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Showing posts from October, 2011

Happy Halloween

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Be safe out there.

Small Sips Really Has Heard of Rob Bell

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We apparently suck. Last month, Rob Bell announced that he's leaving his position as Teaching Pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids to pursue other ministry projects. Apparently, some on the more Evangelical side of things were/are hotly debating and discussing this move. Tony Jones observes that people in mainline churches haven't seemed to voice opinions on the subject, and he takes a stab at why:
Prominent liberal Christians aren’t objecting to Bell’s departure from parish ministry because they’ve never heard of Rob Bell.

On occasion, I speak to groups of mainline clergy (believe it or not, I don’t get evangelical invitations anymore). As is my wont, I drop Christian cultural references here and there when I speak. And it’s become clear to me that most mainline clergy have never heard of Rob Bell. They don’t know what the emerging church movement is. They don’t read Jesus Creed. In short, they are not familiar with anything evangelical, with the possible exc…

The Moped Diary

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Starting next month, I will begin contributing to a communal blogging project called The Moped Diary. I don't know where the name came from, so don't ask.

The idea behind this project is simple: people from a wide variety of backgrounds will engage texts from the Revised Common Lectionary through prayer and study, and will post reflections according to their assigned texts and weeks. I'm generally scheduled for the third and fourth weeks of the month.

I'll post blurbs and links of my writing here to alert you to my contributions, but you should keep track of the whole thing.

The project kicks off next week.

Pop Culture Roundup

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I'm between books at the moment, but I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of my pre-ordered copy of Three and Out by John U. Bacon. Bacon was given unfettered access to the Michigan Wolverines football program during Rich Rodriguez's entire stint as head coach, and this is his account of that experience. Apparently nobody comes out looking very well as he details the fractures that took place before and during Rodriguez's tenure that helped contribute to the absolute crappiness of the last three seasons. Part of me is not thrilled about reliving those years, but this is a must-read not just for Michigan fans but for anyone curious about the day-to-day happenings in any major college football program.

We watched Tangled this week, Disney's version of the story of Rapunzel. I didn't know much about the story beyond the "I have long hair, climb up" bit. Rapunzel, voiced by Mandy Moore, is indeed trapped in a tower, but she isn't really aware that sh…

Scattered Meme is Scattered

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So. I made a video that I was planning to post today, but for some reason it won't load right on Youtube or something. It's one of the greatest things you would have ever seen, too. In that sense, I am very disappointed in the universe at the moment. So here's a space-filler...uh...meme:

1. I lose my keys all of the time. Even if they are in my hand, I still am looking for them. Sigh! What is something you chronically looking for, if anything? Actually...my keys. I've made great strides in this area the past few years, but still...I've locked myself out of my house, office, or car more often than I'd like to admit.

2. What movie are you looking forward to watching sometime in the future? (me, the new Footloose!) NOT the new Footloose. The Dark Knight Rises, coming next summer.

3. What is one of your favorite comfort foods? (me, pizza. hands down). A really good gourmet burger. And fries.

4. Story time. Tell us a story of one your favorite people …

Gushing

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I've started meeting with my spiritual director. We've carved out an hour or so on Tuesday mornings at a local Panera to drink coffee, eat bagels, and talk about where the divine presence is in the midst of even mundane places like that. We've hit it off pretty well, I think. He's an older, gentle-speaking guy, active in his Catholic faith. That he's Catholic may give some pause, as if his tradition may be too stark to one's own if one is a Protestant. I'm actually glad for the difference: it helps me think beyond my own tradition, and I think will help me learn Ignatius more in his context. As a bonus, his son graduated from the University of Michigan, so we're doing just fine together.

At this point in the process, I'm in a time of preparation for the Exercises, not yet experiencing them. This consists of working through a series of scripture passages, one per day, and prayerfully wondering how each passage may speak into my own life. "…

Vintage CC: St. Louis - The First Year

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I meant to post this a month or so ago, but better late than never. It's been just over ten years since I first moved onto the campus of Eden Theological Seminary to begin my M.Div studies. I credit my time in St. Louis for an incredible amount of personal growth, but it did not come without a lot of pain and self-honesty. I wrote this entry in 2009--which is among my favorites--to illustrate that._______________

It's 1:00 a.m.A lone candle flickers on the floor of a living room of modest decor, adding the faint yet distinct scent of pine forest to the room.

Shadows of plastic shelving and milk crates dance on the bare walls. I sit next to the candle, its aroma mixed with the taste of rum and Coke, as I pluck another bass string.

It's my first week on campus. Or maybe the second. Or eighth. I don't know. I did this a lot.

Maybe "Crush" by Dave Matthews was playing. Maybe I sat in silence attempting to create something new with four strings and a modest…

Pop Culture Roundup

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I'm the type of pastor who starts anticipating the season of Advent in September. I always look for a new resource for that season; a way to express the familiar themes in new ways. I don't do this with any other season...there's just something about Advent that inspires me to do extra planning. Anyway, the resource I picked up this year is The Journey by Adam Hamilton. Hamilton attempts to retrace the steps of the various characters by traveling to Israel and visiting the holy sites commemorating each stop. The book is pretty good: his insights into the geography are interesting. I didn't find a whole lot new regarding the stories themselves, though.

I haven't seen any new Boardwalk Empire episodes yet. I have no real excuse. I am ashamed.

Being a fan of WWE, I see a lot of video game commercials during their TV shows. I saw one the other week that had me thinking, "What was that song playing the background?" A quick Google search showed that it …

Justicetober

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This time of year, I always like to remind my readers of two important justice causes that many make it a point to highlight in October. First, October is Fair Trade Month:
This October is the 8th annual Fair Trade Month in the United States. Throughout the month, conscious consumers and ethically-minded brands will unite to celebrate and promote Fair Trade. A variety of education events, in-store sampling programs and online initiatives have been planned to help increase awareness and sales of Fair Trade Certified products, ultimately leading to greater impact for farmers and workers in developing countries. The theme for Fair Trade Month 2011 is Every Purchase Matters.What follows in that article are 10 ways to observe the month, including purchasing fair trade chocolate for Halloween.

Second, this week is Mental Illness Awareness Week:
In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in recognition of NAMI's efforts to rais…