Monday, March 27, 2006

waking mark palmer

This morning at 9:15am, he left.

Our friend, our brother has moved over to another dimension. We grieve. We have been grieving and remembering him today with his family and his community in Columbus. It's been a long and painful journey. He has the big clue now, but we are still here, wondering, praying, weeping.

We also want to celebrate his life and memory together. So many people have followed his story over the last couple of years. We want to give you an opportunity to celebrate with us as well.

The Wake...

This Saturday, April 1st, 7:00pm, St. Elizabeth's, Norwood, Ohio.

All are welcome!

Friends, conversation, music, food, drink, celebration.

If you come, bring something to share with all. See you there.

Mark Palmer is tasting Kingdom Fullness

March 27, 2006. Mark Palmer passed away/over to Kingdom fullness this morning. I don't know all the details, but Kevin Rains, Alan Creech and myself are leaving in a few minutes to get to Columbus and be with our brothers and sisters.

I have no more words to say.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Church as a Movement of Spirit

Just for the record: I had really intense dreams of Chad Canipe last night, something in the Spirit and it woke me up. Thoughts of him continue to consume me.

Tonight in Student House Church as we were praying for our needs as a community, the Spirit told me to see if they had any questions, which took me off my agenda for the night, but that's the way of the Spirit. Instead of reading and meditating on the next 5 stations of the Cross, we talked theology and asked questions. We talked of denominations and of churches and of the order of things. These are questions that have been dialogued for centuries with very little conclusions and lots of baggage. But nonetheless, its a worthy conversation.

My answer is usually the same. They know my motto, "Church is not someplace you go, its a people you belong to." If you understand that paradigm change, you understand the DNA of Ordinary Community Church. But also most fundamentally is that "Church is a Movement of Spirit." I heard Erwin McMannus say that at Mosaic Church in L.A. about 6 years ago and it has stuck with me because I believe it and I think history indicates that truth. Church is fundamentally not a budget, not a building, not a vocation, not a program, not a strategy, not a service, not a set of beliefs, not a cause, not a doctrine, not a political force etc, etc. I believe that Church is most fundamentally a movement of Spirit. You can choose to listen and participate and be in its flow. Now that flow may take you through any of things listed above, but the Spirit supercedes those ideas. The Spirit is in communion with the Kingdom of God, and the KOG is the basis of all reality. Follow the Spirit and you find the Kingdom. Learning to hear the Spirit, well, that's a discipline.

And before the theological blogger police come and question me, let me say that listening to the Spirit is not opposed to the things written in the Scriptures. In fact, they are the same voice. If we lose touch of the Spirit, as a Church, we have lost our identity and in fact have no Gospel at all. And if you have no real Gospel (good news), then you are irrelevant. sound familiar to anyone?

side note: Its 10:30 p.m. Amy Palmer just called while I was writing this. The ambulance just took Palmer back to the hospital. He is really weak and unable to function at home normally. They are hoping some fluids will get him feeling better get him some strength.

The Church is a movement of Spirit. I am now going to bed with just one prayer in my soul: "may the Spirit move in Palmer's body." I am so sorry he has to suffer this way. so very sorry. How long, oh Lord? How long? How long until you show your Glory?


Friday, March 24, 2006

sometimes you are reminded why you teach

I was out on a family night tonight and ended with some ice cream. I ran into a student that I had 4 years ago and haven't seen since. It was my 1st year at the christian high school and he was in a bad place. His home life was falling apart, it was both shameful and painful to him. His life was all about survival, his childhood and teenage years robbed from him. He struggled greatly with depression and cutting himself. We often just sat down and had conversations about life, hope and God. My heart breaks for these kinds of students and I think its the reason I was sent to CCS, amongst others. When he left after that 1st year, I lost contact and wasn't sure which way he would go.

Tonight as we were leaving, he made sure to stop me and say a few words to my face. It went something like this: "I want you to know how much of an impact you made on my life. A couple years ago I turned my entire life around and got on track and you were one of the primary reasons. The things you told me left a huge impression and I found God." He also mentioned that I sent him Psalm 142 at some point and it became the 1st passage he memorized when he gave his life to Christ. I noticed he had some pretty sweet Greek ink on his wrist, I should have asked him what it said. He is spending his summer after graduation in Thailand on a missions trip.

