Evangelizing Techniques

Look, I am all for being passionate.  To have something you believe in and the effort to share it with others is a very courageous endeavor.  I don't care if it's your faith, your shampoo, your favorite recipe, or yourself when you were up for "most popular" in high school, I truly think that if you believe in it, then you should shout it from the rooftops. 

 

"R-E-S-P-E-C-T"

 I mean, done and done right?

 

"I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!"

Could this be more clear?

 

"Say no to drugs."

Very, very clear.  In fact, we've established programs after this.

 

So please, shout out all you want.  But can we talk about this?  Can we try and be consistent with our policies?  For example, if Aretha demanded a bit of respect and then punched someone and called them a "loser" then I might question her motives.  Or if the ten year old who screamed for ice cream opted for a glass of lemonade, then well I would tell him that he should get his snacks straight.  Or even, Mr. D.A.R.E. was caught smokin' the hash, I might wonder where he drew the line for "drugs".

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Tags | Writing

Clutter

In her book, Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott coaches her readers on the art of writing.  She does pages after pages on how to write and what to write and where to start and the many drafts you will do. It's so hard for me to see the finished product and think that it was messy at first.

 

The "art", experience or journey, of sanctification seems to be the same thing.  Sanctification is the "process of God's grace by which the believer is separated from sin and becomes dedicated to God's righteousness. Accomplished by the Word of God (John 17:7) and the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:3-4), sanctification results in holiness, or purification from the guilt and power of sin."*  I say art because how many rough drafts of this process will I go though?  I have been around for 24 years and feel like I could have written 7 or 8 autobiographies, because each time I pull out the Word and each time I let the Spirit work I am molded and I am changed and I am different.    It's art because regardless of the process it's beautiful; it's a mixed up layer of redacting, exposition, strength, weakness, doodles, highlights and a starring method that I never remember the key.  It's art because it s a form of getting out what has been inside, a pile of our thoughts and ideas on paper or our sins and transgressions before God.  

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You Invade

It's been cold and rainy here lately.  I find myself going to sleep with the rain and waking to it as well. I adore it.  There is something about the weather moving and changing, interrupting our lives that reminds me of the existence of something much bigger than my daily life and mundane tasks.

 

As a little girl I can recall being deathly afraid of the rain.  My mom told me that God was moving the furniture, but as I pictured the giant couch being moved on the floors of heaven, I could not help but still shiver at the loudness of it all.  My fear was quickly replaced with awe as I would watch my dad seat himself in front of the big picture windows we had in Arizona and marvel at the lightening that one only sees in a National Geographic catalogue. This is coming from a man who once watched a tornado pass from the porch a block away, or he who wanted to drive slower so that we may see the green cloud in the Kansas sky turn into that dreaded funnel shape. Later, he took me to see Twister on the big screen.  I loved that date of ours. And he loves the storms.  The lightening had a way of illuminating everything around us, causing the rain to look as though it stopped mid air and for that second, the dark was gone and was replaced with light.

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Tags | Writing

New Year! (14 Days Late)

My gosh.  I am 14 days behind the rush to start the New Year.  I have finally chosen a resolution, and I have finally decided it's time to start 2009.  The past two weeks have been trying in many ways, and I think we all sometimes feel similar emotions when on the brink of change.  For odd reasons we feel depressed around Christmas and even the sparkling lights of the tree can not cheer us up.  We are in the midst of the miracle of birth yet we often feel like death.  It's statements like these that give me away, but I think that if we are truthful there is a part of that in all of us.  Why does death greet me when I celebrate birth?  

 

My mom, an English major in College, and now a high school librarian, always speaks of the literary device of the cycle of life and death. In a story when one person died, there would inevitably be a birth of a new life. Or, when there was a birth, there would soon be a death. Growing up, I never understood what she was referring to, and this past year, I lived in this tension, in this cycle.

My Grandma, my dad's mom, passed away this week. It was expected, but it still hurts. It's hard in many ways, but mostly  because she is my last grandparent. It's a generation passing away, things they have seen will no longer be heard by mouth but only in printed words. It's hard because she has not been well for awhile, and when she was well, I did not have enough sense to appreciate that time. If only I could have frozen a moment or two when she was laughing when we were little, or she gave me a high five that was so awkward, and I could have taken a snapshot of that moment; but I didn't. And truly, this ink is not a spillage of guilt. I was so young, so naive and there was no way that I could truly appreciate and understand Grandma. Her wisdom. Her generation. The fact that now, in my life, that generation is gone, and the new one is rushing in is something that has, in one week, become a reality. The thought of being only second in line of my family name, instead of being third crosses my mind and I realize that instead of being last, I am now approaching the middle. It's puts a fragile cloud over my parent's life and my friend's parent's life. And mine. I am no longer a grandchild, but just a child, and my other friends, who once made the transition from grandchild to child are now...parents.

