Home > Uncategorized > Beyond the Phoenix Preacher

Beyond the Phoenix Preacher

Yesterday I gave my perspective on my time at Michael Newnham’s Phoenix Preacher blog.

Today, what comes after the Phoenix Preacher?

A few years ago, after Michael’s first retirement, several of us moderators teamed up to form a blog called From the Ashes. I think we accomplished our main goal, which was to keep the community at PP together. The community returned to Michael’s blog when he restarted PP, and FTA’s time clearly having come and gone closed up shop.


There are no plans for a revival of From the Ashes. There’s no need, because there are several blogs, most started by former PP regulars, that can help keep the community, fellowship and ministry going online.

More than Coping was started by Allan Adams, a.k.a. ERunner, that deals with issues of mental health and counseling from a Christian perspective. Allan has posted at PP almost from the beginning, and also posted at and wrote articles for FTA.

Dusty’s Corner and Sacred Retreat are prayer blogs, intended to be sites where people can pray, or leave prayer requests, or praise Jesus, or fellowship.

Lugum is a blog started by a former PP regular poster, Eric, that can talk about anything from web design to zombies to matters of faith.

Fifty Hours is the blog started by Matt and Esther DeWitt that simply is “a place to come to find healing in Jesus. Tell your story. Hear ours. Hear others. And, hopefully, hear God!”

And, of course, this is my personal blog, where I plan to resume writing about issues of faith and life from a Christian perspective. Some of those articles may be long, and some may be very short. I’ll not only look back at Phoenix Preacher from time to time but also personal issues that can be of help to a broad audience, as well as observations on contemporary issues. I plan to continue writing book reviews as well as the Link-a-thon that ran each Wednesday on PP.

Please keep in mind that none of us are Michael Newnham. We don’t have his calling, nor his unique skill set and giftings. We are our own people, made uniquely in the image of God, who are in various ways inspired by Michael but following God’s unique direction for our own lives and blogs (whether the blogs last seven days, seven weeks, seven months, seven years, or longer!).

One last note – please keep Michael in your prayers. He is still with us, thankfully πŸ™‚ and could use your support in prayer, with a kind word, in other areas as you are led by the Spirit. He gave much to so many for so long…it’s only right that we give back to him as we can right now.

His email address is phoenixpreacher@gmail.com.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
  1. Martin Luther's Disciple
    June 19, 2010 at 11:56 am


  2. June 19, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I’m looking forward to keeping up with the PP community folks here, Brian.

  3. Buster
    June 19, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    So who is going to start the Calvinist blog, the Anti-CC blog, and the pastors’ club blogs? Seems like we still have some holes here… πŸ™‚

  4. ( | o )====:::
    June 19, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Hey, all I know is it’s good to still be connected with you wild people.

  5. Na'amah
    June 19, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    amen to that (| o )====:::

  6. June 19, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    We do seem like different iterations of the PP as a whole lol…
    Still processing the fact that I cant go cause trouble anymore at the PP. Glad though that we have places to still congregate

  7. Esther
    June 19, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Thanks Brian. Community is such an important part of our walk with the Lord. Blogs may be a rather unorthodox community, but they fill a real need for a lot of us.

  8. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Esther, that is very true. Lots of people do not get online community but that does not negate its value. Not everyone fits into a 9 to 5 schedule but the internet, thank God, is open 24 hours.

  9. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    PP has gone offline…

  10. June 19, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Ugg, it was kind of nice to at least be able to stop in there and see it still standing

  11. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    I know, Eric…but it is what it is.

    Doesn’t mean though that’s what it will be. Perhaps the Phoenix will rise sooner than later…but I want Michael to be in a good place when he does.

  12. Another Voice
    June 19, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    BrianD – I am bummed about PP going offline. I noticed it a couple hours ago.

    I am also bummed in that I can’t help but think if this was a year ago (when I lurked but did not post) that things might not have gone like they did. I have no intention of rehashing it all, just sharing my heart.

    I will likely read your site regularly BrianD. I know you are not looking to be the new PP, but will you do the linkathon from here at all?

    I doubt I will post much, if at all. Feel free though to email me anytime (or anyone else who would like to).

    anothervoicespeaking – (at) – hotmail – (dot) – com


  13. Buster
    June 19, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Don’t blame yourself! PP was a public forum with moderators — they set the bar for what was acceptable. I don’t know how long you’ve been around, but back in the day there were (at numerous times) far more abusive posts and vitriolic exchanges. I look at this as just another part of the cycle of the phoenix.

  14. June 19, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    AV, what was different a year ago?

  15. June 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Buster, do you really think the mods set the bar? I did not see it that way…’cuz we would block some things…and Michael would let it out…or he would block something that we let stand…We just kind of went with the flow…

  16. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    AV, I’ll do the linkathon here Wednesday. Probably post it at my churches site, link to it on Facebook and Twitter.

    Buster is right. This week was reminiscent but not as hostile as it was a few years back. Dusty is right tho in that Michael set the pace and we went with the flow.

  17. June 19, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Did you get my email? Im hoping I sent it to the right address

  18. Another Voice
    June 19, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    My first post really didn’t come out right. I’m not looking to be a martyr, or looking for a lot of “don’t blame yourself” affirmations.

