Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Food Crisis

A few days ago, the front page of the Seattle Times ran an article about the global food crisis. They state "A 'silent tsunami' of hunger is sweeping the world's most desperate nations." It seems that the sky rocketing price of fuel and unpredictable weather, along with increased demands from China and India are sparking protests in other places. Rice, a staple food, for much of the world has risen 83% in 3 years.

Did you read this article? or, did your eyes blur over because every day we become aware of yet another crisis somewhere in the world?

I made a decision after I went on a globalization in seminary that I would commit to read every article that involved the poor. I did this because I was like so many Americans, not allowing the rest of the world's pain to touch me. Now, I want to feel the pain because Jesus cares about the poor. He calls us to care about them too.

It's easy to think "what can we do from here?" That's right. Most likely, we won't solve the whole issue of hunger. But, we can take steps to become informed about the truth and then to take time to pray. After reading the article about the food situation, I took a moment and prayed that God would work in the situation. I also asked him to keep tenderizing my heart, so I would care about the people that he cares about.

Will you journey with me on taking these simple steps so Missio Lux becomes known as people who take poverty seriously and do something about it?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Missional Communities Part 3

Think about it. . .

When the American family goes to a church building on Sunday morning, they don't often see each other again until they get in the car to go home (that is if they ride together to get there.) We usually drop our kids off in the nursery or Sunday School, our teen goes to the youth room, one parent may serve by teaching a class, while the other sits in worship alone.

We've pretty much accepted that this is the way it is. But, when Jesus told us that we need to become like little children in our faith, I find it curious that we remove ourselves from the little children.

Can it be different? Do we want it to be different?

I think so. I hear a hungering for families to live life together again, and that includes our faith. Missio Lux has a test pilot missional commuity for families with young children. They are discovering just how much can happen when they decide to be together and enjoy "doing life together."

The last time they gathered they played a game. It's called the Family Game. When you start off, everyone is disconnected from each other and no one knows one another. As you begin to discover who people are they become part of your family. The family starts to grow. Other families are present too. But, eventually, they end up being all one big family.

Sound familiar? It's Jesus' idea. He tells us in the Gospels that "those who do the will of his father are his mother, his sisters and his brothers." He is painting a picture of all Jesus followers understanding and experiencing that we are one big family when we belong to God.

The kids got it. They looked around and saw that they were one big family. They realized that they have more than two adults that care about them because they experienced the encouragement and support of the other parent's in the room.

We think that spirtiual formation with our kids is so mysteriously difficult to do. But, in reality, it is pretty simple. It involves our presence and our desire to become like little children in our faith. As we do this, we get to enjoy the gift of making a spiritual impact together with our children. That is truly the abundant life Jesus invites us to in action.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Judy Howard Peterson, the Campus Pastor, for North Park University recognized the reality that 1% of the population through history has changed the world. Think about it: Jesus, Martin Luther King, Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela are a few.

Jesus had 12 followers, Ghandi had 230 at the pinnacle of his following. Mother Teresa cared for the least of the least. Nelson Mandela spent decades in prison before helping free his nation from aparthide.

We often think that we are small, that we are just ordinary people.

But, I don't think that any of the people listed above thought that they were destined for greatness either (with the exception of Jesus who knew exactly who he was).

But, they gave their lives. They lived for the higher good of humanity, and they called others to it as well. They had dreams that they didn't let die. They held onto them and didn't let them go, despite what took place around them.

Missio Lux, we have dreams too. We have dreams of ways that God can take our ordinary life and make it extraorindary as we discover and live into the unique dreams God put inside of us.

The population of Sammamish is 40,000. 1% of that is 400 people. As we come together and dream dreams and remember that God is a big God we can see our city transformed.

1% of the US is 3 million. Imagine what could happen if 3 million Americans discovered God's dreams and began to live them out.....

What do you think could happen?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Missional Communities Part 2

Last week God took a chronos time and turned it into a kairos time.

