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California Here I Come

California, here I come right back where I started from.
Where Bowers of flowers bloom in the sun. 
Each morning at dawning, birdies sing an' everything. 
A sunkist miss said, "Don't be late" that's why I can hardly wait. 
Open up that Golden Gate, California here I come.

I am from California and I just vacationed in California.  I took my family to the Yosemite area to see my friend on his birthday.  He is someone I have known for half of my life and he was twice as old as me when we were first friends.  He is a dear friend, but also a father to me.  I don't think that 'discipler' is a real word, so I sometimes refer him as my mentor.

More than a discipler, he is a disciple of Jesus himself and we shared life together.  It's appropriate to call people by what they do and are, such as spiritual father or mother; but the most appropriate word is brother.  We birth and we father, but we are all brothers and sisters.  My older friend who discipled me would not want to be called the discipler or even the mentor, but brother and friend.  

I grew up into adulthood in a church where we were are a first name basis.  There was honor and respect and definately a hierarchy, but we referred to the top person, the senior leader by his first name.  Leaders we did not know as well were referred to by their first and last names.  A mega-church pastor who was the leader of a movement, same thing; and one of the most gifted prophetic persons, the same thing.  

In the New Testament, all have names (like Bob, Joe, Sue, Carla) and all are  brothers and sisters, in the church.  Gift designations, position, or status are descriptive.  We used to say, "elders eld", and "pastors pastor".  It is descriptive.  

Some thoughts about my trip though:

It always takes longer than you think it will.  

Google maps said 4 1/2 hours, so I thought 5 hours with a couple quick stops, but it took 6 to 7 hours.  I knew that we could meander and come home slow, but we ended up taking over 12 hours to come home, because of side trip detours.

Life usually takes longer.  Patience and endurance and persistence are called for.  If you don't have PEP, you will not make it; and these three run on faith.

We all struggle with this.  There is a saying that hurry is of the devil and God is patient and on-time.

Most people have vast untapped potential.

When driving through California, I see vast spaces that are undeveloped.  California can have it's best years ahead.  There is so much space to grow and an abundance of untapped natural resources that are not being used.  California's main problem is the people.  As the saying goes, we are our worst enemy.  If we would get out of our own way, we could thrive.

Life is communal.

When you travel, you have people you sit beside on the plane, if you fly, and you have cars next to you, if you drive.  When you go swimming at the pool, you will have other holiday makers there with you.  You might share breakfast at a buffet and crowded tables with others.  Or, you might be staying with new friends, in their home, and depend of their hospitality.

Our lives are vertical and horizontal.  We walk before God in love and are called to walk with and among each other in love.  When you step out of your house, you get to encounter others and you have the opportunity to do this a lot on vacation.  Life happens when we meet each other.  That is the primary way that people know Christ is through you.  

This is where your Christianity functions.  We have it backwards if we think we go to church because we are Christians.  Christians are people who have the spirit of Christ within them and shine it everywhere they go.  These are the people with Christ within them and Christ is salty and shiny everywhere they go in the world.

When we go out, there will be a reaction.  Your light should cause a reaction.  Your salt should taste good and add flavor to the lives around you.

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