Archive for December, 2008

In Memory.

Paul Scott Scandrett 

October 24, 1978- December 31, 1994

14 years.  I will never, ever forget…

December 31, 2008 at 10:48 pm 11 comments

Monday morning meanderings. Vol.65

Shelton, Washington

After more than 2000 miles we drove into snowy, cold Mason County about 8pm.  It was amazing to see all of the snow piled up and people still not able to get out and move around very well if at all.  It is raining now but still quite cold.  A typical NW winter.  I noticed it was in the mid 60’s in Western Oklahoma today!

Item one.  Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and finally Washington.  Nine states in all, over the last week.  A 3 day stop in Colorado for Christmas and then a two day, 1500+ trip into Washington.  About Twin Falls, in a blizzard I was asking myself, “what was I thinking?”  We have done it several times before, but never this fast.  Not sure we will do this again in the winter. On January 7th I will drive to Idaho Falls to see Todd and Leslie for a few days and Linda will fly to Salt Lake City, where I will pick her up.  But until then it will be grandkids and kids!

Item two.  Enjoyed Christmas with my Dad, brother and his family.  It was fun but strange.  We didn’t exchange gifts and our immediate family wasn’t there so that was kind of strange.  Christmas is just a date on the calendar, right? So we had a Colorado Christmas and we are going to do a New Years Day Christmas with the family out here so we will have a two state, two day celebration.  Sage’s first Christmas and the boys all able to get into it, should be fun!

Item three.  Traci, Brandon and the three boys moved into their new house after several months in a small space graciously given to them by some good friends and they are thrilled!  Thrilled but tired.  They did most of it themselves and it was a hard move, given the weather but they are now really enjoying lots of space and the warmth of a wood stove.  It is a very nice house, perfect for their needs.  The boys are having a great time. Thank you Father!

Item four.  NC State, Missouri, Maryland, Rice, Oklahoma State, Air Force, Oregon State, Vanderbilt, Kansas, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Georgia, Nebraska, USC, Cincinnati, Texas Tech, Kentucky, Alabama, Buffalo, Texas, Tulsa, OKLAHOMA. What, you say are all those names?  My picks for the rest of the bowls which begin today.  I predict I will be wrong more than I am right.  So don’t use my picks to bet your food money.

Item five.  Spending most of the year in places with clear skies, I have been enjoying learning about stars and planets and looking for meteor showers and other kinds of fun things in the atmosphere.  They will even send you alerts so you won’t miss things as they occur.  Want to know what will be happening New Years Eve?  Find out HERE.

Have a great New Year Celebration and I will see you again in 2009!

December 30, 2008 at 1:02 am 2 comments

Monday morning meanderings. Vol. 64

Sayre, Oklahoma

Knowing what family and friends in the Northwest are going through, related to weather, I really can’t complain about here.  It has been really cold but no snow to speak of and the wind has been mostly under 20mph, for the last couple of days, which is nice.  The best thing about out here weather wise is that the sun almost always shines.  Sun does make things better.

Item one.  Speaking of weather.  This article from the Seattle PI caught my eye this morning with these fun facts about Seattle weather:

• The biggest snowstorm of the last century was in 1916, when 33 inches fell between Jan. 31 and Feb. 3. That storm holds the record for the most snow falling in 24 hours, at 21.5 inches between 5 p.m. Feb. 1 and 5 p.m. the next day.
• During an unexpected storm that began on Jan. 13, 1950, the Puget Sound area was choked by almost 2 feet of snow that fell in 24 hours. Winds whipped the snow into drifts 6 feet high and blinded those caught out and about, making it the area’s only snowfall on record to be considered an actual blizzard. The storm left 13 people dead and caused $1 million in damage.
• Seattle’s snowiest winter on record was in 1968-69, with a total of 67.5 inches.
• A storm beginning on Dec. 18, 1990, dumped a foot of snow in and around Seattle. Teachers stayed overnight with 2,600 stranded pupils at 37 schoolhouses around King County rather than send them off into the hazardous elements.
• A series of snow, ice and rainstorms beginning on Dec. 26, 1996, caused 16 deaths in the state and $57 million in damages in Seattle and King County. Two storms — one dumping 6-12 inches and another of 10 inches of wet snow — followed by heavy rain collapsed carports and covered boat moorings and snapped power lines.

The full article can be found HERE.  Hopefully no records will be broken this week!

