31 December 2005


What will we be talking about this new year on December 31,2006?

What new friends will we find?

What new places will we discover?

Who will we lose and how will we spend our last time with them?

What major events will there be that will shape our lives and will cause us to walk differently because of it?

What new technology will there be that will fascinate us?

What word is God giving us for this year?


29 December 2005

In SoCal - Irvine to be precise...

I am not a fan of Southern California. I was a Dodger and a Ram fan for many years, but today I cannot stand driving in SoCal. I don't hate the people, just the traffic. I know cars don't cause congestion, people do. But it is not against the humanity of SoCal but against the traffic. It robs from the beauty... even though I have more time to look at it because my car is not moving. I never get stuck in a beautiful area, only the ugly part.

I don't like Disneyland either. (I know I just pissed off a few of you...) But I can't handle the crowds. Sure the rides are fun, but the ratio of line to ride is too high to enjoy. My family loves DL and goes without me. My daughter Hillary said she would take me when she is out of college and we could go on a weekday when there is mandatory testing of all school children.

I don't like the beaches in SoCal either. I went one time to Malibu or somewhere like that and I had a hard time keeping from sinning. I prefer the Central Coast... Avila.

I prefer seeing movies in the Met Cinema in Oakhurst versus any other theater, and I go in the afternoon. Less people. People in movies today are rude, someday I want to write about the rudeness of this culture. Soon...

25 December 2005

A point in time...

A child crying, a mother's whisper,
people coming from miles around,
not much room left,
candles, stars,
confusion, obedience,
songs sung by angels and working class,
a simple meal,
remembered friends,
a family now,
long conversations,
wonder, awe,


19 December 2005

Christmas music and...

I am sitting at home, listening to Christmas music on my Mac, after a hectic three weeks of responsibilities.

A Christmas dinner at Calvin Crest. All I had to do was make a seafood bisque for 80 people, accompany my daughter, Hillary, on the piano, and lead a carol sing.

Accompanying Hillary at her Chamber Singers' Concert.

My daughter, Taylor, got married last weekend.

I was a part of Hunter and Sarah Teet's wedding yesterday.

... and a whole lot of things going on personally with myself and my family.

I am a little tired. So if I come off a little snippy let me know.

We also have the Dish network where we can listen to Sirius music as well as get TV stations. So it is the tradition to tune into the "Holiday Channel" and listen to Christmas music. Many popular artist from the past singing different carols... Mel Torme, Burl Ives, Perry Como, Lou Rawls, Bing Crosby, Beach Boys, Glenn Miller, Eartha Kitt, Nat King Cole, and the like.

I bought a Christmas album by Jim Brickman, iTunes labels him "new age". I like the Vince Guaraldi Trio, who did the Charlie Brown Christmas album, the Windham Hill Christmas Album, The Chanticleer Choir's Christmas Albums and of course The Messiah. A little Bing Crosby goes a long way.

But what I don't like are the "artists" of today doing a christmas album. It is too commercial. I don't think they can do anything different that what has been done a lot before. Maybe they should do Kwanzaa music. Music that celebrates family, community, and culture. If an musician came out with a Christmas album I would probably quit buying and listening to their music. They would have lost their political clout. A Rolling Stone Christmas would end it just like Rod Stewart singing ballads of the 40's.

Maybe I would buy a Snoop Dogg Christmas Album.

What Christmas Album do you own and listen?

Oh yeah, Merry Christmas...

02 December 2005

Conjunction Junction, Computer malfuntion...

Tonight I go back to the Sleep Place, get wired up, and now use a C-Pap Machine.

But you say, "Wait, I thought you didn't qualify?"

Then I say, "Ahh yes, there was a computer malfunction and the doctor wanted to do another study because what she could see when the computer wasn't shakin' its booty, was some Apnia behavior. Very technical.

You pause, thinking to yourself, "he sounds as if he is excited." Then you ask, "How do you feel about this?"

Then, I say, "I will do anything to get some rest."

It seems a bit masochistic but to sleep sounds wonderful. Actually to wake up and feel refreshed is what I am looking forward to.

I may wear leather pajamas...

29 November 2005

Time for the Holidays...

I like the term "holiday". Holy day. Days set apart for God. Remembering, engaging, conversations with the Reason. Setting a day aside, which makes it holy, to meditate, celebrate the reason for the day. The birth, the crucifixion, the resurrection, birthdays, remembering those who gave their lives in battle, in leadership, in labor...

When I was in school it was "vacation" that I liked. It was when there wasn't school. Summer vacation. Christmas vacation. Easter vacation. Forgetting, disengaging, playing with friends, and riding my bike. The days of holidays were days when there wasn't something like school. Sure we went to church, but it was only an hour then we would be able to enjoy the rest of the vacation (the not being in school). It was a good times vacation not a remembering day.

I am looking forward to making time for the holidays...

24 November 2005

Happy Thanksgiving...

Watched a little Macy Parade, Dinner with Family Biaselli's. It is good!!!

21 November 2005

I was just going to say...

I want to apologize to my friends who have been waiting for me to call or write or something. I am a bit under the gun and haven't been managing my time well. My daughter, Taylor, is getting married December 10, I am pretty committed to a lot of meetings at Camp, Sunday nights are still pretty time consuming but wonderful (I will blog more on that later), and my sleep is not getting better.

Thanks for your patience.

17 November 2005

Please! Remain in your seats, I beg you! We are not children here, we are scientists! I assure you there is nothing to fear!

A night of little sleep.
Lots of electrodes.
Cameras watching me while I lay in bed.
Early "wake up."

Then the news... I don't qualify for a C-pap.

I failed the test. Dang! More insomnia...

16 November 2005

To sleep, perchance to dream - ay, there's the rub...

I am off to spend the night in a "hospital" for a sleep study.

I don't sleep much. I wake up often. I am tired and not all here... I will be there from 8pm tonight and get discharged tomorrow at 6am.

Then, I will meet with Scott Falk for Perfect World at 6am, and then I am off to Visalia with Rick Irish to attend a pastor's meeting of Presbytery at 9am.

13 November 2005

Eric Clapton

I was watching an old concert last night, Concert for Bangladesh and marveled at Eric Clapton. I feel better whenever I see Clapton on the stage. In 2003, he put together an amazing band and a tribute concert to departed Beatle George Harrison - which has become one of my favorite concert. Most of my favorite songs and performances involve Clapton somehow.

Eric Clapton has been a consistent force throughout his almost 40 years of recording. His first album with Cream, Fresh Cream, came out in 1966. He has been a part of some of the greatest bands, such as Cream, Yardbirds, John Mayalls Blues Breakers, Blind Faith, and Derek and the Dominoes. You can find his guitar work backing up greats like B.B King, George Harrison, Duane Allman, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Delaney and Bonnie. He stands alone as a song writer and a solo act. Great songs such as I Shot the Sheriff, After Midnight, Layla, Tears in Heaven, Wonderful Tonight, Lay Down Sally, and many more. Wonderfully prolific and relevant. He doesn't hang his star on others like Carlos Santana, whom I also love but anyone who hitches up to Clapton usually finds success. It is like cooking with butter. It just taste better.

My generation seems to give place to musicians to grow old with them. Stones, Fleetwood Mac, McCartney, Dylan, Van Morrison and Joni Mitchell. Maybe because they did not die of an overdose or shot by some psycho, keeps us feeling like we have survived and are still young and relevant. We are taking our youth heros with us in to old age. From vinyl to iPod, from the Volkswagen van to the SUV, we are going boldly into growing old as we refuse to grow up.

Cosby and I were pondering about who are the new musicians of today who will stand the test of time and be around and relevent when they are 65 or older.

Who do you think?

09 November 2005

Watching people rise to the occasion...

Because of the changes in leadership and some key positions people are having to step up and grow. We all are. Rick Irish is learning the ropes as director of a camp instead of a church. He is good. Huge learning curve, but he will do just fine. It may put some miles on him but he can take it.

I am watching Amy and April take responsibility and creativity in the kitchen. Impressive.

It is not a matter of positions but of place. Not of titles but of calling.

Time runs fast. Lots of emotions. New rhythms and sounds are beginning to influence ours. Change is taking place in our hearts and soul as well as in the furniture.

A change of rhythm...

Change means a different rhythm, a different sound. I am enjoying the change, it is intense, introspective as well as communicating honestly. Listening and allowing the sound and rhythm to affect us and set ours to His.

05 November 2005

Quick update...

This is the latest thing to be happening at Calvin Crest.

This Sunday, tomorrow, we will be sending Rick Harrison off with some stories, songs, prayers, and anointing to his new call in Southern California. Rick Irish will take the interim director's position beginning Monday morning. We are looking forward to what is instore as we enter this new season...

A home town game...

Last night's football game (we won, by the way - still undefeated) was a treat to be at. I have seen many high school football movies, Friday Night Lights, Remember the Titans, Longest Yard, etc and enjoyed them very much. But it is different when you live in a small town and there is only one high school and everyone who is anyone attends the game. You see your pastor, grocery clerk, septic sucker guy, Harry Baker (the richest guy who owns the phone company), CHPs, Sheriffs, girl at the drive up window at McDonald's, the woman my son crashed into her car, her attorney who sued us and was my son's best friend's father, and many other people who just come because it is what is happening in town. We built a new stadium two years ago and it has boosted the attendance.

I bought and ate the obligatory linquisa sandwich, a cinnamon roll from the Country Fair Cinnamon Roll Concession, and a diet Pepsi. What a gourmet meal. It goes with the game. I wore my lamb's wool boots, a pair of Levi's, a turtleneck, a fleece sweatshirt, a leather jacket, a scarf that Hillary, my daughter knitted for me, and a cap, which kept me toastie warm and a bit fashionable.

