Friday, February 06, 2004

Brain Dump 2002, Part 3

I believe in God. Here’s a glimpse into that.

“Standing on a tan-sanded beach, watching glimpes of gold sunlight shimmering on pure blue ocean water.
Driving at tree-line elevations, seeing snow-capped peaks, layered in three dimensions, but even with eye level, as far as I can see.

Watching deadly-force water pressure whiz by inches from my face at the edge of Niagara, volumes of water I rarely see standing in a pool, gushing forth at frantic MPH to distances stories below.

It is places like these I have come face-to-face with God’s fingerprint, His reflection on all of creation. At these places, confronted with the bigness, the complexity, the beauty, the ordered chaos of creation, at these places & times I know there is a God. Actually, I now that I don’t know – that I can’t know, what is. I am too small, too simple, too much a part of the whole, too much controlled by something else, too much the object of a subject, too much the result of a cause, too much the attracted being of an ultimate consummation – to know – anything for sure or in full. And it is in this position of not knowing – of not being capable of knowing – that the reality of God becomes subtly obvious (or perhaps I should say “powerfully hidden”).

So, as if it were a big deal, I believe in God. How could I ever know enough to do anything else, really?

Who is God? What is my relationship to God? How does my life relate?

I will ask God – and I have asked God – “Reveal Yourself – show me the truth about You – to the degree that You would have me know. I will listen. I will obey.”

The story of Jesus has so far been the answer. The story of Jesus as foreshadowed in the story of Israel. The story of Jesus in His life on earth, His teachings, and His demonstrations of the Kingdom, His death, His life, His eternal reign. The story of Jesus as it has been lived out by His people (Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant), though imperfectly ever since. The story of Jesus as lived out in my family, in my house church, in the lives of those who have written hundreds of thousands of pages I have read the past few years, in the lives of my closest soul mates.”

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Brain Dump 2002, Part 2
Following is part two of a previous entry. More to come, and I will pick up the pace & post more often. Remember this is stuff I was thinking 18 months ago, with only minor update edits.

"When I share with people that we meet in simple churches (house churches as some call them) that aim to multiply quickly instead of growing large, and that these churches are not at all dependent on buildings, paid pastors, or structure, the first question I am often asked is: 'How do you keep control of all the churches when they start multiplying?'

I have formulated some very thorough answers to that question which I often share.

But, I have come to believe that the single largest problem that the North American Church faces is this: That we ask that question in the first place! I think it might be appropriate for me to say: 'Please go think & pray until you no longer feel the need to ask that question. That will be the key for everything else.' I don’t say that to be confrontational; I say that out of deep conviction that it is true. The answers I can give will put your mind at ease, but you might be more likely to accept or even embrace these ideas if you were at a place where that question was not necessary! I guess I’m saying that I believe that question is a bit of a stronghold from the enemy, so to speak."

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

New York Times
I just did a one-hour phone interview with a reporter from the New York Times about our church family and the emerging church in general. Please pray that this interview does what it should. It is nerve-racking to be asked deep questions when you know your answers will be printed (hopefully, but not necessarily in proper context) in one of the world's most read publications. I so desperately wanted to share this journey that we've been on, yet I so desperately did not want to misrepresent us, or more importantly, misrepresent Father.