Sunday, March 21, 2021

I Wrote a Book and Then Forgot to Talk About It On This Blog

Hey, so I wrote a book, told everyone I know about it, and then totally forgot to post about it on here.

It's called Scrappy Flock of Sheep, and it's the story of our tiny little north Portland church's attempt to help the homeless.

We were often really bad at it, but we tried.

It's also a deep dive into the dark, depressing mess that is my brain. So that's fun.

You can buy a physical copy at the following links, or download the epub or mobi (Kindle format) ebook files for free below.

No guarantee about quality when it comes to the ebook files. The words will all be there. The formatting...well....who knows.

Physical book:

Free downloads of epub, pdf, and mobi (Kindle) files:

I hope you read it. I hope it makes you a little bit uncomfortable at times.

I don't really know well how to advertise my own crap, so I'll just finish this with a short little story about our journey as a church. We started this housing project in early 2019, and at roughly the same time, another church in town began work on a much different (but equally important) project to combat homelessness in the city.

Their project got protested by angry neighbors a few months later. Ultimately the community pressure caused that project to shut down.

This book was an effort to encourage ministry leaders doing Jesusy work to keep going, so that angry neighbors will no longer shut down the work that God is doing.

I wrote the following near the end of the book, and it sort of sums up everything that I tried to get across:

Don’t stop. 

The work that you are doing is good. 

It is needed. 

It is indispensable.

In a world that contains both billionaires and the penniless, God’s justice is needed.

Your work is needed.

Don’t stop.

For the sake of the world, don’t stop.

For the sake of the houseless among you, don’t stop.

For the hard hearts in your community that need softening, don’t stop.

For the people among you who need to see that houseless people are not all “drug-addled parasites,” don’t stop.

For the people in your church and in your city who need to see that this type of work is possible, don’t stop.

For the sake of the other churches and community leaders who are quietly watching you to see if this work can be a success, don’t stop.

You can make it to the finish line. You might be bleeding and bruised, but the work can be completed.
It may take years, but it can be done.

It may bleed your church financially, but you can do it.

I was in a therapy appointment a few months into our project when I came to a realization: If we fail, God can still use it for good. Were our project to fail, the whole community would see it. The whole city would notice that our community shut down a little church who was trying to help the houseless, and likely that failure would spur others on to action.

Strangely, that idea kept me going.

Whether or not we were successful, God was going to use it. Therefore, we should keep going.

I’m glad we did.

I hope you keep going as well.