Monday, May 31, 2004

Well, we did make it home. We had a good time in Seattle. I kinda miss the area already. Michelle and I actually like the rain and the cool temperatures. It's hot again here at home, and it's only gonna get hotter, so the contrast was distinct. Oh well.

It was good to hang out with our friends Ron, Patty, and Tim. I like it when there's enough time to just sit around and talk a lot and catch up with one another gradually. We talked Kingdom stuff, relationships, goals and vision, and we watched a bunch of movies together.

I read The Seach To Belong during my time away - good stuff. I saw a lot of truth in it, and am anxious to see if some of the concepts catch on in the church.

I've got more thoughts, which will spill out over the next few days.

posted by Steve at 7:26 AM
link | 0 comments

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Just a little update from Seattle. Michelle and I have been having a very good time. Mainly, we're just driving around looking at trees and flowers. Gotta love the $2 lattes here, too. We've had our share. I'll post some pictures when we get home tommorrow, but we got to walk around Pike Place Market, see the new downtown library, and catch a Mariner's game. Lots of fun. I'll blog again when I get home.


posted by Steve at 4:18 PM
link | 0 comments

Friday, May 21, 2004

Off to Seattle for a few days. I'll blog when I can.

posted by Steve at 11:47 AM
link | 0 comments

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Over the past few days, I've enjoyed listening to a couple of programs from the archives This American Life. Mostly random stuff, but their stories are usually well written and very interesting.

posted by Steve at 6:38 AM
link | 0 comments

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Normal Ramona Sunrise Posted by Hello

This is what a normal sunrise at my house looks like.

posted by Steve at 2:22 PM
link |

fire sunrise Posted by Hello

I'm just trying out hello, a new photo sharing resource for the web. I heard about it via Jason. This photo was taken on October 26, 2004 at about 6:30am - the day on which the largest fire in California history swept through my home turf. That bright spot in the middle is not the fire, but the sunrise.

posted by Steve at 2:21 PM
link |

Some thoughts on unity in the emerging church . . .

Even a simple reading of the New Testament will bring about a clear understanding that the body of Christ is one, and that it should be our aim to live in agreement with this oneness. And while there may be, at times, disagreement over the particulars of where we should go or what we should focus on (i.e. Paul and Barnabas' split), there should not be a turning from one another in order for us to pursue our own directions as ends unto themselves.

I fear that fragmentation is far too easy, even within the emerging church that so many of us have become members of. I mean, think about it - we've got the emerging church types who light candles and incense and drink coffee, but other than that are just like every other church in town. We've got the emerging church types who have rejected this "model" and decided that church in a simple, home environment is better for them. And then there are the bloggers . . . What the distinctions at this point (or any other point in the future) look like is not what I'm getting at.

Over the past couple of years, I've attended several events designed to get emerging church people in conversation with one another, and moving in new and exciting directions . . . hopefully as a "unified" movement. Sadly, at every one of these events, I've heard things that run completely opposite to oneness in the body of Christ. I can say this with confidence, mainly because I have said many of the statements myself.

It's important for those of us who are going a "new" way in the faith to be able to chart our own stories, which will necessarily involve saying things like, "I left the traditional/organized church because . . ." or, "I realized that the systems I was helping to promote by working on staff at my church were bankrupt, and so I began . . ." But there is a very fine line between charting our stories and taking pot shots at other brothers and sisters in Jesus. Heck, it was only a couple of days ago that I blasted one of the more prominent pastors in America, right here on my blog.

Where is the space where we can confess our failures in participating in foolishness, without saying harmful things about or toward those who continue to participate? Where is the place where I can say "the traditional church sucks" without saying "the people I am called to love and pray for and encourage, who still participate in the traditional church suck"? I mean, what is the traditional church if not the collective of people, who by my description must suck?

I have too smugly sat here, hammering at my keyboard, thinking myself enlightened because I found a way to break out of the system. Clue #1: It wasn't my idea to break out of the system in the first place. It was a righteous hunger for God, that was put there by God himself, for his own purpose and glory. Clue #2: God did not get me out of the system so that I could launch foolish rants against those still in the system. It was so I could repent of loving the system more than God himself, and pray for and encourage others who have done the same.

