i am obsessed. i can't control myself. although i am mired in sin, not simply falling, but plummeting, like flaming pieces of space debris, far from the glory of God, i get up each day, say my prayers, search for my cross and set out into the world to discover my wonderful new daily failures.
to ease the pain of the realization of my own petty shamefulness, i cram my mind with cultural distractions. some fill me with joy, knowledge, and hope. others just serve as a diversion and keep me from more important things, like turning off the computer and playing with my children, or taking the time to show my wife how wonderful i think she is, and how i would be truly lost without her.
i watch the noomas and read the beautiful books of bell. i download mp3's of shane claiborne and marvel at his "irresistible revolution", fantasizing about living in a community like his "simple ways" collection in philly. i cruise the ooze and get giddy on ginkworld, always looking for a fix. a distraction. a reaffirmation that i am not crazy, and that Jesus is coming out of the tomb that our appropriative empire has encased him in, and walks among us with a desperate look of want and desire, eager to connect, and anxious to forgive.
during these periods of societal denial, i have come across the writings of one keith giles. his essays and articles over the past few years in various non secular e-zines have constantly caught my eye, engaged my imagination, and allowed me to feel not quite so alone on this voyage toward salvation.
keith has collected his writings from his e-newsletter "the subversive underground", next wave magazine, the ooze, and a few other joints he haunts, and put them into book form. so what's the big deal? well, yes, he is selling them on line thru lulu.com, a wonderful site for the self published, but he has done something truly interesting and vested with Kingdom sensibility, he has posted the pdfs. for free download to any who might not be able to afford the few bucks to reward him for his labor of love.
i, being one of those perpetually tight fisted, and terminally broke, individuals, thrilled to the very seat of my office chair, taxed my feeble dial up connection and spent eight hours downloading his two books, "Nobody Follows Jesus (so why should you)" and "The Gospel, For Here Or To Go".
the results were immediately disappointing. the pdfs opened in quick time format, and would only show the table of contents to the two books. i felt punked, had. frustrated, but not defeated. i went to keith's website and emailed him personally explaining to him my turmoil and asking if he would consider emailing a pdf to me in adobe. much to my delight, he responded promptly and emailed me a pdf of "Nobody Follows Jesus (so why should you)", and i have spent the past week savoring it like a fine bordeaux.
for those of you unfamiliar with keith giles, he is a licensed and ordained pastor, teacher, preacher, writer, singer, and progenitor of the home church movement via his home based orange county california church "the mission".
what i found in the body of this text was an amazing and sensitive intellect, drowning in the sea of the corporately corrupt, politically inundated and commercially plagued modern church of america. each page describes his navigation to the shore, where he picks up his cross and follows the Son in ritual observation, leaving cyber pit-cairns of perception, and finally nailing them to himself like a post modern marty luther.
for anyone who leaves a church wondering where God is, and just why we are hiding him, i recommend you purchase or down load this book, and use it as a union oil map to discover your own cross. the really cool thing is that the trail has been blazed, all we have to do is pick up and follow.
here is the link to keith's place. check it out. it's good for you: