Archive for October, 2005|Monthly archive page

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2005 at 4:16 pm

dear God, how i loathe lyric posts

“remember to remember me.
standing still, in your past…
floating fast like a hummingbird.”
~wilco, hummingbird

“hey jude,
don’t make it bad.
take a sad song,
and make it better.”
~paul mccartney, hey jude

“somedays i’m bursting at the seams
with all my half remembered dreams
and then it shoots me down again

i feel the dampness as it creeps
i hear you coughing in your sleep
beneath a broken window pane.”
~david gray, this ain’t no love that’s guiding me

“saint joseph’s baby aspirin, bartles and jaymes and you…
or your memory.”
~the mountain goats, you or your memory

rest assured that there are lips and assholes on the counter and i’m planning on grinding. more to come on my unexpected stint as a street preacher, the third anniversary of sinners and saints, david gray and more.


In Uncategorized on October 28, 2005 at 2:42 pm


“God loves you and has a hard plan for your life.” ~Mark Galli, as quoted in Rob Moll’s CT article, “The New Monasticism.”

In Uncategorized on October 27, 2005 at 2:42 am

i think i just pissed myself

check out holy ghost tees. props to matthew for the link.

In Uncategorized on October 27, 2005 at 1:13 am

pixie notes, volume 1 part 2

please note: kellie wrote this post in response to a conversation that is taking place on aaron monts’ blog. so, if you are the kind of person who cares about context, read his post entitled house church. if you could care less about context, feel free to read it anyway. i think it’s stimulating stuff.

OK, so I know I’m getting in late on the conversation. I originally wrote a long comment which Jeff was going to post on his blog and link through the comments (I am married to Jeff by the way) but now this thing has 55 comments. So I might as well go and make it longer.

My intention is to help try and give a little more clarity on a very fuzzy thing: what home churches are and how they operate. Here is my curriculum vitae on homechurches (if you need it): I did my internship for LCC with Xenos Christian Fellowship and after graduating spent two years living with them. I have spent two years now helping to lead Sinners and Saints. OK…so not extensive, but still.

Side note: someone comments back hit the nail straight on the head. The author of the article that started this here shindig is a blessed child of God who doesn’t support his arguments well at all. I think it was called “cultish”. Anyways, I read his book with wineskins in the title during my internship. Long-time ago, so don’t have all the details straight but I do remember a strain linking the tabernacle times (good, Israel directed by God chosen Moses, and the church is mobile) and temple times (bad, Israel ruled by lots of bad and some good kings, not everybody can make it to temple) as a reason to go with homechurches vs. traditional churches. I think this sufficiently highlights the background of said article and provides evidence for referenced comments.

I understand the main difference between the home church model and traditional model to be the point of entry for the convert. In both models, people are brought through relationships. One will tend to invite them to the home church first and the other to the main church service. This is largely because home-churchers will identify themselves first with their home church and then the fellowship when asked where they attend. “I am a part of the Sinners and Saints home church. We’re with City on a Hill Christian Fellowship.” When I was in the traditional church I said, “I am a part of Jefferson Street Christian Church. I go to the Land home group.”

As to us getting the same bugs as the traditional church…would we be a church without it? I mean, wasn’t the NT with the exception of the Gospels largely written to corral said problems? Bit of info for you here: Xenos did go through a church split a while back. I think that it involved music.

So, why home churches? Here are my personal reasons:

1. Personally, as a woman, it opens ministry opportunities that are rarely open to me in the traditional church. Or if they are available there, I am to afraid of controversy to take. Honestly, I went through all of college planning on taking the academic route. My parents were always involved with ministry and when I was twelve one of their friends took another position because the church he was at didn’t want to change anymore. And ministers moved all the time…I’d already had enough of that. So I went to a ministry focused college with the intention of never marrying a paid minister or doing paid ministry. Besides, I’m a girl that doesn’t like to teach kids or sing songs so there weren’t many areas that I thought a church would hire me. And then Doc Kurka suggests I go to Xenos because the internship I wanted to do in Germany fell through. So I head out to Xenos thinking I’ll be studying worldviews or something (they do a big lecture series on that) and end up spending my time building relationships and learning to do church. My mentor challenged me to stay in the church…. “too many of our minds go into academia, we need some here in the church too” and “the best thing you could do is to teach someone else what you know…teach them to live Christ.” He told me that I could plant home churches. Wow, somebody actually telling me that I could teach and plant churches and help with church strategy. No one had ever thought I could do that before.

