Wednesday, February 18, 2004

trying something NEW 

ok, i have finally made an attempt at typepad!
would love to have you check out the new
  • lilly's pad

  • would love to have feedback!
    and i'd love help with getting my music posted!
    have a great day!
    and thanks for reading!

    Tuesday, February 17, 2004

    blogging break...sort of 

    took time off the past few days...not from work
    but from the blog...
    when your son says that he is "sick of hearing about all
    your blogging friends" and "you only talk about church stuff"
    and "all you ever do is work on your computer,"
    then it is time for a break...

    i will admit that i am addicted and i really did need a break!
    i needed to live in the real world for a few days.
    but i did manage to create a new blog before i took my break....
    yes adam...
    it is a miracle!
    i am still trying to get my url shortened...
    but for now check out
    and let me know what you think...lil

    Wednesday, February 11, 2004

    going global 

    once upon a time, in a galaxy, far,far away...i was at urbana.(the intervarsity christian fellowship missions conference held every three years on the campus of univ of illinois)
    john stott said "our god is a global god"
    this simple quote has stayed with me for over 20 years...
    (the theme at urbana that year was "intercepting your future" which i happened to take seriously...i met rob that week!..but that is another story!)

    our god IS a global god...he is a big, big god, and as brad in austin says..."god has something up his sleeve, and god has really big sleeves!"
    do i keep this in mind daily? the globalness of our savior? the globalness of what god is doing?

    reading jonny baker today sent me to france...http://oikos.typepad.com/jmfinley/2004/02/au_pays.html
    check out this great post regarding the emerging church getting unstuck...

    in america we too often forget global issues...atleast in my neck of the woods, we too often only get one side of the story.
    i am often guilty...and i repent for not always seeing beyond my nose!

    for me, blogland has increased my global awareness, as has having a good friend in rwanda.
    and we are challenging our own kids to see what god is up to around the world and to remind them, sometimes daily, that our life is not the norm.

    i was greatly impressed ,at greenbelt last august, by the focus on mission and social justice...
    that opened my eyes to third world debt and many other issues that weren't even on my radar screen.

    tony campolo whacked my view at youth specialities with his take on this (three books changing our culture)...he basically said if i am not talking globally to my students then i am an irresponsible youth
    leader! (specifically about third world debt and understanding muslims)

    so we are looking beyond ourselves this year ...
    i want to grow in my awareness of what god is doing all over the place...
    i want to learn from, and sit at the feet of those who don't usually get heard!
    i want to take off my blinders and take off the shackles i too often put on jesus...
    that he can only work one way...the same way...
    he is constantly doing NEW things...with old dogs...thankfully he enables us to learn new
    thanks jonathan for a great post!

    Tuesday, February 10, 2004

    bleauging in cleaugs 

    ok...bleauging in cleaugs...translation "blogging in clogs"
    it's a mac lewin phrase...that is now a part of the lewin vocabulary.
    we really should have our own dictionary for all our "interesting words, phrases and
    noticed after the last post, just how off my blog clock is! it is really only tuesday and 10:30pm!
    not 3+ am on wed!
    oh well...got any ideas how to change this for the those who need a tutorial and never read
    btw...i have begun the transition to typepad....just wish adam, andrew, neil or michael were here to
    help make it a "quick" reality....rather than a two month process!

    mac wants to know if anyone else is bleauging in cleaugs...or perhaps cleauging while bleauging?

    to fold or not to fold that is the question 

    seems like life often gets in the way of doing the things you actually want to do...
    like laundry, i would much rather read blogs than fold laundry.
    now i do often get help with laundry from the men in my family...
    in fact...our motto around here is "anything you can do, i can do better," meaning that the
    guys have to learn and do everything around the house. from laundry to dusting, from toilets to vacuuming.
    thankfully rob's mom had this idea way back when and thus he's a great example.
    hudson says some of his friends wouldn't last a week at our house 'cause they never have to "do chores"

    anyway...the reason i detest laundry is that it never ends...kinda like most housework...it just keeps going and going...and as soon as it seems like it is done, it's time to start again!

