Sunday, December 18, 2011
Pray for us in LA as we seek to find ways to create jobs and reduce the loss of work in our neighborhoods... Initially through books...
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
When can you support both a local historic art store and someone who has a call on his life for urban ministry... & get a Rare Book at the same time. My friend John Tallacksen has faithfully served The First Evangelical Free Church of Los Angeles for some years now. I can truly say he is both a brother in Christ and a brother in need.
Thursday, November 03, 2011
Thinking a lot about the roll of music in the life of Faith. Also thinking about II Peter 1:3-11 & Ephesians 3:14-21. Will be getting ready to preach / or teach on these passages where ever the door opens and the Peace and Grace of God compels me to do so...
To get me back into the habit of blogging I am going to start posting a song, artist, or Album a week to stir my reflections and to encourage my soul to take the Psalms of life as seriously as the Bible does.
Daniel Amos was key in my High School & College years in helping me escape the traps of consumerism and materialism.
I am convinced that anything that I have worked through deeply in my soul is connected to both thought through concerns and Music &/ or Poetry or some other form of art.
Monday, August 01, 2011
Watching the grace of God invade and penetrate into the hurt and pain of families and turn them around is a privilege of being part of God's family the church. Having that as one's life work is the privilege of serving as an ambassador of God's grace. In 1994 Roxanna and Martha came with Jude to pick me up at the LAX airport. I have been part of their extended family ever since... and have watched Roxy move from being a tough girl at the edge of a local gang to being a well respected mother, wife & teacher for LAUSD.
When I joined InnerChange... I joined a community that was determined to make the love of God at work in us and through us as tangible as possible in a context where religious attitudes often conveyed judgement rather than love and grace. Be sure judgement will come... but the task needed here is to make the love of God known.
Yesterday was very satisfying evidence that I have participated in God's amazing love and grace. I too had almost stopped believing that Martha could be reached by God's love... Chris never Gave up that hope. Yesterday we (Jude & I, Chris & Roxy, Martha, Salvador/ Roxy's Dad, Lance Mark/ Chris & Roxy's son,) went to Clifton's Cafeteria near 7th & Broadway to celebrate Martha's baptism and birthday. And "Andre'" came with us... He's the next young man that Chris & Roxy have recently adopted into their family to mentor. I got to know him a bit and to hear how he was touched at church by all of the baptisms. The cry in his heart was simple... "I could relate to some of the stories people shared... they did not have a good relationship with their fathers... and they struggled with pain in their hearts because of that..." Love continues to flow and touch hearts... often one heart at a time... it is a privilege to be any part of God's love.
Friday, April 01, 2011
"32 Peter and the others had fallen asleep. When they woke up, they saw Jesus’ glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As Moses and Elijah were starting to leave, Peter, not even knowing what he was saying, blurted out, “Master, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorials[a]—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 34 But even as he was saying this, a cloud overshadowed them, and terror gripped them as the cloud covered them."
I find in almost every tradition of the Christian Faith some of this propensity to turn experience... not fully digested and understood... into doctrine.
Richard Foster does a good job in my opinion in his book Streams of Living Water of honoring various Christian traditions... showing how we need the balance offered by the rest of the body of Christ and noting the tendencies towards distortions in the the different traditions he takes the time to explore.
There are a lot of people having powerful religious experiences these days. and there are debates about what all this may mean. If in the end we do not hold what we have experienced with great humility... we are in danger of becoming like Peter in this text. Confused at best...
I Corinthians 12 is clear... we need the whole body of Christ together and we need to be rooted in love and patience with each other.
There are others that when insecure about whether or not a movement of the Holy Spirit... and if it is from God... seem to me to be like the apostle John latter in this text:
49 John said to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he isn’t in our group.”
50 But Jesus said, “Don’t stop him! Anyone who is not against you is for you.”
Truth is tested best when it comes against evil and is able through good to over come it... If you see that going on in a tradition of the Church that is not your own... support it and do not tear it down.
By saying all this I am not saying that we should be lazy about discernment. Instead I am saying that we need to pursue discernment with the counsel of other and do so with humility trusting that God is both working in our communities and outside of them.
The last thing that I will mention from this text is that it is centered on what everyone else except Jesus, Moses, and Elijah were focused on. Jesus going to finish his sacred work for us by going to die on a Roman cross for our sins... and to rise again that we might have life in him. The is no good Christian theology that is not Christ centered and centered on the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. This is the focus that God will call us back to again and again ... whatever tradition of the Christian faith we have encountered and are learning from:
While everyone was marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, 44 “Listen to me and remember what I say. The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies.” 45 But they didn’t know what he meant. Its significance was hidden from them, so they couldn’t understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Dear Friends, December 2010
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:2)
This year the world’s attention was focused on the physical earthquake in Haiti. Here in Los Angeles, the economic quake continues to shake people’s lives. The struggling economy has meant continued hardship for our neighbors. Many cannot pay their rent, and it has become common for families who already live in tight quarters to share their space with another family. It is more than cozy. Every day becomes a struggle to survive.
This verse from Isaiah reminds us that Jesus came into this world not because everything was going great, but because there was “deep darkness.” The promise is that into this deep darkness, the light dawns. We don’t always notice the dawning of the light. Sometimes we have to look for it. The waiting of Advent reminds us to pay attention, to look for the ways that light and hope break into our world and into our everyday reality. We are finding more people directly asking us for guidance and direction in these times than ever before. We are ever grateful for Immanuel, God with us. The darkness is not the end of the story.
A few words about us:
John invited others to join him in reading the one year Bible, starting this past January, enhanced with you tube videos of John reflecting on some of the passages.
The book collective initiative has flourished and grown, and is a great source of life to John – not just the books, exactly, but the ways he can live out mentoring/discipleship relationships in the process. He expects to continue to move forward on this in 2011.
Jude continues to explore what it means to be an urban contemplative. She enjoys her part-time teaching in Fuller’s School of Intercultural Studies.
Together we are moving into more of an “elder” role in InnerChange, as we think through what our contributions will be for the next generation of mission workers among the poor. We had the opportunity to travel to Malaysia for CRM’s Worldwide Conference held every four years, where we each gave a presentation. Afterwards we spent a fun few days in Kuala Lumpur, visiting a Fuller alum who now runs a bible college (thanks Tess). Jude enjoyed watching John’s gift for connecting with people take place in a very different context.
Ways to stay in touch with J&J in LA: Find us on Facebook
John’s you tube channel -- youtube.com/jaw1LA
Send Jude an email if you would like prayer updates – email@example.com
Our blog – www.jawpoetry.blogspot.com
We are so grateful for each of you and your part in our lives and ministry. In the midst of the challenges of life, may the grace of kindness be abundant in this New Year.
John and Jude Tiersma Watson
Donations welcome: 1- 800-777-6658 http://www.crmleaders.org/support/support-staff