commitment and investment

For the last year-and-a-half I've been talking a lot about how I feel God has called me to commit myself to the community I'm involved in. Specifically, the community of people around Scum of the Earth Church in Denver, Colorado. And so, thinking in my usual extremes, I've found myself talking and thinking in terms of this being the community I'm committing to for as far as I can see into the future. I've, in fact, spent a good amount of time wrestling with the idea of being in this part of denver for the next 50 years. And with these people for the next 50 years. And maybe struggling with the same flaws in our community for the next 50 years.

But this last week was a first for me. For whatever reason, the conversations I've had lately have opened my thoughts to some new ideas. In fact it was entertaining the idea of certain people within this community potentially leaving for a period of time, that allowed me to think about whether or not I could leave this community in the same way. Granted, I will always be a part of this community of people in some facet, but this was the first time I was able to feel as if I could leave this place at some point and not be working directly against God's will.

And then it was conversations I've been having about the difference in family upbringing that gave me insight on the way God may have been using me as of late. Maybe God needs to explain things to me in the form of extremes, in order for me to understand the subtleties of what he needs me to be doing.

It was in realizing that I may not always have to be in Denver, with these people, that made me realize how God may have not wanted me to think otherwise until now. Perhaps God needed me to believe I would be in this place for the rest of my life, in order to get the effort he needed out of me, in terms of investing here.

And maybe he's been doing this all along. Maybe God calls us to believe things will be one way for the rest of eternity, in order for us to have the right reverence for the place he has us in. Like levitical law and the Israelites?

But maybe God knows us even better than that. And when this burden is lifted because it begins to wear on us to much, I find myself wondering if I'm willing to accept this kind of grace, in the humility of putting my plans in God's hands.


learning and growth

A lot of what I feel I learn about myself and how to love people comes from the conversations I have with my friends and family after having had an interaction or two that didn't go over so well. I mean that, to say, that I feel that most of my points of growth come from the process of reconciling with others.

This last week was no exception. I've been in the process of thinking about a number of things in the perspective of their longevity and all that entails. For instance, if I decide to stay committed to the same community for a long time, if I decide to continue to pursue playing music with the same people, or if I want to continue to think seriously about the future of my relationship with a certain lady in my life... what does it mean to be constructively critical of these relationships for them to last?

I feel it's good to question what the implications of my actions now, for the future of said relationships. And I also feel it's healthy to be able to communicate the ways, I feel, others in these relationships could grow and change for the better. However, it's a pretty dangerous line to walk, when you're willing to make yourself vulnerable in either of these positions. And even more dangerous, because there are feelings involved and a certain susceptibility for manipulation. To say the least, it's a road walked best with a good heaping spoon full grace and another dose of discernment.

So in this cycle of trial, error, and forgiveness that we all go through, I've picked up a few thoughts and questions along the way.
For instance, how does Christ have such patience for us? And how does he bear with us through the process of seeing our potential and then watching us botch it up day after day? And how do you leave room for people to actually grow into that potential with out smothering them with corrections?

I think I've learned to take people less seriously. And what I mean is; that If I look at someone's actions and think of whether or not this will be something that I will be able to deal with for the next number of weeks, months, years,..... (fill in the blank here) I often get so caught up in wether that is something I want, and I forget that said other person is in a process of growth on their own already. And if I get caught up in what's bothering me, I wouldn't be surprised if my conversations of debriefing, correcting, and expressing my feelings actually cause my friend (or whoever) to stay in that role. If I continuously put my friend in the role of the person that hurts me in this way, or does wrong in this way, my concern for control of the future can in fact keep this other person from actually being able to climb out from that spot.

In short, if I'm truly concerned for the betterment of another, wouldn't it prove to set them up for good, if I wasn't so quick to assume their previous position of acting negatively in my mind?

And ultimately what would it mean then, for me to bear with them through this process of growth, and really appreciate someone for their attempts to grow and not the rate at which they grow?


Waiting on God's timing

There's normally a whirlwind of thoughts going through my mind on a daily basis. And on average, approximately every hour, there is some sort of new input in that whirlwind. Whether that be a friend saying hello, a phone call, a text message, the advertisement on the side of my cup of coffee, the music playing in the room,.... I realize it's all an influence on my thought process. And I've realized I could spend years and hundreds of words on any one of these influences, and expressing how I want to, should, or am intended to react to these things. But in this, in most cases I find that God isn't in the racket, God normally isn't the flashy images, and God isn't in the Coffee either. And yet, while God is seen in all of His creation, normally God wants me to find him in stillness.

It's pretty strange dichotomy, but one I'll learn to live with daily.

As I'd said before, currently I'm finding myself preparing for another season of change and growth, much like the plants outside this time of year. And while I'm to learn to rest and prepare, just like all the rest of creation (and yes, even like God rests), a friend of mine (and dare I say mentor) had some good insight for me yesterday, that I'm still processing.

We talked about the things I'm looking toward defining more in my next year in Denver, and we talked about how I'd felt God's voice leading me in these things. Part of this conversation looked like this;

"Do you feel like you're the right one?"

"I'm pretty sure."

"Do you feel like God has told you to go ahead with this?"

"Yeah, I feel like this is what I'm supposed to do, but I'm learning to be patient and wait for God's timing."

"In my mind, if God has told you to do something, the longer the wait the more room you're leaving for evil to sneak in and pervert it. In fact if you really feel like God is telling you to do something, you really should be asking God 'Why not now?'"

And the best part of the conversation was that it left me questioning my real motivations in waiting.
More often than not, in the midst of all the things that Society is telling us, and all the things that distract us in our own minds, are we really waiting for God's timing, or are we even using the excuse of waiting for absolute silence, before we're willing to do what we feel God has told us to do? Are we really giving God the room to tell us what His will is, or are we waiting for it, at our convenience?



Being a part of a community* with lots of people, naturally means that we regularly come across what seem as endless mounds of problems and hang-ups. However, I've learned in the last stint of my life that being a healthy community isn't necessarily defined by the quantity of problems that you grow beyond, but rather the manner in which you deal with them.

For instance, I would rather my gravestone say "He was a grumpy and hard man, but he sure as hell tried to love people," rather than "Look at what this man accomplished."

So we all spend a lot of time talking with the folks in our lives, trying to figure out how to go about learning and moving forward as a whole community in the most healthy way. I've come to know these conversations as times of translation. It seems as if I'm either helping to translate for someone else, that someone else is translating for me, or more often than not a little of both.

While, in the midst of translation the other day, I had a friend bring to my attention something I often forget about, especially in these conversations. We talked about the difficulty of receiving advice from a source because of a certain air that can often come when sharing something you feel well versed in and feel is a needed addition to a conversation. Frankly, it's often hard to hear a person's loving advice, no matter how helpful, because of the air in which it's given.

I know it's not only the responsibility of the listener to process the words given to them, but also the responsibility of the giver to be conscious of the manner in which his/her gift is given.

So in thinking about why I would want to give advice in the first place, I realized that my words can often be totally misheard just do to the air in which I speak them.

I've know this for a long time, but it was good to be reminded of the fact that good advice is given not so that the source can be accredited but so that it enables the receiver to really take hold of that advice and decided for themselves how to apply it, if even at all in the first place.

*here used in reference to a group of people who share life together loosely and sometimes intimately



a new season has begun in my life, in the same way that fall has just begun marking the end of physical production and the beginning of rest for the soil, I've found myself beginning to come to new places and different stages than where I've been.

Once upon a time I started this blog to keep friends and family up to date on my travels and excursions, and then the blog was put to rest as I settled back down, and began learning to live in one place.

I've now lived in Denver Colorado for a year and a half, and have begun to understand taking root in a community of people. I've been attending the same church consistently for a year and a half, I've now been dating my girlfriend for just over a year, and I've been playing music consistently in front of audiences and congregations for a over a year now. So I've begun to understand the meaning of investment as well.

And now, in the same way that the trees and plants shed their leaves to prepare for another season of growth and production, the process of combining the wisdom found in hindsight with the discernment needed for the future begins. And I've realized that I could greatly benefit from the processing required in order to write a blog.

So take this as my decision to begin blogging again with the hope to share with you my attempts at growth. Thanks for reading a long...

more to come soon


fun read

found an article ya'll might find interesting



a long time since

So it's been a long time since I've taken the time to post on here, but it's my intention to start again.

A quick update:
In the beginning of march I moved back to Denver to be near family and to be with a group of wonderful people I hadn't been able to spend as much time with as I'd preferred. I finally got a job after about a month of being here. Until this last week there was a total of 21 people staying in the two halves of the duplex that my friends and I rent in north-east denver.
And I've been able to get involved with Scum of the Earth Denver again.

So to put it plainly, despite some of the hardships that exists everywhere. I feel Denver has been a good decision for me. And I'm considering sticking around here for a while.
This next week, when my new roommate moves in, my rent will be down to $150/month. Which isn't something I mention because of my excitement for cheap rent, but rather for the excitement I feel about being able to work towards my goal of spending equal time working to pay rent and time volunteering or serving others. Maybe finally my ideals of "love thy neighbor" will take more economic root in my life.

Thank you for being wiling to pray for and support marcus and I despite our having given you so few updates on where we are and what we're up to.

Know that I thank G-d for you.


Summation of an excerpt from a good conversation had with a friend

I know that we are intended in some manner to share in the sufferings of Christ. And by that I mean that, in order to deny oneself and replace oneself with Christ, one must undergo some sort of violence, wether it be physical or not. However I don't always know where that line ends and where that begins.

