Monthly Archives: August 2011

Coffee With Gaddafi

I have coffee with Gaddafi almost every morning. He has become a familiar face in my daily schedule. I get up out of bed, spend time with Jesus, then grab some coffee and browse the news. And there he is. Every morning, just like clockwork, Gaddafi greets me.

There is always an article about Libya and it’s fallen leader. Whenever I see his face I catch myself thinking, “Was it worth it?”.

Was all of this worth it? Seizing the government in a coup d’etat in 1961. Oppressing people. Killing people. Controlling what goes in and out. Building a society around your beliefs and ideology. Changing the names of the months on your calendar…was it all worth it?

I think through his long list of actions. Actions that amassed hatred for him throughout the world, especially among his own people. Now he is in hiding, his family has fled into Algeria. He lost a son and three grandchildren back in May due to fighting.

For what? I can’t imagine that he is happy. I can’t imagine that he is satisfied. It must be such a strange feeling. Coming to the end of false authority and a lifetime of striving only to realize that it didn’t work. He lost. In the end Gaddafi lost. Until the day he dies no one will let him forget his magnificent fall from a pretend stage. A broken man who only got the part because his gun was bigger than the other guy’s.

Was the price worth the prize? I would love to talk to him someday & find out. My heart goes to Libya. A brave people who are willing to pay the price that their nation would be free. I pray that a just government is put in place and that deep joy and hope take seed there. The best is ahead of you Libya.

And to you Gaddafi, goodnight. I’ll see you in the morning.


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God Said "Go"….again…

It’s Packing Time Again!

Wow! We have some exciting news to share with everyone. A few months ago, God began to stir our hearts . We weren’t sure what the stirring was for, but we knew God was up to something. Then an opportunity came a-knockin. 
Jady was offered a job at Antioch in Waco, TX. It is the church we were sent out of to plant Mosaic in Seattle six years ago & it is the church All People’s was planted out of as well. They want Jady to come and help produce the World Mandate conference, and serve the movement as a whole. We prayed about it, sought council and decided that it was a God opportunity for our family. 
So, we are moving back to Waco…never say ‘never’ right? Despite some of the cultural adjustments we will feel (we have been on the West coast for six years) our family could not be more excited. Genuinely excited. One thing we have learned on this journey is that whenever God guides us into a new place, it is GOOD. 
Jady will be able to use his gifts and passions in practical ways as he helps serve the movement and World Mandate – that is going to be really fun for him. Also, a lot of our family lives in Waco. Elizabeth’s parents, and all of our siblings, their spouses & children…LOTS of family there. The family aspect is such a refreshment for all of us…not to mention free babysitters…
Hmm…you have questions???
When Are You Going?
Here is the kicker…we are moving on Sept. 5th. That is correct, just one week away. It may sound sudden, but everything is lining out perfectly. It is also the best time for our family, All People’s Church and Antioch to transition. The World Mandate Conference is in two weeks, so we will be able to be there for it.
What About Adoption?
This move is going to make completing our adoption easier. Praise the Lord! Our adoption agency is actually located in Waco so we will be able to work with them directly. You may remember California won’t accept our Washington paperwork, so we were having to re-do everything. Well, Texas will accept it and all we have to do are a few updates. Thankfully, we haven’t spent any money on our California process, so no adoption funding is wasted in the move.
How Can We Pray?
You are so sweet to ask that. Really, sweet. We would love it if you pray with us. Obviously there are tons of things, but here is a short list. 
  • Pray for all the practicals. Safe travels, emotion adjustments, Sophie’s new school, and that we wouldn’t shrivel up in the Texas heat.
  • All People’s Church has blessed us to leave and we want to pray that blessing back on them. Pray that the transition on their end is smooth as other people pick up the jobs Jady was doing.
  • If you have known us long, you know that we have moved many times when we lived in Seattle, then San Diego & now Waco. Over the past six years, we have lived in eight houses. That is a bunch of houses, but we are ready for a home.We would love, love, love to be able to buy a house. Please pray that we would be able to get money together for a down payment. 
Thanks for your interest in our lives, and for praying along side us as we simply obey God each step of the way! We will keep you posted…now, back to packing.
                            The Griffins
Jady playing drums at World Mandate in 2009
World Mandate Conference


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The Lark Ascending

A Lark Singing.

I get asked a lot about how I came up with the name Lark & Bloom. Naming a blog is a very vulnerable thing. You are trying to convey yourself and your point of view in just a few words….plus, you hope it makes people want to read it. I started it right before I left Seattle just about 9 months ago. God was speaking to me about blooming with abandon wherever I am planted. And we all know the phrase “happy as a lark”. 

