Thursday, November 30, 2006

10 years ago today . . .

. . . I woke up for the last time as a single man.

. . . I put on a tuxedo.

. . . I walked into a church alone.

. . . I walked out of the church with a beautiful bride on my arm.

. . . I began a life that's been better than I could have dreamed.

posted by Steve at 5:57 AM
link | 2 comments

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Baby It's Cold Outside

Geez, man, it's not even winter yet, and we here in Seattle are getting a dose of cold, snowy weather. In the past couple years since we moved here, we've had light snow maybe three or four times, which lasts a few hours and then goes away. Not this time!! Yesterday evening, here's what I saw out on the back deck.

Anyway, it did create some mayhem on the roads. Lots of people stranded on freeways, abandoning their cars, sliding down hills. And, as I said, it didn't go anywhere today. I think the high at our house was 33F. Lows in the teens tonight. Neither Michelle, nor I made it in to work today. Maybe we'll get brave tomorrow. For now, there's a fire going, and we're just hangin' out.

posted by Steve at 4:06 PM
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A Church Building That's Environmentally Friendly?


An American architect designed and built this here building for a church in Rome.  It is a white concrete structure that has a coating on it that was made to be self-cleaning, and minimize maintenance.  As it turns out, some tests indicate that not only does it deliver on that goal, but it actually "eats" smog.  Apparently, the coating contains titanium dioxide, and helps to destroy pollutants in car exhaust.  Read more here.

posted by Steve at 5:04 AM
link | 1 comments

Monday, November 27, 2006

Go buy books

Bill, your friend with a bookstore is having a post-conference clearance sale.  Tasty titles at killer prices.  Go here and see for your own self!

posted by Steve at 12:45 PM
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Monday, November 20, 2006

New Orleans . . . beginning to recover, but only beginning

I did a quick trip to New Orleans over the weekend.  Landed at 2:30 Friday afternoon, and flew out 7:15 Sunday morning.  I was at a conference doing some recruiting (again), but got to drive around town just a little bit.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get to Chalmette, where I was able to spend Spring Break with our college students earlier this year.  Still, the parts of town I went through were significantly under water and significantly damaged by Katrina.  New Orleans continues to be in shambles.  But one definite difference I noticed was that as opposed to 6 months after the fact, there are now lots and lots of the FEMA trailers sitting in front of peoples' houses, indicating that they're back on their property and at least in a process toward rebuilding.  More grocery stores are open and looking normal, more restaurants around town are in business, more cars on the roads.

I booked my hotel the cheapskate way, through Priceline, so I didn't pick the location, but I ended up downtown, one block away from the west end of Bourbon Street.  On my previous trip, I spent zero time there, so I walked down there to look around on Friday night.  Gross.  Now, I'm not being a moralistic, pious, judgemental guy when I say that - I'm just saying that it was a big big turnoff.  I guess drunk people who think they're either hot, funny, tough, or horny just don't impress me all that much.  Honestly, that place made me think of how very classy Las Vegas is by comparison.  I only walked about three blocks in, and turned around - it really reminded me of the party scene in Tijuana, where I spent a little time in high school.

It was weird, though, because on Saturday night, when I stepped out to grab a sandwich for dinner, I began walking the opposite direction from Bourbon Street, but was drawn back that way by the sounds of a brass band.  There, on the corner of Canal and Bourbon, were a couple trumpets, a couple trombones, a tuba, a tenor sax, and some drums, being played like there's no tomorrow - really fun stuff, with a ton of gusto.  After watching that, I walked back down the street and found a little cafe to buy a PoBoy, and they, too, had a little band - dixie style this time.  It was much earlier in the evening than I had been on the street the night before, so people weren't quite sloppy drunk yet.  My impression of the scene was improved a little.  Still wouldn't go there for anything I'd call fun, but at least I didn't come back home with only negative memories of it all.

After having been to New Orleans twice this year now, I still have mixed feelings about the whole scene there.  There are still incredibly tangible racial tensions around town, still so much devastation everywhere you look, so much of life built around feeding the vices of tourists.  But there are still people who love their hometown, and the community they've been a part of, and they're still fighting for dignity with courage.  Those people know how to survive, even when they've been abandoned (or maybe because they've been abandoned).  I wish them well.

