Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Shiny, Happy Blogging

For the past several months, I've been supposedly preparing a revamping of my blog with different content, different layout, different blogging engine. As it turns out, I've been so cranking busy that that project has been placed on the perpetual back burner. Quite honestly, I'm beginning to wonder if the burner even works at this point . . .

HOWEVER, yesterday, whether intentionally or unintentionally, a good friend (you know who you are) pointed out something that I've been chewing on personally for a few months now. It goes something like this: those of us who run in emerging church circles can be a cranky, angry lot. Oh sure, we might have a better sense of humor and feel more relaxed than when we were in the mainstream of the evangelipseudofundmentlismo factory. But in the midst of all of our critiques of church culture, modernity, consumerism, etc., it's very often easier to know what we oppose, or what we're pissed off about, than what we're for. Sometimes it gets to the point that an outside observer would rightly wonder why we even bother with all this, anyway. As a note to said outside observer: most of us have asked that question more times than we can count.

But really, don't we want to be known for something other than our critiques? Don't we believe in a Story that is so good, so rich, so powerful that we decided to organize our whole lives around it? Isn't our faith in the God-man, Jesus, and his Kingdom vision something that stirs our hearts? Isn't our love for Christ's bride a calling to something good, rather than something we wish we could escape?

Let me be clear: I'm guilty of cranky critique and a bad attitude. I too often get lost in seeing a need for change, and lose my vision for a better way forward. I have a bad attitude.

So perhaps I'll try to launch that new version of my blog after all, except with a more positive mindset. Not some pep-talk, toothless, feel-good mantra fest or anything. And not necessarily a place free from critique. But a place where I can point to the good things that are going on, even in the middle of difficulty. A place I can freely display the hope that I have for the things to come.

That's all.

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posted by Steve at 6:31 AM
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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Reading List

I just updated the list of books that I have read, as well as the list of books I intend to finish by the end of the year. There are a few more books I need to add to the "to be read" list, but I'll pop those on the 'ol blog later. I dare not linger too long on what's left to be read, because it's pretty overwhelming. I'm not an overly fast reader, nor am I an amazing retainer of the things I've read, unless it's super good. Usually, I'm good for a few general summary sentences, but not a thorough review.

Anyway, the reading list alone should indicate why I haven't been blogging as frequently, as well as the likelihood that my frequency will change much in the near future. Maybe I'll just pop a bunch of YouTube videos on here to keep people entertained . . . as if anyone comes here for the entertainment value.

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posted by Steve at 2:56 PM
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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Time to breathe

Regardless of the fact that I actually planned, or at least knew, that this would be an insanely busy time in my life, I still feel like I'm overloaded. I'm the kind of guy that actually enjoys being busy a lot of the time - it's fun to push hard, live on adrenaline, juggle a lot of things at once. It's just that it's not a sustainable way. And I'm arriving at the "diminishing returns" place, where I'm having increasing difficulty maintaining concentration on the tasks at hand. I'm pretty sure things will settle back down into a rhythm of more controlled chaos in a few weeks, but until then, I need to keep pushing. The thing that has (somewhat) saved my butt thus far is that I'm still trying to being idealistic about the whole Sabbath thing.

After a long summer, school starts next week at UW. We're getting a new year of campus ministry stuff ready now. On a parallel track, inter::mission, a dream we've been working on for the past two years, is about to officially launch. It'll likely be a quiet launch that builds momentum, but at least we'll be able to say it's happening. I want so much to enjoy the ride with the students, and help them experience a different way of living and seeing the Kingdom of God at work . . . but that will require finishing a ton of work first. By the way, if you know any UW students that need housing this year, we've got a few open rooms at The Purple Door, just waiting . . .

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posted by Steve at 5:39 AM
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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Seattle in the Summertime

Michelle and I just returned from a blurryfastwaytoobusy trip to SoCal. We went down there to clean up our rental house from previous tenants and prepare it for the next go-round. Tons of work. And blazing blazing HOT. The mercury hit 107 (f) one day. Sadly, our time was very limited with family and friends. We got a lot of work done, but not quite enough for our liking. Happily, we were able to get some new tenants lined up and ready to move in. That's a relief - things get financially tight with two mortgages.

We came home to amazing weather. The Pacific Northwest has to have the best summer weather in the nation. We've had a few spots of rain, but for the most part, it's sunny and mid 70s. No smog. Good times. It's almost enough to make me forget about the long, rough winter we had this past year. So if you're looking to visit Seattle, make your plans for July/August or early September. Take a drive across one of Lake Washington's floating bridges (like I do every day) and see some eye popping beauty.

I guess I'm a pretty lucky guy. I've lived in two metropolitan areas in my life - San Diego and Seattle. Not bad.

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posted by Steve at 7:39 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 SpiritFarmer.com. 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: spiritfarmer@gmail.com

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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