    enough moaning...
    since i got back from my retreat the lewin gang has been doing a great job with keeping stuff organized...and for us that is HUGE.
    what is more wonderful we have had morning and evening prayer together everyday but sunday!
    (i mess that up by having to work on sundays...hazard of mainline ministry!)
    it has become a great thing...we pass around the bible and the prayer book( we are using a holy island prayer book by ray simpson) and take turns reading...
    now for those of you who have ever tried "family devotions" at meals and gotten the bored faces and rolling eyes...and felt less spiritual after you finished than before you started ! you'll understand why rob and i are so
    it helps that they have been to holy island ...but it also seems like the holy spirit is showing up and it seems to be the right time for us as a clan to add this discipline to our life together...
    the dryer just buzzed....back to folding!

    Sunday, February 08, 2004

    i get paid for doing this! 

    i am breaking my rule, yet again, not to post past 10:30pm...i am so easily hooked into blogland!
    rob says that i might have to fast my computer during lent!
    i hope not!
    anyway, a quick post to say that today i am really happy to be in youth ministry!
    i actually got paid for snow tubing!
    i am a true kid at heart....i love sledding!
    and snow tubing is sledding on steroids! ...and the best thing about our snow tubing spot ...you get
    to ride the conveyor belt up the hill! (it's sort of like the moving walkways at the airport...you walk on pulling your innertube behind and lean forward!)
    now we did have to wait in line to get on the belt...but it was a great time to talk with students and boy did we laugh a lot!
    earlier in the day we had sr. high sunday school class at panera bread and had more kids than we have had all year!
    had our first confirmation class of the year at lunch, that went great!...we even make the church year fun!
    and the sacred space worship that i helped coach at the church of the redeemer went really well and i didn't even make it! (just got back too late from the slopes and had parents not show up on time!)
    anyway...a great day...but long...so i am off to bed! and thankful that mondays i get to stay home!
    happy monday to you all! lil

    Friday, February 06, 2004

    one of my heroes  

    each month i get together for lunch with a great group of youth pastors from around cincinnati...
    we call our group 50/51...the name comes from our goal...to pray more than we "complain" about our jobs...
    actually this group has become a true community of friends.
    we do events together like the 30 hour famine...we invite each other to our youth group stuff, and we share ideas, dreams, hopes and pains...and we really do pray!

    all of us are in mainline churches attempting to take our students, and our churches, outside of the box and into the new century and into more authentic kingdom living.
    these friends, most of whom are men...make my month! they inspire me to be better than i am, they encourage me to seek jesus and not get caught up in the "junk" of ministry, and they make me laugh!

    last thursday, i got an e -mail from one of the 50/51 group... gary loomans...
    gary is one of my heroes... (i'm going to borrow the hero idea from maggie dawn, thanks maggie!)
    gary and his assistant joann work in northside...a very urban, inner city part of town.
    gary's life is never dull...he works on a shoestring budget and does amazing things...
    his board recently asked him to actually line item his youth budget from last year...
    gary turned in a budget that totalled over $16,000! the board was shocked ...his actual budget,
    set aside by the church is REALLY only $1500!
    Gary and Joann just PRAYED in the difference and god provided! if they had a mission trip or camp that they wanted to go on, they would pray. if they had a student who needed to get into a christian school rather than dropping out, they prayed and god provided.
    there students get so excited about bringing friends on trips that they raise money for themselves and enough to provide half for someone else to go!
    here's the email gary sent me...it's his take on what experiential worship has done for his students...

    When you live in our neighborhood, you learn to live with the sound of gunshots, and sometimes someone you know gets killed. You see prostitutes waiting for their next jobs. You worry about getting jumped. Garbage litters the alleys. The sex store is around the corner from the church. Every so often, someone spray-paints racial slurs on the walls, and fights break out too regularly to be real events. Many teens go home wondering if their parents will be sober, or if they need to hang out at a friend's house for a while, or maybe at my house.

    When day-to-day life is filled with this, what they preach at the church better be for real and make a difference in my life or I am not interested. I'm not interested in wasting time in some boring building with old people.

    That is what my inner-city youth group kids say. So what makes Christianity real?

