Archives For Austin

One Year in Austin?!

Chris —  September 9, 2010

It’s pretty crazy to think that it’s been over a year since I made my return to Austin.  I came here simply because I felt like I needed to stop hopping from city to city, job to job, and start growing up.  If that’s the only task, then why not live in a city you love?

I came here in a broken down car with no job and not many connections.  God sent the Brimberry family to take me in, and gave me a job at a fancy electronics retailer which will remain unnamed.

It has not been an easy year.  I’ve survived well below the poverty line, and had to humbly ask for help in the basic ways of providing for myself.  It is hard to make friends, to make relationships at church and know what to do next. It still is.

So, I made it my goal to do what I can.  Pay off my debt, (Done. Woohoo!), get back into graduate school (here), run a marathon (4:41:34), and find ways to serve.  We often think of being faithful to God as striving after some goal he’s given us. The past year has been less about being faithful to a what, like some life goal, and more about being faithful to a where, doing the best with what I’ve got, here and now.

And it’s been fun.  Learning more about this city.  Getting back into swing dancing.  Seeing shows with accordions and stand up basses and clarinets.  Discovering hole in the wall restaurants and eating new things.  Dancing in people’s kitchen.  Learning about the unique way God is at work in Austin.

With a year behind me, I feel a strange itch. It could be that wanderlust that I moved here to conquer trying to get me to pack the bags again.  Or it could be a sign that God has even more planned for a second year in Austin.

So, I’ll keep doing my best to be faithful to where I’m at.  Thanks for being along for the ride.

More Places to Read My Stuff!

Chris —  September 3, 2010

“I think Austin might just be the US city furthest along the missional road.” Alan Hirsch, author of The Forgotten Ways

If my rantings about TV, Church and growing up aren’t enough for you, don’t worry, there’s other places to find me on the web.

I’ve been given the privilege of helping out the guys over at PlantR.  PlantR is an Austin-Area church planting network, made up of great guys risking everything to create new missional communities.  On the blog, you’ll hear about opportunities to live missionally and show Christ’s love to Austin.

Check out the blog at, or follow on Twitter @austinplantr.  Keep your eyes peeled for the first ever PlantR podcast later this month.

Hey Austinites, I could use your help.

I’m considering a second blog, solely focused on Austin, with an eye toward missiology.  Here’s the big idea:

Let’s talk about Austin.  Things we love, like our favorite restaurants, local bands and festivals.  Let’s talk about the people of Austin, what makes them unique and how to reach them.  In the process we’ll discuss what God is doing in our city.

Think Yelp for missionaries.

This is just a tool to learn how to share about Jesus in our unique culture.  Best practices, worst failures, lesson learned, and questions roused.

What would you like to know more about?  What do you have to share?

I don’t plan to do this alone.  I’m looking for leaders and lay people alike to share their two cents.

So, who’s in?


Chris —  March 4, 2010

On Monday night I experienced Highball for the first time.  It is really unlike anything else I’ve seen in Austin, yet has the distinct feel that it could only happen in Austin.

The club is located on South Lamar, in a part of town known for cheap chic.  My favorite coffee houses, with their patio seating, exposed ceilings, and rickety tables maintain the bohemian steet cred.  But Highball doesn’t even try.

Instead they go for classy.  Leather paneling and chandeliers, high priced food and drinks make me put on a fedora and pretend that I’m somebody.  Then Highball throws you a monkey wrench, or actually a ten pound ceramic ball.  Bowling lanes and skee ball may seem to evoke “family fun centers” aimed at suburban teenagers., but actually add an element of interaction not found in your average club.  Hidden in the back are private Karaoke rooms.

Then there’s the events, whose sheer level of creativity sets the place on it’s own plane.  Everything from Geeks Who Drink trivia, to 90’s dance parties, to Oscar watching parties, to hip-hop karaoke.

I went by Monday night for Big Band night, which is where my only complaint comes in.  The music selection was over the top, brassy and to slow for most of us Swing Dancers (although, it seemed perfect for the surprisingly high number of gray hairs cutting a rug.)  The most fun we had on the dance floor was actually during the DJed breaks in between sets.

That being said, I’ll definitely give them another chance at the next Big Band night, and bring a few quarters for Skee ball.

Verge Reflections, Day 3

Chris —  February 8, 2010

The Verge Conference ended with a rally.  Local boy John Burke led off by saying “if the formerly unchurched are not leading the church, the church is dying.” Compared to some of the cutting edge thinkers that show up at these conferences, John’s methods may seem a little bit traditional.  However, the fruit, Gateway Church, fits his description perfectly.  All talk of missional-ness doesn’t really matter if you don’t have the fruit.

Jeff Vanderstelt said what should be obvious: do life the way you do normally, just with gospel intentionality.  It’s not that tough.  Hang out with your friends-including those who don’t know Christ.  Dave Gibbons suggested that we walk through crowds slowly, seeing the blessing of God on each person.

Francis Chan ended the conference by marching through each book of the New Testament, showing how pain and persecution are unavoidable when living a missional life.  Having accidentally stumbled into more than one fox holes, I know this to be very true.  I just hope that the people of Christ represented at Verge are ready for the pain, because the world needs us.