2012 Review Part 2 of 3

Here is the first part of this series.

The second third of 2012 (May-Aug) was one long, magical adventure. May brought Andy’s graduation, a trip to a comic signing and a trip for Cheryl and me to the Foursquare National Convention.

Andy graduates 8th grade. We have our first high schooler.

Andy graduates 8th grade. We have our first high schooler.

This is how he celebrates... 4:30 a.m. drive to a comic signing.

This is how he celebrates moving up to 9th grade… 4:30 a.m. drive to a comic signing.

I like his take on Superman.

I like his photoshop-drawn  take on Superman.

His color pencil drawings are pretty good too.

His color pencil drawings are pretty good too.

Cheryl and I traveled with one of our volunteers to Phoenix for the Foursquare Convention. This was our first time participating in this anual event, and it was amazing. We hope to go to Orlando for the 2013 gathering.

Thousands gather in Phoenix for the Foursquare National Convention.

Thousands gather in Phoenix for the Foursquare National Convention.

We hosted our first Desert Foursquare outdoor movie night (a part of our regular Family Night get-togethers). Who would have thought it would hit 60 degrees in the desert at night!

Outdoor movie night with the Desert Foursquare family.

(Very Cold) Outdoor movie night with the Desert Foursquare family.

Lounging at Family Night. Redvines, Costco pizza and all kinds of junk food.

Lounging at Family Night. Redvines, Costco pizza and all kinds of junk food.

In June, Cheryl and I got away to the Foursquare Center for Spiritual Renewal. We were renewed! The CSR West is located in a 100 year-old home in Hollywood. Robby and Bonita Booth are the hosts, and we really enjoyed their warmth and hospitality. We ate at the Nickel Diner and a street taco place where I tried beef tongue for the first time. I didn’t realize there was that much fat in a tongue.

At the Foursquare CSR West.

At the Foursquare CSR West.

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I love this sign about 3 blocks from the CSR West. Design by committee much?

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Cheryl refused the beef tongue tacos. Yes, she’s in her jammies. That’s how we vacation!

At the end of June, we moved into a new place.

Checking out our (newer, bigger and better) home in La Quinta.

Checking out our (newer, bigger and better) home in La Quinta with our awesome real estate agent, Cynthia Wolter (yes, that was a plug. Call Cynthia – she’s awesome).

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The home needed a big hug. We painted the ceiling, living room, dining room and kitchen.

Church in the desert in the summer is very different than most places. Because the snowbirds are gone, and the 120-degree temps chase away a lot of the year-rounders, only the hearty will join us on a Sunday morning. We did manage to gather about 30 people in our new home for a surprise birthday party for Selena Frederick, one of our church members & wife of Ryan Frederick.

The crew waiting to shock Selena on her birthday!

The crew waiting to shock Selena on her birthday!

She had no idea. I really love how our church family loves to party.

She had no idea. She was coming over to check out our new house for the first time. I really love how our church family loves to party.

Our intern Danny and his girlfriend Kaleigh. Two of my favorite people.

Danny and his girlfriend Kaleigh don’t let the heat stop them from doing what they like. Two of my favorite people.

In July we took Hailey to the Foursquare camp in Big Bear. She met some great people & had a lot of fun.

Hailey with friends at Camp Crestview.

Hailey with friends at Camp Crestview.

Our two patients from Ecuador made their way home in June. Jhonnatan received skin grafts and dental work to help repair the 3rd degree burns he experienced as a 3 year-old boy. Astrid was fitted with prosthetic limbs. Shriner’s Hospital in Portland did incredible work.

Astrid with Jhonnatan's host sister, riding the ferry in Washington.

Astrid with Jhonnatan’s host sister, riding the ferry in Washington.

Astrid riding a pony while wearing her newly-fitted prosthesis.

Astrid riding a pony while wearing her newly-fitted prosthesis.

Jhonnatan with his compression mask. They told him he looked like Spiderman.
Jhonnatan with his compression mask. They told him he looked like Spiderman.

Jhonnatan is reunited with his papa.

Jhonnatan is reunited with his papa.

Astrid back with her family in Ecuador.
Astrid back with her family in Ecuador.
Host mom Melody prepares to say goodbye to Astrid in Ecuador.

Host mom Melody prepares to say goodbye to Astrid in Ecuador.

Late July found us in Colorado on a family vacation. The highlight was getting five generations together under one roof. Cheryl’s grandpa is 90 years old, and the great-great grandkids loved meeting their much-older family member for the first time.

