la quinta - the way to go!

while this is not a plug for any one chain, we have had great stays at the la quinta hotel in gallup nm, and [believe it or not] "econo lodges" [clovis nm was a great experience]- the service has been great and the people wonderful.

i have come to the conclusion that this experience will produce a wealth of articles, examples and expressions of my faith. travel can do that, and that is cool. here are a few "truths" we have come to so far:

1. three kids + 2,500 miles = hardtime for the parents
2. dogs are great, but....
3. some of the meanest people work in hotels
4. some of the nicest people work in hotels
5. God's plans are not always ours.
6. trust in God makes the trip so much easier
7. portable dvd players are required for a good trip :)


no mo hojo

well, we made it to gallup, and let me tell you - if you are ever in las vegas keep far away from the howard johnson' - man was that a bad experience, to the highest degree -

the air conditioner did not work - in a heat wave of 120 in vegas
the fan would shake like it was falling off - over the bed where the kids were not getting sleep because of the heat and the air conditioner not working. then, even though we told them how many there were in the room - 2 adults, 3 kids - they gave us one set of towels - and when we asked for more, they gave us on more. i guess that was ok, because no one wanted to use the bathroom anyway - can things like that grow in las vegas?

i think the topper came when we tried to go swimming. it seems they close the pool at 7:00pm - in vegas?

needless to say, this place is not high on our list of places to stay in vegas - over priced, under cleaned and without a care in the world. when we would say we were not being treated right, all we got from anyone at the place was "ok, by now. ok, by now."

lesson learned :)


viva las vegas

we made it to vegas and spent the day with family. we had a great time, all the kiddies running around and playing - life is good, and get's even better.

i have a younger brother who has been fighting addictions for a while, and it looks like he is winning. we lost touch with him, and it seemed that we would never find him - but it turns out he is living in florida with a family member and doing great - living life and getting clean. he is hiv positive, but is doing some very cool changes in his life - can't wait to see his face and know the addictions are being delt with. very cool - good news on the road -

well, tonight we sleep, for later we drive to gallup, nm :)


the adventure begins

today is the day we pack the truck and send it on it's way. we will be leaving behind this chapter of our lives and moving to a new chapter. as we close out the california chapter and open the north carolina chapter i have a great many things to be in praise over, God has blessed me in many ways -

my family; my wife tina, a great and supportive lady whom i love dearly. she supports me, reads what i write and even will help me work out ideas. she cares about what i do, and is a very supportive part of my ministry and my walk. our children, heather and steve, veronica and lauren - three bright spots in a day :). the rest of the family, mother-in-law, brothers, sisters, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, aunts, cousins and more - a large and supportive ring around me as we move into a new phase of life.

our friends; people who are willing to go out of their way to help us see the possibilities of what community is and can be. the people of connection church and their hearts and spirits.

over the next year i will be growing as a husband, father, friend, pastor, person. i will be looking deep into my personal walk of faith as i seek to start a dmin in 2006 [over at george fox with len sweet] and pastor with the people at connections. this adventure marks a great point in my life and my walk. i thank God for all the blessings he has given to me over this year - as i seek to hold those blessings with respect and grace i ask that all keep us in their prayers.

we will be "off-line" for a while as we have a family time trip across america - we will post as we can [family over posting ;)].



while playing around

i was playing around today and i came across this at blogger.com - now, i am not certian who wrote it, but i was honored and greatly moved. wow.

ginkworld; inside the mind of punk monkey This is ginkworld's new blog and gives you a look inside the mind of the Punk Monkey, something that has mystified us all for years. What makes the Punk Monkey tick? Is it true that he was involved in the Willi Plett incident? Forget the X-Files, the truth is in this blog.

ginkworld is one of those sites that carries the strong presence of an individual that gives it a great voice. I have seen a plethora of sites trying to be the next ginkworld or TheOOZE and they come up short because they don't have the passion and the voice of a person behind it. They end up being bland and lifeless and feeling kind of cold and commercial whereas ginkworld and other cool sites like it keep the personality of their architect.

