Who is Leonard Sweet?
Theologian, professor, author, preacher, scholar, futurist.
Last Thursday and Friday I had the honor of sitting with about 30 other people in an intimate room, having a conversation with Len Sweet.
Let me first share who he is to me. Some 20-ish years ago I decided to take this fledgling faith of mine seriously. Having no history in church whatsoever, I had catching up to do. That meant there were books and the Bible to be read.
At this time I was finding myself asking the question, "Do I really fit in this faith? Does a guy like me with a bent towards intellect and the arts actually fit in, in Christendom?"
Along came Sweet's book, "A Cup of Coffee by the Soul Cafe." My soul relaxed. "I DO fit! There is a place for someone like me!" This may appear like a shallow statement, but I assure you, none of us will sign up or show up to anything unless we can see ourselves mirrored there.
His writings helped ground me in spiritual disciplines and in theology. His book "Learn to Dance the Soul Salsa" helped me lead the most fun and interactive small group--it marked all of us.
In a lull I got to share the essence of those last two paragraphs with Len. (And yes, we're on a first name basis.) And when the 2 days came to a close, I got into his space with a hug. A handshake seemed too linear--too Gutenberg ;-)
So how did I get in a little room of thirty people hanging with this spiritual uncle of mine? Via the generous staff at Westwinds church in Jackson MI.
Their senior pastor, David McDonald was a student of Sweet's in seminary. Westwind's student journey designer, Ben Redmond, (Comfort of Vengeance: Nahum) is good friends with Oakbrooker David Horine who was invited, who then asked me, since Mark Malin was on grandbaby birth watch.
I can't say enough about how God moistened my soul in those two days. I've been to so many great seminars with thousands or hundreds in attendance. But to be in an intimate room without microphones. Just voices. Natural interaction. Breathing. Talking. Together. So good...
I've put together a Tweet-style PDF that reflects my interpretation of our two day conversation.
So thankful for:
the staff @ Westwinds
a creative loving God