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Archive for June, 2008

Home Again

Well, home again, home again…….

That’s the start of the post but I’m not sure which one to be called home.

We took a few days off and headed to Townsend, Tennessee and we just got back to our home in Marion a few hours ago. I still struggle with which one is home.

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Quiet

Hi guys…..it’s been a bit since I posted an update so I thought I would jump on.

Things have been hectic, crazy and a little stressful. The sale of the store we own fell through so trying to spend time working on the store when I thought it was going to move to new hands. Business is down greatly and I will be going to the store full time soon to try to help pay off the loans.

According to the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), millions of former U.S. college students are currently in default on student loans, meaning they have not made a payment for at least nine months. For more information about loan default for students, you can check out Student Loan Forgiveness.

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This one is post a friend of mine did on his blog that I thought was awesome and wanted to share with you. Thanks for giving me the ok Jim! (You can visit Jim’s site under the recommended blogs on the right).

I have a small goldfish pond in my front yard and I like to spend some time out there watching the fish and dragonflies and other critters who live around that place.

I usually feed the goldfish a few times a week—somehow they seem to know when it is time to eat, I think they feel the vibrations as I walk up to the edge of the pond.

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My parents

OK, I hope you don’t mind a sappy post but I have had some thoughts going on ever since I had lunch with my parents a couple days ago. Since, Father’s Day is coming up, I’ll say that is part of it too.

I love my parents dearly even though I don’t get to see them as much as I used to when I lived closer. I cherish time with them and experiencing their personalities when we are together to remind me of my roots. I get the chance to remember my foundation they have provided me. Like any family, there are always a disfunctional aspect here and there and I am not unrealistic by forgetting those. At the same time, these things mesh into our history in such a way to add to the positives in our lives.

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OK, I’m a little tired so this won’t be a long one. Just wanted to touch base on a book I am going through and put some thoughts out there. The book is called “Vintage Jesus” by Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill in Seattle, Washington.

I have been wanting to go a little deeper into Pastor Driscoll for awhile. I became aware of him when I was at Solomon’s Porch for the Emergent Summer Institute a few years back. He was one of the founding people for Emergent (negative) but made a stand and left the group (positive) when more of the leaders of the group became more vocal about scary beliefs. I read he was conservative with his beliefs (positive) and ran a contemporary church (positive). He;s know for a foul mouth; “the cussing pastor” (negative) and being angry and spiteful towards fellow emergent leaders (negative) but later publicly apologized (positive). So as you can see, Mark has been a roller coaster ride for me.

So I picked up his new book “Vintage Jesus” on audio book. I was happy to see he was the one doing the reading itself so it would give me a better feel for him over all. So far, I have found a few redeeming qualities including the ample research and presentation that makes his knowledge on the topics impressive. However, there is a great deal of attitude represented that turns me off. Even as one who agrees with many of the beliefs being presented, I am turned off by the cockiness within the tone and words of the author. I would even more so be turned off if I was someone seeking the Lord and this is what I came across. I’m all about confidence but a majority of what is shared is over the line.

Before I got the book, I found on-line reviews of ultra conservatives who shared frustration about Mark’s flippant attitude in his writing. I did not share the same concern some of them shared. He often uses shocking words and phrases to capture an effect which doesn’t throw me. However, what I was concerned about was his way of taking portions of Scripture out of context just far enough to make a point that has nothing to do with the Scripture. For instance, he has a lengthy section about Jesus having a sense of humor. As Mark goes chapter by chapter through the gospel of Mark (I think it was Mark if I remember correctly), he throws out the hilarious things Jesus said or did. As he comes to Mark 9 and shares how zany Jesus is for suggesting we would cut out an eye or cut off a hand if it makes us sin. Obviously this is so out there it must be a great prank! Funny Jesus.

I’m all about Jesus having a sense of humor. I would bet my life that He did. However, Jesus had a point to make of the serious of sin and how important it is to address and not play games with temptation. I don’t feel comfortable with throwing that point under the bus to twist it into it was just Jesus feeling a little zany and cracking everyone up.

That being said, a lot of times I can blow off the little things that annoy to get the wealth of information in the book. However, this is not so in this book. The pompus attitude and carefree handling of the Word take away from the study itself. I wouldn’t take too much time on this one.

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For those who have been around awhile, you have been subjected to my endless ramblings on the Emergent community, emerging church, conservative church and the like. Not just on this site, but in other on-line communities I am involved in. My on-going conversation about the dangerous teachings of the leading voices of Emergent and the concern of the non-loving bashing way that ultra conservatives can act that fuel the flame sometimes.

However, I have come across a book that nails the topic better than any of my feeble attempts called “Why We’re Not Emergent (By two Guys Who Should Be). This book is a great introduction into the conversation that is a must read on any list.

The only thing I would prefer in the book that the introduction promised I would not find is the lack of addressing the difference of Emergent the group and the concept of emerging churches. I still see a very distinct difference between the two while also conceding that there are sweeping similarities. I was afraid the book would throw all emerging churches under the bus as I have seen done before.

My fears were quickly dismissed as I continued to read the book. I agree that trying to address that minor point would be too difficult to dance around instead of focusing on the real topics at hand. The book is a true balance of truth and love with a little fun mixed in to boot.

I know many of you have two or three books going at a given time so I don’t mean to add on. However, my suggestion is this, unless that book is the Bible, put it down for another day and dive into this. Great book!

Get it here! 

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While reading another blog, I came across this quote from Rick Warren; “Too many people are informed but not transformed.” The context of this phrase was talking about the belief that Christians already know more information than they are putting into practice.

As a pastor, this concept is something I am struggling with. I see truth in the statement and see how it’s an overstatement.

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