Wednesday, January 26, 2005

I interviewed for a job yesterday. I got it today. I'll start Feb. 7, doing case management for a large mental health agency in Seattle. I'll be working with mentally ill folks who have been involved in the criminal justice system and are trying to plug in to the real world again. It'll be very challenging, but I'm excited for the opportunity. I think I'm going to have to quit Starbucks, though. That's kinda awkward, given that I've only been working at this particular location for a week and a half. Oh well. It's gonna stink to have to pay full price for coffee again. Again, oh well.

posted by Steve at 10:58 PM
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Monday, January 24, 2005

So, I met this guy Palmer about a year and a half ago. Church planter from Columbus, OH. He and his young son Micah had come to SoCal to be a part of a small church network thingy going on at the Evans' former house. Palmer's wife, Jennifer had only recently passed away from stomach cancer - still in her 20s. Ouch. The skin on his wrist was still pink from his new tattoo - the Hebrew script of a verse from Job. He spoke to the group with a deep deep peace and understanding of God's grace. Frankly, it's the kind of grace that usually only comes after going through hell. Anyway, he returned to Ohio, and within several months God had blessed him with a new person to call his life partner. They recently married. And now this . . . Palmer has been experiencing severe back pain, which has just been diagnosed as resulting from a tumor near his spine. Please pray for him, his new wife, and their young family.

posted by Steve at 8:07 AM
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Friday, January 21, 2005

I've spent this week getting back into "Starbucks shape." I've been working long hours at a pretty busy store, so my feet and legs get a little numb after a while. The store is the 13th one in the chain that now numbers 7,000 - it's the second oldest east of Seattle. I've been settling in here, and making some new friends at work, so that's cool. I'm a little frustrated, though, because I guess I'm questioning the value of working that hard for pretty low pay. And yet, it's what I've got for now, so I'll be thankful. I've been applying for all kinds of jobs - college admissions recruiter/advisor, psychiatric agency case manager, corporate trainer, etc. All this while still trying to figure out where I'm supposed to be regarding this small church that may be interested in hiring me as their pastor.

Along the way here, I've met some pretty cool folks, and I do feel good about having moved. Now that we're mostly out of boxes and pretty well settled into the house, I'm really looking forward to getting out and seeing the good stuff here. I want to check out the neighborhoods and restaurants, the art galleries and theaters, the specialty shops and the music scene. But now we're getting back to the whole "I need a job that pays better than Starbucks" topic.

The other day I went to a local gathering of pastors put on by the Acts 29 Network. I talked casually with Mark Driscoll, the pastor at Mars Hill Church, one of the flashpoints in the whole emerging church movement. He welcomed me to the area. I'll leave the name-dropping at that.

posted by Steve at 9:13 PM
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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

How dial-up has affected my life . . .

When I started blogging nearly three years ago, I'll admit it - I did it at work. The church I was on staff with had a high speed connection to the web, and I surfed the blogs and posted to my own. I guess I'd feel guilty about "wasting my employer's time" by going online, except that even with that time factored in, my average number of working hours each week was pretty crazy. Also, the majority of the time I spent online triggered deep theological thought and action, which, I guess you could say was "work related." So there, I've just purged myself of residual guilt that apparently has been haunting me for the past couple of years. I feel cleansed.

Since I left that church position to go into the high paying and glamorous life of a church planter, I was banished to the world of dial-up. Michelle and I have never had a high-speed connection at home. I've whined on occasion about this, but somehow the high pay of a church planter never translated into cool toys like high speed web access. I'm sure there are lots of frivolous things I did with money that could have been sacrificed in order to pay for it, but oh well.

But I will say this, being a dial-up guy has affected me. I have tried (at times like now quite unsuccessfully) to keep my time online brief in order to not tie up the phone line. This means surfing blogs a lot less. I've had to find theological stimulation in other ways, like actual books. That's cool, because I've read a ton of great stuff. But in terms of what's going on in the "emerging church" I've fallen behind, and my participation in the conversation in the blogosphere has dwindled over time to an almost non-existent level.

I'm interested in re-engaging at some point, but that probably won't happen until we're a high speed family.

All of this may sound like more whining, and honestly it probably is at some level. However, I think this whole scenario has helped me be more aware of the power of the internet to consume large amounts of time. I don't want to sit around wasting my life. Hopefully when the day comes that I surf and post more, I'll have more balance. Hopefully.

posted by Steve at 8:11 AM
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It's official, I've moved in . . .

