my inner monologue...
site by Andrew Seely
Sunday, July 30, 2006
In case you happen to live in Vegas, like Kat, then make sure you don't feed the homeless in the park. See this article.
I don't see this as an explicit attack on christianity, but it does speak to how our culture operates and what is more important to them.
homeless las+vegas food
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I've been thinking through this for a few days now and the question that has been racking my brain is:
Do we have spiritual limits?Does there come a point where our spirituality maxes out?
While I know the answer to this is most likely no, when I think about the state of many congregations it seems to me that spirituality is stagnant or very slow growing.
Yes, I am very aware that spirituality is not something that happens in leaps or bounds or is something that happens overnight.
But why does it seem that some christians go through most of their lives and never fully experience the life changing message of Jesus.
Isn't our response to what Christ has done, to build and develop our spirituality and the way we live?
I do think that many people find themselves in the same position that I often find myself in. Spirituality takes intentionally and a deep desire to follow Christ. Which doesn't fit into our, take the easiest road, or the road with the biggest tangible payout, style of life.
What are we as christian leader to do to motivate our congregrants to deeply desire a spiritual life?
Is there anything we can do?
Or is that up to God and the person?
This is quickly turning into a post with far more questions than answers or even statements.
Granted I understand there is a difference between hyper-spirituality and an everyday spirituality that people can be a part of.
If I really believed that people had spiritual limits then I would probably quit my job right now.
I just don't know if people really think spirituality is graspable. And if they do, then what is it going to take to have them make a difference.
Do we as leadership need to tell them that they are capable of actually living out spirituality? Have we affirmed this fact on a regular basis? Or do we preach a hyper-spirituality that people feel is out of reach?
Or is it that we aren't giving the people enough control of the church so that their creativity and spirituality can form the life of the church?
Can we teach old dogs new tricks?
I need some help here. Please leave some comments or write a post of your own and leave the link.
church emerging+church spirituality
Monday, July 24, 2006
In a mere 6 hours, I will drop off Matt and Jeni Price as they leave on their adventure to Scotland, where for the next 4 years they will experience life and Christ in another country.
You both will be greatly missed and my life will have a void that cannot easily be filled.
My prayers and love go with you both.
You can follow their journey at their Scotland blog: scotvet.net
friends leaving scotland
Friday, July 21, 2006
If you're a geek like me and need a laugh and have 4 1/2 min then please check this out.
link (in case you don't see the player)
You'll pee your pants.
video Star+Wars spoof
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Been home for a few days now and I'm starting to feel recovered.
Well tiredness and the fact that I'd need to spend more time driving than actually doing anything at the event, has led me to stay home. I'm sorry that I'm missing out being with some cool people, but I'll catch you guys soon. And I was making it so that I might be late to High School group, and that's more important anyways.
emerging+church emergent+so+cal event Randall+Balmer
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Sorry for the Blarfing.
What is a blarf you ask?
Well it is a term that I have just created. In my 30 sec of searching I couldn't find anyone using it as I am about to tell you how I am using it, so therefore as far as I know I am creating the use for the term.
A blarf is the conjunction of the words blog and barf.
A definition would be: "An outpouring of multiple posts over a short period of time. Best used when posts come after a substancial period of silence (period of silence also known as being a hobo-blogging)."
This will be my last post until I return.
So in case you missed them here are the recent posts for you to read over and over and over (don't forget to comment), while I am away.
boat of house
bell-man pt 2
blarf hobo-blogger Andrew+Seely gone
Often on a lazy saturday I spend a good amount of time watching Public Television.
Firstly since, I don't have cable, and secondly there usually isn't much else on.
So I watch a lot of the cooking shows that are on public tv. Some of them are the studio shows, but many of them have world locations as their backdrops.
Something struck me today as I watched a show where this chef was wandering around Mexico City.
First let me premise this, with the understanding that these shows are produced for an American audience and really want to highlight the nice things that these countries have to offer, both culturally and also culinary.
What struck me is that as I watched this show I found myself wondering why everything was so nice. Or pretty. Or beautiful.
Mexico city is one of the most (if not the most) populated city in the world. There are unfathomable amounts of poverty and crime and dirtiness and other things that are characteristic of a 2nd or 3rd world nations.
