Happy New Year, Happy Anniversary
December 31, 2005, 2:18 pm
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New Year’s Eve – usually that means a quiet night at home. Over the past ten years, I think Michelle and I have been to about three, maybe four NYE parties or gatherings with friends. Most of them – including the Y2K roll over – we slept through. Last year, though, was a different story. One year ago today we completed a two day road trip from Southern California to Kirkland, WA. We walked into a completely empty house with a dog, a cat, a few changes of clothes, and an air mattress.

Hard to believe, but we’ve called this place home for a full year now. And a wacky year it was. Between the two of us, we’ve had five different jobs. This year I spent time behind the counter of Starbucks, behind the heavy locking doors at King County Correctional Facility, and under the sometimes leaky roof of the Purple Door. I got to meet some awesome folks in each of these places.

We do enjoy living here. Some things have happened for us here that are brand new. Some weird stuff related to the way we practice our faith in community. It’s been a lot of fun to watch God surprise us in several ways. We’re looking forward to the challenges of a new year, but know that they will definitely challenge us. More to come later.

The million dollar web page
December 30, 2005, 11:17 am
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I’m thinking of supplementing my income, with a little advertising. Heck, it worked for this guy.

Speaking from silence
December 28, 2005, 3:55 pm
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I got a chance to spend a little time with NT Wright this morning, reading The New Testament and the People of God. He writes about the difficulty we have in assessing the historical record of the very early church – primarily because there is very little for us to work with.

“Yet it was in the first generation or so that the crucial moves were made which determined the direction that Christianity would take from then on. This, obviously, is why so many have laboured so long to produce what the vagaries of time have denied us, namely, a history of the development of the Christian movement between Jesus and Justin Martyr, or between Paul and Polycarp. Much of this attempt, unlike the attempts to write the history of Judaism, is sheer if unacknowledged speculation.”

As I read this, it occurred to me that perhaps this lack of writing between AD 300 and 135 represents God leading his people by not speaking at all. If we had a wealth of literature in addition to the scriptural gospels and letters, and if it told us about the worship and lifestyle practices of the early church, it may very well have resulted in a rigid formation of spiritual practice around those practices. We are often so oriented toward tradition that we lose the meaning behind it. Perhaps God prevented us from doing this by giving us precious little information to work with.

I realize that this is wacky, unsupportable speculation. But silence does often make an eloquent teacher. Any thoughts or pushback?

What to do when you wake up at 3am . . .
December 28, 2005, 6:16 am
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. . . start working on a new blog template . . . or at least, start hacking someone else’s to make it your own.

December 27, 2005, 1:10 pm
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Sitting here in a very quiet office, in a very quiet building, in a very quiet part of town. We’re still in the middle of Winter Break in the University District, and everything is just kinda mellow. In one sense, it’s a good thing, and gives me a chance to catch up and get a lot of work done. In another sense, it’s a little eerie, and motivation isn’t automatic. I need to get some music going here pretty soon – that’ll help.

My apologies to those of you who may have come here over the past few days to see a warm Christmas greeting from my heart. I had pretty limited time to go online. Here’s a super quick (hopefully non-boring) recap of my holiday.

Friday – got up a little ahead of 4am to print boarding passes, finish packing, grab Michelle and get out the door to fly to San Diego. Landed in SoCal at about 9:30am, where my parents grabbed us and took us to breakfast at The Sea Lodge (pictured here) – mmmmmm. Lots of surfers out in the water trying to catch the perfect Christmas wave. Then on to my parents’ house for a while, and then to do a little shopping, then Michelle’s parents house for a while, then to meet some friends for dinner. It felt kind of like four days by the time that one day was over.

Christmas Eve – breakfast with my folks at home, and then to Michelle’s folks’ place for the rest of the day. Big open house Christmas Eve party there every year. We saw good friends we hadn’t seen for a long time, and hung out until well after midnight.

Christmas Day – woke up early to gather some final thoughts and words, then to my parents’ church for worship. I was asked to give the talk, so I spoke about the Kingdom come, in the form of a baby. At the risk of bringing a somber note to Christmas day, I talked about how the birth of this miraculous baby brought about the death of other children and disruption (I think I was more aware of this aspect of the story after reading Anne Rice’s book). And then I talked about how Jesus didn’t ask his followers to remember his birth at all – but that we should remember his death. And so we, the Christmas worshippers of Jesus, gathered ourselves around the Lord’s table for a mysterious and beautiful meal in remembrance of that death. We had a family time that evening at my sister’s house with kids running around us.

Monday – hanging out with both sets of parents, some last minute squeezes for our nephews and neice and then off to the airport to fly home. Got home late and in bed at about midnight.

The weekend was good, but hard, too. We were trying hard to be available to multiple sides of our families.

December 21, 2005, 9:14 pm
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Wow, Christmas is comin’ in a hurry around here. Weird. Our Christmas decorating consists of a table top tree that Michelle’s mom had sent to us. It’s cute, with little white lights and pine cones. We’ve done a bit of shopping, but it’s definitely a challenge, given that on Friday morning, we have to take all these gifts with us on an airplane to San Diego. Oh, and we’re trying to avoid checking luggage. We’ll see if we get away with that one.

I’ve been fighting a migraine most of the day today. After I got home from a meeting this afternoon, I thought I’d curl up in bed with a book, and try to sketch out some thoughts for my speaking gig on Christmas morning in my parents’ church. I could barely see straight to read, though. Slept a bit instead. Thankfully, the head is clearing up a bit.

I’m clearing out the rest of my 2005 reading list and starting to build a new one for 2006. Any suggestions out there?

December 19, 2005, 9:06 am
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O.k., so I hardly ever ever ever talk about sports here. But yesterday Michelle and I went out of our way to watch the San Diego Chargers play the undefeated Indianapolis Colts. We had to go to a sports bar to see it. We actually had to request that one of the 436 televisions in the place be tuned in to see the game – almost all the rest were on the Seattle Seahawks game. Unlikely as it may have seemed, the Chargers got the win. Made me happy for all the folks back home in SoCal. The Chargers may not even make it to the playoffs this year, but that win will make the long off-season feel a bit better.

Now we will cheer for Indy to win the Super Bowl. We always liked Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy before, but we’ve made good friends with a few folks from Indy land this year, which makes it even more fun now.