Thursday, February 26, 2004

Well, I'm going back into a blog shutdown mode for a spell. Michelle and I are going out of town on holiday for a week, beginning tomorrow. I'm looking forward to both of us having some time together, thinking, talking, praying, reading, playing.

Peace be with you, friends.

posted by Steve at 4:52 PM
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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

New blog look. I've been tinkering with the thought of changing the 'ol blog for a long time. So now I've gone and done it. I'll still be working on some things, but it's good enough to go with for now.

posted by Steve at 6:27 AM
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One of my favorite websites is It's a site that averages reviews from movie critics all over North America. It's a helpful tool.

If you're looking at the wide range of opinions about The Passion of the Christ, you can find them here. You can also follow links to any of the reviews that are presented.

posted by Steve at 6:14 AM
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Tuesday, February 24, 2004

I spent the past couple of hours in the local coffee shop reading Bonhoeffer's Life Together. When I came home, I found a message in my e-mail "In" box that the documentary film "Bonhoeffer" (which I reviewed a few months back for Next-Wave) has been released on video and DVD. Go here if you're interested.

posted by Steve at 4:01 PM
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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

So a couple of weeks ago in the San Diego Union Tribune, there was an article that talked about the hip-ness of yoga these days. Duh, I know it's hip. But the article actually went into the story enought to reveal that there's a good bit of tension in the yoga world between traditionalists and the new crowd that's doing it either just because it's hip or in order to make money off of the popularity of it.

Last week, in that same newspaper I read an article on the hip-ness of Kabbalah, a Jewish mysticism that popular folks like Madonna are into. Once again, I was already aware of this trend. But again, the article looked at various views of this new form of a very old practice and found a good bit of tension between traditionalists and the younger, more populist version of it.

In both of these cases I was reminded that the people of our generation are spiritually hungry, and looking for something. And while they are very into being hip (Pilates anyone?), and they certainly fall easily for marketing schemes, they are chasing the spiritual and experiential. It was interesting to me to read the remarks of traditionalist yoga practitioners and Jewish rabbis, and compare them to many of the things I've read withing the Christian culture. We seem to have a lot more in common with these other forms of faith and spirituality than we'd like to admit. Sadly, one of these commmonalities is that we're losing people who are very reachable every day.

posted by Steve at 3:12 PM
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Sunday, February 15, 2004

I wonder what the deal is . . . I just haven't been drawn to blog or read other blogs very much lately. Perhaps it's a phase, perhaps not. Over the past couple of years that I've spent in the blogosphere, I've noticed that a lot of bloggers go through times when they either go on a blog sabbatical, quit altogether, or just post sporadically like I've been doing. Maybe this is just my time.

I've been faced with some directional questions lately regarding what my "side job" should be. I've worked at a Starbucks shop for about seven months now. I've had a lot of fun with it and I've met a ton of people there, which was my real goal. My problem is that at the time I took the job, I chose that particular Starbucks because it was in the area where we were planning to plant the new church. Since that time, our church plant location has changed, and I find myself selling coffee to/making friends with people who are about 20 minutes away. Obviously, there's nothing wrong with representing the kingdom and making friends like that, but I'm really feeling the need to do something else. I could either a) get a job in my church home area that fills the same function of meeting people and announcing the kingdom of Jesus, or b) get a side job in which I could make better money in order to free up more time for the church plant. This past week I was ready to make a move in one of those directions, and then some new information became available which threw things right back into questioning mode. Uggh! It's not like these are monumental life changing kinds of decisions I'm faced with, but they are important enough to be a pain in the butt.

In happier news, I was able to hang out with Chad the other day. I had met his wife, Kristi, (while working at Starbucks, by the way) a few weeks ago and found out that they are planting a church not too far from here. So Chad and I met to introduce ourselves to one another and see how we can encourage each other. We come from similar church backgrounds and have some common motivations for church planting. We are employing different approaches to church and probably don't see eye to eye on some of the socio-cultural aspects of church, but that's o.k. He's a cool guy, and I'm glad we could talk. We'll probably continue to meet about once a month to encourage each other and hopefully enhance both churches' vision and direction.

This week may be an important one for our new church. We're going to have a dinner at our house and invite everyone we know in our home town (which will only amount to a small handful). We have some things we're planning to share with them. They all have churches of their own, so we won't be trying to recruit them (truth is, most of them wouldn't be a good fit for us and vice-versa). But we're trying to extend our web of relationships in our community.

