CrossWinds Ministry: Academy of the Arts

CrossWinds Church has always been blessed with a number of individuals gifted in music and arts. In 2008, these individuals came together to brainstorm ideas around one central question - “How do we reach people in our neighborhoods for Jesus using the gifts we have been given?”. CrossWinds Academy of the Arts was formed through these discussions.

In September 2009, we officially started the CrossWinds Academy of the Arts. Throughout the years, we have offered different music and arts classes such as piano, guitar, trumpet, trombone, clarinet, percussion, choir, drama, and hip hop dance. After a low cost and one time registration fee of $25, the classes themselves are free for students who live in our neighborhood school districts such as Godwin Heights and Godfrey Lee. We also provide instruments for students in need of one.

In one sense, the purpose of CrossWinds Academy of the Arts is to provide community development through a low cost music and arts education for our neighborhoods. Education in urban school districts continue to be under resourced. As musicians ourselves, we recognize the inherent higher cost of music and arts education. It takes money and time to purchase and maintain instruments as well as take lessons. We hope to bridge this gap through the Academy.

in a deeper sense, we use the Academy as a stepping stone to build relationships with people in our neighborhood. You can’t reach people for Jesus in your neighborhood if you don’t know the people in your neighborhood. The Academy provides a simple way for us to meet neighbors. Families who may not be interested in a Sunday invitation to church are stepping into our building mid week for classes. We have used our Sunday services in the past as an opportunity for not only recitals but gospel presentations. We have students from the Academy playing on our worship teams. Last summer, we invited Academy students to our CrossWinds Kids Club which was a 3 day bible study for kids. We’re in the midst of planning Discovery Bible Studies for parents of our Academy students. At CrossWinds, we believe that neighbors reach neighbors. This can take many forms. Through the Academy, we pray that we accomplish this through music and the arts.

If you are interested in learning more about the Academy or donating musical instruments, you can visit our website at www.facebook.com/CWindsArts.


Pastor Aaron Sucaldito with the of the Academy students

Pastor Aaron Sucaldito with the of the Academy students

CrossWinds Ministry: Hustle City

This fall CrossWinds and Urban Transformation Ministries partnered to launch a new ministry called “Hustle City.” The Purpose of Hustle City is to disciple men and women in the urban context through financial and entrepreneurial training.  In the urban context, while unemployment has fallen, at the same time underemployment is ruling the day. Many people in our neighborhoods are working two or three jobs just to make ends meet.  Combined with housing costs that take up to three-quarters of an urban dweller’s income, we recognize that there is a serious problem. At the same time, we also recognize an opportunity. So many of our neighbors are incredibly creative and gifted. The goal of Hustle City is to partner with participants to help them develop and maximize these gifts in a way that will lead not only to stability but to the kind of life that allows them to be a blessing to others and their community.

 Hustle City aims to train people in two areas:

  1. In entrepreneurial skills: So they can start businesses and make money.

  2. In financial competency so they can build and maintain wealth.  

We do this through various entrepreneurial exercises, guest speakers, financial management curriculum, and just recently we have partnered with Choice One Bank to offer Legacy Savings Accounts for those in the program. LSA accounts are a joint account between the participant and UTM that can be used for education, to buy a house or to expand a business. These accounts encourage savings by matching each dollar the participant deposits 2 to 1. If a participant saves $2,400 dollars it will be matched so that they will have $7,200. This all due to the generosity of donors and Choice One. This is a big deal, learning to save is one of the biggest elements of the program. We often say in class “it would be of no value to make a lot of money and then spend it all on new shoes.” We are trying to build young men and women who will impact the world, beginning with themselves, their families and community for Jesus, learning to hustle in a positive way is step one.

