Monday, March 06, 2006

Vision Trip - Glorieta

This week I'm taking off to the States with a group of students and staff for our annual (4th year now!) "Vision Trip." It's a great way for us to tank up spiritually, and to gather ideas about ministry in another setting, with innovative churches and student ministries. Then we can compare and contrast philosophies & methods, and get a fresh perspective on how we can 'tweek' our personal lives and walk with God, as well as the Connexxion ministry in Germany.

We leave 1st for Ft. Worth, then Norman, OK (1 night each place) and then on buses with the Oklahoma University BSU to Glorieta, New Mexico (see photo above of worship center). For one week we participate in a spring break conference for 500 collegiates. Max and Sandra Barnett (see our team in 2004 in blue shirts with Barnetts) first challenged me in 2002 with the invitation to bring a group! Thanks, Max!

This is the team from last year. This year I will be one of the seminar leaders discussing how to start new groups from scratch. A new twist this time-- after the conference, instead of returning to Norman, we'll travel by train to Los Angeles. I ministered at the USC campus for 2 years with Neil and Melinda Walker. Christian Challenge is our campus ministry host for 6 days. Then the weekend will be spent at Huntington Beach, hosted by my former church Seabreeze Community, getting a vision for church planting. I really covet prayers for my final preparations & for the trip itself! Wanting God to give me a fresh vision of what He has in store for me these next months.

Friday, March 03, 2006

all over the map

"There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven."

Ok, I'm a person who is sort of "all over the map." As in --quite distractable. For example, I try to do 'logical' things in a long meeting or day-long seminar, that don't seem strange to the folks in the room-- but gets me out of the chair or out of boredom. Like go to the restroom, type notes in my laptop, or walk to the back of the room for more water. I like shorter-term projects way more than 'let's plan one year in advance' events. It's hard to finish a book.

I can change interests and don't keep to too many main passions. But I'm flexible that way. Isn't that cool? Maybe I get bored easily. Phases-- guess most kids have them. The 'make your own candle and use real Florida sand on the outside' phase. Wax in the kitchen pots-- thanks, Mom, for your patience. The collect shells phase. The build your own terrarium phase. The start jogging with Dad era. I recall as a young teen that I had this "thing" about getting an aquarium. Read all about it. But after a few years, I mean, the gurgling of those bubbles in my room was more than I could handle. The problem with the 'play the piano' phase was (which lasted quite some years) that my parents thought that it needed to really be a discipline. And my grandad Moore had been a skilled musician. So I took lessons much beyond my keen interest level.

I have changed cities quite a number of times, e.g., so that seems to be the way God has molded me. I like adventure. But don't like total change all the time-- put it this way, I can keep my living room FURNITURE in the same configuration for years, unless someone helps me think outside the box, but will change the CITY where I live!

When I reflect on this trait, I feel that God has graced me with something that seems like a lack of discipline, but does have it's advantages. It looks really un-spiritual, e.g., especially when you skip around in what you're reading in your Quiet Time or which word you're doing a word study on. Accountability definitely helps here. But God can use such a gifting (if it doesn't drive those around you nuts!) to make you take chances, and break out of a bad rut. To push the envelope and step out in faith. To move, frankly. And having moved a bit in the past-- living in Tampa (more than once!), Waco, Ft. Worth, Vancouver, LA, Cloppenburg and Jena... well, I hope God's gifting proves true as I pray about being a catalyst in starting up a new campus ministry and moving later this year.

“If you carefully obey all the commands I am giving you today, and if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and soul, and if you worship him, then he will send the rains in their proper seasons so you can harvest crops of grain, grapes for wine, and olives for oil. He will give you lush pastureland for your cattle to graze in, and you yourselves will have plenty to eat." - Deut. 11:13-15 -

"They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail. Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper." - Psalm 1:3 -

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

evening in the cellar

Last night we celebrated the semester's end with our main discipleship group. (see me, with Conny & Lydia R. above). These are also the students who sacrificially serve in leading our small groups and helping organize parties, monthly worship & special events. It was a relaxed time to 'treat' them to a special dinner in an OLD cellar of stone walls and vaulted ceilings. Man, these are the quaint places that just 'hug' me with beauty & European history! Not to mention the fun of laughing and chatting with friends. Mario is left- he'll start a 5-month internship w/ troubled youth in Dresden next week. (see Stefan & Alrik, right)