Monday, June 28, 2004

I went to my ten year high school reunion this weekend.

The link is to the pictures.

I'm old :)

A few observations... it was cool to see not just what people do, but who they are. And in those regards, they've come out well. It's cool to see people I respected in high school who have been thinking through their lives, and the process of faith. It is a process, and something some old classmates have learned, as they understand grace.

Some people have changed, others haven't. Changes come (or don't come) physically, and to personality.

I had a few jitters showing up, mostly because I haven't been home in a few years, since my parents moved away, and also because I was going solo, and knew a lot of people would be married, which it turns out they are. I had a lot of fun just being with the sober people there, and even some of the non-sober were fun to see again too. And that's not a judgment on drinking. Drinking's not an issue with me. Just an observation :)

The best part wasn't the big reception on Saturday night, but the picnic on Sunday because everyone brought their families. That provided a better atmosphere for talking, and finding out where people are at, not just physically and job-wise, but emotionally and spiritually. I liked what I heard. It was cool to see people who I still have something in common with, that I can respect as people on a real level.

I was probably a little quiet, but it was weird being the token single guy, and the guy who, by my own admission, has done a poor job of staying in touch. It doesn't help that I don't go home anymore, because I have no home after my family all moved away.

I regret not getting to see some people I would like to find. Guys like Grant Olson, Chris Stearns, Jeff Richardson, Chad Martin, etc. I was happy to see David Sample, Mandy (Even) & Greg Rabenhorst, Greg & Stefanie Sanborn, Amanda (Sanborn) Downs, Courtney (French) & Justin Moose, oh I'm forgetting some so I'd best quit there.

And I got to spend time at the cabin of Cory and Erin Heidelberger talking politics, philosophy, and religion, just like the good old days.

An interesting 24 hours, to say the least, plus the 4.5 hour car trip each way to and from Grand Island to Madison.

Friday, June 25, 2004

A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey

I think this may be the next book on my list to get.Adventures in Missing the Point: How the Culture-Controlled Church Neutered the Gospel
was a tremendous book, also by McClaren. I liked Missing the Point so much, I think I'll have to give "new kind" a try. First, I should try to get my copy of Missing back from my friend Sheree. She snagged it at least 6 weeks ago, and read it, so I need it back so I can re-read it :)
well, tomorrow should be eventful.

first, i'm up early for an eye exam and some new glasses. yay!

then it's off to my high school reunion. yeah, i'm actually going.

more reports when i return

Friday, June 18, 2004

Our world is changing. Programs will come and go. Authentic communities will survive and thrive. Churches must realize there's a great generational shift going on, and the new generation (the postmoderns if you will) does things in different ways, but still need to be cared for.

I am concerned churches will get the idea they have to start 'postmodern ministry' just as in the past they felt they had to have a youth pastor, children's pastor, singles group, nursery ministry, etc. I fear churches will think they have to, and out of obligation will hire someone to run the ministry.

I think a better model is to not think of it as another ministry, but think of it as ministry. Does that make sense? Postmoderns seem turned off by anything that smacks of being a program. For reasons both right and wrong.

I would hope churches would realize they don't need a new ministry, but a new outlook, which is easier said than done of course.

I would encourage churches to really study postmodernism, and study postmoderns. Find ways to interact with them. Befriend them. Not just to make them a project, but because you care. People of any generation and worldview want to be loved and cared for and respected and listened to. So go do that.

It's hard to visualize, because it's not program driven, or numbers driven, but rather relationship driven. That's hard to quantify and collect data on and show results on. But I think relational ministry is where it's at. Churches need to realize hiring a pastor to reach postmoderns may not work. It's going to take the collective work of the church. Everyone has a role to play. We still need shepherds to guide us, but we also need to realize we're all part of the body, and can't pawn off our work on another paid staff member, when in reality our lives need to be our ministry, because we need vital relationships to spread the gospel.

We need to question more than forms of worship, but why we worship, and what worship is. Not to redefine it, but to reclaim it.

Worship isn't just song time, or an hour (or two) on Sunday morning. It a lifestyle.

When we do gather for corporate worship, we want to participate, not be spectators.

I think we need to ditch some of our so called worship songs. How am I supposed to worship other when I'm always talking about myself. Plus many songs don't allow us to be honest. Can you honestly sing a song with phrases like "I will" or "I always"? I can't. I won't always turn to God. I know I should, but even the writers of scipture don't make such claims that they will always do what's right? No. Why is the focus on us, and our response? Isn't that missing the point? My pastor friend doesn't like these songs, because as a leader he feels accountable for misrepresenting God's truth, for sugarcoating it, and putting the focus on us. And he doesn't want to be responsible for that. He wants people to be honest. He doesn't want to play songs that don't encourage honesty. I totally respect him for that.

