29 June 2004

Emergency funds are needed for Sudan's Darfur...

I wanted to join my friends in the blogsphere and encourage you to go to the World Vision's web site and donate money for Sudan's refugees.

They are "the least of these..." for today!

27 June 2004

50th group birthday...

I got to spend tonight with a small percentage of my graduating class celebrating our collective 50th birthdays. Men and women from the class of 1972 of Sanger High School, a small farming town in central California, gathered together on Keith Nilmier's farm to eat, drink some wine and pop, dance, sing, and remember some old stories.

Some of the crassest people loved on me tonight. Some quiet ones that I never thought remembered me, they walked up and gave me a hug and a kiss. There was lots of kissing. Not making out, just fondness for each other. I kissed Mark Adanalian on the lips. Italian to Armenian. I have known Mark since kindergarten, a dear friend who lost his wife a few years back and who now is suffering with MS. A kiss seemed appropriate.

Friends. Old friends. Friends who are losing spouses, parents. Friends who didn't return because of illness unto death. We talked of old times, of new marriages and recent divorces, children and their children, our children's colleges and dreams, our own dreams and accomplishments - some still to accomplish, we talked a lot about God.

Some are writers, doctors, radio announcers (I listened to one on the radio on the way home just now on KLOV), wives, mothers, widows, farmers, educators, salesmen, and one camp guy. Money was raised for scholarships, a bottle of wine was signed by us all for the last member to drink after the rest of us are dust, emails and addresses kept. We were heavier, balder, smarter, wiser, softer, and more loving. Even the crass ones were more loving. Old girlfriends asked about my wife with genuine interest and we talked of their husbands and children. A lot of drama back then that seemed like the end of the world opened to new worlds. No one was trying to impress, only remember and reconnect.

A quiet woman that I grew up with from elementary through high school, Lillian Torres, came up and gave me a delightful hug. She said she was so honored that I remembered her. I remembered her. I was honored that she thought anything of me. Isn't it funny how we think of our selves before these events. She is taking care of her mother who is in the later stages of Alzheimer's. Many were taking care of parents in later stages of many things. We all seemed to understand that part of this season of life.

It was a grand time. We bragged a little, cried a little, hugged a lot, took a long time to say good bye to those who had to leave early - this may be the last time we see them. We stood out in the middle of the country road before the last said good bye. It was hard to say good bye when we just said hello a few hours before.

There was some who chose not to come because of bad feelings from the past, that was sad, they missed out on a lot of grace and forgiveness. My anxiety walking up was soon dissipated by the first person to yell out my name. They remember me...

20 June 2004

Great sex...

I went to my daughter's dance recital yesterday that lasted from 2:00p to 6:30p. Of course we left after she was finished but we were there for a long time and saw many acts. Ages ranged from little-littles to women in their young 50s. It was great to see the women my age getting on stage and dancing as a form of keeping healthy and in shape. They were delightful. I loved watching them.

I was greatly disturbed in my spirit watching the young girls and women dance with a bit of provocativeness. I have been to dance performances since I was in high school and I took a jazz dance class with my friend, Huff. I have been to recitals for both of my daughters over the past 10 years. I have seen Twila Tharp and other profession troupes. My wife danced, my friends in college danced... So I am not new to this.

It was not the costumes that were provocative though some were a bit, I am not even sure it was the moves and gestures even though I don't think a 6 year old should be shaking something that hasn't budded yet. But it was something in the eyes. More than a look, it was behind the eyes. A lost innocence.

I started thinking, as a participant in the sexual revolution I don't think sex got better because we are less inhibited now. I don't think it is better because we are free-er to express ourselves in any clothing that we want. I don't think we have gotten better by being free-er to express ourselves by whatever means we want and show whatever we want. It is no more sexually exciting to see some girl's thong showing above her pant line than seeing a plumber's crack rising above his.

