Tuesday, September 23, 2003

The Terror that Wasn't on Jack Rabbit Rd or having the Pastor over for Dinner 

The pastor and his wife came for dinner. For the last ~2 years, he has been pastor of the church that my wife and I first went to around 1989. We wanted to spend an even with them over dinner and connect with them. We also wanted to tell them we think God may want us to plant a house church. Scary stuff for me. This guy intimidates me a bit and we haven't really clicked well in the past. I was afraid but Lori and I thought we should do this and let them in on what God has been doing in our lives. Also a good opportunity to let them know we're okay and didn't drop off the face of the earth since we haven't hardly been to a Sunday service there in six months.
All in all it went quite well! My fears were unfounded. They were cautiously optimistic about house churches and even mentioned a couple they were familiar with in the past (more centrally organized than what we're considering but still pretty neat). They shared about their church planting experience.
We talked babies (we have a baby one day younger than their grand child) and all sorts of things. We asked them to check in on us in 2 or 3 months if they haven't heard from us. God works things out very well. Still don't know exactly what we're going to do and what it will look like but as I told our dinner guests when they asked when we would start the plant... we already are sort of-- we're building relationships. (or something like that-- my wife probably knows what I said better than me).
Another rabbit that needs chasing... why am I uncomfortable using the term "plant" as in "plant a house church"? I use it because it is recognizable, but...?


Ran across an interesting post by a wise lady that I don't know as I was reading through an archive of circa 1995 House Church Discussion List postings on characteristics of successful house church "start ups". Her post deepened my understanding of the importance of listening to people. One quote that especially stuck out:

I don't think I can overestimate the importance that this act of listening has on the people who feel that their perspective isn't very important. It is so empowering! It is a hundred times more powerful than someone just being nice to you. It makes you feel valuable and it lays the groundwork for real relationships.

Wow. I think I can be a pretty nice guy but can I honestly say that I always (even usually?) listen (or pay close attention if I do "listen")? I'm afraid not. I needed to hear this in just the way it was stated. Thank you Jill Crisp-- you have a fan!

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Spiritual Parenting and sys-admins 

I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker today about his two year old daughter. He wants to bring her up knowing God and is trying to figure out how to do this. Personally I think he and his wife are doing fine even if she doesn't want to "say prayers" with them all the time. Someone suggested to him that they should make her do it anyway-- "you wouldn't let her say no to brushing her teeth!" I figure those are a bit different as there really isn't much of a relationship with a toothbrush and it's okay if you don't like brushing your teeth, but with God-- there's a relationship there.

In the Bible there are a lot of places where God is portrayed as a father or mothering children. Perhaps the first glimpses of God a child gets is through his or her parents. I think my co-worker's family is doing well-- their daughter knows she is loved and safe. She knows that her parents delight in her and wish to be with her, and when necessary correct her. I believe parents like that helped me relate to God.

I think the parent perspective has helped me too know God too-- sometimes my kids do things that they are so excited about and believe are so important. Sometimes the things are a bit odd or mundande, but to me they are exciting not for the deeds intrinsically but because my children are doing them and especially the heart they are putting into it.

And now for something completely different... congrats to Lori on getting her apache webserver, php and database backend running all on her own! You are passing from developer and entering into the realm of sys-admin. Ahhh sys-admin work-- brings back such sweet memories... like being up over 24 hours straight on Christmas because the Oracle database needed CPR... Anyway, Lori, I'm sure it will suck you in^H^H^H^H I mean I'm sure you'll come to love sysadmin stuff so much you'll want to do it for other people! Of course I still need my fix every once in a while and do some part-time system/database admin work... I should go to bed now.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Dante's Inferno Test 

Well, Lori did this test so I figured I ought to do it too. Here's my results:

The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very High
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Moderate
Level 2 (Lustful)Moderate
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Moderate
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Not Much From Me (here come the excuses) 

Not to much from me yet, I've been busy busting my tail on a report that I need to get cranked out for work. A report that I really think I could have had finished by now, but I ran into a writer's block and procrastination (I suppose they influenced each other, really). Finally coming into the home stretch on the report and it's going to be pretty good. I've got another one that I may be finishing up in the next couple weeks as well but may be on hold due to waiting on some items outside of my control. The PhD I work with said to hold off but I wat it in shape to go even without extra input if need be. I've also been trying to get our vehicle repaired from a minor accident. Joshua and I had driven to El Paso for a doctor's appointment when we got stuck in bumper to bumper traffic-- our rear bumper got introduced to the truck behind us :-( No one was hurt but still a pain for all involved. Glad it's taken care of.

I may have not done anything here, but whoa, my wife has really been jumping in with both feet! She makes some good points and certainly has given me some food for thought. Ofcourse, in doing so she's left her sister a bit embarrassed-- Sara get a blog will ya? Me? Not embarrassed, but a bit surprised at her boldness in the electronic published word. Keep thinking and ask questions sweetheart!

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Well I'm Here! 

My wife has been razzing me about not having a blog yet... so here it is! I've never really been very good at journaling but maybe this will work better. My Lord has taken me down some unexpected paths in my life and this may be a good way to help crytstalize what He's doing in me and through me (when I'm not wandering off on my own).

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