A little while back I shared about stories and how much I’ve been loving them of late. Well, this time around it is time to share some stories from up here in Olympia.

The past two weeks have been a little out of the norm for us as we have been sharing and processing together some of the sweet stuff the Spirit has been doing among us. March 10th the elders told the story of the Spirit’s work among us these past six months.

Part of our time this week was spent listening to how God has been using one of the guys in the body up here in some cool ways as well. That recording should be up later in the week (the stories start about halfway into the recording), but in the meantime let me leave you with some quotes that I loved coming out of Sunday:

“If your life with God is mostly in this [church] building, God wants to turn that upside down”

“Obedience kicks comfort’s ass”

Thanks for sharing Scott. I hope you all are encouraged.

UPDATE: Here are the links for the two recordings I mentioned above in the post:

Reality Family Meeting – Paul Jones and Elders

Statement of Faith – Paul Jones (Scott’s introduction starts around 18:10)

UPDATE PART II:

Stephen and Wendy share God’s work in their marraige

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Ephesians 2:11-22

February 28, 2013

Ephesians 2:1-10 is a heavy hitter among Christians. And it makes sense. Between Paul’s death-to-life language, the divine “But God”, the favorite “by grace you are saved” and the impact of being God’s poiema, the second half of Ephesians 2 can easily get swallowed up in the grandeur of the first half. This is especially the case for Western Christians. Whether Paul intended it or not, the first 10 verses of Ephesians 2 sound like they’ll play very nicely with our American individualist conceptions of salvation don’t they?

A couple weeks back I had the opportunity to teach through the second half of Ephesians 2, verses 11-22 at Reality’s Sunday gatherings. The more I prayed and studied for this message, the more convinced I became that these halves must be taken together to create a whole.  There’s something here that Paul wants us to remember that we easily forget in spite of all our common habits, habitations, salvation, song and God.

You can find the audio called “Remembering” in iTunes or here where it was released 2/19/13.

New House!

June 8, 2012

So, I’m a little late to actually post this, but Tuesday we moved in to our new house with the help of a bunch of our friends!  Its a 4 bed, 2.25 bath mid-century modern on a cul-de-sac in Lacey.

While the kids are just getting used to having space to run, we’re excited to use this house to bless our neighborhood as we follow and serve Jesus.  Check out what God has provided! Super exciting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Fiction!

June 7, 2012

The last little while I’ve been reading some classics and I’m loving the things I find it awakening.  Its a whole different world and I’m loving it.  Justin Buzzard shares a couple of thoughts today on why leaders should read fiction.  Check it out.  Or skip to the end and read his four reasons to read fiction and then go pick up some fiction and read it.

Leaders, Read Fiction!

 

About a year ago I was talking with a guy who was interested in leading a part of the body at REALITY on mission. It had felt like a job interview. “Here are my qualifications. Here’s what I can do for you.”  Something felt off but I couldn’t have told you what it was until he said to me–in a way that implied he was looking for a job offer: “I don’t know if I’m the guy you’re looking for…”

My church baggage and sinful nature predispose me to want to staff my vision with people.

I’m tired of staffing people for my vision. I’m tired of pastors being salesmen and managers, alternately hawking the Gospel and running storefronts and programs.  Can’t we push on something that’s bigger than us?  Can’t I call you to join in something that neither of us is big enough to keep from failing on our own?  In our gathering and in our scattering the goal cannot be that the positions I’ve created get staffed.  It must be bigger.

Mike Breen has some great thoughts over on his blog.  Follow the link after these excerpts if you’d like to read more:

“while most churches believe they have leadership development programs, in actuality they have programs that recruit and train volunteers. A volunteer is someone who executes someone else’s vision. A leader is someone with a vision of his or her own.”

“My worry is that, in the culture of the genius with a thousand helpers, the prevailing culture of the upkeep of the machine will keep us from the real task of true Biblical leadership development and release.”

Why the Leadership Movement is Leaving Your Church Leaderless

 

Despite the things it draws me to feel and think, this video is a fun 3 minute timelapse.  And I’m curious: what is your response? I’ve posted mine below, but don’t read it yet.  Watch the video first.  I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Differing parts of me alternately identifies with the transformation that takes place in this video and aches at the prospect of lost moments in my own kids when I see this video.  Its broken but I can’t help but want to hold on to what I can’t keep from losing. And while this is broken too, I struggle not to make my performance as a parent (and the performance of my kids by extension) the place where I find justification.

Life is far too good right now.  For many reasons previously expressed here and here, but also for so many more.  So many things I’m excited about and so many things I’ve been thinking about. Here in mashed form is a mixing of the two–excited about and thinking about–with absolutely no intentional delineation which is which.

  • Homebuying…where? Kate and I are finally beginning to take steps toward buying a home in Olympia. While we’re getting to know our preferences, realtor and mortgage team one big question remains for me: Where does God want us?  Who does he want us to neighbor (yes that is a verb)?
  • Reading. After finishing Redemption by Mike Wilkerson (If you haven’t read it.  Read it.  Its that simple.) I had an inexplicable urge to read some good fiction.  In a motivational litmus test I decided to read The Hobbit, which I had on hand, and found myself still wanting another classic. In the end I been walking through Scout Finch’s childhood in the book To Kill a Mockingbird (this one). Lots of thoughts about prejudice and righteousness–racial, religious, ethnocentric, immature, ignorant and otherwise. No one gets out of this book’s critique.
  • Joy. There wasn’t any moment when the light switched on, I just feel like I’ve had more of it.  In 2000 I spent a summer in Lebanon reading most of my Bible and hanging out with Lebanese, Syrian and Jordanian teens.  At the end of that summer the rage that previously had made me physically shake at times was gone.  Today the Spirit seems to be doing something similar with joy.  Nothing’s changed per say, I just have it.
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