Archive for March, 2006|Monthly archive page

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2006 at 5:07 pm

put it where it doesn’t belong

there’s no other way to say it, my day at the SS has been a fucking mess. i’m brutally bored, my blood is up and i’m on the verge of blowing my promising career in giftware to smithereens.

fortunately this furrow browed, death inducing day has not been without humor. five minutes ago, while i was puzzling over a stack of long-ignored invoices, i heard patty smith, my sweet, slot machine lovin’, 65 year old co-worker, matter-of-factly repeating the following titles to a customer:

“want a whipping?

clean clothes, dirty mind.

want to get lucky?

thanks for making me stretch.

you and wine are best drunk.”

after she completed her list, i about shit. i had no idea that we had decided to carry the “hustler home accents” line.


In Uncategorized on March 30, 2006 at 5:59 pm


over the past few weeks, i’ve been coming back to this entry from uncle henri’s the inner voice of love time and again. so i thought you might find it intriguing as well.

keep trusting God’s call

“as you come to realize that God is beckoning you to a greater hiddenness, do not be afraid of that invitation. over the years you have allowed the voices that call you to action and great visibility to dominate your inner life. you still think, even against your own best intuitions, that you need to do things and be seen in order to follow your vocation. but you are now discovering that God’s voice is saying, “stay home, and trust that your life will be fruitful even when hidden.”

it is not going to be easy to listen to God’s call. your insecurity, your self-doubt, and your great need for affirmation make you lose trust in your inner voice and run away from yourself. but you know that God speaks to you through your inner voice and that you will find joy and peace only if you follow it. yes, your spirit is willing to follow, but your flesh is weak.

you have friends who know that your inner voice speaks the truth and can affirm what it says. they offer you the safe space where you can let that voice become clearer and louder. there will be people who will tell you that you are wasting your time and talents, that you are fleeing from true responsibility, that you fail to use the influence you have. but don’t let yourself be misled. they do not speak in God’s name. trust the few who know your inner journey and want you to be faithful to it. they will help you stay faithful to God’s call.”

i hear you uncle henri. by God’s grace, i’ll continue upon this road of descent.

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2006 at 1:15 pm

sometimes i wish…

that i was one of those gracious people who made every person they spoke with feel like they were the most important person in the world. i’m sure you’ve encountered these magnanimous individuals, who listen carefully to your every word, find a way to relate to every experience and are able to encourage people with wise words instead of unreflective opinions.

i wish i was that way, but i’m not. when i don’t want to talk to someone, by body physically recoils. when an uninvited individual invades my space, i quickly re-establish boundaries. and in those rare moments where i physically force myself to slap my empathetic face on and receive people well, anyone who looks in my eyes knows that i’m being false.

there’s a guy at my work who is as extroverted as i am intro and his love for small talk is almost as great as my hatred for it. but i constantly slap my empathetic face on in an attempt to be the person that i wish i was and – truth be told – in order to score a few of his red sox tickets.

i am jack’s self-loathing.

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2006 at 2:16 am

An Open Invitation

Hey friends,

Boston’s emergent co-hort will be meeting for the first time on Tuesday, April 18th at 7 p.m. at Bukowski’s in downtown Boston. Bukowski’s is located at 50 Dalton St., Boston, MA 02115. I’d provide more detailed directions, but trust that you can use google maps and read T maps as effectively and efficiently as I can.

Craig Lewiston and I will help facilitate the first gathering, but we really want this cohort to be a shared venture. So come ready to introduce yourself, share your idea of what the co-hort should/could be, laugh a good deal and drink a pint or two. Maybe, if things get really crazy, we’ll tromp over to the Christian Science Center which is located near Bukowski’s for an ad hoc educational tour.

Ok, maybe not.

I hope that you can take the time to connect with us. I’ll don some Saint Louis Cardinals gear so we’ll be easy to locate and I’ll be sure to share the four spiritual laws with the surrounding patrons before we meet, so that we won’t feel guilty about failing to fulfill the Great Commission between 7 and 9 p.m. on that particular night.

