Monday, November 21, 2005

Hippie Thanksgiving Tradition

This Thursday we will gather with our family and do all the usual things that folks do on Thanksgiving, but we will also do something that we began in So Cal some thirty or so Thanksgivings ago. We will listen to Arlo Guthrie sing Alice's Restaurant - again - all 18+ minuets of it. We have done this almost every year and if for some reason I forget to crank up the old Victrola (just kidding - we have it on cd now) our kids remind me that it just isn't Thanksgiving with out hearing Alice's Restaurant!

It is interesting how traditions create a bond within the family; they give us a sense of stability and place.

Thus says the LORD: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls…” (Jeremiah 6:16)

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

To call a holiday "Thanksgiving" begs the question... "To whom do we give thanks?"

We must assume that there is a person to have gratitude towards, in that an impersonal entity or object is incapable of receiving our thanks. Our giving of thanks to anything less than a real personal benefactor would be pure non-sense!

So who did they thank at the first Thanksgiving? They gave thanks to our loving Creator Father, God Almighty!

Check out The History Channel for info about The First Thanksgiving

Check out the Butterball Website
for holiday turkey recipes and tons of ideas for what to do with all that leftover bird.

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Price Of A Sparrow

According to United Press International a sparrow disrupted a domino display in the Netherlands this week. The sparrow knocked over about 23,000 dominoes in a 4.3 million domino display that was being set up in an attempt to break the world domino toppling record.

The sparrow was cornered and shot with an air rifle although it is a crime to kill the common house sparrow in the Netherlands with out a permit. Officials decided to shoot the bird with an air rifle after attempts to capture it were unsuccessful. The man who shot the bird with an air rifle has received death threats.

Now here's the absurdity of the matter...Where were the animal rights people when the house sparrow's habitat was being destroyed? The Dutch over build their cities and cause the sparrow to decline in numbers. After essentially killing off tens of thousands of house sparrows with bulldozers and chain saws they make the little bird a protected species. Now every one gets their BVD's in a knot because someone goes Rambo on one of them. They want to kill this guy for shooting one bird, yet the whole Dutch nation has benefitted from the wholesale destruction of habitat that supported tens of thousands of these same birds - the world has gone up-side-down!

Jesus lends us some balance here... "Aren't two sparrows sold for only a penny? But your Father knows when any one of them falls to the ground. Five sparrows are sold for just two pennies, but God doesn't forget a one of them. Even the hairs on your head are counted. So don't be afraid! You are worth much more than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:29, Luke 12:6-7)

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Running On Empty

This last few weeks have been very full, lots of projects to finish and deadlines to meet. The nonprofit that I work for put on a fundraiser benefit concert with several musicians and Jackson Browne as the main act. The concert was sold out with three thousand in attendance and all the proceeds from the event going to help fund the programs that we run for adults with disabilities. It was a great concert and it was such a thrill to see an event of this size for such a great cause.

By the end of the week I could really relate to the lyrics from two of my favorite Jackson Browne tunes, The Pretender and Running On Empty. I got to the point that all my gauges were pointing to empty - I needed sleep, food, ice tea, love, and most of all I needed my spiritual tank refilled. Spiritually I was running on empty, I had not found (or made) the time to meditate on the Bible, sit and listen to Father, or pray. Spiritually I felt dried up, parched, and run down.

Jesus said "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?" (Luke 9:25)

This is a condition that I have been in before and by it's self isn't too bad, but left unchecked it leads to a cycle of spiritual emptiness that ends up being filled with things that aren't so good. Nature abhors a vacuum and our heavenly Father meant our lives to be filled with him. When there is a lack of his presence in our day to day experience then the enemy of our soul rushes in to suggest things to fill the void, and that is when we get into trouble. Relationships take work to cultivate, and the same is true of our relationship with Father. We need to take time to hang out with him, talk to him and listen to him if we expect to have a sense of his presence in our lives. I find that prayer, quiet meditation on his great love, reading the Bible, singing songs to him and about him all help me to keep my spiritual tank full.

Running on empty isn't a good idea because when you run out of gas getting out and pushing that old '56 Chevy isn't so easy!

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Friday, October 28, 2005

Who Ordered The Chaos?

This last week I was sharing with a coworker about some of the latest challenges that have presented themselves in our otherwise quiet empty nest. Being a devoted christian and avid gardner she had some Godly advice that was seasoned with down to earth examples from her garden that an old hippie like myself could relate to. I love it when Father talks to his kids in the garden, after all that is where it all began - in his garden.

One of her favorite metaphors about life and its unexpected trials comes from her love of gardening. She asked me if I was familiar with English Gardens and the concept of "Ordered Chaos". I joked about not placing any orders for chaos, how I didn't remember ordering this current situation and I certainly didn't request this super sized order of chaos. After a brief chuckle she went on to explain that "Ordered Chaos" is the term used to describe the way an English Garden is planted. The intent is to recreate a natural looking space, like a small meadow bursting with wild flowers untouched by human hands. The appearance of the garden is chaotic and random but in fact it is planed with great care and it is quite deliberate in its design and execution.

To the observer the English Garden is totally random and without any visible hint of design, just as life's trials can appear seemingly senseless and without purpose. The truth is that there is a designer that has every situation under his control, no matter how horrific the pain or how mind numbing the confusion, the Father loves us and holds us in his hands. Our challenge isn't getting through the chaos, but rather understanding that the chaos isn't so random and senseless. The challenge is to learn to trust God in the depths of darkness knowing that he will bring us through it, hopefully stronger and more compassionate, able to help others in their painful time of chaos.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

We may never understand the reasons for the chaos beyond learning to trust Father in every situation. It is in trusting him that the chaos begins to loose its ability to hide the designers hand.

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Get The Tent And Pack The Pampers Grandma...

My wife and I joined a new club two weeks ago... we now belong to one of the fastest growing segments of our population - Grandparents raising Grandchildren. In California there are nearly 300,000 grandparents raising grandchildren, more than any other state. Read A Profile Of California Grandparents Raising Grandchildren for some interesting stats and check out Grandparents Raising Grandchildren for links to some great resources.

We don't know how long we will be raising our beautiful granddaughter. We just want to love her and provide the best care possible while her mommy & daddy get their act together. If they don't pull it together right away we could be faced with a permeant placement and adopt her in as few as six months.

This was not what we had planned for our empty nest years, but you know how plans go. We had enjoyed the roomy nest for about three years and raising a second brood wasn't even on our list of things to do. Jamaica, now that was on our list. Travel cross country, sure we could just pick up and go at a moments notice. Save for retirement, well it was somewhere on the list.

I never saw this coming! Sometimes I wish that I had a crystal ball, perhaps we could have taken an early retirement and headed out for the open road. Now the hobby-computer room may have to be redecorated with pink frills and fuzzy animals and vacations may have to be scaled down to trips to the local zoo.

But what if we had runaway from home? I would have missed out on all those toothless grins that my beautiful granddaughter gives me at 4 a.m. - nothing in the world could equal those moments when she looks me in the eyes and gives me a great big smile!

I think that we have a new travel companion. There is a new little face to help fill up our vacation photo albums, a precious little princess to help us explore new wonders, someone to share the Father's Creation with while making smores over a campfire in the redwoods. Get the tent and pack the pampers Grandma - we're going camping!

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Which Came First - The Tie-Dye or The Cross?

This question was posted recently on The Hippie Christian Bulletin Board, here is my response...

It was back in 1969 when Jesus found me, I was 13 years old then. I had just started to grow my hair long, of course I was into all the great tunes and wearing cool threads but I was not into the drug scene.

My transformation from a nerd to a hippie was happening simultaneously with my becoming a disciple of Jesus, so I was never really one before the other. The roots for both were planted deep within me from my earliest childhood but neither was dominate. My parents had some bohemian views and were spiritual in their own ways, but they were neither born again christians or hippies.

My transformation was during the Jesus People Movement and it was quite normal to be a Hippie Jesus Freak at that time. I never thought that I had to choose one over the other, for me being a Hippie and a Christian were not mutually exclusive experiences.