 I loved the idea of the bird in flight being paired with the grounding of a blooming flower. A lark is an inquisitive, adventurous and whimsical bird. A bit spunky in its own right. And well, who doesn’t like flowers?

I came across this poem yesterday and absolutely loved it. It was written by George Meredith around 1895. I adore this little lark he wrote about. It is a long poem, so I am only attaching the latter half. I do encourage you look it up and read the whole thing. I wish we took the time to pause and describe things so beautifully. Our attention span is a bit shorter these days I guess.
Enjoy it!

The Lark Ascending by George Meredith
…For singing till his heaven fills,
‘T is love of earth that he instils,
And ever winging up and up,
Our valley is his godlen cup,
And he the wine which overflows
To lift us with him as he goes…
…And you shall hear the herb and tree,
The better heart of men shall see,
Shall feel celestially, as long
As you crave nothing save the song.
Was never voice of ours could say
Our inmost in the sweetest way,
Like yonder voice aloft, and link
All hearers in the song they drink:
Our wisdom speaks from failing blood,
Our passion is too full in flood,
We want the key of his wild note
of truthful in a tuneful throat,
The song seraphically free
Of taint of personality,
So pure that it salutes the suns
The voice of one for millions,
In whom the millions rejoice
For giving their one spirit voice.
Yet men have we, whom we revere, 
Now names and men still housing here,
Whose lives, by many a battle-dint
Defaced, and grinding wheels on flint,
Yield substance, though they sing not, sweet
For song our highest heaven to greet:
Whom heavenly singing gives us new,
Enspheres them brilliant in our blue,
From firmest base to farthest leap,
Because their love of Earth is deep,
And they are warriors in accord
With life to serve and pass reward,
So touching purest and so heard
In the brain’s reflex of yon bird;
Wherefore their soul in me, or mine, 
Through self-forgetfulness divine,
In them, that song aloft maintains,
To fill the sky and thrill the plains
With showerings drawn from human stores,
As he to silence nearer soars,
Extends the world at wings and dome,
More spacious making more our home,
Till lost on his aerial rings
In light, and then the fancy sings.

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One At A Time…


         I am a thinker. Probably not the most intelligent or clever thinker, but a thinker. Driving in my car, washing dishes, folding clothes… these are times that I get contemplative. I’m guessing that a lot of you are similar. I wish that I thought of practical things such as what I should make for dinner or making sure that I am up to date on adoption paperwork. Most of the time my brain churns and tackles the news of the day. 
Orphans, Middle Eastern crisis, increasing violence, genocide, trafficking, child abuse, AIDS…I see it every time I turn on the news. It can feel a bit overwhelming. I get a bit paralyzed. The pit of my stomach tingles and my brain hurts. It’s just too much. If I have to hear about another kid who was murdered by a family member, another wife that was beaten, another family loosing their home…it is unbearable. 
It feels so heavy. But today, I got hopeful. I realized that I know how a difference will be made. One At A Time. The action of many is required to fight some of the grave injustices of our day. However the action of many is inspired by the action of a few. One here and one there who made a difference one step at a time.

How will we free the 27 million people living in slavery? One At A Time.

There are 143 million orphans in the world. How will they be taken care of? One At A Time.

How will we stop bullies from terrorizing people in their schools? One At A Time.

The average american household has $15,799 of credit card debt. How will they get out from under what they owe? One Dollar At A Time.

America has 12.8 million drug addicts. How will we reach them? One At A Time.

I focus so often on all that I can’t do and I forget all that I can do. I can say “stop” when I hear someone make a derogatory statement to another human. I can place value on people by being kind to the person in front of me. When images of starving children flash on my screen, I can pray for God to provide for their needs. The next time I see people living in oppression and addiction, I can remind them that there is One who gives hope & One who delivers.

One step. One word. One day. One person. One At A Time. 


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All In A Days Work

My current dream job is taking care of these two. Delightful.

