Church: Divine Household or Refined Methods?

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“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)

The Spirit blows where he pleases or sometimes, he even chooses not blow at all. This should be scary to a church culture that has plans, methodologies, measurable outcomes, that guide them and determine how “church” is done. See, here’s the thing, the Holy Spirit will not be reduced to or restricted by our forms, methods, or measurable outcomes.

While I believe that smaller gatherings, in a home for instance, allows the body of believers a greater freedom to respond to God’s Spirit, just meeting in homes can become another method. The wonderfully dangerous thing about methods is that they leave us in control, feeling like we are the ones building the Church, determining her shape, her form and her methods.

So even a Home Church type movement is in danger of going the way of the institutional/larger church models, and indeed many home churches are anything but a biblical alternative with their hatred for anything other than their model (another false consensus effect in action). Any form claiming to be “the right way” of doing/being the Church is in danger of missing Jesus and quenching the Spirit of God. We need to continually ask ourselves, “Who is building the Church?”

The only one who is truly building the Church is Jesus Christ, who is the same reality and substance that replaced and reformed old models and shadows and rituals of the days of old (Hebrews 8:5-6). Jesus, the One who is greater than the Temple, greater than nationalistic Churches, and greater than our Western institutions, is among us today! What’s He saying?

As the late Brennan Manning says, “There is no need to mince words. I believe that Christianity happens when men and women experience the reckless, raging confidence that comes from knowing the God of Jesus Christ.” And it is precisely these people who become “the Church”, the gathered family of God, experiencing Jesus, and therefore able to truly offer him to those who don’t know Jesus.

We do not build a building in Roman form and call it “the Church.” We do not have special organizations or religious institutions in which we call “the Church.” What is the Church? It is the people of God living in union with Christ and His whole family within the household of God. It is the family of God building one another up into the fullness of who we were meant to be. Family discipling family, growing up, maturing, and inviting those on the margins into their family dinners, offering adoption in Jesus’ name for all who believe. That’s the Church.

Our religious procedures and techniques, even the home church kind, can be the enemies of the real Church, God’s people. Through mimicry, we can hinder the realization of what we endeavor to be. God has not called us from the building of institutions to the building of home churches or smaller, more intimate gatherings. No, He has called us to gather around his Son, Jesus, in the glorious communion of the Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit, and give him freedom to continue to form it in new and fresh ways.

Jesus, the Christ, is the starting point. His Spirit is now in charge. He’s our life, our joy, our power, our starting and ending point. He is the form we are to conform to, which gives us freedom to gather in new and fresh ways, in patient slow ways, in seemingly insignificant ways, and in ways that are rooted in particular places, caring for a particular neighborhood or people group. Jesus gives us freedom to be the Church in new contexts and at new times, other than in church buildings on Saturday night or Sunday mornings.

Our heritage of over 1700 years of being preoccupied with various forms and methods that do not produce life, forms of godliness without power, is very hard to kill in us. The title “Methodist”, given to one of the major denominations, describes the mindset of many of the institutional churches of our day, looking for the right method.

The Reformation was more external than internal in many ways, although many great doctrinal changes were made as well. Most of the changes however, were in the material form, which led to all the bloodshed that came with the reform. Much of the reform was void of the Spirit. The doctrine of “Salvation by grace through faith” was clearly established, yet death would come to those who disagree with them. Is that what following Jesus produces? Concern with external reforms has been the center of most Catholic and Protestant reforms.

Have we forgotten that we, the 21st century Church, are represented by Israel in the Old Testament: “But my people have forgotten me; they make offerings to false gods; they made them stumble in their ways, in the ancient roads, and to walk into side roads, not the highway…” Jeremiah 18:15

We are the family of God, the body of Christ Jesus, forming the divine household of the Trinity. Within the household of faith, life takes one form and one form only: Jesus. The true Church is the body of Christ without walls or divisions. What was the first century church concerned with? Following Jesus; not a method or even a movement called “Christianity”. That was the first century model and could be ours today as well. This is the form. This is Church 101, 201, and 301. The Church is nothing more than God’s family re-gathered around Christ Jesus and reconciled to one another, breaking down walls of division, offering Jesus to all, constantly reforming, and listening to the Holy Spirit to encourage and critique what she’s doing.

Religious movement is what happens among “Christians” when Christ is absent. My prayer is that God would make our religion obsolete in the face of Jesus Christ, that church would once again become a divine household of people instead of a refined form of gathering.

