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New blog at JaredWhite.com

I’ve been blogging over at JaredWhite.com now for a while (using my new startup web publishing platform Mariposta, no less!) so I figured I’d post a link over there from here in case you’re on this site. I keep thinking about taking Finite Calls Infinite offline since I haven’t posted here in years, but then I think there’s a pretty good archive of posts here so I might as well keep it open a while longer.

All the best! -Jared

New Light Ambient Music album by Yarred coming out in April 2011

I’ve been working hard for over a year on this project, and I’m excited for it to see the light of day! If you’re into Electronic and Ethnic instruments and ambient music suitable for prayer, meditation, and massage, this will be just right for you. Yarred – Light Ambient Music.

What a difference four years makes!

Four years ago this October, I was reading an excellent book from Tommy Tenny called The God Chasers. In it, he wrote a phrase that simply leaped out of the page when I read it. It goes something like this: “If someone would simply open a store that dispenses Jesus, the hungry masses would come.”

That thought gripped me. After putting the book down, I couldn’t forget what I had read. Just prior to this, I had dreamed a strange dream in the night about opening a storefront. What did it all mean? So I asked God to show me what He meant, and then it came to me:

A café. An organic third-place* coffeehouse and ministry center where Christians could engage with the community and offer real-world, practical, hands-on workshops, concerts, and creative events. A gathering place that would bring people together and “dispense” Jesus to the spiritually hungry. An environment that would sponsor arts, innovation, and game-changing social causes. A hot destination for young people to catch the fire of God’s amazing purpose for their lives.

The concept of the “third place” refers to the natural cycle of where people spend their time. The first place is the home. The second place is work, or school. The third place is where people go to hang out, to chat, sometimes to study, or to engage with others in the community. In our culture, the coffeehouse/café has become a very popular third place. Starbucks is everywhere. Espresso bars are all the rage. The problem we have as Christians is that we generally take church very seriously and consider it a primary social circle. But for so many people, church just isn’t on the radar. They don’t go to church on Sunday or any other day, and they just aren’t interested.

The idea of starting a cutting-edge third-place ministry is gaining ground. I didn’t realize this at first, but after the café concept popped into my head, I began to do some research and discovered that Christian coffeehouses or youth-themed community centers are springing up all over the U.S. In fact, “spiritually” inspired centers of all shapes and sizes are becoming more popular as leaders realize that the typical church model just isn’t reaching a vast swath of the population. The buzzword of the hour is “missional”. Missional thinking in church circles is exploding, and there’s a lot of reexamining how to make disciples of Jesus outside the bubble of church life.

OK, back to my story. Four years ago, this center popped into my head. But at first, I thought I was going crazy! I’m the last person who’d open a coffeehouse. I’m a Web designer and musician. I don’t know anything about running a retail or food operation. But God works in mysterious ways. Fast forward to today.

I am now married to a wonderful woman who does have experience in the retail and food industry. I am a business owner with greater executive know-how and connections in both the business and church communities. I have talked to Christians I know well who already have a passion to reach the community for Christ in new and innovative ways. They’re tired of the status quo and want to see Santa Rosa and Sonoma County rocked for Jesus.

Dance classes. Financial planning. Dating and marriage seminars. Art sessions. Music concerts. Worldview debates. Goal setting and vision planning for youth. Entrepreneur summits. All from a Biblical, Christ-centered perspective. The list is endless. It’s time we Christians stop hiding out in our own little cocoon and start acting like who we’re called to be: a city shining on the hill that cannot be hidden.

This vision is now becoming a reality. Rosemary and I are in the process of looking at rental space and talking to potential team members. We are hoping to host a fundraiser and vision casting event sometime in the next month or so. We will be building a Web site with our official name, logo, and information soon.

This is so exciting to me. I’ve been burdened by this vision for four years, and now the momentum is finally building. God be praised! There’s so much to do still, but, as they say, just take it one step at a time. We’ll see what happens next. It’s gonna be good!

Game Changers

While working today, I’ve been watching “The Nines” out of the corner of my eye. The Nines is a one-day video-based online Christian leadership seminar. The theme is for each leader to spend about six minutes sharing what the “game changers” have been in their lives and their ministries.

It’s going to take a while for me to come up with a really meaty post (or a few!) on the “game changers” in my life. But I think one stands out above all the rest, and that was the realization of who I am. Now some things are a product of our upbringing, our talents, or our life events. Yes, I am a husband. Yes, I am a musician. Yes, I am a Web designer. Yes, I am a photographer. Someday, Lord willing, I will be a father. These are the things that change and morph and grow over time. But, ultimately, I am something more, something that has eternal significance.

