Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A mother's words about her son...

I received this today in an email, a short description of a single mother's view of her son. I thought it was deep, and priceless. If we only all had mothers like this...

Anthony Heinz
12 yrs old.
Amazing artist,
Aspiring musician (bass Drums Elec Guitar)
Lover of all kinds of weapons.

Mostly loves his mom. ;)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The next generation.

We had a beautiful evening up at the cabin tonight. A man we met along the way, who actually sold us furniture at Sofa Mart came up with his son. He taught some cooking skills, grilling things, and brought his 16 year old son, James.

Throughout this process, of inviting young men into their masculine hearts, taking them out, serving, and loving on them, the question always is... what will they do with this? Where will they take it? The fear is... it will remain within, not unleashed, or given away again.

After our meal, we gathered around the fire, a tradition we have with our guests. A beautiful evening, little wind, cool Colorado temperatures, and Cory and I brought the question to the 4 young men in the program, what words would you offer James, and in your experience of high school, and the quest to become a man.

We sat for a good two hours as the 4 young men shared their hearts, their stories, and experiences while they have been here. They were honest, self-aware, courageous, and offering their stories, and wisdom to this young man. He seemed a bit nervous, all this attention on him. But that didn't matter. Almost made it all the more important.

I think tonight, it became real. What is happening here. What the young men are growing and becoming. The fire, and the meals we have had at the cabin have been about older men offering their wisdom, and experience. And tonight, those same young men who have sat over that fire, learning, listening, and receiving, gave out of their hearts, and from their discoveries. As if they were the men. It almost sounded like a bunch of old men sharing their experiences. And in some ways, these 4 young men have so much to share, and speak from. Their hearts, their lives, and the promises of God, and what he is doing in their lives.

Another generation was reached tonight. And these 4 young men gave away what they have been given. I just sat there, listening, and in amazement. I am not a father, but it was one of those moments, where you just felt so proud to be there, listening, and knowing that no matter what fears, doubts, and questions that have come each day, from our fundraising, to our own personal journeys of still needing much of this ourselves, God is at work, and it continues to be passed down.

The stories of the men... the stories of these young men... now sharing the stories to even younger men.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Heart Art.

We had a special guest, Joni Zepp come over to the cabin last night. She is a local christian therapist in town, and attends International Anglican Church with Cory and I, along with the young men. She is a dear friend, and prayer warrior and prophet for us at Training Ground. Quite a gift.
She came to do art therapy. Or really to take young men into the heart of God, through art. She explained that when we use words, that often it is describing experiences, and feelings, and that symbols, images, and pictures actually come very close to our heart, and our God. Sometimes more than words. Made me think about Revelation, and the imagery of the prophets, and scripture, and how often the words, are actually descriptors of symbolism and pictures.

Initially the vision comes... the prophets record and describe it, in their words, things our translated by language, then over the ages, re-translated into Greek, English, and then we read them.

Made me think about how much an artist God is. Of course, in nature, but even in giving his followers visions. Yes, he speaks in words, but visions too. So, Joni's point is that often the closest place to find out what is going on inside, and even at that level with what God is doing, is to see symbols... and so we painted.
The assignment was to listen with our spirit. Not our soul. The spirit God has set within us, and the two things we painted went with, "What is God speaking to you right now about your life, and the second.... what does your heart want the most with God."

It was good. I tend to use words to describe things. But this went beyond that, and to the heart. Of God, and my own.

It was a powerful night. All of us going around sharing what God had us draw, what our hearts wanted the most. It was amazing what depth was in each picture, and how each somehow described our journey thus far. Each picture unique. Each story unique. And even how God spoke to us.

It also reminded me that we are all artists, and have expression in us. There are things locked away deep with us, and within the heart of God, that seem to be hard to access at times. It felt right to have a woman at the house.

As one of the young men shared, "It was soothing just to hear her voice." We have Sister Therese coming tonight, and there is something about a woman, her tenderness, her strength, grace, not sure all how to describe it, that takes us into the heart of God that a man cannot. It seems fitting that Joni brought us to that place with God, and all the more reason why as much as masculinity bestows masculinity, it sure is right to have a woman help us in that journey.