Friday, March 30, 2007

spring is here!

Well, spring is on it's way. Cadence's expression here is how I feel about it!

Friday, March 23, 2007

What I miss the most...

So, I'm away at Festival of Life with our teens. Our first night was great.

But I tell you what I miss...I miss these two ladies above. That Cadence is getting more irresistible every day. That Aubrey is getting more beautiful every week.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Ah Friends

So my good friends, Nate and Sam joined Aubrey, Cadence and me for the weekend. It's good to have friends like these. Here's a pic of us on our way for some good ole' downhill sledding

Thursday, March 15, 2007

What needs to burn?

I've been thinking about the Jewish sacrifical system and what it has to say to my life today. There are the conclusions that are often told like, "is your all on the altar?" or "we need to give our best to God".

But one that's been sticking in my spirit is how the sacrificial system connected the temporal things with eternal things. There was a unity of things that will last and those things that will last forever.

A sacrifice was always something important to the person making the sacrifice. It was something like grain or goats, things that were needed for sustenance and survival and and even for defining status. But as they were burning, they couldn't be used for any of those. By making the sacrifice, the person showed who really provides and defines sustenance, survival and status.

So I've asked myself. What in me needs to burn? What in my theology am I relying on for survival?

And this may be an extension of the previous conversation? What in our American theology and practice needs to burn in order for us to connect more fully to the heart of God?

For me, the first thing that pops into my head is busyness, the desire to always have something to do. Doing things isn't bad. But when doing the things becomes the object...something's gotta burn.

Another is the inclination to create an "us vs. them" attitude. Yes, there are differences, but there is also sameness. What needs to burn there?

Just more thoughts and questions...

[Edit] A funny photo sent by Tim Miller of one of his professors, Dr. Stone.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Does Theology Evolve?

That's it. It's a question with many implications. I'm asking in part because of my participation in a class that covers the "distinctive" doctrine of my denomination. I'm asking because I am wondering if our "distinctive doctrine" following John Wesley is a part of the evolution of theology. And if it is, are we called to stick to what Wesley said or to carry on what he continued, the evolution of theology?

Before I die...

In a paper for my pastoral counseling class at NTS I was asked how I will evaluate success in ministry/life. Since I was typing it last minute I did not get to really reflect on the whole thing and thought this would be a good space to do that.

Here are the questions I put in my paper. I'm willing to change the questions. These came to me with 40 minutes left to write the paper. Some of them are tailored specifically for my needs (and how ADD I am), others are general.
  1. Did I listen for God’s voice rather than letting my own thoughts and concerns govern whether or not I ministered to others?
  2. Did I love people as God loves them? Meaning, was I present with them? Did I see them with all the dignity that he does?
  3. Did I seek to grow in all the ways God revealed to me?
  4. Did I encourage others with grace to grow the way God revealed to them?
  5. Did the use of my authority encourage growth in God, or did it push others away from God?
  6. Did I find ways to involve others in the leadership of the church?

I'm curious to see what other questions people are asking themselves.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Rob Bell and Ben Witherington

So Doug connected me to a post by Ben Witherington, New Testament scholar at Asbury Seminary. In this post, Dr. Witherington, a generous and in-touch scholar, recognizes the positive influence Rob Bell, pastor at Mars Hill in Michigan, is having on our world today. But he also provides a good critique of Rob's understanding of the Jewish world in Jesus' day. To sum it up, he suggests that Rob's understanding of the Jewish context is taken from a time a few years after Jesus was around.


My friend Brad directed me to a quality conversation about Rob Bell's book Velvet Elvis on John Smulo's blog. Good follow up stuff.

Baby Loving

So, I'm pretty much taken by this baby of ours. Right now I am trying to work on my homework, but she is sitting in front of Aubrey and I in her little chair. And she is making the best faces in the world and just laughing her heart out. No reason at all. She's just laughing and smiling and cooing. Just because.

And she's making Aubrey and I just laugh and laugh and laugh.



The heart of the father.