When I returned to the quiet of my hotel room, I flipped on the TV, and found the HBO Comic Relief show, taking place (in part) live, from the very street I was just on minutes prior.

I'm glad to be back home - the only travel I've got left this year is actually with Michelle (imagine that).

posted by Steve at 8:26 AM
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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Better than Fair Trade?

Just read a blog post over at Caffeist about a new coffee shop over in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.  It's the first shop for the for-profit co-op call Equal Exchange, that's been in the fairly traded coffee market 5 years longer than Transfair, the most widely known Fair Trade organization.

Interesting little article, and it sounds like Equal Exchange's quality is on par with some of the best in Seattle.  Sounds like I'll be finding my way to Ballard soon . . .

posted by Steve at 6:56 AM
link | 1 comments

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Seattle Pastor that actually sounds like Jesus

Rose Swetman, co-pastor of the Vineyard in Shoreline, WA - that's just north of Seattle for you out-of-towners has written an open letter to Mark Driscoll in the wake of yet another debacle his crass bravado has created.

[Read the letter here]

Rose is to be celebrated for her wise, measured, and humble approach.  I've had the pleasure of knowing her for a little over a year now, and have been to her church multiple times.  She's a godly woman, who is powerful in all the right ways.  I pray her letter gets read and respected by its recipient.

posted by Steve at 6:50 PM
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Monday, November 13, 2006

The Forgotten Ways

Just finished my weekly school chat with my cohort.  Fun times.  This week, we were honored to be joined by Alan Hirsch, co-author of the awesome book, The Shaping of Things to Come, and solo author of the forthcoming The Forgotten Ways.  Good guy, and very good book.  A lot of it is an expansion of stuff that was in the other book, but he throws down some very good new concepts as well.  Without giving too much away, he makes a couple of really good arguments.

First, he discusses a latent missional impulse that lies within all followers of Jesus, and all communities of the Kingdom.  Awakening that impulse is the major task of our time.  When it happens, there will be movement.

However, he argues that movement will be toward the edge of chaos, where real change will go down.  Equilibrium brings death.  Chaos ignites energy within us to be the kinds of people that do the right stuff.

If you'd like to chase some of these thoughts a bit, go to Hirsch's website, and check out his blog while you're at it.

The book will be out in January.

posted by Steve at 5:39 PM
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Gotta love Monday

I'm thirty minutes into this week, and already feel a bit overwhelmed.  Oh yes, and tired.  24 hours ago I was returning a rental car in San Diego after taking a grand tour of SoCal last week.  I was on a recruiting trip for inter::mission, and visited the campuses of California Baptist University, Azusa Pacific University, Biola University, and Pt. Loma Nazarene University.  It was a super busy time, and I wasn't able to see nearly enough friends, but I got to crash for a few nights with my parents and hang out a little with the family, which was good (long overdue).  I did get to have dinner with some quality young adults one evening.  Oh yeah, and I had heard about the legendary Archives Bookshop in Pasadena, which isn't too far down the road from Azusa Pacific, so I stopped in -  they were having a sale, and had some some really good deals, so I didn't walk away empty handed.  The store did not disappoint - a ton of quality books - not your typical Christian bookstore fluff.  However, I'll say that as I perused their "new titles" section, my admiration for my friend Bill Bean increased.  He had a ton of those same books at his table at the Revolution Conference.  Even though he's got a small business with a limited (and traveling) inventory, he knows how to pick the good ones.  You should go buy a book from him.

Thankfully, I got home yesterday morning in time to hang out for at least a little while with my bride.  This is a big deal, because today is her birthday.  I made quiche, which is her favorite.  November is one of my favorite months, because I get to say happy birthday and happy anniversary to my favorite person.  Too bad the birthday part of that equation lands on a Monday for her this year.

Now it's back to work.  My hope for today is that I can at least get a handle on exactly how far behind I am, and how long it's likely to take me to get back to treading water.

