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Writing Books Change You...

Excerpt: Prologue - Becoming Jesus People Volume 2

November 19, 2023 - Faith Center

“Tears streamed down my face and I wiped them away, trying not to draw too much attention to myself. The entire worship this morning I’d been crying. Little bits at first but now I couldn’t stop it. If it wasn’t for the two strangers to my left and the Purkeys and Riley to my right in our pew I’d probably have made my way out of the sanctuary for a minute to collect myself. There was a weighty presence of God doing something in me and I didn’t quite know how to process it. It wasn’t the music, it wasn’t the people, it was the knowledge of how this church had gotten here. It was knowing the legacy behind the space I was standing in. And knowing its story had been entrusted to me to tell.

I watched the teens and children worshiping with their families during the special “One Family” service we’d happened to join today on my research trip to Eugene. Did they know the story? Did they know they were enjoying the fruit of a historical movement of God?

It was hard not to envision the people I’d interviewed in these same pews forty years ago. When Roy Hicks Jr still taught from that very stage in front of me. I could see his exit door he’d designed at the back of the stage, and wondered at the “in the round” fish bowl design of this auditorium. Had it been inspired by the “sanctuasium” next door? Were the stair step pews at steep inclines a nod to the risers they’d had on the gym floor in the seventies? This space wouldn’t exist without real people’s stories. Without their many “yes” commitments to Jesus, and that’s what got me the most.

The tears came again and I didn’t care. The magnitude and weight of the privilege I’d been given. To be the one to bring these stories to the world. That Jesus would entrust me with them. That these people would let me steward the narrative of their origin stories in the faith astounded me. How had I gotten here? Probably through some small yes’s of my own….”

Coming February 2024!

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