I love Hustle City because it has opened my mind up to many avenues within business. It’s teaching me how to take a Hustle that I love and am interested in and turning it into a legitimate business that I can profit from. It’s also teaching me about the importance of budgeting and allocating funds in order to be able to save. Since joining Hustle City I have opened a secondary bank account with LMCU and have deposited a bunch of money into a savings account that I plan to add to. I am also more aware of my spending habits and looked into how much money I waste on useless items. My spending has gone down and I think a little harder know when I spend money and am now better with saving. I am also excited about all the Opportunities Hustle City provides including LSA accounts and their ability match funds for us to be able to startup the business we want. I was also able to shadow Davo and see first hand how his online business works. He is very successful and happy with how it’s going and my goal is to get to that point as well. With everything I learned I have also recently started an online business of my own and I am hopeful to be able to run it successfully enough to do it full time and end a dead end job.
— Salia Kellah, Hustle City participant
David Rodriguez manager of Lake Michigan Credit Union speaks to the Hustle City Participants about banking

David Rodriguez manager of Lake Michigan Credit Union speaks to the Hustle City Participants about banking

Family Members Not Volunteers

People who are looking for a church to attend sometimes ask me, “What can I do at your church?” I understand that question. People want to be useful. They want to be involved in ministry. I understand the concern. But it has come to sound weird to me. It sounds like my son (who was adopted at the age of 6) sitting me down before the adoption and asking, “So if I join this family what will I do? What job will I have in this family? What can I do for you? How can I volunteer?” It turns out he never asked those questions. His main concern was whether we were a nice family. We never thought through what he would “do” as part of our family. He would be a family member. He would be our son. His identity as our son was central to the role he would play in our family.

Joining a church is like joining a family. The church isn’t a volunteer organization. We aren’t looking for a few good volunteers. Our primary concern isn’t what you can do for us. Our son got to know us and we got to know him. We settled into our roles as Father  and Mother and Son. Eventually we realized he should “do” something in this family. It tends to be feeding the dog, calling the dog in when she is barking in the backyard, and cleaning up the doggie dodo. It happened kind of naturally- It was stuff I was sick of doing! He could do all of these chores, so we assigned them to him. He was part of the family, so he started to do things, but that was secondary.

“I’m joining the church – What can I do?” Be a part of it. Be you. Be present. Get to know your fellow church members. Learn how you can serve and love them. Eventually we will get to whether there is something you can “do.” You aren’t what you “do” though. You are a brother or sister. You are part of the family. There will be jobs and tasks and chores in the church.  What you do is secondary though. I think we often consider what we volunteer for or what we “do” in the church as the primary thing, but it isn’t.

What is primary? You are part of the family. Love and Serve. I don’t mean serve as a volunteer in a ministry program. I mean serve with your everyday life. We often want to see things done, and we think that we need a program to do so, but God has designed the church as a family. You can “do” a lot of things, but let’s slow down and consider who we are first. Take up your role as a family member. How can you love and serve those around you? Let’s allow that question to lead the way.

Most of what needs to happen in the church happens in everyday life. If someone asks you what you do at the church you can tell them that you go out to coffee with one person, you welcome people into your home for dinner, you throw parties, you pray for your fellow church members, oh…and you also help lead worship. Think of the everyday before you think of “programmatic” ministry. Both are important, but we so easily miss the ministry in the everyday.

Your calling as a church member: Allow these people to become your people. Love these people. Serve these people.

I Can Do All Things...Even Fail.

Recently I was reading a few articles that gave advice to tourists. These articles were written for people who were visiting America for the first time. Tourists from Japan, Russia, and a number of others were given advice on how to navigate our culture. It is comical and insightful to see an outsider’s view of us. You begin to understand that you have a culture. One thing that was mentioned in each of these articles was that Americans are excessively positive and happy. This is one of the things that stick out most to those who look at us: We are super positive all the time.

I began to think how this impacts our reading of Scripture. I’m sure any culture takes Scripture out of context. Americans are experts though on taking it out of context and giving it a super positive and inspirational interpretation.

One of the most inspiring is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Put it on a coffee mug. Put in on a T-shirt. Tattoo it on your body. Put the quote on one of those inspirational posters. The message is "you can do anything you set your mind to!" You can follow your dreams because Christ will strengthen you. You can put it on football posters, superhero posters, jumping in the air triumphantly posters, weight lifting posters, and of course “standing on the edge of a cliff” posters.  One meme that I came across said, “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something when the Bible says you can do all things through Christ.”

Is that what the point of the verse is? Is it all about positive thinking and dream chasing? Here is the context of this famous verse:

  I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.  (Philippians 4:10-13 ESV)

This is about contentment.  Paul discovered the secret to being content in every circumstance. He knows how to face anything that comes at him, whether it is the worst of times or the best of times. It is not about triumphant living. It is not a mantra that will enable you to follow your dreams. The passage doesn’t match the tone of an inspirational poster. Paul talks about being content when he is brought low and when he is hungry and in need.

