Wearing a Coat of Sorrow

This past week has been very difficult. I am surrounded by the deaths of friends, workmates and colleagues.

Included below is the link to the obituary of Chris White, a former member of my church, who was killed by a senseless act of violence. Chris' funeral service will be tomorrow at Sts. Andrew and Matthew in Wilmington. I will be a chalice bearer. Being in front of people will hopefully limit my tears. http://miva.delawareonline.com/miva/cgi-bin/miva?obits.mv+90386

Yesterday, my colleagues mother-in-law, Nora, died after a long illness. Nora had a wry sense of humor and a fighting spirit. Her son John, her daughter-in-law Judy and all of us will miss her.

On Monday, a former colleague lost her battle against cancer. Maria Picazo and I worked together at Abriendo Puertas, the shelter that she started as a haven for embattled women and children. Her spirit, determination, and sense of humor will remain with me always.

I was told that usually after a long hard winter, upon the arrival of spring there is a greater incidence of dying.

A disciple group colleague sent me an email this morning. The picture and accompanying poem can be found at Danny's website, which is linked to my blog. Here it is.

Rather than wait for the tree to fall,
we take it down and plant another.
When those we love die too early,
the future has a hole in it.
There are others to love,
but there is no replacement,
only redemption,
which is what's best,
but not what we want.


Evangelism and Blacktop

What could possibly be the connection?

Adding another level of blacktop, usually entails removing the old and adding the new. Roughing out the edges and once poured, trying to keep it clean, looking new.

Sound familiar?

One of my tasks today was to meet with a representative from a driveway paving company and obtain an estimate. Three estimates actually.

I arrived to find another work crew busy wrapping up the repair of a carport and its roof. Carpenter bees buzzing around, no help at all.

I have great respect for an insect that can actually drill a hole in wood while in mid air. I give those fat bees as much room as they need.

The gentleman that arrived to walk with me, I knew was different. Very easy going manner.

Why do this, it looks authentic, leave it alone.

Heavy machinery would damage these cobblestones, leave it alone.

Great tree, winter really damaged it. Leave it alone, for a season.

When we finally got around to the third project, I asked about removing the old driveway.

Why? It's in good condition.

Leave it alone.

Add another top layer.

So, when exchanging business cards, he comments that he has worked for the same person his entire life. This surprised me since the company has not been in business for his lifetime.

Wrong boss. Wrong company.

His boss owns a company that has been around for about 2000 years. Uh Oh.

Never laid anyone off.

Never filed for bankruptcy.

This leads us to both exclaiming how joyful we are in doing the work and ministry that we love.

And that leads to my new definition for JOY.




Evangelism and Blacktop. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Leave it alone.


Powerful Message

Everyone once in a while something comes across my world by phone, or fax, or email, or person and the surprise carries something "Awe Full."

I had sent out an email to my friend and colleague, Corky, and her out of office reply reminded me of that in which I am grounded.

Subject: Out of Office: A Reason or a Season

Thank you for your e-mail, I am currently out of the office in

celebration of the Resurrection. I will return to the office ...

This simple sentence invoked feelings of love and hope and inspiration and wonder and thankfulness.

How about you?


Support for Sudan Elections

Pray. Teach. Partner. Urge. Give.

As we prepare to send this update, Sudan is more than halfway through what is now a 5-day voting process in regional and national elections. Slated for April 11-13, the elections have proved too problematic to be completed in 3 days; yesterday the National Election Commission announced a 2-day extension. The problems encountered have been as expected: no ballots at poll-opening time, the wrong ballots at some polls, candidates' names missing from ballots, long waits to vote, names missing from voting registers, balloting fraud of various types, such as the easy removal of the "indelible" green ink used to mark individuals after voting or individuals caught with multiple voter registration cards. Serious accusations of widespread fraud and misconduct abound as well, along with criticism of some international monitors.

Reaction around the world ranges from excoriation of the process -- and the Western governments and NGOs that have tacitly allowed it to proceed -- to approbation of the progress Sudan has made since the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, but all agree that Omar al-Bashir and Salva Kiir will retain their positions, and few are warning that there are likely to be immediate violent consequences of the elections.


For a list of stories on the elections as they emerge: www.sudantribune.com

For another: http://www.sudaneseonline.com/