Category Archives: Emerging

Make It or Break It

A few weeks ago while chatting with a friend about her current faith community experience, she made a comment that startled and stuck with me:  “This is a make it or break it point.”  We were reflecting on her participation at a fledgling worship gathering.  Either her passion to see this community grow, thrive, and fly or her cynicism that “institutional” church squashes most creative/emerging sorts of worship expressions was so strong that this experience is an ultimate for her:  ultimately uniting or dividing her from her present faith community.

I couldn’t quite figure out why her declaration bothered me so.  Is it that I didn’t anticipate her feeling that strongly?  We usually see so eye to eye.  Or perhaps it’s that in times past I would’ve been right there with her believing that this new expression was needed and absolute and of course not understood by the ‘stodgy institutionalized’, but in present day I wonder what she’s hollerin’ about:  how can the way we worship be more important than who we worship with?  My youthful fear:  have I slowly melded comfortably in with that that I railed against?

Today I read a post about the current attack/think-to-complain-about in the emerging/institutional church circles.  Jason asked what I had heard about Brian McLaren’s new book:  “Nothing.  I don’t really read emerging church blogs anymore:  they’re just kinda blah.”

The emerging church and mothering sites are what drew me initially into the blogosphere:  daily I would check for new Quakes or young adults crying out for more authentic living and worship (and new funny ‘here’s the many colors of poo of my child today’ stories:  when you’re sleep-deprived, they’re a hoot).   As blogging’s become more normalized, posts feels very mechanical, formulaic.  The topics are rehashed, and unless serious digging takes place, the grand sense is evangelical white males talking about oppression:  something’s a bit off in that scenario.

While listening to a podcast about the need for Free in today’s crafting business world, a comment stuck with me:  “The only thing you have to offer is your self.”  He said there are a million people putting beads on wire or crafting pictures, but only you can sell your experience and your self.  There’s a fine line, though, between offering your experience and personality and stories and views or becoming a commodity to be consumed, and a lot of the blogosphere feels like the later as of late.

I’m not done blogging.  I’m not done seeking for authenticity.  Is the lack I see enough to drive me away, to say that it’s a ‘make it or break it’ experience?  I hope not, either online or in my corporate community.  In an age where people seem to believe only extremes are heard over the roaring buzz of constant information consumption, I’m thinking the quieting hum that soothes my baby girl to sleep is the way to go.

[Plus, the extremes remind me way too much of my toddler, and sometimes it’s hard not to break out into giggles.  “WORSHIP THIS WAY OR I’M LEAVING!” versus  “MY SOCKS ARE TOO TIIIIIIIGHT!”  “You picked out your socks.”  “TOO TIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!” 🙂 ]

Just the Facts, Ma'am

Blog silence.  Pretty buy cialis 5mg typical on this little WordPress blogaroo.  Other blogs seem so prolific:  so much to say, so much to say, so much to say, so much to say (okay, so I’m listening to DMB right now:  make my hubby proud).  When I started blogging, I found myself attracted to two types of posts:  informational and formational.  Informational:  giving terms and naming concepts to my experience of wandering post-college.  Formational:  sharing stories of their own orientation, disorientation, and surprising reorientation in which I could relate or find myself in their journey.

But lately?  So.Much.Information.  Answers:  so many answers.  Or critiques.  Or slams.  Or “I’m in the Emergent/Missional/Converging/Reformata/Baby-Wearing/Attachment Parenting/Babywise/Dave Ramsey/Fox News/CNBC/Obama Hopeful/Obama Critical” bandcamp.  As more and more people connect or input on the internet, the more polarized I see it becoming.  And I get sad.

I don’t feel I have answers:  just my journey.  And lately I’ve been hesitent of sharing that story because of the way people treat me:  “Keep your head up!”, “Boy, it must be tough!”, “You’ll get through this!”  Perhaps that’s the eternal plight of a melancholy who allows folks into the inner sanctum:  I didn’t think I made it sound “that bad” – it’s just the way I see things.  Folks from a different generation would probably say that censoring my thoughts or being more selective in the means of how I share would be prudent.  And it probably would:  but goodness, I don’t think my wiring has anything labeled “prudent” in there – believe me, I’ve looked.

