26 July 2004

The Story...

We are doing a new thing for our HighSchool Camps. Instead of one speaker, we are having four different speakers looking at the John 4 passage of the Samaritan Woman at the well with Jesus.

I introded it last night. Talked about the idea of we are all in the midst of a story and this week our stories converge but will be told from many perspectives. It is at a given moment in time that we see the story, run with it for a while, and then have to leave it but it is not done.

Tonight, Scott Falk, gives the background to the story, a bit of history, theology, etc. What got them here and this person's worldviews.

Tomorrow night, Jonelle Garo-Kazarian, a wonderful friend and pastor/counselor, is presenting the story from a woman's perspective.

Wednesday night, Greg Ehlert, is giving a man's perspective of this situation. Thursday and Friday I wrap it up with the disciples' viewpoint and coming in the middle of a story, judgementalism and asking for a new perspective. SomedayI will write the one-man narrative that my friend Chris Harrison performed last HS Camp. Wonderful fresh insight called, The Sixth Man. And Friday a look at the woman and others through Isaiah 61's eyes and vision.


13 July 2004


Please pray for Sam Carrasco, Rudy and Kafi's son, who was diagnosed tonight with leukemia. They are at UCLA's Children's Hospital...
Updates on Sam's condition can be found here...

12 July 2004

The Chief BBQer...

I have a new friend, Todd.

I met him last Tuesday at the pool when the campers came up from Sherwood Forest. Last week's camp was called "A Week in the Forest" (for people with developmental disabilities). I usually walk around the pool and meet the campers, especially the ones that aren't swimming. Todd was sitting in the shade and not being very participatory. I wasn't sure if he could talk, but I put my hand out and said, "Hi Todd (He still had on his name badge), I am Tony." He slowly looked up at me, pointing his finger and said, "You must be the chief barbequer!" I wasn't sure if he was identifying me or if he was giving me a new charge. Anyway I told him "there is one greater than I, but yes I am the chief!" I asked him if he liked to bbq and he told me he could do some great things with tri-tip. I told him I know this tri-tip. We should bbq. He asked me if I meant it and I said I did.

I became the chief. He called me to something greater than I was. I loved to bbq but to be the chief I had new expectations put on me. I rose to the occasion. I planned an intimate bbq with about 5 - 10 people and picked up a tri-tip and some Korean short ribs from The Meat Market in Fresno (the best place to find tri-tips).

Friday rolls around and he spots me in the Forest and tells me, "Hey, you said we would be bbqing and I have to leave tomorrow!" I asked him if he knew what faith was? He said he did. I asked him what was the definition and he seemed puzzled. I told him "It was believing in something without much evidence. Todd, do you have faith in me?" Not breaking eye contact he said, "I do... you are a great man!"

We had a couple of guys from the Accommodations team pick him, Cosby, and Geoff White up and drive him up to our house without telling him where he was going. I was heating up McKenzie's BBQ and when he arrived he was a little disoriented. I got his attention and told him, "As I promised, there is a hot BBQ and here is a tri-tip, let's see what you can do with it." He let out a shriek of such joy that it could be heard all over the place and wrapped his arms around me and gave me this incredible hug (see below) and he begins to weep. I am weeping, Geoff is weeping, the two in the truck are weeping, Cosby is too...

It was a very emotional experience.

He cooks, we eat and then it is time for him to leave. I stand to give him another hug and tell him, "Todd, let's be friends." And he looks me in the eyes and tells me, "We are already family."


09 July 2004

Speaking tonight...

Tonight, the Spirit was such that after I taught, we sang, "Madly" and I got the silly desire to dance... so I did, and danced, and danced, and danced. What a wonderful feeling of His spirit moving. I haven't danced in 20 years, I shuffle. But tonight knowing that according to Isaiah 61, He calls me, "...an oak or righteousness..." Me, an oak. I felt like a weeping willow of wickedness, but He calls me an OAK.

Gotta dance...