     Growing up a friend of mine had a dad with a really cool job. He ranked golf courses. They would fly him around to play golf at various places and then review them. Not too bad, huh? Well, I have compiled a list of jobs I would like to have…
1. Food Critic – You get to eat amazing food! Imagine being able to visit the most amazing restaurants and    not having to pay. This is a pretty sweet gig.
2. Book Editor – You get paid to read. And then you just give people your opinion on how you think their story should have ended. That’s how it works , right?
3. Mattress Tester – You get paid to see how you sleep on a mattress. Was the down pillow-top mattress too firm or too soft? Hmm… I don’t remember. I’ll just have to take another nap on it to see…
4.  Travel Blogger – The tourism departments of countries will pay you to visit their attractions and blog about them. Seriously? I’m thinking Lark & Bloom International is on the horizon. 
5. Fake Executive – In Asian countries they hire Americans to wear suits and attend company or community events. They want to give the image that their company or organization has close ties to the west and is an international player. I wish I was making it up, but I’m not. I could totally do this job, so pass the egg rolls please.

6. Tropical Island Caretaker – The Australian Island, Paradise Island, hires a caretaker to live on the property. You hang out on beaches, act as ambassador to people who visit, and share about it via blogging & social media…what’s not to love?

7. Ferrari Driving Instructor- This job pays about $120,000 a year. Once people purchase the car, you help them learn how to drive it to its full capacity. These are usually former NASCAR drivers who do this job, but I’m sure I could handle it.

8. Professor- I can’t even decide what I would teach. Maybe something that revolves around studying major works of literature and their global effects. Primarily literature that has prompted major political or social changes. I would take that class.

9. Tour Guide – My very first job ever was a tour guide. It was at the Dr. Pepper Museum. This go around, I am thinking a bit more glamorous. Europe maybe. Talk to people and travel. Two things I do well.

10. Advice Columnist- You spend your day telling people your opinion. I was reading Real Simple magazine the other day & looked at the advice section. People asking how to tell their friends that they don’t like their cooking. Or how to let their spouse know that they are gaining weight… How do people get qualified to be advice columnists anyway?  Is there any follow up to see if their advice works? Either way, I would take the job.

Amazing that these are actual careers, but they are. Any fun jobs you would want to have?


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How To…Make People Feel Awkward

Oh, awkward.
My past few posts have been fairly serious in nature, so I decided it is time for a little bit of fun. Few things in life are as fun as awkward situations. Everyone likes awkward. Maybe it is cruel, but it is fun to do things to purposefully create uncomfortable moments. So, I decided to pull a few of my personal experiences into this post on How To…Make People Feel Awkward.
1. Stare at someone wide-eyed and your mouth slightly opened. You know the look. The one people get when they have had a bad facelift. This makes any conversation or situation instantly awkward.
2. Run around an apartment complex frantically with your arms in the air and screaming, ” The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!” Yep. Did that.
3. When someone of the opposite gender comes over to talk to you, smile at them. After a few sentences of conversation start acting fidgety. Then act really embarrassed. Say, “Oh gosh this is so awkward. I really thought you were coming over here to ask me out.” What was a normal conversation before just got really awkward.
4. Put your clothes on backwards. Throw on an old school baseball cap. Then really loudly sing the early 90s hit …”Kris Kross make you Jump! Jump!…” Naturally you need to jump enthusiastically to the tune. Oh, and you should do it on the porch at the Fiji House. Frat guys + Awkward = Awesome. Then walk away without any explanation.
5. This is a classic. One night my freshman year at college I was bored. It was the night several fraternities were having formals, so the whole town of Waco was littered with girls in fancy dresses. My friend Brittany and I decided we didn’t want to miss out on all the fun. So we put on our formals and loaded on the makeup. Then we went to various restaurants & coffee shops around Waco. The routine was the same wherever we went.
       We would go to the hostess stand and check in that we needed a table for four. Then we would stand the most crowded area where people could see and hear us. We started off acting giddy and saying things like “Oh, my gosh! He is SO hot. I can’t believe he asked me out.” Pretty much being overly enthusiastic about these boys we were meeting & painting ourselves as a bit nerdy in the process. Then after minutes of checking our phones we would begin to say…” They are really late. I wonder why they aren’t calling…Where are they…Has he called you?” Then we would loudly ask the hostess if anyone had the restaurant to leave a message that they are running late. People around us would start to get really interested in our predicament. We optimistically kept waiting for these crushes of ours.
       Now it was starting to get really uncomfortable for the people around us. We would pretend to call them on our phones. No answer. Eventually either Brittany or I would throw out the idea that perhaps we had been stood up. “Surely they wouldn’t…would they?…How could they just leave us here?…” Now people were really into what was happening. Their faces were so concerned for us. These poor little freshman girls. All dressed up and then stood up by some cruel guys…Finally we pretended to admit defeat and shamefully leave the restaurant. You could tell that the restaurant patrons wanted to say something sweet and encouraging, but that would mean admitting that they had been eavesdropping. 
       We did it in several different locations and the result was creating the most awkward 15 minutes for people in restaurant waiting areas as possible. It was fantastic.
Well, I could go on and on. I hope you enjoyed a peak into the things I have done in search of the perfect awkward moment…And clearly it goes without saying. You all wish you had been friends with me in college.