Most of us don't like labels, but I have always considered my self to be both, never one or the other. I am a Hippie Christian, a Christian Hippie, a Long Hair Hippie Jesus Freak, whatever - I am just one of God's colorful kids!

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Autumnal Equinox

This week marks the Autumnal Equinox - one of the two times during the year that the sun passes the equator, when the days and nights are equal in length. Fall has always been my favorite season, fall is so colorful, the oppressive heat of summer has passed and I can move about without breaking into a sweat. Fall is the Father's way of allowing his creation one last burst of color, a giant tie-dye blanket covering his creation before the winter nap begins.

Autumnal Equinox begins the time of the year that the final harvest is brought in, a time of thanksgiving, a time of preparation for change. The cooler temperatures and longer shadows tell my sub-conscience that winter is coming and changes yet unseen hang in the air. The Autumnal Equinox is a marker, a signal of the passing of seasons. Fall has always been a time for change for me, perhaps it goes back to my childhood days, fall is the time the new school year would begin.

This year is no different, this week I start in a new management position at work. What perfect timing the Father has, he knows that I am more receptive to change in the Fall. Most folks want to make new beginnings around the first of the year, not me - too many failed New Year's resolutions.

Here are two links about The Equinox and Fall Equinox Celebrations.

I love the Fall and the changes the Father brings my way. I look forward to long crunchy walks with my wife along leaf littered streets beneath the sycamore trees.

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Ring The Bell

Friday I received an e-mail from my friend Bill asking if anyone would be interested in helping the Salvation Army. They needed someone to be a "Bell Ringer" in front of Wal-mart on Saturday morning. Well I don't normally sleep in, even on Saturdays so I said "What the heck, why not help out?" - besides what else would I be doing at 8 am, blogging?

Now being a "Bell Ringer" doesn't take much effort or special training, nor does it require any unique skills, but I figure it is a small way to help out those folks hit by Katrina down in the Gulf states. The local Kiwanis Club joined up with the Salvation Army by providing hot dogs and sodas to anyone who made a donation to the Salvation Army.

What was wonderful about my two hours of bell ringing was that I got to see the compassion and generosity of good kind hearted people, people who were glad to help others through their donations to the Salvation Army. An important fact is that all the money collected will be sent directly to the affected region.

After my two hour shift of bell ringing was over I placed my donation in the familiar Red Kettle and grabbed myself a BBQ'd hot dog and a cold root beer. My wrist was a little stiff from coaxing donations from Wal-mart shoppers with the little bell, but my heart gladdened knowing that in a small way I was able to reach out to those folks down in the Gulf states.

Salvation Army Website

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Should We Go Back To The Communes?

"Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." Acts 2:44-47

There were things going on after AD33 that forced the early faith community to pool resources and band together; i.e. persecution & famine. In the culture of their day there most likely was a stronger sense of community, something quite foreign to us here in America. It was natural for them to have a close knit communal group, not so natural here in our individualistic society.

Conversely though, why should we accept the dominant society's lack of community in the household/family of God?

I am not suggesting that we all live in a 60's style commune to be closer to the early faith communities. I'm talking about developing a stronger community that looks beyond the "church" building, one that embraces the concept of a family of believers called out from a life of sin and joined together with a common purpose of building each other up and spreading the Gospel.

Who knows, we just might be facing the same things here in America as a community of believers that those in the rest of the world and the First Century believers faced. Our faith communities may have to pool resources and band together. We may have to develop a stronger sense of community to deal with possible future persecutions.

You should check out the lyrics of RIGHT HERE IN AMERICA by Larry Norman the pioneer of Christian rock and poet laureate of the Jesus Movement. It is a song he wrote back in the days of the Movement and I think that it rings true today, his words are quite prophetic.

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Friday, September 02, 2005

Salvation Army Crisis Website

Here is the link to the Salvation Army Crisis Website.

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

P.S. Watch out for phone and e-mail scams!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Alone In A Crowd

Have you ever felt alone in a crowded Church service? I have, many times I have slipped in and out of church, sitting unnoticed in the back pew, never greeted by anyone, never prayed for by anyone, never praying for anyone myself. It is possible to be alone in a crowd, just go to a ball game or the mall - you are surrounded by hundreds or maybe thousands but you are a stranger to them all, and it happens in church every Sunday.