It's ironic to me that even people and groups who strive for unity within the body of Christ often fall victim to the thing they strive against. Unity is easy when you're with a group of people who agree that unity is a good thing . . . but soon you realize that there are people out there that disagree. Now you have an "us" and "them" situation. How do you make pleas to "them" without setting yourself up against them?

I offer no answers here. Just hard questions. I pray for God's grace, discernment, and wisdom. All I can do is prepare myself to warmly greet fellow citizens of the Kingdom wherever I meet them, and resist categorizing them. Any thoughts?

posted by Steve at 6:47 AM
link | 0 comments

Monday, May 17, 2004

Hmmm, the thoughts of late have been few and far between. We're headed out to Seattle to see some friends at the end of the week. Looking forward to seeing the great Northwest once again. We're also planning to catch a baseball game and since we're there and all, we'll probably drink some coffee. I'll probably enter a post or two from up there. Until then, I'll be putting some stuff together.

posted by Steve at 7:26 PM
link | 0 comments

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

This morning I've been reflecting on the degree to which I am addicted to noise in my life. Television, music, books, newspapers, internet, etc. Part of my problem is that my brain is almost always in gear - must think, must think, must think. This tires my wife, who is perfectly capable of sitting quietly in a chair enjoying the relaxation of just staring at nothing in particular, thank you very much.

Of all the spiritual disciplines, solitude is the one that freaks me out the most. I mean, it seriously freaks me out. Every so often, I'll steal away and do a retreat type thing, but it's really really hard to put down the books and notepad and just sit and listen to God. I fidget and fumble and play with my jewelry, I flex my toes, I stick my hands into my hair. I know it truly is a discipline, and it is one that I am willing to apply myself to. But not today . . . I'm on my blog already, right?

posted by Steve at 6:33 AM
link | 0 comments

Monday, May 10, 2004

A couple of days ago I worked a shift at Starbucks for the first time in a month. It was cool to hang out and see some friends again. One of the regular customers that I had developed a rapport with came in, so we chatted. This guy used to talk to me about a business leadership network he was a part of - they do classes and mixers and generally try to make people better leaders. He always tried to get me involved, telling me about the other pastors, priests, and rabbis that were there. I wasn't closed to the idea - I just never pursued it. Well, when he saw me the other day, he said something like this - "Hey Steve, great to see you! I was just thinking about you the other day. I've been reading this OUTSTANDING business book and wondered if you had read it. It's by a guy named Rick Warren, and it's called The Purpose Driven Church." I had to tell the truth - yes, I said, I've read it. He proceeded to rave about the wonderful business principles in the book.

I seriously doubt that Rick Warren reads this blog . . . but just in case . . . Congratulations Mr. Warren, you're a wonderful CEO. You've helped people all over the world start and manage great businesses. Maybe in the process a few people have found Jesus, too. I hope. I mean, I really hope.

posted by Steve at 8:30 AM
link | 0 comments

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Vision in the Emerging Church
At various points in the journey of faith for me over the past couple of years, I've become very discouraged and have lacked hope. In part this has come as a result of the raw and vulnerable nature of having stripped down so many assumptions about who God is, who I am (given who God is), what the church is (given who God is and who I am), and what our mission is (given all of the above). The lack of hope for me has come because of a lack of vision.

I've had the necessity of vision pounded into my head relentlessly from multiple directions over the years. Of course, the Bible says that people perish where there is no vision. In the business world, Stephen Covey popularized vision through his 7 Habits of Highly Effective people seminars and books. I do not disagree in the least with the importance of vision. But we in the emerging church have some problems related to vision. Let me take a stab at three.

1. Foundations. Because we have tried the ways of the modern church of the western world and found it lacking in so many ways we lack a stable base from which to operate. This screws us up in the present as we continue to figure out what our life in the Kingdom is all about. But it also messes with our ability to look ahead. We're so concerned with faltering as we put one foot in front of the other that we can't get our eyes up to go farther down the road.

