Friday, July 24, 2009

it's like ive waited my whole life....

This IS my wedding. Thanks Leah wonderful hatton for making my morning complete by showing me what I had forgotten to plan for the day i get married.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

the life of brian

Carolyn: where are you going on vacation?
Brian: drum roll

... wisconsin ...

wah wah wahhhhhhhhh


I love throwing a football around. Not aggressively, but just a casual toss of a football brings me enjoyment. I never knew that before.

I leave this Friday for Lake Champion to see Christa. I am excited and ready to take a break and reflect. I have been doing a lot of thinking, praying, and talking to others, but I think its time to leave so that I can process all of it. I cant process it here and I sometimes feel the more I talk about it, the worse it gets. I have had such encouraging and uplifting conversations over the past week and I am honestly excited to put them all together into one thought and figure out where I stand with everything going on in my life.

I have been listening to this song on repeat (in between listening to Fireflies by Owl City) and I just think it is so beautiful.

A thousand times I've failed
Still Your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
I'm caught in Your grace
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame

Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself
In bringing You praise
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame

In my heart and my soul
Lord I give You control
Consume me from the inside out
Lord let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

“Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde Thanks George...

I went to breakfast with my friend Sarah Thompson this morning and all I have to say is...there is power in prayer. And in grace.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

no touchy

Sitting in class and watching a video about social interactions.
The speaker was talking about public space, social space, personal space, and intimate space.
He discussed a study of 6 business men and their personal space according to their culture.
2 business men from America, 2 from France, and 2 from South America.
There was a camera in the room of the meeting and they observed how many times the men touched during the meeting.
American men: 2 (think about it shake hands when meet, shake hands when leave)
French men: 110
South American men: 180

incredible how much our culture hates touching and loves our bubbles of personal space. No wonder we're all so depressed.

Friday, July 10, 2009

This is how it works
You're young until you're not
You love until you don't
You try until you can't
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

i...can't...stop...throwing...up. and it BLOWS.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

This Beautiful Mess.

Suffering is on my mind. It helps to read this with The David Crowder Band playing Deliver Me in the background

