My new favorite job description: chauffeur
May 16, 2009, 6:09 pm
Filed under: conference, friends, San Diego, Seattle, social action

I got a chance to attend the first annual Pentecost Seattle event this morning.  Well, part of it, anyway.  It was a good, stimulating conversation on justice that included a very wide variety of Christians.  I had to leave early, though – I was tasked with playing chauffeur today.  Not a bad assignment, though.

Passenger #1 in my vehicle today: The Rev. Dr. Samuel McKinney.  He has been the most significant civil rights leader in the history of this city.  He marched with MLK in Washington D.C., Selma, and Montgomery, and hosted Dr. King in his church.  I was honored to spend some time with him.  He asked if we could stop at McDonald’s for a fish sandwich on the way to his house.  Heck yeah!  I’m a part of a denomination that has an extremely poor history when it comes to civil rights, and I took the opportunity to express my sorrow for that, and my appreciation for the sacrifices he has made.  He was more than gracious.

Passenger #2 in my vehicle today: my San Diego friend, Matt Casper.  He flew in today for some work with Off The Map, and I was the airport chauffeur.  Always a hoot.  I’m looking forward to some more laughs later tonight.

I like driving most of the time, but with company like I’ve had in my passenger seat today, I couldn’t go wrong.


Updates and Changes
May 3, 2009, 8:33 am
Filed under: denomination, friends, inter::mission, school, the purple door

At some point in the past couple of weeks, I passed the seven year mark since I started this blog.  As it turns out, I’m pretty sure that this post breaks my longest streak ever for time away from the blog.  I didn’t stop intentionally.  No good, spiritual, profound reason.  Life just got a bit intense for me, and eiter I didn’t have any words or the words I did have weren’t ready to be shared.

I’m writing this post from a hotel room, just outside of Portland, where I’ve spent the past couple of days.  It’s been a very good trip for me – I’ve gotten to celebrate the official part of my completion of a Doctor of Ministry program through George Fox Seminary.  I’ve spent time with the friends who I’ve worked with for the past few years, and the school faculty and staff, who have been so wonderful.  I can’t speak highly enough of my George Fox family – they are creative, energetic, and hopeful servants.  I look forward to a continuing friendship with them.

When I return to Seattle later today (after some bonus time seeing Ryan, Holly, and Pax Sharp), I’ll get back to work at The Purple Door, and my inter::mission students.  We’re about half-way through the Spring quarter at UW, so we’ll be bringing this school year to a close soon.  At that time, I’ll also be bringing my time of service (at least, in an official capacity) there to a close.  I mentioned a while back that my denomination has been going through a time of reorganization and transition.   I will not be a part of the new strategy.  This was a decision that was made for me by others, not by me.  It’s a long, long story, and one I’m not quite ready to get into here.  Basically, I’ll be wrapping up my employment at the end of June.  I’m thankful to say that the denom isn’t killing inter::mission, and I will be able to hand this dream off to the capable hands of a friend.

So what’s next?  That’s a fabulous question!  If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them.  I really am about as wide open as I could be right now.  I’ll begin circulating my resume soon.

I’m out of time for this post, and I’m sure I’ll tease out some of what I’ve hit on here.  But for the sake of the readers of the blog (whoever is still left!), I wanted to at least get some general info out there on what’s been going on.

Peace, friends.

This looks like a winner . . .
March 22, 2009, 9:51 pm
Filed under: friends, leadership, missiology

Todd Hunter is doing something new again.  Check it. (HT: Jason Clark)

Creativity Flows (but not accidentally)
March 10, 2009, 9:37 pm
Filed under: creativity, friends, social action

After spending a very good weekend with family and friends (some of which has been documented here by Jason), I’m reflecting on the energy of creativity.  On Sunday, I had a chance to chat a bit with Emily and James, who were both recognized at the Ideacamp the previous weekend.  Emily and I go back several years, so it was really fun to catch up with her a little, and hear about all the great things she is pursuing now, including Bake It Forward.  James, too, is a great guy, and makes a really great point in his presentation of WikiChoice – namely that so much of the time, we dwell on issues of justice that aren’t actionable.  WikiChoice gives people the chance to do something positive, rather than just not do something negative (the website is in development, but you can watch James describe it on this video).

