friday moving day

We have been packing for about two weeks, and we have
already taken many things to the other apartment.
Last week emily went everyday i think just to take
even a couple things so that we would have less to
move when the day came. it is here. I am picking up
a uhaul today – i will probably spend about $80 on it.
we were considering taking multiple trips with vans
and small trucks but decided that one trip with the
uhaul would be less stressful and less of a commitment
for our friends.

We have been thinking about, praying for and talking
about moving to Glendale for about 4 months now. and
when it comes down to it i am nervous about the move.
What if we aren’t supposed to go there, what if we
can’t really afford the rent, what if we have a really
hard time maintaining our friendships or making new
ones, what if young-life falls through…

“You start to trust the things that deeper comfort
brings..safety abounds, safety abounds..” -Pedro

Lord please helps us to find the deeper comfort.

We have:
Ron Ragsdale
Jamie Pitts
Richard Kentopp
Andrew Stanfield
Jeff Ash
Rob Strong
Eric Mulligan
Mike Work
and Emily and I all helping.

We should be good to go.

k
We went to Jessie’s birthday yesterday, and met many
of her friends, and then those who she rents from DAVE
and MEREDITH. they are pretty hip people with fun
personalities. they own their own home so of course
we were jealous and felt like kids because we haven’t
bought a place yet. This is one main reason i want to
be back home. right now we could be living in a 3 or
4 bedroom house. anyways hanging out with these kats
makes me want to continue to pursue art and music. I
know what i have some ability and when i get around
people who are artsy it makes me want to be amazing
-that is what i am not. I often wonder how much my
art should be apart of my life, because i am not
naturally gifted like some i know – i wonder if i am
chasing after hollow dreams.

“I am a simple, and I sing a simple song…”
-Denison

I found myself entering a conversation on urban
ministry with a friend who is a young-life staff person.
I think i have four
things you don’t want me talk about, Urban ministry,
Quakers, Dylan and Macs. I have a hard time shutting
up about any of that stuff. anyways she pretty much
said that for her Urban ministry is no different than
any other kind of ministry and she gets really annoyed
with people who “are like i am all about urban
ministry, that is where it is at…” I told her i
don’t like people that make one thing their cause –
because people get more caught up being sold out to
their cause and can often miss the point of the
Gospel. I know plenty that have done this for urban
ministry, suburban ministry, homosexual and abortion
issues etc. I don’t want to be one of those people
that have a cause, except that my cause be to proclaim
the kingdom of God.

BUT…(knew it was coming)…i can’t help but read the
prophets in the OT and read the whole freaking! Gospel
(especially the very urban-underdog focus book of
Luke) and see that Jesus speaks time and time again
about serving the poor, and the rejects of society,
those who have been forgotten by the suburban church,
those who have been hated by the government. I am not
trying to read into the Gospel here, i got this from
reading the Gospels honestly.

I just read Matthew 4:23 – where it talks about Jesus
“proclaiming the kingdom of God” and he was healing
all the sick around him. It was interesting to find
that both of these events were recorded as taking
place in the same verse, and if i remember correctly
it was in the same sentence! so what do i mean to say
about this? Well the sick and crippled have always
been the poor and outcasts of society, there is little
argument otherwise and the fact that proclaiming the
kingdom of God (the verbal event) is coupled with the
healing of people (the physical event). For Christ to
speak of the kingdom of God (the good news) was to
make things right for those who have been brought low
by the social, cultural and political systems of the
day. This isn’t something that is understood by the
typical evangelical church today (suburban or
otherwise). Most people equate proclaiming the
kingdom of God with preaching the Gospel and they
couple that with “getting people saved.” The ideology
that fuels this thinking is, “I believe that Christ
has called me to get people saved, i get them saved by
telling them to believe in Jesus and get out of sin,
when they do that their lives are now whole. Now I
must move on to the next person to get them saved, and
so on.” There is something wrong with this
picture…it is that Christ never got people saved and
then ditched them, actually it is if anything flip
flopped, Christ fixed their social situation, gave
them hope by healing them, feeding them, or
confronting the unjust systems that took advantage of
the weak. The point isn’t to say that christ never
tried to bring people into a relationship with God,
because he did do that, the point is that he was
concerned about the whole individual, and how to make
it right for each person – one at a time. There are
whole people, hearing about how to get saved but left
to sleep on the cold streets, there are people who are
hearing “Jesus Saves” but then they go home to an
abusive single mother who has no food or money and
screams at her kids out of desperation and fear.
There are mothers who are forced to live in places
like Skid Row in Downtown LA, with four kids. There
are divorced familes, that are broken, angry and tired
of the fighting but have no one who is willing to just
listen to their problems, there are people who preach
at them about right and wrong choices, but no
Christ-loving friends who shut-up and just listen.
There are children who have fathers who kill
themselves because they lost all hope, those kids
wonder where the “Jesus Saves” church was at for the
past 10 years while their father died from depression
– no one to love – no one to listen to the rejects.
those same kids now have no father, they know he gave
up because he had no hope, and they only here the
words of “Jesus Saves” while they see no real physical
people who are willing to get involved in their lives,
who are willing to get dirty.
well this is why I believe that ministry to the poor,
rejected and oppressed is at the base of Christianity,
because just like everything else our Lord did, it is
counter intuitive, it is difficult, costly and frankly
it is really unappealing to my american wallet and LA
image.

Good thing Christ never called us to those things.
Good thing for me that i was born in a struggling
middle class family – that was better than those
damned families in Skid Row. God must have just
decided that it should be that way. I should consider
myself lucky and do whatever i can to keep my family
from ending up down there, oh heavens what could be
worse than living on the streets??!!

May we be like you Lord Jesus – concerned with the
whole person – healing those who you loved and sought
after…the lost.
Matt. 4:23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in
their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the
kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness
among the people.

Hear America!
Luke 12:15 And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your
guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does
not consist in the abundance of possessions.Â???

Luke 12:33 Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make
purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an
unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes
near and no moth destroys.
Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there your
heart will be also.

Unfortunately – those who speak with such passion
often get written of as too extreme, this is not my
intention, and those of you who know me hopefully you
can testify to my heart. But at the same time Jesus
was written off as too extreme – so if we are like our
Lord I hope we are too extreme.

Published by

Wess

...is the William R. Rogers Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.

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