Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Have you heard about this?
Mortified is a comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, poems, letters, lyrics, home movies, schoolwork) as shared by their original authors... in front of total strangers.

I was a very poor journal keeper, but for some reason I did hang on to the one I tried to keep as a teenager and I'm actually so glad to have it to look back on even though some parts are truly mortifying. I wonder if that's how I'll feel about this blog some day?

here are a couple of not too mortifying excerpts:
1/4/81 - My New Year's resolution is to keep a day-by-day diary. No matter how small an entry...Now on to more important things. Today in Sunday School we did an interesting exercise. We listed what we think are our good or bad qualities. This is what I put for myself. good - athletic, pretty smart, honest. bad - shy, procrastinating, self-pity, sometimes self-centered.
that day-by-day thing lasted about 3 days, I can't believe I listed athletic as my first good attribute (where's the athelete now)?
1/25/82 - Oops! Got a little lazy. Well if you can't tell today is Christmas Day. It sure doesn't have all the mystique it used to. I guess I'm too old to be the innocent child listening to stories of Christ and be amazed by Santa and too young to know the joy of giving the gift of this love to a child. I guess being a teenager there are more important things to worry about like: will that guy ever call again; am I good enough or bad enough for these people; do guys think I'm weird, etc. I don't know why things like this can get in the way of the celebration of the greatest happening in our history, but it does. Speaking for myself whenever I give Christ, world problems or anything of real importance a little thought it's really scary. In our society you can think about world problems and get depressed or scared to death because of the destruction that is possible, then you think of how God can save you from this and you become scared because you have grown away from him for some reason. I don't mean to sound so somber I really did have a good time this Christmas its just that sometimes I let really dumb things distract me from ... life!
do you hear the twilight zone theme playing too?

The true treasures I found on this trip down memory lane were the notes from others that I saved, they had me crying this morning. Go find your teenage angst, it's fascinating stuff!

Friday, November 10, 2006

gather the women - part II

Things I learned this week:
Leonard Schlain in The Alphabet Versus the Goddess proposes that literacy brought an end to the Goddess, caused the decline of women's social and political status, and ushered in patriarchy and misogyny by reinforcing left-brain dominance, with linear thinking now valued over feelings and intuition, word valued over image, and hierarchy the natural order. [Urgent Message from Mother, Jean Shinoda Bolen, pg. 33]

Mark Driscoll is still being an idiot, unfortunately in his position, he's becoming a very dangerous idiot. Read more about his latest folly regarding the Haggard affair @

On the other extreme, I found the rapist checklist which is disturbing yet compelling @

In my city:
- 26% of the population lives at or below the poverty line
- a majority of families living below the poverty line are single female heads of household
- over 50% of the population living below the poverty line is under 18

I'm starting to see a pattern...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

gather the women - part I

My mother-in-law sent me the book Urgent Message from Mother by Jean Shinoda Bolen. I'm only on chapter 3 and already I'm fired up or pissed off (depending on your point of view).

So here's something I didn't know: the history of Mother's Day. "The original Mother's Day Proclamation, written by Julia Ware Howe in 1870, was not a commercial idea created to sell cards, flowers or candy. It was a proposal to bring women of all nationalities together to bring peace to humanity. Howe had seen the horrors, devastation, and aftermath of the American Civil War..." [Urgent Message from Mother, pg. 12]

Arise then...women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts! Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly: "We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies, our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice." Blood does not wipe our dishonor, nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace... Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality, may be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient and the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace. - Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870

So what I want to know is when the hell did we give up this dream! When did it become more important to celebrate our own motherhood than pursue peace, to sit back and receive trinkets of appreciation instead of standing up for justice?

Friday, October 27, 2006

my link list

I have so many blogs now, I'm starting to lose track of where I'm posting. Here's a few:

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I'm actually hyper-sensitive when I read or participate in discussions about how, when, why, where churches should, could, would approach the de-churched, the un-churched, the "seekers". The way some people talk about it and write about it, seeking usually sounds like kind of a bad thing, a less than thing, as if someone seeking is in need of remedial intervention. So, I loved finding the Wineskins for Discipleship blog that has recharacterized "seeker".

This is no longer someone out there seeking a church; a target of ministry campaigns to bring them in and convert them to membership. This is someone seeking the spiritual dimension of discipleship, whether it is an "unchurched" or "de-churched" person who is looking for answers by trying out churches or a "churched" person who finds they are lacking in this dimension of their faith journey. Seeking is actually a discipleship goal!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

link list

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

unpredictable worshipper

I became a totally unpredictable worshipper this past weekend as I found myself "preaching" the message at all 4 of our services.

