Not Really Designed For That

This short video is pretty awesome … well unless you are the owner of the sailboat. I don’t think the sea lions care that this sailboat wasn’t really designed to function as a resting rock for them, they are going to use it for this purpose anyhow. I love the fact that a third sea lion tried to get on the boat but was denied by the other two. That would have been very interesting.

I’m sure there is an illustration in there somewhere concerning using things in our life for purposes they weren’t meant for (for good or bad) but it is December 30th and such thoughts are beyond me at the moment.

I really hoped the sailboat survived without too much damage.

ht Jami

What Tapestry Did for Christmas – We Raised Enough Money for at least One Well

The Holtes & Terrells at the Makah Foundation annual "Walk for Water"

I was a part of a D.Min final project for Clint Calvert a little over a year ago. Clint is an awesome guy who really likes to help small, local churches figure out how to do their most effective ministry. His project was focused on helping churches determine what their building needs were and then determine how to raise money to meet those needs. I was one of the pastors that he met with and coached in this process. One of the things that came out of this coaching was that while a building would be convenient to have for Tapestry it wasn’t something that necessarily helped our ministry at this moment, and therefore I was the subject in his project that didn’t try to raise money for building needs. Still it started me thinking about what we could raise some extra money for.

That’s when the idea of initiating a capital campaign (the things churches often do to raise money for a building) to provide clean water to someone. Thanks to the Holte’s I had already begun a friendship with Sam Dinga of the Makah Foundation and I asked him to meet with our leadership team. The leadership team was amazed by what the Makah Foundation has done to provide clean water to villages in Cameroon, West Africa. Therefore, we decided that we would do a combination of a capital campaign and an NPR fundraiser – i.e. we would spend four weeks asking the church members to give more than the normal offerings they give that support the ministry of Tapestry AND we would use resources the church already had to match whatever the church members gave for a well through the Makah Foundation.

We aren’t finished yet but thus far we have raised enough money to build one well and we are a fifth of the way into the second well. It has been a pretty good way to celebrate our Lord’s birthday – I can’t really think of a better way to honor the Lord Who gives “living water” than to provide our neighbors with clean, healthy water. It has also been pretty fun that Tapestry’s first “capital campaign” has been to meet the needs of others.

SIDE NOTE – If you are a thread it isn’t too late to give towards the well. You can do so HERE.

SIDE SIDE NOTE – if you aren’t a thread and are looking for an organization to support the Makah Foundation is a good one to support.


I love “Yogi Berrisms”! The New York Yankee catcher/manager/coach from the 40s through 80s just had an amazing way of saying very profound things in extremely unorthodox and sometimes confusing manners. I’m presently reading Bessell A. van der Kolk’s book “The Body Keeps the Score” (which has been amazing thus far) and the 3 chapter began with the above quote from Yogi Berra. “You can observe a lot by watching.”

So good.

Unfortunately I, and I think others too, often react without observing.

Stack Pole

The photo attached to this post is from my favorite chaplaining discussion from yesterday. The doodle on the right side of the image is my attempt at describing a stack pole. A “stack pole” is an ancient agricultural concept that I learned while studying theology. Within theology is was meant to convey the central idea that gives shape and structure to all of your other theology. In the image attach to this post the stack pole is the dark line that is draw in the center of what is supposed to be a haystack. (Don’t judge my haystack – this was a conversational doodle, not an attempt at art).

A Romanian haystack

I am not a farmer, nor the son of a farmer (though I did have a step-grandfather that was a hobby gardener and really liked to use all his step-grandkids as free labor on his hobby garden – but we didn’t deal with hay so I didn’t learn this from him, however I have dug more potatoes and picked more green beans and tomatoes than I care to remember), but I learned about stack poles because of the theological discussion.

A stack pole is the pole in the center of a haystack that gives the stack structure for stability, shape, and aeration. The stack pole makes the haystack sound and reliable. Without a stack pole the haystack has to have some other form of structure or it will fall down on itself, become unmanageable, or even worse, combust from the heat that accompanies a lack of aeration.

So often in discussion I describe a “stack pole” to people in an attempt to help them figure out what is the person/concept/thing that lends structure to everything else in their life. What is the ultimate “yes” in my life that determines whether I say “yes” or “no” to everything else? This stack pole gives and shapes meaning to everything else. For me this stack pole is Jesus.

For far too many people I believe there is no “stack pole” in their lives, or, maybe even worse, what they have as their ultimate “yes” is nowhere near strong enough to be the center pole of their lives and thus can’t handle the weight such need for meaning brings – this can lead to chaos. In a post in September I mentioned Søren Kierkegaard’s famous quote, “purity of heart is to will one thing,” which is another way of expressing, and probably a better way because it is from Kierkegaard after all, what I mean by “stack pole”. I hope you have a stack pole that gives structure to your life. If not, or if you are realizing that what has been your “stack pole” isn’t up to snuff, then I know a great God that is the perfect “stack pole”.

Any how this post was really about two things:

  • first, I love what I get to do in life
  • two, I love when a conversation leads to a doodle.