Jun 182010
 

“Thank God It’s Friday”  has evolved for me to “Thank God It’s Over”.

We have lost the vision I had for this site and I’m not going to watch it deteriorate anymore.

I don’t have the time or the emotional and spiritual strength to turn it back to a positive direction.

God is sovereign and He is good…He will waste none of the pain that any of you have experienced.

He will use all things together for your good and His glory.

Our part in that sovereign work is to pick up our cross and follow.

Crosses are heavy, the journey is hard, but home is where we’re headed.

My sincere apologies to those, both friends and others, that are disappointed and upset with my actions over the past week and today.

I followed my God when I started this and I believe I’ve followed Him this week and to this day.

May God richly bless you as you follow Him where He leads in your life… and may you know you are loved.


  No Responses to “TGIF”

  1. Correct memif I’m wrong, and maybe I missed something, but this post makes it sound like you are shutting down the blog. Is this the case?

  2. Unless convinced by a personal visit from God to do otherwise…yes.

  3. I need a job and I am helping raise a wondrous child.

    There has been near unanimity behind the scenes this week that I suck and online has been carnage.

    It ain’t working and I have to answer for it all in front of God.

    I need to step away…at least for a while.

  4. Michael,
    I, for one, would encourage you to continue.
    Whatever you choose, I remain one of your cheerleaders.

  5. Michael, You have nothing to apologize for. You answer to God and never to any of us. It’s been a difficult few days. It seems we have taken a step back. If you need personal time do not deprive yourself of it. If this blog is sucking the life out of you instead of building you up then do walk away for a time. I don’t think the alternative is worth it.

  6. I will be sad to see it come to an end but I know you are a man who is seeking God’s will for this. I can trust Him for this too.

    Let me say that my life has been enriched by the brothers and sisters I have had fellowship with here. Michael, the Lord has used you mightily to minister to me again and again. Through your words and actions I have witnessed an imperfect but humble man with a heart to love God and others.
    In whatever the Lord shows you to do, I count it a privilege to be your friend and will continue to pray for you and Trey. To God be the glory.

  7. Michael, you have done your best and your motives have always been good. When you’ve made a mis-step you repent, apologize, and beat yourself up about it.

    Yet I agree that the PP has run its course. Not because of any fault of yours but because the way things are evolving here. I can’t participate in the cult of broad-brush pastor-bashing I see developing here. Church is GOOD. Most pastors are GOOD. Page after page of pastor bashing cannot be good for anyone’s soul.

    Especially when we only hear one side of a story.

    The Christian ideal is to deny one’s self. This is what we read in the Sermon on the Mount. If we were treated unfairly by a parent or a pastor then remember how unfairly Our Lord was treated and follow His holy example. No, the scriptures do not say it is OK to devote one’s life to remembering and publishing past hurts. Some of us hold our hurts closely to our bosoms and cherish them. We don’t want them to go away because they have become who we are and without them we would be lost. But this is not the Christian life.

    I feel strongly about this because I have a friend of 40 years whose life has been ruined by her exaggeration of past hurts and her refusal to just let them go. She has become a vicious, hateful old woman who has few friends. I got another bitter (yes, bitter) spite-filled letter from her this AM. Don’t let yourselves become like this! Let it go while there’s still time.

  8. I’ve retired and come back more than Brett Favre…and may do so again.

    Today this is what I need to do and we’ll see what God does.

    Thank you all for your kindness…I’m off now.

  9. Michael,

    I am not disappointed or upset with you.
    I, too, would encourage you to continue.
    You have not lost the vision and there is
    so much good that goes on here.
    Take a break, maybe, get some rest and
    relaxation, some good food and fellowship
    and come back refreshed. Blessings!

  10. Xenia

    I would respectfully disagree about broad-brush pastor-bashing.

    Michael

    I will support any decision you make, you began this blog, and you certainly have the right to terminate it.

    Personally, I have gained many friends through PP. I have said this before, but its because of people that I have met through PP that made me even consider returning to Calvary Chapel. Although it has caused you much pain, PP has had an impact on CC and other denominations concerning the accountability, or lack thereof, of pastors.

    We cannot remain silent, and I trust that if PP is laid down, something else will rise.

  11. i’m not saying goodbye to my friends…you have my email, phone number…

    my time here has come to an end…love ya

  12. Michael you would make a great radio show host (if your voice is OK).

    I don’t know how to help with the practical aspects – and there are a lot of challenges.

    But – you seem to think fast, you are informed, and you have a gift from God – I really believe that it is a gift – to make a conversation interesting.

    And I think – just my opinion – that perhaps the Lord has brought you to the place where you are ready for the next assignment. Obviously the last few months in your life have been quite transformative, and it has been a joy to observe.

    Setting up an internet radio show is a start. It looks to me that would require $100/mo min to even maintain at a minimal level, which is real money for many of us now. I hate to make suggestions when I am not in much of a position to be helpful in implementing the suggestions. But I sure would tune in.

    To be a little blunt, there should be some way to translate your remarkable gifting and skills into something that generates income. I have been pondering that for a while and radio is all I can come up with, sorry.

    You could be a Christian Limbaugh/Savage type.

    Or, even, if you could find a literate renewal Arminian type (if), you could have a sort of back-and-forth God Squad-type shtick (Gellman and Hartman).

    The only other thing I can think of would be to pour more of your time and energy into your local church, which you are probably maxing yourself out on already. Sort of an obvious comment.

    God bless you and best wishes to you.

  13. Michael,

    I support you in this, in doing what is best for your family and health.

    This blog has been so many amazing things and if this is it I will miss it.

    It was community for me when I had no community. Especially now at a tough time in my life I will miss this community. But I would not have it at Michael’s expense.

    I will forever be grateful for what Pp has done for me, how it saved me and led me back to the church, how it has helped me grow. I will forever be indebted to Michael for being the first man to truly pastor me, for his kindness and counsel, for his ministry to me, for showing me Jesus in a variety of denominations and traditions.

    I am sad, over the end of PP and over what happened over the past week. Know this: Michael is not an ogre set on division and contention. His heart is to show Jesus, to heal the broken hearted, and he has spoken for them far more than anyone else I know.

  14. My opinion is you may have made a mistake in this one instance. However, I don’t think it should cause you to shut it all down. If we all shut it down after making a mistake, then nothing would get accomplished. And we do all make mistakes.

    You should keep going because there are those that need you to be their voice. No one else will speak up for them. And maybe they are too afraid to speak because of the consequences that will come from it. But you aren’t afraid. Maybe they feel they have too much to lose, but you don’t.

    Jesus busted the Pharisees in the chops. He spoke against those that were abusing their position in “church leadership”. Now Jesus was perfect, you are not, but that doesn’t negate the importance of the role you play.

    I know you will seek God in this matter. And that is all that matters in the end. But if the consensus to this point is that you suck, then consider that maybe the consensus is wrong. People that make an impact sometimes have to come to that conclusion.

    God bless and keep the faith.

  15. […] favorite times on the Phoenix Preacher were during the late night adventures of the “Night crew”. During the day it was all […]

  16. Michael is in free agency mode and is just negotiating for a better contract 🙂

  17. Well, if we are putting in votes and opinions, I say that we carry on. Perhaps the rhetoric gets a bit polemic and personal (guilty), I think everyone needs to step back and not take comments so personally. There should be a point that a conversation has become so embroiled that the parties should take it offline and get it resolved without inflaming the general population.
    In the past I have been embroiled in some of the most outlandish conversations – but never once took the comments personally.

    A soft heart and thick skin should be the 2 perquisites for being on the PP. 🙂

  18. I feel guilty making a suggestion without helping.

    So here is my widow’s mite.

    I have obtained Spousal Unit Concurrence (which we have to get in my family for expenditures over $5) to pledge $25 a month over PayPal for three months to support your internet radio show if you start one.

    And I promise at least once every month to try to find an excuse to call in during Live Time to bite you in the ass.

    Seriously.

  19. I guess this IS the ALAMO!…. I did not read so closely this week so I did not ‘get’ the carnage. Pretty glad now that I did not participate so much in it.

