primarily by the preaching and the music, you might want to rethink the way you're doing camp. (1 Corinthians 1-3, esp. 1:17, 2:3-5, 3:4-15, and 4:6-7)

If the whole of involvement is putting limp hands in the air before listening to a speaker, you might want to rethink the way you're doing camp. (Acts 2:42-47 and4:33-35)

If you're a camper (or whatever you call it now) and haven't actually had a real conversation with the primary teachers, you might want to rethink the way you're doing camp. (see above)

If the teachers are across-the-nation celebrities, be careful. That's all I'm going to say about that one. Be careful. And pray for them. Their job (and responsibility) will get tougher as they get more famous and in-demand. (James 3:1, Matthew 23)

If any of your directors drive $60,000 cars (an admittedly ambiguous but certainly not unfair number), you might want to rethink the way you're doing camp. (1 Timothy 6:3-21, 1 John 3:16-18, 1 Thessalonians 2:6-9, Luke 6:20-24)

If you’ve known your directors for a significant period of time (intentionally ambiguous phrasing) and haven't ever heard them admit that they're wrong or ever were, you might want to rethink the way you’re doing camp.

If you find that you're consistently criticizing the camp and/or its leadership, but never lovingly share those frustrations with the directors, you might want to rethink the way you're doing camp. (Acts 2:42, 1 Timothy 4:1-6, 2 Timothy 2:23-26 and 4:2-5, Titus 2 and 3, Ephesians 4:25-32 and 5:21, Matthew 5:23-25)

If you find you're consistently criticizing your camp and/or its leadership, and lovingly shared those frustrations with the directors but nothing changed and you're still frustrated, what are you doing there in the first place? And don't give me that "God has called me to this place to help get it straight" business. That's bullshit, and you're part of the problem. You're probably driving the leaders crazy. You're probably in sin. If you want to change a camp, lead it. Or at least, pray for it. Serve it. Love it. But don't pester it. (same passages as above, plus Psalm 133, Colossians 2:1-5, 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4)

If none of your closest friends are part of the camp, you might want to rethink the way you're doing camp. (same passages as above)

If you don't trust your directors, or if you're always suspicious of their actions and/or words, please rethink the way you're doing camp. (same passages as the last three, not to mention Romans 13)

If you spend the entire off-season reliving camp moments, you might want to rethink the way you're doing camp.

If the directors consistently gives cheap compliments (or, God forbid, trite "You're so awesome" comments) to volunteers, you might want to rethink the way you’re doing camp. By the same token, if the directors are always trying to raise money on the cheap (ill-efforted methods), you might want to rethink camp. There’s a difference between stewardship and self-inflatedness. (1 Timothy 6, Jeremiah 22:13-14, Isaiah 58:1-7)

If you don't consistently, sacrificially give money to your camp, you might want to rethink the way you're doing camp. (Matthew 6, 2 Corinthians 8)

If the speaker's teaching/living never confuses or frustrates you, you might want to rethink the way you’re doing camp. (John 6, Luke 6:22-26)

If your camp is so big you start to see the Acts 2 model as impossible, impractical, or irrelevant, you might want to rethink the way you’re doing camp.

If you care more about Leonard Sweet and Brian McLaren than the apostle Paul and John the disciple, you might want to rethink the way you're doing camp.

Just to add the legal jargon, these are not the views of the management nor their children, barristas, etc...

My comments have expired...

If you want to respond, my email is

It should be fixed soon.

06 March 2004

Ok, I'll weigh in ...

I saw "The Passion," or as others are referring to it as "The Movie," the beginning of last week. I needed some time to ruminate on it before just adding to the corporate opinion.

Well here is my take.

I was deeply moved by the artistry of Mel Gibson, I was deeply moved by the nonEnglish language. It caused me to be deeply involved with the story as well as it contributed to the unsettling feeling I had through the whole picture. It let me know that it wasn't an Western Story, but a different culture and a different time. That was important. Truth transends culture and time. We are still those same people in a different culture and time. The portrayal of Peter, Judas, and the disciples, were incredible. I was particularly moved by John. Not much dialogue but he emoted wonderful through his eyes.

The actors were never over the top, James Caviezel did a great job as the God Man. I was touched repeatedly by his eyes of compassion towards those around him. Especially for Mary.

I was touched by Mary, the mother of Jesus. It was not the acting, which was wonderful, it was not just her part in the story, which was excellent and revealing, but it was the truth of the Mother. By that I mean, and I hope I can convey it correctly as a male, with childbirth comes a sense of connection, spiritually, emotionally, physically,... intuitively is probably the correct word for the connection. It is a part of the mother to be connected with the child. I watched it with Christel, my wife and our children. There is something there that I don't have nor fully understand, but envy.

Therefore, Mary's role is more than the woman to bear the baby but the woman who also bore His call. There is more to her than I ever imagined. This was an answer to a prayer asked over a year and a half ago. I was asking Him to explain Mary to me without the politics of religion. I heard both sides and wasn't convinced either way. But in seeing her He began to teach.

