Chilling with my bud, Jesus.
No, Barabbas didn’t have snot dripping from his nose. For two years now, I’ve played Barabbas in the Easter play, and the directors tell me to act like a psychopath. Apparently, this comes naturally to me. Yeah, Miko the Psycho.
But I can’t find this reading in my Bible. Barabbas was an insurrectionist (one Gospel calls him a murderer, but the other explains the context more precisely) in the scattered uprising against he hated Roman Empire. As such, he would have been something of local hero, much like George Washington or Thomas Jefferson.
So when the multitudes chose Barabbas over Jesus, it wasn’t an irrational act. Both were wildly popular with the people, so Pilate shrugged.
Barabbas was, however, a polar opposite of Jesus — not the demon-possessed against the Spirit-possessed. Rather, the earthly Savior vs. the heavenly Messiah.
Barabbas is always taking on the Roman Empire. Do you like the realistic background? It’s the Lighthouse Church School. We used a classroom as a dressing room.
At the end of the day, Barabbas’ utopia was only going to be on earth. It was only going to be temporal. After the Romans, another empire would come and smash Palestine. Such was inevitable because Palestine was a crossroads connecting three continents, a bridge where the newest conquerors had to pass.
So Barabbas was more like Obama, trying to bring a better world. This is a good thing. I’m not deriding it. But some people are so busying focusing on making this life wonderful that they forget there’s another, eternal life to work for.
Posted in Easter, Jesus, resurrection
Tagged Bible, Christianity, drama, God, Lighthouse Church, Lighthouse Church School, love, play, prayer, Santa Monica, theater
Mosie and Josie pose with coaches for the Lighthouse Church School team in West Los Angeles area.
They were born in The Gambia, the sliver nation centered around the mighty West African river by the same name. Adopted by missionaries, they knew only soccer.
Now, twins Mosie and Josie Bowen are playing football – flag football – as sixth graders at the Lighthouse Church School. After 20 years abroad, their adopting parents returned to Santa Monica to the church that sustained them on the mission field.
“In football you can block, you can catch balls,” said Mosie, who caught his first pass during a game on Oct. 20. “In soccer you just use your feet. Only the goalie can kick it and catch it.”
At first, both Bowen boys struggled with football’s roughness and toughness. They played both defensive and offensive line. More than once, they found themselves shoved to the turf or bulldozed.
Learning has been both physical and mental. Continuing reading about junior high flag football.
Posted in Christian middle school, flag football, Los Angeles, West
Tagged character, Christianity, Faith, God, Jesus, Lighthouse Church School, Pacific Basin League, sports
With some youngsters at the Lighthouse Church School
I was the senior pastor at Guatemala’s Door Church. We had a school and four churches. Still I taught a grade.
Why? Because daily contact is daily discipleship. You’re not winning anyone to Christ, you’re not forming any leaders by pushing paper. The generals may devise strategies, but the war is won in the trenches. So I continue where the war is won.
It was a water balloon war day
Another school year is ending. I teach at the Lighthouse Christian Academy and coach soccer for the counterpart Lighthouse Church School. These Santa Monica Christian schools are a safe place in a topsy-turvy world of moral confusion, in which kids are encouraged to try all sorts of sin and to stop calling it sin. My kids attend Lighthouse.
And it is my joy to be winning souls to Christ there. Young ladies are rescued from cutting, and boys from rage. Hopeless kids turn from drugs to happiness. How could money be better?
With my young friends Mosie and Josie.
I don’t earn any money. I do this for free. And it’s worthwhile. Because it’s what Jesus is doing. It’s revival.
By the way, nobody is even asking to promote me. A promotion would be a demotion if it removes me from human contact and making disciples for Christ.
Posted in Christian education
Tagged Christian school, discipleship, evangelism, Faith, Jesus, Lighthouse Church School, middle school, primary school, Santa Monica, serving, teaching
Editor’s note: I’ve always believed that “ordinary” people do “extraordinary” things in the common daily service rendered to our Lord. Here’s the charming story of a Southern teacher in Southern California at a Christian private school.
Mrs. Cornett with her kids
Most cheerleaders lose their spunk as they grow older.
Not Patti Cornett, Lighthouse Church School‘s 3rd and 4th grade teacher, who is every bit as vivacious as when she was a high school cheerleader in the second half of the 1960s.
“Even when she’s in a bad mood, she forgets about it and is positive,” said third-grader Roxy Photenhauer, who appears to have imbibed her teacher’s enthusiasm. “She SUHCKS it up, and the rest of the day, she’s positive. She’s very forgiving, but she still disciplines us.” (Yes, I know that’s a gross misspelling, but that’s how Roxy said it.)
In addition to her buoyant charm, Mrs. Cornett is loved for her southern accent.
Here are some Mrs. Cornettisms:
Y’all better sit down now.
You better put that away or might get gone. (Translation: it might get stolen.)
Go and bowance the ball.
And being from the South, she calls her kids “Honey.” But she says it like this: Huh-nee.
She’ll call even grown men Huh-nee. It’s not a pickup line.
Or maybe she’ll call her students, Mah sweets. In Californian dialect: My sweet. (She’s lived in Southern California for 14 years and hasn’t picked up the lazy-lip deadpan, but her students, giggling, remind her daily to drop the drawl.) Read the rest.
Some of my beginning players at Lighthouse Church School
My star soccer player lost the ball eight times in Lighthouse Church School‘s middle school loss against Crossroads B. His repeated futile attempts to penetrate towards goal with individual juking runs had me rolling my eyes. If something’s not work, try something else. There were other players open, ready for a pass.
Maybe he didn’t trust the other players. Since he’s the best, his instinct is to keep trying what has worked before. Unconsciously, he’s afraid if he passes, they’ll lose the ball. But Crossroads’ stout defense stopped him every time.
I’m not a demure coach. I yelled for him to pass. And he did pass finally — straight to the opposing goalie. No one was near to make a run on it. I don’t like sarcastic soccer.
Previously, we lost 0-7, but I was happy because everybody tried their best. Yesterday, we lost 0-4, and I was livid because we self-destructed — namely, the best player played the worst.
There is lesson here for the church. You must trust others, depend on others. I don’t care if you are the star player. The church doesn’t work without delegation. If the person fails, keep trusting and passing them the ball. They will learn eventually, and the team will convert into a winning team.
If you’re not going to ever pass me the ball, I’ll stop making runs.