Whimsical Saturday- Art

22 09 2013

The pursuit of whimsy, the light-hearted, yet serious, adventure.

Sometimes love means making art…

Greg Poppy Maui

Simply for the joy of creating.

          For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
        Ephesians 2:10

Whimsical Sunday- The Journey

11 08 2013

The pursuit of whimsy, the light-hearted, yet serious, adventure.

While on life’s journey,

greg poppy maui

It is good to stop and enjoy the view.

Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
1 Peter 3:4

Whimsical Sat…err Sunday- Lunch Break

30 06 2013

The pursuit of whimsy, the light-hearted, yet serious, adventure.

Sometimes loves mean sitting with your family


In a car by the beach
Eating lunch together

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
Psalm 23:2

A New Family

25 04 2013

As we are sharing one car and because my job takes me all over the island, I rode a “commuter” bus to work this morning. While the ride was pretty normal, one thing struck me about the ride: the community.  The people who used the bus knew each other. They made this journey every workday together, and they talked story and knew each other’s names. The passengers knew the driver’s name, the driver, the passengers’ names. At one point, a gentleman didn’t have the correct change for the two-dollar bus fare. The driver and some of the other passengers got him the correct change (this normally doesn’t happen).  Instead of a bus ride, it felt more like a family carpool, albeit that is one HUGE family car. 

The only anonymous person on the bus was me, and I got the feeling it will not remain that way as I continue to make this journey with them. Our island is small. The anonymous ones visit, but the Ohaha (family) remains enjoying the journey together. That is how Maui feels to me: a new Ohana enjoying our journey together.

7 MonthsTime

4 01 2013

7 Months Time

Dedicated to our friends on the Island in the sea.

Seeing their faces, I began to cry.

Why does two months feel like two years?

It was hard to stay, but boy did we try.

I know we fought through our tears,

As we said we’ll be leaving,

But only a little while!

Our new adventure eased our grieving,

But even it ended in surprising style.

Papa God knows our hearts,

He’s given us dear friends,

To go through all the false starts,

And to go past all the “dead” ends.

Our victory is all but won,

For a new way may be imminent,

Our lives we live for the One,

And all of His plans come with fulfillment.

                                                                                                                                                         ~4 January 2013

“We Built this City” on comfort

16 01 2012

Looking back.  A lot of us have fond memories from our early childhoods, whether it was a special time with friends and family or a particular song or movie.  I can remember wanting to watch certain movies as an adult that I watched as a kid, but when I watched them, I was disappointed.  My adult self is disappointed by the poor production values and the general goofy-ness of movies aimed at children in the 1980s (i.e. Short Circuit, the Never-Ending Story, etc).

Recently, one such instance struck me as I was listening to “We Built this City” by Jefferson Starship.  The song is about San Francisco, and my mom, being from the Bay Area, loved the song.  I had fun listening to the song with her, and if it weren’t for her, I probably would not have listened to or enjoyed the song.  This “hearing” reminded me of that time.  A good memory.  The memory and the song provided me a lot of comfort (a happy time in an unhappy childhood), but the song itself is really not that timeless (despite Bernie Tuapin’s lyrics)

This experience made me examine where or in what we can find comfort.  This yearning to experience things from the past is called nostalgia.  Nostalgia is defined as an excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition.  We long to repeat these experiences because we remember them with fondness and familiarity.  But finding comfort in the past is dangerous.

Isaiah 43:18 says “Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past.” In context, God is telling the nation of Israel to stop remembering what He did and to see what He is doing now.  When people dwell on the past and how God operated in the past, they begin to camp out there.  Bill Johnson, in When Heaven Invades Earth, call hanging onto the past the enemy of the new work of the LORD. A new denomination is created because this is now the only way God will operate.  We reduce the Almighty Creator, Father of Heaven and Earth, The Alpha and Omega down to a formula.  We make Him a math equation, a recipe.  We add a pinch of worship, followed by a dash prayer, and a two cups of scripture and wait for God to show up like He did before.  The problem is that God does not respond to us.

God calls us, and we respond to Him.  I do not mean to disparage spiritual disciplines.  They are necessary, but they do not cause God to respond to us.  He doesn’t live in buildings built by human hands.  He lives in the hearts of those that He has called.  Humble hearts that hear His call and respond with gratitude.  Spiritual disciplines train us to hear his voice.  Studying scripture, prayer and worship enable us to discern His voice from among the many, as it says in 1 John 4:1″…test the spirits…”

When we turn to formula, we miss the spontaneous nature of God and make ourselves susceptible to deceit from the enemy.  When we draw comfort from the former things and former ways, we miss what God is doing right now.  What past patterns or experiences do you hold on to tightly?   What are you missing in the now?

Monday’s Shorts: Moment

12 12 2011

Today’s word is moment.  The word means a particular point in time or having important effects or influence.  The word comes from the French moment which comes from the Latin momentum meaning movement, moving power.  Interestingly, the combination of the two definitions seems to fit the Latin defintion, e.g. an instance with important effects, or moving power.  Grape soda reminded me of this most recently.

In the Disney movie Up, the protagonist, Carl Fredricksen, is shy, but he has the heart of an adventurer.  He mets the extroverted Ellie on his way home from the movie theater after learning his hero is accused of being a fraud.  Ellie gives him a grape soda cap as a badge and changes his life.  The movie moves quickly through their life together with scenes depicting various events including their marriage, pregnancy, and miscarrage.  After that tragedy, they remember their original dreams and create a plan to live it, but they get interrupted by life and never get to live out their dream.  Sadly, Ellie passes away leaving Carl a widower.

Why did the combination of the two defintions of moment remind me of grape soda?  The badge that Ellie gave to Carl as children is what Carl holds on to remember the wife of his youth.  Eventually, life goes for everybody except Carl.  Time changes around him, but because of his love for Ellie, Carl lovingly maintains their home (and Ellie’s memory).  Even when a developer offers him big money, Carl continues to cherish her memory. But he stops living in the moment.

Until a moment strikes.  Or more importantly, Carl strikes a man for messing with his memories and for that mistake, gets remanded to a nursing home.  Given the momentum of that forced change, Carl starts living in the moment again.  He creates and executes a crazy plan to float his house down to Paradise Falls in the South America.  He has adventures along the way, gets rid of all the cherished reminders of his wife, and loses the house.

You see while pursuing his life-long dream, Carl meets Russell (who is basically an over-eager cub scout).  Russell comes to Mr. Fredricksen trying to earn his final badge to became a Senior Wilderness Explorer.  Russell, in his desire to achieve that feat, finds himself on Carl’s porch as the house floats to South America.  Through another series of adventures where Carl learns that the boy’s father is absent, Carl risks everything to save Russell from the antagonist, Carl’s childhood hero, Charles Muntz.

Carl eventually saves Russell, and Russell earns his final merit badge.  The moment that makes the movie so touching is the award ceremony.  Carl stands in for Russell’s dad and gives him the “Ellie” badge.  They eventually fulfill another of Russell’s wishes, by eating ice cream and counting red and blue cars.

Russell made a difference in Mr. Fredricksen’s life.  Essentially, Russell helped Carl remember that all we have is right now, this particular instant in time, this moment.  And each one should be full of important effects or influence.  I believe that is what the bible tells us, as I talked about here.

What moments are you missing by living in the past or worrying about the future?  Come to the Cross, let go of your past, grab your own cross,  bear it, lose your life, and find the adventure of now, this moment!