I was amazed at the cheerleaders, I always am. Don't get me wrong I think they have a place at the game but I wonder about the "spirit gestures." After a cheer they do the special gestures with their hands, arms, maybe a quick kick or something. They were doing a kind of a typewriter spirit gesture after one that seemed new. Who comes up with these things? Is there a channel on Cable, "the Cheer Channel" or conferences where they learn the latest spirit gestures. Are there names for the gestures and strategies about when they plan on using them? In my day... there were no gestures, only encouraging words like "push 'em back, push 'em back, way back" or the simple "De-fense". Some times we would get confrontational with the opponent's crowd, "We got spirit, yes we do, we got spirit, how about you?" until the new rules came out prohibiting such unsportsmanlike conduct. It was fun... but no gestures.

I thought there should be some cheering outside of the "game". Maybe some spirit gestures at Von's. You know when you get through the checkout line, stop, then lift an arm, point and give a hoodie-hoot, Clap and do the the Typewriter spirit gesture. The bag girl just stared and didn't ask if I needed help taking the bread and milk out to the car like she always does. She didn't have the spirit, no she didn't. There was a crowd of shoppers in the canned goods aisle who only stared when I asked them to form a spirit tunnel for me to run through. They were at the game, I saw them. They still had some cinnamon roll remnant on their cheek.

I do have a problem when someone who is not paying any taxes yet, tells me to stand up for the kick off. Sometimes I can't get all the spelling down during the cheers, I have dyslexia, so again the academics rub it in my face. The whole seating arrangements are bad. We went with my daughter, Taylor and her soon to be husband, and I couldn't carry on a conversation with them because it was very linear sitting. And for someone like me who is more spacial I couldn't get a word in edgewise. The guy who sat behind me had an opinion about every call by the referee and the coach. He even criticized the cheerleaders and the band. Something about he was use to a more progressive cheer program like what was shown on the documentary film, "Bring It On."

The band seemed excited. Lots of drums and trumpet charges. I asked them if they knew any Fleetwood Mac and the conductor told me to sit down or he would call one of the Junior ROTC cadets over to escort me out. I told him I didn't like Fleetwood Mac at first either but Stevie Nick was a fox, even at 57. So sure enough the cadet came over to escort me out but luckily, the Badgers scored a touchdown and he had to run over and do pushups according to the score. I lost myself in the crowd and snuck back to my seat and behaved myself for the rest of the game...

04 November 2005

Where O' where...

I am sorry that I have been away for a while. I visited my son and daughter-in-law in Napa, been in a few meetings here and about as things wind down for Rick Harrison and Rick Irish ramps up.

I am very optimistic about the changes that will take place and the new spirit that we are sensing at camp as well in these meetings.

I am heading off to a Yosemite High Football Game. The team, by the way, are undefeated and highly ranked in California High School Football. It is great fun to be a part of a community that enjoys this instead of mocks it as trite and unsophisticated.

Will write tomorrow.

25 October 2005

I am very fond of this woman...

Rosa Parks passed away.
We are deeply grateful for her decision...

Living in the mountains...

There is something unique living up here in the Oakhurst-Coarsegold-Fish Camp Triopolis. Today, October 25, not only do we celebrate Pablo Picasso's birthday, but we close the power down in the entire area for the day to replace power poles. The entire area is blacked out.

The school are closed down for the week because of... well, umm, because, ummm, no one knows. They always have.

The Tarantula Festival is this weekend, just three weeks after the Chichansi Pow Wow.

I do love living here...

18 October 2005


The Dogwoods are changing colors around us.

It is truly glorious...

14 October 2005

I just like to hear myself type...

To anyone who reads this...

I am an insignificant scum who really doesn't deserve any of the attention that I get. I like to blog because it makes me think. I don't think I am insignificant because I am no good, I am just aware of how many other wonderful people there are out there who are risking their lives, working hard, going unnoticed, and making a real difference in the world. I am humbled by the job that I have, by the people who care about me and would want to hear something I have to say. But please don't take anything I have to say as something that should make a difference in your life. If you are trying to follow the path that the Lord has laid out for you then I should not have any influence on you unless you grant me access to your heart. If you do grant me access, I will try to keep your trust by listening to the Lord WITH you, not for you.

I am sorry that my humor, my writing style, my trying to play with words would cause anyone any pain or conflict. To those whom I have please accept my apology...

12 October 2005

The witches of Macbeth...

There are people in life who never do anything but conjure up troubles for others. They sit at a distance and brew over what others are doing and speak ill of them. I've met them. They cackle out their distain for people who are trying but these witches never try. It is easy to cast spells on others from a distance but never reach out to help. They have opinions but never get to the truth. They crash parties and rarely do they bring a dish. They throw darts that prick and distract.
Useless. Friction. Tiring.

To misquote Carly Simon, They're so vain, they probably think this blog is about them...

Misinformation, the new tool of terrorism...

I subscribe to a new emailing service and this was one of the reports I got yesterday:

-- Informant in Iraq admits information about a terror plot against New York subway was a hoax, sources tell CNN.

11 October 2005

The wind in my hair...

Last night at about 8p, I drove home after "work" on my motorcycle. The moon was so bright, even though it was less than half full (or for some of my critics, half empty). The air was a bit brisk with the smell of autumn. I had a little music playing in the head set that was calling me to the "Danger Zone."

I had a huge smile on my face, which caught a lot of bugs, as I remembered my evening. I had spent the previous hour or so in the Cedar Lodge at The Premier, watching a video that the "Staff Kids" wrote, acted, and shot on the story of Robin Hood. A lot of the year-round staff was there to encouraged the kids on their show. But the entertainment surprised all of us. It was clever and well done. Sure, it had the usual kind of dialogue and shots that kid movies have but this was fun. We laughed deeply. The soundtrack held the suspense and the out-takes at the end capped it off with a lasting grin. I needed that, it was good for the soul.

TJ, the Kelseys, Sam and Scott, the Rose boys, and Josh did an outstanding job. I will not be surprised to be attending a premier of one of these talented young Spielbergs in Hollywood in the future. I will be able to say, "I knew them when..."

Thank you and well done.

09 October 2005

A time away...

I went away for a few days to listen and talk to the Quiet Voice, to see who I have become, and to have some seafood bisque.

I read some Nouwen, Reaching Out, which provoke some major conversation with God. I found myself alone with Him in which I found myself alone with my self. I re-met myself for the first time and I don't think I made a good first impression.

A long time ago, I spent a half a year in Monterey, I went to Monterey Peninsula College or MPC as the locals call it, where I took some art and political science classes. I worked at a donut shop, Beardsley's, and spent a lot of time driving back and forth to Calvin Crest and Fresno. I had a girlfriend with a nose ring until I met my wife, Christel. I turned 21 and went to my first pub and ordered an imported beer with some new friends in Pacific Grove.

I was baptised in the Holy Spirit on Del Monte Beach, where I also saw the red tide for the first time. I remembered praying all the time when I was there. I had only been a believer for five months, so everything was fresh. Moving to Monterey syncopated with moving into the Kingdom. I didn't know my directions. When you are on a peninsula you are surrounded by water so it is hard to tell which way is north. The water cannot be the landmark used to find north. You have to understand where you are in order to know directions. Hard to explain - you have to have been there. I grew a lot, spent a lot of time learning what it was to be a believer. I had to know new things to believed. I read Acts. I loved what I read of the power of the believer.

I was in a covenant group with some Calvin Crest staff people who I had met the summer before. Because of this group, I read my first book, Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. This was an amazing feat because I didn't read. I had a reading disorder that was diagnoised as "being stupid." I taught myself to read. Slow but steady. I learned about the Holy Spirit and about myself.

Once I adventured into an abandoned cannery, which is where the Monterey Aquarium sits today, and for a week I read John Steinbeck's Cannery Row inside the old cannery. I was sitting in the place Steinbeck was writing about. I took risks, I met new people, went new places, tried new things.

I made some decision about the person I wanted to be. I remembered watching Richard Nazarian, a friend's father, one weekend. Everywhere we went this man would talk to everyone as if they were his friend. No one was off limits. Conversations struck up at any time and place. When people walked off from meeting him they were in a better mood. I decided I wanted to be that. I wanted to make people feel better when we met. I started talking to waitresses, store clerks, movie ushers and ticket agents. I found it wasn't just about talking to them but it was respecting them as souls who had something to offer and each one had value.

Amazing times...

This past week, I drove around, remembering what happened to me there. I saw places I walked and discovered and I realized I don't spend as much time discovering because I don't take the time to walk. My prayers are more to Him instead of letting it come from Him. I drive more than walk. My rhythmn is too fast. I need to deal with my ADD, my eating, my fear and what I do to resolve my fear. Time to take risks again.

I enjoyed my time even though it brought up some realities to which I need to change. I am appreciative to Dianne for her "questions" and her hospitality. I found The Old St. Angela Inn to be a place of sanctuary.

02 October 2005

I am going to do it...

When I want to listen I like to drive. I turn off the iPod, roll down the windows, listen, feel, and smell the wind.

There are friends with whom I like to pray with my eyes open. Scott, Dianne, Rudy, some Calvin Crest folks, my mom, Randy, Ben, Keith...

I like to walk, quietly and leisurely. Not for exercise but for the movement. Walking makes for a 360 degree experience. Sometimes when I walk, the Lord will tell me to turn around and look at something. Stop and consider.

