Category: travels


…and the fire is burning…just back from poland at slot fest–christian arts fest; now on to freakstock in gotha, germany. Still always amazed at the diversity of Jesus friend’s globally! All these different reflections of Himself, so many parts of God to know and love! We meet the Jones in germany today who have been in berlin taking in that great city.

Samuel, Andrew’s oldest, went and helped at Rock on the Rock fest in Italy–we really wanted to go, but my neck got hurt in poland, and i could’nt drive–pray for continued healing–it is much better after having come to antwerp for a few days of recovery–so soft here in belgium–the people so naturally pastoral and friendly–pleasantness of Christ. Last year, i met a friend who started a christian kindergarden here in antwerp–he is german and has worked hard to make a Kingdom space for kids here with an entirely dutch speaking staff. He is german and likes results, so it has been hard to wait as God forms the staff and team and gives then His Vision. Frank is his name, and he would like to pass it off to a native belgian after five year–pray that he stay encouraged as he builds this place of haven and learning. Also, as we connect more with him, that we would be an encouragement!

Nice this summer to be meeting other artist and creators who bear His Name and allow Him the freedom to express Himself in fresh ways–europe needs us who know and have authentic relationships with Christ–it has had religion, but needs Jesus HIMSELF!! Pray that people will feel His Presence as we pass through the many places He has us in this summer.

We leave for germany tomorrow to rejoin the Jones, and then on to france–keep our energy up as well!

Nice to work with bryce and sam at slot–producing daily tv video shots, and then helping with their shows each evening–they did their huge 3d cube show one night in the main cathedral–it was so gorgeous and like performance art with a huge sharf of light rising up from the mainstage cube to decorate and animate the ancient ceilings of that cathedral in poland–the building was the largest medieval monastery in all of europe!! Slot fest has a website for pictures–we had our camera stolen (which is par for the course in travels, but still frustrating esp for Amy–so pray for her, as she also had her phone stolen–the enemy always hits her in the same way!)

We love and appreciate all your prayers–and be blessed afresh from europe!

poland and beyond

Amazing festival of new and old friends in the biggest medieval monastery in europe–very mysterious and enormous–Slot Fest! The polish people are so rich really! Learned sword fighting with abigail and archery with elizabeth Jones–camping with the Jones, and aiding bryce and sam who threw a worship 3d improv each night–the second to last they built the cube which is amazing–sam goes inside and it turns into a performance art happening with bryce and pascal groovin deep on the computers. Their art continues to inspire and improv–also andrew and i got to work for slot tv doing video. Each night the festival has a short called slot tv using graphic arts, and highlights of the day–but all impressionistic–much freedom to shoot artistically. I became obsessed with all the carnival skills being taught at the festival–unlike in america when you go to a ren fest etc, these guys were teaching actual sword fighting and archery and circus skills from guys who have been doing it for generations–very cool! Met lots of very colorful and spirit filled believers with His Heart for the nations–felt like a privelege to be there, and to be serving other leaders of the festival!

Now in prague for a break then on to italy. Just a short post to check in with friends following us in prayer. We were able to pray in many languages at the fest, and really felt free creatively while there. The fest is a good mix of old and new, and less music centered, more arts based, and the ancient castel was a great setting. If anyone needs me, call on my amercican phone.

Should be relaxed by the time we see many of you in france. Denny and Maureen are pressing in for their festival in italy–some warfare so please pray; we may also make it to berlin to see friends–so kee us lifted and not sick.

Sam’s oldest girl got sick at slot, she is getting better; also shannon was sick in antwerp, and i think is feeling better now. Today, we miss jessica here in prague camping near where we all used to live! It is her city!

We got to visit with sasa and katka in belgium–they took a respite at our place–good talks about the velvet revolution and the late 80’s–i always forget how amazing their testimony of Jesus is! They are planning to be in france with us so that will be cool, and we may see them today here in prague.

anyways, much love from the Way!


blasting into summer

Howdy friends! I just got back from a “deep south” spiritual tour of America. I will mention a single highlight worth its weight. God directed me to the grave of Martin Luther King and his wife Coretta King in a torrential rainstorm! I ended up at Ebenezer Baptist where Rev Luther grew up and eventually preached. The intensity coming off the grave, and the wonderful african american ladies who led me into that realm, where memorable beyond belief. The rains were so intense that one of the ladies lost her sheet music which went pouring down the road towards downtown–she and i chased it three blocks before snatching it up from the flood, and gathering that song!

I felt I was in the Presence throughout. I finally “got” that King was bringing a Kingdom context to race relations that few in the Church really had an understanding of at the time–or since. I felt that he had preached the good news of the Kingdom, and that this was part of my own generations call–to provide a larger Kingdom context for the arts, bussiness, culture etc. Not just the gospel of salvation as Billy Graham and others have carried nobly, but the gospel of the Kingdom–and this excited me! Also to be around another church father and martyr who was killed the year I was born!

Anyways, very rich journey, while Amy was in London conversing with our tribe, and bathing in the strength of unity among friends.

I also got to talk to the arts counsel chairman in Birmingham Alabama about his view of the history of that city and what the arts could speak into it! Got a deeper understanding of the south, and some of America’s undealt with issues. Not just race, but a general inferiority complex in relation to the North, and some unhealed civil war wounds–for America to become one and fulfill her destiny, much is still needed of Christ the breaker down of dividing walls.