    Michael, I love you, but I think you should shut it down since you have tried to do it so often and since you have tried to change the tenor and tone and do not feel that you have succeeded. I will miss it but I have been weening off for a while myself and have become only an occasional poster.

    I have called you a man of war many times but you are tired of blood… go and do good things, rest, read and write … find meaningful work.

    But I say we do a list of our worst PP villains …

    Heistzig would have to make it…

    and Babbling Dread would be there too.

    Anyway…Remember the Phoenix Preacher!

  20. Hey BD,

    At this point, your buddy would be right next to him. 😉

  21. I’ve been a longtime lurker here. I can’t remember exactly how I came upon PP but I found it at a time when I was at my lowest after a very long and drawn out back and forth with my friend/pastor that resulted in the destruction of our friendship.

    The biggest contribution that PP and all who post here have made is that I learned that I was NOT crazy to think something was wrong with the authority structure and spiritual manipulations my friend was participating in. It’s taken a long time but I’m finally able to revisit some of the memories of that time without spiraling into a rage and/or depression….I think.

    Whatever happens, Michael, YOU are not the problem here. Lifting up the rug and pointing to the dirt does not mean you are responsible for it’s exsistence.

  22. True Bella

    That was very naughty of me… correction accepted… that is why I place myself on the list.

    So I am not really trying to pick a fight…

    PP has become a place of peace and it should end that way

    Bad Post Dread

  23. Michael, you should ignore comments of praise & condemnation in my opinion, and simply do what you sense GOD is directing you to do. Anything other than that would be a mistake.

    – Just my humble opinion.

  24. But Bella you misquoted me….

  25. Agree with Jim Jacobsen.

    Michael, you are a good man…one of the very few I’ve met in “church” leadership.

    Do what you believe God wants you to do…and tune the rest out. Listen to the Holy Spirit…and do what you believe is right according to the Word of God.

  26. 神と私の友人を歩く…

    walk with God friend… sorry i was late to the party, but glad i arrived and hoping there will be another.

  27. Michael,
    You have my support in whatever you choose. I believe you’ve had (and continue to have) a significant prophetic voice on these interwebs – modeled with humility and grace. Go with Godspeed and return with the same.

  28. Mixed emotions about this idea of shutting down the blog. For one, I think that in the middle of a crisis, such as sickness, injury, confusion, family emergency, or anger this place has been critical in people’s lives. There’s alot of times when somethings been going on that this is the first place I turn because I know people will be here and will pray or talk me through it.

    On the other hand, I think that for a while now there seems to be a lack of focus (maybe not the right word) or clarity. Frankly, I think we’ve covered the same ground, in particular pastoral abuse from the past, way too often. It clouds up every thread and sometimes makes other discussions impossible.

    I’m not sure where my vote would be on this today. Part of me says no..don’t shut it down, just get people to understand that we do not need to have a daily discussion that tears down the walls of friendship that we spent years building.

    Maybe we just need a week or 2 for vacation…then come back and see where we are.

    Dunno….

  29. Having said all that…
    I’m good with whatever you decide and will support you either way you go on this.

  30. If it helps Michael, I will go away and stop posting and reading here, if it leaves the old PP community whole.

    I hope you don’t go away.

  31. Strange how hard it is to let go of a online community… it is not a small thing.
    I may need to actually read the threads from this week cause I do not understand the whole hubbub. We have dealt with controversy since the beginning. And in truth, this place usually sorts things out fairly.

    I DO NOT KNOW Of any blog where the blogmeister actually dialogues and changes his mind and requires so much fairness. If the ODMs did their work like this blog they would be well-served.