Five generations!

Five generations!

Fun at Grandpa's house.

Here is Cheryl asserting her dominance.

We make cute kids in our family.

We make cute kids in our family. Andy is as big as his great-grandpa.

My father-in-law's favorite pastime.

My father-in-law’s favorite pastime.

We golfed, we laughed, we cried. (I won).

We golfed, we laughed, we cried. (I won).

Bumper cars in Estes Park was Hailey's favorite part of the whole trip.

Bumper cars in Estes Park were Hailey’s favorite part of the whole trip.

We couldn't catch much in the river, so Grandpa splurged for a trip to the trout pond.

We couldn’t catch much in the river, so Grandpa splurged for a trip to the trout pond.

A buck-an-inch is so worth it when you've been skunked for a couple of days straight.

A buck-an-inch is so worth it when you’ve been skunked for a couple of days straight.

It was a strange ending to our vacation. Cheryl and the kids hopped on a plane for Seattle, while I drove our Prius from Estes, Colorado to La Quinta, California. I did the 18 hour trip in one day, trying to make sure I had a couple of days to prepare for my trip to Nicaragua with International Medical Alliance. They invited us to join them on their mobile hospital trip to select patients for Rooftop 519.

Ryan Frederick and I near the hotel where most of the team stayed in Jinotega.

Ryan Frederick and I near the hotel where most of the team stayed in Jinotega.

An unexpected bonus - Ryan and I meet up with Mauricio Rodriguez, a good brother who lives in Anaheim. Mauricio was visiting friends in a city several hours away & made the drive to Jinotega to see us.

Ryan Frederick, Mauricio Rodriguez & Me.

The Rotarians of Jinotega were critical to our success. Amazing hospitality and love.
The Rotarians of Jinotega were critical to our success. Amazing hospitality and love.
At the Cafe Hotel with the team.

At the Cafe Hotel with the team.

We spent hours with doctors and nurses in some of the worst conditions you can imagine. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere. We found a man who rode a bus for 9 hour with his daughter, to a city where they didn’t know anyone, with very little money. She has a deformed foot and leg. Walking is very difficult. I had a come-to-Jesus moment when I looked him in the eyes and asked him to trust us to take his daughter to the U.S. for treatment. He would do anything to help her, and we are paving the way for her to come to Loma Linda Hospital for extensive surgery.

Pictured shortly after screening Freschan for treatment.

Pictured shortly after screening Freschan for treatment.

I came back to a quiet home. Cheryl and the kids were still in Washington, working on the family-owned Duris Cucumber Farm. Their frequent facebook posts of strawberries, fresh veggies and family made me a bit jealous.

Our bananas didn’t survive being left on the counter for three weeks.

"Grandma" getting the Duris Farm stand ready for the day.
“Grandma” getting the Duris Farm stand ready for the day.

In August we were preparing for the Exodus Experience, a three-hour music & art festival that celebrated the story of our first patient, Exodus Vah.

Best party in Puyallup.

Best party in Puyallup.

New hats for the ExEx!

New hats for the ExEx! (photo by Ben Rood)

Artists Inspiring Action's Jacob Herring, posing by the stretchers he has painted.

Artists Inspiring Action’s Jacob Herring, posing by the stretchers he has painted.

Spreading the word to everyone in Puyallup (and beyond).

Spreading the word to everyone in Puyallup (and beyond).

Our intern Danny took his first flight ever to come to the ExEx from La Quinta! He is still glowing from being over 30,000 feet above the ground for the first time.

Our intern Danny took his first flight ever to come to the ExEx from La Quinta! He is still glowing from being over 30,000 feet above the ground for the first time.

No trip to Puyallup is complete without a stop by Anthem Coffee.

No trip to Puyallup is complete without a stop by Anthem Coffee.

Our host mom Glory & our board chair Megan. It takes an amazing team of people to do what we do.

Our host mom Glory & our board chair Megan. It takes an amazing team of people to do what we do.

Five bands plus one solo act. Pioneer Park has never sounded so good.

Five bands plus one solo act. Pioneer Park has never sounded so good.

Dr. Denny Frederick and Ryan Hart (Medical Advisory Committee member and board member), preparing for the celebration.

Dr. Denny Frederick and Ryan Hart (Medical Advisory Committee member and board member), preparing for the celebration.

