Friday, October 17, 2008

a retrospective of parties

you know, i recognize this is a lot of pictures. and if you don't want to look at them, don't feel obligated. but i thought it would be nice to give a look back at many of the parties that have taken place that i haven't shared. since we started this, it has been one insane non-stop roller coaster. we have had good times and bad and MANY roadblocks. one of the most of which was my falling out with the IC. it damaged my faith in several ways and it really shouldn't have. but it did. and for a long time i was not as intentional about this as i think i should be. but what's done is done.

it is a very strange thing to invite people to your home for congregation and enjoyment. especially when several of the people have never met each other. but i have found that when the spirit is right, it doesn't matter. the place becomes filled with all of the fruits of the spirit as a natural matter of course. not ALWAYS, but often enough to make you go "hmmm... that's odd. these people are not normally like this." it is interesting to simply bring people here and when gathered together, witness the spirit work things out in them. or have them spill their most intimate secrets to be met with love and acceptance. or find a new friend. or any number of positive things. i know this fills a specific need within the younger post-christian generation of people who will NEVER set foot in a church outside of a the random holiday when begged by a parent. i still don't understand it very well, or if it is going to gel into something more in the future than what it is now, but i'm going to let god worry about that now. i'm just going to do what i know he wants me to do and that's invite people over and play games as a springboard for social interaction. but i have noticed, more recently, that when those hwo have met before gather, the games are needed less and the evening is filled more with direct conversation and interaction. which, to me, is good. and a sign that these young folks are growing.

now i bring this to you, my dear brothers and sisters to look upon and ask for your support. it is a hard going out here and at the very least we could really use your prayers. whatever gets laid on your heart. people, healing, space issues, wisdom, guidance, and courage. all of the above. that was one thing my IC leadership couldn't understand. i wasn't asking for permission or criticism to do this. i was simply alerting them to the fact that i had been genuinely SENT. i can't explain it shortly any better than that. i have been sent and i need to be at my post. and this is what my post is. so please, please pray for us. it will be much appreciated.

i hope you enjoy seeing some of the faces that have gathered together over the past 2.5 years.



Erin said...

Ooh it looks like Zaavan likes bowling!

I think your 'parties' seem excellent, Jon. And I totally dig the Pac-Man shirt. I will pray that your parties become what they are meant to be, and I will pray for you to have whatever you need to do what you are led to do.

How's that for a generic prayer?

But I have learned that God knows best what people need to make happen what he wants to have happen, who am I to tell him anything? As soon as we put boxes around the things that God is into, it becomes religion.

I will say, Jon, blessings to you for wanting to participate in/ facilitate what God is doing around you.

wanting more said...

Looking at these photos makes me a little envious! I am really longing for this right now. I love to play cards and socialize in this way...but it seems like we are moving too often to really get there, or other things get in the way...I don't know anyone here that I could even invite over, but I do plan to know some people even if "not well" and I do intend to do this! I do have to say that I encountered something in Minneapolis/St Paul that I have not experienced anywhere else...and we did have parties like this there! I don't know what it is, but people seem to WANT to be friendly and real there and WANT to get together more than any other place I've lived. I'd move back in a heartbeat!
By the way...some of these people look familiar!

Valorosa said...

So do you have anything cool to share about these parties? Are you still in contact with all or some of these peeps?

jON said...

thanks, erin. all the prayers we can get are appreciated. it's pretty much the same as it was before. i have no idea what i'm doing. all i know is that i enjoy getting people together, and creating positive community with them, if even only for a little while.

kari, i'm sorry you don't know anyone well enough to ask to get to know them better! if this is something you seriously want for yourself, then i will pray radical prayers that god will bring one with whom you can start such a relationship. basically, for us, it started with inviting over one other couple. then they had some friends. who had friends. and so on and so forth. at the very least, i hope you can find some socialization not completely centered around your hubby and kids.

do i have anything cool to share about these parties? well, the first pic was a birthday party for those 2 girls there.
the one underneath is of a gentleman who was a friend of my best friend from high school that came on a whim.
the pic under that has a gentleman to the right of me who was wearing a t-shirt with a picture of satan and a quote "god's busy, may i help you?" talk turned to such things and he shared how he had tried to wear this shirt to a friend's wedding and the people who ran the church wouldn't allow him in the building. (which i found odd and wondered aloud just who those folks were looking to have come in their church building if not young people like that. who are they looking for, then, anyway?) which lead to good sharing about the difference between god and religion.
you know, i could relate something about each one like this, but i don't want to get too crazy long.
the only other ones i will point out are the second set of bowling pics. this was a one of a kind party. i tried to organize something for those people i knew with kids where we could all get together as one group. (our home parties being a little more adult oriented.) so it was an afternoon of people connecting, other kids for their kids to play with, and everyone was happy. this, in fact, is a direction i would like to move in more, but need more planning and resources. pray for those, please.

thanks ladies for sharing in this adventure.

jON said...

sorry. do i still have contact with them? yes. about 60-75% of them, yes. it is an ongoing process. i enjoy watching them grow and being brought from teenager-hood into young adult life. and we'll see where it goes from here. most of the people i get invovlved with are generally on a self-destructive downward spiral. i try to help curtail the spiraling down and start and upward trend.

Valorosa said...

Awesome ... you know Jesus never started an organization. He gathered people where they were at and taught them right where they were. There is only a couple of references to him actually being in the synagogue. They didn't want him there mostly.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately .. we don't need org church to bring people to. We ARE the church. We can share the gospel and be confident that the Lord will take care of them from there if we never see them again. I would never tell any one to go to this church over there or this one over here.

This is the true freedom in Christ.

Leave the hard stuff to the Lord ... He knows who His sheep are and He will gather them.


Sue said...

The dude in the red t-shirt, four from the bottom - he's pretty cute :)

Bit young for me, but you know. They're juicy when they're young :P

Erin said...

Sue - Juicy? What the hell? Remind me not to let you anywhere near my 26 year old brother.

Sue said...

Really? Mmmm, he's sweet :) Tell him if he's ever in Australia to drop in and say hi :)

Sue said...

Oh, so you don't actualy mean that that dude in the photo is your 26 year old brother. I see.

Why, what does he look like?


Erin said...

Sue - Yeah, you BETTER duck. No, of course that's not my brother here on JON's blog. But you can find him through my Facebook if you really want to know. And yes, he's cute, if I do say so myself. And single. (Now I know you're going to pore over my "friends" trying to figure out who he is.)

TOTALLY dig the inline comments, Jon. I want that on my blog but it won't work with my asynchronous pages.

jON said...

yeah, i didn't actually do anything to make the comments like this. they just did it on their own. weird.

sue, girl, have you been choofing again?
the young man in the picture is Jake. (also pictured in the bowling alley with longer hair, black tshirt, REALLY enjoying his previous bowling attempt)
Jake is Tami's boyfriend although they have been friends for a long time. this one looks like it might have what it takes to go the distance. sorry.

Sue said...

Hehe, no I haven't been choofing again. He is a handsome man. Tell Tami that if she gets tired of him, to send him over via USPS with Erin's brother


Sue said...

Ooh, yeah, Erin. Just had a look at your brother on Facebook. He's really cute :)

Erin said...

Thanks Sue...I think he's cute, but he was even cuter when he was 4.

Sue said...

Come ba-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-c-c-k jONNO!


Erin said...

I'll second that.