One thing that Emily and James mentioned is that their ideas are a result of intentional effort.  They meet with a small group of friends every Monday evening for the purpose of generating ideas for how to make the world a better place.  They brainstorm and work together to make things happen.  In other words, these ideas aren’t a result of accidental brain episodes – they’re the result of disciplined effort.  It makes me ask how often I set aside time to be creative – toward solving problems, toward helping others become aware of issues, toward developing new efforts at revealing the Kingdom (the answer is: certainly not enough).

Creativity can’t be underestimated.  But I find that I don’t take the habits related to it seriously enough.  Perhaps I should spend more time over here.

March 7, 2009, 9:33 am
Filed under: blogging, emerging church, friends

I’m here in San Diego, enjoying family and friends.  Last night, over at the Hawthorn House, I had good conversations around the fire out back with fellow travelers.  I won’t take the time to name drop in this post, but we laughed a lot.  As the night wound down, and only a few of us still there, we talked briefly about the whole emerging church thing.  We’ve all walked that road for several years now.  The funny thing, though, was that rather than comparing notes on which emerging church bloggers we follow and who we’re connecting with on the web (which is what we used to do early on), and which conferences we’re going to, we compared notes on how long it’s been since we’ve visited certain emerging church websites that we used to congregate around.  Months, years.  Seems like we’re post-emerging now.  I think that’s a very good sign.

25 Random Things Meme
February 21, 2009, 9:54 am
Filed under: blogging, family, friends, social networking

I usually avoid doing these things, but I did give in to peer pressure this time around.  I’ve cross-posted this from my Facebook page.

25 Random Things About Me

1. My resume includes these jobs: pastor, barista, cook, parking attendant, music journalist, and puppeteer.
2. I have been to 44 states in the U.S.  I do not remember all of them.  I have been to either Vermont or New Hampshire, but not both . . . and I can’t remember which.
3. In college, I was accused by my conservative friends of being liberal, even though we all knew it wasn’t really true.  I am now actually liberal in many ways I was only accused of being.
4. If I could choose contestants in a celebrity death match, I would put Ben Affleck in a cage with Matthew McConaughey.  I would cheer for them to both lose.  I have liked both in certain roles in certain movies, but seeing their names on a movie poster makes me automatically less likely to see the film.
5. Rock music was considered evil in my home growing up, therefore I am mostly ignorant of “classic rock” between about 1970 to about 1982.  I feel an alternating mixture of relief and sadness about this fact.
6. I secretly hope to write and rehearse material, and do stand up comedy at a comedy club open mic night.  Once.
7. I have enjoyed watching American Chopper and Project Runway . . . for the exact same reason.
8. I have a brain disorder which causes me to get songs stuck in my head – whether I know lyrics or not, whether I have even heard the whole songs or not.  This happens to me no less than 10 times per week.  Usually with songs I dislike.
9. I can be obsessive about ink pens.  I hate losing or breaking them.  I like to buy a new pen and write with it until it is completely out of ink.  It feels like I’ve accomplished something.  I clearly have low standards of accomplishment in life.
10. I am deeply embarrassed to admit that I have never seen U2 live.  Some day I’m going to hear they’re playing a show in Cleveland or Tucson or San Antonio, buy a plane tickets, go there, and pay way too much for scalped tickets to see the concert.
11. On beautiful weather days, when I have an hour of down time, I enjoy going outside to smoke my pipe.  Because it requires down time and beautiful weather at the same time, I do not often smoke my pipe . . . I live in Seattle.
12. I have a low-grade allergy to avocados.  This does not affect my love for guacamole.  My mouth and throat get itchy, but it is so totally worth it.
13. I am a people pleaser.  It is not o.k. (for me) for people to dislike me.
14. I am not a patriotic USAmerican.  I have respect and gratitude for those who have served this country in sacrificial ways. I happily pay my taxes and receive the benefits of living here.  I think our system of government is imperfect, but a really good idea. . . . but . . .
15. I think USAmerica is arrogant in many ways, and has used greed as much as guns to assert power in the world.  We have some disturbing double standards when it comes to “justice.”
16. I spend as much time reading news reports from Al Jazeera and BBC as I do from any USAmerican news source.
17. Despite the previous three items, I am not cranky about politics (am I?).
18. I am a complete cheapskate when it comes to clothing.  If it’s not on the clearance rack, it’s probably not coming home with me.
19. I have seen the championship game in an MLB World Series.
20. I have spent time in two King County jails.
21. I used to wear an eyebrow ring.
22. I used to think it was very strange that my grandparents grew up without television.  The college students I work with now likely think it is strange that I grew up without computers and the internet. It is now so much a part of life, that I also think it is strange.
23. I like hats of many kinds.  Sadly, I do not look good in hats of many kinds.  Baseball caps and some cowboy hats are the only kind I look good in.  But I am not a cowboy, so I do not wear cowboy hats.
24. I am a California driver.  This often presents problems in Washington and Oregon.
25. I am very close to completing a doctoral degree, but cannot imagine a scenario in which I will feel comfortable being called Dr. Lewis.  Even typing and reading that looks weird and wrong to me.