The question I have is how do we get involved in our brother's & sister's journey of faith? How do we interact with each other in such a way as to have an impact upon our lives, so that we are transformed each time we gather? How do we avoid being a solo act in a crowd? How do we capture the understanding of first century "ekklesia" and carry it out in our daily walk of faith? How do we develop a strong community of brothers and sisters that extends beyond the four walls of the "church" to fill up the rest of the week, not isolated until next Sunday?

I know, too many questions. But we need to start finding solutions to the isolation and it is in the understanding of "ekklesia" that we learn we are more than a group that meets in a building one or two days a week. We need to understand what we are called out from and what we are called to be - the visible earthly representation of Christ, his body, his dwelling place.

"...oikos theos hostis esti ekklesia zao theos..."

"...the house of God, which is an assembly of the living God..."
(1 Timothy 3:15 - Young's Literal Translation)

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Good Old Days

I received an e-mail today from a fellow refugee of the Jesus People Movement. In reading about the many things that he has done along the way since then I began reflecting on my own life's accomplishments. I was wondering if I have made any major contributions to this world. Have I made a difference in anybody's life at all? At the end of my sojourn here on earth will my life have counted for anything or will all that I have spent my time and energy on been for nothing?

I think that I have done a great many small things rather any one great thing. But the Father knows my heart and I always want to keep moving so as not get stagnant. I believe that it is in the quality of the daily walk that one is measured rather than the one or two grand accomplishments that one could boast about. So I keep looking forward and taking one step after another.

As the apostle Paul said... "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:12-14)

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Church is not in the Bible

Our small gathering has been looking into the word "church" and what it means to gather in Jesus' name. My friend Richard is doing research on the word church for a paper he is writing titled "The Church Christ Built - A study Of The Word Church". He is not quite finished yet but what he has found so far is quite interesting, his research has found that the word "church" is not in the Bible. Ok, don't pick up the rocks to start stoning the blasphemer just yet. True our English translations have the word "church" in several places, but based on the original Greek language of the New Testament the word rendered as "church" and our English word church are not related at all. Richard states that "In tracing the word “church” back to its earliest recorded occurrence, we learn it came from a Greek word meaning “of the Lord” (kyriakon). The earliest written record of kyriakon was more than two hundred years after Jesus and the twelve (apostles) died. People used it of the building in which Christians met for corporate worship, kyriakon doma or house of the Lord."

Here is a link to Richard's blog about "church" What is wrong with "church"? - Check it out.

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Friday, August 05, 2005

Cow Poop, Beer & Pot

We were up late last night, went to the fair to see old time rock-n-roller Tom Petty - American Girl, Refugee, I Need to Know, Don't Do Me Like That, Don't Come Around Here No More, I Won't Back Down, Free Fallin'.

This is a BIG fair but still a country fair so the whole place smells like a cattle feed lot - YUCK! Not going to make that mistake a second time, even if I get seats at half price again like we did for last night's show... still not worth it. These were the "cheap seat" and when we got there we knew why, "nose bleed top right" - couldn't see a thing the whole time. All we got was the smell of cow poop, beer, and pot all mixed together - too weird for me!

It wasn't the best time we ever had, but it was cool to hear Tom Petty live. Tom did "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" I actually closed my eyes and was singing it as a prayer, oh well guess you can find God anywhere.

Tom has been kind of a rebel, he has always been out spoken. I found a RollingStone article that is a few years old but worth the read...

Tom Petty Is Pissed... And he's got plenty of good reasons

Maybe those of us thinking about how church operates should take a listen to Tom... "Everything -- morals, truth -- is all going out the window in favor of profit."

Anyway, got to go and get more coffee...

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Monday, July 25, 2005

What is a Hippie?

I found some thoughts that I think help answer that age old question at Hippies from A to Z by Skip Stone - The Way of the Hippy.

There are a lot of things that are associated with Hippies, things that we do, words that we say, foods that we eat, the style of clothes that we wear, etc, etc, etc... But Skip writes that "by focusing on the most visible behavioral traits these limited descriptions fail to reveal what lies in the hippie heart that motivates such behavior."

