Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Keep Your Chinstrap Buckled On Every Play - Advice For Graduates

Amy Umble of the Fredericksburg FreeLance-Star got me thinking when she asked a number of area clergy if they had any advice for soon-to-be graduates.  I sent her my short - "might-make-it-through-the-editor" - version, but saved the longer - "preacher-version" - for here.  Sometimes I like being my own editor.

Do some long-term thinking about life.  Life is like a football game.  (My wife is rolling her eyes now, so you can too.)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Art in the Life of the Church

We had a great weekend with friends from the Grace Photography Team joining us here at Christ Covenant.  Grace Community Church was a season in my life where I began to connect in fresh new ways to an understanding of the Gospel and art in the life of the local church.  Even more fun, I got to join in Gospel community with others as we tried to live that understanding out.

Part of clarifying my own sense of how the Gospel vision of life and faith effects art was to differentiate other approaches to art in the life of the church.  As I look back through my own history, I can see several different approaches.  At the risk of setting the argument, I give them my own name and description.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Viewing The New (and Broken) World of Student Life

I've watched the events surrounding the death of UVa student Yeardley Love with real sadness.  I still remember the day of the Virginia Tech shootings, where our son was a sophomore at the time.  I suspect that there is a deep-seated terror in the pit of every parent's stomach when these stories flash into our world.  "What can I do to make this world a little safer for the children I love?"  I had trouble sleeping after the VaTech shootings with this playing over and over again in mind.

While I have no stones to throw in these situations, I must admit that I watch them through different eyes now because of two books I have recently read.  These books are each insightful, but certainly not in comforting ways.  They make one statement from their different perspectives that has kept me awake several nights once again: The world in which our high school and college-aged students are living is dramatically different than the one in which I grew up.  So different, that I dare not use my own experience as a resource for understanding theirs.  If I do, I will miss their need every time.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Morning Reflections on Worship

I try to spend Monday mornings reading, cleaning up and getting back on track after a Sunday of ministry.  In the course of the reading, I've come across two things I'd like to pass along.

The first is a posting from the First Things Blog called "The Secret of Appreciating Church." Churches and pastors often feel like we are under a glaring spotlight of evaluation each week.  Hunter Baker reminds us that church is community and part of what we "get out of it" relates to what we put into it.  "Community" is our middle name at Christ Covenant, and one of our mission pillars is a commitment to small group ministry.  This post brought me back to center.

The second is a parody video that is a good reminder for those of us who plan and lead worship.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Just What Do You Mean By "Christian?"

Because I lived in Michigan for twelve years, I've watched with some interest as events unfolded following the arrest of twelve members of the Hutaree "Christian Militia" group last month.  The arrests broke up their apparent plan to kill local law enforcement officers.  There are lots of things to ponder with this, but the one that I keep coming back to is their designation as a "Christian" Militia group.  Christian?  How so?
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