Monday, November 30, 2009

Give Your Best To Relationships

A boy and a girl were playing together. The boy had a collection of marbles. The girl had some sweets with her.

The boy told the girl that he will give her all his marbles in exchange for her sweets. The girl agreed. The boy kept the biggest and the most beautiful marble aside and gave the rest to the girl. The girl gave him all her sweets as she had promised.

That night, the girl slept peacefully. But the boy couldn’t sleep as he kept wondering if the girl had hidden some sweets from him the way he had hidden his best marble.

Moral of the story:
If you don’t give your hundred percent in a relationship, you’ll always keep doubting if the other person has given his/her hundred percent..

This is applicable for any relationship like love, employer-employee relationship etc., Give your hundred percent to everything you do and sleep peacefully.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Help for a missionary

My daily read from the bible today was acts 27. And can I tell you that it was words to hear for a person in the mission field! This chapter outlines the hell Paul and other prisoners went through on their way to italy. Nothing went right, the threat of death hung over everyone from both nature and their captors. And when everything seemed to hit rock bottom, Paul gave words of encouragement saying, "we're gonna make it! But the ship is doomed."
But the ship is doomed? What!? I mean really, all most high omnipotent one? We're out here working proclaiming and teaching and working and sweating and the very ship keeping us afloat is guaranteed doomed? It just means so much from this year and three months: your work is ok and you will deal with it all and come out on the end, but remember that it's the journey and the end result, not the ship- not security and wealth or peace or family or all those things you cling to. It's as if god says,"I'm gonna strip you bare, you'll go without food for 14 days, the centurions are gonna threaten you with death regularly, and you're gonna want to die rather than continue...but this is all part of my plan. And I won't let you die, because you are mine, you hear me? I've got you, so STOP TRYING TO CLING TO THE COMFORT OF YOUR OLD LIFE!!" and then I think god would add some cute admonishment like "genius" or "brilliance" to us.
But as I write this, I have lost the furniture in my house to the battle of Caribbean mold, sleeping on a matress on the floor, I've now witnessed five cars go down to repair or regulations, I have no idea how to crank out the massive volume of work on my to do list, and my personal life swings back and forth from solid to precarious. I can't help but feel like these guys in Acts 27, but I read it and hear Paul say, "it's gonna look up, we're gonna make it...but the ship is doomed. Get over the ship, ladies and gentlemen."

-- Note to self: my ship is the preconcieved notion that even though I'm in America, things will work like they always do. But they don't. It takes two weeks and a lot of work to get a second day mail package, and people just don't read the fancy email newsletters and websites you create. Deal with it, that's your ship, and it's gonna sink...find a new way to get where you're going, and recommit to listening to Gods voice in scripture direct your path.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I think this speaks enough on it's own

1. When I say I love you, I mean that I feel a deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection, desire to offer attentive care and protection toward a you. I am filled with a feeling of intense desire and attraction towards you. I feel a sense of underlying oneness with you that fills my heart with joy.

2. I give my love to you freely, as an expression of my own passion, and I do so without any expectation of your feelings toward me.

3. When I say “I love you” it doesn’t mean that I feel ownership over you, or that I have expectations for your behavior, or rigid ideas of our future together.

4. I love you for what you are now, not for what I hope you will someday become. I have no plans to change you. I do, however, support your own desire to grow.

5. I respect your right to you having your own feelings, and to your need to learn your own lessons in life. If I can help, I will wait to be asked, and otherwise will allow you to go through the experiences that you need and choose.

6. I will do my best to be in touch with my own feelings and desires, and communicate them to you without any expectation that you will act on them.

7. I am happy with or without you. My bliss is my responsibility alone.

8. I leave you free to be yourself: to think your thoughts, indulge your tastes, follow your inclinations, behave in ways that you decide are to your liking. I have no right to judge or change your behavior.

