Monday, September 25, 2006

My New Favorite Podcast

Relevant

Yes, I'm a pop culture junkie. I make no apologies.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Silence

I haven't had much to say this month. I've spent more time reading blogs than posting my own stuff. I am leaving Tuesday and will be gone for the rest of the week. (Hoping that one or both of the seminaries I am visting will give me some perspective. Maybe that's why I don't have anything to say...)

These blogs I enjoy reading on a semi-regular basis. (And they all pretty regular in their posting, which is nice.) Hope you enjoy as well:

On Worship:
Worship Matters
Eric Coomer
Common Saints

On the Emerging Church Movement:
The Oooze


Other Good Stuff on the Church:
Growing Edge Buzz
Every Thought Captive
The Merge
the church and postmodern culture: conversation

Miscellaneous
Heavenly Heartburn
An Eye for Redemption

In other random thoughts: why are most bloggers men? I have yet to finda great blog by a woman. Weird.

...Although I do sometimes find
this one amusing.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I'm a Dead Poet...okay, not really


You are Arthur Rimbaud - a vital, cannon-changing poet with a flare for tantrums. You tend to write in a fever, and have a liking for the disordered mind. Do't expect people to understand you, for you are ahead of your time.
Take this quiz!








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Monday, September 18, 2006

Choices

America is the culture of overchoice. When faced with what should be a simple decision, the amount of time we spending weighing the pros and cons of each option is rarely worth the ulcer we got in the meantime.

Tall or grande? Non-fat or low fat? Quality or quantity? Chicken or fish? DSL or Wireless? Mac or PC? (don't even think of saying PC) Digital cable or satellite? Destktop or laptop?

Having so many choice to make in our everyday lives can make us feel entitled to having just as many choices with the major decisions in our life. I guess there is nothing wrong with having so many choices in those major decisions, but for me it often serves nothing more as an excuse to put the decision off.

I am looking at five different schools right now. I'll be visiting two next week - one in KC and the other in St. Louis. Neither I'm that excited about, because the other two have the better degrees I want. But they are far, far way from home. So I have a choice: What will make me happier? Being only four hours away from my friends and family while I go to seminary or move to Virginia to go to school that has a great degree and comes highly recommended by someone I admire the most in this world?

Overchoice. It's not a bad thing. But is it really a good thing?

Ten years ago (almost to the day) I read this passage in 2 Peter:

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (v. 5-8)

From that point on, I knew that God's will for my life wasn't always going to be something specific and concrete. I understood that God's will for my life was to add to my faith goodness, to goodness, knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness and to that kindness, love.

These attributes will help me make the big and small choices in my life, but more importantly, they will help me enjoy the journey that I'm on right now.

I am blessed to have these choices. Not many do. So why am I whining? Because I have the option to. Sad, really.

What I'm listening to: Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars

Sunday, September 17, 2006

God determines who walks into your life....it's up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Wish You Were Here

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail? A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change? And did you exchange
a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl,
year after year,
running over the same old ground.
What have we found?
The same old fears,
wish you were here.


I'm sad.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

EFCA Statement of Faith

My denomination is going through the process of revising the Statement of Faith. As with anything in the church, it's been a long and complicated process, with everyone putting their two cents in about the first and second drafts changes they've made thus far. Click here if you'd like to see more of this discussion happening online.

#1 Statement in the current SOF:

We Believe:
The Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men and the Divine and final authority for Christian faith and life.

_______________________________________________

Here is the proposed revision:

We Believe:

1. God's gospel originate in and demonstrates the holy love of the eternal, triune God -

We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three uqually divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This one God, all-knowing and all-powerful, has, in love and grace, purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to restore His fallen creation for His own glory.

_______________________________________________


Aside from the ridicules amount of appositives in that statement, I am very happy to see the first point of our SOF is now about God, not just the scriptures.

The term "Evangelical" means "based on the scriptures". We are a denomination that belive the Bible is the perfect Word of God and we teach as such. Obviously it's a very important part of who we are.