I know that often our role as followers of Christ is to turn the other cheek. For instance, when slaves become submissive to their unjust masters. But sometimes we are also called to flip a table or two in the face of something that may be doing us and often others wrong. But I don''t always know what is the appropriate reaction to every circumstance.

There are times when I can remember having stood on the side of the road hitch-hiking for hours and hours without any sort of foresight into my provision for that day, however my trust in G-d's ability to provide (in the form of both physical care and use of an unjust situation) made it possible for me to endure living in an unjust world ruled by fear to such an extent that I wast left helpless, on the side of the road, by many passers by who were more than able to help. Yet there are times when I am placed in a situation when I have the ability to say something to another person about the injustice being done, that I do not know when it is my place to raise my voice against the injustice, or when it is the time to take a stand by turning the other cheek.

Does the difference come when the injustice you face effects others, versus merely oneself, or are there times when one is to be submissive when faced with an unjust action, not only unjust to oneself?


New thoughts

It's been a while now since I've felt like I've been in a reflective mood. And what that means is; that I haven't felt like I've had thorough or complete times of reflection recently. I don't know if that's been because I haven't been giving myself enough time to reflect, or if there's been too much to process, or if this just hasn't been that sort of a time in my life. And I say this, because this is the feeling that keeps me from posting things on this blog. It's my desire to give bits and pieces of my thoughts and myself through making them available to others on this blog, but often I have a hard time feeling I have something I want to present to others in this way. This is something for me to think about.

Lately, however, I've begun to have some of the "presentable" (whatever that means) thoughts, here are some:

I was on the ferry from Bremerton to Seattle, with my housemate greg the other day. And in spending a little bit of time staring at the ceiling and laying on the bench seat, I made some realizations. While many of my friends sincerely dislike flying in airplanes, because of the unnatural rate of travel, I can easily say that I thoroughly enjoy this experience. In fact being at airports or in an airplane, or even in a ferry for that matter, make for rather enjoyable experiences for me. For some reason this state of time in my life is never filled with any sort of stress or anxiety. For some reason I have en extremely hard time finding anything uncomfortable about the experience, until my butt goes numb from sitting too much. And even then I have the ability to change that rather quickly.

But in lying there on the ferry I realized that this may be because of what I am able to focus on during this time, and why that is. Perhaps the reason I enjoy being on a plane so much is because, I've been put in a position that I rarely experience at any other time. During this time the essential task I am performing is completely taken care of. I know for sure that I will traverse the intended distance, and that I will get there if the L-rd so desires. In fact at these times I am so sure that my task will be performed that I am able to remove any worry whatsoever from that task, and therefor focus my attention on any other thing I choose. Because of my trust in the longer journey's completion, I am able to give full attention to things like reading.

I don't know if this is a healthy way to look at this kind of travel, or if this is the sort of perspective I want to have on such a subject. But it is hard not to view my ability to focus in such a way as a blessing, especially in light of the stress that flying causes some of the people I know.

Ultimately, however, this is how I desire to view my relationship with G-d. It is my desire to be able to trust in G-d so much that I give myself the freedom to focus on the little things placed in front of me everyday. In the same way that I am able to trust fully in American Airlines, Alaska Alines, or Delta for the completion of a larger task, it is my desire to trust in the L-rd in the same way, but on a larger scale.

Right now, especially would be a good time to have such a trust, because I've found myself surrounded by a good deal of tasks to be performed, however sometimes my ability to fulfill those tasks to the best of my abilities, are lost in my in ability to have such trust.

This is something that it is my desire to work on.

Until next time


Way too long

It's been almost a month since I last posted, and I'm sincerely sorry for that. Right now all I can give is a few short updates, but I plan to make sure and post something here soon, because I've found this a great way to process things, and then look back at them to continue processing.

1. I have a job now. Actually two. I work at EVO (evogear.com) as customer care, but I'm transfering to the Flying Apron (the only all vegan and all gluten-free bakery in the U.S.). So right now I'm working every day of the week. And after my first day at the Flying Apron today, I'm really glad I'm making the switch.

2. Marcus living here is great. Now that we've had time apart after living with eachother so long, somehow we've FINALLY lost the sense of older brother-younger brother mentality. And I feel like it's more of a two way street.

3. I feel like, while the murder house projects are going at a little bit of a slower rate than before, both the house I live in and the murder house, are slowly growing. And I could be more thankful to G-d for showing us such mercy.

4. Mom, Peter, and maybe a good friend are coming to Seattle to spend Christmas with Marcus and I. It's sooooo incredibly encouraging to be supported in such a way by one's family memebers.

5. I'm learning more and more about what it means to be satisfied with one's place, even when stuck in one's place, and the hardship that may bring.

Thank you for your prayers, and know that I thank G-d for YOU on a frequent basis. Thank you for being interested enough in what's going on in my life, to check this blog.


Uganda for a New York Minute and Seattle for a Hot Minute now

I'm back in Seattle now, with no more plans made for any more trips (at least for), and it's now time to find my place here with G-d and with his provision in the daily routines of sittin' still.

Up until my trip to Uganda my stay in Seattle had felt quite temporary because I knew there was another step a head in a certain direction, and now I'm learning to trust G-d in providing steps forward while I stay put in this town for a while.

For the first time in a long while I'm learning to change my mindset from a temporal local and a consistent G-d to a more long term local with an evermore consistent G-d I've known all along.

But it's harder than it sounds.

A lot of people talk about how traveling seems like such a radical thing, and how hard it must be, but I beg to differ right now. The more applications I fill out, turn in, and interviews I do for a job that might be my place for several months, the harder I'm finding it to be content with where G-d has put me. Or more specifically; the harder it seems to find new ways to trust in G-d's provision for me and for growth.

It so easy to focus on that which is hard on a daily basis. It's easy to forget the mentality that in the same way that places come and go, so will the trials of this life. I would go to the extent of saying that the traveling mentality of there will be an end to this hard spot soon enough, is something that flees easily in being still and being satisfied with G-d's provision there.

In fact it is in the hardship of trusting G-d and nothing else, that one begins to realize one's faults.

It is my desire to continue to pray that G-d will continue to shape my heart and my desire to be more like his, even when there isn't a physical representation of forward motion.

Marcus now lives in Seattle, with Beer (his dog). Scum of the Earth is still maturing daily and progress is being made on some of the various projects around.

But still we pray that G-d may take our sinful hearts and pour the blood of the lamb on us to make our sins as white as snow.


marcus again....

Thank you all so much for your prayers and for those of you that still contact me every now and then.
After spending some time out here with Shaenah i went and spent a few days out in philly with some friends from circle of hope church.
while being there i felt confirmed in what my next steps would be.
the lord has put it on my heart for a while to spend time learning trades and stabilizing myself more or less so that i can be of use to others in ways i can't be just trampin around, and some doors have been opened to go to seattle and spend time learning trades- hopefully. the thing that keeps being placed on my heart is the idea of building a home, and i think this is a step in the direction of bein able to help others more, so i'm leavin next friday.
the scary part is that shaenah is staying out here and that means me being across the country from her, but these things will all work out, i think. she is planning on going to the source ministry in minniapolis pretty soon and then we will have to see what happens from there. Lord willing, we'll find a way to grow together.
god bless.


marcus, the farm boy

there once was a boy named marcus, he never lived on a farm. He was never really responsible or maybe he never really had things to be responsible for (well there was that one time when he lived on a bus with a few other people...) and sometimes people called him a home bum. now this lad seems to be becoming a farm boy. He wakes up on a farm (owned by some mennonite farmers- who sponsor students for a democratic society) at 6 most days, eats breakfast on the farm with a pretty young farm girl (Shaenah Joannah) and her big-lipped-doo-doo-farm-boy brother(howard 3), who is startn his own farm family and is expectin a little farmer named howie or farm girl named kaya from his farmer wife (amber), goes out and feeds the farm dogs (beer, canella, and osa), drinks his farm coffee made by the cheif farmer (howard jr.), then gets in the ol wagon (a volvo with no muffler) and gets himself a ride to another farm (oak grove farms) where he washes and picks farm vegetables (gmo). Then when he's done throwin pumpkins around for minimum wage he goes and gets some farm fresh pear cider and farm fresh coconut macaroons, gets in the wagon and makes the 45 minute stretch back to the farm where he sits on hay with a few ex-amish folk (people who were either kicked out of the amish church or voluntarily left because they felt that they would best serve god outside of the amish church) and the rest of the farm folk (sonshine, lisa, rich, kenton, thias, judah, yasha, jirah, and baracha, anne and jesse) looks over some railroad tracks and the lord's hymns he sings and the banjo rings out over the river in southern pennsylvania.