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Bread From Heaven

The story of the Israelites (Abraham’s family) and their Old Testament travels and happenings are full of epic stories waiting to be made into movies better than the old Charleton Heston movie about the “exodus,” even though I still think it’s a pretty great flick. During this season of lent, I have been reflecting on the deeper reality of our sustenance. The passage in Exodus 16, when God tells Moses that he will provide manna for them in the wilderness has always been a powerful story with imagery much deeper than one would see at first glance.

Building up to this passage, we must understand that it comes on the heels of the exodus. After the final and devastating 10th plague, the Israelites are set free and travel out of Egypt with Moses, a huge caravan! But freedom would now come with a price, since Egypt isn’t there to protect them anymore, rather they become enemies and the great Empire. Pharaoh’s army is sent after them again, but God has now placed a fire over the children of Abraham by night and a cloud over them by day (to remind them that he’s with them and to guide them). God holds back the waters from the large sea, and Abraham’s family walks across the sea on dry land, as God crushes the Empire’s army behind them as the walls of the sea come crashing down on the Egyptians.

The Dual-Personality of Israel

It is at this point once again, where we see the the “dual-personality of Israel.” After the great victory, they spend the day singing songs and writing poems and praising God for deliverance, then they move on in their journey and find some bitter water that they can’t drink and the mentality of the years of slavery sets in again; doubt and complaints set in. I have to say, I can’t blame them after generations of suffering and slavery, to transition to this kind of radical freedom would be culturally debilitating in more ways that I will never fully know. God then turns the bitter water into sugar water… as you will see, either God has a sweet tooth, or He knows Israel has one. I’m not making this stuff up (Ex. 15:25).

And it is about at this point that our text picks up the story in Exodus 16:

1 They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

It’s no new thing for the greatest kindnesses to be misinterpreted and represented as the greatest injuries. The worst of times are often brought upon us by the desires of our hearts. “We want to be free”, and now Israel experiences (in part) the cost of being free, and learning the hard lesson that the journey of freedom isn’t cheap nor immediate, and always comes at a great price.

Bread From Heaven 

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?”

God hears their grumbling and his answer is bread from heaven. This bread though, is not the normal bread, it’s not Iron Kids or 100% Whole Wheat, this is the real deal, so much so that nobody knows what to call it. When the Israelites saw the manna on the ground that first morning, they asked, “What is it?” (Ex 16:15).

The word comes from two Hebrew words (2 pronouns: personal and interrogative) which form the phrase “What is it?; “man – hoo”, later referred to in Hebrew as “mawn”.

We learn a little bit about this manna if we were to read on in this text:

Now the house of Israel called its name manna. It was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. (Ex. 16:31) So there it is, it’s the first brand of Honey Nut Cheerios! I knew I liked that cereal for some reason!

They were told to only gather what their household needed for the day, no more, no less. And on the day before the Sabbath, gather enough for two days. They were also told that they were not to save any for the next day, because it would spoil. And yes, some tried to gather bread flakes on the Sabbath and there was none, and some tried to save the bread for the next day (“Insurance man, you never know!”), but it had worms and stunk real bad.

I find it interesting that they were to only take what they needed for the day, and only what God gave them that day was useful (maybe echoes of the Lord’s Prayer: give us this day our “daily” bread…). For forty years Israel had Honey Nut Cheerios, lived in the desert, longing for the city to come, and God sustained them.

The Mission of Israel

If we were to follow this story to see it’s fruition, the rest of the story of Israel, we would see many shadows or echoes of this story, this bread from heaven and this longing for the city to come. You see, God was preparing His people to be a display people, a people who were sustained by God, who obeyed Him, and showed the whole world what it was like to submit to a king like God (the geographic location of Israel, once they were in the promised land, was a strategic location, one that would allow all the nations to travel through on their way to Africa or Europe, to see an alternative community).

In Exodus 19, just a few chapters later and just before we read for the first time about the 10 Commandments (probably around 2 months after the first appearance of Honey Nut Cheerios), we hear God speak to Moses and tells him the mission He has for Israel. Essentially, I am giving you bread from heaven to preserve you, so that… you will be my people.

The Lord called to him (Moses) out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings (think of the movie Hobbit and eagles!) and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” (Ex. 19:3-6).

The Fuller Meaning of Manna

Now, I don’t want to over do this bread from heaven thing, but it’s so significant, that we must see the parallels in Scripture. God gives Israel “What is it?” to eat for 40 years. This sustains and preserves them until they reach the promised land, and I imagine myself as an Israelite saying, “Okay, thanks for the manna God, now we can move on, grow our crops on this fertile land and have an occasion bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios with all the milk and honey you’ve given us. But for now, I’m thinking wild game, growing some frijoles, and having a real hearty meal.”

