Friday, December 31, 2004
This is supposed to be a super introspective time and all, planing for the new year and making resolutions to break. But since I am on such a great vacation I haven't had a lot of time for quiet and introspection. A few years ago I would have felt guilty, Lord knows the old quiet times haven't been amazing, or daily. But these days I am much more relaxed and secure in my salvation and relationship with Jesus. I follow him, meaning I orient my life to do what he did and learn what he taught. It's not a set of practices that have to be kept (legalism rules, right), but it is my close friend, who creates a universe when he is bored. What a nut. And yes, I just called Jesus a nut...
So it's a new year and we're going to give this another whirl.
This year I hope to learn some real spiritual practices. Develpop a rule of life. Become even more mellow....or i will seem to those who look at me....they don't see the intense fire on the inside.
I'm out like 2004.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
I wonder if the emerging church will be missional or if the missional church will emerge. It's a little chicken and egg. It's also possibly limited. But it may be a way to know who is truly emergent and who is masked evangelicalism.
That is, I think one can test the emergence of any particular church/movement to see why it is emerging. Some possibilities may include: marketing, prosytltism, booming population, and missional posture.
Many churches will emerge. I think what needs to be said is that those which are emergent are missional in their reason for emerging.
I see missional as meaning relevantly engaging the world/culture and giving redemptive life away.
So, is a commercial ministry missional?
Is a Christian t-shirt missional?
Is James missional?
Are you missional?
If you aren't you die. Simple as that. You might look really alive. Really really alive.
But you and your religion are dead.
I also think I have a fear that I have offended people when I haven't talked to them in a long time. I think it's stupid. I think it's the devil. I got to beat that.
Where's the friggin monkeys?
I think the worst thing about me is my memory. I can't remember anything unless I read it or see it. Only things that go in the eyes gets remembered by old James. Drives me crazy. I go to a movie and forget what I am watching during the previews.
Monday, December 13, 2004
via Jonny Baker
This is a great daily site with online meditations and such in the form of an online advent calander. Much ups to the Episcopal Church, especially in comparison to the business model exhibited in my conference's website. When we were kids we used to get these with little chocolates in them. This version has a stained glass with different pieces having numbers on them.
Each meditation has a modern day icon, an opportunity for giving, a written meditation and links to the daily office.
Today's meditation contains the above picture of Joseph from a Russian nativity scene. I love how the internet is being used to help me become more spiritual. To think all that porn technology is helping people follow Jesus.
Eat it Satan.
Friday, December 10, 2004
So, those fantastic episcopals, with their homosexual ducks in northeast GA (another story), have a really cool online gallery of pictures of the parables. It's another great way to use art to connect you to the revolution.
So, here's the picture that got me hooked:
And there is a whole gallery of them that will help people have proper reflection in the Christmas season. It's all pictures of Mary that will help you to think through what she expereinced in order to give mankind their Savior.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Also - this is a website for a kid who was in the first youth group I ever volunteered with. Great kid, although he is 20something now.
Anyways - you can enjoy some music and such from the great white north.
Monday, December 06, 2004
We had just a great neXus last night. A great group and did some Sacred Reading, I think it may have been the first time for everyone in the room, but Heather and I....but most people were sharing and all.
I tried doing some in small groups and had never done that - so it was pretty exciting...even though the focus was lost for a bit! I really enjoyed it though.
Just regular spirituality and community.
We got him a drum set that I'm sure our neighbors will come to love over the coming years.
He had a great time and had a bunch of little people running around our house with him.
Had an overnight retreat (advance!?) with the students in the invert program - it was all about exploring Jesus and his life on earth. Spent time in a mall, praying at 4 am, in a cemetary,at a bock dock, chasing a Santa parade.
It was a great weekend with a lot of growth.
And my team dominated the Cranium game!
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
It's like the message, or the NCV, but a step further. The coolest part is that he says revelation sounds like John was on drugs. That is so true...
Bruce Mau, center for massive change, was on Charlie Rose last night, but I went to bed b/c the questions were boring.
I will likely go out and get his book though, mostly because he uses the word manifesto in the title.
Many posts are going to have to be done in order to keep up from the NYWC and the expansion of me that went on there - so...
Sunday, November 21, 2004
In a nice, holy kind of way.
I'm at the National Youth Worker's Convention (a YS product!) and I can't get through a single theory session without hearing about postmodernism (henceforth referred to as poshizzle). The problem I have is that most of the mentions are talking about the fad that comes after seeker-sensitive (henceforth reffered to as la grand crapola - who's not a seeker).
I use the term in the sense of what comes after the last FIVE HUNDRED years of th development of the modernist system. It's not a fad - it is where I live.
I went to a reimagining youth ministry forum - dang - there's a lot of YP's who don't have their poshizzle together. A lot of the stuff that they suggested I already believe and practice. Not that I am the next DF, but I ain't no joke.
Alright - also - if you are a student reading this, comment on what you thought of the last Wednesday night - i'D LOVE TO see some reflections to match with
Live from ATL - James <><
Monday, November 15, 2004
I somehow got a pre-release copy of a Leonard Sweet book. I copied it to word and printed it, I don't know how I got it - it seems to be a rought draft of an entire book! It is a book on leadership that examines Ernest Shackleton on his expeditions to and around the Antarctic. He seems to have been an inspiring and brave leader, whose story has much to teach leaders today. If you hate to read, you can pick up the movie, Endurance.