I sat there knowing that there was so much suffering and pain probably happening around each corner of each shot, but we as the audience were shielded from this.
I guess I'm just at that point in my christian life where I don't want pretty. I don't want nice. I don't want everything to be presented on a pretty platter so that it looks like something I want to consume.
I don't want to live in the commercial for the country that I should visit.
I want to live my live stuck waist deep in the realities of the world. I want to be surrounded with the places where beauty is not defined by clean buildings and appealing imagery. I know this makes things harder, it makes finding beauty something we must work for, and it makes beauty all the more beautiful.
As I begin to really think through how and where I want to live my life and where and how I want to do ministry, these places that are not picture perfect begin to seem more and more appealing. I am growing tired of suburbia and affluence. More and more my heart longs to be amongst the people of God, who truly understand the need to rely on God for everything they have.
It seems like too often our churches take on the understanding of these shows. The emphasis is on making things nice and neat and contained. I hear far fewer stories where church life is disheveled and raw, than stories where there is a lot of work and effort to make things look and run smoothly, where if you come to our church it seems like everyone is happy and content.
Too often we say we want to live authentic lives that are real, raw, open, laid bare, but far too often I do not see that lived out in the life of a church. Problems are hush, hush, pastors feel incapable of being real and open, church members who are hurting for one reason or another are unable to share their hurt, in fear that they will be looked down upon.
I know that this usually isn't an open motive to not allow people to express their pain, but it occurs more than we would like it to.
When I think about how we can live more in tune with Jesus' understanding of broken and needy people, I think we need to make intentional space for these concerns and stories to be told. Are we willing to have space in our services where people can share their true brokenness? And are we as a congregation really willing to fully accept these people as contributing members to the community, or are they seen as not fit to contribute because of their "whatever". If a woman confesses she is unwed pregnant and living with her boyfriend, does that disqualify her from being an active participant and contributor to the life of a church? Or does she have to keep things quiet and secretive as to blend in with the "regular" people who are probably just as hurting as she is?
My hope is that I can be part of a community that is willing to tear down the facade of beauty and perceptions of having everything together. As I truly get to know people I have a deep understanding that our lives are a mess. And that's a good thing! Though it seems to be that this really only happens in close relationships. Which probably speaks to the fact that church sometimes doesn't live up to the call to be in relationship with each other. Although this is an entire side topic, I think some of this comes from our form of worship with each other. When we stare at the back of the head in front of us and we don't dialogue with each other about what we are learning then it is usually hard to form relationships with hair who doesn't talk and when we can't talk to the hair.
Relationships are hard. Truly raw and unpretty relationships are harder. But that's what we see Jesus a part of. He's involved with unperfect people and they are involved with him. I think we have a lot to learn from the places in the world that we would rather hide from our cameras and the insides of our travel brochures. Jesus really sets a good example on who to love and how to love them and how to make sure our community life doesn't end up looking like an ad for some miracle drug, where people are just happy and running through fields.
Sorry I won't be around to discuss this with you all this week, but that doesn't mean that you guys can't have some good conversation in the comments.
church emerging+church community
I mentioned it below in the boat of house post, but I wanted to take some more time to jot down some thoughts before we set out on the experience of trying to have middle schoolers participate in the Daily Office (divine hours) while on the houseboat trip.
Like I said, we are stepping into uncharted territory in terms of youth ministry.
I'll start by briefly telling you what the daily office is all about in case you don't know.
The daily office is an ancient christian practice dating back to the days of the apostles and was done under the name of "fixed hour prayer". It was further developed by the monk Benedict as part of the "rule" in his monastery. It further evolved as a part of the catholic church, and is a part of the book of common prayer which is anglican and also used in the lutheran and episcopal churches.
The version we are going to be using will be the version that has been put together by an amazing woman named Phyllis Tickle (you can also find links for an online daily office on her site).
We will stop 4 times a day. Morning, noon, evening, and right before bed. To pray and have a small 5-10 min service that is scripted, think liturgy, which in theory creates a daily rhythm and space for us to come to worship and keep God in the midst of our day.
The houseboat trip is a unique time for us to try this. We have total control over the pacing of the day, which allows us in a way to "force" the students to engage in this practice. We understand that it will be hard, since this practice is a spiritual discipline. We also understand that it will be weird and foreign since none of the student will have been exposed to this before.
