December 30, 2002

things seem to be moving along in ethiopia with the adoptions. we found out yesterday that our new daughter is a victim of fgm, female geital mutilation. it is a cultural pracitce of female circumcision with devastating impact of the girls. it amazes me what we will do to our children in the name of correctness, check out these sites to learn more about this horrible pratice. fgm and this one rising daughter aware

pray that when all the kids go back to court on the 3rd that all goes well and is approved


December 29, 2002

My New Years Resolution

I am on a quest to be rejected by as many churches as I can. I spent four years gathering a Masters of Divinity from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary with every intent on becoming a great pastor. My church would be the church everyone wanted to attend, we would be serving, loving and transforming our community. It would be a place where all people felt welcome and safe. It would be a place that would make God proud. So after spending a few months recovering from four years of driving back and forth to Chicago each week-I live in Cincinnati-I resumed my search to secure that perfect position where I could impart my vision to a people ready to follow. Each time I sent a resume I was sure that was the one, each time I got the letter back telling me it wasn’t I was more motivated to find the right place. A place God had specially prepared for me. But after about the fortieth rejection letter I was starting to get discouraged. It seems that every letter I got always said the same thing. It wasn’t just a common theme it was verbatim the same wording, “your gifts do not match our profile.” All this rejection started to wear on me. It never feels good to be rejected even when it’s delivered with a good dose of compassion.

Something happened to me during those four years of driving and striving to attain my degree. I was transformed. God did a work in me that unleashed a rebellion. A rebellion against the church as it is. A rebellion against our culture as it is. A rebellion against my own view of God as it is. During my four years at Nothern we adopted four kids. I started to wonder did any of the rejections have to do with my kids. We are a diverse family, four biological, two biracial and two South Africans and four more from Ethipoia on the way, that’s right 12. But wait this could not be hindering me, these were ministry positions that I was applying for, a life lived in service and sacrifice would go a long way in that market. If it is my family then what does that say about the church, Christianity and me as a follower of Christ. All this pondering has become too much I’ve given up. You see almost every time I try to stay in the church it pushes me out. They win I can’t take any more, its too hard and too stressful to keep putting myself and my family through all this. Tonight I realized what it’s all about. The Red Hot Chili Peppers have a song titled, “Give It Away” and the chorus goes, “Give it away give it away give it away give it away now.” You see I have given it all away. I gave myself away to a kid found in a dumpster. I gave myself away to the women I love. I gave myself away to a God who asks for everything. The more I give away the more I learn, the more I feel, the more I love. I don’t have any more to give so church keep your profiles I’m following Jesus wherever he leads.


December 27, 2002

the kids went to court yesterday and all went well, now the judge is reviewing all the files there were about 23 kids in the group, so on jan 3rd is the next date when the judge returns with her conclusions after reviewing the files. so maybe they will be here at the end of january.


December 26, 2002

the kids didnt go to court christmas eve, they go today we hope. it seems the guy in charge and the one who is causing most of the uproar and delay didnt show up the 24th. pray that today he will, actually the court time has already past in ethiopia so we are waiting to hear what is going on.

i pray all of you had a great christmas.


December 24, 2002

our kids go to court in ethiopia today its most likely already done. now we wait to hear the results. paper work needed to be complete before they went in to court nad we have no idea of it got finished. we take so much for granted here. one of the girls lived in a mud hut with dirt floors and had never had a bath, she is about 5. we have so much stuff we dont need and dont even know it, we think its all part of the gig of having the "good life" i am not so sure its that good, maybe selfish is a better word.

anyway merry christmas everyone, may the word become person bless you this season.


December 22, 2002

i am abraham. what!, you say. GOD has ask us to go somewhere, and we have no clue where it is. not one. genesis 12:1 says, "he LORD said to abram, 'leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land i will show you.' please GOD show me, i am getting to the point that i am not sure if i can go on any longer. this road you have ask me to travel is hard and barren at times. yet, i read the words of the bible and i am soothed, yet i am uneasy. peace i need some peace please LORD give me peace, peace that this journey is ok and i will get to the end. maybe i should build some altars, but my wife says our kids are our altars, maybe she is right.


December 20, 2002

saw two towers yesterday with my two oldest daughters and my 15 year old son, it was his birthday. great movie, not as good as the first for me. a few things bothered me about this one. it seems the troops coming to support saron where all people of color, or appeared that way, from exotic places etc and all the good people where white. the second thing was the use of gimli the dwarf as humor, always making fun of his height or his inability to do things "normal" people do. maybe iam just overly sensitive about it becuase of my kids but i struggle with the whole dark is always bad message. for me it reinforces the stereotypes that demand all of us to fall into the proper place i would love to know what any of you think so let me know.


December 19, 2002

met two really cool people last night gina and ryan hale from saint louis, they are part of levi's table a group of people becoming a community. it is cool to meet people you email with and sit and share a meal and conversation, we had church last night.

the conversation really made me see how i crave authentic relationships and don't have too many. we talked about how being involved in others lives is messy, for the most part usamerican christians don't do messy. thanks hales we had a great time.


December 17, 2002

i had another rejection for a church position. the person i talked to said i was the most interesting person he had met since being in cincinnati. we had a great talk about compliant people and how i am not one. maybe i am suppose to be somewhere else, but where, maybe i am here to unsettle the compliant nature of things here in the city of love. i am just confused about where/why/how i am suppose to be and doing things. still feel the church is worth saving yet it needs to change. maybe i am suppose to plant one here to reach out to the emerging culture, hidden it may be, yet i am starting to feel that amy be the answer, so any insight would be valued.

we are still waiting for our four new ones, looks like jan 10th maybe, will they ever get here?


December 11, 2002

aaaaagh.. the roller coaster is killing me. the people who are buying our house are trying to back out after they inspected it yesterday and found termites and some damage. we heard yesterday that one of the kids in the group that are coming over from ethipoia with ours died, she was 18mos old. too little food, too little care, too much ambiguity. can some one stop this ride i would like to get off for a little while.


December 09, 2002

well we have sold our house and are trying to buy our dream home.

the kids are coming some day from ethiopia not just when we thought, delays and delays and..... will the roller coaster ever end?

had two awesome encouragements last week, one from a dear friend, the other random, from someone i would like to know better. thanks, it changed my attitude. it is cool when GOD speaks to you through other people and you hear it.


December 04, 2002

got another dose of bad news from ethiopia this am. seems our kids won't be going to court until 12/16 so they wont be here before christmas, so many delays and roadblocks. it amazes me why people get in the way of giving a child a home.

we get an offer on our house today and if it worls we will be on our way to buying our mansion.

got a great comment from bill about my last post, thanks dude it really changed my day, it made me think how we need to be encouraging each other more, isnt that what love is about.


December 02, 2002

i got turned down for a director of youth ministry position last night. thats two in the past month. something keeps drawing to the church, yet something also pushes me away. it seems at times that i am destined to be an outsider, not sure if that is a bad thing or good, just confused. not sure how much more i can take, rejection hurts wherever it comes from or how conpassionatly it is delivered. i keep hearing the wrods of one of my profs in seminary, telling me to stay in the church, i think i may be leavng soon, for good. at times i get tired of people telling GOD has a plan, i know that, what bothers me is that at times we won't do anything about it. is it me, all my kids, my theology, i can't figure it out, do i keep applying for positions, or just give up and go in another direction? tell me please someone, GOD. been thinking about starting a church, but then i stop. what's the deal?

kids coming the 23rd, court date this friday, pray