the vision.

January 18, 2010

I know that most of you right now have jobs, significant others, school requirements, etc.  It’s okay to not want to be a part of this.  Honestly, I only want people that are wholeheartedly ready to carry this vision with me.  I am continually in prayer and begging God to shape this vision, lead and guide me in moving forward with it.  If nothing else, join me in prayer as I consider what is perhaps my next “step of faith”.

The short-term vision: to live in an intentional community (strategically located in an underserved neighborhood) with a group of believers where our overflow of his love for us, pours out into the lives of our friends, family, and neighbors.   Love God.  Love others.  This is what I see as a “theme” or “mission” of the house.

This is what I see: I see people living life alongside other people in a very intentional way.  I see people encouraged by us.  I see people using/developing/discovering their spiritual gifts.  I see injustice being uncovered and redeemed.  I see glimpses of racial reconciliation.  I see people unexpectedly developing a heart for people in the neighborhood.   I see kids coming over to do their homework in the afternoon.  I see community dinners with people from our neighborhood.  I see block parties celebrating peoples’ ethnicities.  I see us giving neighbors a voice.  I see us on our faces in prayer A LOT.  I see tears of people carrying burdens, but I also can see the freedom of them laying them down.  I see people coming to know Christ by the way we live our lives.  I see diversity.  I see bridge-building between generations, races, and religions.  I see hard discussions on injustice.  I see the Holy Spirit showing up in the most unexpected places.  I see a lot of late nights.  I see a revolution.  I see people inspired by the way we live – enough to start an intentional community of their own.  I see us playing basketball with youth on the street.  I see fruits of the spirit.  I see hard days.  I see a lot of things that won’t make sense.  I see transparency.

“No one that has ever started a revolution slept 8 hours a night.” John Perkins

That is one of my favorite quotes EVER.  I’m so quick to complain about not having enough time to do this or that.  I’ve come to realize over the past year that I want to live radically.  I want to live one of those crazy lives that my parents shake their heads and wonder what happened.  I don’t want to have enough time to twiddle my thumbs because I am so busy loving other people and living like life isn’t about me (because it isn’t).  I don’t want to get to the end of my life and wish that I had loved more, slept less, and saw more justice.  I want to be so available for God to use me that I am literally willing to do anything.  I want to be one of those fisherman guys.  That just puts down what they’re doing and immediately follows Christ.  No questions asked.  I know this is crazy.  To believe that by living together and hanging out with our neighbors that Christ can use us.  But I can tell you (by seeing others live this way) that it absolutely can happen.  We will be challenged by each other, the injustices we see, and the mandates of the Word of God.

The foundation of this vision is Jesus Christ.  Gosh he lived such a beautiful life.  He loved so well.  He loved so selflessly.  To think that he could use me puts me on my face.  But I know that because of Christ, I am a new creation.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ in me.  And Christ in me is the hope of glory.  I want people to encounter the love of Christ when they meet me.  Know that I have encountered the love of Christ in you.  I believe that you are someone that is going to do great things in the kingdom of God!  Whether that is beside me or not, I am completely aware of his hand in your life.  I honestly can’t believe I’m sharing this with you guys.  It’s a vision that has been being birthed in me for a while now.  It is very dear to my heart.  So be careful with it.

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In attempt to answer this question, I have taken a few snapshots of what I think captures a lot of my life here so far.  I’m really bad at explaining things verbally, so I will show you with these pictures!  I’ll try to remember to take more and show you later.

the calendar.

number 1: PLAN. this dry-erase board has become my life. i like it. i like lists and anything involving a cross-off. i spend a lot of my day mapping out service day projects, teams, etc. we have to figure out what we are going to do with all of these people! to learn more about the boston project click here.

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number 2: EVENTS. this is a snapshot of our “halloween alternative”. halloween is typically an unsafe holiday in dorchester, so we partnered with the library and the salvation army house to make that night safe and fun for families. we had a bunch of games and gave away school supplies (yes we gave away candy too!). the picture on the right is from a game where you have to find the marshmallow in the whipped cream. THAT PICTURE IS HILARIOUS. and the boy in the middle is jaden. he is one of the sweetest children i have ever met. praise the lord for answering our prayers for a safe night!

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number 3: PRETTY TREES. i pass this tree on my way to work every morning. i like walking everywhere. i think it has made me more appreciative of creation. i have to stare at it longer. the fence that you see in this picture is the fence to the codman square cemetery. it is a very historic cemetery in our neighborhood and we are in the process of cleaning it up. there are approximately 3,000 people in our 10-street triangle, and so we just planted almost 3,000 tulips (one for each person) along the fence. can’t wait to see them bloom in the spring!