Well, after Israel reached the promised land, they no loner needed the manna, but they needed God more than they could ever imagine. He was the one who sustained them. God was the one who delivered Israel or allowed them to be defeated. Israel was unfaithful, seeing God as the “occassional” provider or the “bail out” provider, but not the source of provision. They seemed to think they would be fine with just a little bit of God, occasionally, you know, like only collecting manna some days, and trying to save some of him for the days they wanted to be lazy, not realizing they needed “daily bread”.

Enter the Christ

Fast forward this story to the New Testament. Jesus the Christ, arrives on the scene, and the Jews don’t say “What is it?”, but they do say, “Who is this?”. Jesus answers:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They (the Jews) said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. (John 6:32-35)

And isn’t it ironic, that right after Jesus says this, the Jews grumble?

41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” (John 6:41-42)

Jesus is teaching them Old Testament interpretation and they got mad at Him. He’s saying, “Hey guys, I AM what sustained you throughout the wilderness. You thought it was Honey Nut Cheerios, but indeed, they were pointing to me. After all, I’m sweeter than honey on your lips, remember the Psalms!”

Then Jesus goes on to say:

47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6:47-51)

There you have it, bread from heaven, Jesus Himself. Ingest the bread from heaven, and ingest Jesus you will. And here we are today, living in the already… Christ has died for us, risen up from the grave, now lives in us by His Spirit, and we are living on the bread from heaven… but we are also living in the not yet… This is just the manna for this season, but we are awaiting the promised land, the heavenly city, longing for the fulfillment of the promise.

Living in the Tension

And although we are in the wilderness and struggling and living in the tension of Christ with us, but sin still enslaving us, we know we are going to make it because God has sent bread from heaven to not just preserve us, but prepare us to be presented before Him. And as we are being prepared, we are displayers of our great God, showing and telling the world what it’s like to live under the rule of the King who is better than Honey Nut Cheerios.

But of course, we are Israel (all the examples of Israel in the Old Testament are pointers to us as well). We were slaves, but God redeemed us, and when we get set free, we have the Egypt mentality, that always goes back to the comfort of slavery, forgetting that the bread from heaven is pointing to a freedom beyond our wildest dreams. We need to be reminded; we need to remember, that there’s more, that we are free, and that Egypt is an evil slave master and desires our destruction, and that the Empire is really our only means of protection.

We need to remember that Egypt represents success built on the backs of slaves and a hierarchy of power. The exodus narrative shows us that God radically opposes the Empire mentality of oppression, greed, and over-consumption at the cost of the weak. It also shows us that to leave the Empire means a costly road of true freedom that will be opposed by the Empire mentality lying to us and tricking us that there’s no other way than to return to business as usual in Egypt.

So for now, in the 21st century, the church is still sustained by manna, as we regularly gather around the table of the Lord, and feast on the flesh of Christ, our bread from heaven, as we fellowship with the divine, and the fathers who have gone before us, and share in the heavenly appetizer, of Christ and with Christ if you will. A meal with Jesus. How cool is that? Bread from heaven, bread being significant because it is essential to living. Bread and water are our bare essentials, we can’t live without them.

Christ has given Himself, so we can eat of His flesh, drink of His blood that washes us clean, and we can be filled, and offer the never ending leftovers to those whom God has put in our lives today. Be filled with Christ, the bread from heaven, the water of life, and share the abundant leftovers.

The Best Walk Ever (Luke 24:13-27)

The road to Emmaus is a wonderful passage that has a profound impact on the entire story of God. This is because it’s a type of interpretive key, meaning this passage, gives us insight to the OT more than most other passages. Let’s open it up and dig in:

To get caught up in the story up to this point, Easter has already happened, Jesus has conquered the grip and tragedy of death, and now, three days after His resurrection, He is showing Himself to His disciples and many others (1 Cor. 15:6). It’s here that He catches up with two disciples (Cleopas and one unnamed) who are discouraged, while they’re walking northwest to Emmaus.

The disciples had hoped that Jesus would redeem Israel (Luke 24:21)… their way, the victorious way, by coming into town on a white war horse and crush the big mouth (Rome). Have you ever had an expectation that fell far short of what you were expecting? It’s a human emotion.

The gap between what you expected (your dreams, your desires, your plan) and reality (what actually happened), represents loss, disappointment, grief, whether real or perceived. Their expectations allowed them to see the glory of God’s kingdom (Jesus’ life), but they failed to understand the suffering (His necessary death).

Read Luke 24:13-14:
I can imagine their conversation going all over the OT, quoting various passages, wondering what that meant if Jesus isn’t the Messiah, yet did all that He did? What about the prophecies of old, of the Messiah restoring Israel, crushing the serpent (Rome, who was Satan of course)? How does this all make sense?

