Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Baby Steps

This year has been a challenge for me on many levels;
We returned to the relatively tame world of life in Orange County after living in the relatively wild world of the Middle East.
I have worked 3 different jobs in hopes of paying the bills instead of relying on one steady paycheck.
I have spent the majority of my time interacting with people who are not-yet-Christians instead of spending the majority of my time working with people who basically believe the same as me.

All of this is perhaps just a season in life that sometimes feels like it will kill me and sometimes feels like this is the only thing that makes me feel alive. Some of the experiences from this year have reminded me of what it really means to be a follower of Jesus and it has made me think that all of us who serve as pastors should probably experience some of these things from time to time.

Some of the biggest lessons/ challenges have been:
1. Humility- Someone once said, "you can't lead if you can't serve". This year has been a great challenge in humility as I put on my green robe and serve my neighbors, friends, and uptight customers. I still feel tempted at times to explain to everyone why I am working in a job normally held for college students as I see the look in the eyes of others who feel superior to this lowly barista.
Jesus rolled up his sleeves and washed feet, I guess I can handle making lattes.

2. Compassion- A group of guys who meet every morning in my store told me, "Right here, every morning... this is our church. This is spirituality to us". As a pastor I miss these people because I spend so much time in "sacred" spaces. It is amazing to spend a good amount of time in this space so that I can listen, encourage, and pray for the people who have yet to experience the love of Jesus in their lives. To grow in my compassion for the majority of people who don't have a place to connect is an invaluable lesson.

3. Unity- I am a part of a small church that absolutely needs the encouragement and support of others. We borrow a building from an amazingly gracious local church, we received sound equipment from another church community, I help out another local church from time to time with teaching their youth, and several other pastors from a network of churches (Mosaic Alliance) encourage me and keep me going. The Church is so much bigger than us, we are just one of many and joining with others with no feelings of competition is the way Jesus wants us to be.

4. Desperation- I have the privilege almost every week with interacting with people who do not-yet-believe who need to hear that there is a God who loves them and who has been pursuing them. I've been able to listen to the stories of brokenness and pain from others and I have been able to enter in to their stories. The thing with all of this is that it is far beyond my capabilities. I have to cling to God and desperately depend on His leading and guidance. When we are pushed beyond what we think we can handle, we find ourselves right where we need to be.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day

I think Father's Day was invented by mothers.

On Mother's Day, the kids spend as much time as possible with the fathers.
On Father's Day, the kids spend as much time as possible with the fathers.

On Mother's Day, the fathers attempt to cook dinner for their family.
On Father's Day, the fathers BBQ dinner for the family.

On Mother's Day, fathers use their money to try to buy something nice for the mothers.
On Father's Day, mothers use the father's money to try to do something nice for the fathers.

All in all, it probably works out this way for a reason. The mom's usually do a much better and more thorough job parenting than us fathers do and they need these breaks.

For me, I was able to sleep in ( a nice start to the day), I got to play "beat-up monster" with the boys, I got a great card from Ian and a clay heart-shaped ashtray, I went bike riding with the boys while Sara got to stay home and rest (clean), I gave the dog a bath, I relaxed for a while while Ben napped, I cleaned the garage, I BBQ'd dinner, I had a raspberry pie that Sara and Ian made, and got a back rub to end the day.... I like Father's Day.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Radical Minimum Standards

What if everyone who said they followed Jesus lived by a radical minimum standard? Could we all think like this...

"I had entered the kingdom believing that every believer lived by a radical minimum standard and lived for the expansion of the kingdom of God. The standard was no extraordinary thing, just ordinary Christianity. To hear the voice of God, to be led by God's Spirit, to be God's witness among the nations, and to see God's power translate into the transformation of the human heart- this was our one calling" - E. McMannus in "The Unstoppable Force"

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


It has been a while since I have updated any photos so here are some relatively recent photos of the kids.

Monday, June 01, 2009


What's wrong with the world?

It's already June 1st.

I must be getting old because I find myself saying things like, "time sure is going by fast this year". and "I Just don't know where this has gone".

We are now in the countdown for the final days of school so this time of year is actually really fun with kids. They are excited for summer and the chance to move on to the next grade. I remember what a big deal it was to achieve these milestones growing up. Now they are just reminders that the older we get the more life all just blends together.... Okay, enough sounding like this. Happy June 1st.