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Ski Trip '06 (the movie)

I've suffered from a bit of silence in the vast land of the blogosphere lately. I'll be around more soon.

Here is a video of our ski trip back in February. Enjoy!

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My thoughts on A Generous Orthodoxy

It's taken me a little longer than I hoped to get around to writing about this, but it's finally here. A Generous Orthodoxy was an exciting book for me to read. Here are some of my thoughts after having recently read the book.

While McLaren does introduce some of the substance behind the thoughts held by many in the emerging church, I don't think that was his intention in sharing what he does in the book. Rather than attempting to write some mission statement or code for a particular organization, McLaren sheds light on how he understands the call of God on people's lives and what it means to faithfully follow Jesus, helping everyone to take their next steps forward, others as well as himself.

He dances within the tension of orthodox faith (of truly holding to the teachings of Jesus and God's revelation of himself) and the need to express that faith in a manner that is true to the heart of that faith (namely, in ways that are open, loving, inviting, caring, compassionate...). I can see where some of what he says is controversial.

Ultimately, however, what McLaren is presenting truly comes down to following Jesus. No one has that all nailed down, but there are many who have much we can learn from. He discusses a number of topics that I thought were tremendously helpful. I'll just sort of list some of them here. If you want more of my thoughts, I'll be glad to write more (or you can pick up the book).

The primary importance of the missiology of the church.
The healthy tension found in the open unity among those in the Jesus movement.
The growing revelation of God to His church.
Our response to God in God's world and in God's people.
His chapter on emergence was particularly interesting.
That each of us in some ways are unfinished and in need of further growth in reclaiming our divine image and likeness.

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Volunteering for homework?

I do hope to get to sharing some of my thoughts on McLaren's book, Heschel's book, and Lent, but had to pass this on.

Scott Greene, a 33 year old youth worker, goes back to high school as a sophomore for two weeks. He's recording his experiences at Two Weeks Back. This is an idea as interesting as it is odd. Some of his thoughts shed light on the world today's high school students engage, and hopefully will be helpful to those who work and live closely with teenagers. This raises some questions about the idea of incarnational ministry, granted with some limitations. He IS a 33 year old guy roaming the halls of a local high school. It will be interesting to see how his experiences are processed; what is done with the information, how this might inform approaches to discipleship, how this will create a greater understanding of students' lives, struggles, fears, concerns, etc., and how it will aid parents, teachers, those in youth ministry.

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Where are you going THIS weekend?

I'm headed out this afternoon to the South Georgia UMC Confirmation retreat. This should be my last weekend with big trips for a little while. It's been full lately.

In case you were wondering, coming up next week, hopefully, will be my thoughts on having recently read Brian McLaren's A Generous Orthodoxy, my journey into Lent, and some thoughts spurred up by Abraham Joshua Heschel.

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S’boro 1st Jr-hi Retreat (part ii)

I had a great time last weekend with Statesboro FUMC’s jr-hi group. Their retreat to Awanita Valley was terrific, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to spend the time with them. Here’s the recap…

We had a pretty brutal marshmallow war. Several of us thought we’d die from the Hummer ride to the top of the mountain; twelve or fifteen people pile in the back of a Hummer, and one of the local crazies races up a narrow, gravel mountain road while everyone in back white-knuckles it for their lives, flying in the air as you bound over dips in the road. Crazy! Many decided to jump in ‘Mud Creek Hole’. I opted out of this one because it was so cold. I’m a wimp. But it looked pretty wild down in there. We also spent time in the weekend talking about turning on our radar to see God around us. We talked a bit about how discipleship happens best within the context of Christian community, and what discipleship is, looks like, happens, etc. All weekend, each of us was encouraged to take our next step, whatever that was for where we are in the journey; to move forward.

Pop Quiz
Q: What happens when you put regular unleaded gasoline in a bus that runs on diesel fuel?
A: Apparently, you get to wait around for four hours while the fire department drains the gas tank. (or else other REALLY bad stuff happens)

S’boro’s fearless leader Gordon happened to make this oversight while fueling up on our return trip. He did realize what he’d done before cranking the engine, but not before pumping forty-three gallons of gas. There was a terrific church just across the street from the gas station that graciously opened their youth room to our group while we waited for the situation to be remedied. By the way, they had a PS2.

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Is it in my belly button?

Ash Wednesday was yesterday, officially beginning the church season of Lent. I don't think I'm ready yet. (But I suppose that's the beauty in a season of "getting ready".) Rather than spend time repeating what others have said/written about this season of Lent, I thought I would point you in the direction of some other folks today.

See what these bloggers have said: steve argue and here, mike devries, tony myles, rhett smith.

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