21 June 2008

A new thang...

I am starting to put my thoughts about camping on a blog other than this one. If you are interested, you can check it out at by clicking here.

17 June 2008

An open letter...

Dear Penny,

You have been asking what is God doing with us and I have been putting it off for a couple of reasons. First, I am not sure that it is the Creator or me and second, I do not want to speak for anyone else but I can try to give you my perspective.

My heart is tired of being disappointed by leadership so I might have a bit of a chip on my shoulder and I am trying not to let that influence what I think God is saying. I am also very conflicted about what I think God is doing in the US, in California, in a little town called Oakhurst, and in a fat, bald guy who is at a camp, VERSUS what I see going on with many in the world who are suffering terribly. So when I compare that our number of campers are small, gas is at an all time high and rising, I am gaining weight, etc. I have to weigh that against what is going on to many, many in the world who are starving, malnourished, drinking polluted water, government troops are killing many, if they aren't rebel troops are and many flee their homes and leave behind family and friends who may be dead or missing. It seems that my inconvenience is being perceived as life threatening, which it is not by any stretch of the imagination.

But what I am hearing God say to me is about me returning to the first love, relight the fire, only this time with truth and not emotions. Allow the truth to set me free instead of being on the rollercoaster of feelings and conflicts. I asked what does that mean, to relight the fire of truth and I was led to study Genesis and begin there. I began to ask myself, do I believe what it says in just the first verse, that God created the heavens and the earth? I think I do but then I am asking what would my life look like if I truly believe that it is about what God had intended rather than what I want it to be.

Do I give things time for the Spirit of God to hover over and begin to see things in the spirit as well as in the rational mind? It is hard to wait for the Spirit to finish hovering before I take over and rationally get 'er done. I pray for God's blessing instead of waiting for instruction. When God begins to speak am I listening for The Voice or listening to fear's loud voice?

Do I watch with eyes of the Craftsman who sees that it is good-measuring against the intention? Do I let The Voice define what is good or am I more concerned about people with influence and intimidation or do I play it safe so I don't lose my job or standing in the community? I know this should be how we do everything but I have a sense that I need to go back and check the foundation before I concern myself with the ascetics of how it looks.

I tend to follow cultural shifts instead of being a steward of that which God has give me responsibility. I can be concerned with the environment if it is prudent or I can be responsible because I called to be a steward. I tend to get wrapped up in being caring about the poor and oppressed because there are some cool graphics or bracelets instead of hear God say that "...it is not good for man to be alone..." and that I become a friend to those who do not have one while being a steward of the Kingdom.

I have been given instructions and freedom to choose what I consume from a bounty of trees in the garden, yet I end up eyeing and rationalizing my way into a stomach full of consequences of a life that is outside of the beautiful place that God created for me. I tend to then complain that a loving God wouldn't give me the consequence of my choices instead of taking full responsibility and then looking to pay for my choice. My choices are what I think is best for me aside from what The Creator planned for me. It wasn't the fruit that caused my eyes to be open it was looking to places that weren't intended for me to gaze. I became intimate with the outsider, and ended up moving into his neighborhood.

I think what God is telling me and showing me is really what is going on in my life...

Hope this makes sense.

10 June 2008

The shirt...

No controversy, you say? Then you have never read Genesis 1-3. This makes the Revolution into a tea party.

01 June 2008

I still remember...

When I was in eighth grade, my teacher, Mr. Stone, gave us an assignment as part of our U.S. government curriculum, to research those men (there were not any women running for President in 1968) who are the candidates with who we most identify. There were many who were running that year:
Roger D. Branigin, Governor of Indiana
John G. Crommelin, retired US Navy Admiral from Alabama
Paul C. Fisher, businessman and candidate for the 1960 nomination from Pennsylvania
Hubert H. Humphrey, Vice President of the United States and former senator and candidate for the 1952 and 1960 nominations from Minnesota
Robert F. Kennedy, U.S. senator from New York and former Attorney General
Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States from Texas
Thomas C. Lynch, Attorney General of California
Eugene J. McCarthy, U.S. senator from Minnesota
George S. McGovern, U.S. senator from South Dakota
Daniel K. Moore, Governor of North Carolina
George A. Smathers, U.S. senator and candidate for the 1960 nomination from Florida
Stephen M. Young, U.S. senator from Ohio


Frank Carlson, U.S. senator from Kansas
Clifford P. Case, U.S. senator from New Jersey
Hiram L. Fong, U.S. senator from Hawaii
John V. Lindsay, Mayor of New York City
Richard M. Nixon, former Vice President and 1960 presidential nominee from California
Ronald W. Reagan, Governor of California
James A. Rhodes, Governor of Ohio and candidate for the 1964 nomination
Nelson A. Rockefeller, Governor of New York and candidate for the 1960 and 1964 nominations
Winthrop A. Rockefeller, Governor of Arkansas
George W. Romney, Governor of Michigan and candidate 1964 nomination
Harold E. Stassen, former Governor of Minnesota and candidate for the 1944, 1948, 1952 and 1964 nominations
John A. Volpe, Governor of Massachusetts
William C. Westmoreland, US Army General and Commander of US Forces in South Vietnam from South Carolina

I chose Robert Kennedy. I was fascinated by JFK, I remembered coming home from school for lunch and seeing my mom in front of the television crying and heard that the president was assassinated. I had never heard that word before. It then became a very common word throughout my life. JFK, RFK, & MLK.

Robert Kennedy seemed to bring those without voice into the light. Farm workers, rural poor, urban poor, etc. He brought to the forefront that the USA has been a strong nation for those in other countries and now we should do the same for those who live here. I lived in farm country and many of my friends were children of farm workers as well as farmers. I knew the people he was talking about. The very day and hour Dr. King was shot, Robert Kennedy gave an eloquent speech to the african-american people of Indianapolis, Indiana. He was speaking in the very poor section of the city and many told him not to go in there, not tonight. Here is what he said:

Ladies and Gentlemen - I'm only going to talk to you just for a minute or so this evening. Because...

I have some very sad news for all of you, and I think sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.

Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it's perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in.

For those of you who are black - considering the evidence evidently is that there were white people who were responsible - you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge.

We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization - black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion and love.

For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.

But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to get beyond these rather difficult times.

My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He once wrote: "Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

(Interrupted by applause)

So I ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, yeah that's true, but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love - a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke. We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We've had difficult times in the past. And we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; and it's not the end of disorder.

But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land.

(Interrupted by applause)

Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.

Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people. Thank you very much.

That was impressive, even for an eighth grader.

Robert Kennedy flew into Fresno and my father, an avid Nixon supporter, took me to see him speak. Even more impressive. Then on the night of the California primary, I couldn't stay up for the results of the elections, it was a school night, I asked my dad if he would tell me the results in the morning. He then woke me in the morning and told me the terrible news, "Robert Kennedy won, but was assassinated in Los Angeles after his victory speech."

I can still feel the fear, shock, dismay, lostness, and hopelessness of that moment...

My dear friend Spinner sent me this link: CLICK HERE