Some observations:
- talking at 4 services is a chore, I have a new appreciation for my pastor who does this each week
- following the LBW (Lutheran Book of Worship) feels so lifeless, especially when done back to back with our contemporary service which is filled with rhythm & motion & openness & risk takers
- we added several other unpredictable elements, such as communal communion, a powerful acapella solo performed on bended knee, a guided prayer meditation
- while stepping out of my comfort zone was extremely uncomfortable, it wasn't as painful as I imagined it would be

the unpredictable worshipper (pdf)

Revelation 2:7

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Originally uploaded by Froda.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

link list

should you be on notice?

The hubby and I have been spending a large portion of our tv time (which really isn't that much) on Comedy Central. I find it's so much easier to learn about my government's screw-ups on the Daily Show. And I must admit that the Colbert Report is the show I hate to love.

The first time I saw the On Notice list, I just had to find out why Lutherans were listed.

Make your own on notice board.

top 10 reasons for not blogging

Ouch! I can't believe it's been over a month since I blogged here. I think I read somewhere that a blogger shouldn't give their excuses for not blogging, but I must. Because if I don't and I actually go back and read some of this crap, I'll wonder, gee why did I take that long break. What earth shattering events were going on in my life? or Did I finally realize it was tripe?

10. I realized my thought processes were probably flawed and sharing them with the world bordered on lunacy.
9. I then discovered that didn't matter because I am addicted to blogging and tried to find a suitable treatment program.
8. The family vacation to Hawaii seemed like just the ticket, but the effects are starting to wear off.
7. Then I had to deal with the start of a new school year, which went something like this - "I know you've been living a swimsuit for the past few weeks and according to all your relatives you've grown several inches over the summer, so is there any chance you have some regular clothes that will fit you for school? I better go check the fridge to see if there's anything we can pack in your lunchbox today?"
6. I thought I should catch up on some housework.
5. Yeah right, instead I'll play around with the blogger beta (I like it so much better, but I can't lose all this, can I?).
4. Oh yeah, I should probably spend some time working on the websites I actually get paid for and maybe bill some clients and pay bills (I don't know why my hubby worries about this so much).
3. Hmm, some quality family time would be nice, how about camping and geocaching?
2. I think my audience of 1 (hi Mom) has probably heard enough out of me for a while.
1. Ack! I've got blogger's block with no worthwhile topics or issues to share. Heck, I didn't even have a stupid thought to share. It was a very scary time.

Friday, August 11, 2006

trash people

trash people
Originally uploaded by thodue.
We are doing a worship series on worship based loosely on Matt Redman's "Unquenchable Worshipper". To me this image represents all the junk we bring into worship with us that needs to be stripped away.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

prayer in a time of crisis

I've been thinking about prayer lately, especially how we often use prayer as our fallback position in a crisis. I think we (all people, everywhere) are probably in crisis most of time, we just don't often realize it. Certainly it is easier to recognize in third world countries, where just trying to survive is an everyday reality. During our times of crisis, when danger has clearly crossed the boundaries of our comfort zone and after we've exercised our options of trying to keep things under control then finally, maybe, we'll turn it over to God. This can be a giant leap on our faith journey. Recognizing we're in crisis and that we're not going to be able to "fix" it, is the first step. But the crucial step is not simply crying "uncle" at all the crap the world can throw at us. It's not just giving up, but giving it up to God. To pray is to hope. To pray is to have faith that God is going to save the world.

Even though prayer has been around me all my life, I feel like a prayer newbie. It did take a crisis I could recognize to propel me along my faith journey and I find that more and more I want to be in prayer, but I still have difficulty finding the time and getting focused. I've found some online resources that I think will help me:

pray-as-you-go - daily audio-guided prayers
sacred space - daily web-guided prayers

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

link list

I've been working with images today and stumbled upon these somewhat related, yet cool sites.


Originally uploaded by kimxtom.

image created for worship this weekend using flickr photos &

Friday, July 14, 2006

link list

does anybody out there even care?

