rachel got me thinking of this video of phyllis tickle sharing insight into the new rose or the great emergence.
rachel got me thinking of this video of phyllis tickle sharing insight into the new rose or the great emergence.
so i've been doing a lot of general conference blog reading. mostly cause i have to keep up with the methoblog while jay is out of town. one blog added to the mix was/is the ird's blog for conference. they've got some folks who are teaming up to post, so ideas and topics cover a wide range. this is the most recent posting and it doesn't ring right with me.
On the Sunday before General Conference, my pastor mentioned the Conference in the morning announcements. He added his hope that the “special interests” that have besieged past General Conferences would be set aside along with divisive issues like abortion, human sexuality, the environment, and immigration. Indeed the Rev. Tom Berlin, the lead clergy delegate for
Virginia, mentioned the same hope in a commentary for UM News Service. “The curtain may be rising on a new act in our story as a Christian movement—unless forces of the past conspire to jam it shut.”
Sadly, the hope expressed by my pastor and Rev. Berlin have not been exhibited at this General Conference. There is little agreement on social issues like human sexuality, abortion or the war in
Iraq. Each day there are anti-war protests, pro-homosexuality demonstrations, immigration reform rallies, one anti-Bush Library protester, and over a dozen daily leaflets available from various caucus groups.
There is little theological agreement either. On a quick walk through the official UMC bookstore, Cokesbury, one can find monographs by radical Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong, Jesus Seminar author Marcus Borg, and “dissenting” United Methodist Bishop Joseph Sprague. One can also find a few evangelical authors like orthodox
Oxford don Alistair McGrath, Jesus Seminar critic and New Testament scholar N.T. Wright, and Mere Christianity’s C.S. Lewis. And there are those from the so-called “extreme center” like UM Bishop Scott Jones (who, by the way, has a curious habit of avoiding taking all leaflets offered to GC delegates and visitors each morning—as a former professor, perhaps he’s already read enough).
my thought.. "hi pot, meet kettle" is it odd that someone as a voice for the ird is calling others divisive? i'm on the mailing list, i read your newsletters and emails. their stuff is divisive. sure it covers itself in saving the conservative values of the church.. whatever that means.. does that make you more righteous? thus right? if you actually think that then you are much too proud to see your lack of humility.
the ird folks do have a collection of some of the slamming cartoons that people have done of them. that's a pretty funny post.
other than that, i encourage all at gc get a pic of the bush library protester. we will make a full photo post of submitted pics with the lone protester at the methoblog. why? because i think that would be funny.
my thought.. "hi pot, meet kettle" is it odd that someone as a voice for the ird is calling others divisive? i'm on the mailing list, i read your newsletters and emails. their stuff is divisive. sure it covers itself in saving the conservative values of the church.. whatever that means.. does that make you more righteous? thus right? if you actually think that then you are much too proud to see your lack of humility.also, how do so many people come together and not have disagreement? that is unrealistic to expect that. i read borg and nt wright.. so am i in your good graces one day and not the other?
topic of conversation? "is our pain God's problem?"
last night erin & i headed down to west end, along with quite a few hundred cross cultural types to hear from n.t. wright, the bishop of durham. he's on a book tour for "surprised by hope" which i am to read sometime this year. i was stoked to hear of his coming and by the turnout last night, quite a few others were as well. it was a nice evening out catching up with many friends. even erin had fun meeting up with the various friendships through blogging. being at the methodist church it was nice to see some metho-types in the audience as well. after-wards we went out for drinks at the broadway brewhouse, with the joneses for a new draft beer to town. the new beer, boulevard brew, out of kansas city. it is quite good, though it probably won't take over from my early 20's drink of choice back in nj.
back to last night. i am still processing. i don't know if i have knowledge and language command to navigate what i heard in teaching and not making it sound like some purgatory realm. one thing erin & i liked was nt's distinction that we are not building the kingdom but building for the kingdom. his analogy was a rock sculpture shape a rock, and that is what they do, but it is the architect who puts into its place where the true beauty shows.
