From South Africa to Selma: Listening leads to Seeing

So much to think about these days... I must admit I am agitated, sad, mad, hopeful, confused, confounded YET even more committed to listen and see what I've not seen before.
Since I visited the mass graves from the AIDS pandemic in South Africa in 2011, I've been praying for my eyes, ears and heart to be opened -- In fact, I penned this prayer nearly 6 years ago...

"I pray for eyes to see and ears to hear -- I pray for HOPE to well up inside us. Help us remember who we belong to and that we each have something to offer our world."

This is where our story begins.

Early on God had not sent rain to water the earth – no one had been created to cultivate the soil. In that time springs – a mist “came up from the ground and watered the land.”

Then God made mankind-- in His image. He breathes life into us.   Then and now. 

Their home was in the garden. Oh the garden.  Beautiful and diverse.  

Colors, aroma, delectable flavors and the cool breeze. Abundance. The land and sea were filled – the water teeming with fish and the land producing sustenance. All that was needed. Abundant. 

Companionship with God.
Companionship with each other.
Belonging to God.
Belonging to each other.

Me? You want me to do what?

We all know the feeling that sneaks up and whispers in your ear.  
You want me to do what?  I don't think so. 

Calendar invite: 
From: Dave Rod (aka Senior Pastor Grace Church)    Subject:   Preaching at Grace.
Wait.  What? 

Seriously.  Now I had to wait. You would have laughed if you would have heard the conversations I was having with myself before the meeting. Believe me I had played out almost every possible and improbable scenario you could imagine.  My favorite (safe, low risk, no disappointment, easiest scenario) I kept telling myself

Turning down the volume to hear

If you've been following this BLOG you know we've been encouraging you to engage in a variety of spiritual practices or disciplines because we know they work.

When we engage in spiritual practices our souls are changed.

Seeing More

I am undone by the beauty and promise of the people I am encountering in Rwanda.   

I see creativity.   Off to the side of the dirt road there is a small boy smiling as her plays with a bicycle rim, rolling it down the slight incline.

I see necessity.   The branches within reach have been stripped from the tree trunk to to be used for a fire to cook their meal. I see stacks of mud bricks being formed and placed in the sun to dry.  I see sturdy tree branches and trunks being used as roof trusses.  It seems every thing God has provided is needed for provision and shelter.

I see hope and expectancy

Super Agents leaving a mark on our world

I love the inquisitive nature of a child. 
Discovery -- seeking and finding seems to be built into our core. 
From our very first days of life, we begin gathering information in an attempt to make sense of the world we inhabit. 
We want to know how our world works.  We long to know what part we play.
Infants have their basic needs met through ongoing nurturing and nourishment.  These little ones are completely dependent on another person to provide everything they need.  Then, overtime as they grow and mature, they realize they have been designed to interact with and impact the world.
So it is... we have been created to be agents in the world.
agent (noun)
1: one who acts or exerts power
2: something that produces or is capable of producing an effect
thanks Merriam-Webster dictionary
Have you ever thought of yourself as an agent?  A super agent?