Here’s what I got to do last week

Here’s a link to the video scrapbook page for Young Life’s Washington Family Ranch from June 22-28 while we were there with Keizer Young Life. The videos are alot of fun and you can see me in a few frames as well as quite a few of our kids that came to camp. be sure to check it out and if  you’re interested in supporting Young Life with your time or money, let me know so more people can experience the best week of their life.

I had a wonderful Father’s Day weekend this weekend. I have been rare on the updates again, I’m sorry. I have been working on my creative responses, but they are all still in such a rough form, it will take some work to get them to a publishable form. So until then, here’s my sermon from yesterday, Father’s Day, where I preached to our church for the first time.

 

http://lakepoint.podomatic.com/entry/2013-06-16T12_42_19-07_00

I’d love to hear any comments or feedback if you would.

 

Clouds sail, drift; lazy yet intent
Set against azure blue fading
To the east, softening – Horizon
Through haze mountains rise – Cascades
Ancient, volcanic, alive, dormant

Snow covered beauty shines
In patches, swaths laid bare
Our appetite sated. Temporarily
Oh that we would hunger, thirst
For righteousness in kind

We are like the clouds
Unmoved by past, unconcerned of future
Apparent solidity belies truth
We are but fog, a vapor; mist
Driven by forces external; soon to vanish

 

Here’s another lenten worship response. I’ll try to keep posting things every week or so as I have time and content

Ancient trees stretch toward heaven
Moss covered; silent, waiting
Encircling like a theatre. Or choir.
Longing to praise Most High God; Creator

    Deafening thunder, sheer silence

Life-giving water abounds, trickling, misting
Down soft, earthen hillsides, making way
To the pool; swirling, roiling, waiting
Full of power and of life

    Ever-shifting, yet unchanging

In seasons peaceful, placid, gentle
Yet now, displaying that same might
Which cuts through stone, moves rocks
Uproots and fells ancient trees, longing to praise

 

I wrote that my lenten exercise is worshiping more. Spending more time in prayer, meditation and adoration; with my guitar and without. Here’s a poem I wrote Monday while on retreat. I walked the Way of The Cross at Mt Angel Abbey then just drove up into the hills above the Scotts Mills and the Crooked Finger area. I saw a sign pointing out Butte Creek Falls and other areas. I stopped, hiked a quarter mile down to the upper falls and sat in silence, trying to quiet my heart and mind to listen for God. I created this in response to that time.

This is a superficial post, but I was recently amazed when I saw a comment from my former schoolmate and fellow minster Chad. Apparently people are somehow still visiting this site on occasion. Much Has Happened with the Groves, we are now in Oregon, we have three daughters and God is growing us personally, in our family and vocationally. I apologize to any who have been missing any of my rambling thoughts. My thoughts still ramble, I just have much less time and energy than before. I am trying to spend more time reading good and classic fiction, learning more to play my electric guitar as opposed to my acoustic, and trying to prioritize my Annie and girls as much as possible.

A quick note for the lenten season. I love the liturgical calendar. I love using the calendar to refresh and refocus my walk of faith. This year I richly enjoyed intimate Ash Wednesday times with my small group of guys and then with Annie, yet when it came to thinking through lenten fasting, nothing came to mind or heart to give up. After a little more prayer I felt God’s direction to instead increase my own personal worship time which has been lost in the hecticness of my new schedule. So this Lent I am focusing on worshiping in my heart, with my mind and then with my instrument. I put more work into a project that I began in June 2011 (right after moving from Hawaii) where I began to work to set the Psalms of Ascent to personal and corporate worship songs. I had a fun moment the other day putting work into that.

May you and yours experience a blessed Lenten season that draws you nearer to Our Lord and Savior.

Note – I realize that I need to do some significant editing to the site. I have already begun that process, but I think you’ll see more changes in the coming weeks.

An indiscriminate farmer tosses his seeds every which way. He scatters in front of him on the path, right in front of some hungry birds, he seems foolish as some are tossed amongst the young weeds and in the gravely dirt. None of these seeds end up bearing fruit. It seems like such a waste but for the incredible harvest from the few that land on good soil.

