my inner monologue...
site by Andrew Seely
Saturday, July 30, 2005
The internet at home will not be working until sometime Friday or so. Therefore, I can not promise that there will be daily blogs this week, seeing as the only accessible internet for me is at work. I will try. I have a few back-blogs that I need to write up so I will try earnestly to make sure that there is new content this week.
Thank you for your understanding.
Friday, July 29, 2005
I've been feeling quite boring the last few weeks.
I dread the question "How are you doing?". I feel that I have not much to say. "O.K. I guess." is usually my answer.
It feels like I've fallen into a rut. I'm not looking for sympathay. I'm just stating my feelings for the moment.
I lack meaningful deep conversations. I lack being around people in community. I feel like I keep working and nothing is happening. (one of the great traps of ministry)
I don't even know what would bring me out of my slumps.
Maybe I need some direction. Maybe I need to think less. Maybe it's just the heat. I don't know.
I guess all I can do is ask for prayers. Pray for revelation in my life, pray for comfort, pray for peace and understanding.
And I will pray for you as well. Leave a request on the left, under FREE PRAYER.
Sorry this week's posts have been sub-par. I think they echo my overall feeling.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Audio of part of the jam session at Andrew Enns' bachelor party.
click Trogdor to play
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Wednesday, July 27, 2005
(I'm not sure if I've posted this before, but it's come to my mind again.)
For a while I've been somewhat intrigued with church planting.
I think the main reason is that the premise of planting a church is that one church is growing and the need for another church arises out of the growth of the first.
I've always wanted to be a part of a community that is growing in such a way that necessitates the planting of a new church. I want to be part of a church community that is continually training leaders to pastor over new groups of believers.
While I am a life time Presbyterian, there are so many things that interest me in other denominations or the non-denom churches.
I'm not saying that Presbyterians are dead. I just have to stop and start to wonder why we are not growing in the ways that necessitates church planting. I'm not saying either that Presbyterians don't grow.
I'm just wanting to look outside my own tradition and learn from what others are doing in the world of church.
I want to be more well-rounded in the realm of understanding what is happening outside of my one tradition. And possibly bring some of the other traditions into my own.
click Trogdor to play
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Tuesday, July 26, 2005
This post comes after reading Matt's latest post about church, found here.
While Matt makes the statement "Why the time is not right for another Reformation".
I have to say that maybe reformation is the wrong word to choose when looking towards the future of the church.
Yes our church history points towards "reformation" as the catalyst for change. Though I think we are improperly pointing back towards reformation to describe where the church is heading.
Yes, emergent, could be seen as a reformation of protestantism. Though I do not think this is the goal of whatever is happening now. I agree when Matt says "The institutional church could use work, could be streamlined, but I think the real change now has to happen on the individual level." Yes!!! We are in great need of people in leadership and those who are not in leadership (who probably should be), to stir up the church and get people off their asses!!!
Whatever is happening now, call it emergent, call it reformation, is that people are finally having a personal encounter with a God who is not contained within the box of mainline Christianity in America. They are beginning to be aware that God is a global God, they are becoming aware that God is not a white God, they are becoming aware that more than "born again" christians seek God in a real and meaningful way.
While Matt contends that the church could not be headed towards a reformation because "I think the church is lacking one thing essential for a reformation: institutional corruption. I believe that for the most part, the American church today is not corrupt on the institutional level."
I have to say that it may not be political corruption, or even money as the source of corruption. I see the corruption as complacency and a desire to make God a happy, loving God, instead of a big, wild, unknown, stern and gracious God.
As much as I'd love to know exactly what God is going to do next, or how he is going to respond to a certain situation, I in no way want to live under a predictable God who makes everything come up roses all the time.
The hunger and thirst is there. I know plenty of people and students who struggle daily with just understanding who God is. My hope is that church can move towards being places where people can publicly and freely question who God is, wrestle with the fact that they don't have a clue to what God is up to or where he is in their lives. Instead of having God dictated to them in 3 points or with the historical understanding of Pauline ethics in a post Christocentric Middle East.
The reform comes when we challenge (not necessarily break down) the current context of the way our relationship with God is lived out under the guidance of Church.
