August 29, 2002

feeling restless today well all this week actually. seeking searching striving to find authenticity and not getting there. it seems that for many in the church honesty and transparency are a scary proposition. maybe for me too but i think not, it has always been easy for me to expose my inner self to others. the restlessness has us thinking about why we are here, what are we doing why are we doing it, that nasty seed of doubt is creeping into my mind. maybe its not doubt but a prompting of the spirit to do something. we have actually been thinking about moving to vermont, the women we are working with to adopt our three girls lives there and we seem to have a connection with her and she is prompting us to come to vermont. maybe we will not sure, why is it so hard at times to know if you are doing the right thing, can we ever know that for sure? ah! maybe we arent suppose to know and that what keeps us going. at times i get tired of people saying god has a plan for your life, duh!! no. i know god has plans its just that at times i would like a clearer piciture of what it is so i could act more easily. thus my dillemma and i fear it may never end. such is life on this spinning mass of stuff. more uplifting entries later.


August 21, 2002

today is our anniversary, 20 years. i love my wife more today than i ever have. as i look back over the past two decades i am amazed where God has brought us, on the way to eleven kids. i would have never imagined when i married sydney that we would have taken the path we have but we serve an amazing God. need i say more?


August 18, 2002

just got back from a weekend retreat with our student ministry group. 85 kids, a few with the desire to follow god with passion and recklessness. fun, worship, good teaching a few frustrations (duh) i am exhausted a 41 year old out of shape man should not be climbing through tires suspended 5 feet in the air or jumping onto blobs and in turn being blobbed and landing layed out on my side you should see the bruise. watching kids connect with each other, god and themselves also watching others so lost in pain or anger that they cant see daylight and wont let anyone in to help. playing "mao" until the wee hours of the morning. overall it was a great trip btw we took all the kids even the littel ones and it really was cool to have them all there. and now i need to sleep and lick my wounds self inflicted they may be. watching kids discover themselves and then god or vis a versa and then how the two must be interconnected and how it changes their whole world is a great gift, so thank you jesus for allowing me this joy and letting me have some small influence with these precious lives.


August 15, 2002

we heard last night that the girls may be here the end of september. ethiopia has an emeregency court to hear the adoption cases for the all the kids in the group. so if all goes as planned (like thats happened yet :) ) they will be coming soon. now we just have to find someone or many someones to take care of the eight other kids as we go to pick up the girls in newark after they fly over from ethiopia.


well i am over my downness. most likely brought on by the small amount of sleep we have gotten this week. there are times that having 8 kids is a pain. like when one of them wont sleep all night for about a week. anyway all is well here for now. and btw the music helped also, mostly jars of clay "much afraid"


August 14, 2002

still waiting for news about our new girls. with all we have going on right now i am starting to get a little stressed, well maybe a lot. today i am really down and cant seem to get out of this pit. maybe some music will help. i started a new book this week "prophets without honor" by william strabala and michael palecek. it is incredibly challenging. so mcuh injustice in the world and not many peeps taking stands about it. where is the church's voice about invading iraq, oh sorry thats regime change. is anybody else a little scared by all this talk of war and invasion and death and destruction.


August 12, 2002

had a little revelation today driving to meet a friend for lunch. my awesome and mazing friend daniel gave me his car last week. one of the cool things about the car is that its a manual tranny. i forgot how much more enjoyable driving is when you have to be involved witht he engine. well this little stick shift caused me see a hole in my own travels with God. i have become a little too comfortable with my automatic transmission. you know just leave the driving to God. well my revelation was that we are to encounter God with a stick in our hands, more active more involved than the church has marketed to us. too many times i opt for the auto instead of the manual. i intend to do a little more driving with a stick in my hands from now on.


just found this link on deep dirt, karen ward's blog check it out



August 09, 2002

heard a story today on npr about this game called, Life As a Black Man

NPR's Alex Chadwick and friends play the controversial board game, Life as a Blackman. The object of the game is to get to a space called "freedom," with life lessons in every roll of the dice. The game's inventor, Chuck Sawyer, says he made Life as a Blackman to give players a sense of the frustrations and victories unique to black life in America. (7:30)

find game here

how about this for your next gathering of friends.could open some minds


August 07, 2002


EXPLORE the mystery, adventure, and community of ministry in our emerging culture. Join other artists, musicians, storytellers, church leaders, church planters, theologians, and community advocates. Over the past four years at Soularize, people have found refreshing and challenging ways to connect with other church leaders who are wrestling with ministry in the 21st century (whether you call it postmodernism, emerging generations, or the next church). Soularize 2002 will expose you to the latest trends, tools, authors and speakers and have the surprise moments that have made Soularize a unique
and inspiring conference.

AUGUST 31ST IS THE END OF EARLY REGISTRATION for Soularize 2002 at $199 per person ($125 spouses). If you;ve been thinking about going, you might as well save some bucks and sign up now! (There are special discounts for multiple team member registration too.) After August 31, the cost is $249.