    Dusty, by “a year ago” I meant when I was only a reader, not a commentator. I know what you guys mean about some of the heated threads of the past – as I read for months before ever posting and also went through a huge chunk of the archives. Yet, Michael kept plugging along then. I am trying to get my head around our brother waking up excited on Monday, reversing course in 2 days, and then shutting down entirely 2 days later.

    Some people hated the book, said so, and then mostly split. I do NOT hate the book, and encourage its publishing, but I stuck around all day and expressed the concerns I did have, much of which were one on one with Esther. There were a lot of “I agree with AV” posts.

    Michael is his own man, and I have no clue what all was going on behind the scenes.

    All and all, I just wish I had been real busy that week, or out of town or something. Just how I feel…like a lot of feelings, can’t really put it into words properly or logically.

  19. Buster
    June 19, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    I felt like I was setting the bar when I was a mod., based on how I thought Michael had moderated in the past. But the bar was not fixed, which some people found frustrating.

    1) I felt I had to protect PP from comments that could lead to legal problems for somebody. This depended in the source, the credibility, and the threat from outsiders.

    2) I felt the obligation to protect sensitive souls who had been abused or didn’t understand Internet culture or debates.

    3) I tried to help people understand other points of view, especially when people were not expressing themselves well or when emotion clouded understanding. especially when there was the potential for a major blowup.

    4) I wanted to defuse situations that might result in people saying things they might later regret, and storming off.

    5) I wanted to avoid creating additional problems for Michael by my moderation, which was sometimes difficult to predict. He was always gracious toward me, though.

    6) People’s privacy had to be protected.

    7) Some topics (just from experience) were off-limits: [list omitted].

    But it’s an unpopular job. Everyone hates the moderators on any Internet forum I’ve ever visited. It’s like the referees at a sporting event. Essential, but often criticized.

  20. Believe
    June 19, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    The PP shutting down wasn’t anyone’s fault…it was an evolution…and an inevitability.

    It could never be without controversy…it was an impossible goal to retain its original ethos and expect to usher in a kumbaya.

    Honesty is messy. “We” are messy. It took a toll on Michael. It had it’s “season”…it was something special.

    I’m praying about being the “a-hole” in the Body…and starting a purely accountability site…no healing…others are much better suited for that. A site where victims can report abuse and I can help hold the bad guys accountable through public pressure and direct communication. Someone has to do 1 Timothy 5…and since no one is willing to step up…I might just take it on. We’ll see..

  21. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    PP shutting down wasn’t anyone’s fault, including yours AV, but neither was it inevitable. It was Michael’s decision, and while I hope to see it come back, I definitely support Michael shutting it down and taking a long sabbatical. I don’t want him cut off from his online friends, and there are ways we can make sure that doesn’t happen.

    Buster, as far as the mod thing, I did it too and there were times I came across as the narc, the cop, the bad guy and sometimes people would not let that go. That was part of the gig; if you accepted the gig, you accepted the good and the bad that came along with it. I remember editing many posts where Grendal would post entire lyrics from songs or entire posts from John Fischer’s blog and thinking, ‘we may, might possibly, get sued for this’. So I overreacted (probably) and took them down. People just trying to help, or have a good time, don’t always think about things like that; the mods have to, and..sometimes unfairly, sometimes fairly…get broadbrushed as Barney Fifes. It really could be a thankless job at times. The benefits though were more than worth it.

  22. jlo
    June 19, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    AV, how did you find the PP?

  23. Believe
    June 19, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    …on second thought, maybe I’ll just take the direction from Bob’s enablers I received early on when confronting my situation…and “go pray about it and leave it to the Lord”…and fade back into a place of acceptance and give up…and let the bad guys win here on earth.

    …if Michael couldn’t put a dent in the bad guys…what makes me think I can.

    Maybe that’s the lesson here.

    Saved by grace…I’m going to go have some fun tonight…and leave it to the Lord.

  24. Another Voice
    June 19, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    How I found the PP is the same reason why I had hoped it would stay online with comments closed….through Google, looking for information on a shady CC situation. I saw PP was ALL over it…and that prompted me to Google a couple other things in the movement that were not as pressing to me at the time, but had popped into my head over the years and I saw that PP was ALL over those as well.

    Then I started reading the current stuff, and going back into the archives as well….

  25. June 19, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Michael put more than a dent in it. Ask some of the Pastors that posted there regularly, and changed thier entire system of governance because of what he brought to light.

    I never felt you guys were cops, always felt like you were part of the group, but then again I was always in my own little world anyway

  26. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    trying to get ahead of myself, working on blog articles for next week.

    Believe, if God calls you to do something, you do it, no matter what the cost; the cost of not doing God’s will is far greater than playing it safe.

    But take my words with a grain of salt. I’m still trying to figure out the God’s will thing. Think I’ll go read a book on it πŸ™‚

  27. Buster
    June 19, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    “A site where victims can report abuse and I can help hold the bad guys accountable through public pressure and direct communication.”

    I think you need a lawyer to even make the statement that you’re thinking about building such a site! πŸ™‚

  28. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    You need lawyers to say and do anything anymore πŸ˜‰

  29. Linnea
    June 19, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    I just noticed the PP site was down….it’s like a home that’s no longer there.