Probably not, so I'll continue to amuse myself with the instructions for women from the brick testament (NOT APPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN) and probably sacrilege, but this week I've been feeling like a women in a burning church and nobody's paying attention.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

online communities

I've been surfing the web to find resources for my emerging women lens. On the way, I found lots of online communities that look interesting. They are not on my blogroll, because I'm not a regular reader or participant yet.

blogher - where the women bloggers are. They are divided into sections and you can link your blog to a section and find others of interest to you

CrossLeft - balancing the Christian voice

RevGalBlogPals - An Open Table set for a diverse group of people -- women pursuing or discerning a religious vocation -- and their friends -- all are welcome!

Note to self: Participation in an online community should not replace the time I could actually spend face to face building community.

Monday, July 10, 2006

the hidden power of electronic culture

Yet another book filled with many AH HA! moments. If you have anything to do with media or technology at your church, you need to read this.

Shane Hipps skillfully identifies and describes basic media inventions that have had enormous impacts upon Western civilization. So all consuming are the resulting cultural shifts that we often no longer recognize their birth was caused, in part, by technology we now take for granted. That is the hidden power behind the electronic culture that Shane wants to unveil for us.

Once we begin to grasp the concept that the medium is the message, we begin to understand that we should not reduce the use of media and technology as just a tool “useful for dispensing the gospel (pg. 38)… As we will see, these media forms have a profound effect on our faith – an effect that goes far beyond their content (pg. 39).”

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

lost writings from a failed revolution

I've been trying to write, but it's not happening right now. So, instead of getting totally frustrated, I thought I'd share with you some really good writing I've read recently. I guess this book has been out for awhile and I'm probably behind the times (or maybe the author was ahead of his time). I underlined a lot in this book. Here's one of my favorites:

After all, what takes more faith - to believe that God can save you and offer personal fulfillment and comfort, or to believe that God can reorient the whole world from one of hate, greed, fear and personal gain, to one ruled by peace and justice? A world where there is Good News for the poor, releases for the captives, the recovery of sight for the blind - where the oppressed are free, and all live according to God's good favor. What takes more faith - to believe that God can save you or that God is going to save the whole world and wants you to help? - pg. 86, Rev. Lamblove (aka russell rathbun)

The best line is on page 110, but don't skip ahead. You gotta read the whole thing, then the punchline will blow you away.

I hope it's not too late - I want to join the revolution!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

what kind of Christian are you?

That's the hook to our book. I've spent most of my week revamping a blogsite to represent the work in progress - Un-American Activities: Countercultural Themes in Christianity.

Go ahead - take the quiz (I double dare ya).

Monday, June 19, 2006

emerging women

I am very excited to be part of the conversation over at the Emerging Women blog!

something's been bugging me

A couple of weeks ago my pastor gave me a book to read on emerging (he knows I'm hooked). And he did warn me that the author would hold to some ideas about women in church (or lack thereof) that I wouldn't agree with, but that there was still some information worth getting.

So I read the book and at first, I thought, it's okay, I can handle it - I do see some good points. But it has left a really bad taste in my mouth and now I feel the need to rinse & gargle. I've seen the book recommended by other emerging sites and it's gotten pretty good reviews on Amazon, so I was hesitant to review it here, but I've really gotta spit.

Confessions of a Reformission Rev. by Mark Driscoll

some good points
10 curious questions - a good start, some thought provoking questions churches should be asking themselves

"I have learned that sometimes the most important thing a leader can do is create strategic chaos that forces people to pull together and focus on an urgent need..." - pgs. 82-83, change is good

Emerging and Missional Ecclesiology - pgs. 108-109, the church organized without hierarchy

the little thing that bugged me
When he refers to Mars Hill, more often than not, it's possessive - my church

the big thing that bugged me
"the man is the head of the home, that the man should provide for his family, that children are a blessing, and that we would not have so many deceived feminists running around if men were better husbands and fathers because the natural reaction of godly women to godly men is trust and respect" - pgs. 66-67

"I explained to Grace that her primary ministry was to me, our child and the management of our home." - pg. 102

"I will simply lean over the plate and take one for my team that, like Jesus did, only appoints men to the highest position of spiritual leadership." - pg. 110

Mark is not gay
"I can honestly say it was the gayest thing I have ever been part of." - pg. 71, what's that you might ask, painting

no really, he's not gay
"and boy bands that danced and still had the audacity to claim they were heterosexual." - pg. 116, I guess Mark doesn't dance

no, no, no
"These Christian "guys" were so effeminate it was unbelieveable." - pg. 131, from where - a nearby Christian college

If you haven't read the book, well, you've been warned, but if you have already - what were your thoughts? Am I off base?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

bits & pieces

I "borrowed" this theme from the Walker Art Center. Resident Artists: The Revolutionary Party, Nothing (Nowhere) to Hide was my favorite exhibit.

category cloud

Added a category cloud based on info @ freshblog. Now I've got to go back and categorize my entries.

more geeking out

What fun you could have with this! Looks like one church is going to create digital puppets for children's ministry using this technology.

can you hear what I don't hear?