I think that all the "things" that we do that define us as "Hippies" have a common root that parallels Jesus' teachings. There must be a spiritual basis for our lifestyle, we should be careful to weigh our actions with the Word. Here are a few "Hippie" traits and their parallel in the Word:

Love = God is Love

Peace = Jesus is the Prince of Peace

Activism = Justice (God is a just God)

Love of Nature = Creation care (Tend the Garden)

Creativity (art, clothing, jewelry, etc) = Creative Father (We are made in His image)

Simple Lifestyle = Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

etc, etc, etc......
_________________
Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!

Kevin (Cloud)

P.S. My Hippie name "Cloud" was given to me back in the early 1970's by a Brother in the Lord who described me as a "Long Hair Hippie Jesus Freak". He called me Cloud because every where he went he would run into me, at the store, the bank, on the street. I seemed to be always following him about like a little black rain cloud, so that became my name - Cloud.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

How I Ended Up In A House Church

Ok.... Perhaps I should give everyone a little history of how I ended up in a House Church.

I won't go on about any of the negative experiences that I am sure are universal to us all. It wasn't those experiences that led to the change anyway, they just were the catalyst for change that the Holy Spirit was calling for in my heart.

Let me retrace some of my steps on this path to House Church. I was found by Jesus in a little United Brethren In Christ Church in the San Fernando Valley at the start of the Jesus Movement back in 1969. The pastor was a wonderful grandfatherly man who was an old revival style Billy Graham type of preacher. He loved Jesus and he loved us long hair hippie kids. He took that same stand that Chuck Smith took - the kids stay! The pews, the carpet and anyone who does not like them can go!

Next step... the Coffee House. In addition to regular church attendance (3x a week) there was a Christian Coffee house inspired by Arthur Blessitt that was my favorite place to go. It was there that I learned about evangelism and every believer being a member of the Priesthood. It was there that I learned that church is not always inside the church. I even went on to start a coffee house that was open for about three years, we did lots of outreach from there.

Fast forward a couple of decades... My wife and I start attending a local fellowship that was promoting Home Groups, never really committed to the Home Group before but at the time we needed the closer fellowship. Over the next seven years we experienced the power of the small group setting. We helped with the Alpha Course and loved the developing community that we had with our mid-week group.

We were developing real relationships with a core group of about twelve brothers and sisters, then it happened, the change occurred. The pastor of the main church wanted to make some changes to the way the Home Group was structured. He dissolved all the small groups into one. Now the group dynamics changed, we were now fifty strangers with only brief greetings. No depth, no chance for real heart to heart fellowship, only a casual "hello" over cookies and coffee. My wife quit going almost entirely but I decided to hang in there and not bail out until I was sure that was what the Father wanted me to do.

I had shared on several occasions with the group and with individuals the concept that the small Home Group is the Church. I could have of been speaking a foreign language and got the same reaction, they all looked at me as if I stepped off an alien spaceship that just arrived from Mars!

I have to interject here that at this time the main church was embracing the whole "Toronto" thing and because of that I decided to make the mid-week Home Group my main place of fellowship. But it was the stark contrast between the old group and the re-formed group that caused me to seek out more information on House Church. I had known of the House Church Movement through my internet searches for links to add to my website, but was leery of them until I found a local House Church Network.

The big step... after several meetings with the folks involved with the local House Churches, a few visits to some House Churches, and a regional House Church Conference we made the leap. Our minds and our hearts had been slowly unplugging from the institutional church for a few years now and after giving the Home Group (now called a Community Group) one more year to see what would happen we called it quits with much prayer and heart searching. I met with some brothers from the old Home Group before making the change to seek out their advice and to share my enthusiasm which met with mixed reactions. Back in January of this year I composed a letter to the pastor explaining that I felt that the Lord was calling us to get involved with the local House Church Movement. I thanked him for all the years of great teaching and ministry that he labored in. I enclosed the church key that I had for several years because of being part of the Food Ministry. Although I told him that they will always be family to us, and explained that he should feel free to contact me at any time we have never been contacted by anyone about our departure.

