Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Advent Thoughts pt.1

I know I have missed a few days of the Advent season already but I am going to try to post some thoughts based on the lectionary readings for this season of Advent. The Psalter reading included 119:18

Open my eyes to see
      the wonderful truths in your instructions.

Perhaps our prayers this season should be focused on asking God to open our eyes to see the Christ-child in a new light this year. I'm sure we need to ask to see others around us in a new light as well.  

The Essentials of Christianity

1 Corinthians 15

The Resurrection of Christ
 1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.  3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,

Thoughts on the Church from Fosdick

And still, at its best, the church proclaims a living gospel which this huge, noisy, violent world critically needs. Granted the glaring faults of the church, the living gospel is too much alive for any church's failures utterly to deaden it. Despite our deficiencies, still in our churches at their best, lives are transformed, character is built, courage is renewed, faith is strengthened, ideals of personal and social conduct which else would die are kept alive, public-spirited devotion is engendered, and God's kingdom of righteousness on earth is made a living hope. (77-78)

Indeed, the God ordained vessel for which the work of the kingdom is to come to completion is a church empowered by the Holy Spirit and intently focused on the call of Christ to go make disciples. Without the church in our communities and our lives we would be missing not just a major force for change and good but the very instrument which the gospel can be confessed and proclaimed. We need the church now more than ever in spite of it's many faults and failures. I have had several conversations recently with people who have been hurt by the church...dare I say there is anyone who hasn't been hurt by the church or someone in the church in some shape, form, or fashion? Yet the church is also the place that we find healing and wholeness, grace and love, mercy and compassion and most of all new beginnings.

Ah, Church of Christ, the proclamation of such faith is your task today. You fritter away your strength on trivial sectarianisms. You insult the intelligent and alienate the serious with petty dogmatisms that do not matter. You fiddle trifling tunes while the world burns. But back of all that, still the glory of the true church within the church, is a message without which mankind is doomed. If you really believe the Christian gospel--God behind us, his cause committed to us, his power available for us--then proclaim it, live it, implement it, for humanity's hope depends upon it. It is indeed, a faith for tough times. (124) Emphasis added

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fosdick on Faith

Harry Emerson Fosdick, was a key figure in the religious life of America in the mid 1900s. He was a polarizing force in that he adamantly combated the fundamentalists that had risen up in response to the cresting tide of theological Liberalism, yet he later in life criticized many of the shortcomings of Liberalism and embraced a form of Neo-Orthodoxy.

I have always heard or read his name either in high regard or complete contempt. Having never read anything by him I chose a book that has been on my shelf for years to read entitled A Faith for Tough Times. Fosdick was definitely someone who marched to his own beat not giving a care as to what others may think. Still in the book I found some nuggets of wisdom and insight.

Here is one:
When on undertakes to find the permanent in this transitory world one naturally turns to huge things, powerful things, which ostentatiously loom large and dominate the scene. But the Christian faith lights on an obscure Galilean, whose family thought him demented, whose church thought him a heretic and excommunicated him, whose friends thought him a failure and disowned him, whose nation thought him a traitor and crucified him. (40-41)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Pics

Why the Church and Seminaries Need to be Linked

Challenging thoughts for the future of ministry and ministry training as the more and more churches are shifting their view of seminary and more and more seminaries are continuing to be bent towards the needs of the academy.
Church & Culture Blog | Church and Culture

Good Thoughts for Anyone Starting Something New

I have found that in trying to promote events like concerts with musicians who don't have big ticket appeal that rarely will people come to something for the sake of being a part of art or the community that supports the arts. Interestingly enough, I have been asking similar questions as it pertains to new ventures in ministry that are just around the corner for us.
Seth's Blog: Who comes on opening night?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Friends Thanksgiving

The TV show Friends has some of the funniest moments in Thanksgiving history!

Friends Spending the Night

Claire had a friend spend the night last night...kind of a new thing for us as parents. Of course they were perfect and well behaved. They even let Charlotte play with them some too! The entire concept is something I didn't do a lot as a kid growing up but Cyd had a completely different experience. She had friends who spent the weekend not just the night, a totally foreign concept to me. I guess with two girls we have many, many more nights of excited little girls spending the night at each others' houses.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quoteable Quotes

There is nothing mightier or nobler than when man and wife are of one heart and mind in a house. 

I am incurably convinced that the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.
G.K. Chesterton

Passing of Larry Munson

There aren't many like Larry Munson in college football!

Thankful for Jesus

Cling to the crucified
Jesus the Lamb who died
Cling to the crucified
Jesus the King

Taken from Cling to the Crucified Indelible Grace Music

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Quoteable Quotes Series

Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn.
     John Wesley

Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate.
     G.K. Chesterton

Pray in the Spirit at all times.
      The Apostle Paul

Monday, November 14, 2011

Love like Jesus, Live like Luke

It's been 1 year since an incredible young man's life had an even greater ripple effect than we could ever imagine. I think of you often, especially when I walk by the supply closet on the youth floor. You put this sticker up probably the first year I was here, never noticed it until a year ago. Love you buddy!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Things I Love About Fall in South GA

1. Fields of white aka cotton fields just before harvest
2. Crisp mornings taking the kids to school
3. The smell of freshly pulled peanuts
4. College football
5. A cup of coffee
6. Being able to wear a skull cap and not look ridiculous
7. The anticipation of family gatherings for the holidays
8. Good books
9. Conversations with friends
10. Stealing away for moments together with my "10" of wife!

Seth's Blog

There's nothing wrong with having a plan

Plans are great.
But missions are better. Missions survive when plans fail, and plans almost always fail.