many friends have already started to throw down their thoughts. so i give you a round-up of those conversations
another fun thing. i received an email from a older gentleman asking my response to his comments on the tennessean article i was quoted in. for the record, my church is "first" united methodist, not "faith" united methodist. common mistake.. not really, but oh well.
some of my conversations in the being interviewed were that. 1. this isn't such a hard concept to grasp as we have always had a teaching of holiness movement and means of grace that is intended to be kingdom building 2. it isn't so hard to imagine methodist's interested in anglican folks as we are only 300 years removed from those anglican traditions of church. not to mention, we are a revival movement from that church body, so any revival in that church is probably something we are going to be interested in. but as with any of my "news" spots, my one liners are lame or total bs.
i do take down some audio of the bishop's talk. the sound system was not in fine form. john, who was operating the system and a old family friend told me after-wards someone came in and messed it all up after he had it perfect. he was so mad. so the audio isn't the best volume quality, but if you can plug into some speakers you can hear just fine.
tonight erin & i are heading over to west end to hear from nt wright. afterwards we are going to hang with thunder & emily jones. if anyone wants to join or friendly conversations afterwards make plans and look for us & join in. i got a really short hair cut last week, so look for the guy with short curly hair. not the usually long nappy look.
In Fort Worth we will accomplish important business. We will affirm our core mission-to make disciples, for the transformation of the world. And yet one of the most profound ways we will do this is by the way we live with one another, and by the way we love one another.
i turned the letter into a pdf to download if you like conference2008openletter.pdf.
in more highthearted general conference news, stephen taylor has prognostications.
couldn't help but share this one. tip to resonate media radar
these are my notes. make a comment if you have a question. pictures from this pilgrim
kara powell : deep ministry
dan kimball : they like Jesus but don't like the church
Tags: christianity, church, dan kimball, kara powell, shift conference, student ministries, they like jesus but not the churc, what happens to youth after graduation, willow creek, youth ministry
Tags: blogging, brian mclaren, just about everything under the sun church, megachurch, shift conference, student ministries, twitter, willow creek, youth ministry
these are my notes. a lot was said and very fast. make a comment if you have a question. maybe we can get scot to jump into the conversion. pictures from this pilgrim experience. jake & aaron attended the same meeting & will most likely have some good notes.
missional is today's buzzword. buzzwords are good and sometimes they are bad. in the past discipleship became the buzzword. in the 80's became 'spiritual disciplines' because of richard foster. then dallas willard shaped into 'spiritual formation' . people are nervous about evangelism that they use the word missional. evangelism has morphed into missional and is not as clear as evangelism so it is murky.
theology of the word missional
Reading the bible:
What is God doing in this world in this text
Luke 1: 46-55 "Mary's Song" (view on mary, we don't have a good view on mary, just an anti-roman catholic view of mary) if you just had this text, what would you think Mary's idea of what her son was going to do in this world. it is a mosaic of old testament hopes. you can see justice in here. do you see anything about going to heaven? Mary's vision is that when the messiah came it would be the way God wanted it to be.
Luke 1: 67- "Zechariah's Song" (is his view of his son john role similar?) "salvation from our enemies" who are the enemies? rome.. only after the end of all this does he turn to his son john the baptist. the vision is there is going to a society where there is going to justice and liberation. where they can worship God is holiness and righteousness.
Luke 3. looking at John the Baptist as he begins preaching. John gets to announce the coming of Jesus. verse 10, 'anyone who has two shirts should share with the one that has none'.. a little like Mary. John's first idea is about economic distribution. economic justice. verse 14, 'don't extort money and be content with your pay'. John is thinking of really concrete deeds.
if we just have Mary, Zechariah & John, what is the mission of God?
