Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Finger Has Been Pointed

Ms. Rowling, I am holding you responsible for any and all work that I fail to get done this week.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Sudan Benefit

Last Friday I went to a benefit concert at my old church for the crisis going on in Sudan. Derek Webb was the main act, and there were some local people opening who were quite good. I'd never listened to Derek Webb before, though I knew of him from Caedman's Call. Anywho, he was simply amazing. A great songwriter. The concert specifically benefited the International Rescue Committe and their work in Sudan. There was also a speaker from Darfur Peace and Development. All in all a good, fun, informative, and challenging evening. Three of my high school students went as well, and I think they were challenged to think about some globabl issues and situations that they just weren't aware of.

If you don't know what's going on in the Darfur region of Sudan, then you need to educate yourself.

I think the challenge to the Church is to actually stand up and be the Church in these situations. Here in america, I think the Church get's confused all too often as to what it's mission really is.

Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." ~Matthew 22:37-40

Who is your neighbor? It was said on Friday night that your neighbor is anyone in need, whom you have the means to help.

Since I'm on a Derek Webb kick after hearing him Friday night (both his songs and his words of challenge and conviction), I'll end with the lyrics to his song T-Shirts (What We Should Be Known For)

they'll know us by the t-shirts that we wear
they'll know us by the way we point and stare
at anyone whose sin looks worse than ours
who cannot hide the scars of this curse that we all bare

they’ll know us by our picket lines and signs
they’ll know us by the pride we hide behind
like anyone on earth is living right
and isn’t that why Jesus died
not to make us think we’re right

when love, love, love
is what we should be known for
love, love, love
it’s the how and it’s the why
we live and breathe and we die

they’ll know us by reasons we divide
and how we can’t seem to unify
because we’ve gotta sing songs a certain style
or we’ll walk right down that aisle
and just leave ‘em all behind

they’ll know us by the billboards that we make
just turning God’s words to cheap clichés
says “what part of murder don’t you understand?”
but we hate our fellow man
and point a finger at his grave

they'll know us by the t-shirts that we wear
they'll know us by the way we point and stare
telling ‘em their sins are worse than ours
thinking we can hide our scars
beneath these t-shirts that we wear

I Repent

I repent, repent of my pursuit of america's dream
I repent, I repent of living like I deserve anything
of my house, my fence, my kids, my wife
in our suburb where we're safe and white
I am wrong and of these things I repent

I repent, I repent of parading my liberty
I repent
I repent of paying for what I get for free
and for the way I believe that I am living right
by trading sins for others that are easier to hide
I am wrong and of these things I repent

I repent judging by a law that even I can't keep
of wearing righteousness like a disguise
to see through the planks in my own eyes

I repent, I repent of trading truth for false unity
I repent, I repent of confusing peace and idolatry
by caring more of what they think than what I know of what we need
by domesticating you until you look just like me
I am wrong and of these things I repent

~Derek Webb

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Has it really been a month?! A whole stinkin' month since I've written anything?!

Anyway, it's been a busy month. I was supposed to go on the Mexico mission trip with church June 20-27, but I couldn't because of my knee. Sounds like it was a good trip. Of course, the hurricane just went over the Yucatan Peninsula (where the mission trip was), so we've been praying that our brothers and sisters there are ok.

I did get to go on vacation to the beach with the family June 26-July 3, though. That was nice and relaxing. My play at the beach was limited, though because of the dang knee. However, I did get to swim with the dolphins out there. I was out floating on a boogie board when a school of fish happened by. Then dolphons showed up for feeding time. I was able to get within 5 or so yards of feeding dolphins. Amazing.

We had another mission trip to Marion VA, working with Project Crossroads and leading a vacation Bible school. That was a good trip. The wife wasn't able to go, but made sure everyone there would make me not work the knee too much. One of the kids even tried calling my wife on a cell phone from the job site to let her know that I wasn't taking enough breaks. They are so funny. Anyway, that trip went well overall. out of 17 people on the trip, 7 were high school youth (this wasn't a "Youth Mission Trip", it was a church-wide trip), which I am happy about. Five of those had never done a mission trip before, either. And considering our list of High School Youth for the youth group is around 12-15 kids, I'm pleased with the turnout for the trip. We built some much needed wheelchair ramps, a deck, finished a bathroom, and repaired a roof. All for some amazing families who have seen trials that I can't even begin to comprehend. And yet they were so joyful and so strong. God's Grace.

So now I'm back, trying to make sure August is organized reasonably well for the youth before we get back into school year mode.

It's so stinkin' hot here. Heat index hovering around 100. And it's a wet, humid, sticky heat. Yuck. Too nasty outside to do much out there during the day. But the thunderstorms are beautiful.

God is so good.

How will I drink from that stream
How will my heart sing your praise
How will I lay down in green grass fields
when my soul is so afraid to