September 24, 2008

church

Mike Slaughter has some thoughts on the church as discipleship vs. cruise ship here.
And I love this idea from Small Ritural (via Jordon Cooper) here.

September 23, 2008

change the worldview

Seth Godin has some great thoughts on dealing with difficult (but not stupid) people here.

September 5, 2008

community organizers

jim wallis has some great thoughts on palin's comments about community organizers here.

September 2, 2008

camp

this past week some fellow ministry-types organized our first family camp for ministry professionals. jeff and bridget have a great summary, and maybe i'll get to posting some thoughts of my own (in addition to acting on a few other ideas that i've brought away from the week), but in the meantime, here is a little reflection i put together from the week:

emmaus echoes
resound in my soul

companions –
conversing
contemplating
considering
all that had happened
sharing stories
and memories
of miracles and of the messiah
of blessings and of the betrayal
of companions and the cross

a couple of Christ-followers
talking, walking,
retreating, returning
receiving,
welcoming
a stranger in their midst
(but one they know so well)
revealed
in the sharing of story
in the breaking of bread

emmaus echoes
resound in my soul
knowing Christ still comes
in campfire conversations
and beach-side beauty
in mealtime memories
both shared
and being made

christ still comes
sometimes without realization
as strangers become friends
as companions
laugh, talk
complain, cry

christ still comes
and community is formed
in this humble
grace-filled gathering
where love reigns supreme

emmaus echoes
resound in my soul
as the children played
were not our hearts burning within us?
as the preachers preached
were not our hearts burning within us?
as good food fed our bodies,
and conversation fed our souls
were not our hearts burning within us?

emmaus echoes
resound in my soul
and I am thankful
for Christ-like community
extended,
encountered,
experienced
each and every day.

dan

as i was getting ready to put up some new stuff here, i realized that i never finished the rest of the story related to the iowa trip.

at the beginning of the week, clint and courtney talked about going to this community "variety show" that was about the flood. to be honest i wasn't expecting much, i figured there would be some nice, local talent, but nothing spectacular. thursday night comes and we arrive at this beautiful outdoor setting. we arrived just a few minutes before the performance was to start, so i grabbed a program and found a seat near the back.

a man behind me starts playing guitar and singing. and i start thinking to myself, "hey, that voice sort of sounds familiar..." the singer starts to move - now his back is to me.

i think some more "hey, they guy is trying really hard to sound like dan bern." followed by another thought, "why would that guy be imitating dan bern?!"

then slowly the gears start to turn. "you know, dan bern, grew up in eastern iowa... but that can't really be..." i quickly start to page through the program i'd been handed, and there i see it - "music by dan bern."

now i fully understand this means nothing to most of you who read (or have otherwise stumbled upon) this blog (even those who might share similar tastes in music), dan isn't a well known talent, but i've been enjoying his music for the better part of ten years (maybe more), he's someone i've always hoped to see perform live, but never had the opportunity to... and there is is - standing and singing - 15 feet in front of my face - in a completely unexpected venue or set of circumstances. so at this point, i basically start to freak out. my jaw has literally dropped open. and for the next couple hours i am in total musical bliss.

after the show (thanks to some prodding from clint) i go up to dan, shake his hand, my voice jumps a octive and i babble like a fool; and he was very gracious. (actually wil wheaton wrote a great post a couple weeks ago that basically captures my mental state during this exchange, and eric's imitation about what i'd be like meeting shane claiborne was pretty much dead on to this encounter).

anyway, it was a great way to cap off an amazing week. thanks clint and courtney for making this happen.

(p.s. in case you're now interested in dan's music, here's a sample, but i'll offer a general warning, for the most part dan's music isn't recommended for those who are easily offended - though this particular song is safe).