Tag Archives: Seattle

The Dirty Gospel: Naked Runners and Other Scary Places

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The scary troll under Fremont Bridge in Seattle

Yes,  you read that correctly. Naked runners. The Dirty Gospel is about to get interesting.  If you are new here, take some time and catch up on other posts from this series. For the rest of you old timers, I’d like to tell you a story.

About this time three years ago it was a lovely Sunday in Seattle. The sun was shining and a crisp autumn breeze was blowing leaves around as I loaded my kids in the car after church. I was taking my brood to a Thai restaurant in Fremont to meet up with friends for some post-church Pad Thai. Yummy, no?

My kids ( ages 4 & 1 at the time) were playing in the backseat as traffic slowly crept along. I veered left to cross into Fremont over the bridge from Queen Anne. As luck would have it, I got there just as the drawbridge was opening up to let a boat cross through the canal. It was a stunning day so I knew there was most likely a line of boats coming through. We could be here a while.

Tait was in his car seat directly behind me and his little feet kept kicking the back of my seat. I turned around to tell him to cut it out and that is when I saw them. Right next to our car. Gulp.

A small group of men and women who were jogging in place on the sidewalk just to our left. They were naked. And they were wearing pumpkins on their heads. I told my kids that we were going to play a game and everyone needed to close their eyes. NOW.

Thankfully my kids obeyed and I scouted out the other surrounding areas. A few lanes over there was another group of nude runners also with pumpkin faces. Every fall in Seattle there is a run in the city where the participants wear nothing but pumpkins on their heads. And I was in the middle of it. Stuck in traffic on a drawbridge with about 10 of these nude squash lovers. Awesome.

I came up with some lame game that, by the grace of God, my kids played which involved looking at the floor the whole time.

Finally, the bridge came down and all the traffic started to move. We passed about 15 other naked runners before arriving at the restaurant. Miraculously my kids didn’t see any of the XXX track and field stars we passed.

And that is my story. It reminds me of the time I accidentally took my daughter to the funeral of a slain gang member. But that is another story for another day.

Why did I tell you about the naked pumpkin runners? Because the Dirty Gospel is like that sometimes. God called us to Seattle. A place where crazy things happen and no one seems to get arrested for it.

When God says “Pick up your cross and follow Me” there is a good chance He will lead us to locations that are unknown and scary. Places we never planned on going.

God takes us to places that seem to turn our plans inside out. And that is where He builds the “more than we can ask or imagine” dreams. —> click to tweet

The career change we never saw coming. The relationship that ended before happily ever after had a chance to happen. New cities that seem hostile to the life we want to live. Or maybe it is adults who run naked with pumpkin hats in front of your preschoolers.

Following God can seem to oppose what we would like if it were left up to us. Our outcomes and prefered endings are rarely where we end up. Along the way something miraculous happens. God moves and does the unimaginable. The option we didn’t know ever existed opens up. Suddenly these scary places aren’t so intimidating anymore. God is there with us and He turns the nightmare into a dream.

This is the Dirty Gospel. Following God into places that scare us and challenge our trust in God. This is the story of God who always steps in and does His part. Covering your kids eyes so they don’t see the craziness around them or rebuilding the dreams that broke down long ago. It doesn’t matter what it is or where He takes you. The Gospel is enough for whatever we face.

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Filed under Faith, Fire, Funny, Kiddos, My Life Thus Far, The Dirty Gospel, Uncategorized

The Dirty Gospel : God Isn’t Fair

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I discovered this weekend that I hate the woman Jesus healed. I’ll back up just a second for a few of you new readers. We are in the middle of a series called The Dirty Gospel. Loss & Depression then a post about God’s love being a severe and painful mercy.

This past weekend I was at World Mandate conference (more on that Thursday). Louie Giglio spoke on Friday night about the woman with the issue of blood in Luke 8. But this is the part that stuck out to me:

A man named Jairus pleaded with Jesus to come and heal his dying daughter. On their way the woman with the issue of blood reached out and touched Jesus. At that moment Jesus stopped and healed that woman. Yippee, right?

Not for Jairus. While this woman was getting her healing, a messenger came and told Jairus that his daughter was dead. Jesus was too late. Jairus was first and she cut in line. This is where I realized that I despised this woman.

