Of this blog mocking me with it's un-updated presence. Only one thing for it then...
Time to start writing again. By a sheer ACT OF MY WILL...
Of this blog mocking me with it's un-updated presence. Only one thing for it then...
Time to start writing again. By a sheer ACT OF MY WILL...
I've been thinking through the issue of why I haven't been blogging as much... that's probably a nice way to put it, yeah? Truthfully, these last three months have found my blog laying by the side of the road like a wounded lemur. Will no one stop to help?
"There is something deeply spiritual about honoring the limitations of our lives and the boundaries of what God has given us to do as leaders. Narcissistic leaders are always looking beyond their sphere of influence with visions of grandiosity far out of proportion to what is actually being given. Living within our limits means living within the finiteness of who we are as individuals and as a community- the limits of time and space, the limits of our physical, emotional, relational and spiritual capacities, the limits of our stage of life... and the limits of the calling God has given. It means doing this and not that. It means doing this much and not more."
"When we refuse to live within our limits (one of my deepest temptations), we wear out ourselves and those who lead with us. We compromise the quality of our relationships with God and the people around us. We compromise our effectiveness at doing the things we have been called to do. To live within our limits is to live humbly as the creature, not the Creator. Only God is infinite; the rest of us need to be very clear about what we are about in any given moment and say no to everything else."
A couple of things:
1. I'd love to have your articles/reflections/artwork or reviews for the February Next Wave. "Lenten Reflections" is a suggested topic, but anything exploring the space where Church and Culture meet is appreciated. Please email submissions by Wednesday, Feb 6th to me at bob at evergreenlife dot org.
check it out:
What is it all about?
We believe God cares about our daily work. HighCallingBlogs.com is a network of personal websites focused specifically on the intersection of faith and work.
Sorry for the week of low... uh, "no"... blogging.
I do have a job :) (Really! Family too...)
Anyway, I'm excited to announce (but had to wait until I blogged something at least semi-substantive- see below) before announcing...
The Bob.Blog has been added to the Daily Scribe, "a growing compendium of exceptional Christian expression."
I'm glad to join the ranks, and hope to make proud those who voted me in :)
"I think it’s fair to say that I’ve largely overcome the need to blog for the sake of blogging. There was a while there where I wanted to write something, not because I had something particularly worth saying, but because I wanted people to keep reading what I wrote. Egotistical at the best of times, and downright dangerous for a blog of a theological persuasion. I mean, honestly, who wants to influence other people’s beliefs and faith with their own flippant, throw away lines that they only put in the public domain because they’ve come to need the web counter’s constant march to prove to them that they’re worthwhile? A harsh assessment, perhaps, but at the end of the day we all need love; where we choose to look for it is where our differences lie."
A Friday around the room of people/places who dug/took issue with bob.blog recently (wherein bob shamelessly links to others who have linked to/mentioned him...uh, all in an effort to gin up some technorati points)...
Middle Kid/Caught in the Middle has named me as a "thinking blogger"! Rock on. He says: "Bob is pastor of the Evergreen Community in California. He's emergent-sensitive, humorous and insightful."
The boys over at Christian Research Network.info sympathize with the grief I and others take from the likes of Ken Silva...
Aaron Pelly dug what I had to say about the VT incident.
Jr recommends my posts on preaching with dialogue. "They're quite good." Thanks, man...
Nathan recommends it as well...
Iggy thinks I've nailed it when it comes to the biggest problem with emerging church critique
The Blind Beggar also liked the dialogue with Geoff Surrat
The Monday Morning Insight also picked up on said dialogue
Michael Spencer, the iMonk, calls the bob.blog "classy"(!) and says my response to Phil Johnson is a "must read."
I think John DeMarco thought my recent troubles worth noting
And finally... Phil Johnson didn't think my thoughts worth comment, but at least worth linking to in the title of this post
I got an email this morning:
"Hi Bob, I'm interested in buying an ad on http://evergreenlife.org/2005/08/next-emergent-facial-hair-style.html. I can pay $30. The ad is for a company that sells luxury shaving kits (good for beard maintenance...) Let me know if you are interested and I will send the ad. Thanks!"
Huh, thinks I... Is this legit? Or will I have some guy in an internet cafe' in Lagos, Nigeria asking for my bank account so they can wire the money directly to me...
Tell you what- that's my old blog- my new one is at http://
bobhyatt.typepad.com. I get around 12-14,000 unique visitors a month.
you send me $30 and I'll happily re-run that blog post and include an
ad for your luxury shaving kit
(I think that's where the actual transaction for my soul took place... pressing "send" on that email...
