Saturday, March 10, 2007

What Happened to the Blogathon?

Indeed, I cannot blog at work any longer. So sorry to be gone so long, but there are a few good excuses/reasons:

1. I have a new job where I work in a secure environment and things like Blogger, MySpace, and pretty much every other fun thing on the internet are blocked. This is a good thing in many ways, though since I really enjoy the work I'm doing. Have I explained what it is I am doing? Well, here goes: I am in charge of writing and enforcing the standards used to protect the entire Air Force network. No small task, but one that has been actually fun for me. I work with some very nice and fun people, too, which makes the job even better.

2. I have 2 little boys now. Luke just turned 3 on March 4th. He's lots of fun. Every afternoon, I come home and we play with his train set or in the backyard or something. By the time he and Noah are asleep, I just don't think about the blog...Noah is beautiful. He's growing way too fast, but strong and well.

3. We're about to renovate our kitchen and family room. This entails so much more than I can mention here. We're doing it ourselves, though, with the help of my dear old Dad. It's going to add some significant space and open up the rooms quite a bit. Lots to do, lots to do...

OK, 3 reasons are enough, right? Wrong. I feel bad about not visiting my dearest friends. Hopefully, this post will expunge my trespass from the blog record. But, I do hope to chronicle a few more things here. I miss writing, too. So many things must move to make space, but for the best, my dear friends.

Oh, I almost forgot! Some of you know this already, but Rachel is working from home now! I'm very proud of her, and the extra cash helps, too.

Alright, that's it for now. I'll write again as soon as I can think of something to write about and have time to do it. Love and peace, my brothers.


midnitcafe said...

Sipper, let me just say that I in no way was trying to chastise you for not blogging. I knew you weren't allowed at work, and figured you were spending time with family when you weren't working.

This is good. This is what I would want from you. Ignoring the family for the blog is stupid and wrong.

My post was more of a realization that we weren't going to get as much blogging out of one of our biggest posters. Again, I understand why, but was looking for ways to keep the blog going without your usual marathon posts.

Glad to hear you still dig the job. Glad the family is doing well. The remodel will be good once it is over, I am sure.

Now that I'm about to start working again, I have no idea what that will mean for my output. I don't know if I'll have the capabilities to blog at work, or if I'll be in the mood when I get home. We'll see.

Jamison said...

Sip, do us ALL a HUGE favor and take pictures of the kitchen progress!
In fact, you can start right now! Get the kitchen cleaned up and take all your BEFORE pics...

Take pics of the work in progress, some actiuon shots, etc... and then, take pics of the final product... grap a free webshots account and post them up and share with us!

I know that finishing a project is full of rewards (my cabinests) but me taking the before and after pics made it even more worth it.

That will truly be blog worthy.

Brew, I dont think Sip was upset. He probably misses blogging more than he can stand and perhaps feels he owes us an explanation.

Like I said earlier, this blog has a mind of its own. One week youll hear nothing, and the next week, monday's post will be at the very bottom by friday.

CL said...

I still contend I love the openness of the people who post here, it's really healthy. Thanks to all of you for exhibiting that.

midnitcafe said...

Chris, we've been doing this, or something very similar to it for ten years now. After that long we've either learned how to be chill with each other or kick the losers out!

Hey, I've been meaning to ask you about your whole transformation. No offense, but the CL I knew in school is not someone I ever pictured being a minister.

Care to illuminate us? I'm especially interested in your move to somewhere non cofC. Unless I'm mistaken you are at a different church now? How did that come about, if you don't mind my asking?

Jamison said...

I was thinking the same thing actually Brew... CL has always been a great guy, very nice... but i cant remember him leaning towards ministry...

CL said...

How much time do you have? Seriously, I would love to let you in on my "change" it's an interesting story, I don't mind sharing. Give me a little time to put it together...

mullinz8 said...

Considering I’m not sure who this CL is, the picture does little help, and I’m interested to know who you are too. I don’t think you’re who I thought you were but considering you roomed with Dalva I really can’t remember who you are.