From what I can tell it's the book Summoned to Lead, which you can buy at Wal-Mart by clicking on the title link. This is the first Sweet book I have ever read and have since purchased another, Aqua Church, but it's a little down on my list.
Here are the interesting quotes from this rough draft of this book.
"the words 'ear' and 'wisdom' are the same in Sumerian."
"In postmodern culture ther is a new respect for 'losers' and 'successful failures' --those who didn't quite achieve their dreams, but generated a story in the quest."
"One of the reasons Shackleton 'failed' was because relationships were more important to him than achievement, colleagues more important than conquests and campaigns."
"Every person decides whether to leave footprints that will last beyond a lifetime, or that will sink in the sands of time."
"You don't lead. no one does. You only exercise leadership."
"The voice of a leader communicates truth beyond words, turth that sometimes goes beyond even the comprehension of leaders themselves. Leaders are those for whom voice- even more than words - is a way of life."
"You fight until hell freezes over. Then you fight on the ice." -Quoting US Senator Richard Russell
"perhaps sometimes it is best to be blind, so one can see the way things really are, and not be blinded by the way they look." -Quoting William Wharton
"Hire attitude and aptitude. Train for skill."
"[Jim] Collins describes such ['great'] leaders as 'modest and willful, shy and fearless.' These people 'llok in the mirror' to apportion blame for poor preformances, and 'look out the window' to credit success. These leaders have ambition, 'first and foremost for the company and concern for its success ranter than for [their] own riches and personal renown.' "
"Why pay people to work if you can't celebrate their work?"
"Men wanted for Hazardous Journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return. Honour and recognition in the case of success." --legendary Shackleton advertisement by Shackleton for 1914 Antarctic expedition
"People will put in time for a job; people will give their lives for a mission."
"We have as a Pilot one who sleeps in the back of boats."
"books have become cigars for the brain."
"Intuition comes to those who are prepared."
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
I'd print it here, but that would make two superflously long posts and that doesn't jibe (mad props to TJ) for me.
In other news...
Monday, November 08, 2004
**Parental Advisory: This post contains possible sacrilegious material. Reading this is done at your own risk.**
It's true! The machine simply is a business, not some kind of "ministry", that is killing children. They present a Jesus that is part action star and part self-help psychotherapy counselor. That kind of image simply won't hold up. They give a false representation of Jesus and then reality hits and kids realize that Jesus is really calling people to a revolutionary way of living, not to Christian music festivals.
To illustrate my point, here are two t-shirts that Christians can buy
Does anyone actually think that Jesus' pecs were that large? He was a carpenter, not a steroid enhanced world's strongest man competitor! Come on! When Jesus was on the cross, he did not picture your face, nor mine - he was freaking dying the most painful death they could imagine - if you think he was pondering life's mysteries...try pushing a nail through your hands.
How can you be proud to be a Christian? That is like sinning to say that you don't sin anymore!! Who are you that wears this? W.
Further, I quote Mike Yaconelli, from an article called "Youth Ministry Rant" from the March/April 2002 issue of YouthWorker Journal...
Ever have a bad day? Well, I'm having one, so I thought I might start ranting. Dennis Miller does it all the time on HBO, so why can't I? After forty-two years in youth ministry, let's get ready to rant!
Is it just me, or are you tired of seeing grown adults with their hats on backwards?
Am I crazy, or does it bother anyone else that Christian music has an army full of pubescent, immature, dysfunctional little kids giving concerts and telling this generation of young people what Christianity is all about? Isn't it a bit weird to have a fourteen-year-old spiked-haired misfit telling other fourteen-year-olds how to live life when they live it in a tour bus?
Does the world really need Christian T-shirts?
Cant we think of another word besides "extreme?"
Im going to go crazy if I hear one more youth group going, "Give me a J; give me an E "
What is it about the word "fire" that people in youth ministry like so much?
Has anyone seen a tattoo that actually looks good?
Can someone please explain to me what breaking a stack of bricks with your head has to do with Jesus?
Can anyone explain Carmen to me?
Can anyone explain Tulsa to me?
Can anyone explain The Prayer of Jabez musical to me?
What is with this new breed of youth workers who look like MTV clones but act like fundamentalists?
Remind me again why shaking the video camera while filming is cool?
Doesnt it bother anyone that many older kids drop out, most of whom never to return to church and abandon their faith regardless of what techniques or programs we use?
What is the deal with Christian colleges, anyway? Shouldnt they be graduating students who are revolutionary, anti-institutional, anti-cultural extremists? Isnt anyone else upset that most of our Christian colleges are graduating compliant, materialistic, irrelevant students who dont have a radical bone in their bodies? Who will push the envelope in the generations to come?
Why is it youth groups never go to the opera, art museums, jazz festivals, ballet, modern dance recitals, art shows, poetry readings, professional theatres, or lectures?
Do we really believe it helps young people to tell them that September 11th was actually the beginning of a revival?
Why does youth ministry worship thin, gorgeous, buff, cool, hot, sexy, beautiful people?
Explain to me what a "Christian Festival" is and why we need them?
Why would anyone who understands the Gospel encourage young people to play sports in America?
Why would anyone who understands the Gospel tell young people that God wants them to be winners, all-American, first, and top of the class?
Remind me again why we pray at football games. Does God really care who wins? Or loses?
Why are so many youth ministries concerned with putting on programs no one remembers?
Why do so many youth ministries spend all their time talking about God instead of helping young people experience God?