Oh, and one final note . . . I've been testing out a new toy which may be making its home in my kitchen soon. It's a most fabulous espresso machine:

Is there a twelve step program for this stuff? If so, I don't want to know about it.

posted by Steve at 9:13 AM
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Friday, February 06, 2004

I'm feeling a little pulled in multiple directions today. I want to be able to spend time in prayer and reflection - at least for a little while. This is important to me. There are other things to do, though, which have importance of their own. I'm thinking of Eugene Peterson's writings right now - the ones about a pastor's personal spiritual rhythms, and how critical they are. He is an encouraging voice - but it's hard to employ the kind of discipline he does in the middle of all the other stuff of life. I guess he never said it was easy.

posted by Steve at 9:42 AM
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Monday, February 02, 2004

The February edition of Next-Wave is live. Go check it out - some interesting looking articles are there. I can't wait to read 'em myself. My review of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ is also on there.

posted by Steve at 2:56 PM
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Three months ago, after the largest wildfire in California history took the home of my father-in-law and mother-in-law, they moved in with me and Michelle. This past weekend, they moved out - into a small nearby house that they are renting. Michelle and I are experiencing a strange set of feelings - some sadness and some relief. I would guess that my in-laws, Matt and Marge feel the same way. In their case, though, they get a chance to spread out a little bit and have some privacy in their own place while their new home is being built. I'm very glad they stayed with us, and I'm glad for the chance to have done this. But there is relief - the house is quieter without the three dogs and two cats here, there are fewer things to step around with two less people here, and we have more privacy too.

Michelle and I "went to" church yesterday morning, here in Ramona. We've never set foot in a church building here before, despite having lived here three years now. It was about what I'd expect from a Ramona church - folksy, mid-westy, and unpolished. The teaching was, er, um . . . o.k., I'll just say it - the sermon sucked. Maybe the guy was having an off day or something, but wow. I wasn't looking to be impressed with a great show, and I do know what it takes to preach, but this wasn't good. All of this is o.k., really, except that their bulletin says that they're a "Purpose Driven Church." Hmmm, I may have to alter my expectations a little.

Michelle and I watched the Super Bowl yesterday. Good game, once the teams figured out how to score points. Saw the half-time show. Saw Janet. Let me just say this - turn off the stinkin' television the next time you see a "news" report about that silly staged event, refuse to talk to anyone around the water cooler about it, and go about your life as though you don't know and don't care what happened (and if you're blessed to not know what I'm talking about right now, all the better). My advice is not from a place of moral outrage. No - who cares about Janet Jackson's boob?!! Only the gullible suckers who have bought the hype that this matters. Grow up people! O.k., I've now said more than I should have in order to follow my own advice.

posted by Steve at 2:53 PM
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spirit farmer data

I'm Steve Lewis. This used to be my blogging home. My online home is now at When this blog was my active online home, I lived in Seattle. Now I live in London, UK. I follow Jesus (poorly most of the time), worship simply, read a lot, watch culture, go to school, listen to music, write, enjoy art, and drink a lot of coffee.
e-mail me:

seattle spots

victrola coffee
zoka coffee
university of washington
church of the apostles
quest church
sanctuary church
shoreline vineyard

sites i visit

off the map
nt wright

a few of the blogs in the feedreader

jason evans
joe boyd
kevin rains
alan creech
chris marshall
bill bean
eugene cho
jordon cooper
dwight friesen
john chandler
amy palmer
ryan bolger
rudy carrasco
ryan sharp
sings in the sunshine
rick bennett
scot mcknight
karen ward
alan hirsch
dan kimball
petey crowder

i'm reading it

colossians remixed
africa unchained

i finished reading it - 2007

generation me
jesus and the restoration of israel
god's continent
globalizing theology
gustavo gutierrez: essential writings
jesus and the eyewitnesses
garlands of grace
twenty poems to nourish your soul
the black swan
dancing in the streets
made to stick
signs in contemporary culture
hit the bullseye
the politics of jesus
readings in christian ethics
toward old testament ethics
the kite runner
principles of conduct
velvet elvis
the irresistable revolution
they like jesus, but not the church
the great omission
charisma: the gift of grace, and how it has been taken from us
the starfish and the spider
a perfect mess
the world cafe
the new faces of christianity
leaving church
journeying in faith
the creed
transforming mission
metaphors we live by
foolishness to the greeks
personal knowledge

states i've spent time: 2007

british columbia
oh yeah, denmark, too

i wrote it

managing conflict in the 'new world'
music review: over the rhine
film review: bonhoeffer
music review: fighting jacks
film review: the passion of the christ
how reality tv changes lives
the best tv article you've ever read
corks & caps: a wine lover's story of change
america's idols
random, disorganized thoughts about life after the katrina disaster
missional . . . plain and simple
on becoming post-gnostic

i blogged it

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