This past weekend I got to participate in a gathering called Kaleo:  both energizing and discouraging.  Energizing in that I realized how much I adore being in situations like that:  with people eager to listen and contribute and discern the presence of God for the betterment of the world and the adoration of Christ.  Discouraging in that the next day while I was having a really rough time of parenting (Jason went snowboarding at the last minute with a friend), I wondered what could possibly be the purpose of going out to a conference, getting excited, and then coming home to fold laundry and put away dishes and deal with fairly crabby children with little to no thanks.

This is where I should input some sort of take away:  “But I realized that Christ was really inconvenienced when he came to earth.  Whatever I do to the least of these, I do unto him.  I realized I should find joy in all circumstances.  I found peace in realizing that these days will pass, and I need to keep my eyes on the future.”

Excuse me while I try to stop rolling my eyes and making my “thooey” face.  I didn’t realize those things.  I realized I needed to dance.  To Really Bad Pop Music.  So I did:  Ipod blasting while the boys were confined to their rooms, I rocked out to boy bands and Brit pop and a little Ms. Spears.  It didn’t provide answers, but it tired out The Furies, and now my butt hurts (getting so old).

Something that stood out to me at Kaleo, or perhaps it was the Recalibrating Church conference, was the idea of takeaways.  Somebody somewhere said that in Olden Church the priests did not exposit on the Scriptures:  no takeaways.  They allowed their congregants to enter into the story, to participate, to be formed and transformed by the Spirit through the Word.

Sometimes I wish I had answers or take-aways.  Maybe that would make my blogging more directed, prolific, marketable.  But then I’d probably skim it just like I do so many other sites.  Our society seems to be moving beyond “just the facts, ma’am” — but to what?  And how do we meet them there?

Maybe the answer, or rather the experience, is simply in the dance.  Which won’t always be bad pop music:  I’ve also been known to blast Mr. Sinatra as well as Mr. Diamond.  🙂

Review: the Sacred echo

[Sidenote:  a number of folks have passed on the following information, one noting it was a bit ironic that it came out the same day as my last post:  “Like you said,  ‘I don’t want to deal with all of this.  Let’s just sweep it under the rug [counter] and move on.'”  Hmm . . . ]

A few years ago when I started off on my quest of “why don’t any of my friends go to church anymore?  I know they’re spiritual people; where did they go?” and it meshed with “heavens, how does one maintain sanity when one has a demanding newborn and I can’t get out of my townhouse because it’s naptime or feeding time or I can’t find a clean pair of pants?  Hurrah for the internet!”, I discovered blogging and the emerging church.  I crept around different places like delicious and technorati and bloglines to try and assess who was worth reading and what they were talking about in the first place.

One day I noticed that my name was mentioned on a site that I considered to be well-emersed in the current pioneering spiritual scene; the post was calling for recommendations of emerging women bloggers.  “Well, that’s odd,” I thought, not that my name was mentioned  because I *am* a girl (and honestly, I was totally flattered), but that there was a request for such a thing at all.  Aren’t there a lot of emerging women bloggers?  Aren’t they getting equal screen time?  Because sexism doesn’t seem to be a value of post-modernity. . . .

That may be true, but the female voice is still lacking, which I find really interesting considering that I find women to be online moreso than men, at least in the searching-for-info, shopping, social-networking areas.  At any rate, one day I was reading the list of speakers for some hip, emerging-type conference:  boy, boy, boy, boy, boy, boy, girl, boy, boy.  Wait, girl?!!  Who is this person?  Her name was Margaret Feinberg.  And she was a writer.  !!!!  Be still, my little womanly writer’s heart.  I immediately went to her website, subscribed to her blog, and pine over her description of adventures in Colorado and Alaska because deep down inside I wish I were that cool to romp around in the wilderness.