Anyways, enough testimony…back to the opportunities. The homechurches that I have been a part of (this may not apply to every homechurch you come across) have a head leadership of 4 people, 2 male and 2 female. They rotate teaching, take care of growth and discipline issues, and facilitate developing more leaders to hopefully plant a new homechurch. The female leaders do basically everything the male leaders do except peeing standing up. When I moved to Boston, Xenos was debating female elders, and the 2 head pastors were men. But on every other level ministry opportunity was shared across gender. Now of course, if one of the guys met some girl they worked with and she started coming ‘round we’d try and move the relationship focus to one of the girls….the “When Harry Met Sally” thing combined with ministry is a time bomb.

  1. I love the fact that in home-churches most people are lay ministry. I really like hanging out with people that aren’t Christians. It is stimulating and stretches me. One of the best ways that I have found to do this naturally is through the workplace…I spend more time at work than I do with my husband. A 40-hour work week and ministry are feasible if shared with 3 other people and the church gets to 25-30 people at its largest. I find too, that it encourages people with other vocations that they can do serious ministry too. I’ve known home church leaders that were doctors and dentists and teachers and social workers down and waiters. And if you got them aside, they’d tell you that their main joy was building the church and discipling and teaching. Most of them hadn’t known Christ long before some had said to them….grow a little and you can lead a church too.

  1. I love the fact that when I hear the word “ministry” in the homechurch it is applied to long conversations at coffee bars or pubs, or counseling and praying for another believer, or writing encouragement notes. I love the fact that in Xenos, when you meet with someone (even those that have been around for only months) you haven’t hung out with for a while, conversation will turn to ministry. All Christian are ministers, so it’s natural, right? And isn’t something wrong with your spiritual growth if you’re not serving? See, homechurches tend to put people to work immediately so they don’t know there is the option of pew-sitting. One of our guys was mystified that a close Southern Baptist friend evaluated his spirituality on the basis of knowledge rather than service. He thought the way to be a Christian was to spend hours loving the disabled guy that most people wouldn’t spend time with…or on the fact that he handed out money to help non-Christian friends at work with medical bills.

  1. I love the fact that in home church, I get audience support when I am teaching. Another “ministry” of the church is to support the teacher by talking. If the service is dead, the members know that it is just as much their fault as the people guiding the meeting. I mean, if it didn’t make sense or you thought the teacher was completely not making the text relevant, you had the opportunity to say so, yeah? I love the fact that it is so laid back I can bring some of the classroom into a teaching, that I can go detailed background because it is a small group. I don’t have to worry about losing someone because I know that a) they tell me they don’t understand or b) I can see it on the face and I will have the opportunity to sort it out with them.

  1. I love that fact that homechurches can at times totally disarm the lost. They come in with all these preconceptions about church and Christians which are immediately turned on their head. They start asking questions…You’re a church? Why are you meeting in a house? (Because the church is really the group of people worshiping God irrespective of where they meet). Who is your leader? (Well, we have 4 leaders because in the church ministry is shared and at some level everybody shares part of the responsibility). We get the chance to immediately start teaching truth because they start asking questions.

  1. I love the fact that right now all of our money goes out (well except for $20 for toilet paper and coffee). Right now we don’t have any overhead and it is a blessing. Someday we may get big enough where it makes sense to get a building for the main teaching or to pay a few people to oversee a network of churches. But right now we have the blessing of giving it all away. When we started going through church finances at one set meeting a month I saw a passion for giving take hold in our members. We have our monthly missionary commitments, but our goal is to exceed that. Then we sit down and try and come up with places to give the rest too. Our goal is a near empty bank account. It’s changed us.