If we wanted to be accurate we could still make some posters though. One poster could have someone pulling their pockets inside out with a couple moths fluttering out. I CAN DO ALL THINGS! Another poster could have someone getting last place in a race. I CAN DO ALL THINGS! One poster could have a picture of someone face down crying on a pillow. I CAN DO ALL THINGS! Another poster could have someone looking in their cupboard only to find one can of peas. I CAN DO ALL THINGS!

This is good news for us. We may fulfill our dreams in life and we may have epic mountaintop experiences, but the truth is that these things don’t always last, and usually won’t. We have ups and downs. We have good times and bad times. If we think this verse is only telling us to chase our dreams, then when we fail we may think that either we haven’t trusted enough or haven’t been strengthened enough.

It is good news because your life is full of ups and downs. That is all of our experience.  Paul says he found the secret to facing the good and the bad. That secret is Jesus. This verse is for your failures and your successes. This verse is for when you fall on your face and when you are on the mountaintop. This verse is for when you hit and jackpot and when your finances are a mess. Jesus is with you in the good and bad. He is there to strengthen you and give you contentment. You have Jesus no matter what you face. Jesus is better than the mountaintop experiences. Jesus is better than your triumphs. We have Jesus in the good and the bad.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I can fail through Christ who strengthens me. I can be broke through Christ who strengthens me. I can suffer through Christ who strengthens me. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 

Falling in Love

There is this song that has been on Christian radio for a while. It’s called “More Like Falling in Love.” Here are a couple lines from the chorus:

More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance

This song speaks of what the life of faith should be. The main point being that our faith should be something that is heartfelt and not cold and indifferent. That's good. Yet, it follows one of the predominant ways that our evangelical subculture views Jesus: a “boyfriend” that we fall madly in love with. At the center of our faith understanding in much of evangelicalism is the idea of a personal relationship. A personal relationship that has us flipping head over heels in love! He describes the process of change as falling in love rather than a belief to be held or a giving of allegiance.

Among other things, I find it strange that losing your heart or falling in love would be contrasted with giving allegiance. Is allegiance (or belief for that matter) something of cold indifference? Is giving allegiance a lifeless action that will leave us unchanged?

If, when we think of giving allegiance, we imagine a 5th grade boy coldly reciting the allegiance to the flag each morning, then I guess I understand that.

But allegiance is much more robust. Think of any revolution. There was a cause. There was a charismatic leader. There was something that the revolutionaries were swept up into. People joined the revolution and gave their allegiance to it. They committed themselves to something bigger than themselves. They found something to live for. They found something to die for. They were losing their hearts to something far greater!

I believe that giving allegiance is more profound and biblical than the “falling in love” motif. I don’t want to spend a whole lot of time critiquing the “falling in love” motif, but I would like to point out that this picture doesn’t really work for many of us. Church leaders have pointed out repeatedly that men are not engaged in the church and that we need to draw men to church. Maybe a good start would be realizing that most men are not flipping head over heels for the “falling in love” with Jesus theme. It doesn’t speak to our hearts. Yes, we love Jesus, but to appeal to themes of romance and the flighty emotions at the beginning of a relationship aren’t really what that love is all about.

One of my favorite verses is Samuel 22:2. In this passage David has yet to become King and is on the run from Saul. It says that, “everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him. And he became commander over them. And there were with him about four hundred men.” This motley crew of the debtors, the distressed, and the bitter had found someone to give their allegiance. He became commander over them. They gave their loyalty and devotion to him and they fought for him. Their mighty deeds are even recorded in Scripture. Their great acts flowed from a deep loyalty to the one they saw as the rightful king. Was this cold and lifeless?

Maybe following Jesus is more like giving our allegiance than falling in love. It is more like joining a revolution than the first few months of a romantic relationship. Jesus is the King that gathers the debtors, the distressed, and bitter in soul to him. What gratitude we have for a King who gave us so much! How our hearts are swept up in what he is doing in the world! It’s more than being swept off our feet! It’s more than butterflies in our stomach! The emotions run deeper than the temporary state of falling in love. We are caught up and called out by a King. We confess that “Jesus is Lord.” This is a confession of allegiance and a statement of belief that isn’t devoid of emotion; it is the cry of a heart filled with passion and love.

