Monday, August 27, 2012

Home Sweet Home

I never thought I'd say this (it's the California girl in me), but Kansas has been good to us so far. We moved in on the 14th, with gobs of help from staff unloading our copious amounts of material possessions (hello, American consumerism). Tired of living in a maze of boxes for weeks, we powered through a few long days and got completely unpacked. Tomorrow it's been two weeks, and despite a few loose ends (DMV, I hate you), we're mostly settled in.

We have been blown away by the care and concern bestowed on us by our new team. We're excited about our new roles at The Urban Ministry Institute and for the opportunity to work with them. Our first full week here we joined the team to visit a nearby prison where Prison Fellowship is starting a TUMI satellite. God is doing amazing things through this partnership to equip men (and women) to spread the Gospel in and outside of prison! We still can't believe we're on staff with TUMI, but we are....really. Check us out, we look official and everything!

After two weeks in Wichita, we have found a good place to get Mexican food, a shop that sells donuts with bacon on them, the Fire fighter's Museum, the Nature Center, and, of course, located our usual haunts...Target, Walmart, Starbucks, etc. Judah's grandma here in Kansas has also made sure that he is decked out in KU Jayhawk paraphernalia.

We certainly miss our old neighborhood and the people we love in St. Louis, but, God has given us peace and our new staff have made us feel so welcomed, which makes the loss significantly more tolerable. And so, our Kansas adventure begins...

Monday, August 13, 2012


Tail lights will chart our course from St. Louis to Wichita today.  One chapter in our lives is coming to a close, the next page poised for a turn.  God doesn't promise that we won't experience pain as we follow Him, but He leads and carries us through.

As we leave North St. Louis there have been some who have secretely (and not so secretly) thought that we are lucky to leave this...

But they forget that there is another side of the story...

We love our beautiful city and know that God has wonderful plans for each beautiful soul.

We say goodbye, for now, but you go in our hearts.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Meal

Who would have thought that a Chicken Sandwich Meal would symbolize a moral schism in our nation, an impetuous for both division and connectedness?

Generally, I reserve my controversial conversations for things other than politics; in ministry we have found "conservative" and "liberal" to be words that distract from truly important things.

But, today, I felt unrest as I watched Facebook fill with accounts of "taking a stand."   As I thought about Christians (and conservatives) breaking bread (and chicken) together while the world looked on, it made me think of another, more important meal.  This meal, also has the power to unite and divide.  When Christians stand shoulder-to-shoulder and break this bread we are bonded together with Christ and set apart from those who do not believe in our Savior.  It commemorates the story of our redemption...Communion.

I am fully behind free speech, and Biblical values, but the gnawing feeling in my gut makes me wonder if we've got the right meal on our minds today.  Christians have been angry, reacting to harsh opposing words.  Christ promised us opposition (as He experienced to the point of the cross), why then are we so shocked when it occurs in our lives?  The hatred is not directed toward us, it is directed at Him, through us.

This means we can relax a little and not take things so personally.  It gives us the opportunity to step back and see issues in light of the people involved, to brush aside the personal affront and respond in love.  We are angry because we feel hurt; the other side is angry because they feel...hurt.  Christ came to bring healing and we are His hands and feet.  Standing in support of a company's opinion is not wrong, but is the stand being taken symbolized by a Chicken Sandwich or the bread and wine of communion?  I guarantee people who don't share our views can feel the difference; we on the other hand (in our self-righteous rage) may not.

His blood was spilled for all of us.  Does the LGBT community know that we break bread in remembrance of our collective need for salvation?  Are the humble words of Christ ready on our lips, or is our mouth busy taking angry bites of a Chicken Sandwich?

The offense was to Christ, and He has already answered it with His body and blood.  Are we being selective about who we bring to the table, or is it possible, do you think, to grab a person who believes differently than us and break tacos or burgers or even a Chicken Sandwich, in the hope that love is more life-changing than being right? Because, after all, Jesus did the same for us.
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”  And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." Matthew 26:26-28