Monday, January 26, 2015


First off, never fall asleep watching the movie "Transcendence" while you've been reading a book about the technological advances in robots.

But I was trying to think of what to write about last week's Winter Retreat (why there was no blog last week, sorry) and I started thinking about the idea of unplugging. For those that don't know, we don't allow any cell phones on our retreat. Some students hate this, some don't come because of it, but it's something we push. What's the point of going away to retreat from the world if you bring your phone with you?

The biggest reason is it's hard to hear from Someone quiet when there's lot of noise around you. We spent our Sunday morning in the woods (luckily it was 55 degrees). Students were asked to pray quietly in God's creation, for 20 minutes at a time. Each time we gave them something to pray about and focus on. We did this three times (we ended up in the woods about 90 minutes). And then something amazing happened.

Students heard from God.

Because they took the time to be away, they were somewhere quiet, they unplugged, some students actually heard from God. We had one student ask if he could stay an extra few minutes. Because they put themselves in a place to hear from God, they did.

When was the last time you prayed without distraction? Sometimes it's good for our soul to unplug.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Hidden In Plain Sight

Have you seen this article?

I keep trying to think, how many people passed by that rifle in over 100 years? The second picture does it justice, it would be really hard to see, especially from a distance. But really? How many people? What if a child playing had found it? How does a piece of history just stand there for decades?

I wonder if sometimes Jesus is like this rifle. He's standing right there and people keep passing by because they can't see Him, possibly because they aren't looking. Imagine how much of Jesus we could find if we look? (Ask our students about that one when they get home from the Winter Retreat).


Monday, January 12, 2015

Tonight I Was Mezmorized... what I think was one of the simplest pieces of cinematography I have ever seen.

I watched "The Lone Ranger". I'm not going to comment on what I thought of the movie or how it was reviewed, give away the plot or anything like that (although it should be known I have a 6' Lone Ranger poster downstairs that was my father's when he was a kid along with comic books from the 50's, it's a part of my growing up), all that's necessary to know is the movie is done as a frame story. It's Tonto many years past telling the story of long ago.

The movie ended, the credits rolled. I was done. However I stopped to watch the credits because they used a fun font and moved the lettering around in a cool way (which thanks to my wife interests me).

Then it happened.

The credits stop and the camera opens on a wide shot of beautiful scenery. An aged Tonto walks away from the camera, his back to you. Johnny Depp shuffling like an old man trying to walk in the wilderness with four chords playing a simple string part. And that is it. For the next 5 minutes while the credits rolled the old storyteller walks away into the distance with this melodic phrase repeating.

And it was brilliant. I couldn't turn it off. I couldn't fast-forward to see if there was anything else. I simply watched this person walk into the distance.

I think it spoke to me more than the movie that evoked childhood memories. He told his story and when it was done, he simply walked away, fading into the distance. I don't know if it's the idea that I have a story to tell, or am telling, and when it's done can I simply walk away. Or if it was an ending without a finale. Or if it meant this part may be done but the story continues somewhere else. Or does it mean... I don't know.

Do you have a story to tell? Are you still in that story and are you sharing it? And when it's time, can you walk calmly into the next chapter?


Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Trusting The Source

I read an interesting story the other day. Some of you many know I love reading about Disney, mainly the behind the scenes things. How things work. Dedication to story. Employee relations and why they love what they do, things like that. I came upon a story I had not heard before...

The Peter Pan ride is the oldest operating ride at the Disneyland. It has been going since the park opened almost 60 years ago. That may be why it is one of the longest lines in the park. But it comes with a large problem. Everything on that ride is old technology, including the generator that powers the entire ride.

The generator is so old that Imagineers are worried that if they ever shut down the generator it will not start up again and they will need to redo power for the entire ride, which can lead to redoing other problems with compatibility, etc. Because of this, the Peter Pan ride never stops. It is always running. This leads to all sorts of protocols that are different for this ride than other ones. Like if there's a problem and guests need to be evacuated from the ride, on other rides you stop the ride and get people off. On Peter Pan, the ride slows down and guests are evacuated differently all so the generator will never stop. Because Disney does not trust the source of power for this ride, everything they do is different for this one ride.

Likewise, we will act differently in our lives depending on if we trust our source or not. Maybe we keep moving like the ride because we don't trust what will happen if we slow down and get to know the source. Maybe we keep doing the same things because trusting the source would mean change. I don't know, but I do know that I drive differently when I trust my car than when I don't. What would our lives look like if we fully trusted our Source?

Israel, I am your LORD. I am your source of life. ~ Isaiah 44:24a (CEV)