  1. I love the history of church growth. When I interned with Xenos, I was with the North 4th Home Church. When I came back after college, they were in the middle of birthing a new church and I soon was a part of Red House Home Church. Some of my friends stayed with the other church. When I moved to Columbus both churches had birthed a new church. So, now my friends in the original group were now part of four different home churches. That meant a lot of people came to Christ and grew up into maturity. Yeah, it took place over years but it is so cool to look back on and to look forward to for Sinners & Saints. It gives people a tangible hold on growth…like starting a new service, except it happens more often. And when they see themselves growing, they get excited to do it again.

So in the end, it’s still church. When we grow big enough we look really similar. We have the same goals. With this difference: most people become members by joining a home church and then start associating with the larger body. We start with the small and grow big because we intend for our small churches to self-replicate, because we intend our people to “self-replicate” themselves through helping someone else to grow in Christ.

In Uncategorized on October 21, 2005 at 2:41 pm

Jesus, the Christ,
however little we know your Gospel,
it is light in our midst.
However little we grasp your presence,
it is light for us.

We search for you, Jesus, the Christ,
sometimes with uncertain steps,
but you have already come.
You bring light into our anxiousness.
You know
we would never want to choose darkness
but always welcome your inner life.
~brother roger of taize, life from within

In Uncategorized on October 21, 2005 at 12:16 pm

happy haiku friday

the cold, black onyx

worn by waves, anchored in sand

remains my teacher

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2005 at 2:05 am

do or die, part deux

bottom of 5

you know your team is in trouble when you get overly excited about an HBP. oswalt looks unhittable.

first and second, no out. i’m going to follow rick’s advice and think happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts…

(marginal note: i can’t believe fox just drew attention to their dumb-ass “right now!” box by playing that stupid, we substituted substance abuse for social justice song by van halen).

and it’s…another blown call. everett clearly missed molina. in these instances, where the umpire has absolutely no angle on the play, he should be allowed to ask the first base umpire, who had a perfect angle on the play, for assistance. dumb-ass union monkey.

okay. 3-1 is a hell of a lot better than 3-0.

that’s the stupidest comment i have ever made.

you’d think that on a day like today, when i got a promotion at lifeway, probably sold the corolla, completed a ball-busting take home exam for a seminary class and am sitting on my couch with a beer in my hand and dog at my feet, i’d be a little more optimistic. so i’m doin’ it. if karma works for earl, optimism will work for me!

good at bat for eckstein. he struck out, but he made him work. little by little. little by little.

top of 6

is there anything less compelling than an in-dugout interview with tony larussa? i think he would rather eat meat than talk to thom brennaman in the midst of a tight playoff game.

why do they have to put the in-dugout microphones on idiots? earlier, brandon backe noted that “the walk from the mound is the loneliest walk in the world. i don’t care if i done good or not. i hate bein’ pulled.” jeff bagwell is sitting in that dugout, doing nothing, and you choose to mike the likes of brandon backe? come on! (of course, this entire argument would be unnecessary if fox pinched their penchant for stupid gimmicks (i.e., scooter, right now!, diamond cam, fan cam, manager interviews, etc.), of which dugout mikes are only a part.

you can’t scheme a schemer! except when you can. that squeeze was huge.

bottom of 6

okay, the gig is up. edmonds, walker and sanders cannot catch up to a 97 mile an hour fastball anymore. or a 95 mile an hour fastball for that matter. this team has some major re-tooling to do over the winter. i told rick that if we don’t win this year, we won’t win for 7 or 8 years. i’m not the prophet or the son of a prophet, but…

i think pitching to pujols with one out and no one on bat is foolish.

i told you i wasn’t a prophet. oswalt just stole albert’s milk money.

that oswalt is one cool customer. he’s a consistent, understated and sane version of prior. ugh.

