I am up… and I am down

So often, I really wish I was an introvert and not an extrovert. Mostly when I am alone. Now, I know this sounds kinda crazy to some who are introverts and really want to be able to be more extraverted. When I am alone, though, so often I wish that I was more okay with it.

howling-timber-wolf.jpgIt’s strange… this position that I have with the Presbyterian church… it’s so entirely relational and it really is a dream come true. To have accepted the responsibility of connecting people to each other, to groups, and to the Spirit of God is all I have ever wanted to do. It is also nice that I don’t have to mark my successes in a traditional sense – that is, by having bodies in the pew or money being given. On a personal level, it seems that I mark my successes by the number of conversations and connections that I have on a given week. This leads to certain problems.

Mainly, when I am sitting alone in a quiet house at night and I am tired of reading, the birds have gone to sleep, and I can’t think of anything to do… I get really low. Last night, I actually contemplated starting up tying flies again. Then I remembered that I haven’t fly fished in forever.  It is during these times of not being okay with being alone that I realize I have a long way to go.

Life is relational. With self, God, and others. I tend to think that ultimately what it comes down to is how we encounter others and the presence that we give to them. This I can do… this I love. But that only comes from a foundation of understanding of self and an understanding of being in the presence of the Divine. When this is in shambles, no measure of relationship with others is going to amount to much. It is merely an attempt at establishing worth and filling my ego. This is where I am missing out. My foundation is weak. My worth is too often founded in the wrong places.

Advertisements

Volcano Bombing outlawed

volcano-bombing

The National Park Service suspended commercial bike tours from the peak of Haleakala down the side of the volcano after the third fatal accident this year. It’s still open to riders who want to shuttle their bikes to the top of the mountain in their rented Seabring convertible, but they’ll have to supply their own brightly colored jumpsuits and futuristic white helmets. These volcano-proof suits are probably causing all the problems—pants getting stuck in chains, people putting on helmets backwards. It might be time to update the equipment, these people look like 1970’s mountain bike racers who need to repack their hubs halfway down.

via Bike Hugger

By Rocky Thompson
From Backcountry.com: the Goat

iJesus Frightens and dismays

This is crazy! From OhGizmo! I wish I had one of these things when I was in youth group!! Not…

cross_320x246.jpg
By Ryan Nill

Chinavision, a wholesale electronics dealer famous for its startlingly worthless products (Skype Mouse-Phone, Handheld USB Paper Shredder, Laptop Cooling Pad), has decided to bring us a wonderful cross-shaped digital music player. Boasting 1, 2 or 4GBs of internal memory, a two-color LCD, a built-in speaker, a FM tuner, an integrated mic, seven equalizer modes and a multi-language menus, the crucifixion inspired MP3 is promised to make a “fashion statement.” Oddly enough, it was apparently designed to be given away at youth groups or while on a mission. It costs between $22.47 to $48.14, but you can save (zing!) even more by buying in bulk.

[ Chinavision ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Holy Spirit Sustainability (by Brian McLaren)

blogactiondaybanner.jpgBrian McLaren writes a good article here regarding living a more sustainable lifestyle. I highly recommend it. (There’s a link in the side column as well)

He starts out by saying:

According to the World Wildlife Fund, each of us needs about 2.5 acres of arable land to be sustained with needed food. Then we need to add another two acres or so – enough land to sustain the plants and animals that keep our ecosystem balanced and fertile. So, each of the 6.7 billion human beings requires, at minimum, 4.45 acres of fertile land.

But the math stopped working in the latter part of the previous century. The fact is, we’re using about 5.44 acres per person on average, which exceeds the carrying capacity of our planet. And these numbers are skewed by our disproportionate ecological footprint as Americans – we require over 23 acres per person to sustain us at the standard of living to which we have become accustomed.

Perhaps we can be forgiven for developing this unsustainable lifestyle because we didn’t know what we were doing. But now, as the information becomes available – and increasingly incontrovertible – we have a new responsbility and opportunity. And here is my firm belief: whatever the pleasures that come from living an unsustainable, and therefore unwise, life, the pleasures of living a wise and sustainable life will be far greater. (More)

I wonder if we are on the road to being more sustainable. I know I have a long way to go. I wonder if perhaps Christians can begin to really make a difference in promoting this kind of lifestyle.

Motion to house church?

During last week’s Sunday night gathering a few of us contemplated the need for the large amount of energy expended to get things set up and taken down at First Presbyterian. We were getting tables set, moving chairs (very uncomfortable ones at that) into a circle, hauling tables (which were extremely heavy), and then taking it all down… probably an hour or more work, for a group of 5 to 10. Was there some other way to have the hospitality, the warmth, the fellowship, and the intimacy without the churchy feel?

Then certain advisers said that we really need to get out of the church building.

Seeing how I am definitely not one to say that buildings and church formalities are necessary for a connection with God, the concept of meeting in a home is an appealing one. At least now, as we are small, there may be something very good to this. I am a little reluctant as the leader of the group to have it in my own home. I just finished Neil Cole‘s book, Organic Church, which is all about house churches. His insight is that it is better to have someone else from the group host as it empowers more people. Any opinions on this?

I never thought, back at Bethel Seminary, that I would ever have anything to do with a “house church” or anything like that. I can’t say that this is exactly that as we are supported by the bigger church, and very much committed to being an “emerging church” in Bend, but hopefully Thorsten Moritz would be proud.

I suppose there will be more reflection on this in the future, but I am wondering for those who manage to stumble on this what feedback you might give. My question above also stands: should a gathering be held at a place other than the leader’s home, or does it really matter?

**Also for those who stumble on this and are from Bend, please contact me if you are interested in having a personal conversation or interested in being a part of our gatherings.

Spiritual Direction and reflections on Life, Trouble, and Heartbreak

%d bloggers like this: