Thursday, September 13, 2012


For some unexplainable reason, I need to write about this right now and now later...even thought it's 1:06 in the morning right now.

This is about Mobius. Not the mobius strip, but kinda. Yes, this is the open mic coffee house ministry that is put on by us at the Wesleyan Campus Ministry. What started about a year and six months ago or so was a simple idea that we wanted to do something for the students on campus that was in line with our thoughts of hospitality and to give them a place to feel welcome and to have something to do on Thursday nights. (Commerce isn't exactly known for its night life).

The idea behind it hasn't changed too much over time, we still are very much about the idea of hospitality and welcome. But, what I think has been moving through this is the culture and life of a people who are in communion with the holy spirit.

Mobius has become a place for the marginalized. A place where people who would usually not get up infront of a crowd and sing, now receive standing ovations, love, and support no matter what. A place where visitors are welcomed and asked to sit with old friends and where people can find new friends. A place where those who don't have a place where they feel at home or welcomed, but they suddenly feel welcome and maybe even act a little silly just because those around them are willing to get up and act the fool just for the sake of fun and love!

Tonight, I was leaning against the "bar" where we were serving koolaid pickles and rootbeer floats, listening to a room full of twenty or so human souls uniting in song, the chorus to Rufus Wainright's Hallelujah, enjoying the beauty of the moment. Then a fellow named Warren, his first night at Mobius, got up and asked everyone to join in a hymn we all happened to know acapella. In that moment and during that song, there wasn't a stray voice, a room full of truly incredible diversity, a place filled with so many differences, were united for just a moment in time.

"Good God" I thought during the song while we sang. "This...this has to be what church is really like. This must be a glimpse of heaven."

I may be a fool, and indeed I am a huge one, but I know when I feel the spirit moving, and it was tonight. Probably, when many would say it wouldn't or shouldn't, it simply did.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

O Lord of Melons

In the morning light two seekers sat in the stained colored dew lights of the new day and prayed. As was their custom they gave thanks for all they had and shared all they had, oatmeal, peaches, yogurt, and cinnamon. Today will be a day unlike any other. Their hearts transformed by their sharing and with life given in their praise, they went onto their days at peace with the metanoia that had transpired in their simple meal together. Over the years these two had become brothers, just as the tree had become their sister, and the life all around them had become very much a part of them. An odd way to consider all the life giving creation around them family. As these two friends departed from each other, they felt lifewaves of the great spirit sounding through them and knew that these waves were meant to be shared, to let others know that they were indeed beloved.Wake up world from your daylight sleep, let your dreams replace what you perceive as truth.

Seeing the world through gratitude is something so often forgotten. How can I forget to be grateful when there is such a beautifully simple moment of true friendship right in front of me?

Metanoia. As conversion runs through my bones and change happens in my soul, I see with new eyes the moments that need to be responded in and with so much gratitude.

Here are a few:

Hearing the lifeline of a dear friend and mentor
Being present to the passion a friend has when he plays his instrument for God
Reflecting on the possibility of a moment of time that has been in prayer for
A realization and confession to move forward
Feeling at home amongst a body of friends and strangers
Continuing to try because they see something incredible about someone else
Making the time to play, especially when we are supposed to be "serious"
Cooking and eating, together
Catching up on the phone
Hearing amazing news and stories, and being just as excited if not more than the person who delivered it

Finally, I'll end with a poem my friend Shellie Ross shared with us in the Academy for Missional Wisdom

Climbing Toward You
Every morning I want to kneel down on the golden
cloth of the sand and say some kind of musical thanks for the world that is happening again--another day-- from the shawl of wind coming out of the west to the firm green
eaten, its chill and ample body
flavored with mercy. I want
to be worthy of--what? Glory? Yes, unimaginable glory.
O Lord of melons, of mercy, though I am
not ready, nor worthy, I am climbing toward you.

flesh of the melon lately sliced open and

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Pie Slice of Justice

Over the course of my college career, I have often wondered to myself, "Why on earth am I a Sociology major? What made me choose it?"

I believe I had an answer yesterday during my senior seminar class. Professor Singu was talking in his usual manner at the beginning of class and said something that really caught my attention. "Sociology is the study of inequalities."