top of 7

i found this incredible picture of gate 5 at bush on the nyt website this morning. i found it strangely touching. it also provoked the following top 5 lists.

top five moments at busch stadium:

watching the cardinals whip the cubs to secure the 1985 national league east title

    sitting five rows from the field on a beautiful sunday that also happened to be the last regular season game at busch

    willie mcgee’s ninth inning walk-off homer on opening day in 1997

    the “brawl” that was precipitated by will clark spiking the “secret weapon” and ozzie swinging at will and hitting him in the helmet

    watching the cardinals whip the padres to win the first game in the 1997 nlcs

    holy shit. when it rains it pours. they’re chilling champagne in the visitor’s locker-room right now.

    bottom five moments at busch stadium:

    making vicious fun of tony gwynn throughout the aforementioned game and laughing when somebody threw a twinkie at him

    getting douched with beer in the right field, upper mezzanine section when i was nine years old. did i mention that i was wearing my brand-new satin bullpen jacket (oh yeah, i still have it)

    having frank thomas’ foul ball (it was an interleague game) bounce of my hand and into the hand of the guy sitting next to me. that was the closest i ever came

    the day that our greedy, bob dole votin’ owners push the self-destruct button on my youth. “it’ll increase attendance.” we drew over three million almost every year! “it will revitalize downtown!” yeah, for people who are seeking jobs with aramark or sports’ service. “the ballpark village will be a year around draw!” yeah, just like the half-vacated union station. fuckers.

    bottom 7

    even tony realizes reggie can’t catch up to that heat. hello so!

    can i add another one to my top five? every moment i spent at the stadium with my grandfather. earlier this year he tried to convince me that i had attended a game at sportsman’s park with him in the early sixties. i almost didn’t have the heart to tell him that i wasn’t alive then. it was one of those rare, advanced age moments that are truly memorable.

    top 8

    spent monkeying around with blogger’s font formatting. insert curseword: _________.

    bottom 8

    if we could have taken 2 out of 3 from houston during the last week of the season, things could have been different.

    top 9

    i can’t find it in me to hate craig biggio. but hating the fact that someone wrote a haray caray, a fired cards broadcaster by the way, quote on the walls of busch stadium comes naturally.

    bottom 9

    if we have to end it now, i’m glad we’re ending it at busch.

    enjoy retirement larry walker. thanks for playing with a bulging disk and enduring the cortizone shots.

    for the record: i’m rooting for the white sox and trusting that the final send off will be respectable.

    there it is. congratulations astros. but i hope drayton mcclain chokes on his reprocessed meat.

    there’s no crying in baseball. no crying.

    does somebody need to tell tom brennaman that shoeless joe has been dead for 50 years?

    In Uncategorized on October 18, 2005 at 9:43 pm

    worth a thousand words

    alex posted this beautiful picture and wrote some nice words about our community on his blog. thought you might enjoy the picture and the post.

    In Uncategorized on October 18, 2005 at 2:50 am

    memorandum from captain random: do or die edition

    if the cardinals blow this one, i’m going to hit an eight-ball and burn down those damn crawford boxes. in fact, while i’m at it, i might burn the other crawford – that abomination of desolation – down as well.

    top of the seventh

    on the red wall behind our black couch, i am keeping a list of people to kill. at the top of my list are two fox commentators. three ryan dobson stickers will be awarded to the first person to guess who these two “broadcasting professionals” are (for the record, i do not consider “scooter” a color commentator).

    as much as i bitch about my life on this blog, i should probably mention when things go well…on that note, pettitte just picked eckstein of with the most illicit move i have ever seen. that move would be called a balk in babe ruth league. i can’t believe they let that, um, motherfucking broadman & holman author get away with that! anyway, today i ground out four and half hours at work, helped phil wyman and his team set up a massive stage in salem for their haunted happenings outreach, was greeted with squeals of delight and hugs when i returned to the afterschool program after a two week absence and spent two and a half hours at the bev library falling further in love with n.t. wright (his nuanced, thoroughgoing understanding on the kingdom of God, as put forth in Jesus and the Victory of God continues to impress me). when i returned from the library, hopped up on caffeine and hungry for dinner, i found that kellie and her parents were watching scarface, which they thought featured less nasty language and violence than goodfellas. that killed me. of course, the cardinals could ruin it all, but that remains to be seen.