Luke 4:14- Jesus Rejected at Nazareth, Jesus puts into claim these same things. he makes it really personal with saying "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your ears." (i learned it from my mother & uncle)
in the Beatitudes. he turns the knife on Herod. "whoa to you who are rich, you have already received your comfort." whoa.. whoa... check 'em out. it is almost exactly like Mary's magnificat.
the mission according to these texts. Is to create a society of Justice.
Luke 7 : "are you the one that is supposed to come" the person from Malachi 3 & 4. Jesus say, "go tell him what you have seen and heard..."
What did Jesus expect? he had the same expectations.
Mary still had to learn this. in Mark she tries to rescue Jesus from himself. they call him to come home to mother and brothers and sisters.. and Jesus responds "who is my mother, who are my brothers and sisters?" ..
John 19 : Mary saw it coming. Jesus on the cross. he says, "take care of my mother. she has some dreams that have yet to come true."
Acts 1:14 : there is Mary with all the disciples, the brothers and sisters of Jesus. she is right there. then the Holy Spirit came and Mary was there.
all this. and Mary was right in the middle of it saying "this is what the magnificat is all about. the local church breaking bread together" imagine a society of Justice. a society of forgiveness, liberation, economic justice, reformation, and revolution.
the mission of Jesus, we are talking about the church as an alternative to culture and an embodiment of magnificat in place. it begins with you and me living it out daily. not by a mission statement. instead we have to live it out.
where the church went off-board
four points on the missional community
Teaching the Emerging Generation to Read the Bible
Shift Conference 2008
aspects of postmodernism emerging generation reading the bible
this is small, but it has long term implications.
is it okay that adam is eve is not true but tells a narrative story
"I don't have answers to these questions. I'm a college professor."
the emerging generation is experiencing "ironic faith"
the emerging story is the development of "ironic faith" .. people believe "but" .. etc. so there is a certain amount of irony in their faith that becomes intolerable therefore they leave. the emerging group has crossed a certain threshold. they will either become part of a new thing or they will not be christians at all
first element that feeds this
they are finding Jesus for the first time who grew up in a paul-ine world. they are choosing, which of these gospels am i going to follow. and they are not all the same
recognition that all theologies are language bound
this is scary stuff and destabilizes traditional evangelicalism. must be willing to listen to the questions.
short cut approaches
"i think we should teach people to read the bible that is.. and not teach them something.."
a model of how to read the bible
we need to read the bible as a story. not as myth or fiction. the way God revealed the bible. every author is a wiki story of the story. if you believe scripture to be the inspired word of God you have to be willing to take in
the creator creates Eikon's. we are made with four relations God, Self, Others, World. we cracked the Eikon's in four relations, with God, Self, Others, World. covenanted Eikon's the whole bible is about covenanted Eikon's, the covenanted people are the very foundation of the story. reformers grown in a Pauline context want to go from Genesis 12 to Romans 3. new covenant with Christ is the climactic dimension. the consummation.
we should read book by book or author by author. look for these five themes. map how these five themes come up in the wiki stories. we have to let the wiki stories do the work for us.
note: sarcasm laden i am about to head out to a conference where i will see and hear from brian mclaren and others. i know, appreciate, and have learned a great deal from their messages as ministers. but, every now and then i like to have my fun at their expense. this is one of those times.
at our church, we have found ourselves living out this seven year vision & discernment as one purpose "becoming apprentices of Jesus Christ." we have three loves, God neighbor and self. wrapped up in five practices of, worship connect grow serve share. all that to say, we are doing video testimonies on how we live our these practices. so with my digital camera, my battery ran out on my camcorder, and a few hours of late night work. this is our video for 'connect' sunday.
