Reblog of John Notgrass: Connecting with People Where They Are


Great thoughts and questions about connecting with others, in a way that blurs or erases distinctions between church and home life. John’s a family friend, a deep thinker, and a terrific example of what a warm, caring husband and dad brings to the table. His writing is well worth exploring.


About cathsparks

cathsparks is a 1970 model writer, disability advocate, spouse of 21 years, and adoptive parent of grown children. She's been creating stories since early childhood, when she wrote her earliest work, "The Dog Who Ate Spaghetti". (Spoiler alert: It's about a dog who---wait for it---eats spaghetti.) Cathy enjoys backroads travel, ethnic cuisine, reading dystopian and mystery fiction, watching classic and documentary film, and doing family history research. Professionally, she's been everything from a small-town waitress, to a youth minister, a hat and handbag saleslady, a licensed early childhood ed director, and even a case manager for kids with Severe Emotional Disturbance. Politically an odd duck, she has friends that run the gamut from Socialist to Constitution Party, and nearly everywhere in between. Likewise, Cath has many chums who share her Christian faith, to be sure, but also enjoys meaningful friendships with folks who embrace other paths, including agnostics and atheists. There is no singular Sparks litmus test for fellowship, other than an honest effort at mutual respect. She and her husband, Jason (who was her first kiss, 28 years ago), live with their oldest, a son---an accomplished Special Olympian---and several ferocious house-cats. (Two of them "grand-kitties", and one is 18+. They also have a "grand-lizard" and "grand-dog", in other locales.) He has activities several days a week, lots of friends, and is active in community group, and men's bible study nights (though he skips the suds), retreats, church work days, and more. He's developing job skills through volunteer programs, and striving for appropriate independence in all these areas and more. Their daughter---a college Senior in the Midwest---lives in an off-campus apartment, but works on-campus, while double-majoring. (That's a lot of hyphenates!) She's active in ministry, plays drums for chapel, and lived for a semester in Siberian Russia. Cath and Jason enjoy spending time with their grown-up kids, at their small 1940 Tudor revival, in East Nashville's Inglewood neighborhood, during their daughter's school breaks. Their youngest and his bride live in an adjoining Southern state, where he drives a forklift, and is building a steady career in middle management. They have a brilliant and beautiful 1 year old girl, who Grammy and Grampy adore, and will debut another grandgirl in August 2017. In Nashville, Cath, Jason, and their oldest son attend Restoration, a diverse, loving body of believers who accept them, flaws and all. They are sin-prone, messy creatures, living in a temperamental 76 year old Tudor cottage with too many books, and their maximum number of felines.

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