Thursday, August 24, 2006


i have been eating and breathing the reload curriculum for the last couple of months, but am excited about getting this training out to thousands of leaders by the middle of next year. all the details on reload are HERE! if you are in one of the 21 cities make sure you hit reload.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Yanks complete five-game sweep

this is a day late but much worth posting ... it was a great sports weekend for me.
  • the yankees swept the red sox who i hate passionately and now have a 6 1/2 game lead in the american league east. the greatest victory was sunday as the red sox really felt like they had the yanks, but nothing like a rookie closer choking and mariano rivera being as tough as nails.
  • tiger won his 12th major destroying the competition. i used to hate watching golf, but since i now play 4 or 5 times a year. i really enjoy and appreciate.
  • another weekend closer to usc beginning another run toward a championship with a new offensive crew. i love to see the haters think they are going to collapse.
  • i played baseball with my son kade and other friends and their kids. kade still can hit the ball with his time off. evan loves to attempt to hit the ball and almost makes contact on his own. next year... he will be making great contact.
  • i just found out that kade can play football next year at the age of six and we can return from the recreational activity called soccer that will begin next week. six year olds playing football ... priceless.

Friday, August 18, 2006


i had a great meeting with mary glenn in regards to our continued discussion on uniting alhambra churches to provide activites and resources to the young people in our community. our long term goal is provide a drop in center for youth to attend after school. the summer has been very busy and we accomplished very little, but we are very hopeful to see where god leads us.

we currently have about 6 or 7 churches that are verbally committed and have attended group meetings or at least sat and dicsussed the vision of BELIEVE with mary or myself. we are hopeful to have something more tangible to talk about and promote in the coming month.

if you are locally located in the alhambra area and are interested in being involved please let me know. i know we will need people who like basketball, are available to have conversations with students that english is a second language, mentor at risk youth or hang out at a future drop in center.

Here is the vision:

Believe (in Alhambra YOUTH)

To create a community/movement for Alhambra youth that is:

  • A safe place of refuge
      • Where they can learn from different generations.
      • Where they can build real friendships.
      • Where they can find support from positive role models/mentors.
  • Empowering youth to make a difference in Alhambra (opportunities to serve, etc)
  • Building bridges across diversity (ethnic, religious)

This community/movement – can move locations – this is about its essence.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Threat of a Good Example