Teenagers Develop Covert Ringtone that Adults Do Not Hear

Check it out at I didn't think it was working until my 8 year old yelled out "what's the loud sound!".

Friday, June 09, 2006

emerging youth ministry

these are the thoughts and ideas I gathered from the emerging youth ministry session with Tony Jones

in the beginning
Or at least in our beginning, the culture that we are emerging from has been deeply influenced by foundationalism. This is the philosophy of DesCartes – I think, therefore I am. As I understand it, this is a system of beliefs that relies on a foundation. For instance, fundamentalist Christians believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. Their belief system is based on this foundation. You will find a foundation in many forms of Christianity including liberal, universalist, liberation, etc.

The problem with having a foundation, is that when it comes under fire based on new knowledge or differing opinions or whatever, it often has to be to be propped up. When cracks develop in the foundation, the whole belief structure becomes unstable.

Tony feels that people actually know things in a web that encompasses experience, belief & faith is continues to grow. The picture he drew looked kind of like a neural network. So instead of thinking of our system of beliefs as based on a foundation, we really ought to think of our system of beliefs as a neural network that we build on over time based on our experiences, the knowledge we acquire and the faith we exercise. "We’re all interpretive by nature – we can’t know anything objectively."

in practice
Tony and others in the group gave several examples of interacting with youth out of this context:

lexio devino (divine reading) more info @ The Sacred Way by Tony Jones (book)

praying the labyrinth @

inhabiting the biblical narrative @

other resources
- interesting images, stories, ideas about Jesus @
- youth worker resources at youth specialties @
- journal of student ministries (magazine) @
- sacred space @
- Contemplative Ministry by Mark Yaconelli (book)
- Postmodern Youth Ministry by Tony Jones (book)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

thought experiment

these are my thoughts based on God & the New Sciences session led by Doug Pagitt

Let me know your enormity and my tininess and
Help me see your infinity and my finite-ness
– lyrics from His Truth is Marching On by Mike Doughty

I used to think inside the box. I thought I could use Kim’s scientific method to explain the world. My scientific method relied almost exclusively on my observations, which were limited to say the least. So using Kim’s limited scientific method, I did not observe God, therefore God did not exist. Then I discovered that I had kind of been forced into this box to exist peacefully in the modern world, where everything is explained or rationalized away.

When I learned about postmodernism and acknowledged the struggle of dealing with paradox and truth, I discovered that I had been limiting my thoughts and myself. I’m now thinking outside the box and it is a frightening and exhilarating and humbling experience. I don’t have a degree in theology or physics, so I’m going to be treading on thin ice here, but I had a thought.

We’ve been dividing the world up for a long time between the natural and the supernatural, mind and matter, humanity and God. We do this because it appears to us that these entities play by different rules. I just learned that this is called dualism. I love that I can learn new things at my age.

With advent of quantum mechanics, it appears that another duality exists between large objects and quantum particles. All the rules that we understand or take for granted to govern large objects, such as force, mass, acceleration don’t apply to quantum particles. In fact, out of our context of understanding and being able to predict large object behavior, quantum mechanics seems kind of unbelievable.

Here are just a few properties of quantum particles (from Quantum Mechanics for Beginners):
– Speed and location cannot be simultaneously known (The Uncertainty Principle of Heisenberg).
– Quanta move along according to the chance that they do, and can interfere with themselves.
– A large number of particles will display a pattern that is near equal to the initial possibilities of a single particle.
– A quantum particle can not be coerced. If it chooses to do so it will end up where only 1% of the particles ended up. It might even boldly go where no particle has gone before. Nothing is certain. Everything is possible.
– Below the energy level at which particles can exist, there is an ocean of chance (called quantum foam).

Human Quarkiness
On the one hand this is mind-boggling stuff. How can you make sense of something that can’t be predicted and leaves so much to chance? On the other hand, it sounds a lot like humans. Don’t we tend to be unpredictable, often moving by chance, choosing whether to interact or not. Isn’t this our God given gift of free will? Why is it so surprising that our most fundamental building blocks have this gift as well?

God’s Enormity
So we find ourselves living in a world where the small particles are behaving chaotically and the large objects are behaving more predictably. This got me thinking that maybe the largest object of all would be the most predictable, the most reliable, and the most stable. We often think of the vastness of space as a scary thing. We seem so small and insignificant. It is awe-inspiring, but now I think it should also be comforting. Growing up in Texas, I always heard that that bigger was better. Maybe it really is.

Let me know Your enormity because You are always there, You are steadfast. Let me know my tininess because my life is chaotic and unpredictable. Let the quantum particles of my being search and adhere to You.

Un-American Activities: Countercultural Themes in Christianity

That's the working title of a book I'm writing with my dad. It's another reason I'm at Solomon's Porch, to get some inpiration, practical advice and writing time.

The book is about a modern father and postmodern daughter reflecting on their pilgrimages of life and faith. Of course, the project is very interesting to me because in the process of it I'm learning so much more about myself, my dad and our family. What I wonder is why it would be interesting to anybody else and how to communicate that.

I think it's interesting because:
- it's challenging on many different levels
- it's educational; learn about theology, sermon prep, third-world Christianity, Lutheran traditions
- it provides a form of translation from modern to postmodern
- you may discover, like I did that you are postmodern stuck in a modern church that doesn't make sense

The first four chapters of the book are @ We'd love to get your feedback.

journey to solomon's porch

I'm hanging out at the Summer Institue at Solomon's Porch this week. So far it has been an awesome experience. Almost as amazing as how I got here.

A couple of weeks ago a friend at church sent me a link to the summer institute - "wouldn't it be cool if you could go?" Of course, but what about childcare & plane tickets & the guilt of leaving the family for a week...

So sometime in a conversation with my mom, I mentioned the conference as a passing dream. We have ties in Minneapolis, my aunt, uncle & cousin live there. My grandma happened to be recovering from surgery there.

Next thing I know my dad writes to say he'd be happy to come to VA and help watch the boy, so I can go (this is no small thing, it involves a plane trip from TX). One barrier down.

I checked and had some frequent flyer miles I could use. Another barrier down.

Ah, but the guilt hung on until I arrived. This is surely too much effort for little 'ol me. But I'm finding it's not too much and it's not just about me.

- I'm getting some amazing growth out of it and feeling closer to God
- My dad is getting some quality time with the boy and they are bonding
- I get to hang out with my 91 year old grandma, who is still sharp as a tack and vibrant
- I get to connect with aunts & uncles & cousins again

... and it's all priceless.

Friday, May 26, 2006

revolutionaries wanted

Just bought The Revolution: A Field Manual for Changing Your World. It covers 12 different social issues: clean water, gang violence, women's rights, fair trade, war and peace, torture, the environment, human trafficking, poverty, hunger, HIV/AIDS & capital punishment. For each issue, there's an activist writer who gives background info and concrete examples of action (donate, educate, activate & pray).

I thought it would be good reading to prepare for IMPACT(Interfaith Movement Promoting Action by Congregations Together). IMPACT is an organization that will be enabling over 20 churches in the area to come together to find ways of addressing justice issues in the local community.

I've read up through the first chapter and so far so good. I really like this description of injustice
"we know that nearly 150 children die every hour in Africa from complications surrounding lack of clean water and proper sanitation... these stories are not simply tragic. They are the stories of real injustice. A tragedy would be something that we are helpless to stop. This is injustice because we have the ability to help Africans gain access to clean water." - Dan Haseltine, The Revolution, pg. 13

house cleaning

I know I claim to be a housewife, but I'm probably the world's worst housewife. Given a choice between cleaning up around the house or hanging out at a keyboard (well you can see the answer to that). So we've got company coming and I felt I really ought to clean the house. A day later, I finally finished (yeah, it was pretty nasty). So what will I have to show for this accomplishment - I'm guessing a dirty house again in a couple of days. Ugh...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Practical Evangelism – The Person of Peace

My notes from the Planting Seeds conference with keynote speaker Mike Breen.

Often evangelism and discipleship are disconnected, but they should always be connected.

The Triangle (up-in-out)
- up with God (love)
- in with other believers (grow)
- out with non-believers (go)

Use this tool to analyze everything about your church. For instance, rate yourself from 1 to 10 for up-in-out (whatever area scores low is the area you need to work on in that ministry).

