SpiritFarmer


TSK on MacArthur
May 30, 2007, 9:15 am
Filed under: blogging, books, emerging church

Andrew Jones is at it again with another critic of the emerging church – this time it’s John MacArthur. I haven’t read his book, so I won’t comment . . . but Andrew did read the book, and has a stellar review here. Quite funny, generous, and fair.

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Idealism and the People Pleaser
May 29, 2007, 5:40 am
Filed under: the purple door

Idealism is a really great trait to have . . . except when it comes time for getting work done. This is one of the things I struggle with. I dream. Sometimes I dream big. Mostly I dream small to medium. But always when I dream, I dream the perfect, idealistic vision kind of dream. In other words, the kind of dream that is usually impossible to fully attain.

In fact, one of the reasons I don’t dream really big more often is that I know from the get go that really big dreams have almost no shot at reality. Politics is a good example – at various times in my life, I’ve followed political goings-on, and thought about getting involved in local/naitonal causes. But I have always been quick to remind myself that many thousands have gone before me with the best of ideals and intentions, and gotten sucked into the corrupt game that politics often is. What makes me think I could outdo all those people?

I’m at a point in life and work where some of my dreams, while still very much in process, are conceivably within reach. But now is when the really hard work of bringing them to fruition is critical. And if I’m not willing to get some serious work done, the dreams just won’t happen. Oh, and now is the time when I need to be willing to set some of that idealism aside. There have been times when fear of not measuring up to the ideal has frozen me into not doing anything. I have to let it be o.k. for the dreams to not be perfect. Knowing that I put my best into something and trusted God and others more has to be o.k., even if it could have been better.

Some people allow failure to be perfect to kill their spirits. Others use the failure to drive their quest for improvement and perfection. Idealism is a tricky thing – which side of failure would I rather call home?

In my present scenario, pursuing the dreams also includes making some decisions that are making life significantly harder on other people. That sucks. It just does. I hate confrontation, and being the bearer of bad news . . . I just want to run away and hide from it. But that’s part of the deal. Personal integrity, respect for others, and most important, love, require that I tell the truth, and let it be o.k. for people to be pissed off at me . . . hopefully only for a little while, but maybe forever. I’m a people pleaser to the extreme, so that’s a tough one, indeed. I couldn’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve failed to do the right thing, in favor of not upsetting others. The times I’ve held the line have produced what was needed, but have often been miserably stressful. It’s still worth it, though.

Sorry for the lack of direction here, and the lack of specificity in what these “dreams” are . . . I’ll share more in the weeks to come. But sometimes it’s good to take a peek behind the surface, where conflicted feelings (and the dreams themselves) reside.



Living the 4th Commandment
May 25, 2007, 5:58 pm
Filed under: conference, sabbath

I spent the past few days in the land of paradoxy. I was at a retreat for my colleagues in Northwest Collegiate Ministries – folks from all over Oregon, Washington, and Northern Idaho. The topic of the retreat was Sabbath . . . which sounded ever so refreshing to me. Unfortunately, because I don’t get a chance to see my friends in ministry that frequently, I stayed up way too late, and got way too tired . . . quite un-Sabbath-like! But hey, at least it took place just in front of a three day holiday weekend, right? Sabbath time indeed!

The presentations given by my boss-man, and good friend Wes and his wife Charlene were really terrific. It wasn’t just about convincing us that it’s good to take a day off – they actually did a terrific job of making it real for people. In particular, I was pleased with how they integrated personality types into the discussion.

At one point, Charlene talked about how inconsistent and hypocritical we are when it comes to the 10 Commandments. We place great importance on the marital fidelity thing and the coveting thing (which is, of course, good), but we very regularly totally dismiss the Sabbath rhythms that remind us that we’re finite, and most assuredly NOT God.

I am going to make strong efforts at developing a workable Sabbath rhythm. It’ll be hard, I know. But what a great place to start in being counter-culture in our workaholic, consumeristic culture.



Secular Student Union
May 22, 2007, 6:26 am
Filed under: uncategorized

Last night I attended an event with the University of Washington Secular Student Union , co-sponsored by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. They brought Jim Henderson in to talk about his recent experiences of buying the souls of atheists, writing books with atheists, being nice to atheists, etc. He nailed it. It was the best I’ve seen Jim speak – probably more transparent with them than he is with a lot of the pastors he speaks to. After the event, about 8 of us went and ate Indian food for a couple hours and continued the conversation.

I have to say, I was super impressed by the students there (most of whom were atheists). They’re not looking to win arguments, make religious people mad, or get militant about changing the Constitution. The questions they asked Jim were insightful and genuine. It was a good time, definitely.

Jim also told me a little about what’s in the works for this year’s Off The Map event in November. It’s a bit of a different format from the past couple of years, but sounds creative, energetic, and musically delicious.



Facebook me
May 21, 2007, 11:50 am
Filed under: blogging, culture, friends

O.k., so I’ve blogged before about the wonders of Facebook. Working within an environment of college students, it’s been on my radar for a while now. I think I joined up about a year and a half ago. But since they recently opened up membership to non-students, I’ve noticed more and more of my friends popping up there . . . except I don’t know who is and who isn’t signed up. So hit me up, yo! Add me as a friend . . . I promise I wont stalk you.



Big week
May 18, 2007, 9:42 am
Filed under: denomination, perkatory cafe, the purple door

This week has passed by quickly, but certainly not without notice. I’ve been in a bunch of meetings, culminating in some important decisions and new directions for the ministry I lead. It’s exciting, scary, energizing, painful, exhausting, hopeful stuff – an emotional cocktail. I can’t go completely public with the details just yet, but I’ll dish soon.

I’m looking forward to this evening, when my buddy Jeff Greer will play a benefit concert for us at the Perkatory Cafe at The Purple Door. He’s a super cool man, whose facial hair has been featured on the most trafficked emerging church blog in the world. Our musical tastes are right up the same alley, so I know I’ll be lovin’ life, even as I pull espresso shots for the masses. We’re giving all of our coffee donations (Perkatory has no set prices – it’s by donation only) to the University of Washington chapter of Habitat for Humanity to support their building projects around King County.

Good times, but tiring times. Happily, I’m going off to a retreat thingy next week, which will focus on the theme of Sabbath . . . timely.



Falwell
May 15, 2007, 7:55 pm
Filed under: Christendom, culture, politics

I’m going to withhold my own commentary (good, bad, and indifferent) on the death of Jerry Falwell. You want to know what others are saying, though? Digg has a story with close to a thousand comments . . . brutal.