Greetings All! Things are going well here on Catalina Island! We are experiencing more opportunities for ministry as Andrew has been able to back off to only 3 days at the zip-line. Thanks to God, Who has chosen to continue to bless us with enough support for this to happen! One example of the blessing of being a little more freed-up is more time and relationships being built at the west end of the island, as well as more time to visit the nearby coves of Campus-by-the-Sea and Toyon Bay. Andrew has been taking guys from the zip (his co-workers, praise God!) to paddle (SUP) out to these coves on Thursdays. It's been such a neat ministry tool because it accomplishes two things...building relationships with the unsaved co-workers and visiting and ministering to the workers at the camps. The zip guys have witnessed some amazing things on the water (including watching a great white shark attack a sea lion!) as well as amazing ministry to the people at the camps - specifically prayer and encouragment. It's a pretty unique opportunity! One thing you can pray for is for boards...Andrew only has 2 functioning paddle boards right now and could really use at least 2 more! Plus, of the 2 that he currently has, one is badly in need of repair. So please pray for provision in that with us.
On another note, we have been blessed to be a part of a study called The Journey. In it we have been encouraged to focus inward with the Lord as our guide. We have heard lectures from John Coe, the director of the Institute for Spiritual Formation out of Talbot School of Theology, as well as from John Lynch, who authored a few books, one being TrueFaced. Both have challenged us to consider whether or not we are submitting to "moralism" - that lovely "ism" that encourages us to "buck up" and "do better" when sin is exposed in our lives. The official definition is: any attempt to grow, fix, transform myself in the power of my "being good". There's SO much more that they go into, but a good question to ask is this: when I am aware of a particular sin, what do I do with it? Naturally, we try to hide (as our first parents Adam and Eve did) - and we hide by determining to "do better", and we put on masks to cover the "issues" that we deal with because we don't believe that ANYONE, including God, can deal with our crap. We can't even deal with our crap. But instead, God calls us to EMBRACE our bad - our sin - and to acknowledge it to Him in honesty and humility and to admit that we can't do a thing about it (we've tried for heaven sake!) and then to sit there with Him in the midst of our "weeds" and simply ABIDE. Wow...that just doesn't seem right, does it? Moralism has had a profound effect on us and we didn't even realize it. Personal awareness of sin is an invitation to walk through the door of love to a converstion with the Lord, not to hide by "doing more or better" because of feelings of shame and condemnation (which are never from God).
Well, that's just a taste of what this "Journey" is leading us through...I pray to write more another day. For now know that God is CRAZY ABOUT YOU!! He couldn't love you more than He already does - even on your worst day! Halleluja!!