30 September 2006

Another Nellie Update..

I called the hospital this evening and the operator said that Nellie has been released from the hospital.

I need to say this...

I was watching the new show on NBC, Studio 60, and of course they started putting the christians in a wacko light. But then they didn't. They only put the wackos in a wacko light. Then, I started thinking about all the shows that I do watch and they are painting a correct picture of some christians, not all. And I do need to say it, they aren't that wrong. Behavior-centered christian are small and petty.

I know too many who are reactionaries and never proactionary. Instead of giving out a cup of water to those who are thirsty, and who isn't thirsty, they pass out tracts and judgement to those who already feel condemned. It becomes like the criminal who just when on a rampage and killed three people, robbed a bank, and jaywalked and now has a cop hostage and the cop says, "you need to let me go because this just became a federal offense." The bad guy says, "It doesn't matter, I am already condemned to die."

When I walked out after Little Miss Sunshine there was someone from church in the lobby and she asked me what movie we saw and I pointed to the theater and she said, "The 'R' rated one?!" I didn't even know it was R rated. But to define it as JUST the "R rated one" is very shallow.

I would ask that we don't judge until New Years and start handing out more cups of cold water and tell them of the Lover of their Soul and Flesh, the Creator of Cold Water, and spend time with them instead of straight arming them into the abyss of indifference.

Those who don't know Jesus will think it odd until they see the love of Jesus in us. But they will continue to think it odd when we are in their faces condemning them. They are not the enemy. They may vote against what we believe to be true and right until they see truth served up in love and in a cold cup.

There I said it...

Update: Nellie

Nellie is still in the hospital, as of 11:00am today, Saturday. She was given some blood thinning medicine to dissolve the clot in her lung and to prevent further random blood clots, which presents another little problem, she needs to clot after having surgery to remove a cyst. Yesterday, Friday, she looked better and was hoping to go home today. For the inquiring minds, I will do better in keeping you up to date.

29 September 2006


We are saddened by the news of the death of Susanne Scaringi, the wife of Tony Scaringi, who was on summer staff about 10 years ago. Susanne was beloved in many communities around the Seattle, Washington area. She was an avid bicyclist and athlete, worked with kids, and was very involved with Young Life and their camp program, Beyond Malibu.

She was killed in a bicycle accident. She was 27.

Our heart and prayer goes out to Tony and her family.

Great movie...

Last Saturday, Christel and I met up with Ryan and Nellie had some coffee then saw Little Miss Sunshine. Great movie. Still thinking about it and burst out laughing in the middle of nowhere...

Cory PiƱa loves this poster. So do I.

A sign for the times...

Bill Dodge has design and built a new sign for Sherwood Forest, Calvin Crest's facility for two programs, 4th - 6th grades and for "A Week in the Forest for People with Developmental Disabilities."

The back of the sign is as beautiful as the front. Craftsmanship!

Great job, Bill.

Good Quote...

True evangelical faith cannot lie dormant. It clothes the naked, it feeds the hungry, it comforts the sorrowful, it shelters the destitute, it serves those that harm it, it binds up that which is wounded, it has become all things to all people.
- Menno Simons

27 September 2006

Prayer needed...

My dear friend Nellie McKenzie is in the hospital and is bored.

She has a blood clot in her lung and is taking some meds that thin the blood and they are keeping her in a protective environment.

Please pray that she would dissolve the clot and not be bored...


25 September 2006

Jesus Camp...

Oh boy, Dan...

I watched some clips and the trailer from the documentary, "Jesus Camp." I really don't know what to say that I haven't already said.

But I have to address the line from the trailer, "This means war... this means war!" and then it says, "Are you a part of it or not?" I do believe there is a battle for the minds of children, but what this film is missing is the heart. Minds need to be renewed, hearts need to be won. And that battle is not mind altering propaganda, but truth spoken in love and grace.

