Tuesday, November 11, 2008

abode: infinite possibilities part 2.

but i think we also have an even greater level of infinite possibilities, in the form of real life moments, by bringing the two worlds together.

theme nights? movie nights? game nights? service days? days or nights where we consent to engaging in the same activity IRL. think of the impact and unifying spirit of people all over the globe intentionally sharing in the same experience with one another AND those around them. no matter how seemingly small or insignificant the moment is. this is how the physical community is formed.

example: a movie night. start by utilizing the Kitchen to throw out an idea and organize an evening. on "such and such a day" we set up to watch the same movie in our own respective neck of the woods. and then we invite friends over. ("hey, want to come over and watch a movie tonight?") or aquaintences. or strangers. whether 1 or 100. let people bring what they wish, and simply use the "intentional" part of the gathering (watching a movie) as a springboard for social interaction. then let the spirit be free to produce something wonderful utilizing what has been brought together. by just gathering together to party by watching a movie, nothing more.

i have noticed that it doesn't matter if the others come under my roof with this same intentionality. when it is held firmly in MY heart, and they come freely under my roof, the air is thick with warmth, love, intimacy, sharing, and above all safety to be who you are in this moment, no questions asked. just loved. it changes people. it really does. me included.

then after said night, we can come together again in THIS place to share experiences, pictures, whatever... god orchestrated moments to encourage one another of our true citizenship in this human drama.

then the next time you have a party, invite the same people. invite new people if you wish. allow your other guests the freedom to invite other people they know who would love to come along. then the next time after that, you have a history built up and people start to get what you've got going on. maybe not all of the deep, heady, theological implications of what is going on. but enough of an instinctual understanding to recognize that the parties seem to be better when everyone brings a little something to share to enhance the gathering. and the more familiar people get with one another, the deeper the relationships and conversations become.

think of the further implications. if we organzied "service days", we could impact different sections of the whole world at once and not just be limited to our own locale. and the more people we find online, the bigger this thing can get and more world-wide-spread.

look at all the links to others' blogs on the side of your own blog. click one. then look at all of the links on their blog. click another of theirs. see how many more. do it again. and again. and again. until you're in a neighborhood you've never been in before. if you find someone, let them know. "hey, there's something cool going on you might be interested in."

this thing is HUGE. i'm not saying that everyone will feel this stir within them. but i am saying that enough will, that it is worth the engaging. it is worth the intentionality. i know more people than not are wanting to know how to impact this world in a genuine and tangible way. we've just been waiting for encouragement and organization. i believe the orchestrator has now provided us with both.

let's get it on.


Mike said...

Wow! How much truth was there in The Matrix??

getting there said...

Knock knock :)

getting there said...

but seriously, I agree. Those get togethers without effort are so great. I sense it deeply, needing to connect..unplanned getting together!

Happy said...

I think this is a GREAT idea, Jon - I love the idea of intentionally doing the "same" things and then talking about how God moved in all of our real life circles... mmm. I can't wait to see how God will move in and thru us. :)

wanting more said...

Ok, so let me just preface this by saying it's all about me, and I apologize for that.

I'm noncommital and skeptical by nature...I think this "sounds" like a great idea, but honestly, I am stressed at the prospect of inviting people over to my house that I don't know to see what happens...and I don't know very many people in cincinnati yet, and I'm so anal that I can't do the unplanned thing, and my particular-ness would ruin the spontenaity of it all, and I feel like I'm raining on the whole parade...so, can I just listen in? Be an observer for now?

Heather said...

We are having our annual backyard party this weekend, for which we invite a big bunch of people (churched and unchurched and people in between) and the kids stay up late and run around, and the adults listen to music and talk and eat and drink and laugh and people who would never connect together from our different groups of friends find some common ground.

It's amazing what comes out of such a gathering, and all it takes is some BBQ meat and a little time.

I need to expand this to other events (in addition to the "come over for dinner" stuff that we already do on a regular basis). I steer away from movie nights because they tend to preclude conversation for most of the evening, which to me partially defeats the purpose. I like activities where talking is encouraged.

We had the pastor of our little group over last night, and we discussed the building of community between us, their family and another family. We all feel that we need to spend more "life" together if we're to have a synergy between us that can be used effectively in our various missional activities. These three families are the ones who are most devoted to the idea of incarnational mission.