What we hope this will accomplish, is nothing grand, but more likely will not even be something that will have an immediate effect on the students. It is our hope that within the week, students will start to begin to understand that God is a necessary part of a daily life. That there is no way to separate God from everything we do, and that in stopping during the day to acknowledge God, helps us understand how God is present in everything we do. We also hope that it will start to embed a rhythm into their lives for how it is possible to integrate into their lives.
Who knows if student will even attempt to do this when they get home. The circumstances will be completely different, the demands on their lives will return, the distractions and laziness will overcome their desire to participate in the daily office.
I will also upfront acknowledge that these are middle school students ranging in maturity levels from a 6th grade boy to an 8th grade girl. That in of itself is a challenge. We hope that students will find some value in doing something everyday that has to do with worship, prayer, stopping each day, and finding God in the midst of everyday.
I think you are starting to see where we hope to take this experience. I am tired and it is late and once again my words fail me, I will really think hard about the experience and will try and come up with some insightful comments and what students had to say about the experience.
youth+ministry church emerging+church divine+hours daily+office
I am asian, see annyeonghaseyo, but starting sunday I will begin the yearly (sometimes two times a year) experiment of growing my facial hair.
I do shave everyday. But I probably could go every 2 days. I don't really grow enough hair to ever have a mustache or a goatee. I like to try. And being on a boat for a week provides me the perfect opportunity to look scruffy and gross. Too bad I won't have a camera to track my progress, it won't be pretty, who knows maybe this will be the year that in a week's worth of time, I will be able to fill something out that looks 1/2 decent.
Let the experiment begin!!!!
Andrew+Seely facial+hair experiment
It's that time again. Houseboat time!!!
I'm off sunday morning at 8am and will return tired, needing wine and needing silence on friday the 14th.
Here's last year's post (pre-trip).
This year the list of books I'm taking will be quite shorter.
The new one being
God at the Mall by Pete Ward
The old one
In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen
The unfinished ones
The Brothers Karamozov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Genesee Diary by Henri Nouwen
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller (which I have not read, and I know you are saying "Andrew, mr. emergent hasn't read Blue Like Jazz? Even I've read that." Yes, yes I know I'm slow getting to it, and good for you for beating me to it.)
This year I'm excited, because we are taking 3 students, a 300% growth over last year. At one point we had 7 people wanting to go, but for reasons and other reasons they couldn't be with us. They will be missed.
I'm sure the fun will ensue anyways, such as the wakeboarding, the flips off the boats, more backflips by me this year (did my 1st one off the houseboat last year), and many a games of cards, including but not limited to war, egyptian war, crazy 8s, poker, blackjack, and some other board games. Aside from one of my all time favorites connect 4, I was able, thanks to REI, (seriously this deserves a whole other post, which may or may not make it up, so really just ask me) to get a game called pass the pigs. If you've never played pass the pigs, then you just don't know what you're missing out on.
I'm sure there will be stories to tell. And I'll be taking a pen and notebook to do some old school blogging, which should end up here sometime or another.
Be praying for us, this week as we will actually be trying something groundbreaking in the world of middle school youth ministry. We are going to try and have them participate in the Divine Hours 4 times a day. We'll see how it goes, I've never done this before and have never heard of it being done, so I may be able to write a book afterwards. Please be praying, a lot.
I can't find Velvet Elvis and I didn't get Blue Like Jazz
Look above for the books replacing them.
youth+ministry church emerging+church summer houseboat
So I got some hits from Google's Blog search for the tag "everything is spiritual", so I decided to look around and see what other bloggers were saying bout the tour and see if there was anyone who was at the same show as I.
I found a couple.
But thanks to this blog (and it's a HUGE thanks) I found out and am now telling you that Rob has a NEW BOOK due out next year. I knew that he was working on books and other projects since he took a big step back from being in front of Mars Hill.
But the book is going to be called Sex God. Just click on the link to see a description. I'm sure it'll be great. Man I can't wait for march 2007.
Well now you know. And that is good.
Rob+Bell everything+is+spiritual new+book sex+god
Hello readers of this blog, most of you know (and here's news if you don't) that I am Korean by birth, but my relationship to this nationality pretty much stops there.
