Monday, December 30, 2013

a walk in the park

To start the 2012 New Year, I joined a handful of others and jumped in the pacific ocean. Ya, not that great of a feat, considering on previous New Years I’ve jumped in Lake Washington. But none the less – it was still invigorating and a fun way to launch into the New Year.

As of yet, I haven’t decided what this New Year will entail? I’m not sure what will signify the start of 2014.
I have a small family – a wife and two kids (a four and a half yr old boy and 1 and a half yr old girl). Last year I embarked to the beach in Hermosa to jump in, by myself. It was fun. But I missed doing it with my wife. I missed having my family there to experience it too.


Family really is important in this day and age. With all our ability within social media for immediate connections, there is still something about spending time with family. A walk in the park, a jump in the lake, a kite flying, a bike ride; there is still something compelling about our tangible family connections.

Over the past few months I’ve thought a lot about the word “holistic.” It seems important to give appropriate and healthy (note healthy) amounts of time, energy and intention to work, family, physical health and spiritual health. Many of us desire this holistic life.

We all know the importance of spending time at work, accomplishing tasks, getting a paycheck, and providing for our (family) needs. We show up (40ish hours a week) and strive to do our best.

We all know the importance of balancing work life with our family life. Our parents, our siblings, our spouse, our kids; they need our attention, and we need theirs. Balancing time at work with family has been at the top of many New Year’s Resolution lists for years.

We see the health of our nation, our neighbors, our family – and we are driven to think about our physical health. Many will commit to loosing that “extra weight” from the holidays. We join Health clubs with good intentions. We lace up the trainers and run around the block. We eat better, play better, and work better.

But so often we forget one aspect of the holistic pie – our spiritual health!

What are you doing this New Year to tend to your spiritual health? BibleGateway and You.Version have great bible reading plans. Many churches have Bible Studies & Small groups. Our church is going to read “the Story” this New Year in 2014.

To live a holistic life – we must give attention to each aspect of our life pie. It’s not healthy to leave one out, or let it sit neglected. Friends who are out of work can attest to this. They’re anxious, and bored, they’re frustrated, and ready. We understand this. So let’s be intentional this new year to tend to all the aspects of our life.

As I think about it, this New Year, I hope to take my family out for a walk in the park (or perhaps the Strand). I hope we can create time to be together, exercise (running after the little ones), admire God’s creation, and breathe deeply the hope of a new year. As the apostle Paul wrote in Philippians : Forgetting what is behind, and pressing on toward what lies ahead.

join me on – a walk in the park

(ps – and if you’re curious, our church gathers SUNDAYS @ five)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sacred and the Secular

I'm part of an online forum where discussion takes place concerning the Sacraments. In the Protestant evangelical circles I'm a part of we have 2 : Baptism & Holy Communion. (Some denominations have more, but these two transcend throughout all of Christendom) (The Catholic Church has 7 - This forum is loosely connected to the denomination I am a part of and particularly for those of us who hold highly these 2 sacraments. 

But what does the Sacred in the Secular mean? The elements of communion are among us daily. Historically we understand Jesus to have been dining at the Feast of Passover when he initiated this "new" practice for his friends/followers/believers to participate in. The bread and the cup were picked up from the table, symbolic Passover Feast elements. He takes them in his hands and calls those with him that day to remember him every time they eat the bread and drink the cup.

A question was posted on the online forum revolving around an experience seeing the "tools" used in an unusual manner. And the question was raised "why is that, and isn't it wrong!?!"  Here’s the background : Often in the evangelical churches across our country, tiny little plastic communion cups are filled and placed in a shiny gold or silver "holder" ( And then the elements are efficiently distributed to the congregants.
 This particular situation, spoken of in the forum, saw these same cups and cup holder used at a State Fair to give sample taste-testers of their special sauces.

Out of this situation, here are my questions : is it odd to use the sacred in the secular - or is it exciting and admirable? How does using an item originally intended for a different purpose change the significance of the original purpose? Does seeing something out of place draw our attention to that which we have forgotten about, that which is in the far back reaches of our mind?I believe the God of the Old Testament and the New Testament is one of creativity. God is one who loves to see us engage in new opportunity and I believe God receives joy when he sees us interacting and reshaping. God is thrilled when the old is repurposes and given new life. This is precisely what the Christian story is about. New Life.

I love finding the Sacred intermixing in the secular. I hope we never move to a state of Sacred vs Secular. But rather strive to find creative redemption in the midst of our everyday lives. May the ordinary elements of our day draw us into communion with the EXTRAORDINARY.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I was swimming this morning. I try to do it a few times a week. I'm not in the slowest lane. But, I do most often find that I'm the slowest in my lane. For the most part I don't mind that. It's a lot of work to keep going. I'm not the energizer bunny. 
Most often I find that I swim well chasing bubbles. No, bubbles isn't a person. I mean literal bubbles, made from the kicking of the person in front of me. Perhaps it's like drafting in car racing. I don't know. But, I normally find comfort in the back of the line. I can rest, and can get off pace, and it doesn't effect anyone else.

To my surprise, this morning I found that I was slowly moving up in my lane. I started near the back, and by the end of the hour - had been forced to the lead position.

Leading in the pool is a lot like leading in other parts of life.
You feel pressure when you're leading.
You have to keep up the pace. You can feel others slapping at your feet. You feel like you have to be on top of it all. You have to keep pushing, even when you're tired. You have to count. You have to no where you are in your lap, you have to know where you are in your set. Leading is stressful.

As I find myself in a leadership position in other parts of my life - my experience in the pool this morning was a good reminder of my tendency to be content to coast.
Leading is hard. Leading causes pressureLeading is tiresome. Leading is a great responsibility.

The coach said to us this morning "your goal should be to move up the lane and right to left!" 
We must be striving to succeed and see ourselves moving up, moving out, & leading.

don't sit back & coast
push on, keep pace, reach beyond
set out as leader.