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Ministry Opp in the NW

From a friend and fellow Board of Ev-er:

Hey Folks,

We are looking for a new host couple for the Friends House of Hope. This house is an outreach to women coming out of prison and or addictions.
The responsibilites are fairly simple- making sure rules are followed, shopping, organizing the chore list, receiving guests, and communicating with the project leadership team.
While it isn’t neccessary that we have someone who attends our church, we do desire that the host couple be mature Christians who desire to help these women at a spiritual level, someone who will pray with these women, and someone who can point them towards Jesus.
The pay is room and board, plus a stipend of a few hundred dollars a month. The perfect scenario would be to have an energetic retired couple who could take this project on as their ministry. Although we would like a committment of at least a couple of years, we would be open to a one year commitment.
Feel free to ask questions as needed!
Thanks for your prayers! Gar

Gar Mickelson
Community Outreach Pastor
Hayden Lake Friends Church
251 W. Miles Ave.
Hayden, ID. 83835

Could I get a Venti Sugar-Free Vanilla Decaf Americano with that “Tale of Two Cities”?

How cool is this? Some high school libraries are taking after Borders and other book retailers by serving up the java to create a “studing/coffee house” atmosphere. They recognize that students enjoy going to their local coffee shop, that it’s a great place to study and engage other folks. I think I stepped foot in my high school library once a year, usually because my teachers made me. And I *like* libraries: so what does that say when a bibilophile won’t come near one?

The crux of the article is to warn against allowing students to have such easy access to caffeine, but it’s not as if Starbucks isn’t on every corner of the street in Anytown, U.S.A. I understand their worries, but look at the positives: students might actually use the library to study – to ask for help rather than go to shady resources – to learn how to become lifelong, self-motivated learners.

I’ve had some quality encounters with Christ in coffeeshops – taking my journal, a good book, watching other folks converse and engage with each other, looking out the window at the traffic, smelling the coffee and fresh baked scones, watching kids play with the heavily-drooled on toys, seeing friends come and go . . . . What’s so appealing about it? When I lived in Boise, I would often spend my Sunday mornings at a coffee shop of my own choosing depending on my mood (Starbucks if I was lazy, Flying M if I was feeling artsy-fartsy) – why did I feel like I engaged Christ more really, more authentically there than at my church?

With a library, the users usually need to go to the library to get full access to the wealth of materials and aid: true, there’s online reference people and online holds and the bookmobile, but generally folks have to go to the library. I’ve been hearing about how the church should be missional – should go out to people rather than have them come to the building/ministry. Are there cases, though, that it’d be best to have people come to the church, something need that can best be met or resources that are best used by coming to the church?

Libraries feel the effect of resources readily available on the internet: their patronage numbers are declining. But libraries are doing some really radical ways to set themselves apart from doing a google search, ways that brand their sort of assistance, to assist each person individually in assessing their personal needs. Does the church do this? Can they? What would that look like?


Does this wire go with my backpack?

Today’s teen are the first “totally wired generation” according to this article. Marketing in authentic ways is hard, particularly when teens know the internet playground better than most advertisers. What ways can the church connect with teens in this web of the wide world? Should the church try, or would it simply be forced, like in high school when our moms would pretend to be able to play hacky sack with us (just oh-so-painful to watch)?

One thing to keep in mind:

“Instead of pushing content at teens, sites should find ways to let teens have some say in the material,” Williamson says. “Giving teens a sense of ownership is a powerful draw.”

Have you reached out to teens online?

If only it were Father’s Day . . .

because I don’t know what to do with this, but I can bet you my Dad would. Skip the tie: think of how many comic strips you could rub off with five pounds of silly putty! And, if your father happens to be a former chemical engineer, I’m sure there’s a world of possibilities I couldn’t begin to describe (partly because I don’t know what they would be since I have not an ounce of an engineering mindset in me, and partly because they might not all be legally kosher). 🙂

What would you do with five pounds of silly putty?



Today’s teaching at our worship gathering was on listening:

Let me set this before you as plainly as I can. If a person climbs over or through the fence of a sheep pen instead of going through the gate, you know he’s up to no good–a sheep rustler! The shepherd walks right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. They won’t follow a stranger’s voice but will scatter because they aren’t used to the sound of it. – John 10:1-5 (MSG)

Our pastor actually spent time watching sheep this week. He went out to a congregation member’s farm and videotaped trying to interact with the sheep: while the sheep would come right up to the owner – even follow him around for food -, they ran in terror if the pastor tried to approach them. He talked about discerning the voice of God versus the voice of strangers/the world – how we don’t always know how to distinguish them. But when we do, we should act like sheep: cling to the shepherd, flee enemies, etc. Some folks get frustrated because they don’t know what the voice of the Lord sounds like, but he commented that “while sheep know the voice of the shepherd, even lambs have to learn it.”