In case you happen to be a new reader or have never met me, I was adopted at 9mo by white parents and basically grew up white (culturally) so I consider myself more "white" (american) than anything else. I usually refer to myself as a "twinkie", yellow on the outside, white in the middle.
I saw this on a Myspace bulletin, and thought I should post it here. Just cause I thought it would be pretty funny to those of you who know me well.
HOW KOREAN ARE YOU?Apparently I am only 4% Korean, I'd probably say less but they made me multiply by 4.
Anyways that gave me a good laugh. Hope it did the same for you.
Andrew+Seely funny race
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Last night I headed out to Pomona, CA to hear Rob Bell on his Everything is Spiritual tour.
I've ranted about him numberous times on the blog. I won't link them here, but use the search down on the left and you'll find some posts about him.
To sum up the tour, Rob decided to load him and his family on a bus and travel the country for a few months speaking to people.
I didn't really know what to expect and went mainly on the basis that I like the things that Rob has produced so far, such as the Noomas and his book, and I knew that anything that came out of this man's mouth would be good.
About 400 people packed into a fairly small club to see what he had to tell us.
A bare stage with only a HUGE whiteboard (I'm talking like 15feet of whiteboard). Rob easisly takes his place within the ranks of the great christian leaders who tackle apologetics.
Bell being such an intellegent guy uses everything in the book, from the poetry of Genesis 1, to quantam physics and even discussion of Edwin Abbot's Flatland. Bell was able to make some very wide statments about spirituality and our perception of who God is based on our current worldview and our past assumptions about how the world works.
I won't even try and go into all the different strings of thought that he covered, but I will say that clearly he is fast becomming one of the most promient thinkers about faith and culture and bringing a new understanding of preaching the gospel.
Being someone who has studied a bit of philosophy and a good deal of theology, Bell does pre-suppose that one who is listening to him speak has some understanding of "God" and in most cases has to believe that God does actually exist for his arguments and statements to be vaild.
I don't know if he expects his words to fall on unchurched ears or if he hopes to speak mainly to a christian audience, but what is clear that if one really takes his words seriously then one should come out with a better understanding that it is near impossible to seperate God from our everyday lives.
The everything is spiritual, title is the pinnacle of his presentation, with the hope being that people will leave with an understanding that God is so involved within their lives that it is completley necessary if one calls themselves a follower of Christ then they must begin to find the ways to no see God as merely confined to Church or a time, or certian things, as Bell states (and I agree) that there is no seperation of the spiritual life from anything else.
I think they were filming the time, so hopefully it will show up soon in some form or another, (maybe Nooma) so that in case you missed out on the tour you will be able to see and hear his presentation for yourself.
Monday, July 03, 2006
I receive an e-bill for my cell phone, so basically I can see everything online. Well today I logged in and happened to look at the current usage section and notice that it said that I have 12,000 remaining minutes for this billing cycle. Yes TWELVE THOUSAND.
Either they have may a HUGE mistake or they've finally given into trying to keep me as a customer.
SIDE STORY: I was a former AT&T customer, so when Cingular bought out AT&T I was a little worried that I was going to get screwed out of my great deal. Basically I pay for about 350min a month, but due to a number of different circumstances I get around 600min a month for the same price.
The problem comes when they want me to switch over to the new Cingular network (which requires a new phone and subsequently a new plan) and none of the Cingular plans come anywhere near as many min for the amount that I'm paying now. So as of now, since my contract with AT&T expired I've been moved to a month-to-month contract. But if I'm going to continually have near 12,000 min at my disposal I don't think I'm going to give up on Cingular anytime soon, even though every time I call customer support they don't seem half interested in keeping me as a customer. But I still don't think that this *new plan will transfer over, or is even all that accurate.
COME ON 12,000 min?!?!?!? I could talk for almost 8.5 days straight. That doesn't even count the time that I would save because of free nights and weekends. So I guess I need to use up some of the min. Feel free to give me a call then. Ha Ha. Whatever.
It actually went all the way up to 15K before finally returning back to normal levels. Guess it was a flooke. But then I could always show them my screen shot and say "what's up, wit that?".
cell+phone cingular absurd
Sunday, July 02, 2006