Whenever someone asks me to review a site or a design, I keep telling them to keep it real and keep it personable... there are thousands of corporations out there, I prefer to hang out online with cool people.

makes me feel good to know someone thinks this way - i am greatly moved, and encouraged to keep the faith - thanks, who ever you are.

following is hard.

to follow - to allow another to lead, and simply follow behind them. what does it take? what does it mean? are you willing to do it all? are you willing to take the leap and follow the leader? here is a very interesting story i ran across that might get you thinking...link


the cost of a movement

what is the cost of a movement? we can see the cost in economic terms. we can express it in the nature of what it costs to attend a convention, and what we spend at each convention buying books and stuff by the publishers that seem to "support us" [or see us at the great untapped market for a dying book industry].

but for me, i see the cost so much more then that. i see it as the cost individuality. to me, a "movement" can becomes a firewall that does not allow dissent. it sets it's parameters to high and blocks all possible differences. one would need to "fit in the lines" drawn by some, and even if supported by the many, before they could be seen as "part of the movement." it has the potential to cause those on the radical fringe to lose voice in something they believed in - we would be no better then the modern/traditional/evangelical church that does not allow us to be comfortable in their walls.

when i was a kid, my father always said, "there is nothing worse then an irish boss." meaning? my father was irish, and he said that it meant that under english control the irish were subject to some very hard stuff, but when an irish person was made "boss" they treated the others twice as hard. Because they wanted to prove something. while voices say, "this will not happen" - history has shown that there is a very good chance that it will happen.

if the cost of becoming a movement is the cost of one person who questions and does not find a home in us, then the cost is too high. if the cost of the movement is that one voice is blocked from being heard, then the cost is too high. if the cost of a movement is that those on the fringe are not invited, not welcomed and not encouraged to speak, then the cost is too high.

the true cost will be seen in the coming months. the "board" of the "E"erging will be expanding. that is as it is, and i for one will see this as a major reality check to see how inclusive they will be to all voices. if the "board" is simply a "whose who" of evangelical, moderates and "the published" then that will speak volumes. but, if voices from all sides are joined together, then that too will speak loud.

a letter from a friend, and a possible reality:

i think this thing of the "emergent southeast" is a very good and very cool thing. it seems that the news is getting out, and people are emailing me about it. here is an example of one such email [and a great site] from one of the people who i think has some very cool ideas:

camp is a place i have grew up in and now a place I am attempting to rethink and reimagine. i've been doing some alt worship (form and theology) during various retreats and camps and have gotten some fascinating feedback from the mostly small, conservative churches that attend. camp is such an important part of the south's religious experience, part of its very foundations back in the 19th century revival meetings.

For a while, i've been dreaming about the possibility of a southeastern emergent gathering and would like to suggest the possibility of a camp setting..the intimacy, community and historical significance would serve as an interesting background to such a gathering..just throwing out a feeler to see what some others think..of course there is the possibility of our camp in SC, but there are plenty that would seem to facilitate such a gathering..

obviously, emergent in the south (especially the rural south) is going to have its own characteristics and theological directions. Thank you for setting up this blog as a way of letting many of us come together to continue the conversation in a very specific way..

well, i think that is a great idea. to see an emerging event that is dealing with the needs of the people is great - there are a great many "small" towns and suburban centers in the south that are very different from those on the west cost, or the midwest. our needs are different, and at some level our "historic starting point" is different. as a person who grew-up in the west (nevada and california) i can attest to this reality. many of the emerging events that are taking place are designed for the urban centers, and they all focus on the same things.

if, the idea of an "emerging gathering" is something that will be useful, i am all for helping getting one off the ground. we need to spread the word of this blog, and let people know we need voices - no emerging gathering can be formed if we do not hear the voices of the people we seek to hear.

if we get the word out, connect with other voices, and seek to know where God is leading, then i think we can get something happening by the summer of 2006. the possibility is to have a "ochlos" [one of the greek words for a 'gathering' {ock-los}.] it is used by mark [and others] to describe gatherings and crowds as they came to here the teachings of Jesus, "then Jesus went again to walk alongside the lake. again a crowd came to him, and he taught them."

who knows, the possibility is endless :) pass the word.


i love the way jordon handles things.