being out here has made me feel like im gaining more of a grasp on what divine appointments and divine timing is. Having hitched out here all the way from seattle got pretty ruff at times but i knew it was the right thing to be doin. Bailey, Okie Doke and myself went out to a small town in washington to try to catch the high line to chicago and ended up spending 2 days waitin and then hitchin out of there after finding it difficult to catch a train when baileys bag was fallin apart and me havin too much crap and a dog and a banjo and food and water and trains being mostly unridable and a few meth heads chasing us around and demanding donuts of us and yelling "if you have fishin poles i'll know your my friend, but if you dont ill kick your ass". Me and bailey went on hitch hikin as senor okie doke went back to seattle to meet up with gary and catch the train a week later. We made some good timin and then the 2 of us spent three days stuck in the same 100 miles of monatana. Then she caught a ride from a sweet ol lady into chicago while i was sleeping and i ended up all by myself. during a whole day all by myself with no rides except for one by a fisherman for about 20 miles from one small town to and equally sized nonesense town, i was feelin pretty down at points but a few very beautiful people ended up calling me from different states and encouraging me right when i needed it most. then i got a ride to the ohare airport from some people who needed my encouragement and i was happy to try and give it. as soon as i got there i started takin the train to get to the other side of chicago to get to the interstate and hitch out but the train was under construction and what should have taken about 45 minutes took about 2 hours and i ended up frustrated downtown with no money and the sun had gone down. Then this girl walks by and ends up askin if she can pet my dog, tells me how goin where i was goin was a bad idea but that i could stay at her place. so i ended up hanging out with an amazing girl on a rooftop in chicago lookin over the city and checkin craigslist where we saw an add for a free ride to camden nj. So the next day i end up meetin robin, rugrat and riff raff ( i hope thats right). Three rad girls headin to pennsylvania. Rugrat and riff raff ended up going to a squat in pittsburg that they didnt know where it was but i had been there before and was able to drive them straight there, and robin was needin someone else to drive because she didnt want to have to stop and she wanted to get back quick. Plus we got to have a really honest disscussion about religion, and domestication and the sort. But heres the crazy part- as we where following the directions to shaenahs house we start drivin down the last road and robin says "i remember this place, i stayed at a farm at the end of this road last summer through students for a democratic society". guess what farm that was? And since ive been here ive become very grateful for this place and the people here.
Before i got here i was kind of feeling desperate for answers as to what i was to do in the future. Now, though no concrete plans have been created, and all the same concerns are present i feel like things are beginnin to come together.
ive been assured and affirmed in a lot of things and although i dont always agree with the people around here i feel like ive had some necessary incounters and conversations. ive thought for a while about making some steps i didnt think i'd make in a long time- if ever, towards a new phase in life, and its been hard because i dont always assure myself of my capabilities or rather of what God can do through me (like being in any sort of healthy relationship), and often ive considered things to be compromising to my values - for example i'm trying to get a car (prefferably a pick up truck) to help me as i start to learn some trades and to live out of if necessary in the future and to hopefully at some point take shaenah out to meet my folks. but while at christian summer camp my new friend jimmy spoke some words of wisdom into my life by telling me that i need to learn to be satisfied with eatin breakfast before i worry about lunch. I'm trying to learn this and i feel like i have started to- and that i dont feel as desperate in trying to make plans, which is a huge blessing. Im learning that the lord can plan for me and that i need only to listen and be obedient, not to worry.
Praise the lord for his mercy and grace, and patience with my small little mind.


Photo update

I know they're a little late to be posted, but here are some pictures from when our little group of friends went to Christian Summer Camp 2008; Idaho.

All the pictures here were contributed by our dear friend Carmen



same place more adventure

Finally things are feeling a little more normal in Seattle. And by normal I mean, I feel like I'm back into the Seattle rhythm. Slowly but probably at the rate I can handle I'm reconnecting with old friends, and finding more and more why I loved this place in the first place. And adapting to a different mindset has been quite the learning experience to say the least.

I guess a good thing for me to talk about would be the community here. This is John Swanger's last week as head pastor of Scum of the Earth Church, Seattle, and although he, his son, and wife will be dearly missed I think we're all excited to see what the future has in store for this little grass roots church in the U-district.

As far as the house I'm living in right now, officially named Our House, is getting back into a rhythm as well. Although this last week has been a hard week for all of us, and learning how to support each other, as well as our visitors, we've begun the process of starting community dinners again. And the neighboring houses that have started this year have begun dialogue with us about how to gather as a larger community in the Wallingford neighborhood. It's exciting to see what having four houses full of brothers and sisters in the same neighborhood holds as possibilities. We're starting with maybe a rotating breakfast with each other, and might grow into even bigger things.

Our House is also involved in another circle of friends as well, where the conversation has been just as good. This community is sort of my bridge from my friends here from school, to the time I've spent as a part of the christian traveling community this last year. There's an apartment on capitol hill, a house in ballard, and our house, and gathering together to have talks about being a light in Seattle has been so encouraging. These houses have also been hosting a large number of the post Christian Summer Camp travelers. We're beginning to band together in order to learn what it may look like to shine the light of G-d in the midst of a potential chaos of an economic depression. And not only that, but we've been given the opportunity to help the Murder House in ballard become a more sustainable living environment. We've begun the process of converting the house to run on solar panels, windmills, a greenhouse, chicken coop, rabbit hutch, and compost. It's a blessing to have the opportunity to learn about these things by practicing them on a house that's been threatened with demolishing for the last three years.

And the process of preparing for my trip to Uganda is still in the works as well. I've begun the process of asking people for financial support, and have been accepted for a scholarship from First Presbyterian Church, Colorado Springs, CO.

After a few weeks in Seattle, and can't help but be thankful for G-d's placing me here in a community like this. May the L-rd be praised for the way he takes care of all of us.

Marcus just got to Pennsylvania to spend more time with our friends the Matheneys again. Gary and Seth made it to Minneapolis, last I've heard. And Bailey is in Chicago, spending some time with Nicky.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support, but please don't stop praying for us and the various things we've found G-d calling us to.

P.S.: I apologize if I've been bad at getting back to you as of late. I will do my best to be better about that, but until that day I ask for your mercy and understanding.


Week one in Seattle Finished

Coming back to Seattle has been a rather different experience than I'd expected. I left Seattle the beginning of December, with every hour of my day planned out with staff meetings, Classwork, or get togethers with friends. And now back in Seattle, especially with a couple car loads of people from Christian Summer Camp her, my schedule has been anything but mapped out. And since many of the relationships between people here have had 9 months to change, I'm learning what role to play in this community again.

Had I thought about this more ahead of time I think it would have not been surprising to me that these first few weeks when many of the folks out here are preparing to make the transition from summer schedules to school schedules, would be rather lonely in a sense. I feel it would be overwhelming for me to be in a transition like this when a friend of mine showed up again after nine months of absence.

But the good reminder in the craziness of relocation, was to keep an outward focus in the sense of servitude. So this has made it good to spend time preparing for the trip to Uganda in October.

Which continues to excite me. I'm excited to be a part of a trip to another country in order to build familial ties (if you will) in the body of Christ, but with the attitude but with the mentality of each person bringing equal parts, not with the mentality of an American "Developed vs. Developing" Colonialist mentality.

When I was in Spokane, WA visiting with my friend Spencer, I had the opportunity to meet an exchange student from Nairobi, Kenya now at Whitworth, and he shared with me about some of the things he'd been telling me about the differences between his two homes. For instance, he shared with me his gratefulness for the simplicity of the faith his friends at home had. He told me how wonderful it was to just simply have your faith unriddled by theological debates about things like creation vs. evolution, and so forth. The connections this builds with me for with the desert fathers' conversations about simplicity, really excites me to be learning about.

Please continue to be praying for my preparations for this trip. Both for finances and preparations on my end of the trip.

Bailey and Marcus are on their way East on I-90 and Gary is still here in Seattle with me. Keep posted for more updates.


A New Chapter of things

About forty people showed up to our little camp out in Idaho called Christian Summer Camp, and gathered together in fellowship for skill share sessions, worship, prayer, and good ol' horsin' around. And somehow Gary, Bailey, Marcus, Mando, Seth, Bear and I all made it out to Seattle so only Adam has separated from the group, but the day is coming upon us when a lot of us will split up.

Marcus and Bailey plan to go East and visit friends in Pennsylvania, Gary plans to spend some time with his lady friend, and so on and so on... And I will plan to stay here in Seattle for a "hot minute."

I've decided to come stay here in Seattle to spend some time with good friends who have been a part of my growing process for a number of years now, and maybe a mentor or two. Also I've decided to be committed to the Seattle branch of Scum of the Earth. I've felt a desire to be committed to a small local church in order to be of service there for a while and I really felt G-d pressing me to that. So that's where I am.

However, and wonderful opportunity has arisen for me to go with the International Bible Society to Uganda for a pastors conference with my mother, a pastor from Paris, IL, and one of the pastors from Scum of the Earth Denver. I've been asked to come along and help lead worship for this conference.

Had it been a "mission trip" I probably would not have joined the 10 day trip, but apparently some of the pastors and leaders of different ministries in that part of Africa have asked for young white people to come and hold conversation with people specifically on the topic of reconciliation. While I don't yet know how prepared I am for this, I am excited to learn from pastors who's congregations have a faith with beauty that comes from simplicity.

Josh Peebles (Scum of the Earth) and I will spend a few days after the conference with a number of people there and then fly back together.

Please pray for the finances involved in this trip, seeing as plane-flights to Africa are not the cheapest things in the world. In fact the budget for our two-and-a-half week trip is supposed to be about $2500. And the truth is I don't know very many people that ever live on that kind of budget.

As far as this blog goes, I think being in a more stable place than Marcus' I will be posting on this blog more than he, but I hope you may be able to look forward to updates from him as well.

Thank you for your continuous prayers.


some recent pictures

a few recent pictures have been added if you want to see:


Sudden and perhaps unexpected

A long time ago in December of last year, when marcus and I decided to take a trip traveling, we set out with a number of things in mind. We both set out to learn about Christian Community and a desire to see the way that different parts of the body of Christ, and we both new that there would come a time in the fall when we would probably move on to something else.