Jesus was stubborn like Norman [you will have to read the illustration story]. He redefined what people thought they knew. In essence, Jesus would hit the back button so things could go forward. When others said Messiahs don’t hang out with sinners and that people don’t get healed on the Sabbath, Jesus was stubborn – THIS MESSIAH DOES! When others looked at the law and saw the letter, Jesus looked at it and saw the Spirit – the inspiration of His Father and what was intended. And when others saw death as final, Jesus was stubborn, and said, “Not anymore.”
i am with amy on her theology of dog. my coe is one of the best dogs in the world. my crimson, is a little neurotic, but she is fun and sensitive most of the time.
The Spirit of Jesus Listening in us
Listening in the spiritual life is much more than a psychological strategy to help others discover themselves. In the spiritual life the listener is not the ego, which would like to speak but is trained to restrain itself, but the Spirit of God within us. When we are baptised in the Spirit - that is, when we have received the Spirit of Jesus as the breath of God breathing within us - that Spirit creates in us a sacred space where the other can be received and listened to. The Spirit of Jesus prays in us and listens in us to all who come to us with their sufferings and pains.
When we dare to fully trust in the power of God's Spirit listening in us, we will see true healing occur.
Listening as Spiritual Hospitality
To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements, or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept.
Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that, those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their own true selves. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.
from henri nouwen
one of my youth david has made a post on his myspace about shopping for books at the towns new B&N. when they were in the "christian" section a man got on their case for believing in god. if you can't read his blog for one reason or another. a quote from it was something like, 'too bad christianity is a load of crap. it's nicely presented crap but it doesn't mean god exists.' he was bothered by it and one of his buddies, who is a cool kid i like a lot, but as i know is agnostic or atheist brought up the "contradiction" word for the christian faith.. so i got into rant mode.. for my better educated friends? anything i need to eat my words on or did i do okay for a non-academic to a teen audience response?
what i find funny is that if it is nicely presented, but it isn't real and it is total crap & as jody mentions full of "contradictions" then i wonder what we are talking about? God? Science? the Economy? Patriotism? Politics? Faith? Global Warming? Atheism? Agnosticism? etc..
honestly, these argumentations seem to only have a magnifying glass on faith.. why? i don't know, no one has ever told me they just shrug their shoulders..
eg. science has only been around since the 18th century (the scientific method as it is generally known, though some practice can date to middle ages), so in the idea of the world, it is a baby and has made many mistakes, contradicted it's findings, and failed to deliver the goods in it's aim to explain all things in a logical /explainable & repeatable manner. truth is they pull back on things all the time, contradicting oneself.
eg. economics obey certain "laws" but they are always conditional. if the economy operated under exact laws that never contradicted or moved on itself then we could tell everyone "this is how to ensure that all the economy will provide riches for everyone" (or provide stable living at the least) but no one is able to provide that because it is in-exact.
eg. agnosticism is contradicting of the self in many ways because you claim a diety or god, but you don't know what that god is. so therefore you are in a position to contradict yourself on every whim of what that god looks like, acts like.. note: i say that lovingly for folks who claim agnosticism, i could claim that about once or twice a month, as well as atheism, for my faith falls on trying times..
so someone tell me why we always pick on those of the christian faith?..
is is cause we don't do things we say we should do? is it that we hate when are told to love? is it that we care for ourselves when we are told to care for others? we got some old book that says some crazy stuff? things like that??? sure, we do that, but it is we as a people not God.
i cringe, and get really pissed off, at what some of my christian brothers and sisters say & do. i want to beat people who are a-holes in our church buildings and outside them & claim the same faith as i do then only remembering that i am supposed to love them too. i want to do all i can for the poor or marginalized get pissed at those that don't share my same passion, but then i go and do very little or nothing at all for the cause i feel so "passionately" about. but this is me.. i am a person just trying to live my life
and in my life i have found, though i have given myself every chance, time and time again i have been unable to claim that their is no God or even that God is less significant than he is. this is my story.. and that book we claim is full of the same type of people living with the same struggles, contradictions, frailty, humility, care for the world, and desire to come to know this God they can't get out of their soul.
so for people who want to impose those viewpoints, as christians will sometimes impose their own on others, i'd say "you need to earn the right to be heard" & a chance meeting in the bookstore is a bad way and only shows your brokeness and need to justify your own identity as a person.
you see david, all this to say. it hurt, and we as christians hurt others, because when you attack or disrepect a persons views on things like this you are attacking their identity as a person. and people have a natural need to defend their identity because in todays world more than any other.. it might be all they have. wars are fought over it & relationships are broken because of it. it is powerful.
ps: i have the same book on my shelf as my to be reads.. not sure when i'll get there, but i am looking forward to reading it myself.
