Sunday, November 30, 2008

first sunday in advent

Hey friends and fellow travelers, I just wanted to thank everyone for their candor tonight. I felt really connected to each and every story. Thank you for sharing your hopes and your struggles.

Here is a link to a post by Julie Clawson who lives in Austin, Texas. She is an insightful blogger, and I really appreciated her advent post. Excerpt:

...those magi following that star had a hard time of it. The journey was difficult. Unsure of exactly where they were going or what they would find when they arrived, they just knew they had to journey on. A distant star, days of toil, endless doubt and questions, ridicule and remorse - these defined their hope. But they didn’t settle for safety or that which confirmed what they already knew. They sought a miracle and that hope sustained their journey.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

last chapter


Hey friends,

The last chapter of the book talked about persecution around the world facing people particularly but not exclusively those who follow Jesus. The book gave suggestions of things that we could do to make a difference. The one that really stuck out to me was writing letters. I've been a "Christian" my entire life, and never once have I done this. I want to remedy that. I want to give you all the opportunity and the resources to do this. Whether you want to write an encouraging letter to a prisoner or write a letter to a government to create awareness, please consider taking the time to do it this week. Maybe even tomorrow?

I think we all have a lot to be thankful here in the land of religious freedom, and what better way than to spend some time on behalf of those who don't have what we do. Perhaps this is a way to bridge some gaps with friends and family who think we may be losing our faith.

Please visit to get all the information. They really have it all set up for you. You can write a letter as an advocate or directly to the prisoner and they will translate it for you. It's amazing. The format gives you phrases to use and translates it, so you could rewrite it by hand if you wanted or just print it. They also provide the address. If you wanted to use your own words, you could also probably use Google Translate.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What Could Be

Here is a quote from a blog by Kathy Escobar that I think really speaks to what I've heard alot of us talking about in regard to the Emerging Desert, doing church, being the church, etc.

why can we not just celebrate that the kingdom is being expressed? that people are living out their faith in beautiful ways? that there’s a hunger & a desire for living out the ways of Jesus that has nothing to do with the structures & programs that many grew up with? that where two or more are gathered, that can be enough? that lots can get done apart from the mother-ship but not apart from Christ.

I'd really encourage you to read the entire blog at:
For those of you who didn't know, Kathy is coming to visit us Dec 7th and she's really excited about meeting all of you.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Third Place part deux

All right. I have made a decision for now. I'm going to throw out Thursday evenings at McDonalds. I was thinking of picking a McDonalds in between us all like Tempe. I know of a McDonalds at Southern and McClintock with an ok Playland. Does anyone else have an idea? I was thinking we could meet somewhere between 4-6pm. I am not married to the location but just to get things started I picked McDonalds. I don't know if this Thursday, Nov 20th, is to early or we could start after Thanksgiving. Any thoughts?

Nov 18, 2008:
My family and the Schroeders will be meeting at McDonalds Nov 20, 2008, 4:30-6:30 ish. All are welcome. The McDonalds is at 1900 W Warner in Chandler. It's on the NE corner of Warner and Dobson.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Third Place

Anyone have any thoughts on how to meet more than every 2 weeks? I love our Sunday gatherings and they raise my spirits for a week or so and then all I can do is look forward to the next one. Now that I missed last week I feel very disconnected. No one around me shares my beliefs and although I've become more vocal about my faith it still isn't enough. I know that I shouldn't look to our meetings as the sole outlet for my faith, but I also know community is an important part of a spiritual journey.
With that being said I would love to set up a more informal gathering in between. Maybe a place where we can take our families and just be together. Randy and I once met at a McDonalds and my kids played while we talked and it worked out well, but that is only one idea and when I say informal I mean informal. No agenda or specific items to discuss, just have a time and a place and whoever wants to show up can. I would like to hear other thoughts.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A family sticks together...

We as a community have enjoyed the company of some truly remarkable people. People who not only have chosen to seek out what it means to follow Jesus, but people who have constantly open arms to others who struggle spiritually, physically, financially, etc. I'm proud to be a member of this new family - I only wish to spend more and more time with all of you. I also wish I could blag (a combination of blog and brag) about this all day, but it just wouldn't do justice.

One result of our continued conversation has been the idea that we should 'adopt' some families into our family. One main thread of this idea has been that we will strive to not just simply provide material things, but also to provide an open and constant invitation into our lives. A more holistic approach to supporting those in need.

We have been given the oppurtinity to help three families. They have specific needs appropriate to the holiday season, and longer term needs that we will try to address as well. We want to be respectful of these families' privacy, and so we should refrain from posting specifics, as the caseworkers have asked.

However, we need to move forward, and I'd like to include everyone. I'm going to post a list of needs on our shared google docs - so that we can at least kick this thing off. If you don't have access to our google docs - comment that you need an invitation.

Once in, find the tab at the bottom called 'families'. Just put your name by those items that you would like to provide or help with, and feel free to put any notes, etc. Feel free to duplicate names, and I'm sure we can find more families or rearrange as needed. Also in this document, I've put three spots to become 'concierge' for each family. This may or may not be the way we want to structure it. For now, I just wanted to get it off the ground, so please feel free to comment away...