Chronos is the actual time: say 2 hours starting at 4 p.m. Kairos time is when God breaks through our lives and does his thing. It's when we walk away with a stirred heart because God showed us himself, either through something he did or what he asks us to do for one another.

We were meeting as the Test Pilot Adult Missional Community. Several people were out of town, so there were just a few of us, but we were the ones that God appointed to show up for the kairos moment. It was a night when none of us ever once looked at our watches for the chronos time because when God is doing his thing, chronos becomes irrelevant.

One of the big questions people ask is: how will we discover our missional purpose? I plan on creating a discernment process that will be a tool that communities can walk through to get to the "aha moment. " But, sometimes God just does it. We were talking and discovered that we have a passion for water.

Water is a huge justice issue in the world in that women and young girls often have to spend up to 6 hours a day locating, filling and carrying water. It breaks their backs, literally and even more, keeps girls out of school so all they have to look forward to in their life is carrying water back and forth.

Having access to a well can dramatically change an entire village' life.

As we spoke, we discovered the connections that we have, the people we know who are passionate about water, the experiences we've had, and then our dreams for bringing water to dry villages suddenly got bigger and seemed more attainable.

For me, it was one of those kairos moments when I knew God was giving me a glimpse of what he wants to do in Missio Lux to match people with hearts to serve in the US with the needs of the world. His job is to expose and create the matches.

What's your dream? Start asking God for some kairos moments so that your heart keeps getting stirred.......

Friday, April 18, 2008

Missional Communities are Happening

A couple of weeks ago we launched our test pilot Missional Communities. The people attending these communities are becoming equipped to start their own communities in the fall. The idea is to multiply into many more Missional Communities so that we can first experience and then share the freedom and hope Jesus offers with everyone.

The first Families with Teens gathering was huge. Families came into together~not the parents going one way and the teens another. I realized that just getting a family of four or five in the same room for a couple of hours is almost an American miracle in itself. How many times do we struggle just to eat dinner together?

We are going to practice "doing life together" and try to understand what God means when he says that we are "all one family of God." We are going to take what the Bible tells us and find out how to apply it to real life situation. We are going to be good listeners as adults to the voices of teens and children because Jesus tells us that they have so much to teach us.

Now this group is trying to decide how to reach out to serve the world. We talked about lots of ideas: making pillows for homeless people and passing them out, doing yard work for a family that needs it, going to a group home for the disabled and playing games or making a craft, and even picking up litter on the highway.

One of my dreams is that when kids leave for college, the family has memories of times that they reached out beyond themselves and made a difference. Missio Lux is creating a structure that will make these dreams a reality. Someday we will have so much to say that no blog could ever hold it all.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Back from Fiji

It is so interesting to go to another country and yet be so removed from the country. We had hotel points from all of Bill's travel so we stayed at a VERY nice resort. The whole time I kept itching to get to the "real people." We didn't feel comfortable because they drive on the other side of the road, so I asked our hotel to find us a driver to take us to a snorkeling beach.

He turned out to be a Hindu man, who worked at the hotel and then drove a taxi when he was free. It was touching to see his hospitality to us. First, he called to tell us that he would driving us to the "7th nicest beach in the world." I could see the pride in him as we drove into the area. Even more, his wife got up at 4 a.m. to make us a typical Fijian lunch. It was such a gift to me to sit on a tarp in the shade of his taxi and share a lunch with Saleash. It was a gift to be invited into a glimpse of his world and to see life from his perspective.

It was interesting to find out that the history of Fiji is that in 1850 they brought over people from India to work the sugar can fields. It has never been legal for the Indian people to own land, even though they are almost 50% of the population. It was strange to see the black Fijians and understand they are the oppressors, when in our country it has been so different.

Saleash was working two jobs so he could lease some land. I didn't know the rule until later, but as we got to know him, I felt sad that he would never be able to permanently own the land of the country of his forefathers.

But, in his own struggles, he reached out to a couple of Americans and made their stay in Fiji a lot more meaninful because of his hospitality to us.

Friday, April 4, 2008

God in a Box

This morning I got early to be with Jesus.