Cokesbury and West End United Methodist Church invite you to enjoy an evening of conversation and fellowship with N. T. Wright
Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
The Anglican Bishop of Durham, Church of England, Wright is called by many the world's leading New Testament scholar. He will discuss his latest book, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
"Surprised by Hope is a bold and vigorous articulation of the 'blessed hope' of the Christian witness. Grappling with a vast array of controversial topics, this book is sure to surprise you and will, no doubt, fill you with hope."-Richard Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline
"Tom Wright gives us a powerful account of 'the hope that is within us.' Here, in Wright's masterful work, Christian hope is defended, explicated, and proclaimed with all the wit, wisdom, intellect, and grace. This is quite simply the best book we have on the substance of Christian hope."-Will Willimon, Bishop, The United Methodist Church, and author of Conversations with Barth on Preaching
"N. T. Wright brings his enormous erudition to a most urgent contemporary question, the cluster of issues around the future and hope and resurrection, and life in the kingdom. Wright makes clear that resurrection hope cannot be understood by reference to universal categories, but only by the particular narrative of Jesus. His book is an important interpretive contribution to an ongoing theological pastoral task."-Walter Brueggemann, Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary
"This book is N. T. Wright at his finest: dismantling the tired old theologies of escapism and evacuation to help a whole generation of us more clearly grasp a Jesus revolution for here, now, today."-Rob Bell, author of Velvet Elvis
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
West End United Methodist Church
2200 West End Avenue
i am putting it on my calendar. anyone else in the nashville area care to join me?
3. Your level of knowledge regarding the subjects you write about is so low that a discussion isn’t moved forward by what you write. This is why I don’t blog very much on baseball- which I love. I don’t know enough to make it worth someone’s time to read what I write. Many bloggers aspire to be pundits, theologians and culture commentators, but they simply haven’t done their homework. They don’t know the subject, they haven’t read the books. They don’t have a freshman major’s level of understanding. If you don’t believe me, read 95% of what’s written about philosophical topics like “postmodernism.” The blind leading the blind, to much applause. Unlike what appears to be the case with some famous bloggers, most bloggers don’t have a staff paid for by denominational funds to do their research.
Even though I am a seminary grad with post grad hours and extensive reading, and even though I teach Bible professionally, I know the difference between myself and Ben Witherington III, which some bloggers clearly do not. Reading some rookie blogger tear into a guy with three Ph.d’s is, at the least, unlikely to yield any real insights.
dang, i claim my stupidity, all the time. you should see the email exchange i had with dr. aj levine on a part in her book "the misunderstood jew." her response to my question, or maybe more a clarification..
Thank you for your note.I think the sentence to which you are referring is this:" The occasional king who burns down a city or bridegroom who shuts the door in the face of five virgins who have run out of oil — that is, the parables in which the difficult readings cannot be swept away — tends not to get much sermon time, especially in liberal Christian settings. "I'm sorry if I was unclear -- my pint is that is, parables of judgment tend not to be the focus of sermons in liberal settings, and by liberal I mean the type of church is which the focus is more on social justice, inclusivity, the condemnation of the ills of society, etc. (all splendid concerns, of course) than on personal soteriology, divine judgment, eschatological punishment and reward, etc. (i.e., I am defining 'conservative' along the lines of Missouri Synod Lutheran, most of the leaders of the SBL, the PCA, Churches of Christ, etc., noting that there are exceptions to any label and that all generalities are inexact.Does this make sense?