9. I desire that you be happy. If your time spent with me is not joyful, then you are welcome to go on your way with my love and support still with you.

10. I recognize that we are two separate whole people, who have chosen to walk side-by-side through life for a time. I rejoice in the ecstasy of the present-moments we share together.

-- Note to self: remember to act with love, not desire or need. There's a fine line.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Doors and windows

It has been said that god never closes one door without opening another. It has also been said that you draw to you those things which resonate within your soul. It has also been said that God does not bring you to something you cannot overcome. Or what kills you makes you stronger.
I think all that is amazing advice - when you're not in the midst of the mud that describes it all. It's so easy or people on the outside of our situations to say, "keep it up, suck it up, whatever" but while in the midst of it, you are giving everything you've got just to keep breathing!
Sometimes we need a break. Sometimes we need to fight. In my experience, all of those "open doors" seem to happen when I'm just too selfish to acknowledge what's really going on around me. Those moments in which I disconnect for defensive purposes are always the times when I get knocked around and there's been a lot of both lately.
So what's my advice to the closed door? What's the best thing to do for a situation that god has led you to but wil not break you?
Jump out the dang window man.
Seriously! Break convention. Quit thinking in the box, get new energy by trying the thing you don't expect to work. Maybe god closed the door and brought you to the tough spot to make you jump out the window?

-- Note to self: to get something I've never experienced before, I mist do something I've never tried. Hold my hand, I'm jumping out the window...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Why we do what we do

1. Because each week I get an hour and a half with over 100 students of mixed race and religion and teach them the gospel message. Chapel services are aparrently te talk of the high school. Yes dear ones, teenagers looking forward to church! Of course, using beyonce and r Kelly for music helps, lol.
2. Because god has a lesson to teach you. A guy walked up to me yesterday, asked for some money. I didn't have a cent on me, and after a short repartee, he relieved himself on the street, and walked off. I just picked up the Indiana Jones bag, and quietly removed myself from the area of te growing puddle. I walked away, thinking, "god, open my eyes to see the face of Christ on that man, and surround him with your grace."
3. Because we are called. This isn't a job, and the lives I've touched and changed in 14 months has humbled me dearly. I feel a level of sadness knowing that the trials of this church on these islands is one that I cannot fix, and I must do what I can with whom god brings to me or guides me to.
4. Because the gospel is real. Seeing older parishioners of the churches I serve voice an inability to talk to others about their faith is truly heartbreaking. What have we been doing for fifty years if our elders can't express faith without reciting empty, typical, Christian propaganda? The discipleship program I'm running at the cathedral is mind blowing, and we're going to try a day long conference of it for all episcopalians in te islands in December. But I cannot bring blessing into houses that do not welcome it.
5. Because we weep with the heart of God. We are not self serving, but see all experiences as a chance to see christ in another. When god is hurting because of a situation, we weep too. And we do what we can, even if it isn't as far reaching as we might hope.

-- Note to self: remember why you do this work, and don't let anyone else chip away the mortar that holds your resolve. When it's over and you're coles elsewhere, you'll know. And even though the journey has had disappointments, it has also had profound triumph. Don't forget why you do what you do.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Yesterday I had an epiphany. A friend asked me a couple weeks ago why is I can't hear it when people express gratitude or appreciation. She asked in the spirit of replying to my attitude that typically just smiles and nods at people's comments about my work or my art. But I was taking (of all things) a facebook Meyers-Briggs quiz (ENFP, surprise surprise!) and this question was asked:
You react more strongly to which of the following:
1. Acheivement
2. Appreciation

And something clicked inside...that I really dont need or seek out people's appreciation or gratitude in response to my actions, I feel fulfilled when my actions have been a catalyst for positive growth that I can see. I don't want the church to thank me or recognize me because of my efforts, I want my efforts to bring it closer to god! I don't want my significant other to respond with deep words of gratitude for the things I do for her, I want to see her stand taller and walk with more peace in her heart because she knows she is worthy of the action and emotion I offer her.