Do youth ministers really believe that "big" (as in big youth groups, big events) matters to God?
Sometimes I worry that Jesus has left the youth ministry building and no ones noticing.
Thank God, kids remember their relationships more than they remember programs.
Thank you, Jesus, that you've always worked through the small, the broken, the powerless.
Thank you, God, that you find a way to chase young people into the Kingdom, in spite of all the frivolous programs, institutional obstacles, and silly youth ministry stuff that often chase young people away.
Thank you, Father, that you tolerate our egos, put up with our neediness, ignore our fascination with what doesn't matter, and still find a way to use us to draw young people into your presence.
Thank you, most of all, that you're a God whos big enough to even ignore our rants.
It's a good ending to that article. You can find it at youthspecialties.com. Hopefully the Christian Marketing Machine kills itself eventually and we can become as good of Christians as our brothers and sisters in Indonesia, China, Russia, Iran...
And that's all I have to say about that.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
I have been working into my definition of turth that truth only exists in context. That mean there is no such thing as absolutely abstract, objective truth. I think this may make some people nervous....but it makes sense. Jesus was the truth - he was not a statement or a policy. He was a man in the context of men who brought them himself, which was/is the same as bringing the truth.
Truth...it's a tough one if you aren't going to tow the company/christianity line of absolute truth.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Anyways, he goes on crossfire and simply rips on these right/left guys and tells them they are ruining America. You can watch it here: crossfire vs. Jon Stewart
Also - from now on if you call me with a pre-recorded message I will not vote for you. I will vote against you. You don't even know me. As LJ would say....stupid politiks.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Here's what she had to say:
"I was entering the world of the self-loathing, branded adolescent."
"US teens spent $155 billion in 'discretionary income' in 2000 alone..."
"The success of free software movements, including Linux and music sharing sites such as Napster, reveals a subversive, communal impulse, as do various Do It Yourself scenes in which teens attempt to make their ovwn cheap or free entertainments to entertain one another."
"...these names [brands] now define teen identities."
"...those under twenty-five are now the fastest-growing group filing for bankruptcy."
"Fantasy Credit Cards...mock passports from the country of the branded."
"Raised i nthe era of confessional literature [james: just look at most myjournals or xangas], having seen how secrets can be traded for celebrity, teenagers are selling their own experiences before they know they have a story that should be protected as their own or a self that has yet cohered."
"The thousandes of kids...feel on some level that the world has always thought of them as a demographic for Pokeman or Nike on one hand, and as hooligans who need to be made to walk in straight lines on the other."
And these will go into the books section of the blog - with the link on the right.
Monday, October 18, 2004
I want to live as close to people who don't know Jesus as possible...I love the west coast.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Hey Dr. Nick!
I am now regularly reading Tony Jones' blog - he's an awesome guy who really let me start to see and understand what I had been sensing about postmodernism - I appreciate what he writes....although he is really smart. He understands postmodernism - not the way that the Christian marketing machine does, but the philosophy itself - but I will rant on that later...stupid Christian marketing machine, killing kids...
Anyways - I appreciate Tony Jones and I get ot sit in one of his seminars in about 34 days in PHATlanta!!
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
I went shopping on the weekend and found the best sale ever at Meier and Frank - so I'm giving them props! They are a store that sold me stuff that lets me be me and still live up to the dress code I have to do on Sundays...
Anyways - I am killer swamped today and can't post anything intelligent, thougth stuff is perkolating in my head -
VCR alert -hip hop honors next Tuesday night on VH1!
Friday, October 01, 2004
I was inspired by this question on Doug Pagitt's blog, check the title link.
I also like the "they" concept, as the Bible's own nature is an argument for community. Written by so many, inspired by a triune God - a story of people, not just a person - even if Christ is central...he is there for everyone else..
What do you think?
Monday, September 27, 2004
Click on the title link to read David Hopkins go OFF!
This guy is definitely getting added to my links on the right!
Sunday, September 26, 2004
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
I got this reflection from emerging sideways, an anonymus blog by a woman caught in a man centered church. Click on the title link and you can read her blog, I may even add it to my blogroll...
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
i can't believe it... he set me up...
i thought he loved me... and he set me up.
i thought i loved him... he set me up.
they dragged me...
he said he'd leave her for me... we'd start over... he set me up.
they didn't even give me time to dress...
i grabbed this sheet to cover myself...
i felt... like a whore.
HE SET ME UP.
'love' he said...
he said he loved me...
he set me up.
used me like a prop for his friends...
BIG IMPORTANT FRIENDS.
too good to help me when daddy died...
had to do the best i could...
DAMN, he told me he loved me...
how could he use me like that?
what am i gonna do now?
i think i'll wait... til it's darker...
so no one sees what a mess i am.
i can sneak home...
i'm tired of sneaking...
and him... who was he?
'go' he said, 'go, and sin no more'.
those eyes... i've never seen anything like them before.
i've been with lots of men. felt their eyes on me.
he didn't look at me like a piece of meat.
that tear, running down his cheek.
it was like he felt my shame.
like he knew what it was like...
to be used...
to be exposed.
like he knew what it was like to hurt...
the shame... he knew my shame.
writing in the sand... he made them embarrassed...
even made them feel ashamed.
it got so quiet.
i looked up and all those self satisfied smirks wiped off their faces.
they just watched his finger in the sand.
what was he writing? i wish i knew.
shut them up though... such important men.
the town thinks so much of them.
but me... i know...
i know their dirty little secrets.
and they knew i knew, and they knew HE knew too.
who was he?