my response back
thanks dr. levine,
that is the sentence and no need for apologies. i think being the decently read, but not formally schooled lay/staff person i get myself in places where i have to interpret to my capabilities and something of what i thought just didn't jive. so i asked
thanks for the clarification. it is certainly different from the assumptions i was coming too, so i am glad i asked and grateful for your time in responding. i cannot honestly say, "sure it all makes sense".. but let me consult my harvey's theological terms book to remind myself of the "big words" that, i know i know but could never tell you exactly what they mean. does that make sense?
again, thanks for your time
because she is cool like that!
smiling back at you ...
and never hesitate to ask questions.
oh, sorry for the tangent. i'd agree with michael and it is okay dude, you don't need to read my blog. i might have started it actually shape other peoples thoughts but quickly realized that was stupid, so it is me being me and what God has shaped me into. i figure there are a few people out there that would care for that.
Tags: bishop willimon, blogging for ministry, bonhoeffer, christian community, diana butler bass, emergent, green youth ministry retreat, jim wallis, library management, photography, revfife, stanley hauerwas, stephen fife, technology, theology, tony jones, whiffle ball game
this is more of lobbing pop shots at the people who have little influence over things of this sort. however, i can appreciate the challenge presented in getting youth folks thinking of some of these things. too bad if they go home and tell parents this stuff they will be gone in a few months.
The problem with the Lord's Prayer is neither its content nor its historicity, but its familiarity. Many congregants don't actually think of the meaning of the words or, if they do, find only comfort rather than a challenge. Little children still happily conclude that the deity's name is "Harold" fear that the major sin they might commit is trespassing on someone else's lawn, adn earnestly hope that they are never led "into Penn Station." When placed in a first-century Jewish context, the prayer recovers numerous connotations that make it both more profound and more political. It fosters belief, promotes justice, consoles with future hope, and recognizes that the world is not always how we would want it.
the Misunderstood Jew: the church and the scandal of the Jewish Jesus, by AJ Levine
how true.. and it made me giggle too
update: those crazy folks at church of the resurrection are talking up the Lord's Prayer as well.
ariah has a great set up tuesday youtube videos today. i really couldn't figure out which one i liked more. this one i liked as one of those sermon mix ups. usually they are done pretty poorly, but i like how this one is done.
i can't help but share this. it hit me like a ton of bricks. the follow is an encounter brian mclaren had at davos a few weeks ago.
Another moment – when a Muslim conversation partner introduced me to a group of Muslims I hadn't met: "This is my friend, Brian." When people stop being "that Jew" or "that Christian" or "that Muslim," and instead become "my friend," followed by a real name … the state of the world improves a little bit.
And another – sitting with a Muslim scholar who explained to me, "If you want to understand our struggle, think of your own Declaration of Independence." She rehearsed the lines, known by heart: "… we hold these truths to be self-evident … created equal … endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights." She asked me what these lines were intended to do, to accomplish. I replied, "To counter the pre-modern notion of the divine right of kings with a new notion – of the God-given rights of individuals." Why, she asked, was it important to bring God in? "Because God represents an authority higher than a king's authority. If God gives individuals rights, a king loses his right to abrogate them."
Then she said, "This is a primary reason why there is such a religious revival in Islam. Millions of Muslims live under dictatorships. They need to have their human rights validated theologically so they can gain freedom from dictators, just as American colonists wanted to gain freedom from the king in 1776." Sadly, she added, many of these dictators have remained in power with U.S. support, which helps explain much of the antipathy toward U.S. foreign policy. A simple thought, perhaps obvious to many, but it clicked for me as never before.
