This is the section where a lot of folks wax eloquent about their accomplishments and education.  I’ll try to be a little more definitive about who I really am, rather than trying to impress you all.  I was raised in rural Georgia, in a town so small that it isn’t even a town.  There’s a road near me called the “Nowhere Road”, and some folks think you’re really from out in the sticks if you’re able to say, “I grew up on the Nowhere Road.”  As for me, I can say “I grew up just off of the Nowhere Road”, which makes me ultra-rural.  Being from the South makes me sentimental and scarred; a living mass of religion, memories that aren’t even my own, Bulldog football, cicadas, and story.  That verse written by the great theologian, George Jones,  “The dirt was clay, and was the color of the blood in me…”, rings true for me.

I could list some ministry accomplishments here, but it never seems to sound sincere when I see others describing themselves in those terms.  I suppose, though, that I should say a bit about my background, so you all know what you’re getting into as you read.  I am a pastor, ordained in the Baptist church, walked the Canterbury Trail, and was ordained again as a deacon in the Anglican church.  I have used the word “ethos” in a sentence without actually knowing what it meant, and watched as others nodded in approval, even though I’m pretty sure they didn’t know what it meant, either.  I was raised in the United Methodist Church, and actually come from a heritage of Methodist pastors on both sides of my family.  After many years in ministry, I’ve found myself back in the UMC again. I’ve grown to have a great affection for the Wesley’s over the past few years, and am totally enamored with historical British Christianity.

I’ve been a youth and college pastor, developed and implemented programs for young couples, counseled and taught all types of groups and individuals.  I’ve done mission projects locally here in Athens, Georgia; in Atlanta homeless shelters; Choctaw reservations; and in Eastern Europe (Macedonia and Bulgaria).  I actually fell in love with my wife, Brittony, on a project in Bulgaria.  I swear to this day that she thought we were going to Bolivia until the moment we boarded the plane.

I’ve worshiped in immense, ancient cathedrals, little country churches, and post-modern steel structures that resembled gyms more than houses of worship.  I’ve written for online versions of magazines like Relevant, and Wrecked for the Ordinary, and occasionally have a post that pops us on Internetmonk.  I’ve experienced great success in ministry, and terrible pain.  I’ve built ministries from the ground up in impossible settings, and failed at some endeavors that seemed “most likely to succeed”.   My formal education is in social work, but I’m not a lover of people because I entered a liberal field.  I entered a liberal field because I love people.  I have secondary dirt road degrees in theology and the study of ancient Christian practices.  I  hold fast to the belief that the best things in life are Jesus, family, The Book of Common Prayer, The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and chili dogs from The Varsity.

I’m a husband, and sometimes I’m good at it.  Sometimes I’m not.  At age 44, I became at first-time dad.  At age 45, I welcomed my second baby girl into the world.   Sometimes the diapers I change pass the test.  Sometimes they do not.  It is in those moments that I typically am not considered to be a good husband.  I love Braves’ baseball, but get extremely frustrated when professional athletes don’t have the ability to hit behind a runner or lay down a successful sacrifice bunt.  I am passionate for the church, yet dismayed by the direction she takes at times.  I am a pastor, but honestly, haven’t met many pastors in my life that I like or believe in.  My great goal in life is to see a weekly Eucharist restored to the UMC.  I want to go to heaven, but I don’t want to die.  I have Facebook friends that I’ve never met.  I love the comfort and familiarity of home, but given the opportunity, will take any mode of transport available in order to visit some place I’ve never been.  I will then talk obsessively about that place, as though it is my actual home, instead the place I was reared, just off of the Nowhere Road.  I am a bundle of contradictions.  In the words of Brennan Manning, “Aristotle says that I am a rational animal.  I say that I am an angel, with an incredible capacity for beer.”

I am a pilgrim, finding my way.  I once thought I could reform the church, or at least a church, to make her healthier and more focused on Christ.   Now, though, I more often find myself expressing the thoughts of another of my favorite theologians, “Lord, I can’t make any changes…All I can do is write’em in a song” (Lynrd Skynrd, AD 1976).  So, this little collection of essays, prayers, quotes, and sermons is the song I write.  Hope y’all enjoy listening.

In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Addie Lee chowing down at The Varsity in Athens, GA…

Addie Lee & Baby Reagan…


22 Responses to “About Lee…”

  1. Josh Lambert Says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading your comments on Imonk immensely over the past year or so and am looking forward to reading more of your thoughts. This “about Lee” section is very effective for informing readers on the background/perspective that they are going to get here. You journey down the Canterbury Trail is a significant reason for my interest in your ideas. We also have similiar theological/cultural backgrounds. Short version: I come from a long line of SBC deacons and pastors, my family ended up in a PCA congregation after moving to Nashville from North Dallas (8th grade). I went to Baylor and rebelled. I reentered the Church about 3 years post graduation and ended up in a Bible Church whose statement of faith comes directly from DTS. Over the past few years I’ve started to investigate the Ancient (and liturgical) Church and am becoming increasingly uncomfortable with many of the doctrinal stances of my current Church. I am surprised by how uncomfortable I have become with the Zwingli view of Communion.