Since the subject has been brought up I have spent a good bit of time questioning the significance of the C.o.C. From the people I’ve talked to who go to what’s considered a “Christian” church the only real difference is the music. The thoughts are generally the same on baptism, salvation, Lords Supper, a majority of moral issues and all the other general talking points that separate every C.o.C and non-denominational “Christian” church along with a number of Baptist groups.

I like the C.o.C service. Instruments are very distracting to me and I don’t want them in my service. I have however had a reawakening of my appreciation of “Contemporary Christian Music”. Saying that I really enjoy it is something of an understatement, saying that it’s done nothing to change my mindset while I listen to it is ridiculous.

There are some poorly done songs and some that are excellent and I can say the same thing about the Grateful Dead or any of my favorite groups.

I heard a survey a while back that stated the majority of college aged people C.o.C Universities don’t really consider instrumental music an issue. These people are we are the future of this sect of Christianity. I know what the scripture says and there is no where that says Peter played a mean flute or bongo drum just because it doesn’t say he didn’t.

It’s sad, like Brews technology and God post that we’re (a collective “we”) more satisfied to dry lines of separation rather that connection.

CL said...

Here is the very short of it -

When I came to FU my goal was simple; have a lot of fun. You guys got that picture I think. I am thankful for my time there it had a lot to do with who I am today. My time there allowed me to ask a whole lot of questions and that is always a good thing. After I left, I kept doing many of the things I had always done, play music have fun, work. Little changed; it didn’t have to in my mind. I began to have a lot of questions about God, the church, everything.
I grew up in the cofC. I thought I knew things so clearly. I mean I could debate any subject with anyone. Then one day, I decided. Everything I know makes sense in the light of what I bring to the table. My preferences, my experiences my upbringing, the world all makes sense this way. Because our experiences in life give us the picture of how we see scripture, it is what it is. No way around it. So I decided to completely start over. No more assumptions, no more "this is what my preacher said" nothing.
I studied cultures of the original times when scripture was written. Geography of the people. Influences. Timelines of life to those people who were receiving those letters and being witnesses to the story of God.
It changed me. I reconciled with God while continuing to ask lots of questions. My questions were not received as stupid or dumb, they were received with grace.
During that time, I began to apply myself to the work of God in my home church, which was a blessing. This was a church full of grace that allowed me time to think and work through my issues and still use my talents.
The more time passed the more it was obvious to me that I wasn’t doing what God called me to do. God hadn’t called me to working anywhere but in the church. I realized I was blessed with talents that I didn’t know I had before.
It was really amazing, I finally felt at peace. I accepted my first full-time position in 2003 as a youth minister. God continued to work on me. That church suffered a huge split and I was asked to help plant a new church. We did. During that time I found out some ugly things about the church, that I hadn’t known before. I didn’t like it much. I found comfort and acceptance in friendships outside of the cofC, in other “denominations.” People who all my life I had looked at as “misplaced” and “without knowledge of the truth” suddenly seemed to posses the fruit of the Spirit, more than my own church family. How could someone so “out of touch with the truth” be so connected with the Father?
It opened up a whole new world to me. I was already struggling with the lack of grace and love shared among our “brothers.” And I was having difficulty with all of the legalism there as well. I was a bit lost. How could it be that the people I thought were “lost” and the ones I had personally called wrong, be so loving and so kind to me?
I was a recovering Pharisee – still am.
By 2006 I realized that I was “unequally yoked.” I had grown up in a heritage that I loved but I apparently was “born out of due season.” The point is, I began to see scripture in a new way. I still revere it for what it is and I still believe it is God breathed and useful for teaching us how to live.
I believe though that God not only sent Jesus to be an offering for our sin in reconciliation to himself. But that salvation is for the whole person. That God created us as we are for a reason and wants us to be whole. You know, he wants to heal us of all our issues, not just our sins. He actually wants us to have full, real life.
I learned to try and follow Jesus, not his rules. I have tried to learn from his actions and be more like Him. He doesn’t say He is The Way for nothing.
I finally realized that God wants me to be a part of the story. Although it may not ever be written for anyone to read, He wants me to use my life as part of an influential story that affects others for the Kingdom.
That my whole life might be filled with grace and mercy, joy and patience and love to everyone, not just those who are “my brothers.” It doesn’t mean we see everything the same but ultimately we are united in purpose. And that all things hang on this…
Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul and might! Second, Love your neighbor as yourself!
In loving God you seek to follow Jesus wherever he might lead, in loving your neighbor you love everyone, everybody qualifies as your neighbor.
When I left the cofC, I did so for an opportunity to more fully practice the gospel without being called down for it, with the same opportunity to worship God in “spirit and in truth.”
I don’t really see the lines that I once saw. I know that I receive letters and postcards from different organizations asking me for money and that these are the same people who wouldn’t call me brother. I won’t live that way again. I will seek to care about what God cares about and love what He loves. Everyone – social justice, the poor, the hungry, the God-less, the oppressed, and the sick. I think this is where God has called the church, to no longer sit and hide in the shadows, but to be out in front not boycotting stores and items, but loving everyone and accepting them and through that helping them meet Jesus. I think that is what I was called out for.
I hope this helps it probably just opens a new can o’ worms for you guys. You may have more questions than you did before. That’s OK. I believe I am now fulfilling the purpose that God has put me on earth for, and I know this because the fruit is evident. God is good!

