Becoming Chris Kamalski

"There's a Writer outside ourselves, plotting a better story for us" ~Don Miller

Tag: The Week That Was

The Week That Was: March 26th-April 1st, 2009.

Jealousy is the only appropriate option.  NCSA Men's Trip to the Drakensberg Mountains, departing in 5 hours!Jealousy is the only appropriate option. NCSA Men’s Trip to the Drakensberg Mountains, departing in 5 hours!

Going to cheat y’all a bit and write this in short-phrase style, as I am up WAY TOO LATE prior to our Men’s Trip, which leaves in 5 hours.  Images, video, and actual thoughtful posts coming next week!

The Week That Was: Wed and Thurs the Apprentices went to Jo’Burg and stayed at Curtis’ parent’s Guest House, which smelled like fresh paint but was amazingly accomodating and fun!  We enjoyed 1/2 price pizza and fine ales at Curtis’ local joint, Jolly Rogers.  Then headed to an outdoor lounge area for our first taste of South African jazz.  Listened to a funky combo group for about 90 minutes.  Thurs had another fantastic David Bosch discussion (Click here for my thoughts) and left deeply challenged about the missional nature of the church.  Fri was a blur to me right now–Oh, what am I saying?  Colletta Cole and I co-lead our Friday Night Rhythm gathering, and basically provided a means for our entire community to check-in with each other.  Then we headed to Lorraine’s for the weekend, and spent 48 hours on a silent retreat that officially ‘ended’ our Listening Posture.  I’ll blog on this later, and have some hard things that I wish to share regarding my own journey–but I’m not finished yet!  Fall seemed to come this past weekend, and I spent Saturday afternoon laying in the grass watching leaves whisk to the ground all around us.  There is a briskness to the morning air which I love!  Monday was an exhausted blur which I don’t remember.  Tuesday was spent having our community ROCKED by Rob Bell’s Tour DVD entitled ‘The Gods Aren’t Angry.‘ I had a visceral response to his message of grace, in which he repeatedly stated “You don’t have to live this way anymore.”  Yes I do!  Grace doesn’t mean I actually let go of all my structures and means of saving myself, does it? (Sarcasm alert!)”  Still reeling.  Finalized plans with Luc and Petunia Kabongo to begin group spiritual direction with 23 NGO health care workers who carry grief and death daily in their medical work.  Will begin this after Easter, which I am anticipating greatly.  Today was a blur of chores, ‘gyming’ (A verb here!), and getting ready for our Men’s Excursion.  Going to be epic!

On My To-Do List This Week: Man Time.  Paintballing + Hiking + Settlers of Catan + White Water Rafting + Leaving Pangani = MUCH NEEDED ADVENTURE!

Procrastinating About: Going to bed, what else?

Books I’m In The Midst Of: Flying through The Shack with thoughts forthcoming.  Want to get into Barack Obama’s memoir  Dreams of Our Father to see the man behind the myth.  Have actually heard he is a pretty good writer!

On The Current iTunes Playlist: Been shuffling a lot now.  Digging the new Black Eyed Peas single “Boom Boom Pow,” which is the song of the Apprenticeship for us so far.

I’m Thinking About: Why don’t I have poor friends?  Would having poor friends be simply a societal experiment for me?  Am I truly that prejudiced? (Light, I know).

Next Trip: See picture above and wipe that drool off your face!

How I’m Feeling About This Week: Ready to check out, and hit the road.  Need an emotional vacation.

Prayer Request: Emotional vacation.

The (1/2) Week That Was: March 12th-16th, 2009.

Fake astroturf makes for a sweet Apprentice pic! (Clockwise from me in army green: Me, Adrienne, Oupa, Melanie, Tony, Colletta, Curtis, Busi)

Fake astroturf makes for a sweet Apprentice pic! (Clockwise from me in army green: Me, Adrienne, Oupa, Melanie, Tony, Colletta, Curtis, Busi)

The (1/2)Week That Was: Spent Thursday morning with a fantastic group of South Africans (Cobus, the seminary graduate I mentioned previously, that I will likely do some spiritual formation/direction work with this year; Tom Smith, a pastor in Jo’Burg that leads a fairly revolutionary church called Claypot; Annemie Bosch, David Bosch’s widow and a brilliant thinker in her own right; a friend of Cobus’ named Marina) and Americans (Myself; Arthur Stewart, our NCSA Director; and Joe Reed, new staff member) beginning to read Transforming Mission by David Bosch. I’ve yet to post on this, but my friends have, and let’s just say that the discussion was profound. Take a look at what has been reflected on so far:

