It’s a lovely Tuesday morning here in Denver … cool and overcast. A welcome relief from the near-100 degree temperatures we’ve consistently had around here. We’ll take it! (Especially since we don’t have AC in our house. Yikes!)
Anyway, the Arndt family has had a busy 4 week run (two trips to Wisconsin with the kids in that time!), and I realized that I haven’t blogged in awhile … so as a way of jumpstarting the habit again, here are a few highlights from the last few weeks along with some things I’m thinking about these days:
- Hanging out with Dallas Willard for a few days at the Green Lake Conference and Retreat Center up in Wisconsin was truly amazing. Dallas is, well, quite simply one of the most clear-minded and profound thinkers on the issue of spiritual formation, having written such books as The Divine Conspiracy, Spirit of the Disciplines, and Renovation of the Heart, among others, and it was incredible to be in the same room with him listening to him talk about how the “heaven kind of life now” gets worked into the totality of who we are as human beings. Just SO good.
- Additionally, it was a total pleasure to spend a few days with my fellow Kern Scholars up in WI. My seminary education was funded by a foundation called The Kern Foundation, a now half-billion dollar enterprise seeking to bring renewal to the church in America by identifying and funding young pastors and leaders to lead the next generation of churches. It was SO cool to see old classmates and hang with other Kern Scholars from around the country who are doing some really cool things. God bless the Kerns for their amazing work.
- This past weekend I had the great pleasure of speaking at Denver Community Church, in their words a “holistic, Christian, missional community.” Led by Michael Hidalgo, Jon Gettings, and a friend of mine from my seminary days Dave Neuhausel, DCC is doing WONDERFUL work here in Denver, and it was a total joy to be able to spend some time with the folks there. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Denver has some of the coolest churches and pastors anywhere, and even more than that, THE UTTERLY AMAZING THING is that bunches of these churches are (brace yourself) ACTUALLY FRIENDLY with each other. Having spent time in cities where churches could be VERY territorial, the city of Denver’s church milieu comes as a breath of fresh air. Open-handed, generous, and non-competitive, it’s a complete delight to “do” church here in this city with churches like DCC and guys like Michael, Jon, and Dave.
- DANG, we’ve enjoyed worshiping at our new location the past few weeks. If you’re in D-town and you haven’t hung out with us in awhile, you oughta come out this weekend.
- Just finished reading “The Good and Beautiful God” by James Bryan Smith. Highly recommended. Smith is himself a Dallas Willard and Richard Foster disciple, and was/is friends with such spiritual formation heavyweights as Henri Nouwen and Eugene Peterson. Smith helps us identify ways in which our view of God is out of touch with “The God Jesus Knows” and gives us practical suggestions for getting to know the God Jesus called “Father”. You really should pick it up.
THINGS I’M THINKING ABOUT THESE DAYS…
- That I’m appreciative to be friends with guys like this. Joe has been a friend of mine since my college days, and I always respected the depth of his love for God. When he and his wife Anjanette found out their daughter had diabetes several years ago, it could have crushed them. Instead, it deepened their understanding of how utterly good and trustworthy Jesus is. Take some time and read his reflections…
- That “Jesus is not just nice; he is brilliant” (a Willard saying) is a lifelong journey of discovery. To know Jesus as not just beautiful or provocative or even simply kind, but intelligent, utterly competent, and therefore trustworthy for everything that matters most to our lives … well, that’s easier said than done. God give us grace to trust Jesus.
- That I’m really looking forward to seeing what God does with Bloom this fall and beyond. We have some exciting developments on the horizon, and we’re praying hard for wisdom and direction to move forward just as God would have us move forward. When you think of us, pray for us : )
Well, that pretty much does it. Hoping you have the grace to TRUST JESUS today.