After service I promptly went to pick my son up from the nursery: it’s one of the few places I know that is actually busier than he is. He threw himself into my arms, and as we were walking out to the car, an older gentleman asked me if my son knew my voice. I said, “Yes, but I don’t know if he really cares.”

See, one of my son’s favorite activities is to destroy the cds lined up on my cd holder. I’m a former librarian and have always been anal by nature: every thing should be in its place so it’s easier to find. CDs should be alphabetized for easy access: it’s simply logical. However, my son thinks it’s quite grand to take all the cds off of the shelf and bang them together. Time after time he heads to the corner to engage in what he considers “play” and I consider “destruction.” When I shout for him to “knock it off!”, he does – literally (an unfortunate choice of words). 😉 He smiles as me and scurries to knock cds as quickly as he can to the floor.

I read a parenting article discussing possible theories for “why does he *do* that?!!?” One person voiced the idea that children do things to get a reaction: they’re “bored” and want some stimulation – what can we do to get the adults jumping? So now instead of getting all excited, I calmly tell Judah to “cease and desist” with the cds, removing him to a different area.

He hears my voice, he knows it . . . but he’s looking for something more. He’s looking for a reaction: the reaction *he* wants. How many times to I hear the voice of God, know the voice, but act differently because I’m looking for a reaction? I ask for God to forgive my sins, to help me in a certain situation, to give me guidence – but if He doesn’t jump when I say jump, I assume He’s not talking or doesn’t mean it or just go about my merry little way to destroy the cds.

So, the tricky thing is to listen and actually *hear* God, despite the filters of the world and my personal preferences. How do I authentically hear God and respect His voice?

The Higher, the Fewer


The above statement came from an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Worf’s son and Troi’s mom were enjoying a holodeck program with rather odd characters: two of them fought all the time, and another simply said random, meaningless phrases such as “the higher, the fewer.” Troi’s mom commented, “Well, that’s a conversation stopper if I ever heard one.” Worf’s son promptly took off, said it to the arguing pair, and it worked: their bickering ceased.

I’ve often used this to end emails, sign off on letters – because what’s there to say after that? However, with this website, I hope not to stop, but to *begin*:

  • talking about things that *really* matter in life – spirituality, everyday nitty gritty stuff
  • highlighting articles, books, websites, resources: be a librarian for my specialties and interests
  • posting articles and writings I’m working on: short stories, theological babblings, devotional materials
  • offering my experiences, help, thoughts in any way possible: be it around missional/incarnational living, attracting young adults to your worship gathering, writing in your everyday existence, creating space to encounter and follow the Spirit’s direction
  • connecting people and resources together: why do stuff alone when we can do it together?

So please, look at – critique – add to – comment on – contribute to – scour – enjoy my website. I look forward to connecting with you!

Emerging Women Leaders?

A friend reminded me of this website – Emerging Women Leaders. I came across it a while ago, but forgot about it’s existence because it seemed, well, dormant. Does anyone know the story – how it began, what’s happened to it, if it’s relevant? I know of an ongoing list of Missional Chick Bloggers, but not all movin’ and shakin’ women are blogging – they’re too busy, well, movin’ and shakin’.

And if nothing’s being done with Emerging Women Leaders – website, conferences, blogging, communicating, etc. – should something be?

R All Hrtz Clr?

Man, you know, I’ve been thinking: my Bible’s just too heavy. And though I enjoy it for those good Bible Thumpin’s I’ve been known to give, I’m just praising Jesus that the Bible’s been translated into text speak. Glry glry haleloo.

I bet this would make Gregg’s sermon a lot shorter. 🙂


Bono & Dan – my two favorite people this week

Oh, my Bono: me likey.

Dan Kimball wrote some excellent books that helped me gain a clearer picture on The Emerging Church and Emerging Worship: helpful insight into the emerging conversation, as well as useful in incorporating in my own traditional worship experience. He put together a great post on stages on the reality of church: helpful to be able to name the feelings and steps I’m currently going through. Plus, there’s pictures for the visual learner in all of us. 😉