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number 4: WHAT? yes. this is a mountain of bread. life at the boston project is interesting/strange/funny/random at times. it’s not suprising in “BP world” to come home to a mountain of bread on your table. people are always coming in and out of the house, picking things up, donating food, doing their homework, asking you to help them unload their truck full of furniture, using dishes and never washing them… as annoying as it could be, i would have it no other way. this is what community is. this is biblical. i like it.

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number 5: A PET PENGUIN. last week a few of us visited the local aquarium. i decided very soon after arriving that i wanted to have a penguin of my own. so. i am asking for one for christmas. mom, dad, are you reading this? they are so cute and little.

hope this has been slightly insightful. i’ll try to be better about telling you my life. going to auburn this weekend. can’t wait. my cool/cool/cool sister is coming for thanksgiving. we are going to eat a lot of pie and watch christmas movies. yay.

freakin broken world.

October 15, 2008

my co-worker/friend and i were making a quick snack-run in the midst of a day of painting. after grabbing our cheeto puffs (don’t judge me) and other necessities, we headed back to the car which was right outside of the convenience store. approaching the car we see a police car pull up next to our car. assuming we are about to be ticketed we put a bit more pep in our step to get to our car as quickly as possible. the police officer rolls down his window and asks us if we are lost.

“no?” says kelly who is very confused.

“do you live around here?”

“um…yes?” still confused at why the policeman is asking these questions.

“where do you live?” says the policeman trying to stump kelly.

“i live on (blah) street and she lives on (blah) street.”

“okay, well bye…” and he zooms off to eat more doughnuts.

WHAT??? if you know me at all, you know that i was PISSED. why is it hard to believe that we live here? why are policemen treating us like we are out of place and lost? why is it so hard to believe in racially diverse neighborhoods and loving people both like and unlike us? why do we have to only be around people that are like us? how is that growing us? isn’t that the opposite of growth? that’s stale. and i will not walk in that. i will walk where i am molded, shaped, and refined. even if it’s hard.

NEWSFLASH. heaven is going to kick ass. pretty sure the word of god promises that all nations, tongues, and tribes will be worshiping the same god, on the same ground as everyone else. so if you have problems with other races, you better get that crap straight and pray about it. or you will be in for a rude awakening.

WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN? it means that we live in a broken world. one filled with pain, broken hearts, racism and other sucky stuff. but the good news is… it doesn’t stop there. the whole reason that jesus came to earth is to heal the broken (both the person and the world) and to justify (there will be another blog on justification). no one else has the power to do that.  no law. no president. no mom. just jesus.

sorry if this was dramatic for some of you.

hope to chew on.

September 9, 2008

so. a few people have mentioned me starting a blog. apparently my life is of some interest. i’m really not that cool is what i keep thinking to myself. however, in an attempt to capture a memory and put some thoughts on paper (?), i have decided to commit to this whole “blogging” thing. i hate that friends and family have to be separated so often, but more than my hate for separation is my belief that god has the bigger picture in his hands. i trust his bigger picture way more than i trust my corner puzzle piece. so i hope that by writing and hearing from you guys we can somehow stay connected and in community with one another. it’s easy to forget to share the day to day faithfulness of our god when we are apart from each other. somehow that slips our mind when we eventually do come together. but my hope is against that. my hope is that god’s faithfulness would not slip through the cracks. and that we would be a people that would testify to even the mundane.

the man named david.

i got to be a part of this homeless ministry this summer called starlight ministries. we would basically just go hang out with homeless people in the boston common. the very first time i went i met this man named david. we just began to talk about various topics and he shared some very personal struggles. he told me he struggles with alcoholism and homosexuality. he stood very close to me, grabbed my hands, and with tears in his eyes told me he was giving up. he told me there was no hope left in him to hope. his faith was dead. he said he craves alcohol every second of the day. and sometimes he gives into the craving and sometimes he refuses it. in that very moment i felt the weight of the world. the heaviness of spiritual warfare. at the same time i felt the hope that i had for david and his hopelessness. with tears in my eyes i looked back at him and begged him to not give up. i refused to let him. i wouldn’t allow it. he repeated the same thing back to me about giving up. my heart broke in that moment. i felt as if i had lost someone. after a few minutes of silence i just looked up at him and said…’okay david. you can give up. but i will be standing in front of you. fighting for you. praying for you. you are my brother. and i will not let the weight of this world conquer you.’ after this, we both just continued to cry. not really saying much. so many thoughts running through my head. my friend matt then said something to david. he said ‘christ in you is the hope of glory’. what matt didn’t know was that he was speaking this to me too.

i walked away from that night changed. my heart was broken. but in a good way. i realized that these people that i am serving are family. i hurt when they hurt. and my heart of hearts wants to connect people to the reality of this. i haven’t seen david since that night. i don’t think he’s come back to starlight. but i do know that christ in me is the hope of glory. and if everything else in the world sucks, hurts, and groans, christ in me is the hope that i have. and that is enough. that is ENOUGH. we have to believe that. i have to believe that.