Archive for the ‘random’ Category

weekend rip-offs

A few tid-bits I found this week on the interwebs. Be blessed.

We find throughout Scripture that humans are invited to worship the God in whose image they are made. By worshipping this God (which involves repentance and faith; the faith involves learning to recognize this God in the crucified and risen Jesus), they are restored as image-bearers.
When people continually and consistently refuse to worship this God, they progressively reflect this image less and less. Instead, they reflect the images of what they are worshipping. Since all else other than the true creator God is heading for death, this means that they buy into a system of death, [which] leads, by one’s own choice, to an eventual erasing of that which makes us truly human.
— NT Wright, in answer to a request for a definition of what “damnation” means (HT: Beth)

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Here is a description of Ryan Bolger’s “Church and Mission” class at Fuller Theological Seminary. I would take this class in a heartbeat. Wow.

In my Church and Mission class this last quarter, we discussed this idea — continuing the work of Jesus as the primary task of ‘church’. We talked about Jesus’ central message, the proclamation of the kingdom of God. We talked about how the church finds its true identity when it continues this proclamation, both in their corporate life and in the story they tell about God. We talked about how the kingdom is not an abstract concept — Jesus’ proclamation created a space that included the outcasts and the sinners and invited them into community. It gave voice to the voiceless, the enemy a seat at the table.

I asked my very big class (74 students!), what would it look like if our sole mission strategy was to continue Jesus’ ministry? And what if it had to stay pretty concrete, staying pretty close to the actual things Jesus did in community with his disciples? What if that was the stuff we had to get right, the central stuff, and that the other stuff, while important, was peripheral? In our jobs at Starbucks, or in our neighborhood groups, or in our church systems, what if hospitality, including the marginalized, overflowing generosity, giving voice to those without, were the essentials? Could these sorts of communal practices point to God and change the world?

In our class, we replaced the church rubric (how many are in or out?) with kingdom rubrics — how are our practices, anywhere, like the kingdom (or not)? Are our activities that we participate in moving in that direction? How might we foster, through our conversations, positive moves towards the kingdom at Starbucks, in our neighborhoods, and in our church systems? (HT)

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New England has the largest gap between rich and poor than any region in the United States (story)

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And, last but not least, scary militant Christians.

Enjoy!

random musings (the most over-used phrase in the blogosphere)

I’d encourage you to follow the conversations going on over at Atheist Revolution, specifically on the post titled, “Few ‘christians’ Act like Christians.” Also, feel free to continue the conversation on the post below this one. But time is money, people — we here at HarvestBoston need to move on with some fresh (and refreshingly random) material.

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Matt Friedeman of Agape Press correctly reminds us that bigger churches may not always be more influencial, while another author uncovers what he calls “The Mega-Church Myth”.

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Christianity Today, which (IMHO) is becoming one of the more thoughtful and progressive Jesus publications out there today, throws monasticism/neo-monasticism a bone as a “proven method” for spiritual formation.

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Still jobless and begging God to teach me how to trust Him more, I was comforted/shaken to the core by John 6:25-59 yesterday. Yikes, Lord — Increase my faith.

In a related story, I have a job interview on Wednesday. (of which I was notified not 30 minutes after submitting my life once again to God in trust and asking Him to teach me to trust…) Prayers at 1 p.m. EST on Wednesday would be much appreciated.

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Curious about where we live? Read this descriptive feature story about East Boston — aka “Eastie.” After reading this, you’ll understand why we’re excited about living where we live.

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Speaking of Eastie, allow me to introduce you to our new friends, Matt and Pam. They are the Christ-followers who live in East Boston and who approached us at the Italian Festival a few weeks ago, and with whom we have now eaten blondies (light colored brownies), played a rousing game of bball (in which they beat us by 1, behind the come-from-behind heroics of 5-3 [?] shooting guard, Pam), and eaten a wonderful, spontaneous pasta meal. Oh, and we prayed together also, and were surprised to find that we pray almost the same way (without levitation or high-pitched squeals). They are a blessing from God, and we are excited to see what God has in store for our relationship and for East Boston.

