Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In the Sanctuary of Time

I have been thinking alot about this, yet I have neglected to write it down. So here goes. Its amazing to me how long it takes to be healed of some things. I'm not necessarily talking about a broken leg or anything physical like that. But emotional stuff, the baggage that you pick up whenever you break your leg if you will. Or maybe the effects of a relationship falling to pieces, or neglect or abuse or any number of things that happens to affect our souls. It doesn't even have to be that serious, it can be the little innocuous things that don't really hurt, but do affect us. What be it, it all takes time to recover from. I have been learning to love all that time that it does take. Yes, it's still frustrating whenever I realize that the things that I thought I was once recovered from is still gonna take a little more time. But its beautiful to me that God understands this process, and I think that he incites it more than we think. He's big enough to let us be hurt, He just seems to know better and He understands it as well. G.K. Chesterton said in his book 'Orthodoxy' something to the effect of choosing Gods and realizing that the one who truly cares it the one whos greatest strength is in his absolute display of weakness, becoming human. Empathizing with humanity enough to put himself in the position of one of us and then dying worse than most of us ever will. I think about Paul the apostle and looking at his life and realizing that it took him more than 10 years after he got saved to start preaching. What he was doing during that time I don't know but I think that because of that time he was a much healthier person to be preaching. He had had time to process through all the stupid things that he had done, and reconcile that stuff.
Yesterday I was talking to a good friend of mine about past friends of ours who are now going through rough patches. Questioning life, faith, whatever. And I have come to a point of realizing that their isn't a whole bunch of things that I can be proactive about to help them through those periods. It isn't worth trying to tell them that what I view as 'the truth' about their situation. I can't go up to them and say those perfect words that changes their world view entirely, because I have no clue what to say sometimes honestly. And talking to Lotte, who is from Germany, about her life at university, she says the same things. Sometimes, as much as we would not like it to be this way, there isn't a whole bunch that we can do for peoples situation except simply be there. To exist within their reality as a friend who cares. To be there for them as you watch everything fall to pieces. I know that this sounds a bit grim perhaps. But I think that its because it doesn't fit within our modern day paradigm very well, letting time and God have their way. Personally I see it as a beautiful prospect now. Their are things in my life that if I hadn't had the time to hash out I know I would be a completely different person, probably for the worse.
So in the end what I think I am saying is to relax and let God and time take their winding course. Enjoy the prospect of all the varying emotions that are inevitably bound to happen, anger to ecstasy. Read through Ecclesiastes and learn to enjoy the beauty inside of that book once you realize that life isn't always rainbows and butterflies. And be there for the friends in need, you don't need to talk, just hold them and let them know that you care no matter how long it takes.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Today is Christmas, and I have spent it in Colorado with family. My parents and Grandmother came together to give me a Stiletto 15 0.z. framing hammer. Interestingly enough I have been drooling over this particular tool for the past couple of months and trying to create a way to buy one. Now you may think that its just a hammer, but this is the cou de gras of hammers. This thing weighs half that of other hammers, but hits just as hard, God bless American ingenuity. I have affectionately name it Stella. Yes I do have my shirt off in this photo..... enjoy it.
From me

Every Christmas, not unlike other families, we sit down and eat dinner as family and friends at one table. And inevitably the question comes up "Where do you see yourself in five years?" Now, it is usually my father who is the one who incites this discussion, which we all "love" answering as you can imagine. But it was my Nana who asked this time so we had to come up with some answer out of a since of respect and submission to the sages in our life. Not that my father isn't a fountain of wisdom and knowledge, he's just not in the right generation if you know what I mean. The question bounced from person to person and eventually made it to me. I know that there are things that I want to do with my life, like becoming an astronaut while still maintaining my position as head of the white house and in my spare time climbing the random 8000 meter peaks in asia that I hadn't managed to bag before I had become either of those respectable titles. You know, the stuff everybody wants to do, carry a job that you truly enjoy, travel, teach and be taught, fall in love, make friends in many places. Yes I have those ambitions but I find that I am not driven in life by those desires to an extent. Of course I do want to do that stuff and have those experiences. But I found that I, weather subconsciously or volitionally, I live by a set dogmas that drive what I do differently than just a desire to have. (I don't think that I am an exception or live differently than everyone else, I just have come to recognize this about myself. In fact I think that most everybody is like this)
For instance, I always want to be in a position to help people. I know that you can make the argument that everywhere you are you can help people, and I see this. But I want to make sure that I do this or am always in that position. I think what I am saying is that I want to be altruistic in what I do. I guess that you can call altruism, humility. But to me it feels different. Humility seems to me like you have the mindset that people are just as good as you if not better, and yes I do want that. But altruism to me is saying that people deserve just as good as you if not better, in stuff, they way they are treated, everything kind of. I like this, its like when you can tell someone is trying to give you their best in all that they do, cause they really care for you, not out of a sense of duty, but cause they think you deserve the best. I always want to be creating something. Not always for just some practical reason, but sometimes for the simple sake of beauty. Creating is worship and worship is healing. I always want to be challenged by my fellow man. I love Derrick Browns quote in Church of the broken axe handle "Pal you are church, a house of healing that is the closest thing to the image of salvation since people thought to hold hands when jumping to their deaths from the failure of buildings." I would love if that is what I saw in people more, I guess its a process to get to that point and God has me where I'm at now for a reason. I'm ok with that, He knows better than me anyways.
I know that this all seems terribly idealistic but I'm ok with that for now. The five years question just got me thinking today and I figured that if I wrote something down it would make more sense to me. But sometimes I find that I suffer from things making sense in my head but not even being a little bit cohesive when I decide to talk about it. I guess its ok, it'd probably be confusing to anyone besides myself anyways if I could articulate it correctly. Anyways I hope that you have a Merry Christmas with whoever you decide to spend it with.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