I attended a District meeting a while back after the second revision was released. It was a open forum for discussion for the changes... so I knew what I was potentially get myself into. It just so happens I sat next to a very angry, passionate and high-spirited pastor who had no problems communicating how much he hated the switch. "With God's Word we are nothing." to which I replied, "Without God, we are nothing."

For me, placing our statement about the triune God first was a logical and smart move on behalf of the committee. But for some reason, there were men in the room who felt moving it made our belief in the Word less than should be. Huh? If we took it out, sure. If the wording was altered to mean as such, absolutely. But just changing it from #1 to #2? I don't get this man's arguement.

But this whole SOF discussion doesn't even get really interesting until we discuss the changes to #11.

We believe - In the personal and premillennial and imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and that this "Blessed Hope" has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer. Yeah, I know.

But that's a post for another time.

What I'm listening to:
Jake Coco. Mmmm...

5 Things

The 5-things-in-various-places survey

5 Items in my Fridge:
1. Diet Dr. Pepper
2. Cream Cheese
4. Lettuce
5. 2 eye gel masks

5 Items in my Closet:
1. A dresser
2. My laundry basket
3. Empty shoe boxes
4. Shoes (duh)
5. Hangers (duh)

5 Items in my Car:
1. Cds, Cds, Cds
2. Lotion
3. A cute little red flashlight
4. Headset for my cell phone
5. Music books

5 Items in my Purse:
1. Wallet, checkbook combo
2. 2 Tubes of chapstick, 1 lipgloss and two tubes of lipstick. (I know...)
3. Cell phone
4. Pens
5. Keys

5 Items on my Desk:
1. Lamp
2. Pencil cup holder
3. Papers, bills, etc
4. Computer
5. Assorted Cds

5 Items in my Bathroom Vanity:
1. "Creative Genuis" hair gel
2. "Lucky" perfume
3. Lemon flavored toothpaste
4. Home-made soap my friend Dixie's mother made
5. Nailpolish

Monday, September 04, 2006

Boundaries - Part 2

A little over a week ago I made brief mention of Saddleback Church's new rules for maintaining moral integrity. Part 1.

Perhaps the 15 rules set by Saddleback really is about removing temptation from the staff, and if so, you got to do what you got to do. If it's needed for their church, I'm glad something's being done. My main concern is that this list is somehow about what people's perception may be about the interactions mentioned in this list.

Perception. It sometimes becomes synonymous with the word gossip.

A while back a Sunday school teacher I knew was asked to step down from her position. (No, it wasn't the famous one). She was asked to step down because some people in the community saw her playing golf with a man who was not her husband. She and her husband are separated (and were at the time all this happened) and a rumor began that she was cheating on him. The only foundation for the rumor was the golfing incident.

This Sunday school teach had a right to be hurt. She did not broadcast her marriage problems to everyone - only her close friends knew what she was going through and it was this: her husband left her. On three separate occasions previous to this. This Sunday school teacher has a strong personality - and I felt it was the reason the target was placed on her back instead of her husband's. She spoke her mind, she had an opinion about things, she was wild as a teenager and she never kept that a secret. In fact, is was a joy for her to share how God redeemed her from the out-of-control drinking and disrespect she showed her parents, along with several other things.

I will not go into any more details about what the church leadership did what and how things are for her at the church. But I will say this again: perception often turns to gossip.

People look for the sin in others to make them feel better about themselves (I know I do sometimes). But perception is not always truth, and to pass it off as such is wrong.

It feels good, doesn't it? To tell another a juicy piece of gossip about someone else that makes your own sin seem tiny in comparison Well, yeah, I sinned. But look what she did. It was so much worse! Gossip about others makes us feel better, plain and simple. That's why it's done so often.

We all make many mistakes, but those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way. We can make a large horse turn around and go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong. So also, the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself...Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! -James 3:2-6, 9-10

Boundaries exist for a reason. Without them, lives are ruined - whether by perception of an sinful act or the actual sin. If we would only seek approval from God and not others, perhaps our perception would shift from others to the truth. Maybe we'd work more on fixing ourselves rather than judging others. I believe God would be honored by that.