Friday, May 30, 2008

TGIF

Good thoughts this week:

Bob reviews Finding Our Way Again by Brian McLaren.

Jake has faith rooted in knowledge.

Dan Edelen has some good stuff on the goings on down in Florida.

annedroid is trying life without caffeine, although I don't know why.

Scot McKnight waxes eloquent about fountain pens.

Michael Spencer introduces us to Jesus Shaped Spirituality.

Grace asks Why Are An Orange?

Kamp Krusty has a Christian cruise Q and A.

jonathanbrink writes about The Scoreboard.

Robbymac plays possum.

Alan Hirsch discovers what happened to the Boomers.

Todd Hiestand gives ordinary people a chance to answer big questions.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Site to See

imonk has a new site for you all (or y'all as they say around here) to check out. It can be found here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Moving or Standing Still?

We had a good weekend here in the sunny South. Saturday was kind of a lazy day, which was nice because there hadn't been too many of those lately. Sunday morning could have been better. In the church service, we spent the first ten minutes or so worshipping America. Don't get me wrong. I love this country and I'm grateful to God for his blessings on it. I just don't think a corporate gathering for worship should be centered around something other than God. I don't have any problem remembering those who died defending our liberties during the service. But when the choir sings "I'm Proud to be an American" and every other song praises this country rather than the one who gave us our freedom, then I have a problem. If a church wants to center something around a celebration of America and the sacrifices some have made, that's fine. Just have it on Memorial Day. I don't believe the Sunday AM time is the end of all things for followers of Jesus, but I feel like something was missing.

I'm at one of those crossroads that I come across from time to time.There are a couple of different directions I could go. The problem is that I don't know which way to go and I really don't have very much control over things. I'm just standing here, enjoying the scenery, watching other people go on their way, and waiting for God to show me a direction.

At the same time, I'm feeling a bit of discontentment with things as they are now. I don't know if it's because I'm tired and ready for this school year to be over, or if it's something else. Maybe the Spirit has put this in me. I just know that there are some changes that need to be made. Whether they are changes in my situation or ministry, or just changes that need to happen within me is something I'm unsure of.

Friday, May 23, 2008

TGIF

End of the year testing is over! (and there was great rejoicing) The school year is winding down and we're all ready for a break.

Here is what caught my eye this week:

Barb is dreaming of a place.

re:patrick sings a broken hallelujah.

Jake invites us to dinner.

Dan Edelen has some good thoughts on "faith".

Rich thinks about the "other".

Once again, John Armstrong has some good thoughts.

Josh wonders about our government.

Grace writes on being broken.

Jeff McQ finds religion strangely appealing.

Nextreformation has some good ideas about being missional in the burbs.

Jared sees the brilliance of Jesus.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Prince Caspian

We saw Prince Caspian Friday night. It's a good movie, and we all really enjoyed it. There were some things in the movie that are not in the book and overall it isn't as true to the book as the first film.

There were a couple of scenes that got me thinking. The first was when the children and Prince Caspian were at the gorge, trying to figure out how to get across. Lucy caught a glimpse of Aslan on the other side and told the others that he wanted them to follow him. The others didn't believe her and decided that they could find the way better on their own. Later, when they came back to the spot, they found a way across that was much better than any they had thought of. The second scene was when Lucy tried to get the rest to wait for Aslan before they faced the enemy. Again, no one listened and the Narnians went out to fight. In the meantime, Peter and Caspian were having a power struggle over who had the best strategy.

I thought that I am so often like Peter and the others. When it really gets down to it, how much do I really trust Jesus to take care of me and direct my steps? How often do I ask God to show me his will, when what I really want is for God to give his approval to my plans? When things get tough, do I wait for God to move or do I strike out on my own and muck things up? Jesus has told me to follow him, and I know that that is the best way. Sometimes though, I fall back into old patterns and try to figure things out on my own, and then pray that what I want to happen does come about.

I want to follow Jesus like Lucy followed Aslan, with childlike trust that rests completely in him.

Friday, May 16, 2008

TGIF

I wish they'd send our students home at noon after they finish their tests. It's been one of those weeks. On a lighter note, I'm reading All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot. I'd heard that it was good, but had never read it before. It has a lot of really great stories in it.

Now, on to what you all are really waiting for: :)

Barb had a funny story for Mother's Day.

The Watchman asks some revolutionary questions.

Molly writes about the Truth that frees us.

Jake wonders about the future of denominations.

Dan Edelen takes on the Evangelical Manifesto.

Annedroid is clowning around.

imonk has some more Jesus shaped questions at this link and that link.

Jeff McQ challenges us.

jonathanbrink asks what kind of people our churches are producing.

NextReformation is all about confession.

Robbymac writes about ink blots.

Todd Hiestand asks, "Economic Stimulus or Missional Stimulus?"

John Armstrong gets ecumenical.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

Yesterday was Mother's Day. It was the second one since my mother went to be with Jesus. There were times throughout the day when I teared up, because I still miss Mom. There were good moments as well, like when I was out walking and remembered many of the good times I had growing up in a family where unconditional love was an everyday fact.

As I reminisced, I thought how many of the good qualities in my own life come from Mom. She was not a highly educated woman, but she was wise in many ways. Her faith in her Savior was a quiet, strong faith that was a rock to her throughout her life. Mom's love for others was evident in the way she treated my sister and me, and in the way she opened our house to others.