I am a minister of Christ.

The understanding that God has called me to full-time ministry that I gained towards the end of 2006 completely altered the course of my life. Now “full-time ministry” doesn’t mean that I’ll be preaching on Sunday every week and calling myself Pastor. No, it means that, in how I choose to live my life and how I conduct myself in the lives of others, everything I do needs to bring glory to Jesus. Now this is not easy. It’s very difficult at times! I think that’s why it’s tempting to put “ministry” in the “church box” and then do stuff on our own terms the rest of the time. But that’s not what it means to be called as a Christian. A Christian is a little Christ, a disciple of Christ who so desires to become like Christ that he/she begins to resemble Christ and reveal Christ to others. That is our goal as Christians. That is our full-time ministry.

Discovering and unpacking this was a big game changer for me. I am a full-time minister called by God to impact the world and bring glory to Jesus. And, if you are a Christian, I have some good news for you: you are too!

Nothing for Granted

I was praying this morning and the song “Hallelujah (Your Love Makes Me Sing)” came to mind. As my voice quietly sung the refrain, I began to substitute the word “love” for other qualities such as grace, wisdom, and mercy.

Then a thought occurred to me: I love my life! Because, if my life had taken a different course, I might not know the love of God, or the grace of God. If I didn’t know Jesus, if I couldn’t hear His Words directing my steps, things would be very messed up.

It was a reminder to me to stay thankful and never take the free gift of salvation for granted. Jesus paid a heavy price so that I could be forgiven, so that I could feel the love and mercy flow down from Heaven’s throne. The only appropriate response is eternal gratitude!

And so, Hallelujah Father God! Your Love Makes Me Sing!

(P.S. The followup post to the last one “Surfacing” is still on the way. :) )

Surfacing

In only a few weeks, my wife Rosemary and I will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary. Marriage is great. It’s so great that I’m glad I didn’t realize how great it would be before getting married or it would have been harder (aka sadder & more lonely!) to wait for “the One” to come along!

Some of the other stuff that has happened over the last year has not been so great — primarily in parental relationships and, like most folks these days, business/finance. In fact, I have been through some real struggles of trusting in God. There have been times when prayers tasted dry in my mouth. I thought God was hiding and I didn’t understand why.

But I’ve had to learn something all over again, something I knew before and had temporarily forgotten. God is always moving, and He is always speaking. We can’t hear sometimes because the volume of our heart’s cry is too high. But it’s those times when true faith is forged in our spirit because either God is good or He is not. If He is good, He will do right by us. Jesus asked us to consider that if even earthly fathers who are marred by sin want to good gifts to their kids, how much more will Father God give us good things?

But if God isn’t good, then…well, who is? Who else can we believe in? We have to decide.

We have to believe in God’s sovereignty and find peace there, because the alternative is sheer misery. I LOVE knowing that God has something up His sleeve, and seeing a few glimmers of light recently has been quite a source of smiles for me. I hope you too will see something to smile about right now as God’s hand reveals itself in a surprising and exciting way!

Be blessed.

P.S. My wife points out that in times of injustice, potent prayer in the name of Jesus has power to change things. I hope to talk this more next time around!

Is this thing still working?

Kickin’ the tires…checking the oil…all fueled up…hmm. Looks like it’s ready to roll!

Roadmap to follow soon… :)

Twitter Updates for Saturday, May 29th

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Twitter Updates for Tuesday, May 25th

  • RT @blazingedgepro: New projects are in the works! Binary Sea’s new EP is almost done, and Mr. White’s third CD (also an EP) is coming too. #

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About the Author

JARED WHITE is a disciple of Jesus Christ, a musician & composer, an entrepreneur Web developer, and a commercial photographer. He believes that the Spirit of God is moving mightily across the world today, calling Christians to go deeper in their faith to impact their family, friends, communities, and entire nations with the Gospel of the Kingdom. He writes frequently about living a Christ-centered life in the 21st Century and isn’t afraid to ask the hard questions — of himself more than anyone.

Regular topics include the intersection of postmodern culture and spirituality, the organic future of the Church, creative and prophetic arts, supernatural works of the Spirit, and the occasional dive into the shark-infested waters of scientific and political commentary.

Jared lives with his lovely wife Rosemary in Santa Rosa, CA, nestled in the beautiful costal valleys of the Sonoma County wine country.

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