Two days after my Grandma passed, after a generation in my life came to an end, a new one began. My dear friends Megan and Randy had their precious twin babies. They are so beautiful and the beginning of this stage of life is something that now being married, I am beginning to grasp a better understanding for. I feel like I am in a race for wisdom, that I am so aware of what I have been missing by only living like I would forever be just a grandchild, and now, as a new awareness of being a child, I have much to learn before I become a parent. And so it's here, in the middle of that tension, of third to second, last to middle, that I find myself. 

I am mixed with sorrow grief, joy and happiness and I can not help but begin to think of the generations that have come and those that will come next. We are fragile people. We are made out of dust.

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The Wrath of God and the Upcoming Election

Romans 13:1-7 says this:


" 1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."

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Tags | The Church

Gospel Today Pulled From Bookshelves

According to news sources, Gospel Today Magazine was pulled from LifeWay Christian Bookstores across the United States. Why? The cover, and topic, is "Female Pastors". According to the Southern Baptist Convention, owner of the LifeWay Christian Bookstores, it was pulled because it went against their belief on Women's roles as pastors, that it's only a role reserved for men. Gospel Today's owner, Teresa Hairston, is "shocked by this news." You can read the full story here.

 

But what are your thoughts? Yes, it can be about your stance on Women as Pastors, but what do you think about pulling it on the basis that you don't agree with it? Should readers have equal opportunity to read different views of Scripture since the store is LifeWay Christian book store, not LifeWay Southern Baptist book store? 

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Your or Someone Like you

I wish I could meet yourself...but younger. im not talking about the younger that you can get with botox or surgery which daily seems less shocking, but i mean the younger self: who you were before who you are now. i feel like all of us, love that self. 

when i was little i used to cry and cry and cry every night because i was afraid of the dark and i knew that dad and mom would come in and comfort me and they would always take care of me. of course, after a few years (yes, years) this act got old and dad would threaten to put me in the cold shower. i never believed him, but one time, he came storming the room and I could only see the outline of his body as he reached down, picked me up and took me into the bathroom. the cold water knob was turned on to full strength and then the door opened, and i was shoved in, tears and clothes and all. i never cried in my bed again....not only to avoid a shower. but there was something liberating about that night. some freedom which was found in being saved.
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Leaving the Church from his perspective

August 2, 2008

the difference between names and faces is completely fascinating.  I can go my whole day and see a hundred faces. Where I get my morning coffee; it's the same barista, the audience is the same as we play out a joke we seem to have played so many times before this moment.  I feel connected to that person, yet i do not know his name.  if i saw him, not in the uniform of black and white and that silly hat, i may not know why i know them, but I would register that somehow i do.  would i recognize him quicker if i knew his name?

all of this is going through my head as I am lazily standing around sipping my coffee.  its about 8:30 and the day has begun.  nothing much has changed, and i woke up with that same feeling of insignificance as i had the morning before, and the one before that, and the one...

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Tags | Writing

leaving the church

Ever since I can remember, I have gone to church and loved it. I loved the Sunday School games, the hymns, the Christmas programs, the energy, the potlucks...we were a church family. However, I was just a child then. I went to church where my parents went to church, and no questions asked. Now, as I am newly married, a seminary student, and am asked by my community, my family and my self, what type of person I will be, what I will believe, and what I will allow to define me; my husband and I find ourselves very seriously thinking about where we go to church. For someone who has always accepted church as being a part of the non-questionable Sunday routine (and youth night when the activity seemed fun enough to go), we are finding ourselves refreshingly shocked that we are not taking church with such openness. We are being very particular, and dissecting the sermons, the worship and, if I am honest, the leadership.

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Thy Kingdom Come (as long as I can control it)

The best thing about a good song is the beat. Now a days, people are always making iPod playlists, car soundtracks, and video montages with that perfect song because life is just a bit better when walking to a beat.  This is most likely one of the biggest driving forces behind the sales and the obsession with the iPod.  According to arecent study there are approximately 70 million current iPod users.  [1]  Take a second and think about that number.  An average heart beats103,680 beats in a day. That means that if music was blood, there is enough music being played in to give  67,515 people breath. These white ear-buds give it’s owners the ability to drown out the societal noises of cars honking, baristas screaming and even their own thoughts and get lost in a rhythm that seems tobeat the same thump-thump of the emotions of their heart.  But why, why must there be anelectronic phenomenon to create this rhythm?  Is this world so chaotic that ears must be stuffed full ofbeats in order to truly hear?  Must footsteps really be in tune to the latest and greatest song, or were they meantto hit the pavement to different sort of rhythm? 

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