'i don't condemn you either.'
you know, i actually believe him.
the first man i've ever met who treated me with respect.
like i remember daddy did before he died...
oh those eyes.
it's getting dark now.
i better get home...
get some clothes...
before momma sees me... like this.
oh momma... you're home.
yes momma... i'm a mess.
no momma... i'm not hurt.
yes momma... i was out in public like this.
yes momma... some people saw me like this...
...a lot of people saw me like this.
i'm sorry momma... i know it was wrong momma.
oh momma... it was so horrible.
i thought he loved me... thought he'd help us momma.
he just used me...
set me up... and threw me away...
i'm sorry momma...
i didn't mean to shame you.
i just didn't know how to make it better....
i thought this was the only way.
they were going to kill me momma...
i thought he loved me...
said he'd leave her for me.
they tore me out of his bed momma...
they knew where i'd be.
he set me up momma.
they brought me to the temple, to a man momma. a rabbi.
i realized then that i was a prop momma...
it wasn't ever about me...
just a piece of meat...
to trap him.
not like any of the other rabbis at the temple momma.
momma... you should see his eyes...
they asked him what to do with me...
wrapped in this sheet...
my hair a mess...
covered in sex.
straight from his bed....
what to do with me...
should they stone me? they ask him.
and he says nothin' momma... nothin'
he kneels down and starts to write in the dirt momma.
oh i wish i could read..
wish i knew what he wrote momma.
cause those men... those important men...
their faces white...
they couldn't look at me anymore...
they ask him again.
can we stone her?
kill me momma...
he said only those who haven't broken the law could throw the rocks...
and then he went back to the dirt...
writing in the dirt...
when i looked up they were all gone...
and those eyes...
what's that in my hand?
my hand... oh yes..
a rock momma...
he gave it to me...
it was one they were gonna use to kill me...
i think i'll keep it momma...
this was written last november after this day of practicing the presence of god with mike yaconelli and fil anderson. we had focused on john 8 and i spent that afternoon writing. this is what i wrote.
My brother and his wife Sandra, whom I have yet to met and thus have a suspicion that she is a robot...just like Dick Cheney..... have bought themselves a house.
It looks nice...blah blah blah....happily ever after.
really, they still look exactly the same as they always have, just now they pay taxes...
That's them on the porch...and I think that big antennae in the background is for tracking ufo's...Crazy Canadians!
Can't wait to see them this Christmas!
Monday, September 13, 2004
Anyways, big news is that we get to visit home this Christmas!! We are all very,very excited. It'll be 5 whole years for me since I left the great white north - I'm really looking forward to it all.
Oh yeah - I think the guy on the left is her boyfriend. Nice tie.
Friday, September 10, 2004
You can click and place a pin on my map and put a little message on there - very neat-o!
If you want to you can even click the second button, which will remain for only a litmited time (until I figure out the code to rid my page of malicious advertising) and get yourself a guestmap!! Once I tak eit off, jsut go to Bravenet.com and you can get one.
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
The best compliment my wife and I ever recevied was "you guys are very...real"
It made my life.
So should it tick me off that people are one way to me and another way online? It drives me crazy. I understand the desire to "try" out new identities, but I say if your experimental identities conflict with each other you are very likely a skitz.
Just a little rant...
hey kiddies, what you post online - everybody can see!!
I see these ridiculously hypocritical myspace/livejournal/loadofcrap.com sites of people and it makes me want to start a new email ministry where I email inks to grandma and grandpa and mom and dad.
So anyways - we have the first youth worship service in the new youth house tonight and we are not ready - did you think we would be?
Monday, August 30, 2004
It was a fun weekend, too. Speed waterslides, Micah and I doing the wave in front of 3 sections of empty stands, Jesus play - really great - I should post a link to it some time, getting Tanner to fake cry - really well! So I'm going back to my sunburn and try to relax a little today!
Fantastic book - I am going to use it this fall in developing what a discipled person in our youth ministry looks like. It is a yout hministry book, not a devotional or spiritual living book, so it's not really for everyone to go out and buy - it is for YP's who want to bring their youth ministry to the generation instead of forcing the generation to conform to a modern version of the gospel.
His core realties are:
foundation - the Bible (good start!)
It's good stuff - if you are a YP you will be encouraged and entheosed (excited by God) after and during this book.
He kind of reminds me of Jesus.
feel free to comment and tell me how sacreligious that comparison is...
Friday, August 20, 2004
It is an interesting read and has some heartfelt and lofty dreams within.
Perhaps most refreshing is his intelligent take on the Passion of the Christ. I love how McLaren is able to vocalize my interior uncomfortableness.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
1. In His Image
2. Birth of an Age
3. Acts of God
These three books really have to be read together in order to keep you knowing what on earth is going on. The books take a postChristian look at what the end of the world will be like. I loved them because Beauseigneur sees things and apporaches things that I had never seen or thought of before. I fully recommend them, unless you are the kind of person who reads this stuff and looks for biblical inaccuracies, then don't bother. I'm a recovering point-out-the-mistakes-turkey myself, and allow me to tell you that life is so much prettier when you just appreciate an effort of art.