Butcher paper is an important part of listening for me. I like to get a sharp pencil and draw what I hear. Considering, with a visual aid, brings dimension to the listening.

Sometimes fasting helps, sometimes food... good food opens my heart and mind. Tasting is an important part of listening. It takes time to taste as it does to listen. Ruminating food or an idea takes time.

Well, I am going to do that. I am taking off for a few days this week and go to one of my favorite places, Pacific Grove. Spend some time with my friend, Dianne. Walk on the beach, downtown, the wharf, and the butterfly sanctuary. Go to mass, eat seafood bisque and good bread, hike the Pinnacles, drive Hwy 152, eat a few tacos aPastor in Los Baños, and spend time reading Matthew, Songs of Solomon, a few psalms, a little Nouwen and Chesterton.

25 September 2005

The place we find ourselves...

I have been doing some thinking about blogs, friends who are having ministry and life decisions, people who I know who comment angrily and anonymously, people who know how to get around the system, hurricanes that know how to get around and destroy levies and seawalls, people who don't add to the quality of life but take, mock, grind away at others who are trying to do something, people who made a difference in music in the sixties who just put out new CDs like The Stones, McCartney, Martin Scorsese's DVD on Dylan, the life and passing of Simon Wiesenthal, not caring about football, making my Christmas cordial, why we worship for an hour, Autumn, baseball, life work, life goals, my wife, weddings, ...

24 September 2005


When will people do the right thing because it is the right thing to do instead of doing the wrong thing because they simply... can?

23 September 2005

Hey, what happened to the comments...

I met with Cory Piña this morning for coffee and asked him about comments and nameless comments and the despair they can cause. Comments can be made in the passion of the moment and a lot of pain can be thoughtlessly executed by a quick reaction. I was going to go for a 5 day waiting period but I don't believe that comments kill people, people kill people...

So therefore, I changed to a commenting system where people have to sign into blogger and are there for the conversation around the dinner table rather than in the closet.

When you speak without a name you have no voice and no place at the grown-up's table.

21 September 2005

A friend who was my boss...

I would like to say something about Rick Harrison, the Executive Director of Calvin Crest, who is leaving to kick start some camps in Southern California, somthing he is very good at.

Rick and I first served together back in 1975 & 76, when we were in college and on staff as lead counselors. Rick then ran a new program called Out Post, which was for JrHighers because of full enrollment in the junior high program at the main camp, held in a public camp ground. I had much respect for Rick's laid back style of leadership and his high relational values of HOW we did program.

Our office at the new camp, was his van, our kitchen was a make shift refrigerator and campfire, our beds were the ground, and our community was forged by putting on this program for the first time. He let us have input because we all were doing this for the first time. It was great, we were very creative.

He became the program director a few years later with our dear, departed, friend Brad Durley. He served for a few more years in that position until he left to pastor a church in Northern California. In the early 1990's Rick was asked to come back as the Executive Director. The camp was in huge turmoil. It was in the midst of a drought and wells needed to be dug. The camp had lost its identity and the finances were dragging. People needed to be reminded of who Calvin Crest was, more than just what it was. Rick brought back a spirit of excitement again for the ministry. He discovered the camp was in debt, because of the drought and an embezzlement of a staff member. By faith, he followed that which needed to be done. And through some very incredible things that God did (some day I will tell you the story), Calvin Crest got out of a huge debt.

Rick, by faith, hired me. I had no camp leadership experience. Rick hired me. He heard God and was faithful and hired me. I had never programmed a camp but Rick saw the potential in me and gave me a shot. He kept me close and gave me encouragement as he corrected my decisions. Over the years Rick trusted what I felt God was saying to me about the program and it proved successful. Even when there were people giving him complaints, Rick was supportive and stuck with me. There were times we would disagree but I never felt I didn't have his support and friendship. Rick wanted to be a partner with me in ministry, not just my boss. He included me in decisions and listened to my opinion. His humor always took the weight off of the tough loads we carried through out our time together. I enjoyed the laughter that was found in his office during hard discussions.

And Ginny is an incredible woman of God with a financial understanding par excellant! When she came she was able to untangle the non-system to create one of order. Her insight into "what goes on here" will be extremely missed. Her love for Calvin Crest was evident as she worked long hours to make it all run smoothly. Ginny continually demostratated her quiet wisdom in meetings by giving her opinion that complimented ours and didn't compete with ours. Rick and I are very right brained and Ginny is a CPA. I tried to see the ministry through her eyes as often as possible. Ginny is an asset to any place she brings her mechanical pencil and her heart. That girl is smart!

I am confident of the job Rick is going to do in SoCal. He has an incredible ability to get things going. I will miss him and his wife Ginny but am extremely thankful for the time he entrusted me with his ministry at Calvin Crest.

God's speed, Rick...

19 September 2005

Something big...

There is a very important announcement at Calvin Crest. If you have worked there or been involved with us you will want to click here.

I will blog later...

14 September 2005

On the road...

I am traveling today to restore some relationships - post summer. I tend to lose a lot of visual contact with people during the summer and find the Fall a good time to listen to youth pastors and others who are involved with Calvin Crest in ministry. I am in Mariposa and Merced today meeting with Scott Vance and then Dave McGurk. I always leave a little sharper after these times together.

13 September 2005

Unto restoration...

On Saturday, Christel, Hillary, and I went to the car show at the park in Oakhurst. Small town, locals who work on vintage cars, showing them off to each other and to us appreciateers. There was some amazing cars, old one that people took great pride in restoring to the original specs and colors. Beautiful work, incredible craftmanship, detailing, nothing overlooked, even the glovebox had gloves in it from the era.

Hillary and I both loved an 1955 Austin-Healy 100. Fully restored. An older gentleman in his 70s was the owner and restorer. We made a fuss over it and he came up to take responsibility. Pride and confidence was on his face. We walked on and Hillary couldn't stop talking about it. We went back to get a picture of her with the car but the owner was driving off in it as we approached the spot where it was on display. He drove off in it. It wasn't on a trailer, he drove it. Wind whipping over his English cap and his smile as he shifted out of first gear. The engine sounded just like I remembered it when I was younger.

Sunday night, I preached from Matthew 8, where Jesus finishes the Sermon dela Montana and a leper comes up, bows before him and asks if He is willing to cleanse him. Jesus speaks healing words and the man is cleansed, tells him not to tell anyone, but to present himself to the priest as a testamony.

I thought a lot about Jesus words. The words of cleansing as well as the words of restoration. I think I only listen to the words of cleansing but ignor the instructions to health. I want to be driven by the master in a full state of restoration not on a trailer pulled. Testamony is dynamic, not underglass in a display case.

I need to spend more time with the priest, so that the words of restoration from Jesus would have as much an effect as did the words of salvation. I know I am saved, but I need to be restored... And then driven.

11 September 2005

The Kitchen...

I like to cook. I love to eat good food. Food that is prepare well. Food Channel type food. I like the preparation, the design, the eating. What I love the most about cooking is being with cooks. I love the conversation. It is a small world but it is global. Every where has cooks, even the third world. That says something. Even where there is poverty someone's cookin'.

My grandmother Biaselli was a great cook. She would fix an incredible Thanksgiving meal. (Any meal was incredible but since she lived in Philadelphia and I live on the west coast, I only got out there for holidays.) It would last for two days. Thursday night was the Traditional, turkey and such. But Friday would be the South Philly Italian feast. That is where I discovered pepperoni loaf. A cinnamon roll type meal, where instead of cinnamon and sugar rolled into the middle, you put in an egg-provolone cheese-garlic-basil-pepperoni mixture. Let bake in a loaf then cut into slices. Maybe include a bowl of tomato gravy for dipping. We also had Braciola, a rolled stuffed flank steak cooked in tomato sauce, not to forget all the sausages, ravioli, spaghetti, bread, wine, antipasti, and incredible desserts...

But the best ingredients of any Italian meal is the conversation in the kitchen and then around the table. In the kitchen the conversation is a bit quieter, more intimate. "How are things?" type conversations. Relationship conversation. Not for the public but for the kitchen. Now the Italian dinner table is a different story. It is at full volume! Passion. Intensity. Laughter and opinions fly. Pillaging of the serving dishes is expected. You attack, get your plate full, then you eat and talk. Lots of laughing. Lots of arguments. Life. Forks with ravioli on the end pointed in accusation. Good theater.

Then back in to the kitchen to do the dishes. More conversation and the intimacy is back. Washing and drying, standing right next to each other at the sink kind of conversation. Topics that started before the meal or hinted about over the cheesecake. In the old days the kitchen was occupied by the women of the family. Now it is a combination of both sexes. Same conversations though. Even men can get intimate in the kitchen (don't go there). Lives shared between participants. It is more than the food that nourishes.

The kitchen...

Right Jamie? Right Dan?

07 September 2005

Warning: Outside processing!!!

I am wondering about leadership these days. I was invited to be a part of a leadership weekend for some college students and it is causing me to think a lot about being an agent of change. I think that leadership should affect change. Can change take place and what does it take to make it last? It is easy to make changes. Run your car into the side of a building and you have made a change. But is it the kind of change that is needed. At what point do we make a change that causes a new course to be followed. Does it take new personnel, new facilities, new clothes, new location, new job, or what? I am wondering these things because I need a change, I am at the end of me again. I think Calvin Crest is at the end of me. Something needs to change in order for something new to take place. Does it call for a new person in my position or a new position in my person? Do I need to change? Do I leave and do what I do at a different place or do I change, by allowing this location to facilitate some of the change?