    Thank you, BrianD, for opening up your site for communication. It’s good to know that I don’t have to let you all go just yet.

  30. June 19, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    You know what is funny AV….here I am thinking if I had not spoken what I was very burdened to say….you did have a lot of ‘I agree with AV’…I don’t think anyone agreed with me…maybe they were too shocked at me taking a stand and speaking so forcefully…anyway…..

    I think in reality it was not you nor was it me who tipped the hand…

  31. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Glad to do it, Linnea. These blogs everyone has scattered to – many scattering to more than one, in fact – aren’t dependent on PP being there or not being there. Therefore, we can keep fellowshipping and discussing topics as long as we want πŸ™‚

  32. Another Voice
    June 19, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Dusty..One thing I know with absolute certainty.

    No matter the differences of opinion this past week…

    I STILL want you by my side when the storm hits before I would want many of my CC pastoral brethren.

  33. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    “I just noticed the PP site was down….it’s like a home that’s no longer there.”

    I felt the same way…and especially more so two years ago. This time, I was sad but not surprised; I felt better about it, like this was something Michael needed to do for his own health.

    But it still hurts to know the home is only there in your memory…

  34. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Another topic of discussion in this thread:

    I’m looking for modern worship music, and I haven’t listened to CCM or worship music consistently since Vineyard started sliding into obscurity. Everlasting God is the latest worship song which I am familiar with (Sojourn, like most Acts29 churches, writes its own worship songs or uses songs from other network churches or Sovereign Grace, or the Gettys, or Indelible Grace. Which is not particularly my personal taste).

    Any suggestions?

  35. Buster
    June 19, 2010 at 9:48 pm


    Wasn’t there another (3rd) time when Michael briefly closed it down? Or am I just thinking of individual threads?

  36. June 19, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Linnea, the other times he closed it up I cried a lot. not this time. not sure why…maybe like BrianD said, I was not surprised…guess I saw it coming.

  37. June 19, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    AV, really? ‘cuz I know first aid? πŸ˜‰

  38. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    I only remember him doing so twice. On the other hand…he would close down threads when things got too rowdy and an ENOUGH wasn’t enough to calm things down πŸ™‚

  39. June 19, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    AV, I would not mind being by your side in a storm…and I would STILL share my supplies with you. πŸ™‚

  40. Buster
    June 19, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Kutless and David Crowder are my current worship favorites. I think DC has a new one coming out.

    Other than that the pickins are gettin mighty slim…

    OH! I did hear a cool band at Oden’s two weeks ago: “Two or More.” Really nice live performance.

  41. June 19, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    That reminds me…Buster was in CA during that big earthquake several (15?) years ago…after that when we were out there we would carry an emergency bag with us everywhere…flashlight, change of cloths, first aid kit, granola bars, etc… I still keep one in my car and keep one in my closet…

    so I am always ready for the storm. πŸ˜‰

  42. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Good thing. You never know when the tornadoes or flood waters might invade πŸ˜‰

  43. Na'amah
    June 19, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Linnea i agree, it does feel like the ‘home’ is gone

    i felt i said goodbye to two families yesterday…

    i had to close my pvt business and say goodbye to my employees (and unemploy them) and then came home to find Michael had made his decision

    i understand he needs to do this

    and BrianD, thank you again for having us here

  44. Na'amah
    June 19, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    a city map is important too… so you don’t wander down roads that won’t get you anywhere in the city during a storm (earthquake) and the known route is impassible

  45. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    You’re welcome, Na’amah.

    And I kinda feel that way…but I kinda don’t. I’ll tell you why.

    Home, the saying goes, is where you make it. Home also has a lot more meaning when people you love and care about are there.

    If the people are around, somewhere, where I can go visit them, I can live with the house not being there. But if the people aren’t there…then I get down.

    Right now, honestly, I need this online community, whether it meets at PP or here or on a Toto tribute band message board πŸ™‚ I hope I can facilitate the conversation and ministry and fellowship, write interesting (or interesting enough) articles, and find my niche in the blog world, as ERunner, Matt and Esther, Dusty, and the various pastors with blogs have theirs.

  46. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    I am going through iTunes and downloaded two songs: Everlasting God by Brewster and Revelation Song by Kari Jobe. I’m searching the top Christian and gospel songs now. I also downloaded Lifechurch.tv’s worship sets available via podcast, so I can check out what ‘attractional’ churches are playing in their worship sets without spending a dime.

    There’s an idea for a future thread: worship – Mars Hill/Sojourn/Village vs. Sovereign Grace vs. Hillsongs vs. Passion…

  47. Na'amah
    June 19, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Oh dear BrianD Toto? πŸ˜†

  48. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    I don’t know about message boards, but there are Toto tribute bands. Here’s one, in fact:

    It starts alright, then goes….

  49. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    “O nine-ty-nine, I keep breaking my heart…”

  50. erunner
    June 19, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Brian, There’s a ton of music out there. I search youtube and subscribe to various folks whose videos I like. I also go to any music sites I can and check out the music. Currently I enjoy Robin Mark and Kim Walker. You’ll have fun finding new music!

  51. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    But ER that’s too much work πŸ™‚

  52. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Seriously…those are great ideas.