I am not worried about what this will do to the ministry of CalvinCrest. I am more worried about the message this sends to the outcast, the marginalized, those who seek hope...

In an appropriate email I got today, it said... "Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one bungler destroys much good."

Oh boy...

I would hope that one wouldn't look at this as representative of a faith in Jesus, as one wouldn't look at the Democratic National Convention as a representation of democracy...

23 September 2006

Haiku for Chris Erdman...

Words of peace
drowned out by those
rattling their swords.


I have been doing some thinking lately about the Red-Letter Christian (RLC) movement and the comments I received lately from many of you either through this blog or conversations and emails.
I am not that interested in jumping out of a denomination or a political party into another one just because there is a new movement afoot. I think the interesting thing is that people are growing tired of the denomination and political parties of today and freewheeling it and that is becoming a collective.

It seems the foundation of denoms and pol-parties are maintaining the control but not necessarily the mission. I look around and see that many of us are not doing things much different. Instead of listening to The Quiet Voice for direction we associate ourselves with larger groups who dictate the direction. We should be Quiet Voice christians, ones who listen to the One who has the plan...

Jeremiah 29:
11'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

12'Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.

13'You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

14'I will be found by you,' declares the LORD, 'and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,' declares the LORD, 'and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.'

The Voice is driving us to places... sometimes into exile and sometimes into prosperity, but always to a hope and a future.

I don't disagree with the premise of RLC that not all evangelicals are identifying with the narrow concerns of the Right, and there are many issues to be considered today. Abortion is a concern, I am proLife, but to be pro life is to be pro life with the poor, marginalized, exploited, orphaned, aged, etc. I do not believe in same-sex marriages for a number of reasons but I do believe that those who find an trusting relationship in someone of their own sex should be loved by those of us who are Loved by the Lover of our Souls. We are to be lights on a hill in the world of God's love not lasers burning out sin in culture.

Should we vote with values? Yes.

More importantly we should live with values. Red-Letter values. Quiet Voice values.

Voting does not replace our civic duties to love. I vote and am appalled by the low turn out of voter. But I am more appalled by the high turn out of indifference in our society today.

A well placed moral bumpersticker will drive people farther from the Voice who loves their soul than a simple act of kindness and listening to the pain of people which drives them to immoral behavior.

I am tired of the Republicans and the Democrats, but mostly I am not impressed with either's heart. I tend more towards Republican's approach to smaller government and allowing business owners greater latitude in running their businesses without as much interference. I cannot say much about the Dem's ability for civil rights, I was a Dem and lost faith because they speak the right words but trip over themselves in making something happen. (I really don't want to argue these points) Dr. Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi irritate me by their harsh words, the Republicans bore me with their harsh actions and in-actions.

I agree with Micah. I am also concerned that the RLC may be like the Dems of the 60s with McGovern with a lot of words, albeit Red, but not the action needed. It isn't just political action needed today but individual action that will reach out to those The Voice is calling us to love. Love is an action here not a passive whatever feels good. Allowing the Truth to bring healing and stability into their lives. Not harsh judgement.

I cannot get behind another organization or person until I am inline with The Voice...

22 September 2006

A great blog...

There are three guys biking from the northernmost part of Alaska down to ths southern most part of South America. I try to keep up with them on a weekly basis instead of watching television.

You can find their website here.


I stopped off at Judy's Donuts today and because I was on my motorcycle I had to drink my coffee and eat my chocolate french crueller in house instead of in the car.

Everyday (not that I go everyday) there is a group of men sitting in the pink plastic chairs, which are attached to the pink tables, and talk about their lives and mostly poke fun at each other. They are usually talking about the president, the war, the gas prices, the highway construction through town, and poking fun at each other.

