I’m in Lake Tahoe at the moment at a missions school for young people interested in discipleship and mission. We’ve had a good time talking about the difference between what is real in Christ and what is an illusion of religion. We seemed to jump into the deep end of the pool on the first day about leadership, why so many have been hurt by it in the past, and what it really means to facilitate expressions of community rather than manage institutions that serve our own vision and help destroy people in the process. That wasn’t my choice, it was theirs! It seems so much of what we are religiously encouraged to do, even to seek supernatural manifestations can so easily be a distraction to simply learning how to live in the love of the Father and let him lead them into his fullness his way. We seem to think we can control our life in him by our passion, commitment, or hard work. I remember it well in my own life. It’s perhaps the worst thing religion does to us, giving us the illusion that we can “get” from God, instead of learning to respond to what God is giving to us. I have so enjoyed God bringing me into the peace of the latter, and honestly I see far more genuine miracles flowing from that than a lot of the self-generated hocus pocus of my fervent trying-to-earn it younger days! Far more!
I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted here encouraging thoughts for the journey. Honestly I think I’ll get back to that after the book stuff settles down. We are busy proofing all the final bits of the cover and inside pages and getting it to the printer on time. We are also developing a website at findingchurch.com (No, there is nothing there yet) to help further the conversation and help people find connections. Sara has also been overrun with pre-orders for the book, which have been huge. It has already been picked up by a publisher in Germany and they have begun translation, as have others for a French version. I’m a bit surprised by that, but am so grateful people want to take a look at how Jesus is building his church and how it differs from the way humanity tries to build one for him, and ends up getting sidetracked into conformity-based dynamics that undermine their attempts to build real community. It’s the classic case of subverting your goal by the very tactics you employ.
Almost always when I finish a book, I’m so worn out by the process I don’t even want to think about writing another one. I thought that would be true this time, but it isn’t. Almost as soon as I finished this book, a novel, whose story I’ve been contemplating for years has surfaced front and center in my mind. I’m so excited to start on it, which I find incredibly strange. I won’t torture you with the scope, theme, or title of it yet, but it looks like the writing will continue for a while.
And finally, it looks like I’ll be returning to the road again this fall. It has seemed to please the Spirit to schedule a number of trips over the next few months. If you live near any of these and want to join in, you can get details on my Travel Page. Here’s the schedule as it is clarifying now:
- Bakersfield, CA – September 20
- Lexington, KY – October 3-7
- Millersburg, OH – October 8-12
- Houston, TX – October 31- November 3
- San Antonio, TX – November 3-6
- Corpus Christi, TX – November 7-9
- Newbury Park, CA – November 22: Sara and I will be hosting a gathering in our home for people in the Greater Southern California area who want to connect with us and others.
- I’m also scheduled to be in Barcelona, Spain, June 27-28 and the south of France from June 29 – July 8, though details are not certain yet.
For those who would like to be notified when I’m coming to your area you can sign up for Travel Notifications on my website.