Archive for July 2004

On Wednesday evening I got to hang out for a while with none other than My Valentine, er, The Living Home-boy, Jason Evans. It’s been a couple of months since I saw him, and even longer since we had a good sit down talk. He and Brooke and their kids have been in a housing transition for several weeks now, but very soon they’ll be able to move into their new place in San Diego. I’m really stoked for them to be able to move into this new phase of life and ministry. I’ve been working like a dog this week – mostly outside in 90+ degree heat. I’ve gotten a lot done, but I am tired. I watched bits and pieces of the Democratic National Convention, mainly to observe the pop-culture side of it. I’m pretty sure that all the news media could save some money and re-air their […]

Some thoughts on longevity . . . Michelle and I started obedience training school over this past weekend.  We took the new puppy too.  It was tiring and challenging, but informative and helpful.  When we went home to work on our homework, I found a newspaper article in the manual we were supposed to read.  It talked about the instructor who is teaching our class.  It said that he’s been doing dog training for over 25 years.  O.k., cool, pretty impressive.  But it also said the guy is 79 years old.  Not bad.  He’s on the doorstep of 80, and teaching these classes several times each week, not to mention breeding and training his own dogs.  I’ll be stoked to be actively doing what I love at that age. What really struck me about the guy, though, is not how old he is.  It’s how old he was when he […]

A nice take on preaching . . . from Beyond: The converted, the congregation, united by certain beliefs, share amongst themselves bewilderment, despair, hope needing amplification, confusion needing examination and elucidation, and avenues of interesting and productive inquiry. Lockstep congregations are a sure sign of a moribund faith, of the absence of anything Divine. A good preacher rattles her congregants’ smugness and complacency, and congregants to do the same for the preacher. Good preachers are exhilarating to listen to, and the converted have a lot to think about. So this “preaching to the converted” question doesn’t address all religious practice, or all theater — just crummy religion and inept theater.   read more

Mr. Todd Hunter is blogging once again.  I’m hoping he makes good on his promise to be more consistent.  He’s one of my favorite teachers.  I find value in almost anything he has to say.

And life goes on . . . Michelle’s folks are rebuilding after the fire. 

Yesterday I went to the worship gathering of a fairly new church not too terribly far from where I live.  I met the pastor about a year ago, so I go check in with him every so often.  The church is what many would call postmodern or alternative.  I’m not sure what I’d call it, so I’ll just stick to “church.”  Whatever they are, they’ve grown to over 1,000 in worship attendance in about two years time.  I realize that there’s a healthy discussion going on about whether churches of 1,000+ (or even 500, 200, 50, 25) are a good thing or not – I’ll leave that one alone for now.   The thing that I had rattling around in my head, though, was a discussion that Jordon Cooper raised on his blog a couple weeks ago.  It goes something like this: in the “emerging church”, we’ve got all these heady notions […]

Praying for Rudy C. and his family right now.  His son has been diagnosed with leukemia.  He’s got a blog set up for updates.  Just about the time I start feeling sorry for myself . . . 

Another new week and not much has changed. Michelle got back from her conference thingy and we spent some time together this weekend. That was good. But we’re both really battling a funk. By God’s grace, when each of us have been in a hard place in the past, the other has been strong enough to offer encouragement and lighten the load a little. This is harder, though, because we’re both there. We kind of feel like we’re in a holding pattern and can’t really count on much. We are still very much there for one another. Hmmm, maybe this mood we’re in is the fault of one of the newer CDs in my collection: Morissey, You Are the Quarry

Well Michelle left for a conference this morning – she’ll be gone until Friday evening. I’ll miss her. I was thinking, though, that this will give me a chance to practice some spiritual disciplines that are more difficult to practice when she’s here (i.e. fasting, solitude). Then I thought some more and realized that solitude will be a challenge with the new puppy around. Oh well. It’s the heart of the matter that is most important anyway. As C.S. Lewis and others have wisely said, the disciplines are helpful in resetting our appetites. It isn’t that my desires for food, money, power, sex, etc. are too strong, but that my desire for God is too weak. Father, please train my senses on the pleasure of knowing you. The discipline that I know will chasten me is well worth the pleasure of seeing your glory and living in the courts of […]

I guess the more things change, the more things stay the same. It was seeming like Michelle and I were gaining a bit of stability recently in terms of her job situation and some of my church planting efforts. Hmmmm. I guess things aren’t always what they seem. Now we’ve got options ranging from me getting a “real” job and Michelle going back to school for an MBA to moving to the East Coast (think either grits or chowder) for a few years. I’ve been working on a landscaping project quite a bit lately. We moved into a brand new home well over three years ago, and have focused our home improvement efforts on the inside – paint, window coverings, etc. That has left the outside almost completely untouched. But now we have a little entry area that has kick butt irrigation, a beautiful fountain, a nice thick layer of […]