personal or covenant?

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Dec 302002

could this be a semantic difference? [1] a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ will give you the hope, joy, strength, and courage to face anything in life, and [2] a covenantal relationship between God and the believer, who is fully accepted in Christ, and will receive God’s grace for everyday life.

“People wrestle sometimes making movies,” Edward Norton said. “I think conflict is a very essential thing. If the reasons everyone is pushing each other have to do with a group desire to make things as good as possible, that’s a great thing! And I think a lot of very happy productions have produced a lot of very banal movies.” I think this should be true of church life as well – conflict is a good thing.

Dec 282002

have had 2 good interactions about the issue (problem?) of how there’s so much Bible teaching, but little life transformation.. many people attending churches and gaining Bible knowledge, but they’re not better people for having that. The thoughts that were shared with me are: (1) instead of evaluating a church on its content and programs, let’s see if their people are living well; (2) instead of judging people on their personal spiritual life, observe how well they relate to others, if they are relating to others as Christ would.

mixed motives

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Dec 272002

caught a fascinating movie the other day, Catch Me If You Can, with DiCaprio and Hanks.. I was certainly more intrigued with how the main character was able to think on his feet and turn hopeless situations into elusive escapes and eventual personal development, albeit with mixed motives.. afterward, read this statement of clarification from Frank W. Abagnale, nicely written. I liked the way he honestly described his perspective, without getting nit-picky about every little embellishment.

in 8 minutes or less

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Dec 242002

Here in Huntington Beach, California, with less than 8 minutes ticking on the library computer here, I’m writing this blog entry under the gun. It’s very mild weather out here, compared to metro DC, and had spent the past 2 days on the road to do a car exchange on behalf of my sister-in-law, all the way out to Flagstaff where it was snowing.. in essence experiencing the whole spectrum of weather in one day. On the agenda is time with family and extended family out here in California. It is that annual Christmas kind of a thing. That’s how relationships sovereignly work, beyond your or my control: you get the parents and siblings that you have, and the kids you have, you have no choice in the matter. The only ones you have a lil’ say so is your spouse and friends. But few get to spend holidays with friends. Most have to spend it with family.

Will be getting some conversations with people later part of this week, to dialogue about life and ministry matters, the lil’ networking thing. Heard a good networking tip the other day: talk to the people next to you when you’re standing in line. Easy enough! I’d imagine there’ll be quite a bit of line-standing (or queueing, as they say in British countries) when our family goes out to Disneyland on Friday.

why be Episcopalian

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Dec 212002

I’m a big fan of stand-up comedy, have been since my teen years. One of my favorites is Robin Williams, who is an Episcopalian, shared this – Top 10 Reasons to Be an Episcopalian:
10. No snake handling.
9. You can believe in dinosaurs.
8. Male and female God created them; male and female we ordain them.
7. You don’t have to check your brains at the door.
6. Pew aerobics.
5. Church year is color-coded.
4. Free wine on Sunday.
3. All of the pageantry — none of the guilt.
2. You don’t have to know how to swim to get baptized.
… and the Number One to be an Episcopalian:
1. No matter what you believe, there’s bound to be at least one other Episcopalian who agrees with you.

Dec 202002

Spirituality is mostly relational, if you’re not born into it (many people claim a family religion), then someone introduced you to it… on page 50 of Sterling W. Huston’s book CRUSADE EVANGELISM AND THE LOCAL CHURCH it states: ‘Surveys of Crusade inquirers reveal that at least 80 percent of the unchurched who respond to the invitation were brought personally by someone else.’ (Mr. Huston is the Director of North American Ministries for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.)