need a friend?

Are you lonely? Do you need a friend? When I left the ministry a couple of years ago, we were lonely overnight. I know what loneliness feels like.Something Lisa and I have discovered is that you have to start exactly where you are. You have to start with yourself. Befriend yourself first. Be a friend first. Then reach out. Friends are there waiting.How do I know? Because everyone else is saying the same thing: "I need a friend." … [Read more...]

The Church and Triangulation

Lisa and I went away for a few days to enjoy our 30th anniversary. And we did enjoy it. We had a wonderful rest with some extended times of good conversation.One of the things we talked about, with tears, was all the friends we have lost over the years. All because of the church. Of all the people we've known outside of the church, this kind of thing hardly ever happens. People are just friends, and their jobs and commitments are on the periphery of their friendship. Although this brings to … [Read more...]

Sterilizing the Body

I'm warning you that if you want to have a relational community, a community of friends, a community where people are free to be authentic, honest and open, a community where there's a collegial effort to share the gathering times, then you are in for chaos! It's going to be messy. I promise!It's not going to be messy for a couple of reasons. One is that you will inevitably have a collection of diverse individuals that are full of surprises... some welcome, some not. But then again, it depends … [Read more...]

cartoon: jumped conclusions

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Friends at the End of the Day

A friend sent me a small note that said, among other things, "Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts" (2 Timothy 2:22). It meant a lot to me, especially today, and I'll tell you why.People have left our community. Again. And I think more will leave. It's hard to take. I don't resent them. I'm not angry. People are free to choose what they want. I don't imagine I have everything everybody needs. But when new people come (and I hope new ones will) I always feel a … [Read more...]

Friends Like You

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Her Guidance Through Darkness

You, my readers, have become familiar with my good friend Sarah who lost her boyfriend, soon-to-be-fiancé to suicide on January 8 this year. Read here and here and here to catch up if you aren't aware of what's going on. The other day Lisa and I were visiting with her, having drinks and chatting, when she told a story that I thought you'd all like to hear about. It's about how she's felt God guiding her through her grief. I asked if she'd mind writing a post about that for nakedpastor. She sent … [Read more...]

Brenda and Her Kites

This is Brenda. She's a part of our community. She's an artist. She's a friend. She comes to the church building at least one day a week to clean things up. Today she came in just to decorate the toddlers' room with colorful kites. I was so impressed with the colors that I just had to shoot a photograph of it. I like how she surrounds herself with brilliance... not only in color, but also with other things. She throws quite a party too! Her home looks like it's come right out of a designer … [Read more...]

Farmer Peter’s Party!

Peter and Debbie McCready, farming friends who are a part of our community, had a party for Peter's birthday last night. All were invited. It was packed! Above is a pic of just one of the rooms in their huge old farmhouse (1786!). Food galore! Man, can Debbie cook! Fresh homemade bread and hot pepper cream cheese, homemade lamb and barley soup, as well as homemade hot and sour soup. Homemade cakes and pastries. Wow. Wine from Chile to South Africa were there to spare and beer from Saint John to … [Read more...]

Issues Aren’t Obstacles, But The Finish Line

You know, I'm beginning to suspect that tragedy is not unique to our community. It is the universal human condition. I think the reason our community seems so tribulated (new word!) is because the people are more honest about their struggles. If someone is going through crap, we all know about it. It is shared. It's because we encourage people to be authentic and open about their lives. I abhor pretension. I hate hypocrisy. Especially in myself! Friendship is encouraged. Friends know each other … [Read more...]