A few years ago, about fifteen friends had gathered at my friend Clint's place in Nassau. We were not suffering. We were enjoying great food, tropical sun, and white sand beaches. Even better was the company - amazing passionate, humble, subversive servants of Jesus from many different parts of the world. We sat in a circle sharing about where the kingdom seemed to be showing up most in our different ministries and areas of interest. The talk turned to suffering.
I remember that a few of us from the West seemed to dominate the conversation. Our brothers from elsewhere mostly listened. But I remember something else: When we spoke of it, suffering was an idea; when they spoke of suffering, they shared a big part of their story.
Cuba came up. Someone said the church there, led mostly by women, was thriving but desperately needed medical supplies. How to get help into a mostly closed country? The idea guys suddenly fell silent. We felt sympathetic but didn't have much to say.
Celestin, our friend from Rwanda, spoke up. "What would happen if you took medical supplies to Cuba to your sisters there?"
"You would get arrested," I said. Someone else began to explain to Celestin the embargo and other legal roadblocks. But Celestin interrupted.
"Wouldn't that preach?" he asked.
At first I didn't get what he was saying. I figured he was having trouble translating his thoughts into English. But he said again.
"Wouldn't that preach to the world if you got arrested while taking medical supplies into Cuba for your sisters?"
At that moment, I felt like I had taken a baseball bat in the ribs. I'd been hit with the dangerous side of the kingdom and, I'm embarrassed to admit, by a thought that never would have come to mind in a millions years. Clearly my creativity for the gospel ended at the point of suffering. Celestin's simple question suddenly seemed rich with revolutionary genius.
What would the world think if we loved our sisters in Cuba enough to take them medicine? And how much could our lives sat without speaking if we were willing to suffer for the sake of the kingdom?
The act alone would preach volumes.
Celestin is no stranger to suffering. He has been imprisoned for his faith in Jesus and for preaching. He has been beaten in those prison cells. And in those cells he has spoken with boldness and compassion to the guards who threatened his life. A guard once said to him, "We have the tapes of your sermon. We know what you have been saying."
"Good!" Celestin replied. "Did you listen to them? Are you ready to believe? You can kill me-I know where I am going. But I am worried about you."
Celestin told me that when he is in jail, his church thrives. Weird paradox. He told me about another pastor who, along with his sons, was maimed and then killed in front of his wife. But she now lead the church, even though she is illiterate. A boy comes by a couple of times a week to read her the selected Bible passage. On Sunday she gets up and preaches the message. Her church too is flourishing. "You cannot kill the church -you cannot," says Celestin.
Not long ago, Celestin stayed at my home. WE walked the hills looking out at Mount Saint Helens and talked. He'd completed another term of study at seminary and was preparing to return to Africa.
I asked him how he dealt with the threats to his safety from his constant travel, both inside and outside Africa. Every time he returns he risks arrest, beatings, torture, imprisonment. I asked him why he didn't just stay in the States longer on his student visa. He said, "I would rather die in a jail cell in Sudan, preaching the Gospel to my enemies, than on I-75 in Dallas."
Then he said, "Rick, my family knows what I am doing. They are committed to the Good News of the King and His kingdom coming to my people. My twelve-year-old son has told me, 'It will be okay if you die preaching Jesus, Father, because we have God as our Father.'"
Conversations with a disciple like that can rock you to the core. In Celestin's life I see so much beauty and a willingness to suffer in the mess for the sake of his King. I, on the other hand, am the guy who doesn't want to go to India because I could get an upset stomach. I might suffer in the hear. My mind likes to think of ways to strategically avoid suffering.
The act itself preaches.
It is not my fault that I was born in the West. I don't need to feel guilty about that, but rather receive it with gratitude. But I notice another way that my freedoms shape my assumptions: I have felt superior to those who suffer.
It is an ugly truth. I have subconsciously assumed that their suffering is due to their inferiority-they have pulled a sort of second-class seating assignment in God's big, blue kingdom bus. Facing that shameful prejudice has been a harsh awakening for me and has required a lot of repentance. If it's not my fault that I was born in the West, then neither is it to my credit. Celestin's son would cry as hard if his father were killed as my son would cry if I were killed. Those mothers in refugee camps in Darfur hurt the same way a mother in Iowa would hurt if she were watching her child slowly starve to death.
During another conversation at Clint's, I was struck by our global friends' compassion toward the Western church. In many ways, they feel sorry for us. They see our arrogance toward the rest of the world, our addiction to pleasure and comfort, our culture of sensuality and excess, which make it hard for us to fathom many of Christ's teachings-they see these not as evidence of superiority, but of disadvantage and poverty. they mourn our deep losses and have told us that they pray for us about these very things.
"We see what you're up against," Celestin said. "When you have medicine for the dandruff in your hair and for the fungus in your fingernails, it;s hard to believe that you need God on a daily basis. That's a difficult thing to be up against."
C. Rene Padilla, a leading theologian from Central America, looked at us and said, "We love you. We love the church in the West, and we're praying for you." But he said it as if we had a bigger problem than they did.
Praying for us? Another baseball bat to my rib cage. How right these "have not" friends are about the spiritual poverty of the "have it all" world.
I left the circle of conversation thankful that at least some who see us clearly for what we are and who we are not...are praying for us. ......
.....If your wife were dying of cancer, you would suffer with her. you wouldn't just show up once a month with flowers and a nice card. You would think about her day and night....
Suffering with others around the globe may look different than we instinctively think it does. For example, suffering with doesn't necessarily mean rushing in to fix their problem for them. In fact, our friends who live in the midst of suffering have told us that fixing the problem is not necessarily their goal for us either. What they desire more than money or programs or American know-how is relationship. Relationship means more than reading their e-mails. We're seeing that it means loving them enough to know them, to be with them, to eat at their tables, to sleep in their beds, and to come up know their world. Until we know our suffering friends like that, we will always treat them as ideas, not as brothers and sisters of the road.
-Rick McKinley, This Beautiful Mess

Thursday, July 2, 2009

the key to happiness

so i love lap swimming. but i keep losing my goggles.
goggles. such a funny word, such an annoying necessity for swimming. they never fit my face right. ever. water always gets in, no matter how tight i squeeze the cords, i have cut off circulation before until today...i bought kids swimming goggles.

bright pink ones.
and i went swimming today and it WORKED! i finally figured it out....i have a tiny tiny childs face on a grown ups my face small? did no one ever tell me i have a small child-like face?

Also...on my way back from swimming i saw a man riding his bike with no hands...just riding along..sitting upright and i have to say i am so jealous of people who can do do they do it? who can teach me? to quote a famous song...i can ride a bike with no handlebars...HOW?

look at how happy these people are...this is the key to my happiness