Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dying

To Live
August 8, 2011

"For three days after death, hair and fingernails continue to grow, but phone calls taper off."
Johnny Carson

Unbelievable Experience for Rose, Hannah, & Sarah 
When a person says yes to something they are also saying no to other things.  When I said yes to our work in Africa I was also saying no to work in Oregon.  When I said yes to our work in Africa I was also saying no to the enjoyment of so many mutually beneficial relationships.  Because I said yes to this work in Africa I am forever saying goodbye ... to someone on either continent.  I remain with one month of the current yes I said to Africa.  Goodbyes are looming on the horizon.

Come on Pam ... really?!?
No one knows how many more years of physical life they are left with.  But, each person leaves a legacy. It's only a question of what kind.  I'm living an amazingly fulfilling life because others have given their life for me.  Jesus, the Firstborn among my brethren, died that I might have life.  My parents, my children and grandchildren, friends and associates have all given up something so that I can live this life I'm enjoying.

Pam and I want to die so that others may live.  We want to surrender what we have so that others may live.  We have virtually no private life left.  We live in community with an amazing couple when we are in Oregon.  We have a constant flow of guest and short term missionaries revolving through our compound in Uganda.  Does it bother me?  Only when I am not living the crucified life where Christ lives in me.

Praying for Producer Adella
Last week the Dove Voice Band spent the week in a recording studio.  Eight English songs had been written, arranged, and laid down with multiple tracks. Pam and I love these young men.  Some are in their middle to late 20's and yet have not made a smooth transition from boyhood to manhood.  Some have only recently discovered their true identity as sons of God.  A few have come to to live with us for short periods of time.  We want to do all we can so that these Congolese refugees living in a foreign country can live fully alive!

It was a relatively small investment to finance this musical adventure.  Last Thursday we ... Pam and I along with our two African children, Jeff and Sera, and Hannah, Sarah, and Rose ... spent the the better part of a day in the studio with the band.  It was more than a musical project.  In fact it seemed that the project simply provided a venue to rest in the arms of a Father who was willing to sacrifice His Son so that we might live.  It was intimate, hilarious, sacred, creative, relaxing, unique, refreshing, and unforgettable.  One of the girls, who shall remain nameless, laid her head on Sera's shoulder for the drive back to Jinja and started crying.  When asked why, she simply said, "I don't want this day to end." She captured the emotions of all of us.  We felt fully alive, our bodies, souls, and spirits souring with the the pleasure of the Lord's blessing.
Celebrating the project!

The expenses in so many realms seem a small price to pay to see the life that is oozing from these next generation leaders.  It's not a religious commitment that has brought so much life from these young Africans and Americans.  It is the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus.  Seeking FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness really does yield temporal and eternal benefits.  And, dying to live most certainly must be a foundational reality of the Kingdom.

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