I am and have been a fence rider.
I would love to see churches come to an understanding that nothing is necessarily broken that needs to be abandoned and re-built, but that we can acknowledge that there are a few cracks in the foundation and that possibly some serious repairs and re-thinking needs to occur, but that everything is not lost.
We are on the brink of re-defining reformation. We do not need to repeat the mistakes of Catholic separation. We do not need a new "division". We need to re-define a few things. And reformation is one of them. Change is what we are after. Change can bring healing if done in the correct way.
I think we are the generation that is learning that changed does not have to be violent or divisive. We are the generation who wants God to happen. And we are praying that he once again becomes the sole reason that Church exists.
Monday, July 25, 2005
Over the last few months (since starting my job) I have been wanting to grow in the ability to discern things.
In some ways I definitely have seen some growth in understanding circumstances and situations. But in most instances I have nothing to gauge whether or not I am able to discern more.
Much of what I've wanted to be able to discern was with students. More about their feeling and what is going on in their lives. The intangible things that do not always just come to the surface when you say hi to someone. I often lack the ability to get students to open up with information that is often hidden. Though that in itself is not part of discerning, I would like the ability to even recognize that there is even a problem.
Over the last few months I have begun to notice more things about the way church is handled and done, which I don't know if it is more discernment or just a reaction to my involvement in emergent thinking.
I'm not sure what my overall goal is other to be a better pastor and youth director, who is aware of what is going on in students lives and the life of the congregation.
I guess I would ask for you all to possibly suggest books or articles or whatnot on spiritual discernment or the like.
A very fragmented post at the least, but I felt the need to blog today so there you go.
Friday, July 22, 2005
I sold out to the man.
I signed up with Google Adsense.
I doubt I get enough hits a day or have people who will actually click on any of the links to actually make any money off this. But oh well...we'll see where it gets me.
Sorry to go commercial on all of you. Let me know if they get too distracting.
This comes from Henri Nouwen's book on prayer, With Open Hands
I intentionally posted it without quotes or reference, to see what reaction I got but no one responded.
It's been a good week of relaxing for me, hence not too many posts. More to come soon.
"and yet you are christian only so long as you look forward to a new world, so long as you constantly pose critical questions to the society you live in, so long as you emphasize the need of conversion both for yourself and for the world, so long as you in no way let yourself become established in a situation of seeming calm, so long as you stay unsatisfied with the status quo and keep saying that a new world is yet to come. you are christian only when you believe that you have a role to play in the realization if this new kingdom, and when you urge everyone you meet with holy unrest to make haste so that the promise might soon be fulfilled. so long as you live as a christian you keep looking for a new order, a new structure, a new life." - Henri Nouwen
Thursday, July 21, 2005
If you have ever worked at a fast food restaurant or in the service area then you are familiar with asking the question "how may I help you?" or any number of variants.
The main goal in the question is to purvey the sense of service. You work in customer service. Your business has something the customer wants and you are part of the process that serves the customer.
I was reading in Tony Jones' book The Sacred Way about service. Not just us serving, but more about how Jesus served and therefore calls us to serve.
Think about how we pray and what usually happens when we communicate with God, so rarely do I find myself asking God, "How may I help you?"
If we truly are seeking after being a slave, servant or one who bows down to another. Then isn't it only natural for us to be asking the question. I know at least, that most of my questions start with the phrase "I want" or "it would be really great if..." or "could you..."
And often times I am left without an answer.
What would happen if we started asking "How can I help you?" or "Is there anything you need?" or "What do you need me to do".
Tony in the chapter about prayer labyrinths makes a great statement that fits perfectly with us coming to God and asking to serve him.
One of the most common ways to pray the labyrinth is to ask God a question upon entering and then to listen for an answer.Possibly this is how we need to live our lives. Continually asking God to give us the tasks that when completed will allow us to be dutiful servants to an almighty God.
