Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Underwater photos

Here are som shots I took without the use of a strobe. Underwater photography is tons of fun.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Up In and Out

When I lived in Oregon I discovered some great work by Mike Breen. I thought about it a lot then and now I find myself rediscovering the importance of his work.

Life, to be lived well and to be balanced should be lived in three dimensions: upward, inward and outward.

Following is a short breakdown of up, in and out.

UP: time spent focusing on God (fasting, prayer, journaling, worship, simplicity, confession, solitude, silence, study)

IN: time spent focusing on others in the body (community, accountability, encouragement, corporate worship, time with others, celebration)

OUT: time spent focusing on those who don’t know Jesus' love and care (service, risk-taking, witness, thanksgiving, testimony, generosity, justice)

Friday, May 13, 2011


The last week or so we have had Kim's younger brother and his wife in town. It has been fun to show them around and to see Kwaj again through their eyes. Even tough we work hard at it we can still take for grated the goodness around this place.

They got here and the first few days were cloudy and we felt so disappointed they din't get good weather. Then they reminded us that a cloudy day here with temperatures in mid 80s was better than home.

Watching them enjoy the color of the ocean, the beauty of the sunset and the uniqueness of places like Glass Beach has been good for us. Kim and I like so many can get in the groove of life and miss the great stuff that is right in front of our eyes. We figure that we will see it tomorrow and so we really don't see it today. This complacency doesn't allow one to practice gratitude and being in the moment.

When we slow down and see again the gifts that God has given us we are struck again with wonder and awe. We can be in the now and take advantage of what is here. I wonder how many of us never take advantage of the great things in the areas we live because we figure we will see it tomorrow or that it will be around later.

We shouldn't put that off, we should see the gifts that are now and take advantage of the great parts of our cities and towns. I think we should all be tourists in our cities once and awhile so that we can rekindle our gratitude for what we have.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Our adult Sunday School class has just started a study on simplicity and fasting. Jan Johnson states that "in simplicity we abstain from participating in activities and owning possessions that extraneous and do not further the purposes God has for us."

Here on Kwaj we are forced in many ways into simplicity with our possessions since there are so few stores here and so few opportunities to shop. Some people are champion online shoppers and many of us shop online regularly since the things we need are often not in our stores here. But shopping for fun or entertainment is nonexistent here. We are all in government housing so remodeling is not an issue and since none of us have cars on the island we don't talk about our cars.

While were talking about these common realities one woman brought up an issue that is key to simplicity: sharing. She told this story about how sharing is different here than in the States. She was out running before worship and one of her friends was baking for the women's lunch after worship and she ran out of flour. In the States one would go to the store and buy more, but here the store is closed on Sunday mornings so that isn't a viable option. She called her friend to borrow flour and got the answering machine so she went over. When she got there she found that her friend wasn't home so she went into the kitchen, got the flour she needed and then went home and left a message on the answering machine detailing why the flour was gone.

When the woman got home from her run she found that she had two messages on her machine detailing why she was out of flour. The odd part of that is that she was totally fine with it. In the States, it would seem weird or creepy but here it is fine. We live with a different set of boundaries and we are more open to sharing with each other since we don't have the luxury of being self sufficient like in the States.

We were commenting in class that our life here is teaching us lessons about sharing and simplicity. We recalled how easy it was in the States to let our lives be run by our stuff and our spending. It is amazing how life can be about stuff and how hard it is to learn to have a new relationship with things so that we can deepen our relationship with God.

This is a lesson I hope to take with me when we are living in the States again some day. It is interesting because Kim and I often comment about what we are learning through our life on Kwaj and this study is highlighting and deepening that learning.