Dolphins and Sharks

*This post is from a couple years ago. I thought it was time to add it to the new blog.

small_dolphin2[1]

A while back I went surfing with my friend, Paul, and we saw something you never want to see as a surfer: a fin protruding out of the water. It was ominous, like a full moon creeping out from behind the cover of clouds. I had one of those “deer-in-the-headlights” kind of moments where you know you should move, but you just can’t. You start thinking of the movie Jaws and also the ridiculous amount of time you dedicated to watching Shark Week and your stomach turns. Thankfully, it wasn’t a shark, just a dolphin making his way through the warm currents.

Continue reading…

A Luke 14 Party

 country inn

 In Luke’s gospel, Jesus does a lot of partying. He’s described as someone who is constantly eating and hanging with people that normally someone of his pedigree would avoid. He eats with the rich, the poor, and sinners of all kind. Some of his more infamous dinner guests are tax collectors and prostitutes. To eat with someone in antiquity was to declare social solidarity, which was a statement if someone was ever going to make a statement. It was to take a step outside of the social norm and embrace people whom you’d normally ignore and definitely not fellowship with. But this wasn’t the case with Jesus, someone who lived his life as a beautiful contrast to the way of the world.

Continue reading…

Riding in vans with teenagers

A couple times a year we go on trips with our student ministry. For a few of these trips I find myself driving a van full of teenagers. Over the years, I’ve added up some real miles on these vans. Each trip is always unique, but there are certain similarities that repeat over the years. For example, you can always count on a loud and playful atmosphere in the van. It’s part of the fun, actually. Recently, we embarked on our second annual Fall Retreat. On the way home from the retreat, one my students asked me a question about driving a van full of teenagers. She asked something to the effect of, “Do you like it when everyone is loud and singing all the time or does that get annoying?” I smiled and answered, “No, I don’t mind at all.” The more I thought about it, the clearer the irony became–the loud and rather chaotic van noise is actually a beautiful sound. It’s proof of life lived to the full.

Continue reading…

Unsurpassable Worth

We recently had some friends come to our youth group and share an incredible story they’ve been telling. A few years ago they started an organization called Povertees. They make cool t-shirts with pockets they sew on them–then they use the funds from the shirts to help and assist people living on the streets of downtown LA. They’ve been at it a few years now, and they are still making shirts, but there is more going on than just sewing pockets. As their story shares, they believe in ‘life sewn together.’  It wasn’t just about making a shirt or even helping people; instead, it became about hanging out with their friends in LA. They made shirts so their friends could eat; they raised money so opportunities could be created for their friends. This group became about loving people not because they were a project or even because Jesus would love them. Rather, they made trips to LA and created t-shirts because they began living life together. And that is beautiful.

Continue reading…