The easy thing to do is leave. But the change needs to take place within me first before it can take place outside of me. Maybe the outside doesn't need to change, only me. I will start there. I need to lose weight, so what has to change in order for that to happen? I can read books, go to seminars, talk about it with friends and family, but will that create the change needed? Change doesn't come from talk, it begins with talk. I have to begin action on my own.

Real change cannot be cosmetic I think it has to affect the DNA. We have consumed so much and have so much at our disposal that if we don't like something we quit and go to the next place until we find something we approve of. Moving on is easier than staying and making change. We find that the easiest thing to do is move on. Change the environment, location, personnel, menu, consumption, conversation, but do not change the behavior, the mind, or the heart. We need to change our hearts, align our thinking patterns, and reach deep into our soul to make real change. It requires commitment to do that which is best, that which is right. Virtue. Regardless of the cost. Am I still willing to pay the price of change.

A real fear in me right now is not change but decline. Decline into a cynic. A sideline sitter. A half empty philosopher. Put back on a suit. Take out my earring. Start a comb-over. Give up on the youth. Wear more polyester. Watch Dr. Phil and Oprah. Drink lite beer.

Today I read from 2 Peter 1 and I want to live a life of abundance in grace and peace. That means watching for the potential for change in me and seeing the potential of change in others. Believe in the second chance. Believe in the possibility of redemption. Peace is being in harmony with grace. Not fighting it but moving with it. As a body surfer moves with the waves. Harmony. It is different than conforming. It is having a place and allowing others their place.

I don't know if this makes any sense but I wanted to get it out of my head for a little while. I posted it last night but it was too confusing so I retrieved it and worked on it for a while this afternoon...

A new season begins...

I went back to work yesterday for the first time since summer. Still a bit pneumoniatic but it was so good to be back with my friends. I truly missed them. I missed the conversations that we have. I miss the smell, the walks between the office and the dining hall. I missed thinking in a certain way that had to include the Kingdom in to my thoughts.

When I was home, sick and wasting away (actually I gained 10 pounds because I ate a lot of ice cream), I couldn't engage my thoughts with anyone else's. Blogging is alright but it doesn't provide any stimulus because it is a one way conversation. Thoughts need to co-mingle with other thoughts and build a corporate thought. A monster thought. One with wings. Thoughts that causes others to think. Thoughts that have a control room ready to launch the action.

Many thoughts are going to the Gulf Coast. I went to Von's yesterday to buy some ice cream and cookie dough to make some "pazuki" for dessert and some non essential items like vegetables. Out front there was a table with four or five women sitting around and behind it selling baked goods for relief for the flood victims. They had great smiles on their faces. Thoughts turned to action turned to smiles. I bought a cupcake. I helped. I gained another pound for the flood victims.

I wonder what thoughts we have today will turn to anything tomorrow...

31 August 2005

Medical update...

Went to the doctor's office today for a follow-up. I am on the mend and now he has recommended that I see another specialist regarding my sleep behavior or lack there of. Been down that road before. It is time to lose the weight again. Not in the mood to start right now but will shortly when I get back into the swing of a consistent schedule.

I also spent some time with my friend Sherri Weidenhoefer. This is always a time of sharpening. I am profoundly grateful for our friendship.

Well time to go to bed. See you in a few hours...

27 August 2005

Every summer we choose an MVP...

This summer it is this guy!

Every Friday night we end the Junior High and High School camps with a dance. (Yes, Presbyterians believe you are not going to hell if you dance, only if you support Israel.) And we would start off the dance with a few songs to attract the campers, they would start milling around and a few would dance. But when we played The Numa Numa Song (Dragostea Din Tei) people would go crazy, everyone dancing! And every time someone would come up to me and tell me about some guy on the internet who danced to this song. So it took me a few months to find him and when I did I watched it over and over again.

Mai ya haha!!!

26 August 2005

Now that we have the waitresses loving us again...

I don't want us to get caught up in the issue of how we are at restaurants, that wasn't really the point. (Although it is a simple thing to change!) What the point was and hopefully is how do we live our lives. "By faith" is how. But what does that mean. What is the difference between living by faith and living by knowledge. Many of us spend a lot of time learning about being a christian. If we start doing what we have been reading about we should at this point in Christiandum we should be purpose-driven, wild at heart, romancing the heck out of the sacred and our spouses, keeping promises, asking what would Jesus do, emerging as a new kind of christian, not being left behind, knowing what orthodoxy is and being generous with it, listening to blue jazz, drinking pura vida coffee, telling our stories. But we aren't. We aren't. We read, we talk, but we don't do anything different after we have read a book. We are a culture based on what the culture tells us we are rather than doing what we know to be right. We do not live out that which we know to be true because I don't think we have faith in what is true anymore. Many know the vocabulary, but they don't know the heart or the voice.

If you are in some kind of leadership role where you have influence into someone else's life what would your goals be for this year? How did you arrive at that goal? Does it seem like the right thing to do or is it what you are hearing God telling you to do it? If we step out because we think we are hearing God's heart for us then we are walking in faith. Are we just going to continue doing the same old and know that it didn't work the past five books we read so we should read the next hottest thing that someone is getting paid a lot of money to come up with this one because his or her last two book people bought and people will usually buy the next two if the first one is any good but the next one is usually not as good as the first but we still buy it anyway because he is a nationally known writer and is very successful so he must be a tool of God or at least by Zondervan.

I am hearing God say, "come to Me like you did when you first fell in love with Me... Come with a broken and repentant heart and worship Me in spirit and truth." I am going to ask more questions, as I did in the beginning. I want to come with an expectancy of awe instead of a callous and jaundice agenda of out-do Yourself than what I have experienced in the past. I want to come humbly and worship with what I know to be true rather than what the latest praise song is telling me to say, I want to bow my head for a while and listen instead of having an opinion to give Him about the way things are going. I need to sit next to someone I don't know but don't like and listen to their story. I going to quit pretending...

25 August 2005

Faith is messy...

I know many do not like Annie Lamont because of her messy theology. She is out there. I agree with some of her thoughts and disagree with others, but I also do that with many others. I am thankful I can do that and not be fried a heretic, though I fear I am becoming one.

The Annie Lamont’s quote about faith in uncertainty reminds me that I use to think I had the answers and with pride could take people on in debates and conversations. I loved the debate. I studied the answers. I got into arguments in coffee shops and blogs, to get people to know Jesus. It was mostly so that they would know that I knew my stuff. Not Jesus. It seemed love lost to being right.

It is nice when all the answers fit neatly in the little box, it doesn’t take any faith to do that. The problem lies when we start having questions that don’t fit quietly into our box. I realize I didn’t have enough questions. That is when faith comes in. I have gotten pretty comfortable in my life until new things started to come into it and I didn’t have the answers to the new questions starting to arise. I didn’t start questioning the Bible I started questioning the teachers. I heard small minds with large vocabularies speak of the things that began to exclude people. People that because of circumstances and spiritual issues were deemed outside of the Kingdom. Easy answers such as, “if they are going through that they cannot be Christians.”

Being right isn’t necessarily being righteous. I remember once sitting in a coffeeshop having a “Bible study” with a group of men, talking about faith and works. One guy was saying that we are only saved by faith and another guy who was Catholic was talking about faith without works is dead, therefore it is works that brings faith to life. Scripture being thrown about like it was undercooked pasta. Emotions heated, voices raised, coffee cooled – a great evangelistic experience. At the end of it nothing was accomplished except we spent all the answers we had and no glory was manifested. We just argued. Lives were not changed, no one was edified, I don’t think love was ever given, just answers. Knowledge exchange. I thought we were doing something mighty until I talked to the waitress later who said she hates waiting on men having Bible studies because they demand more and leave less tips. She wasn’t impressed with the knowledge sitting at the table. That conversation did nothing to the waitress except tie up a table for an hour and a half. I know many of my friends love to “get into it” but I cannot do it anymore. When the conversation becomes about the conversation I don’t want to be a part of it.

Faith is messy. Its when we know with certainty it gets tidy. But trust, when it has been violated, leaves tattered edges. When bad things happen to good people, we have to walk in faith. Faith is walking with poop on the souls of your shoes and continuing to step boldly with Jesus. Faith is an old slave spiritual sung without any evidence of change in the landowner’s heart. We walk in faith that God so loved the world… even after we get ripped off from Christians again.

Faith, hope, and love have very little to do with knowledge, they requires commitment. Sticking it through to the end even when it is tough and you don’t like your boss.

23 August 2005

Sleepless in Coarsegold...

I am having a hard times staying asleep these days. The time-stamp indicates that.

I think I like the early morning over the late night. The early morning seems to be telling the truth, not as much humanity but more rocks and trees crying out to the glory of God. His creation speaks of the truth instead of the fickleness of humanity. The night time is filled with the activity of people looking for something to do, the morning is filled with truth about who we are. The morning brings potential, creativity, and mindfulness. Possibilities and planning, promise and devotion, "what ifs" and dreams dawns light on another day.

What wonder, relationship, terror, peace, healing, sickness, idea, death, creation, life... will begin today?

Two quotes stolen from Jamie...

"The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns." --Anne Lamott

"But you have to pray. You have to listen to the voice who calls you the beloved, because otherwise you will run around begging for affirmation, for praise, for success. And then you're not free."
--Henri Nouwen

Both are very relevant to me right now...

20 August 2005

Chest pains...

Well, the good news is that I didn't have a heart attack, the bad news is that I have pneumonia, which meant I couldn't go to Pepperdine this weekend. Bummer...

