Tuesday, March 29, 2005

i'm still alive

so i'm finally getting back to blogging after a long absence. i got back from kenya on thursday and was planning on blogging friday, but when i went to download my pictures on thursday night, i discovered that my laptop which i left in my apartment was gone. in time i came to realize that it was stolen from my apartment. it was a bummer and still is, because i haven't backed up the last four months of my work or photos. so i lost all my nyc pictures, my latest amsterdam pictures and most all my work of the past four months. i am still greaving the loss of it all. some people are helping me put reward posters to try and get back my hard drive or at least the contents. this is one of the reasons why i haven't blogged quite yet.

it was difficult preparing my message without my computer and it has been difficult to do a lot of things that i normally do with ease without my computer, for my laptop is my only computer after my desktop was totally messed up to the flood in my apartment back in november.

the only good news about my laptop being stolen is that with the insurance money i was able to get another 17 inch mac, which has some improvements since i bought mine about 9 months ago. i went from a 1.33 GHz to a 1.66 GHz, from an 80 GB hard drive to a 100 GB hard drive. this new computer has a sensor in it so that if there is sudden movement or a heavy jiggling, the computer automatically shuts off to protect the hard drive. and the other new feature is that if you put two fingers on the pad you can scroll left to right or up and down without using the scroll bar.

anyway, i hope to get a few pictures up from my trip and give an update soon, but i just wanted you to know that i was alive still.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

from nairobi

so, i thought i would get a quick blog out from nairobi, before heading to the remote villiages. it took a total of about 22 hours to get from la to nairobi, kenya including a 6 hour layover in london. we were greeted by pastor kaaleng and three of his associates. we deposited the money in the bank, bought some needed supplies and are now headed toward ludwar, a town in northern kenya. we will make one stop halfway through, where i will give a couple of talks at a conference, and then get food and distribute it to people in the turkana tribe. we will visit prayer mountain, churches and do a conference in northern kenya as well. hopefully get some sleep at some point as well. so this will probably be my last blog till i get back to the city. peace out.

Monday, March 14, 2005

leaving for kenya, no blogging for 10 days

wow, this past week has been like a whirlwind. my phone message bank if overflowing, i am preparing for the two day conference that james and i are doing for leaders in kenya, as well as the very heavy normal day to day schedule in the life of a new church plant. i don't know how the Lord will enable me to finish everything before i leave, but somehow he always comes through, so i will trust him. i'm leaving in a few hours.

since i will be in the remote parts of kenya where the people live in mud huts and there is no electricity or running water, i will not be hooked up to the internet or be able to blog for the next 10 days. for that matter, no cell phones, no nothing. God, people and nature. i am looking forward to it.

when we were planning things before, the goal that pastor kaaleng gave us as far as money to bring in order to buy a lot of beans and maize for his people experiencing famine was $3,067. pastor kaaleng has started 30 churches in his tribe, the turkana tribe. the poorer parts of his tribe only get to eat one meal every three days, so we are glad to help raise money to feed them. because some students for iowa state heard about our trip and decided to give $700.24, and some students from illionos state gave $1,239.00 and our local congregation here at kairos, who was extremely generous this past sunday, we are able to bring with us $9,948.00 God is good. i want to thank all who have been able to give to this particular cause, and we will have more in the future. i especially want to thank those in kairos who ended up being very generious, allowing us to contribute over $8000.00 to the cause!

if you get a chance, please listen to the talk on maria full of grace, where I talked about our need to be a neighbor to third world/developing countries. i will post some pictures and share with you about our trip when i return. until then, live fully for God and do all you can to love those around you. peace.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

healing words

proverbs 12:18 says, "reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." we all experience a bit of both each week. though if you happen to lead in some capacity, you probably get more than your share of reckless words that travel toward you. that just comes with the territory.

i always find great encouragment when people take the time to write me something positive, for even dream awakeners and pastors need encouragement. i wanted to share with you a portion of a letter that i received this past week from a girl that came to our church as a result of an article that the la times magazine did on kairos.

"That day (the first talk in our hollywood and the ancient text series entitled: ray) your words spoke deep into my soul but it was your opening statements that set free my suppressed artists heart. I was an artist that had lost my vision. Creativity flowed within me but I was struggling with transforming the vision of what I wanted to create onto my canvas. It has always been my
desire to be real in my art but it turns out that is where I was feeling blocked. I questioned my ideas so many times wondering if what I envisioned was something that would bring glory to God.

I think that for those of us that know and love Jesus we desire to somehow capture that beauty and joy in our art and shy away from creating anything that depicts sin, shame or the reality of this fallen world. As you described it, we capture a world that is "virtually unfallen". I have buried many of my ideas and inspirations because they did not match up with this unfallen ideal. I have seen this happen to so many excellent Christian artists who hold themselves back and play it safe instead of letting their creativity flow and getting real.

Your words about art being real and we who are Christ followers portraying a world through our art that is real and causes people to think more about reality were words that set me free in ways that words cannot tell you. The kind of reality driven art that you described is exactly what has been burning within me to come out. Art can be so many things. Beautiful and safe can be great, but adding real into the mix amongst Christ followers, for me anyway, opens a floodgate of possibilities and clears the way for creativity that will always glorify God because it is truth. I praise the Lord for your words that day and I thank you for encouraging and blessing me and all who received your message to tell stories of the real world and thank you for reawakening my heart to my dreams."

if you want to check out the talk entitled ray, just click here. it seemed as if God used it in the lives of many, especially the artists.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

a tsunami every week

ronald sider just finished his fifth edition of rich christians in an age of hunger where he reminds us of the gut wrentching news of how the asian tsunami snuffed out 200,000 lives. and while that is tragic, what seems even more heart breaking is that 210,000 children die of starvation and diseases we know how to prevent, every week.

that is one of the reasons that three friends of mine and i are going to northern kenya in about a week. we are wanting to help those who don't have enough food to eat. God continues to work on me to do what i can to live a simple life so that others can simply live. i have a ways to go because the consumeristic culture constantly bids me to spend. but more and more i trust that God will allow me to live a life of simple beauty.

God, please help me to realize that though i can't meet all the needs of the world, i can meet the needs of some. though I can't change the world, I can change the world for some. help me to live a life of simplicity, and enjoy the beauty around me. help me live more sacrifically, more lovingly, more compassionately. make me more like your son - Jesus.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

another day in missouri

so today joe and i met with more people who had questions about coming out to la to join with us in starting a church is west la in the fall of 2006. we had some great discussions. tonight we went to a canvas group, which they started this past year, and it was a great time. everybody had fasted for a day and a half and came together for a meal around a huge table that they built. it seats 20 people. they passed around a can, taking up alms for the poor, from the money they saved from not eating. it was a touching time. they do this every other week.

afterwards andy talked about the core value of multiplication and i shared some stories about our church plant in la and the journey from blacksburg to la. afterwards joe and i took some questions. it was a fulfilling day.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

from mizzou

from mizzou
Originally uploaded by dream awakener.

i arrived in missouri yesterday from orlando. joe and i are visiting some of the leaders from the rock here at the university of missouri. we are starting another church with them in la, called Kairos West LA. tonight we met with their equippers, joe shared about the cost of church planting and we both took some q & a. tomorrow night i will share a little at their axis meeting, and joe and i will take some questions afterwards.

i really love the people here. they have a great commitment to the Lord and his mission, and have generous spirits. i have a deep appreciation for their pastor john drage and their leadership team. i am thankful to God for communities like the rock.