Culture

Kashmir by elementary kids…Music teachers, take note!

I haven’t linked to Nate Claiborne in awhile, but his music blog for this Monday delighted me. It’s a video of a group of children aged 7-12 years playing a cover of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir almost exclusively on percussion instruments such as xylophones and glockenspiels.More music teachers should do this!

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Why Obstacles Matter

Chris Horst, one of the authors of Mission Drift, has some good thought in his Monthly Musings this month, about how challenges, and struggling/working to overcome them, are important to our growth and development. Isn’t this also
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Who else has wanted to have the book of Romans as a LETTER? Why Bible Typography Matters

Or 1/2 Chronicles, or Daniel, as a book?

I know we can fairly easily get ahold of booklet editions of the Gospel of John by itself, and Mark, but I’ve always wanted this for other books and letters. Without all the verse and chapter numbers and notes everywhere. I sometimes very much desire to read passages/books as they would have been read by, if not by those who originally read them (scrolls being rather awkward?) then in a similar literary format. The Exodus as more of a novel, or the Pentateuch even, as a single novel. Maybe it would have chapters, although I would place them differently to how we generally have them in our Bibles. At least, not in the middle of paragraphs?!?

I’d love, and will get around to preparing one day, to have Romans as a letter, take it on the bus, or wherever, with me, and read it, as a letter. Right?

Why Bible Typography Matters

Shane has some good points

I’m (still) making, or wading, my way through Shane Claiborne’s The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical, and it’s very paradigm challenging, even when you read it over many months. Searching for one of the resources he mentions in the book, I came across this interview: Shane Claiborne – Fundamentalism http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSlLGq7LbWw I think he makes some rather pertinent pounts, no?

OMG: Millennials abandoning the Bible – No, really?

So I read a an article recently about the results from some data collected by the American Bible Society over the last four years.

OMG: Millennials abandoning the Bible

Among the results are a definite decline in the esteem of the Bible by millennials:

“– Although 79 percent of adults believe the Bible is sacred literature, only 64 percent of millennials do.
– 19 percent of millennials believe no literature is sacred, compared to just 13 percent of all adults.
– Exactly half of adults overall believe the Bible “contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life,” but that number is just 35 percent for millennials.
– Half of adults believe the Bible has too little influence in society, but only 30 percent of millennials agree.
– 39 percent of millennials never read the Bible outside of church, compared to 26 percent of all adults.

The survey also found that since 2011, antagonism toward the Bible has risen from 11 percent to 19 percent and those who consider themselves “Bible-friendly” dropped from 45 percent to 37 percent.”

Now that’s concerning, but I think not totally unexpected, or terrible.

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Are you blessed? Do you have any fine wine? “Let’s bless them all until we get fershnickered!”

Forgive a little Mel Brooks-style hyperbole. Looking at alcohol in the Old Testament is kinda fun when you get into it. Mostly because apart from prohibitions, warnings and Noah getting wasted (did that happen in the movie?), we (I?) don’t often hear much about what the Old Testament has to say about booze. And He has a lot to say. 

Seems it’s a bit of a bigger picture than something to avoid…

Bathtime small group

I took a bath this morning. It was.

Wonderful.

I look at two hairs, the light one from my head floating on the surface, indented in the surface of the water slightly and irregularly along it’s length, and a thicker hair rotating seemingly randomly a bit under the surface of the water. I can’t help but marvel at a creator who made things so complex and yet so regulated. We still can’t model these things in small detail with any great accuracy, it’s actually one of the bigger problems in engineering/physics. But He created it, knows it intimately, every molecule and Newton of force. It seems complex and messy, but at the same time so elegant and beautiful.

It reminds me of city groups (what our church calls small groups). We haven’t been in this town, or at the City Church long, and I yearn for relationship and community. I can’t say our experience thus far has been stellar or amazing. We’ve met some nice people, but haven’t really connected on an especially deep level (partly my fault, lacking in effort and intentionality). At the same time, the groups have been changing, splitting and combining, multiple times in less than a year since we first visited the Rooted. Which then combined with the City Church. It’ld be nice if things were less dynamic, more uniform and predictable (at least for my finite mind), but isn’t that the nature of the creation that we live in?

A couple of nights ago we went to the group our current one is joining with. Everyone seemed nice. Crazy, but in a good way. We were made to feel welcome, and several people tried to engage me in conversation. I say tried because I confess I wasn’t so personable. We were both were rather tired, and my wife did not have the best day. Our son stayed in with the adults, and because he likes to be noisy and active, one of us kinda had to leave and walk him about and whatnot. What I loved was a message the next day expressing thanks for our coming, a desire to get to know us more, and the offer of a playpen or blanket in the garage where the adults hung out (their impressive number of kids were in the house) to maybe help us be more engaged if we desired for him to be in with us. I’m grateful.

I also met two people (check it!) who actually knew where my home city in Australia was. It’s about (literally) as far as you can get from Texas or Sydney (the only place in Australia most people here have heard of), and people who have heard or it are rare here, those who know where it is, fewer still. This excited me!

And back to my dirty bathwater. I don’t understand community and relationships very well, just as I don’t understand fluid dynamics in the bath. But it’s all a beautiful mess that He has created and that He oversees. And I’m reminded that like understanding the dynamics going on in that bath, community and deeper relationships aren’t going to happen instantly or necessarily quickly at all. It’s going to take time, effort, and even then, it’s going to seem messy and flawed. It’s not going to be perfect. We’re not going to be perfect in this life. Thank God we don’t have to be, because He is, and it glorifies Him to enter our messiness and work within it, for His glory alone.

And that’s why I’m so hopeful for this newly combined group. Because my hope is in Him, rather than His people.

 

 

 

 

 

Work at Your Prayers!

My only reservation about this is that a prayer be genuine in the pray-er’s attitude toward God, rather than performance. Other than that, thought provoking.

A disciple's study

from Tim Challies

Praying, and especially praying in public, represents a challenge to most Christians. It represents a challenge to the one praying—a challenge to pray humbly and clearly before others. Too often it represents an even greater challenge to the ones who hear that prayer—a challenge to follow a too-long and too-rambling prayer interspersed with filler words like “I just…” and “Father God.” D. A. Carson provides some timely counsel in his book A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers. His solution is simple: Work at your prayers. Here is what he says:

If you are in any form of spiritual leadership, work at your public prayers. It does not matter whether the form of spiritual leadership you exercise is the teaching of a Sunday school class, pastoral ministry, small-group evangelism, or anything else: if at any point you pray in public as a leader…

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