18 August 2005

Processing the summer…

I was asked how do I process the summer after camp. It is really quite simple, I don’t process the summer after the summer but during the summer. I am thinking about next year while the summer is going on. There are some things that I try to deal with after the summer, coordinators’ and speakers’ evaluation, some staff issues that need to stop or begin differently, facility needs and repairs, and some basic “wouldn’t it be great if…” type of stuff. I try to eat different food that I didn’t get this summer, see movies that have good messages or make me laugh, read spy mysteries or books that have nothing to do whatsoever with theology, church, camps, etc., and some doctor appointments that I need to have.

In fact, I am sitting right now in the doctor’s office waiting for him to look at my heart. I have had some pains in my chest the past few days. I think it is more about the firmness of my mattress at home vs. the camp’s soft ones, but my wife, Christel thinks it would be a good idea to check it out to be safe. I am reluctant about spending my time in a doctor’s office when I could be out having fun but it is worth it to keep Christel from worrying. It turns out I have a bit of pneumonia in my lungs.

I have concerns why many staff did not complete the summer. Why they would disregard an agreement between them and me to leave and go home. It was easy for many to just not work. Some felt “the Lord” was saying it was time to go home, and others said this is hard and they wanted to leave. One dear one was having some personal issues at home and needed to be there, I understand. But there was a reluctance to finish that which they started. One said he didn’t believe in the program, not enough Jesus, so he refused to work in the program another day. So I had to find another to take his place. "Not enough Jesus…"

I don’t think it is a wrong work ethic but a bad “Jesus” ethic. I have been watching the news and reading about the Israeli withdrawal from The Gaza and I think that is a hard situation these people are going through. What is the Jesus ethic of that? For a Israeli soldier to forcibly remove one of his or her own people, could be family, from their homes must be a tough, tough thing to do. Makes working at Calvin Crest like working at summer camp or something.

It was difficult for many, some experienced some real pain but their “Jesus ethic” brought them to Him for some transformation. I was able to pray with some wonderful people and saw Jesus transform them, heal them, forgive them, redeemed them… right before my eyes. They were broken but renewed. Softened but strengthened. A word that was spoken that seemed to speak to us was the word “RESOLVE.” I think there was a resolve by some to be used by Christ inspite of the situation. I watch my friend, Cosby, resolved to do what the Master is calling him to do as he continually cleans up after people. He serves, he doesn’t quit. I know a time is coming when that calling will be over, but he is faithful. He lives this life of faith. Bill Dodge is another one. Deb Roope, Dave Davis, Lily Nichols, Geoff White, Rachel Graff, Shannon Roark, Claire Thames, Craig Shigyo, Ben Fife, and many others (problem with a list is when you leave people out they can be hurt, I apologize to anyone who thought they hung in there and I forgot to mention…).

I watched many people get deep when it gets hard. They don’t stay near the surface, they go to the deep place of the Spirit. No clichés just a deep sense of the Presence. Alone time in the light not the lime light. Let others minister to them, not much pity exchanged, just truth. Words spoken in silence to the Mediator Who Knows. Soulships between true friends. That was the reality that I saw that many did not. Something that took place because they stayed long enough to experience the truth. Like staying through a Pixar Movie and seeing the outtakes. You have to sit through to the end.

I am impressed with those who stayed. One young women wanted to leave throughout the summer. She talked to her teammates, her supervisor, then finally on the second to the last night she came to me and asked if she could leave. I told her no and laughed. She was not happy, but she stayed. The last day, she was there. The last goodbye, she was there. A small victory. She may not feel it, it would have been easier to leave, but better to stay.

Anyway just a little processing…

15 August 2005

Angels unaware...

This was started last week but I never got to finish...

Monday was a very hard day. For the past week or so the septic system had been removed from my house. So each morning at about 5:30am I wake up and look for the place that is available for me to "use the facility" if you know what I mean. This is a great feat of timing and focus. A clear mind is essential. I have to walk about until I find the facility that is open to a 51 year old so I don't freak out the campers or the staff and some of the wild life in the area.

Monday before I had a chance to coordinate the exchange, I was approached by Shannon to be filled in on what I missed the previous night because I was trying to talk to another staff member into staying instead of giving up and leaving. A plague of despair on the house of Calvin this summer with 5 staff leaving. Anyway, Shannon told me of a major problem that had staff very upset, individuals wanting blood. A very intense time in a very delicate bodily state of urgency (I am 51). I told Shannon I would take care of it and proceeded to change clothes while still in a major holding pattern. I listened to others, got a proper perspective, then went off to talk to the person at the center of the controversy. He was open and gracious, wanting to meet with the team, they met, hard conversations, accusations, maturity and immaturity danced. Me, I am still in need. I made some unpopular decisions but felt like Solomon in all of his glory and my impending condition. I am tired, disappointed, excited about the possibilities, heartbroken, yet hopeful.

Two hours after waking, I am able to fulfill the original plan. I am then summoned to another who is thinking of leaving. I ask him to stay, call in all my cards and ask again. Stoically he agrees to stay but I am now broken. I leave and walk for a while and breakdown asking the Lover of my soul to bring healing and joy. I hear a shout of, "hello there!" I look up to see a little kid, in an Ariel bathingsuit running to me. We had met an hour earlier but she was too shy to say anything to me. Now she comes running over to talk. I was not sure if this would be a good thing but spending a moment with her felt like water to a very dry area.

She asked why I was sad. I said that a few people wanted to quit and leave. She looked very puzzled. She looked around, as if taking inventory, and said, "Why would anyone want to leave this place. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen." She came from Pasadena with my friend Leisel, who brought her because her mother was working and leaving her home alone for many hours in the day and night. Survival. This little girl watched her father get carved up and left for dead because of gang involvement. She has been homeless and lived on the street throughout her life. Many stories were not said. She was happy to be here.

She asked why people don't want to work here anymore? I could not answer her. I really didn't know. I thought for a while, some never worked so hard. Some didn't like the people they were working for. Some emotionally could not hold it anymore. Some wanted to be home. They were through.

I asked the program assistant, Amy, if she would find a staff shirt, the smallest we had, and bring it for our new friend Desiray. She came back at lunch with the shirt. And at that point, I hired Desiray, for room and board, to work for the rest of the summer at Calvin Crest. She asked what her job was? I told her it was to make people happy. She couldn't believe that she got a shirt and a purpose. She gave me a sweet hug and kissed my cheek and headed off to do her job.

At dinner she told me she had been busy looking for people to make happy. Saw one boy who was sitting by himself and invited him to go on the boats with her and Leisel. The boy went. She was in many conversations through out the week.

Since she came not one person wanted to go home. On Saturday she was checking out and came up to me to say thanks and gave me a hug. She said she didn't want to leave. I told her she could always come back and work some more next year. She said she would try. I told her to make her mom happy and to keep Leisel, her neighbor happy. She said she would.

I am thankful that God brought me this young lady at just the right time and place. I think I would have gone home early as well if she wasn't here.

14 August 2005

The end of a season...

Camp finished yesterday, we moved out of the Ranch House, and we will spend tonight at home. That was quick!

I am going to spend some time staring off in the distance and thinking about what happened this summer and try to listen to what He says rather than what my voices keep telling me...

10 August 2005

These old guys rock on...


Clapton and The Stones... These guys are starting to look old. But they can still rock hard.

09 August 2005


This is an interesting time. The last week. How does one finish strong. Tired. A bit burned out. Some of the magic gone. We have seen too much of the back rooms of Disneyland.

All that is left is faithfulness. The root is (wait for it...) faith. We must live a life of faith. Faith is living that which we believe to be true. I am amazed by the life of those who continue to see God at work in each life that comes up here. Each one brings the potential of a new word, a new direction, a new hope...

Yesterday we felt the pandemonium of the enemy. Today we heard the story of a night of faithfulness of a single woman who felt the presence of the enemy, the voice of the Spirit to gather and pray, and within hours felt the power and the presence of the enemy defeated.


Still some work to do, places to turn on lights, clean up the debris left, and establish the presence of the Kingdom.

07 August 2005

A worship by remembering...

Yesterday's service was very sweet. Many of us forgot the stories that took place because last few weeks have been difficult. A theme of brokeness threaded itself through the songs and stories. But the greater theme, Christ was there, who never leaves us nor forsakes us. His love and power in terrible times seemed to be the truth that sustains us in these hard places. Hard times come, He is there.

I loved hearing the singing, the stories, and a medley of hymns played on flute and viola. The dance was simple and full of joy. Hearing Christina's testimony of being a recipient of a campership put into perspective why we would give. Very moving and hopeful, and to think that the potential of a camper who come today, broken and acting out, can be transformed, as hers was, to be powerfully used in the Kingdom tomorrow.

I am honored to be a part of this staff...

06 August 2005

A great watercolor...

Ranch House by Deb Roope

This is a watercolor of the place where I am living this summer, by my friend Deb Roope. I live in the house on the right.
Great painting, great place to live. It is one of my favorites.

(And to those who don't like my art critic corner... you will only provoke me to display some Thomas Kinkade!)

05 August 2005

The concert vs. the remembering...

Tomorrow the staff has a worship service that we invite our friends and families to hear the stories of the summer. Tonight we walk through it. It is different than the concerts we use to do. No show, just remembering stories.

02 August 2005

Prayer needed...

I am speaking tonight to the staff about the place we hold others in our community. I think it is also time to speak about where we hold ourselves as well. My head is spinning. My heart is broken, My soul is tired. But I can sense the Spirit at work. It is interesting

Plus we have been watching the meteor showers beginning for their annual event. We have another fire close by. A week ago or so we had one about a mile from my home.

