Random thoughts before vacation

Tomorrow morning, we’ll be heading east on I-84, spending Saturday night at the luxurious Super 8 in La Grande, Oregon. Then on to Wallowa Lake, for a week of camping. Can’t wait…but, thought I’d better leave some thoughts before I left:

  1. It’s hard to leave, just now when I’m getting in the blog flow again. The hits are coming up, too. But, life’s tough-sometimes you just have to go on vacation.
  2. I considered giving AJ Schwanz my password and letting her blog for me. She’s great to read. But, I’ll just shoot you her direction.
  3. Could you leave tons and tons of comments while I’m gone? Just randomly ask a question, or write something you ate for breakfast, or something you did for fun? It would be great to come back to comments!
  4. Tanya Baker, if you’re still reading out there, would you either a) start a blog or b) say “hi” in the comments?
  5. I’d better catch some nice fish on this vacation.
  6. Jimmy, what’s the deal? Was it a SURPRISE to you to see humor on a blog? Am I supposed to have taken every thing you’ve written so seriously, since you took my post yesterday so seriously? 🙂

So, have a great time while I’m gone, and when I’m back, we’ll talk Quakers and Emerging and NFC and fish and maybe some book reviews.

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6 thoughts on “Random thoughts before vacation

  1. Hi Gregg-I’m here -I haven’t taken the time to figure out how to leave a comment until just now. It’s not a blonde thing, just a busy thing. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and I’m on the verge of starting my own blog (ask Joe Millard what my first entry will be!!)but I guess I just have too much to say and don’t know where to begin!!! By the way, I had a cinamon roll and coffee for breakfast at the cabin in Garden Valley. :)Have fun camping!!Tanya

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  2. Aw, man: you link to me the week I’m trying to catch up from VBS mayhem and get ready to move – the blogging’s weak, I tell ya.So I’ll leave you a question: what was your favorite seminary experience and why?Another question: now that you’re looking at the emerging conversation, was seminary worth it? Or was it a bunch of hoops to jump through with a little benefit?And one last one: what’s your prefered beverage-joint in the ‘berg, seeing as how you’re a non-coffee drinker?

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  3. Here’s a comment from a new fan from the other side of the border. I look forward to reading much more when you get back. Pretty cool license plate count. I think my sister and I got up to 48 when we were kids, but it took YEARS. We each had a vinyl placemat with an outline map of the US that we used to color in whenever we saw a new one. Robin M.What Canst Thou Say?

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  4. I had Kashi’s organic shredded wheat for breakfast – yum! Wish I’d had some berried though.Hope the camping is excellent – and not too horribly hot out there 🙂

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  5. Oh! Someone commented in a license plate space – that has to be exciting to have come back from vacation to! I am struggling to be random but it’s not working. I’ve been too engrossed in parenting teenagers, teaching one of them to drive, spending my “day off” working on the video for Family Friends, writing a chapter for Listening Life and getting ready to go camping to be brilliant right now. Johan Maurer has a very interesting post this morning about restless and reserved Quakers. He uses the phrases “zone of abandonment” and “authentic Quaker collaboration with the Holy Spirit” that I’ll be sitting with some more. Check it out here: http://maurers.home.mindspring.com/index.htmIt seems lately that all signs have been pointing to relationships; better community. Everyone agrees we need it. We all scratch our heads and ask how to go about it. We wonder if THIS is community and I can assure you that it is and it isn’t. Something real does happen when we connect in authentic Christian community but so few people are willing to lay down their individual autonomy (a.k.a. “self”) for the sake of someone else, even a spouse. Yet, the price of independence is isolation and I don’t think people fully realize the terrible cost.And, when we do find authentic Christian community, do we know what to do with it or how to act? It’s such a strange new thing that it’s hard to know what to expect from it sometimes!

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  6. Well, Gregg will probably have a better answer eventually, but I’ll take my own stab at answering AJ’s question about seminary. (And a very long, if perhaps misdirected stab as it turns out)I’m a professional software engineer who ended up with about half of a seminary masters degree a few years ago (Regent College, Vancouver BC). Seminary was completely and totally worth it – it was one of the best years of my life (I’d love to complete it someday, but my employer is more interested in paying for Computer Science classes…imagine that…)I met and spent time with many other spirit-filled, thoughtful Christians, asking and pondering serious questions about their faith and how it relates to the world around them. I took classes from Anglicans, Pentacostals, Presbytarians, and Baptists. I sat next to Catholic priests, Anglican laypeople, Methodists…I lived with a young, dedicated Seventh Day Baptist pastor (Seventh Day Baptist…Figure that one out!) The professors and students had a profound impact on my spiritual and intellectual development.It’s hard to pick a favorite experience, but a couple memories stand out, both involving Bruce Waltke, a fine Old Testament professor and member of the NIV translation board. (Side note – having sat in class under two of the NIV translators, I have the utmost respect for the work that goes into an accurate rendering of the text for those of us who’ll never be Greek and Hebrew gurus. By the NIV folks and the other major translation efforts as well).Anyway, my first memory is of sitting down as Bruce opened class with a prayer that made me think ‘This isn’t an Old Testament class – we should be getting spirituality credit just for listening to this man pray!’ It’s obviously hard to describe, but seeing a world-class academic, strange quirks, funky glasses and all, who obviously had such a deep love of the God he was studying impacted me.Second (and easier to describe) is a memory of sitting down for brown-bag lunch with Bruce and the 10 or so other students who’d made it onto his weekly lunch signup sheet. Someone asked “Bruce, you’ve taught at a number of seminaries. What drew you to Regent, or what, in your mind, makes it unique?” Bruce answered instantly: “Architecture” Bewildered stares all around (and a bit of a laugh from me, since it was the first thing that struck me at Regent as well). He went on to explain: Look at Westminster – the center of campus is the library. It’s a very intellectual school, producing world-class scholars. The library is the center of campus life, literally and figuratively. Over in one corner is a small hang-out building, but nobody uses it. They’re all in the library studying. Walk into Regent – it’s only one building, but the main entrance is into the atrium – tables, couches, coffee shop, bookstore, kitchen. Lecture rooms off to the sides, and the library’s relegated to the basement. Not that scholarship isn’t important here, but we want this to be a place revolving around relationships.It was one of the things that led me to Regent, but I’ll never forget hearing Bruce say it.Seminary isn’t for everyone, but for me it was:–A time and place set aside for building relationships with other intelligent, dedicated Christians from around the world.–A time to dig into and wrestle with the Bible.–A chance to meet some of the worlds finest Biblical scholars.–A year in a beautiful area with many interesting cultural twists and amazing hiking nearby.Those don’t seem like anti-emergent goals to me.Hope somebody finds that extended ramble worthwhile…

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