Friday, June 29, 2007

Stop Caste Now

I'm currently working with Jim Henderson to host an event or two to help Sunil Sardar. Here's a quick clip video that shows a bit of what he's all about.

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posted by Steve at 6:53 AM
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Thursday, June 28, 2007

I don't know which I'm more tired of hearing about . . .

. . . Paris Hilton or the iPhone. Is it just me, or are the people dying in Iraq and Darfur just not sexy enough to retain our attention?

posted by Steve at 4:38 PM
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Monday, June 25, 2007

Quick Visit to San Diego

Michelle and I just got back last night from a few days in sunny San Diego. We went down for the wedding of some dear friends, which I was honored to officiate. It wasn't quite as busy/hectic as I thought it might be, so that's good. We always come home wishing we had been able to see more people than time allowed for, but we did pretty well. In addition to good hang out with both sets of parents, my sister and her kids, we saw some folks at the wedding. Friday night, we also got to visit Jason and Brooke Evans in the South Park neighborhood of San Diego - we walked with them, caught up a bit on life, and just enjoyed friendship with these people we love to death.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the San Diego vibe on this visit. We had an early dinner with my folks at the Edgewater Grill, the wedding rehearsal brunch at Pacific Beach's legendary Broken Yolk Cafe, and the wedding was at the Karl Strauss Brewery Gardens. Kinda touristy trip in some ways, but really fun.

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posted by Steve at 12:55 PM
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Simple Way

The Simple Way community in Philadelphia has experienced a devastating fire. Their community center and several neighborhood homes were destroyed. Their site has ways you can help.

The Simple Way most recognizable as the home of Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution.

Having experienced the impact of a fire like this firsthand, I'm definitely feeling for the community.

posted by Steve at 12:34 PM
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Oh yeah, I'm still an idiot dude

This summer I get the pleasure of officiating two weddings - the first of which is this weekend. The second of these is a bit later in the summer, and I'm starting some premarital counseling soon with the couple - young, bright. fun, level-headed. The bride-to-be works with Michelle, and I made a book recommendation to the couple through Michelle this week. It's a book that we read together a few years back and found interesting, so I suggested it.

Apparently, without me noticing a thing, the book has a noticeable male bias. The bride-to-be had started the book a while back on her own, but found it pretty demeaning. Michelle's suggestion was that given that most of my theological positions have shifted around pretty significantly in recent years, perhaps it would be good to review my list of book choices that predate the era of shifts. Hmmmm, that's probably wise. I can already pull a few volumes off my mental bookshelf that I really valued when I read them, but are something less than helpful now.

Humbling to know that I'm still a chauvanist, despite all this pseudo-enlightening I've been up to.

So, anyone know of some good, healthy premarital books that are equally honoring and respectful to both genders?

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posted by Steve at 9:29 AM
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Friday, June 15, 2007

Put down the guitar, slowly back away, and nobody will get hurt . . .

So there are a bunch of people around Seattle buzzing about the cover story in yesterday's issue of The Stranger. For those of you outside the area, The Stranger is the local alternative newspaper. Check that . . . The Seattle Weekly is the local alternative newspaper, and The Stranger is the alternative to the local alternative newspaper. Anyway, the article is basically 30 staff writers getting sent out to 30 houses of worship on the same weekend, and writing witty, snarky reviews. Some of them are hugely hilarious, some of them are a bit unnecessarily mean spirited, some of them are a waste of time. Personally, it seemed to me that some of them tried too hard to be funny.

Anyway, something I noticed on balance from these pseudo-reviews was the number of digs the writers took at church music. All the churches with a non-hymn format are described as having bad indi-soft-rock cover bands. In one case, the lyrics of the songs are called into question for sounding a heckuva lot like pillow talk (very very funny). With the whole seeker movement a long time ago, church music shifted in the direction of "contemporary" in order to be more welcoming to the unfamiliar nonbeliever. In many cases, churches produced what they thought were pretty solid musical packages. In a few cases, even I thought the music was fairly decent. I've lost count of the number of church ads I've seen that actually use their hip music as a selling point for the church. Perhaps it's time to stop . . . people aren't that impressed. Even with the best musicians, and the purest hearts, it's just not that great. Sadly, most churches that make an attempt DON'T HAVE the best musicians, even if they have pure hearts . . . and then it's even worse.

I hope we've impressed ourselves with our cool music (of course, it would be better if we've honored God with our worshipful attitudes). At least that way someone enjoyed it.

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posted by Steve at 7:45 AM
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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Mixed messages

So this is the week each year where I clinch my teeth and hold my breath - hoping against hope that something silly or bizarre won't happen. I also await the annual addition to the long list of things I'm supposed to boycott. It's the week of my denomination's big annual meetings.

So far, nothing too weird has hit the press. But I was scanning the denomination's news site a few minutes ago and found two stories. One was about the denomination stepping up its ministry to homosexuals. O.k., I suppose, depending on how "ministry" is defined and carried out. The other story, though, was about a resolution that was approved by the attendees, "opposing hate crimes legislation that includes homosexuals and transgendered persons as protected classes."

So let me get this straight - we want to reach out and "help" homosexuals . . . but we don't want to help protect them from getting singled out for violence because of their homosexuality? How do you think that one's gonna play in the LGBT community?

Just for the sake of clarity, this resolution, as with all resolutions that are voted on in my denomination is only symbolic in value - it is not binding for churches or entities of the denomination. Thankfully, I can continue to be a gay-loving, grace-extending member of the denom . . . whew!!


posted by Steve at 12:44 PM
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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Who am I becoming?

This past week during one of our class sessions, one of my cohort-mates, John, talked about some of the teachings he's been doing at his church recently. Today I've been bumping around with some reading from Dallas Willard, and was reminded of a sentence John said . . . I'd like to make it a mantra in the days to come:

Who are you becoming by what you are repeatedly doing?

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posted by Steve at 11:59 AM
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Art I'm Enjoying

Holly Sharp has posted images of a new series of paintings she's been working on. Really good stuff . . . makes me want to add to our collection.

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posted by Steve at 11:44 AM
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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Down from the Mountain

Yesterday I returned from being away for the week on Mt. Hood in Oregon for school. We stayed at the historic and beautiful Timberline Lodge - 'twas a good, good week.

It had been almost a year since the last time I saw most of my school chums, so that was cool. I'm honored to be a part of such a great group of people, and this week, many friendships went to a deeper, richer level. So many good stories, great laughs (one guy talked about what a great ab workout he got from laughing so much), shared experiences. Oh yeah, and it snowed . . . we basically couldn't go outside for two days because it was snowing with about a 35mph wind. It didn't accumulate much, but we were stuck inside - which gave us more time for conversation.

The classroom end of things was pretty decent, too. Interesting discussions - nothing too shockingly profound for me, but I'm always up for good theological conversation with cultural insight and bits of missiology thrown in.

I'm definitely glad to be home - it's hard to be away for more than a couple days. Sleep is nice . . . definitely nice.

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posted by Steve at 12:28 PM
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Friday, June 01, 2007

Spirit Farmer phone home . . . or not

This morning (only about a year overdue) I had our home telephone service disconnected. As of this coming Monday, the way to reach Michelle and I will be e-mail and mobile phones. Since we moved to the Seattle area 2-1/2 years ago, we've just not used the traditional phone much. It's not worth the money to keep the landline any more. So, if you're one of the few people who even have our home number and want to know how to reach us, shoot me an e-mail, and if I know you, like you, trust you, etc. I'll give you my mobile number.

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posted by Steve at 2:23 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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