dream job.

mjkimpan  —  November 1, 2012 — 15 Comments


this week, i made an announcement and declared i’ll be devoting the next few posts throughout this week to helping others understand my journey toward my exciting new position at The Marin Foundation.

yesterday’s post was about how the past three years at richwoods have prepared me for this new opportunity.

today’s post is when i’ll be going to chicago and what i’ll be doing with The Marin Foundation.

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a place at the table.

mjkimpan  —  October 31, 2012 — 6 Comments


this week, i made an announcement and declared i’ll be devoting the next few posts throughout this week to helping others understand my journey toward my exciting new position at The Marin Foundation.

yesterday’s post highlighted why i’m so deeply grateful for my time at richwoods.

today’s post is about how the past three years at richwoods have prepared me for this new opportunity.

when i arrived in peoria, my goal was to re-enter and immerse myself into a faith community, which i hoped would result as a form of reference for a full time ministry position somewhere else. i had no intention of staying.

within a handful of weeks, it became increasingly apparent to me that i had found a home. not just in peoria (as great as it is, i’ve always missed chicago), but in the context of relationships with people who were deeply invested in my well being and spiritual growth. i found a place at the table – where in the midst of my mess, i was accepted, welcomed and affirmed.

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richwoods.

mjkimpan  —  October 30, 2012 — 16 Comments


yesterday, i made an announcement and declared i’ll be devoting the next few posts throughout this week to helping others understand my journey toward my exciting new position at The Marin Foundation.

today’s post is why i’m so deeply grateful for my time at richwoods.

richwoods christian church has served as an oasis to my soul during a desert of disheartened illusions toward the christian faith of my earlier years.

after experiencing the unparalleled heartache and frustration of watching my well-formed theologies crumble in the reality of life (some of which i outlined here), i continually encountered a less than christian christianity.

it seemed the grace with which jesus so easily navigated his relationships with people seemed to be missed by many of those surrounding me who claimed to follow him. when i needed community most, the church turned its back on me.

this broke my heart, and destroyed my faith.

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an announcement.

mjkimpan  —  October 29, 2012 — 41 Comments


life moves in seasons. some are painful, some joyful. regardless of our attachment to these seasons, they each come to an end, and give way to a new chapter of our lives being written – with or without our consent and approval.

in the words of solomon in his writing of the wisdom after proverbs ::

there is an appointed time for everything. and there is a time for every event under heaven.

a time to be born and to die; to plant and uproot that which has been planted; to kill and to heal; to weep and to laugh, to mourn and to dance.

there is a time to throw stones and to gather what has been thrown; a time to embrace and a time to shun embracing; a time to search diligently for that which has been lost and a time to admit ‘it isn’t coming back.’

a time to keep and throw away; a time to tear apart and to mend together; a time to be silent and a time to speak; a time for war, and a time for peace.

in short, there is a time for everything.

now is, for me, an ushering in of a new time, a new season. this new and exciting chapter in my life is an opportunity to utilize my skills, passions, experiences and education – to embark on a new challenge for which i have seen God preparing me for some time.

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it’s coming!

mjkimpan  —  October 26, 2012 — 38 Comments


every once in awhile, something exciting happens in my life.

sometimes the surprises are welcome – and other times they’re just about the worst thing i could imagine. you never know, with me. often the surprises aren’t predictable… but then there are times when i can see it coming – and like the final tile in a row of dominos, i just brace myself for its impact.

this coming monday, i have an announcement to make – one that is both surprising and welcome. be sure to subscribe to the blog or check back to find out what it is – and come along this journey with me.

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be wise.

mjkimpan  —  October 25, 2012 — 14 Comments


the rhetoric has been amping up.

in the realm of politics as well as in religious communities (not to mention the toxic blend of both on social media), many seem to feel a pressing need to express themselves with incessant and boisterous resolve.

i’ve tried to be wise and keep quiet, for the most part – and though i have strong opinions on a number of pressing issues during this election season, i’m doing my best not to get sucked into the politics of this kingdom while claiming to be part of a different one.

as i’ve mentioned before here at the WayWard follower there is a glaring contradiction between how our political system operates and the faith so many claim it’s built on – and even more recently promoted an opportunity for those in the church on both sides of the political spectrum to come together and celebrate what we have in common.

but sometimes we have to learn to just keep our mouths shut and avoid (or stop) saying ridiculous, provocative, unhelpful, intolerant, divisive, immature and insecure things.

it’s a hard balance to know when to speak your mind and when to hold your tongue – but i’m trying to be wise and at least avoid the vitriolic political debates taking place on the facebook walls of some of my friends, post pictures with the sole purpose of promoting hatred of a particular candidate and fear mongering, and to keep out of conversations i know nothing about.

it’d be great if we all did.

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wild hope.

mjkimpan  —  October 24, 2012 — 28 Comments

‘If you’re part of [the Kingdom of God] you won’t be blindly patriotic and compliant… instead you’ll be willing to confront justice, even at the cost of your life. You won’t nestle snugly into the status quo but seek to undermine the way things are to welcome the way things could and should be. If you’re part of this kingdom, you begin to live in a way that some will say is stupid and naive but others might see in your way of life the courageous and wild hope that could heal and transform the world.’
— brain d. mclaren

eucharist.

mjkimpan  —  October 23, 2012 — 31 Comments


while meeting with rob bell for his 2day event, he shared a recent conversation that he had recently over dinner with brian mclaren. brian had said that what he found most enriching, most encouraging and fulfilling in his own spiritual journey was ‘celebrating the eucharist and confessing my sins.’

the room’s silence was broken with a well-timed sentence from rob ::

‘wow. that guy is dangerous…’

this cheeky and sarcastic comment was met with laughter in the room made up of folks whom had not missed the beauty of brian’s recent realization. what is more dangerous than any question asked or any tradition challenged is the ‘group-ish-ness‘ that is so painfully evident within our churches and communities.

this in/out, us/them, right/wrong mentality is seemingly never more starkly apparent than during an election season.

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‘Jesus says again and again, this kingdom advances neither with violence nor bloodshed, with neither hatred nor revenge. This kingdom advances slowly, quietly, under the surface – like yeast in dough, like a seed in soil. It advances with faith :: when people believe it is true, it becomes true. It advances with reconciling, forgiving love :: when people love strangers and enemies, the kingdom gains ground.’

— the secret message of jesus, brian d. mclaren

gaining ground.

answer me!

mjkimpan  —  October 19, 2012 — 26 Comments


i’ve had more than a handful of conversations in which folks have attempted to pin me down to a particular set of beliefs – ranging from hot topics like who ‘goes’ to heaven and who ‘goes’ to hell, to infant baptism, to the myriad of questions that arise within the context of the church when talking about homosexuality.

i rarely give the answer they want – even when they suspect they ‘know’ my theological or philosophical position. i find myself (more often than not) leaning toward nuanced language and avoiding drawing clear lines in the sand. our western addiction to dualistic, binary, yes/no || true/false thinking leads conversations to demands for clarity.

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