May 30, 2003, 9:13 am
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In the CD player: Live, Birds of Pray

May 29, 2003, 12:44 pm
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I had a good time at a meeting yesterday – a bunch of church planters from my denomination who are working in the San Diego area. I had been looking forward to meeting Evan from Coastlands Church in Pacific Beach, and was not disappointed. He’s got a cool vibe and loves his place in life. The other person I had looked forward to meeting is Linda Bergquist – she is from the San Francisco area, and works for the denomination up there. After following a link to the ReImagine site I found on Jason Evans’ blog, I wanted to ask Linda if she was familiar with the Equilibrium event they have planned for October. Silly me . . . she’s one of the facilitators. As it is currently set up, it looks like there’s a little overlap issue with Soularize in Boston, though. Decisions, decisions . . .

May 26, 2003, 4:51 pm
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Kinda tired right now . . . tiring holiday weekend here. Good stuff mostly, but definitely tiring. On Saturday I felt the need to outdo myself from last weekend (I waxed my truck), so I went after some weeds. Now, you have to realize that our house sits on an acre and a half, which must mean I have something close to an acre worth of weeds. And when I say weeds, I’m talking about beasts that are taller than I am. Yea, so between my weed whacker and my father-in-law’s line trimmer, I knocked out a good bit, but whew!!

Yesterday we visited some close friends of ours up in Temecula, about an hour north of us. We had dinner, celebrated a birthday, and went to see Reloaded. Our friends didn’t like the movie so very much, but I think I did.

Just got home a few minutes ago from being on top of an extension ladder at the in-laws. Just a little sattelite TV repair work. Before that, we hung out at the Evans place for a little BBQ fun. Actually, it was a lot of BBQ fun. Their community of faith is really cool – good folks who know how to enjoy God and one another in the middle of their lives.

May 23, 2003, 3:12 pm
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While at the gym today, I read two different pieces of literature that seemed to flow together nicely. They are in tension with one another – one speaking of how fake men can be in our world, and the other speaking of the problem of too much transparency.

Piece of literature #1:

How about sports? A few years ago I volunteered to coach for my son’s baseball team. There was a mandatory meeting that all coaches needed to attend before the season, to pick up equipment and listen to a “briefing.” Our recreation department brought in a retired professional pitcher, a local boy, to give us all a pep talk. The posing that went on was incredible. Here’s a bunch of balding dads with beer bellies sort of swaggering around, talking about their own baseball days, throwing out comments about pro players like they knew them personally, and spitting (I kid you not). Their “attitude” (that’s a tame word for it) was so thick I needed waders. It was the biggest bunch of posers I’ve ever met . . . outside of church.

That same sort of thing goes on Sunday mornings, its just a different set of rules. Dave runs into Bob in the church lobby. Both are wearing their happy faces, though neither is happy at all. “Hey, Bob, how are ya?” Bob is actually furious at his wife and ready to leave her, but he says, “Great, just great, Dave. The Lord is good!” Dave, on the other hand, hasn’t believed in the goodness of God for years, ever since his daughter was killed. “Yep – God is good, all the time. I”m just so glad to be here, praising the Lord.”

Piece of literature #2:

I remember reading No One Here Gets Out Alive when I was in tenth grade, and that made me want to write. I have always, since I was fouteen years old, written things in my journals, and have always been very protective of things that I put down on paper. I have a hard time committing my personal feelings and my deepest, darkest secrets to a place where someone will be able to obtain them . . .

. . . I think the modern, contemporary treatment of rock stars on MTV and the voyeuristic world of Reality TV are a great threat to anyone who wants to retain any sort of value throughout history. My whole life, I have tried to steer clear from “behind the scenes” things. They take away from the power of what you do. If you start explaining your tricks, then you are a !@#$%^ magician. I’m watching all these other people piss away what could be great works of art by going on Cribs. You can be legendary for not doing anything because of this voyeuristic culture that we live in. You can be famous for “surviving” something, or for marrying a millionaire, or for being a victim of a crime. It’s a strange time that we are in now.

The first item came from Wild At Heart, by John Eldredge.

The second item came from an article called “The Dead Rock Star”, published in the May 15, 2003 edition of Rolling Stone. It was written by Marilyn Manson.

May 22, 2003, 8:01 am
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I guess I never spent enough time in the whole bar scene trying to pick up chicks . . .

I’ve been wrestling with my thoughts about evangelism lately. I really prefer a non-linear approach to discipleship (which includes pre-conversion experiences). But the part I seem to really suck at is meeting new friends that I can invite to join me as I follow Jesus.

Perfect example: I was headed for a coffee shop the other day, and I had myself all psyched up to just talk to whoever it was that I was sitting near – just talk, not “sell” anything to. So I walk in behind this college student looking dude (the backpack and monstrous “History of Art” textbook were my big clues . . . oh yea, and the coffee shop is across the street from a state university) and he sets his stuff down at a table, then gets in line to order. I’m thinking, “Oh yea, here it is – this guy would rather talk to me than read about art history,” so I set my stuff down at the table next to his and I go to order. I had my opening lines all mapped out – “Art history, huh?” or “How do you think God feels about you looking at all those paintings of naked women?” or “Have you heard of the four spiritual laws?” It was gonna be great! (By the way, this is a pretty good illustration of why I had to go to church to meet my wife). O.k., o.k., I know you’re all on the edge of your computer desk chairs waiting to see what happened. Well, actually nothing happened at all. By the time I got my coffee and went back to my table, the dude had picked up his backpack and art book and moved to the opposite side of the shop . . . I guess he did want to read about art history! Go figure.

Maybe I need to join a bowling league or something.

May 20, 2003, 7:13 am
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The basic principle of lectio divina is that bible reading is a personal encounter with God, a communion which resembles (though different from) the communion of the Eucharist. This goes against what has prevailed in our Church for some centuries: the text was seen as containing a message – doctrinal or moral – and once we got the message, the text had achieved its purpose. In lectio divina, we love the text, linger over it, read it over and over, let it remain with us.

from Lectio Divina – Sacred Reading, A Method of Bible Reflection

by Michel de Verteuil

May 18, 2003, 5:04 pm
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Yesterday, Michelle and I went to the first of four weddings we’ll be going to over the next several weeks (no funerals planned as yet). It was held at our old church, and naturally, lots of our friends were there, all anxious to hear how things are going for us. That’s cool. But while we were there, it happened again . . . several times, in fact. I was asked if I had gone to the Billy Graham thing that was in San Diego last weekend. When I tell people that no, I didn’t go, I get these blank stares back at me – not hostile, mind you, but definitely a little perplexed. Kind of like the look I would get if I was ever discovered to not be reciting the pledge of allegiance to the U.S. flag (but that’s another post).

I don’t have anything against Billy Graham – I think he’s been faithful in many ways, and has certainly had a large impact. I’m just thinking that his kind of impact is dying away. It’s not my cup of tea.