What kind of e-mail do you hate?
a) E-mail lecturing me for not responding to my e-mail.
b) E-mail telling me everytime you have updated your blog (very high chance of having your e-mail blocked)
c) E-mail that makes assumptions about my theological beliefs that are totally wrong and based on one post.
d) E-mail that is looking for a debate or wanting to attack. It isn't that I don't enjoy debate, I really do but I don't have the time to do as I once did. If you want some excellent theological discussion, head on over to Stephen Sheild's site Faith Maps and sign up for their discussion list or John O'Keefe's ginkworld.net's postmodern theology discussion list. Another great place for discussion is TheOoze's message board and Emergent Village.

jordon has a great way of putting things :)


are we ready to be a movement?

the idea of a " movement" disturbs me, not that i am 100% against it, but i would be less than honest if i did not say it disturbs me. now, before i go on let me say this is not a rant against "E"mergent of tony and what he is being called to do. tony has asked that we "take a break" for a while and see where things rest in a few years. i admire tony enough to honor that request. after all, he has the rather large task of trying to gather all our voices and see if we can be on a common track - a wide track.

i think, for me, the idea of becoming a movement is disturbing at a core level, because i have felt the sting, slap and insults of the "modern church movement." my concern comes from the idea that some heavy "formality" will form from what i believe should remain informal. as we discuss the possibility of morphing from conversation to movement i am concerned about some very important realities.

who will determine what the movement looks like?
who determined that one group speaks for all?
who will determine what the movement believes?
who will determine who will speak for who?
who will determine how the movement moves?
who will determine why the movement is?

i keep hearing that "many" want us to be more "organized." yet, i do not hear those voices. i hear the voices of those who fear this idea, and they fear it for many reasons. while some may see our voices as "trivial," i hope those who desire a "movement" do not. because if they do, then they are no better then the modern church we strive to move past. if they are unwilling to hear us, then they are no better then those they have questionsed in years past. they have replaced themselves with the likes of mohler and carson. if they are unwilling to bring all voices together, or unable to... [more]


a new blog

i am in the process of moving to north carolina. in that move, i would love to get this blog rolling and focus on issues that are facing us in the southeast. if you are connected to an emerging ministry in the southeast, i would love if you added your voice to this new collaborative blog.

the idea is to be a place where people can find out what is happening in our area. conferences, gatherings, events, new churches, new expressions - what ever it is - we can be a collaboration of people looking to be a light to those seeking a way in this crazy thing we call emerging - if it's you, cool - join. if you know of others, cool - spread the word :)


a "new" book?

i just could not resist. it's in my blood. but, it would be a cool book. what do you think? :)

chirac eats "haggis"

looks like either chirac will not be going to the olympics, or he just won't eat :) london beats out paris to host the 2012 games :)

First round
London 22
Paris 21
Madrid 20
New York 19
Moscow 15 (eliminated)

Second round
Madrid 32
London 27
Paris 25
New York 16 (eliminated)

Third round
London 39
Paris 33
Madrid 31 (eliminated)

Fourth round
London 54
Paris 50 (eliminated)

London beats Paris to 2012 Games
Vote Breakdown of 2012



could it be that we have reached this point? could we be in a "postemerging" reality? have we "emerged?" i am not sure. i think on one hand we are there, we have emerged out of the primordial slime of the past theologies and church functions and we walking upright in the evolution of faith. yet on the other hand, i know we are still "cro-magnon" in the eyes of many who disagree with us, not yet fully human and still working with small brains. if we can only be either "emerging" or "emerged" - where are we as a people of faith?

for me, i am leaning towards the "postemerging." why? because i am tired of all the games that seem to be developing, mostly with the evangelical arm. it seems that the evangelical arm is unwilling to work with the emerging. at the same time the emerging is trying hard to be open to the evangelical arm. but like any body, if the arm is not working then how can the body pick itself up when it fall? if evangelical arm is unwilling to work with the emerging, then the body can't even wipe itself.

i am not evangelical, and i never claimed to be one. i did not grow-up in the church. many in the evangelical arm believe that all of us in the emerging church are simply evangelical who left the church and want to form a new church because we are mad at the evangelical church - not true. i have never been evangelical, i have never been fundamental. while i will say i am not evangelical, i will say i am a christian, and i believe with all my heart in christ as my savior. i might not believe in it the way an evangelical does, but that does not make my faith any less real.

i do not desire to be part of the evangelical arm of the faith. given that, according to them i am not a christian. so, i desire not to fight or argue with them - because they are not listening to us anyway. they twist our words, and say things we have never said. i like what andrew jones reminded me that icon said. over this past year i have felt as if the evangelical arm of the church is self attacking the "face" [emerging] part of the church. it seems that the evangelical arm is spending more time slapping us, then grooming us.


a random thought

why do some churches sing the song "let my words be few" and sing it three times?