    You also post worship music weekly on your blog…I should have remembered that! I’m forgetting other things I should have remembered lately 😯

  53. Buster
    June 19, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    There’s a Toto tribute band message board? OK, is was great talking to you guys.

  54. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Get back here, Buster. They’re all in Japanese and you can’t understand what they’re saying. Including the ongoing discussion on whether Toto or soccer will ever achieve popularity in the States πŸ˜‰

  55. jlo
    June 19, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Posted this at fiftyhours, but there was some lag time due to moderation, Dusty wanted to make sure you saw it.

    Dusty, even though you were vocal, you were always respectful and willing to listen to the opposite opinion, which doesn’t mean you have to change your mind, only to hear the other person out. There is no way anyone should be mad at you.

  56. erunner
    June 19, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Something I believe was never really overcome at the Phoenix Preacher was the victim vs. the pastor issue and it really became clear this last week or two.

    I believe it was always beneath the surface and unfortunately Matt and Esther’s appearance was the trigger to things going downhill quickly.

    Matt and Esther were caught in a perfect storm and their foundation was rocked. When Michael posted his apology the writing was on the wall.

    As I looked on those last few days it was like watching the Titanic listing and then going down. And yesterday the lights went out.

    I’m excited for Matt and Esther as I was behind their ministry all along. They will need prayer because working with wounded souls can be difficult work.

    I do recall when Michael removed an entire thread and it was because of me. I was stalking Nomans and I was on a mission. Can you imagine somebody giving that sweet woman a tough time?

    It’s an odd feeling not seeing the PP there, knowing it may not return. So many of us were blessed by being a part of that community. It can’t be replaced as it was so unique. I guess all of us had a little something to do with that??

    Thanks for setting up shop Brian.

    PS… I set this up back in May. Maybe I’ll save it as a memory.


  57. jlo
    June 19, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Oh and AV the same thing goes for you. I didn’t always agree with you, but more often than not i did. But the most important thing was you have a love for God, His people.

  58. Buster
    June 19, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    She went to bed, Bri. That or to get Toto reunion tickets.

  59. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Brian or jlo, Buster?

  60. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    I think everyone’s gone to bed, Buster. So am I…

  61. jlo
    June 19, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Oh I forget you guys are not on socal time, still early here. Catch you in the am.

  62. Linnea
    June 19, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    My Toto favorite was Rosanna…but then, I didn’t pay attention to the lyrics…just the beat and melody πŸ™‚

  63. Buster
    June 19, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    “I do recall when Michael removed an entire thread and it was because of me.”

    LOL! I have trouble even imagining that today. That is really funny. If only similar conflicts could be resolved…

    I guess that’s the lesson: they can be.

  64. Buster
    June 19, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Sorry, I had to go get my Father’s Day dinner.

  65. Buster
    June 19, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Rosanna… that was a catchy one…

  66. briwd2006
    June 19, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Jlo, it’s just that we’ve been away from the night crew for so long we forgot how to stay awake this late πŸ™‚

  67. Buster
    June 19, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    I slept in til noon, and I just had a coke, so I’m good for a while…

  68. asiasea
    June 19, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    so Buster did you receive as your Dad day gift your long awaited Toto reunion tickets? (this is how rumors begin… how Toto is your fave group instead Brian being the one who originally alluded to them) i think i’ll start it… πŸ™‚

    and to think i actually received a sarcastic ‘for your listening pleasure’ link after admitting i like N. Diamond… i also still like Led Zepplin (just shocking to my son and friends when i knew the lyrics)

  69. jlo
    June 19, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    My step-daughters hate, i repeat hate, Led Zepplin. I play the CD in the car and they cringe. they would rather listen to kings of leon, over and over and over again, ughh…..

  70. Buster
    June 20, 2010 at 12:01 am

    I’d send you to watch Rick Astley, but I heard they took them all down… 😦

  71. asiasea
    June 20, 2010 at 12:05 am

    lol they were a ‘discovery’ by son’s and friends in their exploration into early heavy rock influence… it was kind of fun and then i recommend GF to them

    hi j lo i noted your poem w warning made me laugh

  72. Buster
    June 20, 2010 at 12:11 am
  73. asiasea
    June 20, 2010 at 12:13 am

    πŸ™‚ okay that was kinda scary

  74. Jennifer
    June 20, 2010 at 12:13 am

    SO glad I will still be able to see the Link-a-thon here. I have found so many helpful things to read and learn from there.

  75. Buster
    June 20, 2010 at 12:35 am
  76. jlo
    June 20, 2010 at 12:49 am

    asiasea, glad you liked the poem, kinda tongue in cheek, kinda serious. it’s how i feel sometimes, but not always. πŸ™‚

  77. jlo
    June 20, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Buste, you are way funny.

  78. Buster
    June 20, 2010 at 1:03 am

    Getting way tired…

  79. jlo
    June 20, 2010 at 1:06 am

    I so want to be a part of this, but just so you know, I have a very sick/elderly dog in the house that calls for my attention. Depending on how my Dixie dog is doing, depends on how much time I spend on here, or elsewhere. My goal is to make her comfortable for as long as possible.

  80. Nene
    June 20, 2010 at 1:56 am

    Hi all, hi Jlo…I am sad about your Dixie pup, and hope she is not in great pain right now.