    So I dunno who is all upset about the week… but not many blogs have apologies posted by the writer,

    Michael however is worn down… and needs a break… but I will not be surprised if old number 4 is tossing touchdowns again this fall…. So…

  32. Seems like there was discussion on and off blog, Dread.

    And yes, it is not a small thing to let go of this community…

  33. Michael,
    You know that I think God has give you some important things to say. If the Holy Spirit is leading you to close this blog down, it’s because you have completed the work here that He has for you. Everything has it’s season. But you are not done by a long shot. He’s busy doing a holy work in you, Friend. And those of us who have been around for a long time have seen the transformation in your heart. It has been inspiring to witness. You have had the courage to walk your walk in front of thousands of people–to stumble, to fall, to allow Jesus to pick you back up again and then to put one foot in front of another again. By doing this, you have gained the love and respect of more people here than you can even imagine. So…you’re not done, Michael. Not by a long shot. Are you done here? With Phoenix Preacher? Maybe. But if God decides to move you in a different direction, it’s because He has a new (and probably more difficult) work for you to do. How do I know it will be difficult? Because here is where you have been fighting battles, and although you are weary- you have a strength now that you didn’t have before. He promises to put his soldiers to work for His glory. So pray, pray, pray, Michael. And be sure that, like David in his battles, you are asking God each time what the battle plan is. What the next step is. (It could be different every time…just as it was for David). I’m with the others here who say we support whatever decision you make. Just be sure you are in step with the leading of the Holy Spirit. That’s our greatest desire for you. Carry on, Soldier. Be strong and courageous.

  34. Not Alone-
    There’s no need to martyr yourself 😉

  35. I have to agree with Jim Jacobson’s post at 12:06PM. Do what God leads you to do. If you can’t hear HIm on this, take the time to listen. In any case, I’m always a call or email away if you need me or just want to hang out!

    Love you Michael, and love all of you strange, lovely people.

    odenfong@aol.com always here.

  36. Michael,

    Whatever has gone wrong here was never your fault. You have paid the price for permitting the freedom of speech, and giving a voice to those who wouldn’t otherwise have a voice. You provided a forum that no one else really has. But that opens the door to all kinds of ugliness.

    I take crap almost every day from people who are angry that I participate here, because they associate me with every kooky thing that is ever expressed here. Then I take crap from people who are here just because I am a CC pastor, and don’t jump on the dog piles. I am completely drained and sick of the whole thing, so I can’t imagine what it must be like for you.

    I was just thinking today that it would be easier if I and the other pastors left, and just let the PP return to what it was years ago. Since no matter how much you grow, people still insist on characterizing this as an anti-Calvary blog, maybe that is what it should be. That certainly seems to be what draws the biggest responses and brings new people out of the woodwork. But I know that isn’t your heart.

    Whatever you do, I support you. But whatever you do, I am out. And I don’t say that with any bitter feelings or negative implications. All my memories here are treasured, and I have been blessed here since the first day I came.

    The best final chapter would be for you to apply for work in Albuquerque, and to go and marry Holly, bringing Trey and his mom with you. That is my prayer. I love all of you. 🙂

  37. London 🙁
    I’m sad, I don’t want to play outside right now.

  38. Yes… Michael….come to the 2Qs…. we got your back here.

  39. Not Alone- we’re all a bit sad.
    I think the unfortunate thing is that there’s come a new crop of posts that have caused quite a bit of division between “the pastors” and “the non-pastors” along with some other stuff going on behind the scenes that I’m not aware of.

    People are tired of folks constantly talking in ways that cause division between those two groups of people instead of dealing with people as individuals. We’ve worked really hard to build bridges and friendships that we just don’t want to see destroyed again.

    Better to end the whole blog I guess than to go back to the “us vs them” mentatility of years ago. It wears on ya after awhile to hear your friends badmouthed every single day…

  40. We can still have Efest 5!

  41. Michael….it has been a great adventure to walk alongside in this for awhile.

    Many good things have happened: We have walked with brothers and sisters as they have in joy waited for the birth of children and grandchildren. We have witnessed a sister who thought they would never meet the right person see God grant the desire of their heart and be married. We have witnessed the growth and change in ministries as we watch Daniel Fusco and Ryan Couch step out in faith.

    We have discussed deep theology in ways that allowed people to think deeper and differently than they ever had before.

    We have witnessed ministry happen in these rooms of words as hearts have been expressed and healing has occurred.

    We have witnessed tremendous growth in you as the leader of this place. You have gone from anger to compassion, from being labelled as anti-CC to rejoicing in the growth of many CC pastors.

