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Ben Catlin
Minneapolis, MN
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I caught the video this weekend and part of me just couldn't get into it. I pretty much thought the spoken word piece was fairly weak and only sorta well performed at best but I'm spoiled being married to a spoken word poet, and getting to see members of the team that won the last couple national slam competitions at open mics around the cities on a fairly regular basis. But apart from that I can't help but agree with Dave - this feels very stage 3 to me. And so does a lot of spoken word poetry I've seen. Part of me thinks it is really tough to represent frustration with the status quo w/o sounding like a an arrogant stage 3 person, but does that mean it isn't still a good thing to say? I know personally I've struggled with trying to be critical w/o being completely condemning (i.e. still allowing the good that exists in Stage 2 Christianity that I picked up along the way to shine through).
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Seconded - the Listen app on android makes listening to real RSS-based podcasts a breeze on my phone. I'm always doing digital contortions to try to get the boston sermons into my weekly audio mix. But I would love a podcast on some regular basis from Dave. I'm a commuter and podcasts help make my drive not suck, and keep my blood pressure lower when there is traffic.
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http://www.youtube.com/user/hopelark#p/u/3/cyA8f-h3T3g While this is a link to my wife's spoken word so I might be biased, I think it sums up my perspectives on guilt in general as well as anything I've seen or read on the subject. (please disregard the bad shaky-cam right at the beginning, it gets better).
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Brent, you just explain my increased love of both Pie and Beer since moving here, as well as the associated weight gain. I feel enlightened, and have a profound need to start an argument with someone to see if they will buy me a beer.
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After I get past the thoughts about being personally inadequate to ever lead people I usually get stuck at one of a few thoughts. 1 - Church planting is wicked hard. I helped plant a church that is doing really great 5 years in, and it was way hard for the first year or so. Do I want to subject my family and myself to that kind pressure again? Maybe, but it taints my thoughts on ever doing it again, let alone leading a church plant. 2 - Where should I plant a church? I like living in the city, a big city, where art, culture, and technology can thrive. There are Vineyards in almost every major city in the country. For the major metro areas there are multiple ones, and at least one in the city-limits proper. 3 - Maybe I'm called to impact culture for Jesus in more secular arenas. I'm a tech-geek, the church doesn't seem big into tech-stuff in general (for a lot of great reasons). Maybe I'm called just to do innovative things in that area while being an ambassador for centered-set Jesus following to that crowd. I pray about this point often, and have no conclusive thoughts, but it seems like there is a chunk of the population called to head in that direction as opposed to uprooting their lives and livelihoods to plant churches.
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Holly I'm glad you wrote this. I scraped a comment in the same vein because I couldn't find a good way to put into 'blog comment' what I've heard from others. I actually find that argument somewhat compelling, that people are searching for compatibility. I wonder what compelling reasons we could offer for monogamy for those who don't trust God, or to counter some of Chip's perspective, those who don't think they need God to be successful at being monogamous when they decide they've found 'the one.'
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I can't help but think these discussions often tend to be wrapped up with a couple statements like "Sex is great if you are married." Or "Sex is evil because you aren't married yet, and if you have it you will ruin your life for when you are married." Between that and many a torn pieces of glued together construction paper, I haven't found an argument for abstinence compelling beyond actually being marriage. Since getting married the biggest argument for monogamy in my life has been being married to someone who is committed to working at our marriage. We work to keep sex from getting monotonous (eliminating some of the concerns of some of the anti-monogamy crowd), and we know we are committed to working at being together for the rest of our lives. In my book this has been an improvement over my less Christian portion of my life where I was trying to have sex with anything that moved. It is just difficult to quantify and discuss in compelling terms for me, because it is more of an experiential thing for me personally.
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What happened to boycotting Black Friday Brent? Weren't you the one talking me into not doing my shopping on Black Friday last year? Something about having a prayer service at church to pray against consumer greed or something. http://harambee78.livejournal.com/151210.html I feel so let down, here I was actually going to boycott it and not pick up all 4 seasons of Weeds at Best Buy for $10/season. :P
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Thanks! You guys are really great. I've been pretty overwhelmed the number of people praying for me the last few days. God is really amazing in bringing the right people in at the right times to really experience his love through his Church.
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A few updates from my iPhone (excuse the spelling errors): Healthwise I'm feeling better but they are keeping me for at least another day for monitoring and IV antibiotics. The conference I mentioned in the post was actually last weekend and I prayed for 4 people who God healed of whatever pain or symptom they were experiencing - I prayed for a fifth, but that requires an x-Ray to see if it is better, so I'm considering that one as pending. And I prayed for a bunch other people who felt like God showed up and spoke to them. I thought that was pretty great! All that aside I'm now generally wondering if there are some good things/ideas lost a well as negative ideas gained as we go from stage 2 to the more cynical part of stage 3? Maybe some of being in and transitioning to stage 4 is somewhat about that rediscovery process?
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My cousins church grows by adding more houses. They go do a group worship once a month with a meal so they can all reconnect with eachother. I should probe into the details more from him because I'm very interested in how his house-church works.
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Love the insight here Brent. Incidentally my cousin was a paid-staff pastor at a bigger Vineyard in his area, but ended up leaving and starting a home church. I was just looking up his email address to ask him to weigh in here (we'll see if he does) to get his thoughts, but I read this while visiting their groups website: http://www.churchbecoming.org/mary-ks-lawn I can't think of a story that highlights what we are talking about. They have engaged in some organization, but not as formal as a typical church in America, and seen some very Stage 4 moments with far-reaching implications like this one from the story. Personally, in my best Stage 4 voice I would say, if it's working, who am I to judge. If it isn't working, you should probably change it. Relationships in general are pretty important I think. And Jeff's point about self-awareness is super-helpful when you think about whether it is or isn't 'working.' Both in terms of organizations and institutions as well as inter-personal relationships.
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I think prayer would play a major part in a Stage 4 revival. I know it is something I am praying for regularly in my city and in the country. But I would wonder, how different would it look from the prayer involved in a Stage 2 revival. My take is that it wouldn't look very different. We might ask God to do some things in a slightly different way, but we're still basically asking for the same thing: Come and make himself known to people, and draw them to a relationship with him.
Toggle Commented Nov 5, 2009 on How Does Prayer Fit In? at Not The Religious Type
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I see where Jeff is coming from on the front of being arrogant in some dialogues. I've thought about that a good bit in interacting with friends and coworkers. But my experience has been largely positive in those scenarios. When speaking to people outside of faith it has been that I can pick up or leave out whatever terms fit the context of the conversation. I feel that we can own some of this debated vocabulary, rather than having 1) concerns about how we are heard or 2) allowing the most loud and negative within Christianity force us away from language that fits and is basically agreed upon. I think it comes down to being brutally honest about the negatives and positives within the broad group of our 'religion' with the people outside of faith we encounter. Also I believe it is important to make sure that the context of the conversation is understood well enough to be able to pick up those labels and terms before I pick them up. In the context of these type of relationships I've established equity to the point that these terms which can be negative actually become helpful. On these terms I really feel like I can have great discussions of faith without turning off my friends who are somewhat hostile towards faith.
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