Friday, November 23, 2007


I am exercising my freedom to break from the guidelines of The Thinking Blogger Award that Joy has honored me with. You can find her here. Along with saying the things I write make her think, she said that I had been instrumental in music being brought back into her life. That in and of itself in my book is something that brings me great joy. As you all know, music is important to me and to think Joy is listening and enjoying music again makes my spirit sing.

The reason I wanted to break from the guidelines is because I wanted to use this opportunity to mention a number of people that have been so instrumental in the challenging thinking that has been a part of a wonderful change in my life. Instead of having to just pick 5 of you to give the award to (not that there is anything wrong with that) I just wanted to put all the names out there and encourage you all to check them out. They have all been mentioned here before.

My blog friends: Rob, Sue, Rich, Rick, Joy, Cynthia, Trish, Tina, and Jennifer you all have been an important part of this past two years of major transition in my life. I'm truly just a shadow of who I was three years ago. 18 years after Father began the process of unraveling the performance/obligation/conformity/fear based religion I had known all my life, something happened in me. You all walked through that with me. Your encouragement I have so appreciated and you all have played a role in this transformation with father. Don't ever doubt that you all have the Spirit living and moving in you and the impact your love and grace has on people is huge.

As to some other brothers and a sister (authors) that have at times gently and sometimes not so gently (Brueggemann) pulled rugs out from under me, I am so humbled at their love for God and their desire to help others to see better. Maybe it is that they help clear things out of the way that stand in the way of us seeing God more clearly? I would have to say that is what they did for me.

Jacques Ellul
Walter Brueggemann
Brian McLaren
Richard Rohr
NT Wright
Stanley Hauerwas
Mike Yaconelli
and Anne Lamott

And I save these three for last.

Wayne Jacobsen
Brad Cummings
and Paul Young

Wayne has been a friend for many years now and the role he played as he walked with me through the darkest most scary period of my life I am so grateful for. His help to me during that time when everything was coming undone in my life and no one else really understood, encouraged me to keep pressing through. His book He Loves Me and The Jake book were very instrumental in changing the way I approached God and seeing better how he desired to relate to me.

Paul came into my life through Wayne and an unpublished manuscript, at the time Jesus had begun to show me a way through the confusion and fear, to a place of freedom I had longed for. To say the shields were down and I was vulnerable when I sat down to read The Shack is the understatement of my life. I stood undone and exposed....with no defense....and at the same time was so acutely aware I didn't need one...I was being loved instead. I had never felt so loved and accepted and safe and I am still overwhelmed with that same feeling a year and a half later. This is all about grace and none of us can add anything to that. My email exchanges with Paul have been some of the most challenging and encouraging and paradigm shifting encounters I have ever had. He has so gently and lovingly pulled many rugs out from under me and in so doing, a new deeper, wider place of freedom would open up in front of me to wander into with Jesus. I look forward to sitting down with Paul soon. *of which I did in March of 08* I want to give him a big hug and sit and talk about Papa, Jesus and Sarayu....and let's not forget Sophia, and I want to hear more of Paul's life story and how the wastefulness of God's grace has been setting him free and healing his pain. Papa is doing amazing things through him and his story and The Shack, a book that was written for his children and is now spreading around the globe. His blog is one of the most thought provoking blogs out there...well, in my estimation. Thank you Paul

And Brad, who I get to listen in on every Friday chatting with Wayne on the God Journey Podcast. These two guys have had some wonderfully encouraging, challenging conversations since they began doing it back in '05'. I am going to California in January to spend a weekend with Wayne and Sara and I hope to get to meet Brad when I am out there. *of which I did in Feb. of 08* That could be a hoot hanging with Wayne and Brad for an afternoon. *of which it was* We will see.

So Joy, I know this isn't passing along The Thinking Blogger Award, but it is how I felt comfortable doing it. All of you that I have mentioned make me think and I am grateful to you all and thank Father for allowing me to get to know you all. One day we will raise a glass...all of us together...count on it.