Then in February we ended up traveling with some other folks and G-d gave us a school bus with a vision. And so from that time on we began learning about Christian Community specifically a nomadic Christian Community through practicing this lifestyle for close to six months.

Now it is almost September (my projected end date for traveling), and all of the members of the "Train de Vie" had been feeling for a while that is was time to move on to something else. So we began praying for insight on what to do. And while we didn't pray nearly as much as we could have nor as much as we would have desired to, G-d gave us an answer to our prayers.

During our stay at Cornerstone music festival we met a lot of different people from all over the place and participated in our own unprofessional version of networking. So while we were staying at the new Scum of the Earth building in Denver with the decision making date, in regards to the bus, drawing near, a friend of ours from Cornerstone showed up.

Brandon stayed with for a couple of weeks being a G-d-send of encouragement, not really knowing our position with the bus. Yet, without knowing our position with the bus, he began telling about some of his visions and desires for the future. And soon enough we began to see his passions for G-d and music. He told us that he had a dream of obtaining a bus to convert to veggie oil, so that he could help ensure the future of some of the music he is a part of. In fact, he told us that some of the other members in his band had come to the conclusion that if they weren't able to tour in a manner more caring for G-d's creation, they wouldn't tour.

So we began talking and praying about how his visiting us unexpectedly like this, our individual needs for the future, and our desire to continue to bless other with the things G-d had given us. And to put it simply, we felt like this was the door G-d had opened for us, and him. So we felt like this was a wonderful opportunity to practice our understanding of the Scriptures telling us to "freely give as we freely had received." And now our friend Brandon has a school bus with a wonderful mural on it, and many other things, that G-d has provided through the beautiful people who have helped us along the way.

So what this means:

For now the Train de Vie crew is now on it's way to Christian Summer Camp in Idaho, and Train de Vie has a new first mate named brandon who has taken it to Portland, for its first steps in a new life. I have plans to spend some time in Seattle after Christian Summer camp for which Gary will come along for (for we don't know how long), Marcus and Bailey will make their way to Michigan and then to some other placed back East with ending plans in Denver again, and Adam has made his arrangements to live in an apartment in Denver.

We want to thank you again for your continuous prayers. If you would like to continue praying for us that would be greatly appreciated, as well as your prayers for Brandon and inevitable future of adventures.

What will happen with this blog in the future will be posted soon.

Thanks for taking the time to read this


Mansion Kids*

I want to begin by apologizing for the delay in posting on this blog, because I realize that many of our friends and family read this blog to know how we are doing and how to be praying for us. And, we really don't have an excuse for not having posted anything. Our collective apologies.

To give you an update however,.....

The last few weeks have been filled with daily tasks and good conversations. We've torn out old furnaces from the basement (piece by piece), made planting beds, and given more tours than I would have ever expected.

Our average week has looked a little like this:
Sundays; help with the Scum of the Earth Bike Shop, and Church in the evening.
Mondays; normally includes some sort of dumpster-diving adventure to pick up produce, juice, breads, pastries, tortillas, "LARA BARS", and ....
Tuesdays; Vegan community dinner at Josh Peebles' house
Wednesdays; Help with the Scum of the Earth Bike Shop, Bread Baking Class at the Denver Civic Center, and an occasional movie at the Tin Man
Thursdays; a stop by the Derailer Bike Shop, a house dinner, and meeting (to check in with each other
Fridays; normally left unplanned
and Saturdays; normally includes some sort of gather of friends
However, we try to begin every day in prayer together, and normally there is at least one of us at the house working on one thing or the other.

Since our last posting our friend Brandon from Alaska has come to stay with us and therby given us much encouragement.
Our friend Mando has also moved from staying with our friends Johno, Sarah, Aaron, and Julia to staying with us most nights.
And most importantly Bailey has returned from her trip to Florida and is once again in the ranks of the formerly known as "bus kids".

Marcus has been on the hunt for a job and I've spent some time working for United Restaurant Supply Inc. in Colorado Springs and then come back to Denver and begun my short stint in Driving a Petty Cab for Colorado Rickshaw in Downtown Denver in the evenings. Which brings to mind the hot topic of the last few weeks; the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

With the Democratic National Convention approaching Denver is preparing to host the largest group of visitors it has ever seen. And supposedly driving a Petty Cab during this time will be quite the adventure.

This time could deffinitly use a lot of prayer concerning the interaction between protesters, convention goers, and the people of denver who will be trying to live through this potential storm of events.

After our time here, the majority of the people staying at Scum's new building are planning to go up to Idaho, to spend some time with our friends at a camp out called Christian Summer Camp.

Please be praying for the upcoming weeks, during which I think all of us will be experiencing a lot of changes and times of transition in our lives.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I will be sure to have something posted with more detail in the near future.

*Once upon a time our traveling band of hooligans was dubbed the bus kids, however, all of us hated this. But as of the other day, we've been dubbed the mansion kids, due to the size of the house we've been staying in.
Still don't know how to feel about this...


Mile High

Sunday evening we drove the Train de Vie up to denver after giving it a little clean up, and made it to dinner at Scum of the Earth. And after service we drove approximately 3 miles from the Church in the City building to the future physical home of Scum of the Earth.

As we stepped through the front fence to reach the little lock box with keys to the building in it, we had no idea what we would be stepping into. To describe it accurately, I would have to say that I can't think of a better fit for the church "for the left out and right brained." In the 70's it was a church that held services and "dance parties," or at least that's what the locals say. And in 1997 an artist bought the building to created a livable space that could also double as a studio space for numerous artists. Then about a month ago, Scum of the Earth (the 8-year-old adolescent church) moved into a building of which almost every square inch has been customized and decorated. Every room has it's individual characteristics and sometimes even it's own theme. And while you can check out the video for the new building on Scum's website, no photos or videos can do the building any sort of justice in terms of aesthetic beauty.

While this building could easily be one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever seen, the humor in our stay there comes from the fact that it still feels like the most bougie squat I've ever been in. In fact if it wasn't for the electricity or running water, the bare rooms, 5 people living out of backpacks in the upstairs-hidden-from-street-view room, and dog (now dubbed Beer instead of Bear) would make me double take at wether or not I was doing something "wrong."

To say the least, this building and its location in the arts district of Denver, fit its congregation more perfectly than I could have ever imagined. And my perception is echoed by the joyous response of the few neighbors we've met during out short stints in the yard. One man even shared his nostalgia for gatherings of people there, from his memories of the dances "back in '78." Once we told him the intended future of this gorgeous space, he was quick to say that he loved the idea of the building being put to use for large groups of people from the community again.

May the L-rd be praised for the blessing this is for our brothers and sisters in Christ at Scum.


moving into an abandoned church... kinda

we just had a wonderful time in colorado springs, spendin time with people who we havent for a while and getting to meet some of the folk who have been prayin for us and...
Scum of The Earth Church bought a new buildin'!
We, the bus crew were invited to move in and help fix er up with our friend josh peebles.
Well be livin in the church which is just south of downtown denver and bakin' muffins for the neighbors and tryin to fix some toilets and shmooze our way into getting the church rezoned so that it can legally meet as a church with 200+ folk in it. We're hopin to find work too, and our dear friend bailey shall be returnin to us in less than a week hopefully.
from there..... who knows?
we still plan on goin to christian summer camp, and I (Marcus) hope to make a trip out to michigan and then pennsylvania to meet a dear ol' friend of mine on her new farm house.
And depending on the church council's decision- we may be makin a co-op livin situation happen at the church more permenantly which would be good so that we could all be put for a minute and work on some projects for longer than just a few weeks. and the bus might get all fixed up or given away or used in denver to run a food redistributing program. who knows.....
and john most likely is still movin up to seattle after christian summer camp.
well, thats all i got for now.
thanks for the prayers and support. it has been a blessin to meet so many dear folk that have been prayin for us and it has been such an encouragement.
may my God bless you all and give everyone rest.


Back in Colorado

Two days ago at 12:30am the Train de Vie pulled up to mother Hyde's house safe and sound. On our way from Kansas City, we made it to Junction City, Kansas and within two hours raised $200 dollars in gas money, and spent the night. The next day somebody donated another couple hundred dollars and the gas was paid for the six of us to get all of the way to Colorado Springs. We spent the night at Mom's and then headed over to our old stomping grounds called the WeUsOur (a collective house on the west side of Colorado Springs).

Today Marcus, Tiffany, Jake, Gary, Adam, Bear, Moss (tiffany's dog), and I went to First Presbyterian Church and visited a lot of old friends, and had the wonderful opportunity to meet a number of the people who have been praying for us on this journey.

Needless to say we are more than grateful to have been blessed with such abundant provision, that we could never have asked for. Thank you for your prayers as we continue to experiment with living out, what Tony Campolo calls, the red letters of the NT.

Tonight we are going to see our friend Josh Peebles speak on St. Francis at Scum of the Earth in Denver. And after that we will spend the next few weeks here to save up some money for bus-veggification, and to finish paying of the cost of two new tires.
Tiffany and Jake will head back to California until Christian Summer Camp at the end of August.

