- Dear @hulu the number of commercials you put in the finale of the office is enough to make me want to cancel my Hulu+ account. 4 days ago
- In other words: "Welcome Neighbors!" http://t.co/yJZD6S6Lyj 1 week ago
- amzn.com/k/6Hsqe9n9R7ak… Do I want social justice for the oppressed, or do I just want to be known as a socially active person? 2 weeks ago
- amzn.com/k/ZG204j-rSNiw… Do I want social justice for the oppressed, or do I just want to be known as a socially active person? 2 weeks ago
Today Lent begins. I’ve never been much of a Church calendar guy. Even now I still don’t fully understand what Lent is all about, but my meager knowledge tells me that Lent is a season of preparation that leads us to Easter.
For many it is a season of giving things up. Some fast from certain types of food, others fast from entertainment or social media. I’ve heard of one Christian leader who fasts from religious oriented books, and instead reads the writings of skeptics. I don’t have any fasts planned at this point, but instead I plan on adding a couple of things to my schedule.
1. I’ll be reading through the CB Lent book, which is a set of readings and devotions. The readings are derived from liturgies ancient and modern, and the devotions are written by the CB staff. It is designed to focus the reader on the life of Jesus, which is exactly what I want to do during Lent. If you go to CB, but didn’t get a book we’ll have them out this week. If you don’t go to CB but you want access, send me an email and I’ll get it to you.
2. The second thing I’m doing for Lent is something I’m doing with my community group. We are committing to the missional practices represented by the acrostic B.E.L.L.S:
B- asks us to Bless three people every week
E- to eat with three people every week
L- to Learn from Jesus
L- to Listen to the Spirit
And S- to reflect think about what it means to be a sent person.
We didn’t develop these practices, but I’m very excited that we have adopted them. I really do enjoy my community group, and I look forward to hearing the stories of my friends as we seek to walk through this Lent season living missionally.
We are taking 20+ weeks to work through the Book of Acts. Who knew we could have done it in 3 minutes?
I was really hoping that Florida could get out of the national spotlight when it came to elections, or at least out of the “why is your state so incompetent when it comes to elections” spotlight. (Even storm-ravaged NJ seemed to do a better job than us.) Well, it’s Thursday and the results of Tuesday’s election are still outstanding. Some fine citizens in the southern half of our state had to stand in line until after 1:00AM to cast their ballot. (According to reports anyone standing in line at 7:00PM when the polls closed where permitted to vote, meaning that these people stood in line for over six hours.) It appears that the people of S. Florida may be a little more committed than many of my friends. I think election officials have some justified questions that deserve attention. The only reason this is not a more major news story is because the presidential election is decided and Florida’s 29 electoral college votes don’t really matter. For this let us all be thankful.
I do understand that we had a record turnout, and a record number of absentee ballots. I also have been made aware that our laws require us to compare the signatures on the absentee ballots to the voter’s signature on file, which appears to be a significant time investment. I cannot, however, believe that this is the best effort our state can give when it comes to accurate and timely elections. Here’s hoping for next time.
Of course if I’m wrong feel free to educate me.
Someone showed me this today and I thought it was worth sharing. Enjoy:
For my fellow Harry Potter fans who are feeling the absence of a new Harry Potter film this year: Here is a video worth watching.
Thanks Kees van Dijkhuizen. I may now turn my attention to rereading the Hobbit.
This morning on my walk I was listening to the biography of Einstein written by Walter Isaacson. I learned that Einstein had significant trouble in the development of language, and even after he was two years old his doctors were significantly worried about his progress. Einstein later mused that his late development in language allowed for him to observe and process information in a unique way, which in turn led to a revolution in the way we understand the universe. Now of course there are problems in analogies, but perhaps I shouldn’t worry too much that potty training isn’t quite moving along as fast as I would hope.
On a related note, the much used story that Einstein once failed math is apocryphal. He, in point of fact, was really good at math, and his grades are there to prove it. So I can take hope in Einstein’s stunted development in language, but we all need a new patron saint for under-achieving math students.
With that dear parents and readers, I leave you in the hope that this foray into Einstein trivia has brightened your day.
I want to take a moment and say a big thank you for the many people who are supporting our Forge team. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about you can check out these blogs here or here. You can also check out Forge here.) I’m amazed at the generosity of individuals and I want to share a little with you.
Within a couple of days of putting up my first request on the inter webs we raised almost $720. These were people who immediately saw the need and wanted to be a part of it.
I’ve had one person pledge to donate their first check from their new part-timejob.
Another pastor in town heard what we were doing, and thought it sounded cool. He pledged $400.00.
A family member of mine sold a life-sized collectible Yoda (which in my family is no small sacrifice), and is giving part of the proceeds to help our team.
We have a recent college graduate who is pledging part of his salary from his first career job.
This doesn’t include the parents, grandparents, and friends that are helping us meet our $5200 goal.
I’m always humbled by the generosity of others. Each of these individuals will be receiving more personalized appreciation, but while their names are not recorded here, their generosity deserves to be celebrated. Thank you! Thank You! And Thank You again!
I took this picture from Dan Hackett’s pinterest page. This page is not exclusively about puppies, but instead is devoted to a search to the world’s cutest animals. Despite this broader approach I think we can still agree that Dan should be the world’s leading influencer on puppies. (And who even knew that Dan had a pinterest page?)
I’m on a mission to make Dan the world’s leading influencer on puppies. Help me make this a reality by joining Klout (a site made to track influence in social networks). From there just mark Dan as an influencer in regards to puppies. It’s easy to figure out, and if you have any questions let me know.
Missio Dei is Latin for the mission of God. Although I don’t speak Latin, I’m told it is more precisely rendered as the sending of God. I’ve found that Missiologists tend to use the word more frequently than the rest of the Christian population, and I think this is because they are attempting to help people see that sending is part of the nature and character of God.
If you look at the action of God you can begin to see their case.
In Abraham God called a person, and then a nation through that person, to be a blessing to the nations. He sent them out as ambassadors. They were called to be a light to the nations, a city on a hill.
When the nation faltered in their calling God sent them the prophets. Individuals charged with speaking a message from God. The message was often the same, “Repent.” They were called to abandon their idolatry and to abandon their oppression of the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the alien within their gates. They were called to recapture their status as a people that blessed the nations, through their witness to the reign of God.
Occasionally God gave a preview of his intention to include the whole world in on the plan and sent an emissary like Jonah to the nations. Jonah, like many today, was hesitant to accept the sending nature of God.
But the greatest act of sending was when God the Father sent his own Son. It was the culmination of the promise delivered to Abraham, the decisive event that demonstrated his will to bless the whole world through this one. If you were to paint a picture of the sending nature of God par excellence, it would be a representation of the Father sending the Son.
Paul tells us that the Son emptied himself and took on flesh. John, to paraphrase the gospel writer, says that Jesus put on flesh and moved into the neighborhood. The Missio Dei of God is the sending of God so that the world may be blessed through an encounter with the Son.
The sending of God, however, does not stop with the Son. Upon his ascension he sends the Spirit into the lives of individuals and creates a new institution we call the Church. The Church is now sent through the empowerment of the Spirit into the world, and we are now charged to be a blessing to the nations by being witnesses to the sent Son.
It’s weird. With all this sending the Church does a lot of sitting. Now sitting is ok if we happen to be sitting down with the people that God has sent us to, but it’s not so ok if it is sitting on the sideline studying the playbook and calling it discipleship. God is a sending God, and the Church is a sent people. The world should be a better place, because we are in it.