Thursday, April 27, 2006

the kingdom of god is like...

a new hobby of mine is to try and take people's stories that i here and if they work place them in the framework of how jesus explains the kingdom of god. ben eash now is helping me put these out for everyone else. i really need to get a life. so ben and i have a side blog called "the kingdom of god is like..."

Faith that Counts

this is what i am going to think about today...

"but how does one measure faith? jesus answered this as well: if they say you believe in his message, but you don't seek to practice it, your faith is a matter of words only; it's not substantial, not real. faith that counts, then is not the absence of doubt; it's the presence of action. it puts you into motion, propels you to action. as jesus' early disciple paul put it, 'the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.'"

... i just thought i'd share.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Here Comes Trouble

Well the great Evanator... has made it through his second week of skool. But listen to this story from last Tuesday.

well evan last week was on spring break, so he was put in a classroom with a number of other kids (including his brother, kade) and some college girls were on duty in place of the normal teachers for the week to keep track of them.

each day evan wanted to continually leave the room and head to his normal classroom, so a teacher would have to continually chase him down the hallway. he just wanted to go to his classroom that he was normally in. the teachers all thought he was the cutest thing, but definitley thought he was a handful. than came tuesday.

i get a call and evan has KILLED all of the fish in one of the classrooms, hit a kid with a bucket and gave him a bloody nose and had to be drug off a couple other kids (he likes to wrestle). i know that is all bad stuff... but i must admit that i had to really focus not to laugh. oh well... i think i may need to trade in power ranger shows for some discovery channel stuff. but i dropped of evan this morning, he teacher ms. noemy is back. so hopefully he will have a better week.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The River

ben posted a very true comment on my post from last week. it is how we need a balance of investing in lives and trying to change the system. here is a good illustration... of course jacked from someone becuase i am not that smart.

there was a group of people who had dedicated thier lives to living along a certain river, because they had noticed that many people were caught in this fast moving river and thought it would be a good purpose in life to dedicate themselves to helping pull people out of the river and care for them back to health. they began to be frustrated, because no matter how many people they rescued. it was never ending and in recent days it had just gotten worse... more and more people were needing to be rescued. a wise person came along one day and was inspired by their intentions, but asked them an interesting question. have you ever thought of trying to figure out who is pushing these people in the river?

the point is that many of our programs, ministries or investments are on the end of helping the individual overcome thier issues and these are essential. but we do need people who are willing to try and keep people from getting pushed in the river, jumping in the river, slipping in the river or just doing something to slow the number of people down who need to be rescued.

that's all that i have to say about this.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

eyes being unhealthy

i am pretty bombarded these days at the UYWI National Conference is coming quickly. but i just thought i'd post a nice little thought that was a challenge to me by mclaren in "secret message of jesus". (oh by the way i may be getting some copies of this book to pass out. so hit me up if you want one.)

Matthew 6: 19 – 24

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! "No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

"Here again the kingdom of God clearly confronts the kingdom of our wolrd today. How often do our lives revolve around status - oriented accumalation and conspicious consumption? In that context, Jesus' words about our eyes being unhealthy seem to have a special resonance in our world. We are daily massaged by a hyperactive consumerist vision to see and measure everything in life in terms of money - so that, as everyone knows, even time is money. With that kind of unhealthy, shady outlook, all of life falls into a kind of dismal shadow, just as Jesus said it would.

Perhaps it now becomes clear why giving to the poor begins Jesus' list of spiritual practices: if we are to experience spiritual transformation... then we must be liberated from enslavement to money."

i am not sure i can add anything to his breakdowm of that passage. i just loved the flow of the passages by jesus. he starts with the "don't store up treasures in heaven" than bridges to the "eyes being unhealthy" and ends with "You cannot serve God and wealth". i think i have never really looked at them all in context and how connected they are... i probably have taught on each individually but not together. i like this jesus guy. peace.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Should we protest the system or invest in a life? Yes.

i read an article by a friend rudy carrasco. here are a couple of quotes to think about:

"I worry that we are perilously weak at walking alongside the poor, at investing directly into the lives of individuals to give them what they truly need—not what we believe they need or what our policy statements tell us they need. I've found that it's relatively easy to raise a voice in protest, but unfathomably hard to invest in a life...

