’06 on the Horizon

With 2006 on the horizon, let me just say you have probably never known anyone more excited about starting a new year then yours truly.

2005 sucked.

They (whoever the hell they are) say that crisis, pain and struggle are the things used in our life to help us learn, grow and get stronger. Well, I am going to be the smartest, biggest and toughest m-f-er in the world. By the end of December I expect to be one bad-ass dude.

But now I am ready to turn the page. I know that there is no “real” difference between December 31 and January 1. It’s just another tick of the clock, a change in numbers… but for me this new year more than ever marks a change of mental and spiritual attitude.

Here’s some things I am thinking heading into 2006:

1. SIMPLIFY. I am going to strip my life of unneccessary entanglements or burdens. I am only going to accept the essentials in my life. No this doesn’t mean getting rid of cable TV… you think I have gone nuts? Nope. I am just wanting to try to live life more simply in 2006. When faced with a decision to make, I am going to ask first which choice will lead to simplicity in me and my kids life.

2. TAKE CARE OF MYSELF. I am going to work on me in 2006. Physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally…. it’s time to take care of me.

3. LOVE MY KIDS MORE. In simplifying my life and my choices I am hoping it will help me spend more time with my children and focus on them and their needs. In taking care of myself I hope I will in turn give them a better daddy than they had in ’05.

4. LIVE WITH DIGNITY. In many ways it is like 2005 was boot camp for the rest of my life. Having many of the ideals stripped away in my life, I have seen a fresh perspective. It is like the world is raw and relationships carry no more masks. I refuse to be defined by the labels others might try to place on me. This is my life and I will live it, love it and share it as I see fit.

5. HIT IT HARD. It is time to conquer the childish ideas and beliefs we have about life, love, relationships, God, faith…. most things we hold dear. I don’t believe the BS anymore… mine or anybody else’s. The church especially is full of “childish” thinking and continues patterns and practices that are “status quo” dressed up to look like “cutting edge”. When I see it… I am going to “hit it” and hit it hard.

I am looking forward to these changes in my life.

Thank you all for your love, support and prayers in 2005. I couldn’t have imagined handling all that has occurred this year without you, my online family and friends. You have been there for me… and I appreciate you all.

Steve

The Goodwill Church

It’s time for me to clean out my closet. I have clothes in that closet that haven’t seen the light of day for years. They aren’t bad clothes. At one time I wore them and now I don’t.

For some reason, some of these clothes fit tighter than they used to… I am not sure why that is? Some of my shirts just aren’t in style anymore. Still others I simply do not like. I wore them once or twice and gave them a try, but you know, I never really liked them.

It’s time for all of these unworn and unused clothes to head on down to Goodwill. Most, if not all, are in very good shape and could be used by someone. So off to Goodwill they will go this weekend.

You know, most churches I have been a part of need to clean out their closets.

No Church This Christmas!

Many mega-churches across the country will be closed this Sunday in observance of Christmas Day. Big time churches like Willow Creek Church in IL, Fellowship Church in TX, Mars Hill Church in MI and North Point Community in GA are all shutting down for Jesus’ birthday. (Please note that Saddleback Church isn’t on this list, once again proving that it is God’s One True Church for America).

So with all the hub-bub about this decision over the past few weeks (I know this is an old story, but I am slow), here’s what I got to thinking today.

Maybe people from these churches (and others like them) will stay at home with their families this Sunday and realize that they really didn’t miss anything at all. That God is still God, that Jesus was still a part of their lives, that spending time as a family is actually an act of worship that pleases God and that they can do this each and every week of the year, not just once every blue moon or so when Christmas Day falls on Sunday.

Maybe a Christmas miracle will occur and no one will go back to these mega-churches on January 1, 2006. It could happen, couldn’t it? Do you believe in Christmas miracles? I do!

By the way… Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Tony Jones Interview (Part 2)

The second part of our interview with Tony Jones (National Coordinator of Emergent). I question him about fundraising and Josh just wants to know “What is Emergent?” It’s fun and this one gets a little fiesty. Go, listen and comment over here.

You can also subscribe to our show via iTunes.

Am I Dumb?

I know I have said I am stupid, but now I think it’s worse. I think I might just be plain dumb. As in “lacking intelligence”.

There is a new blogger on the scene who visited our site and is trying to communicate the Emergent Church (EC) in the simplest of terms. I really like that idea if someone wants to tackle it. Jeff at Constantly Emerging has just started his blog for this very purpose. Welcome to the fray Jeff. Now the pressure is on.

One of my beefs with the whole EC conversation is that it seems so damn intellectual. This has been bothering me for quite some time. The “conversation” is so full of huge words and tricky language that it seems like a bunch of double-talk to me. It’s probably that I am just not that smart. But there is a condescending attitude and cerebral intimidation within many of the conversations I run across. Many times I peek in a room, read a few words, conclude that this is WAY over my head and come back to my “stupid” site. Seriously, I took Greek in school but all this EC conversation is oftentimes still all Greek to me.

Does it have to be this way… does it have to be so intellectual? Was Jesus an intellectual? The EC conversation seems so based in philosophy that there seems little in the way of reality. Isn’t that one of the reasons Luther was pissed, because the church seemed so out of touch with “real people” that the only ones that could be a part were the educated? Isn’t that a huge fallacy of the church? We use language that is exclusive, extraordinary and that cannot relate to those not “in the know”?

Questions for Tony and Emergent

Tony Jones has agreed to sit in as a guest on our podcast and we are hoping to speak with him tonight. I have told him we are wanting to have a spirited and energetic conversation… the type of conversation you might expect from three guys meeting each other and getting to know one another. I expect it to be informative and at the same time entertaining.

I am preparing questions today that Josh and I will ask Tony, but I thought I would gather your input as to the type of things you would like to know from him regarding the Emergent.

So fire them off and I will take some of them and try to incorporate them into tonights show. If not tonight, we will be doing this very, very shortly.

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UPDATE: Tony was unable to join us tonight on the show. We are planning on connecting with him again very soon. Looks like something might happen over the next two weeks. We will keep you informed. You can keep the questions coming and we will try to work as many of them into the show as possible.