Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Much Needed Reminder...

I was reminded of these powerful words today in my Multicultural Issues class and thought I would share them with you. So very helpful.
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

Funny Christian Album Covers

With the help of Pete Rollins's blog, I came across a website that has incredibly funny album covers from old Christian bands. These things are stinkin' hilarious. I've included a few to pique your interest, but see the rest of them HERE.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Paradox of Life Through Death

Life is full of paradox. Scripture understands this well and speaks of it constantly. Light out of darkness. Freedom out of bondage. Greatness out of servitude. Perhaps the most paradoxical of all this sort of thinking, however, is oddity of life springing forth from death. I find myself thinking about this idea a lot lately. With Spring upon us, we are all well aware of the blooms of life that are emerging from the death of winter. For months we have waited for the sun to shine and the flowers to bloom, but we must not forget that these only come through the pains of winter.

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?

Monday, May 18, 2009

An Incredible Weekend

It has been so much fun lately with the summer weather we have had here in Seattle. This weekend was incredible, as Friday afternoon I left Seattle with 2 friends to go camping and rock climbing on the Columbia River near Vantage, WA. We camped out Friday night and rock climbed all day on Saturday. It was such a great time of getting away and enjoying the outdoors.

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

The Pains of Pastoring

I chuckled when I saw this cartoon this other day, and hope that my career in vocational ministry never reaches this point.

HT: Naked Pastor

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Seth Godin on TRIBES

I just watched this video this morning and loved Seth's thoughts on tribes. He is not specifically talking about church community, but I think his thoughts definitely apply to this area of our culture. As I think about leading a faith community in the future, I hope that these sorts of thoughts permeate our group's thinking. I understand that this is a long video (17+ minutes) but it is well worth your time.

HT: The Corner

Awkward Questions about Jesus

This is a hilarious clip from a British comedy show called Outnumbered. The questions these kids ask are incredibly funny.

HT: Brian McLaren

Friday, May 8, 2009

So Far So Good

I have just started my summer trimester here at Mars Hill Graduate School and it has been good so far. Throughout the summer I will have 3 different intensive classes (class all day, every day for a week) which will be tiring, but I only have one class that extends throughout the entire term: Hebrew Language.

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.