The reply came:
Thanks for your quick reply. I'm still interested in putting an ad on your old blog for $30, if you can do it (that's how I found it and I think that's how users would find it.) But also, if you want, I'll have the shaving stuff sent to you for free and you can review it on your new blog. Let me know what you think. :)"
So... why don't YOU let me know what you think? Am I ethically challenged?? Have I pimped myself out for a luxury shaving kit and $30? Or is this a perfectly reasonable return on the effort of creating a blog a few people read? Does the fact that I am a pastor in any way enter into this? Or is this just good ol' capitalism at work?
Okay- now that the hoopla from the New York Times article has died down... I'm going to debling my blog. And hopefully my mom (and other Internet Explorer users) will be able to read it again without having a "stack overflow" error that crashes their whole machine.
If you are coming here from the NYT, welcome...
I do have a bunch of crap on my blog, widget-wise that is, but I don't think it's all that much out of control :)
That being said, some brief info.
I'm the pastor of a new (under 3 years) church called The Evergreen Community. Since our beginning we've met on Sundays in a pub, though I hope we aren't just "pub church" but rather a group of people honestly journeying together in this thing of trying to seek God and live life in the way of Jesus.
It's a struggle to try to separate out Jesus from all the accretions the church has managed to pile on top of Him over the last years... and some times we manage to do that, and sometimes we seem to add our own junk to the pile.
But we try. We try because we've found that there's something about Jesus that's worth the effort... a lot of us came to evergreen tired, burned out on church and religion and were maybe giving it one last shot. I know that's how I felt shortly before starting the church, and I'm the pastor.
Here's the thing- absent the creepy marketing and program-driven madness of "bigger is better!!", and re-focused around the person of Jesus and taking care of one another, church can actually be this life-enriching thing to involve yourself in- a community where you find people to struggle with, not against, a place where you help each other focus on the transcendent and not merely the grind... a place where and a people with whom God is found.
As for this blog, I write mainly with pastors in mind, so things tend to get a bit solipsistic at times- I figure if I'm struggling with it, someone else wearing shoes very like mine probably is as well...
If you want to know more about any of this, or if you are interested in hearing more about church done differently, check out some of the articles to the side... like Escape From Consumer Church
Anyway, sorry for the pitch. Hope it wasn't creepy marketing. Just thought I'd give you a thumbnail on what makes this blog tick :)
(By the way... I also run the site PastorHacks.net, dedicated to pastoral productivity hacks, and am the editor for the online e-zine Next Wave, dedicated to discussing church and culture. Check 'em out...)
So... It wasn't exactly how I had envisioned making the NY Times, but I guess it's better than, say, a perp walk. :)
Welcome NYT readers... Enjoy the blog!
UPDATE: If you have a widget you want to let people know about, feel free to post a link in the comments to this post! Today's the day- more than 1200 visitors, just before 8am! :)
1. The new Next Wave is up. You should check it out...
2. Pastor Hacks is on a best-of run for Dec. So get caught up if you haven't already read through the archives...
3. I was briefly interviewed for the New York Times yesterday... I got an email saying this writer who was doing a story for the NYT wanted to talk to me about my blog. Okay, thinks I... must be about the emerging church blog scene, or the impact of technology and cyberspace on community, or church presence on the interwebs...
Ha! It was about "widgets" :)
I think the take-away here is that I have piled so much crap onto the sidebars of my blog that it has now become officially news-worthy.
4. If you want to throw a little love Bob's way this Christmas season (and who doesn't??), it's easy. Click any amazon link on this page and do a little of your Christmas shopping that way. The little bit I get from Amazon helps me pay for the blog and occasionally buys a cuppa joe, so...
You know what I love about Scott Berkhimer's blog? All substance, baby... Good, thoughtful commentary and theological thinking.
The only thing that bugs me about Scott, in fact, is that he consistently leaves better comments on my blog than the entries they are left on... :)
Like this, for instance, left on the Complementarity Without Heirarchy post below:
"ryan - don't you think we make that same hermeneutical leap all the time? I mean, Paul was big on circumcision. For the Galatians, he argued that to accept it was to deny the gospel. But I don't hear a lot about circumcision these days. In fact, I feel it's a safe bet to say that nobody even connects it with the gospel. That, in spite of Paul's "clear teaching" that if one allows himself to be circumcised then the gospel is of no value.
Now, I know that's not all Paul says about this point - but that's exactly what those of us who hold to an egalitarian viewpoint would say about the question of gender roles. What constitutes "theological evolution"? Is it simply a matter of saying that what was once said is all that can ever be said? Or is it a matter of reading all contexts - both the cultural context of scripture and our own context - and determining what the Spirit both has said and is currently saying?"