I'll leave you with a quote from the chapter on service:
The team that worked on the (pig)pen in this home painted a poignant portrait tonight at devotions: Almost every one of them, upon seeing the feces they were going to have to wade through as they carried bricks back and forth either thought or said, 'You've got to be kidding me.' That is, until one of them said, 'This is being a servant!' Suddenly their perspective changed and the rest of the day was actually a joy, regardless of the footing.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins fame has gone solo and has a new album out. His music has been an influence in my life since I started liking music or somewhere shortly after, around Jr. High age.
I always had a suspicion that he had spiritual overtones, or maybe was even was a Christian. Not that I've confirmed it now, but he has undertaken a new project very similar to that of the Christian patriarch of St. Augustine in his Confessions.
Check out Billy's "Confessions".
and yet you are christian only so long as you look forward to a new world, so long as you constantly pose critical questions to the society you live in, so long as you emphasize the need of conversion both for yourself and for the world, so long as you in no way let yourself become established in a situation of seeming calm, so long as you stay unsatisfied with the status quo and keep saying that a new world is yet to come. you are christian only when you believe that you have a role to play in the realization if this new kingdom, and when you urge everyone you meet with holy unrest to make haste so that the promise might soon be fulfilled. so long as you live as a christian you keep looking for a new order, a new structure, a new life.
Friday, July 15, 2005
All I desired most today on the ride home was to be away from people. Being on a couple of houseboats non-stop for an entire week, you don't really get many chances to be alone. Except for the bathroom (but it don't smell too good).
All I wanted to do was come home enjoy silence and relax.
I think I'm having people withdrawal. I'm addicted to people. It's too quiet. I feel lonely and in need of people, even though that's the last thing I want to do.
But then again it's quite comforting at the same time not to have any noise. (except for the drip, drip, drip of the shower)
Spent a lot of time loving students.
Read a lot.
Prayed a lot.
Did much thinking.
Turned 5 shades darker.
Even got some
Sunday, July 10, 2005
This is my official Hobo-blogger notice for the week of July 10th - July 16th.
I'll be houseboating with this company and with this church.
Here are some of the books I'll be taking along to read during the week, when I can't stand the kids anymore. (just kidding, I love the kids)
In no particular order.
The Wounded Healer by Henri Nouwen
Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Adventures In Missing the Point by Tony Campolo and Brian McLaren
The Sacred Way by Tony Jones
The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
The Book of Uncommon Prayer by Steve Case
With Open Hands by Henri Nouwen
If that doesn't keep you interested:
Here's a link to the online video about a PBS special did on the Emergent Church. It's only 10 min long and pretty cool. Check it out HERE.
I always love coming back from trips. So much mail and email to sort through and a week's worth of blogs to read. It's a great way to relax after a long week.
Friday, July 08, 2005
Today I went to buy some books. Either Life Together by Bonhoeffer or anything by this guy (that I hadn't already read).
I give up on Christian book stores.
They never seem to have what I want. It's not like I pick the most absolute obscure books, but the selection always seems less than you would find at any other bookstore.
I usually go to this Christian book store.
But from here on out I plan on just going to either here or here or just shopping on line.
What do you think?
I made THIS for my friend Peter.
Go HERE to make your own.
(post your link in the comments)(you'll have to send it to yourself and then get the link)
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Today I decided I needed a hair cut. Black straight hair in the summer can be HOT!!!!
Being as poor as I am I decided to just go for broke and cut it all to one length.
I borrowed AJ's razor/hairclippers and cut all of my hair to a #8 length, 1 in long.
I then noticed that the sides seemed quite long (as the do grow fast) so I wanted to shorten them a bit so that they wouldn't overgrow my head in 1/2 a week. I then decided to do it myself. I wasn't going to go to the usual length of a #2, since if I messed up then I would have to cut all of my hair to a #2.
I went to a #5, 5/8 an inch.
I started then quickly realized that 1 it wasn't short enough and then 2 I wasn't going to be able to do it myself.
To solve the problem I thought I could call a local barber shop and see if they would charge me less than full price to just do the sides.
NO SUCH LUCK.
Everyone wanted to charge me full price, which was around 13 bucks. I was hoping someone would be nice enough to go in for like 5 or something. I gave up after calling about 5 places.