Jamison said...

I can see where you are coming from, though I dont look at the cofC as a group of churches that all beleive and act and think the same... we are autononmous. I appreciate you not being one of those that blast the church at least.

I have have revalations of my own. the largest of which came after I read a book by a deacon of the cofC and it was actually written back in the early 80s called "beware the leaven of the pharisee".

I started reading this after I was discussing something with a friend, Jason W (college minister for university cofC.) about alot of invented sins that i have grown up to beleive were sins... but in fact were nothing more than cultural norms we in the south practice or steer clear from. I actually started to question alot of things that we in the cofC just take for granted... in fact, if you do some blog research, you may find that post... musical instruments are brought up...

Chris, I think with me, I have come to grow to such a state where I no longer look at church going folks and pigeon hole them as "sinners" or "non-sinners". Music in worship is NOT for me. I will ALWAYS be uncomfortable being in a worship setting where 5 or 6 guys are playing an instrument while the rest of us do what was commanded of us, to sing songs. Having said that, I am in NO position to condemn anyone for that. It isn't brought up in teh Bible really, and if you find that post i mentioned before, you will see that I cant help but think that in teh OT we were all over the instruments and there may have been none in teh NT worshipping because we were all hiding and trying to be quiet from being found and killed or tossed in the collesium for entertainment.

I no longer condemn people for alot of things that simply are a matter of opinion. It feels good...
at the same time, the clapping, the hand raising, the very 'contemporary" style of worship is not for me. Again, not saying it is wrong, and I no longer look down or condemn folks for something like that, but it aint for me.

Id like to think that most of the brothers and sisters I go to church with at Dalraida are off that old-school kick about "didja hear what Landmark did?" We have "some" who do... namely one particular who does a sermon or two... it gets under my skin. Bothers me big time. We have had some off-color church signs too... but I get the impression that my brothers and sisters really are focusing on their lives, their worship, their path to heaven... and not condemning others for their way there... not enough time on earth for that.

I hope to neve rleave my church. there may be some folks who need a good talking to, and I am not going to let them push me out or bring me down.

Mat said...

Thanks Chris. I have often wondered, myself, where I would be if I had been raised in a baptist, or catholic or Buddhist family. Sometimes I wish I could come to the truth from a different perspective.

I definitely try to pull away from my comfort zones and traditions to ensure I'm really at the truth and not just something I've been taught.

It's tough to do though.

Jamison said...

Mat, this is kind of why I look at new Christians (Like Tyree's husband, Sam) as strong Christians than I will ever be. Sam was not brought up in ANY church, and grew up in L.A. califoria his whole life and is in his late 20s and is on fire for Christ. I envy that sort of excitement.

bigsip said...

I took no offense, Mat. Just filling y'all in.

Chris, have you heard from Ted Keys by any chance? Just curious. Haven't heard from im in a long time.

CL said...

Man I haven't heard from Ted in forever. The last i heard he was in Jackson TN. That was 97. It's been a long time and I have no idea where to start looking. I have been keeping my eyes open.

Jamison said...

I liked Ted... Drew Gordon bugged the crap out of him on chorus bus trips, that always b othered me.