These kinds of meetings just are really meaningful to me. Tells me to invest into the lives of the broken, you never know what Christ will do. He tends to make broken things quite beautiful. i am criticized for my un-orthodox approach and some think I'm a dangerous influence to students. I just think that Jesus is dangerous and he tends to change lives. I'm just a voice in the wilderness and sometimes I'm reminded how purposeful it can be.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Chad Canipe Memorial

Sorry for the delay and my lack of "tech-i-ness", but to the right is a button to check out options to donate to Chad Canipe's family needs. Paul McGillivary set this up the day that Chad passed over to the Kingdom fullness and there's nothing more practical we can do than to care for Chad's family.

The last time I saw Chad after he had passed and still in his ICU bed, I asked him to teach us how to care for Renee and the boys. This is one of the ways to do it.


Monday, March 20, 2006

2nd week, new job

I'm still learning a lot when it comes to my new job, most of it is just a high learning curve of organization and systems. But, I really like the people. The University is professional from top to bottom and that is refreshing. My teaching schedule is also starting to book up, I'm scheduled for classes through July now, that part I love. Just trying to pack each day with as much learning as I can.

On another note, I am missing Chad really badly. This weekend he was in my thoughts and it weighs heavy on me this morning. We are getting our fight club together on Thursday evening and it will be the 1st one w/out Chad. It is very hard for me to admitt that. He was my brother in this spiritual war and I miss him dearly.

Stop and notice the Kingdom of God amongst you today,

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Palmer update

Just talked to Palmer again in the hospital, such is the way with these kind of things, its up and down. The past day and a half have given him a lot of pain. He is in bed all day all night and his pain in located in his tailbone, so he's constantly w/out relief. His nausea continues to be his largest enemy. It keeps him from being able to eat, he hasn't eaten anything but fluids in over a week. No food = no energy and no being released from the hospital. His white blood count is also down making any chemo an impossibility, and he is considering refusing anymore chemo in lieu of some alternative approaches that are more wholistic w/out the poisons. He still has a lot of fight in him but he continues to suffer w/ a lot of grace. It just breaks my heart to hear his pain in his voice, I wish I could carry more of the load for him.

I need to put together another intentional fasting plan this week, please join me. The fight continues.


Friday, March 17, 2006

St. Patrick may have saved my life

There are so many myths and superstitions around St. Patrcik on this day, but I consider him in my top 5 heroes of all time. Why? Well, here's why:

1) He loved the Irish. He was English, as a slave in Ireland, he fell in love with the people there. Later in life, he went back as a missionary to them. He loved the people he felt called to serve, that's lesson #1 for ministry.

2) He thought differently. No suprise I love this. He got outside the walls of the Roman Catholic Church designed for Europe and incarnated the Gospel in a way they could understand. He used the 3 leaf clover to describe the Trinitarian God, that's genius. He used something they loved to let them know God has been with them all along.

3) He was passionate. He was constantly on the run for his life from those who opposed his work. None of that stopped him, his passion and courage won the day.

4) He organized Christian communities into small, networked clans, instead of building catehdrals for all to come to. First off, they didn't have the road system of modern Europe and Ireland was already organized in these kind of family structures. He used it, tied it to Authentic Christian Community and thus road them to one of the most explosive growth generations in the history of the Church. Patrick's clan structure was hugely influential to me in organizing Ordinary Community Church as it is today.

5) He used his right brain, the creative, imaginative side. I was taught ministry mostly from the left brain, rational and knowledge based. But I'm an Irishman and sometimes my heart wants to jump out of my chest and at times, alone in my car, I'm known to still let out primal screams. I cannot express my Christianity in only rational means, I need heart expression. Ministry is relational and often more art than science.

6) St. Patrick was a leader in his time. He died enough to himself to go do something different without caring what others thought. That's my model.

I love Celtic Christianity. It breathes in me. My ancestors are from Northern Ireland, strongly protestant and stubborn. There was a time in my life where I wanted to leave all forms of ministry forever. It was in this time that I discovered the real St. Partick in history and Celtic Christianity. St. Patrick and his ideas saved my life some 1400 years later.

Today I honor you, St. Patrick. I'm doing what I can to carry the banner of Christ amongst us, in us, by us and through us.

Celebrate the real St. Patrick today.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Anybody for some good news?

