I've been sick for the past three days, but last night, our church's community group canceled on account of strep in the host home's family, and I was determined to use the free night to hang out with friends. I started to feel worse as the evening dragged on, though, and ended up staying in. I just realized it was probably the first day in a couple of weeks that Brandi and I had the night to ourselves. We watched Memento (let's think about how great of a movie Memento is for a second), drank some sort of pseudo-hot-totties, and tried to avoid being eaten alive by our new cat, Gilbert. Turns out we got a cozy sort-of date night thanks to our annoying colds. Oh, redemption.
This morning, my old college roommate had a baby. Well, his wife had a baby. I lived with them for almost two years after they got married, and this little girl - London - is their second. Saywer and London. I've been telling the momma that she's not allowed deliver until I'm in town, and even though I'm now at the airport headed back out again, I got to go by the hospital minutes after the birth, and see that beautiful baby girl, whom I will affectionately call my niece (as according to Mamma Prego, I'm her adoptive "famous uncle Levi").
Getting ready to board a flight to Bismarck, North Dakota, where I'll be performing / speaking for the weekend at a camp a couple hours outside of the city. My friend Jonathan Stark recently got married and started working at a church up there (not necessarily in that order), and invited me out. Tomorrow night, I'm planning on performing the "best-of" my poetry, and I don't really know what that is but what I mean is I'm going to perform the most awkward set imaginable in attempts to open up conversation among the youth in attendance. Lay it all out on the table, so to speak. Then, on Friday, I'm hoping to open up with The Beginning. The Separation. and talk a bit about what's seems to be turning into a description of discipleship - image, worship, community and mission. I'd like to pay specific attention to sin as misplaced worship, though, and how worldly freedom looks a whole lot like biblical slavery. One of the ideas I'm kind of running with is my belief that we as Christians perpetuate idol worship with our prioritized, list-based Christianity that seems to allow for "sacred" and "secular" disconnects, so long as quiet time comes first in the mornings. I'd love to encourage a more holistic picture of living all of life in worship unto Jesus.
Anyway, it is in these times that I see one of my deepest temptations and struggles is to speak something like this into existence by my own strength. I am convinced that the most honorable and simultaneously frightening position is that of one who bears the responsibility of teaching the word of God. When I am in that position, I fear that I will take it too lightly so as not to consider its weight, or so heavily that I shake with misplaced confidence. And perhaps that is the best way to describe the fear - misplaced confidence. Surely those fears will come to pass if the Holy Spirit doesn't empower his word and speak through me. Last year, Bryan Chapell, my professor for preaching and teaching, said this (and as I remember, am grateful for it): "When you know you are not worthy, you need to know the word of God can work beyond you. The power of the word of God works beyond you. Incapacity does not disqualify you from forwarding the Word of God." Please pray for me this week, that my confidence would be in Christ alone, and that the Spirit of God would enlarge my heart to hear, obey and forward his word.
This month has been nuts. California the first week, New York a day later, North Dakota through the weekend, Indiana next week, Colorado after that, then the start of our Awkward Blues tour for November leading up to Thanksgiving. Thankful for the opportunities that the Lord has provided us this season.
Lastly, speaking of seasons, we've got some new clothes for you to keep warm in this one. Yesterday, we announced the winner of our 2013 Hoodie Design Contest, and today, we released the new prints for sale on our store, along with a special design from Mikaela Muersche - another contestant - that we just couldn't resist what with Halloween around the bend.
Alright, I'm boarding. Much love. See you soon.