Thursday, July 26, 2007

Rant #1....I think

My mother tells me I was 4 weeks old the first time I attended church. I am sure I was with her or in the nursery. As a matter of fact, my first memories of church are memories of the nursery at North Gate Chapel in Durham, NC. I remember Nilla Wafers, Ritz Crackers, happy faces and safety. I remember many faces of love and caring from Sunday School. I remember the stories of the First Testament, Joseph, Noah, Adam and Eve, Moses, the great prophets, King David and of the Hebrew nation of Israel. The stories of Jesus were always placed in high priority and the story of His life, death and resurrection were displayed in flannelgraph many times. I loved that church, those people, the story of the Bible. By elementary school I knew all the major players, many verses of scripture and had heard the themes of most all the books of the Christian Bible. I loved the music of the church, the hymns, the choruses. We sang with NO instruments in early services and I loved to hear the harmonies. Middle school may have been in a different church, but most all was the same...the main parts. By high school "youth group" activities dominated my calendar and after high school I knew I wanted to work in the church, somewhere, somehow.

By college I realized American Christianity had many flavors. More than the corner ice cream shop. At that time, I chose a flavor that was like rainbow sherbet...many different colors and flavors all rolled into one. It was good for a time, but after after six or seven years I was ready for plain vanilla. My wife and I ended up in a main line church as staff members. It was good for five years or so, but then we longed for chocolate syrup. A few years later, it was time to try planting a church. It has been hard, but rewarding work.

Seven or eight years ago, I began to hear the word emerging used in context of church. I started reading, listening, hearing, dreaming, laughing, crying, but still, in love with the church.
I consider myself part of the emerging church. I consider myself part of the ancient church. I consider myself part of the conservative and liberal arms of the church. I consider myself part of the body of Christ. I want to ask questions of the USAmerican Church and it's leaders. I want to be part of the church that saves the world, yet loves humanity and the planet.
I believe that there is a real Hell and Heaven. I just do not want to treat people like hell to get them into heaven.

I am a gun toting, whiskey sipping, hymn loving, movie watching, book loving, family man that wants the church to be better tomorrow than it has been in my lifetime. I believe that many in the emerging/post-modern movement are going to lead the church to be more like Jesus in the future. So there, I said it. I am not what you think I should be. I am what Jesus is making me.

Yes, you know I want Muslims to rule the world. Frank Pastore may have been a MLB star, but here he proves he is not a thinker nor an asker..

I want my beautiful daughters to live like this.

All of these probably illustrate me;).

Emerging Grace expressing the "words" of the Emerging Church.

(HT to Jordan , Andrew and RobbyMac)


  1. ..."I am what Jesus is making me."


    ...praise be to God!!! you make your own whiskey out back, or in the basement? :-) sound like the kind of soul I could readily enjoy.

  2. Good whiskey takes at least seven years to age. Those guys in KY and TN have that one down. Scotch on the other hand, is the nectar of the highland gods. Brandy is a quicker spirit to work with. At this time, federal law does not allow freedom loving americans to distill their spirits;)

    There is always a porch swing and a conversation here

  3. Jimmy, the church is always "emerging", always has been, always will be. I recently read something by Eugene Peterson in a writing on the book of Revelation. His point was that no one church has ever embodied Christ 100%. No church ever will. We all have bits and pieces.

  4. Jimmy -
    Thanks for the recipes. I'm picking pumpkins tomorrow and will try one of the recipes out either tomorrow afternoon (if we get back from a Bday party in time) or Monday morning. I'll let you know how it goes and send you a jar if it's worth eating!