One day Margaret posted that her new book was coming out, and her publishers were sending copies to blog readers who would post a review.  And y’all know how I feel about reviewing books.  Oooh!  Oooh!  Me!  Me!  I requested a book.  Alas, too late:  the copies had already been given out (I recieved a personal email from Margaret letting me know:  hello!  Personal touch!).  But then, one day, walking to the mailbox, key in my slot, open the package door:  hurrah!  Book package for Aj:  rock on.

And it made it to my pile of “books to review” where it sat for what I thought wasn’t all that long but apparently her publishers did because I got a polite yet inquisitive, “Did you get the book?  Have you posted a review?” email.  Apparently they don’t function on Aj Time which is generally “wearing two-week contacts for six months is okay, and regular bathing for the children means throwing them in the tub before they’re going to be seen by the public, and did I tell you about the time that I drove around with unregistered car tags for about nine months because I kept forgetting to go into the DMV but my father-in-law would see my car and shake his head and comment that next time he’d be visiting me in jail?”  So thank you for the reminder that The World does not function on Aj Time (phew).

So, my review of the Sacred echo:  Hearing God’s Voice in Every Area of Your Life (I’m spelling it like this because this is how the title is printed on the book, all post-modern “we don’t have to follow capitalization rules” and such – rebel rebel).  Honestly, at first, I was a bit skeptical.  Having read some pretty heavy hitters lately, I’m finding myself looking at every book wanting it to be a major spiritually-formational revelation, and this did not strike me as that.  This book is about prayer:  would she as detailed as Richard Foster?  This book is about life as a post-modern:  would she be as hip at Rob Bell?   This book is about listening:  would she be as prophetic as Shane Claibourne?

No, because she is Margaret Feinberg, and she brought her self to these pages, in clear words with questions and ponderings and proddings and God-infused words of hope and love.  She shares stories, her stories, of folks that she prays for.  Through these journeys she questions, “Why *do* we pray?  Is it worth it?”  I know of a number of books that tackle such a topic, and I don’t know that she brings anything necessarily new, but she brings things that are *real*, that shed light on the picture, that model what a life spent listening to God looks like.

Instead of forcing her stories down the readers’ throats, giving an air of “this is how your life of prayer should look”, she acts more as a midwife, encouraging the reader with queries and thoughts that allow the reader to find these echoes in their personal lives.  When my name was added to the list of emerging women bloggers, the commenter stated that they didn’t even know I was a female until many posts down the road:  I took that as a compliment, that my words were relatable to either gender.  I somewhat feel the same about this book – the words speak truth and can be applied to folks from a range of experiences.

the Sacred echo:  do I listen for the repeated phrases and words of God in my life?  What is God saying?  How do I respond?  Thank you, Margaret, for being a voice that questions, for sharing when prayer is answered in the ways that we want and the ways that we don’t, for being transparent.  And thanks for the being a voice present in the boy-dominated world of the emerging church:  if you ever need a side-kick, feel free to let me know.  🙂

Here I am to Worship

Again, crossposting a review for my Seminary class.  Thought it could stand some good ol’ Friendly input. 

When “Professor” Clark alluded to the fact that some of us were going off-roading with our elective reading choices, I think a bright flashing neon sign lit up above my head.  🙂 

After reading about liturgy and fighting commodification through liturgy, I thought it would be beneficial to explore the core elements of worship and its manifestations within differing traditions.  For the past few weeks I’ve been sitting with Evelyn Underhill’s book “Worship”.  I say that I’ve been sitting with it because, at least for this sleep-deprived reader, it’s not a quick read.  Underhill’s most known work “Mysticism” explores the wider topic of communion/experience/”yadah” with God; this follow-up looks at some more practical ways individuals and groups experience this.  Divided into two parts, the book first details the purpose and the elements of worship and then explores these principles and values in specific denominational expressions. 