I made my daily call to Amy to see how Palmer was doing and who do I get on the phone? Palmer himself. HA ha ha ha ha ha, it was sooooooo good to hear his voice. We talked about the NCAA tournament, about the OSU Buckeyes playing tommorrow. He was up and alert, had his sense of humor and referred to me as "Pastor Marshall". Ha ah ah ha ha ha, I am loving it. He is not on supplemental fluids, rather he is drinking water and gatorade, processing it on his own and gaining some strength. His voice was positive and on the up. I'm even hearing rumors that his body is stopped up a bit but releasing flatulence to the duration of 8-12 seconds, thats music to our ears, the pipes are active.

Come on, Lord, come on with it. Bring your healing, bring your touch. Let him Rise, Lord, let him Rise. Everyday, more of you Lord. May your KIngdom come on earth as it is in heaven.


Ongoing prayer for Palmer

Let him Rise, Lord, let him Rise. And when he does, let Your glory ring around the earth. Let this healing draw Your Creation into a deeper experience of your Kingdom on earth.

peace of Christ unto Amy, Micah and the LP kids.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

another good day

Amy indicated that Mark had another decent day. They are letting his body process on its own a bit but he's had only fluids for almost a week. So he's feeling quite weak without any whole foods or nutrients. Pray for continued progress. pray for gained strength, pray for the cancer to go away. And don't ever, ever give up. We are all in it together. If he is better by Friday, they will let him take his next round of poisonous chemo which always makes him sick. I don't think anyone could question Palmer's toughness, the dude has been through so much. He is a 6' 7" rock.

Let him rise, Lord, let him Rise.

If you have any prayers left, my new job w/ IWU has me completely overwhelmed. Im still emotionally exhausted from my brother Chad's passing. Now training and traveling on the new job has me mentally drained. I will be traveling the next 2 days as well. Its just a lot of info. and a lot of organization, I'm swimming. Its gonna take me some time but IWU is a great place and people to work for.


looking for good news?

talked to Amy yesteday and Palmer had a good day. His bowels kicked back in on their own, thanks to all the prayers for a movement ;) of God . . . tsk tsk. His situation was quite critical until this happened. He as well got out of bed, walked to a chair and was awake and talking w/ Amy. These are all signs of life. They are planning on giving him whole food today and seeing how his body reacts and processes it.

Do not give up praying for Palmer. Consider fasting for his new life. The Spirit continues to tell me "Don't give up, wait and see what I will do". Whatever that is, God, we're waiting for You.

Stop and notice the little signs of life around you today and breathe them in deeply.


Monday, March 13, 2006


Many are asking for updates on Palmer, as I get them, I'll post them.

From what I know last, they were trying to make Palmer comfortable in the hospital. He has a lot of swelling and a lot of nausea. His pain increases and moves. They are trying to empty his stomach and bowels with mixed results. It may be the new chemo or addtional tumors putting him in this position. The surgeons/doctors were waiting for him to process better before they made any additional reccomendations for treatments. Pray for comfort, pray for healing, pray for Amy. When I know more, I'll let y'all know. Palmer is so loved by so many. That's how it should be.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Chad's Memorial

Today at 10:00 at St. Elizabeth's here in Cincy we had the Memorial service for Chad Canipe. It was pretty amazing. The worship just lifted the room, the stories brought laughter and deep truths, the communion shared together made us realize the thin place between this world and the next. A huge thanks to all who made it happen, there are so many. The hope in the room lifted the cloud of darkness and gave room for the family to grieve in peace.

Yesterday, 10 of us gathered at 64 King in Columbus to pray for Palmer and give counsel to the Landing Place kids. It was a very fruitful time of community and intercession. At times our prayers were intense and in the Spirit. Palmer spent the night in the hospital and he is there now in great suffering. They are trying to make him comfortable, but his body is not responding. Amy finds herself alone at times to wait with him, please lift her up. I have not been released by the Holy Spirit to pray for anything else but his rising out of this sickness. So even tonight in my exhaustion, I pray for God to touch him and cause him to RISE. And when He does, we will let it ring over the earth.

There is so much to share from this weekend, but I'm so tired. In the midst of our suffering, God's Kingdom was exploding all around us. It is so rich to live in the ways of Jesus, suffering can't even touch it. I'll share more when I'm rested.

For tonight, Lord, let Palmer RISE!