*Cobus’s thoughts; *Tom Smith’s thoughts; *Arthur Stewart’s thoughts; *Joe Reed’s thoughts

Suffice to say, our discussion was revolutionary–and that was largely confined to one page of comments (the ubiquitous page 49!). Much more on this discussion as it unfolds throughout this year. One minor thought prior to moving on: It was SO HEALTHY for me to get off of Pangani’s (beautiful) site and into a South African home to discuss this in mixed company (gender and ethnicity). The discussion crackled with different points of view, yet a shared common heart.

Friday was spent preparing for Rhythm (our Friday evening common meal, worship, and prayer gathering for our extended community–our version of a ‘service’), in which I was assisting Adrienne and Bryan in St. Ignatius’ version of contemplative (imaginative) prayer. We showed a powerful clip from the beginning of Finding Neverland where the boy who would be later written as Peter questions J.M. Barrie as to whether imagination has any place in life, which set us up perfectly for a guided experience in placing ourselves in the text of John 9:1-11. So profound to hear how God was (and is) speaking to our community as we ‘practiced’ sanctifying our imaginations by deliberately entering into a text as if it is alive and speaking to us still. I am still moved by our time, and was so touched on a creative level to engage my imagination as this burgeoning desire in me unfolds to engage my artistic/creative side through writing and photography. I even used pastels to paint a picture for a learning conversation on Friday, and it wasn’t half bad! Plus, we ended Friday night by watching the whole film of Finding Neverland.

Saturday and Sunday were a blur for me–super exhausted and drained from a great, heavy week here considering ministry options and engaging my heart. Need to find the balance between rest, grace, fun, and isolation–spent way too much time watching old Office episodes. Melanie and I (the two introverts) went together to separate movies Sunday night (Finally caught The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which I thought was good in some parts, boring in others, beautifully shot, and made an excellent point about the ability to ‘re-start’ one’s life if you aren’t satisfied where yours is heading).

Today I met with Cobus again to continue dreaming about spiritual formation/direction stuff, and we also toured the city with the Twashane Leadership Foundation (TLF), a consortium of inner-city ministries in Pretoria that seek to care for the city and it’s inhabitants on a holistic level. Lots to chew on. Where I Am At The Moment: Staying up past my bedtime outside (A hint of the coolness of a Fall evening is nipping at my skin!).

On My To-Do List This Week: Getting up at O’Dark AM tomorrow to finish Grip-Burkman stuff (more on this later), ’cause Hal Burke, our consultant, just arrived tonight to lead us in a ‘grip’ (Pun fully intended) of team-training and personal leadership development exercises Wednesday-Friday this week. I’m actually stoked that he is here, although he seems to be a USC fan, which is horrible. More on this later AS WELL (Aly).

Procrastinating About: Financial stuff like finishing my taxes (Uggh), setting up a savings account (Huh?), and updating my personal donor records (DO IT!).

Books I’m In The Midst Of: Thinking the most about Transforming Mission right now. I’m loving the engagement of a group of people who love God deeply, have studied theologically at a fairly high level, are in various roles of leadership and influence, and yet are asking highly personal questions about missional living–such as Joe’s question of whether he should truly go through with getting barbed wire for his fence.

On The Current iTunes Playlist: Old-school Passion worship stuff.

I’m Thinking About: How I can live stategically and missionally for maximum impact this year (Sounds like a John Maxwell statement, but it is a deep thought of mine right now).

Next Trip: Down to Lorraine’s for my first Supervision with her group of Spiritual Director’s this Wednesday. Excited and curious about this!

How I’m Feeling About This Week: Pretty amped. Mission and ministry stuff seems to be slowly falling into place–The question is when/how/how much for me right now. I feel like I’m beginning to connect with locals such as Cobus, which is awesome.

Prayer Request: Three: 1) Discernment in how to provide spiritual direction and care to care workers in Soshanguve, as well as possibly to Cobus and friends from his theological studies. 2)Appropriate pace in moving forward in these ventures. 3)Discipline to catch up on things I have been procrastinating on, such as donor stuff.

%d bloggers like this: