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Where’s Kevin?

October 29, 2008

Not that anyone still reads this but I’ve found this blog to be a place where I can dump my thoughts and sort through them and I feel like I need that right now. So if perchance I still have a reader or 2 out there please know that this post is written for very selfish reasons. Perhaps I’ll get back to something more useful to others in the near future. There is a new design in the works so we’ll see.

Here’s some brain drain and then I’ll start sorting…

– the Land in Zoe, KY is my best therapy

– 2 personal guiding values that I really need to re-connect with are empowerment and generosity

– my sabbatical did not go as planned and we still have not finalized the adoption

– I’m starting to have fire in my belly again about all things Vineyard Central especially the dream of being a part of a movement in greater Cincinnati where many come to know and love Jesus.

– immersion in Mark’s gospel this year… what might that look like?

Empowerment and generosity… why have I landed on these? Intuitively I know that they are part of my core, my calling, my destiny, my main area of contribution. Empowerment has to do with equipping others to do what they are called to do and encouraging them and challenging them to do it. It is the opposite of doing it all myself. My all time #1 hero is Barnabas. He’s the guy in the Bible who mentored Paul and John Mark which means that the vast majority of the New Testament was written by the guys he mentored but he is barely mentioned. He also displayed incredible genrosity first to the Jerusalem church and then later to the church at Antioch. His generosity was financial and more importantly the pouring out of his life for specific churches. More on that in a minute… back to empowerment… I think I’ve been really good at empowerment in the small-business world (Center City Collision primanrily) but not so much in the church as of late. That is changing as some older leaders in VC have emerged to help just as several younger leaders have entered the scene. So we’re at this incredibe moment where it feels like the match is right now starting to strike against the box and soon a flame will erupt… then the fire is inevitable. For whatever reasons and honestly I’m exploring this in therepy and with several close friends I have not been able up to this point to let go of responsbility and trust others to get things done in VC. On and off, sure. But not in a sustained way that will allow VC to grow up in every way and not be dependant on me… I have fostered this dependency and simeltaneously I have come to resent it. My M.O. has been to take on more and more responsibility and try to do it all myself but that literally has to change for personal health reasons and for the good for the body. I need to get to the place that Paul talks about of “equipping the saints for the work of the ministry” and not stay stuck in the place of “letting the saints watch me work myself to death and do for them.” It’s good for them. It’s good for me. It’s good for us. It’s what God intended. Let it be!!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. ang permalink
    October 29, 2008 3:11 pm

    All I know is, you’ve been missed. Sorely. And not necessarily as “leader” – just miss having the Rains family in the fabric of things. I am half-tempted when I see your office light on at 6:15am on my way home from the Y to knock on the window and say hello…

  2. October 30, 2008 7:24 pm

    I love and apprecite all that God is working on your heart and soul. I pray that he never stops… but that I might be able to start reconnecting with ya.

  3. October 31, 2008 1:30 pm

    Bro, welcome back. You’ve been missed.

  4. November 3, 2008 7:14 pm

    interesting…i’m into Mark’s gospel right now too…i found this in the free chapter of michael frost and alan hirsch’s new book due out in january…from punker nick cave…an intro to Mark:

    “[Jesus] is presented [in the Gospels] as homeless, propertyless, peripatetic, socially marginal, disdainful of kinfolk, without a trade or occupation, a friend of outcasts and pariahs, averse to material possessions, without fear for his own safety, a thorn in the side of the Establishment and a scourge of the rich and powerful.”

    It reminds us of the quip made by the archbishop who is reported to have said, “Everywhere Jesus went there was a riot. Everywhere I go they make me cups of tea!”

    This was the experience of punk rocker, screenwriter, and novelist Nick Cave. Writing in an introduction to Mark’s gospel, Cave talks about how as a younger man he found the Jesus presented to him in church as anemic and uninteresting. When he became interested in the Bible, he concentrated virtually all his attention on the Old Testament, drawn as he was to its violence and pervading sense of vengeance, perhaps not unsurprising for a punk. Later, an Anglican vicar in London suggested he read Mark instead, and Cave was astonished by the Jesus he discovered between its pages:

    The Christ that the church offers us, the bloodless, placid “Savior”-the man smiling benignly at a group of children, or calmly, serenely hanging from the cross-denies Christ his potent, creative sorrow or his boiling anger that confronts us so forcefully in Mark. Thus the church denies Christ his humanity, offering up a figure that we can perhaps “praise,” but never relate to.

    Cave’s introduction to Mark is beautifully written and deeply heartfelt. He writes about “that part of me that railed and hissed and spat at the world” initially taking pleasure in the “wonderful, terrible book,” the Old Testament, before mellowing out in later life. “You no longer find comfort watching a whacked-out God tormenting a wretched humanity as you learn to forgive yourself and the world,” he says somewhat unfairly of the Old Testament. Nonetheless, after all those blood-curdling stories he was well and truly ready to meet Jesus. And meet him he did, seeing Jesus in Mark with a fresh perspective many seasoned Christians often miss:

    The essential humanness of Mark’s Christ provides us with a blueprint for our own lives, so that we have something we can aspire to, rather than revere, that can lift us free of the mundanity of our existences, rather than affirming the notion that we are lowly and unworthy. Merely to praise Jesus in his Perfectness, keeps us on our knees, with our heads pitifully bent. Clearly, this is not what Christ had in mind. Christ came as liberator. Christ understood that we as humans were for ever held to the ground by the pull of gravity-our ordinariness, our mundanity-and it was through his example that he gave our imaginations the freedom to rise and to fly. In short, to be Christ-like.

    Nick Cave, The Gospel According to Mark with an Introduction by Nick Cave (Melbourne: Text, 1998),

  5. Rambo permalink
    November 13, 2008 9:22 pm

    I thought you had abandoned this post for facebook? Glad I had a hankering to see if anything new was happening here and in your heart. I like your thoughts about empowerment and generosity. Generosity is real need for me as we build community out of the Emmaus mission. Hey, have you read/looked at Ched Meyers book on Mark’s gospel, Binding the Strong Man? Take a look, especially since you’ve been kind of down on the whole election/political scene. Miss ya!

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