    Briand, thank you for this place, and I am wondering if Psalmy knows where we all are. Can someone let her know if possible? I worry about her at times. Have a good night everyone.. we are all over the place now, but are joined by so much.

  81. asiasea
    June 20, 2010 at 2:06 am

    i hope Dixie is comfortable and you too Jlo… i have a 3.5 lb fuzzy child w me all of the time…

  82. Sarah
    June 20, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Nene…I’ll send Psalmy an email and let her know.

  83. Nonnie
    June 20, 2010 at 2:26 am

    Looking for Worship music:

    My favorite worship music is Robin Mark.
    If you have not heard Revival in Belfast, you will be in for a wonderful and refreshing time of worship.

    I heard it first, 10 years ago when I was going through a grieving loss and the Lord used that CD to lift me from a pit of despair.

    Robin Mark has other CD’s as well. “All is Well” is another song that ministers to me greatly. Give it a listen

  84. June 20, 2010 at 3:05 am

    Not big on worship music, but I have always been blessed by Todd Agnew

  85. Nene
    June 20, 2010 at 3:14 am

    Thanks Sarah, it’s wonderful to see your name.

    Nonnie, what a gentle voice. I was not familiar with that song, it is SO comforting. I have Revival in Belfast; has it truly been ten years since it came out? wow…that cd spoke deep in my heart as well…

  86. London
    June 20, 2010 at 4:05 am

    BrianD – I can’t believe your still on about the “Barney Fife” comment I made what…3.5 years ago? πŸ˜‰
    I think I’ve apologized like 900 times since then but I’ll make it 901 with the hopes that somehow you can find a way to get past it.

    Sorry I said you were acting like Barney Fife.

  87. briwd2006
    June 20, 2010 at 8:37 am

    London, we’re good. That wasn’t intended to be a personal shot, I intended to use the illustration to make a point about moderating. I have had people say less flattering things to me. It’s part of the job.

    But I’m clumsy like that, so I’ll clarify and hopefully set the record straight.

  88. briwd2006
    June 20, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Jennifer, glad to keep the Linkathon going.

    I’m glad you, and London, and everyone else are interested enough to check in and fellowship.

    I’m not Michael, and do not have his calling, and for that matter neither are the other bloggers I listed here. What we can do, besides following the paths God has set out for us, are we can carry over certain things from PP and make sure the community there is looked after.

  89. briwd2006
    June 20, 2010 at 8:45 am

    So glad to see the fellowship here overnight.

  90. Na'amah
    June 20, 2010 at 8:45 am

    i just noticed…my name went from Na’amah to my email name asiasea… do not know why or how

    Happy Father’s day to all father’s who visit here… your presence in your children’s lives have such an impact on each of them and the next generation as well

  91. June 20, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Na’amah…oh…a map is a good idea…I keep several in the car but did not occur to me to put one in my bug-out bag. thanks

  92. June 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks so much jlo. …that really helped. πŸ™‚

  93. briwd2006
    June 20, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Dusty, what jlo said.

  94. briwd2006
    June 20, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Nonnie, will check out his music. Thanks!

  95. June 20, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks big guy.

  96. briwd2006
    June 20, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    De nada, Dusty.

  97. ( | o )====:::
    June 20, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    “I remember editing many posts where Grendal would post entire lyrics from songs or entire posts from John Fischer’s blog”

    Hey, sorry I scared ya. πŸ˜‰

  98. briwd2006
    June 20, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Overcaution on my part. I’d probably let it slide nowadays.

  99. June 21, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Brian, I am another who will greatly appreciate the linkathon. Sadly, I just deleted pp from my bookmarks, but replaced it with you. I enjoyed lurking and occasionally commenting. I was first attracted by a link from somewhere else about the Heitzig debacle, and stayed because of Papias’ Christian history posts. Wishing Michael the best.

  100. briwd2006
    June 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Thank you, bishopdave! I hope the Linkathons and other articles here will bless you and everyone else, and I hope this blog will find its own voice. That will take time, of course.

    Good reminder to keep Michael in our prayers and not let him fade away…and don’t worry, if/when the Phoenix rises again, I’ll let you know so you can update your bookmarks πŸ™‚

  101. ras826
    June 21, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    I’m still bothered by the whole thing that happened last week. You can bet there are ODM’s and some pastors rejoicing Compared to threads of years past, I still can’t see why last week was any different. Maybe someone can tell me how to handle abuse. It seems as though Esther and Believe have tried the Biblical approach. Do we do nothing? Just because people are our friend, do we overlook things they have done? I thank God for the friends who confronted me when I was wrong. And if these friends choose to do or say nothing, why do some make it worse by validating these abusers by speaking in their church, or allowing them to speak in yours?

    Maybe it comes down to how one defines “abuse”. Contrary to how some of you CC pastors might feel, I believe PP was among the best friends you’ve ever had.

    I feel like a coward for setting back and saying nothing last week. Because of the respect for some of the CC pastors that I have made at PP, I didn’t want to say anything that might anger them. Now, I don’t have to worry. A good man was beaten down, and family of believers have separated.

  102. ras826
    June 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Oh, it didn’t show my name! This is Bob Sweat.