In addition, have been reading a terrific–almost midrashic book- by an Irish priest called “Leaping”. Lots of joy and hope that God is unique in His expressions through each of us, and just wanting to enjoy being Himself in us. It resonates deeply with my heart’s song of God’s pleasure in expressing Himself through each of us uniquely–God enjoying the poem of Himself through us. That when we enter this, we feel, as David did in Psalm 139, the way of meditating on God through the uniqueness of our own identity! Each of us His Poems (Ephesians 2:10)

We are preping for Summer tours of eastern europe and arts festivals, and thrilled to have some folks coming with us this year, to taste the nations, and the different parts of The Body. I am going to get to be part of some leadership dialogues at Slot festival in Poland, and then amy and i are co-hosting a gathering of artist in the south of france–so should be rich and lots of God getting to be HIMSELF! Giving Him room to be, seems important just now.

Also we will be getting to meet and spend time with Pieter Bos of “Serving the Nations”, and amazingly insightful dutchman and his wife who ministers at the UN this summer. He wants to come to belgium and tour some art museums with us, so we are excited by that, getting to glean some from the older wiser ones! He has been knowing cities and nations much longer than us, and has a heart for people encountering the personalities of cities and nations as God does.

I am also working on a book just now, and trying to tell some of the story of my times in way which captures some of the life of what I have been privileged to bear witness to in my life.

While in North Carolina, also got to bear witness to the dedication of the Billy Graham museum–three presidents spoke, and God was happy. It ain’t cultural, but something larger than just one nation or one section of a nation! I felt Billy Graham’s humility and wisdom and his love of his wife!

I was able to be at the last Billy Graham evangelism conference in Amsterdam several years back, and felt priveleged as he commisioned so many missionaries from that place to go out with that particular power to carry the gospel of salvation. I feel so privileged to have grown up near so many men of such caliber-including my own father!

On another hand, hoping to visit Marc Chagal’s–one of my favorite Jewish artist, who did the opera ceiling in Paris—chapel he did just before his death. It is in Nice, france, near where we will be holding our gathering. I visited once, and it is amazing! He painted the whole old testament (torah) on a piano–you lift it up and there are all the prophets, major and minor–and conversing inside a piano, a metaphore of sound, music–perhaps the most abstract and direct art forms! He also did all the stain glass windows in the chapel–and each face the correct direction to illuminate them in the order of the key revelations of the Old Testament. I just love the use of symbol, even down to when light hits a certain window!

Today, I have been working on a poem about my time in Jerusalem. I went to school there for a year, and worked for an arab family near the damascus gate. I lost most of my writings at the border, bec they seemed a bit suspicious to a border guard, but they were mostly poems celebrating the essence of jerusalem and its humanity, and pulse. I miss living there.

Anyways, within a few weeks we will be back on european roads, which i also miss, and journeying with The Jones to slot fest, and getting to see our friends from prague; so we are excited to still be alive, and still be a place God can download parts of Himself, for His pleasure.

May He richly bless your summers!! Keep us ALIVE in You Lord!

suffering and redemption

Last year we went on a road trip with a bunch of friends to California, and we felt like there were specific things that needed to happen, connections to be made–and especially on a road trip, especially when you have about 15 people to consider, there are always blunders, mishaps, bad timings, etc. Derek is all about timing too–knowing the right time for the right thing, but not everyone has this same sense of timing and choreography.

We got really frustrated at one point with the direction things were taking, and were trying to figure out ‘how to get back on track’ with what we thought was supposed to happen, when God gave us a funny word: “commit your way and keep moving forward, even if it seems like it’s not the way it was supposed to be…. get to know me in redemption”.

We sat in the car and thought of all the friends we were on the way to visit, the stories they had–most of them are real leaders in their communities but all of them have really hard stories, stories of imperfection and weakness… and all of them limping in one way or another. But all of them have a kind of humility I admire, where there is a willingness to accept suffering and walk through it with dignity.

And the redemptive story he is telling through them is really sweet and beautiful. That trip taught us so much about redemption… obviously it was not the perfect plan that we kicked ourselves out of the garden, but even in that moment, there was a backup, a plan B, so to speak, that would end up becoming and still is becoming, the entire story of his creation. The remaking of all things new.

I started to learn that trip about the place of suffering is really the place from which we reach the most amazing heights… I think about the 2nd temple… its glory was greater not because it looked better but because it had been built with ‘burnt stones’…. and so the rejoicing and gratefulness was far more spectacular than had ever been seen in the bajillion-dollar temple that Solomon built.

Obviously when we’re in it, when we’re in the suffering parts, it’s so hard to see the other side of things. How to be grateful at all is beyond me, let alone how not to get bitter. But I am seeing it, even now, in some of my friends–the fight not to get depressed or lonely or anxious. And that fight is so worth it, because when they get to the other side of things, or even from the midst, they have so much to teach us about beauty and hope.

This past weekend I visited the Ground Zero site in New York. I have never felt the presence of God so strongly as I did at that place. It was almost as if the Holy Spirit was hovering or brooding over it, almost like he did at the beginning of creation. There is a not-yet in that space, where cranes, drill and concrete trucks are beginning to complete the foundation of what will be there. There was something in there that had hope but also an intense suffering, and Jesus loves to dwell in those places. His presence is actually thick in suffering places. It reminded me of what David wrote– ‘even if I make my bed in hell, you are there’

He is so present in your suffering… there is no place he hasn’t been. You may not feel his presence but he fills those places with himself, and He will resurrect from your devastation. He will come up out of his own grave, and so will you.