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A Nation On Fire – Letter to the London Rioters

To The London Rioters,
             Well, props to you. With your Blackberry hacking and organizational skills you have started quite a fire. Both literal and figurative. I suppose I don’t have to tell you that the world is looking at you and wondering if you have gone mad. Why else would you do this? Loot you neighbors stores, and steal from your own community. Rise up in masses to tackle an unidentified cause. Sure, it started with the killing of Mark Duggan in Tottenham. But, that isn’t what this is about.
            You are the youth. A generation rising. People like you have always pushed the boundaries and championed causes. The settling of the Americas, wars for freedom, created new societies that demanded more for humanity. Young men and women have always changed the world. You are no different. It is in the destiny of the young to create a new story for the world. Their story that they will pass on to their children & outline the victories achieved in their window of time. But you are different.
           You don’t have hope and vision. You have passion, but your cause is self serving. This is what happens when you live without purpose. I know that your future must seem bleak. Economic crisis, no resources available to fund your student education, a crashing job market…and lets be frank. When we see the famine in Somalia, the trafficking of people globally, the kidnapping and abuse of innocent children, corrupt CEOs screwing it up for a bunch of every day people & families breaking down… it seems a bit too much. It’s all to hell in a handbasket anyway, right? 
          So, why not watch reality TV on that flatscreen you stole while everything crashes around you. Maybe we never told you that you could be more and expect more. Perhaps we were too busy wondering which celebrity was shacking up with who, that we forgot to tell you that you were made for a purpose greater than yourself. That you really could change the world.
          Yet here we are. You have set a nation on fire. But, I don’t just mean the fires you started on buses and police stations. There is a fire igniting that you can’t see yet. Blazing towards you with an urgent and compassionate speed. See, when a nation is in peril, the people of God do not cower. They rise up. The Church is rising up around the world on your behalf. Crying out that God would mend a broken nation. Believing that you would not be a hopeless and purposeless generation, but the generation who sees greater things than those who have gone before you ever dreamed of. 
         As the people of God, we know that when we pray…God moves. Be warned that we are praying. Maybe the world is in awe of all hell breaking loose in your nation. Just wait till all Heaven breaks loose.
You won’t know what hit you. Layers of pain and anger will melt away, love will fill cracks of bitterness and hate. You will love your neighbor more than yourself. You will be filled with joy and your streets will be made glad. You will bring a blessing wherever you go. 
         Your lives will be spent on advancing a cause that will never die. Your passionate voices will meld into a battle cry that is the continuation of thousands of voices for thousands of years “Prepare the way of the Lord…” And you will live in fullness. A generation that once was visionless transforming the unreached and neglected of the earth. You have destiny within you, but not destiny for destruction. Destiny for hope. You will know Love.
        You think you have started fires of defiance. In truth, you have started fires of revival & they cannot be put out.


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Your Shoes Are Too Small

The result of shoes that are too small.

You have probably heard about food binding. Its an ancient Chinese practice which involved wrapping a young girls feet so tightly that they were prevented from growing. It wasn’t uncommon for the bones in the feet to break in the process. Often times severe deformities resulted, infections set in and sometimes girls died in the process. The confines of the shoe and bandages created an handicap that women had to live with for the rest of their lives.

So, why am I telling you that your shoes are too small? You are most likely not Chinese & there is a 50/50 chance that you aren’t a woman either. But, I bet your shoes are too small too. How do I know? Because we have big shoes to fill.

Just like little kids feet, we need room to grow. Or we get distorted and walk with a limp. Why are your shoes too small? Because your dreams are meant to grow bigger. God’s calling for your life is meant to increase and the fruit you produce is meant to be abundant. As followers of Jesus, it is our destiny to grow.

If we live in the limitations, fears, and comfortable places of a previous stage then we begin to get ingrown. We believe a lie that we don’t have anywhere important to go anyway. So, who cares what shoes we wear? Our dreams press against our capacity and we feel inverted and confused. We need new shoes for new seasons.

I need to be regularly putting on larger shoes. Making sure that I have room to wiggle my toes and grow into them as God increases in my life. After walking with Him for a while, there won’t be room anymore. On with another pair. More room for dreaming & advancing. More capacity to run in roomy shoes.