Peace to you and to me this day.

posted by Steve at 6:00 AM
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Thursday, November 09, 2006

A weekend with friends

Well, here it is Thursday, and I'm just getting around to blogging about last weekend.  It was a good time - hectic, but fun.  It was a very rare convergence of worlds for me.  I had friends from my past, school freinds, work friends all in the same place at the same time.  It really was fun, but I was left feeling like I didn't spend enough time with any of the above.  Oh well.  Once again I've been reminded of my own limitations.

It was truly good for Michelle and I to host our friends Jason and Brooke Evans.  They're warm and loving, agitate against the norm, and make friends everywhere they go - including people they aren't eye to eye with.  We also got to host Matt Casper, a fairly new friend, but a witty, clever guy.  He's just written a book with Jim Henderson that you can look for next spring.

Saturday night we had a little hang-out gathering.  Bill Bean, Kevin Rains, Chris Marshall, Randy Buist, some new church planter friends, and, oh yeah, a certain heretic was there too.  Good times.

Our poor dog, Maui - big time lover of all people - just got wiped out.  Too many people to see and lick and jump on.  I think she slept for two days straight once things settled.

Now that I've caught up from last week, I'll have to blog about my adventures from this week . . . but I doubt I'll get to it until next week.

posted by Steve at 7:40 AM
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Monday, November 06, 2006

Scot McKnight . . . the most boring rock star on earth

Seemingly out of nowhere, Scot McKnight has taken over the blogging world - at least the blogging world for Jesus people.  Last week, he posted a link to the transcript of a presentation he had given at Westminster seminary, entitled "What is the Emerging Church?"  Home run.  He nailed it.

Then, today he posted these thoughts about the whole Ted Haggard mess.  As they say in baseball, back to back jack.

Last week, after reading the Westminster manuscript, I found an audio file of the presentation floating around somewhere on the web, so I opened it up.  Wow - pretty dry.  He basically just read the manuscript.  That's o.k. by me - he's still a major rock star.

posted by Steve at 2:59 PM
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Minor site updates

O.k., I just spent waaaaay more time than I could afford (in reality, it was less than ten minutes, but that might come back to haunt me), and made some updates to my template here. Those of you who read this site via a feedreader may be interested in checking out some of the updated links, blogs, etc. I know that what I've done is a completely sorry excuse for the wholesale change that this blog truly needs, but I just don't have the time right now.

Among other things, I'm behind in my reading for school . . . but my next book came in the mail today - it's an early publisher's copy of Alan Hirsch's new book The Forgotten Ways, which won't be available to the world until January. Now aren't you jealous? Probably not, but sometimes, I just have so little to gloat about.

posted by Steve at 2:43 PM
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Sunday, November 05, 2006

At least we can all agree on one thing . . .

. . . and that thing is that I am pathetic. My previous post was about blogging the Revolution Conference. Uhhh, yeah, it's over now. And I posted exactly squat.

Fortunately, John Chandler and Justin Baeder rocked the house in fine fashion.

Wired Parish is hosting all the podcasts from the conference as well.  Take a look at the conference website, some of the notes from the blogs, and then decide which ones you want to listen to.

Personally, I'm on wacky overload right now.  It was an awesome weekend.  I'll try to collect some thoughts and summarize later, in another post.

posted by Steve at 6:32 PM
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Friday, November 03, 2006

Blogging the Revolution

No promises, but I may try to post some notes from the Revolution Conference that's going on today and tomorrow.  Yummy stuff ahead.

posted by Steve at 9:25 AM
link | 1 comments

Sex before marriage

O.k., so this one may get way too much blog coverage, but Ted Haggard has resigned his post as megachurch pastor and president of the National Association of Evangelicals.  Apparently, Ted, who has been on the political warpath rallying for constitutional ammendments doesn't support gay marriage . . . but he does enjoy gay sex outside of marriage.

Since I don't listen to Christian radio or watch Christian TV, I can't say I see or hear much from Ted.  But he did make an appearance in a film I saw last week - Jesus Camp.  He doesn't look good in the film, and he doesn't look any better in the news headlines this week.

posted by Steve at 7:32 AM
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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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