Saturday, March 11, 2006

To Columbus, and to War

By divine appointment, we have a Regional Gathering of Missional Community folk who have been journeying together for the past 4 years or so. People representing communities of faith in Oxford, Vermont, Florida, San Diego, Indianapolis, Lexington, Norwood, West Chester, Pleasant Ridge and anywhere else I can't remember. We had a planned gathering, and now we are all here to mourn and to grieve with and for the Canipe family. Last night we shared a meal and shared hours of community time, just as Chad would tell us to.

However, none of this is over. Palmer went into the hospital as well yesterday morning with pain. It turns out that there are more tumors causing him extreme pain in and near his bowels. They started a new round of chemo in the morning and it couples with a severe drug with side effects. Palmer was unable to come down and be with us last night, he's quite sick. So, unless he makes an incredible recovery overnight, we are going to him today. The community is mobile and not boxed in to times and places, we go where the Spirit tells us to. Chemo is no longer able to heal Palmer, only trying to manage the tumors. It is God who heals.

This morning, I am quite numb with the tragedies. But. War lives in my body. It carries me on. We go to Columbus to meet our enemy head on. We are not intimidated and we don't know fear. We are His people and He is the source of all life. Just one touch and the news of Palmer's resurrection will ring across the earth. So God, we ride out and meet the one who opposes your Kingdom on earth. We go to Columbus, and we go to War.

Wherever you are, whoever you are . . . you can War with us too. Its time for a Resurrection.


Friday, March 10, 2006

Chad Canipe, our brother has passed

As of about 7:00 this morning, my friend Chad Canipe crossed over to Kingdom fullness. We're incredibly sad, confused and hurt, but Chad has gone before us. We yearn to be where he is. We're making plans for a memorial at around 10:00 a.m. at St. Elizabeths in Norwood on Sunday. He was an amazing friend to me, so solid, so loyal.

Please pray for Renee, Colon and Aidan. Pray away the darkness so that they can mourn in peace. Its so overwhelming to lose someone like Chad, don't let the enemy bring despair to their hearts. Pray for peace, pray for presence, pray for Kingdom space to heal.

Tonight we gather to remember and celebrate life, the way Chad lived with us.


Thursday, March 09, 2006


Chad continues to fight with us in ICU. However, he has a blood clot in his leg that makes the situation that much more serious. They have to remove the clot surgically because he is unable to take blood thinners. In his fragile condition, surgery is high risk but neccesary. Friends, family, community, Pray for Chad.

Jesus, heal my friend, completely. Breathe life in his lungs, do a work of God. Our entire trust is in You, you are the author of life. Be a miracle maker, God, be a miracle maker. Hear the prayers of your people.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

update on Chad

Just very initial reports. Chad remains in critical condition and is on a respirator. They believe it may be "vasculitis", a swelling of the blood vessels and an auto immune deficiency. They are still awaiting more results from the pulmonary specialist. Chad's vital signs remain strong, that is very hopeful. They hope to have a clear diagnosis then begin treatment. For now, they want him to remain stable and uneventful. Continue to pray.

Go God, heal his body.


Just a touch of His robe

"25A woman who had suffered a condition of hemorrhaging for twelve years-- 26a long succession of physicians had treated her, and treated her badly, taking all her money and leaving her worse off than before-- 27had heard about Jesus. She slipped in from behind and touched his robe. 28She was thinking to herself, "If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well." 29The moment she did it, the flow of blood dried up. She could feel the change and knew her plague was over and done with.

30At the same moment, Jesus felt energy discharging from him. He turned around to the crowd and asked, "Who touched my robe?"

31His disciples said, "What are you talking about? With this crowd pushing and jostling you, you're asking, "Who touched me?' Dozens have touched you!"

32But he went on asking, looking around to see who had done it. 33The woman, knowing what had happened, knowing she was the one, stepped up in fear and trembling, knelt before him, and gave him the whole story.

34Jesus said to her, "Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you're healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague." -Mark 5 (The Message)

As we were in the waitiing room of the ICU yesterday, just trying to be a presence w/ Renee and the family, I saw a vision of this passage. The vision was of just the tip of Jesus' robe grazing over Chad's hand in his bed, and in result, a healing of his lungs. This is my focus of prayer today, just a touch of His robe will be a complete healing of Chad's body.

