Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Break

Remember, no meeting today. Go enjoy some time with your family. Also throw your thoughts down about Birchcroft, its important. I need to check our spiritual temperature as it were so I can get some things going for when we get back together.

Have a great holiday. I miss everyone already.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Wet Toes

This weekend will be our first step into something larger.  I'm trying to keep my expectations in check.  We've seen/done it all, and I know that small and humble beginnings are the way to go.  This is going to be an amazing opportunity to start relationships in a neighborhood that we are going to start planting some roots in.

In preparation for Sunday, keep your hearts focused.  Look for opportunities to help serve, start conversations, pick up trash, fill in where needed.  Be flexible.  This wont be super organized, only borrowing from strategies we already know.  Be ok with that.  Take the initiative to lead and serve upon yourself.  Don't wait for me or Katie or Denis or Lisa or Tracey.  We are a body of leaders.  I want to be flexible enough to get pictures taken for us to document our first steps, so make sure you get there early enough to rally as we set up and get a loose structure.

Thoughts as we go forward:

Me.  This is how I work, so this is a confession and an explanation so you can see and understand me;  when I don't see anyone step forward in instances to take the "baton" (or whatever) of leadership, I take it and move.  This, over time, limits peoples ability to find their niche in leadership/servanthood.  Does that make sense?  I'm not trying to steal a spotlight, I'm trying to keep us moving.  Sometimes that's necessary, sometimes that isn't.  My weakness is, when I'm not careful, I can look over folks.  Forgive me when I do that.

My job is to play middle man between the leadership of our Pastor and our church, and ourselves, which puts me in a spot of communication a lot.  I'm humbled to steward your relationships/thoughts/passions/vision/gifts/leadership as we navigate uncharted territory.   Forgive me my short comings.  I have quite a number of them.

Us.  We are going to spend sometime during our next meetings to get to know each others gifts, and organize our leadership that way.  There are a lot of us, and it's going to take some time, but that's ok.  We need it.

Organization.  Make sure you are following the blog and our Facebook group.  These are the best ways to share thoughts and touch base through the week.   

I love you guys.  Keep humble hearts and minds this weekend.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bolstering Ranks

Our numbers are still on the climb.  This week we were joined by Kate and Adam.  I'm going to need the Lord to multiply some square footage at this rate.  

Kate, Katie H., Katie R., Thomas, Denis, Lisa, Patrick, Courtney, Tracey, Christine, Elizabeth, Paulo, Anthi, Adam, Jessica, Erica, and Saucey, my heart is filled with anticipation at getting neck deep in Kingdom work beside each of you.  I get goose bumps, for real.

Remember, next week (Nov. 17th) we are meeting at Birchcroft to walk and pray and learn.  Tentative address is 3143 Central Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28205-5413, (704) 536-3520.  That should get you there.  I'll get Adam's address this Sunday.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


  [sangk-tuh-fahy]  Show IPA
–verb (used with object), -fied, -fy·ing.
to make holy; set apart as sacred; consecrate.
to purify or free from sin: Sanctify your hearts.
to impart religious sanction to; render legitimate or binding:to sanctify a vow.
to entitle to reverence or respect.
to make productive of or conducive to spiritual blessing.

If I listen to my heart to the messages put out there last night, I think it's quite clear, that while we've been praying for a direction, the Lord meant for us to be sanctified first.  I don't think that's meant to be a "Holy Pitty Party" where we dialogue about each other's sins until we are blue in the face, but that He means to put us to work, and to qualify us first.

I think I've heard it said before, but I'm not sure from where "He doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called."

It fills my heart to know that we are getting ready to be used.  

About Thanksgiving in Birchcroft.  I got the green light from Jonathan, (Speaking of, if you have the opportunity to, or even if you don't, stop that man when you see him and hug him around his neck, even if that means jumping.  I've known a lot pastors in my young walk with Christ, and I haven't met many who are so trusting in their flock that they would allow us to set a vision from the Lord out to the church without micromanaging or looking over our shoulders.  We are so blessed to have a leader like him.  I'm not blowing smoke.  We really are.)

I've signed up Reimagined Landscapes at I tried to use Friends Feed Friends, Denis, but I couldn't figure it out quick enough and we're on a time crunch.  We need to figure that out though for any preceding events. 

I'll rally the troops Sunday morning, having been given Jonathan's permission.

It feels like the Lord is steering is in a direction that is meeting us all where we are at.  Prisoners, the trafficked, the poor, widows and looks like they can all be found under this one umbrella.  

I don't say this lightly, but last night, I totally felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Keep your hearts humbled as you continue to seek him.  I'm so humbled to be surrounded by each of you.  I love watching what God is up to, and I'm eager to share this journey with you.

Do justice.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with your God.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Food for thought

"It is easy enough to tell the poor to accept their poverty as God's will when you yourself have warm clothes and plenty of food and medical care and a roof over your head and no worry about the rent. But if you want them to believe you - try to share some of their poverty and see if you can accept it as God's will yourself!"
- Thomas Merton, Seeds of Contemplation, chapter 14, p. 107 (1949).

I have no clue how each of your spiritual journeys are going, but I can't wait to find out tomorrow. I know you're being obedient and humble as you seek our Father on your own behalf, on behalf of this group, and on behalf of what He is doing with Renovatus.  

Setting our direction aside for a moment, Elizabeth has presented an amazing idea and I wanted to share it with you before group tomorrow.

There's no harm in getting our hands dirty while we fast and pray for a vision.  What if we cook a huge Thanksgiving Dinner for the refugee community at Birchcroft?  We certainly have experience with pulling something like this off.
Food for thought.  No pun intended.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Justice Small Group: 11/03/2010

Last night was deep.  I feel like our wheels are starting to turn and it makes me excited.  The direction of our prayers and meditations this week go towards the Refugee Community at Birchcroft.  We are asking if this is the path we are to take, or are we supposed to clear it off the table.  Remember to pray for yourself primarily, and for the group.  Let God speak your language to you, and then come back to us next Wednesday and tell us what He said.  He doesn't need to speak blanket statements with us.  Let Him be as direct as He likes.

"Clothe the naked Christ - by your charity in the words and protecting the good names of others.  Give a home for the homeless Christ - by your making your own home a home of peace and joy and love, through your thoughtfulness for all and everyone in your family and your next door neighbour."

~Mother Theresa

We all got tickets to Shane Claiborne's conference here in Charlotte on December 1st on Common Prayer at Area 15, which I've got to say was spontaneous and wonderful.  It's not surprising though.  Our paths are directed for us.  Doors will be opened.  We'll get exactly what we need.  I can't wait to learn with you.

This week, Paulo is following up with our guy from Urban Eagles.  Just a quick conversation to keep his interest about speaking to us after the 17th.

Thoughts for us before we get back together; don't be afraid to put yourself out there.  This is totally a safe place.  Know and be known by each of us.  Teach us about your life and burdens.  Our purpose is to help you shoulder them.  We are each leaders with a limp, whose crutches are the man standing next to us. (Or know what I mean.)