steve walker sent to j-lou... j-lou like... so j-lou post... peace

The Threat of a Good Example
By Tim Wise
Occasionally when I'm speaking to college students, attempting to inspire at least a few to commit themselves to social justice as a way of life and perhaps career, I'm asked the question for which there is no easy answer; the one that goes: "What's the point? Can you make a difference? Why fight against such incredible odds?" As disturbing as such fatalism is, particularly from persons so young, I appreciate the opportunity to confront it. It's one of those rare times during a lecture when the speaker has to drop all pretense, put aside academic theories, and actually connect with that one other human being, even if only for a moment. And it is in that brief span of time when one can actually move another to a different place-without statistics or applause lines-by standing in a figurative sense naked before those one hopes to inspire.
And it's a good question, after all. There is much to suggest that justice, peace and equity are pipe dreams; that even our best efforts aren't enough to prevent tragedy. The bombing of Yugoslavia; the embargo against the people of Iraq; the passage of welfare "reform"; the expansion of the prison-industrial-complex as education budgets are slashed. "Don't these ominous trends,' they ask, 'ever make you want to throw up your hands and quit?"
There was a time when I might have said yes to that question, but not anymore. Like everyone, I confront fatigue and need rest. But that's not the same as wanting to quit. And what made the difference was a letter I received many years ago from Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa; a letter he sent in 1988 to the anti-apartheid group I co-founded at Tulane University; a letter in which he thanked us for sending information on Tulane's investments in apartheid-complicit firms-information which convinced him to reject the school's offer of an honorary doctorate.
As if knowing that those of us involved in the divestment battle were doubting our relevance-after all, even if we succeeded would things really change in South Africa? -he offered what I consider an obvious, yet profound rationale for the work of any freedom fighter: "You do not do the things you do because others will necessarily join you in the doing of them, nor because they will ultimately prove successful. You do the things you do because the things you do are right."
There's much to be said for such simplicity, as it's usually a lack of complication which allows people to feel. Religion, after all, isn't terribly complex, but has inspired, for good and evil, millions around the world. Sometimes I think we both oversell and undersell the notion of fighting for social justice. Oversell in that we focus so much on "winning" the battle in which we're engaged, that we often create false hope, and if victory proves limited or fleeting, those in whom we nurtured the hope feel spent, unable to rise again to the challenge. And yet we undersell the work too, in that we often neglect to point out that there is redemption in struggle itself, and that "victory," although sought, is not the only point, and is never finally won anyway. Even when you succeed in obtaining a measure of justice, you must mobilize to defend that which you've won. There is no looming vacation. But there is redemption in struggle.
There is something to be said for confronting the choice one must make in this life-between collaborating with or resisting injustice-and choosing the latter. There is something to be said for knowing you did all you could to stop a war, eliminate racism, or improve your community. There is something to be said for a good night's sleep, and the ability to wake in the morning, look oneself in the mirror, and never doubt that if you died before lunch, you would have lived a life of integrity.
Now some may think such an answer would be of little import to college students, obsessed as they supposedly are with consumerism and six-figure jobs. But quite the opposite is true. Sure, some roll their eyes at such talk; but these are folks who didn't care about social justice careers to begin with; those for whom attendance at my speech was simply a classroom assignment. But for others, including those who posed the challenge, the answer is meaningful. These are folks desperate for lives of principle and substance; desperate for someone to assure them they can do it, and that it's worth it, win or lose. These are people in need of assurance that someone is there for them, to nurture their interest and allow their contribution. But unless we reach them before the "real world" begins to feel more like a burden than a challenge, and before they develop an interest, proprietary or otherwise in maintaining the status quo, they will likely drift, moved to action rarely if ever, having had to compromise so much so soon. And it's important to remind them that every now and then you really do make a difference; you really do improve people's lives; you really do force better working conditions; you really do stop people from being bombed, and tortured. And you never know when that will happen; when your efforts will break loose the dam and send forth waters of triumph. But you do know one thing. You know for certain-as certain as the sun rising and setting-what will happen if you don't do the work; if we don't. Nothing. And given that choice, between certainty and promise, in which territory lies the measure of our resolve and humanity, I will gladly opt for hope.
If a monster like Adolph Hitler can rise from a movement which started with roughly seven guys, sitting in a pub, then surely those who fight for his antithesis can make do with the raw material to be found in Generations X and Y. Surely we can inspire as well as he.
And all of us can play that role. A few years ago, I was approached by a student at San Francisco State who said he had seen me on television, and that in the five minutes I'd been given to explain why whites should challenge racism, I had changed his life. At first I thought he had the wrong guy. It never occurred to me that a few words between commercials could have such impact. But the look in his eyes indicated he was sincere, and it's a look I've seen elsewhere since. And who knows whom those inspired by me, may themselves inspire in the future? What great things might they do? All I know is, it's worth my entire being to be part of it. Recently, I spoke at the University of Oregon, and gave a workshop in the Ben Linder room of the student center; a room named for a man who, in April, 1987, in Nicaragua, was murdered by contra forces, armed by my government, and his; killed for helping bring running water to rural villagers.
And as I sat there reflecting on how I'd felt upon hearing of his assassination, I remembered why he, and the revolution of which he was a part had to be crushed. They both posed, as we used to say, the threat of a good example. And that's when I realized that Ben Linder's life and death sum up why I do what I do, and what's required of us. I can think of nothing more rewarding, after all, than to serve as the threat of a good example; and no higher calling than to be prepared to die for your principles if need be, but even more, to be unafraid to live for them.
Tim Wise is a Nashville-based writer and lecturer, and the Director of the newly-formed Association for White Anti-Racist Education (AWARE).

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


ok here we go, i will break down the highlights of the trip and the breakdown of what we did and did not do. it was a short trip in comparrison to my 8 day road trips with 100 people. so four days and 37 people was a nice change.

Day 1 - a travel day, eating five different types of beef stew for dinner, a great discussion about the wounds in our lives and that many of us are carrying a lot of baggage and we ended the evening bowling. a great way to end any first day of travel camp. we did get stuck in traffic and it took us about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to the lanes.

Day 2 - i wake up and grab alex yepiz and depart to starbucks in the "artsy" of san diego. i ordered my venti americano sat down and it was delivered to me by a nice gentlemen. we returned woke up the other leaders, dialogued about the coming day. the days activity following small groups was to hit mission beach and go kayaking in the ocean. once, we got our kayaks. we were off and runnin. a great day for the kids and us leaders. most of them had never done anything like this before. one kid, "montebello" as he is known by in the group will never forget the experience, as he got hit by a sting ray. he chose keeping his foot in extremely hot water over the numberous group of guys who were willing to pee on him. you could tell he was in pain, but he was laughing as well. he is a good 240 and plays defense of end for montebello high school, so he was glad he got hit over one of the junior highers. he took a nap, the swelling stopped and he was back to about 90% following our evening session about learning to forgive and love those that hurt us. alex shared his story... very powerful. he was ready with the rest of us to hit "boomers", a minature golf, go-carts, video games and other rides for the night.