And in all the ministry and projects and discernment and judgment that accompanies my life as a Missioner, if the only reply I get is to be introduced and clapped for and thanked like a mini-celebrity, then my heart fades a bit. But if my programs and sermons and systematic reform and training and mentoring are seeds that actully bring life or healing or the Holy Spirit more closely to another human being, then I will have received glory and thanks primarily from my god, not the world and The Accuser's ranting that i need a plaque and certificates to appreciate my own worth couldn't even be heard above the angel choir singing gods glory.

-- Note to Self: acknowledge deep within that the gratitude and appreciation of the world is STILL something of this world, but when your actions are a catalyst for spiritual growth and renewal, then god fills your heart with more power and grace than any recognition dinner ever could.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Sioux prayer

Printed in 1958 in Los Angeles newspapers to observe a World Day of Prayer

O great spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me.
I come before you, one of your many children.
I am small and weak.
I need your strength and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty andmake my eyes
Ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made,
My ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise, so that I may know the things you
Have taught my people, the lesson you have
Hidden in every leaf and rock.

I seek strength, not to be superior to my brothers,
But to be able to fight my greatest enemy - myself.
Make me ever ready to come to you with clean hands
And straight eyes, so when life fades as a fading sunset,
My spirit will one to you without shame

-- Note to Self: speechless. And humbled.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Getting things done

Our life in the church is governed by one law: love. Love Your god with all your heart, love your neighbor as yourself. Love. Period.
But, when in the course of human events, those with power or charisma or education come to places of power carrying their demons and weakness into that seat, we lose sight of the law of love. Those of us who work with everything we've got to keep that guide at front want to scream for them to remove ther craniums from their rectums, but I guess we all need a specialist sometimes to tell us what our granma's told us for free.
So what do we do? We see the tires spinning, we see lots of talk and little action, we see the least in our communities neglected because those with the most would rather talk their own lingo than get their hands dirty. What do we do?
We retreat unto him who made himself least. We revisit the teachings of him who called us to serve. We refocus on Christ and his gospel of love. Anything, anything else is something developed from this world...strategic plans, listening sessions, focus groups summits...throw it out the dang window, save yourself some heartache, and just listen to christ.
It's the only way you'll ever get things done.

-- Note to Self: stop trying to manage the whole damn world with your newfangled ideas...sit down with The Book and listen for once!

Monday, August 3, 2009


We all need some kind of security. Wether we're in a different culture, down the street, or in our own house, I think security is something necessary to happiness.
I've been trying to get maintenance done on the Volvo for a week, and it's been a domino effect of problems one after the next. And suddenly, the only thing I own down here is bringing me a sense of insecurity where before it brought freedom.
So what brings security in your life? A significant other? A home, car? Memory?
I'm sitting here in the caribbean and feeling my security (all ready low) drift lower because of a car? Seriously??! Oh me of little faith!! Time to figure out what is going on and readjust some priorities...I got lots of battles to fight and there is no way a material thing should give me grief.

-- Note to Self: find ways to give myself security that doesn't rely on worldly, breakable things. Give to Ceasar what is his and give to God what is his, simple and true. Because the more faith I put into the powers of this world, the more pain I can feel down the road.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ups and downs

Life has a strange way of leading you on a roller coaster. One day, everything is swimming along fine and easy, the next day you're slack-jawed wondering what in the world just happened and why have all the rules suddenly flip flopped.
God calls each of us to walk a journey. A journey with twists and choices and stops and sprints. Our job is not to understand the "why's" of the journey, or to try and plan out our own version of things that makes God's plan obsolete. Our job is to let the occurances and trials of today and yesterday be the testing ground whereby we can go deep into the truest parts of ourselves. It's an inward journey, not external.
I think this is the root of unhappiness and depression and anxiety...that we focus too much on conquering the world in our name and lose track of the real meaning of life: to discover ourselves and grow from what we find. If you work your tail off to build a flash house with bells and gold and marble, and a hurricane comes and tears it to pieces, are you devastated? Why? But if your house is not built of wood and stone, but of experiences, memories, and friends, then no storm of any size can tear it down.
Jesus said, build your treasure in heaven (the spirit) and not on earth (the body).