Yep, I spent several hours yesterday trying to blow through a bunch of boxes that hadn't yet been unpacked - it was definitely time to stop surfing our way through artificial aisles. So, the downstairs space, which is the family room and my office all in one, looks mostly put together. And when you're talking about my office space and what "mostly put together" looks like, it means a messy desk. Part of it is messy with the cool stuff of life, like family photos and candles, but the other part is messy with . . . well, messy stuff. I'll have to work on that part.

posted by Steve at 8:03 AM
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Monday, January 10, 2005

This was our backyard yesterday morning. Beautiful, but not necessarily exciting . . . unless you've lived your whole life in SoCal. Posted by Hello

posted by Steve at 2:57 PM
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Sunday, January 09, 2005

Sunday, 5:50am

Up early this morning, as is my way when I am going to be preaching/teaching. Actually, I've been up for an hour now. In a few hours, Michelle and I will be visiting a small church in Redmond, and I'll preach the morning sermon. The church is currently seeking someone to pastor them bi-vocationally. I have no idea whatsoever whether I am a good fit for them or vice versa, but I'm looking forward to worshipping with them and sharing with them. If some further conversation takes place, so be it. If not, so be it.

Well, after a few months of working very very little for Starbucks, it looks like I'll be putting the green apron on regularly once again. I will be starting work at a store in Redmond one week from tomorrow. When the manager called to offer me the position the other day, I mentioned my gig as a church starter in San Diego . . . his response was something like this: "That's pretty interesting - that's what I'm doing." Come again? "My wife and I moved to Seattle for just that reason." Hmmmm. I'm guessing that my new boss and I will be having some conversations. I'll share more as we do.

posted by Steve at 5:50 AM
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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Some thoughts on this blog . . .

When I started this blog way back when, blogging was a novelty little thing that few people had ever heard of before. It's become quite the hip thing, though, and lots of folks are jumping into the blogosphere. I'm all for that.

It's interesting to think about how this blog has changed over the few years I've been doing it. It started as a connecting point for some dialogue I was having within the "emerging church" movement. It was mostly theological/doctrinal ponderings, with a little bit of personal life story thrown in. In the past year, it's been the other way around - except that the frequency of my posts has gone way way down. I think that says something about where I've been in life, but I won't speculate as to what it says.

In the days ahead, I really think it'll do me some good to re-engage this environment, but more on the level of how it started. I've done a lot of deconstructing and a little bit of reconstructing in my views of church. I'd like to continue that process in written form. Not so much for the sake of publishing "my wisdom" - God knows that wouldn't go very far. I just think this space is a helpful place for me to put thoughts that ramble around in my disorganized brain into actual sentences that I can test and be challenged on. And if there is wisdom or encouragement for you the reader, then so much the better. Those of you who do read this are always welcome to comment, question, or berate me. Keep it clean, though - I'd hate to get censored by the filtering software out there!

posted by Steve at 3:34 PM
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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Still settling in around here. We've spent the past couple of days opening boxes and putting our house together. The kitchen is mostly there, and the family room/office on the lower level is beginning to come together. Our dog Maui is having fun - she's not used to being so close to neighbors. We can tell she's still a bit anxious and out of sorts because she has a totally different kind of bark - more of a howl when she sees a person or dog out the front window of the house.

O.k., some observations about our new home area . . .
1. The sun does not like it here during winter. Despite the reputation of rain and such, we've had completely clear blue skies since we arrived. But the sun doesn't come up until 8am, and it starts getting dark by 4pm. Strange.
2. The people of the greater Puget Sound area are apparently uncreative when it comes to naming their streets. They just number all the streets. No problem, until you realize that numbered streets crossing numbered streets gets confusing. About 2 miles from our house, there is an intersection at which NE 124th Ave crosses 124th St NE. No kidding. Fortunately, when Michelle and I purchased a new vehicle a few months back, we got one of those nifty GPS navigation systems in it. It's golden, really.
3. No In-N-Out Burger. So sad.

Well, I'm thinking about my dad right now. He's a big time Oklahoma Sooners football fan, and they're playing tonight for the national championship. We don't have TV hooked up here yet, but I may sneak out to the sports bar down the street to check the score.

posted by Steve at 4:49 PM
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Saturday, January 01, 2005

Honey, I'm home . . .

Well, after a couple of weeks worth of non-stop work and activity, I'm at a stopping place - but only a brief one.

Michelle flew back to SoCal for Christmas. We worked super hard to get the landscaping project complete, then get the house ready for the big party on Christmas Eve. We had something like 25 people over - good times. The next day was spent at my sister's place. Then we came home and started tearing our house apart to get ready to move. It was a frantic few days, but we got everything loaded up on a truck and then jumped in our car to drive to Washington. Two days later, we're here. I'm blogging from the living room of our new home . . . our completely unfurnished home. Just sitting here on the floor. But hey, I was able to tap into a WiFi network to go online. Not bad.

I'll blog more as time and connections permit over the next few days to catch up on what we're doing. Tomorrow morning the moving truck is supposed to come so we can carry large heavy objects around for a while. Should be fun.

posted by Steve at 3:36 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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