Who needs television...

22 July 2005

The back row...

It is easy to sit in the back row. No one expects anything from you back there. No one sees you. All eyes are forward. You think it is safe. It is not.
There are a lot of distractions in the back row. People can get attracted to every thing but the intent of the time. We come with our own agendas.
The back row demands nothing of people. Only to show up and sit through the show.
You can put in your time in the back row. Safe. Unchanged. Not responsible. Lots of opinions, no action. Last ones to come, first to leave.
The plate is already full by the time it gets to the back row. No one knows what's given.
The message is stale by the time it reaches the back row. Too many ears steal the words. Little left to consider.
Pictures drawn, lists made. Heads counted. Hangman. Tic-tac-toe.
The back row has a life of its own.
No one knows...

21 July 2005


This morning at 4:30ish there was a roll of thunder and the flash of lightening and then a light sprinkle began. The occurrence lasted just a brief moment. Even though it was humid it cleared the air nicely. I got up and walked around because we had some young campers sleeping outside that I was wondering if Lily and her team needed help. They had everyone moving into an available cabin and within a few minutes all were back to sleep. I am very impressed with Lily and her team.

I continued walking around watching the sky. It is my favorite thing to do in any storm type situation. I love watching the cells develop, rain approaching, sky breaking through, etc. I am a big fan of the sky. Whether clouds on a sunny day, stars at night, rain storms developing, whatever. It is fascinating to watch the sky to see what is developing.

I first start noticing a change in the wind, a slight breeze or the new direction. I like being aware of the wind. I am fascinated by the whole idea of wind. In this area we don't get a lot of wind. One of my favorite sounds is the wind moving through the trees. I can't describe the sound but it has the feeling of the breath of a loved one. You have to listen for it. Feel it. It has a delightful smell as well as an added dimension to sight. It seems almost like it is a fourth dimension.

Which makes me think of the Fifth Dimensions who sang "Up, Up and Away" in the Sixties.

I can make this spiritual sounding because it makes me think of the Holy Spirit, but I would like to just think about the sky, wind, rain, thunder, lightening, smells, sounds, only as those things in and of themselves...

18 July 2005

Good night...


I am not very postmodern...

In the previous post, there were some kind words said for which I am thankful and some comments that I didn't enjoy. I felt the direction of the final few were were off the path. It caused me to quit wanting to blog and then I remembered a friend once told me... "this is your blog you can do what you want. Erase them..."

I did.

As one eloquently put it, "...If that was the case, I will relegate myself to the back row and just listen to the lecture from now on."

My response... in my theatre you may sit in the back row, but feel free to open a theatre next door for your show.

I am not interested in the conversation that is mad at me or antithetical to my beliefs. Those can be done on your own blog and if I wish to read them I will read them ON YOUR BLOG. I felt attacked by some of the words that were used and decided that I did not want to read on my blog things that were against me or my ideals. I am all for freedom of the conversation, but I view this blog as my opinion, as small and insignificant as it may be, and a place I can get out on "paper" my thoughts. I enjoy people's contrasting opinion and choose to read them from another's blog occasionally. I just don't want my blog to be a place that you feel you have the freedom to tie up a whole lot of bandwidth with your opinion against me or my thoughts.

I do enjoy the conversation that corrects, sharpens, broadens the theme, but not the attack. I vowed a year ago that I would not attack another person's opinion on their blog but would write an email if I felt the relationship was stable enough for that. I was deeply sorry for a loss of a friendship because I had written a public attack.

I will continue to delete any comments that attack me or anyone else and, in my opinion, is offensive. I am grateful that anyone cares what I think and is willing to read it and engage in a brief conversation.

I know this may cause a new group of people to be against me but hopefully I have given you something to blog about...

15 July 2005

Simon says...

I enjoyed myself this week as my son, Simon, spoke to the junior high camp. He said an incredible thing the other night. "God went to great length to prepare us a place of love."

Well said...

10 July 2005

Making our theology humane...

There is a lot of talk about relational theology, incarnational theology. I would like to start talking about humane theology.

Is our theology humane. Does it consider the least of these? Does our children's ministry consider the children... globally or just the children of givers? Are we teaching towards something or are we just teaching because we give people degrees in teaching. It is time to start giving degrees in doing so that we can teach people to do rather than just sit through another teaching and think we are doing the will of the Doer. We hire people who talk not people who do. We are suspect of people who do.

Can we raise up people to treat people humanely in the workforce, marketplace, classroom, restaurant, neighborhood, parking lot, highway? Redemption on the sidewalk, in the checkout line, in the cinema, dinner table. More than an hour on Sundays.

We are the most educated nation on earth and the most churched and the most prolific in religious education and religious messages and we are not seeing much a different in the lives of a church member than a pagan. Why? Because we think it is about teaching and not doing. Our teaching needs to lead to doing. Lecture then the lab. Not lecture then lecture. We have enough info, enough input, enough polls, enough commentaries, enough... South Korea is sending missionaries to us. Ethiopia is starting censure us. And we think we are the super powers.

Are we teaching our children to respect women? Do we teach young girls more about their roles than their identity? Are we putting the responsibility on women for the way they dress instead of we men who must take responsibility for how we look at them? You may say I wouldn't lust if she wouldn't wear that. I say take responsibility for what you think of women and their bodies first. A tribe in the jungle where women and men don't wear much, is there lust? Why not? I don't think they started lusting until the the civilized taught them. I am learning from the women up here a lot of what it means to be female. I did not know a lot. A lot of pain and a lot of anger and a lot of resentment. Do we teach anything, or better do we model anything different than an old stereotype model. We talk about an emergent worship when do we talk about emergent humanity?

We are not addressing the problem. We are not spending the time to bring this message to our youth to make changes. Let's start teaching young and teen boys how to treat women. Let them be men who allow women to be what God has created them to be. How can we empower people, male and female to do the will of God. Let us begin to teach about respecting each other instead of talking about worship experiences. How can we worship Him who we do not see and disregard our sister who we do see?

07 July 2005


Today I went to many meetings. A supervisors meeting. A counselor meeting. A meeting with a person who is with FCA and up here as a counselor. I taught from Matthew 4 at a meeting with 250 people. I had a meeting with my friend and pastor Rick Irish. A meeting for clarification on some rumors I heard. A meeting for redefinition of job responsibility and a clarification of expectations. A meeting with two friends under a big oak tree. A weekly meeting that changed my life.

I am suppose to be mentoring this man, but his heart and soul is mentoring me. Michael continues to open my heart to a meekness and perspective that I feel like I am meeting with Christ. I like the way he is living his life and today I hope that the rest of my life would look more like his. It is his virtue. He does the right thing.

God has brought a few men and women in my life with the same heart. These people after I hung out with them I felt like they didn't suck me dry but left me in better shape than how they found me.

I hope you know who you are. You have taught me to do the right thing. Buy fair trade coffee. Read good books that I never thought I could. You gave me gifts because you knew it would affect my DNA. You taught me to use my position to do the right thing with people who were powerless to do anything. You took me with you in a truck to town and it wasn't about what we bought but the conversation in the truck. You moved into a cabin to stay with tough campers when it was not your job and you still did your job. You ask questions that demanded Jesus' answer and not just something I could throw out there to satisfy you. You demanded me to think from my spirit not my head. You followed me out the door when I was acting restless and goofy. I like meeting with you. Thank you for being a gift from God.

You know who you are...

05 July 2005

We are trying to live the truth...

I think one of the things that I am trying to do with the staff up here at Calvin Crest is to live it out, not just talk it out. How does a ministry live it out. I don't think it is programmatic but relational. However in our programs we need to be relational. In the "Word" time we moved it to the morning. A little singing and then the teaching. It starts with me being honest and asking the students to be honest. NO Formulas! Tell the truth. Where are you in living out your beliefs. FAITH. And the students have been truthful. Great times of prayer from Sunday night. I am wonderfully surprised by the real life in these people. The other thing which is very important, it is not about me, the speaker. It is about the counselor and their camper. It is not a mass market approach it is a relationship.

Then we go from the morning Word time to small groups for them to talk amongst themselves. The staff facilitate the dialogue between the campers and the counselors. We don't teach, we let them learn. We want to give the Spirit room to work. This conversation last the whole day between camper and camper, and also the counselor.

At night, we gather for worship. And we let the camper tell stories of what God did that day. And we celebrate. It is not always about my story, but theirs. It is a different phenomenon. We have been trying this for a few days. I will let you know how it works.

04 July 2005

Why do we do what we do?

I appreciated Roger's comment to me in the previous blog. I have been questioning why I am doing anything. Is it for my glory? Yes, it is. Is it for His glory? I hope He receives glory, but I don't think I have any control on what He receives from anyone other than me. I thought I did, but now I don't think so. I think what Roger is asking me is am I burned out of doing something that is hard and I think I am a bit. And for that I am taking full responsibility. My question is, is burned out a reason for stopping. Maybe it is reason to keep going, but use a different approach.

I am not as articulate as i would like but I enjoy the conversation. My issue now is not with the Corporation but with the Kingdom. I was a bit confused for a long time that the two were always connected. And I do not feel that anymore. I am not trying to judge anyone in particular but I am finding myself at peace with not trying to change anyone else except me. I did not mean to judge any committee in particular. Even though I have been spending time in committees as of late. I was wrong thinking my way was the right way for the corporation. The Corporation is doing what it needs to do to keep doing what it is doing. Who am I to say that it is not working? It seems to be working for them. It just isn't working for me. Therefore it is my problem.

Let me tell you a story...

