Thursday, March 30, 2006

spring is in the air

Yesterday we spent some time in the yard preparing our garden for the coming season. For those who may just be jumping on board, we got our feet wet with a 16 x 20 garden last year, growing snap beans, carrots, zucchini, corn, and oh so many tomatoes. We learned a lot and have been putting together improved strategy for this year, as well as expanding to 20 x 20. We've already started some broccoli, peppers (jalepeno, green, etc), cantaloupe, and a few others inside...some will be transplanted into the garden this weekend, and our garden will take shape by April 15th (the supposed last frost date here). We'll be trying strawberries, lettuce, spinach, corn, and some other things throughout the year...and we're also trying to do better with repeated sowings in order to have production throughout the summer and not just for a short time for each food. More to come as the seasons progress.

I had a great time with some brothers this morning being reminded that every man and woman is made in the image of God. Christians should be known for responding accordingly, giving respect and love to all regardless of creed, race, politics, or cultural inclinations. Yeah, this sounds great, but it is so difficult to live. It takes something beyond my ability, and accomplishes things beyond my expectations. This is where God leaves signposts and displays his power and love, and what a privilege to walk in it. It gives purpose to every moment. It gives tangible evidence of God's mercy and grace, though only in part so that we longingly yearn for the new heavens and new earth to come.

What is a great way to start living this out? These brothers and I are taking part in a little exercise: to try not to gossip, deceive, boast, put others down, and defend ourselves (for our own reputations) over the next least to notice our tendencies and not feed them further. This cannot just be to put notches in our belts or feel good (I'm good at that already). It is a way to glimpse into the human heart and understand a little more of the depth of God's love for us...and to be light for others in the midst of this. Perhaps you'll try this as well, with right intentions...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

World Water Day is Today!

Today, March 22, is World Water Day. It's probably not something that is pre-marked on most people's daytimers or photo-filled calendars. But it might be something you would like to pencil in because it really is important and it affects about 1.1 billion people in our world today. It still shocks me to the core that there are over a billion people who lack access to safe, clean drinking water. It's absurd, actually. There are millions of unnecessary deaths because of water-borne diseases. This crisis mostly affects women and children, who must walk miles every day to carry buckets of filthy water upon their heads, knowing all too well, that if they don't drink the water, they might die - and if they do drink the water, they might die. What kind of choice is that? Clearly, it's no choice at all.

There's a movement out there (small, but extremely committed) to end this global water crisis. I think many people feel as if they have nothing to offer, or no way to actually be a part of the change. But when $1 provides a year of water for an African, for instance, it's clear that everyone has something to offer. I believe that if we can rally this nation to care about this issue, we will see a dramatic decline in the water crisis. Through Blood:Water Mission, we have already seen transformation in hundreds of communities in sub-Saharan Africa. It's an amazing privilege to enter into the lives and struggles of friends an ocean away. As Dan Haseltine says, a huge body of water has kept us apart from Africa, but water is also the very thing that can connect us.

On World Water Day, I hope you take a moment to thank God for the gift of clean water in your own lives and that you join us in praying for those who struggle daily to live because they lack the very element that they need most for survival.

Jena Lee and everyone at Blood:Water Mission

For more, go to WORLD WATER DAY 2006

words on your heart

About a month ago I joined some brothers to set out on a journey of discipleship, meeting weekly. To some, the very word raises hairs and makes you want to turn and run. What I have enjoyed most thus far is the joy of having God's word on my heart. That may not sound exciting...especially because it involves memory verses. But whether you are a believer in Christ or not, try taking some verses of God's word, writing them on a card, and referring to it throughout the day (actually speaking the words), and see if it doesn't alter your focus throughout the day.
I find great encouragement through this. My focus is shifted away from my own "kingdom" and toward God's promises. The same promises He made to His children in Israel, to the early church, are true today. Cultures change, generations pass, yet God is God and continues to create for His glory and His purposes. Even if you don't believe this, and perhaps think I'm crazy, give it a try and believe it for a day to see how life might be different.
Living in this way is a walk in faith that my actions today (how I steward my time, money, words, thoughts) have greater implications than I imagine, far beyond my own satisfaction and peace. These are graces God gives us to see Him, touch Him , and experience Him...the tangible glimpses in the midst of faith. And this is not for us to pat ourselves on the back and feel good, but to walk in His radiance and His glory.

Friday, March 17, 2006

still there?

I'm not quite sure who still reads this, as I feel like I have failed in utilizing this blog to its potential (and previous usage)...perhaps some of you are still there. Anyways, I have been trying to reacquaint myself with the art of journaling by hand, which has at least temporarily taken priority over blog entries. With that progressing, I am going to try to juggle both, but appreciate your patience and desire to check in occasionally even in my frequent absence.

I had the privilege of speaking to the students of Franklin Classical School yesterday...primarily about Blood:Water Mission, but also connecting it into my daily life at home, in music, in BWM work, and beyond. Thanks to George Grant and Matt Ruff for making this possible, and it was great to see them, though brief. It is a challenge each and every day for any person to wake with the hope of the Gospel and the drive to bring it to bear in this world. But it is the only hope...and it is the only way love can truly run rampant and beautifully throughout this world. May it be so.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

the washington institute

Please take a moment to go to the Washington Institute's website for some words on Blood:Water Mission as well as other great resources. It is great to see Steve Garber and others putting together some fantastic material and thought into faith, vocation, and culture...seeing life flowing together rather than disjointed in spirituality, practicality, and reality. Sign up for the newsletter while you're at it!

Monday, March 06, 2006


Busy-ness affects the spirit in so many ways. Instead of living in full intentionality (living "according to the Spirit") I switch to managing well (or not so well) and occasionally realize I've lost control (what I internally dread). How does it often look on the outside?
Intentionality is focused on others; Managing well brings myself and my priorities/needs
into the picture; Losing control puts all the focus on myself, and whether or not I am doing what I need to do for my benefit and my satisfaction and my idea of "peace".

How easily the human heart and mind shift from other-centeredness to self. That is, except for one Man, who in His darkest hour continued a life of intentionality and brought life through death--the only true hope to this world.

Powered by Blogger