Monthly Archives: July 2008

5.4 quake rocks Los Angeles area

I have been away for a loooong time from my blog. Many reasons — but the biggest is that I am taking an intensive (5 hours/day) Spanish class in East L.A. right now & it is consuming my time this month with class, travel time, and studying — however, I hope to be getting better with my Spanish & maybe even fluent some day. I have been saying for a year and a half, how I really would like to learn Spanish, and if I dont make the commitment to doing it, I never will get into it.The great part of the class, is that I am taking it with Caleb. That part has made it all worth while.

Anyway, I thought I would get back into the blog world with an update on the earthquake that hit L.A. It was the first one that I have felt here in LA, and it was really freaky. I just got back home about 11a from Kairos (every Tuesday there are tons of people who show up for a food-giveaway that is done in conjunction with a couple of different ministries), and we were just getting done eating lunch & Caleb & I were getting ready to leave for our Spanish class — when the earthquake hit. It is strange trying to describe it — it felt like our whole duplex was moving — almost like a boat on an ocean (but just for about 15 seconds) & then it is over. We all looked at each other a little scared and excited at the same time (on a side note, Elisabeth was in the shower & did not feel a thing ??!!)

Here are a couple of shots from around L.A. —

Bricks from a building litter an alley at 2nd Street and Park Avenue in Pomona.

And a store in the epicenter of the quake…


So, Michelle and I had…

So, Michelle and I had a phenomenal afternoon. The kids are still in Minnesota so we still like we’re have a little bit of vacation time almost and we saw, probably the best movie I’ve seen in months and months, it’s called The Visitor. I will post some pictures later tonight but if you can, go see the movie, it was a phenomenal movie and yeah, just wanted to update you on what’s new in Greg’s world. See you. listen

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Update: our very good friend, and world-traveler – Chinelo, actually knows one of the main people in the movie — Zainab (the girlfriend) — that is a crazy small world.

Here is the trailer…

voice of the day

Nobody escapes being wounded. We all are wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not “How can we hide our wounds?” so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but “How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?” When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.

Jesus is God’s wounded healer: through his wounds we are healed. Jesus’ suffering and death brought joy and life. His humiliation brought glory; his rejection brought a community of love. As followers of Jesus we can also allow our wounds to bring healing to others. – Henri Nouwen


subway tour

So, we used our frequent flyer miles to have the kids visit Grandpa & Grandma, and some of the aunts/uncles & cousins in Minnesota. Michelle and I needed to stay here in Los Angeles. I was supposed to speak at Kairos last night, but I have something really weird going on with my neck, and it was so painful to move — that I had to had to have Joe from Kairos westside – fill in for me.

Anyway, earlier this weekend when I was feeling better — Michelle and I did get to go on an art tour of LA’s subway system…

We met at the Metro station – across from the El Capitan Theatre, and next to the Kodak theater…

Then we visited about 6 different stops on the Red Line, and had a city Art volunteer – describe the murals, mosaics, and designs that are different at each stop. It was fascinating. I have used the subway a fair amount, but have walked by much of this art, without really looking at it, or without knowing the history and the different themes of each stop…

the venerable Chesterton

“What embitters the world is not excess of criticism, but an absence of self-criticism.”

– G.K. Chesterton

outreach vs. inreach

My friend (I call him that, I doubt he would say we were that close 🙂 ) Dallas Willard challenges the wisdom of just focusing on ‘outreach’ – to influence the church, in what some call his magum opus — Renovation of the Heart

“It is, I gently suggest, a serious error to make “outreach” a primary goal of the local congregation, and especially so when those who are already “with us” have not become clear-headed and devoted apprentices of Jesus, and are not, for the most part, solidly progressing along the path. Outreach is one essential task of Christ’s people, and among them there will always be those especially gifted for evangelism. But the most successful work of outreach would be the work of inreach that turns people, wherever they are, into lights in the darkened world.

A simple goal for the leaders of a particular group would be to bring all those in attendance to understand clearly what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and to be solidly committed to discipleship in their whole life. That is, when they are asked who they are, the first words out of their mouth would be, “I am an apprentice of Jesus Christ.” This goal would have to be approached very gently and lovingly and patiently with existing groups, where the people involved have not understood this to be part of their membership commitment.”


…just heard of this site from Raffi

Heard of WORDLE yet?
If not, then here’s the concept. Insert any amount of text from any source (book, blog, speach, article, sermon, etc.) and Wordle will generate a beautiful word cloud. While the cloud is, indeed, beautiful in and of itself, it is more beautiful because of the fresh perspective it gives on the text itself. Words that are more frequently used are generated in a larger, more prominent font in the cloud. It’s like the central themes of the text, surrounded by their context, almost leap off the page and hit the viewer like a perspective from another dimension.”

Here is one from a favorite Psalm of mine — Psalm 18:29-36