What I’m up to: I’m currently on holiday with the family up in Yosemite. We are in a beautiful little cottage overlooking the valley outside of Yosemite’s gates. We couldn’t spring for the accommodations inside, but found a secluded spot that was affordable with an incredible view as far as the eye can see. Just us, God, the trees, mountains, wildlife, and not another building or human in sight. Of course, when you’ve got the luxury of retreating to a venue like this, it’s time for some soul searching, recalibrating, and deep heart repentance. Needless to say, I’m going deep, re-examining my calling, making sure I’m hearing from God, and opening all of my life up to him to rearrange, take back, or call upon anything he needs. Apparently, it’s all of it. Or that’s what this thick gold-leafed book with red letters in it keeps telling me.
What I’m tripping on: My two worlds colliding. Wales meets Long Beach. Pillar meets Refuge. In 2006 I planted a church called Pillar in the second largest city in Wales, UK. We planted out of a coffee shop almost exclusively with unchurched people. The church grew and spawned others, but one young man in particular has grown beyond my expectations over the years. His name is Barry Waters and he is getting married in Yosemite tomorrow to one of the church planters who launched out of Refuge Long Beach with her brother into San Pedro. A brother and sister power team, Ruben and Melissa infiltrated the projects in San Pedro with the help of Refuge Long Beach, and the New Breed Church Planting Network. When Barry came to Long Beach as a Refuge Long Beach intern, it was after I’d left the church to focus on my work with Namb training church planting trainers, so I left him largely in the hands of Refuge Long Beach. Barry joined the San Pedro team launching out, and met Melissa. They fell in love, and here we are in Yosemite, with me getting ready to perform a wedding. What has been surreal is that the very different church plants from two different continents have now collided and two planters I deeply respect are tying the knot. Watch this space. Incredible ministry to follow…
What I’m reading: I’m on a huge reading renaissance right now. I seem to be finishing almost a book a day. I don’t know why. These things happen in waves. I read widely, and so my books aren’t always Christian. I’ve polished off about 4 or 5 christian books this week, but I’m particularly enjoying a biography about Humphrey Bogart called Tough Without A Gun. My favorite movie of all time is probably Casablanca…yeah, I’m an old romantic, glued to the past a bit. Call me an old soul. Nevertheless, Humphrey is a pretty interesting character. He was always dogged by the specter of never getting another picture gig, and it dogged his heels relentlessly. Unpacking what made him tick has been fascinating. He wasn’t extremely good looking by any means, and what he didn’t have going for him paid out in the end. He was in many ways, the person that the average “everyman” could relate to in America. Not an intellectual. Not a model. Just. Ordinary. Jesus was the same. It’s causing me to reflect on the celebrity culture we have here, and how every preacher I know wears skinny jeans, black horned-rimmed glasses, and gives the appearance that he’s trying to hard to be noticed, liked, and followed. Anyways, I think people relate to ordinary. Perhaps the church should tap into this a bit more. I think it’d be refreshing to weary souls as it was in Jesus’s time when “there was nothing attractive about him, nothing that we should be drawn to him”.
Who I’m missing: I wrote a tribute to another mentor and friend who went to be with the Lord this year. It’s been a tough year, but I was finally able to write about my friend Don Overstreet. Check out the blog here
Quote I’m pondering: “Before you ask somebody to church, you should ask them to dinner” – Windfield Bevans
Buy Peyton’s newest book “Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art” over on Amazon.com. You can also download a free chapter and watch a cool trailer for the book HERE or click the image below.