Friday, September 29, 2006

Praying hands

Praying hands, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. James 5.16b

I was reading with my friend Brett earlier this week, and this verse just stuck out to me. I had never really noticed it before. I mean, I have heard it quoted in a multitude of versions, but this week it pierced me as only the Sacred Text can do when we are humbled before it.

Prayer is something powerful to be reckoned with. In the ESV it says that "The prayer of a righteous man has a great power in its working."

Do you know what is ridiculous about this? It is ridiculous how seldom we pray. If we really want to see our world changed, does it not make sense to pray. Maybe it is in prayer that our own transformation takes place as well.

In order for prayer to be all it can be, I think we need to realize that prayer in essence is about submission. It is about humility. Maybe that is part of the difficulty. We believe that we are in greater control of our lives and world than we really are. And so, often, instead of submitting to the power of prayer, we end up trusting in our own abilities to cope with situations and impact the world.

If prayer is something powerful to be reckoned with, why would we not be willing to do it regularly. Are we that confident in ourselves?

Karl Barth once said--The clasping of the hands in prayer in the beginning of an uprising against the disorder in the world.

Will you trust in your own ability to do something about the disorder, or will you submit your requests, your needs, and your very life to the One who is able to powerfully transform our hearts, our lives, and our very inmost being?

I want to be a conduit for the power of God to break out and transform the world around me. I also know my own weakness and limits, so I need prayer to live. As much as the circumstances of my life need prayer, I need it even more. The best solution to countering my own selfishness, is to submit to God and let prayer counteract the disorder in my own life.

Maybe part of the reason we don't pray is that we don't fully grasp our own need for change, and our own limits as well. Will you take time today and allow God a time of transformation in your life so that you might truly have the ability to live as a new creation?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Running and Focus

Well, since that Clarksburg 10K back in june, I have really been focussing on getting myself in shape. So far, I have made it out almost every week since then at least twice a week. I am starting to feel the difference. I am starting to feel accustomed to exercise. I am recovering quickly. I am still slow as molasses, but that's ok. I don't have my sights set on the olympics.

This morning after I came back, I saw this picture on my desk. It is Steve Prefontaine running a race. "Pre" was a running legend in the late sixties and early seventies, and a few years ago, I saw a movie about him. One of the things that I liked about him was his focus and his drive. That quote in the photo haunts me when I think about running a race. It also creeps into other areas of my life as well.

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."

As I ran this morning with my friend Mark, I felt like it was a time of focus, and encouragement for both of us. We get together every couple of weeks. We hang out. We share what's happening in our lives, and we dream.

As we ran this morning, I just felt so focused. In my opinion, life and running have a lot of similarities. You have good days and bad days. Slow days and fast days. Hot days and cold days. But through all of those days, one thing remains to keep you going, and that is focus. We are stimulated with all kinds of stuff on a daily basis that attempts to disrupt our focus. It is hard to remain undestracted. Running has helped me keep focused. Prayer and scripture also serve to help me focus. Without prayer and scripture, I think I would easily be distracted by all of the circumstances swirling around me.

When you are running through life, what helps you maintain your focus?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fine Dining with Family

Fine Dining with Family, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Sunday night after h2o, my family went to casa d'amici for some good eats and QT together with some of our h2o community.

I am filled with joy every time I look at this photo. It's been incredible living together and doing things together for a couple of days.

It pops all of these cool memories into my mind. Like, we used to eat meals together virtually every night as a family. Or at least that's how I remember it. it might not have been every night, but it was a regular occurance. We would sit down and eat a home-cooked meal together.

I can remember my sister having her friends over, and how I would always be the rotten little brother who would come in and bug her and her friends because that's what little brothers do, and that's how I roll.

I can remember me and my brother staying up really late at night on weekends and playing trivial pursuit against each other. Sometimes he would even let me win, or at least come close.

I can remember our old house. I thought it was a really nice house, but we all live in houses that are so much nicer now.

It wasn't ever about the location though--it was about the people.

What about you? Are you taking time to enjoy moments with the people who are around you? It seems like folks will always be around, but now my family lives in four different houses. We don't stay up late playing trivial pursuit. We don't even get a meal together that often.

