Sunday, July 30, 2006

Weekend Horse Show

Yesterday Michelle rode her horse, Redford, in their first dressage show together. It was the first show Michelle has done in something like 14 years.

She was all nervous, but did very well, and placed second in her group. That rocks. Of course, when people told her how good she was, she kept talking about the horse doing well, as if she had nothing to do with it. It was cool to hang out and see it all.

There’s still so much about the whole world of equestrian sports that I’m trying to figure out – a whole language. The relationship between horse and rider is pretty amazing to watch. Communication at some pretty subtle levels.

Anyway, just thought I’d share what’s up with my favorite person.

posted by Steve at 9:17 AM
link | 1 comments

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Whew, I'm done . . . mostly

I'm just sitting here procrastinating the inevitable. I have to go clean up from the last few days of work here at the house. Three out the last four weekends were spent laying tile in various parts of the house. I already posted pictures of the entry. This past weekend I finally finished the downstairs hallway that leads to our garage. That section was painful to prep for tile, and required some long hours to lay it out - let's just say I got my money's worth on the tile saw I bought on Craig's List. But after coming home from work and mixing up some grout yesterday, as of about 9:30pm last night, it's done. All I need to do is put some sealant on it, which should be quick and easy this weekend. But now I've got a mess of tools and scrap tile waiting for me to come put it away . . . and I'm feeling a bit lazy about it all. That's like 1% of the total job, but I'm sitting here blogging instead of finishing strong. Ugh.

posted by Steve at 7:43 PM
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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

You Say You Want a Revolution

Jim is next door painting Jeremy & Daniele’s house. He’s all man. He told me that Off The Map has launched their site for this year’s event: You Say You Want A Revolution. Oh man, this looks sooooooo good. I already can’t wait. If you look at the list of workshop speakers, there aren’t a ton of rock star celebrities there, but I’ve had contact or near contact with enough of them to know that this is a stellar group of folks. I’m super stoked because since we live very close to this year’s venue, Michelle and I will get to play hosts to some of these fine people. I have a sneaky suspicion that I might have to learn how to smoke a cigar that weekend. Anyway, mark your calendar NOW – November 3-4. Even if you don’t live near Seattle, start getting creative about how to get your butt out here.

posted by Steve at 3:13 PM
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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What "Normal" Superpower Would You Choose?

With the annual return of the superhero movies to the big screens, the other day I stumbled onto a thought. Do super powers really have to be super? Yeah, yeah, I know - Bruce Wayne doesn't have super powers as Batman . . . but he does have a heckuva lot of money to buy super powerful toys.

But what about life for the rest of us who live outside the pages of comic books? I imagine a good lot of us would wish for something like, say, the ability to eat endless supplies of (insert your favorite food here) and never suffer the health or weight effects of it. Or how about the ability to remember anything you've read well enough to have intelligent conversation about it, even five or ten years after the fact?

I'm not here to suggest anything - I'm here to listen. So, what would your "normal-person" super power be? No invisibility, no flying, no climbing walls without certified climbing harnesses, ropes, and helmets allowed.

posted by Steve at 6:02 AM
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Progress, Not Perfection


Back when I was doing a grad school counseling internship at a Salvation Army drug and alcohol rehab, there was a saying going around (popularized by AA)- "Progress, Not Perfection." This reminded the person in recovery that attitudes, emotions, cravings, relationships, and situations don't get resolved over night. Often the person who is waking up out of a drug/alcohol induced haze after being in it for years is frustrated that they aren't getting their whole life back together all at once. Oh well - to use another AA phrase, that's just "life on life's terms."

Given that I'm coming up on my one year anniversary at my current job, I've been in reflection mode - evaluating how well I've done, how poorly I've done, and what's left to be done. Oh, that last section is a long one. I'm one of those people who is his/her own worst critic, so this process tends to produce a bit of angst and mild depression in me. And yet, at the end of the day, I have to realize that of the challenges I was faced with, I did a decent job. Much room for improvement, mind you, but I made some progress. So why do I keep feeling so stinking inadequate for not getting everything done? That's just what it's like to be me.

It reminded me of a little experience Michelle and I shared a few years ago at an "emerging church" event. One of the leaders of the event spoke of an experience they had on the way to the event that morning. They stopped at a convenience store to pick up a couple things for the day, and ran into a homeless man they knew from having worked with him in the past. They took a few minutes to talk and give encouragement, and even bought the guy a cup of coffee before leaving. But on the way to the event, this person felt guilty about it, because the coffee had been served in a styrofoam cup, and that's bad for the environment. Michelle and I chuckled about it later because this person missed the point - they did a good thing out of a good heart - would it really have been better to withhold hospitality and generosity in the name of Jesus because it wasn't environmentally sustainable?

So take your pick of some issue that gets you all fired up. Some ideal you hold about the way things are and the way they ought to be. Then ask yourself what progress would look like. Ask yourself if some progress would be better than none.

