Ancarrow..the blog

Welcome to "Ancarrow...the blog," a place for us to share some random thoughts as we help start new churches in MD.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Homage to 2008 - Hope for Today.

A few years ago, I started this blog to keep the parents of our 2008 X/NCC MD mission team updated on our day to day endeavors.Those who have listened to the extended version of our story know that the 2008 trip to White Marsh was one of the most formative moments in our journey back to the east. To this day, I think about that trip: the funny moments, the doors slamming in our face in Dundalk, and a young Tyler Yentes trying to make a guy in a liquor take donuts from him for three consecutive days. There was chewed up bananas, being upgraded to the Hilton because the Hampton lost our reservation, hoosiers discovering Five Guys (before it was everywhere), me backing into fire hydrant, and Taylor Utley spilling tea on herself in a way that, to this day, is the spill most closely resembled someone looking like they have peed their pants (when they had not actually done so). To this day, there are songs that make me immediately take me to a moment of that trip - ranging from "No One" by Alicia Keys to "A boy brushed in in black and white" by Underoath.

Before we even went on the trip, I felt God was calling me Eastward. By the end of the week, others seemed to know it too. A month after the trip, many of our leaders in Danville knew the same. A trip I hadn't even planned for us to go on was a catalyst to something I was never planning to do: plant a church on the East Coast.

I still think and pray about the people on that team. I pray that, through their questions, and assorted next steps on their respective journeys, they would live the stuff we learned on that trip. I pray that they would pursue more than a "because my mom said so" Bible belt faith that makes many pre-Chrisitan people so cynical, and that they would allow that faith to stretch them beyond the places that are comfortable for them. What's more - that they would become the next generation of church planters, core team members, and residents in neighborhoods where the gospel needs to be made known. I'm hoping one or two of them (if not more) may slide out this way to do it.
In about 48 hours, the 2012 X Mission team will pay a trip to MD. This time, I'm on the other side of the journey. It's going to be a great trip - and will be a huge help to both Revolution and the future Baltimore Project. What's more - I pray that it would cultivate even greater stories four years from now - in Danville, in Maryland, and beyond.

Friday, March 9, 2012

On Kony2012, Driscoll, & Manning

I've had a bit more down time than normal this week to imbibe media, particularly of the facebook variety. Its been an interesting week to do so.

At this point, you're probably familiar with Kony2012, a 27 minute movie posted by Invisible Chilldren that calls for the trial and arrest of Kony. Many feverishly retweeted and posted the film, while others feverishly used it as an opportunity to scold those retweeters/reposters on how IC uses their funds, and even whether or not stopping Kony really was ever a problem to begin with. (I'll say that many of these people are retweeting responses are seemingly no less informed than the people they are scolding with their repost).

Here are some thoughts on Kony2012:
1. The church has more opportunity than ever before to be informed about what is going on in the world around them. There is an opportunity in this to shine. Imagine the power that could be activated for the poor and oppressed...a good challenge to redeem our time online.

2. Yes, there is a healthy dialogue to be had about where and how non-profits use their donations. Charity Navigator, and other sites like it, are helpful tools, and should inform us about funds. However, those who want to be most snarky should also consider where and how their shoes, clothes, are manufactured. Also, you may want to reconsider giving Wal-Mart all your money.

3. Neither posting a video or a response to the video replaces Christians getting off their computers, and off their butts, to engage the people around them with the love of Christ. Additionally, neither replace generosity of partner with organizations that are fighting injustice. Be the hands and feet of of Christ, and not the fingertips that say bold things behind the keyboard. There are no easy answers to solving injustices that exist around us. The fact that there are no easy answers does not mean that people should do nothing.

You may have also seen that Mark and Grace Driscoll are making their rounds on the media circuit, promoting the book Real Marriage (I've not read the book yet). The segment was disjointed and weird....and exposed that Barbara Walters is a class act. Kudos to her for making something the segment while several of the ladies pouted in their corners. It's amazing to me how people who people rail on how others are "intolerant" are often more intolerant themselves.

Lastly, this week, the Indianapolis Colts said goodbye to Peyton Manning. Living in Indiana for almost a decade, watching Manning made me do what I was raised never to do - take an interest in a team owned by an Irsay. While I understand the circumstances surrounding the release, it makes me sad to see things end the way that they did. For me, it is the end of an era -specifically, the era of me caring about the Colts. I started following the Colts in 2003 for three reasons 1. They were a local team, thus easy to follow and talk to others about 2. Tony Dungy is as classy as they come 3. Peyton Manning is the kind of quarterback you get to watch once in your lifetime.

Well, I'm back in MD now, Dungy is on NBC, and Manning (and it looks like the rest of the talent) is saying goodbye. All the best Indianapolis - I'll be cheering for you when you play the Steelers or the Pats.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Check Engine Light, take 3 (or 4). Who's counting?

I'm currently in my 6th hour at the Severna Park Starbucks. This is the fourth time I've been to this Starbucks this week. Normally, this would excite me (especially if I'm not paying). Not this time, for this is where I go to work when my car is being worked on. Lately, I know this place too well. For the fourth time in the past five days, my car has given me the "orange light" that says, "How much is this going to cost me?"

(NOTE: Three things I miss about Danville, Indiana: Mechanics, Dentists, and Hair dressers I trust.)

Back to the issue at hand. My Honda, for 10 years, never had any issues, outside of routine maintenance. For 10 years, my honda has behaved like an Honda. This week, it feels like an 84 Chevette. It's now on its 3rd Engine Coil #4 this week. Each time, I've gone back to the place of the original drama that resulted in my December, "Breakdown in Hagerstown," because the coils are under warranty. As I sit here, waiting to hear the "why" on the coil failure, a few thoughts are on my mind:

1. Why didn't I learn more about how to fix cars?
2. Seriously, how much is this going to cost me?
3. Why does stuff like this drain me so much?
4. Seriously, how much is this going to cost me?

More than the waiting, and more than the money, I'm probably most frustrated that I'm so frustrated. I deal with big things pretty well, but I find "first world pains" so draining. On matters of comfort, I so easily trade trust and honest prayers with flippant self-pity . Comfort and control are so easily worshipped, and so easily are hidden by the surfacey sins that come accompany how you deal with being angry. One moment, I see God provide over and over for us, and on the next moment I find myself wondering, "God, why aren't you providing for us."

I don't like that the car is broken, and will probably cost more than I want to spend to fix (though I'm not doing that here). More than that, I hate that these situations expose idolatry in me. Even, more than that, I hate that I'm in hour 6 of having to let that fact speak to me. God, be patient with me.