When I was young, I attended the sunday school program at our church from 5 years old through my sophomore year in highschool. I started having some different questions than what the teachers could answer. I did not feel that they were bad, they just didn't answer my questions. They were trying to ask me the questions they had the answers to but that wasn't where I was. I had other questions. I saw a depth of something that wasn't acknowledged in my youth group so I walked away. I started looking into the deep thing without knowing what it was. Some called it by different name, mysticism, spiritualism, etc. I did look into a depth of darkness, but it was of the enemy. Different kinds of hallucinogenic drugs, free living off the land (and off of someone else's dollar), I astro-projected. I hung out at communes and concerts. I was trying to find out what the deep thing was. I felt its power. I wound up with walking pneumonia. My life stopped. I was very sick.

I went home to live with my father and mother for a while to get better. My mother put me on the couch and turned on the old "700 Club" television show... and left the room. In my sickness and no one had invented cheap remotes for TV yet, I had to lay on the couch and watch this tripe. I hated it the first couple of times she did that, but something started being attractive about it. By the second week I then started telling her it was time for her show. The Spirit was moving... (the show was not getting better) and I found myself wanting to know this Jesus character they were talking about. I went out into the back yard and started to pray. I received Jesus' friendship, I began to understand what he did at the cross and wondered at the resurrection.

I worked at Calvin Crest that summer. But then I started having the same questions. What about the other stuff I see in the scriptures. The Deep Thing - The power. The reality. The Immanuel. I knew the enemy was real, I had experience the power of it, but rarely did I see the power of God in His people. I was told that it ended at the last Apostle, that was confusing because was it only for one generation and the rest of us get religion? What? I prayed that God would reveal Himself and answer these questions of mine. He began a slow conversation for the past thirty-two years. The "deep thing" was Him. And getting into the deep thing required deep time with Him. More than just Bible Studies, book readings, youth groups, Sunday morning worship, etc. It was being aware of Him and what He was doing. All I heard from people at that time was "...do more, ...try harder, ...be better..." Be religious.

Then I started having this long conversation with God. He was telling me, "Do this, try this, be this." It felt like I was having a long walk in the woods, as He did with Adam and Eve. And now He is telling me do not worry about the Organization but the Body of Christ.

Then I grew up, had a family, became an elder, became the Program Director at Calvin Crest, and still having the conversation with the Father. I would try to explain what I am see but people would listen. This was frustrating because for a long time I thought it was because I was a kid and someday I would grow up and out of it and go along with the crowd. I would love to be compliant and go along with those in authority. I got a good rebuking from Him and some friends.

Now I am 51 and I have a voice and I am not going to rely on an organization to tell me what the Father is wanting of us. I will always gather with a group of people (some in the organization, some in other organizations, and some who have left the organization) who are deeply involved in seeking God to correct me. And they do. I will always have people around me who question me and discipline me. I welcome your concerns and corrections but not your criticisms. I am not going to try to convince anyone of anything I see anymore unless they are interested in my opinion. That is all I am saying. This isn't about a committee, this is about me so i don't burn out any more.

Roger, I don't know which was darker for me, the time away from God or the time in the Organization.

02 July 2005

A decision...

Many things are starting to get to me and the lack of authenticity of the actualization of the power, grace, mercy, will, and presence of the Spirit is at the top of my "let's not go over their house anymore" list. When the Organization (my new term for the church without power but plenty of committees) is about perservation of their power and authority instead of the release of actual ministry.

I have also decided not to worry about that which I cannot change. The serenity prayer is a good one even if one is not inflicted with "the disease."

I have decided to spend more time in solitude and quiet than in meetings and trying to get people to change. I had lunch with Sheri Wiedenhoefer yesterday and she told me the old way of confrontation of ideas is not the way to bring about change. She talked about making friends with people who want and are open to change. We were talking about immigration but I think this approach is a great way to live in total.

Gotta go, we are skinning a snake...

It has been a while...

I have been rebuked by a friend, who we will call DEBBIE, that I have not been blogging and sharing what is on my heart. Well, the truth is I started asking myself, "why should I?" It seems I was laying it out there and some would attach destructive comments that took the wind out of my sails. I know it sounds like I am whinning but really I am not ready to put up with crap from these few people who have been giving me grief for the past few years for my decisions and actions. And now my thoughts are being attacked. I felt that I should be able to handle it and get past it but at this time in my life it sucks out my heart. So, if you don't like me or my thoughts, haven't agreed with my actions go someplace else. If you do care, which many have told me you do, I will give it another shot.

You know I feel better now...

16 June 2005

One of my favorite artist...

I have been a fan of Laura Loe for the past few years. Her simple style and beautiful colors are wonderful. You can find more of her paintings at her website...

This picture above reminds me of my conversations with Scott Falk in the apple orchard at Calvin Crest. One of my favorite times of summer.

10 June 2005

I have been a foolish man...

...to think that I could change the church, to bring it to a new understanding of the grace, mercy, love, peace, power, redemption, healing, communication... of God. I thought that once they heard this and experienced it, they would understand it. I was wrong to think I could change an institution.

So, I have decided to ignite the Body of Christ. My focus is not on the institution but on the lives of people that He brings to me. I need to be a man of integrity to be available to the ones He is directing instead of the pipe dream I have been having. Change cannot be done by defining worship services but in directing people to Him. He says, "Come and follow me, and I WILL MAKE YOU..." So my place is to directed them to Him to "make us..." I have been doing this all wrong, I have been trying to MAKE THEM.

And I pray that if that is not the way for me to go He will take me out of here.

05 June 2005

Sundays with Rudy...

It is always a delight to hang with Rudy Carrasco from Harambee, Pasadena. He is the one who got me started blogging and thinking a bit out of the box. Virtual conversations are good but I miss the breakfast at the counter.

Thanks for the conversation Rudy...

04 June 2005

And it begins again...

What a marvelous staff.

We started today with most of the staff coming up. A few to come soon and one dear one has mono and will be out for a few weeks. We will wait for Ms. Bonesteel.

Tonight I sensed the Lord wanted to speak through Genesis 1:1-3, In the beginning. I felt strongly Him say that He creates out of nothing. It is not what we bring to but it is what He creates. So our gifts and resumes, our fears and failures are all worthless to Him. For He will create that which He will use for His purpose and glory.

I am deeply thankful.

Love, Peace and Joy...

30 May 2005

The countdown continues...

We are in the final week before the summer begins.

Many things are going through my head and heart right now. I am anxious for all the logistics of things that have to be done before we greet our guests. I am already missing some people who did not apply but who are spending the summer elsewhere, like Prague and other European cities. I am sadden by some who did not apply and are not doing well bringing their faith to the surface of their lives. I am excited to see the changes in the people who will not be with us because the Lord has something else for them. (I always love those stories.) I am anticipating new friendships and people who will change my worldview and make the Kingdom bigger in it. I have hope about the broken lives that will be coming and praying we are equipped to love them enough to participate in some of the healing that needs to be done. I am concerned that I will not spend all of my life at camp but be able to focus on my family and friends. I tend to get in so deep to the summer that I spend it all on the staff and not my family. I pray this will be a different summer.

I think I will listen to some Rich Mullins. He always tends to bring me back to what is important. Right Ben?


26 May 2005

Towels, tears, trust...

The conversation with elders or board members have to start with trust. That is difficult because we base a lot of trust on consistancy, comfort, continuity, and conformity. I don't think those are bad words. We all do it. Is someone going to come in here and mess with us and disrupt our lives. We want things to keep at a certain level of equilibrium and bringing in a new philosophy can disrupt many patterns, processes, and the power structure.

So people are going to naturally be resistant at first. Many things have to be clarified, conversed, compromised before anyone will be open to change. The process needs to begin before the program does.

We found because of some lack of communication with the proper people, it caused needless anxiety on the board. Key people were kept out of the loop. This deals with power and control. You are going to get none of it if you go around the persons with the control. Nor should you ever. I learned that. A hostile takeover is different, surprise is important. The Kingdom is not hostile. It brings love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. NO HOSTILE TAKE OVER. It is yeast in the dough. It is, as we discussed yesterday, more like folding in the ingredients than forcing them in.

I am not naive. I can be very strategic. I can be a survivor and set up alliances and vote people off the island. But the Kingdom is not about that. It is setting up alliances for the sake of love, not power.

There are some key points that we are working with. Is this group a part of the "morning service" church? If there is interactivity instead of a single person speaking during the sermon, what happens if someone says something that is in err how will they be corrected? Will it pay for itself? Are they interested in doing things with the rest of the church? ...Nothing too huge.

I do not want you to think I am against anyone of these people who spend countless hours praying and thinking about the structure of the church. Someone has to. They are thinking about preserving property, programs, and personnel. That is part of their responsibilities. A major part. These people are thinking about attracting people to a place to hear the gospel and for salvation to happen. They want to reach the lost and hurting. They have created working organisms that take care of many things. Education, experiences, equipment for the Kingdom. So they are asking, "why repair something if they can't see the malfunction/"

The conversation must include people who have done good things with people who see new things. This will always take towels, tears, and trust...

I will keep you in the loop...

24 May 2005

Not ready to throw in the towel...

I am in the midst of the post honeymoon conflict of starting something new. As I am sure many of you are aware that we took over a Sunday evening service at our church called it, Time & Space. And as many of you have experienced, working with a committee has its down side. I love the group that gathers to pray for the fellowship on Wednesdays, but it is the Elders who gather once a month to run the church that concerns me.

