Monday, December 14, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Now I can finally get excited about Peter Rollins coming to Seattle tomorrow. Pete is an Irish theologian/philosopher whose writings I have come to love. My friends and I have been in contact with him on Facebook for a few months and asked him if he would be willing to come out to Seattle and hang out with us and lecture at my seminary, Mars Hill Graduate School. So tomorrow afternoon he is flying in and my friends and I will be hanging out with Peter all evening. Thursday afternoon he will be having a conversation with the M.Div. students at the school and Thursday night he will be lecturing to anyone who comes to see him. The title of his lecture is "When God Doubts God: some thoughts on belief, metabelief, and doubt." I have no idea what he is going to talk about, but I am sure it will be brilliant, provocative, and challenging of normal theology and spiritual thought. I can't wait! Click HERE to see the Facebook event for his Thursday night lecture.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
All seemed well, however, when the regular season began with six straight wins, including tough victories against Cincinnati, San Diego, Dallas, and New England. But now, three weeks later, my Broncos find themselves at 6-3 after three straight losses. And they haven't been the kind of losses that you can still feel good about, but rather, 2 blowouts and an embarrassing loss to the dreadful Washington Redskins.
With all this in mind, this Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers has become THE pivotal game for the Broncos' season. The Chargers started slow this season but have won the last 3 games and find themselves tied with the Broncos for the division lead. If the Broncos win this game, I believe they will go on to win the division and make the playoffs. If the Broncos lose, though, I think they will continue this backslide and miss the playoffs altogether. Needless to say, I'm a bit anxious about this upcoming match-up. Go Broncos!!
Monday, November 16, 2009
The tickets just went on sale this morning so my friends and I quickly gobbled up 10 tickets and are incredibly excited for the concert this summer. Seeing U2 in Vancouver was amazing, but it was still lacking because I was all by myself at the concert. By the time I went to get tickets to that show, there were no 2 seats available together in the entire arena. This time I got tickets early and get to see the show with some of my best friends in the world. Even our great friends Nate and Brittny from Sioux Falls, SD are flying out for the show.
The concert is on a Sunday night in late June of this coming summer, so I'm going to have to wait a while between my first and second dates with Bono. I'm already praying for good weather that evening, since the show is in Qwest Field where the Seahawks play, a uncovered field. Please NO rain!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
For those who frequent this site, you know that I am a huge fan of Peter Rollins, a philosopher from Northern Ireland, who never ceases to challenge my thinking and inspire me to action. In his first book, How (Not) to Speak of God, he talks about something his church does called "The Evangelism Project." Actually, the project is more of an anti-evangelism project, as the group meets with different political and religious organizations, not to have an inter-faith dialogue, but to simply be evangelized by that group. I was originally skeptical of this idea, but it is actually quite beautiful. As they listen and learn they are allowed to see their own beliefs with fresh vision and new eyes, greatly impacting their faith and the way it is acted out in the world.
Peter recently fleshed this idea out in much more detail on his blog. I highly recommend you check out his post called "Evangelism Will Change the World." Click HERE.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
HT: The Adventures of ASBO Jesus
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The true sadness is that this desire for revenge is built upon a lie. Scholars call this lie the 'myth of redemptive violence,' that the next act of revenge and violence will settle the score once and for all. We all know that this is not true. Violence only begets more violence. That next, and assumed last, action only perpetuates another action..and another action...and another action.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is clear that the appropriate response to violence is grace and peace. The only way that we ought to respond to terrorism is through forgiveness and love, not hatred and retaliation. I understand that some might argue that this way of living would never work, that it would never stop violence and terrorism from happening. Maybe they are right. But maybe they aren't...we don't know because no society has ever tried it. It is obvious that war and further violence has not succeeded in ending violence, so I wonder what the world might look like if took the words of Jesus seriously when he calls us to turn the other cheek and walk 2 miles rather than 1. At least that seems closer to redemption than redemptive violence.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
For weeks now I've realized my desire to read and write and blog but have failed to do much of any of those things. I've had things to say and stories to tell but lacked the energy to make them public. I keep telling people that since we didn't have any break after summer semester, my mind took its own break to rest and recover. I'd say its time to snap back into intellectual action though.