The books trace the end of the world, when the antiChrist rises as a child cloned from cells from the shroud of turin. The child grows and takes power and lives through the end of the world as we know it*
The book also explores various theories of creation and the validity of God and Christ. It seems rather convincing too - hence the author's note which relieves himself from fundamentalist Christians attacks on his fictional work. It still takes an escapist stance to a certain degree, but not to the extent of the now infamous Left Behind series.
Good books, refreshingly written by a skilled writer(unlike some Xn published books) that takes you into a world and a story that helps you stay awake at night reading - and helps you to follow God instead of following a theory of the end of the world.
Go ahead - read them all.
I'm back from a sleepless week at camp - good week though, saw God move and answer prayers. I love just getting away and being with teens and having the priviledge of watching them follow God and His dreams for them.
I'm going to blog like a dog I hope, I've got some catching up to do and some books to put in...
I'm preachign this weekend and running an "emergent" service - even though there is so much about it that isn't there yet, hopefully it will be a chance to see it a little and get people talking about possibilitites.
Ok - time to churn out the posts -
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Get your own for a paltry $12 by clicking on the title link!
Monday, August 02, 2004
Friday, July 30, 2004
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
I see this way that God constantly goes to metaphors. And Jesus does too in the parables, expecially when talking about the kingdom of heaven. Metaphors are limited in complete understanding and inherently wrong when taken to (theological) extremes.
Even the notion of God as Father has led me to absolutely declare that God is a man....
I wonder how much of our faith, and our understanding of God, comes in metaphors. How much of God's revelation of himself is purposefully given in ways that keep us from making absolute statements and going to extremes that will make us look silly 500 years from now or sooner...I think this may be truer than may of us may be comfortable with.
Further, by using metaphors that are inherently flawed at extremes, does God keep us from knowing absolutely? Does this help keep our faith from being knowledge? hmm...
Monday, July 26, 2004
|I got this from MaggiDawn, whose blog I just visited for the first time today, looks like some interesting reading...
On their way to get married, a young couple is involved in a fatal car accident. The couple find themselves sitting outside the Pearly Gates waiting for St. Peter to process them into Heaven. While waiting, they begin to wonder: Could they possibly get married in Heaven? When St. Peter shows up, they asked him.
St. Peter says, “I don’t know. This is the first time anyone has asked. Let me go find out,” and he leaves.
The couple sat and waited for an answer for a couple of months. While they waited, they discussed that IF they were allowed to get married in Heaven, SHOULD they get married, what with the eternal aspect of it all. “What if it doesn’t work?” they wondered, “Are we stuck together FOREVER?” After yet another month, St. Peter finally returns, looking some what bedraggled.
“Yes,” he informs the couple, “you CAN get married in Heaven.”
“Great!” said the couple, “But we were just wondering, what if things don’t work out? Could we also get a divorce in Heaven?”
St. Peter, red-faced with anger, slams his clipboard to the ground.
“What’s wrong?” asked the frightened couple.
“OH, COME ON!!” St. Peter shouts, “It took me three months to find a priest up here! Do you have ANY idea how long it’ll take me to find a lawyer?”
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
click on the title and go to his site, and be praying for him, R. Carasco and his family and his son, Sam.
I take it very seriously, and that is why I use those words in connection with rape.
Monday, July 12, 2004
I downloaded the first chapter from leadership network resources page, it's near the bottom under sample chapters.
It's an interesting read, plus he is very clear in his diagnosis of the church.
ps - I'm loving Pete Ward!
Friday, July 09, 2004
Monday, July 05, 2004
First, it creates a negative view of the world. This is an ancient way of thinking, that sees all matter as inherently evil. After all, isn't Satan the god of this world? It's rather silly really - because even if this is a truism, God's plan and purpose is to redeem it all. I see this as a process throughout time culminating eschatologically, escapism theology sees this as an end of the world event. This allows escapism to alliviate themselves of a command to care for comma tend the gift of the ecological system that we have been given, which directly lends itself to industiralized Christianity. Whereas in processism, which is much different than process theology, the believers are God's hands to care for and help return the earth into God's garden of Eden.
Secondly, escapism allows Christians to make converts instead of making disciples. This way allows people to convert, or start the great race, and then sit down, pray and sing and feel good about themselves. Never growing, no adventure. This is possible because of an urgent desire to get folks "saved", asking questions likem, "If you were to die tonight...", which is just creepy really. Why is salvation, which is true life, being motivated only by death? Two words for this approach: stupid, stupid. Of course, process salvationism sees the process of moving from an unimage of Christ to an image of Christ as an eternal process, not an event.
So, I'm not an escapist. I see right now as being just as valuable and important and rewarding, as time spent in heaven, and the new earth.
Friday, June 25, 2004
If you want to be an infallible prophet in my church then fine - let's play by the biblical rules --- if you are wrong we get to kill you.
"Don't you be holding me accountable, you unspiritual freaknut. How on earth do you think you can tell me what God is saying and what he ain't? You are so unspiritual! Have you even read through the Bible three times in one year? How long was your quiet time today? That's it - I gotta go down to the local charismatic church and get the 'spirit' (which is Christianese for 'get my freak on').
So, I'm opinionated here too. I think there was something in my ink!
So read the link. It's by a guy named Scott Williams. Never heard of him - but I like him already!
check it and let me know what you think!
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
I am averse to atlar calls. I have been in my current position for a little more than a year and I've actually had kids complain that I don't do enough altar calls. But the students I am leading have become conditioned to cry their guts out on a Wednesday night and live like hell Thursday morning. It had become "confessional" to them - a pseudo-catholic ritual. There were no lasting changes.
