May 17, 2007


One of my really good friends is in seminary and wrote about our last trip to Rwanda in a final paper. She said, “In this otherness, which is someone else’s someplace, someone else’s home, you are left grasping for something familiar until you accept that all familiarity is gone and you must allow the otherness to come in.” This may be one of the most profound theological statements I have ever come across. It cuts to the heart of our faith and what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. As a people called to live in a world not our own this otherness is a place we must seek to find. I think that is perhaps why so many people go away on a mission trip to some foreign place and come back to find that though they went to change a life it was theirs that was transformed.

May 14, 2007


I just can’t seem to get enough rest these days. I am tired quite a bit and it is really frustrating. I don’t know if I picked up a bug or am having some serious allergy problems, but I am just exhausted all the time. I am reminded of a line from some movie whose title I can’t recall (I am sure it is totally inappropriate and you will recognize it and think, “I can’t believe he watched that movie.”) that said, “I thought I was depressed, but it turned out I had mono.”

What do you do when you get to that place of exhaustion? When I can get away with it, I like to just lay down on my couch with a blanket and pillow and watch movie after movie. Actually, I have discovered the joy of watching TV series on DVD. You can have hours of uninterrupted storyline that way. I call it “cocooning.” I withdraw from the world for a day or two – refuse to answer the phone or even get the door. I like to say that it is in this state that I can just put my brain in neutral. One thing that is very important – it doesn’t work if you have to do ANYTHING else that day. A true “cocoon day” must be from the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep.

As it is unlikely that I am going to get any time in my cocoon before mid-to-late June, I guess I am going to have to figure something else out. In the meantime, I will try to snatch a little renewal where it presents itself!

May 5, 2007


It was a hard week for some reason. I don’t know why, but my heart has been hurting some lately. I am pretty sure that part of it has to do with Nathan going home. It was so great to have him staying here with me and sharing his supreme joy for life. I know that many of you in church got to hear him sing during church, but I got to hear him sing every morning and night!

Anyway, I am glad the week is drawing to a close. The weekend has been good. I went to Seguin with Mark, Matt, and the band for Youth Choir Rally. YCR is a great event that my friend Rusty Freeman hosts each year for church youth choirs from all over Southwest Texas. Anyway, we had a late night in Seguin -- engaging worship and decent Mexican food. Mostly, my soul was warmed by the warmth of our laughter and friendship. We got a big kick out of a billboard on I10 that reads (in hand painted red letters) “Sign f Rent.” We think they realized that they didn’t have room for the “or” a little too late. If you rent that sign, you may want to paint it yourself.