25 February 2007

Ecclesiastes observations

We read most of chapter seven today at the Curtis' house. Probably the most impacting to me came when I realized that our congregation is mostly full of people who are "too righteous" (7:16). We are missing the folks who are "too wicked" (7:17) although some of us certainly are. Basically, the main perception change for me was that "It's okay to make mistakes because #1. if we fear God we'll have success whether we're too righteous or too wicked (7:18) and, #2. no one is righteous anyway (7:20). I also thought of 9:7, that God has already approved of what we do. If he were already going to strike me down for not being rigteous enough, he would have done so a long time ago.

Others in our group said this:

Humility now or later.

There's really only one way: God's way.

Even though I/we make a mess of most everything, God can make something good out of it.

Moderation is important.

No matter how hard we try, we're still going to sin.

We're influenced by the company we keep.

Realigning with God should be the goal instead of just trying to be "righteous" or "wicked". If we're trying to be "conservative" or "liberal" we'll just end up going in circles, but if we realign with God he will make our paths straight.

- - -

I have to admit, Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books of all time.

21 February 2007

Shark! Danger

One of the main reasons I don't want to move to Australia. I got this picture from the Skyline Church of Christ's website. The congregation has begun to form friendly relationships with Christians in the Gosford and Sydney area.

Jaznic Pics

Which one do you like best? It's for our Aussie Mission packet. Thanks in advance for friendly input. :-)

16 February 2007

Blue-Collar Christianity

Dissatisfied with white-collar Churchianity? Try the blue-collar Christ: "Blue Collar Christianity", a recent article written by a University student.

14 February 2007

Aussie Church

"European expressions of worship have dictated the structure of the Australian church service throughout its history. Much like the European landscape, these forms have a sense of composed restraint and elegance, an ordered formality through practice and experience, as well as a balanced beauty in architecture--forms that are completely alien to the Australian bush."

I thought this was an interesting quote from Robert L. Gallagher. I'm not completely sure what "forms" this implies, but I do think it's going to be a relational and somewhat informal structure with the flexibility to adjust rather than a static and impersonal one. What do you think?

13 February 2007


I read this blog post this morning by Mike Cope"--"and started trying to catch up on the Heroes episodes. I'm excited about watching these. Our television is in the closet, but these days you can watch online. See www.nbc.com. I really like Mike's post. What do you think about it?

05 February 2007

Two True Coaches

Click on the title link to read an article about these two coaches, Dungy and Smith. It makes me want to play football . . . but only for them! :-)

01 February 2007


Below are fifteen favourite quotes from books I've been reading this month. I plan on leaving this post here for a while so please post your own comments. Thanks.

"Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers . . . Let us then go to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come." Hebrews 13:1-14

"Post-Christendom churches, freed from pretensions to kingship, recognize that the kingdom of God is an "upside-down kingdom," . . . They choose to be identified with the poor, the weak, the marginalized, those without voices or status. They adopt as their agenda for mission the Nazareth Manifesto: . . . to bring good news to the poor . . . [the rest of Luke 4:18-19]." Stuart Murray

"A paradigm shift will have taken place in our understanding and practice of evangelism . . . it is relational, contextual, humble, patient, and wholistic." Stuart Murray

"[it] goes where people are and listens, binds together prayer and truth, celebrates the goodness and complexity of life as well as judging the sinfulness of evil, and sees truth as something to be done and experienced as well as to be intellectually believed. It walks in humility." John Finney

"The baptized are those who willingly enter the suffering of all creation with the redemptive love of God." Mark Love

"In the New Testament, we encounter the church as the people on whom the end of the ages has come." Mark Love

"The thorniest issue for the church that resists the spirit of the age is wealth." Randall Harris

"As word spread about the dramatic changes that were taking place in people's lives, apartment managers began requesting that churches be started in their complexes as well." Randall Harris

"Luke stresses that the resurrected Jesus was no mere spirit but was tangible and could eat and drink with the disciples (cf. Luke 24:30, 37-39, 41-43)." Ben Witherington III

"The more I worried through this set of issues, the more I felt that any constructive Christian social ethic would have to find a way to recover a church with an integrity of its own rather than simply an institution designed to make "democracies" work better." Stanley Hauerwas

"For what we are, our sense of ourselves, rests as much on what we have suffered as what we have done." Stanley Hauerwas

"To learn to be God's creatures means we must learn to recognize that our existence and the existence of the universe itself is a gift." Stanley Hauerwas

"In New York freedom looks like too many choices . . ." U2

"Would you deny for others what you demand for yourself?" U2

"The more you know the less you feel . . ." U2