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Showing posts from April, 2007

Finding the right words

N.T. Wright on "Discovering Help in Prayer" from Simply Christian:

"Help is at hand not least in those who have trodden the path ahead of us. Part of our difficulty here is that we moderns are so anxious to do things our own way, so concerned that if we get help from anyone else our prayer won't be "authentic" and come from our own heart, that we are instantly suspicious about using anyone else's prayers. We are like someone who doesn't feel she's properly dressed unless she has personally designed and made all her own clothes ... We are hamstrung by ... the idea that things are authentic only if they come spontaneously, unbidden, from the depths of our heart."

I deeply appreciate the recent move in evangelicalism over the past few decades toward conversational prayer with our Father; however, I believe that Wright has a very valid point. So valid, that he could have written this paragraph about my own life. So often, prayers in our evangeli…

Noteworthy

"Jesus--the real Jesus, the living Jesus, the Jesus who dwells in heaven and rules over earth as well, the Jesuse who has brought God's future into the present--wants not just to influence us, but to resuce us; not just to inform us, but to heal us; not just to give us something to think about, but to feed us with himself."
-N.T. Wright, Simply Christian

Up a bit earlier than usual

I beat the sun up today. That doesn't happen very often.

I read an article yesterday. An editorial really. It made me laugh. Outloud. I was at the bus stop and I was just sitting there, laughing outloud, everyone else thinking in their head, "Who laughs outloud at the newspaper?" Here is the excerpt.

"I recently ran across a survey by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago that took a look at which professions had the most job satisfaction...Members of the clergy topped the list with an 87 percent job satisfaction rating. That makes some sense that they're happy. I mean, they are working for God and all and you can't really argue with his benefit package. Sure full medical and dental care are nice, but everlasting life, that sort of thing is a whole hell of a lot nicer than even a company car. On the downside, I bet they really get tired of working weekends all the time..."

If you're curious about the rest of the results, fir…

Post script

For all the Rolands in the world, when I say "it's good to remind myself how rich I am"... I mean it's good to face the reality that I am much closer to the wealthy man whom Jesus warns rather than the poor beggar on the side of the street. I don't remind myself of my rich-ness so that I can remember to go and swim around in my pools of money like Scrooge McDuck and then go nuts at Best Buy (or Amazon.com, which is much easier for me to mindlessly dump $25 bucks into...but you get "Free super saver shipping"...i know, i know....Of course, I'm on Amazon Prime now. sheesh).

Gut check

It's always good to remind myself of how rich I really am. btw...if you haven't watched "Rich", one of Rob Bell's latest Noomas, I highly recommend it.

$8 could buy you 15 organic apples OR 25 fruit trees for farmers in Honduras to grow and sell fruit at their local market.

$30 could buy you an ER DVD Boxset OR a First Aid kit for a village in Haiti.

$73 could buy you a new mobile phone OR a new mobile health clinic to care for AIDS orphans in Uganda.

$2400 could buy you a second generation High Definition TV OR schooling for an entire generation of school children in an Angolan village.

See how rich you are at the Global Rich List.


One year already?

It's hard to believe that it's been about one year since I wrote the last post about the Invisible Children. In the past year, there has been progress and a great deal of awareness raised about the devestating circumstances that thousands of Ugandans are living in. These three guys have shown the world that we can do something. It started small, with just a vision to go to Africa and report back to America on some of the "invisible stories" that the media doesn't tell us. It's true that the mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds, but grows into an enormous plant.

Do we have the faith to step out? To stand up for justice? To "lay down our lives for our friends" in the name of love? In the name of Christ?

Invisible Children has moved us. It's shaken us. It's inspired us. This movie (among many other documentaries and literary pieces) has shown that the world is small. We live in a global community. We must care for our neighbors across the st…

Glory that doesn't fade

Maybe you've heard of "Faded Glory," ya know, the Wal-Mart clothing line. We're not talking about that kind of glory here. Although, maybe we are, in a sense of the word. There is this sort of glory that men and women the world over are striving after, a glory that can seemingly be obtained by possessing the right stuff. That is the glory, which is fading.

My good buddy, Fred, gave a teaching last night on 2 Corinthians 3:1-11. He spoke about "glory" and he got me thinkin.

Did you know that the Advertising industry in America spends about $145 billion each year. Just to get us to buy more stuff. Stuff that is supposed to make our lives more "glorious." Huh.

I've been reading a really good--and long--article in the Washington Post over the past couple days. Maybe you've heard about it. It's been on the news. But after last night, thinking about fading glory versus glory that lasts, the real life story has taken on an altogether new meaning…

the joy of Easter

In a garden God first put us
to live in peace and joy.
In a garden God suffered tears
and sweat of agony.

In a garden
God rose to life
and restored to all creation
life and joy and peace.

O gardens with new life
Rejoice with us. Alleluia!

When Christ rode into Jerusalem,
the stones were ready to cry out
and proclaim him Lord of all creation.
When Christ died on the cross,
the earth shook and the rocks split
sharing the loss and devastation.

After Christ was buried in the tomb
the stone was rolled away,
rejoicing and revealing
the glory of our risen Lord.

Now is Christ risen from the dead
Alleluia!

O let all things visible and invisible,
earthly and heavenly,
all people, tribes and nations,
saved by the blood of Christ
join with us to praise and glorify
the Lord of all creation.

He left his heavenly throne
to suffer with us and release his damaged creation
from death, sin and decay,
that we might be in Paradise with him
and live forever in his joy and peace.

Alleluia! Glory to our Risen Savior
Alleluia! Glory to our Go…

Science as Worship.

Here's a simply written column by the well-respected scientist, Dr. Francis Collins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Collins, http://www.genome.gov/10000779). He discusses how he landed at the intersection of Science and Faith. Read it here.

A few excerpts:

"Challenged by one of those patients, who asked "What do you believe, doctor?", I began searching for answers. I had to admit that the science I loved so much was powerless to answer questions such as "What is the meaning of life?" "Why am I here?" "Why does mathematics work, anyway?" "If the universe had a beginning, who created it?" "Why are the physical constants in the universe so finely tuned to allow the possibility of complex life forms?" "Why do humans have a moral sense?" "What happens after we die?"

"By investigating God's majestic and awesome creation, science can actually be a means of worship."

Fernando & Eddie

Not too long ago, I wrote a couple posts about "becoming a kid," inspired by Jesus' statement that in order to enter into the kingdom of God, we must become like little children. Obviously, not in the litteral sense. It's about humility, dependency, healthy fear of God, wonder, love, the absence of self-suffiency.

So, I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the fact that God continued to communicate this message to me when I was in Honduras. I met Fernando and Eddie during our first day in Honduras. They are brothers who live next door to Esperanza and Carmello, whom I wrote about in my previous post. Their father died when they were very young, too young to even remember him. When I visited their home, their mother, Maria, pointed out his picture, which hung right next to the front door.

From the moment I met these to young boys, who are 8 and 10 years old, I knew that we were going to be friends that week. Fernando especially took to me. He learned my name immediatel…