Now I've heard definitions of Sociology, I mean heck it's my major in college and I've only taken like eight or nine classes for it or something, but this one...this one was different. Inequality. Why would this particular word speak so loudly out of the rest of the words being used? What was so different when I heard this word?

I'd like to think it may have quite a lot to do to a commitment of justice that I try to live in my lifestyle. This is infact part of three important commitments, which are constant prayer, deep hospitality, and justice (something I learned from one of my incredible mentors and dear friend Dr. Elaine Heath).

If I am committed to justice, then wouldn't studying the disparities and inequalities of society be an almost perfect fit for me to study? Hah! I can't believe I never thought of this before. That nearly traveling through an entire journey of the college life, it took me to the beginning of my senior year to figure out why I would study a subject that you generally need a master's degree in to actually use.

How strangely perfect.
How interestingly placed.
How delightfully wondrous.

I feel ending with this quote is appropriate

"When it all goes quiet behind my eyes, I see everything that made me flying around in invisible pieces. I see that I'm a little piece of a big big universe."- Hushpuppy

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Standing By

The past 20 hours have been filled with so many oddities and strang-tastic moments its hard to believe. This is mostly due to me sitting in an airport for approximately 15 hours today.

It's not often you get the opportunity to fly standby, unless someone in your family is in the airline business. My first experience started off pretty grand and I got on the first flight I could have gotten on to Portland. 

The second experience was a little different. The first flight came and went. So did the second. As did the third. And then the final one was gone.
In this time span some pretty interesting things happened. I got some wonderful suggestions from some magnificent deviant friends to do some rather silly things. To name a few...

Stretch infront of people
Follow someone around and copy what they do
Sit by someone while they are reading and read their book while they read it
Wave and shout hello or affirmations to random people who passed by
Stick your tongue out when people look at you
Stop and tuck in your shirt and then untuck it in walking traffic

Now these were all super fun to do, especially because some people got a laugh out of it I am sure, but I also noticed some other items of interest about the standby passengers 

A woman crying because she didn't get on the plane
A man who is an employ of American Airlines who had to buy $400 ticket from another airlines because he couldn't get on a flight from his own company
People forming a temporary community because of their situation of distress
Having no where to go after not getting on any of the flights
A woman in her seventies who had been in the airport for two days because she could not get on a flight. She said this "Just because we are discounted flyers, they seem to punish us for not flying normally."

I learned quite a bit about this system today. Apparently, since fuel prices have gone up, the flight companies have decided to become more "efficient." Thus they have cut down on the number of flights and are now legally allowed to overbook flights. Infact, the flight companies have become so good at scheduling flights, that most flights are generally over booked. This makes it virtually impossible for standby fliers to get on a plane unless someone doesn't show up, which isn't often. This leaves people stranded in airports, cities that they do not know, and leave them under the ever hungry jaws of overpriced living arrangements that many standby fliers can't afford, thus the reason they are often on standby.

What if. hmm. What if there was an intentional Christian dedicated to the purpose of aiding our brothers and sisters who have been abandoned? What if there was a way where we could take them in, give them a place to stay that is free or fair at least, a place of hospitality, love, and justice? A place where they could be embraced and let them be known that they are not forgotten and not alone. Heck, what if this was true at ever major airport that happens in the country? 
How would peoples perspectives of a religion that many consider to be judgmental and hypocritical be changed? How would their lives be affected? Would they seek to embrace light because others brought it to them through this act?

As I ponder all this, I reminded that the Kingdom works in so many amazing and mysterious ways, that ideas and dreams are inspired by a divine and moving spirit, and that motion begins when there is a push, or in this case, a need.

Holy Spirit, move us, set us in motion, allow us to hear you call Lord to a place beyond loneliness to a place of warm embrace by the love you have passed onto us. Amen

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Experiencing Flight

Tomorrow afternoon I fly to Portland, Oregon, a side of the states I've never seen. I cannot help but wonder and fantasize what this magical and mystical land may be like. I'm sure while I'm on the plane my head will be in the clouds.

It seems like whenever I go on an adventure like this to new and undiscovered territory for myself, I always start having a bit of anxiety. I think this is mostly because I think to myself "this is insane and unimaginable." How fortunate am I to be flying through the clouds, going to experience a new place where people live their daily lives in their own world. Heck, my world in Commerce, Texas is even drastically different than those along the border in Texas or even those near and in Dallas. How cool is it that I am getting the opportunity to experience the world of Mira,Eric, and Auggie, who I am staying with in Portland. A place where I could maybe possibly live someday!

