I've been talking with most of the folks on this blog one-on-one recently about what God's doing in their lives. And God is doing a lot. On one hand, He's stirring us up to think outward... missionally. On the other hand, He's dramatically pulling us back inward... to our abiding connection with Christ.
Justin's about to post a dramatic vision of connection & communal mobilization through a technological solution that blows my mind. But the largest ground he's gaining has to do with the Lord's aggressive convergence of circumstances all around him... from births to changes to deaths. The wind is blowing & Juice is tightening his grip on Christ so he can not only survive, but thrive amidst the confusion of this world.
Dave has been reading George Barna's Revolution, which he led me to read as well. This - in connection with what Dave's emphasized in the past on desperate, humble dependence on Christ through a simple rhythm of surrendering, listening, & obeying - has undoubtedly furthered Dave's passion for the "real" in ways I am eager to hear about.
Quentin is excited about the idea of forming a community that is organic, organized, Christ-centered, & missionally-driven. But his real joy these days is in recapturing his glory as a highly significant, acceptable, & capable - creation, child, & servant/steward of the Most High God.
Aaron languishes away in the cornfields of Iowa, hungry for God's leading in what ministries, jobs, educational investments, or moves, will come this next summer. But some of his deepest formation is coming from the experience of patiently waiting that he & his soon-to-be multiplied family are doing as they become even more unified.
G, (Ordinary Radical) is rejoicing in the tremendous breakthrough's God is having around him as he ministers in a closed country. But his letters & emails paint the deepest flow of life as coming from his personal growth & surrender as he continually denies himself while relying on Christ to satisfy his hungry soul in a "dry & weary land".
As for me, I'm so hungry to get out of the institutional setting & into the incarnational / communal lifestyle that I can hardly sit still. And I'm weary of being so geographically far away from the teammates God has led Aleta & me to. But the deepest formation in my life is taking place deep in my soul where the Spirit is leading me to new & permanent habits of self-discipline. The ache & hunger to be close, close, close to Jesus is taking me to this place my flesh does not want to go.
I could keep going (if I'd been better at calling these past few weeks); but the notion is clear: YES, we are about the business of achieving the Mission Christ gave us... making disciples & partnering with God as He redeems the world! But our out-flow comes only from our in-flow. Christ is forming us in new ways, from the inside out.
I'm eager to connect this heart to your hearts in Arizona this Christmas. It is as "deep calls to deep"; & these printed words are entirely inadequate. May the grace & peace of Christ keep you all. Please pray for one another & blog more - sharing your journey with us all - as you have time.