Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A Baby

...is on the way...

The big news!!! Aubrey is 11 weeks and 2 days pregnant.

We've had some scary moments, but acc. to the doctor we're doing well. We've had a couple ultrasounds, and we'll get the pics up soon. Right now the baby looks a little more like an alien, with a head the size of the rest of the body (also a little more like daddy...who has a large noggin).

So look for more updates!

Christianity Rediscovered Chapter 8

I hope everybody had a dandy Memorial Day and such.

And now, thoughts on Chapter 8 of the book. Unfortunately I have misplaced my book in the past couple days, so I don't have it to reference it. But I will find it before the day is done and post the beloved comments.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Good Conversations


focusing on these questions:

What do we all have in common that keeps Christianity alive?
What does it mean to be a practicing community of faith?
What are the basics of Christian practice that we have forgotten?
How can we truly change the church to embrace our diversity and bridge our differences?

my friend brian pointed me here.

also friend from college just discovered on blogosphere. mr. swaim. good kid, he is.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

More old language for ya

hit the maples: to bowl

cunctatious: addicted to delaying; prone to delay

jargoneer: a person who coins words in some field; a person who delights in using the particular language of some occupation or sport.

cow's thumb: done to a cow's thumb, done exactly.

trigamy: the act or state of having three wives or three husbands at the same time. In the ancient church this was only allowed to such as had no children by their former marriages.

juniority: the state of being junior

So I'd like to see some sentences from these bad boys...

stram: any sudden, loud and quick sound; so to stram the doors means to shut them with noise and violence. Hence, a bold and unexpected lie that greatly suprises the hearer is called a strammer, and hence also to strammer means to tell great and notorious lies.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Why I love my wife

So Aubrey and I were lounging around this morning, me drinking chai, she drinking orange juice. We were laughing and such and she brought forth a story I had heard her tell before, but had forgotten...it's definitely worth a retelling here.

Once when Aubrey was like 5, her parents wanted to take her to the circus. So they told her, "Aubrey, we're going to take you to the Greatest Show on Earth!"

Her eyes got wide. And her mouth dropped open.

"Do you know what the greatest show on earth is?" they asked her.

"Of course," she said. "It's when Jesus got put on the cross for our sins."

"Oh," said her mother thoughtfully. "Then do you know what the second greatest show on earth is?"

I think this story shows, while slightly cheesy, how well her parents had impressed upon her the story and love of God. It just oozed out of her.

And that's one of the reasons I love her.

Why Middle School Ministry is so great

Even though I was hired to be a middle school pastor when I first came to my church, I sometimes have doubts about the ministry and my role in it. The doubts have mostly to do with my lack of patience at times, than anything else. But recently I've had an upsurge (if that's a word) of passion for that area of ministry...and two stories surfaced last night that add to why I think middle school ministry is so great.

Question #1
We have a student, who I will call "micheal", who has a bad family history. Used to live in Florida, now living with grandparents here. Sometimes he is a little hard to control. Dad's not reliable (hard to be when you're in jail). So, the other night, at the beginning of our regular time micheal comes in with a most serious look on his face and says, "Josh, I need to talk to you sometime tonight." Since we were getting ready to start, I said we'd need to chat afterwards. We did all the stuff middle school ministry is so great at, stupid games, praying for each other, object lesson and discussion. Afterward, I had forgotten about micheal, and he came up to me...

So, we went to the side of things where we wouldn't be interupted by bouncing balls or frolicking girls. He looks at me imploringly and then looks to his right and left and back to me. "Where did God come from, Josh?"

here this whole time I thought he was going to talk to me about something going on at home, something about him having to be with his dad or something. I have never been asked this question with such earnestness and honesty. it had always been posed to me as some smart aleck response or some theoretical question in philosophy class. But here it was, being posed to me by an honest scrawny middle schooler, like his life depended on it.

Question #2 and 3
This story comes from Aubrey's group, where they were discussing Romans 12:1, which talks about offering your life as a living sacrifice to God. We were trying to talk about how God changes us and how we have to offer ourselves to him in order for that to happen. But in the middle of the discussion the kid asks, "So, does this mean I am supposed to commit suicide for God?"

"Well, no..." says Aubrey. "that's not exactly what the writer is trying to say. but it's kind of that way. we must kill the old self in order for God to bring out his newness in us."

"Why was the Bible written so we can't understand it?"

Ah, how I love the earnestness of middle school students and how I love how they take things literally and ask honest and unguarded questions.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Movie Consumption Weekend

So Aubrey and I had quite a relaxing weekend. In the relaxation we partook in three movies (all rented), which is quite a feat for us.

Friday Night: Munich

Wow. Powerful look at the toll that terrorism takes on all sides of the equation. If you're gonna watch this, I recommend that you watch Paradise Now as well. And the story is told well.

