Thursday, April 10, 2008

A new apartment?

Well we are still looking for a place to unpack. We are negotiating with an apartment complex in a neighborhood in Long Beach that we felt might be a good fit for us. The only issue is Winston our English Staffy (dog). Hopefully that works out for us. If not it looks like we will be staying at a studio apartment that a friend has given us use of. Yes, four of us in a studio apartment with a dog. We are just driving too much now staying in Diamond Bar and driving to look for places in Long Beach.

We are in Sacramento now visiting my mom, and attending my brothers wedding. Always feels great to stay in mom's house. We are still looking for a car, and some bicycles, but have had a computer given to us by some friends.

It is weird, I feel very unstable which is not unusual for me, but I usually love it. Now however I feel a bit fragile, and unsure. I am afraid of the sabbatical that is coming. I guess this is all natural, but maybe I prefer my usual disconnect. I do pray that if I have more to learn in this dispossesed state that I will be able to hear well. Anyways thanks for all of your support and encouragement.


Monday, April 07, 2008

California Cricket

After living 37 years in California never once seeing cricket, hearing about it, or in fact even knowing it existed, I have within one week of being back played a match! A couple of days after arriving here in SoCal, I went to the Indian store to get some spices for dinner. Knowing that cricket is a very popular sport in India I asked the owners if they knew anywhere I could find out about cricket leagues. They took my phone number and a guy called me that evening. Awesome.

Two days later I am at Starbucks getting a horrible cup of coffee, and I see two guys that appear ready to go to some athletic event or another and read USA Cricket on one of the guys jumper. I asked the two of them about cricket and got another number.

The first gentleman I talked to said they had a game on Sunday (today) and that I could probably play, woo hoo. So this morning after considerable hassle I wound up in Fontana, the last place you would expect cricket to be played, and played my first game of cricket in America. The ground was one of the best grounds I have played on, it was a turf wicket, with short boundries square of the wicket, but the pitch was great. The ground was owned by a doctor that bought the property and mantained the ground as a way to teach cricket to his sons and a host of other young people in the area. It was a great day.

I batted at number six, and was part of a good partnership. I turned over the strike but didn't score that many runs. When we were told to pick up the pace I played and missed a few times to some pretty good balls. Then I walked down the pitch and launched the bowler way way over mid on for the first six of my life. It was awesome.

When I bowled I took the wickets of their two best batsman in consecutive balls, and was feeling pretty special looking at a hat trick. The hat trick ball turned nicely and missed the edge by a few centimetres. But all in all it was a great day. Our side won, but it was a fun game. How great it was to get to play cricket. I might stay in the country for a while :)


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Three meetings

About a week before I left Melbourne I had three meetings in the same day. The three people that I met with were all on different parts of their journey towards the kingdom, and it was really quite inspiring to get to see them in such close proximity.

The first was a young lady who is in a very transitional phase of her life. She had begun to question things in her life, and in looking for some spiritual truth had found Jesus' teachings really resonated with her. But she couldn't really reconcile the radical love and subversive message of Jesus with the churches she had seen. But for some reason she had seen my blog and thought I seemed to be wrestling with these inconsistancies myself and got in touch. We talked about things for a couple of hours. I have introduced her to our community and it looks like she might be dipping her toe into some of the practices of the group.

The second was a good friend from way back, who is very insightful, but doesn't see anything very particularly inspiring in the Christendom camp. But we talked about him realizing that consumerism just keeps growing and mutating into a beast that we have long since lost control of, and he expressed his desire to try and walk free from this. I shared with him some of my own issues with this, and my understanding of Jesus' teachings on money and the kingdom. It was a great time.

The third was a regular appointment with one of my dear friends that has been walking out this journey for a number of years now. He is completely committed to living in a prophetic community, rejecting the consumerist ethic. He is part of a community deeply committed to social justice, housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, advocating for the stranger. He is learning to be disciplined in worship, and deepening his spiritual practice. And he is still very keen and excited about the kingdom.

I am grateful to be in someway part of these conversations. I believe the kingdom of God that Jesus lived, taught, and handed to His disciples is not only where we find our salvation, but where we find the salvation of the entire earth. I am learning more and more that the prayer I want to live out is: May your kingdom come, and your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.


back in the USA

We arrived back in the states yesterday morning, a full three hours before we left Melbourne. The international date line sure can make everything weird. The flight was good for me, which is unusual, I got some sleep and didn't feel that bad when I got home. But the girls really didn't sleep much on the plane at all. After a very long process of getting our dog winston we went to Raquel's biological fathers house where we will be staying the next week or so. We didn't think we could get through the day without a little nap so we layed down, wound up sleeping for two hours. Then we all went to bed around 10:30 when we were all tired again. And I slept til 9:30 which is unheard of for me, but the girls had to woken up at 11. We went to bed this second day at around 11 hoping to get back on a regular schedule I fell asleep but here I am awake at 2:30 in the morning with no real sign of sleeping again. Isn't jet lag wonderful.

I would just like to say to all of our Australian friends and supporters that the last four years have been the most rewarding and fruitful times of our life. I feel like I have learned heaps, and have grown in many ways, and this is all a result of the amazing people we have been privlidged to journey with the last few years.

It was wonderful to see so many people gather to wish us a farewell. Saturday evening was so special.

The last day with our church communitites was as you would expect all too emotional. There was much weeping, and I literally sobbed when leaving the Cave. But this was just a warm up. A number of the wonderful people from the Cave came to help us finish all of our clean up so we could get our rental bond back, and afterwards the red West crew sat and had a time of sharing, it ended with a whole room full of sobbing the "man sized" tissues Chris purchased came in handy.

The trip to the airport was a bit stressful as it usually is, but in the end we got there on time, all of our luggage was right on the proper weight, and we had an hour to have breakfast with those you accompanied us to the airport. Man, things got really messy when we said goodbye at the airport. This community thing is really hard when you have to leave.

I love all of you who have become a part of our kingdom family, you are all welcome to visit, and we will hopefully be back to visit as well.