Today, I sat in one of the pink chairs, eating my coffee and crueller, and got the distinct feeling that I was not a part of their community. When I just come in and buy my coffee and crueller and leave, I may get a nod from one of them, but to sit down and take up someone's place was an invasion. Today I kept getting looks from each of them at different times and the conversation got quiet as they looked over at me. I just kept drinking my coffee and slowly eating my crueller, looking straight ahead. I didn't want to intrude but dangit I have a right to sit in a public donut house's pink chair, which is attached to the pink table and drink my coffee and eat my crueller. No one was standing waiting for me it was more what will happen if Karl comes in and I'm in his chair?

Well, I finished drinking my coffee and eating my crueller, wiped the chocolate crumbs from my mouth and shirt, looked over at them, nodded, got up (which is difficult because the chairs are attached to the table and got on my motorcycle and drove off on Highway 41 to my next meeting at Starbucks, who did not show up, which gave me time to write this little post.

21 September 2006

Red-Letter Christian...

I am interested in this new movement of Wallis, Campolo, et al called "the Red-Letter Christian." Campolo wrote an article on it you can find here.

Check it out and let me know what you think...

18 September 2006

A joke and a statement...

There is an old joke that says,

What do you call a boomerang that doesn't work?

A stick.

15 September 2006

A Junior High marching band...

Christel, my wife, is a music teacher for two K-8 schools in the area. She has been doing this for 13 years since we have been up here. Before that she was a psycho-social developer for three special needs children. Ours. Their special needs were that they needed a mother. She is great at both callings.

Christel is an incredible teacher who doesn't think she is doing anything for the Kingdom. However, whenever we are shopping or at a football game at the high school all of these kids come running up to her and hoping that she recognizes them in this different surrounding. They squeal out, "Mrs. Biasell, Mrs. Biasell!" with such glee it is charming to hear. Then they talk to her about their lives, some about music and mostly about their families and personal lives. This is the Kingdom.

Well, tomorrow is the Oakhurst Mountain Heritage Day Parade. It has been going on for a long time. This year Rusty and his wife Sara, who own the Met Cinema (a five screen multiplex) in town, are the grand marshals. And Christel's combination of the two schools Junior High (grades 5-8) Marching Band will participate in it. I just got back from watching their practice at one of the schools. There are about 75 kids in the combined band. Each of them had an instrument of some kind. No uniforms. Most of these kids have never marched in a parade. Some are going to be riding in a flatbed truck and most will be marching.

But what I want to talk about is the noise they make between songs. Each are just blowing stuff, hitting drums, spraying spit out of their trombones on each other, etc. Then she blows the whistle and they stop (most stop) and she tweets off the beat and they start up playing music. They are playing a recognizable song. Albeit, it is "Let's go Band!"

But in between the songs it is chaos. Or is it? I watch her and she is talking, giving instructions and tips to some of the musicians, unfazed by it all but very aware of what is going on. When she finishes with the individuals then she puts the whistle in her mouth and blows out a single tweet, pauses, then four more, and it music.

This group of kids who are going to be marching tomorrow will remember this experience for the rest of their lives. Every time they see a parade, they will remember their days in school when they were with Mrs. Biasell's Marching Band instead of sitting home, watching cartoons on television.

14 September 2006

Taylor update...

Taylor went to the doctor today and he was happy with everything. Still guarded but the numbers looked good today.

13 September 2006

I am in a bad mood... UPDATED

Why do we feel that christian organizations must proclaim the gospel in order to be a christian organization. My dad was in St. Agnes Hospital and they gave him incredible care yet not one of the surgeons, anesthesiologist, nurses, orderlies, etc stopped during the procedure to wake him up and ask him if he died tonight would he know where he would spend eternity.

Why doesn't christian music talk about having sex with your wife or sitting at a dinner table with family? And how come Bible Study Fellowship never studied Songs of Solomon?

A christian dating service?

Shouldn't christian bookstores give away the Bible for free?

Where in the Bible does "christian" become an adjective instead of a noun?

How come christian statues are naked but not the organist?

