Happy New Year! Let me apologize for a boring 2008 in my personal life and a blog that reflected it. 2009 should be a better one for us. Godwilling, 2009 should be an adventure.
Adventure: Dictionary defintion: adventūra what must happen, fem. (orig. neut. pl.) of L adventūrus fut. participle of advenīre to arrive. See advent
Wikipedia definition: “An adventure is an activity that comprises risky, dangerous and uncertain experiences. The term is more popularly used in reference to physical activities that have some potential for danger, such as skydiving, mountain climbing, and extreme sports. The term is broad enough to refer to any enterprise that is potentially fraught with risk, such as a business venture or a major life undertaking. An adventurer is a person who bases their lifestyle or their fortunes on adventurous acts.”
It makes sense to me that the Advent season, as that time to reorient our lives around the coming or arrival of Christ, should lead naturally to a risky, dangerous and uncertain adventure. This was certainly true of people who followed God in the Biblical account. It was true for followers of Christ through history. And it should be true for us today. I see my life, and the life of my family who follow Christ with me, as a risky, dangerous and uncertain adventure and yet I know that he is able to keep us safe and bring us to our final destination. I see my blog as a way to make visible that adventure. To share it with others. To offer it up for accountability and advice so that I might be corrected and made wiser.
I apologize if my blog has been boring in 2008. There have been many occasions when I should have picked up my armour and leapt into battle, jumped on that train, despite not knowing the destination or how I would return. There were moments when I should have sung loudly but instead I swallowed my words. Sorry about that!
This months banner is from a photo I took in Ireland a few months ago. I called it “Moss”. It reminds me of my missed opportunities last year due to sitting around, playing it safe, and collecting moss. But it also points to the Irish spirit of adventure that characterized the Celtic monks who left Ireland on pilgrimage around the world.
Pray for our family in 2009. We feel God leading us to launch out once again in a more radical way than we have done for many years. We have given notice at our apartment and are fixing up a truck so that we can live in it full time and get to all the places we feel God wants us to ARRIVE at. We expect to be in at least 20 countries in 2009 and will be tracking what God is doing there, as well as finding and encouraging the next generation of missional entrepreneurs. There are people who are cheering us on in this adventure but also a few people who feel we should instead be settling down, saving for a deposit on a home, allowing our kids the luxury of sameness and stillness. I want to prove them wrong. I need to show that the safest place in the world for our kids is the center of God’s intention for them, the path marked out for our family.
I pray that 2009 will be a year of adventure for you and your household. It will look different than ours but will just as important to God. If you choose to blog it, please let me know so we can follow your pilgrimage. Have a wonderful adventurous 2009!
Your kids get the ‘luxury of sameness and stillness’ within your beautiful, tight family. They have it in abundance.
Praying for each of you… that on this journey you each hear His leading and have the courage to respond. Wooot!
Is “leaping into battle, jumping on a train” intrinsically holier than “sitting around, playing it safe, and collecting moss”? Perhaps “monitoring the quality of the atmosphere” (see below) is also valid/important!?
I understand your point though, Andrew, and perhaps even sympathize a bit. Your planned trip will be personality-developing for all of you and “the center of God’s intention” is certainly the place to be. But I honestly struggle with the Q: what should a follower of Jesus be doing in today’s world?
Your pic shows lichen and an idyllically peaceful background. “Lichens are amazing living entities, in that they are not a single organism like plants, animals or fungi. Instead every single lichen is the result of two or more separate organisms living permanently together…
Many lichens show a remarkable sensitivity to air quality. Some forms growing almost anywhere, others living in only the purist of atmospheres. For many ecologists lichens are an accurate monitor of quality of the air in any given place.” (from http://www.earthlife.net/lichens/)
thanks greyowl. most of my missed opportunities involed speaking out rather than traveling out.
good stuff on the lichen!! happy new year.
congrats on your decision to follow in God. aren’t people always trying to tell us what it is we ‘should’ be doing? settling down, etc. i find it is with the best intentions that people often try to talk us out of our partnership with God because he often asks us to do the unreasonable. i imagine the disciples responded this way when Christ continually pointed to the cross and his death. ‘no Jesus! don’t do it Jesus! you’re unreasonable obedience to your Father’s will makes us uncomfortable.’
i do have a few questions. what was the process like with your family in making the decision to go on the road again? did anyone disagree? was there any convincing to be done? how big and what kind of truck is it? what countries.
these are the things that really interest me in your process, so i’m asking.
peace to you and yours and we’ll keep you in our prayers with ever update we read:)
hi brad. images of the truck have been posted a week ago on the blog – just scroll down.
as usual, all are in favor. Our kids have lived much of their lives on the road and are looking forward to getting mobile again. Our oldest son may need to stay back at first to finish his exams.
Hi Andrew, I am absolutely fascinated at the journey the Jones family will be making in 2009, I think it’s phenomenal. We have never met, but commented once or twice on each others blogs, if you are in the North of Ireland or even the North of England (where I study) I would love the opportunity to meet up at some stage? Let me know what you think….it may not be something you are interested in.
