A Christian discussion blog for those interested in living a blend of Christianity that is as counter-cultural as it’s supposed to be. As a counter-culture we need to make ourselves truly different, yet also truly available – to anyone and everyone. Postmodernism is here and the Church needs to embrace a paradigm shift- (i.e.- emergence). And we need to do this while coming together (i.e. convergence). The journey continues…

Friday, May 26, 2006

Our Hearts Are Listening...

Well, well, well- it certainly has been quite some time since I last posted in here. Much has happened since I last made an entry last December. The most amazing, miraculous and surreal of all developments since I last wrote was the birth of my first-born son, Ezra Garret King. What can I say about that event? This is one of those situations where words really cannot do the event justice. Let me just say that the love one feels for a child when God blesses you with such a gift is indescribable. Nothing in the world can prepare you for such a happening. It is otherworldly, supernatural, divine.

I remember a time when, as a know-it-all teenager, I quizzed a friend's mother about examples of the miraculous in this life. She responded by saying that the birth of a child- every child- is a miraculous event. I, again- being a semi-omniscient teen, mocked her response, saying sorry, but that just did not fit the philospophical criteria.

Now- after experiencing Ezra's birth, I'd have to say Mrs. Schurch was right. I was wrong. Period.

Anyway, besides that wonderful blessing, many other developments have happened and are yet in the works. Rather imminently my family and I will be moving from where we now reside in Vancouver, Washington, to our new location in Redmond, Oregon. Redmond is about 3 1/2 hours south and east of here. Most importantly, it is located on the other side, the rain shadow side, of the Cascade Mountains. And what that means is about 75% less rain than we currently receive here next door to Portland.

The last few years have seen quite a few moves. In early 2003 I lived in White Rock, BC, Canada, before moving to Kelowna, BC to be a part of a new Vineyard church plant. In latter 2004 I met my now-wife, Serena, and rather spontaneously moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. In August 2005 we packed up our belongings and drove here to the Pacific Northwest. We'll have been here for just under a year when we make the move to Redmond in about a month from now. We have purchased our first house and we're excited to move in and make a more permanent nest.

Before moving here to "Vanwa", or the 'Couve as locals call it, we really thought this might be the land of our future roots. But for a variety of reasons we feel called to move to Redmond. I really do think central Oregon is going to be our stomping grounds for sometime to come. Of course, buying a house has something to do with that!

Over the last year I have been publishing Precipice Magazine. That, in many ways, explains why I've had so little time and energy to blog in this dedicated Darren-space. I won't make the mistake of saying I plan to write a lot more from here on in. We'll just wait and see how things evolve- in life and in print.

One thing I will say is that after writing about Emerging Church issues over the last year or so, I feel ready to dig into something concrete- something communally, locally tangible. In other words, I'm anxious (in a good kind of way) to see what God has for Serena, the kids and I, in terms of community in Redmond. I feel half-prepared to start an Emerging Church group of my own in the Bend/Redmond area. But, I won't get ahead of myself. We'll wait and see what happens. Our hearts are listening...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A Dynamic December '05 Has Arrived

It's been quite a long time since I last blogged away. There are several reasons for this turn of events. The simplest answer is that I lost my password and so I wasn't able to get into my blog to post any entries. The second reason is that I haven't really had the time or energy to write in here because I've been so busy with other writing projects.; most notably for Precipice Magazine, but also in my day job where I write content for the various travel/accommodations websites that my wife and I webmaster.

Much has transpired since I last wrote in here. I think when I last posted an entry I was just about to re-launch Precipice. Since then I've published 4 issues (one a month). The process of designing, writing, and editing for the magazine has been a real labor of love. It's been great to be able to connect with a community that exists almost entirely in cyberspace. Each and every month the readership of the magazine has been growing as well- so that's exciting too. I've very much enjoyed being part of "the conversation"- as the Emerging Church/postmodern shift is not so covertly referred to as.

Speaking of community, my wife, daughter, and I are very connected in with the Vineyard Church here in Vancouver, Washington. The last time I wrote I think we were just beginning to get settled. I never cease to be amazed by the degree to which God is constantly opening up new opportunities in the Kingdom. I honestly feel more aligned with some of the incredible "monk warriors" I've met at the Vancouver Vineyard than with any other group of people from my "ecclesial history". I'm really impressed with our pastor because his rich and diverse understanding of Christianity allows him to hold together a great diversity of people under one spiritual umbrella.

