SpiritFarmer


May 31, 2004, 7:26 am
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Well, we did make it home. We had a good time in Seattle. I kinda miss the area already. Michelle and I actually like the rain and the cool temperatures. It’s hot again here at home, and it’s only gonna get hotter, so the contrast was distinct. Oh well.

It was good to hang out with our friends Ron, Patty, and Tim. I like it when there’s enough time to just sit around and talk a lot and catch up with one another gradually. We talked Kingdom stuff, relationships, goals and vision, and we watched a bunch of movies together.

I read The Seach To Belong during my time away – good stuff. I saw a lot of truth in it, and am anxious to see if some of the concepts catch on in the church.

I’ve got more thoughts, which will spill out over the next few days.



May 26, 2004, 4:18 pm
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Just a little update from Seattle. Michelle and I have been having a very good time. Mainly, we’re just driving around looking at trees and flowers. Gotta love the $2 lattes here, too. We’ve had our share. I’ll post some pictures when we get home tommorrow, but we got to walk around Pike Place Market, see the new downtown library, and catch a Mariner’s game. Lots of fun. I’ll blog again when I get home.

Peace



May 21, 2004, 11:47 am
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Off to Seattle for a few days. I’ll blog when I can.



May 20, 2004, 6:38 am
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Over the past few days, I’ve enjoyed listening to a couple of programs from the archives This American Life. Mostly random stuff, but their stories are usually well written and very interesting.



May 18, 2004, 2:22 pm
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Normal Ramona Sunrise Posted by Hello

This is what a normal sunrise at my house looks like.



May 18, 2004, 2:21 pm
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fire sunrise Posted by Hello

I’m just trying out hello, a new photo sharing resource for the web. I heard about it via Jason. This photo was taken on October 26, 2004 at about 6:30am – the day on which the largest fire in California history swept through my home turf. That bright spot in the middle is not the fire, but the sunrise.



May 18, 2004, 6:47 am
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Some thoughts on unity in the emerging church . . .

Even a simple reading of the New Testament will bring about a clear understanding that the body of Christ is one, and that it should be our aim to live in agreement with this oneness. And while there may be, at times, disagreement over the particulars of where we should go or what we should focus on (i.e. Paul and Barnabas’ split), there should not be a turning from one another in order for us to pursue our own directions as ends unto themselves.

I fear that fragmentation is far too easy, even within the emerging church that so many of us have become members of. I mean, think about it – we’ve got the emerging church types who light candles and incense and drink coffee, but other than that are just like every other church in town. We’ve got the emerging church types who have rejected this “model” and decided that church in a simple, home environment is better for them. And then there are the bloggers . . . What the distinctions at this point (or any other point in the future) look like is not what I’m getting at.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve attended several events designed to get emerging church people in conversation with one another, and moving in new and exciting directions . . . hopefully as a “unified” movement. Sadly, at every one of these events, I’ve heard things that run completely opposite to oneness in the body of Christ. I can say this with confidence, mainly because I have said many of the statements myself.

It’s important for those of us who are going a “new” way in the faith to be able to chart our own stories, which will necessarily involve saying things like, “I left the traditional/organized church because . . .” or, “I realized that the systems I was helping to promote by working on staff at my church were bankrupt, and so I began . . .” But there is a very fine line between charting our stories and taking pot shots at other brothers and sisters in Jesus. Heck, it was only a couple of days ago that I blasted one of the more prominent pastors in America, right here on my blog.

Where is the space where we can confess our failures in participating in foolishness, without saying harmful things about or toward those who continue to participate? Where is the place where I can say “the traditional church sucks” without saying “the people I am called to love and pray for and encourage, who still participate in the traditional church suck”? I mean, what is the traditional church if not the collective of people, who by my description must suck?

I have too smugly sat here, hammering at my keyboard, thinking myself enlightened because I found a way to break out of the system. Clue #1: It wasn’t my idea to break out of the system in the first place. It was a righteous hunger for God, that was put there by God himself, for his own purpose and glory. Clue #2: God did not get me out of the system so that I could launch foolish rants against those still in the system. It was so I could repent of loving the system more than God himself, and pray for and encourage others who have done the same.

It’s ironic to me that even people and groups who strive for unity within the body of Christ often fall victim to the thing they strive against. Unity is easy when you’re with a group of people who agree that unity is a good thing . . . but soon you realize that there are people out there that disagree. Now you have an “us” and “them” situation. How do you make pleas to “them” without setting yourself up against them?

I offer no answers here. Just hard questions. I pray for God’s grace, discernment, and wisdom. All I can do is prepare myself to warmly greet fellow citizens of the Kingdom wherever I meet them, and resist categorizing them. Any thoughts?