Saturday, March 28, 2009

Organic Church

Last night and the majority of today, I attended an organic (house) church conference. I signed up to attend a couple weeks ago because there's a good possibility that I'll start a house church in the future. I don't feel called to it now, but God likes to mess with me so I prepare myself. Anyway, while it wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be, I learned a few things and got reminded of others.
I haven't fully processed all the information and experiences yet, but my main take-away right now is this: I'm not done with tradition church yet. I actually had a short talk about this with a friend who was there. A lot of the people at the conference, including the speakers, realized sometime in the past that the traditional church is broken and so they left. On the other hand, I realized that the church is broken and decided to try and fix it from the inside.
The bottom line is that it takes all kinds. We need the people who leave the institutional church and serve as a voice of challenge from the outside, attracting people that would never darken the doors of a normal church. But we also need the people that serve as a voice from within, making sure that the church doesn't lose sight of its purpose. No one side has the corner on how church is to be done correctly. Church is something that is supposed to be contextual. Just remember, we're all ultimately on the same team, working for the same purpose.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wandering Wednesday

Since Friday night, we've had 11 college students from Alabama staying at the house to help us and our neighbors with ministry. I've been in charge of the group, which means that I am in charge of the normal Seattle culture talks that come with having any outside team work with us. Most of the time these talks consist mostly of me asking, hopefully, thought-provoking questions and hearing some very insightful answers.
Tonight, we had our second culture talk of the week. We were discussing about how the team can take what they've seen in Seattle and translate it into their culture. And then it hit me. I'm about to change cultures. Suddenly, I'm not worried about where I'm going to live or how I'm going to fund my education. I'm thinking about what ways I can live my life so that I'm more in touch with the culture of New Orleans. I'm good at being part of Seattle. I go to the farmers market to buy produce, I have a milkman that personally hands me my steroid-free milk each week, and I use public transportation more than I drive, among a zillion other little things that I do without thinking about them. While some of the things I do here are more out of personal conviction than cultural preference, there are some things that are going to have to change so that I jive with my new surroundings and have common ground with a new set of people. What will that look like and will I be okay?
On a side note, I've been listening to a lot of David Crowder Band lately. I'm normally not a huge fan of worship music, but this is totally different stuff. It's not what my friend would call "7-11 music" with the same seven words being repeated eleven times. Anyway, there's this transition song on the Illuminate album called Coming Toward. I think there's a tremendous beauty in lyricless music that can still describe what my soul is feeling at that moment. It's like I'm having trouble finding the words to tell God what I'm feeling, but then I can hear a song and say "Yeah God. That's what I'm feeling right now."... That hippie Linds moment was free. Enjoy :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

On Lent

Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend. We were talking through some of the issues that they were dealing with. Somewhere in the conversation, my friend said "It's funny that Lent is a time of self-sacrifice and I'm being selfish." I thought about that statement for a moment because, as I've participated in this season, I've reflected on why I'm doing it in the first place.
My answer to my friend was something like this: I see Lent as a time of self-sacrifice, but not for the reason of trying to look holy before God and making ourselves miserable. I think of it more as a time of forgiveness and finding a new grace. I'm a messed up person with deep, unconfessed issues that keep me from fully communing with God. These forty days are time for me to confess to God and break before him so that on Easter Sunday I can stand and worship. Because of Jesus' death, I'm forgiven. Because of the Resurrection, I'm truly free.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


I didn't realize that it's almost been a month since I wrote my last post. I guess that just means that I've been busier than usual lately. Or it could mean that I'm lazy. You pick. Here's what's been going on:

1. A former Seattle co-worker came to visit for a few days in February. I don't think I realized how much I missed her until she came back. I was great to be able to hang out and talk for a while. She also introduced me to a great vegetarian restaurant on Roosevelt Way called the Sunlight Cafe.

2. I'm participating in Lent for the first time ever. I went to an Ash Wednesday service at Quest Church at 7 in the morning. I'm not going to say what I gave up or added to my life, but I can say that it shows me what a total failure I am and how forgiving God is when I screw up.

3. At the end of February, I flew to Alabama for work. I was part of a missions fair in a small town and then spoke at a church on Sunday morning. Only one person the entire weekend commented on my lack of accent and, after I fought the strong urge to kick him, I was fine with it.

4. After Alabama, I flew to New Orleans to check out a seminary there. I think my parents and I were all praying that I would either love it or hate it there. I've been plagued with a sense of uncertainty and wishy-washiness lately that's been frustrating me. I'm glad to report that I liked it there. I don't think it was love at first sight or anything, but I think that I can live there and be happy.

5. I ran my first 12-minute mile in forever yesterday. I'm well on my way to meeting my goal of being ready for a 5k in the fall. I just need to work on my breathing technique a little more because my lungs stop working before my legs are tired.

Well, there it is. Other than that, I've just been hanging out with friends and some of the best college students in Seattle.