Monday, October 27, 2008

Election Time

It seems that of people are putting their faith for the future of our nation in who is elected for president. People believe that the policies they intend to enact will make or break the moral well-being of this country. The future of this country lies in the hearts of individuals. We are capable of making this country a better place and it's leadership is in the hands of our true leader, our God. I realize that it is important to see where the candidates belief system lies in order to get a better understanding of their character. However, if you believe that a president can enact a policy that will make or break the moral fiber of the people of this country, you are deceiving yourselves.

So many Christians in this country seem to direct their energies into such activities as the non legalization of abortion. I have to be honest with you- I don't agree with the killing of unborn babies. Go ahead and have the baby and I will find someone who will adopt it. As a matter of fact, I will adopt a few myself. But I don't believe that our energies are directed in a manner that actually eliminates abortion. Making it illegal will not eradicate the problem. True change can only exist when you change the hearts of the individuals. Once you change the hearts of the individuals, they will not do something regardless of whether it is legal or illegal.

Same goes for gun control and so many other issues. We can enact laws and policies until we can't possibly keep track of them all. But they will not truly be effective until we begin to change the hearts of people. When we get them to truly understand that God is real, and that He loves us all, and that He wants us to love our neighbor as ourselves...when our greatest desire becomes to please him...then these laws become unnecessary.

So why do we direct our energies on who is planning on enacting what laws, and not on changing the hearts of our neighbors? Get out there and change some hearts people! Go love some folks. "You must be the change you want to see in the world. " Mahatma Gandhi.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Where oh where has Koinonia gone? Where oh where could she be?

Sorry for my incredible slackness in writing. I just may be that way for awhile. I haven't even read what anyone else has written in weeks. It seems that planning for community left me for a little more time for writing than actually creating community has permitted. Sorry! We really do have some cool stuff going on, and some nifty pictures to boot.

We have the land and have moved our pet 'dog in the body of a pig', Sweet Pea, into a stall in the barn until we can get some fencing up. She is very lonely and in need of some friends. We really want to get the fencing up so we can supply her with some. I have my eye on this adorable little pony and pray that he is still available when the fencing is up and God has provided the funds.

We have been refurbishing the barn, and cutting down trees, and hauling limbs. We have a huge brush pile and lots of firewood. I spent over two hours today digging a pit for the outhouse with Alea's enormous help, while Darrell cut and nailed boards for the walls. We should have it completed and set up tomorrow.

There is electricity run to the old barn. The meter is still there as well. Seems though that you can't get power turned on without an inspection from the city if power has been turned off longer than six months, and it has been off way longer than that. So we are waiting to hear from the inspector. We are also waiting to hear from the surveyor about dividing the land into lots so we can get the health department out to approve the lots for septic, and perhaps see about selling some of them. We also have to get that done before we can even think about digging a well, or purchasing a building permit of our own. We did complete all our calls about hooking up to the county water supply. That is now going to be a last resort, and only happen if we sell all the lots and one of our new neighbors happens to be rich. We will require high pressure six inch pipe running a very long distance. I don't see us investing that kind of money to run water that we will have to filter to drink! Lastly, we have to wait to get all our ducks in a row in order to get our construction loan underway and put in the road. Deep sigh!

So back to repairing the barn, clearing underbrush and bad trees, and watching the wildlife. With the abundance of persimmon trees, we have deer everywhere.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Complexities of Simplicity

I have decided that 'simple living' is an oxymoron. Living is anything but simple. Life is a spiderweb, and maneuvering our way through it is not a simple matter. I love the way of life that people have coined 'simple living' - growing and making my own food, making much of what I use and give, natural learning. But this way of life is anything but simple. It is difficult. It is hard work. Just like following Jesus.

Matthew 7:13-14 You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

Mark 8:34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

But just like following Jesus, travel on this difficult path is rewarding.

We have been up to our elbows in community planning. We have been working and working on trying to get this community underway. We want to be living there. We want to be living 'simply' and enjoying fellowship with our neighbors and our greater community. We want to be sharing. We want to be working the land. But trying to be simple is anything but simple. It seems like all the folks that have to plan and approve everything we do don't like to do things the simple way.

With all the codes, requirements, and regulations, there is no way we can by ourselves make this community happen. But God can! I am reminded of Mother Teresa, who with three pennies wanted to build hospitals and schools. They told her that with three pennies she couldn't do that. To which she replied that with God and three pennies, she could accomplish anything. And she did. I have to keep reminding myself of that story.

This community is going to become reality. We couldn't sell our house. We did. We couldn't buy the land. We did. We couldn't afford to rent a place to stay. Someone took us in. We didn't have the money to close on the land. The closing was delayed....and we received the money just a couple of days before this rescheduled closing. Can any of this happen without God? God can do anything. He can build this community. And He is.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

Well, I am slowly getting back into the swing of things. Two days after Athena died, a good friend of ours died from Lou Gehrig's disease. It is a rapidly developing illness, and kind of surprised us by it's progression. I will miss her dimpled smile and encouraging words. But I am praising God that she is no longer suffering.

My mind has been so full and active the last week or so, and I have been unable to shut it down to direct my thoughts down another path. Does that ever happen to you? Your mind is working on an issue, and you try as you might to shut down your line of thinking and direct your focus in another direction, you can't. Before you know it, it is 2am and your mind is still working.

I find it hard to focus on writing when I get in such a condition. I don't read well either. I keep rereading the same passage and never absorb the words. And I become quiet. I know! Some of you just don't believe that part, but it is true.

Well, I do have much to say! We now have the land to begin building a community. We are leaving for the Catalyst Conference in a few days and are going to hear some incredible speakers and sing to some incredible music. We are even going to have the opportunity to visit with some folks from a couple of Christian communities in Ga. I am reading one of the best books I have ever read (even though I took a week long break from reading it), and have just finished a pretty cool one, and we are still witnessing God's miracles in our lives. And I can't wait to tell you about all of it...just as soon as I can gather my thoughts.

Ever notice that certain numbers keep jumping out at you? It seems like almost every time I look at the clock it says 10:31. I see those numbers pop up everywhere. I used to think it was because that is the date of my birthday. I would say "cool, there it is again". Then I started reading 'Crazy Love' by Francis Chan. I'm reading along and he lists a scripture....1 Corinthians 10:31. Maybe this is why those numbers keep coming up. It is a reminder.


Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God's glory.

(The Message)

So eat your meals heartily, not worrying about what others say about you—you're eating to God's glory, after all, not to please them. As a matter of fact, do everything that way, heartily and freely to God's glory.

See, it's not about me at all. It's all about Him! Cool, huh?!