Archive for December 2008

Tweek, Dec. 19

Our tweet for the week comes to us from Seattlite Joshua Longbrake (blog here / Twitter here): thelongbrake The weathermen in Seattle can’t even predict the past. Wed, Dec 17 08:21:12

What to blog about when you haven't blogged lately

Despite the fact that my paycheck comes from a major Christian denomination, I don’t typically like to blog about them, er, “us.”  Partly because I shudder when using that word – us – because it means I’m complicit in a lot of things I detest.  Partly because it’s embarrassing.  Partly because I think it’s irrelevant to this blog – I’ve been blogging a heckuva lot longer than I’ve worked for the denom, so what’s it to them (er, us)? Once in a while, even when I do mention the denom, I’ll do it without naming the denom.  All the same reasons as above. Yesterday, a classmate tossed up a link on Twitter, to a news story that talked about our mutual denomination, and evangelism programs.  I literally laughed out loud at points.  Laughter was inappropriate, though, because a) it wasn’t supposed to be a funny piece, and b) I should […]

Tweek – Dec. 12 edition

This week’s top tweet comes from JB. He’s a school principal – an elementary school principal.  Enjoy . . . or, you know, be frightened, whatever. Got a spreadsheet listing injuries at school – one reads “middle finger pain due to overuse” LOL Thu 12/11/2008 10:48 PM

On Being a Tortured Idealist

Without going into all of my motivations for this, I’ll say that the past month or so of my life has been an intense time of introspection, inventory, confession, and renewal for me.  One of the things that I’ve recently been coming to grips with is the degree to which over the past seven or eight years I’ve taken on the role and mental state of a tortured idealist.  I think I’ve always been pretty idealistic and a perfectionist, but usually infused with a healthy dose of optimism . . . up until the tortured idealist phase, that is. I think in my shifting toward a radical deconstruction of theology, church culture, calling, and direction there have been a lot of temporary phases.  The “angry young man phase,” the “revolutionary subversive phase,” the mystical phase, etc.  I’ve cycled in and out of these phases multiple times – let’s keep in […]

Strategically viral?

My friend Petey and I talked on the phone for over an hour the other day.  We were talking ’bout “missional” leadership styles.  He asked what I thought about decentralized forms of leadership and organization, like the concepts and examples discussed in the book The Starfish and the Spider.  I told him I was all for that   approach to leadership, but we have to be honest and admit that it’s a tough way to  run an organization.  Over and over I have found myself having to reassure those who follow my leadership that they DO have permission and encouragement and empowerment to go do things, get involved in projects, participate in activities.  We still live solidly within a leadership paradigm that forces people into top-down modes, and people still have a hard time believing that it’s o.k. to step out of that mode.  The “leader” is still seen as the […]


After a week off for Thanksgiving, here’s my favorite tweet of the past week.  It’s from my professor, Len Sweet (Twitter here / website here): Love this quote: “We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them.” Charles WestThu, Dec 04 18:52:48

Merry Christmas from The Purple (and Gold) Door

Last night after our community meal at The Purple Door last night, we busted out the Christmas music, painted ornaments, decorated stockings, hung lights, baked sugar cookies, and made lots of crafts out of pipe cleaners.  We also gift wrapped the door . . . the formerly Purple door. Most of our students will have gone away by the time Christmas actually rolls around, so last night was our time for fun . . . right before finals begin. The inside of the door is still purple . . . but for the next few weeks, we’ll have a different answer to the question I’m very frequently asked – “Is the door really purple?”

Nickelsville Resident Poet

My friend Jeff posted the following video of his friend, Beau.  He is one of the residents of Nickelsville, and tells a little bit of his story, and shares one of his poems.  For you non-Seattlites, Nickelsville is a homeless encampment currently located in the University District, just a few blocks away from The Purple Door.  The residents have been pushed around by the city leadership, with particularly aggressive moves made by mayor Greg Nickels – so they honored him by naming their little town after him.  These are not your “typical” homeless folks – many have jobs and families. I’ve met Beau briefly, and as you’ll see from the video, he’s a pretty smart guy. [youtube=]

Getting it together

Well, after several days of being back on the mainland, I figured that it might be time to try this thing called blogging again.  The time away was helpful in many ways, difficult in some ways, beautiful all over the place, and certainly unique as Thanksgivings go.  My dinner consisted of stuffed Mahimahi (that’s the way the restaurant spelled it) with a crushed macadamia nut crust, and asparagus.  Killer – dang, it’s almost a week later, and my mouth is still watering! The time away, while relaxing, was also a bit of a working vacation.  For the first time since I started writing my doctoral dissertation back in July, I hit the “print” button right before I left . . . 135 pages later, and I was ready to go away for some editing.  I still have at least one full chapter left to write, but I was able to […]