    bottom of the seventh

    if the cardinals lose this series, i’m going to remember two major base running gaffes. the first was pujols going on contact with no outs last night and the second will be eckstein getting “balked off” in the top frame. of course, i’ll also remember our manager and all-star centerfielder acting like adolescents in the late innings of a must-win game, but i don’t want to talk about that.

    if i was an angels or an astros fan, i think i would have to strangle myself with a rally monkey or hurl myself off of the crawford boxes. is there another group of fans that pair such extraordinary enthusiasm with such unsurpassed baseball ignorance? i didn’t think so.

    burke singled. runners at first and third with one out. come on, berkman, roll into a double play.

    holy shit. that all-league flag football player just broke my heart.

    so many people give me shit for my pessimism. but scoff all you want, dear friends. pessimism softens the blow.

    top of the eighth

    wouldn’t you assign a prisoner with a tatooed map of the facility to perpetual solitary confinement?

    four outs to go and the commentators are defending the legitimacy of berkman’s 337 foot home run. inappropriate comment deleted.

    three up, three down. i’m going down to the basement to swipe some of james’ methyl alcohol.

    bottom of the eighth

    i got nothing.

    the umpiring has been woefully inconsistent this post-season. i think it’s time to bust up the union.

    now they’re showing pictures of the new busch stadium. pour on the salt guys, pour it on.

    top of the ninth

    can we say die?

    you gotta love eckstein. taking what he can get, even when it doesn’t really matter. he’s been one of the brightest spots of this season.

    edmonds. one runner on, we’re down to our last out nad pujols is coming up behind you. lean into it!

    they’re giving us just enough rope to hang ourselves. prove me wrong, pujols, you true believer. prove me wrong.

    holy fucking shit. holy fucking shit.

    bottom of the ninth

    the cardinals haven’t had a home run of that magnitude in 20 years (ozzie smith, 1985 n.l.c.s.. can we say go crazy, folks. go crazy!?)

    two away. convulsions are starting.

    alex just made a great point. if jeter had hit that homerun or a certain half-crippled first baseman smoked a shot off of the american league’s best closer, the commentators would have gone crazy. as it was, it sounded like they were disappointed that they will have to miss their complimentary halliburton tour tomorrow.

    holy fucking shit.

    In Uncategorized on October 16, 2005 at 12:42 am

    a moment of clarity in the midst of obfuscation

    “in my head and my body there’s this race between life and death going on. but then isn’t that the case for everybody who’s ever lived, forever and always? isn’t that the nature of being alive?” -douglas coupland in eleanor rigby, pg. 247.

    two and a half years ago, i took a seminary exegesis class that focused on matthew. although the lectures were a little bit stiff and the professor was suffering from the power-point plague, it was good stuff.

    at least i think it was good stuff. instead of reading the commentaries, interacting in exegetical conversations (“it’s a subjective genitive? that’s fascinating!”) and honoring the prof with my attention ,i re-read the novels of douglas coupland. i found myself wrapped up in the apocalyptic visions of girlfriend in a coma, i participated in virtual picnics in the palm springs desert and i wondered why the european girls i met during my travels never showed up on my front porch sporting hot pink cowboy hats and unholstered cap guns. i read the coupland corpus in dr. ciampa’s class and i felt guilty.

    but i shouldn’t have. i think that christians would be a lot better off and the church a bit more healthy if we were as attentive to the everyday revelations that we stumble across in novels, music, conversations and coincidences as we are to the scriptures. i fear that we will never be able to fully hear the poetic proclamations of the ancient prophets or respond to their summons until we are willing to listen to and live among the prophets in our midst.

    that is all. krista, thanks for the long-term loan.

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