Third Places are sometimes more churchy than church

It slips my mind, sometimes, that someone reading my posts may not know where they are written. With very few exceptions, most of my writing is done in Starbucks. If I didn't write the actual post there, I at least scribbled notes to remind me later of the direction I'm going to take. I don't know all the reasons why Starbucks is my choice, but one of them is because it simply isn't HOME. I can come here and focus,…

The Third Place and Home

? I got home this week. It's odd, really, because I've also been home all month. I've been home in our condo in Lexington, or on the lake in New Hampshire where I've spent nearly every summer of my life. I breathe in the fresh air of those places and my inner sense of being profoundly at home is magnified. And then I arrive back in Palm Beach Gardens, my own home, my real home. I love the process of…

Panera Bread and authenticity

Panera Bread is unsurpassed when it comes to defining a niche market. Think about it quickly: what do you think of when you think of Panera? Amazing food? Probably not. I am sitting at Panera now. It is 2:45, a time when most lunch spot snare hunkered down preparing for dinner. They are usually barren. Not Panera. There are businessmen,students and retired people all over this restaurant. The common denominator? They are all on their computers, iPads and phones. Like…

Q Conference Session One

Just a few highlights for me from the morning... David Aikman "The End of Christian America" There is a huge shift in cultural values and knowledge in America. In a post-modern, post-Christian world, we need a new skill set to bring Christianity to the people around us. We need to reach the American Intelligentsia, the urban centers and the techno-generation. To do this look at the Chinese church. They value corporate and personal prayer, they are willing to sacrifice and…

What do you want from your church?

I read this in my email today from our friend Buddy Hoffman at Grace Fellowship, our church when we are in Atlanta. Sometimes I run across something I hadn't even known in my soul until someone else verbalizes it. This letter, which is his regular weekly email to his congregation, is one of those moments. This IS what I want. This IS what we need. If you aren't finding it, get yourself to a place where you do. It's worth…

Phil’s Armor

I sat in a meeting yesterday with Phil. I have known Phil and his wife for years. We've spent time in worship together, eaten at social events together and -- memorably -- served side by side on a committee of leaders committed to living life together in community. Most recently, David and I have been with Phil in a group of people learning about generosity together. So you know who Phil is: he's the guy you know from church. You…

Reconnecting to the body: I needed a spinal adjustment

I've mentioned before that David and I (and the girls) are seeing a Maximized Living Chiropractor. Go check out the website if you want to know more about that, but in a nutshell they teach that it all comes down to your spine. If your spine is properly aligned with all its God-ordained curves (and no extras!) then your nervous system has a clear communication path to the rest of your body. This enables all the parts of your body…

Not bricks and mortar

The blurry picture here was taken during the first ever service in our new student ministries center. It is crammed with kids of all shapes and sizes. Every chair is full. All the hallways are lined. "Oh happy day!" they sing at the top of their amazingly powerful lungs. It is. Tears keep pooling in my eyes and refuse to stay put. This is a place that will impact the world. Every seat has been prayed over. Every room has…

Constraining creativity

Creativity is a slippery creature. If you look too hard at it, the creativity skitters around the corner out of sight. And just at the moment you despair of ever thinking another creative thought, your mind floods with new ideas. It's a perverse master, creativity. A good friend of mine is in graphic design school for her frst semester this year. A whiz with computerized graphic design, she's finding this first semester involves a lot of hand drawing, pen and…

Uncertain economics, amazing opportunity

I've been thinking lately. Something seems to be afoot. It’s something unfamiliar to us, yet strangely exhilarating. It feels like a call, a challenge, a movement back to where we need to be. At times I am impatient for it to arrive, thinking that this is the moment for which our generation was created. This is our time to make a difference, to remember that Christianity is a verb, not a noun.  This is our time to finally walk boldly…

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