I would’ve loved to hear this conversation. It’s the type of conversation we all would say, “I give anything to be a fly on the wall for that conversation”, and since Jesus is the sovereign king, He can make those crazy wished a reality. So He pops into their conversation, but He doesn’t allow them to recognize Him.

Read Luke 24:15-19a:
In Christ-like humor, Jesus engages these men, and desires to look into their hearts, which looks like them opening their hearts to Him. Sometimes we think, God knows everything, and He does, but all throughout Scripture God, who knows everything, ask questions to invite the person into intimacy with Him; a conversation.

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah. Psalm 62:8

This is prayer. Talking to God. Jesus longs for us to share with him our deepest desires, our letdowns, disappointments, pain, etc. He’ll even act ignorant about things to get us to open up! I imagine the brief conversation sounding something like this:

Jesus: What are you guys talking about?

Disciples: Jesus of Nazareth’s death. Where’ve you been? Everyone knows this.

Jesus: Who’s this Jesus of Nazareth and what happened to him?

I love it. We could imagine more of this conversation, but that’s for another day. So the disciples begin telling ‘Jesus’ all about what happened to ‘Jesus’ in Jerusalem.

Read Luke 24:19b-24:
Who else in the universe could brag that they preached the gospel to God in the flesh?! Well… half of it at least. They retell the story of events to Jesus, maybe in tears, but definitely with passion and sadness. At the end of it all, Jesus is dead and now His body is missing. Could it be that Jesus was cursed? After all, He dies on a tree (cursed is anyone who hangs on a tree), and now His body was dug up and stolen (a body that was crucified and didn’t have a proper burial was considered double cursed):

22 “And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance. Deuteronomy 21:22-23

An unburied body was a defilement to the land and would represent a curse to the body (Ezekiel 37 – valley of dry, unburied bones representing cursed Israel for their disobedience). It is at this point that Jesus has heard their hearts, has compassion on them, and begins to let them in on the “BIG SECRET” of the OT.

Are you ready for the big secret to be revealed? It’s Jesus! Jesus is the interpretive key to all of Scripture and all of Scripture was always pointing to Him. Telling the story of Israel, yes, but only because it was through Israel that all the other families of the earth will be grafted into to God’s family and be blessed. It was never about Israel. It was and is all about Jesus being the way for all.

Let me indulge with you for a moment as we reflect on the OT, and my desire in doing this is in hopes of your reading for yourself later, and being able to see Christ, or at least “echoes” and “shadows” of Christ. Maybe you will even see those who “represent” a type of Christ, a savior. The OT is filled with types, shadows, and echoes of Jesus being the Christ, our savior:

Adam was given all he needed for life and godliness, walked with God in perfect fellowship, and still wanted more… Jesus entered into life on the other side of human history, full of pain and trial, was in the wilderness with nothing he humanly needed, and was satisfied in God.

Adam was given garments of skin to cover up the shame of his nakedness… Jesus became the slain creature who covered up the shame of our nakedness.

Adam represents the old man, sin, and death, the old mode of existence, living in the past… Jesus represents the new man, righteousness and life, the new mode of existence, living in the future.

Abel was innocently slain by a jealous brother who’s blood is crying out for justice… Jesus was innocently slain by all of our rebellion, and his blood is the justice that now cries out on our behalf, not our condemnation, even though we were the jealous brother who murdered the innocent (Hebrews 12:24).

Noah built an ark out of trees and got on it, to save his family and the animal kingdom from judgement and certain death… Jesus had a cross built out of trees and got on it, to save not just one family, but all the families of the earth, indeed all of creation.

Noah represents one family’s trek to salvation… Jesus represents everyone’s trek to salvation.

Abraham obeyed God, left his family, his land, and all that was comfortable and familiar to be a new people of God in a new nation… Jesus answered the call of God to leave all the comfortableness of divine worship and go out into the void of broken humanity to create a new people of God, and establish a new nation, a new family, a new way to be human.

Abraham was declared righteous through His faith… Jesus is the righteous One in whom Abraham placed His faith.

Abraham was circumcised to represent a new family that is pure and fertile and would circumcise all the males of Israel from that day forward… Jesus was also circumcised outwardly, but died and rose again to circumcise hearts so that all may be transformed from the inside out.

Abraham trusted God for a different sacrifice when his son Isaac was on the alter about to be slain… Jesus became the sacrifice that preserved Isaac’s life, and desires that all lives may be preserved.