Heather said...

Sorry, left a part out.

If it fits in with peoples schedules (ie. the people we want to invite) I am definitely in with your plan. Now I just have to talk my husband around, because he doesn't really understand this "online stuff". :-D

Ruth said...

I'm thinkin.......

Susan said...

I'm thinking too... In my corner of the world (country Australia) it is quite common to spend time in one another's homes. For example last weekend we had visitors for the weekend, then during the week we were at friends for tea, and then this weekend we're planning to have friends over for lunch. When we lived in the city this happened but not quite as often.

So I'm not sure how this fits with what you're suggesting.

Happy said...

you know, i guess my take on what Jon was suggesting was maybe a little less structured... i think i was viewing it as sort of a real life version of a synchroblog - only instead of everybody writing on the same topic, we all DO something similar - but make it our own, even as the posts we write are definitely flavored with our own personalities... so, for example, maybe Jon says one Friday, "hey, next Friday, I'm having a couple of people over, and I'm challenging myself to invite someone I don't know very well," and so we all think about it - and maybe if Friday doesn't work for us, we do it on Saturday, and maybe it's going out to dinner and a movie instead of having them over for tea - but the point was we all allow ourselves to be challenged to reach out more intentionally in a way that works for our schedules and the way that we best function socially? and then maybe the week after that, Heather mentions that she's going to volunteer a couple of hours somewhere to help deliver blankets to homeless shelters or something, and we all consider doing something similar... but for us it might look different, because we're all on different pages of this adventure, but working toward the same goal - becoming more like Christ and being His hands and feet to a broken world, within the contexts He's given us...

how far off am i, Jon? :)

Happy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Valorosa said...

Beginnings ...

The last little while while I sit out on my deck and look in to the woods behind my home, I have seen visions of soldiers traveling under cover of the trees. Our soldiers fighting for their OWN homeland this time on our soil.

Has anyone else had these kinds of revelations?

If you have I'd like to know that I am not the only nut bar LOL

Ruth said...

I feel like we are in the upper room, waiting for the Holy Spirit to come and anoint us for this mission, whatever it may be. Waiting for some fresh wind and fresh fire. To be given vision, power and unity.

Two things come into play here that I have seen various comments about in these past few posts:

1. It's about love

2. We don't understand how and why God works with respect to healing and miracles and agree that he just doesn't seem to heal like he did in bible times. So we will not presume to know what God will do. However, we believe God is in control and we would love to see his power and healing in our broken world. We want to be instruments of what he is doing.

I think Happyis bang on when she said:

"working toward the same goal - becoming more like Christ and being His hands and feet to a broken world, within the contexts He's given us..."

wanting more said...

Ok..so, Heather, how did it go with your husband? I'm thinking about this...and just freaked out at first at the thought of a possible organized "thing" ... please excuse my craziness. I long for social contact...although I think right now I long for social contact not surrounding christianity, so this could be easier than I thought?

Valerosa...I'm curious. Very curious. Seriously...There has been some unease for the last few months, not sure what it is. Wondering if maybe I SHOULD be hording rice and buying a gun? Normally I would laugh at this, but lately...

Manuela said...

Okay, I'm processing...I just left the IC and need some time off from trying to do too much. I just want to let the Spirit lead me, moment by moment. I just need to watch and see how He leads... He's bringing people into our lives here where we live... It's been very "natural" and unforced. I love that...! There is a season for everything... It's bigger than us... but we can keep praying for one another where God has us...

jON said...

so glad you could all make yourselves comfortable and discuss with one another. :-)

don't have much time before work here, but i just wanted to say that yes, happy, your interpretation is closer to what i'm seeing. it doesn't HAVE to "be this" and "NEVER that". i have simply heard several people rejoicing over this cerebral community and the connections and freedom and intimacy we have here.

but i have also heard others crying out for a physical community near them. something just as intimate and fun. i simply have done two things here. shared what i have been doing and done in my own physical life, as well as share the implications of what "could be" if we were to engage in this type of thing together.

sharing with one another what we might be planning to do together in terms of physical gatherings. and inviting one another to particpate in our own corners of the globe IF YOU MIGHT WISH TO JOIN.

