**this post is to inform those of you who have been journeying with us this past year and to avoid confusion going forward!**
we are moving back to Orange County, CA on September 22!
this has come to pass through a series of events and realizations but we couldn’t be happier and we couldn’t be more sad, either!
you see, we spent this past year here in Mexico City wondering if we’d ever love this place like we did our previous homes in different countries. we have been stretched beyond our normal capacities, been at the brink of giving up (many times), and have had our patience tested more than ever. . . yet, here we are now, preparing to move and feeling unexpectedly grateful for our time here. we have made new lifelong friendships and have been transformed (for the better) — again. we have experienced a taste of heaven in a place that once felt like purgatory.
we have witnessed miracles here, especially in our team’s work against Human Trafficking. we were part of the final renovations in the safe house for young victims of trafficking when we first arrived and have since been doing life with the house’s first 5 girls in the last 5 months. we have seen life change happen week to week at The Well in conjunction with many painful setbacks and obvious spiritual attacks.
we helped build and develop a cafe in Coyoacan, a key public square in Mexico City where people from all walks of life intersect.
we facilitated the first Justice NOW in Mexico City to mobilize local churches to get involved in the fight against Trafficking. 450 people came out to the inaugural gathering, many made decisions to volunteer and give of their time and resources to make a difference. an army was raised and darkness was pierced, so much so that the darkness tried to make an audible peep that night in the form of extremely inappropriate noise . . .which we now consider affirmation of our work. the light was too much to handle and this audible manifestation was a desperate last-second attempt to try to ruin whatever good was taking place. pretty amazing stuff (ask me about it)!
our view on Church and working in a vocational capacity at church was in some ways renewed and affirmed during our time here. which leads to why and how we’re coming back to Southern California.
last winter, we made a visit to California during the holiday season and had some important conversations about our calling. i began to think about my calling. what was it? i thought at one point it was music and vocational ministry.
and at the end of the day, it still is.
around May of this year, i started to come back around to the thought of my calling, which is very much related to gifting, passion and energy matrix (FLOW, baby). i realized that i am one of the few (and together, many) people around the world who are actually made to do music within and through a ministerial context.
i am going to rejoin the staff at Newsong Irvine and this time i am doing so with:
- a greater sense of confidence that this is indeed who i am and where I’m supposed to be
- a perfect knowledge of the fact that i am also not limited by my vocation. the sky is the limit.
- a realization that this is what i want, what gets me excited, and where i’m most effective
- the conclusion that my time in Mexico was necessary in order to bring me to this place of complete assurance and maturity
- a determination to grow and get “better” at what I already feel I’m good at
- the resolve that justice work and “missional” living will always be what we do no matter where we are. it’s who we are.
- and more . . .
Another key component of our move this time is this:
for the first time ever in our marriage, we have a sense of peace in putting our roots down and building a home in a place for longer than 2 years! we are so incredibly excited for what’s to come!
thanks for reading and continually journeying with me and my family!
I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m a horrible listener. How horrible you ask?
Well, for starters, I slept my way through college. One minute I’d be wide awake in lecture, excited that my determination to stay awake is proving to be powerful and effec— whaa?? When did I leave this drool puddle on my desk? Where did everybody go? Who’s that teacher up in front?
Story of my life.
A few years later I married the love of my life. We lay in bed on certain nights to talk, sharing stories and reviewing our day when all of a sudden, I’m being asked something like, “do you know what I mean?”– only to realize that I have absolutely NO idea what she means. I missed the last 5 minutes of a heart being poured out and I’m horrified to know that my mind, ears, and body decided to shut it down when they were needed most. Cue the first in a series of late night talks that end up in dumb fights because I failed to listen. I suck.
Fast forward a couple more years to the time I got into a conflict with a friend. Instead of really listening to her (yes, as you can tell, I am an all-star with the ladies) and dealing with the issue, I decided to inform her how simple our current problem was and in so many words, told her to “get over it.” I didn’t see the need to linger on a problem that had such a “simple” solution. As a result, our conflict lasted a few months and it wasn’t until about month 8 when our friendship finally started getting back to normal.
The key to this one? I finally listened. I listened and I gave validity to a pain that I didn’t understand. This created the bridge to change and healing.
I think we’d all be more effective as leaders, husbands, wives, parents, friends, teachers, pastors, musicians, and human beings if we chose to listen better instead of being
black and white
Because each person is different and the answers aren’t always what follow questions.
My commitment to journey with my friend in processing through our conflict on her timeline instead of just mine changed everything. Sure it took a great deal of pride-swallowing and just a bit of sacrifice but I’m glad it happened.
Sometimes you just gotta shut up and do nothing else but listen. Either that or be better at staying awake and engage with the person who needs your ear.
This past Friday, May 6, 2011 my daughter was born weighing just over 6 lbs! She is a tiny bundle of joy and we couldn’t be happier!
As she sleeps, sleeps, sleeps, eats, sleeps, sleeps, poos, sleeps, pees, sleeps, sleeps, eats, and sleeps… one phrase keeps surfacing out of my mouth over and over again.
How can anything that does just about nothing be considered amazing?
I don’t know. This is the mystery and beauty of a new life. Something within me is stirred to a place of wonder, awe, gratitude, peace, giddyness, and joy —
All from staring at a newborn who’s only job description right now is to simply be.
Maybe this is just a little bit too simplistic (or too profound?!) but I think that’s a task in life I need to embrace every once in a while: to just be.
When I am who I am (or as Popeye would say, I Yam What I Yam), I think the universe rejoices.
It’s good to know that even on our days (or seasons) of doing seemingly nothing but eat, sleep, and s—, our mere existence has brought a smile to someone’s face– whether it be our parents, lovers, or God.