It is easy to complain about the elders, about how they just don't get it. But that is not Kingdom talk. It would be easy for me to just get together with my friends and start a group of people who get it or it would be the Kingdom thing to be with the elders and begin trying to get them to see what the Spirit is doing. They are not the enemy even though I would want to treat them that way.

Many people in leadership are scared to have change happen. New things freak people out. Managing old things freak people. People feel responsible and when things change some will complain and complaints mean that people are upset with things and they prefer the status quo. So the old addage of "don't fix it if it ain't broke" to some mean if I am alright with it, then it must be working. But they cannot imagine that anyone else is unhappy with it. I like it therefore everyone likes it. It is an interesting problem. "Can't please everyone!" would be the battle cry. "And this generation is never happy with anything..." would be another. Most of the time they don't understand because they don't have any information.

Most people just leave. That is easy. They don't try to fix it. It is hard to try to be a part of something and do something new. You have to swim upstream and most are floating by and telling you your foolish. To bring about change is to be faithful to the body while trying to bring them along. Much easier to float.

First, try to get them to see the need to change. If they can see that there is a need then they will be open to listen to some suggestions for how to impliment the change. Getting mad makes people not listen, not care, not be open, not see anyone else's side, nor do you get any credibility when you get mad.

Why bother? Why not just go somewhere else and start something new? Because sometimes you are an agent of the Kingdom to bring change to the body for the good of the Body.

Love must be a major factor in the change. Love for the people in the status quo as well as compassion for those that the He is directing you to must be a part of the "something new". Or else it is just a shift in power and control. I am not sure it is suppose to work that way. The Kingdom talks about creating new wineskins, not getting rid of the old wineskins. That is where there is some good wine. Alienating the old isn't what Jesus does.

Now I am not saying that you go along with imbecilic thinking. Small worlds with smaller doors. Do what you can to create trust which will lead to change. Dialogue. Listen. Quietly ask good questions. Walk through the fear together.

And if all else fails, get a small warehouse or store front, use someone's living room, go to the school cafeteria, or something and get the heckl out of there.

18 May 2005

I feel a bit sharper...

I had a great day today. I started the morning off at 6:30a with "A Perfect World with Scott Falk". That is always a sharpening experience. Great conversation, an idea for summer and good theology. A great friend.

Then I traveled to Reedley to meet with some of the staff of the West Coast Mennonite Central Committee. I met with Nathan who gave me a tour and an education in Relief. I was greatly impacted. It will show itself in the summer. I then met with one of my favorite people, Sheri Wiedenhoefer, the most radical person I know. I want to be like her when I grow up. She gave me a tour of the Kings County ministries she is doing and a great ride in her hybred Toyota. Then a great conversation over lunch at Uncle Harry's Armenian Restaurant in Reedley. We will be writing a grant together for some new summer programs with at risk youth from her area. It is like hanging out with a saint.

Then on back to Fresno to meet with my friend and mentor Greg Ehlert. I am vicariously taking classes through him at the MB Seminary in Fresno. I always learn a lot through our conversations. He reads the books and tells me what he learned. Great to learn great stuff even if I have a reading disability.

Then back up to Oakhurst and a great time of coffee and conversation with Hunter at the Grind.

It is 7:30ish pm and I am heading home. Just wanted to blog a bit and read some emails.

I am blessed with the family and friends that I have...

07 May 2005

A father’s prayer to the Father…

A prayer of blessing at the wedding of Simon & Natasha Biasell
by N Tony Biasell
May 7, 2005

This doesn’t surprise you GOD, that these two would fall in love and want to commit the rest of their lives together.
You have a plan for them.
You created their lives to be fulfilled by You and each other.
Just as their souls would have a hole without You, their hearts would be reduced without each other.

Let there always be enough beans and rice in the pantry and intimacy in the quiet.
Give their life wonder. Give their life purpose.
Give them people in their lives to show them love and to love.
Give them people who depend on them and friends on whom they can depend.

Let them have Your visions now and dreams as they age.
Create poetry in their speech and jazz in their song together.

Show them a glimpse of what they will be.
Allow them to see glimpses of what You are doing in others.

Fill their home with children.
Fill their lives with youth.

Let them find forgiveness for their fathers and grace for their children.

... for they are Your children, and You are their God.

Thank you for letting us have them for this season, we release them to Your plan and for Your purpose.

In Your Son’s name, Amen.

05 May 2005

The Meeting...

Every Wednesday, I meet with a few people to discuss Time & Space and to plan and hear concerns, ideas, and stories. I enjoy meeting with Ryan McKenzie, Ruben, Pastors Rick and Paul, Terry the elder and anyone else with some authority or opinion. I hear the stories of the time before and what people thought or issues that arose because of something done or said. This is when I generally lose it. People sitting back, never showing up to help, with an opinion. Always wanting to eat the bread but never there to pick and grind the wheat. (You know the story...) But something wierd is happening. I don't get mad anymore (ok a little miffed) it helps to define what we are doing. I am not saying that they cause me to change it but only define it better. Make room or more needed clarity.

A new thing is not always an event but it may be an attitude. We will see what is next maybe I will sport a new hairstyle. I am thinking "the comb-over."

29 April 2005

Simon and Natasha's wedding is nigh...

Simon and Natasha with their friend, Kate (in the middle)

Christel and I, along with the rest of the fam, are getting ready for my son's and his bride to be's wedding. A lot of feelings are careening through my mind and soul as we approach the celebration and sacred ceremony. We are very excited for the two of them and anticipate it to be a blessed time.

24 April 2005

The inside...

I don't want to give anyone the impression that I am down on the youth. They are just like everyone else was at this age. I am, however, talking about this time and the church americana. We demand outer obedience and we judge based more on behavior than heart. Outside vs inside.

It is understandable. We think the inside disqualifies us. The inside is messy like a garage and we keep that garage door shut. The inside has thoughts of fear, revenge, lust, envy, anger... No one else has the thoughts, dreams, images, deeds that we have in our heads and hearts. So we protect and put up the facade.

We keep God out, so there is no redemption. We keep others out so there is no fellowship and understanding. The church has not provide a place for the heart and soul, just the behavior. In only judging the behavior we never deal with the wounds that perpetuate the behaviors. We preach behavior, seldom true identity. We point fingers of judgement, rarely hands of help. It starts with the robes. Teach the Redeemer for a while, instead of the Judge. Are we people of redemption then we must allow the Spirit to speak to the pain and bring the light of Jesus in.

To bring Light into the dark place allows God to heal, mend, forgive, and rename us. In this time and space we need to allow all of us to be open to His love, power, heart, mind and strength, so that we can be a people set free indeed.

23 April 2005

"Something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear..."

I have a large group of friends who are all in ministry. They work at retail stores, inns, foundations, hospitals, camps, churches, urban and neighborhood centers, Christian schools and universities, lecture tours, some foreign, some in the USA, etc... They give their lives daily to that which they know that God has called them. They wake up each day and get ready to teach, clean, cook, counsel, decide, host, care, preach, provide, correct, sell, consult, coordinate, learn, feed, account, sing, design, build, talk, dream... Some work with their families and spouses, some see them at the end of a day, some don't see them for days or weeks at a time. There are people who get to work with their hands, minds, talents, and gifts, They don't get paid much, some get paid better than people living in the secular market. Some have their homes provided and some have huge mortgages. Some have great bosses who inspire, some wonder how the guy got in his position. Some deal directly with people and others no one knows their names outside of the office. At the end of the day they all talk to God and close their eyes and sleep.

Many of these people are in the midst of great turmoil; relationships, issues with money, expectations, leadership, confusion, trust, vision, faith, hope... It is not easy. There is an uneasiness, things aren't stable, less certainty, more ambiguity. That which once sustained is now worn out and dry. It is not confusion, yet that which seemed true once now brings doubt. Deep integrity missing. Change.

There is something in the air, like a new wind before a storm. One can sense it but not feel or see it. We are reaching for something that is farther than our grasp. Names don't come mind and vision is foggy.

The church has blended with the culture. Paris Hilton speaks of God. The pope is elected with media coverage and commentary. Icons are tattooed on pastor's arm. California is 50% hispanic and English is the only language most mainline churches speak. Good neighborhoods have iron gates at the entrance. Movie stars are governors and presidential candidate have botox injections. Rappers sing of destructive sex, win awards, and thank Jesus, their lord and savior, from whom all blessings flow. Churches don't say anything about the genocide of tribes but complain when the 10 commandments are not allowed to be in a courtroom hallway. Child care is a greater topic at elder meetings than child abuse and neglect.

My dear friend is in great pain and doesn't know what is going on in her body because the tests are inconclusive. More test, less results. Her laugh is missing from the office and she hasn't painted in quite a while.

I have a deep sadness but a deeper joy. I don't want my faith defined by a bumpersticker or a t-shirt. Peace cannot be provided by Homeland Security. This Jesus has got to be real and my life needs to start reflecting that which I believe to be true. The reality of the Kingdom has got to sustain my life in an environment which is not conducive to the spiritual world, even in a christian ministry or industry. I need to open my eyes to the reality of that which has been propagated over the last few decades did not produce a generation of strength. This generation more identifies with Paris Hilton than Mother Teresa. Things will never seem right as long as we are more concern with the outside than the heart, the songs sung than the message, the candles than the Light.


18 April 2005

Hearing the Spirit...

Last Sunday night, before the Time & Space meeting began, the leadership was praying and I heard very clearly, "everyone should be praying in preparation for worship tonight, not just the leadership." So I finished praying with the team and gathered everyone in the foyer to ask God to prepare our hearts for worship. We prayed and it began something. Then we walked into the sanctuary together to worship. It was sweet.