Jesus evangelistic strategy from Luke 10:1-12:
- Team, never go by yourself
- Time, harvest is a season that follows planting and growing. Go for the harvest that is available – let the others ripen.
- Target, within the harvest you don’t try to get everyone. You are looking for one person – the person of peace.
- Task, tell them the kingdom of God is near. God wants to do something in your life. Is there something that you would like God to do in your life?
- Trouble, just leave. If they don’t receive you, leave and don’t worry about it.

The Octagon (your person of peace)
. Person of Peace
· Perception. Open your eyes and look. Invite the Lord into our powers of perception. Visit people within 24 hours of visiting and they will become members.
· Presence. Recognize that they will see who you are from your heart. They need you to be present with them to earn the right to share. Random acts of kindness.
· Proclamation. After a time you earn the right to announce the gospel.
· Passing relationship (the sprint). You disciple them as far as you can
· Permanent relationship (the marathon). Say less, pray more. May not be the person of peace initially.
· Preparation. Ask the Lord to begin to prepare their life.
· Power. Stop being afraid of the Holy Spirit. Start asking God to show you power.

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
Conspiracy of Kindness by Steve Sjogren

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


I squidoo, do you? I just learned about lens(es) from Church Marketing Sucks. So I'm trying it out @

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Evangelism as a Lifestyle Not an Event

My notes from the Planting Seeds conference with keynote speaker Mike Breen.

There is a common path we follow in every life-skill we develop:
- unconsciously incompetent
- consciously incompetent
- consciously competent
- unconsciously competent

The level of change in this postmodern era is of seismic proportions. The only reason that this change is not catastrophic for us is because we are affluent. We (Christians) are the rescue team. How can we respond to this seismic change?

1. Respond with compassion:
- It would be inappropriate to behave any other way.
- One of the problems people have with Christians is that they don’t see compassion.
- There is nothing wrong with inviting people into the community of believers where they can feel comfortable before they believe.

2. Provide temporary and flexible shelter to support community:
- What’s being shaken are the institutions.
- Buildings (churches) in the earthquake zone are viewed as dangerous.
- You have to make the journey to them, don’t expect them to come to you.
- The world tells us that the normal structures of family and community are dangerous.
- Looking at the artifacts of postmodern culture (Internet & media) we can see that people are desperate to connect; that friendship has replace family as the cornerstone of society.
- Build church around community and friendship.
- Evangelize to Jesus and allow Jesus to change their culture.
- Give people many access points to reach shelter.
- Best way to build community is to have a meal together.
- Build groups/clusters of 20 to 50 – extended family-size group.

3. Listen to their story:
- When people go through a shocking experience they begin to lose their reference points. They feel disoriented. They wonder who they are.
- Identity comes from outside, not inside.
- People need a common story (meta-narrative) to feel like they have an identity.
- GenX loves going to the movies because they are looking for a story.

4. Give them a compass (Jesus):
- We think information is enough, but it’s got to be in relation.
- People are desperate for a sense of orientation
- The way they discover how to use the compass is by imitating the life of the person training them.
- Does anybody want your life? Do they want to imitate you?

who's afraid of the da vinci code?

It seems that at least a few Christians are:
Archbishop Angelo Amato, specifically called for a boycott of the film version of The Da Vinci Code, which will debut later this month; he said the movie is "full of calumnies, offenses, and historical and theological errors." -

Christians Urged to Prepare for The Da Vinci Code Opening: Whether planning protests or equipping themselves with answers, Christians are saying "be prepared" as the countdown continues. -

I checked again and my copy of the book has the words, A Novel, clearly printed on the front cover. So, what is up with all this fear? It can't be good. As Frank Herbert, author of Dune writes:
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I must admit that it is probably my reading of "The DaVinci Code" when it first came out that got me interested in studying about Christianity again. I liked that there might be a sacred feminine element to Christianity that was lost. I wanted to find out more about that and how Jesus interacted with women. I asked my dad (the retired theology professor) about it. His fearless response was to send me a study bible and so, I actually started studying it.

I did find one web resource that seemed to address some Christian concerns in a non-fearful manner @

Thursday, May 04, 2006

what does it mean to be Lutheran?

Not sure how I ended up on the lutheranzephyr blog, but I found this request to answer a seemingly simple question - what does it mean to be Lutheran? And now I'm finding it rather difficult. I was born and raised Lutheran. I was even a PK (preacher's kid) for a few short years. But then during my college years (while attending a lutheran college), I spurned organized religion altogether. I only came back to the church after my son was born and I think I only chose a lutheran church because it's what I was familiar with.