Item two.  We are into the third year of living full time in our RV and the last couple of weeks have been the most trying, that I can remember.  We like most things about it; little maintenance, can be cleaned in a few minutes, not much stuff to store or take care of, we can live anywhere…  But what isn’t good about it is severe weather.  We have been really fortunate for most of the time we have lived on wheels to be in places where the weather is warm most of the time.  Last year we were in Arizona at this point. We are still planning to be in Arizona for most of the winter but we really miscalculated the time to head out this year.  We have frozen up a couple of times, go through the propane like we never have before, which fogs up the windows and I find I worry more about what might happen to the rig than I like.  I guess that is the trade off for living this lifestyle

Item three.  We are leaving in the morning sometime, (Tuesday) to drive to Washington via Colorado.  We will spend Christmas with my father, brother and his family and then start driving toward the NW.  My father will be 85 in March so wanted to spend some time with him during the holidays. This will be the first Christmas not spent with our children, ever.  But given the state of the weather out there and the airport closures we probably made a good choice for travel.  We don’t mind long drives and we don’t have to be in a hurry so we will get there when we get there.  Our goal is around the 29th-30th.  We are excited to see Traci and Brandon’s new home.  After several months of close quarters they are enjoying their own place, especially a wood burning stove for these inclement days.  Can’t wait to see our four kids and 5 grandkids!  Want to see some videos of Canyon Paul?  HERE.

Item four. I realize that most of you don’t hit the links I put in here that direct you to things I think are worth reading.  Did you know I can tell what people read and don’t read on this site?  However I want to point you to something very valuable I read this morning from the Seattle PI.  The times are changing, whether we want to acknowledge them or not.  It seems most people expect our new President to fix things, as quickly as possible, so as to get us back to the the way things were.  Is it not possible and probable that the Father wants things in our world to be the way they are in order to get us to live in a Kingdom way.  Most of the problems we face in this country were caused by us-we are greedy, selfish, and overly focused on acquisition and consumption at levels far beyond what is right, ethically or morally.  We cannot continue to live as we have the last 25 years and expect any other result than the one we are experiencing right now.  We need this wake up call to get back to what is important and what it really means to live with Kingdom values and lifestyle.  The following link is not written by a follower of King Jesus, as far as I know, but what he writes is about Kingdom values and the need we all have to stop and realize who and what we have become.  I encourage you to read it.  Find it HERE.

Item five.  Here are a few other links you might find valuable is you have the time.  HERE on the Rick Warren prayer flap, HERE on church growth during hard times, HERE is one that says, under the old model you dated a few times and if you really liked the person you had sex, now the model is you hook up a few times and if you really like the person you might consider going on a date, and finally HERE, a post on why I miss the NW and fly fishing for steelhead and chums on the OP (Olympic Peninsula).

Item six. In my recent recapping of our Convergence School of Ministry Summit I have focused on Bob Mumford’s teaching.  I suspect many of my readers who were not at the school have passed over reading these posts but I don’t want you to miss this.  As we approach the day of celebrating the birth of our Savior and King I want to leave you with two things Bob said repeatedly while he was with us here.   The two most expensive attributes of the Kingdom are unqualified love and unlimited forgiveness.  There is nothing more Kingdom related, nothing more Biblically true, and nothing harder to do, yet more important than living out these two attributes.  Living with no restrictions on how much and who we love and who we are willing to forgive were intended by our Father to change the world.  Is there any doubt He is right?

Have a wonderful celebration of Jesus birthday.  I appreciate your visits here to The View From the Juniper Tree.  The fact that several hundred of you visit every week blesses me a lot.  Thank you.  See you down the road!

December 22, 2008 at 10:18 pm Leave a comment

Summit Recap. Bob Mumford (2)

Still recapping recently completed Convergence Summit.  Pretty much doing a “Cliff Notes” version of the teaching we heard during the Summit.  For those who attended you can get all of the audio on the Trinity website HERE.  Click on the “online courses” tab and insert the user name and password you were given during the school.  If you don’t have it call me or the church office.

For information on Bob Mumford, see the post below this one.

