SpiritFarmer


September 30, 2003, 4:35 pm
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A few thoughts for the older “Younger Evangelicals” . . .

One of the things I was thinking about in reflection of this weekend’s unconference, and especially the people who were there, was that there are some folks that are part of this conversation/movement/revolution/cultural shift/emerging church that play a huge role, but may feel as if they’re outsiders. In particular, I’m thinking of the baby boomer aged folks – and let me just say that I hate resorting to that term to classify them.

While the vast majority of their peers (according to physical age) have gone right along with all of the systems of the modern church and have yet to wake up to reality, I’ve met several who I can say with confidence that they “get it.” They see the changes and aren’t scared by them, they’re excited by them. They are eager to learn the new language and think the new thoughts and enter the new conversation. Unfortunately, what I’ve observed in most of them is a hesitation to fully jump in and own the new reality for themselves. I think it might have to do with feelings of alienation with their own generation, and realizing they have more in common with another generation, but they’re unsure whether the younger generation will accept them. They may think that “we” will think of them as wannabes, or has-beens. They may think we will blow them off as irrelevant before giving them a chance to talk in such a way as to show us they aren’t. They may just regret that their generation has made certain mistakes and that they are responsible for their own part in cleaning up the mess left behind. I don’t know – I’m just speculating a bit here.

These may (or may not) be the thoughts running through the minds of some of our brothers and sisters who are farther along life’s journey. The curious thing to me about these thoughts is that for the most part, they don’t square with reality.

I’ve sat in conversations with some “more seasoned” people who I’m convinced think and talk and are passionate in the same way as those of us in the emerging generations. They seem excited about what’s going on, but they feel as though they need to be given permission to enter the conversation. What I’ve observed in myself and my peers, though, is that they don’t need permission at all. In fact, our response tends to be one of excitement, not scepticism. We’re stoked that some people with more life experience and wisdom are actually on the same page with us and are willing to help us along.

Further, there are some major players out there who have paved the way for the emerging church, but still feel like outsiders. They have given us access to one another, facilitated the conversations we’ve been having, and prayed diligently for us. And yet they still seem to feel like outsiders.

If any of this stuff is true, I just want to say to my older friends who “get it” (and even a few of those who don’t), I welcome you into my life, and I’m really glad that you’re there. You have so much to bring to the table. Please don’t be timid about coming alongside us. We appreciate you big time. We don’t discount what you say because you’re from a different generation. We love you.

Just a little rant there . . . one that I really hope is a source of encouragement to some of you out there.

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September 29, 2003, 5:05 pm
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Things are settling a bit in my mind again. I had been having a pretty rough couple of weeks there – trying to slug a lot of things out on my own, knowing all the while that I’m not capable of handling all of this stuff of life on my own. It was a good reminder this weekend that I’m not the one building the church. All I can do is follow Jesus, and ask others along the way to come along with me. It’s God’s role to produce growth. That all sounds so simplistic that I too easily dismiss it . . . and yet the truth of it is profound and devastating.

I’m looking forward to what the next several weeks have in store. I’ve decided to accept an invitation to a house church retreat this coming weekend, several hours north of here. Then the next weekend, Michelle and I will be at another deal up in San Francisco. I’m too tired now . . . I hope I live to see November – my favorite person and I have a little getaway planned to Napa Valley, CA.



September 28, 2003, 5:16 pm
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O.k., enough whining about my IT woes. I’m too stoked on a great weekend at the Unconference to complain, anyway. It was indeed a good, Spirit driven and Christ honoring weekend. As we were debriefing in Jason’s living room this morning, one of the words used to describe it was “trinitarian.” Yep, the Three in One showed up and we had a beautiful experience.

I fully expected this, but Jason and Brooke did an amazing job of hosting this thing in their home. The whole Matthew’s House community was wonderful in preparing meals and helping out behind the scenes too.

I was so pleased to spend time with some friends I had known only through the internet before now. Kevin and Tracy Rains were generous in taking time out of their 10th Anniversary vacation to be with us, and Tawd and Sharon Bell from Cincy came out too. The VC crew definitely represented! Palmer and Micah were here from Columbus, and Keck popped in from Idaho. Then on Saturday, Charlie Wear showed up too. He has posted a recap with photos of the weekend over on Next-Wave.

Getting to know some new friends was also clutch. Tom Cotter stayed with Michelle and I. We had some good talks with so many others. I’d start listing names, but I know I’d forget some and regret it. If you were there, just know that I’m thankful for your impact on me, and that I look forward to the next time we do this thang.

We had some good group conversations about life in the Kindgom – how it applies to spiritual transformation, raising kids, community living, walking out the gifts of the Spirit, inviting others to follow Jesus. We heard some really encouraging stories. Then we had an awesome prayer time, and the Spirit moved in a big way. Some people got some really encouraging words. It was so awesome to watch the love of Christ permeate that place, especially given that there was an amazing diversity of theological backgrounds present.

It was really powerful to experience a little taste of Kingdom life. We came together from all over the continent and immediately dug into the good stuff of life.

I’ll share more later, but this was rich.



September 26, 2003, 3:15 pm
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I’d hate to jinx anything here, but it looks like things are finally coming together for me in computer land. It’s been a very frustrating ordeal for the past couple of weeks. I’m still trying to install some of my tools and get functional again, but I’m at least able to limp along for a little bit.

I’ve also been spending a lot of time selling coffee . . . more time than I’d prefer, but I’ve learned a lot about where my priorities are, have been, and perhaps should be.

Michelle and I are both fighting annoying head colds. She’s been under a huge load of stress at work for the past several weeks, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to let up any in the near future.

We’ve been pretty torn lately on selling our house and moving into the area where we’ve been looking to plant the new church.

With all of that lovely stress on the record, I will say that I’m exhausted. And yet, I’m really anticipating the Unconference that starts tonight at Jason & Brooke’s place. I’m looking forward to meeting Kevin Rains after having followed his blog for well over a year now. Last time I heard, there are some other folks I’ve been anxious to meet as well. I’m looking forward to a long, somewhat tiring schedule that completely refreshes me. I need a huge huge huge dose of the Kingdom life right now. I’ll write more about it as the weekend unfolds.



September 24, 2003, 2:21 pm
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Tough days around here. Still having lots of computer issues. I’m at a public library again . . . kinda sucks to have to do that just to check my e-mail. I actually have some things I’d like to write about, but can’t. Oh well. There’s always tomorrow.



September 17, 2003, 3:29 pm
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How lame is this??? I’m actually sitting in a public library to do this post. My computer hard drive crashed in a big way the other day. I’m having it worked on by someone who knows a little more about computers than I do (o.k., so just about any five year old would qualify for that one). Anyway, things aren’t going so smoothly in the connectivity department. I’m hoping to have things back in some workable order by tomorrow. Ugh.



September 12, 2003, 11:15 pm
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I’m not going to be fake here – I only recently listened to a whole album by Johnny Cash, and that was at a birthday party, so it wasn’t exactly a quality, uninterrupted listen. I have no grounds to say what a great artist he was . . . only that I find myself really regretting not having been more familiar with him, and that I look forward to a better late than never acquaintance with his art. I can say that I saw the video he did of the Nine Inch Nails song “Hurt” a few months back – powerful stuff.