Monday, December 5, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Since Rick Perry became governor of Texas in December of 2000, 237 individuals have been put to death by the state judicial system.Of the 46 individuals put to death by capital punishment in 2010 in the U.S., 17 were executed in Texas. Currently capital punishment is illegal in 16 states.This is obviously a divisive issue. Should Christians be supportive of the death penalty? Let us begin with scripture.
Friday, November 11, 2011
So here I am, working on Articles of Organization and an Operational Agreement for our budding L.L.C. My goal is to finalize these documents in the next two weeks and file them with the Secretary of State by December 1. I finally get to put my undergrad degree to work! If this works I will be the CFO. If it does not work, I will be the friend who looks at numbers and legal documents. Let's be honest, I can't call myself the CFO until we make at least $5.
Things I have learned this week:
1. Sabbaths are still important
2. Startups are tough...especially when you do not quit your real job (and when you are still in school and have a baby at the same time)
3. L.L.C.'s sound sound kind of sketchy
4. I have a lot of good friends who are willing to give me free advice
5. Most of our idea breaks no "intellectual property" laws
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Q: What is mamma wee-a?
C: Quinn, we've been over this.
Q: No we not.
C: "Mamma mia" is an expression.
Q: NO. WE. NOOOOOOT.
Q: What's that?
C: Quinn, you know what that is. How many times have we played this game? Give me a figure.
Q: Hehe...you give me a figure.
C: Good game Quinn. That was fun.
Q: No we not.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
He told me a story:
This guy went to Thomas Merton for spiritual direction. Merton asked, "How are things?" The guys said, "Things are horrible. I can't seem to get anything right." Merton responded, "This will pass. Things will change." A few weeks later the guy returned to visit with Merton. This time his news was much more positive. "Things are going very well," the man reported. "I see the face of God all around me." Merton responded, "This will pass. Things will change."
I thought that story was brilliant. After the laughter settled, the director asked, "Are you pursuing happiness or peace?"
I want us all to think about this. If the feeling of happiness is our only goal we end up making decisions that have no bearing on the long term health and wellness of our spirituality and our interaction with others. Sure, pursuing happiness could lead to good, but it can also lead to bad. The pursuit of happiness is what leads people to start successful businesses and what causes company execs to take unethical shortcuts to pad numbers. The pursuit of happiness gives a young man incentive to pursue a woman, but it can also cause that same man to pursue a mistress. Pursuing happiness is an unsteady way to make decisions. It is like building a mansion on an unsteady foundation. All looks good for a week, but it will come crashing down. However, if we pursue peace then we will consistently make decisions that are best for the long term health and wellbeing of us and those whom we love.
We will always have seasons of discomfort. There will always be pain. If the pain is dysfunctional then yes, perhaps you should make a change. But if you are experiencing pain because your ego is dying, then lean into that pain. That is the path to surrendering to the living God. That is the path to true liberty and justice for all.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
|"But dad, I don't need a rag." BTW, this had nothing to do with football.|
|Quinn loves joining me for kids' games.|
|That night he did not want to leave the field.|
|This is at our favorite hiking spot - Friedrich Wilderness Park.|
|Words cannot describe how excited the Q man is.|
|He is a great big brother.|
|Here is a shot from our room at the Birthing Center.|
|Here is where Mae was born.|
|Just minutes after entering the world.|
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
|a bag of wheat and a gallon jug|
|heat the water to 170|
|cook the wheat at 150 for an hour|
|strain the wheat and pour bowling water over it|
|bowl the "wort" for an hour, add hops and yeast, and let it sit for a few weeks|
Monday, September 26, 2011
Back in August I was given and opportunity to preach at my church. The text was 2 Samuel 23:1-7. I only get to preach about once a year. There are four pastors that are in line a head of me on the preaching rotation because of my position as a director. This particular service was the 8:30 a.m. traditional service. Later I preached the contemporary service.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
I do not know about women, but every man has played this scenario through a million times in his head. Every new location creates the possibility of at least a dozen new scenarios. I am not talking about hitting a grand-slam in the bottom of the 9th of the World Series or making an unlikely tackle to save the Super Bowl. I am talking about something a bit more serious. What would I do if somebody tried to break into my house?
Friday, June 3, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
One of the requirements of my worship class is that I design a worship service that is meaningful for me. This is what I have so far.
1. Share a Meal – There is no more authentic way to get to know another person than to eat with him or her. Furthermore, this part of the service could help welcome those with little to no resources.
2. Interactive Celebration/Testimonies – I want to create space in the service where we celebrate things like birthdays and where people can talk about where they saw God at work during their week.
3. Guided Prayer Time – This would be a time to get centered. We would use this time to pray for one another as well.
4. Scripture Reading/Sermon – I believe God uses others to help proclaim his good news and to explain the Bible. This is an essential part of the service.
5. Song – I imagine this time to be prayerful and reflective. This may be a solo, a choral piece, or an “all sing” number.
