Thursday, September 30, 2004

I just had a vision......a vision of the Jaylord many years from now far removed from his weaselly abilities to gloss over his back troubles and sessile lifestyle. And it wasn't purty either........

Monday, September 27, 2004

Great weekend.....after punking Roy Jones, Jr. in the ninth round, I had time to get it together at 700 in the ante meridiem and trudge southward toward Bengal land for my very first NFL game and tailgating party! What a great time! When you go with the right fellas, it is a blast. Something I'll definitely do again, given the chance. Thanks Cmarsh....woulda never been able to do it without you.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Dang.....I guess I better loosen up.....wish someone woulda told me.....

Sunday, September 19, 2004



That was for you ,CMarsh, since you have inspired me in your latest post.

I may be battling spectres here, but here goes...

'Twas when I was a wee tot when I would get so pumped up and angry as an infant that veins would raise all around my head. So spake my mother to me.....and there are indeed pics to prove it.

Well, how about this? What if I am/have been angry? Is there no room in this fallible existence for the legitimate experience of anger so long as I do not sin in the sunset? As long as I don't sin against another, am I to value another's insecurity with my anger as better when they have merely "outted" me for being angry- as if I am hopelessly doomed in my anger? Why am I "less-than" when observed in a season of anger? Can a total stranger to my progressional emotional healing dictate what I have done, who I am and where I can go?

Did my wife and I leave every iota of security and potential we knew in central Kentucky when we decided in late summer 1999 to go to the foreign land of Oxford because we were ape-snot, hogtied and fuming-angry? Did we jump ship out into economic/social/ministerial uncertainty because of the golden allure of all that my untapped anger would afford us? But sometimes disaffection with an ineffective status-quo has been mistaken for anger. And I have known and journeyed for short periods with planter-types who bailed out, first from the old ship into the sea of church planting and then into the sea of nothingness. Some washed up on their own one-man island of anger, totally fed up with ministry altogether. There was real, unfathomable anger in these. Their downfall was that they planted a flag of self-justification there and never moved.

I have learned that of my compatriots in my church planting Basic Training in Atlanta in 2000- of which there were more than 60 appointees at the time- less than 20 are still in church planting situations. Some have even left the ministry. I wonder where anger was when the dream died.

I will go ahead and be presumptuous..... anger is more epidemic amongst male church planter types than we would care to imagine. Sometimes I surprise myself at how angry I am. Sometimes I am fleetingly blinded with an out-of-nowhere, primordial rage. But only occasionally. And usually it is self-directed.

I am indeed a 34 year-old man. I have thus far learnt to step outside of myself in such moments, and in assessing my condition, seek the help of the Spirit of Truth in leading me to its source. Do I do this 100% of the time? Get real. Baby steps, baby steps.

Can I not take responsibility for the causation of MY anger while at the same time experience it and be on the path to dealing with it? And hasn't anger been the impetus for needed change in times past? Yes I have been angry. Yes, I still have anger issues I am discovering and confronting for which I am on the road to finding healing. (Just ask my wife). I am not the same person I used to be nor am I the person I am becoming.

I no longer choose to fallaciously "manage" my anger....I am in a "free-trade" agreement with God when it comes to that. I used to try to barter with him but he seems to only move when I surrender. I have to feel/acknowledge it and then choose to release it to God. And he always likes to give something in return for my true peace. His opposing polarities to my nuisance instablilities never cease to amaze me.

I am really not angry as I write this. See with what grand a smile I hold as I type!

Saturday, September 18, 2004


……but I haven’t lost my sense of awe.

(I just drove a bus for 11 hours, so I've either had time to think or I've lost a few beans).

I am not the first to voice weariness with the limitation of language in attempting to define the deeper realities of what we think God is doing. It is not inconceivable that most terminologies that have stuck probably haven’t been levied by those quietly and solemnly pushing and forging ahead in what others have called the “emerging church” (a term I shall use for lack of a better one….AND on that note, why that name stuck is beyond me……arguably, the only ones who could have had a legitimate conversation about an “emerging church” was Jesus’ disciples and maybe their disciples…..oh yeah, and maybe that Paul guy).

