Greetings from New England

Greetings from the spring explosion that is New England. Every time I travel here, I wonder why I don’t live here. I absolutely love all the seasons here, except the humid, heavy, hot days of summer, but they usually don’t last long. Sara tells me it’s because we have children and grandchildren in California. But I love it here. I love the wooded countryside, the streams and lakes around every corner and the beauty of spring mornings and autumn days.

Every morning I’ve been here, I’ve been able to take a long walk in the woods while Jesus and I get to sort some things out. One morning three of us slipped some kayaks in the lake and wound our way upstream enjoying the turtles sunning on the logs, the beaver slinking on the bank and the herons and hawks overhead. What a beautiful quiet morning!

Last weekend I spent three days in Connecticut with a bunch of Lutherans who are as alive in Christ as any I’ve met. We had a fabulous time, sorting through the life of Jesus and how to live beyond the rules and rituals to embrace the fullness of his life. They are asking some intriguing questions and seem to be on an incredible journey. I love finding hearts like that in more traditional settings. God is inviting all kinds of people into an engagement with his transforming love. What a great time!

Then I headed north into Fitchburg for a Sunday night BridgeBuilders presentation to a group of home schoolers at a regional debate and speech tournament. That’s a pretty broad swath to cut in the body of Christ in one day—from a Lutheran high-church liturgy to a home schooling convention. I almost got spiritual whiplash. This usually is not the core audience for my BridgeBuilders passions, since these groups often have a more adversarial posture with the world than I think effectively communicates the gospel. But I was warmly received and the adults and children listened intently when I talked. I even had some good interactions with many there, so they didn’t seem to fit the same mold I’ve experienced elsewhere.

Then I settled in Central Massachusetts for the week. I have many dear friends here and have enjoyed catching up with many of them this week as well as meeting some of their friends and relatives. For the next three days I will be meeting with believers who are gathering in Whitinsville, MA from a eight different states here in the Northeast. This was supposed to be a small gathering of family and friends to talk through some of the Transitions material, but it has grown over the last two weeks. We even had to rent wedding tent and set it up on a farm to accommodate the crowd who are headed this way.

It should be a pretty amazing weekend. A lot of those coming are wonderful friends of mine and many of their friends. I can’t wait to see how this plays out. But I do hope people are drawn to greater reality in him, and make connections with each other that will nurture the work of God in the world!

All the while I’ve been following a number of developments on the publishing front and the movie possibilities that I will report in a future blog… But for now there are more people to see and more fellowship to have. Blessings!

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2 Comments
  1. mtash April 26, 2008 at 9:57 am

    Yay for Lutherans! It was a relationship with a Lutheran woman that first taught me the importance of relationships with those who hold to different doctrines than I do. A little over two years ago, I was invited to a mommies group at the Lutheran Church that is literally one house away from being next door. I desperately wanted to get out of going but couldn’t due to the fact that the person who invited me would inevitably drive by my house on her way and I didn’t want to risk her seeing that I was in fact home and healthy. At the mommies group I met my friend Lana who has taught me about living in the moment and not worrying about what everyone thinks–this is hard to do when you’re a young mom who feels judged and condemned on that basis alone.

    Yay for homeschoolers, too! I was one and my husband and I plan to homeschool our little ones. There is no animosity on our behalf towards the public school, we just feel we can nurture the deepest connections with our children if they spend the 6+ hours a day with us instead of in an institution. I do agree that there is very much an adversarial under-current among the homeschooling crowd. I suspect though that a lot of homeschoolers are finding that approach isn’t working in their homes or in their communities. There has been an increasingly large number of homeschooled teenagers and young adults walking away from their families without so much as a backward glance. This is waking us up to the fact that, while we’ve provided an environment where no negative influences can reach our children, we’ve failed to nurture the connections with our children that will give us positive influence.

  2. mtash April 26, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Yay for Lutherans! It was a relationship with a Lutheran woman that first taught me the importance of relationships with those who hold to different doctrines than I do. A little over two years ago, I was invited to a mommies group at the Lutheran Church that is literally one house away from being next door. I desperately wanted to get out of going but couldn’t due to the fact that the person who invited me would inevitably drive by my house on her way and I didn’t want to risk her seeing that I was in fact home and healthy. At the mommies group I met my friend Lana who has taught me about living in the moment and not worrying about what everyone thinks–this is hard to do when you’re a young mom who feels judged and condemned on that basis alone.

    Yay for homeschoolers, too! I was one and my husband and I plan to homeschool our little ones. There is no animosity on our behalf towards the public school, we just feel we can nurture the deepest connections with our children if they spend the 6+ hours a day with us instead of in an institution. I do agree that there is very much an adversarial under-current among the homeschooling crowd. I suspect though that a lot of homeschoolers are finding that approach isn’t working in their homes or in their communities. There has been an increasingly large number of homeschooled teenagers and young adults walking away from their families without so much as a backward glance. This is waking us up to the fact that, while we’ve provided an environment where no negative influences can reach our children, we’ve failed to nurture the connections with our children that will give us positive influence.

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