So, I made a few promises regarding my 100th post, so let’s get to those first.
First, I promised a significant announcement.
Whatever “next” in my journey entails, I’ve decided it definitely does not mean sitting quietly in a world of desperate sadness, when I have good news to offer! It doesn’t mean deciding that without a church I have no gifts either. I, like you, am a steward of God’s Grace and I plan to honor that stewardship. So, whatever “next” entails, I’ve decided that some part of that means taking some of what I did as a pastor and doing it on a broader scale. It means, listening to your stories, sharing the incredible story of the universe as God has revealed it in Christ, and helping people understand their own stories better through community and truth.
Towards that end, today I start a new Facebook page; a page distinct from my personal page; a page where you can keep up with the latest conferences, speaking engagements, blogs and books from Pastormac (meaning me, in case you’ve forgotten that) but more importantly a place where you can share your story, connect with others and perhaps make sense of and embrace your own story in the process and community.
Here’s a piece of the longer description on that page.
Our lives too often appear to be chaotic, random circumstances without sense or order, and yet, the desire for order and meaning is fierce and undeniable. As a pastor of 23 years, I’ve become convinced that this desire is only one of many indications that our lives are neither random, nor chaotic.
Two things make understanding our stories more likely. One is discovering the punctuation and meaning of the author. There is truth in your story if you can learn to see it and embrace it.
The second is to see your story in light of the community of stories around us. Our stories always make more sense when not viewed in isolation. In that context we can begin to see the beauty not only in other’s stories, but in our own as well.
Pastormacs Facebook page. (There’s also a link on the sidebar of this page now)
You’ll see other exciting changes and evidence of this journey in coming months too. You’ve already seen a greatly increased regularity on my blog postings, which has produced an incredible 2000 percent increase in traffic (and yes that’s the real number rounded down, not a random number meant to sound big.) You can count on this regularity going forward. I also have talented professional friends helping me create a new website for this blog and create new more professional book covers. All this, to maximize the possibility of expanding my stewardship, rather than decreasing it as a result of the closing of Lifesong.
Yeah, yeah, that’s awesome, but get to the prizes!
Right, I also promised three giveaways. Ok, here’s how they work.
1) I will randomly award Prize package number one to a commenter on this post. Every one who comments on this post in the next 24 hours (Monday Morning at 9:00 is the cut off) gets one entry into the computer generated randomly determined winner. Here’s one wrinkle however, if you comment with something more substantive than “hey I commented here, I want a prize, gimme.” then you get two entries!
2) To win prize package number two, go to my new Facebook page (Here’s the link again) and post your favorite quote from someone other than yourself. The quote that gets the most likes in the next 24 hours (same time frame as number 1) will win. In the event of a tie, I will subjectively pick from the tying entries, the quote I like best. Be cool and take time to like other people’s quotes while you are there as well.
3) To win prize package number three you must send me the best set up for a punch line I provide. Ah but it’s trickier still. Not only do you have to come up with a set up which actually makes sense with the punch line, but you have to discover the punchline by solving the riddle/poem below. Then you have to send me your set up and the punchline (to prove you didn’t just get lucky but actually know what the punchline is) to firstname.lastname@example.org. AND you have to be the first to do all this. You don’t have to be the funniest. There is no time limit on this one. Just be the first to email me with the required elements.
Here’s your riddle/poem:
If this is five, and the word is tan
Find the first four and then
Find each word and find the first
Put them together and do your worst.
But what are the prizes?
Patience young grasshopper. Here they are.
Prize package One: A copy of The Hidden Life (hard or ebook whichever you prefer) and the same offer I made to my good friend Kelli Rush Bach. You pick the character (up to three, can include yourself if you’d like), the theme (anything at all as long as it’s reasonably family friendly). and the number of parts, up to 10 and I will write a Serial Saturday on your choices. You get to be the hero of your own story!
Prize package Two: A copy of The Hidden Life (hard or ebook whichever you prefer) and a brand new iPod Shuffle. You pick the color.
Prize Package Three: A copy of the Hidden Life (hard or ebook whichever you prefer) and an Amazon Gift card worth 50 dollars.
And now the pilgrimage continues.
On Monday I have been invited by one of our Great Commission leaders, the association for which I’ve been a pastor for two decades, and more importantly the community which inspired and discipled me, to attend a retreat with other pastor’s seeking direction. I found this to be a generous invitation and an opportunity it would be foolish to let go. I am seeking direction, this retreat offers a chance to find some, in the company of people I respect…voila! I’ll most likely process that with you all when I return. In the meantime, last week I mentioned big idea number 1, the primacy of the church. These big ideas are things we talked about a lot at Lifesong. In fact so much so that occasionally I would overhear complaints about hearing of them yet again on a particular Sunday Morning. But the thing is I’ve learned after so many years, that when the vision is clear to the pastor, when he feels like he’s shared it so much he’s growing weary of it, that is just about the time that the most attentive congregant is just starting to consider the ramifications. Vision must be heard, reheard, chewed on, spit out, reexamined, and finally digested (ok digesting food you’ve chewed and spit out is an unfortunate metaphor, but you get the point). Anyway, I prepared a little something for you, my faithful blog friends on the second big idea. So whether it’s your first or 100th time to hear this presentation, I hope you will give it some thought.