June 30, 2004

A few words from our friend

Last week we had a guest helping us with the BSM. I asked her to jot down some thoughts afterward to share with you here. She is here visiting her son for a couple of weeks.

“Took my nice long walk with the Lord Thursday morning. Walking and talking things over, I was sharing my burdens and begging for understanding from the Lord. This day I told him I was very sad, but not sure why. ‘Where is my joy?’ I asked. He is always with me, that should be sufficient, and I’m ashamed when it isn’t. Where and how can I serve Him? It is in these things that I find so much joy and peace. It is written that we are to pursue peace and that is what I do. As is His custom, sometimes before the sun even sets, He answers me! My son got us to the Kaleo Courtyard on time, maybe a little early, so I got to meet the BB’s (Burrito Boys). So my son asks me if I would like to go with them to feed the homeless. All I could think is ‘God is faithful! In His presence is the fullness of joy’

I came down from Los Angeles on a Greyhound bus Wednesday night. After arriving at the bus depot, I crossed the street to catch the local bus and waited. Here I found a young man huddled near a bush on the corner who, no offense, looked like a wounded creature. I talked to him a bit and told him that Jesus did not want him on the street like this. As I turned away to catch my bus, I could not keep the tears away. I couldn’t help but think ‘this is some mother’s son’. I know what others think…get cleaned up, get a job, get rid of the booze or whatever is binding him…but right now, today, what can I do for him? Today, what would Jesus do? Was it chance that just last week I re-read Sheldon’s book In His Steps? Jesus gave the blind man sight, the lame man strength to walk and leap. All I have tonight is me and a burrito. And I know the Spirit of the Lord is with me. One lost soul under a bush turned into a large group of souls bedded down on the streets. Now they have names like Karl, David, Mary, and Steve as well as many others. My sleep was very sweet this night. Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

posted to BS Ministry @ 5:06 pm

June 11, 2004

Anthony and Vanessa

Please pray for our friends Anthony and Vanessa in New Jersey. Many of you may know Vanessa from the Burrito Sock Ministry. She brought her 3 children and sister’s 3 children to Kaleo and we even had a birthday party in the park for her youngest boy.We learned that her husband Anthony had what sounds like a stroke and is currently in a coma. His family is wanting to pull the plug but Vanessa is reluctant. This must be very hard for her and the children and we hope that the burden upon her shoulders right now is lifted and that she finds comfort in God during this difficult time.

posted to BS Ministry @ 7:06 am

June 8, 2004

He meant it for good

Mark 43 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. 5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. 7 And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” 9 And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” This just seemed appropriate to our ministry. We sow the seeds of Christ’s Gospel and some will fall on the rocks and some will fall on the rich soil but it is our job to spread the seeds. Another analogy I’ve heard is some sow, some water and another harvests. We may not harvest but we may only sowing or mearly watering but it is all got God’s glory (not our own).I also wanted to mention that our ministry has been greatly blessed recently. In addition to the benefits of our ministry in our own lives and the people we help, we have been blesseed with a large donation of bottled water (20 cases) thanks to the wonderful people at Fast Fit of Bonita. Unfortunately, this gift is the result of their store closing but I’m reminded of the verse where we’re told “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (Gen 50:20) I’ve also learned that a couple who have one of those swap meet booths is going to donate some socks. Socks are our biggest expense so this is very good news for our ministry. I’ll provide more details as they become available.

posted to BS Ministry @ 7:06 am

June 1, 2004

‘Thank You’ to the Denver crew

I wanted to give a big thanks to the Denver crew for helping out this past Thursday even thought they were on their Senior vacation. I’m sure we didn’t compare to Disneyland’s California Adventure or Mission Beach but your presence was greatly appreciated. In the past I’ve been feeling discouraged by the limited involvement we’ve seen in the BSM but the enthusiasm you had for helping really lifted my spirits. Pastor D. kept telling me how impressed he was that we were doing this ministry and all along I kept thinking to myself “but this is easy”. I realized that what seems easy for me can be overwhelming for others and that I shouldn’t be discouraged because people weren’t beating down the doors to help. There are going to be other areas of ministry that will come up and I may not feel called to serve in those areas like I am called here. I hope we have inspired you to take up a ministry within your community or get involved in an existing one if you haven’t already. Please feel free to share any of your thoughts or experiences here or on the Kaleo forum. I’d love to hear what you thought.

posted to BS Ministry @ 6:06 pm

May 21, 2004

Kicked out of the Garden

There are so many things I am thankful for, JG (PhotoJulia), Kaleo, my job, family, getting kicked out of the Garden of Eden?Yes, I am thankful for getting kicked out of the Garden. Sure it was probably the most beautiful place on Earth, plenty of food to eat, running around naked without a care in the world and not having to worry about being mauled by a bear?But we had to go ahead and screw that up, didn?t we? When I say we it comes from the fact that we are as guilty as Adam when it comes to the fall of man.

God gave us one simple rule ? ?you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? (Gen 2:17). But as is our sinful nature, we had to follow our desires ? not God?s. So there we are, butt naked ? ashamed, sinning in front of God and everybody, wondering how we can get out of this mess we?re in. I know – we?ll hide – no, blame the woman ? no? blame God. Yeah?about that?

Ok, so the jig is up, you sinned and you got busted. What?s the first thing any good parent does? Yep, ?you?re grounded? only this time, its literal: ?Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life? (Gen 3:17). So you?ve sinned, you got busted, you?re grounded, now what? Well most parents tend to take care of the immediate problem; in this case God makes garments of skin for Adam and his wife (Gen 3:21). This way they won?t freeze their little tooshies off while they?re out there working the land. But now comes the best part?they get kicked out of the Garden.

