Category Archives: connections

Where I’ve been – 2007

pathI wanted to look back at 2007. I really did. But somehow, finding the time to look back has been challenging. There were lots of trees and leaves.


Enter Robert Hruzek. Robert does a monthly (or so) writing challenge asking for posts on the theme, “what I learned from…” The “from” varies each month, but the challenge of writing to a theme is a helpful thing. (I’ve written a couple times in this series).

His end of year challenge was, “What I learned from 2007” and the project was to pick one post from each month of the year that represented some significance. I finally settled down to write that post, and Robert has it up here What I learned from 2007. (He did this as a blogapalooza which means that all of the posts are put up on his blog, Middle Zone Musings, with links back to here.

It was a great exercise, realizing how much I’ve written, how much I’ve learned, how much you have meant to me. So head over there and see whether you agree with my choices.

In the process of compiling that list, I realized that I’ve been writing in other places as well.


A couple times this year, Liz Strauss let me guest post on her blog. This has been a privilege and a challenge. One of the things that marks Liz’s blog is that she comments on every comment. Every one. In almost real time.

And Liz gets a lot of comments.

When you write for Liz, you want to keep the conversation going, which means a significant commitment for the day or two following. Having done that twice, I have a deep appreciation for the commitment Liz has for her community. In her blog she talks often about relationship. In her comments, she lives that commitment.

Thanks, Liz for letting me stop by on December 5 (Are you blogging for as many or as much?) and August 15 (Shaping the world in little ways.)


Through Liz this year, I met Joanna Young. She lives in Edinburgh and writes well about writing well. I mean really well.

One of the things she did this year was to try having guest writers. She opened up her sitting room in September and invited three of us to take the lead in conversation about authentic writing. (Robert wrote one, and Emma Bird wrote the other. Growing out of that collaboration, Emma and Joanna are hosting a writing holiday in Italy.)

So thanks, Joanna for letting me stop by September 13 (Sometimes I write hollow.)

Next Wave is an online journal about church and culture. Thanks to editor Bob Hyatt, I was able to write twice for them, once on Twitter (June) and once on the advent blog I wrote (December).

Related Blogs

In addition to writing here at Levite and at these other places, I wrote at two other blogs I created (deliberate disciple and advent2007) at various times this year.

Looking ahead.

There are several projects bouncing in my head, particularly as I begin understanding how social media is going to interact in my new position at Grabill Missionary Church.

In the works already, and unrelated to GMC, is This blog will start running within a week or so. Eight of us are working together to write this, attempting in community to reflect on the lenten season. The challenge is that only some of us know each other face to face. Most of the relationship has developed on-line. We are very excited about the interaction already happening. You’ll enjoy it, too.


I’m thinking that I generated a lot of words in 2007. Thanks to each of you who reads and comments, whether face to face or in the comment section or through email or through a twitter reference or other link. I am grateful for the community that stops by here. I’m grateful for you.


Turning left.

This morning, at the corner of Trier and Hedwig, we will turn left instead of right.

For the last eleven years, on Sunday mornings we have gone to the right. Sure, sometimes we went straight at that intersection. Sometimes we went in two cars and each took a slightly different path. Sometimes we went other directions because of vacation. But for the past eleven years, our path has gone southwest rather than northeast.

In less than an hour, we’ll turn left.

And we don’t know what will happen.

I mean, we know that my new title is executive pastor at Grabill Missionary Church. But we don’t know what that means for us. Because it’s not a job.

We have lots of pictures of what church is. But I have to work from what God says church is. And it isn’t a job. It’s a family. It’s the Body of Christ. It’s a temple (the people are, not the building). It’s a flock of sheep. It’s a bag of change. It’s a vineyard and a vine. So this isn’t like a job.

And it’s not just about me. That group of people playing with new cell phones, laughing with each other, they have been part of the southward journey for the past decade. They are not longer nine and five. They include a girlfriend. My whole family is part of this, because they are all part of this family/body/temple/flock/change/vine. At least once a week, they show up at the place that holds my office and it has to be more than my office building. Somehow, it’s gotta be the place where the family reunions are held, where the body stops and looks in the mirror, where the temple find out whether there are any new bricks.

And so, this morning, I’m wondering what kind of organ transplant is happening today. How long will the surgery last? Will the antirejection drugs work, will we be the right size? Will the blood start flowing right away?

Or will the bricks we are fit into the building being built in Grabill? Will it be clear that it was the same craftsman that shaped us or will we wear too many marks of our own attempts to fit into the spaces?

But people have been making this kind of journey and these kinds of changes in response to what they believed God was asking them to do for millenia. Paul talked about his own imperfection and his own spiritual aspirations and wrote, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

So this morning, though I will confess to a measure of anxiety, I know the Surgeon. I know the Shepherd. I know the Builder. I know the Vine and the Gardener and the Head. And so, as we turn left this morning, I’m confident that the one who started a process of transformation in me will see it through to completion.

And you are going along for the ride.