I am averse to altar calls because I have seen teenagers so manipulated that I categorize it under emotional rape. I have seen speakers/preachers/pastors so play on adolescent develpment/emotions/hormones that a student responds to an altar call and afterwards has little memory of what went on - similar to a horrible car wreck.
I am averse to altar calls because of hearing students say, "I went up to the altar last night. I do it every year at camp - so I figured I would do it on Monday, so that I can relax the rest of the week." We might as well be offering therapy!
I am averse to altar calls because they are not wholistic, which is the kind of process salvation that I desire for the people I interact with, especially for students in my city. I am convinced that Christ wants emotions, intellect, spirit, passion, muscle, everything, to repond to His gift/grace/love.
I have seen great things come about from an altar call, including my life. But, especially in my life, lasting change comes not from the emotional experience alone, but from a continuing, pacing relationship.
It's not that I hate altar calls...
I hate compartmentalized/marganalized/individualized Christianity.
It was an intense and meaningful week. The service we did in the communities was outstanding and we helped to make people's lives just a little closer to the reality that Christ has for them. It wrecked me to see the situations kids were in and to think of my own son, for whom I take so much for granted.
Perhaps most personally moving for me was driving through Yreka, CA both ways. It was, of course, the home of Mike Yaconelli, one of my life shapers. I spent time praying for youth workers and pastors all over the world while driving through as I was struck that I am sure prayers for youth pastors, myself included, had risen from that valley so many times before. Mike certainly did not know my name, but he knew my heart, and that's the best! I'll end with a backdoor qoute from Yaconelli...
I'm in awe of youth workers, and I think Jesus is, too.
I just wish the Church felt the same.
Thursday, June 10, 2004
This church is ancient looking, quiet and one of the characters you can assume bears a striking resemblance to Ned Flanders.
Within the walls of this church you will find people who are respecting the holy space, and conversing the an adjoining room. Where people regularly gather to gain truth. To make truth true (mad props:Andrew Jones).
It's worth a visit. It's worth more than a visit.
But what do you think?
Is this a viable outreach? Is it an excuse waiting to happen for lazy-butt Christians? Comment if you'd like and help the truth here become true.
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
I tried typing the "e" at the end three times and I couldn't.
Monday, June 07, 2004
All this is inspired by Andrew Jones, whome I don't know, but am becoming acquainted with. So check out his aniversary post and the call to excellence he gives.
Feeling like moving to France,
Saturday, June 05, 2004
I want to write on the books when I finish each, but...I haven't even wrote about McLaren yet!
Anyways - teaching Sunday School tommorrow...on how prayer is better than sleeping...alone or with someone! Hopefully it will be hard to sleep through!
Friday, June 04, 2004
I am also going to work on fixing the column up and having books and such there as well. New stuff!
Today is a bit of a slow day - working on getting stuff going for summer...easy breazy beautiful.
Tuesday, June 01, 2004
On Friday I participated in a man's last communion. It was something that I never thought I'd ever be doing, yet there I was, with another pastor, ministering a man through his death. It was unlike anything else in the world. The man ended up passing away that evening and the funeral services are this week.
It was one of those moments where being a "youth pastor" was superceded by being a "man of God." At least that is what "qualified" me to be with these people at this time. What was amazing to me is that people looked to me like I knew what was going on, like I could handle this. The only thing I had a handle on was the assurance that another pastor was going to be there, and he knew what to do. In the moments that I was there alone, before my pastor friend arrived, I came to see in a real and fresh way what it meant to be fully present. Nobody expected me to do anything, they just appreciated my being there. I simply visited, prayed, participated in some of a disciple's last hours on earth.
Just another day? No way.
Monday, May 24, 2004
Give him money to speed his departure, since we do not wish to die in that man's company.
For whosoever lives past this day and comes home safely will rouse himself every year on this day,
show his neighbors his scars, and tell embellished stories of all the great feats of battle.
These stories he will teach to his sons and from this day until the end of the world,
we shall be remembered.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
For whosoever shall shed his blood with me today shall be my brother, and those men afraid to go will think themselves as lesser men to hear how we fought and died together."
~ Henry V, William Shakespeare
This is just a quote I love and have loved for a number of years. I first came upon it when I was in the reserves and I am reading it to the missions team tonight. It is just a great representation of the unequaled comraderie that is experienced when men and women experience battle together.
Soldiers of the cross...
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Welcome youth workers! It is an honor to be on your screen today! For those of you who are regulars here (read: mom and dad) my blog is featured in the YS update today! What an honor. I am now a world famous blogger!
So, if you have never been, I encourage you to check out the YS boards, which are a huge source of encouragement and wisdom for me - my name there is insanitysolution - paying tribute to King David.
Anyways - it's Wednesday, I've got a cold and have to be ready for tonight. Very Excited about what God is going to do - saw Him work last week and it was such a blessing.
PS - the church bought a shuttle bus that is a 21 seater - can you say gonna need my CDL and passenger endoursement - can you say gonna need to install a TV!
Monday, May 17, 2004
I saw the movie and loved it, but it was a little on the slow side...it has that in common with the other N.Z. movie, The Piano. However, both movies were equally moving. Whale Rider has cool symbolism and is a movie that can spark neat conversations among those of us who are connected to something very, very old (Giglio).