I think that if I had found myself in a "traditional" lutheran church, it probably wouldn't have lasted long between us. Luckily, I found myself in a church ready to embrace a mission that focuses outward instead of inward. The basic tenets of lutheran theology are still there:
- sola gratia (we are saved by the grace of God alone)
- sola fide (our salvation is through faith alone)
- sola scriptura (the Bible is the only norm of doctrine and life)

Add to this a sense that faith without works is probably dead and that it's not about personal preference & espousing doctrine, it's about discipleship, building relationships & taking risks.

Being a member of a lutheran church also means being part of a larger umbrella organization which can be frustrating in it's slow response to cultural changes and often unbending in it's traditions. But, I've kind of decided to take the 60's slogan of if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem to heart with respect to change.

Bottom line, being identified as a lutheran isn't all that important to me. Being part of community that is trying to love God, love one another, grow in Christ and go in Christ is!

5 essential ingredients to postmodern evangelism

More notes from Bobby Brewer @ Planting Seeds conference:

1. Identify emergent evangelists in your church and ask them how to reach the postmodern culture in your area.
2. Go to where the people are. Don’t expect an unchurched person to ever step foot in a traditional church.
3. Train your people in personal evangelism. The discipleship process with a postmodern will take time. You first have to earn the right to be heard. You may only be one link in the chain to helping them find Christ.
4. Communal evangelism. Find a way, like the house church movement, where truth can be processed together in an authentic way.
5. Involve and recruit non-believers into holistic ministries. Don’t be a Christian "club" where others don’t feel welcome or comfortable.

Finally he offered these words for churches where membership is definitely on the decline and change is needed:
- the ethical thing to do is to leave a legacy…be willing to sacrifice and reach out to the next generation
- realize that your church is probably using really dated material aimed at modern culture, not postmodern culture

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

what you should know about postmodernism

I recently attended a church conference called Planting Seeds at Christ the King in Charlotte, NC. My next few posts will be reflections from this event.

Bobby Brewer is a pastor who, when he initially encountered post modernism, "thought (it) was absolutely the most ridiculous and ludicrous worldview I had ever encountered." He goes on to say that "I quickly learned that postmodernism is a reaction to the most profound spiritual and philosophical crises of our times."

He and his training were geared for the modern culture and he was frustrated that he could not find pastoral materials geared toward reaching a postmodern culture. So he investigated the culture and wrote a book entitled, Postmodernism: What You Should Know and Do About It.

He identifies 4 main characteristics of the postmodern culture:
R = relativism, there is no absolute truth, it’s all relative (process truth relationally not propositionally)
I = ignorant of Christian beliefs, probably not brought up with any Christian heritage
P = pluralism, anti-exclusivism (there can’t be only one way to God?)
S = skepticism and spiritual curiosity

It's been almost 2 years since I first encountered the subject of postmodernism. The more I learn, the more it seems to describe me. I asked Bobby if a postmodern Christian can ever get beyond all 4 of the characteristics he identified. He said yes, that it is a long discipleship process, but eventually a light will turn on. I think I must have a dimmer switch because although I sense more light now than ever, but it's still awful dark.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

videos & music

As you can see, I've been in a video editing mood lately. I'm trying out because I don't have to pay for storage and it's a nice way to share videos (especially with those Mac users in my family).

Hubby also hooked me up with to create my own online radio station. It's really cool because as I rate the music, it is learning my tastes and I'm also discovering bands I had never heard of that I really like.

Togo mission

Video created for worship service based on video & images taken by a representative of Advancing Native Missions (

Coming out of the dark

Video created for Easter worship service.

Song is Coming Out of the Dark by Gloria Estefan.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

let these words be a blessing as they rest upon your head

I love these words from Ben Harper's new song, Better Way. I've been away, preparing for, going on and recovering from a mission trip to Honduras. In short, the experience was AWESOME! I'm still trying to process it all to discover everything I've learned and how I've been changed. There are some particular words that were spoken in Honduras that have been resting on my head.