1. i like how brian explains the declaration of independence, that God is above kings. so it is no surprise that in that it hit like a ton of bricks... why do we enable other countries to live in a framework that we would not allow ourselves to be in. i am not advocating nation building, like we are experiencing in Afghanistan or Iraq, certainly we did much to help them to where they were. but what if there were other creative means to enable all people to live where God is ultimate authority? even over that of a king or president? hmm..
i picked up my copy of "the wesley project" by carl thomas gladstone. carl i got to know at the umerging back in kansas city and the emergingumc last fall down here in nashville. before that i knew of some of the work he was doing that was leading up to this project.
simply put, he was taking wesleyan hymns & themes and blending them into new music stylings. it isn't your generic praise & worship set, check it out on itunes. he doesn't have it on hard copy cd as of yet.
over vacation one of the friends i took with me was jim palmer. i hadn't anticipated taking jim.. i just anticipated taking his first book "divine nobodies." i have known jim for almost three maybe four years now. we met for the first time at an early version of our nashville emergent cohort. i like to say we have been friends ever since, though we would both have to agree, we don't hang out enough.. like quite rarely as of late. which is just what it is for now.
in saying that i took him on vacation with us is sharing that an encounter with jim is an encounter into someone who has made themselves as transparent as one can be. i think i do a pretty good job on the blog of being transparent, but he's got me beat. with his transparent nature and honesty comes a reflection of humility in a person who has lead a life complete with fracture and triumph, misdirection and reorientation, pride and compassion, moving into that love that we all hope for in our own lives. the premise of the book can easily be figured out by pondering the title and subtitle "divine nobodies, shedding religion to find God and the unlikely people who help you." it is one mans journey down that "religion" path of linear steps and success markers. only to come to a place where life, that everyday life, comes through and makes all that painful to the soul. through that there are normal everyday people that come and go in life that reflect Christ to their fellow ordinary people, or "nobodies" as "the world" is concerned.
i feel like i know my friend so much more now than ever. he would tell stories of people, which generally revolved around the nashville area (but not all) and i'd wonder.. "is that my mechanic?" "which waffle house is that?" (i have a good guess on that one, jim actually lives nearby)
through this he challenges his upbringing of the "religion" steps and success (which made me think of this article over and over again) on what it means to be Christian plus who you & i can learn from. it made me think, when people talk about those "God" moments most are centered around children, nature, and music.. at least that is my viewpoint. no one ever looks for or will claim those learning moments talking to a server or gas station attendant.. why?.. why not?.. for this reason i would say that all should give some thought to the divine nobodies in their life or their role as a divine nobody in others lives. read the book if you are confused by that, you might need to experience jim pilgrimage down the path to this point to be able to see your own. i know i am better for having taken him on vacation.
it made me thank all the staff that served us a little more. pay attention to someone who was generally invisible to others. tipping a little better.. which makes me think of a point in the book i continue to ponder...
[speaking of wanda the waffle house server, after being tipped with a tract]... Wanda got me thinking about whether any theology can be "right" if it doesn't motivate you to treat people with love and respect. Let's just hope on Judgement Day that God doesn't leave it in the hands of the waitresses, cashiers, and all the other invisible people in our world who are on the receiving end of what's truly in our hearts. (pg41)
it helped me to discover as divine nobodies some fabulous new friends on our trip (they really were on the trip, not a book persona). same with just a conversation on the plane. both things i am not normally apt to do myself due to my underlying shyness.
the idea is not new. one can go back to what i have mentioned before as the role of porter in the monastery. they greet everyone as Christ is within each person and they try to reflect the same. i like the idea of claiming to be a nobody.. i often times try to pump up the stats on my resume when it just isn't necessary. i know, but i still do it.
one this is for sure, the world needs more divine nobodies.
i asked my fellow methoblogosphere buds to put together their top5 posts of 2007. fitting i break my own non-rules. these are the posting the reflect some great times in 2007.