One short disclaimer: I am biased from my trip to N.Z. and my eternal desire to visit once again, and by visit, I mean 10 years. Hence my continued hope that this earth is so very similar to the new earth - that this earth is the material used for the next.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
I am a fan of Coupland from way back, and it caused me to have to take a bath and read this morning.
Oh and by the way - stupid visa company. Stupid visa company.
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
I am back from ATF, where 7,000 kids where and 45,000 seemed to get saved. It was kind of the land of the altar call. Funny, I wonder how many kids who responded to the "recommit" call on Saturday had just been up at the altar call the night before getting saved. It is kind of funny for me, but I also understand how synthetic/conventional faith is encouraged at these big conferences. Josh McDowell was absolutely outstanding. I was very impressed, encouraged and convicted by his story. And Ron Luce's final session was the best final session I have ever seen at ATF. He talked about the difference between a disciple and a member of the crowd. I really appreciated the way it spoke to our kids.
We also attended mars hill church in Seattle. It really ministered to me as well. I think myself more than the high schoolers I was with. I think they were a little tired after the weekend. but I loved it and would encourage you to visit with them if you are in the Seattle area.
I have another big trip this weekend.
I'll let you know how it goes. I still want to talk abit about my lecture with McLaren, so that will come.
Friday, April 30, 2004
Tonight I am going to Acquire the Fire - a huge youth event - it's pretty exciting...I am also going to be visiting mars hill church in Seattle. I am pretty excited to be able to experience an emerging church first hand, this is where I am moving to, it's where I am living.
ATF - the bastion of mintertainistry and marketing - and mars hill - a progressive anti-relitivistic, precluding nihlistic consumerism church - how opposite could that be?
I'm hoping the students see a big difference, and that will be open to a lot of discussion. I've just finished opening up their world to Brian McLaren, now I have to be ready for the paradigm shifting!
Friday, April 23, 2004
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Next step is going to be figuring out how to post pictures in my posts and to make extra columns and then I will be a world famous blogger!
That is my son, lj, and me, having a little fun - this is my attempt to put a pic on my blog - if it works - I am rad!
ps - Having a great day - doing innerviews (not a sp?) with kids to take them on a mission to San Francisco this summer - I love the weeks as a youth pastor that I get to spend with students - I want to talk a bit about our neXus group las tonight - but that's another post!
Friday, April 16, 2004
Went and saw Mt. St. Helens yesterday - one of those places that you just have to sit back and say - "dang, God outdid Himself here." Heather took some pictures that I hope to be able to put up here, as soon as I figure out how to do that?!
It was remarkable, though, the amount of observing that you could do from inside buildings...they have centers set up all the way up to the mountain so you can observe elk, rivers, the mountain itself from climate controlled centers with big windows. And then you go and watch a movie showing the valley below, instead of just driving up to it...
because of my transition currently, I couldn't help but think of it as an example of the modern penchant towards cleaning things up and making it sanitary and safe to experience.
Heather and I want to go back - but not go to any centers, we want to walk the floor and feel the mountain's presence. Just our conversations about that, betray our transitioning mindsets - or the realization of our transition.
Do go though - if you are near - it's a remarkable journey.
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Friday, March 12, 2004
Last Sunday I was blessed by God to sit and watch a Lakers game with my son. He's learning.
I love the Lakers, and will always, most likely. But what on earth is going on? Why are all the stars falling apart, lliterally?
Two things need done:
1. Fire the trainer. Or get him some training!
2. Realize it's Shaq's team and allow Him the touch the ball every time down the floor. He should lead the league in points, assists and rebounds. But His team doesn't believe me.
Friday, March 05, 2004
So I am experienceing a bit of a paradigm shift, that most of us are right now. Things are changing but we can't exactly touch it. It's there, but you can't see it. Can't see the wind, but you like to breathe air right? (rip D-Boy)
So the other day I came to terms with the fact that I might be a modern. That sucks. I want to be a postmodern. I see modernism as a greater avenue of evil than good. Sure, they gave us great stuff like medicine and microwaves, but I don't like them enough to deal with the evil that came also. In fact, I haven't had a microwave for 8 months now, and I only miss the microwave popcorn! Modernism, to me, is not desired. It is the past, I live in the future.
But the reality is I come into this with a history of modernism. Just the other day I was on the phone with my youth minstry professor, who was also my Sonlife coach (not an official thing, just how we circled our relationship), and I was complaining to him that everything I learned in college was modern, and useless where I live now. It's like getting a degree in Spanish to be able to lead Frenchmen. Somethings are understandable, but most of the communication is lost in translation.
I GRADUATED LAST MAY!
That makes it scary. Everything about everything is changing.
So, returning from my intellectual sojurn, I find that I have a desire to be postmodern, but all of my faith training, including Bible College, was done in a way that was throughly modern. I am a modern creation. I now have to work at deconstructing everything in order to recreate something that has to do with the reality I live in now. I have to learn to change my accent. "de" (sounds:deuh) in Spanish sounds nothing like "de" (sounds:day) in French.
And now, I am wondering if I am postmodern or not. Does my desire to categorize betray my modernism? Does my struggle with categories betray my postmodernism?
I am not postmodern in any sense of a pure version. I am not modern in any sense of a pure version.
I am coming out of modernism into postmodernism. This gives struggles that a postmodern (in the pure sense) will never know. These people may not exist for a hundred years, as the contributions of modernism cease to dominate the mainstream.