The Exodus Experience was everything we hoped. 600+ people joined us that night, many who were deeply touched by the stories of Exodus, Jhonnatan and Astrid. I am so grateful for our many talented volunteers who brought this vision to a reality.

Up next: church growth, family pictures, thrift store & more.

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2012 Review Part 1 of 3

2012 is drawing its’ last breaths, and I’ve decided to write a series of posts to share what this incredible year has brought to the Manley family.

We started New Year’s day driving home to California from our trip to visit family in Washington. To back up, our drive up was a through-the-night-Christmas-Eve-pedal-to-the-metal dash. I found out that a Prius can get below 30 mpg if you drive fast enough. It was worth the look of absolute shock on my in-laws faces when we pulled in to their driveway at 1 p.m., right as they were getting ready for Christmas lunch together.

Back to Jan 1 – we decided to stop by and see my sister and her family at their new home in Vallejo, near San Francisco. I am very grateful for my sister, Shelly. She is a constant encouragement to our service to God. My nieces and nephews are incredible people, thanks in large part to the effort she makes to be a mom.

My sister Shelly (Rochelle) in Vallejo.

My sister Shelly (Rochelle), her dog & about 3/4 of my brother-in-law.

Just two weeks after our trip, I was on a plane right back to the Emerald City. We had a board retreat for Rooftop 519, and we had a lot of work to do. Our fledgling organization was really struggling. The board had just removed our board chairman, and there were many questions they had about my ability to lead this organization. I sometimes shared their doubt.

I read a book around that time whose author explored a thesis about a leader’s ascension being directly related to his father-wound. My father passed in early 2011, a good man who never struck blows on me, either physically or emotionally. I really wrestled with whether or not I could be a good leader without a deep need for affirmation and approval from people (yes, I like to be liked & I love to be loved, but many leaders highlighted in this book became successful because of their great lack of validation from the masses).

During our retreat, the board came to a great place of healing. Locked away in a room in Gig Harbor, we spent the day figuring out how to communicate & deepen our trust. I loved serving with these men and women. I walked away only slightly more confident in my leadership drive and ability, but completely confident in my calling.

In January and February I completed my consulting with Desert Christian Academy. I really enjoyed my time, and I feel like I was able to help with some things they really needed. They’ve since announced that they are actively searching for a new head-of-school, and I am volunteering on their development committee, which is making huge steps forward.

On January 18, Hailey celebrated her 13th birthday. Two teenagers in the house… lookout world!

Hailey wore Crux Watches before they were cool.

Hailey wore Crux Watches before they were cool.

In February, our new intern Danny Owens started working in the office. He makes us look good. I love working with Danny, and I’m really grateful for all he contributes to Rooftop 519, Desert Foursquare and just about anything else I ask him to do. He’s probably the most amazing 19 year-old I know.

The Amazing Danny Owens and the Stupendous Ryan Frederick, chilling in the CruxEn RoofSquare office (Crux, Engage, Rooftop 519 & Desert Foursquare).

The Fabulous Danny Owens and the Stupendous Ryan Frederick, chilling in the CruxEn RoofSquare office (Crux, Engage, Rooftop 519 & Desert Foursquare).

Incredible view from my office above Solano's Restaurant in Old Town La Quinta.

Incredible view from my office above Solano’s Restaurant in Old Town La Quinta.

On Sunday, February 18, we launched Desert Foursquare Church. I feel really blessed to have the team of leaders who have decided to be a part of our faith family.

Our staff retreat just before our launch.

Our staff retreat just before our launch.

I am way more excited on the inside.

I am way more excited on the inside.

Fancy signs.

Fancy signs.

Later that week, Ryan Frederick and I traveld from SoCal to join about a dozen of our volunteers to be exhibitors at the Justice Conference in Portland. The Thursday night before the two-day conference, we had a marathon five-hour board meeting for Rooftop 519. It was an incredible, spiritual turning for our organization. I now tell people that we were conceived in late 2010, but we were birthed at the Justice Conference.

Ryan Frederick, Ryan Hart and Katie Tigges "manning" the booth.

Ryan Frederick, Ryan Hart and Katie Tigges “manning” the booth.

Wonderful Rooftop 519 volunteers at the Justice Conference.

Wonderful Rooftop 519 volunteers at the Justice Conference.

Interviewing with the local news channel.

Interviewing with the local news channel.

Haley and our volunteers did amazing work.