More challenging thought per line than most have per page...
You really should be reading his blog!
You hit this point with a blog... you know the one I'm talking about?
The one where you know more people than just your wife (when you bug her to) and your two best buddies are reading the thing. The place where you feel like you actually have to say something more than simply ranting about the song they keep playing over and over and over again at Starbucks...
The place where the subtle idol of needing to perform and be kudo'd for your performance eventually results in stifling your creativity and you end up writing less and less because you know that now people are reading and they come for your trenchant insights on whatever it is you now mainly write about, not the average everyday thoughts you used to blog so much. You know, you started getting comments on certain items and that reinforced you writing about about certain things...
So, that place where you write less and less because of the internal need to write better and better for the audience that is waiting, checking back, wondering...
You know that place?
That's where I am...
I've been on vacation with the fam this week, and so the blog has been on autopilot the last couple of days.
I'll be heading back to P-town later today, making the long drive alone. Amy, Jack and Jane will fly back next week. I always love being alone without the family- for about 12 hours. And then it begins to suck. I pretty quickly remember why being a bachelor was in many ways, a crappy experience.
At any rate, I couldn't sleep tonight and I was up tooling around on the wi-fi of some neighbor of my mother-in-law, and noticed that Lifehack.org had linked to my pastorhacks site. Now, I was pretty happy for the link, but a little disturbed to see the tagline somewhat mangled... one little word changed can warp the whole meaning.
The actual tagline: "Less time on tasks, more time with people."
As lifehack (and others!) have reported it?
See, that's just wrong...
the latest and greatest from PastorHacks.Net...
Thank you to everyone who has linked to the bob.blog recently...
So- thanks to all who have helped me reach this life long... er... month's long... goal!
So, Rick Warren has started a blog. Good for him! I was thinking he needed a hobby...
And he's inspired me. I think I might add "The Official blog of Bob Hyatt" to my tag line... :)
Ahhh... when different threads converge.
Charlie from Next Wave posted my Fourth of July Article as their featured piece this month- he's run it before, but this was the first time as a "cover" story (another small aspiration met!).
This article has really, really been around the block now, but it's apparently still new to quite a few, based on the good number of positive comments it's gotten since being posted last night...
On another front, however... on our forum, we've circled back to the discussion on sarcasm and humor. We use some of it, and it makes some people uncomfortable. I think their point is that there really isn't any good coming out of poking fun at various members of the Body of Christ (well taken...). My point is that there's a time when having fun crosses the line and begins to get into a dark, mean place that I certainly don't want to go. I just don't think ANY and all fun or humor that's based around the evangelical subculture crosses into that place. I think especially because this is my tribe, my people, I can have some fun with them.
For example... when I see that a church spent $260,000 on this, I gotta say something...
So you guys tell me... my faithful blog readers who get the full brunt of my sense of humor (such as it is)... do I cross the line? Is it too much? Is there ever a place to poke fun at fellow Christians? I really want to know what you all think...
Actually asking here.
So, remember when I said I'd pretty much accomplished eveything I wanted to get done and the rest was just dessert...
Okay, there's ONE more thing.
You can help.
I'm so close to not only cracking the top ten on technorati listings for "emerging church" , but I'm also this close to passing our old sparring buddies and sisters-in-the-Lord over at Emergent No.
Petty, I know... But...
Two things: If you are a regular stopper-by here at the bob.blog, would you consider adding me to your blog roll? 10 more, and I'm in the top ten...
And, If you are World Famous Blogger and All Around Swell Guy Andrew Jones,, Mr Tall Skinny Kiwi, would you consider one little tweak? I noticed awhile ago that my blog appeared twice on the listing, once as bobhyatt.typepad.com and once as bobhyatt.typepad.com/bobblog. For some reason, one was always ranked lower than the other... but so as not to take up space in the rankings (again, rankings are petty, I know, but hey- it's a hobby!) I took "emerging church" out of the categories for the lower ranked one...
"Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions."- Prov 18:2
okay- sorry apologies to anyone who's tried to comment recently and been redirected to my paypal account.
Totally not intentional.
A glitch, which, I believe, is now fixed...
Something of a block going on here...
I haven't wanted to write much on the ol' bob.blog. I've been chalking it up to new baby-induced foggy brain, but I'm not sure. It's easier to post PastorHacks and images than to do the intro and outro spection necessary for really good blogging...
But today my beautiful wife has given me, as a Father's Day present, permission to head out of the house for readin', writin' and relaxin'. So nice!