Anyway, December is a busy month for the Kings. First up is our daughter, Autumn's birthday on the 9th. She will be 4. She's now at a really fun age where she gets quite excited both about birthdays and about Christmas. After that comes Christmas of course- which we'll spend lying low here in Vancouver (the Couve to locals) because of the next expected big event- the birth of our son. His due date is January 9th, but the consensus seems to be that he'll be arriving early. Perhaps right around Christmas day! And right after that, Serena and I celebrate our anniversary on the 28th. So, as you can see- Christmas is a dynamic month for us; in more ways than one.

Anyway, I think I'll leave it at that for now. This was a good reintroduction to the life of DBK here at the tail-end of 2005. I plan to be posting more often now that Precipice seems to be cooking along with relative editorial ease, and now that I've retrieved my blogger info! Maximum shalom to all your souls from the bottom of my heart and from the southern tip of Washington state in the spectacular Pacific Northwest.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Carpe Dium: The Kingdom is Near/Here

There are certain seasons in life when things seem to chug along at a steady pace- and one is content enough to keep growing in faith and maturity. There are other seasons where it feels like it is discipline alone that helps one day roll into the next. Then there are those seasons when one feels as if the hair on the back of one's neck is constantly standing on end- because life is so full of meaning and purpose. I feel I am in one of the latter seasons at present.

There are several factors that are contributing to this sense. First of all, I'm excited that my personal life is flourishing as it currently is. My wife and I continue to grow in our sense of oneness and mutual understanding. And that makes such a difference in all other areas of life. Peace in the home lays a foundation on which everything else can be built. And it goes without saying that peace with God is what brings about the peace in the home in the first place!

Recently both my wife and I have felt appreciative of the fact that our life affords us the opportunity to enjoy God, enjoy each other, enjoy our 3 year old daughter, and on top of all that- gives us the opportunity to pursue our sense of greater purpose. For my wife, art and specifically graphic design, is something she feels she was created to do. Thankfully, she’s getting a real opportunity to do that recently with the growth of our web design/development site (http://www.design-essentials.net).

And for me, the re-launch of Precipice Magazine has not only given me a creative outlet for what I feel God has been leading me towards (through writing- inspiring and influencing others), but it has also connected me with a worldwide community of Christians who are pursuing some of the very same things- in terms of helping to make the Church relevant to a postmodern society.

And what completes the picture is the fact that my wife, daughter, and I are now connecting in with a wonderful group of Christians here in Vancouver, Washington- who are of like mind, kindred heart, and united purpose. It is one thing to dream and even to write about a Church that is both truly communal as well truly "protestant" (i.e. pro- testifying for Jesus to a world full of people whom God loves), it is another thing entirely to actually be a part of such a church, both "in the flesh" and "in the Spirit". That's what we feel we are a part of now. And that's very exciting.

In my mind, there is absolutely nothing in the world that compares to the excitement that comes with Kingdom vision. And it’s that kind of sight I feel like I'm seeing with now. This kind of vision breathes vitality into one's bones. In such a season, yesterday and tomorrow matter much less so than today- when the Kingdom of God is both near and here- as Jesus said it was. So, in the midst of this electrifying season, I thought I'd take the time to drop a note, just so that when another season rolls along (as it will I'm sure) I'll be able to look back and reminisce. One thing I have learned is that when you're in a season such as this, it’s important to run with it, because just like Jesus- these can come and go like a thief in the night.

Friday, September 02, 2005

A Labor of Love Released

It's official- Precipice Magazine is now live.

It has been labor of love. The relaunch of Precipice has involved quite a bit of time and effort. But now that it's done I feel like the ends very much justify the means. There is nothing quite like working towards something that you feel the Holy Spirit has inpired you to do. And that's exactly how I feel about this project. It is a God-thing. And I can put up with a lot of unpleasant things in life when I sense that I'm tuned into the divine current. Peace comes from walking the path God has put before you. And there's nothing in the world that can outlast, outgun, or outsmart an overwhelming sense of SHALOM.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Re-launch of Precipice Magazine

I thought I'd drop a quick line to say that the re-launch of Precipice Magazine is now only a day or two away. The September 2005 issue is finished and now its just a matter of waiting for it to be published (i.e. propogated) online. This new issue of the magazine comes almost exactly 4 years after the original launch of Precipice- in October 2001. The magazine deals a lot with postmodern culture and the church, but will also address discipleship and a host of other age-old, and always relevant, Christian topics. Stay tuned...

