It is October 10, 2018, day 18. I am writing a bit each day about my thoughts, motivations, ideas and dreams. Last night I was roller skating with my girls, some friends and the Syrian youth group that I help run. At one point in the night, as I was practicing my crossovers that I learned in the 1980’s, I thought to myself “your old, you have grayish hair, and your rollerskating to pop music with a bunch of teenagers, you don’t belong here.” Thanks self for that deposit into my mind.

This wasn’t the first time I had this thought, it has been happening a lot over the past few weeks. Before this, I had never had these thoughts, so it is all new to me. I remember hearing old telling people telling young people to act their age when they were messing around, or being immature. So, If a teenager is being immature, they are told to act their age. Does this saying apply to those who are old too?

I was just talking to my family about this over the breakfast table. I asked the question, “am I supposed to act my age (46) or my hair color (old man gray)? This really is the thought that has been coming into my head lately, “Phil, act your hair color.” I don’t think 46 is old, but I guess Im getting a bit insecure about feeling and acting young than I ever have.

Do I fight this feeling, or do I give into it?

I know I have to fight it because it is just culture talking, but as we all know, culture talks loud. Culture can dictate what we buy, what music we listen to, who is in, who is out and where and how we shop. Culture is a voice that has the control of many. Jesus tells me to come as a child. Jesus tells me not to worry. Jesus tells me to have fullness of life. Hmmm, that sounds a lot better than what culture is telling me.

I guess the answer is to be yourself, do what you love and be thankful for it. The older I get the more I will have to fight this voice, but the more I fight the more victor I will have over it. I don’t want to be the old dude, who has no fun, hangs with people his own age and eats at Marie Calendars, I want to be me.

Peace

 

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It is October 8, 2018, day 16. I am writing a bit each day about my thoughts, motivations, ideas and dreams. I didn’t write the past couple of days, mainly because I was pooped from a busy weekend. As you read here, I spent the weekend on both sides of the US/Mexico border learning about immigration, DACA, Dreamers and the separation of families. It was heartbreaking, refreshing, exhausting and life giving.

The Global Immersion Project is a non profit that works to bring understanding  about conflict, and give stories, statistics and ways to bring peace or at least start the peace process in the midst of conflict. They aim to immerse people in the middle of conflict, guide us to contend with those sitting in conflict and bring restoration, which is a long, complicated, messy process.

I learned so much this past weekend, form so many people on both sides of the wall. I learned from the beautiful people who were on the trip, from deportees, women who are living in the USA without status and missionaries, It was a true gift.

This was the first time that I have been a part of a trip in the past 23 years that I didn’t have to lead. I just got to show up, learn, process, and respond. I didn’t have to give out money, sort transportation, keep a budget or lead a debrief time, I could get used to that, haha.

To end, here are a few resources that provide more information about what I mean when I talk about immigration, peace making and conflict:

  1. Mending the Divides: Creating Love in a Conflicted World. By Jon Huckins and Jer Swigart.
  2. Enriques Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with his Mother. By Sonia N.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in Canada, and the rest of us, have a great Monday.

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It is October 5, 2018, day 13. I am writing a bit each day about my thoughts, motivations, ideas and dreams. Today/tonight I am writing a bit about a mission/learning trip I am on this week in Tijuana and San Diego. My first time to Tijuana was 25 years ago. I came on a mission trip with YWAM. We built a home, did some dramas and I even did a Tamborine dance (it will cost you $50 to see that picture).

Tonight, 25 years later, I’m sitting in TJ on a immersion trip learning about immigration, DACA, and reflecting on the first time I was here. I love this country, both the beauty and the brokenness. I have learned so much from Mexico and I am excited to learn more in the next two days.

Today we went to the border wall, on the US side. We heard about immigration, both the facts and the stories. Then, we went over the border to a center that houses men and women who have been deported. I sat across the table from Roberto, a man who just got deported today. He leaves behind his wife and four children. He was not legal in the USA, but was working to provide for his family, and trying to be a good husband and father. He was pulled over for a traffic violation, checked for his status and deported (this was his story).

