Friday, June 27, 2008

Fear and Awe and Fire!

Hebrews 12:28-29 NLT
Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.

Hebrews 12:28-29 "The Message"
Do you see what we've got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He's actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won't quit until it's all cleansed. God himself is Fire!

Quote of the Day

“The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.” - Bill Clinton

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer Begins

While technically, summer is just a few days underway, the heat and humidity in Kansas this time of year makes you think that summer has been around for a long while and reminds you that July and August only get worse. However, I am very thankful for the long days with sunlight until almost 10pm.

Summer started for me almost a month ago when I went to my first baseball game of the season. There are several guys in the Junior High small group that play summer league baseball. I went to a game towards the end of May. After I get to see a live baseball game, summer has begun as far as I am concerned.

Picture: My friend Jesse's dog, Malachi.
Picture: My cabin from High School camp.

"The Shack"

I also finished "The Shack" on Saturday, amazed by such a good book, maybe the best book of it's kind that I've read since McLaren's "A New Kind of Christian" trilogy. The author is William P. Young, and the work of fiction is from the Pacific Northwest. The book comes with my highest recommendations.

Some of my favorite quotes:

"I suppose that since most of our hurts come through relationships so will our healing, and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside." p11

"Jesus?" he whispered as his voice choked. "I feel so lost."A hand reached out and squeezed his, and didn't let go. "I know, Mack. But it's not true. I am with you and I'm not lost. I'm sorry it feels that way, but hear me clearly. You are not lost." p114

"Does that mean," asked Mack, "that all roads will lead to you?""Not at all," smiled Jesus as he reached for the door handle to the shop. "Most roads don't lead anywhere. What it does mean is that I will travel any road to find you." p182

"...You asked me what Jesus accomplished on the cross; so now listen to me carefully: through his death and resurrection, I am now fully reconciled to the world."
"The whole world? You mean that who believe in you, right?"
"The whole world, Mack. All I am telling you is that reconciliation is a two way street, and I have done my part, totally, completely, finally. It is not the nature of love to force a relationship but it is the nature of love to open the way." p192

My Life on the Run

My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdon, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon
by Bart Yasso

I read a fascinating auto-biography of a runner on Saturday and couldn't hardly put the book down. The guy has run on all seven continents, has been attacked by angry birds in Antartica, ran Badwater (135 miles through Death Valley in July), was chased by a rhino in Nepal, and other crazy things! For some reason I found the following story funny as Bart Yasso made an across the USA solo-bike trip (which sounds like fun!).

"Day 17: Rensselaer, Indiana, to Urbana, Ohio, 225 miles
As I neared the Amish farms of Ohio, a bunch of teenagers in a car mistook me for one of the Plain People. I wasn't wearing a straw hat, but my bike pants and shirt were black, as were my panniers. "What's in your pack, Levi?" they asked in a mocking tone.
"Cocaine," I said.
They realized their mistake and drove away. No one has confused me for an Amish person since." p86

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Unfood and Food-like Substances

Dave Nixon, the retreat speaker who I met a few weeks ago, taught the following advice on food and diet:

1. We need to eat.
2. Don't eat too much.
3. Eat mostly plants.
4. Consider meat as an occasional side-dish. Don't "kill the fattened calf" every night, just on special occasions!
5. Eat real foods.
6. Avoid processed foods.
7. Before eating something ask yourself the question, "is this food or unfood or a food-like substance?"
8. Avoid food with written health claims.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Church is Not About Bricks and Mortar

Revelation 21:22-23 NIV

"I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp."

Marvelous Light

Marvelous Light by Charlie Hall

Verse 1
I once was fatherless, a stranger with no hope;
Your kindness wakened me, Awakened me, from my sleep
Verse 2
Your love it beckons deeply, a call to come and die.
By grace now I will come
And take this life, take your life.
Sin has lost it's power, death has lost it's sting.
From the grave you've risen victoriously!
Into marvelous light I'm running
Out of darkness, out of shame.
By the cross you are the truth,
You are the life, you are the way
Verse 3
My dead heart now is beating,
My deepest stains now clean.
Your breath fills up my lungs.
Now I'm free. now I'm free!
Lift my hands and spin around,
See the light that I have found.
Oh the marvelous light
Marvelous light
Lift my hands and spin
See the light within...

Adventures in Missing the Point

Adventures in Missing the Point
Brian McLaren & Tony Campolo

“Having your sins forgiven is no doubt a part of (or a prelude to) salvation. But in the Bible salvation means much more than that: if anything, being forgiven is the starting line, not the finish line, of salvation.” P19

“…what you believe may be partly correct, but is certainly not completely correct. The point? We must always be open to further insights that will give us fuller understanding of what God is all about.” P34

“Jesus…,inviting us to remember our identity and mission, wants us to join him in entering the world to enjoy and celebrate all that’s good—and to seek to transform all that’s not.” P134

“People miss the point if they confuse sanctification with culture-avoiding legalisms cultivated by our religious subculture.” P137

“…personal intimacy with God isn’t the whole story. In the emerging culture, in fact, the idea of personal relationship with God isn’t necessarily the main point of the story.” P228

“…worship is something offered up to God. With Kierkegaard I contend that in the worship service, leaders (song leader, worship leader, pastor, choir, organist etcetera) are the prompters, the congregation are the performers, and God is the audience.” P239

Absolutely Ridiculous!

Sometimes we do things that are absolutely ridiculous but oh, so much fun! This year at camp at a "Talent Show", I "rapped" The Cross Movement's "I Am That I Am" song twice (Jr. High and Sr. High camps). It is so funny and ridiculous and crazy!

Camp Quaker Haven 2008

1-2: My Junior Camp Cabin
3-4: My friends from Barclay College who led worship at the Youth camps
5: Brave Sammy Sanders V. Matt Macy in the "Yuk Pit"
6: The praries of CQH

Redeem Your Dreams
"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, for which God prepared for us in advance to do." Ephesians 2:10

Monday, June 2, 2008

O, Lord, Our Strength and Confidence

O Lord, our strength and confidence
Our eyes are unto Thee
Thou art the rock of our defense
Our song of victory
Thou who dost still the violence
Of any raging sea

Thou at the flood didst sit as King
What are our floods to Thee
To whom it is a little thing
To walk upon the sea
We wait to hail Thee conquering
King of eternity

Only, O Lord our God, we pray
Teach us to do Thy will
Through windy hours and flying spray
They purposes fulfill
Until the word of yesterday
Thou speakest - "Peace be still."

-Amy Carmichael