December 19, 2005

one long, rambling post deserves another...

This is the scarf that Lisa made me for Christmas. I love it. The eyes are heart-shaped if you didn't notice. Every year, I get something from the Kembles' that incorporates skulls. I guess my fascination with skulls is a bit more obvious than I thought. I'm not one to be known by the wearing of scarfs. In fact, Mark Scandrette still complains about some blog post years ago where I made mocking mention of him and his scarfs. Not that there is anything wrong with scarfs. I will certainly be wearing mine whenever I visit my friends in the northwest and midwest during the cooler months. I just always think it's funny to see Californians wearing scarfs... in California.

Last night, the Hawthorn House celebrated Christ's coming with food and gifts and friendship. It was quite special since it is Rhythm's first Christmas. One of the things I love most about this time of year is what my wife does. Brooke is just amazing at making people feel thought of and welcome. Many folks have stockings that she has hand-made. They know that if they stop by and leave them at the house any time after Thanksgiving that by Christmas there will be a few inexpensive goodies along with something most likely hand-made by my beautiful wife. What I've learned about the importance of context I've learned much of from my wife and how she blesses people. She doesn't just go out and buy popular crap for people when she wants to give a gift. She gives from the heart. She gives something that identifies with you. Most times, it's not even something you've said you want or need. She just knows. She listens, she watches and she responds with her hands, her work. How awesome is that!? Contextualizing the gospel of the Kingdom is the same way. You have to wait, watch, listen and then respond with your work in a way that taps into something deeper than meets the eye.

Anyways, last night was great. Others should probably share since I crashed out at 9pm. I'm really worn out right now. The room addition on Josh and Lisa's is near completion. They've moved into it. Just some exterior elements to finish (photos coming soon). Dave and I started on our Christmas project for the kids this weekend: a P-L-A-Y-H-O-U-S-E. Yep, a bottom floor for the princess with door and window, with a kitchen set-up and a second floor pirate deck for the boy complete with ladder and slide. My design. Brooke's decoration. All these projects are wiping me out. My right shoulder is throbbing pretty bad from it all. But I can't wait to see the final results along with the end of an exhausting season. I'm hoping to start back in with CAL courses and applying for schools by fall of next year.

Recent highlights for me:
- I got this in the mail on Saturday. Ryan and Eddie are getting a lot of kudos on this project. I'm glad to hear that. Couldn't ask for two kinder gentleman. I've got a few quotes in there. Rich from the Mission has been reading it and says I don't come across too foolish. Lots of great men and women interviewed for this book. Go pick it up.

That's two books I've been interviewed for now. Dan Kimball interviewed me for his book, Emerging Worship, as well. I guess I'm pegged now. I'm emerging whether I like it or not :) . That is so surreal. The funny thing is that when people ask me about what the emerging church is I refer them to these two books. Ironically, I haven't read either yet and I don't remember what I said. Maybe I should read them this coming year.

SIDENOTE: Dan may have the coolest rockabilly hair ever. I think Barry from the Regal Line has the coolest mustache and chops, though.

- Speaking of Rich, we had lunch in downtown last week. We've been trying to hook up for almost three years and we've now been meeting every month or so. I'm really glad to have met another friend on this journey. Rich leads the Mission gathering here in San Diego, and come to find out, we've lived just blocks from each other for over a year now. He and his team are also helping older congregations in his denomination figure out how to navigate our current culture. He's a great guy.

- K. Rains was in town last weekend. Nuf said. This man has been a bro since the first time we met. It was awesome to catch up and an honor to have him walk in my neighborhood with me. I miss the opportunity we passed up to move out to the midwest sometimes. But I still have great friendships with that crew and am certain that we are right where God wants us.

- Eddie and Missy stopped by yesterday. Haven't seen them since their wedding. Beautiful couple... well, Missy is at least. ;)

And how about a few recommendations...

Recommended Christmas Listening:
- Hark, Songs for Christmas by Sufjan Stevens
(go here to download it)

- A Christmas Album by Bright Eyes

- A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi

Other Stuff I'm Listening To:
- Potemkin City Limits by Propaghandi
I didn't get into these guys until Today's Empires, Tomorrow's Ashes but am so glad I did.

- Vheissu by Thrice
The lyrics to some of these songs are just amazing.

- Terrorhawk by Bear vs. Shark
Mogan, put it best: these guys pick up where At The Drive-In left off.

- Siren Song of the Counter Culture by Rise Against
I've been listening to this album at least once a week since it came out. The lyrics, the music, the ethos... it just doesn't get much better than this record as far as true hardcore-punk goes.

- But I Tell You by The Cobalt Season
Which is really, Ryan Sharp, whom I love and miss and want to bring he and his lovely wife back to San Diego soon. This album keeps growing on me more and more. Mostly because of the lyrics-really into the lyrics right now I guess. It's like Ryan read my heart and mind or something. I really resonate with what he sings about. Come home, boy... or I'll forget you while you're gone! [heehee].

Recently Reading:
- Watership Down by Richard Adams
Wow! Why didn't anyone tell me to read this before? I can't wait till my kids can sit through reading this book! Great metaphors on leadership, community, spiritual gifts... I'll be referring to this book for awhile... even if it is a story about a bunch bunnies

- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Found this book... literally. No pun intended. Tragic tale.

- Colossians Remixed by Brian J. Walsh, Sylvia C. Keesmaat
Good stuff. A little long winded at times. There "dialogue" gets old after awhile. Their renderings of scripture do to. The point is made but it gets lengthy at times. Though, re-addressing our relationships with the existing Empires is important I believe. So it's worth it for that alone to read this.

- A Diary of Prayer by J. Barrie Shepherd
Brooke found this at a second hand store with a bunch of other books. I picked it up blindly a little while ago and have found it to be a great tool for reflecting on Jesus' parables.

Last night was too good to not post something about. I'm still trying to keep a healthier perspective on blogging (see my post below). But I wanted to update anyone who bothers to check this thing. So, I posted. I'm going to continue posting again but I'm going to start using a free hosting service again. Our friend, Austin observed awhile ago how having your own URL is kind of a status thing for lots of people. You'll be paid attention to if you have your own .com. You'll also have to be able to afford to have that within your budget as well. These are things that I've been thinking over and have decided I, or our faith community, don't need to be legitimized by the web. We are who we are. And the dollars, no matter how little, spent on this could be used for something greater. So, I'm going to be able to be found at a51t15.blogspot.com from now on. Please change your links. I'll give notice before this site dies. Yes, I'm moving my blog again... you'll get over it.

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