Month: September 2010

Northern Seminary and Missional Leadership

“Go north young man, go north!” Dr. Soden counseled me and some friends nearing graduation from Oklahoma Baptist University. At the time, Dr. Soden was teaching at O.B.U. He was, and is, among my favorites. I did not listen. Wished I had.

I am not dissatisfied with my educational track. It is simply that Dr. Soden’s intent was to say I needed to “get out of the south” for a more rounded academic experience. Years later and opportunities to be stretched in places north of the Mason-Dixon line, I see the wisdom in his advice. So, if you are reading this or know someone who should be, “Go north young man or woman, go north.” That is, to Northern Seminary. And no, this is not a paid advertisement, though J.R. did sell me on the idea my web traffic would triple. Shout out to J.R. Rozko!

What lies north at Northern Seminary? David Fitch will be launching a D.Min. cohort at Northern Seminary in Missional Leadership. The program will include learning with Alan Roxburgh and Craig Van Gelder. I have taken an online course with David (Readings in Postmodern Philosophy and Theology), enjoyed dinner with Alan in Philadelphia while we were both visiting at Biblical Seminary, and admired Craig for his interactions with Ed Stetzer. I have read David’s, The Great Giveaway and am pining for his forthcoming book. I have read Roxburgh’s The Missional Leader. And, I must now pick up one of Craig’s. (I am thinking he is in on an upcoming book with Stetzer.) Read More

Friday Photo – Cohen In the Clouds

Patty is quite creative. Some of her ideas emerge from her imagination. Others are inspired by others’ creativity. In these instances she puts her own twist on an idea. Much of my recent photography, and for that matter I suspect a good bit down the line, is of Cohen Alan. Combine that with Patty’s creativity and this week’s Friday Photo has Cohen Alan floating on the clouds.

Enjoy. Read More

What Separates Pastor Jones and (Insert Your Preferred Extremist)?

My favorite op-ed columnist strikes again. Leonard Pitts Jr. weighs in on the impending bonfire in Florida. Some have “Tweeted” Pastor Terry Jones will be praying about halting the now high profile church event. Let’s just say the horse is out of the gate. Widespread reactions point to the overall effect of the mere announcement and the strident intention to move ahead with plans regardless of any retraction or cancellation. The damage is done literally if figuratively.

Maybe this clip from Pitts’ piece will entice you to click over and read the entire piece,

There is in the act of burning something primitive and tribalistic, something that appeals to the lizard brain which has no ability or desire to reason, no comprehension of ideals and abstract concepts, that knows only that it lives in fear of a world it cannot understand and will do anything to send the fear away.

The process of becoming a truly human being is the process of conquering that lizard brain. Unfortunately, some people never do.

On Saturday, some of those people will gather round a bonfire to watch pages blacken and curl and turn to smoke. You listen to the hatred spewing from respectable leaders in prominent places, you think of how normal that has become, and one thing suddenly seems starkly clear:

We’re burning a whole lot more than books.

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Pastor Jones Should Burn His Bible

Stirring from my Grandpa Doc duties to discover a pastor intends to burn a Koran later this week. The NYDaily online edition is offering a poll to determine reader response. The options include a vote for “freedom of speech,” “hate, pure and simple,” or “who cares?” It is this last one that garnered my attention.

Pastors everywhere should care. Jones suggests enough is enough. I agree. Enough is enough. Pastors who prefer to pick and choose what the Scriptures say should stand down, maybe even step down. Jesus instructed his followers to love their enemies. If Pastor Jones believes enough is enough then it is time to do as Jesus did – love his enemies. Burning a Koran is hardly an expression of that command.

Some will focus on the potential damage to our forces in Afghanistan per General Petraeus’ assessment. Fear only results in anger and violence. The Scriptures Pastor Jones’ purports to uphold notes that complete love casts our fear. Enough is enough. My suggestion, though likely not popular, Pastor Jones should burn his Bible. If he takes that little interest in the words of Jesus then he should discard the book, open up a club for like minded Americans and then talk about his freedom to do whatever he believes is covered under his First Amendment Rights. But, do the rest of us a favor and stop using your role as “pastor” as a rouse for hatred and contempt for other human beings. Read More

Friday Photo – Windy (Oklahoma) Gulch

(Quick Note: There will be more photos of Cohen Alan. I need to process a few and take a few, well lots, more. Keep watching. He is growing.)

Yesterday a cold front began pushing through our area. This morning the “feel” in the air had me thinking, “Take Me Back.” That’s right, take me back to Creede. While that is not possible at the moment, the weather on the front porch this morning reminded me of our drive around Creede this past May.

I snapped this shot looking down toward Creede looking toward Windy Gulch. And, it is quite windy here this morning. The only thing missing – the mountains. But, these are the times to flip back through the photos and remember.

Hope you are enjoying the weather “where you are.”

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