Latest article on Permission to Speak Freely

Anne Jackson has a book releasing in 2010 called Permission to Speak Freely: Essays & Art on Fear, Confession, and Grace. We’ve been in touch here and there since we had lunch together at the RightNow conference.

Recently, Anne asked if she could publish my article An Uptown Confession (originally published on Ungrind.org) on the blog of her book.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the story (over there), and explore a little bit about her upcoming book and wildly popular blog Flowerdust.net. You can check it all out here.

I think you’ll be glad you did.

RightNow Conference Highlights

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Kay Warren, Lonnie Smith, Matt Chandler

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me and Donald Miller

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Kari Jobe, Lonnie Smith, Amena Brown

I feel like I’ve been saved all over again. Well, that’s what I told Jeremiah on the last day of the RightNow Conference.

The theme of our conference: Trading in the pursuit of the American Dream for a world that desperately needs Christ, spoke to me in so many ways and I don’t want to live my life any other way than to be a “trader.”

Here are a few highlights, nuggets, and take-aways I got this past weekend:

1.) I am selfish and don’t naturally think of others every day, so I must make a conscious effort to trade in my selfishness to help others who need physical healing and help, but most of all, who need the gospel.

2.) Even Francis Chan has wanted to quit. If someone like him can admit that, we should too. Leadership and ministry is a difficult, messy, but well worth it road.

3.) Living for and following Jesus requires a dangerous surrender. Kay Warren encouraged us on Fri. evening to surrender our life to the cause of Christ and to be willing to die for it. Her boldness inspired me and I don’t think anyone left that room unchanged that night.

4.) Matt Chandler’s passion for the gospel is unmatched. He helped us to get the gospel right and I can’t even begin to describe the magnitude at which the Holy Spirit uses him when he teaches God’s word.

5.) Eating Bar-b-que with Kari Jobe and her band. Jeremiah and I had a good time getting to know Kari and her band during dinner. Kari led our worship at the event and it was beautiful and God-exalting. Hearing her sing Revelation Song, Healer, and I Live to Worship You live was the best. She was a joy to meet in person. Check out her music at karijobe.com!

6.) Getting to see Brian Mosley, Marc McCartney, Lonnie Smith, Natalie Drew, and all our video producers in action. Brian is my boss and the Founder of Rightnow. Marc is our Dir. of Events. Lonnie is the Dir. of Church Relations. Natalie was in charge of all the details of recruiting volunteers and tons of the behind the scenes stuff. Every day in the office, I see their passion for our generation, but this weekend I got to see it on stage and among thousands of leaders. It was awesome!

7.) Spending an hour with Anne Jackson over pizza. We had so much fun talking about writing, her upcoming book, marriage, and things we struggle with. It was great getting to know her husband Chris as well (aka her road manager for the trip). Just in one hour, I felt like I’d known her all my life. Now I know why the world is so crazy about her!

8.) Getting a personal note from Kay Warren, and her book Dangerous Surrender. I received a very sweet note from Kay along with her book. I never had the chance to meet her though until after I got the book. She told me someone told her about me. I was shocked and humbled and right now I really want to thank whoever did that. 🙂

So the conference is over and now we are packing all the video and content from the main sessions into the upcoming RightNow Leadership Development Kit. We have lots to do and are so excited to get the experience out to many more leaders.

Wasteful Time Online

www.samanthakrieger.com

Last weekend, we had our CARES core team over for a brunch. Jeremiah and I get the privilege of serving alongside friends who share in the same vision we have to bring the love and hope of Christ to our community. Our core team helps us set up for our resident events. They clean, cook, and engage in meaningful conversations with our residents. They truly make our ministry what it is.

Joe faithfully serves alongside us. He’s a bachelor, has a cushiony job, a well-decorated apartment, and comes from a good family. Around the table, we got on a conversation about the internet in our culture today- how we live and breathe technology.

Joe chimed in unexpectedly, “I just did away with internet completely.”

We all gave him the look.

“I just didn’t want the temptation to even be in my presence.”

I knew exactly what he meant. Pornography. It’s always there. Just one click of a button. Well, Joe proceeded on and said that he didn’t want that kind of temptation being a single guy and living alone, but also the temptation of wasteful time. He also said he’s the kind of guy that can’t get on Facebook for just a few minutes. He’ll be on there for hours and hours and never know it. He said because he’s done away with the internet, he has so much more time. He can still check what he needs to online at times, but when he’s at home, it’s not a choice.

I know I have the tendency to be addicted to checking email, facebook messages, or whatever else, but lately I’ve been overwhelmed by it. I can’t get to everyone’s requests and I can’t answer everyone’s questions. Having a newborn son, however, often makes it easier not to. But I decided a few days ago to challenge myself with a goal I think is attainable: After the days I’m at work, when I’m at home, I’m not going to spend any more than one hour online. The same goes with the days I’m home with John. The rest of my time will be spent offline enjoying the relationships God has given me. We’ll see how it all goes.

After I decided what I would do, the next day  I was on Anne Jackson’s blog, who is a renowned blogger who I’ve been in communication with some at work. And she is actually doing a technology fast. She isn’t blogging until Easter and she’s turned off her comments (for various reasons). After seeing her commitment, I didn’t think I was so crazy after all!

So, I want to challenge you. What is a goal you think you could have when it comes to your technology habits? What things could you replace with online time?

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