I've got a huge paper due Thursday for my Church History class and then a week and a half off for Reading Week. The 2nd weekend of Reading Week I'll be heading to Oregon for four days of rock climbing, so hopefully this relaxation will snap me out of my funk and back into a desire to learn and grow and experience the fullness of life that was so present last year. Lord help me.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
I am well-aware that the Broncos are very lucky to leave week 1 with a victory, but that's alright because we are going to need plenty of luck this year. After a terrible offseason, the Broncos are in the midst of a rebuilding year, so I will take all the luck we can get all year long. Enjoy this video of an incredible 87 yard catch by Brandon Stokely to take the lead with 11 seconds left in the game.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Sioux Falls Team
QB: Carson Palmer, Bengals
RB: Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars
RB: Steven Jackson, Rams
WR: Reggie Wayne, Colts
WR: Marques Colston, Saints
RB/WR: Braylon Edwards, Browns
TE: Tony Gonzalez, Falcons
DST: Chicago Bears
K: Robbie Gould, Bears
QB: Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks
RB: Marshawn Lynch, Bills
WR: Santana Moss, Redskins
TE: John Carlson, Seahawks
DST: Miami Dolphins
K: Josh Brown, Rams
QB: Tony Romo, Cowboys
RB: Matt Forte, Bears
RB: Pierre Thomas, Saints
WR: Calvin Johnson, Lions
WR: Eddie Royal, Broncos
RB/WR: Torry Holt, Rams
TE: Jason Witten, Cowboys
DST: San Diego Chargers
K: Mason Crosby, Packers
QB: Jake Delhomme, Panthers
RB: Mike Bell, Saints
RB: Jamal Lewis, Browns
RB: Derek Ward, Bucs
WR: Braylon Edwards, Browns
WR: Steve Breaston, Cardinals
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
A Million Miles In A Thousand Years by Donald Miller
For if you have been able to fully comprehend what you would say, it is not God. If you have been able to comprehend it, you have comprehended something else instead of God. If you have been able to comprehend him as you think, by so thinking you have deceived yourself. ~Augustine of HippoWe must continue to speak about God and strive to understand who God is, but we must do so with great humility, treading lightly as we embark on such a daunting task. As Peter Rollins says, we worship an 'un/known God.' While there are plenty of things that we can come to know about God, we must always realize that when we attempt to explain and describe the God of Creation, the ruler of the universe, with our feeble, human language, we will always come far short of capturing God's true essence.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
HT: Rob Bell's Twitter
Monday, September 7, 2009
HT: Matt Allen
Error never shows itself in its naked reality, in order not to be discovered. On the contrary, it dresses elegantly, so that the unwary may be led to believe that it is more truthful than truth itself.
~Iraneus (I think)
Monday, August 31, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Let me be plain with you dear reader.
I am an old faishioned man I like
the world of nature despite its mortal
dangers. I like the domestic world
of humans, so long as it pays its debts
to the natural world, and keeps its obligations.
I like the promise of Heaven. My purpose
is a language that can pay just thanks
and honor for those gifts, a tongue
set free from fashionable lies.
Neither this world nor any of its places
is an 'environment'. And a house
for sale is not a 'home.' Economics
is not 'science', nor 'information' knowledge.
A knave with a degree is a knave. A fool
in a public office is not a 'leader.'
A rich thief is a thief....
The world is babbled to pieces after
the divorce of things from their names.
Ceaseless preparation for war
is not peace. health is not procured
by sale of medication, or purity
by the addition of poison. Science
at the bidding of corporations
is knowledge reduced to merchandise;
it is a whoredom of the mind,
and so it the art that calls this, 'progress.'
So is the cowardice that calls it 'inevitable.'
HT: Richard Dahlstrom
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
HT: The Ongoing Adventures of ASBO Jesus
Monday, August 17, 2009
As you can imagine, this summer has been incredibly busy. I'm assuming the same schedule faced you all over the past few months, though. Since I last wrote I have spent 2 weeks in Montana, a week with Mandy's family here in Seattle, and a week trying to finish all my summer course work before the fall semester begins. I have had so much fun in all I've done, but it has still been insanely stressful and time-absorbing. It feels good be typing these words, knowing that my life is finally slowing toward regularity and routine. It feels good to breathe deep once again, knowing that the coming week brings no deadlines or timelines, but simply a chance to rest and relax.