I think we need to teach our kids about great sex. Great sex begins with intimacy, not with public indecency. Great sex comes with trust for tomorrow not relief right now. I don't think we are teaching our children anything deep and sacred by having them flaunt their bodies today. We need to begin teaching children about great sex by teaching them about their hearts, minds, and bodies. Their minds and spirits are underdeveloped, and their bodies are overexaggerated.

We condemn pedophiles but yet when I look at these performances of these children aren't we lowering our morals to theirs? They will no longer be perverts if their behavior is not perverting the behavior of the norm. If mothers and fathers don't care, who will.

This society lacks class. People talk in movies, smack their children in the grocery store, girls burp, guys oogle, if I see another television show where some guy is talking to another guy while he is using the bathroom I will scream.

It is more acceptable to say the F word, than to say the name of the Savior. I am not impressed with the evolution of this society. I am not calling for the government to do something, I am not asking for the schools to teach something, I think we need to begin with ourselves. We are to blame and "we are the ones we have been waiting for..."

18 June 2004

Evening beauty...

Photo by Cory Pina (with a ~)

This is the show we have been watching each night this past week.


As the San Joaquin Valley heats up each day we get the residual moisture rising and creating these spectacular cloud formations and the sunsets are gorgeous.

17 June 2004

A grove of praise...

In this place, trees reach up through the underbrush to the sky,
Branches intertwine with others to capture the warmth and nourishment of the sun,
Roots dig deep into the soil for strength and stability so that they may display the glory of the Creator.

We come with the intention, to leave the daily routine and reach for the Eternal Kingdom.
Standing with others, to seek His face and Spirit, we set our faith deeply into His word and truth as we lift our hands in a grove of worship so we may be a testament of His grace, peace, and power.

16 June 2004

This was a one-of-a-kind day...

This was a band that I threw together of some very fine musicians. From Left to Right, Paul Fandl on drums, Me on keyboards, Timbo on bass, Dave Brewer on guitar, Levi Huffman on guitar and flute, my wife, Christel vocals, and her brother Will Eisenhower on mandolin)

The caliber of music that these guys had was phenominal! In the middle of some OLD camp songs like Pass It On, They Will Know We are Christians, and More Love they improvised some incredible licks. I was thanking God for His letting me play with the big boys and girl. It had been a long time since I had played with them.

Good times, good times...

a haiku, a thought, and a song... (UPDATE)

is this rain falling
only on me?

Kobayashi Issa

I have a sense of change, but not of location.
Of duty, but not of jobs.
Of thinking, but not of education.
Of acting, but not of roles.
Of relationship, but not of people.
Of time, but not of today.

This is a peculiar time. I have never felt such restlessness. I am not bored but I know something new is coming. Coming around a corner. I can sense the presence but do not see it yet. Good opportunities have come, but it is not where I am suppose to be. I am suppose to be here. A part of the new thing. I was part of the old new thing. Now I feel like I am too old for this new thing.

"Faithfulness, faithfulness is what I long for
Faithfulness is what I need.
Faithfulness, faithfulness is what You want from me."

This has nothing to do with age but more of ability and confidence. I am sure there are plenty of cliches that can be thrown at me like, "I can do all things..." but that doesn't help me right now.

What I am saying is "Man, I am tired." I know He is able but I am tired.

12 June 2004

A little time with Josh and Cleave...

Top photo: Me, Cleave.
Bottom photo: Cleave, Bryan Cosby, Josh

It was good to see Adam Cleaveland and his friend, Josh Cleveland as they travel through Calvin Crest last Thursday night and Friday morning on their way to Yosemite. Great conversation about Austin, Princeton, the past, the future, some insight for me...

Friends from the past can do that. Godspeed Josh and Adam.

I did notice the Rainbows!


Well Cory is feeling better but still has some pain. We are changing him with Ryan McKenzie who will coordinate the Crestview team. I praise God for both of them.

10 June 2004

I need your help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday, I lost my contacts, all of them, every stinkin' one of them, none was spared, total quantum, many, many, atrocity, dispair, yikes... 2187 of them.