But those moments . . .

They are always precious.


Siblings, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Can you believe my parents were able to bring up the three of us? It was soooo incredible to spend time together this weekend.

I think I've got a great brother and sister. It's a shame that we all live such busy lives that we don't spend more time with each other.

My sister and brother are amazing. A lot of people don't get along with their siblings, but I am sooooo grateful for mine.

They had to put up with me being a rotten little brother, and they still love me. I think Mom and Dad gave us each a big heart for one another, and for other people as well. We had so much fun laughing together this weekend. I am going to cherish our moments for sure.

I hope you take some time to cherish your siblings today too.

Me and Mom

Me and Mom, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Mom still has energy after a long weekend with all of her kids. Can you believe this lady? She is amazing.

Lovely Couple

Lovely Couple, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Here are my mom and dad posing for the camera. My dad looks like he is up to something, although I am not sure exactly what.

Couldn't you see them hanging out in a place like this on a date or somethng. They just look so cute.

you can really tell that they love each other!

Bro and Sis

Bro and Sis, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Sunday night, my family came up for the evening in Morgantown. We went to Casa D'Amici for some delicious pizza at the end of the evening. Here is a great picture of my awesome sister and me. Isn't she beautiful?

Sorry fellas, but she is taken.

It was really great spending time together over the past couple of days.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

family photo

family photo, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
OK, so yesterday was awesome! I think it marks the first time the five of us have done something as a family in several years. Unfortunately my brother's wife and son, and my sister's husband weren't able to join us, but yesterday, we were a family.

As we went through the day, I kept thinking about how much has changed in our lives, and yet, with all of the changes, we are still family.

I think my mom may have felt like the Williams branch of the papparozzi were on the loose yesterday. Between us I imagine we took over 100 pictures.

But, when it has been at least seven years since all of us have been in the same place, I think we all run with the realization that moments like this are precious.

And pictures like this are precious too. I hope you enjoy it. And I also hope you take time to enjoy your family when you are given those rare opportunities of time together!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Green Yard and Blue Sky

Green Yard and Blue Sky, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
So I got up today, and it was just a beautiful day. I knew I wanted to take some photos, but I wasn't sure what I should attempt to capture. So I walked out into my front yard, and took a picture of the beautiful green.

I was able to get some folks to come over from a lawn care group in town and help me out--there was no way I would have been able to get this done this week. And, honestly, it needed to happen like 3 weeks ago. But it really looks beautiful now!

I love the area where I live. It's a cool little neighborhood. And I like weather like we had today. What an awesome end to my week in Morgantown.

I can't believe I get to spend time with my brother, sister, mom, and dad for the next couple of days!!! It makes the long week worth it!

I love the area where I live, but not as much as I love spending time with my family!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sky Behind Sozo

Sky Behind Sozo, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Well, my buddy ryan gave me a call and told me I needed to take a photo. So I did.

I just love the sky when it looks this way. Day or night, when the sky is lit up and glows with brilliance it does something to me. I can't quite explain it.

Today has felt like an amsterdam kind of day here in Morgantown. As I walked the street, I felt like I was in the nederlands. I can't describe it, but I will try. It just seemed like the sky possessed that unique overcast brightness that is found in Holland in the winter.

And then, to see the blue break through was simply brilliant.

Has the weather ever taken you back to a memory of a place? What about the clouds and skyline? Have you ever felt like you were somewhere else just because of the weather? That's how I've felt most of the day.

See ya in the funny papers!

This morning, our new cafe downtown made it in the campus newspaper. We were on the front page. THe guy from the Daily Athenaeum here at WVU came in yesterday afternoon and took a bunch of pictures. He had a really cool tattoo on his left shoulder, and I would love to see more of his photos, because this one was really great.

Anyhoo, it is pretty sweet that we were able to get some free publicity directed around this new space. And the picture says so much about how relaxed and connecting this little cafe is.