Perhaps most of these on the front lines of obscurity are not afforded the luxury of time in that endeavor of label-making. Usually, by the time most of us enter into the conversation, someone has already defined the terms. Sometimes having a voice means learning the language. But more to the point, most people actually living and doing this kind of church have entered into peoples lives in ways that the establishment have neglected or scoffed- and this not always out of intention. The relational requirements of church on this periphery leave no room for ulterior agendas and self-aggrandizement. Sticking with this is not due to the promise of glorious returns (for most of us). The reality of being underestimated and being underwhelming is ever persistent and is no respecter of persons. Too much of this is thankless, penniless and frankly exhausting due to the socio-economic choices and vocations we have intentionally made to de-position ourselves in this mode of ministry.

There is a much neglected spatial element to this issue as well. Someone’s fantastically-fascinating “simple/orgainic/missional/emerging church” is someone else’s Purpose Driven Church, etc. The “aha” experience of these new forms are at once intoxicating but in time are wanting. But I don’t think the problem lies solely in our undying quest for novelty. Some of us are just trying to get some of the first few things we learned right, and it is taking this lifetime.

I am longing for more signs of entrenchment and stability mingled with the same visionary capacities I have seen in this way of Kingdom-living. I love the conversations- I think they are necessary because doing church simply doesn’t mean you have to be a mental simpleton to do it. They are helping to shape our reality and enable our perspective.

Strange though….. it’s really hard to count on something that you value in this because it soon changes form. This is true in our organizational structures and in our relationships. In due time and with maturity, we may arrive at more of what we dream of- not because of its novelty but because we will have come full circle to true tradition and not mere traditionalism. Maybe the journey- with all of it’s inconsistencies, all of its perturbations and all of its incompetencies (real or imagined)- is a necessity.

Maybe I am not too foolhardy in believing that this thing…this (ugh) movement…..if it still moves……needs no name. In our attempt to name something we seek control over that thing. Those who have done the naming are those who have written the first books, and that was a while ago. How is it that so much of our cyberlosophizing about this “church emergency” is apologetic in nature? Before whom do we have to defend our calling? Before who’s flesh do we have to establish the legitimacy of our parish and our inclinations to do what we do in the way we’re wired to do it? Those whose parishes still reap from denominational coffers (such as mine) may answer quite differently from those who do not (but you already see my “answer”). From the blessings of financial support to the ball-and-chain of monthly reports, someone else’s money most always has the imbedded virus of a foreign agenda.

Yet I contend....where are our stories? Where are our narratives of impacted lives? What of the raw evidence of changed lives and lives being changed and even the lives that walked away from the possibilities of God? Why aren’t our blogs pouring forth with these stories from the fields? Why has every comfortable place and perch in the Blogdom of God become a launch pad for digital salvos on brothers and sisters? Have we taken ourselves too seriously to include the simplicity of story? What we need isn’t an emerging church. We need emerging stories.

All of our conceptualizations boil down to the faces of real people with real names and real problems that tend to bleed all over you the closer you get to them. Whether we succeed in linguistically taming this ecclesial beast with a two-edged sword for a tongue is one thing, but there is really nothing to which we can aspire other than being God’s person in God’s time and place with God’s people.

Monday, September 13, 2004

98% done with ridding myself of these pesky adwares/trojans, etc.....a lil more to do yet......just got back from Tenny and got to see some family and a really cool thing was that I got to see my dad play in his college band at a reunion concert in Knoxville.....more about that later.....I'm just too tired right now

Thursday, September 02, 2004

My precious oglers and wayfaring cyber-gazers......I am battling a nasty invasion of trojan horses, spywares and other various and sundry infiltrating malwares at this time. Therefore, my posting will be scant in the interim until I can resolve and cleanse my system from these digital demons from the yawning throat of hell burning with brimstone and sulfur. Pray to God, y'all. I ain't kiddin'.