“Worship is here considered in its deepest sense, as the response of man to the Eternal; and when we look at the many degrees and forms of this response, and the graded character of human religion, its slow ascent from primitive levels and tendency to carry with it the relics of the past, we need not be surprised that even within the Christian family there is much diversity in the expressive worship which is yet directed towards a single revelation of the Divine” (xxi).  This statement contains elements of the sentiment of Luke Bretherton’s picture of Deep Church drawing from the same well of tradition as well as Andrew Walker’s thoughts on Deep Church and paradosis:  “What is new about this retrieval is that it is a quest for something old, and its modus operandi is not a technique, but a turning back (epistrophe)” (50). 

While looking at the fundamental characteristics of worship, Underhill often details the extremes manifesting from the response to Reality (most often comparing the Anglican church and the Quaker meetings) sharing the strengths and weaknesses of each expression.  For example:  “Habit tends to routine and spiritual red-tape; the vice of the institutionalist.  Attention is apt to care for nothing but the experience of the moment and ignor the need of a stable practice, independent of personal fluctuations; the vice of the individualist.  Habit is a ritualist.  Attention is a pietist.  But it is the beautiful combination of order and spontaneity, docility and freedom, living humbly – and therefore fully and freely – within the agreed pattern of the cultus and not in defiance of it, which is the mark of genuine spiritual maturity and indeed the fine flower of a worshipping life” (22).  This almost reminded me of the characteristics of the modern (ritualist) and post-modern (pietist) movements.  As she moves on to describe early Christian worship, she notes that the earliest form of Charismatic expression was taken on by Hellenistic Christians who moved away from the Jewish models (180).  This seems similar to the modern/postmodern movement as well where the postmodern group is trying to follow a new expression of worship that seems so dissimilar to the previous standard.

Underhill gives some details not only about current worship, but the history of worship starting with the Hebrews and moving to the early church and the denominational splits.  Interestingly she noted in Jewish life that “it was surrounded by a number of small ritual observances; which can easily be dismissed as formal or superstitious, but were really directed – like the small external pieties of the ‘good Catholic’ – to the sanctifying of all the common events of everyday life, by a constant and humble remembrance of the claims of the Eternal God and His Law” (156).  Sounds a little bit like Bretherton’s “mundane holiness” to me where “in our day Christian disciplines and practices must act as antidotes to the attempt to shape our personhood through consumerism, technology, and the myriads to Pasnopticanlike institutions of the corporation state” (244). 

I spent more time looking at Underhill’s evaluation of Quaker/Free Churches than the other denominations because this is the tradition I come from.  I have been a bit disheartened reading “Consuming Religion” with Miller’s thesis that liturgy fights commodification of religion.  One of the main characteristics of the Friends is the lack of symbol/ritual/liturgy of the high church.  In the preface to George Fox’s “Journal”, William Penn notes, “The bent and stress of their ministry was conversion to God, regeneration and holiness, not schemes of doctrines and verbal creeds or new forms of worship, but a leaving off in religion the superfluous and reducing the ceremonious and formal part, and pressing earnestly the substantial, the necessary and profitable part, as all upon a serious reflection must and do acknowledge.”  After hearing this most of my life, it’s easy for me to assume that Quakers are anti-ligurgy.  Miller quotes Terrance Tilley:  “The significance or meaning of the doctrine of the Real Presence can be paraphrased or summarized theologically, but it cannot be fully understood except when it is connected with the ritual practices of the community that holds the doctrine” (202).  Tilley was speaking of the Eucharist, but his reference to the “Real Presence” seems to mesh with some of Underhill’s thoughts:  “It points past all signs and symbols to the Invisible Holy, trusts the immanent presence with men of the Invisible Holy, and perpetually reminds us of the awe and humility, the pause, the hush, the deliberate break with succession, with which man should approach the great experience of communion with teh living God:  ‘not hurrying into the exercise of these things, so soon as teh bell rings, as other Christians do'” (237).  Perhaps there’s more liturgy involved than I had previously thought, but it simply looks different.  But what does that look like today within the differing branches of Quakerism with some being evangelical and some not, some being programmed and some not? 