Why is ordination an academic test and not a spiritual test? And if they flunk an ordination exam why can they take it again? Maybe it is a sign that they are a witch and they should be burned at the stake.


Why don't we celebrate the Lord's Supper by sitting down and eating supper together?

What is the next christian fad?

* What would Jesus do if He was on a committee

"...Worms, Roxanne!"

I just got out of a CommonFIRE meeting where we introduced those who are new to the community to the why we have the program and the Outdoor School. I was reflecting back over the past 4 years of people that have been going through it and some of the complaints and "failures" that were brought to my chair.

Many of complaints were the same. "Why should a christian program run a program where they cannot mention the name of Christ to public school kids?"

Very dear friends left because they were frustrated over this. What kind of ministry cannot preach? It seems that they think that making disciple is solely an oratorial action. It is more a kinesetic action. I think it was Francis who said, "Preach the gospel always and when necessary use words." Jesus said depart from me because I never knew you. Then he explains the visitations of the hungry, thirsty, naked, imprisoned... not NOT once did he say you didn't preach. I think it is important that people know that we are following the way of Jesus Christ, but it is huge that we are doing what He is doing.

People watch our actions to see if they reflect our words. We love to spout of the gospel, yet to live it out is difficult. We give honor to those who study words, yet seldom acknowledge those who live it out.

I think I am going to put my actions where my mouth is. I have an idea...

I just wrote it out but erased it because I would rather do it than tell you about it.

10 September 2006

..."Those who love sausage and obey the law should not watch either being made."

I think part of my problem, and I think it is my problem, that I have been a part of the planning and execution (maybe a poor choice of words) of worship services for the past 30 years and heard a lot of complaints and opinions from people who aren't involved in the planning less alone the execution. (Although they have killed more times of worship than I would care to remember.)

When I was in college I use to make doughnuts. I wouldn't call myself a baker, but more of a maker. There was this great machine that would punch out the dough into a ring onto a conveyor which would send it through a process of rising and frying and cooling before it was dipped into the chocolate or maple or sugar by Loretta my partner in late night doughnutry. I would make sure that the machine was kept stocked with dough for the right amount of doughnuts to be made for the general public and more importantly for the Fort Ord Military base on the Monterey Peninsula. I felt my job contributed to the protection of our great country and some other countries who really didn't want us there but loved the commerce the armed forces brought to the economy. (Kind of like the Yosemite tourons (tourists) in Oakhurst - we can't stand their driving but they keep my kids employed at the espresso drive-thru.)

Sometimes the doughnuts would fall off the conveyor and get trapped on the bottom where I would have to clean it out at the end of the shift. The amount of grease in a cold doughnut was sickening. I would squeeze a one periodically and be repulsed by the grease. I started questioning whether it was right to feed these to the public and definitely was it the best thing for our military? A moral dilemma. Was this the best nutritional meal for people? Was I somehow contributing to the heart disease of our people?

Well, don't worry about it, it is only a doughnut, for Christ's sake. It is only a good tasting quick snack. I wouldn't call it a meal. It does bring a good feeling when you eat it, especially with coffee. There are plenty of other problems that are causing worst karma, and people need to eat, don't they? Don't worry about it and add some coconut or sprinkles on it, its fun and the kids love it!!

I don't know why this made me think of worship...

07 September 2006


As I was preparing for this weekend's conversation at Open Door in Walnut Creek, it is causing me to think about some stuff of worship and ministry. I like gathering with people who are serving God by serving people. Our worship is different than gathering with people who haven't thought much about God since last time we gathered.

I am not judging these people (maybe I am), but I like hearing stories of faith rather than complaints about music or the sermon. A good sermon or a moving song are bonuses to worshipping The Quiet Voice...

04 September 2006

02 September 2006

Taylor Update...

I spent the day today with Taylor. Her spirit is amazingly mature. She sees the doctor weekly and needs to spend a lot of time resting. We wait and pray...