Saturday, November 11, 2006

Recovering from a week unlike...

any I've ever had.

My article at UPI about Ted Haggard got picked up by Google Monsters and Critics last Monday morning. That resulted in a firestorm of exposure for the article itself and led to a spill over of interest here. I've never had so many blog readers... ever. I think I hit 1000 page views in a few hours on Monday. (Contrast that with the old numbers: about 75 page views in a day.)

I've loved the comments and participation. I've received emails from pastors from all over the states and one from Canada and another from Britain. It's been crazy! I hope I've responded to all the emails. I have not responded to all comments. Too many.

I thought a brief bio was in order for anyone who has decided to continue to visit.

I'm a southern Californian (now in midwestern exile) who grew up post Vatican 2 Catholic (we sang Beatles songs in church and I danced during Christmas mass: groovy). I "got saved" in a Presbyeterian junior high group by college students who were a part of the Jesus People movement. (The book on that webpage is written by a friend of mine, in fact.)

By high school, my father gave up on God and Catholics, swiftly followed by my siblings and my mother. My new and fragile born again experience became diluted and I wound up in a pop pyschology movement (some have called it a cult, but you had to pay big bucks to participate) called est.

After my parents split up and I headed off to UCLA (go Bruins!), I hooked up with Campus Crusade for Christ. I got saved again, got a boyfriend who surfed and loved God, and I learned from Bill Bright that any time I spent five minutes with someone, it was a divine appointment which meant whipping out the Four Spiritual Laws and sharing my faith.

Ftr, I loved Campus Crusade. It ordered my life, gave me life-long friends and offered me meaning in exchange for about 20 hours a week of service.

I spent my junior year in France as an exchange student and discovered missionaries preparing for work with Muslims in North Africa. Rock my world! I wanted to do that!

I joined Frontiers after college (recruited by my husband), and served as a missionary over the next eight years (four of them on the field).

Following our missionary service, we lived in Orange County and worked in the Vineyard Anaheim. My husband became the editor of the denominational magazine and I ghostwrote/edited for John Wimber and Vineyard Music Group.

We moved to Cincinnati to work with the Vineyard here seven and a half years ago. We left that church in 2001.

I developed a love for U2 during these last seven years and contributed to a book of sermons based on their lyrics: Get Up Off Your Knees: preaching the U2 catalog. (I've been a freelance writer/editor for fifteen years and own a business that teaches writing to homeschool families.)

Then my faith hit a brick wall. My UPI columns and archived blogs tell that story better than I can here.

I entered a graduate program in theology at Xavier University four years ago where I'm now in my last year of studies and will write my final paper this Christmas (graduation in May).

My theological journey includes both traditional evangelicalism as well as charismatic varieties. I've spent seven years studying theology that covers a wide range of sources: Catholic, Protestant, liberal, evangelical, black, feminist, postmodern and more.

This blog and my column are places where I talk about what interests me, hoping to unravel the tangled web of Christianity that is my life. Despite appearances, I still love the faith.

Thanks for reading!


Matt said...

Julie, I'm so excited that your great writing and everything else that your blog buddies have come to enjoy so much about you have reached a new and even wider audience. You might want to consider hiring your own public relations representative to handle the influx of reader comments -- and, with this past Tuesday out of the way, let me be the first to throw my hat in the ring for that job;-)

Congratulations on this higher level of recognition!

- Matt

Scott said...

Thanks, Julie. I have enjoyed reading from your blog this past week. I was linked here from Michael Spencer's internetmonk. Like Michael, your writing is honest, even brutally so, but not cynical. If our faith doesn't cause us to be honest, especially with oursleves, what's the point? After all, one can only pretend for so long.


jim said...


this is impressive! wow, a ghost writer for John Wimber and a contributor to a book about preaching U2!! Amazing. I've now added the U2 book to my Amazon wish list.


julieunplugged said...

Jim, I left out some of my other writing credits. I was a contributing editor to Worship Leader magazine for three years. One of my articles for them was about my spiritual experience at a U2 concert in Indianapolis (on the "All That You Can't Leave Behind" tour).

I don't know if you ever read that magazine. Glad to hear you're a U2 fan!