Sunday, August 5, 2007

Authenticity . . . Finally.

Perhaps I am being pretentious when I call Margaret Feinberg my "mentor," much less my "friend." Author of more than 30 life-changing books who has been named "one of the 30 emerging voices" that will lead our church into the next decade, Margaret is a gifted and respected author and speaker. Amazingly, meeting her for the first time is like seeing an old friend or rendezvousing with a former college companion - minus the memories.

I met Margaret over a year ago when she was speaking at Catalyst. My friend Jennifer and I took her and her husband Leif to breakfast. It was the most inspiring, encouraging hour and 1/2 of my professional adult life. Over the next year, she and I began to correspond and God used her to mature me. She has opened doors for me in the professional world that would have been solidly shut otherwise. Even though she did not know me and benefited in no way from our friendship, Margaret took the time to cultivate my inner writer and teach me the ropes. If I live a hundred lifetimes, I will never be able to repay her.

This weekend, I had the pleasure of bringing Margaret down to for a Twentysomethings retreat and introducing her and The Organic God to our church. It was a great for us to relax and refocus, and everyone fell in love with Margaret, Leif, and Hershey (their charming toy poodle).

Relevant. Authentic. Trustworthy. These are just a few of the exhausted words used to describe the values of our generation. Though they are more worn-out that a 10-year old pair of Chuck Taylor's, they are pretty accurate descriptions of what I believe we want most. We want straight-shooters, open books, warm hearts, torn down walls. We want a no-strings-attached shoulder to cry on when things bounce off rock bottom and for people who claim to be Christ-followers to windex the spiritual window through which we see Jesus in them.

*Toothy, disingenuous smiles from politicians
*A firm handshake from an automobile salesman that places a check in your spirit
*Friends who claim they will remain faithful companions until a boyfriend or girlfriend hits the scene and suddenly they forget your name
*Contrived church services intended to produce a "worship texture"

These are things that are not authentic, they are counterfeit. They turn us off and roll our eyes. Worse still, they permeate our culture. They are all around us. That is why we are doubly revived when we encounter a splash of authenticity.
Margaret Feinberg is a refreshing splash of authenticity in a wave-battered world of veritable counterfeits. Her book, The Organic God (Zondervan), is the manifestation of her spirit. If you want a fresh look at God's character that will captivate you from cover to cover, this book is for you. When you finish The Organic God, you too will want to call her your friend.


Margaret Feinberg said...

Friend definately - mentor is up to you...


Levon said...


After reading this, I certainly will read margaret's books! And now that she is in Colorado as well (just down the road from us in Lakewood), you have an even better reason to visit!