31 July 2008


Genesis 1:1-5 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

If you have been with me for any length of time you know that one of my favorite Hebrew words is towb. The word in Hebrew text is pictured above. The word is God saw that the light was GOOD. I have been thinking all year about that line, "what makes it towb? And I came up with it is towb, not because God said it and that makes it good but because it was that which God had intended the outcome to be. Something isn't good because it isn't bad, it is good because it follows the way of God.

I have been thinking about what I have been about and wondering if it has been towb. Am I doing not just the right things but the towb things?

17 July 2008

The road...

I was looking in my mirror this morning and I saw a lot more gray and a lot more tan. The gray was in my hair and beard and the tan was on the top of my head where their is no gray or hair.

I went out to my office which overlooks the road down the middle of camp and saw a number of staffers who were Sherwood campers (4th - 6th graders), not so long ago. I then began to ponder how many people have come through this place in the last 16 years since I have been here and began to miss them very much. Some of these people have been very significant to the philosophy of ministry here. I still talk to some of them and type to others. Others I run into periodically as they drop off their beautiful sons and daughters for their week of camp (some are coming to their second year of highschool camp, for mercy sake!)

I am having conversations with people who are now on staff who are about ready to jump into their careers and leave us. I am happy for them but I begin to feel the pains begin again. I am excited for them and wonder how many people have left this place that I haven't seen since - and begin to miss them already. I remember being a teacher and feeling the same thing.

Each of us have been given time and space from God and I am very honored that I get to be a part, no matter how much, of many people's and cannot not feel sad but honored. And can see how they have influenced my space as they spent time with me...

05 July 2008

Germs, the new killer of redemption...

I wonder if those of us who live in relative easy lives really understand the redemptive message of the Good New of redemption in Christ Jesus. Not that it is really complicated, but that it is in relationship to people who are living outside of an intimacy with God.

I bought the assurance policy back in 1974, April 19. I was headed to heaven because of a free gift from God through the Beloved Son, Jesus the Nazarene. I had done that a couple of times in elementary and Junior high but this was different, I was going to heaven when I die. Guaranteed. I was a drug addict, set free and needed to tell others that they could be set free and go to heaven, because Jesus washes us white as snow. Some told me that I could fall away, be aware; others said I would never lose my ticket to heaven, be assured. This was perplexing. I found out it depended on which church I went to as to whether or not once saved - always saved.

I saw grace, the Gift of Redemption At Christ’s Expense, when people got saved but I never saw much difference in the world around them. Some went on to seminary, and came back with a different assurance and others became parents and elders, business owners and workers, teachers and educators, a lot of Starbucks associates, and a variety of other placements.

I didn’t see the peace that passes understanding, then I thought I guess I will see that in heaven. The same with justice, equity, risk, courage, passion, greater love... heaven must be a wonderful place. No war, no injustice, no worrying about cholesterol or salt, spiritual bodies with great metabolism, and no need for eye glasses.

But I got hopeful when I read that Jesus told the disciples to tell people that the Kingdom of heaven is at hand. He went on to say that when the Spirit of God comes, greater things will you do. The Kingdom is now and the power of Spirit is given to us? Wow! Some told me it was but it was only a short dispensation and now we are just left with the stories of heroes and mystery. The spirit retired after its stint with the apostles who died on fire, on crosses and on islands. "Today we have truth."

I asked about why there are so many denominations and splits from denominations to create new denominations, that split to create new denominations, that split... And they said that they are arguing over the interpretation of the Truth. Many told me they are concerned with this generation because they don’t believe in absolutes anymore. Huh, I wonder if they are just tired of the “splitting interpretations” and are looking for the Truth outside of the community who think they really have found the truth as long as it has a beat you can dance to.

I wonder if there is any correlation with the lack of courage and the rise of pornography addiction. Not that pornography has stolen courage, but we have protected our children so much that they are afraid to risk let alone leave home without their bottle of Purell antibacterial hand cleaner. I am seeing teenage boys with a packet of handiwipes in their wallets incase they get lucky and touch something that just might not be 100% free of germs and bacteria, living dangerously. So when germs are more of a concern than courage I can see why we are in such deep hoisen sauce.

How do we raise up courageous people who aren't more afraid of what they will catch on the airplane ride over than the place they will be loving people in? How can we redeem when we live in such a worry and care over microscopic germs and bacteria yet never seeing the world wide tragedy in the neighborhood around us. Redeeming the curse is a life with high risk and great boldness. Courage in spite of fear or panic is needed to bring redemption to those who don't have any money to buy handiwipes...