Some bullet points from Bob:

  • God uses All Things, with nothing excluded, in the inexorable and twisted battle against all that is eros driven(not agape driven) and compulsively repulsive. All is fair in love and war. This is both.
  • Works of the flesh are, in Paul’s understanding are the absence of Agape and the failure to allow Christ to deliver us from all that is compulsively reflexive.
  • The content of Agape are these seven attributes: Compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, mercy, truth, faithful, forgiving. These 7 attributes are God’s own nature and when birthed in us produces Agape. Could it be these 7 are what it means to “put on Christ?”  and we “Fall short of His glory?” when we live without these 7. When we live otherwise is that “exchanging His glory…?”
  • Kingdom living is honestly and relentlessly living for the things of Jesus and not ourselves.
  • Living to get our own way produces self love not agape. Trying to get our own way produces mindless repetition, loveless, cheap sex, stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage, frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness. trinket gods, magic show religion, paranoid loneliness, cutthroat competition, all consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants, brutal temper, an impotence to love or be loved, divided homes and divided lives, small minded and lopsided pursuits, the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival, uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions, ugly parodies of community… (a paraphrase of Galatians 5:19-21)
  • For the Kingdom citizen, we are called to change direction from the above to the seven attributes of Agape. The enemy is relentlessly determined to cause you to change direction again through spiritual warfare, temptation and ungoverned desire. Once we change direction we are capable of anything!
  • When we choose to change direction and enter the Kingdom our minds, emotions, and will power are flooded with multiple reasons why we made the right choice.
  • One hope. Christ in you, the hope of Glory. (Glory being the seven attributes of Agape)
  • This Glory is seen in the two most expensive aspects of the Kingdom: Unqualified love and unlimited forgiveness.
  • These two, when received, embraced immediately begin to set us free from the compulsive, reflexive self interest that dominates and controls the world system.
  • Christ in you is the biblical hope of displaying Glory. Christ in you, is Agape incarnate (7 attributes) will displace the animal demands that is relentlessly forced upon us. We can behave like animals even while quoting Scripture and praying out loud in the church.
  • Christ in us releases the fruit of the Kingdom (7 attributes that produce glory) all of which are understood as uncommon concern for others over self.
  • Paul knew with certainty and writes the letter to the Galatians to tell us that returning to the Moses law would without question lead back to animal behavior. It is proven, repeatedly.
  • The writer of Hebrews knew if they returned to the Old Covenant, they would lose the Kingdom as an inheritance and begin to respond, predictably, as people who are in need of competing, pushing, encroaching and seeking to gain favor.
  • Kingdom hope reduces to these simple principles: Receive and follow Jesus. He will take you where your reflexive concerns will make you turn back or, alternatively, allow you to surrender, yield, break. He will, I promise, use All Things with nothing held back. If you follow, you will come to freedom and to the Father (John 8: 29-34)
  • Begin to search out Unqualified Love. This becomes so expensive, that the only answer and possible survival is for us to allow the demands of His Love to press us into the reality of Christ. He alone, can impart that which is needed.
  • As for courage to experience and give Unlimited Forgiveness. This, He asks us to do, irrespective of how unfair, expensive, or demanding it can be. This is the Cross of which He spoke and asked us to particpate in.
  • These two Kingdom principles will again change the world and bring freedom to the entire creation. These principles are what brought the Roman Empire crashing down.
  • Our nurturing Father intends to do it again. And the kingdoms of this world system become the Kingdoms of our God and of His Christ

 I haven’t done Bob justice.  He is a man of depth, but more he is a man who knows his days on earth are numbered (whose aren’t?) and so is determined to blow up as much of the religious system and institutional church as he can get to before he dies.  You know he loves you but you also know he doesn’t really care if he messes you up. You cannot listen to Bob without being motivated, unnerved, blessed, made angry, all at the same time.  You are either dead or emotionally “all in” when you listen to him.  There are no other options.  You don’t always like what you hear but your world will always be hammered in some way, that will be good for you.

Next time I will try to “cliff notes” Bob’s discussion of the Father as Kingdom and Mother as the institutional church or religious system and the drastic consequences of Mother being in charge!  Not sure when that will be but it will come and you will be challenged.

December 19, 2008 at 10:17 pm Leave a comment

Summit Recap. Bob Mumford

For those of you who enjoyed Christine Sine’s advent video from yesterday’s meanderings, she posts a comment here that directs you to further advent opportunities on her site.  Find her comments HERE which include the link.

I have been trying to, in some abbreviated way, recap the Convergence Summit just concluded here at Trinity.  For those of you who attended, my goal is to keep you thinking about what you heard so you can put it into practice in your personal life.  To those who were not here, I hope to encourage your understanding and perhaps get your attention to these concepts so you will study further.  By the way Summiters, all the audio from the Summit is now up on the Trinity website.  Find it HERE.  Click the online course button and then you will need the user name and password you were given during the school.  If you have forgotten it email me or call the church.  A great big thank-you to Stacey for the hours spent in putting these teachings on the website.