We know we;re reaching leaders in the emerging culture that are bi-vocational;if not multi-vocational;so scholarships are available based on need.

Soularize;s unique edge is our speakers and experiences. For example:

THE REVEREND BERNICE KING, daughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., is one of our featured keynote speakers.

THE DAMAH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL TOUR;three days after the 2002 winners are announced, we will host the first stop on the 2002 Tour of this festival of spiritual experiences in film.

SOULARIZE WORKSHOPS come from our community, so it;s virtually all the authors, speakers and friends that you;ve come to recognize, and a chance to meet in person many of those names or aliases you;ve run into on the phone or online. Brian McLaren, Liquid thinking, Rudy Carrasco, Tom & Christine Sine, Dan Kimball, Denise VanEck, Chris Seay, Karen Ward, Tony Jones, Holly Rankin, Mark Oestreicher, Heather Kirk-Davioff, Jordan Cooper, Joel Vestal, Andy Harrington, John Franke, Doug Pagitt;

LARGE SCALE PUBLIC ART;Tour guides/docents will help us explore the emotional, aesthetic and spiritual impact of art in the largest urban sculpture garden in the U.S. and how the church might contribute to the arts.

INTERACTIVE LABS including video editing, digital photography, art expression, cyber café, theology pub, song-writing studio, experiential worship installations and screening room (bring your own videos). If you are a musician, you might want to consider joining our house band ;The Dirty Worship Band; led by Tim Taber formally of The Prayer Chain.

15 MINUTES OF FAME;many conferences have representatives from companies come and tell you what you need, trying to sell you their wares. At Soularize we reverse the roles. Publishers, record companies, stock art buyers, etc. come to discover the new resources of the emerging culture. Bring your CD-Rom, your manuscript, your demo tape, or instrument and you;ll have a chance to meet and talk with people that you;d have a difficult time meeting outside of the Soularize context.

If you love to learn in a hands-on relational way, and like the idea of a schedule with longer lunches and open evenings for discussion with fellow travelers, I hope that you;ll check out the website and that we;ll see you in Minneapolis in October.

Spencer Burke
Your Party Host


August 06, 2002

my wife comes home today and after six days of single paretning i am out of energy. i have great kids but the energy it takes to care for them and serve them is amazing. by the time eveneing comes and the littel ones are in bed and i get a chance to sit i am exhausted. i dont know how single parents do it. my sister in law has two daughters and i am amazed at the way she gives them so much. yet the more i thin about the laast week the more i realize i need to be doing more to serve and love others. i have been given so much family friends all this stuff and i give very little of it back yeah i have 8 kids and we are adopting 3 more but that for us is not so hard, i need to look past my family more and see other people outside who need help, a friend and person to be with and do more of it. i have about 12 hours until i see the women i love and that has me pumped already this early morning but i feel God asking more of me this am and i am not sure how that will play out, are any of us ever sure we are doing everything we should be, not like we can pay back anything just that people need love and if i have it give i need to find more ways to give it away, thats what its all about giving away all you have.


August 03, 2002

im sitting here this morning with my four youngest children busy about the house creating their own universe. my three oldest not travelling are over and various friends my wife and oldest daughter are in europe, belgium and germany to be exact. my oldest daughter 12 saved the money to pay for her own ticket. but what is running through my head is how others react to me being alone with the kids. "oh youre babysitting this week" "oh what a wonderful husband you are letting your wife go" how did we get the idea that when a father is alone caring for his children its babysitting isnt it just parenting? when people make the comment about babysitting do they realize they are totally discounting my desire or my ability as a parent do they realize they have succumb to a cultural brainwashing that somehow only mothers really parent. not sure, maybe they just dont know what to say. the best one is the person who thinks this family we are making is all my wife's idea and i am just tolerating it for sex or something. i love being a father and i am not very good at it sometimes, i yell and get angry and lose my temper at times, but this morning i realize that i am right where God wants me a broken and struggling man trying to follow an amazing God, trying to help these kids see the same things i have so long been seeking and occasionally finding.


August 02, 2002

its been a while again. we thought our new daughters would be here mid august but alas the wheels of the well oiled adoption machine have once again ground to a halt. a promised letter that was to open up the process to bring thsi group of kids here from ethiopia has dissappeared or was never sent. the embassy here was suppose to send a letter to ethiopia stating the kids that have already come over are doing well. but when our advocate got back to ethiopia, surpirse no letter and the courts close for the month of august in a few days, so we are now looking at september if at all, if this paper work mess does not get worked out and the fact that the women who is our advocate in country has death threats against her because she refuses to succumb and bribe the bureaucrats may make all this a dream. we are praying for our girls daily and want to hold them so bad. adoption is not for the weak of spirit, but what in life that is worthwhile is easy.