It couldn't have come at a better time either. This week, we are showing a film, "Invisible Children", Thursday night @ 7PM, and we are formally opening the artspace portion of the cafe this Friday during morgantown's annual artwalk.

Although I probably won't be around for much if any of this stuff, it is pretty cool to see this little space at the top of high street start to come to life, and find some resonance within our campus community.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

O Brother Where Art Thou

O Brother Where Art Thou, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
So here is my brother, chuck, on the left.

Chuck is flying form Los Angeles to Columbus right now. My dad and brother-in-law are going to pick him up today.

I'm looking forward to making it down into Parkersburg to visit him and the rest of the family for wee bit.

This is the first time all of us Williams children have been together for quite some time. I'm looking forward to it!

Monday, September 18, 2006


Sanctuary, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
This week feels really full to me, but I read an amazing passage of scripture today. I have felt a little anxious and overwhelmed at times when I consider all that is happening this week. It was really refreshing to read the following words from Paul's letter to the Philippian Church. This passage is from "The Message" paraphrase.

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Philippians 4.6-7

What a great reminder, it is truly wonderful what happens when Christ is at the center of your life. Take some time to let Christ be the center in your life as you go through your day. When something else is the center, our lives feel out of rhythm; we struggle and strive. I hope this text can be a reminder to you of finding rhythm.

The picture is of one of the most beautiful churches I've had the privilege of visiting. I am pretty sure this is Sint Nicolaaskerk in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (but some of my Nederlander friend's can correct me on that). I like the way the cross is central to the space. Everything in the room moves your eyes to the cross. This is where our suffering and God's victory meet and we see the beginnings of Shalom moving through the world.

May you experience God's peace today as you make Christ the center.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Grasping tightly

Hands In Sand, originally uploaded by johnass.
Nobody can hold a fistful of sand, but we try and try to hold onto things. I just read a quote from Martin Luther on my friend Noel's blog. The quote has been haunting me for the last couple of days.

"I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess."

And there is the challenge. I think we like having stuff in our hands. We feel like we are "with it" or "in control." It is an illusion, but it feels real, and maybe that's why we tend to gravitate toward it.

It is one of the greatest ironies, I think. You see, we know that everything in our life really belongs to God, and that He will care for every aspect of our life better than we ever could ourselves, and yet, we find ourselves trying to hold onto things.

Why is that?

In the end, when we hold onto things, they slip right through our fingers like the sand in this picture.

And in the end, when we give things to God, things are much better than we often think they will be.

Maybe I am alone in this, but in spite of knowing that everything I am, I have, and I do is much better in God's hands, I still want to hold on sometimes.

Maybe I need to remember to take his yoke upon me, and lay down everything I am working so hard to carry.

Maybe we all need a reminder like that sometimes.

Is there something you are trying to carry that is slipping through your hands, or otherwise falling apart? Obviously you aren't adequately equipped to carry it. Try handing it over to God, just for one day, and see what happens.

WVU v Maryland

WVU v Maryland, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
What a beautiful sight! Mountaineer field all aglow, and Maryland getting beaten badly on national television.

I love this state, and I really enjoy West Virginia sports. Football season affords me an opportunity to connect with many of my friends that I wouldn't see any other time.

There is something about this place that is magical. There is something electric about the space. I just heard that William "Refridgerator" Perry said that this stadium is one of the most exciting places he's ever played.

There's something about seeing people united for a cause that is just exhilirating.

But today, the stand is empty, and the lights are off. Many are recovering from excessive celebration last night. Almost all are returning to some degree of "normalcy" with their lives. We forget, and we fall into routine.

What keeps you motivated when the lights are off, and the stand is empty? How do you stay faithful to the cause?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Ok, I had a lot of fun taking pictures and capturing memories today, but this picture is absolutely beautiful.

My mom and dad love each other a lot, and you can really see it in this picture. I love my mom and dad a lot too, but I am behind the camera on this one.

Aren't they adorable?

I am so proud of them and how they have just shown so much love to each other (and to us kids) for so long.

I could look at this picture for hours. There is so much communicated in this picture that I can't even begin to put into words.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

NDN 4 Life

NDN 4 Life, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
4 Shawnees.
4 Real.