First Blog

Hello All,
Well, as you probably have found out by now, this is my new blog. It has been a while since I have talked to many of you, so this is an attempt to close the gap between me and you.

Lets start off with what I have been doing. I have been working for a non-profit missions organization called YWAM in the beautiful northwestern corner of Montana in a little town called Lakeside. I truly love it here, I love what I do and the people are second to none. Secondly, I have been working on the construction services side of things here on the YWAM base. The place that I live in was originally designed as an Air Force Base but after 30 years of service to the government it was decommissioned and put up for auction, where a few faithful YWAMers bought it and turned it into, of all things, a missions base. Training and sending out missionaries to spread the word of God all over the world. Needless to say, an old air force base that is now 51 years old and very lived in demands attention. So whenever I am not working on our new building projects here on base, I am trying to keep the place running. Heat, water, sewer.... light bulbs. Whatever needs to happen me and a couple other guys are there for it. I love doing this. There is something freeing about being behind the scenes and making a comfortable and safe environment so that so many people can come and learn about the word of God and then go all over the world to share that love. Some would say its a menial job, I call it fulfilling.
So now that all the pleasantries are over. What have I been up to in more recent terms? Well, since the base was originally designed as an air force base it doesn't suit the needs of a missions organization to a tee. We have made due over the past 24 years by simply absorbing and redesigning to suit our needs. I.E. a theater out of an old heavy trucks garage, a classroom out of the old boiler room, the list goes on. But over the past couple of years there has been need for change in a bigger way. So we have now started to change. In order to accommodate more students we are needing a bigger meeting hall, but to do that we need to move some other necessaries around. So we are starting out by building a building on an already existing slab so that we can move some other buildings around in order to enlarge out cafeteria. I know, sounds complicated and a little over thought. But if you com up and visit me, than I can show exactly how it works, and you can see me too. So, what I am saying is, I have been building a large storage, mechanical and wood/maintenance shop over the past two months. It has definitely been an adventure, and it is already improving the feel of the base. Here are some photos of our progress, these are from about two or three weeks ago so the roof is on now and we have started to build the south wing.

So anyways, I don't want this blog to be simply utilitarian. I actually want to publish some of my ideas, which may not be entirely profound, but they sure are ideas. One that I have been thinking ever since I had to give a bible study last week is the concept as building as worship. Which makes total since if you think about it. I think it is something that has been lost, or perhaps just not as prevalent in the past years. Think about it for a minute, we see the concept as someone playing the guitar as worship, hopefully because they love doing it. And dancing is often seen as a form of worship, once again because they are good at it and they love doing it. Even painting and writing, all forms of worship because the people love to do it. They are good at it and it gives them life and it is something that can happen in a gathering in front of people. For me, building and trades falls into this exact same category, its definitely not as "in the moment" or easily relateable as some forms of worship are. But that is also the beauty of it. The other day I was talking to a friend of mine who had just returned home from a trip to England and he was telling me about his time there and the cathedrals that he went to. For him it was hard to believe that somebody had built that, had taken so much time to build a simple building. To him it seemed somewhat redundant and pointless to build something with that much building whenever it is just a building. To me it makes total sense. It is something that I can do to glorify God, and what makes it even better is that in the end it is practical. The bible study comes in at this point, it was the verse on the lady that poured the perfume on Jesus feet and them wiped them with her hair. She brought her best, hers was excellence for Jesus. This caught me because it made me realize how I want my work to display excellence in all that it is. To bring my best to the table, something that is functional, won't break and at the same time beautiful. Just as much form as it is function. It does make a difference not working for a paycheck and having to live off support with less that what I could have if I had a job doing the exact same thing. But the difference is you are driven by your work ethic and you don't have to worry as much about time, you can take a little longer to perfect something, or to build it just that little bit better. And that is what I want, my work to glorify God, even if it seem indirect. And this applies to anything we do I think. For me though, this has been a point of thought over the past few weeks.

Oh! And also last week we had some random hotel buildings just given to us, its crazy! Here is the video of them coming up our road. I am working on the foundations over Thanksgiving place so that they don't set on the steel racks for to long and start to warp.