Haley and our volunteers did amazing work.

The conference itself was life-changing. I didn’t get to see or hear the speakers, but the interaction with the almost 5000 attendees was more than we could ask for. These are our people. They love Jesus, and they’re not afraid to get messy when “going through the roof”. Two days after the conference, Exodus got on a plane and headed back to Liberia. Exodus Vah was our first patient, a burn victim, who received skin grafts from the wonderful team at Shriner’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon.

Exodus and I got to spend an hour together.

Exodus and I got to spend an hour together.

Exodus saying her final fairwells at SeaTac Airport.

Exodus saying her final fairwells at SeaTac Airport.

Exodus with her mom and Nurse Debbie in Liberia.

Exodus with her mom and Nurse Debbie in Liberia.

In March our church hosted Paradosi Ballet. It was one of the best worship experiences many of us could remember.

Paradosi Ballet dancing at Palm Desert High School.

Paradosi Ballet dancing at Palm Desert High School for the high school dance team.

Mid-March found me on another trip to the NW. Flying standby meant stretching a 2.5 hour flight into almost 22 hours of travel. After 6 hours of waiting in Palm Springs, I finally caught a flight to San Francisco, hoping to catch a flight from there to Seattle. 12 hours and three airports later, I caught a flight that got me to the NW just in time for a 10 a.m. meeting.

Rooftop 519, Crux Watches and Anthem Coffee teamed up to host an event with Jeff Bethke. Love these people!

Host parents Jason and Glory Cancro.

Host parents Jason and Glory Cancro.

UG Band. These guys rocked.

UG Band. These guys rocked.

Jeff Marsh, Ryan Frederick and Bryan Reynolds. Yes, they always look like this.

Jeff Marsh, Ryan Frederick and Bryan Reynolds. Yes, they always look like this.

On Tuesday of this week, two more patients arrived. Jhonnatan and Astrid traveled together from Ecuador.

Dr. Power and Bonnie Clifford are two of the most incredible volunteers. Shout out to American Airlines for flying our kids!

Dr. Power and Bonnie Clifford are two of the most incredible volunteers. Shout out to American Airlines for flying our kids!

Praying with our volunteers and host families before the kids arrive.

Praying with our volunteers and host families before the kids arrive.

Our host families are meeting Jhonnatan and Astrid.

Our host families are meeting Jhonnatan and Astrid.

I came back just in time to see Andy for two days before he went with the 8th grade class from DCA to Washington D.C. They spent 11 days touring the East Coast, guided by one of the finest history teachers I’ve ever met. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Andy with a couple of friends on their trip to the East Coast.

Andy with a couple of friends on their trip to the East Coast.

During the days that followed my Seattle trip, I found out that we had a very disgruntled family in our church. Skipping all of the gory details, let’s just say that we engaged in our very first church split. It was a very difficult time for Cheryl and me, as many of the issues that precipitated the family’s departure (and several of their friends) were accusations aimed directly at me, my character and specifically my relationship with my wife. Thanks to godly counselors and the overwhelming support of our faith family, we grew stronger through the experience.

Andy continues to develop his passion for comics. I can’t even remember how many trips we’ve taken to comic conventions or signings.

Andy created art to share with all of his favorite artists at a comic convention.

Andy created art to share with all of his favorite artists at a comic convention.

If you want to see this 15 year-old smile, take him to a comicon.

If you want to see this 15 year-old smile, take him to a comicon.

He gets their drawings and their respect.

He gets their drawings and their respect.

Andy and I had a fancy dinner at Black Angus. We both ate too much. Andy told me later that he wanted to heave, but he, "didn't want to throw up $27".

Andy and I had a huge dinner at Black Angus. We both ate too much. Andy told me later that he wanted to heave, but he, “didn’t want to throw up $27”.

Our first Easter service at Desert Foursquare was amazing. 99 people joined to hear Mauricio Rodriguez share his amazing testimony.

Mauricio brought down the house!

Mauricio brought down the house!

In April I traveled to the Christian Leadership Alliance conference in Orlando. One of the highlights was a CEO roundtable where I was able to meet and glean from a number of really incredible people. Another highlight was spending time with our board chair and her family. A third blessing was spending time with our incoming board member, Donna Mace. I have the rare privilege of working with people I really, really love.

We celebrated my 38th birthday in April. It was great, but not as exciting as my birthday in October (I’ll share more in Part 3)

My 38th birthday party. I feel loved.