I think I know a little more of what it means when I hear that a Father rejoices over me, sings over me, and loves me just as I am. I suppose it takes one to know one.
How is it that such little things can point us to such great truth and beauty?
This is not a Christian blog.
I think it would be very easy to gear and fashion my posts to fit this mold, but I don’t think we need another “Christian” blog. There’s enough good ones out there anyway!
Some may find this disappointing, especially when you know that I am technically a “missionary” in Mexico City and recall that I was a worship pastor at a pretty amazing church.
If you have been reading my blog and you never knew this, I hope this revelation isn’t shocking or detrimental to our online relationship. Stick around, please! I have more to share. I love you. I need you! You complete me.
I think there are many amazing blogs out there that are more blatantly “Christian” but I just don’t feel like that’s my “calling” as a blogger… or as a person. Call it a conviction?
I’m also sure that there are a lot of great blogs out there written by atheists, agnostics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and people who are far-removed from any sort of faith background. As for me, I can’t deny or hide the fact that I’m pretty heavily influenced by Jesus. He’s my homie, He’s changed my life.
This blog is neither Christian nor atheist. I write about things that matter to me and hopefully to the society at large. I just write and my values ooze out in the posts. Grace, redemption, love, freedom, justice, humor, and (at times righteous) anger. Christian is who I am, not the agenda I push or the blog I write. I don’t need to slap a label on anything or wear a banner that shows I belong to some sort of club or belief system.
I think it takes a bit of courage as well as discipline to venture out of one’s subculture to intersect with the world at large.
We could use a few more blogs (and people) who are willing to engage people from all walks of life. We need words of love, hope and inspiration to reach far outside of any bubble or barrier we unknowingly (or knowingly) create. This requires writers to choose our words carefully and avoid content and jargon that is merely understood by a few. Code language. Drop it.
This is a challenge that not enough people of faith are choosing to accept. They would rather say what’s “Biblical” without connecting with the world, get a few “amens” (perhaps in the form of a dozen comments) and call it a night. Easy if you ask me.
**It’s ok if you disagree because these are just my opinions, not facts… although I sometimes wish my words became facts. That would be freakin sweet.**
So all that to say, I relish the challenge of writing about things that matter culturally and spiritually, and I love trying to communicate in ways that invites anyone to participate and understand. I want to link the divide between pop-culture and faith, between atheism and “Christianity.” I want to challenge everyone to think deeper, to communicate clearer, to help make this world a better place and become fans of the Los Angeles Lakers. (last part optional)
So whether that’s Christian or not “Christian” enough is besides the point. Call this blog whatever you want! I’m thankful you read it and find it worthwhile.
Maybe you have something to say on this? What scenarios do you see some of these challenges at play in your own lives? And more importantly, do you agree or disagree with me? Because if you disagree with me, you are no longer welcome here… just kidding.
**I am going to give away some iTunes music and apps, as well as iBooks or Kindle reads but you must read this thoroughly to find out how!**
First of all, I want to say thank you for those of you who have been following my blog, especially during the last few weeks! This giveaway is for you!
In lieu of a regular post today, I want to get a little bit serious and have a DK blog town hall with you. As you know, I have been on a tear recently with new daily blog posts that started on Ash Wednesday (the start of the Lent season) and I must be honest with you, it’s been challenging but incredibly fun and invigorating as well. I just might continue this trend (but a little more toned down) even after the 40 day period is over.
When I started this commitment to blog daily, I wanted to do it for me. I didn’t care who would read my posts or who wouldn’t, I just wanted to get my thoughts out there and dedicate myself to the discipline of writing.
This is half true.
As much as bloggers will say that they do it for themselves, they also hope that others would engage in their thoughts and contribute to the greater discussion that they want to facilitate through their posts.
Ever since I started the daily routine, my blog has been averaging around 110 daily hits with a spike of 2oo+. This is not a very impressive number for those of you who sell ads on your pages but considering I’m not famous, it’s not bad! Of the 110+ hits I receive daily, only about 2 of you decide to actually engage on the topic and leave a comment on my page. What this tells me is that this blog has its share of devoted readers (THANK YOU!) but very, very few choose to take it to another level and contribute. I’m not upset about this. . . I just want more of you!
Consider this my Stimulus (and Thank You) Plan:
Starting today with this VERY post, I will be holding a contest which will end on Monday, April 25 at 11:59 PM PT and 2 random winners will be announced the next day. How do you qualify? Very simple. Just react by leaving a note in the comments section whenever you feel compelled to or feel like it (Mon-Friday) after reading my post for the day.
“WHY RANDOM WINNERS?” Well, if there are 2 clear winners (meaning, 2 people who have left the most comments), the prizes will go to them. The prizes will be random in the event that there is a tie.
“DO MULTIPLE COMMENTS ON THE SAME BLOG COUNT?” While I really appreciate and welcome you helping me moderate the comments, only 1 “point” will be given per day.
“CAN I LEAVE A COMMENT EVERY DAY?” Sure! Although, I understand that sometimes you will have nothing to say or that occasionally a post will seem lame to you (we’re all entitled to our opinions!) so you don’t have to always force a comment out… but some others may do it anyway, and you’ll lose…
“WHAT ARE THE PRIZES?”
This is a blog on MUSIC, LEADERSHIP and CULTURE. That’s why the 2 winners will have their choice of an iTunes gift card (books, music, and apps!) OR a Kindle gift card. You must also know that although I wish I could spring for a much more lucrative amount, the prizes will be worth $15 each and they will be sent electronically since I am all the way here in Mexico City! The phrase “better than nothing!” really is appropriate here.
So what do you say? I think this is a pretty easy way to score some free music and books!
Oh, and by the way, consider today’s post an opportunity for you to “register” into this contest and receive 5 points. Yes, today’s comments are worth 5 points instead of the normal 1. Do it.