pour out, pour in

I’ve noticed that I’m not blogging as frequently and was trying to figure it out. Here’s what I can come up with:
It appears my blog is a pour out – meaning, I take things that are poured in to me (like books, culture, people, etc.) and I pour out for whoever reads these.

Right now, I am pouring out a lot. I am spending a lot of what is poured into me into the transitions at South, the new church plant, a couple side projects (top secret!) and into people who are rising as leaders. So, while I am still pouring in (Brother Lawrence shook me to the core this morning), my pouring out is not taking place here.

I do anticipate a return though, because I love blogging just for the way it becomes a way for me to pour into others. So, I will return, just maybe not as frequently.

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MMC – May 18, 2009

weekend in review: It’s Victoria Day today, so I’ll spend more time and energy praying for the Queen than regular days (And yes, I pray for the Queen of England almost everyday and also for the future King – you don’t?). The weekend was fabulous too! Friday we helped out some friends by caring for their kids, taking them to the park. I love being a part of a group of people that “does life together” – these friends have done the same for us, and we love being the village that’s raising our kids together. It sounds like we are hippies, but, hey – we’re left coasters! Friday night the kids slept over at Grammi’s so we got to go to Starbucks, waste time driving around and see Wolverine, It was awesome. I love the questions that the mutant-human relationship bring up in my mind.
Then on Saturday we hosted a spiritual gifts workshop for Grove launch team members. It went really well and the participants really appreciated it. Then I spent Saturday night doing prep work for Sunday.
Sunday morning I preached in both services at SACC. It went well, I avoided saying, “whore bread”, even though I thought it. Think that’s weird/offensive? You can listen to it online if you want to get it… Then after lunch we did an extended team building/vision growing meeting with the Vancouver missions trip team. We’re leaving one month from now and the details are coming together well, I appreciate God’s work behind the scenes in that.

on my list this week: I’ve got a whole night of meetings today and then more preparation work this week. Lots going on, so it’s easy to fill the day.

current books: Still reading ReJesus (close to finishing) and Brother Lawrence too. Also started Church Unique by Will Mancini. I should finish this today.

current writing: nothing…

culture that’s caught me: The details involved in being a non-profit organization is amazing. The history of the 501.c.3 in America is interesting and would probably change the thoughts of many church leaders.

how i’m feeling about this week: Great! Getting back into the running habit and the hole where my tooth was is finally going away.

quote for the week: “Burt Reynolds? Where did you come from?” ~Will Ferrell was on SNL’s season finale this week and they brought out the Jeopardy sketch. I laughed so much!

running report: ran zero this week because of getting my wisdom tooth out. getting back out this afternoon.

Give the Offering

So, last Sunday Forest Pointe Church (which meets at the YMCA in Belmont, N.C.) decided to give away an offering instead of taking an offering.  Here’s what their website says:

On Sunday May 10th we at Forest Pointe Church in Belmont, NC displayed the love of Christ in a radical manner. Rather than take up an offering from the congregation, we, the church GAVE an offering to the congregation. Rather than do the expected, we chose the UNEXPECTED. Rather than talk about love, we reflected the LOVE of CHRIST.

The usual offering Forest Pointe receives in two services averages $16,000 weekly. So, we chose to give $16,000 back and not receive an offering! The only catch… we asked those receiving the money to agree to the following:

1. Can’t give it back to the church.
2. You can’t keep it, you must bless someone else with it.
3. You have to tell your story.

Our desire is to infect the community and beyond with the radical, life changing, heart transforming LOVE of CHRIST.

You HAVE to go and read the stories that people wrote after using their money. It’s outstanding! The church is the church!!

McKnight, A Community Called Atonement 4

The final section of A Community Called Atonement brings the atonement into a missional framework.  McKnight works of the Scripture that calls Christians to be ambassadors of reconciliation and calls all followers of God to spread the atonement after they have experienced it.

“Atonement is something done not only by God for us but also something we do with God for others…God provides atonement in order to create a fellowship of persons who love God and love others, who find healing for the self, and who care about the world.”

There is a daring discussion on the different definitions of liberty and justice that occur between Christianity and Americanism.  During the recent series on Jubilee at South Albany, this has been a challenge to communicate, not helped at all by the strong and often polarized political views many people currently hold.  The American church is at a time in its history (and it’s not the first time!) when it is having to rethink its relationship with culture and politics.  How we define justice is a large part of that discussion.

And as if that isn’t enough, McKnight spends some time discussing wether the church owns the Bible or the Bible owns the church.  It’s an interesting thought, one which seems to have different answers depending on how much history one considers.

So, finally, I thought this book was so amazing that I broke it into 4 different blog posts.  McKnight went so far beyond my expectations – and this book has become instrumental in the growth of my thinking on the atonement!

pages read= 170 ~ year to date= 3701 ~ 2009 goal=9,000 ~ (41%)

MMC – May 11, 2009

weekend in review: Had a wonderful weekend.  Sunday afternoon was a blast as the kids and I planned a mother’s day out surprise for Heather and then LJ started to ride his bike completely on his own.  He hasn’t had that big wipeout yet, where he gets cut and bleeds.  I’m hoping he does soon so he can learn early and often to keep getting back up when He crashes.  Bikes are wonderful for teaching that life lesson.  For me, it was a bike, a curb, spokes, my head minus a helmet and a visit to the hospital that taught me.

on my list this week: Preaching this weekend on Mark 6:30-44.  Interesting stuff, so all my spare time will be dedicated there.  Also working towards the Grove spiritual gifts workship this saturday for the launch team members.  We’ve got 120 people on the launch team, so this stuff is important.

current books: Still reading ReJesus (close to finishing) and Brother Lawrence too.  Also started Church Unique by Will Mancini.  It’s really really good.  I’m loving the way he just gives it straight!

current writing: a teaching for the weekend.

culture that’s caught me: Dana White is doing a lot of publicity for the UFC, interesting that he considers their reality show to be the best thing they’ve got going for them.

how i’m feeling about this week: Fantastic.  Hoping my tooth hole heals up.

quote for the week: “You’re tired?!? Then give me a push, I’m GOING!”

running report: ran zero this week because of getting my wisdom tooth out. not sure how much I’ll get out this week. Hampering my hopes for the 5 mile trail run at the end of this month.

McKnight, A Community Called Atonement 3

The third section of McKnight’s book on atonement theologies takes time to look at the development of atonement theology through Jesus, Paul and the early theologians.

In the section on Jesus, McKnight talks about the choice to have the crucifixion of Christ tied to the Passover rather than the Day of Atonement.  It has great implications concerning the metaphors that God was using to communicate to mankind.  McKnights continued pursuit of the use of metaphors is insightful.

Then Pauline atonement theology is considered.  Paul tended to lean on judicial metaphors and McKnight deals with the benefits and limitations of atonement theology developing through a judicial metaphor.

Finally, McKnight works through Irenaeus and Athanasius, early theologians who are often overlooked (Two men who, I believe, could contribute greatly to a reformation of holiness theology to make it relevant to today’s culture.).  Unfortunately, the people who have paid the most attention to Irenaus and Athanasius have created cults by taking their thoughts to ridiculous extremes.  McKnight does a splendid job trying to take back these great theologians from cultic nutjobs.

I’m a mathematician, can I stand on your roof?

I am using fractal theory to empower and equip volunteers for ministry in North Albany through the Grove.  Here’s a little history on fractals and their applications through Africa.  Ron Eglash is an associate professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  I don’t even know what a polytechnic is.