You?re probably wondering why it?s so good to get kicked out of the Garden. In order to understand that, lets back up a little bit, shall we? God said “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen 2:16-17) Did you catch that? I?ll repeat for you just to be sure? ?Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” And I?m pretty sure we?re not talking about a physical death but rather a spiritual one. So to see if you?re paying attention?how many trees were forbidden? Just the one, are you sure? So they could eat of any other tree in the Garden, right? Alright, just so long as we?re on the same page.

Now I want to talk to you about tough love, better known as, God?s gracious mercy.And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” (Gen 3:22) This is the part you need to understand. This is why God banished man from the Garden. Not only that, but he placed cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the Tree of Life. I think He means it. But did you catch it? Did you make the connection? ?Lest…he live forever? Now I ask you, what?s wrong with that? Who wouldn?t want to live forever?

?For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Not a physical death but a spiritual one. And the only escape from our sinful nature, our spiritual death, is to leave our earthly bodies and be united with Christ. That?s kind of hard to do when you?re immortal. Spending eternity, just the way you are, with your frail little body, your beer gut and thing hair?and that?s just the ladies. Imagine having to live through all the wars, famines, and droughts, fires that have plagued mankind throughout history. Living day in and day out in a world of unsaved people who have no fear of death, which is often the only thing keeping them in check. I don?t see being kicked out of the Garden as punishment for our disobedience, but as a gift to save us from ourselves. We could easily have toiled in the Garden just as much as outside of it, but no, that wasn?t the point.

We already know that God does things that are in our best interest according to His purpose. We may not like it at the time but we often see how the difficulty and the struggle have made us a better person, a better Christian, later in our lives. Like most of our struggles, we can only see how it is at the time of difficulty and how it goes against what we had planned for ourselves and not for the glory of God. The only way we can stop being sinful creatures is when we join the Father in Heaven upon the physical death of our bodies and our spirit filled hearts. Only then will we be happy, and the Garden of Eden will pale in comparison, and for that, I am eternally thankful for the banishment.

Genesis 3:22

posted to Worship @ 6:05 pm

New Testament Deacon

A short essay on Alexander Strauch’s The New Testament Deacon: The Church’s Minister of Mercy

When I began reading this book, I had now idea what a Deacon was supposed to be and therefore had no idea there was a question about it. Having read the book, I see why Alexander Strauch calls them ?Ministers of Mercy? and also why there is a question as to their roles and responsibilities. Scripture does not come right out and say; ?Deacons are this and they do that?. But Strauch makes a strong argument for the roles of deacons as ?Ministers of Mercy?. Unfortunately, I think he (and many others) may be coming to the wrong conclusion.

First, I have to admit that while my head is quite large, my brain is rather small, so I might (just this once) be wrong about my own conclusions. Strauch makes the connection between the Deacons mentioned in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 and the Seven described in Acts 6:3. This does not seem to me to be supported by scripture but rather, inferred from the relationship between the Greek words diakonia, diakone?, and diakonos. Since I haven?t studied Greek, I can?t confidently validate this conclusion, so I will accept this as possible so that I may address my main concern which is; the role of deacons.

If Deacons are the byproduct of the Seven from Acts 6:1-6, then the question that comes to mind is; what is the role and responsibility of the deacon? Now, Kaleo clearly supports the connection made between the Seven from Acts 6 and the Deacons from 1 Timothy. This is seen in their own list of qualifications for deacons. Again, I do not have a problem with that. What I disagree with is Strauch?s description of deacons as ?Ministers of Mercy?. Strauch clearly believes that Deacons are to serve the needs of the Church?s poor but I would be inclined to believe they are to serve the Church by freeing the shepherds from administrative duties. “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables? Acts 6:2. I find Stauch?s interpretation too limiting in scope and far too specialized.

The Seven were called to take the burden of service off the Apostles by handling the charitable distribution issues facing the church. Does this mean that they, as Deacons, are simply to serve the needy of the Church or to serve the Shepherds by reducing their administrative burdens and thus allowing them to ?give [themselves] continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4)? What this comes down to is a basic example of principle and method. The principle is that the Seven took on the burden of serving so the Shepherds could focus on studying and teaching of the word of God (which ultimately serves the Church, too). Strauch is letting the method (distributing charity) define the principle (supporting the Shepherds).

What does this mean for Kaleo and our Deacons? Simply put, they are to serve the Church in many ways. Deacons are to serve the Church by taking charge of our various ministries as Strauch believes, but also by developing and updating our website and doing building and property management. Deacons are to organize and facilitate the different programs we offer from children?s study to Film & Theology. All these things and more serve the Church directly through the benefits they bring but also indirectly by allowing our Elders to continue in their studies so that they may continually teach us (and others through us) the wonderful Word of God.

posted to Worship @ 3:05 pm

Welcome to my writings page

This BLOG will be for my more formal writings mostly associated with my leadership training at Kaleo. Anything I write that is more than the ramblings of a stressed out servant of the Lord will go here. This is where my papers on the books I’m reading will go with the occasional rambling about the difficulties of reading some of these books. I hope this you find this interesting and I encourage anyone to comment on my writings since I want to develop my skills both in content and delivery. Also, if you disagree with any of my arguments or conclusions, please feel free to address that as well. As I exercise my spiritual muscles, I may realize that I have misunderstood something or was not very clear about a certain point. Basically, any impute will be put to good use, even if it is merely an opportunity to defend my writings so please let me have it. Thanks and again, welcome

posted to Worship @ 1:05 pm

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