    Thank for putting yourself out here on the internet and sharing your thoughts and experiences.

    -Josh

    1. Lee Says:

      Thanks, Josh! Imonk is an interesting community, isn’t it? I love the rapport, and hope we can build a similar family here. I’m currently only able to post 1-2 times each week, due to the demands of career and family, but I really appreciate you subscribing!

      I spent some time in a PCA church, just visiting, on my journey along the trail. I actually received some great counsel from a pastor there. I gravitated more toward the ACNA because I felt it was a more historically orthodox expression of the faith…you know, I dig liturgical colors! What a nerd!

      Unfortunately, there’s not an ACNA body local to us here in Athens; on the other hand, Brittony and I have found ourselves in a UMC with excellent community (Will I become a “Whitefield Methodist”? Time will tell…). We have a new baby, and just find we can’t participate fully in the life of an ACNA church that’s over an hour away. I attempted a plant locally, without a lot of success. The ACNA is doing a lot of good things, though. It will be interesting to see where the future takes the Anglican Communion. Rowan Williams is retiring early, and much hinges on his replacement.

      Yes, the communion table…Oh, the post-modern days of goldfish crackers and last minute runs to the grocery store for grape juice…I honestly feel that if more churches held a sacramental view of the table, then Sunday worship would make a greater impact in their lives..

      Aaaah, Zwingli…I just know that sucker burned a rood screen that I certainly would have enjoyed seeing on my trips to Europe. Icons are still around, Zwingli is dead. Point taken.

      1. Josh Lambert Says:

        Quality over quanity. 1 -2 times a week is plenty. You definitely need to spend some time with that new little girl of yours. I have 2 boys (31 mo & 15 mo). Being a father both deepened my understanding of and the increased the mystery in God chosing to reveal himself as our heavenly father. Enjoy the ride.

  2. Radagast Says:

    Now I understand why you have a bit of mystical christian in you and a focus on sacraments. Have fun with you new one old man… I have seven ranging from 20 down to 5 and at 48 I am enjoying life because of it (I changed diapers for almost 16 years without a break).

    Regards –

    Radagast

    1. Lee Says:

      Radagast! Thanks for stopping by!

      Man, my Addie Lee amazes me more and more every day. Brittony and I are going to shoot for 3-4 more before I hit age 50 (yikes!), so pray for me!

      Drop in anytime. I always enjoy your comments on iMonk…

      1. Lee Says:

        It’s a great community, isn’t it? My day would be complete without iMonk…

    2. Josh Lambert Says:

      Radagast,

      You too are among the group of commenters I’ve learned from on imonk.

  3. David Cornwell Says:

    Lee, today I’ve taken some time to look at your blog and will keep right on checking it. You and I have many areas of agreement and always enjoy reading your comments. Blessings on you, your work, and your family.

    1. Lee Says:

      Thanks, David. You’re one of many iMonk folk that I would love to sit down and have a cup of coffee with, for sure. I haven’t been as faithful to posting here lately, but hopefully can resume soon.

      Peace…


  4. […] Adams on the Future of the American Church (1) 11 Jan by Chaplain Mike Lee Adams is a regular reader and commenter here on Internet Monk. He blogs at Homilies, Prayers, and Bread […]

  5. cin Says:

    Loved the article on your background. As usual your perspective is enlightening. Not too sure about 4 kids before 50…………..

    1. Lee Says:

      We’ll see! Four or five, I think….:o)


  6. Hi Lee.

    I’m an Arkie, so maybe we have something in common relative to Nowhere ;o)

    Tom

    1. Lee Says:

      Very likely! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Ken Says:

    Lee
    I read your comment on IM. I am in the discernment process for ACNA, still wondering what it will look like. I am happy doing my vocation, but have a call. Hoping that I can walk both at the same time. I am in my 50s, so I have had a good career, but feel like I want to pour into people’s lives.

    I do know that I do not want to get into the game of simply running a church. Thanks for your comments.

    1. Lee Says:

      I had a very positive experience with the ACNA. Shoot me an email at pastorlee122@yahoo.com, and we’ll discuss. Thanks for visiting the blog!

  8. rickd3352013 Says:

    Hi Lee,

    I just found my way here from iMonk and your comment on Adam’s post. Love what you wrote, and just wanted to say “Hi!” to a brother 🙂

    Rick

    1. Lee Says:

      Thanks for stopping in! I hope to have some new content up within the next few days.

      1. rickd3352013 Says:

        Why – is there something wrong with the old content? 🙂

        I’ve added your blog to my blogroll – feel free to pop over whenever/if ever the urge strikes.

        1. Lee Says:

          Thanks! I’ll check it out!

  9. Hillary Bass Says:

    I like you. If I still lived in Atlanta, I’d meet you at the Varsity for a hotdog!

    1. Lee Adams Says:

      Sorry, Hillary…I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a while, but I’m about to come roaring back! I have to think that manna must have looked something like a Varsity onion ring…hmmm…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s