Thoughts provoked by Tutu

I have been reading No Future Without Forgiveness by Desmond Tutu. It Chronicles Tutu’s involvement with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) set up to heal the wounds of South Africa after the disbanding of it’s apartheid government. He goes through a number of stories of army personnel and police officers wanting to be forgiven for things they have done. They admit to the things they’ve done just asking for forgiveness from the families of the men and women they killed. Tutu talks about the ability to forgive and he is amazed time and time again when men and women can forgive other men and women for the crimes they’ve committed. The families didn’t want justice to be carried out by having these people put to death and didn’t want to get even they wanted closure and healing, then it made me realize that forgiveness really is justice. It brought to mind Isaiah 58:12 “Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will raise up the age-old foundations; and you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell.” When I see repairer of the breach (standing in the gap) I think of fixing things from the way they are to the way they should be which is how I see justice. Forgiveness sets right a wrong; it repairs the breach that has been created between people that should never have been there.

Excerpt form No Future With out Forgiveness:
“There may indeed have been moments when God may have regretted creating us. But I am certain there have been many more times when God has looked and seen all these wonderful people who have shone in the dark night of evil and torture and abuses and suffering; shone as they have demonstrated their nobility of spirit, their magnanimity as they have been ready to forgive, and so they have dispelled the murkiness, and fresh air has blown into that situation to transfigure it. It had filled people with new hope that despair, darkness, anger, and resentment and hatred would not have the last word. There is hope that a new situation could come about when enemies might become friends again, when the dehumanized perpetrator might be helped to recover his lost humanity. This is not a wild irresponsible dream. It has happened and it is happening and there is hope that nightmares will end, hope that seemingly intractable problems will find solutions and that God has some tremendous fellow-workers, some outstanding partners out there.

Each of us has a capacity for great good and that is what makes God say it was well worth the risk to bring us into existence. Extraordinarily, God the omnipotent One depends on us, puny, fragile, vulnerable as we may be, to accomplish God’s purpose for good, for justice, for forgiveness and healing and wholeness. God has no one but us. St. Augustine of Hippo has said, “God without us will not as we without God cannot.”…To offer love and forgiveness is not a sign of mental weakness instead a sign of spiritual strength.” ~~Desmond Tutu Praise the Lord.


More than meets the eye...

I saw the movie Transformers and it was the most amazing movie I have ever seen in my entire life. It was absolutely amazing. It wasn’t all just explosions and special effects. They gave the Transformers personalities, and that made a huge difference rather than just having these huge machines walking around, transforming and fighting each other, they had human like qualities. The one part of the movie that really got me thinking though was during the fight scene, between Optimus Prime and Megatron, when Meagtron said “Your problem Prime is that you always defend the weak” (referring to humans as the weak). At first I thought to myself well, that’s a good thing, and then after it sunk in I said to myself DUH!! Who else would you defend if you didn’t defend the weak? Why defend the strong they really don’t need to be defended they have the advantage? That’s probably what God was thinking to himself when he told us in Isaiah to “ Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.” (Isaiah 1:17 NLT) That’s who we should help we don’t need to defend the wealthy and the people living in upper middle class suburbia. We need to fight for the rights of the people who have no one else the people who feel like the whole world is against them. It doesn’t make sense the other way around. But I like the way Optimus Prime put it “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings.” Praise the Lord.


It's normal to me

The answer to the question posted in my previous blog is The Sandlot. The quote is from the movie The Sandlot.

I can remember a long time ago when my friends (in Florida) would talk about certain neighborhoods in our city that we wouldn’t think of driving into unless we had a real good reason or a weapon, and now I live in one of those neighborhoods and it’s become strange to me that people are scared to come here.

I was having a conversation at work with a couple other baristas about the bus and that led to me telling them, yet again, what I was doing and were I was living because and I, jokingly, mentioned that the bus might actually be safer than where I live. Then when they asked why I told them “well, when you have someone unload a clip less them 100 feet from your house that may seem a little unsafe”. I only mentioned that because it happened a few days prior to this conversation. They look at me with mouths opened wide and I was going about my business until I looked at them and they only responded with, “no way!! That didn’t happen”

I said, “Yeah, it happened just a few days ago.”

Still in shock and disbelief they said, “No way, that’s crazy Travis. You’re seriously hardcore.”

I was surprised that they were shocked by what I said. I sometimes forget that what I’m doing is not normal, and I forget that my perception of things after being on the inside is very different from the perception of people who have been on the outside. I forget that I thought somewhat like that once. I was one of those people that chose not to see the need in the area. I stayed as far away as I could and never thought about going in. Now I’m chillin in the middle of it all and feeling as safe as ever. This is a good time for a TWC plug. Take a chance, take a flight, take a year and see what changes the Holy Spirit makes in you and what he does with that change. Sign up for the 2007 of The War College Incendiary session at www.thewarcollege.com.

Now that I think about it the example I used at Starbucks probably wasn’t the best example to describe where I live. There’s much more to it than that. Then I wonder why people are scared to come here. It seems safe to me.


I'm bakin' like a toasted cheeser out here...

First of all name the movie that my title is from.
It’s summer and it’s hot. We only had our official first day of summer three weeks ago but summer started here long before that. It’s been summer here since…before the last time I blogged. That’s been a while. I just haven’t been in a blogging type of mood for the past…uh…threeish months. Well, I have I just haven’t sat down and decided I was going to until now. Summer has been in full swing for a while and I noticed that there’s not a nice transition from winter to summer here. It totally skips a nice warms spring and goes straight into a hot sticky summer. There are maybe one or two nice days between, but that’s the only relief we get. The same thing happens for winter there’s not a nice transition time; we totally skip autumn and go straight into winter.

Anyway. the kids are all out of school and Jesse and Leo left for their summer placements and Matt Elcome is here from to assist us from Vancouver and has been a huge blessing to us because he knows everything Rob and I don’t about computers and that’s a lot stuff, but more than that he knows how to relate to the kids and has become part of the J.T. hood. So our community house has quickly transitioned into summer hours, so we are on duty from 10:00am to 3:30pm, and some days longer. We learned last summer that setting up a structure and trying to put the kids into that doesn’t work well, so we just open up the community house and let them do there own thing and that works wonderfully. Last night at knee Drill we set up an altar to mark the progress we made since last summer. I had collected a bunch of rocks (mostly chunks of asphalt) and when we put each piece down it was in honor of something that we had accomplished or someone that had been here and helped us. I figured Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samuel, and David all built altars to commemorate things that had happened, victories that had been won, places where God spoke or revealed himself in some way so why can’t we build one to mark victories and accomplishments and provision that God has given us. We didn’t sacrifice and goats or burn any grain but we did build a small altar to give glory to God and thank him for everything he’s given to us. That’s the Animated Inventor at work.