(Another coinki-dink: Matt’s little bro is in a band, too — just like mine. His music sounds awesome. You should check out some of their songs on their mySpace or look at their pretty Web site.)

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Was that random enough for ya?

Hank Hill goes church shopping

“I guess I can understand buying coffee in church, but do you really think Jesus recommends Nat King Cole?” — Hank Hill, King of the Hill

(press the “play” button at the bottom)

HT: Kelly

puts a new meaning on “become all things to all men”

emerjeans

OK, that’s good for cutting-edge, emergent-style churches. But what about for Churches of Christ? Here’s a start, maybe:

sola scriptura camisole

Hey, get that “gospel message” however people will lust after it….I mean, hear it.

(did you notice that “MADE IN THE USA” banner on the camisole? I mean, how could you not. I can see that guy somewhere in, let’s say Alabama or Georgia, surfing the Web for gifts for wife, coming across this fabulous item, and saying something like, “I don’t know what the heck this means, but at least some Chinaman didn’t make it!”)

shameless plug

I’ll make this quick: My brother Mitch’s band, Homer Hiccolm and the Rocketboys (you can watch a video of one of their songs here), has the opportunity to play at Cornerstone, a HUGE alternative Christian music festival in Illinois that takes place every summer. We’re talking tens of thousands of people. They are on a ballot of bands in the running to play on the “New Band Stage” at the festival, and if they receive the most votes of any of the new bands, they will get to play on the main stage alongside bands like P.O.D., Copeland, David Crowder, MxPx, Reliant K, and many others. This is huge.

Click on the link below, register with Cornerstone (you won’t receive spam from Cornerstone, don’t worry), and vote for Homer Hiccolm and the Rocketboys. Feel free to use as many e-mail addresses (that are yours, of course) to vote as many times as you want.

http://www.cornerstonefestival.com/newbandshowcase.cfm

Let’s help send Mitch and his bandmates to the main stage at Cornerstone!

random Saturday stuff

Funny Texas quote of the day (from Friday):

“I’ll never buy a Korean automobile…we might bomb them some day &emdash; parts’ll be hard to get.” &emdash; an older man I work with at the Christian Service Center after seeing a Daiwoo in front of the truck we were in.

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I’m pretty proud of my dad, Steve Sr., for a letter he wrote to ACU’s student newspaper, The Optimist, in response to this column.

You can read his response here.

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Miller has been discussing on his blog possible solutions to the “problem” of homelessness and poverty.

I’ve got a possible solution, or at least a stepping stone in that direction: sit with them.

I just saw an ACU student sitting cross-legged with a panhandling woman who sits near campus almost every day, and I had a sneaking suspicion that maybe he is more onto the solution to the “problem” than any of the rest of us.

missional churches and headless squirrels

Please keep commenting on Son of Man or The End of the Spear on the post below if you want, but I had to share quick two things with the blogging community this beautiful Monday morning.

First, I know many of the readers of this blog are interested in emergent/missional/whatever church, so here’s a gem of a blog post over on Ryan Bolger’s cyber-home: “The Marks of a Missional Church”. I’d love your thoughts.

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Also, I just got this e-mail from my wife regarding our 9-month-old poodle, and I’m re-printing it without her permission. It really has nothing to do with anything, except for the fact that it’s funny to visualize (and I’m bored with reading David Naugle’s mesmerizing book, Worldview: The History of a Concept).

so…Damon just found a headless squirell. I chased him around the yard but he wouldn’t give up the rodent with its spinal cord hanging out. Final solution…offer Damon something better…an orange. 🙂 He accepted, and I lured him into the office and quickly shut the door. Now…dispose of the carcass. I found two sticks (Damon’s of course) and stretched them out far before balancing the furry remains and flinging it over the fence…success! Except that Damon touched that rodent…uggg.