Now to Bob.  How does one describe this man?  The information on his website is helpful and you can find it HERE.  But that information does not measure the heart of the man.  Here is how I see him: he is a father and a rebel.  He is a leader and an agitator.  He is compassionate and angry.  He loves the Family but detests the institution that has stolen the ekklesia.  He is a conundrum wrapped in an enigma (who said that?).  What I mean is he defies most labels or at least is not like anyone you know who has that label.  He is one of the earliest leaders in the Charismatic stream but wouldn’t claim any membership in it today.  He practically started the discipleship movement but when he talks about those days he seems to be repenting of his involvement.  His passion today is the Kingdom and is an articulate but often strident proponent of the idea that everything relates to, leads to, is about the Kingdom or it is nothing.  Kingdom, I think he would say, is not something to be anticipated it is what everything in life is about, right now.

His work on agape love is ground breaking and at the same time so obvious and right we ask ourselves how we missed it. Agape is always behavioral.  When we are made children of Father God, His agape is implanted in us so we now can choose to do a hurting world good.  For example Bob writes: To love (agape) God is faithfulness to God, to myself and to my neighbor (Matthew 5). So I will keep my promises and commitments irrespective of what it costs me personally. When I am unfaithful to my promises, He gives me His Own faithfulness.  When I encroach upon others, I am asking for their forgiveness.  When encroached upon by others, I am freely giving my forgiveness.  This is Kingdom agape.  I give unqualified love and unlimited forgiveness.  When someone sticks a gun in my back and robs me I thank the Father that I had something they wanted.  Thank you Lord that I was robbed and did not do the robbing.  In the Kingdom we find a freedom and absence of all that is self-motivated and self absorbed. 

This, Bob says, is the most demanding and expensive aspect of the Kingdom that we could ever imagine.  Unqualified love and unlimited forgiveness.

Well, that is a short introduction to this man and his understanding of Kingdom and agape.  If you have inclination to dig deeper into the truth revealed to him, pick up a copy of his book, Agape Road.  You can find it HERE

Tomorrow some more Bob Mumford.

December 17, 2008 at 1:41 am 1 comment

Monday morning meanderings. Vol.63

Sayre, Oklahoma

Wow, talk about cold.  Washington (all of the NW actually) is in a deep freeze, with snow, rain and wind.  The east coast is a mess and here in the Heartland it is as cold as we have seen it during our time here.  What makes it cold here is wind chill.  We are in the minus temps because of 20-30 mph winds.  The trailer has been surprisingly warm but we are running the furnace non stop, which we have never done before.  We also have to keep water running to keep from freezing up.  No real end quick end in sight anywhere that I can see.  Arizona is even cold!

Item one.  I am certainly no cowboy but I know a bunch of them and have grown to appreciate the culture and relationships we have with these men and women who have lived their lives in the rodeo and western world.  Some of you know that the National Finals Rodeo just completed its 10 day run in Las Vegas.  The NFR is the pinnacle for any professional cowboy or cowgirl.  The top 15 in each of the events, as judged by their winnings, is invited to the NFR where they participate 10 straight nights to win the World Championship buckle.  A year ago our friend Charlie took us out to the local truck stop to meet Stran and Jennifer Smith.  Stran and Jennifer are Charlie and Lorissa’s great friends and they wanted us to meet them.  We had no idea who they were or what they were.  Over the last year or so we not only know who they are we know what they are–world class tie down roper (Stran) and ESPN commentator (Jennifer).  Saturday night it was fun to watch Stran win his first world championship and be interviewed by Jennifer. What is even better is they are both Kingdom people, determined to use the platform they have been given to change the world.  Find out about Stran and Jennifer HERE and HERE and HERE .

It was kind of cool to watch some of the NFR with Yandy and Bobbi, a young couple who we are friends with.  Yandy is Stran’s nephew and knows most of the people we were watching.  We are so blessed to have so many friends here who are our kids age.  It isn’t the same as being with our natural children but our Spiritual kids are pretty great!

Item two.  Our friend Maggie out in Washington posted a comment to my post about the Summit.  Maggie’s comment was the 1000th on the Juniper Tree.  Linda suggested there should be a prize for such a huge feat so Maggie we are working on a special prize for being the 1000th comment on this blog.  I bet, if you all would have known there was a prize you would have worked harder to be number 1000.  Start lining up for the big 2000.

