Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pre Return Update


There are a few questions that always come up when I speak with someone asking about my race experience. By far the most common is something along the lines of what now? As in where will you be, what will you be doing, will I see you?

It has nearly been a year since I left home. In about two weeks time I will be unpacking my bags and taking my clothes out of the vacuum bags where they lived this past year and hanging them back up in my closet. The thought of my home in Florida seems strangely foreign to me. Even before this past year I was gone for nearly a year prior to that. Two years time since I have resided there consistently. Friends that once were close have changed and so much has happened in their lives and mine. It will be as if I am moving to a new town all over again only this time I know my way around.

Outside of starting fresh relationally I am returning home flat broke, jobless, and no longer own a pickup creating a scenario where I will be reestablishing myself financially as well.

As if that was not enough I am moving forward with a vision I feel has been laid upon my life. I will be creating a startup foundation for underprivileged youth. The general aim of the foundation will be to encourage and help youth to seek after dreams despite obstacles they may face allowing for positive character building experiences that will truly impact their future. There will be more details on this soon. As of right now I am in a research stage establishing a preliminary startup plan and forming guidelines for policy development in regards to what will be supported by the program.

You can help now by taking part in an anonymous survey. It takes less than 5 minutes and only has three questions. So far I have 24 responses, which have been helpful and reaffirming but more input could strengthen the study.

http://eSurv.org?s=OCOOKH_83a4e679

I will continue to work on the startup plan mapping out which actions need to be taken in which order while forming initial policies. Once I secure the domain name for the webpage associated with the foundation name I will file incorporation and go public with the vision and mission of the organization. At that point I will actively recruit supporters, board members, and pro-bono legal counsel while seeking seed money to officially become established as a 501c3.

This is the action plan simply because I do not have the money to support all the initial costs of becoming established which are currently estimated to be $3237.50 not including necessary legal counsel. Please be praying that a proper connection is established when the time comes for this key element which could otherwise add thousands of more dollars to the initial startup costs.

I am excited to see all of you back in the states (You all out west too! The hope is to get funds together for a visit before the year's end.) and sad to be saying good-bye to Jeffreys Bay and many of the people who have become dear friends over the course of this year.



Monday, August 26, 2013

Slavery = Freedom


Have you ever read one of the passages in the Bible that goes something like this, (a persons name), a slave of Christ… or maybe the toned down version where slave is substituted for servant and not fully grasp what is being said.?

That was me some time back. I did not understand why the apostles were calling themselves slaves. Plus how could they be slaves if Galatians says it is for freedom we are set free? (in context this is speaking of freedom from the law)

Today I was finishing up my most recent read and came across a section that was basically a word study on this concept of slavery the apostles were using. Starting with the idea of slave. What does that imply? A slave has no rights, no possessions, no personal identity, no time off, and cannot make negotiations.

Every slave has a master. As we read the word Lord often times without thinking it has become equivalent to God. In reality the original word used for Lord in reference to Jesus in the New Testament is Kurios. Which is a slavery term! This word is used for master/owner of the slave!

What about the word the apostles were using now being read as servant? Doulos is the word that was used which directly translates slave. What is the big deal servant or slave no big difference? Wrong. A servant works for and a slave is owned.

“You can’t call Jesus Lord without declaring yourself his slave.”

Does that make sense? Simply by using the word Lord you are in turn addressing him Master of the slave (yourself). Which leads me to question personally and outwardly do we truly mean it when we say Lord?

So we are supposed to choose to be slaves? Yes and that is exactly what a bond slave does. A bond slave is one who was set free but decided to remain a slave for life. In Deuteronomy 15 we can read of an example. The example uses a specific reason to remain a slave ‘…because he loves you and your family and is well off with you…’ Because we love God and his family and are well off with him we choose to become a bond slave (a slave for life).

Seems like cultural sensitivity in publications strips away otherwise evident lessons. I ask that if you have not dwelled on this concept before that you take the time to do so and allow God to minister to you. Writing it all out it seems small but in the moment of revelation it felt huge.

Today I pray that we (you, me, and fellow believers) begin to live up to our title.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Passionate Distractions


This past week I have desired more alone time. I have cut back slightly on my commitments with Aleph taking time off from an activity here and there. During those free times I have been able to relax and get filled up spiritually. Sure surfing fills me up but sometimes it becomes a distraction.

Today we went to St Francis to do a graduation with a group of boys who went through he program there. I personally have only worked with them a handful of times and each of those times was chosen by one boy, Justin, to work with. Today gave me a glimpse of what the ceremony may look like for the kids that I have seen day in and day out for months now. We went early to get a little surf before meeting with the kids. To our surprise they were already at the beach waiting when we arrived. Stoked and ready to surf the boys were filled with joy.

During a short walk down the beach I found a whale rib! I am not sure how legal it is to take but I am sure the housedog, Yellow, will enjoy the bone if it cannot serve any other purpose besides a chew toy. Still one of the largest most unique beach treasures I have found. At the end of the day there the boys enjoyed the braai, soda, new Aleph t-shirts, and Surfer Bibles. I am excited for this group of guys to continue to grow individually and as a brotherhood.

In the evening one of our housemate’s parents came to visit for dinner. It was a pleasant social. During one conversation with Dustin we got on the topic of passions becoming distractions confirming my thoughts on needing to take time out of the water to fill up spiritually. This is a lesson I learned many years ago and because I was unable to share it with these guys I hope they learn it along the way, through Aleph or elsewhere.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Skateboard Sorrows


I woke up wanting today to be a day of surf and relaxing. That didn’t happen. Jayden and Valdo came by early during school hours before I had even had breakfast so I had to send them away. After eating I decided to go check the surf only to find the two brothers still lingering around close by. Odd really both were separate from each other lying in the grass just sitting there. I welcomed them to join me in checking the waves. They were quick to their feet and by my side. After a short walk we were sitting on top of the dunes looking out to small waves soaking up the sun. I asked them why they were not in school and was informed their grandfather passed away.

Now it made a little more sense to me. They came to the house early because they were looking for something to take their minds off of the sorrow. After sitting there for a bit longer we walked to the local grocery store so I could load up on airtime. Realizing they were in pain and having been there before I decided to give up my personal desires for the day and make it about them.

Back at the house they asked to skate. So we took two skateboards to a nearby hill so they could bomb it. Valdo even at age nine is a natural talent. Multiple times I told them no I didn’t want to ride because I am horrible. As they persisted I realized it would not end until I got on one of the boards no matter how bad I was.

So they convinced me and before I could make my second pass down the hill I had wiped out pretty bad and banged my knee leaving me with a limp. We all laughed and Jayden told me I had to go again to learn. Hah, I did but this time not trying anything risky simply going down the hill safely.

At the end of the day I still lack talent in skateboarding but I hope it was a means of expressing love. Jayden and Valdo may not know or realize my motives for chilling all day with them. Even so my hope is that during that time they were able to feel cared for and escape the sorrow until they are ready to face it.

Jayden


Valdo