If you have any questions about our gathering, or would like to hear 15 reasons why the Chicago Cubs are the most pathetic team in professional sports, feel free to shoot me an e-mail or give me a call.

Peace of Christ,

Jeff Gentry

One more thing – Craig is in the process of securing a domain name and setting up an interactive Word Press blog for our co-hort‘s use. I’ll let you know when the site is up and running and will clue you into the first topic of conversation (Right now, I’m leaning towards “How our co-hort can intentionally inflate the sales of Brian McLaren’s books,” but such thoughts are always subject to change).

And again… – Feel free to invite anyone and everyone who is interested in dialogue – and/or has a distinguished record of “picking up the tab” – to join us.

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2006 at 3:52 pm

Lord have mercy

In my experience, death washes over us in waves. Fortunately, I have enjoyed many seasons of drought, when death is so absent that I almost forget its omni-presence. However, I have also weathered a season or two when death has been at high tide and the grief and difficulty of accompanying those I love through the deluge has been almost overwhelming.

For many that I love, this appears to be one of the latter seasons. Kevin Rains and his remarkable community at Vineyard Central in Cincinatti have suffered through the death of two of their church leaders, Mark Palmer and Chad Canipe, in a one-month period. Both of these men had a passionate love for God, were innovative church leaders who invited many into God’s community and, perhaps most importantly, left behind wives and children. Please join me as I pray the Vineyard Central community through this difficult time.

Furthermore, Becky’s church is enduring the tragic shooting death of one of the young men in their community. Having been a part of a church that endured a school shooting, I can tell you that the shock and the grief that follows these sudden events is often overwhelming. Please a moment to support this community in prayer.

Finally, another friend and her family is enduring through the despairing death of her uncle. Pray God’s mercy upon those who are crushed by the broken machinations of this busted world. Ask the Spirit to provide their family with solace during this time.

Like I’ve said before, I don’t think our Judeo-Christian tradition provides us with many answers about suffering. However, the fathers and mothers of our faith who struggled forward before us as well as our suffering servant of a Lord have labored to show us how, even in the darkest of nights, to hold out hope for the dawn. Let us pull upon the riches of our tradition as we pray, serve and accompany our beloved ones through this season of grief.

In Uncategorized on March 28, 2006 at 5:27 pm

show and tell

i have been known to walk, talk and preach in my sleep, but unlike many others (hi there, holli-brooke) i have never had many lucid dreams. but last night was an exception to the rule.

it all started when i stumbled into our bathroom and was startled to find that it was literally splattered with shit. there was shit smeared on the windows, shit caked in the crevice between the handle of the flusher and the basin, and our hand towels, which had apparently been used in lieu of sanitary paper, were smeared with shit. as soon as the stench of shit hit my nostrils, i knew who perpetrator was an old acquaintance who has, dare i say, less than reputable hygienic tendencies.

so i had my old college buddy matt woodrow drive me down to the corner store where this fellow kept a satellite office. after a quick interrogation, i wrestled a confession out of the bastard, found out how he entered our locked house – i figured the basement window was his most likely point of access, but it turns out that he used wayne newton’s backstage door instead – and, grasping him firmly by the neck, i physically forced him into the backseat of the car.

once we got back to the house, i vehemently berated the guilty party while he cleaned and disinfected every inch of that bathroom. after he finished, i resisted the urge to physically harm him, but i made damn sure he knew that his life would be in jeopardy if he ever shit stained our bathroom again.

what’s the moral of the story? if you ever decide to spray shit all over our bathroom, there will be hell to pay.

i also had a more peaceful dream that focused on negro league baseball, stowe, vermont and chicken cordon-bleu. but my show and tell time is now up.

In Uncategorized on March 28, 2006 at 1:10 pm


The pixie should pen this post, not me. But since she is still a bit reticent about blogging, I’ll take a quick stab at it.