Me, Dad, Mom, and Willie are all showing off our turbans, and skullcaps as we sport our signs.

Straight Outta the Mid Ohio Valley, we are survivors. And we will stand strong.

Check us out yo!

Thugged Out with Mom

Thugged Out with Mom, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
We decided to sport the skullcaps and give a try at looking HARD. Here me, Willie, and my mom rock out our gangsta look with our dew rags.

We all had a blast today as we celebrated my mom's birthday a day early with some delicious food, some cool hang out time, and some totally awesome pics.

I had no idea my mom could look so gangsta!

Kickin' It With Mom

Kickin' It With Mom, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
I figured I would give a try rockin' out one of mom's skullcaps. I think we look pretty tight in our caps.

What do you think?

Mom Day After Dose 2

Mom Day After Dose 2, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Well, My mom has completed 33% of her chemotherapy treatments. She looks 1000% times better today than she did the day after her first treatment.

You will notice she is wearing a dew rag. She made it herself. She is planning on making and donating them to the cancer center here in parkersburg.

She has started losing her hair, but she looks absolutely beautiful. I mean LOOK at this lady!!!

She is getting stronger instead of weaker, and she is OVERCOMING!!!

Thanks so much for your prayers. If you have ever questioned whether or not they are effective, just look at this smiling face.

She is ADORABLE, and she is my mom!

I love her, how could anyone not?

Where I Used to Get My Game On

Where I Used to Kick It, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
As we walked around Parkersburg today, we walked by an old basketball court at the city park. I used to play basketball here every day as soon as school let out. I would play until dinner time, or dark, whichever came first.

I like the way this photo turned out.

I remember playing 33 with Willie here a few years ago. He beat me. He reminded me as we walked along today. My dad got a kick out of that.

Do you have any old stomping grounds where you used to do things? It's good to go back to those places from time to time and see how they have changed or remained the same.

Parkersburg has changed alot, but this court hasn't changed all that much. It's a beautiful park. It's just a shame nobody really uses it to play basketball anymore.

Shawnees Looking on the Ohio

As my dad, Willie, and myself walked along this afternoon and just spent time together, we arrived at Fort Boreman Hill in Parkersburg.

Here are my Dad and my closest friend, both fellow Shawnees from the Eagle clan looking down upon the Pelewa theepi (Ohio River).

The river was called La Belle Riviere by the french. Even on an overcast day like today it still reflects some of that beauty.

It's almost like they are looking into the past as they look down the river. My family has come to this river to sit, reflect, and pray for generations.

It truly is a beautiful river.

Willie Rising from the Grave

Strange things happen when Willie comes around. Here we were in a cemetary where Willie found his tombstone. It says that he died like 4 years ago. Boy were we surprised!

Here he is, rising from the grave. What a rare image indeed!

(by the way, for all of those people who say willie is a figment of my imagination, there he is--alive and well!!!)


Enoch?, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Ok, I think I remember reading that Enoch walked with God, and he was not. But then, today, I was walking through town with my dad and Willie, and I think I might have found a confusing piece of that ancient puzzle. Perhaps this was an Ebenezer stone that Enoch's family left.

Who knew?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Therapeutic Space?

Therapeutic Space?, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
I could make this a rant about the western sensibility when it comes to a word like therapy, but I will resist. I will simply state that in looking at this space I don't get a strong sense of healing.

And yet . . .

As I think about this little 6x10 room with a curtain for privacy (look at the right edge of the picture to see the curtain), and the IV drug hanging coatrack I realize that healing does take place in this room. With its pseudo comfy chair for the patient receiving the semi-specific toxins that target the cancer cells, this room is a bizarre space.

As I sat in this little room with my mom, I started thinking about the hundreds of people who have sat in this little room before us. I think about all of the fear, anxiety, and sadness that has dwelt in the hearts and minds of the people who have sat in this space. I wonder how many tears have been shed in this little cubicle with it's semi-private curtain.

I wonder what happened to the other people who shared this space with my family. They have no idea that we are even here, and I don't know who any of them are either. I wonder, if, amid the tears, they had hope.