Our first week in Montana was spent at Templed Hills Baptist Camp near Yellowstone National Park. This is the camp I grew up going to as a kid, and now they had me back to be the camp pastor for the week. In addition to speaking each night, we rock climbed, hiked, and white-water rafted. The week was an amazing time of experiencing God and spending time with some of our best friends. What a blessing. The second week in Montana was spent at my family's cabin near Glacier National Park. This is one of my favorite places in the whole world, so I always cherish our times there with my family. Two days after returning to Seattle, Mandy's mom, dad, and sister came to visit us. They were here for a week and were able to see most of what makes Seattle special. It was so great to have them here, but once they were gone I had to quickly get to work on 3 projects that were due within the next week in order to finish my summer courses. I finished the last project this afternoon and am basking in my temporary freedom.
Finishing that project brings my first year of graduate school to a close. I can't believe that a year has past since we were comfortably living our lives in Sioux Falls, SD. So much has changed. We are completely different than the people we once were. It is quite surreal to think about all that God has called us out of, in to, and through. I thank God that we chose to listen and follow. This has been quite the ride and really takes my breath away to be reminded of God's goodness and faithfulness. I pray we continue to listen and follow for years to come. I can't imagine life any other way.
Friday, July 17, 2009
In addition to getting to see him, I am totally geeked about the seats I bought. I think I must have been one of the first to buy tickets because Mandy, my friend David, and I will be sitting front and center in the first balcony. These are probably the best seats in the entire theater, overlooking the stage from about 30 feet away. Now the only problem I have created for myself is that having to wait until November to see him is going to drive me crazy. This picture is the view from our seats at The Moore Theater in Seattle.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Derek is a prophet for our current church culture, and has been criticized in similar ways as many of our biblical prophets. His lyrics have a beautiful way of calling out the negative issues of the church while still revealing his obvious belief in, and hope for, the church. Musically, he could probably be categorized as a bluegrass singer/songwriter, with powerful lyrics and strong acoustic guitar.
His newest album, Stockholm Syndrome, has received a great deal of scrutiny. Musically, this cd is a departure from his usual style, incorporating various genres of music including dance beats and a 50's doo-wop ballad called "Frankie, Please." The primary criticism has been aimed at the song "What Matters More." The song is critical of Christian culture for saying they affirm certain things but not backing up their words with real, practical actions, for not giving a "shit" about the "50,000 people who die everyday." Obviously it is the use of that sort of language that is receiving the negative press. I highly recommend this album and any other work that Derek Webb has done. His music has greatly impacted my life and challenged the way I approach the church and ministry. Enjoy this video of "What Matters Most."
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
HT: Brad Ruggles
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
And this is why we need to ask ourselves whether the present form of globalization is entirely appropriate, given the circumstances confronting us. I mean there are, clearly, benefits, but we need to ask whether it requires adaptation so that it also enables, as it were, globalization from the bottom up. This, after all, is the way Nature operates! It grows things from the roots up, not from the sky down. At the moment we operate under a form of globalization that tends to render down all the rich diversity of a culture into a uniform, homogenized mono-culture. And this is where the Modernist paradigm needs to be called into question before the damage being done is irretrievable…
HT: Brian McLaren
"All Revolutions Devour Their Own Children"
I find myself wrestling with this incredibly enlightening thought. Throughout history, as revolutions arise and individuals fight for personal and communal freedoms, they leave in their wake the coming generation, their children. As the mother is fighting for her right to vote (a noble cause), the children are left at home fending for themselves. As a black father marches the streets toward liberty for his people (something worth fighting for), his children wonder why they are home alone again.
Of course I'm using hyperbole, but I find myself wanting to balance this tension between fighting for justice and peace in this world while still seeing my ultimate ministry as being toward my family. As I prepare to someday pastor a community, I must wrestle with not neglecting those closest to me while trying to make an impact in my community. What would it look like to care for the world and properly love my neighbor without harming my family and the future of my children in the process?
Monday, July 13, 2009
This week I am swamped with a week-long intensive class on Philosophy from Plato to Kant. Class is Monday through Thursday, 10am-6pm each day. I am also busy preparing for a high school church camp in Montana where I am the camp speaker this coming week. I will be speaking each evening, so I am writing 5 different sermons around the theme of 'Bold Humility.'
