Post SSU Report

Post SSU Report

I’m four days back from my trip to St. Stephen’s University (SSU) and still trying to get back into the swing of things. Work, family, odds, ends and all the stuff that you find you miss when you are away for a few weeks. =) My time at SSU was wonderful. At first I was very uptight and nervous as I didn’t know what to expect from the professors, classmates or even the country (it was odd being in a foreign country that wasn’t all that foreign). The altitude and climate difference also threw me for a loop that first week – causing me retreat into myself and be more introverted than I typically am. Somewhere over the weekend I found my footings and started coming out of my self-imposed shell. This caused one classmate to comment on that Monday that I was a different person. 😀 Classes I had four classes crammed into those two weeks. Below is a quick outline of these classes: Spiritual Formation – Lorna Jones, Ignatian Spiritual Director Drawing on the spiritual formation exercises of Ignatian Spirituality, this class walked us through some contemplative practices – giving us a chance to stop and reflect on what we were experiencing and learning. It was interesting walking through these practices as a group as I’ve always heard them talked about within an individual context. I’m looking forward to introducing some of these practices into my local small group here in Boise. 🙂 Historical theology: Ancient Insights for Today (16th–21st C.) – Dr. Peter Fitch This was our main class throughout the two weeks. Dr. Peter is a...
My Book Manuscript Was Accepted By VIP!!!

My Book Manuscript Was Accepted By VIP!!!

Good news folks – my manuscript was accepted by Vineyard International Publishing (VIP)!!! 😀 And more importantly, they said that they loved my writing style: “It reads easily and communicates well.” Much happiness! I still have a way to go before the book is officially published… right now I’m awaiting feedback from some reviewers. Once I’ve heard back from them, I will need to tweak the content before sending it off to VIP to be edited (say, in  September-ish). I am also going to launch a Kickstarter campaign in a few weeks to raise the funds needed to cover the publication cost. Being a small publishing company, VIP works with new authors to help them publish books but they don’t provide them with any monetary advances like some of the big publishers. As such, I am going to need to raise around $1,500 to cover the editing, cover design and book layout costs. So yeah… there’s still a lot of work left to do over the next several months. But, hey, the ball is moving and it looks like I just might have a book published in 2016....
Engaging the Community: Park Clean-Up

Engaging the Community: Park Clean-Up

Two months ago our family moved into the big city from our small rural village. While we are still adjusting to the background noises of the city live, we are enjoying being close to the different amenities of city. One of which is a great city park walking distance from the house. Rare is the day that our son isn’t trying to get us to go over to the park so that he can play on the slides, swings and monkey bars. The crazy thing about the park is that it seems that there is always trash scattered around the play area, tables and throughout the grassy fields nearby. I know the city park crew is trying hard to keep up with picking up the trash; yet it seems that folks are littering faster than the park crew can pick things up. In chewing over this problem, our small group (i.e. our family and one other family with two young kids) decided to leave the comfort of our home Bible study and start picking up trash every other week. In doing so we are not only teaching our children the value of loving others and engaging the community around them, but we are also fighting the spiritual battle of selfishness, laziness, and waste that fuels the littering issue. In picking up trash we declaring that God’s rule of love, kindness and self-deny is entering that piece of earth. It may sound strange to some ears, but to us the act of picking up trash goes beyond the physical world and deep into the spiritual. The two are interwoven and...
It is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers…

It is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers…

It is easy to forget that Christianity is about a relationship with a person (i.e. Jesus) and not about having answers to all of our questions. No matter how much we study or how many years we follow Jesus, there will always be unanswered questions. Rather than getting upset at this, we should embrace the mystery and wonder of the Creator King who actively seeks a personal and intimate relationship with each of...
Remembering Dr. Bill (Jax) Jackson

Remembering Dr. Bill (Jax) Jackson

I went camping this past weekend, relaxing under a shade tree while my son dug holes in the ground (LOTS of holes and tunnels, mustn’t forget the tunnels…). Keeping me company on this trip was Dr. Bill Jackson’s “A History of the Christian Church: Book 1: AD 70-1730.”  Ever since last fall when I heard that Bill (or Jax as those in the Vineyard called him) was publishing a book on church history, I have been wanting to read it. Some extra birthday cash gave me the excuse to download the book to my Kindle and, well, the rest is history. =) In a kind of sadly odd way, this reading of Jax’s book turned out to be a tribute to him as Dr. Bill Jackson passed away while I was camping (June 7, 2015) after a long battle with his health. A tribute… yeah, I think I can call reading Jax’s book on history a tribute as he spent his life telling the story of the scriptures through the lens of a pastor/historian. His first book was a history of the Vineyard movement called “The Quest for the Radical Middle.” This was one of the first books I read when I joined the Vineyard Movement twelve years ago. Published in 1999, this book told the story of the Vineyard, warts and all. Lite on fire by the Spirit during the Jesus Movement of South California, the founders of the Vineyard (Kenn Gulliksen, John Wimber, Bob Fulton, Lonnie Frisbee, and others) tried hard to walk the line between Pentecostalism and Evangelicals, having traits of both but belonging in neither...