In the community that I have the honor of belonging to, we are at a moment of transition. Having been called together to “do life” together and to live the journey of following Jesus, we are now attempting to plan a strategy of next steps in being faithful in our context. I’ve been thinking…pondering…in some instances, writing down ideas…praying…talking with my pal and wife, Vicky…giving some imagination to what a community like ours can do to bring our passions, giftedness and our obedience to Jesus into play. We’re contemplating a bi-monthly worship experience that we would “offer” to the Eagle, Idaho community on Sunday evenings…the purpose, to utilize the giftedness that our community has in public worship and to continue to call people into transformative lives, lifestyles and relationships. I don’t want the worship experience to be attractional for the purpose of “building” something that looks and acts like traditional “church’ but to do a worship experience that would be creative, engaging, participatory and open to people’s Kingdom journey. In addtion, many in our community have passions for students…so we are on the verge of partnering with another faith community in Eagle and Young Life to begin a junior high program once-a-month for Eagle Middle School. Add to that weekly “gathering” for our community to engage in deeper life and accountability in our following of Jesus and living the Kingdom and I “think” we have a pretty well rounded “mission”. As many of you know, this issue is paramount on my heart over the last months. I’ve been trying to balance a new home, new friendships, the Youth Leadership Institute and my commitment to Azusa Pacific University, the online classes I teach and other commitments WHILE I spent time imagining a growing presence of Kingdom living in our new home. I’m consulting with people who are a few steps ahead of our community and getting great support. I’m talking with old friends about faithfulness in living missionally. I’m reading some books on how others have imagined this kind of journey. So, I’ll keep you posted…in fact, if you have any ideas, resources or feedback for me, email away! email@example.com. Question for you though: what are you thinking about lately? What is capturing your imagination as you live for the Kingdom in your sphere of influence?
I’ve always been a very proactive type of person…”busy-ness is next to Godliness” has been my unspoken mantra. For those who have known me and walked besides me (aka “ran” to try to keep up), they are intensely familiar with my story…how I searched for any book, talk, study, whatever that would justify a “hyper-active” lifestyle. The search turned up empty as you would surmise. I had to come face to face with the fact that there is NO justification for out of control, breakneck pace, sustained chaotic, or crisis mode living. I had to own up to the fact that, as Archie Hart said in a very astute book (Adreneline and Stress) that I was an addict to my own stress and pace of life choices. I not only needed detox but I needed a retraining in life. So, without belaboring the point, I’m taking a few days “down”. I’m not answering that stupid cell phone…checking emails only for notes from friends…ignoring my business line and taking up something new…rest. For many of us who are in the same fast paced lifestyle, the next step on our journey in development, effectiveness, meaning, and flow in life might not be to take an actual step but to purposely sit down and rest. So, here’s my rest agenda for the next few days: time with my lovely sweetie (that would be my wife, Vicky), watching a few movies, reading a mindless novel, kayaking the Boise river, having dinner with some new pals, and meeting with our community group on the Sabbath for a bbq and worship/prayer. My imagination tells me that THAT could do the trick. So, I’m diving in…rather, flopping in. I’ll give you a full report…er, not really. It just sounded like the right thing to say at that point.
Yep, the TEAM 1 Conference happened for the first time outside of Azusa Pacific University. August 20-23, YLI hosted a group of about 30 people for the very first “decentralized” TEAM 1 conference. More on this tomorrow…but let’s just say for now, Trace Bundy (aka The Acoustic Ninja) was not only one of our “guests” but became an integral part of our conference speaking and staff team. Not only did he astonish us with his guitar artistry but he also jumped into the flow of the conference befriending students, adults and staff alike. He also participated fully in our seminars and sessions. What a great guy. We are honored to have him join our community of revolutionaries. Jump over to his website and take a listen to his music and watch some of the video clips.
Yep, I’m just about ready to take off for about 10 days with my “honey” to Glacier NP. Besides the hiking, relaxing, paddling around in our I.K. (that’s cool abbreviation for Inflatable Kayak), I’m also taking several books. I’m dialing in on Mike Frost’s book, Exiles, first…I loved the Shaping of things to Come. In fact, I picked up a documentary on Burning Man just to be able to get a sample of the vibe he discusses in the opening chapter. Then, I’m into Shane’s book big time…of course, it is a bit hard to read some of it…in fact, most of it. But I’m two chapters in and hooked. I’ve got a few other “reads” along for the road including (for those of you who think I’ve gone off the deep end) my bible. My buddy Mike Erre should feel better about me already. But before you think I’m some sort of reading “snob” or purist, I’ve brought along some fun books too including Hiaasen’s book, Skinny Dip. Carl Hiaasen is just a “demon” of a player with words. Yeah, there is some language to navigate…but his story lines are a blast. The last book I read of his was on Bass fishing. For those of you who know me, that seems like the last book in the world I would read…but it is a murder mystery…Double Whammy was about a murder that happened to cover up cheating at bass tournaments as well as a crooked preacher who was scamming people out of money…ooooo, the fun of it. So, we’re off. We’ll be playing for about 10 days and then be back. After a long time talking about it (about 10 seconds), Vicky convinced me that I should leave my computer at home. It took me a long time to agree with her (about 5 seconds)…so, I’m off line for a bit. I’ll be praying for everyone of you who drop in on my blog. Come back and see me sometime!