Jacob wrestled with God and was struck in the hip to be reminded the God is with him… Jesus wrestled with God in Gethsemane and was struck on the heel, so we, like Jacob, would only receive the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us, not destroy us.

Joseph was exalted to the right hand of Pharaoh and saved the nations from famine… Jesus is at the right hand of God the Father who forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power make new hearts.

Moses stood in the gap between the people and God as a mediator for a generation… Jesus eternally stands in the gap as the One who cuts a new covenant for people to come to/experience God (Hebrews 3).

Job suffered innocently so God could show forth His power and redeeming grace even though he was condemned by his foolish friends… Jesus was the truly innocent sufferer, who is the power of God to redeem foolish friends (Job 42).

David fought the battle against Goliath because Israel was too scared and lacked faith in God… Jesus, who is the true and better David, allowed the Goliath of sin that we have created, to kill and consume Him so we wouldn’t be killed and consumed (the story of David and Goliath isn’t a story telling us that if only we had enough faith then we could slay the giant like David did; David represents Christ, Israel represents us)

Esther risked her life and the comfort of a palace to save her people from a wicked edict… Jesus willingly gave up his life and the comforts of heaven to make the evil edict take His life so that His people would be set free.

Jonah was cast into the storm to save the sailors… Jesus was cast into the storm to save the nations.

Hosea married a whore to represent God’s love and pursuit of His people… Jesus married the church who continually cheats on Him and acts as if He doesn’t really exist sometimes, yet he loves, pursues and ultimately redeems her back to Himself over and over again.

Jesus is the Rock of Moses.

Jesus is the Bread from Heaven

Jesus is the Water of Life.

Jesus is the Light of the World.

Jesus is the eternal Passover Lamb of God.

Jesus is the true Temple where worship happens in Spirit and Truth.

Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice for fallen creation.

Jesus is the divine gladiator.

Jesus is the true prophet, priest, and king.

Jesus is the Alpha and Omega.

Jesus is the Lord who heals.

Jesus is the Great I AM.

Jesus is the All-Powerful One.

Jesus is the God who sees.

Jesus is God with us.

Jesus is the Lord of all creation.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd.

Jesus is the Lord of Righteousness.

Jesus is the King of kings.

Jesus is the Lord of lords.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace

Jesus is the power of God unto salvation.

All of Scripture testifies to Christ!

He loves us! He is pursuing us! He’s present right now. He’s in our story today more than we could ever imagine. He is there in the pain and loss. He is there in the earthquakes and storms. He is there in the famine and death. He is there in the daily grind of living paycheck to paycheck. He is there in the celebrations and joys. He is here, right now, beckoning our hearts to worship Him, as one people of God, acknowledging Him as the rightful king of the universe, and inviting us to trust Him afresh today, so that the world might see and experience life.

Ancient Crappers

Back Camera

A few years ago, I had the privilege of going to Israel, and traveling throughout the regions where Jesus lived and traveled. Some of the visits we made were at ancient sites such as Beth She’an, an ancient Egyptian city that later was inhabited by the Philistines. King David, during a series of military campaigns drove out the Philistines from this city, which became a major city during the time of King David and King Solomon, later to be taken from the Israelites by the Assyrians who burned the city down. Lots more history about this place, but my point wasn’t to write an historical post.

The picture above is of a bathroom next to a stadium in Beth Shea’an, where people would let it all out, right there, while rubbing shoulders with their neighbors. The way it worked was each butt cheek would rest on each side of the stone and there your crap would flow downhill beneath you, and you and your neighbor would share in the stench together… I’m sure it was a bonding experience. It makes me thankful for stalls and doors at public restrooms, but then I wonder how much relational intimacy is lost with our civilized bathroom practices! Ha! It’s hilarious to even think about. But the more I thought about this, this is what we do on social media, we let all of our crap out, but we aren’t rubbing shoulders with our neighbors like the ancients. We are cyber friends, giving cyber hugs, and when we let our crap fly, we are not face to face so our demeanor is different than if we were face to face.

This reminded me that as much as social media is the new marketplace of our day where ideas are swapped and things are debated, that it’s important to force myself to continue airing my crap in front of real people, hashing it out shoulder to shoulder where we can talk without typing. Keeping it personal is important, and much more fruitful. Even as I blog, I know that there needs to be opinions on the web to stir minds and conversations, but I am also challenged to continue to the convos (the good, the bad, and the ugly ones) into real life convos with friends, families, and colleagues. This forces us to be more considerate and personal (with our bad smells and all). After all, I would never smear someones crap all over them while I’m sitting next to them, but it’s real tempting do that in the cyber world.