Saturday Night: Everything is Illuminated

Aubrey and I laughed and cried our hearts out in this one. Not funny like Dumb and Dumber or Black Sheep and not sappy like the Wedding Planner, but a witty account of cultures colliding. Let's put it this way, one of the main characters is a Ukranian who loves Micheal Jackson and is an English translator for an American Jew looking for a woman who saved his grandfather's life.

Sunday Afternoon: Corpse Bride

This was mostly pleasurable...all of it is clay animation, which is quite impressive. And there is some witty banter in this as well. Slightly dark, but showing that there is light even in the darkest places.

Graduation Celebrations!

Aubrey Kleinfeld now may be referred to as "Aubrey Kleinfeld, MS".

Aubrey graduated from Shippensburg University this weekend. I'm so proud of her for all she's done. She gets the best reviews from her professors and clients...and her husband.

Her parents and our good friends, Nate and Andrea came up for the day and celebrated with us!

Now for the doctorate...

Friday, May 12, 2006

Christianity Rediscovered Chapter 7

And now, chapter 7. We get to see what happens to the people after they have decided to follow Christ as a community.

It's a long chapter and well worth the read. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Brian Mclaren on the Code

Here's a good article/interview with Mclaren's thoughts on the upcoming film, Da Vinci Code.

I really like this question that he poses: "We need to ask ourselves why the vision of Jesus hinted at in Dan Brown's book is more interesting, attractive, and intriguing to these people than the standard vision of Jesus they hear about in church."

Check out the article at SoJourners Online Journal. You might have to give them your email, but it's worth the read.

Christianity Rediscovered Chapter 6

And so begins the journey into chapter 6.

I think this book is getting better and better.

Let's see what you think!

Monday, May 08, 2006


So this weekend was good and not good. Good in that it was full of activities, not good in that Aubrey was away on retreat.

Friday night, went to Rescue Mission, to serve with teens. Great time. Kids really serving the men and women at the mission.

Saturday, birthday party, soccer game, Saturday night church (where the Andrew Porter spoke).

Sunday, Aubrey returns home. We go to a party with her friends from Shippensburg. That turned out to be a great time. Was a little nervous, just because I didn't know any of them, but we connected well. Had a round of tetherball, which isn't the easiest game out there, but fun to watch. Actually got slammed in the face with the tetherball. how fun, with a bunch of peeps I didn't know.

Aubrey got great reviews from the weekend...she did a session at the retreat, and people told me and her that she was great. I think she's great.

Also, check out the most recent sermon by Rob Bell. Check out Enough Dirt for Your Mule.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


So, I go to Borders with some friends from the youth group every other Thursday. Always great conversations with these two guys...

Brought up being "open-minded". One guy is from a catholic background and the other guy is straight Nazbo. So, one friend is extremely open to new ideas and people from different backgrounds, but the Nazbo has a harder time. So we got into a discussion about listening to other people's ideas and worldviews...and my catholic friend is all about being open-minded, but hates people who aren't open-minded.

So we worked through the logic of open-mindedness, and how it falls short in being like Christ. Because open-mindedness is never truly open-minded to all things. There are always stops on it. There's always a limit.

But is there something that we don't have a limit to? What about love? When we look at the Text, we find that love is something that abounds, it's always available.

So if Jesus was giving a Sermon on the Mount today, I think he might say something like this..."You have heard it said, 'be open-minded to all ideas and people', but I tell you, be open-hearted to all people, because our God loves all people beyond their imagination."

Friday, May 05, 2006

Couple Things

So, Aubs and I had a bunch of friends over from her Messiah work place. So cool it was. Good food, good laughs.

Interesting that most of the people there are getting ready to transition into new jobs and new locations in the next year, except we were all in our mid to late 20's. You'd expect to be with a bunch of people in transition when in college...so it was an odd remembrance of the past...but I'm wondering if our age group is going to carry transition with it through the rest of life.

Today...been listening to Pagitt podcast. Interesting dialogue with Doug Pagitt and Bob DeWaay about the emergent church.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Christianity Rediscovered Chapter 5

and now chapter 5.

Donovan really kicks it into gear for this one.

What are your thoughts on this chapter?

Thanks for all your thoughts.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Christianity Rediscovered Chapter 4

And we come to the fourth chapter.

I read this chapter in my car, while waiting at a friend's baby dedication party. I had the sunroof open and thus I got a weird sunburn line on my arm. Ah the perils of reading.

I think he closes some of the open ends he created in the last chapter, but opens some more for us to explore.

what do you all think?

Fun with Aged Vocab

So, for Christmas I got Aubrey a forgotten english calendar, which has a forgotten english word for every day of the year. Aubs and I have had a great time with it and have gotten many laughs.

So here are some of the words with their definitions.

pluvial: pertaining to rain; rainy

shumpgullion: a glutton

lunting: walking and smoking a pipe

novitious: newly invented

scroggins: an interjection used to express astonishment

The real challenge will be to use these somehow in a regular conversation, or to put them all in the same paragraph.