Month: April 2006

Changed by the story of God …

I have sat on a couple of quotes offered by Bob Hyatt. I found these compelling.

“No one is changed through moral exhortation. People are changed when they are told a different story about themselves.” –Walter Brueggeman

“At our Baptist church there were only two categories… Everything was either compulsory or it was prohibited.” –Steve Chalke

If it is not your cause then it should be no one’s cause … Immigration and Evangelicals …

The first shot came as some “evangelicals” signed the “Evangelical Climate Initiative.” Debate about global warming and its attendant science came under scrutiny as some evangelicals questioned those who signed the document. Despite your opinion and position there is little doubt the brand of dispensational eschatology touted by many evangelicals leaves many in that camp believing since the earth will be destroyed we need not bother with ecological matters. This despite the “Creation Mandate” found in Genesis 1.

Now it seems when matters of human rights and immigration rise to the fore once again some evangelicals claim the issue outside the “evangelical framework.” For example, “Focus [on the Family], known for Mr. [James] Dobson’s popular radio show, has decided that immigration isn’t “something that defines an evangelical,” spokesman Stuart Shepard says.”

Natalie offers a couple of posts of import on the matter. Immigration-not an evangelical issue? and Evangelical Immigration Reform Letter.

Obscuring the real issues … Pitts on McKinney

Leonard Pitts Jr. points to the obscuring of real issues amidst the Cynthia McKinney flap. He concludes,

Last week, somebody was beaten because he was black., Went hungry because he was black. Died because he was black. Yet the face of racial injustice was Cynthia McKinney being asked for ID. You think there’s something wrong with that picture?
Well, duh.

Reading Scripture and the Life of Faith … Interpretation …

Episode 21 of Grey’s Anatomy on March 19 was titled, “Superstition.” Interns worked through the idea of “death clusters.” The funeral home director commented this week, “This is the third funeral at youth church. You know they say deaths come in three’s.” I was told this long ago and have myself often wondered about the validity of the notion. For our church this happened to be the case. While the “Memorial” services spanned four weeks, the deaths all came in March. My late friend Lyle dreaded the month of April, after this past month, April has been welcomed.

We remembered Dwain this past Wednesday. On Monday the family gathered to talk about the service. One of Dwain’s habits helped me illustrate some things that have been running through my mind regarding the authority of God and the Scriptures. In modern Evangelicalism much of our time talking about the Scripture focuses on what it means to “me.” Ron Sider, in The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience, does a fine job describing the way in which this has left the church mired in its own brand of consumerism and missing its missional role of the people of God in the world. Recapturing the role of Scripture in the “community of faith” requires us to look beyond the “What’s in it for me?” to “What would it mean for us in the fulfilling of the mission of God.?”

Blessing the world lies at the heart of the mission of the people of God according to the call of Abram. Dwain found a way to illustrate this by interpreting the call to his family. His favorite Psalm was the popular Twenty-Third. Unbeknownst to him the verbs in that oft referred to song are in the “Intensive” form. We could amplify our English versions with the addition of “really.” “The Lord is “really” my shepherd.” There seems to be something beyond the statement of a simple fact. Instead it appears to be a strong recognition life is encompassed by the Divine Shepherd who really “shepherds” me. Dwain captured the “really” as he communicated his care for his family. He did so with a simple routine.

Each year Dwain would take his calendar and record the birthdays and anniversaries of those in his family. He would purchase cards for these occasions. Dwain would be diligent to see each card arrived at it’s destination on “the day.” For his grandchildren and great-grandchildren he would include at $5 bill. The attentiveness communicated to his family, “I really care about you.” He interpreted to his family the intensity of his love and care. We ought take great care to interpret to the world the authority of God we experience in the Scriptures for the glory of God and the blessing of the world.

What kind of blessing would it be to the world were we to take great care to interpret the love of God in Christ Jesus to all people?” …

Trees …

I have taken some time these past two days for some personal days, what my mentor referred to as “field trips.” Many would refer to them as “mental health days” or just flat being “out of the office.” Yesterday I joined a few of our high school young men for nine holes of golf as I waited on Tommie to arrive at the course for practice. She and I defied Mark Twain’s opinioin of golf and shared a good walk together. We toted our golf bags and played a few holes together as she gets ready for a couple of tournaments. I miss watching her play basketball. But, I enjoyed watching her play a round last week and well watch another tournament on Thursday.

Today, CB called and we moved four trees. I will update this post with better spelling and maybe some pics. We now have a Chinese Pistache, Trident Maple, Caddo Maple and a Shantung Maple. We moved these from the future site of the tee box CB will build behind his barn. Nathan, his grandsom, will have a place to practice just up from his house. If Nathan gets good enough to consistently keep it between the trees, look out high school golf world – talk about narrow.

A couple of days outdoors with family and friends is refreshing … thanks all …