1) Not too serious a start: Tell us one thing that puzzles you about life, and one thing that gets you out of bed each day.
Hmmm. Interesting question. One thing that puzzles me about life is the way that we (human beings, that is) are so willing to accept things without question. For years I blindly accepted things as truth that I reject now. On this side of those issues it all seems so obvious. I try very hard to remember what it was like when I believed those things so I can learn from the experience... but it's not easy!
One thing that gets me out of bed each day is the countless opportunities I now have to sit down with different people and share our stories, and ask questions. A big part of my life right now is drinking coffee and talking to people. I love it.
2) You speak of us being a community of apprentices, how did you get this idea?
Admittedly I've stolen the language of apprenticeship from Dallas Willard. He's been a huge influence on my thinking, along with a few others. I've gone from trying to be a "believer", which only requires me to think a certain way, to being an "apprentice", which requires me to behave, or live a certain way. In a nutshell I think that the people of God have collectively "forgotten" Christ's Gospel. He came to tell us how to live, how to help build the Kingdom. He came to put an end to religion... so we made a religion out of Him and set aside His message.
3) You're executive director of Linwood House Ministries, a man in a largely female environment. How does that affect the way you work? What have you learned? Have you found your maleness an issue at times?
Wow - no one has ever asked me that before! It's a very unique experience. I've learned a lot about myself, and about men and women in general. I love the way women embrace their own story, and I'm frustrated by men, who for the most part would prefer to hide from theirs. I've also learned to keep quiet more often. Like any other guy when I see a problem I try to fix it; I'm starting to understand that fixing a problem is not always the solution. Most of all I have a new appreciation for the male and female characteristics of God. When we diminish one gender, we rob ourselves of that half of God. I'm not sure that's popular thinking, but I'm more convinced of it than ever.
4) You blogged about a "tough day at the office" a week or so ago - so what are the tough parts of your work/ministry/apprenticeship?
I'm an introvert, so one of the tough parts of working out what it means to be an apprentice is the reality that it can only be done in community. I would be quite content to sit by myself and read a lot of books about becoming more like Christ. The problem is unless I'm working that out in community, with people who can affirm and hold me accountable, it never moves from the head to the heart. On a lighter note, working from home means my time is my own, and I actually need a little structure to keep me focused. Even if it's only a walk down to Cates Park or a morning's reading at Starbucks, I try to get out as often as I can.
5) Where would you want to go on holiday, so as to get a totally different, but enjoyable, experience to your daily life?
Well, I live in paradise, so where would I go?! In my previous life I've done a lot of traveling and I always loved it. It didn't matter if the locale was glamorous or not; anywhere different is fascinating to me. Now in this chapter of my life the idea of going somewhere on a "pure vacation" doesn't really appeal to me. There are all sorts of places I'd like to see in combination with my interests - Africa and India are at the top of the list.