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A Strange Place

Not sure why I am so compelled to write of late? It has little to do with doubt, though I do sometimes understand how John the Baptist could have had need to send word to his cousin asking "Are You the Expected One (the Messiah), or should we look for someone else [who will be the promised One]?"

At times I have my moments, yet adjacent every such thought are contrasting stories of life interventions undeniable.

I have been extremely blessed, thus the need perhaps to share words that bubble up in my spirit each morning as I read the scriptures.

Now on up in years, daring to express views common to many, though unexplored out of the fear of heresy. I'm comfortable however, knowing that I stand on a sure foundation, given a life journey well grounded and time tested, with exposure and some success within multiple sectors of society. All perhaps for this very moment?

I am convinced of the sovereignty of God in my life, holding me loosely in moments when I would stray, then by grace pulling me back to sanity, but only once necessary lessons were learned. Somehow this Being whom I learned to trust through great pain, knew beforehand that this moment would come, when I too could be trusted to speak truth.

"One day you will preach the Gospel" were the words heard at age 10, yet never have conventional moments offered for institutional entry seemed a good fit.

One must admit, I gave it a good try. After returning to Christ (as those well churched would say) I served a thirteen year window in a small church as a volunteer bivocational assistant pastor.

That led to opportunities for denominational leadership, then six years as a full time associate in a near mega-church environment, followed by 10 years coaching pastors in multiple denominations.

All this seemed a means of convincing me that while being deeply discipled in an orthodoxy developed over centuries, we had lost touch with our culture. There seemed little awareness, at least in my network, of how all this fit into true transformational change within our respective communities.

Sure there were moments where we were able to impact the community at large, from housing to childcare, but almost all those moments were funded from outside sources, the majority of congregational funds needed for campus support. Yes, a small percentage was used for outreach, though often directed offshore moreso than nearby neighborhoods.

Though recommended by more than one pastor that I "settle down and serve God" there always a seemed a restlessness within, one that I now know was the guiding hand of the Spirit, preparing me for this day, a truly transformational moment in the Body of Christ.

Multiple generations now exists, each with varied perspectives around delivery of the Good News.

Numerous church plants now dot aged shopping centers and former cinemas, displaying our effort to escape the bounds that the institutional architecture with her steepled edifices once imposed.

Most are designed to provide stagelike performance areas with well lit artistic backdrops, often synced with acoustical technology. The best of talent is then platformed prior to a message deemed appropriate to the senior leadership and the board's mission, likely languaged around community impact.

My sense on this morning after Super Tuesday, with even more political ruckus and divisiveness ahead, God might be saying, "How's that working for you?"

Shift happens about every 500 years!

We are likely knee deep in it at this moment!

However, just as my waywardness was worked to my good, so will sovereignty soon return value and virtue to this rotating globe we call home. Though likely by means we could hardly comprehend.

Those whose words now daily inspire us, most certainly would have had no idea in 60 C.E. what their Upper Room team would eventually birth some 2000 years later.

Hope is alive and love is patient!

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