Thoughts,Songs,Writings,Rants,Encouragements, and Life

Saturday, October 28, 2006

A call to help fight an Injustice

This evening I had the opportunity to speak to the high school group at church about the Dalit's in India.

I shared many stories, had props, video clips, songs, clothes, passion, and a fairly good message,(Or so I thought.)

I enjoy speaking, and this evening I enjoyed the topic, though harsh and hard at times to share and explain.

I used passages from Matthew 5:14-16 and Isaiah 58:6-12

I kicked some serious apathetic and unknowing butts. I shared truth. I wanted action.

Our group supports a child from Africa. The issue is, we have raised 6 bucks in three weeks. It costs something like 3o bucks to support him. I pounded them.

I looked in the bucket and saw like two bucks...I wanted does the kid in Africa.

I also have a passion to see these kids supporting Dalits too.

It just so happened that I had about twenty wristbands with the Indian Flag colors on them. I took a gamble.

"3-5 bucks for a wristband. All the proceeds go to supporting a Dalit child."

I didn't know what to expect.

I have three wrist bands left.

We raised over sixty dollars off of the others.

God blew me away.

Later in the evening, I was outside talking with one of the directors at our church. We were talking about the evening and lighting a fire under the students butts to help out at church as well as fighting injustice.

So here we are pumping each other up and saying all of these things, when God says, "okay, you want that? Let's see if you can step up and do it yourself."

There was a lady wandering around the church with a few grocery bags and dressed up in warm garb that was a little shabby.

We looked at each other and wondered if she needed help. The director got out of her car to see what she could do. I went and grabbed my girlfriend and we came over to see what was up.

Turns out, the lady is NOT homeless. She had been robbed. She has no access to an ATM. She is broke.

We begin a journey, she needs to find a twenty-four hour joint to stay at all night. Due to medical conditions she cannot fall asleep. She wont take her meds for fear of something wrong happening. She is not from Oregon. She is "Religious" and you can tell that she has everything memorized. She is educated.

We decide to go to Starbucks in Tanasbourne. It is 24 hours and is capable of harboring her for the night.

My girlfriend and I drive seperate to the coffee joint. The director and the lady go together.We arrive at the coffee shop to find that this is really not a place the lady wants to be. She wants company. She needs food. She needs rest.

We settle for Shari's by Sunset High School.

The four of us travel again.

We enter Shari's and share with the manager what is happening. They are glad to let the woman stay for the night.

Now, I am worried because I have no money...and I know we need to buy something while we are keeping this woman company. Turns out the director wants to buy my girlfriend and I dinner. "I have to Ben. I want to."

We sit down and settle in. We hear all about the woman and her needs at the moment. We talk and share some of our stories. Turns out the woman came to the worship service and very much enjoyed the "praise and worhsip" part of the gathering. The director proceeded to tell the woman that the Lead Worshiper was my father. The lady honed in on this and asked me a barrage of questions. I answered politely and tried to be an adult so as not to offend. (I tend to use Dude and Man and Crap a lot, this time I refrained from this)

All in all I had a wonderful time getting to know this woman and having dinner with her.

I know that it was a blessing to her to have the three of us for dinner and conversation.

I do not know if I will ever see her again, but I will pray for her and her situation and all others in the same situation across the world.

God called my number, I answered with Here am I, Use Me!

What would your answer have been?

Friday, October 27, 2006

Dalit Quotes

"The Romans had their slaves, the Spartans their helots, the Britishers their Villains, the Americans their Negroes, the Germans their Jews; so the Hindus their Untouchables. But none of these can be said to have called upon to face a fate which is worse than the fate which pursues the Untouchables. Slavery, Serfdom, Villeinage, all have vanished, but Untouchability still exists and bids fair to last as long as Hinduism will last."

"Untouchability shuts all doors of opportunities for betterment in life for Untouchables. It does not offer an Untouchable any opportunity to move freely in society; it compels him to live in dungeons and seclusion; it prevents him from educating himself and following a profession of his choice."
-Dr. B. R. Ambedkar

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dentist Woes

Today, I spent an entire three and a half hours in the dentist chair. I watched Pirates of the Caribbean and was able to quote, (in my head) most of the movie.

Four hours you say? Yea, the duder who had worked on my teeth in India (nice guy) messed up royally on my teeth. At the moment I suffer from TMJ. My jaw clicks like a walnut opener, no walnuts to be found though. The three crowns were too big. One of them was a double crown, connected across two teeth. When my dentist took this off, he not so pleasantly and, to my horror, found a half done root canal and a fairly sizable cavity under the crown. I was worried and at the same time bummed that anyone would do that to me.

I am in some pain right now. On major pain medication. Can't really eat and enjoy the food I am eating.(anyone who knows me, knows I love to eat and see it as a form of worship and thanks)

Also pray that God provides the monies needed to pay for my dental work. I am poor. I am looking at going to India with the Village team again this year.

I am currently in debt about $7,000 to my dentist.

But he is nice. I like him. He does a good job. And I get to watch movies.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Caedmon's Call

I had the amazing opportunity to help out with the Caedmon's call concert tonight. I love helping with concerts. I love music. But this time everything was in place for a special night of music and a call to "missions".

I was on a team that helped set up the band equipment and stage gear. I also was the head merchandise dude.