I realize that the space doesn't scream out therapy and healing, but then maybe that's our job. You see, when we bring the light of Christ into a space, no matter how sad, dark, and dismal it might be, it becomes a place of healing and hope.

We don't often take time to reflect on the space which we inhabit, or our call to transform that space into a place where heaven and earth meet. Where are you sitting right now? Who has sat there in the past? We don't think about these things often. But maybe, if we did, our hearts might become a little more soft toward the people who are hurting all around us.

Maybe then we could bring just a little more healing into our world. And maybe, just maybe, the place in which we dwell would become a therapeutic space--wherever it is.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Potluck thoughts

So I was thinking about this whole potluck thing. You know, I had no idea so many people had crock-pots. I think I might need to invest in one. There was so much good food at this thing--it was amazing. This summer I decided that I needed to learn to cook, but I have not mastered the art of the crock pot yet. I hear it makes cooking easier, but I just don't understand how it works.

Sometimes people just use them to heat stuff. Other times they actually cook the food in the crock pot. Why is it called a crock pot? I thought a crock was a bad thing, but then I ate some of the food people had cooked last night, and these crock pots aren't bad things at all. I just misunderstood them.

Sometimes I think a lot of our problems today come from just that problem. We misunderstand each other. if people just took time to listen to one another, our misunderstandings would be minimized.

And maybe we would find out that some people are more like crock pots, and less like crack pots. We might misunderstand them, but then we find out when we spend time around them that they really aren't all that bad.


Chillin', originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
These are some cool cats who kick it down at so.zo. I just met Jonathan, but JR, Ricky and Andrew I've known for a while. (left to right)
Andrew is actually my newest roommate.

I just love this place. It is filled with life. I think it might be because the people who frequent it are also filled with life.


connecting, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
I think this is one of my favorite pictures, although it is a little blurry. I forgot my ultrapod III that my brother bought me. People are talking, people are eating, people are surfing the web, and most importantly, people are connecting.

This week at h2o, we talked about our desire for relationships. Here people are embodying the message. Beautiful stuff!!!

So.zo potluck

So.zo potluck, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
I've forgotten my camera on many excursions recently, and I've developed a habit of blogging photos. I feel like it makes things a bit more interesting.

Anyhoo, this is a sweet shot of our community space coming alive with food. There was plenty for everyone, and no one went away hungry.

But, there weren't 5000 people there . . .yet.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Spider, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
I'm finally getting a handle on how to use the macro function on my camera. Yesterday, while out galavanting through the woods (and climbing) a small group of us came upon this spider (about a foot below this spider and web is an identical spider and web that I couldn't capture in the same photo).

I'm not sure what kind of spider this is, but it definitely looks cool.

It is amazing the complexity and intricacy that spiders weave into their webs. When I see the discipline of a spider in making this amazingly intricate and beautiful web, I am awestruck.

Something so small is capable of such intricacy, and I often feel that I am all thumbs when I attempt to be artistic.

Somehow though, we are all like this spider. We have such a capacity for creativity, and we rarely grasp it. We are so busy being productive that we miss out on virtually any opportunity to be creative.

Take some time today, and be creative. Write, paint, draw, even re-arrange your room or clean it. Slow down, and be an instrument for ushering beauty into the world.

Secret Hideaway

Secret Hideaway, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
I am always taken aback by this sight when I stumble upon it at Cooper's Rock. After climbing and crawling through narrow channels in the rocks, all of a sudden the rocks give way to this open space. It is such a pronounced change in the atmosphere that it always gives me a feeling of discovery when I see it.

Have you ever experienced this "openness" when you walk into a space?

I think these spaces function like natural cathedrals. They point us upward and make us realize that the world, and the Creator are much bigger than we imagine them to be.

Big spaces can be intimidating, or they can be comforting. I am not sure what leads one to perceive things in these different ways, but there is something that embraces you in the comforting spaces, and there is something that seems to be cold and unwelcoming in the intimidating spaces.

Have you ever discovered a comforting secret hideaway in your journeys through wilderness?