  103. briwd2006
    June 21, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    You’re not the only one who knew what to say, Bob.

    I’ve gotta say a few things regarding that conversation:

    1. I’m not ready, and I’m not prepared to continue that conversation over here. I’m not supporting the pastors who were discussed, and I empathize with Believe and Esther and the stories they told. But I don’t even have 1/millionth of the knowledge Michael had of both situations from what I assume were numerous conversations and emails, not to mention actually having spoken with the people involved. On that basis alone I don’t think this forum is appropriate for continuing that conversation, much less getting into who’s guilty and who’s innocent.

    2. Being in any situation where I might have to throw Believe, Esther or Michael under the bus would really piss me off, because I would honestly rather journey with those ragamuffins.

    3. I’ve already explained what led me to and kept me at Phoenix Preacher on another thread…but being a moderator does not mean my calling is Michael’s calling. That does not mean I don’t sympathize with hurting people and people who were abused by the church. Far from it. But what Michael did is not something one jumps into lightly. It takes a huge toll on you physically, mentally and spiritually. There are undoubtedly legal implications and ramifications. You risk the unending misunderstanding, if not scorn, of other Christians. I believe if you are called to that ministry, God will equip you to carry out that call. If you are not called…and I am not called…you could be destroyed.

    4. I support the right of anyone who wants to continue the conversation of the PP thread Bob referred to in another forum. I also hope that the hurts, and misunderstandings, among the people involved can one day soon be worked out. It hurts me that good people are at odds over something that went toxic, and I would encourage you, please, work through your differences.

    5. As far as I know, the family of believers have the right in the United States of America to come together wherever they please, physically or virtually. If they don’t, for whatever reason or because someone doesn’t like it, then we have a major, major problem that affects us all.

  104. pstrmike
    June 21, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Still thinking about last week as well. There were some very strong opinions that were expressed and the thread was hardly PP best moment, not due to the content but by many of the statements and reactions.

    There was a sense that this thread was a deal-breaker in some of my relationships. A bridge badly damaged that no one has the energy to repair. No doubt some may look at me in a different light than before…. as I do them. Apparently some of those bridges were not as resilient as I thought.

  105. pstrmike
    June 21, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    and then to add insult to injury, I read Believe’s statement on FB. Who treats their grandkids that way? That is not godly…. and I am ashamed to be associated with that kind of behaviour.

  106. mn10
    June 21, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    A quick note.

    The aftermath of last week is that all the primary parties involved think I did them wrong.

    That’s their right and I’ve done all I can do about it.

    On top of that, I was accused of silencing the wounded, allowing the wounded to say anything they want, betrayal, irresponsibility, slander and the Great Flood of 1963.

    I could maybe have navigated that.. but when it’s “abusive” to examine ones actions in the light of Scripture and honestly work through that in “community”…thats when I said to hell with it.

    Actually, that’s not exactly what I said but this is a family blog.

    We did some amazing things together as a big family, but when real soul searching is something only our “enemies” should do…I’m done.

    I’m done and I’ll do my soul searching on my time.

    I’m sure I’ll miss it some day…but not some day soon.

    Much love to those assembled,



    What happened to Believe’s wife and kids was an abomination to God..

  107. briwd2006
    June 21, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Michael, thank you for taking the time to respond. Much love to you, Trey and the rest of your family…

  108. briwd2006
    June 21, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    You had a great ministry at the Phoenix Preacher, but as the Scripture says, there is a time for everything…I pray God sees fit to use you just as mightily in the future, in whatever field He sends you into.

  109. mn10
    June 21, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Thank you big guy…you’re doing a good work and I will be checking in on you.

  110. briwd2006
    June 21, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    I appreciate the encouragement…do me a favor and stop me if I suddenly decide to take on C.J. or Driscoll πŸ™‚

  111. Captain Kevin
    June 21, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    “…all the primary parties involved think I did them wrong.”

    Don’t forget that there are many of us that think you did NOTHING wrong. There’s also nothing wrong with soul searching. So search away, and allow the Holy Spirit to refresh you and reveal the will of the Father to you.

    Blessings to you and Trey. You are much loved.

  112. June 21, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Last week may have sucked, but it also led me to examine myself more closely and find myself wanting. I have sought forgiveness from people I had once called friend and then let my pride and anger get in the way of.

    So in a selfish way, last week was a blessing for me personally

  113. erunner
    June 21, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    I have a ton of mixed feelings about the last few weeks and I’ll work through them. The demise of the Phoenix Preacher saddens me greatly.

    Time can be a great healer. Maybe in this case time will need to pass so we can all be more objective about things. I believe there are some who need prayer we aren’t even aware of. I’m going to try and remember to pray for all of this as time moves on.

  114. Captain Kevin
    June 21, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Continuing in prayer for one another will be key to the healing. Thanks for the encouraging reminder.

  115. jlo
    June 21, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    I second what Captain Keven said.

  116. Captain Kevin
    June 21, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Hey jlo, it’s my job to quote and second others, and I take that job quite seriously. So, if you want something…

    Oh never mind, just messin’ with ya!