“It makes sense to me that the Advent season, as that time to reorient our lives around the coming or arrival of Christ, should lead naturally to a risky, dangerous and uncertain adventure.”
That’s a refreshing contrast to much of what’s being offered up in certain sections of the Christian subculture (How abt “Your Most Dangerous Life Now”!)
“a few people who feel we should instead be settling down, saving for a deposit on a home, allowing our kids the luxury of sameness and stillness. I want to prove them wrong. I need to show that the safest place in the world for our kids is the center of God’s intention for them, the path marked out for our family.”
For those us who live in war zones we hear this kind of well-intentioned advice all the time. Because of the escalating Drug War here in Mexico this year I’ve had several people ask me if we were leaving because of the danger and I have responded in much the same way as you stated above. We are here as a witness and a voice and this is where God has called us to be. And it is indeed an adventure!
Happy Travels in ’09 to you and yours!
Hi Andrew – almost 18 months since I over-nighted with you and you got my blog started. Right now am on Montserrat with the volcano puffing away, no return ferry available and all return flights overbooked! Keep on adventuring I say!
But I’m still interested in how your Orkney monastic training base will be affected – a season of mission before returning?
We would love to do something like this but how could we finance it? Are you continuing the work you were already doing with CMS and the like? Do you have sponsors who you are visiting on your journey? I was just wondering what a business plan for such an adventure might look like?
its both. we are trying to raise finances (harder this year than last year) and already have some support from CMS [who are encouraging the Europe-wide work] and a small number of Foundations. AS well as this, my wife hopes to make and sell some pottery along the way.
And of course giving up the apartment means reducing our monthly rental costs.
Andrew Jones- you are my hero! (ok ok- perhaps NOT… JESUS is) but i did want to make you smile a tad! Rock on dude….. you know we’ll be praying… or big adventure was moving here to Austin… (phil lived in NC for 48 years!- talk about a stretch) But it’s been a bumpy road……… Please pray for a job for me…. seriously…. it’s needed…………………
blessings… big time…………….
Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!
Andrew – boring is a word I would never, ever call you.
Re: Speaking out – sorry for those times I got on your case when you chose to be kind when someone needed a spiritual spanking (myself included). I do look forward to seeing how you speak out in light of our many discussions.
Can’t wait to connect with you in Europe and the UK.
Really looking forward to reading news of your travels this year. Can’t say we’re going as radical as you in this, but we’ve shifted our family from leafy suburbs into the multicultural inner city of Derby this past few months to start a house church. Early days, team gelling, trying to get involved with what’s going on all around us.
btw, re one of the other comments above – ‘Your most dangerous life now’ – that would be such a cool book. Who’s going to write it?
All the best on your travels – having had illness for the last 3 months when I have tried every spiritual trick in the book to try and heal myself I feel a little low wondering where God has gone or is hiding!The world is in a mess with God’s ancient people showering down the highest technical weapons in world history on Gaza a third world refugee camp with rocket firing political fanatics hiding among the poor.Where is Jesus and the Kingdom in all of this?
I hope you find the Kingdom on your travels but let’s face it you will probably find it in the most painful of countries where Christ is crucified daily.Western Christianity seems so phoney at times like this.
Take care of your kids and your lovely wife.
Andrew; let me know when you will be trucking through Turkey.
Hitting the road is sure a long way from playing it safe! My prayer will be that you and your family will always remember these days as among the best times of their lives! Blessings!
Hi Andrew – will your travels take you to the West of France? If so we’d be happy to host you, help you, whatever… We’re in Nantes.
Andrew – Turkey in October
Simon – West France in March or April.
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Good for you. I know you will keep a blog of your travels and I am looking forward to reading and seeing what God is doing on your travels.
Hey Andrew and family,
First of all, thanks for your openness in sharing your personal journey on this blog, it inspires me heaps (and did so even in 2008 :-)).
Great to hear of your couragious decision. I will keep a close watch on your blog to see how your journey progresses.
Like others I am very interested to hear more about the process. Me and my family are on a journey ourselves but have been ‘stationary’ for quite some time now. Lots has happened but we experience little guidance or clear ‘next steps’. You know. It seems unwise to just ‘pick’ some ‘Dangerous Adventure ™’ without any guidance.
Anyway, deep inside I am longing to go experience more of the Adventure so your story resonates deeply with me.
If you’re in Holland I would love to meet.
God bless! – Dave
Wow. It was like looking in a mirror when I read this post! 2009 has big implications for my little family of 6. God has called us to do some traveling for the sake of the gospel and to bring hope to the church.
For instance, in a small town not far from where I live (in Oklahoma in the states) a United Methodist church of 4 active members had to “close its doors”. They all moved their membership to another church in a different town. If only they could wrap their faith around not meeting in a building owned by “the church” and being lead by a pastor from the demoniation’s central office.
My wife and I have been called to the church, but in a more reformative role, perhaps? We want to bring revival, but in a fresh way – to wake up the people of God!
God has worked out the time to travel and do such, so we are waiting for the doors to begin opening. It’s a little scary, but God will walk us through this adventure. Thanks for sharing your adventure!