We are given a call to revolution: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

It opens up to us a whole new world. Not an isolated world of a personal and oftentimes private relationship. It’s the world of a Kingdom coming, of a King calling, of a fellowship of brothers and sisters boldly committed to the King. Yes, we are overcome by the love Jesus for us. Yes, we are filled with emotion in gratitude to Jesus. But the calling Jesus places on our lives is a call to arms. This Calling gives us more than butterflies in our stomach; it burns with passion in our chest. This call involves bold things like bearing a cross, loving your enemies, and laying down your life. We love and follow because he first loved and called us.

Jesus captures our hearts. It feels more like being rescued and called by a mighty loving king, than being swept off our feet like Cinderella at the ball.

Discipleship

This is an excerpt from the chapter on discipleship in the book "The Curious Case of Better Broccoli," that Dave and Dave are working on: 

I’m a Drake.  You’re a something else. Point being, we are both something.  And the fact that we are, whatever we are, Drake or otherwise, is both interesting and instructive to me as I think about the topic of discipleship.  I will explain.

I am not a nominal Drake.  I am the definition of what it means to be practicing, bordering on fundamentalist, in my “Drake-ness.”  I am more aware of this now that I am a parent, and find myself behaving in ways and doing and saying things that could only come from the most faithfully observant of Drakes.

My dad, during my formative years, was what can only be described as crazy.  So, it should be safe to say that I had the best childhood ever, and I thank God for that man every day.  His sense of humor and daring were unmatched.  Even though my mom has tried for years to keep some of what I am about to tell you from leaking, I think it is time that the world knew...about the Turkeys.

In most homes, the high point of Thanksgiving is the meal. In ours, it was the night before the meal that took center stage.  It was then that we got to experience the flying of the fowl.  My dad would remove the giant bird, which my mom had been thawing all day in the sink from its packaging, wash it off and then the show would really start. It was my father’s most epic and gritty performance, and we literally waited all year for it.  He would “fly” the bird all over the house, he would chase us with it. One time he threw the bird to my mom, all 23 pounds of it hurdling through the air.  I can’t remember whether she caught it.  But I definitely remember that he threw it.  He would make the bird zoom and zag and then, when the bird got tired, he would make it sit, cross it’s legs and tell jokes.  It was Oscar worthy comedy, if only there had been a camera. Even after we kids got married, we would do our best to be at our parents’ house so we would not miss a moment of the bird’s flight.  Unfortunately, one year, after one of my sisters had a baby, the performance went too far.  It seems my father borrowed a diaper from the diaper bag and placed it on the bird. It got rave reviews, because a turkey in a diaper is hilarious.  My mother, however, had seen enough and decided that the show had become far too racy.  The show was shut down and a turkey has never flown in that house again.  To this day a gray cloud hangs over what we affectionately call “Thanksgiving Eve.”

Luckily, flying turkeys are not the only thing my dad did to entertain us in the Drake household.  He also juggled glass dishes, threw mashed potato “snow” balls at the dinner table, and occasionally tried on my mom’s pearls to see how they would look with his outfit of jeans...and nothing else. 

This kind of behavior, while frowned upon in some circles is key to what it means to be a Drake.  The the kind of behavior that has a bit of an edge to it, enough edge that their needs to be a mom around to restrain it, but not so much that you need the police or Batman.  

I largely personify the same things that I saw in my dad.  I believe it would be an awful thing if I did not, because frankly his amazing mix of risk and humor and boundary pushing are exactly the kinds of things that the boys need from a father and have been sorely lacking, especially in our evangelical subculture.  As I look back on my life I realize that these are the behaviours that define who I am. My dad, being my dad in all his shirtless pearl wearing glory, is exactly the reason I am a church planter.  He is also the reason that recently at a McDonald’s Playland my son Jeremiah got yelled at by his mother (who had just come into the room) for attempting to climb to the top outside of the play structure, I would have yelled at him myself, but I was too involved in helping him find his next foothold and he was so close to making it all the way up! 

I’m a Drake.  That means something. My boys are also Drakes. My daughter, who adores her grandpa, might be the most Drake of us all.  The question is how did we become Drakes?

I know that the obvious answer is that we were born that way. True.  But we are not really talking about our genetic makeup here.  We are talking about all those things that make a person who they are. We are talking about the actions, and affections and the values that a person has.  

