Category Archives: adventure

reminders of God’s presence on the journey

Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability — and that it may take a very long time. And so I think it is with you; your ideas mature gradually — let them grow, let them shape themselves without undue haste. Don’t try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow. Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be. Give our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you. And accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete. – Pierre Teilhard De Chardin

Tonight I awoke to thoughts about the many conversations over the past few days about a new threshold – “a space that sits between two places…between two environments…between two experiences. They’re spaces that you pass through to move from where you’ve been to a new reality” (friend Rob Yackley). As our family finds ourselves in the midst of a new threshold, I am encouraged by the words of Teilhard and reminded that we are in a good and beautiful place.

Where are you experiencing movement from one place (environment, experience) to another?

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son #3

The picture to the left is one of the last ones of our family with two sons.

For the past four years it has been very natural for me to relate to Jesus’ story of “The Prodigal Father” and his two sons. It has been a story that has shaped my life from my growing up, my turning toward Jesus, my journey toward pastoral ministry and into marriage. I am an oldest son of two boys. Amy and I have two sons. My younger brother and his wife have two sons. As I reflect on the past 18 years since I responded to Jesus’ call to follow, I can clearly recognize moments where I have been the youngest son and the oldest son in relationship with God (and others) and how God has also invited me to be the Dad who is always longing for his sons to come home and join the party. To say the least, this has been a story that has been life shaping.

If all goes as planned, tomorrow morning between 7 and 8 am I will no longer be Dad of two and Amy will have brought our third son into the world. At this point, I don’t know what will life will be like on the other side of two sons. I have a sense, God wants to continue to shape me through the story of “The Prodigal Father” yet it may a bit more complicated as we keep our eyes and ears aware of 3 rather than 2. As I keep hearing from other dads, we move from “man-to-man” defense to “a box and 1” for a season.

Here’s to life in an unknown season where God continues to invite me into his party. May we all be open to new invitations, new seasons, and new relationships.

changing paradigms by Ken Robinson

Another talk about Ken Robinson pn Changing Paradigms. This time with a creative way to visualize it.

What implications might this have for Sunday school and spiritual formation?

how do you know?

“You keep telling yourself what you know. But what do you believe? What do you feel?” said Mal to her husband Cobb.

There are many layers to the movie Inception and on my second viewing with new friends from my new doctoral cohort, I was captivated by the questions surrounding how we know, believe, feel and experience reality.

As a part of an earlier conversation in the day, Len Sweet shared that we can recognize reality by it pushing back. This is the future story we will live with holograms and avatars. Inception poses the solution of knowing reality by the physical marker of a totem–a physical item with specific characteristics and weight unique to every person. This makes a great deal of sense to me when I think about the Reality of God.

What are your totems that bring you back to the Reality of God?

living on mission

Over the past few years, I’ve been thinking about how I live on mission in North County San Diego. I like how this idea sounds and how it plays out in my life as I engage people in the real world.

A funny author that I’ve referenced before is Jonathan Acuff who writes the blog Stuff Christians Like. He has this one post from a few years ago about the fear that God will send him to Guam.

What do you think? When you hear the word “mission,” do you think God will send you to Guam or Africa or the jungle?

taking risks in community

Last night I was reflecting with a good friend and my wife on the dynamics of how we grow in the context of community.

On Saturday, my oldest son Brighton and I were at a school riding bikes with a friend of his. When we arrived I noticed that the other boy was already on the playground riding his bike without training wheels. I knew the boy was only a month older than my son and (maybe selfishly) I wanted Brighton to try to ride his bike without his training wheels. But I regretted not bringing  a wrench so I could take them off.

Brighton started to ride and was watching his friend ride. After 5 minutes he rode over and asked if he could take his training wheels off and I told him we could but it would have to wait until next time. I admit I was a bit bummed inside.

After a few more minutes, another Dad came down to the playground with his daughter and her bike. In his hand he was carrying a wrench. After he was finished, I asked if I could use it. I removed the training wheels, lowered the seat and had Brighton measure to see if he could reach the ground with both feet. Brighton sat up on his seat, I made sure we had enough room, I put my hand on the back of his seat and after 10 seconds he was off on his own. It was one of those significant moments I had thought about…teaching my boy to ride a bike. Sure he had some bumps and bruises that day, but he was ready and he was willing to risk because his friend had gone before him.

I was so proud to be present as he rode around proudly on that playground. Here is a video of Brighton riding last week (and me encouraging him):

Are you more likely to take risks and grow when others around you are doing what you haven’t done before?

the burn of horseradish

Last night a group of 13 of us ate a Passover Seder meal together at our house; it was a very unique time of looking forward to Easter and the fulfillment of this meal. One of the most unique elements of the meal is Maror (bitter herbs) as represented by horseradish.

Have you ever eaten raw horseradish? We all picked up a small piece at the same time and ate it together. As we took our first bite together, everyone was gasping for air, looking for something to drink and choking back tears. It was honestly five minutes of hilarity as I was nearly dying and looking around at everyone else’s reaction.

One of the participants last night shared this article with me this morning so we can grown our own horseradish for next year. Anyone interested?

road tripping without road tripping

A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick FixThis is what I did this last weekend on Friday night through Sunday afternoon.

As I was about to go to bed on Friday night at 10:30 I received a call from my uncle who was with 37 other people stranded at the U.S.-Mexico border on a broken down bus. These 38 Oregonians had been trying to get out of San Ysidro since 4:00 pm without any other viable options.

After a few minutes of thought and a few phone calls to coordinate. I drove 300 miles between 10:45 pm and 4:45 am in order to get them up to Anaheim so they could meet their replacement bus the next day. (By the way, I heard the next day that their replacement bus broke down in Sacramento on the way to rescue them…I might not rent from that company again.)

On Saturday morning, I woke up after a 4 hour nap, packed and got ready for the day, dropped off the boys, married a couple and then drove from San Diego up to Porterville, California for another wedding. On Sunday morning, Amy and I did the return trip to San Diego. When all was said and done, I had driven over 850 miles in less than 41 hours. I am finally catching up on sleep after 2 days.

In the midst of other things today, I started a book that I hope to finish in the coming days called A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix by Edwin Friedman.

In it, he writes, “Living with crisis is is a major part of leaders’ lives. The crises come in two major varieties: (1) those that are not of their own making but are imposed on them from outside or within the system; and (2) those that are actually triggered by the leaders through doing precisely what they should be doing.”

My series of road trips in less than 2 days encompassed both of these varieties of crises as he describes. If there is anything I have learned in leadership in the church it is this.

How about you, is crises a part of your life and work?

just plain funny

Not sure if you’ve seen this video but a friend sent it to me earlier today while I was studying in the library and I almost forgot I was in the library.

I would love to do this in the midst of a coffee shop to see people’s reactions.

crying in the library…

Okay, so I’m man enough to share this with you. I found myself crying in the library or at least holding back tears and choking on my adam’s apple as I read a post by Pete Wilson.

Yesterday, he baptized his oldest son Jett and then wrote a letter to him through the blogosphere. You can read it here and see the video as well. What an amazing experience!

I can only hope for the day when I have the honor to baptize our two boys and invite them into an adventure of a lifetime like Pete did yesterday.