-- Note to self: get rid of everything I don't need to survive...let God provide the things necessary to thrive.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Getting Deep

Here are some steps ot self hypnosis: fun stuff, and works, too. Try it and let me know what happens?

  1. Close your eyes and take 10 slow deep breaths – in through the nose, and out through the mouth. Say to yourself the word ‘Relax’ on each out breath.
  2. Imagine yourself at the top of 10 steps, with a door at the bottom. With every slow step you take down, feel yourself becoming deeper and deeper relaxed.
  3. When you get to the bottom open the door to your ideal place of relaxation. It could be a beach, a garden, anywhere. It could be somewhere real, or imagined – your own uniquely special relaxing haven.
  4. Use as many senses as you can. Take a good look around. Pause and listen to any sounds. Perhaps you can hear the call of a bird, or the breeze gently blowing. Perhaps you can smell the sweet scent of flowers, or the salt in the sea? Touch objects, and make the experience as real as you possibly can.
  5. Explore your relaxing haven, and enjoy it for as long as you wish.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Want to make God laugh? tell her your future plans...

It is so funny to me that we live in a world so full of strategic plans, life goals, measurable outcomes, tests, and performance anxiety. Why can't we just get it that if we were to stop and listen to the still small voice within that we would have all the guidance and acceptance we need?
Don't get me wrong here, i am a man of action...i have had to learn to make plans, and plan options, and i like being able to come into the office, write up my to do list for the day, and look at the end of work to see what i've been able to check off. Not having an idea and a direction can drive me nuts. Maybe it does you too, so here is a holy trinity of letting God direct your decision and planning:
1. Forget goals. Long term (NOT short term) goals are a quicksand pit to me. When you set big global goals and for one reason or another can't meet them, then you're worse than you started judge yourself and the world around you because of the failure. So focus on the next week, the next month, and at the very most, ask yourself where you want to be a year from now. Everything else is setting up for failure.
2. become a list person. When we try to keep the actions and needs in our lives confined to our head, we lose and forget things, or get overwhelmed by the enormous amount of projects and chores to do. So write it down! Make it a sacramental act of the inward change that you are clearing out these lists and dreams and nightmares to make room for the divine.
3. Talk to God. Converse with God. People who ask me about how i pray are appalled sometimes at the tone i use and the words i hear back from within during prayer time. The whole concept started with a book called "Conversations with God" where this guy started writing a letter to God to vent and complain about everything, and suddenly realized that answers to his questions were coming to him when he just wrote in stream of consciousness. Start with this kind of process. Write down a prayer to God, then write the first thing that comes to your mind. Eventually, you'll see the difference between God speaking and your own ego. And eventually, you'll leave the paper behind for a true inward dialogue with God. trust this...if we believe that through Christ we have a loving and creative relationship with God, then just blathering about a litany of "Good Lord, help me to (insert request here)" is really insulting to the Gospel message and Christ's work.

try these three. Maybe you'll begin to get less anxious, laugh more, relax more fully, and get yourself out of your own way because you've just made conscious effort to reunite with your creator, who knows you better than anyone, and who knew every strength and fault in your character and soul before you even took your first breath...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Shared joy is double joy, shared sorrow us half sorrow.