My 38th birthday party. I feel loved.

Up next, Nicaragua, Colorado, and moving. 

Transformation

A friend and mentor wrote a short blog post today about measuring success in a kingdom-purposed organization. Dr. Scott Rodin writes:

“Consider the ways that organizations talk about themselves and measure success. While not-for-profit ministries may pride themselves on leading with mission-focused accomplishments, true success is almost always measured in financial terms. Pastors talk to other pastors about the size of their congregation, the success of the latest building project and whether they’re giving has gone up or down. Presidents of Christian schools, colleges and universities speak to alumni in terms of growing enrollment, new academic buildings and an increasing endowment. Owners of businesses speak to shareholders about profits, reinvestment and share prices. And for each of these, whether the pastor of a small church, the president of a community not-for-profit organization or the owner of a growing business, the financial success of their respective organization reflects heavily on their own self-image and reputation.”

You can read entire post here.

I read this post right on the heals of reading a chapter today from Hugh Halter’s Tangible Kingdom, in which Hugh challenges the paradigm of Christian success. He builds a case for how we measure outcomes of faith, values, relationships, influence and success. It’s the success metrics I’m most interested in, because both Scott and Hugh are pushing in the same direction. Hugh charts his case for success on page 78:

Our metrics for success in church and para-church work is changing. I see a revolution, a sort of healthy rebellion against the product-oriented (or postmodern justification) organizations of yesteryear and the expectations of transformation from what Hugh and others are calling the “missional” church.

We’ve wrestled with this at both organizations I work with, Rooftop 519 and Desert Foursquare Church. Both organizations quantify very different things that are important, like the number of kids we help bring to healing or the number of people who attend a service. But these are not the key metrics. Hugh sums up Christian transformation in the last words of the “Paradigm” chapter:

“These people will be making eternity attractive by how they live such selfless lives now, and will be modeling life in a New Kingdom in ways that will make it easy for other people to give it a try. People like this aren’t desperate to convert everyone; they are desperate to be like Christ and to be where Christ is. Their heartbeat (sic) to be transformed into the image of Christ, and to pray and work for little specks of transformation in everyone and everything they touch. Success is faithfulness. The rest is up to God.

Those last few words really get me going. Measuring transformation in everyone and everything. Dr. Rodin concludes his blogs with this thought, “He seeks our obedience and faithfulness, not financial success.” That could sound to some like a cop-out, to me it sounds like a rally cry.

7 Days Past the Exodus Experience.

Given a week to reflect on the Exodus Experience has helped me to more deeply love the people in the body of Christ. Last Thursday evening we hosted a music and art festival, celebrating the healing of our first patients through Rooftop 519. It was amazing

We had six acts, a dozen artists and photographers, and most of our volunteers onsite for the event in Puyallup, Washington (it’s pronounced pew-AL-up, and it’s a Northwestern Indian name for “Land of the Generous People”). We celebrated with over 600 people from 5 until almost 9, playing music, laughing, eating and creating some great art (at least, the artists created great art… the rest of us either watched or pretended that we were back in 2nd grade).

I’d like to share some principles of what happened.

Joyful Giving

There was no ticket price, no long speeches and no bidding wars (although a silent-auction guitar painted by one of our artists went for $500!). As a fund-gathering event, it wasn’t all that great. We brought in around $12,000, with a couple more people who are making pledges. Each gift we received is greatly appreciated, but the people who gave would have likely given regardless of whether or not we hosted the ExEx. I’m truly grateful for all who partner with us financially.

As a classically, professionally-trained fundraiser (I have a degree from the University of Washington to prove it!), I understand how to create an event that pulls in money. I know the recipe for how to get the right people to the right event and ask in the right way. What I am learning is how to let God provide what we need while doing things his way, and God is always less concerned with money than he is with people. On the scale of money and people, there is no single person whose worth is not greater than all of the riches of the world. Relationship is the prize.

I Corinthians 9:7,8 “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;”

In fundraising we rarely encourage people to let God move in the heart of the giver. Sure, we give them 30 seconds after a an entertaining night, a good meal and a well-scripted appeal (in which we strategically get “our donors” to cry three times and laugh five), but how often do we really pray for each person? Do we really care more about what God is doing in their heart than we do about the amount of money they can give to our cause? Pardon me while I go back and re-read the scripture above.