I began to read my Psalm which read: "The earth is the Lord's and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it, for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters" (Ps 24:1-2) and I suddenly had this picture in my mind of the vastness of the universe and that Jesus created all of it with a word. I saw the vastness along with the reality that he knew that I was there seeking him.

It was such a contrast because the universe is so HUGE and I am so small, and yet, he sees it all.

These thoughts took me to a place of recognizing that in our small thinking and imagination, we have put God in a pretty little box. And, the irony of this is that the smaller we make the box, the less room we give God to move.

Today I think he asked me recognize how big the box is: infinite!

As we continue to lay the foundation for Missio Lux, this concept is going to be important. The Church of the 20th century often made our faith very linear and scientific, and I would go so far as to say, sterile.

But, we are in new times which call for recognition and action that calls forth the supernatural~God moving in all his glory in his vast universe.

Tonight Bill and I are getting on a plane to go to Fiji. We are flying through the night and I know that I will be much more in tune that we are in the vastness of God's universe. I wonder what he will show me tonight. I can't wait......

Psalm 24 ends with:
Lift up your heads, you gates;
life them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of Glory may come in.

You are invited, King of Glory, to do all you want in Missio Lux.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Saturday I had to run several errands ~ one of my least favorite things to do is run errands. I found myself in Target as I needed 100 packets to start the Test Pilot Missional Communities. The clerk had to go to the back to find more and as I stood there, I felt my aggitation grow. I am not a very patient person, and waiting seems like such a waste of time that could be used for better things.....

But, as I felt my aggitation grow, I was reminded that "the Kingdom of God is within me," and that I had the opportunity to intentionally shine Jesus' light in Target. So, I began to pray for the clerk getting the packets. I began to pray for the people walking through the isle. One familiy walked back and forth 5 or 6 times as I stood there, they got a lot of prayer. I felt the atmosphere change as Jesus was invited to do his amazing work at Target.

I never witnessed out loud. I didn't do anything different except acknowledge the truth that I, like every other Jesus follower, carry his light. Those ten minutes of waiting, which ordinarily would have been sheer torture for me, became a time of worship between me and Jesus. I left Target feeling lighter and more joyful; that's certainly never happened at Target before.

Romans 12:1-2 calls us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices. That means that as our bodies are in a certain place that we can intentionally offer Jesus the opportunity to do his work through us. Sometimes it's very active, Saturday was very subtle. I don't think I will ever forget it.

And, now I almost look forward to a delay; who knows what can happen?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

This Ain't Your Granny's Poetry

Last weekend Missio Lux held an Art Nite. Alex Graves, one of the 20 somethings in Missio Lux put together a night that helped us to live into one of our values: knowing God through beauty, art and creative expression.

Alex writes Slam Poetry. Slam Poetry is "not your Granny's style of poetry. It is rather caustic, given in a bit of a rap rhythm but speaks truth to different situations in our lives. He wove in his poems between musical groups; all around his age and very talented. Art was also posted on the walls; all different kinds, but giving a big window into the thoughts and values of those in a different generation.

There were some of us more his parent's age in the audience. I found that in some ways we knew how Alex and the 20 something often felt when gathered in the boomer's presence. It felt a bit like we were in no man's land: not knowing the rules, the people or the culture.

But, I found myself wondering. Is this why we are loosing this generation at an alarming rate in churches? We actually speak different languages, as technology is their language of choice. They have the ability to focus on several things all at once and get it; so they find the rate that worship is presented slow and boring.

The challenge to be a Church that includes every generation is very real in the 21st century.
We have to be intentional to include everyone, not just a predominant culture that keeps all others on the sidelines. We need to be bi-lingual; speaking all cultures languages, even though almost all of us have English as our first language.

Missio Lux believes that as we intentionally appreciate our differences, we can also celebrate our unity as the whole body of Christ together representing Jesus to the world.

Alex and his gang accomplished this that night. Through their unique styles, they brought many truths to our awareness and perhaps were even more effective in helping us pay attention.