Better get down to business, I suppose.
Hey! The bob.blog recently got a couple of high profile links!
Subversive Influence, the blog of the mysterious Br. Maynard, who once offered to help me with some odd dreams I was having! Remember that, Br. Maynard???
Thanks guys! Backatcha!
Okay, so pastorhacks.net is up and running. The domain forwarding started working, though for some reason it still goes to a park page if you type in "www" ahead of the address. Dang it.
Okay- I had an idea, and I think it's a good one, so... I'm putting together a site: Pastorhacks.net.
Don't go there yet- still trying to figure out the domain mapping thing... ugh.
But for now- the site lives at bobhyatt.typepad.com/pastorhacks
I sum up the whole idea this way: Less time on tasks, more time with people. A "hack" in this context is an idea for saving time/energy/resources, being more productive, etc...
Check it out, give me your comments and suggestions and send your ideas for your favorite prodictivity tricks/pastor hacks to email@example.com. If I like 'em, I'll post 'em and link to you.
Cool. Dave likes me! I even made the short list of heroes :)
Okay, here's your chance. What words/phrases do I overuse?
I've noticed two of a more grammatical nature. Despite a concerted effort to avoid being the guy whose blog posts all contain inordinate amounts of sentences ending with a "
!", I can see that over the last few posts, particularly the MacBook ones, I've become that guy...
And I WAY overuse the ellipses periods as well... Don't I?
What else, I wonder?
PlanterBlogs.com is now PlanterPlanet.com. PlanterBlogs.com will no longer work, so please update your bookmarks and links on your site in order to help spread the word. (If you are reading the feed, its address has not changed, so you don’t need to change anything.)
Check it out!
Whoa... Someone is reading the ol' bob.blog from "Willow Creek Community Church, United States"
Everyone sit up and behave! The adults are here
I'm still not showing up on planet emergent... bumming me out. All that beautiful blog traffic- gone!
Wish I knew what the problem was...
Is anyone else who's normally aggregated on blogs like planetemergent.org/emergingchurchblogs.info, and who's using typepad not seeing your blog show up there? Mine hasn't in days...
I'm convinced that most of us have some poetry inside. Some poetry, a song or two, maybe a story...
Some of us have a lot more than a song or two. And some lucky folks actually get to make a living out of it until the songs run out. Ditto the stories, poetry, etc.
(And I'll tell you, it's a sad thing when a great songwriter just plain runs out of songs... you can tell the moment it happens.
Elton John? Nikita.
Paul McCartney? Ebony and Ivory.
The Rolling Stones? Every song on every album they have produced in the last 20 years...)
The thing is, most of us know that we'll never be "writers." We don't fancy ourselves songwriters, so that song never comes out. We don't think of ourselves as "poets" so that poem or two sits in our internal closet and never sees the light of day.
So here's the beauty of the blog thing. It's a low commitment outlet. Not as low as some of you friends of mine who start blogs and leave them to whither and die while you ignore them (you know who you are!) think... But low commitment in the sense that I can write something, put it out there, be read... and all without the whole 4 years in grad school english. I can make my song on garageband and put it out there for the world to think "Hey! That's pretty cool." Not "Born to Run" cool, but definitely better than a lot of the jive on MySpace.
Anyway, here's some stuff by some good blog writers... I hope they have more in them, because this is seriously good stuff.
and the 1st word to be banned in 2007 because of overuse in 2006 is...
You heard it here first folks. We're all loving this word now, but just you listen to me... we'll be sooo over it soon.
Hey all... Is my RSS delivering this to you correctly? How many of you read by RSS? Has it been working right?
Today is going to end up being one of the biggest days we've had here on bob.blog, with more than 400 of you stopping by (I know that's not "Tall Skinny big", but hey...)
I thought it was mainly on the strength of my incredibly insightful/entertaining posts with no visible links from elsewhere, but then I saw Robbymac was throwing some traffic my way... Thanks man!
Lot's going on at typepad... everything down
sort of up...
Steve McCoy (Reformissionary) has linked me... We here at bob.blog™ are very much looking forward to the increased traffic from our Southern Baptist brethren and sisteren!
And right back at ya' Steve with the link!
(Random thought) Today has been a really good, really productive day. Weeks when I'm not preaching, but can use the time to get caught up or even ahead, are like a gift to my weary soul.
1. I'm loving the whole "post later" thing on Type Pad. This morning, before leaving for work, I wrote three responses to the pushback questions I had recieved on Video Venues. I posted the first one and scheduled the next two for tomorrow morning and Monday morning with (hopefully) the rest to follow daily after that. I'm trying to
a. Allow room for feedback/discussion/telling me I'm totally wrong on each thought without burying them in competing comments
b. Have something go up on the blog every day.