May the L-rd be praised for the mercy he extends upon us every time we ask for it.


goin out west, goin home.?.

well we are still in kansas city tryin to figure out moneys, but we's is gonna start the driven tommorow mornin (hopefully, but probably sometime way later than we intended)... to cross the great flat state and try to get to the springs of the great square state.
hopefully well make some money along the way.
once we get to colorado we will be workin to pay off some debt and hopefully bailey will be able to join us once again.
from there- god only know the future. I think all of us are feeling a need for a change. what change? the change.
i'm just kidding. i dont know what that means. but i think things are going to change and the future will probably look alot differently for john, bailey, gary and I- and for the bus too. I dont know what that will be and i think were all lookin forward to be in a place where we can post up for a while and figure some of that out. And i'm lookin forward to bein parked infront of Scum of the Earth's new building.
As for now were all prayin for a way to get out there and for direction. And were spendin our last night in KC watchin japanese movies and eatin ice cream- the most spiritual things i can think of.

animal of the day: patagionian cavy

Word of the week: Jankum.

quotes of the year:"Don't plant your days they turn into weeds"
"eat meat"


On the way....

Cornerstone Music Festival ended July 6th and Corey, Nicki, and Bailey decided to take some trips of their own for a little while. And rumors are that our friends Ben and Corey may be buying a pre-converted bus of their own to join the ever growing numbers of people who feel called to practice more of the nomadic lifestyle of some of the forefathers of our faith. So please pray for them in this process.

After two days of staying at the JPUSA owned grounds, which host the festival, after the festival to help pick up trash Gary, Marcus, Adam and I were ready to embark on the venture towards Denver, Colorado. On the way we gave our friends Destiny, Liberty, and Neil a ride to the St. Louis Area so they could fix up their bikes and ride back to Kansas City, MO. (They had ridden their bikes to PAPA fest and then Cornerstone from Kansas City.) We also took three other friends with us. Our friends Tiffany, Taylor, and Jake were on their way back to California and decided it would be better to ride with us to Colorado and then find their way to Cali, than ride the greyhound back the whole way. And this has been one of the biggest blessings to us, to get to share our bus with these people in our separate and yet similar treks across the country.

The 7 of us made it to Columbia, MO before we ran dry on gas and money, and decided to spend the night at one of their 9 Wal-marts. Luckily we had been blessed by all of the festival attendees' leftovers, and so had the most overstuffed pantry I've ever seen.

And after a night of sleep and a few hours of "flying a sign" we were blessed with about one hundred dollars, so we made our way back to Kansas City. And despite the hardships Marcus, Gary and I faced back in January at the International House of Prayer we decided to go there again to see some friends. And to our surprise G-d must have done a lot of work in our hearts because this stay has been more enjoyable than we ever expected. Despite receiving the usual "dirty kids can't be up to any good" vibe the times spent with people there were more than worth being grateful for. And most of the time we spent parked across the street from the prayer room at IHOP with people who needed a break from the prayer room, and it was our turn to share what we've been learning about loving our brothers and sisters in Christ despite the differences in theology.

Now we're in a part of Kansas City called Westport and as soon as we get closer to the amount of money we will need to cross the desert known as the state of Kansas we will make our way to Denver and Colorado Springs again. And L-rd be praised for our good friends at Scum of the Earth who have said they will let us park our bus at their brand new building (Which is another reason to thank G-d).

Thank you for your prayers, because there is no way we would be able to be where we are with the provision we have without our Father, who is worthy to be praised.



So our little band of hooligans at Plow Creek Farms officially got a radiator from a little Truck Mechanics place in nowhere Illinois. Thanks be to G-d for provision that exceeds what we deserve every day.

As for me, I'm currently sitting in Colorado Springs determining what steps to take next in terms of belongings, relationships, school debts and so forth.

By this coming monday the Bus and I will both travel to Bushnell, IL for a music festival called Cornerstone, that's put on by JPUSA.
And from there the plans aren't really set in stone.

I apologize for the brevity of this note, but none-the-less thank you for the continual prayers.


my name is marcus and i live on a busted up bus thats goin nowhere

that's right... no radiator! while john gets to watch people get all kissed up at a weddin' in colorado the rest of us get to deal with a bus that is missing a radiator- and a new one costs eight hundred bones. needless to say we aint got no eight hundred bones. we got some money but not eight hundred of anything. And we can't move the bus untill we do, and neither can the folk we're tryin to give a ride to. right now we have gary, myself, bailey, nikki (gary and bailey's good friend), bear (the dog), adam (the kid we picked up on the way to pappa fest because he was ridin his bike from north carolina to papa fest and his back wheel got destroyed), corey (the kid we tried to pick up in indiana but we couldnt get a hold of but then met us in chicago with john after john got back from the funeral), jobi (our friend from Jesus people who is supposed to be at corner stone now because he is supposed to set up and then play in a few bands at the festival) and two hitchhikers from florida named chrissy and nathanael, and one dead fox. thats 11 things that are all trying to get to cornerstone but dont have much of any money and no 1984 international harvester radiators. But we at least get to pick strawberries on the plow creek grounds (the mennonite community that hosted papa festival). They are being overly generous and helpful and we are very blessed by them. They have opened their community for the last week for papa fest,( which was a good ole time of community gatherin, meetin and greetin, learnin and sharin and fellowshipin and worshippin and celebrating) and are more than gracious with our antics.

i'll be somewhere a workin for my lord.....

if yould like to pray for us, please pray that the 9 humans on this bus and the one alive animal and the one dead animal would find a way to get to the next place God wants us at and that we would be aided in getting there and in our journey. I feel the need for God's provision now more than i have alot in the past- and it's funny because he has provided for us so much and most of the time when provision is brought up i make sure not make it sound as if we need any more than what God has already granted us- but at this time we have no option other than to pray for his provision or go mennonite. both are really not that bad, i think.

Also please pray for the Matheny family (Howard, Sonshine, Shaenah, Howie, Tony, Woodrow Clives, Malaki, and Oso) as their Grandma is in Critical Condition in the hospital and the family is having to deal with that and help each other.



Loss and Prayer

This morning the bus left from Pittsburgh,PA to continue it's quest to PAPA fest, with two new ride-a-longs. As we entered the Ohio border we stoped to thank some people who had helped Jake, Gary, Marcus and I as we had passed through hitch-hiking on our way to Chicago. However, the resturaunt at which they ate apparently has run out of business since the last time we were here, and had shut down. So please pray for the Encouragement of our friends at the former Heidens Restaurant and Lounge. It has to be more than confusing to do things like help people out with free meals and paying for hotel stays, and then have your restaurant shut down.

Then our bus headed towards Cleveland on our way to I-80 to continue on our way towards Chicago. And since this is were our friend Patrick Hickey lived and let us stay on our last time through we gave his phone a call, and left him a message. And by the time we were outside of Cleveland(on the otherside), I got a phone call from Patrick's phone. His Uncle told me that last night Patrick was in an accident and didn't wake up afterwards. And then he asked me to make sure all of his friends found out.

After about an hour of trying to deal with this news and calling people, we pulled the bus over and prayed. And after prayer and thoughtful consideration, I decided that if Patrick's family would like, it would be good to go back to Cleveland and be with his family as a representative of some of the friends Patrick had at SPU.

I parted ways with the bus at the nearest rest-stop to hitch-hike back to Cleveland, and within two minutes of standing at the onramp facing back east I was picked up by a young man, who ended up being willing to give me a ride all of the way to the Hickey's front door.

I say all this to ask for your prayers, first and foremost for the family and friends of Patrick as they mourn, and secondly for continued traveling mercies as the bus continues to make it to Indiana to meet up with friends, and pick up riders for PAPA Fest. And thirdly to pray a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord for our friend Patrick, and for provision.

Thanks for your prayers


Just a thought and good reminder

If we believe that Christ is G-d.
And If we want to be close to G-d.
And Christ said, "When you clothed the naked, you clother me."
Shouldn't we want to be with the naked, all of the time?


Picture Update

I've added some pictures, to our photobucket account from the last couple of weeks. Feel free to check them out at : http://s258.photobucket.com/albums/hh264/brontosaurous/West%20Virginia%20Jun12%202008/

There might be some left over pictures from Pennsylvania aswell

Peace an Blessings

Heading to Pittsburgh

So on this day of June, in the year 2008, one bus named Train De Vie, four "bus kids," and a dog head out to head towards Pittsburgh, PA. The bus is now equipped with propane stove, electricity, composting toilet, hardwood floors, four beds, four couches, and room for an eventual addition of a refrigerator. In the next few hours the bus will have gravity fed water, and then shortly put it tires on the pavement again.
Our protagonists have spent the last number of weeks building a bus, and building the framework of a community of people, who can use this bus as an extension of their attempts to love their neighbors as themselves. Practicing the principle of loving not with words, but rather with actions.
This bus will leave with gratefully full bellies, and nothing but thanks for the blessings G-d has provided them in the poor state of West Virginia. After a quick stop in Pittsburgh, to say hello to some friends made along the journey thus far, the three boys and one girl, will make the rest of their journey to northeastern Illinois, to celebrate in a gathering of christian communities at PAPA fest.
Right now our community gives thanks to G-d for the mercies he has extended to us thus far, and for the grace that his sacrifice continues to allot us to this very hour. And as they make the descension from Rock Cave, WV the four people riding on the bus as well as nummerous other will be praying for traveling mercies, and the eyes to see, and ears to hear G-d's provision for the journey embarked upon.
After PAPA fest it looks as if some changes may be made to the constituents of this province of De Vie. And so your prayers would be much appreciated, seeing as the member taking a break from this mobile home will be taking some time to seek direction and clarity in their personal relationship with the Father. Since, as a group we have decided that this personal relationship and processing should take a priority, this leave of absence is well understood and well intended.

