Archive for September 2002

So, my bride and I went to a house church for the first time last night. Very cool people there. Turkey burgers, ice cream, coffee, Thomas Merton, questions, dialogue. It was the body of Christ. The labels that we have for church are diverse, but when you get down to it – people who love and want to follow Jesus have a mystical kind of bond that turns strangers into family in a matter of minutes. Thanks to Jason and Brooke for inviting us. It was an honor to be in your home. By the way, Jason, I am stoked for you to have found such a quality partner in life as Brooke is. You are a great team. Paige is one lucky little girl to have you guys.

My little countdown . . . 11 more days until I wake up to this.

I had a good yesterday talk with my favorite person in the world, Michelle. It was a painful one in some ways, but very helpful. I had gotten off the phone with one of the leaders in our church who had commented that he had thougt I was angry during a meeting on Sunday. I didn’t remember having been angry, but it did cause me to do some thinking. As I talked with Michelle, I realized how easy it has become for me to allow my frustration with church and all the things that aren’t working there to degrade into impatience with people (all people, not just the ones I disagree with), and irritability. I also realized how reactive I’ve become, and how dark my outlook has become in some ways. So, we talked about it, took a two hour nap, and I woke up feeling much much better. Not […]

When we depend upon organizations, we get what organizations can do; when we depend upon education, we get what education can do; when we depend upon man, we get what man can do; but when we depend upon prayer, we get what God can do. A.C. Dixon, as quoted in Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper

Read a really good article called Broadcast Institutions, Community Values. Go read this thing. It’s one of the best church pieces I’ve read in a while, even though it’s not written about the church. I forget who posted the link on their blog that led me to the article, but thank you very much! Here’s a little taste: One of the most important things you can do to attract community is to give it a fertile environment in which to grow, and one of the most damaging things you can do is to try to force it to grow at a rapid pace or in a preset direction. . . Most broadcast organizations assume that reaching a large group is an unqualified good, so they push for size at any cost, and eventually bump into the attendant tradeoffs: you can have large community, but not a highly focused one; you […]

I am coming closer and closer to the next breakthrough in my life process. It’s so slow in coming, and it comes in spurts, but I do believe it’s coming. I sat in a meeting of church leadership the other day, and found myself disagreeing with almost everything that everyone was saying – probably even what I was saying. There were a number of topics and directions, but I began to see something more clearly than I had in the past – it’s not that I am the enlightened one and “they” all need my superior perspectives, or that I’m all wrong and their ways are better. We are simply in different places, and more than likely, we are holding one another back. All of the things that God has been showing me in the past couple of years are exciting and life changing to me, but they represent something […]

I’ve been realizing lately how many books I wish I could read. I am at some point in the process of reading at least six different books right now, but there are so many I haven’t gotten my hands on yet. I like reading – it gets me fired up to read some really penetrating or enlightening thoughts. I don’t read as much as Jordan Cooper . . . I read somewhere on his website that his annual goal is to read something like 150 books! At the risk of sounding completely illiterate in the ways of postmodernity and faith, here is a short list of books I’ve never read, but hope to very soon: The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard The Seven Story Mountain by Thomas Merton More Ready Than You Realize by Brian McLaren Soul Tsunami by Leonard Sweet Houses that Change by Wolfgang Simpson Good to Great […]

I just got invited to participate in the “What is Christianity Today?” blog. Cool stuff so far. Thanks to Iggie for the invite.

I am experiencing my sense of patriotism today. I mourn with other Americans. I love my country and see how strong we are as a nation. But my patriotism is not enmeshed with my faith in God. I define myself first and foremost as a Jesus follower, and not as an American. My love for this country and the benefits I too easily take for granted is strong. My love for my God and the benefits I will enjoy into eternity is stronger. I do mourn over the 3,025 lives lost one year ago today. But I also mourn the 3,200,000 people in Malawi who will die without immediate massive starvation relief. I don’t mourn enough for either, though. I’m not doing a very good job of describing the way I view my nationalism and my faith as separate parts of who I am. Check out Alan Creech’s Pledge of […]

Just had a good conversation with a guy in our church who used to “pastor” a house church as part of a network in Riverside, CA. His insights into the merge between traditional church and house church were so refreshing to me. He doesn’t view the two as mutual exclusives – that’s the kind of openness I want to maintain. Take the good stuff from as many resources as you can. I’m going to continue hanging out, learning, and brainstorming with him in the days ahead. I’m also going to turn him loose on our adult groups to attempt to make legitimate communities out of them.