Thursday Morning

Our heart's desire is be in Columbus today with the Landing Place community and all those gathered to honor and remember Mark Palmer. But we are here. In Findlay. In Prayer for the friends and family gathered there. I never met Mark. I have never met his Amy and Micah, but I knew them. Through the journal. Through stories. Through mutual friends. It is striking to me how many lives Mark has touched through his desire to live more simply and live more authentically in community. It is refreshing to see someone have such a profound impact on so many souls without selling and promoting themselves. We were talking about what it means to be Christlike at youth group last night and I now see the connection. Jesus never had to draw a crowd to Him. They could see that there was something different in Him and they were drawn in. It seems the same can be said of Mark. He didn't have to seek a crowd or an audience, but many of us were naturally drawn to the light and life we saw in him, whether on his journal, through stories or in person.

Amy and Micah, may comfort come to you in a way that only God can give it, in a way that you can not explain it, in a way that you can breathe because of it.
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So it took 3 days

I know I said I would write later that day or the next day, but hey three days later is about the same thing... right?

So, why are we staying where we are at?
It really ended up having more to do with where we are at than where we were thinking of going. I called the pastor of the church in Boston back on Tuesday night to talk through many of the issues/concerns/ideas I had. I had called Kyle Myers earlier that day and gotten pretty pumped up from our conversation, so I had to know where the pastor stood and whether or not I was glamorizing the situation, which I have the tendency to do. The pastor and I talked for close to an hour and a half. I had a whole list of questions I had written in my journal. We discussed some of the Non-Negotiables for my family and some of my Step 1 questions (pre-resume discussion). I also had questions for Step 2 (after I send in my resume and before I would interview) and Step 3 (at the interview, basically laying every card on the table), but I left them for a latter time. I figured I had freaked him out enough with some of my thoughts, and I didn't need to freak him out anymore unless we decided to get more serious.

The call went well. After I got off the phone Kelly asked me how it went. I said, "I couldn't tell if he got me, or if he really wanted me to get me." Kelly had begun to enter into shut down mode while I was on the phone. She realized how serious this was getting and that I was a lot more excited about this than anything else that had come down our path the past two years. She could tell I had put a lot of thought and prayer into this one and was torn on whether or not to dust off the old resume and work on it a bit. She could tell our lives could possibly be about to radically change. She remembered how good we do have it, how amazing our community of fellow believers really is, how hard we have worked to gain what we have here and how difficult it would be to start over. Within an hour of the end of the phone call we both knew where our hearts were. It was an amazing marriage moment as our shared excitement about this open door simultaneously changed to peace about where we are and excitement about what God is doing here. It was actually eerie how sudden and simultaneous is a God-thing...hmmm?

I want to share the reasons, the reservations, the realizations, the conversations of the days that followed, for the lessons God is teaching us are ones we could only learn through this experience, these emotions, this invitation and the conversations that have surrounded it. It has helped us to clarify our direction and our vision for our family. I am excited to share some of that with you, but a cold bed and a short night await me, so I must go. Thanks for your comments and insights. They are helpful and encouraging. I love that we can journey together on here, even from far away. Peace.
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An Explained Absence

My silence has not been for intended suspense but because of a conversation that needed to take place before I posted again. That conversation finally happened last Wednesday, but this is the first opportunity I have had to write since that time.

The knots I spoke of were caused by a possible opportunity for Kelly and I. An open door. An enticing option. We have received quite a few calls in the past year, but this was the first one that made us a bit nervous, because it was the first one that seemed to potentially fit some of the ideas we have about how and where God might want to use us. The call was from a church, it is on a college campus (ENC), I know the pastor personally, they are wanting to start an "emergent" service (their term), we are drawn to that city (Boston) and it was a call to be their youth pastor. The pastor is an old friend/acquaintance whom I was honestly honored to have think of me. So why was it appealing?

1) The college. We would love to serve on a college campus. Kelly and I feel that the church has a long way to go if we truly want to reach the generation of kids, teens, young adults and many older adults whom we live beside in today's world. We feel that a college campus is an awesome place to help free young minds, encourage young minds and impress upon young minds with the words and call of Christ.
2) The church. It is actually on the campus, so the form of youth ministry I would do would be radically different. I would be empowering college students to live life with these students, invest in them and mentor them. I would be an equipper of people called to care for teens.
3) The community. Boston has always seemed enticing to me. I love the idea of Boston. I love the idea of living in the city. I haven't truly lived in a metropolis for almost 7 years now and I miss it. Even more so, the Myers live there. Although we haven't spend any time face to face since college we hang out rather regularly through these blogs and was pumped about the idea of diving into deeper relationship with Kyle, Kelsie and the family. In fact, Kyle was one of the first people I called about this opportunity. Our conversation honestly made the decision immensely more difficult, because even as our desire faded for the work at that church, our desire to live life with the Myers grew.
4) The"Emergent Service". I feel that the way "The Church" lives as the body of Christ does need to radically change and it is difficult constantly trying to convince people of that. I was impressed that this church sees the need for something new and different. I don't pretend to know what that looks like, and I am definitely not convinced it will be found in another "service", but the idea is something to work with. It seemed like a good place to begin.

So, why not? Why are we staying where we are at? Well, this is already too long and my carpal tunnel is starting to rebel (we seriously think I may have this... Ridiculous), so I will write later or tomorrow, but it will definitely not be two or three weeks, because I am so excited to how the Lord worked in our lives through this and what I think He is wanting to do right here where we are at... Possibly. :-)
You never know. It could all change tomorrow, but I sure hope not.
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Tightening Knots

Those knots are tighter now. I am tense today in that unhealthy, verge of shutting down way. I feel something big stirring in my life, but I hesitate to divulge any details because I don't know them. All I do know is that my mind has been racing the past few days. I am talking fast- forward, back and forth, running in circles racing. I don't know what is stirring, and whenever I try to talk about it I tend to contradict myself every couple of minutes, because I am little confused about what it is.

I feel pressure. Pressure to make some big decision. Pressure to say "yes" or "no" or "I have a dream" or "Here is my vision" or something that is decisive and different and changes my life and the lives of those around me, or those who I wish to be around.

Today could be a big day. I appreciate your prayers as I have some important conversations coming my way. I really just want to be a simple Christ follower, but the transition from where I am to simplicity seems anything but simple.
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