Monday afternoon musings…

This morning I observed the normal hustle & bustle of our start to the week – thePastyGangster dropped Mason on his way to work so that Auntie Weezie could take him to preschool. He entered the kitchen in a whirlwind of energy & didn’t slow down. Frank came bounding down the stairs so theBean could take him to school… then rushed back upstairs at least 2 more times because he forgot something. (For such a little guy he sure makes a lot of noise.) iDoey was up & at ’em making breakfast… everyone was headed in different directions at 100 m.p.h. Still, it was a good morning.

The flurry of activity common to our weekday mornings stands in stark contrast to our Sunday afternoons/evenings.  The afternoons are peaceful, quiet, & restful, with only the occasional football game related noise (cries of anguish for 49er fans like me,) breaking the silence It’s a time for rest, catching up on a good book, eating a favorite snack, or just hanging out. The evenings we gather around the dinner table (or counter,) usually with family & friends for a good meal, even better discussion, & time together to be savored. I love it.

I’m really enjoying our current series, “The Jesus Way,” a study through the gospel of John. The thing that really stands out to me is Jesus’ use of the words/imagery of LIGHT & LIFE in describing what He came to bring for any/all who would put their trust in & follow Him. In my studies, I came across the Didache(a.k.a. the teachings of the 12 Apostles,) a document most likely put together in the 2nd century. Like its name suggests, it shares teachings of the early church on topics such as water baptism, communion/the Eucharist, prayer & fasting, etc…

An area that really jumped out to me was the section called “the 2 ways.” In a nutshell, it says there are 2 Ways – one that leads to LIFE (trusting & following Christ) & one that leads to DEATH (anything else.)  It reminds me of Jesus’ declaration from Matthew 7:

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide & the way is easy that leads to destruction, & those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow & the way is hard that leads to life, & those who find it are few.

I have been on a ‘soup’ kick for the last few months. Seems like I just can’t get enough. My current favorite is made with grilled onions & garlic, cumin, green chiles, diced jalapenos, black & white beans, chicken stock, & the meat of a Costco rotisserie chicken. Lots of flavor & a little bit of spice. I think I’ve been eating it an average of 2x/day.

In the mornings when Mason comes over, I’ll hear him call out, “Hey Grammy.” And I look, expecting to see a grandmother… & I see theBean. Sometimes this doesn’t quite feel like real life, like somehow I have been transported into a future that isn’t my own. And then I look around for my little kids & instead I see 3 adults… 2 grown men with grown man jobs, & a grown woman who’s working really hard & setting herself up for the next chapter of her life. And I wonder, “Is this real life?”

And then Mason says, “Whatcha doing Poppy? Can I have a doughnut?”

And I remember, “Ah, yes. This is real life.”

Just signed up to be a part of a spiritual direction program for the next 9 months. It’s a 1x/month meeting via Skype & I have no idea what to expect, except that I am expecting good things.


I’m convinced that whatever you look for in somebody, you’ll find.  If you’re looking for the good, for the areas that God is at work in & through, you’ll be able to uncover it, even if it’s small. And if you look for the negative, the bad, the ugly part of us that everyone has, you’ll find that too.

On that note, there’s always something in life to be complaining about, but really? Why? Why complain about life circumstances, another person who isn’t meeting your expectations about how they’re living their life, etc… ? It doesn’t help, & it makes it not very fun to be around you. Trust me. I’ve been that guy – & one of the best days of my life was when someone told me, “You are SO negative, & you complain about SO many things. It’s tiresome.” I was forced to look in the mirror of my soul & I found a lot of discontent – stuff that was for me to address about myself… & the complaining & negativity were just symptoms, a distraction maybe, that oriented me towards living as a pessimist/realist/negative Nancy. a real downer who was very critical of myself & others. No fun. Don’t want to go back to that.

Here’s to a great day.




Rosarito, Day 5

This is a day late – due to the fact that we rolled into where we’re staying at 10:30 p.m., absolutely fried after a long day. Here’s what I recall:

For our devotions this week, we’re going through the Psalms of Ascent, Psalm 120-134. It’s a collection of songs that Hebrew pilgrims would sing as they climbed the hills toward Jerusalem during the 3 major feasts on the Jewish calendar. Each morning, a team member or 2 takes one of the Psalms, reads it out loud, & shares what stands out about the Psalm, what God is speaking to them, &/or something significant. Then the rest of the team weighs in with their own insights. We close with prayer & start the day.

After breakfast & devotions, we headed to Hope Chapel Rosarito to join Emily & our buddy Mario for a prayer walk in the neighborhoods around the church. We broke into 2 teams, & took some ‘invitation flyers’ to pass out to anyone we happened to see, then we headed out. As we walked, we encouraged all of the team members to pray for the people of the neighborhood – that they would come to know Christ & find a life-giving community to be a part of. Over the next 2 hours, we didn’t engage a whole lot of people, but we did cover a lot of ground & spent some time praying over a section of property next to the church… asking God that it would be used for His kingdom & His glory. TheWeez used an app to determine how far we traveled & it turned out we walked about 6.5 miles. No wonder my feet are tired & sore.


The afternoon consisted of lunch & preparing for Friday night church at Vista Marina, HCR’s spanish speaking outreach to a neighboring community. We arrived around 4:45 to find most of the church gathered, awaiting our arrival. We played some soccer, gave horsie rides, & engaged the people as best we could in conversation. Service this week consisted of some worship (in Spanish) & an encore presentation of the 2 dance numbers we did earlier in the week. Shake it, shake it we did.

I had an opportunity to speak, & I explained about what we’ve been doing at Hillside – sharing our story, an area where God has intersected our life in a powerful way (based upon the Scripture Revelation 12:11, which says, “they overcame hm (the enemy) by the blood of the Lamb & by the word of their testimony… & they didn’t love their lives to the death.”  Four members of our team shared their stories, & I wrapped up with an encouragement from Matthew 5:14 – reminding each of us that we are the light of the world… & we bring God glory when we let it shine. Further, even if it seems our light is small & insignificant, it shines bright & drives out the darkness.

We went straight from Vista Marina to the beach, eating the sandwiches we had prepared on the way. Beach night means a bonfire with the fledgling HCR youth group & their youth pastors, Jose & Megan. Fire is always a good idea, & when accompanied by marshmallows, chocolate, & graham crackers, it is even better. Add to that the sound of crashing waves & a beautiful night & it was pretty awesome. Most of all, I was so proud of how our team engaged with the others. It made for a great night of conversation, snacks, & burning every piece of wood we could find, culminating in our s’mores sticks. Rolled into the Casa de Descansa (House of Rest) at 10:30, & quickly debriefed about the day, then straggled off to bed.

At this point, we’re tired, sore, kinda stretched thin & worn out. And yet, its a good tired. Feels like significant things are happening with our team, & with our friends at HCR. We’re finding it easier & easier to go to sleep & harder & harder to get up in the morning. It helps that Tony Mac gets the coffee brewing bright & early, & the smell of fresh java makes its way up the stairs & helps shake off the last remnants of drowsiness, reminding us, we’re still on a mission & we’re not done yet.

Please pray for us – for endurance, flexibility, & sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.