Long overdue update
January 28, 2009, 8:09 am
Filed under: blogging, family, friends, mac, San Diego, school, technology, twitter

Well, it’s been riculously long since I’ve written a real post about anything – in particular anything that’s going on in my world.  I do intend to get back on the blogging wagon, but I think it may take a little while to catch up.  This is because I want to be thoughtful about how I do this.  I’ve noticed that since Twitter came into my life, a lot of the short, quick take things I used to blog are now ending up there instead of here.  That’s fine, but there’s a hidden implication – when I do blog something, it tends to be several paragraphs in length, and a lot of blog readers just don’t have the patience for that.  So, I’m going to work on posting mainly short items, with an occasional longer treatment of something if I feel like drilling down.

By way of categorizing things that have happened in my personal world since I last really wrote an update:

– Michelle and I went to San Diego for Christmas.  Saw lots of family and friends.

– Shortly after the Christmas holiday break, I completed a draft of my doctoral dissertation for review by my academic advisor.  I await feedback and editing requests, but the big beast of a project is largely complete.

– Shortly after I turned in said dissertation draft, my trusty laptop, which had been giving me many fits for the previous few months finally crashed on me enough times that I went and bought a new computer.  Much to the delight of many of my friends, and the chagrin of other friends, I bought a MacBook, and not another PC.  Whatever.

– Since I don’t have a dissertation keeping me busy, I’ve taken on some projects around the house that have been perpetually on the back burner.

– I’ve been scheduling out some inter::mission teach-ins.  Really excited about a few of them that are on deck.

– Michelle and I are trying to prepare ourselves for several weeks of a higher-maintenance-than-usual life with a dog.  Tomorrow, we take Maui in for the doggy version of an ACL surgery.  She’ll be in a puppy cast for like six weeks, and then we’ll have to rehab her for another six weeks.  Did I mention that our house has stairs?  Should be lovely.

– Since I’m trying to get a fresh start, I popped a new WordPress theme on here.  I’ve spent very little time, and intend to do a bit more, editing blogroll links, widgets, etc.  I’ll try to make the thing look and function better for those of you who still visit the site, rather read through a feedreader.

O.k., so there are some other items as well, but this post is already breaking the “short items” blog post rule.  To those of you who have regularly checked in despite the lack of updates, my apologies and my thanks.  You both mean a lot to me.