Thank you for your continuous prayers and encouragements. There's a chance there will not be any further posts on this blog for the next few weeks, but there's more to come nonetheless.


i aint got no time no mo

we is gettin down to the lastest work we can git dun befo' we gone and ran outta time befo papa fest. 'bouts a week i recon and then we got bouts aweek or so before we dun drivin the dang ol bus to the actual festivale. hopin ta pick up som foodstamps on the way so we can really get to feedin.
speakin a which we finally got to the point of bein serious about tryin to come up with some consensus in the group about what we are wantin to do with the bus and what we can commit ourselves to. Its been dumbfoundingly hard for me personally to sit through these sessions as we try to hack things out. i think its good and neccessary for us but it most certainly aint easy. Things that seem simple to me arent always agreed upon and it sometimes seems to me as pretty rediculous and not very constructive to be at the place we are at now. To me it seems like what i am called to is to live out my convictions to serve God and others and love my neighbors as my self in as many aspects of my life as i can, through christian community livin which is based around consensus and accountability. I think that this idea is pretty idealistic to think of right now, but really it breaks my heart when i can't seem to see things as such. i think that we are definitely workin towards some of that, but as of right now we cant come to answer what we are wantin to do as a group, other than to love God and learn more about him. I think thats a pretty good spot to start and i think that its worth bein grateful for to have that much to agree on but it sure is hard to deal with things not workin out as ild like. Not to mention we have troubles sometimes just conversatin' and workin together (which is mighty crucial at this point). But all will work out if we let it- meaning if we let God help us. I think that just as much as i can see a need for others to come to agree on some of the stuff i think is important, i also know that i must realize that not only is everyone at different spots and might not be able to do, or agree with, certain things at this point, i also need to realize my own crap in this; i can't expect other people to be at the place i'm at and i certainly hope that they wouldnt be at the exact same place im at because im pretty certain my discernment and my understanding and wisdom and the way i live those things out are often off by a long shot. The fact that its hard for me to sit through this shows how far off i am.
i know that these things are necessary to deal with as far as growth is concerned- but they suck to deal with.
please pray for peace and understanding bigger than our individual hearts, and for the ability to make these last efforts pull through, so we can get to utilizin our bus (which is excitin as all hell).
god bless



Despite the fact that we are currently in the poorest state in the nation, the nearest town is half an hour away, and the largest library in the area has the Left Behind Series in the Non-Fiction section of the Library, you would be hard pressed to find anyone in our current abode who doesn't recognize G-d's moving and changing of hearts in our midst.

To say the least we have been more than blessed with our friends Karen and Ron's hospitality and generosity, as well as patience.

In the last two weeks our bus has finally received it's long awaited hardwood flooring, and about 75 percent of the interior furniture in a ready to use state. And within the next week or so, we will have a mounted water tank for our sink, potentially a lofted camper top and complete electrical system(that won't drain the engine batteries!). And maybe even a makeshift hood ornament.
But as far as the four of us go, it has been humbling to go through some of the processing and developing that have been necessary for us as of now. And in recognizing all of our short commings, failings, and weaknesses along with our walls of self defence and insecurity, I think I can say that everyday here has given us the opportunity to get to know ourselves and each other better than we ever have before. And it feels like all of the reading on community that I've done is showing itself as more and more insightful (P.S.: I would suggest reading Community and Growth by Jean Vanier, founder of LeArche communities, where Henri Nowen has been known to spend a lot of time).

And while we don't know yet how we want to define ourselves as a group yet, I think we'll get there sooner or later. Maybe someday we will consider ourselves a "Christian Community" or maybe we will remain as friend's traveling together attempting to love the L-rd and our neighbors.

And until just before PAPA fest in Illinois I think we will continue to stay here working things out and learning more about orthodoxy and the forefathers of our faith from largely monastic traditions.

Speaking of which, thought for the day: Is or isn't the body of Christ immortal? Ha! let the implications of that one stew for a minute.

Thanks again for the prayers, because they are felt in all of our hard conversations for sure.


Cell Phone and West Virginia

In case you've been trying to contact Marcus or myself, I thought I'd let you know that we are currently spending some time at our friends house in West Virginia and there is absolutely no cell phone service for the next 30 miles or so.

Sorry if we've missed you.


Comment Feature Enabled

A lot of people have been asking for us to enable the comment feature on this blog, so here you go. Hope this works out.


cadence Appalachia!

Up in the Appalachian mountains, about 30 miles from the closest town, we find our boys sittin around campfires and tellin' stories, sleepin in their bus in west virginia, woodworkin, bow huntin' soda bottles and frog catchin, rollin logs and talkin about free masonry, drawin pentagrams on dollars and talkin about lord of the rings and metallic paint, the real idea act too, eatin beans and washin some underwears, scratchin and talking about egos and frustrations and playin banjo and talking about frustratin banjos. chasin dogs, and fittin to get rid of siding and replacin it with windows, buyin a pair of pants for 3 dollars, brand spankin new! and drinking coffee. hanging out with the johnnos and the sarahs- not the rainbows, sadly- but also the parents of a particular married couple and some friends from michigan/ south carolinas. gonna build a bus up right quick (hopefully) have us some manna on wheels or somethin. hopefully take some youngins to papa fest with us and then to the ol' cornerstone and then maybe we'lls feel up to feedin some marchers for voices for creative nonviolence. then who knows? maybe some more banjo pickin or maybe we'll decide to go be christians in the woods with some kids who like to camp and sew their pants up with the dental floss and emmulate the flintstones and talk about silly things like "community" "hospitality" "consensus"..... blah blah blah. as for now we's is just gonna wait for the bailey to come up from alabama to join us in our craftiness. and were tryin to figure out who we're going to take on our bus with us for a little while or a long while since theres some peoples whos interested in doin that and we gotta see what G-d has in store for us.please pray for us and for the lord to help us make decisions and work fast!


Gardens and moves

So once upon a time two young boys set out on an adventure to learn about Christ centered communities by visitng them and serving them, and 4 and a half months later, they are participating in the formation of one of these communities, rather than just visiting another.

And it would be a lie to say that in this process a good sense of humor hasn't been completely necessary. In fact Marcus and I grew up in a Presbyterian church and soon found our home in The Church rather than a church, but we didn't realize the amount of streching and learning it would take to build relationships with fellow christians who have very different theologies from our own. In fact I think both of us would say that a year ago, neither one of us would have ever been able to take seriously our brothers and sisters who pass out tracts, speak in toungues without an interpreter, or legitimately believe that they get "drunk in the spirit" and occasionally fall over at the sheer presence of our Father in Heaven. But none the less we went to the store the other day with one of our friends who felt the need to blow the Shofar at 2 am in the middle of the grocery store and place tracks in the change slots from the automated check out machines.
And it would be hard not to say that I feel this has deffinitly been a growing process for me.

Right now we're in Mountville, PA helping our friends Sean and Anna plant a garden to feed their family and friends, and in the next few days we will be leaving this part of Pennsylvania to head to our friends Johno and Sara's place in West Virginia to finish working on the school bus to finish it for the rest of the summer. And if you ever want to learn alot about what it means to grow and be pruned I would say start gardening.

That's all for now.


Back in Pennsylvania

Once upon a time I heard a song that went like this...

Thank You L-rd for gettin' us here
Thank You L-rd for gettin' us here
Thank You L-rd for gettin' us here
Right where we are.
And I think that has been a song that has helped Marcus and I keep our hearts and minds in the right place as we made our trip back to Elizabethtown, PA. And it's deffinitly been a blessing.

As of right now Marcus and I made it back to Harrisburg, PA thursday morning around 2 am, having spent a few days in Pittsburg and then taking the Greyhound from there. We've been spending the last few days visiting some of the churches and ministries we had started relationships with a month or so ago, and resting. And the L-rd has provided for us in the fullest ways, and so we give him thanks for the beautiful people, the wonderful conversations, and the delicious and sometimes not-so-delicious meals along the way.

Speaking of prayer....
Right now we're in a place where G-d has given us the opportunity to do a lot of reflecting and processing to continue to form the community of people surrounding this bus. So all of the people surrounding this so called ministry, I'm sure, are thankful for your prayers and your support as our friends and family.
And so we still need lots of prayer for G-d's hands of grace and mercy that we need so badly to understand in order to understand what it means to forgive one another and really begin to form a community that accepts both the weaknesses as well as strengths of all those included. And lots of times that means ourselves as well. For I think we are all beginning to understand that our forgiveness only is as true as the understanding we have of G-d's forgiveness for us.
May we continue to learn to trust in G-d's timing and G-d's provision.
And may we continue to thank G-d for putting us where he has.

Thanks for your prayers and encouragements that we receive all of the time.


A new direction

So it's been a while since anything has been posted to really enlighten the reader about our whereabouts and happenings, but there's no need to fret because, hopefully this post will satisfy that hanckerin'.... or maybe not.

So in the beginning of april the family of children living and working around the bus in pennsylvania were at somewhat of a tough spot in trying to figure out what the next step was going to be in our travels. Work was slowly being accomplished in getting the Train de Vie to a point of road worthyness, and it was time for all of us to take a break. The family we were staying with, the Matheney's, were planning to head down to florida to help howie and amber plan their wedding and our good friend Jake was felling called to head back to seattle. And since we weren't really in a position to stay in the warehouse and with the bus without the matheney's this was perfect timming to take some time to travel without the bus.

