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Showing posts from May, 2008

Who Am I?

by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Who am I? They often tell meI stepped from my cell’s confinementCalmly, cheerfully, firmly,Like a squire from his country-house.
Who am I? They often tell meI used to speak to my wardersFreely and friendly and clearly,As though it were mine to command.
Who am I? They also tell meI bore the days of misfortuneEqually, smilingly, proudly,Like one accustomed to win.
Am I then really all that which other men tell of?Or am I only what I myself know of myself?Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,Struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my throat,Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds,Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness,Tossing in expectation of great events,Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?
Who am I? This or the other?Am I one person today and tomorrow another?Am I both at once? A hypocrite …

Memorial Day

I've always enjoyed Memorial Day, I think. The start of summer. Grilling meat. Being outside without the nuisance of mosquitoes. Time outdoors with family and friends. Quite often, it all adds up to fond memories.

This Memorial Day weekend, Amber and I traveled south to spend some time with my folks back home, in Sparta. We enjoyed a nice, long weekend of refreshment. Mom cooked us some tasty food. We enjoyed sleeping in, with fresh breezes blowing in through the open windows. We took long walks outside. Played lots of games, including Quiddler, Scattergories, Rummy and Greed. The best part was probably seeing my mom up and about, feeling much better than she has for a while. She had major back surgery four months ago after a couple years of increasingly severe back problems.
Oh, and we had blackberry pie, too....yummm-o.

We had a chance to visit my old, high school buddy, Chris ("Fluff") and his new wife and newborn son. They just had him five days previous! Chris and Jess…

Serving others

I was encouraged by this excerpt this morning:

Dennis Brock is a missionary in Swaziland.
In the West we purchase so much excess for ourselves that we have an inflated sense of self. Brock says that while in Swaziland (which has been in a drought for seven years) buying excess goods is not necessarily an option, but he still faces the temptation to think of his needs before those of the orphans and AIDS victims he works with daily. He is determined to overcome this challenge so he can serve Christ and others more effectively. “Each of us faces a daily war against selfishness, including me,” Brock says. “We must be resolute in continually taking our eyes off ourselves and onto others who need help. Pray that God will awaken your soul, and He’ll do it.”

The photo is one taken from my two days of traveling through Swaziland on my journey to and from the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa.

The Old Testament

A few months ago, I mentioned that I was finding myself tangled in all kinds of questions related to the Old Testament and its continuity with the New Covenant and the Christian faith. Now that summer is here, I have decided to tackle that lengthy beast head on. I began studying an Old Testament survey textbook today (haven't picked up a textbook in 2.5 years, except to sell some old ones on Amazon!). I say all this to keep myself accountable to this endeavor. I already find myself getting tangled in new questions, such as "What presuppositions am I bringing into my reading of the OT?"

This encouragement from Paul in his letter to the Romans has given me motivation in this study:
"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."

Speaking of Paul, here's a random quote from a Money book that I am reading right now at Aroma. The context is a comparison of …

Gospel Centrality

On Tuesday, Fred, Marcellus and I drove down to St. Louis for a workshop at The Journey, an Acts 29 church with a few campuses in the St. Louis metro area. Our good friend, Dan, works part-time with this church and is also a full-time student at Covenant Seminary. Dan invited us down for the day to attend this workshop, which was one of the free quarterly workshops that The Journey hosts. Their desire is to equip and connect regional church planters and pastors...and it's free!

We met at their Tower Grove campus, a beautiful, remodeled Catholic church that the Journey purchased, complete with a convent, school and other buildings.

The guest speakers for the day were two pastors from Sojourn Community Church (also Acts 29) in Louisville, KY.

The first dude, Daniel Montgomery, spoke on the topic of "Gospel Centrality." It was a very dynamic, rich and foundational message for us to hear. We were saturated in the Gospel for about an hour as he impressed upon us the need to real…

Will Smith?

This guy, Kimmie Weeks, is from Liberia and has been an activist for poverty and child slavery since he was 14. Kinda looks like a younger Will Smith at first glance, don't ya think?