Friday, January 27, 2006

Robot cars - Now this is cool...

"The MIT team started from scratch to come up with their own concept: a stackable, shareable, electric, two-passenger car. 'Imagine a shopping cart - a vehicle that can stack - you can take the first vehicle out of a stack and off you go...These stacks would be placed throughout the city. A good place would be outside a subway station or a bus line or an airport, places where there's a convergence of transportation lines and people.'"

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A prophetic word for evangelical Christians...

First of all, sorry for the long absence. Life has been full of joys and challenges - many of which I will post about soon. But I'm back, and just to get things moving quickly, let me stir the pot a bit.

Be forewarned, what I am about to link to will push buttons. But I think that's important. We all need to be challenged to rethink our opinions and often the only way that happens is by someone making us angry.

Willzhead prints the entire text of a NY Times editorial from Charles Marsh, a professor of religion at the University of Virginia. Marsh is reflecting on the thoughts of Evangelical Christians in the US surrounding the Iraq war. It is worth the read and you can read it here.

Just to give you a sample, Marsh writes...
"What will it take for evangelicals in the United States to recognize our mistaken loyalty? We have increasingly isolated ourselves from the shared faith of the global Church, and there is no denying that our Faustian bargain for access and power has undermined the credibility of our moral and evangelistic witness in the world. The Hebrew prophets might call us to repentance, but repentance is a tough demand for a people utterly convinced of their righteousness."
Take the plunge. Let your assumptions be challenged. It's all part of growing.

Friday, January 13, 2006

"...those they leave unsaid..."

Found a great quote by Frederick Buechner that relates to what I posted here.
"It's less the words they say than those they leave unsaid that split old friends apart."

Don't let important words remain unsaid!


Difficult to hear but far too often true.
"The greatest cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who proclaim Jesus with their lips, and reject him with their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." (Brennan Manning)

Let's pray that God helps us to proclaim Jesus with lips AND lifestyle.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Just do it!

Here's an idea. If someone has made a difference in your life take the time to tell them. And do it now! Yesterday I got a letter from a complete stranger who happened in on our Christmas Day worship service and really appreciated it. She wrote a letter to thank me and the others involved. That was a nice surprise. It made my day. Now, you have it within your power to make someone else's day. Don't just think about it and put it off. Just do it! I dare you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Atonement - Narnia style...

"The stone table cracks. Aslan, who has given his life for Edmund, returns from the dead. This was my childhood understanding of the Lion, Witch and Wardrobe. In doing so, I was trading on traditional atonement theories; Jesus/Aslan as substitute, giving his life for someone else. So I was pleasantly surprised in watching the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, to find a number of layers added to traditional understandings of the atonement."

Emergent Kiwi writes a great blog about the many facets of the atonement of Christ that are seen in Lewis' The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Accomplishing more -- doing less

Len Hjalmarson over at has some powerful words on leadership. Now if I could just move them from my head to my heart.

"When I intentionally seek quiet and restful space, I encounter the Spirit of God. When we separate ourselves from busyness and distraction, He comes to brood over us. In that place of shared rest I have nothing to prove, no one to influence, no way to "succeed" except to be loved. Restful people become a welcoming place for the Spirit of God, and in turn can offer peace and rest to others...The greatest hope of influencing change is not our compulsive activity to shape a world different than the one we know, but to become the change we seek. That means becoming still.. risking the quiet and empty spaces... It means facing our own fears that there will be no one to offer approval.. no voice in the silence.. no one to clap us on the backs to say "well done." I doubt if there is any greater challenge for an active people, any greater challenge for those who are passionate to see change, any greater challenge for those called to lead. But the only way we will see lasting change is if we become the answer we seek."

Thanks Len, for a great reminder.

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Off the couch...

...and into life. My brother-in-law posts some good thoughts over at his blog.
"More and more I am being challenged to get off my Christian couch and initiate relationships with the people around me. Have my neighbour over for coffee, invite the guy I met last week to see King Kong with my friends, have a Christmas get-together for your office department, or help out when you find out people are in need. If we spent as much time working on relationships as we do looking for a nice comfort zone for ourselves, people's lives would be changed in Christ. I know this is true because I've seen it. I'm seeing our town transformed."

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Monday, January 09, 2006

Understanding the sacred...

Sometimes people outside the faith have a better grasp on the holiness and "otherness" of God than those of us who think about it everyday. Russell D. Moore, Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice President for Academic Administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, posts some thoughts from Barbara Ehrenreich over at Mere Comments.

Networking with Jesus

Occasionally one finds an atheist who knows blasphemy when she sees it. Barbara Ehrenreich...writes in her latest book, Bait and Switch the (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream about attending "undercover" a Christian ministry for job-seekers in Georgia. She writes of the charismatic speaker encouraging the unemployed seekers to learn how to network. "And who should be our first networking target?" the motivational speaker queries. "The Lord."

Now we've all seen this kind of trivialization of the apostolic faith. But what struck me was the way in which this atheist feminist materialist took special offense at blasphemy against a God she doesn't even believe exists. Writes Ehrenreich: I'm sorry, this is too much for me. I endured the Norcross Fellowship Lunch as an atheist, but now, at the Mt. Paran Church of God, I discover that I am a believer, and what I believe is this: if the Lord exists, if there is some conscious being whose thought the universe is, some great spinner of galaxies, hurler of meteors, creator and extinguisher of species, if some such being should manifest itself, you do not 'network' with it any more than you would light a cigarette on the burning bush.

I hope Ms. Ehrenreich will not be offended if I say "Amen."

We need to keep our ears open. Sometimes we get so close to how we practice our faith that we can't see that we've missed something. In an amazing twist of grace God often uses an outside perspective to serve as a prophetic voice.

The Gift of a Kingdom Legacy

As I wrote in the last post, we just returned from celebrating my parent's 50th Anniversary. My entire family (2 brothers, 1 sister, their spouses and children) spent 3 days together at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. What an incredible time. Our family has spread out all over the world and it's nice to reconnect and see what is going on in each other's lives. But the thing that impressed me the most is that God is at work all over. He's impacting my neices and nephews. I heard many of them make comments such as, "I just want whatever I do to be ministry." My brother the missionary is seeking God's leading for their family as they are forced through a difficult transition. My brother the furniture plant manager is loving difficult people into the Kingdom of God. My sister and her husband (the new Dean of the College of Business at Appalachain State University) are being used in their circles to help people encounter Jesus. And I know why it's all happening.

My parents prayed for us.

My dad always says that we turned out pretty well in spite of them. The truth is that God has given them a spiritual legacy. He is using their family all over the world to increase His Kingdom. I came away from our time at the beach being overwhelmed with how much our family has been blessed by God. I've also been challenged to ask God to bless the lives of my own children as much as He has done in my parent's life. I'm asking for the gift of a Kingdom legacy.

My parents have worked hard to "store up their treasures in heaven".

My prayer is that I'll invest as wisely as they have.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Gimme a break...

Well, I took a break from blogging (we just spent 12 days in North Carolina celebrating my parent's 50th anniversary with all my family (24 of us - pictures to come soon!) Just after returning home my daughter Madison broke her wrist rollerblading. As you can see she's doing okay. I've never seen a blue cast before, but knowing Madison, she'll be able to use it as a fashion acessory with no problem. My break is over. Her's is just beginning.