But as we were packing up the buses and readying ourselves for departure in our seperate ways, G-d threw us a curve ball. One evening Oella (87 year old grandma Matheney) stepped of the Matheney's bus and a few steps later fell and broke her hip. And after a number of hours in the emergency room the news was declared that she needed to not be mobile for some good time. And this became "our" bus's opportunity to give the family some room.

So Marcus, Gary, Jake, Challa, Bear, and I set out to take Jake back to seattle, via thumbs and freight, and Bailey bought a greyhound ticket back to florida to visit her family. And so with the Matheney's still in Elizabethtown, PA we headed out.

And about a week later Marcus, Gary, Jake, the two dogs, and I had made it over the Appalachian Mountains, through Pittsburg and to Cleveland Ohio. We decided to use our money to buy a MegaBus ticket to Chicago to meet my mom on her business trip and see what could be done from there. And while Bailey had made it to Florida, the boys, dogs, and I were sitting comfortable at my grandparents house in Illinois praying about what to do.

And our wonderfully generous mother bought Jake a plane ticket back to Seattle, to provide for the urgency that had arrisen in the form of a sick loved one who waited in Seattle. So, a few days later, Gary, Marcus, Bear and I found ourselves at Jesus People USA and Jake and Challa were on their way to Seattle.

After arriving at this beautiful Christian Community of over 400 hundered people serving eachother and the surrounding neighborhoods, we decided to stay put for a "minute" and ask for G-d's descernment in what to do next. Should we continue our trek west to Seattle and then head back to PA, should we take care of some of the other relationships G-d has blessed us with across the country, or should we continue to marinate in this wonderful part of the Body of Christ?

A few days later G-d had given Gary his answer, by providing a plane ticket back to Florida, and Marcus, Bear, and I realized that it wasn't in G-d's plans for us to head back to Seattle just yet.

Right now Marcus, Bear and I are in Milwaukee, WI visiting some good friends of mine, and tomorrow we will head back to Pennsylvania, because it's time we began working on our bus again. And inthe mean time Marilynn (or Sonshine) and Shaena Matheney drove down to Florida and will bring Gary, Bailey, and maybe another future member of our traveling community back to the bus in the next couple of days.

So, the handful of people picked to work on this bus project will be back together soon working on the bus, but not without having had some good time apart growing individually through our time apart.

And that's how things stand right now as far as logistically, but idealistically having spent a good amount of time a part in different communities we will all be bringing back new insights and ideas to add to the mix of idealism and reality that is known as the Train de Vie.

I will post again soon on some of these new found thoughts, ideas, and relationships that this time has provided for us. And as for now, thank you Jesus People USA for blessing us with the hospitality to accomodate for us in these last couple of weeks.



jake john gary and i are in illinoise at john and my grandma and grandpas house while bailey is in pennsylvania with the matheneys. we decided to split ways in order to take jake home to seattle and then meetback up at the bus once we spend a little time running around and clearing our heads a little. The matheneys are lookin for a house currently and spending time with their grandma as she recovers from breaking her hip. if you are praying for us i think we all need a little clarity of plans and such things. and The matheneys grandma, owella, could use some prayer for healing.


Day 95 of this trip; and 16 days since our last post....

In the last two weeks the "bus family" has seen alot of changes.
I traveled to New York City to visit with some friends, while Marcus, Bailey, and Gary drove the bus to just outside of Elizabethtown, PA and Howie and Amber stayed in Florida to plan the wdding they are set to have in late April.

The bus made it to pennsylvania suffering only two headlight fuses, a radiator leak and a "S*** -Ton" of Gas. I kidnapped a dashing young lad named Jacob Grove from his girlfriend in New York City and Howie and Amber found out they're pregnant.

So all this to say that the "bus family" has not only seen but also experienced alot of changes in the last two weeks, although, I think we can all atest that the changes experienced have been for the better. Having a few days apart has been good and rejoining afterwards has been even better.

I've been thinking alot about the fact that G-d had called me to spend a period of time visiting various denominations and ministries of the Body of Christ, and I've spent a good amount of time trying to understand how this whole bus thing fit into the picture.

Now that we're in Elizabethtown, PA we're staying with Howies parents, sister, and grandma in a wharehouse, with ample room to store our bus, their bus, and work on them as well. And in the last few days we've all had the opportunity to be a part of the Matheney's understanding of their call to Christ's Ministry. And so, some of us have had the opportunity to share in fellowship with the "liberated Amish," various house churches, and some of the most beautiful worship sessions of this trip. In bringing together backgrounds of multiple first-nation tribes, central american flavor, messianic jewish roots, and a pretty charasmatic theology I'd say the Matheney's praise G-d like very few others do.

And all of this to say, that maybe this "bus thing" has been G-d's way of letting me experience and serve with this ministry.

In the next week the Matheney's in their dubbed "War Wagon" will head down to Florida again to help in flushing out the plans for Howie and Amber's wedding, and the Train de Vie will stay put until the wedding is over.

So if you would like to pray for this very young and learning ministry called the Train de Vie, I think we could all use constant guidance in learning to be good stewards of the bountiful blessings that G-d pours down on us everyday. And more specifically we will have to make some hard decisions concerning the pregnancy and our commitment to one another, as well as what this next month or so will look like.

Thanks for your support.


changes slowly come

in the time that our friend bump has let us stay at his house it has dawned on me multiple times how different each person can be. Within our group we have people who sometimes seem administrative, closed off, short, removed and sometimes even angry. But this seems to be a blessing sometimes, because we have people like bump to help us process these things. towards the beginning of our stay he had talked to us about what kind of prayer we needed and we had said something along the lines of looking past the dumb crap to see a bigger picture and not getting caught up on frustrations. he taught us his way of making sense of these things. He told us to make a statement of what frustrates us; i hate it when/it makes me angry when/ it frustrates or confuses me when ______ does _____ or is _______. and then he told us to change what was in the first empty space to the word "I". This sounds lame and not applicable in all situations but as i was riding one the bikes we got donated to us through the parking lot at the school near by, trying to be peaceful about the situation that was frustrating me at the time i tried it and when i came back to join the people hanging around the bus i felt much better and felt as if i had a clearer understanding of what would make the situation better-me helping it and not being the agitator or devils advicator. Whats hard about this is not only the fact that you have to way in the call to not commit the sin of ommision in many instances but also that the process will never be speedy oreasy - that is the process of dying to your self. When we went to church this last week i was suprised at how good the sermon was. It was short, had very little content, but the content there is worth repeating a million times: worship is dying to yourself, for Christs sake.
I recently thought about getting love your enemies written on me. That seems idealistic but it is very much a neccesary thing to remind yourself to do on a constant basis. The problem is that it is easy to talk about in this circumstance but it is even harder to handle the idea of loving your neighbor and putting that into action.
the hardest part is when you already love someone, like your siblings in Christ, or at least you think you do and try to but then catch yourself acting out of anger towards them and not walking in love.
after a week of difficulty, despite our generous host who i think we could have made an effort to treat better, and still grasping on to the remnents of our sicknesses, we felt very at peace about taking the bus to pennsylvania and we are leaving tommorow morning to work on the bus with howie's parents up in elizabeth town. However only 3 of us are going to leave in the bus tommorow;myself, bailey and gary. And gary is jumping off before we get there to go to new jersey for a couple of days and bailey will have to try to drive a bus the rest of the way (neither of them have ever driven a school bus before, and i certainly will not drive any time soon, so please pray for our safety)
then on tuesday john will fly to new york to meet his good friend jake and potentially bring him back to pennsylvania to live on the bus with us for a while, and howie and amber are staying in florida to hopefully plan their wedding and spend some much needed time together.
so the 6 of us will be in 4 different places for a minute but hopefully by april there will be 7 of us with 2 dogs and a hopefully surviving mouse in the same place. But were at peace about it and the lord has blessed us with 4 wonderful people to stay with in elizabeth town so i think this will turn out wonderfully and hopefully we can all spend more time in quiet and not feel as if there are 5 other people stepping on our toes and ciggerettes.


Miteinander Leben Pt. 1

The Train De Vie (Train of Life), our current project of a school-bus "ministry", currently sits in Largo, Florida at a man named Bump's House. And we've spent the last week or so getting our hands pretty dirty in bus work.

As of now we have a bunk bed, two end cabinets, a large work table, and two couches, all complete with large storage compartments/areas finished. And we've begun the process of building our pantry/sink area, bathroom, stove/refrigerator area, and the rest of our main cabin sleeping facilities.

But aside from the steady progress of building up 2x4's and ply-wood for practical use, I think all six of us can say that this week has been a long week of refining us as individuals as well. This week has been a week of hard work physically as well as just about anything else.

However, we are continually thankful for what this is continuing to do for all of us.

This week we had our first real breakdown (if I dare call it that), and yet after being reminded by our good friend Dietrich Bonhoffer, we have recognized that this isn't always a bad thing at all. In fact it was comforting to realize that when things don't go the way you think they should, it can be because your ways aren't always G-d's ways.

