Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Jesus and Installing Pools

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.

6 comments:

bill winn said...

Truly the Father, Son, and Spirit do nothing in isolation so with that comes our willing participation. We all know that the parable of the workers in the field is a grace/judgment parable but one of the most fascinating things, to me, about this parable is that those who were working in the field (whether they were the first to begin the workday or the last) went to the field where work was already in progress. When the vineyard keeper needed more hands he did not go to the market square and say, "hey, what do YOU want to do today? Go do it and I'll pay you a wage for your efforts." The vineyard keeper already had a job in mind for the future workers and gave them an opportunity to participate. I believe that Perichoresis Inc. is such a Vineyard where the Blessed Trinity has been at work for over 14 years and more than ever I feel the need to help where Kingdom work is already in progress and as a beneficiary or Perichoresis, Inc's ministry efforts I am glad to do just that- participate in what the Blessed Trinity is doing through Dr. C. Baxter Kruger and company!

And yes that's the best fish I can come up with in Virginia so far! ha ha

Jerome Ellard said...

Baxter, I really appreciate your understanding of the sacredness of the "everyday." And I especially appreciate your willingness to see your new role as "pool guy" as being part of God's provision for you and your family. It comes down to trusting His heart, doesn't it? I know that our Father will provide for you and yours. We celebrate that fact before it comes to pass!

Patrick Moore said...

No problem on donation. I think you should have a "Pool Guy Pastor's Retreat" where pastors can come and see some immediate results like you mentioned! Love you and your ministry.

John Geerlings said...

Hi Baxter

Thanks to those who responded.


Now I do admit that I am being bombarded by at least one or two request for support through telemarketers a day not to mention all the mail solicitation which has put my mind into that dull grey area of, “Leave me alone already”, so I understand, but this is different.

God’s enlightenment through you to me has liberated me from a great darkness where the stew of my own myth had kept me in bondage with a mindset of condemnation towards my unbelieving neighbor, which also meant, whether I believed or knew it or not, I was also in self-condemnation mode. How liberating forgiveness and reconciliation is in coming to know that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I now embrace all humanity and see them all in the same light “Christ in them the hope of glory”. It is only my own myth and illusion of a deceptive pseudo reality that kept me in my own chains. And yes, I do still find myself still wresting and entertaining this delusion.

This ministry and others like Perichoresis need to be presented to the world at large so that our brothers and sisters, all humanity, may come to see and participate in the true reality, who is Jesus. So they may come to experience their spiritual birthright that is already in them; so that this faith in them may grip and renovate their mind, will and emotions. And guess what? God may be asking us, who are already participating, not to just live by word but also in deed, to step up to the plate

Believe you me this comes from one who has generally not appreciated Ministry funding requests.

Thanks for including your mailing address, I live in Canada close to the border with Buffalo.

It is great to hang out with Jesus where He is blessing and in His ministry as He evangelizes the world! We need to encourage each other which can come in many different ways including giving financially as we are able. JG

C. Baxter Kruger, Ph.D. said...

Thanks Bill, Patrick, Jermome and John. Given the proliferation of, shall we say, excessive taurus waste, within the 'christian world' who wants to ask for help? Thanks for your hearts. And Bill, I make lures as big as you fish. Patrick, all our prayers are with you. My only son is a Calvary Scout.

Scott said...

Baxter,
This scripture has been on my mind for the last couple of days, I’m looking forward to helping out.
“Give a bonus to leaders who do a good job, especially the ones who work hard at preaching and teaching”. I Timothy5:18 The Message