Jesus told stories about seeds growing and being sown, telling us that these pictures are what His Kingdom is like. Another picture shows a farmer scattering the seeds, then patiently waiting while the earth produces of itself, wholly without his aid. He simply stands by waiting for the moment when he sees the signs of ripening, when he can only run out and harvest as quickly as possible. This farmer’s job involves scattering, waiting and finally harvest, but he must have a lot of patience and faith or else he would go crazy.

I think ministering to youth is sowing. We might pretend we know what we are doing and are experts, but really, all we can do is sow. We sow foolishly, anywhere we can, whether the soil looks good or poor, and then we wait. We must wait patiently and faithfully in an increasingly impatient and incredulous world. As one of these sowers, I pray God would grant us patience, the ability to sow foolishly, and great faith – that He who created all things by speaking them into existence is also able to grow any seed, in any soil and that He will.

So, as for original content, I’m not there right now, however:  here’s a link to a fun article in ESPN.com’s Page 2. about the various people you meet at the gym.  This is a funny and true picture of the gym.  Disclosure:  I am probably mostly The Meathead, with a little Grunter thrown in.

Enjoy

JD

4 years ago today we stood in front of loved ones and vowed to love each other. Much has transpired since, but I know that our love has grown. God is transforming and refining us, and I couldn’t be more happy or blessed. Each year gets better, and the path through those ears moves steadily and consistently forward. I love you, thanks for loving me to. Tonight I would appreciate if you would join me for a fun date.

PS. all those things, the sprints, guitar and Starbucks did help snag me. also you being a smokin hottie is good too

My daughter loves to dance.  If one were to pick a single activity that this almost-two-year-old loves more than any other, I think dancing would top that list.  When she hears any type of music, she can’t help but move to it.  Whether it’s the Hawaiian music at her friend Ty’s baby luau, or the various Putamayo Kids albums we play (not just for kids, btw) or even gettin’ down to Jasan Mraz’s Beautiful Mess (I know, not exactly music for two year olds – she loves it though), she can’t keep her body still when she hears anything even remotely resembling music.

When Ellie dances, she works through a whole repertoire of moves from hip-shakes to little toddler jumps to endless spins.  She looks so happy and proud as she moves around but I notice she looks to us to make sure we notice that she is doing well.  Ellie is not perfect, she has a strong will and doesn’t mind rebelling, but she is definitely innocent.  She dances with all her heart and might because she loves to and because her mommy and daddy see it and encourage her and she is proud of that.  No one has ruined her innocence by telling her she’s bad or she’ll never be a dancer or whatever other ‘realities’ we tell kids, and so she dances with all of who she is.

We adults have a great responsibility to our children.  They are looking at us, watching to see if we notice they are doing something and are trying hard and are having fun.  They are waiting expectantly to hear that they dance or draw or sing beautifully, or that they run fast or build so well, or think so creatively.  Too often we fail them, we give them the truth, when they need encouragement; we give them realities when they need care; we knock them down when we have the greatest chance to build them up.  We have such an important role and we must work hard to build up children when they need it most, and trust that they will realize the realities later (or maybe we’ll realize that those realities really aren’t that important).  I dread the day when someone breaks my little daughter’s heart by telling her she can’t dance, but til then (and probably long after) I will keep watching her dance with a father’s pride, and I will keep telling her how beautifully she dances and I will keep playing the music for her.

Sorry for the ridiculously long break.  I have been feeling strained in my time with the birth of Claire and then the process of preparing for and going on our short term mission to The Nehemiah House in the Philippines.  The trip was again a huge blessing and a challenge as I was leading a team of 5 from our church and sadly leaving my three girls at home.

God worked powerfully on the trip both in me and the team as well as in the girls there at the Nehemiah Houses.  I thought that I would throw out on quote from the trip that is really striking me even now.  In conversations with John Parsons, YWAM Philippines director, and fellow Oregon boy, we were discussing various things when somehow we got to the point where John recalled the words of Jesus warning his disciples to “Beware the yeast of Herod and of the Pharisees”

Mark 8:15 (Today’s New International Version)

15 “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

While we talked, John illuminated the plain truth of this warning that I had missed through many readings of this.  Jesus is telling us to watch out for the two main places of power in our world, Politics and Religion.  Watch out for those things he tells us, because he rightly saw how the power in both of those spheres will corrupt us and draw us away from him.  So I remind us during this American election season and during a time when many throughout the world are also working through political changes to beware the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod, because Christ alone is where we find the answers and hope we so desperately seek.

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