2. Fear. We resist the idea of trying to envision the places we hope to go and how to get there because we don't want to make the same mistakes of those who have gone before us. We don't want to be guilty of building faulty systems and then make things worse by declaring allegiance to those systems. So instead, we get locked up in a cycle of frustration.

3. Creativity We have not taken the time to put our imaginations to great use. What will the emerging church look like in twenty or thirty years? Heck, what'll it look like in five? I have yet to talk to a person who has said, "Here's what I'm dreaming about."

These thoughts are largely derivative, I know (especially #3 - straight from Todd Hunter this past weekend). And they aren't very thoroughly tested by me or others. But they're a starting place. Feel free to add to them, modify them, or chuck them. I'm sure I will (at least two of the three, anyway).

posted by Steve at 7:02 AM
link | 0 comments

Yo! Go check out Next-Wave for May. It's live and it's rockin'. The month got away from me in a hurry and I missed my deadline. Oops.

posted by Steve at 6:29 AM
link | 0 comments

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

O.k., I'll finally try to recapture some thoughts from this past weekend. First, Todd is smart. No surprise there, really . . . I just had to say it, because I predicted that I would say it before the weekend began. I was right.

It was cool to hang out with a bunch of people again. Interestingly, there wasn't an overwhelming overlap of people from the last gathering we had back in September. Let's see, how about some name dropping? Naw, Jason covered it already, better than I could, anyway.

We talked Kingdom. Over and over it came back to just that. Spirit, leadership, labeling ourselves and others, community, o.k. But Kingdom is what makes all of this stuff we do what it is. Jesus' words about the inbreaking of a new way of life are no less revolutionary or all-encompassing now than they were when he spoke them. And we still haven't figured out how to fully embrace them. This is both frustrating and exciting.

One thing that was said several times was that when we struggle with concepts about incorporating Kingdom living into a pragmatic set of behaviors for the community, we need to back off and first "make it personal." What am I personally doing to live concretely in reference to the Kingdom? It is only after I have responded well to that question that I'm able to think in terms of announcing the Kingdom to others.

That's the main thing. Leadership? Not bad - read it again, NOT BAD. Get over it already. Todd said some things related to the Holy Spirit, and the working of the ecstatic spritual gifts, but they apply equally as well to leadership principles. "The answer to misuse of something is not 'no use.' The real answer to misuse is correct use." We are reactionary. We see poor examples of good things, and call the good things bad. That's immature.

O.k., enough for today. I'll randomly hit some other things later. Fair warning: By the time I write about them, I will forget that the thoughts came from someone else smarter than me, and I will write as though I have come up with these things out of my own cleverness. I like taking credit for other peoples' stuff.

posted by Steve at 7:10 AM
link | 0 comments

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Dude! I got hit with that worm that's going around the internet and have spent the day recovering from it. I guess I'll have to post some other thoughts tommorrow.

posted by Steve at 3:02 PM
link | 0 comments

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Good times at the Evans home this weekend. Todd Hunter rocked (as usual). Lots of good stuff to chew on. Maybe tommorrow or the next day I'll get some time to relook at my notes and post some thoughts.

posted by Steve at 4:42 PM
link | 0 comments

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

04/01/2002 - 05/01/2002
05/01/2002 - 06/01/2002
06/01/2002 - 07/01/2002
07/01/2002 - 08/01/2002
08/01/2002 - 09/01/2002
09/01/2002 - 10/01/2002
10/01/2002 - 11/01/2002
11/01/2002 - 12/01/2002
12/01/2002 - 01/01/2003
01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003
02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003
03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003
04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003
05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003
06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003
07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003
08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003
09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003
10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003
11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003
12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004
01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004
02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004
03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004
04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004
05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004
06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004
08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004
09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004
10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004
11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004
12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005
01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005
02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005
03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005
04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005
05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005
06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005
07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005
08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005
09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006
03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006
05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006
07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006
08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006
10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006
11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006
12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007
02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007
03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007
04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007
05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007
06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007
07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007
08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007
09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007
10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007
11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007
12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008
01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008
03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008



Tweaked from a design by mela