My favorite line (after explaining the situation) was,
"Some men only have hair on the sides and back, so we count that as a full haircut."HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
All ended, I have a #5 haircut allover. (Thanks to AJ, for doing the touch up on the very bottom and sides)
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Today I took off and left to go to Santa Barbara to see my friend Kelsey. We played Ultimate and are now in the process of cooking dinner for her, her boyfriend and her roommate. Should be good.
On the car ride up I got the chance to finally catch up on some of the listening that I needed to do since I got so many CD's of lectures from Emergent that I didn't have the chance to attend.
Today it was Tony Jones. (Pre-national coordinator of Emergent)
He said something that provoked thought about Pastors. He was talking about the progression of titles for pastors. In the past, pastors used to preach, now they are preaching pastors, and even sometimes we call them teaching pastors.
One of the points that Tony was making eluded to the fact that as spiritual Christians, we need little teaching. We need more doing.
Tony makes the case for the new title that needs/should/could start popping up at churching is Pastor of Doing or Pastor of Living.
I have grown tired of people lauding what an amazing teacher, X pastor is.
The case I argue for is not that Pastors are incompetent in doing their jobs. But that there is much emphasis on teaching people how to do something. We are locked into the cycle of telling people of doctrine, theology, the cultural history of the word Feet for the historic people of Israel, or we even fault to merely telling people how to do X, be it pray more, controlling our thoughts, or even that we need to read our Bible more.
What if we shifted out paradigm, to a thought of doing? Where we could have people saying instead of my church is an amazing teaching church, we are a church that does.
Meaning, we are focused more on actually doing the things that we have been talking about for so long. Tony makes the case that the human way of learning to do anything is to do it over and over, until we are proficient in it.
We do not simple read a book and know to pray a prayer life that mirrors that of Julian of Norwich or of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
How do we become men and women of prayer? We do it. There is little (if any) need for instruction. We do it in church, for the whole service, where the pastor's job is to lead by example what a meaningful prayer life is like, instead of telling the congregation what the 7 highly effective steps are to a meaningful prayer life. I can't remember to lock my front door in the morning, how am I going to memorize and put into practice 7 MORE steps in my life. Yet when we are continually enveloped in prayer, and encouraged in prayer and led by example, that is what helps us becoming proficient and spiritual in our prayer lives.
How do __________? Take most anything in our Christian walks that is preached about on a given Sunday, then instead of just hearing about it, we do it, again and again and again and again. So much that we no longer have to worry about doing it right, or saying the right words, or gaining the proper response. We just do.
Is your church a doing church?
Our spiritual life is not contained in a 30 min quite time each day. Nor is it showing up to a weekly prayer meeting or Bible study. Our spiritual life is contained within the everyday of experiencing God whenever we choose to seek him. For he is always inches away from our face. The problem is we are always looking 20 min down the road to the next object or project that is before us, instead of recognizing that comfort is right in front of us.
I am starting to try and live this life, I am trying to model and practice this, so that by my example I may "teach" others the wonder of learning by repetition.
God repeatedly seeks us, never giving up, so we too should repeatedly do things that express our gratitude for a God that never gives up on us.
I have not been sleeping on a regular schedule for a while now. I'll sleep too much during the day and then stay up all night (or at least till the wee hours of the morning).
I usually feel really tired even when I get enough sleep.
I don't like it.
It gets lonely in the middle of the night.
I was up all last night. Got some good reading done, but also wasted much of the time.
(cause I'm just tired enough not to do anything productive)
Blame it on being worried (money, future, etc.), blame it on those factors contributing to slight depression, blame it on not feeling motivated to do anything at all, blame it on body pain, back, neck, shoulder.
Looking for God in all the wrong places.
I am reminded of him seeking me, yet still I wander aimlessly.
Lost between slumber and awake.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Sad Ghetto Blog
Saturday, July 02, 2005
Pete Rollins, is turning to out be quite a prolific story teller,
See his July 2nd Entry.
Friday, July 01, 2005
NEW GHETTO BLOG
"evil is most dangerous when it's subtle, when it's disguised in Christian's clothing, when it baptizes secular values..." - Mike Yaconelli
This is the letter that I sent to church about the songs in worship for July 3rd. See my rant here.
I'll post a response if there is one.