SpiritFarmer


January 26, 2005, 11:58 pm
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I interviewed for a job yesterday. I got it today. I’ll start Feb. 7, doing case management for a large mental health agency in Seattle. I’ll be working with mentally ill folks who have been involved in the criminal justice system and are trying to plug in to the real world again. It’ll be very challenging, but I’m excited for the opportunity. I think I’m going to have to quit Starbucks, though. That’s kinda awkward, given that I’ve only been working at this particular location for a week and a half. Oh well. It’s gonna stink to have to pay full price for coffee again. Again, oh well.

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January 24, 2005, 9:07 am
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So, I met this guy Palmer about a year and a half ago. Church planter from Columbus, OH. He and his young son Micah had come to SoCal to be a part of a small church network thingy going on at the Evans’ former house. Palmer’s wife, Jennifer had only recently passed away from stomach cancer – still in her 20s. Ouch. The skin on his wrist was still pink from his new tattoo – the Hebrew script of a verse from Job. He spoke to the group with a deep deep peace and understanding of God’s grace. Frankly, it’s the kind of grace that usually only comes after going through hell. Anyway, he returned to Ohio, and within several months God had blessed him with a new person to call his life partner. They recently married. And now this . . . Palmer has been experiencing severe back pain, which has just been diagnosed as resulting from a tumor near his spine. Please pray for him, his new wife, and their young family.



January 21, 2005, 10:13 pm
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I’ve spent this week getting back into “Starbucks shape.” I’ve been working long hours at a pretty busy store, so my feet and legs get a little numb after a while. The store is the 13th one in the chain that now numbers 7,000 – it’s the second oldest east of Seattle. I’ve been settling in here, and making some new friends at work, so that’s cool. I’m a little frustrated, though, because I guess I’m questioning the value of working that hard for pretty low pay. And yet, it’s what I’ve got for now, so I’ll be thankful. I’ve been applying for all kinds of jobs – college admissions recruiter/advisor, psychiatric agency case manager, corporate trainer, etc. All this while still trying to figure out where I’m supposed to be regarding this small church that may be interested in hiring me as their pastor.

Along the way here, I’ve met some pretty cool folks, and I do feel good about having moved. Now that we’re mostly out of boxes and pretty well settled into the house, I’m really looking forward to getting out and seeing the good stuff here. I want to check out the neighborhoods and restaurants, the art galleries and theaters, the specialty shops and the music scene. But now we’re getting back to the whole “I need a job that pays better than Starbucks” topic.

The other day I went to a local gathering of pastors put on by the Acts 29 Network. I talked casually with Mark Driscoll, the pastor at Mars Hill Church, one of the flashpoints in the whole emerging church movement. He welcomed me to the area. I’ll leave the name-dropping at that.



January 12, 2005, 9:11 am
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How dial-up has affected my life . . .

When I started blogging nearly three years ago, I’ll admit it – I did it at work. The church I was on staff with had a high speed connection to the web, and I surfed the blogs and posted to my own. I guess I’d feel guilty about “wasting my employer’s time” by going online, except that even with that time factored in, my average number of working hours each week was pretty crazy. Also, the majority of the time I spent online triggered deep theological thought and action, which, I guess you could say was “work related.” So there, I’ve just purged myself of residual guilt that apparently has been haunting me for the past couple of years. I feel cleansed.

Since I left that church position to go into the high paying and glamorous life of a church planter, I was banished to the world of dial-up. Michelle and I have never had a high-speed connection at home. I’ve whined on occasion about this, but somehow the high pay of a church planter never translated into cool toys like high speed web access. I’m sure there are lots of frivolous things I did with money that could have been sacrificed in order to pay for it, but oh well.

But I will say this, being a dial-up guy has affected me. I have tried (at times like now quite unsuccessfully) to keep my time online brief in order to not tie up the phone line. This means surfing blogs a lot less. I’ve had to find theological stimulation in other ways, like actual books. That’s cool, because I’ve read a ton of great stuff. But in terms of what’s going on in the “emerging church” I’ve fallen behind, and my participation in the conversation in the blogosphere has dwindled over time to an almost non-existent level.

I’m interested in re-engaging at some point, but that probably won’t happen until we’re a high speed family.

All of this may sound like more whining, and honestly it probably is at some level. However, I think this whole scenario has helped me be more aware of the power of the internet to consume large amounts of time. I don’t want to sit around wasting my life. Hopefully when the day comes that I surf and post more, I’ll have more balance. Hopefully.



January 12, 2005, 9:03 am
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It’s official, I’ve moved in . . .

Yep, I spent several hours yesterday trying to blow through a bunch of boxes that hadn’t yet been unpacked – it was definitely time to stop surfing our way through artificial aisles. So, the downstairs space, which is the family room and my office all in one, looks mostly put together. And when you’re talking about my office space and what “mostly put together” looks like, it means a messy desk. Part of it is messy with the cool stuff of life, like family photos and candles, but the other part is messy with . . . well, messy stuff. I’ll have to work on that part.



January 10, 2005, 3:57 pm
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This was our backyard yesterday morning. Beautiful, but not necessarily exciting . . . unless you’ve lived your whole life in SoCal. Posted by Hello



January 9, 2005, 6:50 am
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Sunday, 5:50am

Up early this morning, as is my way when I am going to be preaching/teaching. Actually, I’ve been up for an hour now. In a few hours, Michelle and I will be visiting a small church in Redmond, and I’ll preach the morning sermon. The church is currently seeking someone to pastor them bi-vocationally. I have no idea whatsoever whether I am a good fit for them or vice versa, but I’m looking forward to worshipping with them and sharing with them. If some further conversation takes place, so be it. If not, so be it.

Well, after a few months of working very very little for Starbucks, it looks like I’ll be putting the green apron on regularly once again. I will be starting work at a store in Redmond one week from tomorrow. When the manager called to offer me the position the other day, I mentioned my gig as a church starter in San Diego . . . his response was something like this: “That’s pretty interesting – that’s what I’m doing.” Come again? “My wife and I moved to Seattle for just that reason.” Hmmmm. I’m guessing that my new boss and I will be having some conversations. I’ll share more as we do.