Monday, August 15, 2005

Please Pray

Dear friends,

Please pray for us. Friday night our squadron 1st Sergeant died from cancer. He began feeling bad a couple months ago. He was 1st diagnosed with walking pneumonia, then cancer. It went quickly through his system in spite of the chemotherapy. He left behind his wife and their five children. The youngest is about 18 months old. Our squadron was just passing the word of Rod's death when more bad news struck. Sunday night a young girl who works behind our operations duty desk was found dead in the workout room of her dormitory. She wasn't sick. Just young and vibrant and sweet. It's being treated as a crime scene and NCSI is en route from the states. Please pray for the families so affected by these tragedies and for our squadron. Thanks.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


It stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid.
I just read Greg Hubbard's Keeping Church Simple for the first time (not the last). (If you follow this link, scroll way down to the 2nd post under June 23 to start at the beginning.) I must say, I loved it. It shows in a tangible way where we've been and where we're going as a community of believers. It also reveals a lot about our friend Greg. It thrills my heart to read that what's wrong with the church is "me". Praise God, it's not His bride that's a mess, it's me and my shallow understanding of the Father's love for me that's messed up! Greg, I'm going to edit your paper. I'll have it ready by Christmas. Start shopping for a publisher because other Christ-followers need to have this in-hand.

Friday, August 12, 2005

I Lost My Knife...A Camping Parable

I lost my knife. One summer our family and close friends went camping on the high slopes of California’s Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. My friend and I took all of our kids fishing at a pond only a short hike from our campsite. After no success, it started to get late and Gregg was urging me to pack up and bring the kids with me. I, however, was busy untangling miles of twisted fishing line and retying lures. As I rushed to answer Gregg’s beckoning, my 9-year-old daughter said, “Dad, don’t forget your knife.” I finished cutting, tying, packing, rounded up the children, and met Gregg on the other side of the bridge. About ten minutes later, the sun was down and we strolled along in the twilight back to camp. As my hand brushed past the pocket of my KMart Clearance shorts, something felt different. My knife! I left it sticking in the top of a stump and it was too late to go back and get it. So, I made a plan. It’s a good knife and I really like it, so I planned to get up with the sun and hurry down the trail to get it before any one might see it there and take it. The next morning, I awoke freezing cold -- my cue to get up because the sun would soon be up. I quickly dressed and started out. As I bounded over a small stream about five minutes into my twenty-minute hike, something inside my head said, “Slow down, take in the scenery.“ “I’ve seen it before and I’m in a hurry,” I retorted. Then I glanced to the left and noticed how the morning sun, now brightly gleaming, was transforming the reeds along the creek into liquid gold. “But, you haven’t seen it in this light,” came the Creator’s subtle reply. I walked the rest of the trail slowly and gasped at many a beautiful vista along the way. As the stream became a pond, my trail broke into a clearing. About a quarter mile away, I saw a silver glint in the newly risen sun. I found my prized possession.

Jesus said that the kingdom of God belongs to such as these (children). Why is it that small children never tire of repetition? Could it be they understand the value in seeing something old in a new light?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Human Forms

A couple of nights ago, we sat around a table talking with some terrific people about starting something here to facilitate individual relationships. The guy who called the meeting named the idea "small groups." (Is that always the first name we use?) Anyway, he passed out a two-page paper entitled: Small Group Leader Training. (Sound familiar?) On his paper were all the things that we've all tried to do in our groups at one time or another. You know: snacks/no snacks, baby sitter/no sitter, etc. I told the group I liked the paper and had had the opportunity to see each of these ideas work well and fail miserably. I got to thinking why that is and the best I can come up with is that
it's not about the form, it's about the family.
It's not about the snack, it's about His body.
It's not about our ideas, it's about intimacy: the reason He made us.
It's not about what to study, it's about listening to the Spirit.
It's not about the leadership it's about the Headship of Christ.
We believers tend to devise all sorts of plans and programs to fill in for His headship and the leading of the Spirit because our faith is weak. We need, okay I need to trust the Father to show up. To trust the words of Jesus when he promised, "I won't leave you like orphans." CEV and stop trying to fill in for my absent father, because HE is NOT absent.