Everyone has a voice, and a choice to use it well, use it poorly, or not to use it at all.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Golden State

On May 24th, 2011 I fly to California for the summer. I will be living in Bass Lake, California, working for Summit Adventure. Bass Lake is about ten miles south of the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park. SA's mission statement is:

"To facilitate transformational learning that strengthens relationships, deepens faith, and builds compassion through Christ-centered outdoor adventure, service, and experiential education."

My position is a hybrid between logistics and Assistant Instructor  - some of the time I'll be serving in one position, some of the time in the other. Logistics involves taking care of preparations for groups to go out, while as an Assistant Instructor I will assist the Senior Instructor in leading groups into the backcountry, teaching wilderness skills and facilitating experiential learning.

I am looking forward to doing ministry in new ways, getting a deeper understanding of leadership and ministry in the wilderness, and learning new outdoor skills.

One of my good friends said "You just can't stand to stay in Kentucky for a whole year." I will leave Kentucky exactly ten months after returning to Kentucky from Nepal, so I guess he is right. It is not that I don't love Kentucky - I do, and I love all the people that I know here. Robert Service said it well:

There's sunshine in the heart of me,
my blood sings in the breeze.
The mountains are a part of me,
I'm fellow to the trees.
To scorn all strife and to view all life 
With the curious eyes of a child.
From the plangent sea to the prairie,
From the slum to the heart of the wild.
From the red rimmed star to the speck of sand,
From the vast to the greatly small,
For I know that the whole for good is planned,
And I want to see it all.

excerpted from "A Rolling Stone", by Robert Service

In part, this summer will be a "vision casting" trip, intended to allow God to change, focus, and elaborate my understanding of His will for my life.

I have some goals for the summer, and I want to share some of them with you, partly to ensure that I keep them, and partly to motivate you to set your own goals. Some of these goals are a part of my overall goals for 2011, while others are freestanding.

1. Read through the whole Bible
2. Read three works of literature
3. Memorize three works of poetry and three passages of scripture
4. Memorize the exact altitudes of each of the "Seven Summits". Why not?

I will open a P.O. Box while I am there, and I may have internet access as well.

Enjoy your summer!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Summer: Time to Read

I love reading good books. A good book engages the imagination, edifies the spirit, and enriches the mind. However, due to my busy schedule this semester, I have read only a few books since Christmas break. I have had to postpone my plan  to read several books on scriptural reliability. I hope to be able to get into that this summer, though I will be working full time for most of it, so no guarantee. In the mean time, I recommend that you read these books, all of which I have either read or have been strongly recommended to me.

The Cross Centered Life*
by C.J. Mahaney

This book is a great one for Christians. It assumes the reader will have a basic knowledge of the Gospel. You can read it in a day. Practicing the practical habits will enrich your walk with God.

A Severe Mercy
by Sheldon Vanauken

This book is phenomenal for anyone to read, especially those who are hungry in the spiritual department - Christian or other. It takes an honest look at the conversion experience of a skeptic of Christianity and of Christ.

by Sir Alfred Lansing

This is one of my favorite books. Read it when you want an exposition on leadership, a story of adventure, insight into human interaction, or a history of an important phase in exploration.

by C. J. Mahaney

Two different people have recommended this book to me, so I am excited to read it this summer.

Spiritual Leadership*
by J. Oswald Sanders

After reading books by John Maxwell and others on leadership, this is my favorite. Like Maxwell in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Sanders goes through the qualities which characterize a leader. However, Sanders’ perspective is distinctly Spiritual. This book is very enriching.

Desiring God
by John Piper

Those of you who are from Christian circles have heard of this book. I haven’t read it yet, it is on my list. It comes very highly recommended.

Jesus on Leadership*
by C. Gene Wilkes

This is one I hope to re-read this summer. More than any other book, this one transformed by perspective on leadership. Wilkes examines Jesus’ style of leadership, and does an excellent job of unpacking and explaining it.  

The Seven Summits*
by Dick Bass

Another classic adventure books. It follows two men (pros in the executive world, amateurs in the outdoor world) as they attempt to climb the highest mountain on all seven continents.