The investment needed is long, sacrificial, and, frankly, tedious. Doing justice by walking alongside people as they develop critical life skills is not exciting. Protesting on Wall Street against globalization is exciting. Getting arrested at the courthouse is exciting. Filling the National Mall with hundreds of thousands of people is exciting. But staying proximate to people as they learn lessons they should have learned years ago? When's the last time you saw that on cnn?"

i can testify to the time, energy and sacrifice it is to help someone who has no help in building the essential life skills to move themselves out of poverty. i think many times in my life i took the easy way out and just through a "follow Jesus" and life will be ok. if you are interested in hearing a story about how rudy was helped with these issues and how he models the way you can have the same impact in other peoples lives. than you should read the whole article...

If you have a story of how someone did this for you? Please tell us about it in the comment section. Thanks.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Christ Among the Partisans

here is an article that jeremy del rio posted the other day... so for all of you who do not visit jeremy i thought it was worth directing you toward..

Pax Romana vs. Pax Christi

i have been spending most of my time blogging on the boys, so i think i am overdue to throw up something that i have been reading and contemplating. so here we go... this is a longer quote but as we approach the celebration of our kings resurection this sunday. i really liked this take on the difference between how the roman empire created "peace" in thier kingdom and the way christ's kingdom is striving to achieve peace.

"in the roman empire and, in a sense, in cesar himself, diverse nations are brought together, his rule reconciles former enemies in the Pax Romana. But for paul, it's not in caesar but in christ that all things are truly reconciled. and how is the pax romana enforced? by the threat of swift, horrible, lethal torture on a cross if anyone questions roman supremecy -- a threat graphically dramatized on many a roadside entering major cities throughout the empire. in other words, the roman peace might be precious, but its cost is high- a lot of brutality, fear, violence, and blood are required to keep the peace. (st. augistine, aware of this high and bloody cost, said the only difference between an emperor and a pirate is the number of his ships and weapons.)

and here perhaps, is the most astounding contrast of all: the peace of god's kingdom comes not through the violent torture and merciless extermination of the king's enemies, but rather through the suffering and death of the king himself. the pax christi is not the peace of conquest but rather the peace of true reconciliation. the king achieves peace not by shedding the blood of rebels but by - i hope the the scandal and wonder of this is not lost because the words may be familiar - shedding his own blood."

i have read and re-read this page and have really thought about empires and nations and the way they strive even in this day and age of how they try to accomplish peace or settle disputes. i really do not see a lot that has changed in over 2,000 years. what is the cost of peace these days? is it just as costly, just as bloody, just as violent as the roman empire? is st. augistine quote about pirates being changed into -- the only difference between an "world power" and a terrorist" is the number of his "planes" and weapons.

on sunday, i will not celebrate what christ did on the cross for my personal beneift of getting myself into heaven, but i will celebrate the ushering of his kingdom values and be challenged to begin to think, pray and dialogue about how to allow his shedding of blood that was for the purpose of reconciling god and man in this world to be better understood and lived out in the lives of more people. so jesus' prayer may be realized in the lives of more people...

"may your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven" AMEN

Monday, April 10, 2006

Kade's School Party

Not to steal evan's big day, but last wednesday we had a birthday party for kade at his school and i just thought i would share this great class photo i took of them. this is the "silly" picture.


Ms. Noemy has the ultimate honor of being the "Evanators" first teacher. As kade's school called and had an opening for a "non potty trained" little boy with a huge heart. it was great to drop him off and watch him run out on the playground and say "hi" to the first kid he ran into. it was a special moment and must say i have watery eyes remembering the moment. he actually should be finishing a nap as i blog this memorable moment.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Kade's 5th Birthday Party

kade had a blast at his 5th birthday party. the tri-tip, chicken, lumpia and other food were great and as you can see from the pictures. the kids had a great time. thank you for anybody who came out to celebrate at my house on saturday. much love!

How does a two year old get into a bounce house?


FLORIDA 73 - ucla 57

NIIIIIIICE!!! lol bruin fan.