no pressure. no expectations. do what you feel lead and comfortable doing. it doesn't even have to be your house if you know someone else who might be gracious enough to host. which is why i brought up the example of a movie night. i figure it is the least intimidating because it requires less communication up front.

our parties have mostly been focused around "game nights." and, quite interestingly enough, Apples to Apples was the one that kicked it all off. and for us, it was as simple as starting with one other couple. that way, when the relationships began to form, we had at least two other people we could be intimate with and share things with.

as great as things are here, i can't visit you when you are sick or take care of your kids for you if you need a break. and any other such things that would require being near you in your physical world. which is why i believe god gave me this way of bringing people together.

why do we have to sit in pews, or sing "jesus songs", or study the bible for it to be church? once again, not that it CAN'T be those thing, but does it always HAVE to be those things? i have seen too many people who show up at those type of gatherings faithfully, only to leave feeling empty and as if they haven't really engaged.

i think as long as people are coming together, being authentic with one another, sharing their lives together, having conversations with one another that naturally deepen as time goes by, sharing food together, sharing music that touches our hearts... all these things.

i submit that with the radical implications of the cross, and the fact that i believe everyone has the cross whether they realize it now or not, makes everything we do and everywhere we go "church". and if i no longer live but it is christ who lives within me, then by sharing myself i AM sharing jesus.

you should see the smiles of realization on people's faces when i explain this to them. it's almost like, "yeah! why CAN'T this be church? this is the best church i've ever been to! there's absolutely nothing boring or disengaging about this. i LOVE it!"

so, on that note, we are having a bowling get together on Nov. 30th for any who also might want to get their own thing going on or around then.

i just thought doing these things together might also make a neat topic of conversation. "hey, while we're bowling, there are others around the world bowling today as a part of what we're doing here. cool, huh?"

Valorosa said...


I am seriously taking you up on this bowling thing ..
Report back soon.



I expected this to be something people would consider a bit off the wall. I'm glad I found someone who has heard as well. I'm sure there are more.

This is not meant to be a fearful subject matter.

I have had dreams and visions sometimes of things to come. Not many, by any means, but over the years I have recognized them as warnings from the Lord to pray against them.

God doesn't warn me of everything, otherwise he would have given me some kind of warning about my son's illness. Sometimes He just lets things blind side you.

Any way, I say this to bring something a little more serious to our gathering here.

In the Bible there is a clear suggestion to pray for our leaders that we may worship in peace. The REASON is so we may live peacefully and quietly.

1 Timothy 2

Instructions on Worship

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—

for kings and all those in authority,

that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Authority affects us all and God is in control over them.

In Proverbs 21

The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD;
He turns it wherever He wishes.
Every man's way is right in his own eyes,
But the LORD weighs the hearts.

I don't remember a gathering in my many years following Christ where this admonition has been honoured in worship.

With this kind of warning in my heart it is something that weighs on me ... the Lord always warned before He allowed calamity to come upon a nation.

Israel endlessly

to name a few.

Heather said...

Who's there?

Valorosa said...

Well bowling was kiboshed because of severely slippery weather tonight.

We had really wet snow again and thunder and lightening too!!!

Try again another night ;-)

jON said...

sorry, val. i don't think our bowling excursion is going to happen on the 30th either. it was a day that at first seemed to work for people and now its not. we'll have to push it back a couple of weeks to some day like dec. 14th.

not to totally ignore your questions about your vision! in short, yes and no. how's that?

yes, i have always felt like the world is on the precipise of some sort of awful disaster. some cataclysmic event that's just around the corner and we need to pray to hold back the tide.

at the same time, no, i have not felt anything specific as to things like soldiers coming for us in our own continent. that doesn't mean your vision of warning isn't real, just that it hasn't been given to me as well.

i do agree, however, that we DO need to pray more often for our world leaders. in fact, we should probably pray for them as often as we complain about them. if we did that, this world could hopefully be a different place.

but would it? can we really turn from this seemingly inevitable destruction? or is there no way to avoid it, and fighting against it is a waste of time?

Valorosa said...

I think there is always hope and since we are admonished to pray for our leaders and we don't, I am wondering what we are missing out on in our nations.

I'm wondering whether we should start as a group here to pray for the leaders of all the countries represented here.

If Nineveh could turn around to worship and acknowledge God for the truth of who He is ... I'll leave the rest to everyone's imaginations as to the possibilities.

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