Tuesday, January 30, 2007

trying to live the kingdom

Sunday night we had our monthly communion service. We gather for dinner (a team effort--Jamie's recipe/my cooking!), then share communion, then have some creative worship. Communion was really powerful for me this week. It's so wonderful to be sitting around a table, smiling, laughing, sharing our lives and stories; then to join together in prayer both serious and joyful.

We watched one of Rob Bell's Nooma videos called "Trees." He asks some great questions about meaning and significance in life. We had a great discussion afterward, then played some games. These communion nights are one of my favorite things that we do. I hope that in time we do them even more often.

I love this quote from Bell: "May you trust Jesus, when he says that death has been taken care of, and that you can live forever with God, that you're never, ever going to stop living. May you believe that...you can be a partner with God in redeeming and restoring this fallen, broken, hurting world. That you can literally be a partner with God in making this the kind of place that God originally intended it to be. May you be the kind of person who, when you live this way, the very trees of paradise are being planted."

Other notes: Reading Brian McLaren's The Secret Message of Jesus. Great stuff; we're using some of it as we talk about the Kingdom of God during Jan. and Feb. at church...going to San Diego for the National Pastors Convention and some vacation next week--really excited to get away with my family...speaking of family, ours is getting ready to expand (this should tell me if anyone is reading my blog!)...Have a great day!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

my son is a genius

OK, maybe that's a little exaggerated. But he is pretty amazing! I was letting him play with my cell phone--he loves objects with buttons and lights. I locked the keys so he wouldn't call anyone; but after a while saw the screen light come on (it shouldn't in locked mode). He had managed to dial the one number that still works when the phone is locked--911! I ended the call before anyone answered; no one called back and no police showed up.

Something here must run in the family; Jamie told me about a time years ago when she was in the shower and Ashley called 911 from the home phone. The police showed up at the door as Jamie was getting out!

I have a feeling this is just the first of many adventures to come!

Mornings like today are awesome...I get up with Brady so Jamie can sleep a little more. We talk and play and I have prayer time with him--just praying for him and my family. It's really cool; he almost always starts smiling when I pray out loud with him. Kids are great!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Scot McKnight on emerging church

Scot McKnight has a fantastic article titled "Five Streams of the Emerging Church" at Christianity Today. One of the best descriptions I've come across--crucial reading for anyone curious about emerging church.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

a new look

You may notice my blog has a new look. I chose a new template because it was easier to fit some new things on the page. I have added a section for books/movies/cds I am enjoying and recommend. AND, if you buy an item from amazon through my blog, I get a few cents.

I spoke last Sunday about "The Kingdom as a Party," from John 2 where Jesus turned the water into wine. Got me thinking about how God really wants us to celebrate--Him, life, family, friends...Interesting that John chose as his first recorded miracle--not a healing or feeding, but saving a party!

I get so caught up in life's demands, that I don't take time to celebrate and enjoy. I'm trying to celebrate the little things--a good meal, the laughter of my children, a funny movie, a beautiful song, a pretty smile. Sometimes I look back at my "best days," days that made great memories, like surprise parties on my 16th, 21st, and 40th birthdays, my wedding day, the day Brady was born, a day at Kings Dominion with Ashley. I really do have much to celebrate!

If anyone's reading this, I'd love to hear about some of your "best days!"

Monday, January 15, 2007

ramblings on the war

I try to think carefully before I speak about politics and hot issues; not to hide my views, but to be sensitive to others and not alienate people. But I recently received an email that really got me going. It was one of those emails that everyone forwards to family and friends--here it is:

A mother asked President Bush,... "Why did my son have to die in Iraq?"

Another mother asked President Kennedy,... "Why did my son have to die in Viet Nam?"

Another mother asked President Truman,... "Why did my son have to die in Korea?

Another mother asked President F.D. Roosevelt,... "Why did my son have to die at Iwo Jima?"

Another mother asked President W. Wilson,... "Why did my son have to die on the battlefield of France?"

Yet another mother asked President Lincoln,... "Why did my son have to die at Gettysburg?"

And yet another mother asked President G. Washington,... "Why did my son have to die near
Valley Forge?"

Then long, long ago, a mother asked... "Heavenly Father, why did my Son have to die on a cross outside of Jerusalem?"

The answers to all these are similar -- "So that others may have life and dwell in peace, happiness and freedom."

I know the people that write and send these things mean well. But this is ridiculous. It implies that our military is on a holy mission. The scary thing is; a lot of people believe just that. To compare the death of our soldiers in Iraq to the death of Jesus Christ is just plain wrong. Jesus took the path of peace and gave His life. Our government sends our soldiers to kill.

Many people say that if you are against the war, then you are not supporting our troops. Many believe that Christians should support the war, because President Bush is a Christian and is being led by God. That is frightening. I don't doubt the president's faith, but I don't think he is leading the way Jesus taught.

Now I support our soldiers completely. I am an army veteran, and am grateful to those who serve. But my heart is broken that so many have died needlessly, along with so many Iraqis. And while I support our soldiers, I don't support the continuing strategy that put them where they are. I don't support the horrible decisions our leaders continue to make, that lead to so many deaths and are actually making the world a more dangerous place.

Jim Wallis has a great post about the war on his blog; and communicates much of what I feel, but far more eloquently. My desire is that our leaders do all they can to bring our soldiers home. I hate the ongoing violence in the middle east, and pray that God will bring peace and healing; but I think it's crazy to think it will happen through war, especially one led by the US.

I'll step down from my soapbox now. My blood is pumping because of four hours of 24 in the last two days. (OK, you may be wondering how I can be so pro-peace, anti-war, then be a fan of such a violent, stereotypical terrorist tv show. No idea. I just am. I never claimed that my life makes sense.)

Friday, January 05, 2007

heat on emerging church is rising

Been reading about John MacArthur's upcoming book critiquing emerging church. MacArthur's books had a great influence on me as a young Christian. While I don't always agree with him, I have always respected him. But the general attacks and unfounded criticism have made me sad.

If you're curious or interested in all the buzz, here are some blogs to look at.

Here is the first of a series from MacArthur, Brian McLaren and the Clarity of Scripture.
I don't encourage you to spend too much time here; I think MacArthur's opinions and judgments about McLaren and emerging church are unfair and inaccurate. But it is good to know the different perspectives out there.

Dan Kimball, author of The Emerging Church, gave a great response on his blog.

Paul Mayers has a great post on all this at Jason Clark's blog.

And Bill Kinnon has a great humorous response.

We've got a big planning day at church Sunday; things are moving along well!

Happy New Year!