30 April 2007

Blood and flesh...

The final piece to the Revolution is about commitment to the Body instead of only being consumers of other's endeavors. Much of what we seem to discuss as believers is worship and how it affects us. We need to spend some time talking and thinking about what we do to affect the lives and worship of others. What do we commit ourselves to within and outside the Body. Do we put the kind of "love through thick or thin" that affects the life within the Body. Or do we only consume until we are bored, tired, unimpressed, unentertained... and then move on to new troughs of worship?

Communion invites us into the relationship between Jesus and the work of the Kingdom in the world. It binds us, creates in us, and empowers us to do that which Jesus is doing in Heaven. It invites us to be partakers and comrades in what the Kingdom is about here on Earth. It calls us into our neighborhoods, classrooms, local, state, and federal governments, relief work as well as quality work here in our jobs and studies. It should affect our designers and architects, teachers and garbagemen, policemen and landscapers all bringing the work of the blood and flesh of the Savior to this planet. After a Sunday of partaking in the Eucharist, there should be the manifestation of the blood and flesh in our work, talk, and thoughts. The catholics have it right... the wine and bread do become the blood and flesh of Christ. Us! We are His body! We are not just the Body of believers, we are His body! What is it accomplishing via heaven today?

He set us into the garden to do the work of His Kingdom not ours. Not what pleases us, but what brings glory and honor to Him. We need to become stewards of this work, not owners, for one day the owner will return and ask us what did we do with the children, the forest, the ocean, the air,...

27 April 2007

Time to remember...

We heard yesterday that Dorothy Lyons, the wife of the first executive director Ted Lyons, passed away.

I have fond memories of Dorothy as she and Ted lived in the Ranch House, when I first came up in 1974 which was always open for conversation and maybe a little Armenian delicacies like basturma, lahmajoon, and baklava. It changed my life. She was the mom to many of us during the summer. She would have great concern for me as I pulled pranks and was a bit the rebel. But she always would find the time to talk and listen. I remember sitting in their living room watching television with them the day Nixon resigned. Dorothy was more than a wife of Ted's, she was a important quiet pillar in the history of Calvin Crest.

To Tedd, James, Diran, Candy, Jackie, and the rest of the Lyons family, thank you for sharing your mother and grandmother. Those were great years and her love and instructions helped shape me in many ways. We rise up and say with you,
"Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all."
Psalms 31:29

26 April 2007

An important day...

Today was a day long awaited. Scott Henderson, the new executive director of Calvin Crest, hired an arborist, one who works with trees, to come up and give us some advice on our grove of apple trees. She gave us detailed instructions on clearing out the dead branches, pruning, soil management, organic pesticides and fungicide. I know this doesn't sound like much but we have over 50 trees on the property that hasn't been cared for in many, many years.

I am very impressed with Scott's assessment of Calvin Crest and her staff, grounds, systems, and assets. Making that call to bring someone up here to give us valuable information showed that he cared a lot about the history and land, as well as trees to continue to make this camp a Godly place. Scott's concept of stewardship was on displayed today and was much appreciated by the staff.

Those of you who have fond memories of the life in the Apple Orchard will be excited to learn that we plan to make it an annual event in a year or so to have an apple festival or something similar as a family event. Stay tuned...

(The picture above is of Scott and his wife, Julie)

22 April 2007

I gotta show you this...

David, Taylor's husband and father of Ben and Jack, built the twins a carriage for the hills at Calvin Crest. I am very impressed with his skills, and more importantly, his heart...

21 April 2007

Popi Update...

Jack and Ben at a little over 4 months...

Remember this...

An athletic, beautiful radical comes running down the isle of mediocrity, heaves a sledge hammer into the screen of propagandic diatribe disrupting the message and destroying the medium. Then the message comes on the screen introducing the new Macintosh. I remember when this ad for a new computer came out. "Wow. I gotta get me one of them," I thought. The commercial was shown during the Superbowl in 1984. A few months later, the guy that I was working with back then in a graphic design studio went out and bought one. It was revolutionary. Changed the way we thought in many ways. More than just a computer, it was a social statement, an artistic statement, a change for the commercials for the Superbowl (that is when the excitement for the commercial equaled the excitement for the game.), a cultural shift as well, and it wasn't a DOS computer.

We read George Orwell's '1984' in 1970 and wondered what it would be like in the future. Communism was a threat, would we be beaten by the Russians? Would we become so bureaucratic that we become numb to the beauty and outrageousness of nature and the glory of God that it mysteriously expresses? Would creature comfort replace adventure and wonder? Would technology define our existence? Would there be flying cars?

I love the Mac commercials today. Same thing message just a different package...

I need to add this one by request from my friend, Jordan...

20 April 2007

Revolutionary thinking...

I am in a new accountability group. Our pastor put together a group of men for accountability and fellowship. We don't know each other yet which is interesting to be accountable to someone I don't know but I am encouraged by the caliber of people assembled. Accountability will take trust which takes time and wisdom.