6. Prayer of Confession – In order for us to live into the fullness of life we must be aware of our depravity. When we confess, we own up to our junk and we ask to be freed from it.
7. Eucharist – In John Yoder’s book, Body Politics, he writes that the Lord’s Supper was originally a natural part of the early Christians' shared life together. They would conclude regular meals by remembering Jesus through breaking bread and drinking wine. While some might think that this view of the Eucharist diminishes its holiness into something common like a meal, I think it elevates sharing a meal to something holy like worshipping.
8. Prayer of Thanksgiving – This prayer would be a response to the previous element of the service as well as a response to all that God is doing and has done.
9. Dessert Celebration – This element would be a continuation of the Prayer of Thanksgiving.
Some people have emailed me some great feedback. I thought I would include one of my responses to a person who asked me my theological motivation for a couple of the elements.
First I need to let you know that I would not choose this service in all contexts. I have a pastoral motivation. I am called to help people recognize and follow the voice of God. I interpret that to mean that I need to help share the good news in a way that the people can understand it.
I agree with your definition of worship. There are plenty of passages of scripture that support that definition (her definition of worship is giving praise to a holy God). However, I think worship goes beyond that as well. Romans 12:1 seems to imply that true worship is sacrificial living. In Amos 5 God rejects the Israelites' precise worship because they are not living lives of justice and righteousness. These passages (along with ones like Matthew 5:23-24 and more indirect passages like 1 Corinthians 13 and Matthew 25:39-41) lead me to believe that the purity of our worship of the living God is very much tied to how well we are loving each other.
A more anecdotal response:
Has any of the following happened to you?
- Walked away from a conversation thinking, "Wow, I just experienced God while talking with that person."
- Climbed to the top of a peak and thought, "I am experiencing the fullness of God in this very moment."
If you have, then you at least recognize that worship goes much further beyond songs, organized prayer, and a sermon.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Sometimes I just need a reminder. Well, let's just say I often need a reminder. I need encouragement that one day we will overcome this gargantuan mound of student loan debt and rise triumphantly to live life debt free. With debt free living comes more generous living. In an effort to be even more efficient we have recently moved to the "cash envelope system" made famous by Dave Ramsey. We ran out of our grocery cash on day one of the week. We have more than enough food. However, we also ran out of coffee...and I need coffee almost as much as I need oxygen. So I did what comes natural to me...I began to internally whine and wonder if we'd ever make it. In spite of all of the ways God has provided for us the past two years through generous people I was still uneasy about the future.
To give you an idea of how ridiculous my uneasiness is/was, the cheapest thing somebody did for us was pay $300 to get our car fixed...that is the CHEAPEST. One might think that I would actually trust that God will provide by now...
Today when I walked into the office there was a glorious pound of whole coffee beans waiting to greet me at my door. I just needed a subtle reminder that I am being too dramatic and that things are going to be ok. I am seriously blown away by the timeliness of this generous act. So, thanks for the beans whoever you are. God sent you to me today.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
(I wrote this for a class blog. We were given the task of reading 100 pages of any book on worship.)
I chose to begin reading The Dangerous Act of Worship: Living God’s Call to Justice by Mark Labberton. Initially, I was simply looking for a book on Kindle because I do not have any of my books on worship with me at home. Most of the books I saw had to do with things we have already covered in class. This book’s title stood out from the others. This book takes Best’s concept unceasing worship to the next level. Not only do we worship constantly but worship causes us to go out and seek to end injustice.
Labberton dives in deep right away. He defines worship as human beings reflecting God’s glory by embodying God’s character in life and seeking righteousness and justice. Notice that he said nothing about Sunday mornings, sermons, or music. He continues by saying that worship does happen on Sunday mornings but that it also includes how we treat others, how we use our money, and how we love the lost and oppressed.
He devotes much time in the introductory chapters attempting to gracefully point out problematic aspects of things that occur when churches gather on Sunday mornings. For example, he boldly points out that sermons that “play to culture” without “critiquing and engaging it” are a part of the problem. Other times he calls out “worship directors” who are egocentric worshipers as well as flashy worship programs that entertain rather than challenge people to be transformed. He believes that true worship is dangerous because it “is meant to produce lives fully attentive to the reality as God sees it, and that’s more than most of us want to deal with.”
This book is confirming some of the things about which I have already been thinking. Worship is not egocentric. Worship transforms us into people who live justly, walk humbly, and love mercy. As I consider church planting in the Bible belt in the distant future, I am seriously considering only having one Sunday a month that includes music. Music has become the focal point in many churches in western evangelical churches. It has started to overshadow Jesus and his call to be people who love him and love others.
 Mark Labberton, The Dangerous Act of Worship, (Downers Grove: InerVarsity Press, 2007), Kindle Electronic Edition: Chapter 1, Location 104.
 Ibid. Chapter 1, Location 108.
 Ibid. Chapter 2, Location 175.
 Ibid. Chapter 3, Location 184.