We are Drake’s and it is not just genetic. I know this for certain because one of my children was adopted at the age of 7.  Now for 7 years, before I even knew him he was not a Drake, he was something else.  A scary something else on some levels.  I remember how on the first day he came to live with us as we were riding in the car he told us, “I’m not really into God.”  He also came to us proclaiming his love for soccer (the least Drake of sports ever!).  Though he was one half Puerto Rican he didn’t like beans and rice (our childrens favorite meal).  He had come from home where they did not express themselves verbally, likely because he had never been talked to.  The three born in our house, on the other hand, were often hyper-verbal. Mom’s a teacher, dad’s a preacher, talking happens.  I had been having full conversations with them since the day they were both. I still remember the strange looks I would get as I pushed my newborn through the grocery store in a cart and chatted away with them, he missed all of that.  Yet at age 11 he is 100% a Drake.  He loves Jesus, hates soccer, has his beans and rice with hot sauce and can’t shut up.  That’s a Drake.  How did he become that way? 

The answer is discipleship.  The same way I became a Drake and the same way my other children became Drakes.  We were discipled into it.  Not the kind of discipleship where you meet once a week and fill in blanks on a Bible study.  Not the kind where you read every books on the topic.  The closest thing we have to a catechism is when I ask Jeremiah: “What is the worst thing you can grow up to be?” and he replies “A tall white guy who can’t dunk.”  No, there are no formal lessons and no steps conveniently arranged around a baseball diamond…and yet here they are: Drakes. Drakes through and through, and how they got that way is not luck, and it’s not genetics. How they got that way is discipleship and discipleship for all its complexity boils down to simple math: Time + Intentionality = Discipleship.

Excerpts from Dave and Dave's Coming Ebook

On the Time I Went to a Church Planting Meeting

So I went to this church planting meeting once...I would describe it as un-awesome.  First we had to drive 3 hours to get there.  Then once we got to where we thought we should be, we could not find the church, just a mall. We drove around that mall for a good ten minutes before we realized our mistake, the mall was the church (I am sure this has been a common occurrence ever since early church planters rode their camels over to visit the work at Antioch...) Inside and just past the “Holy Grounds” coffee shop, we arrived slightly late for our meeting.  We did get there in time to hear a rousing speech on the dangers of “Missional” churches though, so I guess we lucked out there.  

The high points of this address were “Churches used to be trapped in neighborhoods” (silly churches) and now thanks to the superior genetic and mental make up of the American church planter this is no more!  No siree, now the wise planter can get out of the neighborhood and reach literally everyone! Ev-ree-one.  That was what this meeting was about and by-golly you would be a fool to not be excited.  

We heard not only the pastor's testimony but also the testimony of his sidekick and planter of their daughter church.  That presentation was thrilling as the guy who gave it told us how dumb he used to think church planting plans were, and used a super mature and super cool slur for homosexuals while doing it!  We learned later that he had been a comedian, which should have been clear from the way his teeth glistened as he ticked off the names of all the bands the mother church was sending to help him launch.  Names much cooler than calling them say, “a worship band” like we do. Names like “Jim and the Swirling Zealots” or “Cal and the non-Calvinist” or something like that.  I would be lying if I said I could remember.  I do remember that 2 weeks after this meeting I got a fundraising letter from Pastor Hilarious asking for money so he could do a helicopter Easter egg drop... (Not usually my thing but when you consider all those people getting literally hit on the head with the gospel, or at least an invitation to a church service where there would be a drama team doing a situational comedy about how stressful Easter can be and strongly almost hinting at the gospel, how could I say no?)

At any rate, the key take away from the meeting was this: Stupid churches get trapped in neighborhoods, smart churches, like the one hosting the meeting, had a plan to reach all 3 million people in their target area.  From there it is simple math: Which would Jesus want you to do? Stay trapped in your neighborhood or reach 3 MILLION PEOPLE, EPLE, EPLE, EPLE (sound effects are my own, for emphasis).  We left that meeting just before a tour of their lighting booth, something I still regret to this day.

On Culture War

The culture war does something to our hearts. We are in continual outrage mode.  We have to be angry. Not just displeased but really, really angry. We have to despise all of THOSE people. Those people can be any number of groups: liberals, the poor, minorities, the GLBT community, immigrants. The human heart loves to characterize a large group and label them and once we have done that we usually despise them.  The culture war intensifies that. To keep up on the culture war you need to take in a steady diet of talking heads and angry talk radio. A friend once told me that he had to stop listening to talk radio because he was in a perpetual state of anger.