  117. Na'amah
    June 21, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    πŸ™‚ happy here the spirit of conciliation and acceptance is what makes this such a marvelous community of believers

    #111 CaptainK i 3rd what you said… i did not and still do not think MN did anything wrong

    has anyone told Em where we’ve floated off to?

  118. Na'amah
    June 21, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    MN did you receive my email w info request? it may have gone into your junk/trash it is from asiasea@live.com will resend it if you never got it… probably buried in emails!

  119. Michael
    June 21, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    One last quickie…

    I didn’t intentionally set out to sin or hurt anyone.
    It is worth pondering, (for myself) whether there was unintentional sin, which is sin none the less.
    That which I’m convinced was sin I repented of, I’m still not settled on some other issues.
    As Eric said, sometimes the greatest of blessings come through confession, repentance, and reconciliation.
    Back to my cave…

  120. Michael
    June 21, 2010 at 9:56 pm


    Please resend…I am buried and haven’t gone through about 1500 since Saturday…I’ll look for it.

  121. Na'amah
    June 21, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    i did resend…. i can only imagine the Gazillions in your mailbox!

  122. briwd2006
    June 21, 2010 at 10:38 pm
  123. london
    June 22, 2010 at 12:45 am

    Brian –
    having been through the “we don’t talk about that here” thing once before in our PP past, I’d like to suggest that you re-think your stance on allowing conversation about last week.
    People are still disoriented from the blog shutting down and they need to process their thoughts and feelings about it. where else would they go? seems this will be the “center hub” of communications and where most people are “landing” once they sort out the fact that PP isn’t available.
    No one says that as the host, you have to solve the problem, fix anyone or anything, or make everyone feel better. There’s no need to respond to each and every comment…the group will do that.
    I just know that there’s still a bit of residual hurt feelings and broken relationships from the last major PP blow up. In large part, I’m convinced, because the group wasn’t ever allowed to process it on line. I think that it was always kind of the “elephant in the room” with lines drawn and sides chosen.
    Doesn’t mean every detail needs to get discussed to death, but feelings could be acknowledged and dealt with in a respectful manner.

    My .02

  124. Bob Sweat
    June 22, 2010 at 1:12 am


    I certainly do not want to take your blog in directions where you don’t want it to go. As London just said, some of us are still sorting through all that has happened the last few days. Where else can I go? Certainly not to smp! But I’ll drop it.

  125. london
    June 22, 2010 at 1:40 am

    Bob- I’ll talk with you about it if you want. Brian can delete all our comments in the morning anyway if he chooses to.

    You are not the first person that I’ve heard say they wish they had spoken up during the time whatever was happening was happening. Hopefully, you won’t feel alone in that regard.

  126. london
    June 22, 2010 at 1:48 am

    and here’s what I’m feeling about it tonight.
    I feel like I’m being asked to “choose sides” between the pastors and non-pastors or whatever the lines are that got drawn.
    I don’t want to choose sides! I hate labels and I think that when people start applying things like “wounded” to one group of people and “pastors” or “good guys” (not in a joking way) or what the heck ever other label people have been using lately, then sides start getting drawn whether we like it or not.
    I’m not going to choose. I like the people I like and respect the people I respect, regardless of what job title or pigeon hole someone else puts them into.

    Why do humans insist on labeling each other anyway? hate it!

  127. pstrmike
    June 22, 2010 at 1:55 am

    I wasn’t around much for the last week. I had a lot going on, and I didn’t read the whole thread, it was too caustic.

    The pastor vs. non-pastor dynamic was an undercurrent that had been there for some time, apparently, this thread just caused it to manifest.

    As I told Michael, the reality is they only love you so much. Some just want you for what they can gain from you. And that really goes for pastor and non-pastor alike.

  128. briwd2006
    June 22, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Bob, London, a quick moment because I am tired and have to get some rest.

    I’ve explained my reasons. I don’t want to silence you, I don’t think this forum is the right venue for something that has the potential to get absolutely ugly or lead to final resolution and be redemptive.

    I don’t fully know all of the issues. You may think I do but I stayed out of that thread.

    You are asking me in effect to negotiate thru all of the minefields and I just can’t do it. I have my own problems I am dealing with, and this would necessitate me bringing all of the stuff that was on Michael on myself, and I can’t do it.

    I’m sorry, but this is not a battle I am called to fight. I never was.

    I am also liable for what would be said here.

    Michael has enemies in this particular fight and I would risk them becoming my enemies. I cannot afford that. I would be the one who would have to deal with the legal ramifications.

    I don’t doubt that there are lingering issues that need to be resolved but given how ugly things got I wonder if a closed forum would be best to hash it all out, or if these things need to be worked out one on one.

    I don’t want to be the bad guy here…but I can’t pass myself off as someone I am not. Like Michael.

    London you have good points but it looks a lot different for me than for anyone else running this blog for a variety of reasons. I can’t do what you ask any more than Allan could or Dusty or Matt and Esther could, or any of you…unless you have whatever legal protection you need to cover yourself in case of accusations of libel and slander.

    If this is the hub I could point people to such a closed blog or open forum that is available for such a discussion. I will do what I believe I am called and permitted to do with this blog and everyone is welcome to join me as they are able.

    Good night.