Yes, my head is in the clouds simply because I've heard that Oregon is a place of amazing natural beauty. I keep on thinking about experiencing flight in a different life. I look at the rain today that we had today in Texas, and cannot help but be so thankful. Not only for it keeping the spraying of mosquitoes from the sky, but for the beginning of a new life and new experience for something new. Its that strange and divine interconnectedness with nature that seems bind our souls when we experience the life in new and different ways.

So, as I sit on the plane tomorrow and await the clouds and rains, I hope that I can still take the time to be appreciative of all that has been given and all the adventure that is waiting for me, and not let the clouds in my head get in the way.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Seeing a glimmer of light

"I realized that I need to let go"

Hope. I've hoped for a moment like this for years now. Hoped for a sign of life. Hoped for some kind of sign that life after so much pain and brokenness was possible. That purpose and reason to live would be seen rather than allowing the infinite sadness of loss slowly consume his soul. I've wanted him to catch a glimpse of true light for so long now.

I've so dearly hoped to hear these words from my father.

For the first time in nearly 5 years I have seen true life in him.

I am so beyond grateful and can only hope that with continued prayer and working together, a healing journey will take place, true healing from the warm and motherly embrace of the Divine. Yahweh.

He's finally caught a glimmer of the light in his eye.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

ROC & Roll

Last week when I was returning from Los Fresnos, I texted my friend Sarah asking if I could come visit and volunteer at the non-profit she works at called the ROC. I honestly still do not know what the ROC stands for, but I found myself standing in a gem within a rock encrusted suburbia. 

Now my experience of whenever you allow yourself to walk into a place where you know virtually no one to volunteer, you are bound to become completely vulnerable and at the mercy of the experience. You can choose to be the silent vulture who talks to no one or allow the people there to sweep you off your feet. I have a tendency to choose the first, as my nature is an introvert. Fortunately, as soon as I was out of the car, I was recruited to carry in a poster.

Inside the ROC, I found something familiar, something new, something unique, and something that resembled a home for an extremely large extended family. The place was abuzz with pre-k kids playing, high schoolers stooping and lurking in the corners, to adults running around in an attempt to organize what refused to be organized, and senior citizens simply sitting and enjoying the sight. You see, this is a building where 27 different ministries meet and use the building (maybe churches could learn a thing or two from this in terms of building use?).

I cannot help but be filled with gratitude for those who run and work at the building, like Sarah, because oh what they have been able to accomplish there. They had managed to create an atmosphere of true hospitality that created a clear presence of joy that radiated through the people there. As a sat up stairs at one point, I couldn't help but imagine the holy spirit flying around the heads of the people there in its wondrous wisps and flames, carefully entering different people's hearts in different moments, moving too and from each person, slowly connecting and uniting them as creation was meant to be. Together.

Watching all of this happen filled me up with so much joy, that I couldn't help but return a second day to see it all happen again. It's not often in our busy lives that we get to take the time to stop, watch, listen, and experience moments like this. I am reminded through this, that God works so many wonders at the same time in so many places, places that we cannot see or do not know about. But they are happening! They are alive and well! 
And for this I am beyond grateful. I can hardly begin to comprehend such joy and beauty in one moment. 

Interestingly, I just finished a book by Henri Nouwen that speaks of joy and gratitude as choices in our life and as disciplines.

"Resentment and gratitude cannot coexist, since resentment blacks the perception and experience of life as a gift. My resentment tells me that I don't receive what I deserve. It always manifests itself in envy.
Gratitude, however, goes beyond the 'mine' and 'thine' and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift."

"Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice"

"This is a real discipline. It requires choosing for the light even when there is much darkness to frighten me, choosing for life even when the forces of death are so visible, and choosing for the truth even when I am surrounded by lies."

"Every moment of each day I have the chance to choose between cynicism and joy"

I pray and hope that we can find the courage to step out of the darkness of cynicism and resentment. So often we can allow ourselves to fall into that silent figure in the background because we are afraid to become vulnerable enough to experience the joys of the present.