Tags: alektor, ann carter florence, baptism, barbara brown taylor, barcamp, blogging, brian mclaren, congress on evangelism, contemplative, daniel greeson, emerging church, fred craddock, homiletics festival, internet is our parish, jack black, missions, new orleans, thomas long, worship, youth 2007, youth ministry
i am not the person that cares to personalize a license plate. seems trivial to put together a message in less than 10 characters. i do enjoy deciphering others creative ideas of messages. some people are creative in, some not. some are annoying.. some i just do not get. like this one. what are you trying to say brother?
i have apparently been in a bashing mood of the church sign down the road from my home. i did however way, that sometimes i do like the messages on the sign. this week's messages (they put a separate one on each side, not copied) are quite nice. i wonder if they were reading this blog?
the first one is a warm fuzzy slogan. the God is with us.. more specifically, Christ is love, and as we know "i am the same yesterday, today, and forever." the second one, i think i like that one because it comes really close to that pesky methodist john wesley characters famous sayings. maybe they are reading this blog?
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
though this is my more memorable wesley quote.
this is my buddy bill lizor who works with young adult ministries out of the general board of discipleship. this is him presenting his jacob & joseph paradigm. see the video of his presentation on the shift from his "prodigal" paradigm to "journey" paradigm. it's a pretty cool slant on scripture paradigm & church ministry.
my one critique to bill was this "cool.. what am i supposed to do with this?" so if can help him out feel free to comment.
i starting going on a ramble over at phil's blog. he was expressing his feelings of gray over defense & pacifism in light of the recent shootings in colorado. i have expressed many times my troubles with pacifism as i understand it. these are some of the thoughts i threw down comment style.
since this isn't all over the news today, which i thought it might be. the guard was a congregation member. she was activated, along with others (i assume) because they had heard of the YWAM shootings earlier in the morning/night. they had an organized security force due to other church violence reasons. so maybe their actions are preventative.
our Augustine relation of just war could be considered here. they didn't go out looking for, this was completely defense oriented. this is simple marks of "just war"
it doesn't make it any easier. someone was hurting that they sought out to hurt others. why couldn't the church help prevent that hurt?
my heart breaks for all that are involved. shooter & the innocent victims of their hurt.
i do not look forward to hearing about various uses of this as an example of why we need loosen gun laws for citizens to protect themselves. i see that only promoting a future where anyone is judge jury & executioner. or maybe we are already there.
to claim a full pacifism is tough. partly because we are so ingrained to protect what is ours. to protect our safety. i thought it eerie that there were all these large gun toting police men around the new life church to give sustained feeling that people are now safe.
can the implement that sustained the terror really be the same implement that brings peace? or is it the hearts of the person that are the difference?
as with any commenting these are never fleshed out thoughts. though, this is somewhat long for a response. so if you have questions or care to take me to task, feel free.
in further "making sense" reading. check out bene diction @ connexions "will arminians loose faith?"
story update: reports are that it was the same gunman in both incidents. after identification it turns out he was enrolled into the ywam program at one point.
i want to accept this as one of those comfort statements people give "God doesn't give you more than you can handle" type deals. the problem.. this sign does not imply that for me. to me this is like the firefighter that sets fires so that they can go and put the fire out & be the hero (or just get their rocks off). some other quick thoughts...
in our old school neighborhood we are just a few blocks away from a cluster of churches and daily erin & drive by them. one church actively sends messages over it's church signs. being down the street i drive by a few times a day. some signs i like, some are more information, some celebratory (someone got baptized), some cliche, some are annoying, some make no sense to me.. the most recent one makes me ill.
since i was away with the youth workers convention i missed when they actually put this one up. so i saw it yesterday morning when i headed off to church. it made me so ill, i decided to take a picture and stew over it. healthy practice, i know.
instead of a doctorate thesis, i give you the cliff notes of why this particular one makes me ill.
you can tell a lot about a church from their sign. i am hoping these folks feel inclined to change this one sometime soon. i am going to be home much of this week with the holiday and hope to not see it every time i leave or come back to the neighborhood.