Friday, April 25, 2008

Immersed for the weekend

My wife and I are going on an "Urban Immersion" weekend retreat. This will be the first time we have done a mission/service activity without one of our sons/daughters along. We are going as part of our church's youth group. Interestingly we have an almost equal number of "adults" to "youth". (Not quite Kara Powell's 5:1 ratio for adults to youth but getting there!)

Not sure what to expect. Which is the part I'm most excited about - letting God speak through others instead of speaking through my filters...

Okay...I'm off to be hope is that first I'll be immersed in God...and then have the opportunity to be immersed in serving His children - and in the adventure get to know someone else's story a little better!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Christian conversations

While standing in line at the local Christian bookstore I had the following comments made to me while talking about why i was wearing a 30 hour famine t-shirt...

Person #1
"I used to go to ____church but now i go to____. We are planting two churches you know. I don't know where I'll choose to go yet. Does the money from the famine all go to world vision? Hunger really isn't a problem we will ever solve. It's so big. (whispering now) I hope you enjoy learning about patience...every time I come here they are SO slow."

"I go to ____church. Yeah, it's great for my kids but I sure wish they had more women's ministry programs. I guess as long as my kids are happy tho, we'll keep going. Sometimes I just wish there was more for me."

Maybe it was just my take on the conversations...but I left feeling icky.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Conference Quotes

Here are some of the random quotes that are rolling around in my head as I continue to process and think about all that I heard while at the Shift Conference at Willow Creek. This is simply a brain dump - no particular order and all quotes are obviously taken out of read with caution! (I have also done my best to give credit where credit is due...)

Kara Powell

"Balance is what we find as we swing from one extreme to the other."
"Red Bull Youth Ministry"
"When God is looking at you what expression do you see?"
"Don't do mindless youth ministry"
"Resources make it too easy" (Don't need to rely upon God!)

Aaron Niequist

"Unforgiveness is a poison that we drink in hoping it kills someone else" (Rory Noland?)
"Talking about music is like dancing about architecture." (Elvis Costello?)
"Worship opens our eyes to what is already there."
"What are the words we are putting on peoples lips?"
"To work in a church is to get hurt." (We are human after all! What are you doing with the hurt inside of you?)

Shane Claiborne

"Where is your Calcutta?" (Mother Theresa?)
"Don't just look at people differently - look at them with new eyes - the eyes of Jesus."
"Look for Jesus in his most distressing disguises."
"It's not how much we do, it's how much we love."

Mark Yaconelli

"In this culture - cancer/illness - is our Sabbath."

Other speakers that I heard were Dan Kimball and Brian McClaren.

Dan was probably my fave speaker - even tho I have no quotes to share. He had a great message of balance in living/sharing Christ for the here and now...and for sharing Christ to impact others for the future of our eternal lives in (or outside of) the Kingdom. Was an important message for me to hear in those moments.

Brian was also great to hear. I had heard him speak once before and got to hear him twice during the conference. His spoke with gentelness and respect- challenged my thinking - and was gracious. I truly enjoyed his words of looking at the issues the church focuses on vs. the issues that people are dealing with. Opened up a bigger picture...good words...that hopefully lead to action for furthering God's Kingdom.

So there ya go! Don't you feel like you were there now....

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Hangin' at Willow it's been almost a year since I last connected with myself (and others) in this format. Maybe I'm back....don't know yet.

At the moment, I'm sitting at the Willow Creek SHIFT conference waiting for it all to begin. I'm looking forward to being challenged, encouraged, and renewed. Plus i get to hang with Darrin, Ali, and Jenna....very cool.

A lot has happened in the last year...more to come...maybe.