    Experiential worship is one thing that my kids have found to be real. "We actually do something!" "It teaches us how easily we can talk to God." "It helps me talk to God about my friends and family." These are a few of the comments that I have heard. "It's not boring like Sunday morning," is another I have heard, even though it cuts me to the quick-- being that I am the youth pastor, and have a vested interest in Sunday morning worship.

    Perhaps the reason the teens don't find it boring is that it uses media to which both the church and our kids can relate. Think of it: A room filled with sound systems, televisions, candles, electric guitars, crosses, and all kinds of every-day and not so every-day things, things with which they are comfortable along side things they almost never see. These things are combined with directed activities designed to help participants encounter the living God. It mixes our common day-to-day life with things of God that are not so common.

    gary has never been to a starbucks, he doesn't do ministry on the ski slopes....
    he lives by faith everyday...he sees miracles because he needs them...
    gary inspires me to want to see miracles too...to pray big because we have a big god ...
    he inspires me to pray expecting god to do great things for us and for our students.
    he is one of my heroes...and i am greatly blessed to be his friend.

    Thursday, February 05, 2004

    emerging after ten pm 

    ok...i took a break for a few days...hudson said that all he saw me do was type on my laptop!
    got a little carried away in blogdom...it is rather easy to get addicted, especially with wifi!
    also i am trying not to start on the computer after 10pm...cause i just get sucked in and it ends up
    being 11 or closer to twelve and i have to get up at 6am...
    all you late night folks who just get started post midnight...sorry! us morning people need our beauty rest!

    i have been frustrated with myself, post gethsemani... i had high hopes of carrying on the silence and
    peace of my retreat into my "real life", rather than just jumping right back into the busyness...
    much easier said than done...
    and the weather here hasn't been very favorable to long walks outside! i love snow, but i don't like to freeze!
    and just walking the dog in the last couple of days has been an ice skating experience!

    have been aware of the conversation around emerging church, emerging, movement or not movement and read jen leman and jonny baker tonight and finally have to jump in...
    i left this post on a blog tonight and realized that i really wanted to say it all here:

    to emerge or not to emerge that is the question.?
    we really do get caught up in words...and in definitions.
    words have such power and such emotion behind them.
    words can make us feel really good about being a part of something
    or really angry and ready to take sides.
    i really prefer emerging church than gen x, postmodern, etc, because it is a broader term...
    and i don't fit the typical demographic for most gen x folks...
    yet i resonate with more "postmodern" flavors of things...the "vibe" of the "emerging" church
    has helped me find a place to be in "church land"

    emergence is happening...and happening globally.
    i believe that god is up to something and THAT something is much bigger than what we can see..
    it is happening all over....and began much sooner on the other side of the world where traditional church has "died" and where there is really no "christian memory."
    i believe we are rather blind in the usa, we don't feel we have to be different because we still have churches with loads of people, we have christian radio, music, bookstores...etc. etc...
    some of us have old churches with large endowments so we can survive even when new folks aren't coming in....

    yet in all of this we are missing so many people!
    so many folks don't know the story...
    so many people only have a cartoon picture of followers of jesus...
    they only know the stereotypes.

    culturally many of us got caught up in doing church rather than being church...going to worship for two hours on a sunday (or even a sat. night) rather than seeing our whole lives as worshipping 24/7!

    i have personally found a home among the emerging folk, a place and people who honor my gifts and challenge my assumptions
    they come in many different flavors and the holy spirit is working out this NEW/Old thing is different ways in different places...

    i am just excited that there is actually movement happening...cause movement atleast means we aren't stagnant and we are attempting to think beyond ourselves and our boxes.

    we just need to make sure we don't let the lingo, the verbage, create the "in crowd" and leave others feeling isolated and unwanted....yet again terminology getting in the way of loving and caring for others.
    had a friend today say that he often can't read the emergent c newsletter(emergent village email)
    ..he doesn't feel included or "in" cause he doesn't understand the language and feels that there is an "in crowd" on this subject. YIKES

    this is a real wake up for us to use our words wisely and define our terms to the best of our ability and to honor
    the fact that we just see through a glass dimly and only get to see one step at a time.. not the whole map!
    it's now 10:34pm...so more tomorrow.

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