Inclusiveness

About 45 of our 130 volunteers prayed together at 4:45. A few last-minute “helpers” included Mike, a homeless man who loves Jesus, and Amanda, a severely disabled car-accident victim who loves talking, poetry, food and Jesus (maybe even in that order, but I’m pretty sure God has enough grace for sweet Amanda).

Our Rooftop 519 board chair told me that Mike, “…prayed so hard he must have left a dent in the gates of heaven-he squeezed my hands so hard he left dents in them.”

Luke 14:21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.'”

James 2:3 “and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?

On Thursday night, everyone was welcome to the party.

Adventure

So many people were able to travel from distances to be a part of our celebration. Our team of three came from SoCal, including our 19 year-old intern Danny who had never flown. Check out his short video here.

Our Artists Inspiring Action friends came up from Portland for the day. They loaded their car with stretchers, paint, backpacks, cameras and more in order to celebrate with us. There was an incredible spirit of adventure during the entire event, which always excites me. When I think of the four guys who carried their friend to the great physician, the story never seems complete without imagining what the walk home was like for the five of them. The awe, hope, wonder and miracle that comes with being touched by the Great Physician.

When our patient Astrid went home to Ecuador, her family and friends celebrated for at least three days. I experienced a great sense of meaning during our celebration of three hours. Our busy American churches have forgotten the art of a good party, and an adventure with a purpose.

A teaser here – Rooftop 519 and Artists Inspiring Action are plotting to do something together in February at the Justice Conference in February. It’s going to be awesome.

Justice

One of the greatest injustices we face, IMHO, is the unreasonable expectation that the church looks like our culturally shaped biases would dictate. The church is a wild thing, mostly incompatible with business best practices and hierarchy. Sure we can assign IRS recognition to religious organizations, and having principles in an organization are really important. What is absolutely critical is making sure that ecclesia, or the gathering of God’s people, is being the church regardless of a building or an IRS structure.

Anybody who believes in any faith fiercely will never agree with anyone completely, yet the thing we can all agree on is that we should be the hands and feet of Christ. When we are his hands and feet, justice comes, because Christ brings it. Justice sometimes means sacrificing our sacred cows of business and giving the best steak to a homeless guy named Mike in Puyallup, while celebrating the healing of a legless girl named Astrid in Ecuador. Thursday night was a wild thing indeed. It was not a church. It was the church.

At my count, I ran into the following at the ExEx: Catholic, Lutheran, Atheist, de-churched believers, non-denominational believers, PCA, PCUSA, Foursquare, CMA, Baptist and Episcopal. And on that night, not a single denominational rift was felt (to my knowledge). What I did hope, and observe, was that those who didn’t know Jesus saw him in us (or more correctly, they saw us in Him).

1 Corinthians 3:18-19 “Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.”

This verse relates directly to justice because our version of justice does not look like God’s. I would encourage you to read Generous Justice by Tim Keller. It’s a very intelligent and foolish book on the subject.

I want to close with a thought from Dr. R. Scott Rodin from his book The Steward Leader. “(Jesus) chose ill-prepared people who did not understand his mission; he so frequently spoke in veiled and unclear language that the people he came to lead seldom understood what he was saying, and most left him in frustration; he concealed his true mission from even his closest associates until the very end of his term; he angered those in authority who could have been an asset to his work; he made such outrageous claims about his abilities that all but a handful of followers turned against him; one of his own team members testified against him to the police; his closest friend denied he ever knew him; when he left for a time, his team was in total disarray and completely demoralized; and it was left to those who followed him to reassemble the team, recruit new members and build an organization.”

I want to be a fool for Jesus. I’d like to celebrate with his people, even the ones that will betray me. I want to be his hands and feet, especially to those who cannot repay me. I should be so lucky that I die while serving in his name, hopefully while carrying a child to the Great Physician.

Through the Roof,

Shawn

P.S. – just read this post from an old friend of mine about the ExEx.

P.S.S – enjoy these pics! If anyone has pics of the bands, please post links or send them to me.

Having fun with kids & stretchers in Puyallup.
One of Jacob Herring’s stretchers “A Cloud By Day”
“A Pillar of Fire by Night”
Artists Inspiring Action working their magic!
Our younger artists loved to help.
The semi-completed community-participation art. Glory is going to finish this over the coming weeks and months. I can’t wait to show you pictures!
Exodus’s hos mom is creating a community-participation art piece.
A beautiful painting that was auctioned off for Rooftop 519.