Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

south africa: day 8

more reading...

i've finished a few other tomes and texts in the last couple days...

"the phenomenon of man" by pierre teilhard de chardin (a famous paleontologist, who was also a jesuit priest deeply concerned with reconciling faith + science)...this book was amazing, though a little beyond me on the science end. i've already gone back through a re-read much of it, and am increasingly amazed at his profound faith and sense of commitment to God (the "omega"). i'll undoubtedly use this in the future.


"transforming the difficult child" by howard glasser and jennifer easley...this is a great book about parenting that has deeply influenced ben's current teaching in fusion. it was recommended to me by my friend greg gallagher, who has recently been asked to implement the principles as a means of keeping discipline in the michigan center school district via the 'nurtured heart approach.' greg will also be giving some seminars on the material at the winds (for a hefty discount, i might add) and i strongly urge every parent to attend.

"from eternity to here" by frank viola...i liked this book, though - similar to frank's other book (pagan christianity) i felt like the ways in which the author takes theological liberties really hurt the overall credibility of the book. there are times when he makes it seem like things that could be true (given the right circumstances and hermeneutical lens...and still allowing for different truths to simultaneously coexist) are ABSOLUTELY true. they're not.

"unleashing the power of rubber bands" by nancy ortberg...this is a great leadership book that i've asked norma to order for all our staff. it's easy to read and has some fresh insights. my one criticism is that the author references max depree about 10 times too often. he was a mentor for her, and an important leader, but it was a bit much. still, the book is fantastic and i would highly recommend it to anyone.

"the postmodern organization" by william berquist...this is a book i should have read 15 years ago but which is now, sadly, about 15 years out of date. too bad. i read it because it's always listed as a "classic". it would have been timeless if i'd read it at the right time :)

"unleashing the scripture" by stanley hauerwas...i bought this book because hauerwas is keen to make sure we (americans, in particular) resist the urge to make everything in the bible that's about israel about america instead. everyone should know that. he does a good job with it, but it gets a bit boring about halfway through. short version: the bible is not about america. that is all.




Friday, August 21, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

So far, so good

We're sitting in the Atlanta airport, 1 hour from our flight to Johannesburg, and everything is going swell no far.

No infections
No nausea
No faux pas
No cultural awkwardness
No "oops...my bad" moments

I've finished two books (the trouble with Paris, by mark Sayers and Jesus: the final days by Craig evans and nt wright) and eaten two dinners.

Feel full in my belly and brains.

Next? A 14 hour trip into awesomeness.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

the giant particleboard wiener of los angeles (my favorite tidbit from the upcoming teaching atlas)

When I was a kid, I always thought that being a good Christian meant wearing suits to church and having a Bible cover that doubled as a doily.


When I got older, I thought that people who looked that way weren’t Christians at all, just posers.


I was equally wrong both times and for the same reason.


It takes all kinds.


The church is like particle board, a million bits of odds and ends shoved together and glued.


The church is like a wiener (of the Oscar Meyer variety, that is)—you love it more if you don’t take too much time to dissect all the parts inside.


The church is like L.A.—don’t ask where the weirdo’s came from or how they got there, just accept that they’ve all got a part in some upcoming pilot.


Like you.

And me.


We’re the giant particleboard wiener of Los Angeles.


Listen, I know that seems disturbing but it’s the truth. You and I, together with the mass collection of snowflake Jesus-people have been bound together for one simple reason: to heal the world.