Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Days are getting shorter

After a whirlwind couple months of trips, of life change, of soaring highs and tragic lows the days are getting shorter, my boys have gone back to school...summer is over.

A number of images will stay with me long after the days of this summer have gone. The one that has replayed itself the often in my head was our trip to the National Seashore on the east coast of Cape Cod. Earlier in the summer, Gail and her mom had taken the boys there while I was in Philadelphia. By all accounts it was the perfect day. The water was warm, the breeze was slight and the waves were perfect for a seven year old to ride his boogie board with his mom.

When we returned it appeared to be another perfect day on the Cape. Jake couldn't wait to ride the waves with me. He was chomping at the bit, like a horse waiting in the gates before the start of a race. As we descended the walkway to the beach I couldn't believe all the people. Blankets, umbrellas, buckets, coolers and bodies as far as the eye could see. I noticed something else though, all those people on the beach and only three people in the water. The next thing I noticed was something that sounded like a never ending peel of thunder. Wave upon wave crashed, receded and ran into the next that crashed on top of it. I looked at Gail and said "You two rode those things. "
She replied "they were...uh... different"
We got settled and Jake strapped the leash of his boogie board to his wrist, grabbed me by the hand and shouted "Let's go."
We stood at the shoreline for while. As the waves broke over my feet and shins I felt a dull pain. It was the chill of 59 degree water that was aching me. It didn't seem to bother Jake at all. "Come on Dad let's go, let's go."
"You sure bud?" I said.
"Yeah, come on," and all of a sudden we were standing in the impact zone of the waves.
"Okay, let's go." We paddled through the first waves to beyond the break. I spotted the next big one, "Here it comes bud, kick" I shouted over the waves. Sharing the same board, we kicked and caught the wave, which was way bigger than either one of us expected. It tore me off the board, flipped me over and pounded me into the rock and sand. I found my feet and popped up looking for Jake. I saw his feet and the red of swim suit rush by me as the next wave broke on top of him and knocked me for another loop. I again righted myself and began to search frantically for him. Another wave dumped him with in arms-reach and I grabbed him.
We were both bruised and scraped and wearing about 12 pounds of sand but otherwise okay.
Gail came rushing down to see if we were okay and comforted Jake as only a mother could after a harrowing experience.
I was bent over trying to catch my breath. I replayed the last two minutes in my head. I realized what a stupid thing we had done. As I look around, I also noticed that our little adventure had attracted a small crowd of people who were in that frigid water up to their thighs. As they recoginized Jake was okay they dispersed.
In that instant, for that brief period of time, a small group people had come together because my son was in trouble. They got out of their chairs and up off their blankets and braved the sting of the cold water and the harshness of the waves to try to help Jake. For that moment, we were connected and I was moved by the concern of complete strangers for my son. I am grateful for their efforts. What an awesome picture of otherwise disconnected people coming together for the sake of my son.

What thoughts from the Summer of '05 are gonna stay with you?

Friday, August 26, 2005

Sad News

The phone, at my in-law's, rang early this Monday morning. It was our friend Stacee calling to tell us there had been a terrible accident. Our friend John had had a massive heart attack while riding his motorcycle and died late Sunday night. John leaves behind his wife Sarah and two children Emily 5, and Luke 2.
This week has been a blur for their family of emotion and activity. Please pray for them, for comfort and peace and rest and for God's presence to be with them, now more than ever.

Friday, August 19, 2005


We had a great week, last week, at Young Life's Saranac Village with our high school students. A couple of our kids made first time comittments to Christ and others took huge steps on their journies. Oh yeah and we managed to have a blast too!!!

Now I get to go away with my own kids for a while. Nothin' but beach and sun and rest and getting to know each other again after a really hectic summer. So... I won't be posting for the next week or so.
Peace and prayers.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Intergen stuff happening

There are several conversations going on in the blogosphere regarding intergenerational ministry. This one at emergent-us had a great original post and handful of comments, then the whole thing got derailed and wound up in some nasty name calling and finally landed on a discussion of Marxism, I think. So check out the original post and the first 10 or so comments.
Matthew over at M Squared T blog has some good thoughts too.
In the real world, our Sr. pastor gave a message a few weeks ago about change and why it is so important and how hard it can feel and actually be. He used a phrase that has stuck with me, "We need to make room for each other."
In my mind, that phrase sums it all up. The task of not only crossing age barriers, but cultural barriers, financial barriers, ethnic barriers will be much easier if we could simply make room for each other.
We have been hard at work to make room for each other at Crossroads. Several weeks ago, all of our music was rap. Three of our college-aged guys wrote and performed all the music that week. This past week, our band consisted of Richie age 13 on guitar, Sam age 20 on drums, and Brian age 40-something on bass and vocals. They opened with this reworked version of Come Thou Long Expected Jesus. It's definitely worth a listen.
Did eyebrows raise as Sam, Richie and Brian led us in worship? Yup. Were some people a little uncomfortable with the music style? Yup. Did the place erupt with applause when they finished? Absolutely. We are not there yet...but I get really excited about this picture.