Wednesday, July 20, 2005

All Done

Earlier this summer, while talking with a few of the staff here in Orlando, I set a goal. The goal was meant to stretch and deepen my walk with God, and it was also meant to be a challenge to encourage others to take major steps of faith over the summer. This goal was centered on the sacred text. I committed to read the entire Bible before LT ended, and I finally finished. It was good to be so immersed in the Word over the summer. God brought a number of fresh insights into my life, and also gave me words that ministered to some personal challenges I have encountered over the summer.

I feel refreshed by meeting the goal, and I feel renewed by the cleansing effects of immersion in this sacred text.

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.--Isaiah 40:8

What a fitting text to read as this rapid journey through the sacred text comes to consummation.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Waiting for the rain to stop

I'm sitting in a computer lab in Orlando with four other staff right now. We have a lot of rain coming down. It looks like buckets. I figured I would leave a quick post while waiting for the rain to stop.

It's amazing how no matter how impervious we think we are to the elements, we still have our limits. I left my goretex jacket in the car so I can't use it right now. All of those proverbs about preparedness just came "flooding" in right now.

Everybody just left, but I am still typing. At least I have my trusty laptop. They've got some guts going out into this torrent, but they don't have laptops with them. That is key for them.

Its kind of funny how technology both enables us and debilitates us at the same time. If I don't have a cell phone, computer, or camera, I don't have to worry about what will happen to them when they get wet, but I also can't enjoy the benefits of them in the dry weather.

Well, those are some thoughts I'm currently having.

try to keep your powder dry

Monday, July 18, 2005

Enchanted Castle

Enchanted Castle, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
From the middle of the Magic Kingdom, Cinderella's castle begins to change color as twilight approaches.

Friday was truly a magical day with family--it's the first time in a long time I have been able to take a full day off with them. It is even cooler that I was able to bless them while they stayed in FL. I hope they had a magical and restful stay.

It was nice being able to bless them. They've worked so hard so that me, my brother, and sister, would have a better life than them, and now we are in a position to be able to improve their quality of life.

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
So much has happened over the past week...

My parents came to O-town to visit and look for a winter home.

My roommate (in FL) got engaged.

and...I visited four theme parks in one day with my parents.

We went to Animal Kingdom, MGM Studios, Epcot, and the Magic Kingdom. I pushed my mom in a wheelchair for 14 miles in temperatures that exceeded 106. I don't know what the heat index was, but I know it was a scorcher. I am so impressed with my parents--I can't believe we covered four theme parks in 1 day. Mom is 59 and Dad is 64, and I don't know too many people who are half their age who could be so energetic, but we were in the "magic kingdom".

Thanks to my roommates fiance, we were able to visit these parks for free--she gave us three complimentary tickets for all of the parks.

The week has been fun, and I am sorry to see my parents go, but we had a wonderful time. We even visited both coasts while they were here. I think the students in our LT program fell in love with them and vice-versa.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Well, for those of you who have been praying with little if any idea of what you have been praying for...I figured I would post the letter I wrote to my tribe's tribal council last Saturday. It might give you some deeper insight into what you were praying for. Thanks for all of your prayers and words of encouragement, and thanks for being my friends.

To the members of the Tribal Council:

One of my greatest passions in life has been my heritage as a Shawnee. I have a great love for my people, and our common tradition. This passion has only been exceeded by my passion for the Lord Jesus, as it should be. Over the last several years I have had many wonderful memories with our people, in every season of the year, and in many locations. I have great memories of visits to Chief Crow’s house, to the Lawson family church, and many other points in between. I am extremely grateful for the memories we have been able to make together—the modern history of the Shawnee people has been written in my heart by the shared experiences of our lives.

For this reason, it is with a heavy heart that I write this letter, but I feel that it is my only recourse. I do not write it out of malicious intent, but out of strong conviction, and deep regret. I write it because I feel I have failed the Shawnee people who I love. I write it because I feel I have been unable to adequately carry out the responsibilities of my position. I write because it seems the only option left for me is to resign my position as Niishwo-t-okeema (2nd Chief or Vice-Chairman of the Tribal Council).

I am sorry that it has come to this, and I truly wish there was another way, but my tear-filled eyes do not see it. I do not feel that I myself, the secretary/treasurer, or the tribal council have the authority to carry out our respective responsibilities. Also, as a matter of conviction, there are practices taking place among those who are considered spiritual authorities which I believe neither reflect the Bible or Shawnee tradition. Again, I do not write this out of bitterness or malice, but out of a heart that desires to seek earnestly after God.

Beyond this, over the last few years there have been questions of my loyalty and my commitment to our tribe. I have continued showing up year after year in spite of remarks made about my commitment, my loyalty, and my faith. If anything, maybe I have been loyal to a fault, and maybe my commitment has blinded me to the unraveling of our commitment to the Lord Jesus, to humble, forgiving hearts of repentance, and to the deep love all once felt for each other.

I love you all very dearly, and this has been the most painful decision I have ever made. I pray that you will find a better replacement and that our tribe will experience revival. I feel great shame that I have failed our people and great sorrow for what has become of our once loving and safe community.

I understand that my position in the tribe is for life, based on good behavior. I also understand that my commitment to Grandfather God stands before all other commitments. As such, I can not continue serving in my position with a clear conscience while we as a people drift farther and farther apart. I’m sorry I could not stop this from happening.

If anyone would like to contact me with any further concerns or questions I would gladly invite this dialogue and would be honored by your concern.

With great love and a broken heart,

Billy Thunderwarrior Williams

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Hard Decisions

I hate making hard decisions. I really just despise making hard decisions. Right now I am facing one of the hardest decisions of my life, and I am scared. I am terrified, and I don't want to do the wrong thing. Please pray for me to be able to walk in the Spirit, follow the Lord's leading, and lay down one of the most important aspects of my life before the altar of the Lord. Please pray I will do the right thing, and that my actions will be used for the glory of God. I can't say much about it, but I am thankful for any intercession you can make on my behalf.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Blue Like Jazz

So, I flew from Orlando into one of the most beautiful days in Pittsburgh I can remember. As I flew, I read this book by Donald Miller called Blue Like Jazz. It is really cool. Not a deeply theological book, but very real! I have been debating giving it a read for about a year now, and it became "the book" for my flight back north. If you get a chance, give it a read. Don't expect to find any answers to deep theological questions, but you may find a tear or two welling up in your eyes at points. There may also be many laughs emited at other points.

Hey, give it a read.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Weekend Adventures

This past weekend was a little toned down for me--no surfing, no flying, no weddings. I lived a quasi-normal existence. It seems I am fighting some type of sinus problem so I have been a little out of it. I did make one pioneering move though in the area of my wardrobe. I bought a shirt from Banana Republic that is striped and some of those stripes are different colors of pink. It was super cheap, and I had some staff encouraging me to purchase on a miniature "fashion emergency". I wore it to a party Saturday night, and it got rave reviews. My roommates have gone on record to state that I'm probably the only person they know of who could pull it off. I seem to get that comment a lot about my attire.

I was hoping to make my annual pilgrimmage to Ichetucknee Springs this summer, but so far no-dice. We shall see what transpires in future weeks. My folks are coming to visit next week, so I am looking forward to that. It will be their first time in FL since 1986. Much has changed since then, I'm sure.

I will also be flying back north this week for a church planning time in Pittsburgh, PA. It looks to be another full week!