Sue said...

Wow, what a great list of spiritual giants you have there. Walter Brueggemman, NT Wright, Wayne Jacobsen, Paul Young, Sue.

Hehe :)

Thanks, Kentster. Right back atcha, dude!

William said...

Although every human being is a universe within their very being...some hardly dare explore outside the bare house they grew up in. A few travel to the edge of their inner town, fewer still to other cities. But is rare to find one that has lifted from the ground to set sail for places undiscovered. Fly high, Kent. With love...paul

Kent said...

Thanks Paul. That is beautiful. It makes some words from our brother Bono ring in my head that the Spirit has used to stir me deep inside. It speaks to me of the freedom of God. I had used that freedom too often expending much energy that had led me down troubled empty frustrating roads. In the end those roads ultimately led me to him but today I want that freedom to be directed towards a fight to freedom IN HIM.

Here's how Bono expressed it.

You're packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been
A place that has to be believed to be seen
You could have flown away
A singing bird in an open cage

Sue said...

Wow, Paul, them's beautiful words. You should get that carved on your gravestone, Kentster (although it'd cost a swag to do it hehe).


Grateful Girl said...

Thanks Kent for your thoughts. It's truly amazing the folks God brings into our lives. You and some of the others listed have been influential in my journey too.

Kent said...

For those who don't know, grateful girl used to be Truly Trish, the Trish whom I mentioned in the post. She is a dear friend of mine here in St. Louis.

I just wanted everyone to know who grateful girl is.

rob horton said...

thanks for the shout-out kent - i have very much enjoyed our growing friendship and our interactions via the blogs, the forum, the google chat, the phone, etc. i really enjoy interacting with your thinking and i enjoy you! blessings bro.

Tina said...

Kent, I have appreciated you so much as well. Like Joy stated about herself, you have also been very instrumental in bringing music back into my life.

Thank you also for helping to challenge the status quo in my life.

Kent said...

Tina, I remember when you first came around the God Journey Forum and we began our many conversations around the music and message of U2. Even their music of the 90's that brought them much judgement from the religious community. And Jesus was hidden in there all along.

As Bono says: "Looking for baby Jesus under all the trash."

And you are one of the many new Over The Rhine fans in the world. In all my years of listening to music, I have never been stopped more often and asked: Who are you listening to?" than when I am listening to OTR.

They have created so much beautiful moving and challenging music. I'm glad you, Joy and Cynthia were able to go see them live this fall. GOOD MUSIC ROCKS....PLAY IT LOUD.

Dena Brehm said...

Hi Kent -

We don't know each other, but we have some friends in common (Paul & Wayne), and I've likewise been affected by some of the same authors (Yaconelli, McLaren, Wright, Lamott - LOVE her "ask Jesus in her heart" story!).

I see that you're another one who's been enjoying Paul's gentle sacred-cow tipping...! Let the holy BBQ commence!

I found your blog through one of his "Shack" updates -- your insights are refreshing -- glad I found you!

Shalom, Dena

"The unanswered questions aren't nearly as dangerous as the unquestioned answers."

Sue said...

Dena dude. Hiyeeee!!!!


Melbourne Sue

Kent said...

Dena, I thought I was familiar with you and the

Shalom, Dena

"The unanswered questions aren't nearly as dangerous as the unquestioned answers."

from The Shack Forum. I knew I had seen it before. I'm glad you linked over here. It's always fun having others join in.

Do you and Sue know each other?

Joy said...


Kimber said...

Another comment after all this time... You also helped me to transform from my anonymous ID, Joy. I now blog as Kimber (my real name) because there is more authenticity (for me) in blogging in the light! A lot of fear has fallen away since then!

Thanks again, Kent.

Kent said...

It feels so good to just be yourself doesn't it? Or should I say....learning to be yourself? We WALK ON