Monday, October 29, 2007

Weekly Prayer

Proper 25 The Sunday closest to October 26

Almighty and everlasting God, give unto us the increase of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain that which thou dost promise, make us to love that which thou dost command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

Fascinating implications for youth ministry


I had to read this book for a seminary class I am in. It's a pretty good book on leadership within the pastoral realm. Interesting concept of the pastor as a producer of culture within the congregation and thus within the community that the congregation finds itself in. Most of the comments are based on a survey Carroll and his crew Pulpit and Pew conducted of clergy from around the United States of America.

What I found interesting is this:

Of the pastors polled: 71% were involved in youth ministry at 16, and 60% of them were in leadership positions in a youth ministry at 16. (247)

Carroll talks about developing a "culture of calling" where the church intentionally fosters the universal call of all Christians to live out the Christ-life, while at the same time fostering the "secret call" (as called by Reinhold Neibuhr) among the people of the congregation.

I'm not sure if these findings give verity to my profession as a youth pastor, but they certainly do cause me to sit and ponder how I can continue to develop this culture intentionally.

[EDIT] If this many were involved in a youth ministry, I wonder how many keep with them the format/ecclesiology that so many youth ministries have: separate from the rest of the church.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Family Visits

Grandma and Cade reading. You can tell Cade is quite excited!
Nana and Cade at the park. I love this one.
This is Cade's favorite book right now: "My Heart Purse"
Cade and Auntie Susie on top of the slide!

Two weeks ago, we were blessed to have family in our house for almost a week straight. Here are some pics from our time together.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Weekly Prayer

Proper 24

Almighty and everlasting God, who in Christ hast revealed thy glory among the nations: Preserve the works of thy mercy, that thy Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of thy Name; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Too good to pass up

This is a freestyle moustache (pronounced moo-stah-che).
For more fun, check out the World Beard and Moustache Championship.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Together

Some ponderings from my Theology of Church and Ministry notes.

I've been asked before "How is your relationship with God?" Usually it causes me to ponder and reflect, finding those places of joy and sources of sorrow. Sometimes I've used the question with teens. The usual response is, "Um, good, I think." Okay. Good. What's that mean?

Anyway, I've been thinking about the question and wondering if it can be asked in this way, "How is our relationship with God?" or "How is your family's relationship with God?" Is it possible to relate to God together? If so, what does this look like? Is it only on Sunday morning or through Bible Study or serving?

When Christianity has primarily been viewed through the individualistic lens of "my relationship with God", it is important that we ask further questions, guiding us to examine how "we" are relating to God together. I know this, but I'm wrestling with what it looks like.
So, I've just typed about 13 sentences. Incoherent they seem to me now that I look over them, but I wanted to see what my ten readers think.
How do we relate to God together? Is it possible to evaluate/measure/picture a community's relationship with God?

Remedy by David Crowder Band is High Quality!


Monday, October 08, 2007

Why Did God Not Teleport the Israelites? or "Beam me Up, Scotty"

So, if God could bring all the Israelites through the Red Sea on dry ground, could bring water out of rocks, bread out of the sky, frogs covering everything, could he not transport the Israelites directly from Egypt to Canaan? He seemed to have divinely transported Philip in Acts. Why not just skip the whole desert wanderings?

There is something about the journey that happened to the Israelites. Obviously they received the law from God on Mt. Sinai, but their identity was shaped by their moments in the desert. In Jeremiah 2, God compares the time in the desert to a honeymoon. Some honeymoon! But think about how God lavished his love on Israel, pouring forth miracle after miracle. Think about the dependence Israel showed to Him.

There is a strange desire within us to "just get through this" as if what lies on the other side will bring us our greatest contentment (think the weekend, release of a new movie, finishing of a large project). But what if "this" is exactly where God wants us? What if "this" is where God wants to lavish himself on us?

Weekly Prayer

Proper 22

Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready tohear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Weekly Prayer

Proper 21

O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Ah spoons and independence

video

Our baby is on her way to independence.

I think if she were to put a post on here it'd be something like this:

Well, my parents finally let me feed myself today. They're still scooping for me, but I'm putting the spoon in my mouth on my own. Soon I'll be working with Rachel Ray!

I love to read. But actually, I love it when my parents read to me. And I love to turn the pages before they're done and then turn back to the page where we were once they start the next page. It gets them confused. And even better are the books that have thick pages. Oh, I love to get my tiny little fingers on those. But best of all, the best books are the ones I get to put in my mouth. Mmm.