Archive for the ‘home’ Category

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Dear John,

In art,Books,Community,culture,design,faith,Friends,Fun,home,movies,Parenting,quote on May 19, 2017 by mstevensrev

John,

Mr. Waters there is a god and it sure might be you and I am positive it is not the first time you have been told this (though probably in different circumstances:)

I was born in 1976 at St. Agnus Hospital in Baltimore and by 5 years old I was wandering the city blocks of West Baltimore in Edmondson, a wild thing for a white boy in the 80’s. As life moved on I became a devoted follower of you even attending movies at the Senator. As a young adult, I found the director’s cut of A Dirty Shame and your glossary of sex terms extremely helpful and still recommend it to my children and strangers when they find struggles with such naming conventions. “Full of Grace” is a regular quote in my family attributed to Pecker…and thank you for indulging my fanboy-ness but this note is about divinity, not celebrity.

This morning I realized that tonight at 40 years old I have reached the pinnacle of my life. My oldest daughter is 15 years old and deeply in love with theater and last spring at the drama auction for Ingraham High School in North Seattle I bought a “walk-on role” in the musical this spring. I was delighted to learn in fall that the musical would be Hairspray.

As a sophomore, the production has been a dream come true for my daughter, in addition to landing a role she was also given the responsibly of dance captain. Due to circumstances, she choreographed and co-choreographed several the songs including Good Morning Baltimore. As horrible people say, “the apple does not far fall from the tree” as her mother is a choreographer and movement artist.

Back to me, this week I learned and this morning it dawned on me how significant it is that my walk on role for Hairspray is during Good Morning Baltimore. Not only that but I get to be “The flasher who lives next door”. Following in the footsteps of your cameo role in the recent film.

For a kid that grew up the son of window cleaner in Baltimore my life could not be better, for that I am so grateful. I may live to see the marriage of my children, grandchildren born or even become a billionaire but nothing will compare to the moment when I walk out on stage tonight. No better script exists than my own life and this moment certainly makes me consider that all of it has been choreographed for me already. Happy belated birthday, missed you when you were in Seattle a month ago, and I do hope someday our paths will cross in person as they already have in spirit.

 

Thanks,

 

 

Michael Stevens

1004 NW 130th Street Seattle WA 98177

M: 206.390.8142 michaelstevensrev@gmail.com #mstevensrev

 

*This message was originally written on the fan page @JohnWatersFanPage where I realized that you are not on Facebook. Tempted to hand write the letter to you, but I wanted you to read every expression of my heart clearly. Many blessing enlighten one!

Articles

Continuing with the animal theme

In Bible,Community,devotional,faith,family,generosity,home,leadership,mission,principles,quote,Spiritual,Theology,Uncategorized,work on November 13, 2012 by mstevensrev

ImageThis morning I read Geoffrey James article,¬†The Power of Determination,¬†and was inspired. ¬†There are many challenging things happening in our world, both personally and to friends that are very close to me. “So, even if it feels like God has flushed you down the toilet, pick yourself up and keep going. As long as you’re alive and kicking, there’s always a chance that God will pick you up and bring you to a place of safety.” I recognize that my current challenges pale in comparison to the circumstance others are facing in this world. ¬†While I may be able to do little to improve their life I can be faithful and determined in my circumstances, then live with an awareness of their plight so that if circumstances allow I may be generous with all that I have been give. ¬†The scriptures tell us that we (people) are but a breath, therefore whatever challenging circumstances we face today are less than a breath. ¬†Remember 1 Cor. 13:13, And now these three remain faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

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Sharing life together, though complete and utter strangers

In art,Community,culture,devotional,faith,familiy,home,music,poetry,politics,Prayer,Spiritual,Uncategorized on November 10, 2012 by mstevensrev Tagged: ,

Moments in this life take on a forever quality that I would have thought could only be reserved for heaven. ¬†Last night was on of them. ¬†This month I turn 36 years old, still a kid I know, and Karin and I went to a house concert of a music hero of mine name Bill Malonee who I have have been listing to for twenty years. ¬†There are many times that Bill’s path has crossed mine and each has been significant and meaningful to me, some directly others indirectly, some glorious others painful. I’ll start with how I ‘met’ Bill and then I’ll tell you my favorite story about him.

