SpiritFarmer


June 30, 2002, 6:33 am
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As my wife and I were talking in the waning moments of consciousness late last night, I realized that in this world of many voices – some prophetic, some historical – that each is truly unique, and most are worth sharing . . . as long as they are honest. I find in this world of blogging that I’m stimulated by other writers and have the temptation to just rewrite what they have already written . . . but I hold back.

I think I have something called PIC – postmodern inferiority complex. I think and live my life within a certain framework and thought process, which most people these days refer to as postmodernism (even though I’m tiring of the term). But I serve within a ministry context of modernity. I want badly to change it, and regularly contribute my efforts toward change, but it is oh-so-slow. Usually I find myself dreaming of a better, fairer land where I can plant my Spirit Farm and be happy all my days – “Maybe then I’ll really be able to join the postmodern club,” I tell myself. Then I wake up to reality and face the fact that God has me where he wants me (at least for now), and he knows better than I do where I am to serve.

So my voice is a transitional voice. I still listen to and subscribe to the voices of the future. I still work around the voices of the past. These voices speak different languages. I guess what I really am is a translator, for now anyway. I hope to be more and more of a language teacher in the days ahead.

That’s all



June 29, 2002, 12:16 pm
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I miss my sunrises.

For the better part of the last six years I’ve had a regular practice of rising very early in the morning to have some quiet, personal, alone time with God. I read my Bible, I write, I pray, I read a book that stimulates my spirit, I take photos of the outrageously cool sunrises that God puts together where I live. Due in part to my schedule, and in part to my laziness, I haven’t had an early morning session in many weeks. I’ve still spent time with God in prayer, scripture, and personal worship, but not in the early hours. Not coincidentally (as far as I’m concerned), I’ve had a much harder time focusing, staying strong in my vision, discerning the Holy Spirit, and ministering to others. I was asked by a friend this week if he had done something to offend me, because he has perceived that I have been distant, shallow, sarcastic, and overall a bit cranky toward him specifically, and people in general. Ouch.

Believe me, I don’t love the thought of recommitting myself to 4:00 and 4:30 morning wake-up calls from my alarm clock, but for me, that’s what works. I’m not a morning person – frankly I’m barely a person that early – but God stirs me in a way then that he doesn’t at other times of the day. God is worth the effort, even if I have to work a little harder to meet him. He valued me to go to great effort to establish a relationship with me . . . this isn’t much compared to that.

That’s all



June 28, 2002, 9:26 am
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Just read a funny blog post about Jesus of Lakeview. It got me thinking about the many misguided ways in which we attempt to represent Jesus to a world that doesn’t quite get it yet. Bumper stickers, t-shirts, jargon, music, books. Most of us do this in superficial ways so that we won’t actually ever have to say with our own words, “I am a follower of Jesus.” It’s so much easier to hand someone a CD and hope they don’t throw it away after listening to how awful the music is before they get a chance to hear the lyrics.

At various points in my life, I’ve been guilty of all of the above ways of “communicating my faith,” and none of them has ever produced for me a legitimate conversation that has caused someone to rethink the way they do life. I had some great talks with my former neighbor while we were pouring concrete for a retaining wall, though . . . and I think I was wearing a San Diego Padres t-shirt.

That’s all



June 26, 2002, 6:05 am
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Yesterday I called a local campus ministry guy, Milton, to get some information on a Collegiate Summit he’s doing next month in San Diego. I had briefly met him once before, and his wife twice before. Nice folks – been in the college ministry thing a long time. Anyway, after chatting for a few minutes on the phone and exchanging our respective histories in working with college/young adult ministry, Milt asked me if I’d consider speaking at one of the general sessions at the summit. It’ll be with non-freshman college students, and is supposed to be something about living life as a Jesus follower on a college campus. Sounds wide open to me . . . and something I’d like to do. This might be a good testing ground for some ideas for my church sign campaign (see my post from 6/13).

I also had an engergizing talk with my pastor (friend, boss, neighbor) about my ordination process. He liked the game plan I had synthesized from some other sources, and even asked my permission to generalize it in order to make it the ongoing standard for ordination of all elders in our church. Now I get to dig in and make it happen!



June 26, 2002, 5:49 am
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Haven’t posted for a few days here . . . a bit of a roller coaser of a few days.

Sunday was a first-hand experience of what Paul rails against in I Corinthians – one of those days where “your meetings do more harm than good.” People sticking their noses where they don’t belong, making political maneuvers, and generally just being arrogant and self-centered. Grrrr. This is why the modern church is failing. This is why I want nothing to do with it.

Monday I was seriously in a funk all day as I reflected on the travesty that I had lived through the day before. Fortunately, that evening I had a meeting with my corps of volunteers in student ministry and got a chance to paint a wild-eyed vision for how church could be if we ever fully owned our role as missionaries in this world. It’s a vision not for the next one or four years (as student ministry vision tends to be), but forty years. As I spoke with passion, people caught little glimpses and got energized by it, which encouraged me, given that most of my volunteers will be long dead in forty years. We went on to talk about more immediately practical things, but I sensed a lingering excitement. After the pathetic meeting Sunday night, I needed a meeting that good.

On Tuesday morning in staff prayer, I shared briefly about the Monday meeting, and the vision that I had painted. Although I had shared this once before with the pastor, he seemed to latch on to it more, and asked me to write him a three paragraph e-mail outlining my vision. Instead, I wrote a four page document, which may have the makings of a pretty decent article. We’ll see if it ever gets published!



June 23, 2002, 9:48 am
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Momentum . . . a difficult thing to master. It goes beyond having a great idea and starting well. Keeping things in motion takes skill and consistent effort. Keeping something moving is still easier than restarting something that isn’t moving at all.

Even things that are clearly moving in a bad direction are often easier to redirect toward a better place than starting up a dead object.

That’s all.



June 21, 2002, 7:57 am
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We in the community of faith are temporal beings, who often take ourselves far too seriously. We mistakenly think that our lot in life is to carefully plot out each step and make sure we don’t blow it, or else life won’t turn out just right.

Kingdom reality demands that we stop looking at our feet as we walk, and look far ahead – farther ahead than we could ever hope to travel by foot, by automobile, or by airplane. When we look far enough down the road, life becomes less stressful, and our movement becomes much more free. We can breathe again. We live our lives as though we’ve already arrived.