Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Prayer may reshape your brain...hmmm

"The more you focus on something ? whether that's math or auto racing or football or God ? the more that becomes your reality, the more it becomes written into the neural connections of your brain," Newberg says.

This may sound obvious, but read the article for more.

Check out the rest of this article here:

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What Jesus Thought of Humanity

?In all Jesus? contacts with people never did He show a condescending attitude or think of man as ?mere man.? To him they all seemed savable. His deep respect for each person no matter who he might be, how evil he might be, what his response was to Jesus, did not show a hint of a ?superior complex.? The very anger He displayed toward some, the whip He wiled in the Temple, all said in effect, ?You are My equal. My anger shows My respect for you. Now, be the man you can be and ought to be.? He never forced himself on anyone. He did not call any man to Him under false pretenses?promising an easier yoke than would be the case. He called men to die with Him. He tried to push back all self-deception and faced men with what they were in themselves. He made people think for themselves?and think honestly. All this is Jesus? estimate of man.?

Mildred Bangs Wynkoop A Theology of Love 128.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Salvation: Deliverance, Restoration, Recovery

Wesley's definition of salvation: "not barely, according to the vulgar notion, deliverance from hell, or going to heaven; but a present deliverance from sin, a restoration of the soul to its primitive health, its original purity; a recovery of the divine nature; the renewal of our souls after the image of God, in righteousness and true holiness, in justice, mercy, and truth."

From his "A Farther Appeal to Men of Reason and Religion" Works 8:47

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Go there

This is a blog post from a word document. I'm just trying it out.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Facial Reactions

Here's an interesting study done that shows that people have the same physical reaction to morally and physically disgusting things.

What does it say that our faces react the same way?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Holy, Holy, Holy

It is "holy, holy, holy" that the angels shout -- not "loving, loving, loving."

Certainly he is loving, but it is a dangerous love. The kind that breaks the bow and shatters the spear. Yes, John said "God is love," but he is also perfect and just.

To stand in awe of him is to recognize his holiness in all its glory -- spiky, gentle, strong and sturdy.

Friday, January 30, 2009

check out the funny dance moves!

Check out the new kids movement in the middle. Silly bizilly!

A call for order

“Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work.”
Gustave Flaubert

I would adjust this and say:

"Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be loving and original in your work."

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Crazy Climbing Catfish!

Discovery Channel finding crazy animals.

These are the kind of animals you want to tell your middle school friends about.
(image from here)
And probably a great animal to include in a wacky list of created animals (which should also include Llamas, platypus, poison dart frogs, sloths, electric eels, and hammerhead sharks).

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What do you think?

The Evangelical World is Going to Collapse in the Next Ten Years.

Got the link from Andrew Jones...

Long read, but interesting predictions about the implications of rising secularism in our world.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Master of Molecules

He’s the…
Master of Molecules
Igniter of Fireflies
Designer of Romance
Scooper of Valleys
Stacker of Mountains
Scatterer of Stars
Inventor of Inventors
Flattener of the Plains
Spinner of planets
Former of hearts

He’s the…
Painter of the skies
Planter of Redwoods
Source of beauty
Stretcher of giraffe necks
Sharpener of Shark Teeth

He’s the…
Instigator of Love
Imaginator of Imaginations
Architect of Snowflakes
Hanger of Holly Berries
Thrower of Lightening Bolts
Conductor of Electricity

He’s the…
Originator of airwaves
Organizer of color spectrum
Orderer of the seasons
Shaper of human desires
Constructor of butterfly wings
Infuser of Laughter
Weaver of fields
Author of reality

He's the...
Writer of the song of life
Creator of all things
Composer of roses
Blacksmith of volcanoes

He's the...
Engineer of waterfalls
Poet of the heavens
Playwright of the earth
Maker of protons
Initiator of electrons
Director of ocean currents
Producer of gravity
Manufacturer of coffee beans
Multiplier of cells
Cultivator of scientific laws
Supply of solar energy
Cause of Cheesemaking

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Think about consumerism with a look at this video

Transformed Nonconformists

I'm in Kansas City for two weeks of modules at Nazarene Theological Seminary.

Last night (inaugaration night) we interupted our evening classes to celebrate MLK's birthday with Blue Hills Church of the Nazarene, a congregation made up of mostly African-American's, in an extended chapel service.

What a joy it was to be led by the Blue Hill's choir and worship team. Their passion for God is exhibited in their enthusiastic singing.

What will stick with me is a brief part of the sermon, when the preacher talked about being transformed nonconformists in following the pattern of Christ. He did not really dive into what that meant, but I thought those two words together provide an excellent way of expressing who we are as a community of Christ followers seeking to live up to Paul's call in Romans 12 to not conform to the patterns of the world but be transformed in our minds.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Some good posts from good friends

So my friend Doug who is a part of the Eikon community in Richmond has been on a posting frenzy of late, and in the middle of it all has posted some of his perspective on how younger evangelicals are affecting the evangelical landscape. Quality thoughts on politics and theology...

Check out his thoughts:
Post 1
Post 2
Post 3

My other friend (I only have two) Brian Hull has put up some insightful thoughts on Youth and Scripture.

Check out his thoughts on how to help today's youth engage and encounter God in scripture:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Good Eats

With my job I get to dine out quite a bit in efforts to connect with and encourage students and youth workers and other peeps. Yesterday I went to a place with Mike Hewitt that I had never heard of. It's a little fine dining restaurant in South York and is called Blue Heron. And I am going back.
If I had to write a brief review this is what I'd say:

Exquisitly Memorable--I can still remember the taste of my smoked salmon sandwich as if I am eating it today. Mmm mmm good.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Metaphors of Sin

(After another long dry spell, I have returned...for help...)

So, I'm doing a series for our weekly youth worship gatherings (Remix) on the narrative of scripture, pulling out the dominant themes and connecting them all in the life of Christ. I'm stealing McLaren's book title "The Story We Find Ourselves In" to help the students make meaning of their own lives in light of the overall narrative arc of scripture.

Of course, one may argue that there are multiple "arcs" within scripture, or that there are some competing views on which arc is correct (and true?). I'm using some stuff that Chris Folmsbee helped me understand at NYWC. The first three weeks are pretty basic: creation, fall, covenant. Each week we'll lay out who God is and who we are in light of that movement of the narrative, concluding with a creative/contemplative/active response.

Gravity and Sin
So as I'm preparing for the week on the fall I'm trying to think of different metaphors for brokenness and sin. I've played the dark theme quite a few times so I do not want to use that one again. As I was thinking of sin and the brokenness that it brings (both corporatly and individually) and how binding that brokenness is. Then I started wondering if gravity would be a good metaphor. Note that I am not talking about grativity in the sense of seriousness (like this book) but about the scientific law that keeps my chair on the ground.

What do you think?
Is this a good metaphor? Does it lack something? Every metaphor will obviously emphasis a few sides of what it is representing and underemphasize other sides. What does it underemphasize?

What metaphors have you found to be helpful for your own understanding of sin?