I was never taught about Mary other than during the Christmas pageants, in fact when we did discuss any thing about her she was kept in the Catholic Church and never the protestant. Why is that. I want to love and honor her. Scriptures tell us she will be called blessed by the generation to come. WE DON'T. She is marginalized like all women. (And I won't go too far there.) But she knew Jesus better than any one. More than the disciples, more than the priest, and more than any Protestant today. We marginalize her because we have to change some pretty heavy theology to talk about her. I would not make her part of the trinity, but she is more than the biological container of the gestation of the messiah. She is the holy mother. I think it is time to remember her, honor her, call her blessed.

She understood the value of His blood, it was precious. I was ready to move on to the next scene, she stayed and mopped up. The Mother.

Do we not bless her because she is a woman and women were never considered of much value in those time as well as today. Do we not think much of her because not much is written of her in our scriptures?

This did not steal any of my love and devotion to Christ, it opened up love in a new avenue that I will walk from now on.
What do you think?

03 March 2004

Camping needs to be about transformation.

Camping needs to be about transformation. Transformation from what to what. Great word but if we look at the church to see what we are being transformed to I don't think I am in agreement with the outcome.

Jesus didn't die so that we...

... would be in power, but in service.

... would build more building, bigger building, but would tear down the works of the enemy.

... would be wasteful consumers, but be good stewards of the earth and its inhabitants.

... would be bound by indecision about His will for our lives, but be free indeed by knowing His voice and moving with confidence in His grace and power.

... would be conservative, but radically loving and boldly compassionate.

... would be blind to the lives of the "least of these", but be in the light as He is in the light.

... would be caught up in traditions of when He moved in a certain group of people, but celebrate the faithfulness of God to His people - our fore-mothers and fathers.

... would carry a load of guilt, but be equipped to know the truth and understand forgiveness and mercy.

... would be in judgment, but walk as those forgiven with mercy for those who have trespassed against us.

If a camp is to be a facility of transformation we need to quit using terms and start using power. His power. We can be transformed by the renewing of our minds, so we need to spend more time in conversations that correct the lies of the enemy, the mistruth of the dispensations and more time in equipping the saints by introducing them to the Holy Spirit of God. The four spiritual laws are great for Monday night but the rest of the week should be in the armor, the robe, the fruit, the fragrance, and the love of the Spirit.

I got meetings to go to. Peace.

02 March 2004

I did a very powerful thing today...

I voted!

One more thing...

I was accused of not being serious. I can’t be serious anymore because if I did I would be talking about… the lack of direction of the church both new and old, too much talk and not enough repentance, too much talk and not enough listening, too much worry about style and not enough substance, too much comfort and not enough risk, laziness and intellectualism, Monday morning quarterbacks who never get dirty, too much domain and no Kingdom come, covering our butts instead of asking for forgiveness and understanding, Words, Theories, classroom and debt, male ineptness, abortion, slavery, responsibility with authority, defense, work, vision, spiritual discernment, depression, the marginalization of women by women, baldness, cussing, raising and discipling children, quitting, talking in movies, being over-weight, Levi Strauss, love, Bible Stores, hitch hiking, Christian paraphernalia, the beloved Mary mother of Christ, the sacred blood of Jesus, saints and martyrs, lovers and newly weds, Haiti, Detroit, Lamona Avenue in Fresno… know what I mean…

So I would rather try to laugh and think quietly about those other things. If you want to talk about those things, take me out to coffee, I like a sugar-free vanilla, breve latte. (and I bet I get more response on my choice of drink than I do about what is going on in my head.)

So I will talk about camping...

I got an comment from a fellow campadero about my lack of subject matter in reference with the title of the blog. I haven't been talking about camping because it seems that no one is interested and the ones that are must not write. So let me put it out there again.

If the emergent church was to have use of facilities in which they could leave the city or town and go to for a camp or conferences what would it look like...?


Does anyone have an opinion on what an emergent camp would look like?


That is what I thought - no response. So I will wax eloquently for a while on the emergent camp...

If we normally start on Sunday afternoon, we probably wouldn't begin until Sunday night or so when the spirit started to move or we just kind of finished drinking our coffees and such.

I think the craft time would be mostly candle making. We use a h' of a lot of candles.

No preaching, just stories.

We would eat Chinese food, chiros, tofu nachos, and drink lattes and it would always be after the story time.

The storyteller wouldn't wear shoes (right Rudy?).

We wouldn't have campfires because they aren't environmentally friendly, we would just use a lot of fricking candles and torch lights.

Women would never be called girls. (sorry, I couldn't resist)

Craft time would teach us how to dread your hair.

We would refer to the Mel Gibson movie instead of reading scripture.

There would be a lot of free time. We would change the name from FREE TIME to LIBERATION.

We would change the craft shack into a Nike sweat shop so each camper could experience the plight of the poor.

We would change the name of CAMP to something that wouldn't remind anyone of the holocaust and we wouldn't be accused of being anti-Semitic or is it anti-Semantic?

No Max Lucado only Dostoyevsky.

No Snickers only FairTrade sugar cane and PuraVida coffee.

We would change the name of SUMMER STAFF to THE COMMUNITY.

We wouldn't have staff shirts but yet we would all end up wearing the same thing anyway.

Cabin time would become Cabo devina.

And we would stay up late to watch David Letterman for the Compline.

We need to laugh. We are taking ourselves way too serious.

Have a good day, eh. I have to go out to interview someone. Peace