I’m uncertain as to what to do with this book.  It seems very black and white, all or nothing.  Underhill describes strengths and weaknesses, but it’s either the best of the strengths or the worst of the weaknesses – not a lot of inbetween or what happens with the introduction of shallow bricolage.  It reminds me of the difference between analyzing something in the lab under ideal conditions versus using it in the real world with unknown variables.  Her explanations of symbols and sacraments were incredibly helpful (they are a means of God sharing Truth with us).  I greatly appreciated the pointing out of similarities of truth and purpose and principles within the traditions:  she detailed the similarities without making them the “same” – showing the beauty of each characteristic or expression, like a family portrait.  Perhaps as I chat with others we can take some time to gaze deeper at our latest family pictures – the good and the bad, the modern and the postmodern, the institutional and the emerging, and see the beauty of each grandparent and parent and child and wait in anticipation of the generations to come.

Pretty Words: Will They Lead to Lovelier Actions?

A while back C. Wess asked me a question about why in the world I listen to Mark Driscoll’s podcast.  Honestly, I don’t know, but something inside resonates with what he says, although I often bristle at the presentation.  Perhaps I sense the truth behind his words, looking beyond the stuff I don’t agree with which often seems to be spoken out of a place of brokenness.

Yeah, that’s a totally girly answer.

I haven’t listened to last week’s teaching, but reading Bob Hyatt’s post has me actually looking forward to my 2:30am wake up call so I can pop in my “ears” and take a listen.

However, words are one thing; attitude and actions are another.  I am eager to see how this “confession & repentance” manifests itself both in the pastor and the congregation, particularly in regards to the women I’ve connected with who have felt squashdicated in following their calls.

Goodness does.

Gettin’ Jiggy with “It’s a Dance”

I like books. I like books on interesting topics – cooking, parenting, ecclesiology (as opposed to my dad who has books on chaos theory, chess strategy, and the penguin history of the world, and yes: he’s read them all). And I *really* like books on interesting topics that I get for free, so it was a banner day when I opened up my mailbox to find a copy of “It’s a Dance: Moving with the Holy Spirit” by Patrick Oden.

“It’s a Dance” takes a look at the daily life workings of the Holy Spirit through fictional discussions of a newspaper reporter and an a-typical faith community functioning out of a pub. Luke, a jaded journalist, interviews Nate, the “pastor/bartender,” about his nontraditional approach to church. As Nate gives the background of the community, as well as introducing Luke to various members, the discussion weaves functionality with spirituality, exploring the form their faith expressions take as well as the inner workings of God, the Son, and the Spirit that’s been sent to believers.

The book hits a lot of “buzz word” topics floating around the blogosphere and beyond:

  • What does it mean to be missional?
  • What does it mean to be incarnational?
  • What does it mean to welcome the stranger?
  • How and why do we worship creatively?
  • Is there a boundary between the sacred and the secular?

But due to the conversational nature of the writing the book never takes on a “textbook” feel. As the characters share their lives and experiences, they also share the reasonings and theology behind their actions. Considering much of the “emerging church conversation” is supposed to be, you know, a *conversation*, this book seems to be an appropriate way to convey the thoughts, ideas, and inner leadings of this current movement.

I greatly enjoyed the emphasis on the movings of the Holy Spirit. The evangelical movement (at least certain streams) seems comfortable with dicussions about God and Jesus, but the Holy Spirit seems a little . . . impish: something we don’t really see that seems a little tricky. And while the emerging conversation has discussed a great deal of the implications of being missional/incarnational, not a lot of emphasis has been given to the promptings which move folks to live that out: that of the Spirit. Instead of getting into a lot of eccesiological/eschatological/insert another word that they use in Seminary that makes lay people go “enh?” stuff, Oden uses the characters to share and show how the Spirit is inclined to move and act in the day-to-day. Practical. Tangible. Helpful.