Yesterday we 'lectio divina'd' the first half of Romans 12. I was impressed upon by the two verses,

Romans 12:1-2
"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

If this isn't radical talk of revolution I don't know what is. "...mercies of God, ...living and holy sacrifice, ...spiritual service... do not be conformed... ...be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may prove what the will of God is...good, acceptable and perfect."

I don't see that as a one time event at a campfire on a Wednesday night and then going to church once a week. Allow the "mercies of God" to change the system of your life so that you would be a part of the new regime. His Regime. His plan. His way. His standard. His results.

I am then struck that it then goes on to talk about the body with different gifts. As part of my living sacrifice I am to fulfill the post He as assigned me to. I have been AWOL for a while in the place He has called me. I took some time off to rest and realize that I am not finding rest but inactivity. That is not the same thing. There are seasons of commitments but this is different. I am not showing up for duty. I have filled that call with self and that has brought nothing but confusion and anxiety. There is nothing more restful and joyful than being in His plan and service.

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11 April 2007

Beginning the conversation...

I am in discussions with Invisible Children and other agencies of relief and awareness (Revolution) regarding how do we start the conversation of the world's condition with 4th through 6th graders? How can we use a facility and program such as ours to begin giving them a Biblical worldview that is aware of the poverty and oppression throughout the world?

We "condition" our children from formation to view the world with a set of lenses that are "Christian" the moment we bring them into the nursery at church when their born. Pictures, music, stories read, pictures stories colored with crayons and watercolor, crafts, etc. The stories we tell give a view of what is out there for the child. The stories we don't tell has as much affect in the shaping and worldview as the stories we do tell. If we leave out stories we create voids of understanding and could be producing prejudice and ignorances that warp Kingdom perspectives. John 9 tells a story of the disciples seeing a blind man and saying, "who sinned... that this man would be born blind." That thinking did not cause compassion but judgement and a bit of condemnation on this man. We tell stories of how America is blessed by God because of her wealth which causes many to look down on other third world countries as unblessed, thus causing prejudices and ignorance, and in some cases oppression because they are deemed less than equals.

Ask a kid about the love of Jesus for the world and she will tell you, "red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world." But when asked about what the conditions are that most people live in, they cannot tell you, nor even comprehend the devastation.

How do we begin the conversation with that age so that when they are in high school, they are not unaware and have a Kingdom heart for "the least of these..."?

08 April 2007

The new Responsibility...

This revolution isn't about overthrow, but participation. It is not about rebellion, but about commitment. It is not about us, it is about Him.

Easter is the center of the revolution, the Resurrection. It is not about remembering but about participation in the life of Jesus. The Holy Spirit was given as proof of the resurrected Jesus. Pentecost was a sign of power and truth. It fell on the followers, the remnant, who still believed, and spread to the new believer. It wasn't a liturgical day but a day of commitment. The commitment of the Spirit to us. We became participants in the Kingdom at that point, as we became empowered to do the things of the Kingdom. This wasn't just a good idea, it was the Way of the Kingdom. Empowered by the King to do the work of the Kingdom.

The word Easter is named for Eostre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. She is associated with the egg and with the hare, both symbols of procreation that have been enduringly incorporated by the church in the form of Easter eggs and the Easter bunny who brings them. Maybe this diminishes the reality of Resurrection, reducing an event to a chocolate bunny, an easteregg hunt, a bonnet, or a parade of new clothes can definitely take out the power of the spiritual and engage the material.

"He is Risen!" is more than a slogan, it is a battle cry. "We are empowered!" should be our response. It moves us from the sanctuary to the marketplace to bring the good news of the revolution, resurrection, to the oppressed and imprisoned. It is our responsibility, our authority (through the Holy Spirit) to set people free.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon you
Because he has anointed you to preach good news
He has sent you to the poor (This is the year)
To bind up the broken hearted (This is the day)
To bring freedom to the captives (This is the year)
And to release the ones in darkness

(This is the year) of the favour of the Lord
(This is the day) of the vengeance of our God
(This is the year) of the favour of the Lord
(This is the day) of the vengeance of our God

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon us
Because he has anointed us to preach good news
He will comfort all who mourn (This is the year)
He will provide for those who grieve (This is the day)
He will pour out the oil of gladness (This is the year)
Instead of mourning you will praise

by Andy Parks

This is Viva la revolution.

06 April 2007

Getting a good seat...

This morning I woke up thinking about Zaccheus, a wee little man was he. The story can be found in Luke 19:1-5.

I was impressed that I need to get into a good position to see Jesus. Don't worry my reformed friends, I don't think that it is about I have to do something so He will do something. If He is coming to town, I want to be in a good position to see Him. I need to turn my eye upon Him, turn my thoughts upon Him, spend time with Him, and wait for Him...