Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Atlanta / Blogging / Community

Three days till Atlanta!!!

I'm not hopping "in my Chrysler that's as big as a whale" (see video below) but I'll be hopping on a couple of big jet airplanes (thanks Ryan and Jamie for making that happen!!) on Friday morning and heading down to Hotlanta for the Radical Sonship Conference with Steve McVey and Paul Anderson-Walsh! I exchanged a couple of emails with Paul a couple of weeks ago, and I'm excited about what's on his and Steve's hearts regarding this weekend.

I'm also excited to be meeting some friends that I've known only online up to this point! Ryan and Jamie, Matthew Campbell, John Fincher and Gary Kirkham are among those who I've enjoyed "blog" fellowship with, but now will be meeting live and in person! I'm very excited about all of this!

Did I mention I'm excited!

Many of us have come to know each other by a means that we never would've thought of, even as little as 1 to 3 years ago! The blogging world has truly opened up a whole new realm of relationships for so many of us! We all have our "real life" (in the flesh) relationships, but through blogging and commenting God has brought some of us together in a very wonderful way. Check out what nAncY said in this short post yesterday on the subject of blogging and commenting. Among other things, this sticks out to me: "...making it a place of relationship, communion, sharing." Yeah!

When the Lord whispered 'graceroots.org' in my ear 5 years ago, in answer to a question I asked Him, He didn't fill me in on whole lot of details. Some of the details have been filled in since that time, but at first I thought it was primarily going to be a place for me to share my writings about grace. I had no idea what a blog was, so I simply typed up a couple of "articles" and posted them on the website, having no idea who would read them, or if anybody would at all. Then in June of 2006, Dave Lesniak asked in the Grace Walk Forum if anyone had a blog. I didn't have one, but if I remember correctly it was within 24 hours of his asking that question that I started this blog. Again, at first I thought of it primarily as a place for me to write about grace, and I had NO IDEA how all these friendships would come out of it!!! I'm so thankful to the Lord for joining so many of us together through our various blogs. Life has never been the same since, and will never be again!

Unfortunately I'm in a season in life in which I'm not able to spend as much time blogging or commenting as I have in the past. I hope this changes, but for now I'm simply enjoying the simplicity and beauty of the friendships that have evolved in the past 2 or 3 years!

"Headin' down the Atlanta highway..."

(P.S. I think this live version needs more cowbell!)


  1. Joel,
    Have a blast! I am so excited for you. All of the people you have mentioned, I, too know of and read their blogposts regularly!! Say "hi" to them for me "Amy of 'Walking In The Spirit.'"

    Most of all, of course, enjoy the wonderful fellowship with fellow siblings in the Family! I know you will!

    ~Amy :)

  2. I am excited for you too, Joel!!! You will be so blessed I know it! I think the most wonderful part about my trip to Hong Kong was meeting people and getting to fellowship with them all!! Enjoy it while you have it!!!

  3. Joel--Have fun in Atlanta! We'll be praying for your safe travel, and we'll pray for Atlanta once you arrive.

    You're right about the cowbell...

  4. ::snicker, snicker::

    I'm not sure Atlanta, JOHN, or Steve & PAW are quite ready FOR US!!

    Tooooo baaaaddd... :D

    Next stop for the "Love Train"? OHIO!!!

  5. Joel,

    I can't wait to meet you and Matt and everyone else. I don't usually celebrate Northerners coming South, but in this case I will make an exception :)


  6. Amy,

    I'll definitely say Hi to everyone for you and we'll be thinking of you as we celebrate and enjoy our time together as siblings in this wonderful family!


    Judging from your posts and the pictures, it's quite evident that the people you spent time with were the best part of your trip! I'm so glad you were able to do that, and in Hong Kong, no less! The people who will be spending time together this weekend are also what I anticipate to be the best part, by far!!


    Thanks for your well-wishes and for your prayers. Yes indeed, Atlanta needs the most prayers in this!

    As for the cowbell, I have another video to post about that.


    Wipe that grin off your face! Yeah, Atlanta has been through a lot, but I'm not sure anything has prepared it for US!! See you in 2 1/2 days!

    Gary, same to you, see you in 2 1/2 days! Thanks for making the exception for me. This Northerner would be so out of place without all my Southern friends spreading out the welcome mat for me!

  7. Have fun in Atlanta guy's...

  8. Leonard,

    Thanks a ton, and we wish you and everyone else could be there with us!

  9. Joel, I am sure you guys will have a great time together! You know that John F? Give him a tight hug for me! :) Another one for our dear brother Matthew and then of course Jamie (don't leave her for at least 5 minutes) :) and then Gary...

    Wow! Keep us posted... I am excited for you guys!

  10. Bino,

    I'm afraid we'll all be squeezed to death with all the hugs going around this weekend! But it'll be worth it. :) 5 minutes? Jamie? Hey man, we're not leaving her alone for 30 seconds!

    I just realized the other day that I'll be in the Detroit Metro airport for about an hour on Friday morning, on a layover! Too bad it's not a longer layover, because I thought about asking you to come by and have come coffee with me or something! I don't know fully how airports work, and I don't even know if you'd be able to come to the terminal anyway. Anyway, I'll be nearby and if you can squeeze out of work, it'd be cool to see you, as ever brief as our time would be! Of course I realize this isn't probable, but I thought I'd let you know I'll be stopping briefly in Detroit. :)

  11. Joel - I was saying a 5 mts long hug! :)

    Friday morning at Detroit airport? What time? Well, let me send you an email. I think that would work better :)

  12. Bino... Haha!!! Maybe my wrong interpretation of your comment was Freudian or something. ;)

    I'll be in touch via email! That would be so cool if it would work out to meet each other on Friday morning!!!

  13. HEY!! I take a day to go shopping and look what happens...I come back to this? I think Bino was on the right track, VERY SWEET...Joel, you KNOW me too well! ;D

  14. Haha! I'm gonna meet Gary and Joel tomorrow! I can hardly believe it!

  15. It's absolutely UNBELIEVABLE!!!

    But I believe it! It's true! 12 hours from now I'll be in the air on my way to Hotlanta to meet my friends!

  16. Joel, I know you're having a great time with everyone right now and I'm happy for all of you.

    I can relate to how seasons change. Like you, I love the connections I've made with the blogging community here but life has just changed for me too and I don't get to everyone's blogs every day like I used to. Boy! I sure miss that but I've made some great friends and what I'm learning is that relationships of the heart are not as fragile as others are. The connections are still there even if we don't chat on each others blogs daily like we used to.

  17. Aida,

    We spoke of you throughout the weekend, as you are such a beloved part of our blogging community!

    And yes, as you say, seasons change, and I've realized the same types of things that you've said here... our relationships are far more stable and secure than would otherwise be apart from us living out of the Christ-life, and even when we don't have the daily interaction with each other, we're still very much connected.

  18. Thanks, Joel. This is a great community and I'm glad I found all of you. Everyone has greatly enriched my life.