Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pop quiz!!

Hi friends,

I don't usually put things like these up on my blog but this one was a bit interesting. I saw it first on a friends Blog. I know nothing of the creator of the quiz or hows questions were chosen but the results seemed pretty close - At least for me...Surprise I was a "Wesleyan" (scored 86 in the "Wesleyan" catagory and 79 in the "Emergant/Post Modern". Anyone who knows me could have told you that.

If you wanna take the quiz it is HERE

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

"step away from the hobo"

I've been sitting on some thoughts that I havenÂ't put down in any written form - mostly because my head has been a little cluttered with schedules and with break-ins and insurance claims and blah blah blah...

As many of you know we at Orchards UMC run a sufficiently HUGE fireworks stand here in Vancouver. It helps us give a salary to our Youth Director and also helps us do some wonderful things above and beyond the normal ministries we do as a church. It's a big undertaking that requires at least a few people to manage it full time during the week of sales. I and another guy from our church managed the tent this year (THANKS KEVIN YOU ROCK!) We were typically out at the tent everyday from 8:30 am to about 11:30pm. A couple of night I spent the night out there as well, as night security. Needless to say I was pretty scruffy looking come the end of the week.

Since the tent was in the Vancouver Mall parking lot, from time to time I would call my wife and kids and have them meet me at the food court for lunch when I could get away. On one of the last days of the sale, I met my family at the food court for lunch. I hadn'’t shaved in a week, I was hot and sweaty (we had several days above 100 degrees while working in a tent on a big black asphalt parking lot.) I smelled like gun powder and sweat and was pretty grimy in general. I got there a few minutes before my family, so I got in line at McD'’s. There was a little kid in line in front of me that smiled at me and said "hi". I asked him if he was gonna shoot off fireworks on the 4th and was just being generally friendly to him. I tried to be equally as friendly with his (I assume) mother, but she just gave me a patronizing smile and tugged her son closer. A few other people treated me in a similar way and it dawned on me that they thought I was homeless. In fact when my family joined me my son greeted me with this phrase to his sister Adeline; "“step away from the hobo!"

I've never experienced people looking "“through me"” or clutching their kids close when I stood behind them in line. It was an odd feeling. When I sat with my family the experience kind of stopped (and turned to "why is that beautiful woman with that guy?")

I was able to go home and take a shower and shave and change clothes, I can only imagine what it would be like to have that reaction everyday without break.

Some friends and I have been discussing what are the causes of homelessnes. Is it rampant consumerism? Is it a choice for some? Is it a "have's" vs. "have not's" thing? It seems that over and over as I interact with people who find themselves living on the street I hear stories of broken and destroyed relationships. Either fights with people, abuse by someone in authority, or someone significant. Somewhere along the line they have either lost the ability to have and maintain relationships or chucked it all together . It comes as no surprise to me that a homeless man we helped last year would break into our church and do thousands of dollars worth of damage, we are just another relationship in a long line that he has destroyed.

So if at the heart of sin is a severed relationship - what is the connection between homelessness relationships and sin? I haven't put all these pieces together in such a way that it fits yet but I think there is an important connection there. The fact that so many broken and destroyed relationship litter the trail to homelessness, and that we as a society can't even have the most superficial relationship with these folks by even merely acknowledging their presence and looking through them.

Your milage may vary.

Have a great week friends

Friday, August 04, 2006

WWJD....Splash #2

Well as you may have read back on Jully 11th the church that I serve was broken into. Our “friends” came back and broke into the church a second time on August 1st, and did considerably more damage this time, ripping speakers out of the sanctuary walls kicking in doors and frames and stealing sound equipment. I got a call from the 911 operator at 4am on the 1st asking if I was the pastor of the church and that there had been a burglery reported. The police dog was indicating that there was still someone in the building and they wanted my authorization to enter the building (at least thats what I think they waned, while I was trying to gather my thoughts and witts at 4am after being awoke by the phone) By the time I got to the church they already had the “suspect” (and i use the word loosly, since he was arrested walking out of the building with $900 worth of microphones and sound equipment in his back pack) anyway his accomplises seemed to have gotten away.

To make a long story short I identified the equipment layed out across the trunk of the squad care and side walk that they retrieved from the back pack and then walked to the side of the car to get a look at the fellow who blessed us in such a mannor. He looked a little familiar but didn’t ring a bell with me. As i walked through the building with the deputy examining the damage it dawned on me who the person was. I was a homeless man that we had helped for about 4 months last summer and fall until he dissapeared named Ted. I asked the deputy if the Guy in the car’s name was ted and he said yes. I’ll just say it was a good thing he was in the back of a locked squad car at that point.

This is a guy whom I brought blankets to at 11pm and checked on every night to make sure he was safe and warm. I helped him look for jobs got him food, and gave him my lunch. When members of the congregation were uneasy about a homeless guy being around church that long I and a few other fought the battle to continue to help him. This was the thanks we got. Thanks Ted for the damge to the building. For the frantic day of trying to get things repaired so that we wouldn’t have to turn 50 kids away when they came for the second nite of Vacation Bible school. Thanks for making it all the more dificult to help people who find themselves on the street. Thanks for making me not want to help them much anymore. Thanks for making my birthday so special by spending the morning speaking with the insurance adjuster (who by the way is an incredibly nice woman and a huge help, thanks Mary!).... Ok I think thats enough venting for one day.

Ok here is the kicker, the scripture the kids memorized tonite for VBS was ... (your already ahead of me I know.. ) 1 Corinthians 13: 5-6 “love is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs...” I wholeheartedly admit I’m not to 1 cor 13 yet in fact it might be a while, I’m still kinda in Amos looking through those “woe to you evildoers” passages. I’m really having a difficult time with this whole thing to tell you the truth. In fact I’m feeling the exact opposite of Love and commpasion and I don’t like it. In fact writing it out here is good for me, but I really need some peace at this point

Thursday, August 03, 2006

OOOO numbers

Ok for those of you that are into the whole number thing and patterns, I have a few for you. Today is my birthday and I am turning 38, so I am turning 38 on 8-3 or 3-8-8-3. ok Second one my daughter turned 6 on July 6th of 06, an the third one, my son turns 8 on August 8th. I wont tell you my wifes age and dates cause she punches really hard.

Ok you numeralogists(sp?) let me know what wonders await me in the future.