Bay Shoooore 2018

I get to speak at a Family Camp this week, which, if you’re unfamiliar, is like a giant family reunion amped up on potato salad with koinonia miracle whip and towering urns of coffee. The mornings are polkadotted with bible studies and the big evening service packs everyone into a giant wooden tabernacle that’s older than me and probably you, maybe even older than the both of us combined. A speaker speaks (this time it’s my turn) and a worship leader sings and the camp of families engage at all different levels, unified by a rather unique experience. It’s simple yet mystical and quite peculiar, but that’s usually how things go when followers of Christ get together. It’s challenging, encouraging, healing, sometimes bland (especially the speaker), yet no community organization or virtual reality is quite the same as this.
 
Mac and his friend and I are here with me this week, the three of us just finishing up a round of putt-putt. Before we know it, it’ll be suppertime and then “big church”. We’ll worship together, harmonize on the hymns and choruses and keep looking for the place where God is working and join him there. I like to think of this as a guided spiritual vacation en masse. There’s truly nothing like it.
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The Subway Test

Mac and I went to lunch today at Subway, which he pronounces “Sooubway” for some internet meme reason, and now I do, too. I observed something during our lunch together, which was very enjoyable and filled with conversations about Jim Gaffigan and Fortnite (what a mashup that would be, yes?) Anyway, I noticed something.
 
Have you noticed that getting a sandwich made at Subway is like a high-pressure job interview? Question after question is peppered at you, and your answer will determine your success and enjoyment in the future. The tension is high. They’ve got prefabricated food to assemble. All the while the line keeps getting longer. Mac and I have done this a few times, but the whole process is still kinda new and, from his point of view, wildly unfamiliar.
WHAT KIND OF BREAD? is an intense question to toss at a young kid. You and I know that there are different kinds of bread, but Peanut Butter ‘n’ Jelly comes on one kind: the normal kind. “The normal kind of bread” is a completely unacceptable answer at Subway. Italian? Wheat? Osiago Mogiago Cheese Blend with Sulfur Garnish and Organic Oats? WHICH ONE!? SIX INCH OR FOOTLONG? CHEESE? And then there’s the whole toasting thing. Do I want toast? Um, no? Oh, yes, toast it. Wait, what? And “veggies”, which is what they have to call them now, not vegetables, for reasons I can’t think up right now, are no simple pleasure. Do I say what I want as they’re putting other things on, or am I obligated as a customer to wait for them to finish with the lettuce before I say cucumber? Or should I have said cucumber*S* because I want more than one slice? And what kind of bread did I get again? ANYTHING ELSE? What’s “Sriracha” and how do I avoid contracting it? CHIPS MEAL DRINK COOKIES SIZE?
 
Listen, this is no criticism of the way things are. I’m just saying that it sure looks different from the side of novelty. Such a curious ritual we endure, often without second thought. We know what we want, we anticipate the questions, we eat our sandwich and spend the drive back to work getting lettuce out of our teeth.
 
So. Have you tried something unfamiliar today?
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[RadCast] Mark 4:35-41 – The Time Jesus Slept Through the Storm

The water is making its way into the boat, the wind is howling, the waves are overwhelming, and Jesus is zzzzzzzzz. Notice that He didn’t stop the storm, He only gets involved when invited, and He’s amazed that we get so worked up. Jesus shows us how to be at total peace when — not if — the storm rises up.

 

 

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[RadCast] The never ending “fad” of the new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Remember Pogs? Beanie Babies? It’s a movement, a craze, a fad that people hear about, get into, and usually cast aside. The Kingdom of God is similar… sorta. The best part? We’re all a work in progress, a renovation in the works.

 

 

 

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[RadCast] Jesus meets us in mystery but shapes us relationally (Mark 4:33-35)

It seems that Jesus loves a good parable. Parables make us think spiritually by relating the Kingdom of God to something familiar. Yet He does not leave us in the mystery. He speaks to our souls and “explains everything.” We read/hear the Word as we listen to Jesus (the Word made flesh).

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[RadCast] What is Jesus teaching you today? (Mark 4:30-32)

Jesus isn’t an informant — He’s a teacher and a transformer. We have no shortage of information (google it) but we are short on transformation. Jesus speaks in parables so that we’ll think differently, see differently, and become more aware of how the Holy Spirit is at work. He’s building a Kingdom — let’s join Him in this!

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[RadCast] We make it our goal to please him (2 Cor 5:6-10)

Of COURSE we feel out of place as followers of Jesus. Until we are home with the Lord, we make it our aim to please Him. Every moment, every decision, every action counts. What can we do that most brings glory to the grace, truth, and hope of Jesus? That’s how we’re supposed to be.

 

 

 

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