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Fresh Perspectives

I'm reading the book "The Gospel According to Starbucks" by Leonard Sweet. My regular reading tends to keep me away from "Christian" literature, especially "Christian Pop" reading but now and then I enjoy some of what comes out, especially if it's on the fringe and offers me a Fresh Perspective. For that reason I pick up an 'Emerging' book now and then. It's also for that reason that I enjoy reading Driscoll.

I've smiled many times reading this book and if anything it's given me a 'Fresh Perspective' with which to frame those who align themselves with the postmodern mind. I'm nearing the end of the book and I've found affinity with a decent amount of Sweet's musings on both the church and my favorite drinking establishment, Starbucks.

To give myself a Fresh Perspective today I decided to read most of the book at (where else?) Starbucks. The barista asked me "Is that a good book?" I said "Yep. So good that it got me out of my office and inspired me to give you $6 (I had a snack too). She thought that was cool and said "Well that must be a good book."

If you read this book I encourage you to read it in the environment upon which the book draws its metaphors. It's a great Experience. Which is one of the four main thrusts of Sweet's comparisons to a faith with 'Grande Passion'.

In another effort for fresh perspective I walked in the house from Starbucks and dove to the floor to play with my almost 2 year old son, Caleb (July 20th) and decided to spend some time at his level. It's always cool to be at his level and see things from his size. Instead of towering over my son I am able to look him nearly eye-to-eye. He's able to get the sense that in that moment he's closer to me than when we're separated by the nearly 4 feet of height difference. It was cool as I thought "That's what God did when he introduced himself to humanity as Jesus. He got to where we could see him eye-to-eye."

Another Fresh Perspective happened when I was on the floor. I rolled over and looked up at my home. We have a vaulted ceiling in the living room that extends up to our loft. Today was the first time I laid on the carpet and looked up toward the ceiling and through the skylights. Facing upstairs from my back allowed me to see my home from a Fresh Perspective. Again I thought of how that applies to my life and view of God. No wonder people get bored in their Christian walk and expect me to be their spiritual crack dealer... they've run out of ways to experience God b/c they spend their lives looking at him from the same angle every day. He's so fresh. One of the things the book draws out is this idea of God being infinately complex. The same Jesus who said "Go the second mile" also said "Let the dead bury their dead". The same cross that bore the ultimate in evil by killing innocence also bore the ultimate in love as Jesus' death paved the way to His resurrection and my connection with my father. Speaking of father... Sweet points that out too... Our Father (personal) who art in Heaven (distant)... pretty cool stuff.

One last mind-dump on Fresh Perspectives. While laying on the floor and then looking up at the ceiling, I started to look around at my home. As I got closer to the walls, corners and paint job I noticed a LOT of imperfections. Dinged walls, crooked strokes, imperfect joints fill our homes... but when I'm walking around in my home I see nothing but the beauty and defined spaces that makes me love my home. Church is a lot like that. When people start coming to the church they do not notice the dinged edges and uneven paint lines that marked any organization with flawed people but rather they notice the inviting spaces and open floor plan. Lord willing, they find it to be a place they can call home. If however they don't find themselves as a part of the vision, the appreciation can quickly turn to cynicism and your house guest can become a critic. I'm not a fan of critics without a cause. I've found that people who are on the team have little time to criticize because they are too busy working. Usually when you find a critical person you will find a person sitting down with nothing in their hands.

They are in need of a fresh perspective.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Monday, July 16, 2007

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