Monday, August 29, 2005

Divine Intervention Over Coffee

My family and I have been situated in our new location in Vancouver, WA for three weeks now. The area, as I've mentioned before- is stunning. We've already made trips out to the Oregon Coast and to one of three nearby volcanoes- Mt. Hood. Yes indeed, exploring our local geography has been a blessing. Being a long-time Northwest resident, it feels "like home" to be back here. This has felt even more like a homecoming than I was expecting.

Beyond the glory of the Creation all around us, what's been even more encouraging is our slow progression into community again. While we were in Tennessee we knew our days there were numbered- and so that prevented us from getting too involved with a local body. For both my wife and I, "doing Church" means being a part of a living, breathing, community of believers- who seek to live out the fullness of the gospel in everyday life. We've never been about showing up on a Sunday morning and nothing more. So we were more than ready to get plugged-in again by the time we arrived here.

Last week I rather spontaneously had coffee with a local pastor, who's in his early 30's like me, and part of a team planting a new Emergent-style church here in Vanwa. We immediately hit it off. So much so in fact that I had the feeling that God was moving supernaturally. My wife and I had been praying for months that God would knit us into the fabric of a community He had chosen for us. In this initial meeting with this new friend, I felt like our prayers were bearing fruit right before my eyes.

I love it when you feel God moving in your life in such ways. There really is nothing like it. You suddenly feel like the experience of those in the early Church isn't so distant from your own experience after all. And its great to be reminded of the ways that prayer pays dividends (I hope that didn't sound too consumerist!). Let me put it this way, via the inspired words of Lauryn Hill- "consequence is no coincidence". I think that about says it.

Anyway, so now we begin a new chapter in life with September just around the corner. For me, September has always been a harbinger of new things. Yes, the feeling goes back to the experience of primary school. I've never really shaken that feeling- and I'm glad I haven't. There's something pleasingly childlike about it. Anyway- I'm ready for this new chapter to begin. Bring it on, I say. After all, when one is fresh off the experience of God moving to intercept circumstances, one is fully ready to enter into an adventurous future. The radar is on. Stand by for more...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Spirit of a Sojourner: God's Gifts on the Wind

It has been quite a while since I last wrote in here. Although I think I have a fairly good excuse. My family and I were busy moving some 3500 miles across the country from Knoxville, Tennessee to our new home in Vancouver, Washington. We've been here for almost a week now. We're very happy with our choice of "habitat". Vanwa seems like a great area to be in. There's nothing like the combination of the Ocean, volcanoes, and evergreen trees to stir the senses. Although, I'm sure I am biased- I was not born a Northwesterner- but I certainly have evolved into one.

Throughout the journey here- which was an adventure of the grandest kind, I was reminded of the wonder of new beginnings. I was thanking God that He is opening yet another chapter in my life of almost 34 years. Recently this experience has reminded me of my days studying Biblical Studies in University- when we learned about God not only as Creator, but also as Sustainer- and Re-creator. In the West we've kind of lost some of the latter two categories. And maybe that's why we as Christians are lagging behind others when it comes to environmental concerns. We forget that we're supposed to image God in this "sustaining nature" as well as in His creative nature.

But alas- I digress... The point I was getting at is that on an occasion such as this (moving almost from one coast to the other), one is reminded of how good it feels to live life like an adventure. My Dad was reminding me the other day that it was almost exactly 30 years ago that my parents, my brother, and I, made a similar trek from New York to Vancouver, B.C. after arriving from the UK with nothing more than a Volkswagon van to our name. I like that this sojourning spirit is "in the blood"- so to speak.

The great thing about living life like an adventure, where you practice letting go of the old and assuming a posture that lets you embrace the new, is that it keeps you centered around the knowledge that God is sovereign. As North Americans we can gain a valuable experience by letting go of the world we've built around ourselves- and letting God reform us and our environment. That's what I feel He is doing for my family now. I feel like a man with his face turned towards a gentle wind- hopeful for what new tidings it will bring.

But most of all, as I said in the opening of this entry, I'm thankful for new beginnings. I'm thankful that no matter how many times I make a mess of things, God is ready to pick me up, dust me off, and let me try again. Each time I grow a little wiser from the experience. But I'm happy to say that while I am the product of mutltiple new beginnings, I have yet to grow tired of the newness. I only hope I can keep this perspective as I move forward from here. Here's to new beginnings- where the sky is always clear and everyone is your friend.