Another Day in Paradise

Posted: May 5, 2006 in Everything

I’m sitting outside my room in Malibu right now while my daughter is sleeping and my wife is at a session experiencing God in worship lead by the Zoe Group. It’s been a good day. I don’t usually do “journaling” type stuff in this space. The way I figure it, no one is interested in the minutiae of my daily life, so I typically do more issue/interest driven topics. But I want to tell you all a little about my day.

I had breakfast again with my wife and daughter overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Does life get any better than that? I’m amazed at how big a jerk I can be to them when I’m busy and stressed and overworked and overtired. I’m thankful they put up with me.

There’s something about a beautiful place that helps me see the beauty in people. My wife and daughter are beautiful people.

I went to two sessions this morning. The first was with Mark Love, who I always find insightful. Speaking of difficult circumstances in congregational life, Mark says, “The congregation is a God-inspired imagination.” That’s a lot to take in. A bit more; speaking of the way churches handle situations, “Deciding is related to expertise; Discernment is related to wisdom.” There’s a lot to unpack there, too.

From Jeff Childers, whom I affectionately call 91.4% (which is the grade he gave me once, that .1% from an “A” you know), speaking of conflicting spirituality styles: “Congregations don’t need balance, they need wholeness.” WOW!

This afternoon, my daughter and I spent time on Malibu beach. Was it fun, you asks. Well, here is her prayer from tonight before she went to bed: “God, thanks for Daddy, thanks for me, thanks for sand, thanks for wa-wa (that’s “water” in two year old speak), thanks for the beach, thanks for me, thanks for Mommy, thanks for California, Amen.”

The most beautiful prayer ever. Period.

And yes, she did thank God for herself twice.

What can you say, I thank God for her at least that many times per hour. She knows a good thing when she sees it.

Tomorrow I’m speaking at an event called “Pepperdine View”. We’ll be watching some movie clips from the film Bruce Almighty. I love this lesson. A lot of people I know have used this movie to begin discussions about God, but I love what it says about prayer and how Bruce learns to see people as God does. The movie lays out three possibilities for who God is.

1. God as puppeteer.
2. God as genie.
3. God as relater.

Often I wish he were one of the first two, but deep down, when I need Him the most, I’m glad he is the third.

God bless…

  1. R Debenport says:

    great to share time with you guys. thanks for giving it so freely. blessings to you and through you.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Good to chat with you in Malibu. Glad you got your clothes (“For I was naked and you tried to help clothe me.”) and thanks for the impromtu counseling sessions by the fountain. Bart is supposed to contact you and offer our help with Brian’s visit. The trip was valuable for me and it was good to get home. I hope the same was true for you.

  3. Melanie M says:

    Great to read about you and your family and your time in pepperdine! Mom and dad were glad to see you guys! how long has it been… holy cow! You’re right… I DO need to update my blog. Just a LITTLE busy in the ministry right now… but you understand that… all is well. LOVE that you call Childers “91.4%”… hysterical. He was always my favorite. Keep in touch.
    love, melanie

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