The day the camp ends I will be singing at my cousin's wedding in Butte, MT, and then its off to our cabin near Glacier National Park for a week of rest and relaxation. The cabin is such an enchanting place where we spend a lot of time hiking, rafting, picking huckleberries, and often, simply doing nothing. I can't wait. Needless to say, though, I won't be frequenting this site much until August, so don't expect much from me. Grace and peace.
Monday, June 29, 2009
The movie offers much insight into the life of extreme poverty in a major city. We see homelessness constantly in Seattle, but it is nothing compared with the sort of poverty displayed in "The Soloist." Each day is a struggle to survive both the pangs of hunger and the threat of physical harm. The film also helped me better understand how terrible schizophrenia must be. There is a scene in the middle of the movie where the audience can almost physically feel the confusion and annoyance that must be constantly present with this awful disorder. Overall, the movie had great acting, a compelling story, taught me so much about life on the streets, and left me inspired to seek change for the people I encounter each day.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Michael Jackson served as a pioneer in the music and entertainment industry. Without his innovative breakthroughs, popular music in its current form would cease to exist. Without MJ, you have no Justin Timberlake, NSync, Backstreet Boys, and so many others. I'm not sure you can watch a Jackson music video and not tap your toe and think dancing is cool. He has meant so much to so many people.
The tragedy of the story, however, seems to be in the inward, mental, and emotional battles Michael must have been waging. Maybe more than anyone we've ever seen, he wore this war outwardly, as we all watched his physical appearance morph throughout different seasons of his story. Its hard to imagine that a man admired and emulated by so many could feel so inadequate in his own skin. The following video seems to capture well these battles he was waging. My thoughts are on MJ and his family today as they grieve this terrible situation.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
While this posture of engaging the world is incredibly important, the draw back to this line of thinking is that it tends to emphasize that I am the one one doing the blessing, and never the one being blessed. I was reminded of this yesterday as I rode the bus. As I engaged in conversation with the woman sitting next to me, I was the one who ultimately felt loved and cared for. She seemed to actually care about who I was on a deeper level than just what I do. Her example of care and concern for others has deeply impacted me.
While it is incredibly important to enter the world with a desire to bless, I pray that God would continue to open my eyes to the myriad of things He wants to teach me. As I dialogue with others, may my heart and mind truly be open to learning from and being blessed by the other and much as I desire to teach and bless them.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
It took me getting the entire door unmounted to realize that I had bitten off more than I could chew. This project was going to take far longer than I thought it would, but since I was this far already, I proceeded. After getting the door remounted the opposite way, it would not completely close. No matter what I did I could not get the door to seal. So, to make a long story short, I was forced to undo everything I had done and put the door back the way it was in the beginning. I even had to cut a little piece of plastic off the door to get it to work right again.
I like to think of myself as pretty handy, but I proved my incapabilities this morning. In the words of another co-worker who helped me out in the process of reassembling the fridge, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Good advice I guess.
Monday, June 1, 2009
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|ThreatDown - Charity, Casual Jesus & Robot Teachers|
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.~Marianne Williamson (and quoted by Nelson Mandela)
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I wonder what this idea means for the church in the midst of our current post-modern, post-colonial, post-Christendom culture. As the church moves into this new and emerging way of engaging Scripture and the world, how does it balance the tension between old and new paradigms? As Max Planck has brilliantly pointed out, "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."
While I wish Planck weren't right. I fear he is. Paradigms don't shift. Old ones just die while new ones rise up and dance on their grave. The church has not done especially well in honoring those who have gone before us while still progressing toward what lies ahead. I wonder what it might look like for the new paradigm to care for the old one, bury it properly, and adequately mourn its loss? What would it look like to treat those ideas that have gone before with honor and dignity, learning from their wisdom and insight, while still moving forward faithfully? As a future pastor, how will I hold the tension between knowing that the church must look different than it did for my grandparents, while still treating that generation with the dignity and respect they are due?
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Then today, following a great service at our church, I headed downtown to watch the Mariners play the Boston Red Sox. I was excited about the game since the Red Sox have such a good team with many notable players, and the game did not disappoint. The Mariners entered the bottom of the 9th inning tied 2-2 before Franklin Gutierrez hit a walk-off single to drive in the winning run. The weather was great, the crowd was pumped, and there really isn't anything else like the feeling of live professional sports. What a weekend!
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
HT: The Corner
Friday, May 8, 2009
I was worried about hating the class, the topic, and the style of learning (memory as opposed to deep thought), but it has been great so far. It is fun learning this new language and I will truly be blessed in my future sermon preparation because of this information I am gleaning now.
Yesterday in class, we learned 4% of the Hebrew Bible by learning the phrase "And the Lord said" (vayyomer YHVH). I was surprise that this one phrase constitutes 4% of the Old Testament text, but it makes sense when you consider that the Hebrew scriptures are the written documentation of God's ongoing relationship with God's people. It's telling a tale, writing out a dialogue between God and the people of Israel.
I'll let you know how the remainder of the term is going. I hope I continue to enjoy this work and can rest and relax this summer before another hectic year beginning this fall.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
2. Contact your local crisis pregnancy center and invite a pregnant woman to live with your family.
3. Ask your pastor if someone on your church’s sick list would like a visit.
4. Join an open AA meeting and befriend someone there.
5. Adopt a child.
6. Mow your neighbor’s grass.
7. Volunteer to tutor a kid at your local elementary school. (Try to get to know the kid’s family.)
8. Grow your own tomatoes – and share them.
9. Ask a small group in your community to meet regularly for intercessory prayer.
10. Build a wheel chair ramp for someone who is homebound.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Thus, I am incredibly excited about attending his conference on preaching this summer (July 5-7). The conference is called "Prophets, Poets, & Preachers," and the website calls it a "seminar for those serious about reclaiming the art of the sermon." I believe that preaching has a unique way of instilling hope and calling forth change, and I am passionate about learning to become a better communicator of the gospel. I heard one lecture on preaching from Rob a few years ago and it radically altered the way I thinking about sermon preparation, so I am eagerly anticipating the incredible insight Rob will have to offer during the 3-day conference. Click HERE for more information.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The kingdom of God...seeks a third way: not exclusiveness and rejection on the one hand, and not foolish, self-sabotaging inclusion on the other hand, but rather purposeful inclusion. In other words, the kingdom of God seeks to include all who want to participate in and contribute to its purpose, but it cannot include those who oppose its purpose.
No wonder this third way seems paradoxical: to be truly inclusive, the kingdom must exclude exclusive people; to be truly reconciling, the kingdom must not reconcile with those who refuse reconciliation; to achieve its purpose of gathering people, it must not gather those who scatter.
On the one hand, if you start expanding the borders and working for a God-centered inclusive and reconciling network of relationships, you will quickly find that there are plenty of people willing to insult you, imprison you, torture you, and kill you.
On the other hand, if you try to include those people who oppose your inclusive purpose, then your kingdom is divided against itself, and it will be ruined. So what do you do? If you're Jesus, you take whatever space you are given and let God's kingdom be made visible and real there.
McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus, 167-169
I will be spending my break in Sioux Falls at one of my best friend's wedding (Nate). It will be so great to see my friends, do some rock climbing with David and Joel, eat some Buffalo Wild Wings, and finally have a chance to breathe deeply again. Nate's bachelor party involves the rental of a sky box for a Minnesota Twins game at the Metrodome in Minneapolis...so fun. It will be such a blessing to get away and relax for a week. But for now...3 more papers.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Yet, we resist danger and uncomfort at all costs. We avoid the chaos of the cross like the plague. Even in a country that generally embraces the Christian faith, we find ourselves terrified at the thought of taking the message of Jesus seriously. It asks all of us. It asks for control of our words and our actions and our time and our money. It demands we re-think everything, that we take up our cross and embrace death as a path toward life. That's daunting.
But what if we did it? What if we caught a glimpse of the fullness of life that comes when the Kingdom of God crashes into this world, into our everyday lives? What if we willingly sacrificed everything, trusting God's word that we'll receive far more in our submission than our resistence, self-preservation, and greed? What if we truly lived into the beautiful paradox that the last will be first and the first will be last, that the greatest in the Kingdom of God are the least? What if we finally took God at God's word, trusting it is good and beautiful and just, capable of thwarting evil and pain and injustice?