I moved back from living overseas my first to years of high school. ¬†The transition back had it’s challenging chief among them was I got cut from the varsity basketball team of my new school after having played varsity for two years overseas previously, thanks Coach Brotias. ¬†Suddenly my plan to be the next Bobby Hurley and start at Duke was looking like it was in¬†jeopardy. In addition I had not registered for a beach trip a group of my new friends were going on with my church because it conflicted with basketball. ¬†I was left discouraged and going to be alone in it, until this small group of young guys (5 of them) made sure that I was going to the beach with them. That was a long way around the barn, so I’ll get to it. ¬†On the three hour ride to the beach instead of riding on the huge bus, where all the girls were which should have been motivation for us, my group of guys piled into a small van, probably the worst smelling van in history. ¬†There we had our own boombox to control the music we listen to on the way. ¬†Erik Crown brought his Jimmy Buffett tapes. ¬†Being new to the group and from a family of¬†teetotalers¬†this was highly offensive and I struggled with listening to ‘drinking’ songs while going on a church retreat. ¬†Little did I know these young men were setting me on a journey more theologically rich and challenging then I could ever imagine and they were using music. ¬†This is the same group of guys who introduced me to Bill Malonee, the story would only be better if his name were Bill W:)

ImageBill Malonee was the writer and frontman for a group call Vigilantes of Love, or for fans like us VOL. They were a gritty thoughtful theological rock band with folk influence from Athens, GA. ¬†VOL and Bill’s lyrics became a soundtrack for my life, one learning to love mercy, seek justice and walk humbly. My soul was fed and challenged with lyrics like:

I’ve been trying to negotiate peace¬†
with my own existence. 
She’s gotta stockpile full of weaponry;¬†
she breaking every cease-fire agreement.
-Welcome to Struggleville

Now look if you’re gonna come around here¬†
And say those sort of things 
You gotta take a few on the chin 
You talking about love and all that stuff 
You better bring your thickest skin 
Sometimes you can’t please everyone¬†
Sometimes you can’t please anyone at all¬†
You sew your heart onto your sleeve 
And wait for the ax to fall
-Skin

It’s amazing what you’ll buy if you think last chance went buy
You weave a new set of lines to cover yourself
‘Cos love is just a plea at the deepest point of need
We take the reasonable facsimile most of the time

-Reasonable Facsimile

If Bill approached faith with gloves it was not the white gloves I was used to it was boxing gloves, and he seemed in my mind to be on the receiving end of the punches…most of the time.

Years later one of my closest friends played bass in a band, The River, from Eastern College in Philadelphia. The River found their inspiration from bands like Creedence Clearwater¬†Revival, in your face Southern Rock with a great lead singer who’s voice clearly woke you up. ¬†The River’s first big show was to open for Vigilantes of Love and they were honored at the opportunity. ¬†Nervous¬†and extremely excited they took the stage, played their set, during and afterward they knew there was something terribly wrong. Later that night while hanging out with Bill, he showered them with complements about their potential and asked, “Would you like some advice for the future?” Receiving wisdom from an artist that had made it was a great opportunity so my friend said yes and in all humility and graciousness¬†Bill said, “You guys have some real talent, for the future I would just invest in a tuner.” The River is no more but the story lives in rock and roll lore as one of the most gracious and¬†hilarious moments, on par with anything that was scripted in the movie, We are Spinal Tap.

ImageSo last night I had to opportunity to experience a house show with Bill Malonee and his wife Mariah. Time has not stood still, Bill has a son only ten years my junior and I have three daughters who did not exist when I was introduced to Bill. ¬†As I sat on the floor at Bill’s feet, he poured out his soul, challenging me to remember those who have died as a result of corporate greed in West Virginia coal mines, wooing me with lyrics of songs that have transformed my soul from the past, and introducing me to a new friend Seth Martin. In a world that I have information on anything I want, Bill reminded me that there will always be those who are called to be prophet. Whether they are riding in boxcars like Woody Guthrie or playing Madison Square Garden like Bob Dylan, I need a prophet to speak or rather sing into my life reminding and rekindling my soul as to what is important.

Today my soul is rekindled, may you take a moment yourself and listen to one of my favorites of Bill’s called Double Cure.

ImageThanks Bill.

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>and so the process begins…

In home,House,Theology on December 15, 2010 by mstevensrev

>A local Seattle artist named Charley connected with Karin and I right at the perfect time. He is currently doing the heavy lifting to transform 6036 5th Ave NW into The Nest. Along the way I will continue to document the process and hopefully others will too.