  129. london
    June 22, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Sure the dynamic was there, but I think it alot of ways that we were able to get past that and see people as individuals in many ways. It seems to me that broadbrushing and labeling just makes that kind of thing worse regardless of whether it’s north vs south, pastor vs non-pastor, black vs white. Any time labels and stereotypes are used instead of relating to people on an individual level, then there’s trouble a brewing.

    I dunno…maybe it’s just me that sees it that way. Regardless of what happened, I think people should be allowed to discuss how they are feeling right now in regards to a place we hung out with each other pretty much daily, being gone.

    but again…maybe that’s just me.

  130. london
    June 22, 2010 at 2:08 am

    Brian, it’s your blog so you make the rules.
    I’m not sure why you think you’d need legal protection, but you must know more than I know about what happened.

    I’m in NO WAY in favor of a closed forum, having seen what happened even at SMP with that model.

    I’ll just bid you adieu and wish you guys all the best on your journeys.

    You can remove my posts if you want. Not a problem, was just trying to help Bob out cause he seemed like he might be in a bit of hurt.


  131. June 22, 2010 at 2:08 am

    Cuz we do, lol.

    I dont hate the Pastors, and I sure as hell dont want you choosing sides. If I made you feel that way im really sorry. I have my feelings about the way things happen and i’ll deal with them.

    We were always polarized though, there was a time when it was the Dispies v. the Amil, then those who backed the ODM’s or at least gave them the benefit of the doubt v. those that just wished they would shut up and go away. (Want to make this clear, this is how I saw it and not necessarily the truth) this time the pastors threw a hissie fit and ran off ending any discussion, its not like we wont get over it, pick ourselves up off the floor and buy each other a beer in the end, thats just how neandethal men do it. We kick each other in the teeth, then wipe off the blood and shoot a round of pool

  132. June 22, 2010 at 2:12 am

    well you can always hash it out on Lugum, I can watch out for the legal stuff, its what I do

  133. Another Voice
    June 22, 2010 at 2:16 am

    As most reading this thread know – I am a CC pastor. If you weren’t around last week or don’t remember, I was pretty involved with Esther on the thread – though I thought it was all quite civil between the two of us.

    My email is anothervoicespeaking – (at) – hotmail (dot) com If anyone has anything to say or ask me personally, they can do so there. Or likewise if they just want to vent (especially at me) and be assured that at least someone is there to hear it.

    I understand where Brian is coming from.

  134. [o_O]
    June 22, 2010 at 3:00 am

    When I started visiting PP I painted a little mental picture of a blog as a party and I was visiting at someone’s home. More than I can remember, as I became the token “emergent” Michael told the partygoers that if they wanted to rumble they would have to stop picking fights with the weird guy.

    Sometimes I would forget I was a guest and take on persons with whom I would disagree, especially the ODMs and I contributed to many an “enough!” from the kitchen as Michael poured a shot of strong rebuke for everyone.

    Now we’re in a new house, with a new host, and he definitely doesn’t want the grief, in fact I can tell he’s smarting from the last beatdowns from the religious police too.

    I’m hoping I can contribute to the bottom line here in a positive way,
    so feel free to let me know if I spike the punch one too many times

  135. June 22, 2010 at 3:03 am

    On second thought, I cant see any good coming of it, and I have a hard enough time thinking of fun stuff to write. How bout we see the starting of a brand new day and just move on.

  136. Na'amah
    June 22, 2010 at 3:17 am

    i certainly think letting it ‘sit on the back of the stove’ is an excellent idea…for awhile i also think if we don’t discuss it, perhaps w rules of engagement, at a future date, it will diminish a level of authenticity

    and people are different in their resilience levels as well…

    just thinkin’

  137. Na'amah
    June 22, 2010 at 3:18 am

    eric, sent you an email

  138. Na'amah
    June 22, 2010 at 3:27 am

    i [o_O] (formerly known as ( |o )====:::) has an excellent visualization of the needed type of rules of engagement… hmmm, perhaps you need to spike the punch more?

  139. [o_O]
    June 22, 2010 at 3:47 am

    You have no idea how much I am throttled back
    BrianD does πŸ˜‰

  140. [o_O]
    June 22, 2010 at 3:49 am

    self control
    what an unfamiliar concept

  141. Na'amah
    June 22, 2010 at 3:55 am

    πŸ˜€ self control… now it is not that unfamiliar of a concept at this stage in life! you don’t say all of the things that come to mind

  142. June 22, 2010 at 3:56 am

    On second, second thought and after careful consideration:

  143. briwd2006
    June 22, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Eric, I commend you for this, and I hope that everyone can work out their differences and come out the other side, as you said, in unity.

    I’ve already tried to explain here why I thought I couldn’t host the discussion, and who knows, maybe I am totally in the wrong on this. That would not be the first time and, sadly, won’t be the last.

    If everyone is agreeable to discussing everything at your site, I’ll gladly point them to your page.

  144. briwd2006
    June 22, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Bob and London, I totally respect where you are both coming from, and understand your hurt and pain and frustration. I hope perhaps now that Eric has graciously chosen to host this discussion, you and anyone else who’s interested would go there to work through these issues and work things out.

  145. Bob Sweat
    June 22, 2010 at 10:51 am


    I respect your position, and I respect you as a person. God bless you! I’m sure we will continue to stay in touch.

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