My only minor complaints, totally coming from my snobby writing/lit background:

  • I had a hard time differentiating between speakers (their voices sounded very similar).
  • I could use more plot/action, which I know wasn’t the point, but if it’s going to be fictional, a little more movement has got to happen to keep mothers-of-fourth-month-old-yowlers alert.
  • Nobody talks that eloquently. Correction: I’m jealous because I can’t articulate my faith and theology that well (ah, blessed sleep deprivation: I’m lucky if I can remember what name goes with which creature I’m currently ministering to).

It’s a Dance” is hitting the streets November 1st. I suggest you take it out for a spin on the dance floor: it likes the night life; it likes to boogie.

Come Play!: Convergence @ Fox

You know how much fun it is when women get together: to engage in quality worship, to participate in relevant discussions, the share their journeys and listen to the journeys of other, and to eat yummy food?

It’s *SO* much fun!

This coming Saturday Northwest Emerging Women Leaders are hosting “Convergence @ Fox“:

Come and engage with other emerging women leaders as we explore our questions together! We will be sharing an afternoon of conversation and connection at the George Fox Seminary campus near Tigard, Oregon. As women shaping the church of the future, we desire to share our journey with others and actively engage the questions that our lives, experiences, and observations raise for us.

You may think: um, that’s two days away, and it’s too late. But it’s NOT! You can still register (and you can still show up Saturday, but food stuffs may not be as adequately planned for).

You may think: enh – that’s sounds too girly/touchy/feely. Actually, the resounding comments have been: “Wow: that’s was so NOT girly/touchy/feely.” I mean, you know me: I have yet to attend a Mother/Daughter tea with my mom (poor Mama: I’m sorry). I swear: we won’t make you wear pink or talk about the gloriousness of “managing the household” (although maybe I should attend an event with that emphasis, come to think of it :)).

You may think: eek – I don’t know you people, and that’s a little uncomfortable. Come. Get to know. These are the most amazing women who are actively seeking God’s will for them and their means to live that out.

Come play! Plus, the cutest little leprechaun will be there, and I’ll be bringing baked goods. Enough said.

Where O Where Are You, Spirit (Wo)Man?

Last week there was a flurry in the emerging conversation blogs regarding, as Bob so eloquently puts it, Battle of the Mars Hills. Basically one pastor, whose podcast I listen to, called another pastor, whose podcast I listen to, not so biblically-based. Which, since I hear adult conversation more from these folks that I do in my unplugged life, is somewhat hard for a personality type that desires peaceful relations at all times. It’s sort of like two big brothers aren’t getting along, or one big brother is talking smack about the other, and I just want to bake cookies for everyone to make them happy and agreeable. Because nothing makes people happy and agreeable like Giant Ginger Cookies.

While working on a Beth Moore lesson from my Women’s Bible Fellowship study, I came across an interesting section that seemed to apply to this situation as well as my daily life. The study is on the Fruit of the Spirit: Living Beyond Ourselves. In week two she’s looking at what it means to live by the spirit. This chapter focused on what it means to be spiritually mature. She outlines three types of folks: the natural man (without the Spirit), the carnal man (have accepted the Spirit but have not been transformed), and the spiritual man.

“Finally, let’s look at the third type of person. The Apostle Paul calls this person the spiritual man. First Corinthians 2:15 tells us that “the spiritual man makes judgments about all things.” The Greek word is anakrino, and it means “to discern, judge, to examine accurately or carefully.” What are the things we are to discern or judge? Look back at 2:14: “the things that come from the Spirit.” The spiritual man does not judge people. He or she judges “things.” Very specifically, those “things that come from the Spirit.”

No wonder Galatians 6:1 says only those “who are spiritual” should restore one who has fallen. Only a spiritual person could judge the situation without judging the sinner [emphasis mine]. Go back and review the passage. God even warns that the spiritual individual must restore very carefully and soberly, “or you also may be tempted.”! The spiritual man is constantly aware of the fine line which separates him from the carnal man — a moment’s hestitation.”