And not only that, but I've realized that when I begin my day by recognizing that not every person with a set of beliefs gets the blessing of living with other people with similar beliefs (let alone 5 of them), I begin to look at the rest of the people on this bus as parts of the same body, rather than just seperate individuals.
And while there are very different people on this bus it really changes all of our perspectives when we remember that we supposedly believe that we will be together for eternity.
In fact I'm pretty sure this will change the way I think about loving my neighbor if I can do better to remember this more.

For now those are my thoughts and updates, but I will try and post again tomorrow.

Thanks again for your prayers and support, we are tremendously grateful.


More photos! Again!

look pictures of bill and some of the progress of the bus and nad clothing:
god bless.


Since our last post.

A couple of things first:
1.I want to apologize for photobucket, while it can hold more photos it's not as easy to arrange your pictures and so things might seem a bit hectic.

2.I want to apologize for the length of that last post.

and moving right along....

Since our last post Gary, Bailey, Howie, Amber, Marcus, and myself have spent the last week working on this International Harvester that G-d has so graciously gifted to us. We've been blessed and blessed by so many people and so many opportunities. Our friend Bill who picked us up hitch-hiking hasn't stopped being a blessing to us by any means, and his house mates Russ and Maureen have carried on in this tradition. The Lord has continued to provide for us in ways we could have never expected including minor conversations at The Waffle House.
Not to mention what we've begun to learn about being in a traveling community with each other.

We've completely ripped out the entire insides of the bus that you may have seen and begun our work in placing in a kitchen, a bathroom, a couple of bunk beds, rope ladders for the emergency exits in the roof, some couches, and lots of nooks and crannies for storage.

The bus officially runs like a beaut! Air-brakes, lights and all!

And the entire outside has begun it's transformation into a canvas that I'm sure will have dozens and dozens of coats by the end of it's life. (seeing that we've decided to let any one who pleases paint our bus whenever they want.

And while our days have been spent working on the bus, our evening have been filled with good fellowship and lots of church visits.
In fact I've officially been to a service where multiple people have been "slain in the spirit" and passed out after being touched by the ministers. And I still don't know what to think.

The other night after one of these services at the House of Prayer here in Edgewater,FL we had the opportunity to fellowship with the two pastors. Their loving kindness just continues to make me ask more questions.

Even they admitted that it probably was unlikely for the pastors in this branch of the faith to purposefully push over their congregation members for show. Yet if people really are gather in G-d's name how does this stuff happen? But then again how does most of the corruption happen in churches these days if people really are gather in G-d's name? Have we really missed it by that much?

But I don't know about all that. In fact that night paster Vicki prophesied over me that I had a lot of questions and the G-d was telling me not to worry about them.

Don't really know what to make of that either.

I'm sure more thoughts will come with more time of reflection. But as for now, we're trying to leave Daytona Beach Area tomorrow with our bus to head back to Clearwater to get some things welded and fixed for us and then with many more lessons learned about denying oneself and picking up the cross, this bus will get going north.

More to come soon


We got the bus yo.

I responded to an email recently and i feel like it expresses alot of what is going on in my head, so here it is in full:
Dear Dorothy,
It is so encouraging to hear from you. Our Father and Mother always tell us that people ask about us, and i always think, "why don't they ask us?", so it is really good to hear you, and not just to hear of you. We have not been to any Hutterite communities yet but that is a possibility. As you might know from reading our blog, we are getting a bus. Actually we just got all the money together and got the title today, and are now just waiting until it's livable in order to travel in it. Most of the work we need done on it will be free to us because of connections but there is alot of work to be done, and still alot of money to be raised. We just pray that we can use it enough to make it worth the work. We are actually teaming up with a ministry that already exists, through this whole bus thing. The name of the ministry is David's key ministries ( www.davidskeyministries.com ) and they are a ministry which, up untill this point was just a family that traveled on a bus serving the poor and the forgotten. This includes the amish, native americans, mayans and mennonites. The family includes a son, Howie, who is actually on board with us on our bus, and so he actually has alot of experience with these cultures. We hope to carry out the tradition of helping out the poor and the forgotten. We don't know what that will look like exactly but we hold the bus with an open hand relying on God to direct us and it. Up to this point we have a vague idea of what that means; having a full kitchen set in the bus, and buying food in bulk in order to have enough food to feed anyone who comes to the bus, or whoever we go to, setting up art supplies to minister to people through art, by encouraging people to express themselves honestly and creatively, by serving people by means of transportation, both by having a mobile bike clinic and by offering rides to people on our bus, by praying for and with people, and encouraging people to focus the simplicity of God's Love, and to love their neighbors and enemies as themselves. We hope to minister to American Indians, as well as many other forgotten people- whoever God places in our path, or calls us to go to. This hopefully includes many subcultures that the church ignores or is unwelcoming to. Recently we went to the Rainbow gathering and served there. When i first heard of the rainbow gathering i thought it was the most obnoxious thing ever created, but after being there i have realized that these people, naked or not, are broken in the same ways i am, and have much more crap in their lives to deal with than i do, and need Christians to support them and not always preach to them. I feel like a lot of cultures, like the rainbow family, are mistreated by church. John and I, as well as the other people we are traveling with have had to deal with this sort of treatment by the church recently. Yesterday we went to a big church in Daytona, mainly to help serve food to the homeless, but potentially also to go to the service, and by the end of it 3 of the 5 of us were asked to leave and labeled as security threats by the deacons of the church. Within that time i also witnessed a homeless man almost get the cops called on him for staying in a stall in the bathroom too long, because he was sick and puking. Not a single "deacon" (i think they should be called "security guards") offered him water or bread (which a person needs when he's puking) or even asked if he was o.k.. I also learned that the Homeless had suggested seating in the service, and i watched a minister give the homeless a lecture before they ate about their bad hegiene and about their mannor of leaving the service when it was finished. One Deacon said to some us "You see all those people (pointing at a group of homeless people)? They'll take whatever they can get. Their out to get whatever they can" When i tried to talk to minister about these things she hushed me up by saying she had to talk to another minister and that she didn't have time to talk to me. We feel as if the bible is very clear about treating the poor as you would treat Jesus, and that it is unacceptable to call the cops on Jesus or lecture him before feeding him, or force him to sit through a service before feeding him, or label him as a security threat, or deny him aid when he is sick. So we are trying to live out these ideals the bible gives us in the beattitudes, through this bus opportunity. So that is exciting to all of us, even though it will be a process and alot of work. But we can't turn down the opportunity because we feel like it is what God wants us to do. After all we started daydreaming about this one week ago yesterday with enough in our pockets to buy two mice for 1.39 each and yesterday we got the confermation that the bus is going to be ours. And today we picked it up.
The people we stayed with, and the people who have helped us with this bus effort have shown us what it means to be servants and fully trusting in God. One person gave us 500 dollars towards the bus, as well as speak life into our lives and aid us in countless ways the same day he lost his job. I can only imagine what it is like to have that kind of faith and live out what 1 John 3:18-19 says about loving each other. Compared to these people we have faith almost as big as a mustard seed.
It is encouraging to see these people live out their faith and wake up everday because God tells them to wake up, and work hard for the kingdom that seems so far away. And it is such a blessing to see and meet people of like-mindedness. We met one minister who , after it had become illegal to feed food to homeless people in St. Pete Florida in a public setting, said that he will continue to eat with his homeless friends and that if he got arrested he would file a religious freedom lawsuit against the city of St. Pete because his bible tells him to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. That is what excites me- people serving God and his children despite circumstances. We also have met with a minister who has told us about alot of opportunities to serve through non-traditional means and opened up possibilities such as volunteering at the P.A.P.A. festival (People Against Poverty and Apathy), which is linked with the Christian Anarchist Convention, and other more radical events and things.
Hopefully we can fit in as much of that, and serving different communities, and traveling to different places as possible.
The Most important thing i've learned about community is that it must be Christ and mutually respectful as possible. But even that doesn't work unless you learn to have grace and forgiveness with each other. And I've learned that you have to be really intentional about living or interacting with others, otherwise it's fruitless. That's all stuff i had to deal with and learn while living in the community i lived in in Colorado Springs. All of those things I fail at and suffer because of it. But that's the grace part.
Its really important to both John and I to hear from people back home and it's so encouraging. Thank you again for writing.
Enjoy the cold and God Bless


I have a confession to make...

In the last few days Marcus, Gary, Bailey, Bill (the good brother we're staying with) and I have filled our time trying to follow G-d's leading in what to do while we wait for G-d's timing.
We've approached numerous ministries and multitudes of friends asking for prayer and potentially financial support in the process of obtaining a bus to do G-d's work feeding people, sharing art, and loving people in various subcultures around the U.S. (whether that be "traveling kids" "home-bums" 1st nations people...... and the list goes on), as well as everyone else.
We've raised over half of the funds for this bus, and praying with people left and right. And in the mean time we've spent our time trying to meet the needs and opportunities that G-d puts in our paths.

But the truth is that running around and approaching ministries , as a brother in Christ, is exhausting. Especially when most ministries push you out the door. And you watch some ministries push other people out the door. And while we understand that it is better to ask why the light isn't shining as bright as it could rather than complaining about the darkness, it is hard not to become jaded against our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

The good news is we are officially a part of a ministry called David's Key Ministries now, and can receive donations towards the bus online.(www.davidskeyministries.com)

And the better news is we need lots of continual prayer to stay steadfast in the spirit of the beatitudes. And even more prayer when we approach those marred by the church and appologize to them for the terrible job we do as Christians representing Christ himself.

Thanks for the prayers