I was humbled to hear the heartbreaking stories of these men tonight. These men have made mistakes, and were living undocumented in the USA, but still, it is so sad to see them alone, in a country that they don’t know and living in a shelter. The people of the Casa del Migrante center love so well, they look a lot like Jesus. I am excited to go back tomorrow to learn more.

Peace

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It is October 4, 2018, day 12. I am writing a bit each day about my thoughts, motivations, ideas and dreams. Today, as the above picture shows, I am writing about Thirst, the new book by Scott Harrison of Charity Water. I first heard about Charity Water approx. 10 years ago, right before starting Steps of Justice. I was super compelled by the story, but more compelled by the injustice of people having to drink and bath in unclean water.

I have been to Cambodia many times, leading teams on our Steps trips. I remember one time seeing a small pond that was on the edge of the village we were working in. The pond was filthy, with garbage floating all though it. It was also the source of drinking water for the whole community. We worked with a local NGO to get clean water into this village, but it was only one of many.

Seven years ago, a group of us embarked on a 10 month Steps of Justice tour of the USA and Canada. Everywhere we went we told the story of Charity Water, and the story of Rachel, a nine year old with a birthday wish. Our daughter Emma, who was nine at the time, raised over $1000 for water projects in Africa.

Since those days, we have run many water walks, brought awareness of the water crisis, and distributed over 100 water filters in Cambodia and Haiti. This story has moved me to action in many ways, from the way they do charity, to the commitment they have to the lost and broken. Check out the link below, pick up the book and let it move you.

Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World

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It is October 3, 2018, day eleven. I am writing a bit each day about my thoughts, motivations, ideas and dreams. I was thinking last night about today’s post, and wondering what to write about. There are a lot of things to say, some are fluff and just fun things, but I wanted to write something deep, real and vulnerable. The word insecurities came into my head before heading to bed and was there today at 6am when I woke up. So, lets talk a bit about that.

I have always been a super insecure person. I am not sure where it came from, but insecurity runs deep within me, raising its head at the most inconvenient moments. I was extremely jealous as a teenager and into my early 20’s, and 30’s, and 40’s now that I’m thinking about it.  My greatest fear was that the person closest to me would decide they no longer wanted relationship with me, and leave me for someone better. I’m not really sure what better meant, but I know it wasn’t that the other person was better looking, it was more that they were more secure.

These insecurities were not just a mild bothering, they would totally incapacitate me. I would get irrational, I would imagine myself being shunned by my best friends, and I carried the assumption that everyone found out who I really was and pointed out to the world that I wasn’t good enough. I would feel alone, misunderstood (by God, and other people) and unloved. The worst things was was, I didn’t feel these insecurities around people I had little relationship with, it was with those who knew me the most, those who I loved the most.

I lost a few very close relationships as a result of this. I have pushed people away, calling a preemptive strike on people that I thought were going to hurt me by ending relationship. These are my biggest regrets in life. They are not that I didn’t learn how to play guitar, or that I failed at something I tried, but that I pushed people away as a result of my jealousy, insecurity and passive aggressive nature, which I’m sure I will write about later.

I am an Enneagram type two, a helper. When I function at a high two I am loving people, engaging their needs and walking with them to see them succeed. When functioning at a low two I am insecure, afraid Im not doing enough, and worried that someone else is going to come in and do more. I function well when I feel that I am needed, but I find it hard to believe that I am wanted. The older I get the less this has control over me, but it still lurks in the shadows, coming into the light when I feel the most connected, and loved. I will continue to fight my insecurity, speaking truth over it instead of believing it’s lies and trusting that I am worthy of love, that I am wanted and as a son of God and knowing that I am extremely valuable and wanted in this world.

Peace.

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