I get questions all the time about relationships from teens and peers. How you do you know it's right? What to do when you realize you've given to much of yourself, and your partner is still entrenched in their defensive walls? What happens when you can see a person for who they are deep down insIde, but the masks they wear hide that person more than you wish? Here's some thought:
1. God is one of creation. With words, creation was spoken into existence. With action though Christ, we have a continual connection to redemption and forgiveness with faith even as small as a grain of sand. And with our thoughts, we have the power to change our lives and the lives around us. When a relationship does not create new life within you, or when a relationship consistently (because there are those days) beats you down or saps your energy, then you know it's not of God. An incredibly simple concept, but one tough as nails to follow through on.
2. A relationship builds you up. It makes you grow, even the unhealthy ones (eventually). Most importantly, relationships from God are ones that help you reconnect with a deeper understanding of yourself and knowledge of who you are. When you try to become something you're not, or change who you are for any reason than personal growth as YOUR choice, then you have abandoned your true self, and become something other than what God has made you to are creating a false image, a false identity, and it will catch up to you.
3. We all wear masks, and we all carry the burden of memory and history. Taking time to help someone heal their pain is a noble thing, but in a friendship or romantic partnership, I have seen that the only way to be truly healthy is when two people come to together to mutually heal each other. One person should not be the catalyst for health and change by themselves- that's what counselors and spiritual directors are for- but together, equally balanced, a true relationship will cause both parties to grow stronger and happier and more honest (as a couple and individally). Don't get me wrong, there are days when one must lean on the other, but neither should be a crutch.

God based relationships, whether personal, professional, or romantic should be ones that create new life in the people involved. Conflict is unavoidable, but even in conflict or the aftermath of it, a person should be able to say, "that made me a better man/woman."

If not, then maybe the relationship was not intended for the purpose you are putting it to, and it's time to take a hard look at how this can be changed to reflect the divine's hope of reconciling each us to him(her) self.

-- note to self: remember that life is given and taken away. What has been, is now, and will be again. The relationships I hold close to my heart should be ones that help me fulfill my destiny, or create my own...if they break me down just to break me down, then maybe I need to readjust my boundaries.

Friday, April 17, 2009

"I'm sorry" -the hard lesson

I get jabbed by those who know me a little better for saying I'm sorry so much. I don't seem to remember being so apologetic about everything in previous parts of my life. Even though i try to live by by the addage "better to ask forgiveness than permission," that doesn't seem to explain it here either.
So I thought about it, a lot, and what I came up with saddened me a bit.
I am a reactive person who reads body language and inflection almost to a fault, which comes from a lifetime of working with teenagers who either can't or won't express themselves fully. I am also a person who had enjoyed learning of other cultures and being taught different ways of looking at our world.
In my past experiences: in New Zealand, Mexico, the UK, even Russia, when I didn't know something about the local culture I just asked...people knew I hadn't grown up there, they wanted to share their culture and lifestyle, they (at least to my perspective) saw my ingorance and attempt to learn as a positive step, and typically responded by setting the record straight.
But in the Islands, in my short time here, the reply is typically just plain harsh. People can be so quick to point out that I don't know the culture and leave it at that, with a look if triumph on their face. I find myself apologizing for my ignorance more than learning how to honor and respect this different way of being. And it has created a slight paranoia that much of what I do will always garner that kind of I've come to apologize quicker and for things that don't seem to make sense to apologize for...

-- note to self: I have got to give people the benefit of doubt. Just because my first days on island and emmersion in this culture garnered a certain response, doesn't mean that everyone will respond that way. And by assuming they WILL react harshly is just a shallow judgement on my part based only on history, not the moment and the person in front of me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

translate THIS into church life, will ya?

A preacher and an atheistic barber were once walking through the city slums. Said the barber to the preacher: "This is why I cannot believe in a God of love. If God was as kind as you say, He would not permit all this poverty, disease, and squalor. He would not allow these poor bums to be addicted to dope and other character-destroying habits. No, I cannot believe in a God who permits these things."