Item three.  I was reading a book review on one of the blogs I frequent when I realized I had not read one new Christian book in the last months, at least that I could remember. I have reread some of my favorites recently, like Abba’s Child but nothing new.  Why is this an item on the weekly meanderings?  Because I cannot remember another period of time this long when I have not read anything new of substance.  (I have read a lot of novels, probably too many)  What is substance?  Something with no pictures or plot.  Something that makes me think, something that makes me wonder if I have it right, something that makes me say, “now that is interesting”, something that makes me want to tell my friends or family that they just have to read this book.  The last book I can remember that made me think any of those things was Agape Road by Bob Mumford and that was a year ago.  (Bob was one of the speakers at our recent Summit and I will be doing a recap on Bob’s teaching this week)

So as we get ready to enter another new year, how about some of you recommending some books, without pictures or plots, that will make me think, wonder if I have it right, say “now that’s interesting”, something to tell my friends they have to read.  Help me out here.  I need to get my brain back on active.  Include them in a comment and then others can benefit too.

Item four.  I have posted some of Christine Sine’s poetry before and many of you appreciated it.  Today (actually tonight) I leave you with her latest Advent Meditation.  Usually I would type it here but instead I provide the link HEREEnjoy and while you listen, invite the Christ to come and visit you in a new way this season.

Bless you all.

December 16, 2008 at 7:00 am 5 comments

Summit Recap. Tim Johns (2)

More on the teaching by Tim Johns on Spiritual Fathering and Family.  See yesterdays post for information on Tim.

What constitutes a Spiritual Family.  There is a lot of talk in churches these days about being a family but calling something a family doesn’t mean it is one.

  • A true spiritual family is covenantally connected at the heart and mind.  This means the basis of their relationships is the cross of Jesus.  Acceptance, forgiveness, love, mercy, grace in relationship is not based on performance but choice.  In other words my acceptance of you or forgiveness of you or extention of grace towards you is not dependent on your behavior but on the reality of our relationship as Family.

This way of relating is so different than most churches I have experienced (Greg writing here).   Most decisions in “church” groups are based on political norms and discipline for the common good as opposed to handling failure and sin in a committed family relationship.  (my comments are in italics)

Tim goes on: Families do not accept or reject on the basis of performance.  Relationships involve deep commitment, sacrifice and care.  Conflicts are resolved through communication covered in grace.  Gossip and slander are unacceptable.

  • A spiritual family has a clear set of values, vision and mission.  Goals and strategies come from God and are delivered to the group leader (Father).  All family members own the same set of core values that flow from a God given vision and mission.  This is what creates oneness and unity.
  • A true spiritual family has identifiable Spiritual parents who have accepted the responsibility of giving an account for the members of the Family.  There is long term commitment to the family because of calling and Sovereign joining together, not because of a paycheck.  (…ask yourself how long your spiritual leader would be committed to you if it was not their job.)  Spiritual parents lead by example and do not influence through control or manipulation.  They are not abusive of dominating.  (How many church decisions are made by people who use their titles to exert control?)
  • Spiritual family creates atmosphere and opportunity for all members to grow in character, gifts, callings and responsibility.  There is no ceiling of growth on the family members.  (hard to do this with churches that have huge populations of people who drift in and out on a weekend with nothing more to tie them to the “family” than the personality of the up front guy)
  • A true spiritual family laughs and plays together.
  • Differing opinions and ideas are encouraged because a Spiritual Family is trying to find group ownership not buy in.
  • True Spiritual Family exists for something and someone outside itself.  It is committed to losing its life in order to find it.  So the Family feels a responsibility and call to the young, the poor and the unreached in the nations.  (How many of us can honestly say the “family” we are part of exist to fulfill a call to those outside of our group?)
  • Spiritual families pool their resources and money in a sacrificial way through their tithes and offerings in order to worship God and achiever the vision and mission that was mutually agreed to. 

Sadly, I fear few of the groups we gather in are really Family.  Some are closer than others but most don’t even understand the concept.  I might try to develop some questions that will help us determine if what we are part of is true family or just using the title.  Tim does such a great job of communicating what a Spiritual Father or Mother looks like and what a Spiritual Family is about.  I hope to write more on this subject in the days ahead.  It is critical for the advancement of the Kingdom, because it is Kingdom.  Check his website for articles that contain the above information and more HERE and ways to connect with Tim and Janet HERE.

December 13, 2008 at 8:58 pm 1 comment

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