'shine your eyes’ is a phrase that I picked up in liberia, west africa. it means to open your eyes and see the Truth. this is my hope for people everywhere, myself included, that we will continually be transformed to see and be the ideals God has set forth as the Kingdom. the book of isaiah says it this way:
'see, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice. each man will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land. then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen. the mind of the rash will understand, and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear.’ isaiah 32:1-4
currently this is taking shape in my life working with bahamas habitat. we are working to provide aviation support to bahamas methodist habitat, a hurricane relief/sub-standard housing repair organization based in the bahamas. know that we would love for you to come spend some time with us as we take part in all the beautiful ways that God is loving His creation.
in the words of mother teresa, “pray for me that i not loosen my grip on the hands of Jesus even under the guise of ministering to the poor.” and i pray that in all that you do, whether coming to the bahamas, serving in haiti or celebrating life in your part of the world that you will simply love and come and see all that God has for us. let this place be a place of celebration and conversation for us to greater understand life with one another.
‘and because of our faith, He has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand. and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has in mind for us to be.’ –romans 5:2
this summer i have been reading a little bit more substantial material. last week my mom and i went to borders bookstore. who, like me, is thankful for a store in the south that really does end in a "s"? anyway, this event was fantastic. my brother, patrick, recommended two books to me earlier on in the year that i've been wanting to read: pedagogy of the oppressed by paulo friere and death and life of great american cities by jane jacobs. they were both in stock and ready for me to read. as we moseied around the store, the sale aisle revealed 4 treasures at $2/book. These 4 books all have a forward by bishop tutu describing the word ubuntu and how each person embodies the idea. this video is funny because he's so goofy, but he describes ubuntu here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftjdDOfTzbk. the short in his words, ubuntu is the essence of being human, i'm a person because you're a person. and, i am who i am because of who we all are. the line up of the books is this:
love: mother teresa
dream: martin luther king, jr.
believe: bishop tutu
peace: mahatma ghandi
these books could not have come at a more perfect time, just behind the book that i'm reading now mountains beyond mountains: the quest of dr. paul farmer a man who would cure the world by tracy kidder. this book is so good. a few of my favorite snipits:
'remember, serving the poor is more important than soothing your ego. it's called eating shit for the poor.'
'people read the Gospel as if it pertained to another place and time, but the struggles described there are in the here and now. the oppression of the poor, the abuse of the vulnerable, and the redemption that comes with fighting for what is right-what ideas could be more relevant than in our dear haiti?'
check out the book. i am currently waiting for my visa to go to the bahamas, the airplane to be airworthy, and since dr. harold peeples jacked four teeth out of my head, i'm waiting, reading, writing, and enjoying the sweetness of watermelon. peace.
when will we learn? when will we believe that there is really nothing that can finally harm us if our home is in Christ, that no weapon forged against us can prevail if we are walking in the power of the Holy Spirit, and that it is through sharing in Christ's sufferings that we truely overcome the world?'
pastor of cedar springs presbyterian church,
it helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.
the kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.
we accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
no statement says all that could be said.
no prayer fully expresses our faith.
no confession brings perfection.
no pastoral visit brings wholeness.
no program accomplishes the church’s mission.
no set of goals and objectives includes everything.
this is what we are about.
we plant the seeds that one day will grow.
we water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
we lay foundations that will need further development.
we provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.
we cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
this enables us to do something, and to do it very well. it may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
we may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
we are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
we are prophets of a future not our own.
oscar romero served the people of el salvador and was assassinated in 1980 while participating in mass. his assassin is believed to be a graduate of the school of americas at fort benning, columbus, ga. look that up.
many conversations that are meant to solve the world’s problems resolve in stating the need for balance. i started wondering what balance really means and looks like. this is what i’ve come up with: balance is found in creativity. richard foster would tell you, and i agree, that no longer can we live in polarities. a response is not this or that but rather we must choose our response to be one that is graceful, or grace-filled, and love in the purest form.
“Better Way” ben harper
I’m a living sunset
Lightning in my bones
Push me to the edge
But my will is stone
Fools will be fools
And wise will be wise
But i will look this world
Straight in the eyes
What good is a man
Who won’t take a stand
What good is a cynic
With no better plan
Reality is sharp
It cuts at me like a knife
Everyone i know
Is in the fight of their life
Take your face out of your hands
And clear your eyes
You have a right to your dreams
And don’t be denied
I believe in a better way
disclaimer::for the record and anyone who knows my feelings on ben harper’s music, i in no way have changed my mind. he’s a poet and i can confidently say that i do not enjoy his music.**