day 3 - another morning with my friends at starbuck... today alex and i were asked if we were "together" while we ordered. i said yes :) leaders were dragging a little more, but were still ready for the day. after small groups, we hit la jolla beach. i took a few wrong turns so we saw all of la jolla, but the beach was beautiful. it had actual clear water and was just the right temp. the kids loved the waves, the sand and the showers (oh yeah each day the only showers were at the ymca in the morning, so many brought shampoo to the beach). we had a great football game that "montebello" landed in a thorn bush and need ghetto surgery with a close pin to get it out. but my team won (yepiz team lost, but he should comment about some excuse) i really think the best team won. i think our team was thier leading receiver (sorry mark). sean and eric caught everything in the air. we got back to the church for a late dinner, a great session on the storms in our lives and what have we built our lives upon. which we followed with two hours of broom ball. for those who have not played, it is pretty much ice hockey with shoes on instead of skates. and only person to get injured was "montebello"... who else. it was his week.

day 4 - we let them sleep in an extra hour, so i visited the friendly starbucks at 730 instead of 830 but same great service. i love good customer service... i was a marketing major undergrad. today was the challenge for the students... we were off to do random acts of kindness. we had the kids split into four teams (beef stew, albondigas, holly rollers, and mean girls). each team was assigned an area of san diego. they were to walk through the area and determine what random acts of kindness they could perform right than and than gather their own funds to make it happen. they did get a little frustrated, but all four teams did a great job and had a great time. beef stew was at the beach and passed out water and than provided free shampoo to 40 people at the beach showers. i think this is one of my all time favorites... i would have never thought of that one. eric you are the bomb. albondigas - hit the downtown area and hooked up dee ann with some socks and shoes and even a caramel frap. they also passed out water to the street workers. mean girls - did a free car wash and provided drinks for the people while they waited. and lastly - the holly rollers made cards for all of the workers in the "artsy" area of san diego and attached candy to them, so they went to all of the store fronts and blessed them with an encouraging message and candy. great job guys.

we ended the evening with dinner at the beach and a bon fire. we had a great time sharing our experiences from the day and wrapping up the week. as we finished talked sea world fireworks went off behind us... priceless. a lot of tears shed and really did see god orchestrate a great week. it was a blessing to be a part of.

oh yeah and on the ride home two boys in honor of james de jesus who did not go... what a flake... summer skool or somethin'... put away an 8x8 at in n out. that is 8 patties and 8 pieces of cheese. james has added a patty to each of the travel camps he had been on and it would have been his 8th. so the 8 x 8. thanks for reading about our journey... it was great to be a part of some kingdom work and hang with some of my high school boys... tim, devin, nathan, eric, mitchhell, montebello, mark, and sean it was great to roll one more week with you guys. and thanks to the new oikos leaders... keep it alive... and thanks to alex for rollin could not have done it with out you. peace.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Travel Camp 2006

i will post a detailed update of our week tommorow, but here is group shot of us the last day!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

oh yeah... i got a haircut

since jeremy posted about his hair trimming i thought i would :)

more confusion

the guy who replaced me at gateway community church had to resign about a month ago and i chose to come back and put together the summer camp we had done annually for like nine years. doing this i have had to show up and hang out with students and parents and do a little recruiting. it has been a little flash back to my days in the grind as a youth pastor. i truly have enjoyed the treat of being with the kids. i am looking forward to sleeping on the floor of horizon park chapel in san diego and hanging with a bunch of students for the week. i am excited about teaching them aspects of the kingdom of god that i have been learning. i am excited to just be in youth ministry for a week.

also, last week i got to hang out with a group of leaders who are helping us shape next years urban youth workers institute. we shared stories and issues that are facing the youth of the city. many of them still are actively serving in the neighborhoods with kids and as we talked i did feel a huge void in my life. i think that is a little bit of the depression. i want to be about making change and a difference. i feel a void and i think it has to do with the pastoral and leadership gifts. i am very confused as how to respond to these issues. i look at my past and there are many things that i wish i could do different, but nothing that i can change.

my prayer is really for god to confirm in my heart as who i am in regards to a number of areas of my life. i feel like i am just floating and not really going anywhere. i read things and get excited but have nothing to do with it. i have aspirations of what a youth group would look like to day with j-lou at the age of 32 leading it and having a deeper understading of the kingdom of god and a better understanding of balance. i say all of this to get it out of my head. peace.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

can someone say travel camp

it has been way too long since i blogged. it has been for a number of reasons, but the core issues i will cover in future bogs, becuz it has to do with some internal struggles. i think i may be a little depressed for some reason as well. i will try to frame these issues to make sense and not be taken in the wrong way.

but with that said next sunday i will roll with 30 - 40 people into san diego on a travel camp. my old youth ministry needed someone to throw a camp together for them and i am a sucker as my old kids called and begged me to come out of retirement for a week. so i said yes... it was only 35 people and not the 100 that i use to roll with... so what the heck!

thanks to pastor pete in san diego for hosting us and the kids for showing love to me. i think it will be a fun week. anyways. i will give you updates on this little adventure as it goes. it should be fun. ok. peace for now and hopefully this will get me blogging again.