I have learned to be satisfied with whatever I have. I know what it is to be poor or to have plenty, and I have lived under all kinds of conditions. I know what it means to be full or to be hungry, to have too much or too little. Christ gives me the strength to face anything. - Philippians 4:11-13

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

spirit of servanthood & stewardship

I just loved this chapter of McDonald’s, The Discipling Church. So many excellent quotes about the cost of following Jesus:

"We have managed to do something that the early Christians would not have thought possible. We have made Christianity safe, middle-class, comfortable. Even when we acknowledge the words of Jesus, we tame them."

In worship design, we were struggling with metaphors for this message. In our culture, they end up sounding negative instead of positive: give it up, lose your life, be a servant. Why? What’s in it for me?

On the way home from the meeting, I started thinking about what kind of things that we humans are willing to make large sacrifices for. One example has been on TV all week – the Olympics. Athletes willingly offer themselves, their time, and their possessions to be part of an amazing experience that is bigger than they are. You hear stories about sacrifices made, injuries overcome, perseverance in the face of adversity just to be part of the Olympic experience.

So, what will we gain by becoming a disciple and servant? I think we will become part of an experience that is beyond imagining: bigger than us, bigger than the Olympics, bigger than humanity. "God crafted our minds, bodies and emotions to be at their best when we are serving others sacrificially."

I also think that being a disciple and servant is going to require much more than self-discipline, even of the Olympic variety.

Our "behavior" will not be changed long with self-discipline, but fall in love and a human will accomplish what he never thought possible. By accepting God's love for us, we fall in love with Him and only then do we have the fuel we need to obey. - Blue Like Jazz, pg. 86

Friday, February 03, 2006

homeless men

Originally uploaded by kimxtom.

Our church hosted 40+ homeless men this past week through PACEM and it has been an eye-opening experience. I only stayed overnight a couple of nights, but that was enough to shatter many of my stereotypes about the homeless.

The homeless men I met didn’t fit into neat pigeonholes. They were black & white, young & old, sober & drunk, unemployed & employed, talkative & private, clean & dirty, intelligent & confused. They all stayed in our small fellowship hall – very reminiscent of scenes from Katrina. They were kind to each other and very gracious to their hosts. I’m trying to imagine what the mood would be like with 40 middle-class men sharing this small space for a week.

I also met Lynn, the activist. She was homeless herself (see story here) and is very clear about the problem in our town. There is no affordable housing. To live indoors here, you need to earn over $20,000 per year and you are not going to earn that with minimum wage. Did you know that living in poverty is currently defined as making under $9800. That’s a big gap.

Lynn has said that "being poor means having no choices. It means playing by other people's rules in a game that is often unfair and humiliating." I met a group of men this week who are living this with more grace and courtesy than I think I could muster.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

being a disciple

Then Jesus said to all the people: If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross each day and follow me. If you want to save your life, you will destroy it. But if you give up your life for me, you will save it. - Luke 5:1-11

Who is a disciple? A disciple is one who responds in faith and obedience to the gracious call of Jesus Christ. Being a disciple is a lifelong process of dying to self while allowing Jesus Christ to come alive in us. - Greg Ogden, Discipleship Essentials

It seems to me that a disciple is someone who makes following Jesus their top priority every day, every hour, every minute. It also seems kind of impossible. Another adjustment to my thinking about discipleship. It's less about being a disciple and more about becoming a disciple. It's a life-long learning process.

Monday, January 23, 2006

making disciples

Jesus came to them and said: I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth! Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world. - Matthew 28:18-20

I'm in a small group studying the book Discipleship Essentials by Greg Ogden. The first chapter is called Making Disciples. From my reading, I've come to understand discipleship is not about talking the talk, it's about walking the walk. One of my worries is that I've got too much baggage to take on this trip.

One of the pieces I carry is that I tend to confuse discipling with witnessing or evangelism. I don't have interest in telling someone else that what I believe is better or truer than what they believe. Yet more and more I believe that Christ is the way for me. But I know many people who don't believe this and I don't know that they are wrong and there is certainly no way to prove it.

I like the way C.S. Lewis explains this problem in Mere Christianity:

Here is another thing that used to puzzle me. Is it not frightfully unfair that this new life should be confined to people who have hear of Christ and been able to believe in Him? But the truth is God has not told us what His arrangements about the other people are. We do know that no man can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know Him can be saved through Him. But in the meantime, if you are worried about the people outside, the most unreasonable thing you can do is to remain outside yourself. Christians are Christ's body, the organism through which He works. Every addition to that body enables Him to do more. If you want to help those outside you must add your own little cell to the body of Christ who alone can help them. - Mere Christianity, pg. 64.