I just got finished watching Crash for the very first time, and then the last 45 minutes a second time.

Oh my.

This is the best movie I watched in such a long time.

I feel so powerless.
I feel so powerless right now.
I feel so powerless to make any difference.

I know I am a bit behind on the times, but this moive caught me at the perfect time.
This movie makes my heart ache and leaves me searching for answers... and questions... and peace.
Read more

Background Music

I finally entered the world of the MP3 player this past week. I loaded up some Damien Rice, Derek Webb, Shawn McDonald, CFNI, Tracy Chapman and some Rob Bell sermons for my initial playlist. I stopped by Radio Shack somewhere in Indiana and purchased the wire to connect it to our car stereo and I was set.

Throughout the week I would put my ear plugs in while walking from class to meals, or wandering around campus. I quickly realized that I wish all of life had background music to it. There were so many times that a song would kick in, I would slow my pace, take in my surroundings and breathe a bit more intentionally. Everything is so much more peaceful when Damien Rice is strummin along in the background. I know it is rude to walk around with headphones on, but it is hard to resist if you have the right music downloaded on your MP3. Life just seems a little more relaxed then.
Read more

There is Plenty of Time

I am sitting in a freshman dorm room in Kankakee, Illinois at Olivet Nazarene University. I have been in class every day from 8:30am-5pm for the last four days and have one session left tomorrow. The class I am taking is with Tony Jones, author and leader of Emergent. I honestly beleive that if it were not for an 8 hour seminar I attended with Tony Jones 4.5 years ago I would probably be unhappily settled into a megachurch at this point in my life, wondering why I was unhappy, but missing the answer. That day in Nashville Tony tore apart my preconceptions about ministry, the church and life. He helped me form words to express what I was perceiving in the culture around me and at the core of my own soul. It was eye opening. It was refreshing. It was releasing. It was life-changing. It was good.

I haven't really heard Tony speak much since that day, some but not much. My journey has obviously continued, but it has included other voices and other books. Some of those voices belong to many of you. I am glad it has worked out that way. I truly feel I have been shaped by my immediate community, and it seems like that is how it should be. It seems that those who have the most profound impact on our lives should not be those with distant voices, but those who know us, love us and embrace us.

Nonetheless, it has been an ideal and eye-opening week; sitting and listening to Tony each day, eating meals with him and other classmates, chatting with him at breaks, sharing the story of my tribe in Findlay and hearing more of his. I usually disengage a lot in classes, but every time I start to I remember where I am and who is up front teaching, and it is quite easy to re-engage. A lot of churches today are planting new churches to "reach the next generation", but Tony has continually clarified the difference for the church he is a part of. He says (this is not a quote, but roughly what he says), "We didn't start Solomon's Porch to reach young people, or the next generation. We started Solomon's Porch because it was our last shot. We were done with church. We were done with the institution. We knew that this thing had to work, because it was the last hope... for us." I have heard a similar cry in many of my tribe's hearts over the past few months.

The timing has been perfect. I have been settled into this new job, wondering and wandering about "my call" for a few weeks now. This week has reminded me how real it is in my life, and helped form what that could/might look like, fleshed out. More importantly, as our community has entered into this discussion about who we are as a body and what that might look like, the past 2-3 gatherings, it has stirred my mind and forced me to dwell on it quite extensively and somewhat constantly, and Tony has dwelt in the arena of our questions all week.

As I have read the assigned books and listened to Tony tell the stories, about churches who value what we value, whose passions are similar with ours, and whose heartbeat seems similar to ours, I feel comforted in our new journey and emboldened concerning our future. I am reminded that our body is not nearly as alone as it sometimes seems, especially when others reject us, doubt us and question us. There are many on this journey. There are many seeking the person of Christ and "to know Him". There are many seeking to Be The People Of God in their communities. There are many who have been on this path for much longer than we have. There are many... of which my gathering is one. An infant one.

Being an infant is exciting because we have a long way to grow. There are many undecided details of what "we" will look like, how "we" will move, how "we" will gather and live life with one another.
There is plenty of time for mistakes... and learning from them,
for victories... and celebrating them,
for hurt feelings... and recovering from them,
for (re)discovered gifts... and using them,
for tears... and sharing them,
for new friends... and embracing them.

I truly am excited for our little house church, and I am a bit emotional as I write this. I really miss my family right now (Kelly and Halle) and I really miss my Findlay family as well. I have absolutely loved learning so much this week; about what others are doing, questions they are asking, and ways they are journeying that we can all learn from, but I anticipate returning to join thejourney with my people tomorrow.

Peace and love my brothers and sisters.
Read more

A little distracted

I have been a bit distracted and haven't been on here at all for over a month. I miss you guys. I miss reading about your lives and sharing mine. I will be setting aside some time to read and share more once again. It has been a fun transistion in our lives, but not one that has left me with ample free time. I am still trying to learn a new flow. I'll share more soon. Peace brothers and sisters.
Read more