Summer Summer Summer Summertiiiiiime

10526076_10152245508028870_5981144011306197993_nEach summer for the past 6, Emily and Dave Decker (and often their family with them) have spent their time on the road serving the touring community – artists, speakers, bands, crew personnel – at music festivals around the country.
This summer is no different in its larger scope of us seeking to serve, but as each summer has been, it is different from the last in how that service looks.  For the first time, Dave is the officiating pastor at 2 weddings this summer for artists that we serve – a great milestone and a sense of really being connected to this community as their pastor.  The Deckers are serving at just 3 festivals (Lifest, Sonshine, LifeLight) this summer because of cancellations of festivals or conflicts with wedding schedules, but will be on the road about the same amount of time- with July being especially busy.   One new experience this summer – Dave will be traveling with Kenna (the oldest of the kids) to California for the NAB Overflow – a youth mission trip/conference that Kenna will attend and Dave will be working at, serving artists through LightsOut and working as stage manager for the conference.
One significant challenge to community is continuity.  Working with folks you see infrequently is a challenge, and makes community almost an impossibility when it comes to seeking a real sense of connectedness personally or communally.   One of the things we continue to seek is to be present and usable and available to artists, and to be a consistent presence in their lives SO THAT some sense of home, of community, is present each time we connect with them.  With that sense of community, we believe strongly that a greater sense of the body of Christ is present, and thus a greater sense of the right and holy creation of THE BODY with our bodies being in relationship with one another.    It is a hard thing to describe, but a beautiful thing to see when God’s people are caring for each other, and to be in that type of relationship you have to know people and be willing to be known as well-  a sense of deep trust that cannot be bought, but only earned and freely given.   It is that which we seek when on the road and working with artists, not to be known as the Deckers, but to be part of a community that knows Christ because we know and serve one another.
That is summer for us.   And you, those folks who continue to support and pray for and love and be the body of Christ to us –  you make that possible.
so thank you thank you thank you.   without you, there isn’t an us.


Bent not Broken

Hiking last summer, we came upon this area of trees.  God impressed upon me the reality and beauty of trees with ‘character,’ and more specifically of wood that has ‘character.’   Wood that has been bent, but not broken.

bent not broken
bent not broken


I love that there is a straight tree there for support and encouragement maybe even, and guidance for the tree that went the wrong way at first, but is skyward now.  Both stories are amazing, both have beauty.  There is beauty in the straight and narrow, the path less traveled, the path immediately upward, and as our friends in Hyland sing, there is “beauty in the broken.”

God uses both paths for His Glory, both show his mercy and grace and love.  Embrace your path and praise God for your role in others’.


Where are you looking?

my son and I went backpacking a short time ago.   (side note, all that extra stuff you think you should just bring ’cause it doesn’t weigh THAT much will crush your face when you fall down…  hypothetically)   While we were backpacking, treading down a trail I’d not trod before, I noticed a few things.  One, I’ll talk about now, some others will come along the trail soon.

We walked about 14 miles the last day, I guess I should call say we ‘hiked’ to be correct, and during that trek I really really really wanted to know what was coming ahead.  I could look behind me and clearly see, as we were hiking uphill a lot of the time, all the ground we had covered since leaving the gorgeous lake we’d been at the night before.  I couldn’t see what was ahead, I had no idea how much longer we had to hike to get there, and not knowing was not fun.

While walking, pondering, wishing I knew what was around that next bend in the trail, it occurred to me that I do this a lot.  I romanticize what it would be like to know what’s next, and because I can’t I end up looking back and wishing for that.  I also forget that looking back means I’m only gazing at a previous days’ unknown, one which I also didn’t know about, but which also came and went the same as this one would.

Why do we look back?  Here’s a clip from a web show I recently watched, pondering this question:

It is so much more desirable to look back, to dwell in the past, because we can measure it.  We can know it, we can see it, we were just there.  And, forgetting all the real trouble that may have been present there, we long for it.   The future, the next step, what is around the bend is so often clouded by our own fear and trembling- but isn’t that the way we work it out-  with ‘fear and trembling’ (Philippians 2:12)

My prayer for myself these days is to trust more in what God has for me around the bend, and long for what is behind a lot less, for He who helped me start down this hike will help me get home-  the trail is just one step in front of the last one.  He who began a good work in me, will be faithful to complete it.

What kind of agent are you?

Outcome AgentI’ve greatly enjoyed the ‘Bourne’ movies so far, so when I saw an ad for the upcoming ‘Bourne Legacy’ the other day, it should not surprise you that I was fixed upon the screen checking it out.  I heard,  ‘something something OUTCOME AGENT something something’ and then I thought, “hmmmmm.”  (all quotes approximate)

It occurred to me, shortly thereafter, that I consider myself some sort of an agent, a change agent of some kind, just not sure what kind that might be.  This, to me begs the question-  which kind of agent are you?   How many kinds are there anyway?

Are you an OUTCOME agent?  Like, does what you do depend on what is on the other side of the equation?   A friend one time lead a group of us in a bible study and referenced an Oswald Chambers quote that has stuck with me.  It goes something like ‘we have nothing to do with the other side of obedience’

So, when I look it that way, I really don’t think I’m an outcome agent in as much as I’m not to concern myself with the outcome of my calling as if it is some transaction that is taking place.

Rather, I’m to be obedient to the call on my life, and let it be transformational instead.  I currently have that on repeat in my head, because the pride in me continues to try to measure and quantify my call instead of shutting up & listening & waiting upon the Lord.

how about you?

those that WAIT upon the Lord will renew their strength….