Thursday, November 30, 2006

On the way...a profound moment for me

This is a long post, but and awesome story.

My flight out of Boise, ID to Denver was delayed by two hours, so I was routed to Chicago instead. Placed on standby for a 1:15 flight to Charlotte and booked for a 3:45 flight. Got to Chicago, changed the time on my clock and went to catch my 1:15 if possible. It was not, the plane was pulling out as I walked up. Bummer, couple extra hours in Chicago.

Turns out though that I set my clock wrong. I went forward one hour to far. Did not realize it until 1:00pm and I was a good 5-10 minutes from the 1:15 gate. Looked at the departures... delayed until 1:27pm. Needless to say with a bit of hustle I made it onto the flight. Which I was excited about, sounded like a bad storm was coming into Chicago.

Sat next to a lady who later introduced herself to me as Lisa. When I first sat down I tried to make some small talk, because I find it unnerving to sit next to someone on a plane and act as if they are not there. It was not very effective. I could tell something was wrong and was pretty sure that she was crying, but not wanting to talk really. Anyway, after a failed attempt to chat I picked up my book and IPod and disappeared into my own little world. The only problem is that I was reading Mark Yaconelli, Contemplative Youth Ministry. He was talking about seeing and hearing. That when we slow down to hear God we will begin to really hear our youth as well. He talked about the importance of really being present to people and simply listen. Not giving answers or trying to figure out what to say next, but really being there.

So, I turned off my music, and put my book away. Guess what happened? Lisa asked me where I was ending my travels. I told her "Charlolett at the National Youth Workers Convention." What do you do she asked, a youth pastor I said. Pause in the conversation. "Where are you heading" I asked. "To Florida". Family? I asked. "Yes, my mom lives there. She is in the hospital. It looks like she won't make it through the night." I was stunned. I did not know what to say other then "I am sorry." Lisa began to share how her mom got sick all of a sudden. How Lisa had just found out that morning at 6am. I simply sat and listened. At some point I said, "I realize that most words are pretty empty right now, but I do understand some of what you are going through because I have lost my father." We talked about that, then about her children, then about how her dad is feeling guilty about not taking her mom to the hospital sooner. She let me pray with her and for her. She cried and cried some more. Lisa thanked me for listening because she had not had a chance to process through most of this. She even shared with me the last "deep" conversation that she had with her mom.

In short, Lisa shared her life with me, she shared a huge and major pain and a suffering with me, a complete stranger. I could only tell her that I was thankful because she allowed me to be a part of it. She took my email and said she would update me as to how her mom is doing.

Please pray for Lisa and her family.


I finally made it to the National Youth Workers Convention in Charlotte, NC. Had a couple set backs but I got here. Love the hotel, Westin. Am sharing the room with three other guys. I am sleeping on the floor. Brought my therma-rest. I was the first of four to get here. Got checked in and browsed the book store. Grabbed a couple of books, tried not to go crazy. I have enough books to read already. Could not help but feel overwhelmed at times.

Jeremy got in town about two hours after I did. We went to dinner at the Graduate Pub & Grill. It was good eatin. Then we checked out the trade show, I can't remember what they really call it here. Anyway, we roamed the booths, talked to folks and were asked many times why we were in Charlotte since we are from Oregon. We were asked that alot. I really mean alot. It became quite funny.

So, I decided to come to Charlotte because I really wanted to hear Tony Campolo and Ray Vander Laan. I do see some drawbacks to my choice. There are a ton of organizations that are specifically for this region. Duh! But it will still be sweet.

Funny moment, Jeremy and I were walking through the booths and were stopped at one of the mission organizations. The very kind young lady asked if we did construction mission trips. We both answered yes, generally with Amor Ministries. So she hands us each one of their brochures and begins to tell us about their organization. Then she tells us that they have "sites" all across the nation. I open the brochure and see that their sites don't go any further West then Texas and that it is a good distance west of the next one. I guess Oregon is not part of the nation. Oh Well. I caused me to chuckle.

Looking forward to an awesome week.

Monday, November 13, 2006


I may have said this before, but I am saddened by the fact that I have no real discipline in my life right now. I have found that in those moments when I do have discipline it actually can be found in most if not all areas of my life and when I don't have any then that lack of discipline can also be found in most if not all areas of my life. I am really getting tired of this lack of discipline and am having a hard time finding the discipline. I wonder if I am trying to start to big. I think it should begin in small steps at which point I will begin to see success. Maybe I will give that a try.

God Here and Now

Do we really live this way? Do we understand this to be true? That God is here and is now. Do we even understand the implications of that statement? Does that mean that the kingdom of heaven is here and now as well and if that is the case, what does that mean? Can we grasp the idea that we are living in the kingdom of heaven. Do I live as if God is here and now? I am afraid to say that I don't. What would my life, your life look like if I/we were really living as if we understood that God is here and now?