I love doing merchandise for a couple reasons:
1. You get to meet really cool people
2. You get to sell music you love
3. You get to tell people about the band and their music
4. Sometimes you get to meet the band
5. I just love IT!

So, I got to hand out with Andy Osenga and Cliff Young on Sunday night. Fun times. Cool stories.

I was real close to actually taking the two out for a beer and food after the show. They were so tired though. I did however get to chat with them for a while. Cliff more so than Andy. I found out that a friend of mine from India actually got to tour with the band for a while. How cool is that??? COOL!! Cliff and I also talked about India and my passion for the peoples and youth of India. In the end I got an email address and a we need to hook up in the future and talk more.

The thing is, when talking to a "star" or band member, just walk up,(if you can) and just talk to him or her. I know this from experience with Jon from Switchfoot and many other bands. They are just people...God gifted people who get to travel and share about whats on their heart mind you, but they are people. Quit putting them on a pedistal and realize they are human just like you! I watched so many people just stare and hang around hoping to be talked to. Suggestion, next time go and talk to them. They are passionate about what they do. And they want to share that with you on and off the stage.

All in all, it was a fairly enjoyable concert.

Andy Osenga was the highlight for me, that and Caedmon's covers of "Diamonds on the souls of her shoes",by Paul Simon, and "Hope to carry on", by Rich Mullins. Oh, and getting to share Caedmon's and the Dalit Freedom Network with so many people.

Global Fair

This weekend I had the opportunity to help out with the Church's Global Children's fair. This is where we set up little areas for the children to come and learn about overseas missions and other cultures around the world.

I was in charge of a fun little game. I was in a corner of the room, a large map was hung on the ceiling of the corner wall, the map was sectioned off into six themes. About ten feet away from the map hung on the ceiling was a Nerf Stomp Rocket set. The idea was "getting ready to launch."

I was to help the children with what happens before a "missionary" gets to hop on the plane to fly to their desired destination.

So I took each child through a quick rundown of what happened before people got to leave.

Prayer, Rasing Support, Learning the Culture, Training, Loving Jesus, and possibly Learning the Language.

After we went through all of these, with as little explaining as possible, so as not to keep them from shooting that rocket at the map, we stomped hard (with one foot) and tried to hit the designated areas...outlined above...and written in the six sections...

The kids loved it.

I had one little girl...who had previously been on a trip before tell me, while I was talking to her about the preperation, with a look of pure sourness and pain, "And you have to get SHOTS!!" I laughed pretty hard at that. "Yes, and you have to get shots, so you don't get sick."

So the next time you are preparing to go on a short term trip, remember, "You have to get SHOTS!!!"

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Two fun games!

This past weekend I was able to attend the Oregon State Beavers game with a couple of my buddies. I must say, that the game itself wasn't all that bad. The coaching was horrible though, the QB stunk it up, and well...we lost.

Highlights were as follows:

1. The big orange sign in the crowd that said "Can Riley"
2. The big orange sign in the crowd that said "Canfield" (the red shirt freshman who is going to be amazing...QB)
3. The all out brawl a few rows behind me (in the end zone) between a few angry Beavers and one very unlucky Cougar fan. (the cops came and broke it up)
4. The "Ball", made entirely of foam thunder sticks. (some students have taken the time over the last few games to gather up this foam of "joy" and put it together to make a huge foam ball, in all very interesting...they even had T-shirts)
5. Last but not least, the t-shirt I saw an older chap wearing that said, "Can Riley!"

Onto tonight

Tonight I went to the Blazers first pre-season game. Holy cows and toothpaste, this game was fun. Not so much because the Blazers won, because they didn't. They played wel though, that is until the fourth quarter.

It was nice to see new guys like Roy, Magloire, Dickau, and of course Rodrigez do fairly well.

Martel Webster had one of the sweetest dunks I have seen in a while.

The Blazers actually played well. They hustled...Randolph actually made a few passes. Even though the team is way young...our future is very bright.

But these were not the best part...

The best part was by far the fans...specificaly the fans in section 331, (where I sat) we had a grand ole time. We laughed, heckled, cheered, booooo-d, and many other various things that fans do. IT was a good time! These guys were fun and funny. We are true fans...YES us...the ones in the nosebleed section, (with a really good view of the court, mind you) yelling and cheering for or at the Blazers.

Section 331, Here's to YOU!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Fishing and Sleeping

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Yellow, brown, and orange
Barren are the trees from which they fell
Streets and yards are now flooded by the piles
Children laugh and play in the mounds of fading colors
They have forgotten the work they did to make those great fluffed piles
I think to myself
Have I forgotten again the work HE did
These brilliant colors, the beauty, the laughs, and fall
I remember my creator and the infinate love He has for me
All of this, as the yellow, brown, orange leaves have once again...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Listening to NOW!

Jump Little Children-Mexico
Jump Little Children-Close your eyes
Snow Patrol-Chocolate
Schuyler Fisk/Joshua Radin-Paperweight
Switchfoot-Dirty second hands
Taylor Swift-Tim McGraw
David Crowder Band-Come and Listen
Shawn Mullins-No Blue Sky
Shawn Mullins-Lonesome
David Wilcox-Do I dare believe/Out beyond Ideas