We look out at the crowds of people in America and we can’t help but to hate them. After all, they are the bad guys. They are intentionally trying to run this wonderful country into the dust. They are just generally awful people. Liberals are just plain evil. The poor are merely the moocher class. Minorities are scary and are ruining the neighborhood. The GLBT community is full of the worst sinners we ever did lay our eyes on. These immigrants are taking over and taking things that are rightfully ours. THOSE PEOPLE are the bad guys....

On Style and Church Growth

It is my observation that the way we promote the church assumes that it is the package that is the issue. It’s not. I know that you have been told by book after book that if you could simply change this or change that about the way you do church everything would be ok, and your church would have such expansive revival that in the future they would write about you in history books, or at least on Wikipedia.  While it is true that there are still places where the style of church is inhibiting growth, (and those folks should definitely change), I don’t think that I am going out on too big of a limb to say that in most places that is no longer the case. Nor am I over reaching to say that the various factors contributing to America becoming a post-Christian culture will accelerate making it even more unlikely that style with be the key factor keeping your church from growing.  

 

 

A Plea for "Be"ers

Dear Young Jesus Lovers,

Could some of you move to my city, or one like it and just be? It is true that just existing is not the same as proclaiming the gospel, but it might just prepare the soil.  It’s true just being won’t transform the culture but it might go a long way and preserving a bit of it.  One of the horrible things that happened earlier in this century for Christians was a posture of abandonment, we abandoned cities and schools and even Disney World (well that was a boycott…but you know what I mean)… The interesting thing is that these moves did not make our culture more Christian, though it may have made us less so.  All alone in our bubbles and not forced to interact with our surroundings in a meaningful way has produced in us a myopic and stunted faith, a faith that serves self and parrots and absorbs the culture we supposedly left behind.  Christianity was not a faith meant to be lived in cloisters, it is a faith that is meant to be lived out in public spheres, not through left over Constantinian legislative actions and power moves, but as real people living real lives as salt and light in dark and bland places.  That is the missionary charge Jesus gave us while on earth and at his ascension.

If our retreat has been bad for the church I can’t even begin to tell you how bad it has gotten for those outside the church.  The removal of the presence of the people of God from a society functions as condemnation on those we leave behind. When we remove our influence, our love, and our care, the society, not well equipped to give love and care on its own, is doomed.

I am praying that some of you will join me in going back in.  You don’t need to be a pastor, you don’t have to be a preacher you just need to be there.  1 Peter, which I think of as the instruction manual for believers in our post-Christian era tells to be prepared to answer when people ask about the hope that is in us.  Yet if we never live among them in such a way that the see that hope who would they ask, and more than that why would they ask?  We need men and women with hopeful lives!

The truth of this came home to me several times when I was picking up my boys from school recently.  On one occasion I noticed little eyes watching as my 4th grader and I strolled out of the building hand in hand, on another I noticed a quizzical look as I bent to kiss my 3rd grader on the head before dropping him off at his class.  On other occasions when I stop by their class rooms it is common for my boys to rush to hug me and receive a kiss on the head.   This is our normal.  Yet in the boy’s school this is a complete anomaly. Most have never seen anything like it.  In our urban areas where the majority of homes are headed by single mothers, positive, physical male affection does not even have a category in their psyche.  You know intuitively that a generation growing up without any concept of a loving father can only result in total and complete societal chaos.   How much more a generation that can’t even put words to the natural longing for a father? How does that generation seek a God who himself is called father?  I know my presence can’t change the world, but perhaps, just perhaps it can give words to a positive longing, maybe it can give sight to an affectionate hope…Maybe it can cause one or two boys to see and long and hope and find.  Maybe it lays the ground work for finding the true father of the fatherless or maybe it just causes them to strive for a future different than the one they have.  All I know is this, I can not abandon these children or this neighborhood to their own condemnation…I have to be there.

Please young Jesus lovers, come, be, love.

Dave

“The ….Christian …. will find in modern life distortions which are repugnant to him, and his problem will be to make these appear as distortions to an audience which is used to seeing them as natural ….”-Flannery O’ Conner