So if you know me please EMAIL me with your address, city, state, zip, phone, cell, email address, birthday... I am very frustrated. What a time to have this happen


08 June 2004

The fresh, the food, and the enemy...

There is a sense of inpending change. I don't want to say disaster because it would be speaking something out there. I would rather be aware of the presence of God than the presence of the enemy. He is shaking some up. A staff member trusted Jesus with her life yesterday. You may say aren't all of your staff christians? and I would say back to you no many are churched and a few know Him. For years we have hire churched people. This year we are sensing God bringing people who want to know Him. It is wonderful to be with these people who are laying down habits that have held them for years. They are not becoming christians they are beginning a relationship with God. I don't know what a christian is anymore than I know what a democrat is. But I can spot a follower, a disciple anywhere. I like being with them, there questions are different. There eyes see for the first time. Like the guy in the gospels who see people as trees. Many of us don't even see people as people. I like these people, they are hungery. They are stepping on new floors, will it hold, will I fall, is it real, is the old thing past away?

The food is delightful. We are carrying a recent tradition with Sean and now with Bink. I do miss Sean, but I like having Bink here.

I sensed the enemy looking for a place to enter. Division, destruction, hopelessness, pride, fear, failure, distraction... It takes its toll. But I sense God even stronger. Love, discernment, hope, forgiveness, healing, mercy, rest...

The teams are great. Some strong returning staff, some young bright people, old walkers, new crawlers. Great diversity. I love this. Hard but I love this.

07 June 2004

My friend...

Cory Pina isn't feeling well. Would you pray for his healing, the peace of God, and a fresh wind to blow over him. He is back home for a day or so to get some medical help. I sure like it when he is here and pray for his return soon.

06 June 2004

Two things...

I haven't talked much about my wife, she is incredible. An important part of the community at Calvin Crest is its choir. Everyone on Summer Staff is in it. It is the one place that an operation guy can be next to a program guy and feel equal. It is about the staff not teams. It has nothing to do with someone being on staff longer than someone else... we are one.

And a good portion of the success, if not all of it, is my wife, Christel. She is able to teach all of the people and many have not been in a choir before and have never sung. And most important, they enjoy themselves. She is able to get them to be in worship as they sing these songs. I am always impressed with her.

Second, we had a person quit tonight. That was very difficult, not because we have to go out and find someone, but I was looking forward to watching her do a great job and trusting God and be a part of a wonderful team. We made some changes but I am extremely sad to see her go. Sometimes the season is a short one. This was 24 hours.

05 June 2004

The life of the community...

I sensed tonights first meeting of staff as a field of wheat moving with the wind. Swaying by the breath of God. It doesn't make sense until they shared a brief story. 80 gathered each with their unique place, a short story... name, how many years on staff, where they're from, and to what are they looking forward? And for a brief moment we saw and heard something, a scratching of the surface, the opening of a door... a bit of their soul. Anxious for these ten weeks. What will it bring? Who will I be?

It was totally different than the interviews, tonight they are chosen, ready. I like them. I can be vulnerable with them. They want to trust me. I need to earn their trust. Watch my patiences, guard my ego, show and release my heart. This is the staff God chose to do His will, the field from where the fruit will come. Its own flavor, different, distinctive.

A new community, same heart... His.

02 June 2004

I missed a day somewhere...

What a mess I have made. I thought yesterday was Monday, it was Tuesday. I was suppose to have a phone conference call with the Program committee. I missed it! Today I am thinking is Tuesday but it is Wednesday, I am thinking I have a few more days before summer arrives but I do not.

I am looking back over the year and wonder where did it go? How did I spend my time? What am I doing...? It is kind of scary to lose a day. It is causing me to be a little loopy. I am not as focused as I want to be.

I pray for clarity, focus, and strength for tomorrow and this upcoming week of staff orientation.

One thing... there is no such word as orientated. It is oriented.


Here we gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...