Most of the time progress is unsatisfying when compared with perfection. Alas, that's almost always how life works.

posted by Steve at 5:21 AM
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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Monk eBusiness

I read a quick profile of Laser Monks on Wired this morning. Monasteries have to be self-sustaining. Here’s a group that’s supplying office supplies at good prices, and doing very well for their mission. Makes me wonder what kind of creative capacity we have all around us that we could use to generate finances for serving people. It would be really easy to get off track and focus on the wrong stuff, but it could also do a lot of good. Sadly, I just ordered some of the supplies I could have gotten through Laser Monks, but through a different company. Maybe next time, eh?

posted by Steve at 8:38 AM
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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pearl Jam and the environment

Let me say this first - Pearl Jam's new record is stellar. Really good rock that is as fresh as their early stuff, and gives plenty of evidence as to why they're the only viable grunge supergroup left standing.


They've recently announced about $100,000 in donations to various environmental organizations. Here's the rationale: they ride in polluting buses and airplanes a lot, they play concerts that require lots of electricity, and contribute their share to the global warming problem. In order to offset this, they're raising awareness and money to help bring about change. The band website has a link to Conservation International, which has a CO2 emissions calculator you can use to see what your carbon output is. It also suggests an annual donation amount for you to contribute in order to offset your own emissions. Brings it home in a practical way.

posted by Steve at 11:27 AM
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Monday, July 10, 2006

Somewhere in Indiana I’m having a really good time

So the other day I get a call from Michelle. She says, “I’m pretty sure I know the answer to this, but I’ll ask anyway – Have you gone to Indianapolis recently?” Uhhhhh, no. Well, because someone has been running around Indy with our credit card number having a good ‘ol time. She called the credit card company and sure enough, it looks like we’ve been hit. Interestingly, the fraudulent purchases made on the account were all made with an actual card that got swiped in stores. No online purchases. It looks like Michelle caught it quickly enough to avoid too much damage, but still – it’s a little unnerving.

posted by Steve at 5:39 AM
link | 3 comments

Here we go again with the school thing

Well, I guess it's almost official. Last week I went online and registered myself for the first set of classes in my DMin program at George Fox. I've got the reading list for one of the classes - very interesting books there, which I'll talk about once I'm able to acquire them. Looks like there will be 20 or so folks in my cohort. Michelle was asking me yesterday if anything worries me about being a student again, while maintaining my regular work and building a new program there. I'm probably ignorant and overconfident at this point, but the work load doesn't really scare me. I'm more nervous about generating and then getting behind some ideas that will be worth investing myself in to the degree that I'd write a dissertation about them. For now, I'm just excited and looking forward to getting started. I was accepted into this program over a year ago, so it's cool to be getting down to business.

posted by Steve at 5:30 AM
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Thursday, July 06, 2006

My weekend project

Well, as promised, here's some proof that I stayed busy over the past weekend. First, here's how I spent a very very long day Saturday - making an absolute mess of our entry, yanking out the old tile:

Once the area was prepped, I was able to come in and lay our new tile like so:

Then I got to use my new (used) power tool - a wet saw - to cut some pieces down to size and put those in. The saw made it easy, but I had to learn some technique, too - not quite as easy as it looked. Anyway, I put the cut pieces in place, and on the morning of July 4, I was able to smear in the grout and called the job DONE. Here's what the final product looks like:

Not bad for a rookie, eh? As I already mentioned, I still have lots of work to do on the downstairs tile. Fortunately, I've already ripped out the old stuff, and I'm just about ready to rock that out. Here's what we found under the carpet downstairs:

Lovely, isn't it? I tell you what - my leg muscles will be well tuned by the time I finally finish this thing - I can't tell you how many squats I've done in the past week, and more to come this weekend. This morning is the first time lately that my legs haven't screamed in pain getting out of bed. I guess that's good for me.

posted by Steve at 5:38 AM
link | 2 comments

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

4th of July

It's just shy of 9pm here in the northern part of Kirkland, WA . . . actually, it's unincorporated King County. Basically that means that there are no city ordinances to prevent the purchase or use of fireworks. Being as far north as we are, it's not even dark yet, but our neighborhood sounds like a war zone. Families are setting off loud fireworks in our cul-de-sac. Doesn't seem likely at this point that I'll be sleeping much tonight. Oh well.

Michelle has been out of town all weekend, visiting family and friends in San Diego. Meanwhile, I've been working on a tile project. It was way more painful and time consuming than I had planned for. Basically, I was able to complete not quite half of what I had intended. But, the total job included three different areas, so it was o.k. that I only got one done. I'll do the others in the next couple of weekends - they're much easier than what I got done this weekend. Given that this was my first tile job, I'm happy with how it turned out. Hopefully the rest of the project will look as good. At least I know it can't possibly be as bad as what was there before.

Looking forward to picking Michelle up from the airport tomorrow morning . . .

posted by Steve at 8:45 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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