Friday, December 27, 2013

"Charity" on Incarnating Love: The Story of our Mission - Part 4

For the past six years, my wife, "Charity" as the bikers call her, has been serving alongside of me as a partner in our urban ministry. Her giving spirit and ability to empathize with the hurting and marginalized has proven a valuable asset to our work. As we are telling the story of our ministry and work here in Colorado Springs, I thought that it would be fitting for her to share a story from her perspective. This is her first, but hopefully not last contribution to this blog.


Acts 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

 I am preparing our Christmas dinner when I get a text from a friend I had invited to share our meal, “What do I owe you for all you have done for me?” I was shocked! She is my friend! She has been in a tough spot in recent weeks and has needed the love and support of her friends.  In my mind these simple gifts of help (a ride, help with job search, warmer clothing, bus fare, etc) were given to get her back to her feet. Isn’t that what friends are supposed to do for each other?  I told her she owed me nothing.  I did these things because she was my friend.  She went on to tell me that she was asking because she had accepted the help of a person she thought was a friend and the person was using it to get what she wanted in return.  Giving love created a debt.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Who I Was Made to Be - December Synchroblog



 I guess when I think of coming home, I think of things being as they should be or feeling right again. When I was in the Army, I was stationed at Ft Sill, Oklahoma for three years. I would return to Laramie, for the holidays and I was home. My friends were there, my family was there, the church I grew up in was there; things just felt familiar and comfortable, homey.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

What Have We Found Here: The Story of Our Mission - Part 3

When people think about mission fields, a lot of places come to mind, Africa, India, China, South America, maybe even Mexico, but certainly not Colorado. Likewise, talk of "inner city" conjures up images of Los Angeles, New, York, or Chicago. Chances are you would have to go pretty far down anybody's list of potential inner city mission fields to find Colorado Springs, if you were able to find someone who listed it at all. So why have we chosen Colorado Springs and why do we feel this is a legitimate place for our work? I guess it wouldn't be too trite to say that it is where God called us, but it is more than that, it is where He has placed us. I believe that God led us to Colorado Springs, and although we didn't recognize why at the time, He sees a lot more than we can and is constantly working things out behind the scenes that we may never fully understand. What I can tell you that it is more than simply the convenience of already living in Colorado Springs that has led us to our ministry here.

Monday, December 9, 2013

What Are We Doing Here: The Story of our Mission - Part 2

I really had no idea what it meant to be a minister, much less a motorcycle minister, but here I was, riding my Yamaha 1600, and hanging out with a group of guys that I really had little in common with. I say little, because there were some things in common, we all loved to ride, and these guys were absolutely sold out to serving God no matter where that lead them. After only a few months, I was given the position of vice president and asked to help lead the ministry. I say given, but it was more like appointed, there was a nomination, and a vote, but I was never really asked, they just said, "you are the vice president now, here are your duties".

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Advent: Incarnation Christ's Most Important Work?


Last Sunday marked the beginning of the Advent season, or at least I think it did, I never really have kept track of such things. Advent calenders were entirely too Catholic for my Baptist upbringing, and so most of my life, the only delineation of the Christmas season was the black Friday sales the day after Thanksgiving. Maybe its been recent faith shifts in my own life, or maybe its the fact that lately we have gone straight from Halloween to Christmas, but I am learning to see more value in the idea of advent.

You see, each day of advent, we take a little time to think about some little part of the Christmas story. Advent literally means the revealing or unveiling, and with each day that we think about the Christmas story, it reveals yet another small piece of the story until we arrive at Christmas Day and the entire story is compiled and unfolded, culminating in the revealing of the long awaited Savior. I guess that anyone who believes in the Christmas story can appreciate the beauty and mystery of this gradual unveiling, Catholic or not.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How We Got Here: The Story of our Mission - Part 1

Six years ago, my wife and I were still recovering from the effects of a very bad decision that I had made. We had survived the time apart while I was in jail, and after a couple of years had managed to put our marriage back together and rebuild some of the trust that had been lost. Ministry was the farthest thing from our minds, all we could think of was rebuilding what we could of our lives and getting things as close to "normal" as we could get. I had resigned myself to being a supporter of other ministries, after all, I was "disqualified" from ministry, wasn't I? I was sure I had to be, so my wife and I accepted our lot as those who would work normal jobs, go to church, and support others in their work.

It seemed, however, that no matter how much I wanted to just be a bench-warmer, and watch others doing Kingdom work, I just couldn't hide in the shadows. Our church began experimenting with a new cooperative leadership model where the congregation and the elder board worked together on making decisions, and I was somehow talked into being one of the leaders of the congregational group and being a sort of go between with the church elders. One of the first decisions that the newly formed congregational leadership had to make was on allowing a group of bikers to use our facilities to start a biker-church. Since I was the only member of the group who owned a motorcycle, I was the natural choice to be the group spokesman to the bikers.