February 26, 2004, 5:52 pm
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Well, I’m going back into a blog shutdown mode for a spell. Michelle and I are going out of town on holiday for a week, beginning tomorrow. I’m looking forward to both of us having some time together, thinking, talking, praying, reading, playing.

Peace be with you, friends.


February 25, 2004, 7:27 am
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New blog look. I’ve been tinkering with the thought of changing the ‘ol blog for a long time. So now I’ve gone and done it. I’ll still be working on some things, but it’s good enough to go with for now.

February 25, 2004, 7:14 am
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One of my favorite websites is Metacritic.com. It’s a site that averages reviews from movie critics all over North America. It’s a helpful tool.

If you’re looking at the wide range of opinions about The Passion of the Christ, you can find them here. You can also follow links to any of the reviews that are presented.

February 24, 2004, 5:01 pm
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I spent the past couple of hours in the local coffee shop reading Bonhoeffer’s Life Together. When I came home, I found a message in my e-mail “In” box that the documentary film “Bonhoeffer” (which I reviewed a few months back for Next-Wave) has been released on video and DVD. Go here if you’re interested.

February 18, 2004, 4:12 pm
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So a couple of weeks ago in the San Diego Union Tribune, there was an article that talked about the hip-ness of yoga these days. Duh, I know it’s hip. But the article actually went into the story enought to reveal that there’s a good bit of tension in the yoga world between traditionalists and the new crowd that’s doing it either just because it’s hip or in order to make money off of the popularity of it.

Last week, in that same newspaper I read an article on the hip-ness of Kabbalah, a Jewish mysticism that popular folks like Madonna are into. Once again, I was already aware of this trend. But again, the article looked at various views of this new form of a very old practice and found a good bit of tension between traditionalists and the younger, more populist version of it.

In both of these cases I was reminded that the people of our generation are spiritually hungry, and looking for something. And while they are very into being hip (Pilates anyone?), and they certainly fall easily for marketing schemes, they are chasing the spiritual and experiential. It was interesting to me to read the remarks of traditionalist yoga practitioners and Jewish rabbis, and compare them to many of the things I’ve read withing the Christian culture. We seem to have a lot more in common with these other forms of faith and spirituality than we’d like to admit. Sadly, one of these commmonalities is that we’re losing people who are very reachable every day.

February 15, 2004, 10:13 am
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I wonder what the deal is . . . I just haven’t been drawn to blog or read other blogs very much lately. Perhaps it’s a phase, perhaps not. Over the past couple of years that I’ve spent in the blogosphere, I’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers go through times when they either go on a blog sabbatical, quit altogether, or just post sporadically like I’ve been doing. Maybe this is just my time.

I’ve been faced with some directional questions lately regarding what my “side job” should be. I’ve worked at a Starbucks shop for about seven months now. I’ve had a lot of fun with it and I’ve met a ton of people there, which was my real goal. My problem is that at the time I took the job, I chose that particular Starbucks because it was in the area where we were planning to plant the new church. Since that time, our church plant location has changed, and I find myself selling coffee to/making friends with people who are about 20 minutes away. Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with representing the kingdom and making friends like that, but I’m really feeling the need to do something else. I could either a) get a job in my church home area that fills the same function of meeting people and announcing the kingdom of Jesus, or b) get a side job in which I could make better money in order to free up more time for the church plant. This past week I was ready to make a move in one of those directions, and then some new information became available which threw things right back into questioning mode. Uggh! It’s not like these are monumental life changing kinds of decisions I’m faced with, but they are important enough to be a pain in the butt.

In happier news, I was able to hang out with Chad the other day. I had met his wife, Kristi, (while working at Starbucks, by the way) a few weeks ago and found out that they are planting a church not too far from here. So Chad and I met to introduce ourselves to one another and see how we can encourage each other. We come from similar church backgrounds and have some common motivations for church planting. We are employing different approaches to church and probably don’t see eye to eye on some of the socio-cultural aspects of church, but that’s o.k. He’s a cool guy, and I’m glad we could talk. We’ll probably continue to meet about once a month to encourage each other and hopefully enhance both churches’ vision and direction.

This week may be an important one for our new church. We’re going to have a dinner at our house and invite everyone we know in our home town (which will only amount to a small handful). We have some things we’re planning to share with them. They all have churches of their own, so we won’t be trying to recruit them (truth is, most of them wouldn’t be a good fit for us and vice-versa). But we’re trying to extend our web of relationships in our community.

Oh, and one final note . . . I’ve been testing out a new toy which may be making its home in my kitchen soon. It’s a most fabulous espresso machine:

Is there a twelve step program for this stuff? If so, I don’t want to know about it.

February 6, 2004, 10:42 am
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I’m feeling a little pulled in multiple directions today. I want to be able to spend time in prayer and reflection – at least for a little while. This is important to me. There are other things to do, though, which have importance of their own. I’m thinking of Eugene Peterson’s writings right now – the ones about a pastor’s personal spiritual rhythms, and how critical they are. He is an encouraging voice – but it’s hard to employ the kind of discipline he does in the middle of all the other stuff of life. I guess he never said it was easy.