    We have held our breath and prayed alongside as Tony walked through the death of one of his congregants and performed his first funeral. We have held our breath again and watched as Nancy ushered her mother into the arms of Jesus with tenderness and joy. We have mourned as we prayed and watched Jeff and his children sing Karen into eternity.

    We have yelled and pounded our fists.

    We have joked and laughed and rejoiced.

    We have fasted and prayed together as a group of believers.

    We have cared.

    We still care.

    We also, I think all, are aware that there are times that we have opened ourselves up to carry the burdens of too many. That is one of the downsides of the internet. We can be overwhelmed.

    We have all met God in these pages and in the words of our friends….and even of our ‘enemies.’

    This has been a good place. Blessings on your next step in the journey.

  42. I’ve written Michael privately but I would like to get this “on the record”

    I hope the archives can remain standing in the years to come. I have learned a lot about my own movement that I might not know otherwise apart from this site. Google is not going anywhere and searches can and will continue by others, often about abusive pastors. Truth can be confirmed where rumor might otherwise abound.

    While obviously this is Michael’s blog, would you other moderators consider please closing all comments at shut down but keeping the blog alive. I do not know what sort of server cost is associated with maintaining this blog but I will pay it personally, 100% (out of non-church related funds I might add) to keep things archived.

    My second request would be for the moderators who are not burned out to continue to add the older archives that were lost in the dot com to dot net switch. I know that has been a work in progress, but to restore those would be of great value to the Body of Christ.

    AV

  43. I am not sure how long we have, so I just wanted to express what an honor and joy it has been to be a part of this beautiful unique community. We have laughed, cried, screamed, thrown fits, fought, gone away mad, returned humble, re-thought God and friendship and and prayed together. I consider you all family, and honestly can’t imagine this place not existing….

    My place here has costed me over the years, like so many, but I am richer a thousand fold because of you all.

    Michael, I love you.
    You have been a constant source of wisdom, friendship, sharpening and strength in my life for going on 7 years.
    You have been a consistent example of courage & humility for us all.

    How can we say thank you?

    I will support you and stand by you no matter what you decide to do…

  44. I will miss you all though I hold out hope this is but for a season, and not permanent.

    I may post something at briandblog.wordpress.com as a form of closure and to give folks one last chance to say goodbye. No plans for a revival of From the Ashes on my end, but if others want to keep this community going I would support them and help if requested.

    I am glad I am part of a church community…but sorely glad this one was around when work often shut me off from church…and will sorely miss this one going forward.

  45. AV, per your 2:20, if that is Michael’s wish I will help as needed.

  46. It’s starting to hit me now and the emotions are coming in big gulping waves that I must wrestle and restrain lest I upset a little man who has never understood this part of my life.

    This is hard.

    This is a place and a people and it’s been a huge part of my life for many years.

    I read your names and after most of them I cry afresh, because I do indeed love and care for you.

    If there were another way, I’d take it.

    There’s not…

    Follow Him…no matter what it costs.

  47. dusty’s will always be open for prayer and prayer requests.
    http://dustshaker.wordpress.com/
    dust.shaker@gmail.com

  48. http://briandblog.wordpress.com

    Something should be up later tonite.

  49. Matt Chandler, on the gospel.

    Very fitting as this blog fades (temporarily?) into the sunset, methinks.

    Most of us – perhaps all of us – have been the rose, discarded by other brothers and sisters.

    Folks, Jesus wants the rose. Jesus wants you.

    Rejoice.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-zR3h2UsR4

  50. http://briandblog.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/perspective-on-the-phoenix-preacher/

    I hope to goodness I got it all right.

    I’ll post Linkathon over at my blog at least for the next few weeks, till I figure out where it would best go. I’ll monitor fiftyhours.com, ERunner’s and Dusty’s blogs, Facebook and any other blogs and sites the community might scatter to.

    That said…it has been a pleasure to be a part of this community. I hope it returns, but if not…remember we who are alive in Jesus shall be changed in a twinkling of an eye…

    and whether we see each other before then, or afterwards….in heaven we’ll all be together, forever, no misunderstandings, no arguments, only Jesus and His love to bind us together

    See you at my blog

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: