Friday, September 23, 2005

ramp progress


things are coming along nicely. we should be done by next friday or saturday if all goes according to plan. total project cost somewhere around $1200. we'll be adding another 8ft section on next spring. thats why the foundation is so freakin big. man leveling all those blocks took almost as long as it will take to build the rest of the ramp. something to be said for a solid foundation. i could go one step further and make that wonderfully true clichéd christian parallel...but i won't.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A Word for the Season: diaspora

The term diaspora (Ancient Greek διασπορά, a scattering or sowing of seeds) is used (without capitalization) to refer to any people or ethnic population forced or induced to leave their traditional ethnic homelands, being dispersed throughout other parts of the world, and the ensuing developments in their dispersal and culture.

I was in a meeting yesterday and someone mentioend the diaspora as a parallel to a current affair. I realized that this is what I have been thinking of lately, in relation to myself and many of my family and friends. Previously we had been clustered in one spiritual community.... what a lot of talent clustered in one space :-) More recently, due to variuous circumstances (which has felt like persectution to some!) we have been scattered in various spiritual communities, tho many of us remain friends and are in frequent contact. I think this could be a good thing...over the long haul. It is my hope and prayer that the scattering, the diaspora, will be a sowing of seeds that will cause new growth in many places while at the same time bringing many new shoots together to form a field.

That's my positive thought to end the day, and in fact to end the Summer. In 32 minutes it will officially be Fall.
Sleep well.

Stop Manufacturing Land Mines!

Check this out!
http://www.witherspoonsociety.org/2004/landmines.htm

Monday, September 19, 2005

ramp fund

so looks like the a-mon and myself got the go ahead to build a beautiful ramp at aaron's place of residence. its gonna be awesome, given recent events on certain local fronts this is an exciting opportunity...pending lots of things that we have to decide. right now though, we need money. if you feel so inclined to donate to this cause let me know...aaron and i are fronting the money (probably just over 1 grand in the longterm), the hope is that eventually hybridfire will help with projects like this, but as we are just starting that too we haven't got the capital to invest. word. most of the wood is coming today.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Unecessary Pastor

I just looked up this book on a popular web site for books, etc and read the first few pages. I wish I had time to read a whole book right now, I think this one would be a great combination of encouragement and correction. Here are a few excerpts:

“There are powerful cultural forces determined…….to turn us, the church’s pastors and leaders, into kindly religious figures, men and women who provide guidance through difficult times, who dole out inspiration and good cheer on a weekly schedule, who provide smiling reassurance that “God’s in his heaven….,” and keep our congregations busy at tasks that bolster their self esteem-also good things.
And if they don’t turn us into merely nice people, they turn us into replicas of our cultural leaders, seeking after power and influence and prestige. These insistent voices drum away at us, telling us pastors to go out and compete against the successful executives and entertainers who have made it to the top, so that we can put our churches on the map and make it big in the world……

“And we are unnecessary to what congregations insist that we must do and be: as the experts who help them stay ahead of the competition. Congregations want pastors who will lead them in the world of religious competition and provide a safe alternative to the world’s ways. They want pastors who lead. They want pastors the way the Israelites wanted a king--to make hash of the Philistines. Congregations get their ideas of what makes a pastor from the culture, not from the Scriptures: they want a winner; they want their needs met; they want to be part of something zesty and glamorous………

And I am having the depressing experience of reading congregational descriptions of what these churches want in a pastor. With hardly an exception they don’t want pastors at all--they want managers of their religious company. They want a pastor they can follow so they won’t have to bother with following Jesus anymore.

These two authors sound like true prophets in our midst. And I don't use that term lightly or even ever. It makes me cringe when I think of the thinkgs that I've expected from my pastors and how easy it is to get sucked into what our culture (Christian and secular) prescribe for us and our spiritual leaders. Good food for thought!

Thanks for sharing, Carol.

Blog 1 on: The Unnecessary Pastor...

TRUTHFULLY! This is the name of a book B. found in a google search tonight. Written by co-authors Marva Dawn and Eugene Peterson. Sounds like a book for the times. Here's an excerpt:

I grew up thinking that propaganda was only a problem in societies under the oppression of the communist USSR. Only under Ellul's tutelage (my note: during her thesis research) did I learn how unremittingly deceptions and fabrications proliferate in our North American culture. Furthermore, consider the ways in which the marketing gurus' propaganda is destroying churches by calling their leaders to false roles, that we think are necesary, and away from who we really are as a Church.

Propaganda in churches is, in many ways, similar to that of the communists, for it invites people to a perfidious dream that does not acknolwledge suffering, sinful humanity, the dangers of false success and the cost of dioscipleship. It is then, the working of the powers of deception. You might think that I am overstating the case, but when we are pulled away from the proper ambitions, attitudes and actions that Christ has modeled for his Church, then whose ways are we following?

The ARK

Wonderful time at the ARK Sanctuary dedication this evening.
Looking forward to the first Dead Sea Cafe event there on Oct 1 (7PM)
btw - the ARK has a brand new web page.
http://www.thearkcenter.org