“One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.” (Proverbs 29:23, ESV)
Grace isn’t easy. It sounds easy, but it isn’t. It requires something of me that I am normally unwilling to give. It requires I give up on myself. It requires I look myself squarely in the face and admit that I will not pull myself up by my bootstraps. I won’t be master of my destiny. It requires I acknowledge openly and honestly that I am a bum.
Some time ago, I sat on our back porch and had a long talk with man struggling to raise his two children alone. He was angry. Angry with God, with Christians, and with the church. He was looking for the comfort of a woman, and a stout paycheck. He figured this was all he needed, and everything would be OK. If he could just work out those two details, he could fix his life.
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2, ESV) Continue reading
After a long absence, my schedule has relaxed a little, and I thought we should bring back the Rabbit Trails.
Hopping down the WWRT this week…
The radio ministry of Harold Camping – the guy who has failed to predict the Apocalypse not once, but three times – appears to be in financial trouble. Religion News Service article.
If you’ve never read the “Get Religion” blog, you need to. The purpose of this blog is for Christians in the news media to critique the media’s coverage of news stories that have religious angles. I really enjoy reading their work. Just this week, this story about interviewing pro-choice activists about the Gosnell trial was really interesting.
For you paddlers out there, here’s some cool places to paddle in the north country. I’d love to do some of these sometime.
From CT, should pastors know what people give? This is interesting, and there are pros and cons to each position. I don’t know what anyone in my church gives. I would rather not. What do you think as a person in the pews?
All of the talk about being missional and radical has some asking if this is a new kind of legalism. I have the same question. I might post on it sometime.
I’ve had this link saved for a while, and it’s worth another look. Ten reasons our kids are leaving church.
Last night, my wife, Beth, had one of those scares that all parents dread. It’s the sort of thing that could happen to anyone, but last night it happened to her. She took the girls to Barnes and Noble to get something our oldest needed for school. The kids were roaming around like they normally do, but staying close to mom. At least, the oldest two had the sense to stay close by.
Piper, who is three years old, decided she wanted to go to the car. Off she went without anyone noticing that she had slipped away. A frantic three minutes later, after a store wide “Amber Alert” – yeah, that’ll panic a parent – Piper is found walking around near the front entrance. Continue reading
“This research may help to explain how evangelicals are often targeted for claims of hypocrisy; the unique ‘sin’ of evangelicals tends to be doing the ‘right’ thing but with improper motives,” says Barna Group president David Kinnaman.
via Christianity Today Gleanings: Are Christians Really Hypocrites? Barna Researchers Examine Actions, Attitudes.
I certainly don’t claim to be an expert on music. I can’t read it at all, but I’ve been thinking about how we use it, and am always asking the “why?” question. I want to know why we do things in a certain way.
If you hang around me long enough, you’ll notice that I don’t typically use the words contemporary and traditional in relation to worship. It seems to me that these words have come to refer to specific forms of worship music, and do not address adequately the larger question of proper worship. Contemporary typically refers to modern (post-1970’s) praise music, and traditional is used to refer to hymns.
The argument over music isn’t helpful in the big picture because musical style isn’t the most important question no matter how we feel about it. No matter our opinions. Part of my problem with modern worship is its obsession with music as the expression of good worship. When someone asks “Does church X have good worship?” What he normally means is “Does church X have good music?” Maybe it’s just me, but this puts an emphasis on music that didn’t exist in the Church for most of its history, and seems out of balance now. I contend that this is an expression of our revivalistic ideals, and is almost entirely a modern development. Continue reading
Before my role as an associate pastor, I served for three years as youth pastor. Before that, I volunteered with youth, and was part-time youth minister for a combined 9 years. The truth is, I never felt like I fit in as a youth pastor. After a few years of full-time ministry, I ran out of gas, but I’ve never lost concern for youth, and I love how they want to have tough conversations.
Last night, I had the privilege of teaching our catechism class of 7th and 8th graders. I loved it. I got to walk to them through the history and theology of the Apostles’ and Nicene Creed. They were smart and inquisitive. The conversation roamed far and wide, they asked great questions, and we got to laugh a little too. Imagine that, actually having fun talking about theology! They thought it would be funny to pronounce anathemas on people during the announcement time of our worship service. “Attention! This morning we pronounce anathema against Johnny Smith!”
It was fun to teach a bunch of kids who really want to know and understand what they believe and church history too. I hope they never lose that. I hope I never lose that.
Do you remember the merry-go-round? I loved those when I was a kid. Round and round and round. Awesome. Apparently, they were unsafe, and today’s safety Nazi’s determined that we’d had enough broken arms. I think we were tougher back in the 80’s.
Anyway, you remember spinning around faster and faster? There was always that moment you wanted to get off the thing, but it was a risky move. You jump, and you might get hurt. Of course, if you quit playing the game, it slowed down the spin, and everyone else got mad at you for messing up the ride. I always thought the guy doing the pushing seemed to be having the most fun. Continue reading