I Got back from a remarkable trip to New Zealand only to discover that our beloved Perichoresis' ministry is in the hole financially. We have struggled since we began in 1994, but we have always managed to make payroll. This month was different. For the first time in all these years we did not make it. So let me make an appeal. If our ministry has been a blessing to you, please consider helping us financially, so we can be a blessing to many more. Contrary to what you might think, Perichoresis is a very small ministry. Our outreach is global, and that is both stunning and beautiful to me, but the ministry of Perichoresis is almost exclusively privately funded, and the work boils down to me and my wife Beth. Until recently, thanks to a dear friend, we have operated out of our house. We now have our own offices. Scotty Rogers works one day a week helping us with administration. Scotty is a very gifted minister and therapist, with a passion for youth, and my prayer it to bring him on full time.
Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your heart. You can contribute online through our webs site. Just go to ‘donate’ on any of the pull-down menus. Or you can send a tax deductible check to us. Perichoresis • P. O. Box 98157 • Jackson, MS 39298. Every dollar counts.
Meanwhile, I have been working with a friend who just started an outdoor pool installation business. The 14-16 hour days in the Mississippi heat and humidity has been a challenge to me at 49, to be sure, but it has been a great experience. Installing pools is a dramatic contrast to teaching. The fruit is immediate and obvious. And I love that. And Pharisees don't hang out in the Mississippi heat! We hit the ground running around 7:00am, cut the sod and start carving the ground. By the end of the day another family is thrilled. The smiles on the kid’s faces alone makes it all worthwhile. (Yeah, I can hear it now, ‘Baxter, the pool guy’).
Most of the pools we have installed have been in rural Mississippi—not that there is any part of Mississippi is that not rural—and that has taken me back to my roots. One of the great strengths of Perichoresis is its ability to put complex theology in creatively simple ways. For my part this has its origin in growing up in a small town in the deep South. I reckon that the return to hard work in the farm lands of Mississippi is intended as a blessing from the Lord. I am grateful. It is exhausting, but good.
Everyday I think of Jesus asking the servants to get water to fill the ‘empty’ Jewish purification pots. It was surely hot, and the wedding party needed wine, not water, but the servants got the water and Jesus turned it into wine. The servants, doing something as apparently mundane as getting water, got to participate in the creative blessing of the Lord himself. Dignity. Meaning. Purpose. Our fleshly systems of evaluation are the fruit of sheer blindness. Participating in Jesus’ presence and blessing, whether it is through farming, putting in pools, helping a friend, or, I suppose, even preaching, is life.
The lesson for us all is this: There is far more going on in our lives than we ever dared to dream. We belong to the Father, Son and Spirit. We always have and always will. And the presence, not absence, of Jesus, calls us to throw our hearts and souls and minds and strength—and sweat—into participating in what he is doing. What we need is wisdom. So, Holy Spirit, please give us real eyes to see the presence and work of Jesus. Deliver us from our blindness and our sacred-secular dualism so we can see Jesus in the midst of our ‘ordinary’ lives.