Back to the point, I hope worship leaders, songwriters, pastors re-think the way they do things. We should value authenticity and honesty in our relationships with God. We need pastors who can help us, and leading by example doesn't hurt.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Apparently, I'm now a beta tester for Gmail, Google's new e-mail service. I'll have to see how it goes :)

Saturday, June 12, 2004

As of today, both my favorite baseball teams are in first place

That being the Twins and Cardinals of course. Here's hoping for a repeat of the '87 Series, except with the Cards winning it this time :) Or the Twins

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Ronald Reagan has "slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God".

As he said, "When the Lord calls me home, whenever that day may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future."

Thank you sir, for your devotion to this land.

Friday, June 04, 2004

what is salvation? is the point simply to end up in heaven? i tend to think not. that's a nice consequence, but that can't be it. God wants to redeem us, to be part of His kingdom now.

When we think of someone being saved, we tend to think in terms of the starting, and ending points. When did they "accept Christ" and we look to when they will go to heaven some day.

and on evangelism, I like what Brian McLaren says, "In many ways apologetics today is like selling gasoline during the ’70s — you needed to provide both leaded and unleaded gas. … To be a good apologist today, you need to offer both standard and innovative responses to common questions."

If there was no heaven or hell would you still believe?

I think people forget about the kingdom of God, that it exists here and now, as Luke 17 tells us. "the kingdom of God is within you"

Isn't that the point? To live as a part of His kingdom here and now?

My boss' boss was fired today. Or should I say "resigned", but not of his own choice. He was a smooth, charming, charismatic guy. But once you got to know him, he was a manipulative, fear mongering, greedy, controlling, bitter man. He was not a fun man to work for. He inspired greed and ill will. If leadership starts at the top, and a group takes on the characteristic of its leader, than we're an ugly, ugly "kingdom". It's a messy kingdom. Not completely corrupt, but at the same time hardly worth living for. So how have I survived working at a place with such a crappy leader? Because he's not my kingdom. I was in his kingdom, but not of it.

My kingdom isn't mine. The one I'm in will last for all eternity, and I'm already part of it, even before I die. That's salvation. God has redeemed me for His good. I'm called to love God and love my neighbor.

That's the great commandment. Funny how not all the gospels end on the great commission. Maybe it's not as important as we make it out to be. Maybe if we live out the greatest comandment more fully, the great commission will be fulfilled.

stay tuned for moe on the subject...
bluelikethat quiz - Which Chronicles of Narnia book are you?: "

The second book written and the third chronologically, you're the story of a Narnia hundreds of years after the last visit, populated by mythological creatures struggling to overthrow a king determined to wipe them out. Susan's Horn brings help when it's most needed ...

Find out which Chronicles of Narnia book you are.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

ATHF Result:

I am Frylock from Aqua Teen Hunger Force!!

Which Aqua Teen Hunger Force character are you??"
Equilibrium is one of the best movies you've never heard of.

Ok so it's a bit on the cheesy b-movie side, as far as graphics and effects. But it's a fun movie, that makes a point. It's about human nature, freedom of thought, emotion, passion, war.

It's like Fahrenheit 451 meets the Matrix, throw in some 1984. And yes, I've read Bradbury and Orwell.
I've recently pulled out some old (and kinda not so old) humor books.

One of my favorites is James Lileks'The Gallery of Regrettable Food

Lileks went through old cookbooks, especially those wonderful promotionals ones made by the beef council or whoever. funny, funny stuff.

What's Right With America is one of those book of lists type books. It's one giant list. Everything from

4 of 5 doctors can agree to anything...
... and the 5th, independent minded doctor.

A silly, mostly lame book, but for some reason it still makes me smile.

and I picked upMike Nelson's Movie Megacheese, by Mike Nelson of Mystery Science Theater fame. Funny movie reviews, including comparisons of Bruce Willis to a Jeep. It gets you through the Minnesota winter, but you know it's rusting away.
NTV - Local News

This was my story yesterday. A personal story it was, at that.

I know John Osenbaugh. He's a cool kid. He just found out two months ago he had a brain tumor. Here's a guy who could do math in his head who was so affected he couldn't remember his own girlfriend. Scary. A guy who's brain got him a full-ride college scholarship finding his brain had failed him. The brain is such an amazing thing. But upset its balance, and it's frightening. Another friend of mine suffers from seizures. I found him the first time after he had them a few years ago. It was right before 9/11. He couldn't remember things. Didn't know why I was in his house. As I was talking to him, he forgot I was there. Then 9/11 hit, and he couldn't tell it was real. He's doing well now, and I hope John too will recover. He's a great guy and a fighter, so I expect nothing less :)