2. After I finish and email 'em to him, I'll be using the same post-a-day method to respond to John O'Keefe's Se7en Questions as well, from Ginkworld. That way, John can post em, and then I can. (I've been wanting to do the Se7en questions for a long time! Rock on...)
3. I hope to get last sunday's podcast up tomorrow, and no (public) podcast this week. We may or may not record, if we do, and you want it, email me and I'll send it. Our speaker prefers it this way for a couple of reasons.
Every once in awhile my referrers make me snort out loud.
starla rocks forum (Google)
butt candling (Google)
"Bob Hyatt" (Google)
styling chin strap beard (Google)
"bob church" jazz (Google)
blog for pastor's wives (Google)
goofy signs (Google)
"Bob Hyatt" (Google)
facial hair, soul patch, chin strap (Google)
donald miller blog (Google)
Evergreen Mega Church, Oregon (Google)
"a n roquelaure" (MSN)
barbarian way (Google)
blog boobs (Google)
critique renovare (Google)
men2men bold pictures (Yahoo)
starla rocks forum (Google)
what kind of facial hair do women like soul patch (Google)
phos hilaron (Google)
cbc blog (Google)
First, who ARE all these people always looking for "chin strap beard" on the internet??? Are they looking for instructions? Is this some weird fetish? What???WHAT???
Second, to the person who found us through "Evergreen Mega Church"...
My sincerest apologies.
I was driving to the Horse Brass last night with our associate pastor, Chris and he thanked me for bringing him along on our little church planting adventure and giving him, via our conversations, a window into when I'm doing well and when I'm doing not so well and the ups and downs of the pastoral thing. (My pleasure, man!)
What I told him, and what I tell you now, is that I'm doing my best to live transparently, to put myself out there (which is a scary thing for an introvert). And I do it on purpose and with reasons.
In no particular order, my reasons are something like this...
The era of the pastor on the pedestal is over. Not that we shouldn't respect our pastors, but too many of us grew up being allowed to think that the pastor was a cut above, on a super-spiritual plane that we should aspire to, but probably would never reach short of becoming pastors ourselves (or missionaries... missionaries were even better in some cases). The problem is that pastors are only human and the first time they show that, those who enjoy the pastor-on-the-pedestal are left feeling hurt and betrayed. Better to let people know up front- I'm just like you. I struggle with self-doubt, with identity and motivation issues just like everyone. I struggle with sin. I get angry. I'm selfish too much of the time. Sometimes I don't want to spend time with God. I hate the fact that my hair is deserting me, but my stomach seems to be hitting a growth period.
But in the midst of all that God shows me grace and forgiveness, God is my center and my ground. It's possible to live this life and not be swept away, not be pulled under. And it doesn't happen because you reach a level of spiritual perfection where the waters calm and the clouds part. It happens because through those very things you struggle with you are driven time and time again to God Himself.
And if I didn't live that process openly with people, what right would I have to try to tell them that's how it works?
Also, I want to share. I'm the kind of guy that when he finds a band he likes, he's likely to make you a disc of their stuff (copyrights be darned!). I feel the same way with my experience in life, in pastoring and in church planting. I hope that what I share of our journey will help in some way for those who are on the same trip, or thinking about it. I don't have much to offer, but what I lack in quality, I try to make up for in quantity :)
Blogging for me is like journaling, keeping a diary. I just don't want to have to die before anyone gets to read it.
But more than that, it's my way of making a contribution to the conversation.
A couple of years ago I was doing a guys group in my home, and we were going through Wild at Heart (Oh c'mon... you know you've done it too.) We were talking about "why are we here?" Aside from our main goal in life being to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, what specifically was our piece of the puzzle- what did God put us here for?
The image that came to my mind, as blustery as it sounds, was this: to help change the church.
I'm thankful for the couple hundred people who stop by here daily, reading my thoughts on organic church, on non-programatic ministry, on walking away from the consumer-church mentality. If they pick up something while they're here, great... that's another tiny, tiny piece I've contributed to that which is a life goal for me- to change the church to be more focused on God and the Gospel/Kingdom of God and more healthy for people.
But lastly, it's valuable for me. I'm a verbal processor who often doesn't know what I think until I'm saying it. This discipline, this little blog is worth it for me because it helps solidify my thoughts, helps me form my thinking and refine my ideas. It helps me express myself, what I'm feeling and exercise my demons. It just plain helps
So thanks blog, for being here for me. Even when I should be in bed...