The sun was out yesterday, so the entire unit was opened up all windows and everything! Here are some of the garbage pieces on the deck.

The carpet has mostly been pulled up and someone came and got it after posting it on Craigslist. Their plan is to use it for soundproofing.

With every change to the place there seems to be a new spirit of refreshment!

Charlie wanted to make sure he had his TV over so when his son visits they have something to do! This is a beautiful and amazing work.

In addition to the work Charlie did yesterday we got the studio space cleared out so that there is not room for two artists to start working. Moorea will be moving in immediately! I’ve asked her to take some pictures for us as well. I’ll be updating with those pictures and pictures of Charley and Moorea.

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In home,L'Abri,mission,Theology on December 6, 2010 by mstevensrev

>In a previous post about Third Places, I talked about some of my growing views, hospitality and the building which we lived in. Over the past few months there has been a greater shift in my life then has every happened previously, and much to my surprise. Many things I thought were foundational are now not, and things that appear temporary are proving eternal significance. This time has been very challenging but also one I am very grateful for.

Just last week events with the tenants in our unit below entirely changed my understanding of the building we live in. Initially I sensed that it was putting to rest hopes and dreams I had, but now after some time I clearly see God was using a crazy drunken tenant (now evicted tenant) to expand our dreams. The dream for what our building can become is more clear and much larger than we had first imagined, but so is my dream for caring for my wife and family.

Immediately this means we are actively and aggressively pursuing buying a house. A safe beautiful space for my family to worship, heal, and rest up for the great journey ahead of us. The building will not only be filled with new renters once it has some work done it on. But it will be fill with artist who have a vision to live in community with one another; shared meals, shared garden, and shared vision. This will be a place of both healing and preparing artist to make a living with their passions and engage the world in a deep and meaningful way. I see a big part of what we are going to do similar to L’Abri. Karin and I realizing we need to get out of the way made this something so much more than we could ever imagine.

What needs to happen now:
Need to get work done so the bottom unit can be move in ready, we have some very interesting and cool plans for that.
Need prayer as we do not have the specifics of plan/map of what this will look like.
Need to talk with wise people who have pursued and been involved with similar communities.
Need to get the plan on paper and prayed over.
Need to settle our families’ living situation.

I’m sure there are a million more things that I could list here but this is an exciting time and I look forward to sharing what the specifics will look like and presenting the name publicly!

Spurgeon, http://thewebtheologian.blogspot.com/2010/11/spurgeons-thoughts-on-home-as-church.html

Articles

>Spurgeon’s thoughts on a home as a church

In Bible,home,Spurgeon,Theology on November 1, 2010 by mstevensrev

>First calling as I understand is the home:

God
Wife
Children
Church
Work

“The Church in thy house.”‚ÄĒPhilemon 2.

Is there a Church in this house? Are parents, children, friends, servants, all members of it? or are some still unconverted? Let us pause here and let the question go round‚ÄĒAm I a member of the Church in this house? How would father’s heart leap for joy, and mother’s eyes fill with holy tears if from the eldest to the youngest all were saved! Let us pray for this great mercy until the Lord shall grant it to us. Probably it had been the dearest object of Philemon’s desires to have all his household saved; but it was not at first granted him in its fulness. He had a wicked servant, Onesimus, who, having wronged him, ran away from his service. His master’s prayers followed him, and at last, as God would have it, Onesimus was led to hear Paul preach; his heart was touched, and he returned to Philemon, not only to be a faithful servant, but a brother beloved, adding another member to the Church in Philemon’s house. Is there an unconverted servant or child absent this morning? Make special supplication that such may, on their return to their home, gladden all hearts with good news of what grace has done! Is there one present? Let him partake in the same earnest entreaty.
If there be such a Church in our house, let us order it well, and let all act as in the sight of God. Let us move in the common affairs of life with studied holiness, diligence, kindness, and integrity. More is expected of a Church than of an ordinary household; family worship must, in such a case, be more devout and hearty; internal love must be more warm and unbroken, and external conduct must be more sanctified and Christlike. We need not fear that the smallness of our number will put us out of the list of Churches, for the Holy Spirit has here enrolled a family-church in the inspired book of remembrance. As a Church let us now draw nigh to the great head of the one Church universal, and let us beseech Him to give us grace to shine before men to the glory of His name.