Now baby steps... We have been part of a small House Church now since we left the institutional church seven month ago. It is a new group that is still feeling its way through developing relationships, learning to trust and to lean on one another more. We are a very diverse group.. a young couple with four kids from a Baptist & Friends (Quaker) background, a family that has teens that came out of a very legalistic denomination, an other couple with one teen at home that still is part of a Foursquare fellowship, and my wife and I the empty nesters that had a Calvary - Vineyard background. There are several others that gather with us from time to time and most of the group gathers together on another day too. The guys try to meet for coffee at some time during the week and encourage each-other. We also keep in touch via e-mail and cell phone often.



I am second from left and that is my bride of 29 years with the pig-tails to the right. (We both turn 49 this month)
We absolutely would have never gotten together with these folks unless it was a God thing.
(Oh, hippies can wear Hawaiian Shirts, right?)

Well, that is it in a nutshell if any one cares.
_________________
Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!

Kevin (Cloud)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Jesus Gatherings

This last week I attended a conference about House Churches. This was not my first encounter with the "Movement", in fact every week my wife and I gather together with three other families for a "Church" that meets in a home. We have not been a part of a traditional Church for almost two years now but I still found my self asking the question "What is Church?".

Church is a funny word, it can bring so many images to mind and not everyone sees the same picture. Is it the building where followers of Jesus meet? Is it the people who gather in the building? Is it the religious organization that owns the building where the people gather? Or, could it just be the people who follow Jesus where ever and when ever they are gathered together?

The difficulty for me is that I have the picture of the Church in America stuck in my head because I see it everywhere I go. When I read about the early followers of Jesus and how they gathered I see a sharp contrast between the two. The one thing that I feel could have been stressed more at this conference was how simple Church can be. Jesus made Church so simple - "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20). There it is, that is it, so simple and yet we make it so much more difficult. We want to control it, track it's progress, chart it's growth, raise funds, expand it, and contain it all in a corporate structure.

Jesus said that *He* would build His Church, the first century church taught that God does not dwell in a building made by human hands but that he was assembling a place for his habitation made out of "living stones" - those who love him, the people who follow Jesus. I am looking for the Church that has God's fingerprints on it, and if I see anything that looks like man's fingerprints on it I just keep moving on. The Church can be found any time Jesus' followers gather, in any place they find Brothers and Sisters to share their common faith and love.

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Monday, April 25, 2005

Earth Day Spiritual Discussion

Saturday was the local Earth Day Celebration. Every year ECOSLO hosts an environmental fair on the Saturday closest to Earth Day and as usual it draws folks with a concern for "Mother Earth".

As one would expect many of those folks have a perspective on life that could be called "alternative" or "New Age". A broad spectrum of spirituality was represented and my goal in attending this year's event was to find someone open to discuss issues of faith.

I walked around the fair checking out the vibe and hoping to find a place to sit down while I waited for the Holy Spirit to lead me to someone. My eyes fell upon a hand lettered sign which read "Spiritual Discussion" - Ok, it is one thing to ask the Father for a sign, it is another thing for him to take me literally!

Gathered in a circle on blankets and tie-dye was as diverse a group of eleven people as one could imagine. It would be hard to label those in the group and I am sure they wouldn't appreciate it too much either. I sat down as the twelfth member just before the discussion was to begin. We had just enough time for some warm and friendly greetings.

Some ground rules for the discussion were laid out and what followed for the next hour or so was the most incredible forum of opinions and ideas about spirituality and religion that I have ever been involved with. Though I heard thoughts expressed that many could agree with and some that could have started very strong arguments there remained a constant level of respect for one another and their views.

This type of forum is a great place to develop dialogue with others that one would other wise not have the opportunity to encounter. I am looking forward to future forums with these wonderful and very spiritual folks. Perhaps some long term friendships will develop and hopefully a deeper understanding of who Jesus is apart from the rhetoric and hype that so many have been exposed to which clouds the truth about Him.

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Hippie Christian Blog is Born


But you are a chosen generation,
a royal priesthood,
a holy nation,
a peculiar people;
that you may declare the praises of Him
who called you out of darkness
into His marvelous light.
1Peter 2:9