i help lead a relational christian community, yet perceive myself as the primary leader of a hierarchal congregation. thus, i value interdependence, but fail to comprehend that our church's mission and vision must be the product of collaboration. likewise, i believe that each member is responsible for the vitality of our community, yet i never fail to accept sole responsibility for our failures.
i am passionate about proclaiming the gospel of redemption, yet am deeply committed to the incarnation of Christ's compassion. thus, when i hear evangelicals' stirring calls to conversion, a cord in my heart vibrates, and when i experience the inclusive, unconditional love of my episcopalian family and friends, another cord rings true. i am often tempted focus on one cord or the other, but know that in order to follow Christ, i must play both. i often wish that i could be either a virtuoso evangelist or social worker, instead of dealing with the characteristic frustration and mediocrity of the both/and.
i want to be known for extravagant, inclusive love and the proclamation of an exclusive gospel. i long to win the affections of men and God. i want to have my cake and eat it too.
Lord God, grant me the grace to live in the tension. i want to follow the One who was both Man and God, characterized by justice and mercy and who reigns over the now but not yet.
"The best public contribution of religion is precisely not to be ideologically predictable or a loyal partisan. To always raise the moral issues of human rights, for example, will challenge both left- and right-wing governments who put power above principles. Religious action is rooted in a much deeper place than "rights"-- that being the image of God in every human being."
"It is because religion takes the problem of evil so seriously that it must always be suspicious of too much concentrated power -- politically and economically -- either in totalitarian regimes or in huge multinational corporations that now have more wealth and power than many governments. It is indeed our theology of evil that makes us strong proponents of both political and economic democracy -- not because people are so good but because they often are not and need clear safeguards and strong systems of checks and balances to avoid the dangerous accumulations of power and wealth."
"In an election year, the particular religiosity of a candidate, or even how devout he might be, is less important than how his religious and/or moral commitments and values shape political vision and policy commitments. Understanding the moral compass a candidate brings to his public life and how his convictions shape his political priorities is the true litmus test."
for introducing me to rodger sellers' intriguing travelogue. rodger is a self described 'emergent immigrant' who is currently visiting emerging churches across the country. if you are interested in exploring the diversity of emergent communities around the country or are interested in reading the reflections of a pastor who is coming to grips with, and hoping to develop, an emerging church, you will find this site absolutely fascinating.
tonight, instead of investing in my thursday evening teaching i decided to spend time with kellie and watch the 2004 all-star game. the following thoughts flitted through my brain sometime during the evening:
it pains me to say this, but i believe that joe buck is being brainwashed by tim mccarver. case in point: he has spent the night saying things like, 'if you have noticed vlad guerrero yet, you're really missing out' and 'mark mulder might not be a household name, but he's a fixture in the bay area.' is there any self-respecting fan who hasn't known about vlad since his injury shortened debut in 1996? likewise, whether due to the lame x-files jokes made on sportscenter or the last three years of the alds most people know who mulder is. insert the rant of the durham bulls coach on nuke laloosh's debut here.
speaking of laloosh, clemens did a hell of a tim robbins impersonation this evening. i am a die-hard national league fan, but i couldn't help but enjoy seeing clemens getting whipped like a red headed stepchild this evening. clemens is a mercenary and traitor (reports are that he is trying to engineer a trade to a contender as we speak), who unfortunately never blew his elbow or rotator cuff (there's still time roger!).
it was also fulfilling to see kent make an elementary error on the infield. mug with ali all you want kent, we still know that you're an unregenerate, 'truck washing' redneck.
scott rolen is the bodhisattva of the hot corner.
according to mccarver, 'there has not been a meaningful conversation between a runner and a first baseman in the history of the game.' thanks for the striking insight tim! wisdom certainly does come with age.
would it kill fox, or baseball tonight for that matter, to employ rob neyer or bill james as a color analyst? i am beginning to believe that the network heads are raging anti-sabrites.
that's enough for one evening. i will bore no more.
back to school, back to school, to prove to dad that i'm no fool...
kellie and i have finally returned from an eight day midwestern tour. we enjoyed the opportunity to visit those we love (including jennifer, the boards, john and jenny wise, the clarks, the hudspeaths, the alexanders and the xenoids), satiate our (okay...my) wanderlust and invest in one another.
in other news, i have been utterly overwhelmed by the recent exploits of the redbirds. as the often redundant tim mccarver and the heir to the kmox throne joe buck noted ad nauseaum on saturday's telecast, no one thought the cardinals would be 7 games up on the cubs going into the all-star break. i confess that i was a doubter...i figured that we would be mired in third place by now. thankfully, due in large part to the play of crafty veterans such as womack, sanders and carpenter, i have been converted. i believe in this team more than any other since '96.
question of the day: which broadcaster is more annoying, tim mccarver or joe morgan?
i am a thirtysomething worker bee who hails from massachusetts. by day i find jobs for individuals with significant disabilities and by night i spend time with my pixie-like wife and share life with my friends at the gathering in salem. my deepest passions are following Jesus Christ, extending God's compassion to the poor and obsessing about the Saint Louis Cardinals.