I am thankful for a mom that embodied the Great Commandment: Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Friday, May 9, 2008

TGIF

In four weeks, school will be out for the summer. I'm looking forward to it. I think maybe this summer will bring some changes with it.

I ran into a lot of interesting stuff this week:

The Watchman writes about words.

Jake is Looking for the Local Church.

John Fonville explains what it means to be Gospel driven.

imonk asks Jesus shaped questions, here, here, and here.

Scot McKnight connects deeper.

jonathanbrink goes camping.

Jared blogs about accumulation and integration.

The Thinklings think about the Evangelical Manifesto.

Todd Hiestand writes about giving.

Tony Jones looks for real beauty.

Transformissional Church has an aura.

John Armstrong asks, "What is a Bible-centered church?"

Enjoy.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Taking What for Whom?

A Former Leader has asked what people think of when they hear of certain apostolic groups speaking of taking their city for Jesus. I'm not real familiar with charismatic, apostolic churches so
I'm looking at it from a slightly different point of reference.

There is a group here in town that calls itself the "Taking the City Ministry". I've always wondered just what they mean. I've also heard different fundamental, evangelical speakers talk of taking America back. Taking it back from what? When was it taken away? When we do get it back, what are we going to do with it?

Who is going to be in charge and what laws will they come up with? Will we have to follow Old Testament laws, like stoning unruly children? Don't laugh, it's been proposed. Will we be forced by the new government to pay tithes to a church, and if so, what church? Is the Kingdom of God really supposed to be brought in by force?

The Kingdom is already here. Yes, there is a sense in which it is still to come, but the King has come. He does rule over all. But his kingdom is not one of power and force. It is a kingdom of love and grace. We cannot "take" a city or nation by electing the "right" people to public office or by passing more laws. Our calling is to go out and make followers of Jesus. He is the one who changes things by changing hearts.

Check this out at Windblown Hope.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Things in Fours

I've been tagged by re:patrick. Here goes.

Four jobs I've had:
1. Built air conditioners to be used in military installations. (three summers and Christmas breaks)
2. Taught and coached in Christians schools (three of them)
3. Teacher's assistant in special ed. class (current)
4. Quality control tech. (tested diapers - not like it seems :) )

Four movies I can watch over and over:
1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (hilarious)
2. Chariots of Fire (very inspiring)
3. Lord of the Rings (all three of them - almost as good as the books)
4. Anything by the Marx brothers (classic comedy)

Four places I have lived:
1. Rockville, Maryland (from 1955 - 1983)
2. Clarks Summit, PA (college, 1973 - 1978)
3. Cincinnati, Ohio (1983 - 1995)
4. Rock Hill, SC (1995 - now)

Four shows I love:
I can't say there's any shows that I love, but some that I try to watch are
1. NCIS
2. House
3. Criminal Minds
4. Numbers

Four places I've vacationed:
1. Mountains of Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee (just beautiful, definitely makes me feel closer to God)
2. The Outer Banks (not as touristy as other places)
3. The Bahamas (went there for 25th anniversary)
4. Niagra Falls (awesome power)

Four of my favorite dishes:
1. Cincinnati Chili (nothing like it)
2. Pizza (no commentary needed)
3. BBQ (doesn't matter what region, I like it all)
4. Italian food

Four sites I visit daily:
1. TheOoze
2. imonk
3. Josh's blog
4. Any of the other site at the bottom of this page (I really need to get Google Reader on this)

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. In the mountains on a front porch overlooking a stream
2. On a beach
3. On a ship in the middle of the ocean
4. On a golf course
All of these with my pipe, of course

If you read this, consider yourself tagged.

Friday, May 2, 2008

TGIF

This has been a good week. I only had to help break up one fight at school. The weather is getting warmer and it's almost time for summer break!

Here is what piqued my interest this week:

A Former Leader is enjoying the season.

Molly tries to explain things.

Jake has a good word for teachers.

Dan has some great thoughts.

Anne-droid enjoys God's creation.

Grace weighs in on the Trinity.

Kamp Krusty is an interesting place to visit.

Jeff is processing the pain.

Andrew Jones links to the future of CCM.

Jared wonders if size matters.

Tim Hill is missing something.

John Armstrong has some good thoughts about the Church and race.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Wondering as I wander

I think God has taken me down one of the trails that I explore from time to time. The plans for planting a church here in Rock Hill seem to be on hold for awhile. Some of us are trying to figure out just what it is that God wants us to do. We're more than a little tired of all the institutional stuff that seems to go along with church. We want community and fellowship, and all that. What we don't want is worrying about buildings, salaries, staff and programs. I'm thinking that we should just get together and hang out and see what happens after that. Maybe house church, maybe small church in a rented facility. Heck, maybe we'll become the largest mega-church in North America. :)

I'm also wondering what's going to happen job/ministry wise in the near future. There's a couple of possible opportunities that have presented themselves, and I'm comfortable with any one of them. I'm not in a hurry to leave where I'm at now, but there are some other things I could see myself doing.

I figure this trail will come back out to the road eventually, so I'll just follow it and see where it goes.

A New Morning

It was quite definitely early morning now, not late night. "I'm so cold," said Lucy. "So am I," said Susan. "Le...