Thursday, September 13, 2012

east 17th street thoughts

Drinking coffee on the porch with my wife is by far the most relaxing half hour of my week.  We watch the rain.  We listen to Dustin O'Halloran on the piano.  We talk and laugh about our days.  We hold hands.  We stare at our street and dream a bit.  Its a purposeful time of loving.

And thats just the thing, we're purposely telling the world to wait.  Wait until we step back into its chaos and calm.  We don't have to be responsible or reachable or alert.  We need to listen to some rain, drink strong coffee, and be still.

So today, #1 on my top five goes to these 30 minutes.

much love

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


my first year in guam is coming to a close, or at least the college year. now is the time i start evaluating everything we've done. i have to look at all the notes from our events, rehash all the bible studies, and wrestle with every event or idea that didn't get a followup. this is a stressful time for me. i've always been a tough critic of my own work or ministry, so at times i can focus on all the unfinished or the "unsucessful", or the "not so attended."

But this year, this semester, will be different. i'm going to first celebrate the blessings. i'm going to purposefully praise and give thanksgiving first. the good things we've seen are from Jesus anyway, so before i get frustrated at myself or guam, i'll celebrate Jesus.

i'll let you know how it goes and the specifics as we go along.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fight! Fight! Fight! (in a schoolyard chant)

because now i'm the most inconsistant blogger in the world, i'm vowing to try to write more frequently. its been a crazy semester.

i'm reading a really good book by frank mcCourt. its his story growing up in sad, impoverished ireland. so good. so aweful. very sad. but i like it and want to punch him for being able to write so much better than i can but he's old and its not good to punch older guys. so i just read.

i have this friend who plays a college sport. and this friend i have told me today that one of her teamates was getting picked on by this girl down the hall so they all met at the lake to fight. now, i'm not a guy who condones fighting... but there's a point to this story. so they get to the lake and the entire team is on one side and all the other girl's friends are on the other... the two girls fight and there's no clear winner and they all go their separate ways.

when the teamate gets in the car with her team she tearfully asks, "did i do okay?" and they all embrace her and tell her how good a fighter she is and how she stood up for herself blah blah blah... but they also tell her they are proud of her. she beams. she had the respect and pride of her team. she won.

again, i don't think fighting is good. bad actually. but i think belonging is wonderful, and some of us will fight to do it. we'll rally around each other because the entire team is there watching. we'll scrap and claw to belong, to be a part, to have community.

i wonder what community would be like in our college ministry is we ALL felt like we were fighting (peacefully) for something grand. if one of us was in trouble would we rally around them and tell them how great they are doing and how much we believe in them? why do we let each other flounder and begin to sink rather than cheering them on and hugging their neck when the trial is over? in galatians we're told to carry one anothers burdons, that doing so actually fulfills Christ's law. his 2nd most important of them all...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

easter clothes

we got back from our trip to saipan this weekend. it went really well. i can't talk about details of the trip online because of international problems, but if you'd like to hear about it please give me a call. i loved it.

easter has of course steered most of my thinking toward the ressurection. because i'm the worst missionary ever, i missed the sunrise serivce here and thus missed church on easter sunday. easter sunday. the day everyone and their pets go to church and the college missionary misses. i'm rediculous.

but i've been thinking...

when peter went to the tomb what did he find? the grave clothes. i thought about this all day and didn't really have a reason. it was just stuck in my brain. and then i thought of Jesus telling lazerus to come out of the tomb where he was laying. Jesus tells the people to "unbind him." or literally, take the grave clothes off the man. i've been struck with the grave clothes the past week.

i wonder if many of us walk around with the grave clothes on. Paul tells us to "clothe yourselves with christ" and to "put on" such attributes as righteousness and gentleness and patience. what an intresting way to tell us how to live. we are to clothe ourselves with the life and way and heart of Jesus. some of us need to be unbound. we need to take off the grave clothes. we need to wear righteousness.

Jesus being alive should encourage us to be the same. don't just act alive. be alive. wear aliveness. don't just act compassionate. be compassionate. wear compassion like a coat. i know this may sound strange and its still being worked out in my brain, but its all i've been thinking about this easter.

enjoy your new easter clothes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

the life of the party

i haven't written in a while because my mac is injured at the moment. i spilled an entire cup of coffee into the computer. INTO the computer. its not pleased.

the other day i was in the gym with my good friend andrew for our daily workout. and when i say workout i really mean being at the gym laughing like crazy at whatever jokes and commentary we can throw at each other. honestly we laugh most of the time we're supposed to be lifting. well this particular time i laughed hard enough to almost drop weight on my head and fell off the bench. this of course drew a little attention from other gym patrons, but they didn't think it was as funny as we did. they looked at me like i was stupid. and they're right i'm sure, but i got to thinking. is there a rule about laughing or smiling in the gym? do we have to hold looks of intensity or can we genuinely enjoy the few hours we're there?

and then i started thinking about the life of Jesus and all the parties he went to. he ate and drank enough for the religious leaders to accuse him of being a drunk and a glutton (that makes me laugh by the way). when people came to Jesus, they threw him a party, and he enjoyed it. matthew becomes a jesus follower and invites all his buddies over to the house to meet Jesus. i think this was because Jesus was a joy to be around.

Jesus was a joy to be around.

i love thinking about that simple statement. he smiled. he laughed. he gave high fives and used puns in his stories and chased kids around and hugged people. we are supposed to live the same joyful lives. it should be said of us that we are a joy to be arond. people should like our company, not run from it. why is it that sometimes christians are the most serious, unfunny, stern-faced individuals in a crowd? why can't we be the most exciting?

now i don't know that we should be dancing on tables next time we go out to eat, but maybe you can chase your kids or tell a joke or throw a party just because. maybe we can grin a lot and be the kind of people who get invited over to dinner. maybe we can be like the Jesus who was a true joy to be around.