We bind our own feet too often. We are afraid to get bigger.

“What if I walk this road alone? I’d rather just wait in this place and grow into these shoes when I get married.”
 “If I walk out, no one will follow me. They won’t trust what I bring to the table.”
“I just got comfortable here. I don’t want anything to change.”
or the ever popular:
“I’m not gifted. I don’t have anything to grow at all. I’m just meant to watch other people do the cool stuff. I observe, others participate.”

Except a funny thing happens. The tissues and fibers of who we are keep expanding anyway. Even when we try and stay in the same old shoes. It begins to get uncomfortable. Following Jesus is irritating because we get blisters. Eventually we just sit down and stop going anywhere. It hurts too bad. The longer we sit the greater our disfunction grows.

And that is where a lot of us are. Sitting on a curb waiting for our feet to stop hurting. Dreams, calling, destiny, capacity…they are all pushing against the boundary begging to be let loose. Risking again on love. Risking again on pain. Risking again to breathe.

And then a fabulous thing happens. When we are rubbing our stubby toes wondering what happened to our lives, Jesus comes. Tells us to stop being so scared. Stop being so comfortable. Stop thinking we can’t walk any further. He puts these enormous shoes before us. The shoes of Heaven that contain limitless power, hope, and destiny. We are terrified to put them on because we know we can’t fill them. Not only that, but our little feet are tiny and tangled.

We forget that Jesus is a healer. He touches the deformities and they straighten. The skin and bones go back into place and the painful sores go away. He puts the too-good-to-be-true shoes on. The kind we dreamed of wearing when we were little children.

Jesus takes our hand and gently walks with us. Helping us as we go. Little feet tripping along in big shoes. Before we know it, our feet begin to grow again. The shoes aren’t so big anymore. Then we begin to run. We remember how fabulous it feels to run. How could we have forgotten the sensation of taking new ground?

Maybe your new shoes look like a relationship. Maybe they look like a new business venture. A move to a distant land. The revival of a dream that has nearly expired. Could be letting go of a fear that has held you back and controlled you. Leaving behind an old identity for a new one…

All of us have new shoes waiting to be worn into fresh ground. Remember, we are meant to be a Church that says ” On earth as it is in Heaven!”. To do that we need Kingdom shoes. Will you risk putting them on?


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We Still Believe

I wrote a post several days ago regarding hope titled Why Hope Hurts. I came across this song yesterday and it really ministered to me. Its the perfect soundtrack to that post. Check it out:

Here is my prayer for you all today. “May the God of hope fill you all with joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. “

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Global Warming. I Solved It.

Okay, so we all know about global warming. We hear about it everywhere and it really freaks us out. I mean, is it the end of the earth? Honestly, some of you think so. Others of you believe its a hoax. But, here are a few facts:

  • Temps have climbed 1.4 degrees since 1880. May not sound like much, but the polar bears beg to differ.
  • In 1910 Montana’s Glacier National Park had 150 glaciers. Now it has 27.
  • At this rate of warming the arctic will have an ice-free season by 2040.
Now, maybe you are getting really stressed about the pending peril. Or perhaps you are getting mad at this massive political scheme that you think global warming is. Everyone calm down. I know what we can do. 
My solution to curb global warming involves lots of cars, lots of people and lots of beer. Or maybe I should say it involves stopping lots of cars, lots of people and lots of beer. That can only be one thing. NASCAR.
I hear all the time about how I need to avoid the drive through window at the bank. Or that walking is better than driving (which it actually is). But no one ever talks about all these cars driving around in circles for hours, burning gas , and tires.
Here are some NASCAR facts:
  • 6 million people will attend NASCAR races this year. Thats a lot of cars driving from out of town.
  • The Daytona race is 500 miles long. 
  • Cars go up to 220mph
  • The average race is: 250 miles. Cars get 2 miles to the gallon. That is 125 gallons per car and there can be 40 cars at a time. This is 5,000 gallons of gas used per race.
  • On average there are 10 races per week. That is 50,000 gallons of gas that NASCAR uses each week. (this doesn’t include practice laps)
All those tires, all that gas, all those emissions just to watch people drive really fast in circles. I think that we can come up with something better to do than watch other people drive around and around. I mean, thats a lot of waste.
So, next time someone criticizes you for driving a Tahoe tell them about NASCAR. When they pull the plug on auto racing, we will all buy a Prius. Even if you think global warming is a myth, you must admit this is a good point. And if you are sweating thinking of the earth completely shutting down, go recycle something. You will feel better.


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