As I continue down the path of discipleship, I am beginning to realize that I will probably never be the pastoral superstar that I was trained to be. I don’t think that sinners and saints will develop into a mega-church, I won’t lead a pastoral staff that’s larger than a major league roster and I doubt that I’ll spend my weeks speaking at conferences and weekends facilitating retreats. Thankfully, I’m learning to be ok with the fact that I’m called to be Andrew instead of Peter and, under the guidance my wife and spiritual director, I’m starting to develop a theology of the ordinary.

From my perspective, a theology of the ordinary does not provide you with the principles of schematics that you need to do “great things” for God, but rather enables you to not only to endure, but love a difficult co-worker. Moreover, a theology of the ordinary does not enable you to interpret the Word of God for your community, but it does suggest some ways that you can incite and participate in a community of interpretation. As with so many of my posts lately, this one needs and deserves a far greater amount of development and thought. However, I like to share my inclinations as much – or more – than I like to share my “conclusions,” with you. Moreover, I think that a number of you might have something to add.

May God’s face shine upon you and His Spirit guide you as you learn to sketch out your own ordinary theology. Much love.

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2006 at 6:17 pm

so that’s why they call him “the rocket”

“All the Team USA pitchers — and pitching coach Marcel Lachemann — were in awe of Roger Clemens. But one thing they weren’t ready for was Clemens taking that Icy Hot that pitchers rub on their shoulders and arms and spreading it over his upper thighs and private parts. “He doesn’t want to get comfortable on the mound,” says Jake Peavy, who tried the same trick Friday night in Phoenix. ” -from “the commissioner’s” espn insider blog

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2006 at 7:23 pm

hey…he stole my metaphor!

for a number of months i have been describing sinners and saints as a centrifugal church (okay, most of the time i mistakenly spoke about it as a centripetal church, since i’m not much of a physicist, but still…), insofar as we are committed to equipping people for ministry, blessing them and sending them out when they leave and continuing to provide some form of accompaniment as they continue to incarnate the Kingdom throughout the world.

i’m not going to lie to you, i thought this metaphor (even when incorrectly communicated) was a clever way of communicating the passion of our church. then i went on steve holt’s blog today and found out that fred peatross used my metaphor to describe the missional church in this article. of course, he also explains the concept in a manner that is much more cogent or concise than i could ever muster.

so i’m thinking about sticking his ass with an “improper use of intellectual property” suit. then he’ll think twice about effectively appropriating my ideas.

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2006 at 3:37 pm


on wednesday night, as i was leafing through neil lanctot’s excellent historical survey negro league baseball: the rise and ruin of a black institution, my eyes drifted over to one of our bookshelves. resting somewhat conspicuously on the bookshelf was james sire’s the universe next door. for some reason, the sight of this book got me thinking.

i thought about how books like the universe next door, the scandal of the evangelical mind and worldviews in conflict have challenged young evangelicals, including myself, to pursue academic studies with rigor and fully apply our intellect to the Christian faith. i thought about how the desire of evangelicals to attain intellectual credibility has intentionally or unintentionally resulted in a lot of the progressive and innovative thought that we see in circles such as emergent.

i feel like we were taught to study rigorously and expand our experience of life, but then quickly return to the assumptions of our evangelical forbears. for instance, in seminary i felt like they handed us the tools of textual criticism, which exposed the rich layers of tradition and compilation in the Pentateuch, and then expected us to faithfully affirm and fight to the death for the assumption of mosaic authorship. moreover, the uncompromising evangelical commitment to mission has introduced many of us us to, and encouraged us to invest in, cultures throughout the world, yet when we returned home we were expected to leave our cultural assumptions unchallenged and our methodologies unchanged.

i hope that no one hears me hammering on our evangelical tradition here or scoffing at those who have trained and invested so fully in our lives. this is not an attack of any sort. i just find it interesting how initiatives such as the evangelical scramble for intellectual credibility give birth to such unintended consequences.

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