Thursday, August 14, 2003


It’s time once again for another experiential event at TFB… This is the last in a series of three on the Trinity. The first was in June—Consuming Fire—focusing on God the Father. The second was in July—Living Bread—focusing on the Son. This one—Holy Wind—focuses on the Holy Spirit, seen primarily through the metaphor of wind. This month—for the first time—two YAM students are designing most of the space. It should be cool. As always, it’ll be a multi-sensory, non-linear, God encounter. If you’re in the Los Angeles area and would like to participate, it’ll be at:

Torrance First Baptist
2118 Carson St.
Torrance CA, 90501
August 16, 2003
Space is open from 8 pm to 10 pm PDT

OK, so it’s a plug…

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Don’t know why, but I was thinking about my mom today. I wrote this a while ago. It’s kinda sad; not the usual fare.


Her death, more than her life, has left its print on my soul. I have lived with her death for nearly thirty years. I lived with her only twelve. I try to remember, but the memories are so far and so faded… I remember that, somehow, she was the glue that held us together. When she died, we all began to drift. Occasionally, we have drifted together—a wedding, a graduation, a funeral—but the stuff of our connectedness has been squandered… I remember riding the Santa Fe to Illinois in the summer. Mom would let my brother and me go to the observation car. I remember eating in the dining car. It was special because most of our meals were packed from home in a cooler we kept by our seats… I remember staying with Mom at Grandma’s house in Rockford. My older brother and I would pump water from the well and pick mulberries off the tree. He would climb the tree and I would put the berries in a bucket of freshly pumped water, watching for tiny worms that would float to the top. The berries were good. One time Grandma made apple butter and pickles for our visit. In the field next to her house, rabbit ears would peek from the tall, brown grass. Behind her house was the cement lined creek, its sides slick with green moss, and its waters running with snakes... I remember my Grandma… I remember Mom’s body, lying in the casket at the viewing… I remember the funeral, twelve years old, sitting with the family behind the nearly opaque curtain, hidden from view, weeping, dressed in red… I remember the burial, down the hill from the towering mausoleum, next to the tree… I remember the praying hands decorating the interior of the casket… I remember the elegant dress that draped her corpse… I remember her sunken cheeks, brushed with too much blush…

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

< Mini-Rant >

Have those who denounce The Passion as anti-Semitic actually read the biblical accounts on which the film is purportedly based? The detractors are basing their accusation on the portrayal of Jewish leaders and a Jewish mob as responsible for the decision to crucify Jesus. Um, yea, that is what it says in the well attested ancient document called the New Testament—they were responsible for the HUMAN decision… but go back a bit to the scene in the garden. Jesus prays and weeps to his Father—God, the king of the Universe—to take the cup—the crucifixion—from him. In the end, it is the Father’s will and the Son’s FREE choice that causes the crucifixion. A choice of love. The actions of the mobs and of the Jewish leaders and of the Roman government did not kill Jesus. Jesus gave his life.

Get the facts. Read the book—four reliable accounts are available: The Gospel According to Matthew (a Jew), The Gospel According to Mark (a Jew), the Gospel According to Luke (a Gentile God-fearer), and The Gospel According to John (a Jew). So four people from religious Jewish backgrounds write about the life, death, and resurrection of a religious Jew, and somehow this is anti-Semitic? Huh? I realize the incredible abuses of the past. I have seen the visuals. I understand—at least in my heart—the cry, “Never again.” But realize that those who turn the story of Messiah Jesus into anti-Semitism have distorted the truth of the thing: Jesus gave his life. No one took it—not me, not you, not the Jewish leaders, not the Jerusalem mob, not the Roman government. Free gifts can’t be taken. And a final note to the “Christians” out there who dare to make the Good News anti-anyone: read Romans! Everyone is in the same boat without Messiah!! It’s not about us and them—it’s about Him. He is Messiah, Savior, Creator of everything. He is God and in him the dividing lines disappear (see Galatians 3:28).

< End Mini-Rant >


Once in a while, I get this feeling that I’m in way over my head. I begin to question whether I should be doing this—whatever “this” is—at all. Maybe it’s a brain thing. Maybe it’s a hormone thing. Maybe it’s just self-doubt (not an entirely bad thing). I don’t know. With all my opinions and theoretical pontifications, I still have trouble with the stuff of normal ministerial practice. I’m just not sure if ministerial ‘common sense’ is as intuitive as I assume. Maybe it’s not intuitive at all. Maybe that’s something—some line—I’ve told myself. Maybe my expectations of myself are too high (it has been known to happen). I’ve thought of solutions to this self-informing circle—as if self-developed solutions are the answer to the self-informing circle. Solutions like: join a small group, get a mentor, be a mentor, get more training, etc. These are rational, normal, common solutions to intellectual, ministerial inbreeding. Whether these hold the solution I do not know—much of it depends on someone else’s participation. One thing I do know: Somehow there needs to be a space in my life filled with a diverse groups of fellow Christ-followers, diverse enough to stir up the green-house-grown, self-informing circle I call my mind.