I made an intentional effort to get some face to face time with blog buddies while I was in SOCAL. This was a little difficult because I had a 100 fever when I came home to my sisters place on Tuesday, and was achy and fluish the whole week. But those of you who know me know I dont let constant sweats and chills, a fever, a cough and a runny nose keep me from doing the things I want or need to do. Wait a sec...maybe that is a problem....anyway....
I met Stephen and Colleen and went over to their house tuesday night. They were very sweet and gracious hosts, and Coleen is a wonderful cook. It took a while to get started on the conversation, but eventually we got to know each other and even get a little good natured banter going. Stephen is a good man with a good heart, and we have a lot of similarities in our ministry journeys and the hurts we have experienced. Coleen is a girly-girl with a salty, down to earth, Oregonian attitude.
I thought it would be a little awkward meeting someone I had just known online. And it was at first. It felt like a blind date at first. This bothered me because of this little thing called homophobia that I deal with. I have grown to the place where I can love homosexual people, advocate for them to have equal rights under the law, and even hug homosexual men without feeling weird. But my homophobia still is alive and strong when I think I feel gay or may be percieved in any way gay-ish. And meeting someone online feels gay-ish at first. But meeting folks you have interacted with in blogland is healthy because it keeps helps move you from the artificial world of computers into a face to face friendship as well.
I had coffee with Mike Devries on Wednesday. He is a fun person and we chatted for well over an hour about a number of things. Because I dont really have a way to connect with a lot of ministers around my age that are anywhere close to my point of view here, it was really affirming to find someone in ministry at a similar place in his journey. He also had a lot of interesting stories and insights on minor Christian celebrities (as Mike Pilavaci refers to them), which was fun as well.
Then on Wednesday night I had dinner with David Cho. He took me out to eat at Olemendi's on Capo Beach, and we had some good discussions on faith and church and life.