Well, not this actual woman. But what she represents in my life. All those times where I am begging God, but it seems that He is too busy helping others. I am crying about my financial lack, only to learn that someone else received a significant amount of money as a random gift. What the heck, God? It isn’t fair that they have so much and I have so little.

We have been in the process of adopting for almost four years. FOUR years. In that time I have seen so many families bring home their little kids. I guess Jesus was too busy helping them that He forgot about my waiting family. They only had to wait a year. It isn’t fair.

We planted a church in a city that didn’t seem to care about God. In our first few months in Seattle we talked to 2,000 people about Jesus. Want to know how many came to church? Two. Just two out of two thousand. Meanwhile in another American city, revival is breaking out and churches are growing out of their spaces. God, we are doing what you asked us to do. Why isn’t anything happening? This isn’t fair.

Maybe for you, it is marriage. Or family. Your friends seem to be having all the luck with romance and babies. Perhaps you have been working hard in your career only to watch a co-worker get the promotion.

Waiting for God to move, only to watch Him part the waters for someone else. All the while, we feel like we are dying just like the daughter did. Jesus was too late. He wasn’t fair.

I have died waiting for a Savior who seems to have gotten distracted.

When I see people around me getting what they are desperately seeking from God, I cringe. Because in my little way of thinking I somehow conclude there is now less for me. Maybe Jesus used up all His magic sprinkles for their miracle. Will Jesus run out of His miracles before He gets around to me?

I think that when Jesus is working on behalf of someone else, it means I am still sitting on the to-do list. Maybe He will get around to me, maybe not. Fingers crossed I don’t die waiting to find out.

Then I remember the truth and I take heart.

The story ends with Jesus going to Jairus’ daughter and raising her from the dead. Jesus didn’t just show His power in her life by healing her. He did something bigger and more unexpected.

And that’s what we hope in. There are days it feels like we watch another get our blessing. The spouse we want, the kids we crave, the bank account we dream of, the job we’ve worked hard for and the recognition we think we deserve. And maybe it isn’t fair.

Fair = reasonable. Not sure about you, but I’m glad God isn’t reasonable when it comes to the Gospel. I don’t deserve it and if He was fair then I’d be a goner.

The Gospel isn’t fair. It is more than that. It is ample, generous, and extravagant. —> click to tweet.

Sure, sometimes waiting for God kills us. It kills our flesh to make room for something bigger. If we watch a dream die, it is because God is going to call forth something bigger and more grand than we were ever imagining.

Remember how only two out of two thousand came to church? God did a miracle with those two girls. He birthed a church. They gathered a critical mass of friends and our church began to grow and take off. What seemed like death was God’s way of bringing life.

The Gospel is dirty because it kills us sometimes. It kills our misperceptions and wrong expectations. It kills our selfish ambitions and pride. But, God never leaves us dead. He raises us up into the life He has destined for us.

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A Sunday Kind Of Love

via Sweet Anthem

via Sweet Anthem

I have had a sudden surge of interest into the world of perfumes. My friend Tom pointed me to this treasure of a shop. Sweet Anthem is a microperfumery and their scents  I have smelled are fantastic. They offer handmade fragrances for both men & women. If you have a super picky nose then their option of creating a custom blend is perfect for you.

I can tell you that ‘Sophie’ is a great scent and I am hoping to try ‘Caroline’ soon. To make buying online less intimidating they will ship you samples of 3 fragrances for only $12. I’m pretty sure you’ll love this shop too.

 

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December 9, 2012 · 1:11 pm

Details Matter

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Shoe Repair hut in Seattle

You haven’t seen any posts from me this week because I have been in Seattle on a work trip. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, then you have seen extensive documentation of my time there. I just can’t help myself. I love it there.

One thing I love is the way every inch of space is used. Even if it doesn’t serve a functional purpose, it is made to be beautiful. The little details are never overlooked. This little shoe repair shop is a perfect example. Why shouldn’t it be beautiful? Who cares that it is in the middle of a parking lot & no one expects it to be anything more than functional?

This idea challenged me a lot this past trip. It doesn’t matter how big something is, it should be approached with significant value. My home, my schedule, my blog, my free time… all the things in my life. They aren’t little meaningless details.

They make up the greater picture of my life.

I want every aspect of my life to be full of inspiration and significance. Sometimes I forget that the details matter. How fantastic life would be if every square inch of it was designed with meaning & beauty?

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Filed under Lifestyle, My Life Thus Far, Uncategorized, Whimsy