Just pass through his room, Lord. Graze his hand with your presence and release your life within him. Make him healed and whole that he may live well in the service of your Kingdom. We ask this of you, Lord. Hear your people. Amen.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Prayer and Fasting for Chad Canipe

This day has been a bit over the top on the "heavy" scale. Rains and I visited the hospital where Chad Canipe was admitted a couple days ago w/ pneumonia symptoms. Since then, things have not been going well. His breathing has been labored and today they did a surgical biopsy. When they got inside, they found that his lungs are hemoraging badly. The results of the biopsy won't be known until tommorrow. He is in critical condition and is breathing on a resperator only. He will remain in critical condition until they identify what is happening to his lungs. Needless to say, this is a heavy burden for all of us, particularly for his wife, Renee and their 2 sons. On top of this, today is Colon's birthday (oldest son). His vitals are strong and stable, that's a great positive.

As Rains and I left the hospital this evening, we were debriefing w/ Chad's Mom. We asked if she needed any dinner and she said, "this isn't a time to eat, this is a time to fast and pray". So, at her request, we want to put out a call for people to consider fasting and praying for Chad on Wednesday. Pray for the lungs to stop hemoraging, for the biopsy to reveal a cause and for the doctors to have wisdom in their plan. Pray also for the family, they are heart-broken. Chad needs us, let's be community to him.

I spend the earlier part of the day w/ Palmer in Columbus and it was a great visit. We split a kettle of ginger tea at the coffee house, then for Asian food for lunch. Some sushi and pah tai, good good stuff. We had a lot of great conversations and just shared our friendship. He is a dear brother to me and my innards continue to war in prayer for his complete healing. We had a couple moments to just pray, that's always good. By the way, his wife Amy is just an amazing woman. Its fun to see her care for our brother, he's in such good hands. So, in a random moment in a public restroom, the Spirit spoke to me today regarding Palmer. He said, "Don't give up, just wait for what I'm going to do". Nuff said.

Last night, I made an apostolic visit to Creech in Lexington for some Irish food and deep conversation. It was good to see the Creech kids and Liz as well. Their new home just screams hospitality and "all are welcome" here. Im a big Creech family fan, it was a no-brainer to make the trip down and back.

Please consider fasting and praying for Chad. These are trying times. I'm gonna go get some rest, for when I awake, it'll be time to raise the sword again. There isn't a thing I wouldn't do for my brothers that I'm in community with, and I know the feelings are mutual.


Friday, March 03, 2006

Farewell CCS

I thought I could cruise to and through my last day, but its obvious that it will not be the case. I woke at 3:00 a.m. and began writing emails to my colleagues at CCS, thanking them for their role in my life. Now its 4:00 and I am reaching for the words I would like to say on my last day.

When there is a void of communication and relationship, often fear and misperception can take its place. I really am not the angry, dangerous person that I am perceived to be by some. I am learning that the blogworld and my words here can present me that way without real relationship to back it up. I am a passionate Irishman to my core and say things in heated moments that when taken out of context, can be damaging. But those who know me, know that I say those things because i care, i care about the hearts that are around me and when they are hurting, I am hurting. There is an unfortunate misperception, that I am a danger to the Gospel or the teaching of Christianity. That my lack of conservatism is an indication not of Biblical and theological reflection, but an undercurrent of New Age spirituality. I have nothing to hide and welcome any specific concerns or questions, but the perception remains. My only response is that the best way to know where a tree gets its nutrients is to look at its fruit. If the tree bears fruit that looks likes Jesus, then it must be connected to the Vine that is Jesus.

I have friendships with fellow teachers, past graduates and present students at CCS that have just filled my heart over and over. (Man, I'm so sentimental right now) There have been classes where the exchange of dialogue around the Kingdom of God and Scripture with students was so energized tht we could have had Bible class all day into the night. Those are the teaching moments I will cherish. Just seeing in the eyes of students that they "get it" has been the most fun. i state on the 1st day of class each year that "Community is the best enviorment for real learning" and we have found that to be true. My new position will be quite different, where most of it will be done in an administrative role. I know that I am going to miss the classroom a lot. I am going to miss high school students, I truly love that age of transition. It takes a while to earn their trust, but when you do. they are sponges for learning.

This is going to be a difficult day, more difficult than I anticipated. I am not just leaving a job, I'm leaving a ministry. The words that have been spoken to me in person, in email, in cards, in letters etc. have been so deep, heartfelt and exhilirating to read. My love-language is "spoken words" and I am so full right now my cup is running over. I have such deep satisfaction in the fruit I see in students that I could write a book on it, and maybe I should :) Farewell, CCS. I am rooting you on from a different role now. May His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

His Kingdom is exploding around me today.