The minister was silent until they met a man who was especially unkempt and filthy. His hair was hanging down his neck and he had a half-inch of stubble on his face. Said the minister: "You must not be a very good barber because you wouldn't permit a man like that to continue living in this neighborhood without a haircut and shave." Indignantly the barber answered: "Why blame me for that man's condition? I can't help it that he is like that. He has never come in my shop; I could fix him up and make him look like a gentleman!"

Giving the barber a penetrating look, the minister said: "Then don't blame God for allowing the people to continue in their evil ways, when He is constantly inviting them to come and be saved."

Friday, April 10, 2009

From: a salty piece of land: one amazing book!

I experienced a bit of long-overdue silence, and what came to me was this: Life is, and always has been, a struggle. The fishing pole bends heavier for some than others, and nobody has yet to figure out why-just as you never know, when you make a cast, if what attacks your fly is a finger sized baby snapper or a tiger shark that can turn you into bait. Still, we struggle with the rod just the same. Life to me is like a fish on a line. When it is there, you feel it. You fight it. You gain line. You lose line. But if that line suddenly snaps, or the pole breaks, or a thousand other problems occur that fishermen use as excuses when the tension is gone, you feel it even more.
Jimmy buffet

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I spent a lot of time these past two weeks thinking about life here in the islands. Going home where friends and family and all things familiar can really make you wonder if you are where you're supposed to be.
But then I got off the plane.
I met robby and lyndsay, who were on island for the first time, didn't know where they could stay or where to start with their little vacation. I took them to the camp ground at Magens bay, told them the basics, and gave them my number in case they needed someone. I hadn't even re-hydrated and I was already knee deep in ministry.
Then I had one of the most amazing evenings with one of my friends here, and can only describe it as magical.
But it didn't was a day of teaching and counseling and being there for some of the All Saints students.
I hadn't even been here 24 hours, and I saw god working through me constantly. It was a gift beyond gratitude.

-- note to self: regardless of what I think I want or should have, there is a plan bigger than me, if I only take the time to look for it: wether it comes in talking pillars of fire, or a ten minute conversation with a random person on the street.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

When life catches up to you

This entry was written yesterday, my last on my spring break to WV

It's never an easy thing to see your parents aging. I'm sitting here in an emergency room, have been here for a couple hours while my dad lays on a bed and doctors can't seem to get their act together enough to figure out why he's in such pain. We thought it was kidney stones, something he's dealt with before, but it seems that is not the case.

So in moments like this, where your faith is tested and you scream out to God to please help this man find some peace and health...where the constant beeping and alarms of the emergency room remind you of your own's moments like these that life jus seems to catch up to you with a ten ton weight and drops you in the drink for a bit.

-- note to self: never take for granted the life you have or the people you have in it. One minute they are the strongest, indestructable people in existence, and the next they might be leaning on you for support. Both roles are equally important.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Roots and wings

I'm writing this from the high school auditorium of the school I graduated from 13 years ago. It's's's strange, haha.
I am a strong beleiver that a person cannot know where they're going until they accept where they're from. As I sit in the very place that helped me develop a love for music, a talent for art, and a need to meet and greet people constantly, I'm also reminded of how much I wanted to get out of this valley. That at the time, every thing in my life as focused on rising above my culture (as I saw it) and moving on to "bigger and better things."
But now, as I sit here, basking in the memories of musicals, madrigal dinners, choir concerts, football practices, and a near never-ending list of old thoughts, I have to wonder how many of us look at our home culture and environment with distaste instead of pride...something we need to conquer instead of steward...a place to leave behind instead of a place to invest in.

-- note to self: culture cannot truly be defined as better or worse...only different. Take who you are close to your heart and rejoice in it, and never judge where you come from by the standards of where you are right now...even if they're the same place!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Each person on this planet have their own idea of what the pace should be. One persons gentle stroll is another's sprint. One person who can love completely by their perspective might seem closed off to another.
But the root of mission work, maybe even the root of all ministry and even love (I believe) is the ability to see the world through another person's perspective. There are no fancy techniques, there isn't a class you can take, and there is definately no chance that a lightning bolt fix will enable you to suddenly "get" someone else's point of view.
But the opportunity to place this tool firmly in your arsenal comes as simply as taking the chance to try using it. Sometimes, like I did as close as last night, you completely misread a person's perspective. Other times, you can nail it dead on and not only reach them "where they are," but discover that we really aren't that different. You see that different persoectives show you a universal truth: that we all have fear and pain that we each uniquely carry, and by humbling ourselves to someone else's perspective and life can we truly use Christ as a role model, and change our lives.

-- Rolling with the iPhone

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What is love?

Is it the willingness to give up your creature comforts so another may live?
Is it the smile on my face every time you call or write?
Is it chemical? With the shortened breath and anxious stomach of the fairy tales?
Is it sacrificing your time and skills for another without a second thought?
Is it giving what knowledge and wisdom you have freely, so no one may ever be called ignorant?
Is it the thing that inspires music and art and dance?
Or the motivation to make yourself a better person simply because you want to be better for their sake?
Or never giving up hope, even when the bills stack up, you haven't slept in a week, and the kids are crying...keeping hope that together, you can get through everything?

What do you think it is?

-- Rolling with the iPhone

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

When balance beats you up

So today was this amazing day. Bob Marley and R Kelley in chapel, students passionately talking about changing their island and needing better role models, and some powerful spoken prayer time made for a literally spine tingling worship service.
But aferwards, I relearned a lesson about how God is one of balance. Balance has been a theme in my personal spiritual formation, knowing that for every action there is equal, opposite reaction. Karma is not an eastern philosophy to me, but a very prominent and sometimes ironic part of the Gospel message. But today it tried to grind me up.
I realized that I was getting in the way of the Spirit at chapel services...talking too much, worrying about the music and activities to the point that i was losing energy about the whole thing. Today, however, as I sat in the office this morning, I put my head down and gave up.
"you know, father, I'm doing this the wrong way."
"I know you are...but you do it so beautifully well!"
"thanks, but the thing today is that I don't even want you to tell me what to do. I want to get out of the way and let you do your cosmic thing. I'm at your complete disposal."
"well then meson, let's rock and roll"

And we did! It was amazing, miraculous in many ways. And completely grace-full that we were talking about redemption and being born again...huh.

But then came the "after conversation."
The only wrinkle-free shirt I had was a Steelers polo. (stop laughing friends, I CAN use an iron, I just...don't?) I was talking with a group of students outside and the conversation quickly turned into Steeler bashing. It was fun at first, me defending the blue collar boys, but I realized that i was really getting beat down by this conversation! I ended up just walking away, wondering why these young men and women were cranking on me and I was so up-ended over the thing.

Later two things dawned on me:
1. Dark and evil things don't like it when you give yourself up like we all did in church today, and will strike out when you least expect it.
2. It wasn't about the football team to me, it was about home. They were ripping on a symbol of my home, and I was clueless to prepare for it. (see number one?)

So, note to self:
When you let God in completely, things WILL go right, just not according to YOUR plan. But when you to that, don't hate the world when you suddenly find yourself backed into a corner and fighting for air. Because the closer we get to the light, the deeper our shadow becomes...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Born again?

I just finished sleeping for three days. I was THAT sick.
I wish I were exaggerating, and most of you who know me will probably think, "ha! that man ALWAYS exaggerates!"
Three days. No joke here...
I know i spent most of my waking hours doing one of two things:
1. Trying to eat
2. Talking to my newest friend on the phone

So i'm just putting it all together...three days of rest, new relationships, and our steady and constant push toward Easter. How does it preach?

This week at the Cathedral, we'll be talking about being born again, about how it is a steady process, about how it is NOT a once in a lifetime thing. And we'll be talking about how to redesign ourselves each and every day.

It is simply amazing what you'll see about yourself once you get some perspective and take a step back. I found out how i'm hiding and running away from myself in order to maintain a defensive reality here in the islands. Maybe you'll find a way to be take three days of rest or retreat to gain some perspective, and figure out how best to come back into the mix and renew your walk towards Easter's empty cross.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

EDVI meeting series

I don't spend as much time in meetings here as i did in southern ohio...i'm usually on the street or running the meeting, so for those of you who are used to the regular update of doodles from my time "in session," here's something to satisfy the old standards.

Monday, March 9, 2009

See this? THIS is my smile!

there are times in your life when you know without a doubt that that the magnificence and might of God himself has just manifested in front of you, smacked you a couple times across the cheek, blew a raspberry, and left you panting for breath and reaching deeper within yourself to attain new heights. At diocesan convention, those moments were:
1. watching the clergy of this diocese truly become a team
2. seeing one man kneel before another to seek closure and reconciliation
3. being present while bishop gumbs took this diocese to a new height and a new way of living together
4. running my first "international" youth event!
5. forming the youth of DYE 2009 into a group that counted each other as friends
6. morning worship that challenged the status quo and let young men and women move to a solid beat in church.
7. getting through it all...and only being tired. not burnt, frustrated, or negative!

Now we get to start rebuilding. more on that later, but for now, it's rest, regrouping, organizing, and taking a deep breath to be ready for the next steps...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Just rediscovered theme for this week

John 16:33:
"These thing i have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage! ...I have overcome the world."



it's been soo very long since i posted here, and need to get back into the habit.
THIS WEEK at All Saints School, we talked about what happens when there is a need going on around you, but you just aren't ready to meet it. What do you need to change about yourself, your community, your future?

When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine."
"Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied, "My time has not yet come."
His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

we also split up by sexes, since there is an obvious undertone here between Jesus and his mom. So when you look around you, where in your life is someone saying, "HEY, if you don't help with a miracle, this 'party' is gonna die!"

even jesus wasn't it's ok for us to be a little creeped out by the call to ministry, but if we hide our heads in the sand, sit and spin, and watch the world go by, our lives will have meant nothing but a testament to our own selfishness and kingdon building.

"Do whatever he tells you"

Thursday, January 15, 2009


if you've ever wondered why you don't or can't work with teenagers, here are some lessons taught to me by my friends and students at All Saint's Cathedral School. Maybe they might be helpful in finding the wall keeping you from formation ministries:
1. Teenagers are bluntly honest 90% of the time (wouldn't life be different if adults operated this way?)
2. Teenagers don't hide their judgments (like adults do, for the sake, they say, of politeness)
3. Teenagers make decisions based on emotions they feel, not logic they think.
4. Teenagers are constantly moving. If you can't keep up, then you're out of the game and ancient history.
5. teenagers will never respect your military, "respect me or else" attitude. You must GIVE respect to get it. This applies to standards, rules, and work ethic. As Ghandi put it: You MUST BE the change you wish to see in the world. Take this attitude and apply to issues of race, gender, orientation...and maybe there might be an answer there for us older people.

And i pray to god that i never run out of the desire to walk along side a teenager and student, if just for a little while.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The gift of sabbath

For the first time in my professional career, i took a vacation "because i was tired." I wasn't frustrated, i wasn't angry, or burnt out...i was just tired.

It was amazing.

Not only because i was able for the first time to honor sabbath, but also because even in the midst of the violence on my street, the angst that flows through the virgin islands, and the challenges faced by a Bishop trying to bring a new vision to an old diocese, i am here only because god called me to be here.

I took a break because it was time for a break from a real call and to become refreshed for my next round of challenges and work.

Today? I was teaching at All Saints School all day. back in the saddle, making plans, and planning trips for the powerhouse visitors i hope to bring here from across the country. and trips to take powerhouse ministers from the virgin islands to let the rest of the country see them.

It was amazing. I miss my family and friends already, but know that without them, i wouldn't be able to be here anyway.