I found that interesting, and incredibly challenging. What does that look like? I know I judge people, i.e. live out of the Spirit: so what would it look like to judge things rather than people? How am I called to posture myself so that the Spirit may change that carnalness in me?

Does this resonate with you? Have you experienced this in your life? I’m curious to hear experiences: helps me put things into better context and to contend better with the anxty relationships.

What Pods Do You Cast?

Lately I’ve been getting an energy spurt around 9:30 at night. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing, except that I end up falling asleep at 11:30, have one at-least-twenty-minute night feeding, have one toddler-waking incident, and end up getting up after the first morning feeding which is usually around 6:30. Which, again, wouldn’t be a bad thing, except that I have Turbo Tot and Attention-Adoring Infant to manage all day. It makes for some interesting brain functions (or lack thereof).

Last night during the spurt, I decided to start organizing – something I do when feeling listless or out of control in areas of my life. So I tackled Abel’s room, weeding out clothes and baby items he’s not going to use (like the piles and piles of burp rags I had saved from when his brother was little – it’s so nice not to have a yarfer), but then I was getting bored. Lo and behold, a thought entered my mind. “Wait! I could listen to that Graham Cooke talk on my ipod. But I’ve listened to it a lot lately. But wait! I could find something else to listen to . . . like a podcast. What a novel idea.”

See, my brother got me an ipod for Christmas because a) he loves me, 2) he knew I’m too cheap to buy one, and iii) he’s a big spender (when you have a gift). And I’ve used it here and there, occasionally on walks, but mostly Jason uses it while he’s mowing the lawn. Most of the time I have to have my ears on full alert lest someone start playing baseball naked after turning on the outside faucet. Oh wait . . .

Naked Judah

I went online to download Rob Bell‘s sermons – I’ve enjoyed them in the past and heard they were doing a “God is Green” series. Then I noticed the handy “people who download this listen to this as well” box, and oh how the clicking began. The most enjoyable podcasts I’ve found so far happen to be Alan Roxburgh on Allelon. As I weeded through clothes and toys, I got to hear stories about mission-shaped churches and church/coffeehouses and the world-wide emerging church rather than U.S. centered. How delightful to engage another part of my brain that is usually focused on tallying grocery needs and mentally calculating how many minutes of freedom left until the next feeding.

So, are you listening to podcasts? What are some of your picks? I’d love to add them to my subscriptions: I’m such an “ooh, something new!” junkie. 🙂

I Like Jesus, but the Church? . . .

A couple months ago a wonderful friend and advocate got for me a great gift: an autographed copy of Dan Kimball’s They Like Jesus, but Not the Church. And my wonderful advocate told him that I’m a writer (or at least doing a good job pretending to be one), and Dan actually knew that I had a blog. Totally made my day!

My experience of reading the book wasn’t mind blowing but rather, “this friend speaks my mind!” I greatly appreciated him detailing the stories of those who were willing to share experiences that honestly reflected modern churchdom. I became more aware of wanting to seek those folks out: the folks who dig Jesus but question the way the church is lived out.

So the other night as my Hubby and I are getting ready for bed, he mentioned that he needed a new book to read. Being his personal librarian, I wracked my sleep-deprived brain for a good recommendation, and Dan’s book came to mind. I don’t normally recommend my emerging-quaking-churching-books to Jason, not because he’s not into that, but he generally seems to appreciate hearing my rundown rather than reading it himself (and I appreciate hearing his rundown of the status of the Red Sox or the latest Mozilla creation rather than reading it myself). But he seems to be enjoying it, and it’s stimulating some conversation rather than “did you water the lawn” and “your turn to walk with the Yowler.” 🙂

Dan Kimball’s book is the being reviewed and discussed this month at Barclay Press. I’d highly suggest you tune in: should be some good conversation. Who knows: you may even hear from my hubby.