things that come in 3s

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Apr 292005
 

Good rhetorical / speaking/ presentation skills often talk about things in 3s. Not to push the numerology thing too far, or to point to the origin of all things in creation back to the Trinity, and how Jesus spoke in 3s, e.g. “the way, the truth, the life”. But here’s 3 things, in no particular order:

A recent Baltimore Sun article about Brian McLaren described the emergent church as a movement: the “emergent church” movement, which emphasizes environmentalism and racial and sexual tolerance, while distancing itself from the social conservatism of the religious right. Having been a (small) part of that emergent/ emerging conversation, I have not heard the strong emphasis on the items listed, tho’ they do show up in the mix. I’d think the emphasis is more on a new kind of theology and a new kind of church. But then again, for some, religion is just politics, and/or religion is just sociology.

This weekend, we, my wife and I, celebrate our 10th anniversary!!!!!!!!!! It’s been quite an adventure, much more than we’d bargained for, and the recent years have been much better than the earlier years. While I take much freedom to share about much of my life, inner and outer, I cannot (yet?) take the liberty to talk about my married life (contra The Happy Husband or Marriages Restored). What I can say, I think, is that we’ll be taking an excursion to an undisclosed location to celebrate.

Terry talked about business card strategies, and beyond branding, cards are also very useful as memory joggers for people you’ve met. So when I ordered these temporary cards while waiting for the official corporate cards, I selected a template that let me insert a picture of myself! How often have you met people at a conference or seminar, and forget to jot down a note about the conversation? And how often a face with a name can, perhaps, be a better reminder than a few keywords that loses its meaning and context after time?

[updated 5/5/5] Get a business card with your pix on it at VistaPrint.com – that’s where I got mine.

Apr 262005
 

I cringed when I read Lee’s recent racist experience. Racist remarks and stereotypes and incidents not only happen on the rougher side of town, it happens on the genteel side too, and in office skyscrapers, in schools, even Christian colleges and churches. This is 2005. And it happens to me on occasion too. I’ll cringe again when it happens to my son. (And I’m cringing like right now b/c my attempted to post this entry has crashed my browser 3 times now.)

While Lee said that media portrayal has a significant impact on people’s perception of ethnic groups, I’d say that churches do all the more. While the churchgoing population in America is declining, and arguably not a majority of the overall population, churches themselves are less than 3% multiracial.

While churches for decades have been intentional about cross-cultural outreach overseas, they’ve neglected (still neglect) the opportunity right around the city to reach another racial grouping. I find it ironic that so much resources would go towards training and sending, yet the easiest (perhaps not so easy?) thing to do is develop cross-cultural skills right here in multicultural America. There’s no better place than the local church to develop the skills to really relate and empathize with someone different. And the truth is, we’re all different, individually and corporately.

Relationships can’t be mandated, and neither can heart change. But if we’re following God in the way of Jesus, it’s got to be seen in how we love our neighbor, those who are different from ourselves, just like the Samaritan did, in every day life. And intentionally include them in the dialogue about what is church — yes, it’d be a different kind of dialogue with a different ethnic mix.

[Also see previously posted: part 2, part 1, original post. Update 5/5/5 - racial threat turns out to be a hoax, according to article: Minority Student Charged with Hate Crime at Trinity University]

Talking about WALP

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Apr 252005
 

Will Samson and I sat on this couch to talk about the whole WALP experience in Kentucky. I wasn’t there, but he was.

Apr 222005
 

Excerpt from The Emerging Church: The Old Church Made New, article by a Tim Dearborn ::

“Yet at the same time, there is a current moving away from the West?concerned about our individualized, consumer-oriented religion. There are several distinct marks of this church:

1. It is digging deep into traditional cultural forms, rejecting Western styles of church life and theology.
2. It is highly charismatic, relying on the Spirit rather than money
3. Anointed leaders guide its life, regardless of their academic training; generally with high authority and conservative morality.
4. Worship is a dramatic encounter with the power of God, rather than a passive and comforting moment of education and encouragement.
5. Its community is a gathering of people rather than a cluster of programs and activities.
6. Mission is a daily encounter with the demonic and evil, conducted through spiritual battle, suffering and a holistic engagement with the world; for all of life is deemed as the domain of God, with social, economic and even political ministry integral to church life.

  1. The church is not a human creation
  2. The church thrives in the context of opposition
  3. The crux of the church?s witness is her life and deeds
  4. The church flourishes by setting her mind on divine not human ways
  5. Denial and death are the beginning points of discipleship
  6. The church thrives when her sight is captivated by an alternate vision
  7. (intentionally left blank)

I believe that our American Christianity has been a faithful, culturally conditioned response to gospel. The emerging church is taking other forms. We now are junior partners in the global Christian movement and God forbid us from imposing any longer our forms and theologies on world Christianity.”

Read the entire article, slowly.

Apr 222005
 

Shel picked up on Michael Hyatt, President & CEO of Thomas Nelson, as a daring example of corporate blogging — see his entry titled Community development of company policy. Excerpts:

Hyatt is president and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the publicly traded Christian publishing company that ranks as the world?s ninth-largest publisher of any kind. With 600 employees, the company achieved sales of nearly $223 million last year and earned $16.2 million. Companies that size usually develop their internal policies, well, internally. But on his blog, Nelson requested public coment on a proposed policy to govern employee blogging at his company.
:
Sharing a policy is cool. Seeking outside advice is outright daring, particularly in an industry as tradition-bound as publishing. The fact that it?s a blogging policy is no reason to minimize the move. Hyatt has opened the door to a new use of collaborative tools such as blogs. Why shouldn?t companies get help from one another?and from their audiences?on any number of internal policies?

My kudos to Hyatt for exemplifying corporate transparency (especially notable for a Christian organization!), using current technologies to engage audiences, even helping others with lessons learned and best practices.

Apr 222005
 

Recently found that Veritas Forum is posting some of their lecture audios. (sorry, forgot where I saw it, can’t remember who to hat tip)

Some very interesting ones I intend to give a listen — on Christian faith and arts:

Heaven in a Nightclub (William Edgar)
A Biblical Theology of Entertainment (William Edgar)
The Revenge of the Aesthetic (William Edgar)
Truth in Art (Antonye Holyde)
Knocking on Heaven’s Door: A Story of Rock and Roll Music (William Edgar)

And, 2 from Dallas Willard: The Genius of Jesus, What Does It Mean To Be Human?; 1 from Jim Wallis: Why The Right Gets It Wrong and The Left Doesn’t Get It

Apr 222005
 

I’m tired. I’m up in the wee hours of the night. I tried laying still. I returned to my normal bedtime routine, and turned in by 10. Felt like it was tossing and turning for hours. 2am came around, got up and surfed the web for a spell. Caught up on a few of my bloglines subscriptions, barely a dent in my 600+ subscription. Hopeless trying to keep up with all of that, me thinks to meself.

Then by 3am, the wifi signal was going in and out. I moved over to get wired up on my ethernet. Internet connectivity is still unreliable, works for 5 minutes or so, then drops. Apparently my DSL (Verizon) or my router (Westell) is intermittent. At least I know it’s not just my WiFI card.

Frustrating. That does not help lull me to sleep.