So I ask more questions than I give answers, so today I feel postmodern. It's like asking if someone is a Calvinist. My reply to that question is usually, "Today?" And then I confess that on that particular day I am a (1-5, usually around 2ish) point Calvanist. But it changes. It is fluid.
So I say this: today I am a postmodern. But I doubt it.
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
I'm not trying to say that one is right or the other is wrong. I wanted to express my fear that the emergent church movement is mirroring the things that the modern church did, which we now are convincing ourselves that we are different.
I may be totally wrong. I'm cool with that. I have spent the last 10 years trying to kill my need to be right. So being wrong is like a little victory to me - but more therapy later.
Allow myself to explain ...errrr....myself....
I don't think postmodernism is fully developed yet either. So[I]at this time[/I] there is likely no such thing as a purely postmodern church. Though this is what I meant to say - that postmoderns are targeted - which is mirroring the modern church!
My wondering is: Is that right?
As far as revealing one's theology...I was using the term, perhaps incorrectly, to represent one's belief system. Like a grid through which one operates, involving known and tacit knowledge, interacting with reality with certain presuppositions about the invisible reality. So in saying that these methods reveal, or betray (Tony Jones!), his theology I wanted to say that hsi true beliefs come out in methodlogy.
Perhaps then one could say that theology, a system of beliefs interacting with reality, is the same as methodolgy? Maybe.
Nextly, (this is the last time I post after teaching on Revelation...my brain must have been fried!) I used the word generations, which is not the best term. I also see postmodernism and modernism as mindsets, they just are exposing themselves, for the most part, in the different generations right now. Perhaps that is a little bit of modernism coming out in me?
I do not want to say either that Mark Driscoll is unbiblical - I really believe just the opposite! Rather, I want to say that either way could be right, and my fear is that one way may be wrong - maybe not - hopefully not. And, I didn't want to say [I]my Biblical theology[/I], as if I am assuming that I am correct. I wanted to express the belief I have that there is an absolutely correct biblical theology...which, of course, we cannot know absolutely.
My major fear, in all of this emergent stuff, is that we will turn out like the modern church. It's sins may well become our own, with different symptoms or expressions or whatever. I deeply desire that we may develop a church universal that is liquid enough to transition mindsets and generations without having to split the people of God into categories to be ministered too. Do I believe it possible? Probably not, but I am a uptopian socialist and I don't see it working anywhere on earth either!
And if anyone is still reading this...I don't know that pragmatism and scripture have to conflict. I just think that scripture is the panecea, not pragmatism.
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
Imagine two approaches to the emerging church:
1. A Mark Driscoll quote (paraphrase: quit youth ministry and start your own church) inspired young person decides to leave his unsatisfying modern church to go out and blaze a trail in the emerging generation and start a purely postmodern church, ignoring the modernist society that still dominates the mainstream.
His theology revealed here, is that God values the postmoderns, perhaps even at the expense of the moderns. His methodology revleals a high value placed on the work of God in postmoderns lives, and a low value place on the work of God in modern lives.
2. Another young person stays in his youth/college ministry position in a thoroughly modern style church and attempts to bridge the gap between the generations. This, of course, will have a double negative effect in appearance - A. there will long be frustrations between the two generations as they seek to understand and, hopefully, love and appreciate each other; B. this church will not be "one of the fastest growing church in America" and may even become smaller numerically, because of shallow church goers leaving to find "easier" pastures elsewhere, where all ministry meets my "needs."
His theology reveled here is that he believes that the Biblical method of ministry is to bridge generations and for the faith to be passed down as God makes his appeal to generation after generation. He shows less partiality generationally and vlaue God working in the universal church.
No doubt, you can even read into my writing my own theology, and judge by the method of my writing, where I place my emphasis and value. My methodology, through stories, electronic media, in a somewhat scholarly place for those who love youth...shows my theology through in my value for God's working, value of community and value of the next generation.
I am deathly afraid that method one may be unbiblical!
Not even in a judging way or a condescending way. I am simply finding myself often afraid that the methodologies used do not line up with a Biblical theology. I see methodolgies that look incredibly successful and I do not doubt that God is working...but I wonder if the leaders are leading from a Biblical theology or a pragmatic theology?
Perhaps that is my greates question - whose answer may be my greatest fear.
I was asked today, twice, and couldn't form an answer. Maybe that's what it is...a church, a group of people following God without the answer.
Are answers a modern imposition on following Christ?
I think I am going to spend some time trying to delineate the impositions of modernism on Christianity.
Monday, March 01, 2004
Friday, February 27, 2004
I'm a twentysomething Canadian living in Oregon, USA.
I have a B.Sc. in Mathematics, from Nipissing University in Canada, and then a B.S. (ohh the irony) in Youth Ministry, from Toccoa Falls College in Georgia.
I have a great wife (who is fine looking also) and a great son. They make me who I am, and make sure I look good too.
I am currently a youth pastor to high school and college students.
I am engaging postmodernism and flowing with it.
I love being pomo.
This is the first post in the reorient blog.
Inspired by an article by Leonard Sweet I will be detailing and expressing the current culture, thoughts and deisres towards the reorientation.
I believe the church, Christian church, is in need of and set up for a new change. Similar to the reformation in severity and mass of change, but more resembling a change in orientation.
Wher is the church facing?
I hope this will be fun, will be engaging spirtually, emotionally and intellectually.
I hope we can grow together. I am amped in view of the future of God's kingdom!
It's not of this world!