Friday, September 12, 2003

I thought of a question during the pre-band-rehearsal small group time. If Jesus were to visit in the flesh and asked me out for coffee, would I know how to hang out with God?
JOHN 7:37-44 Msg

"On the final and climactic day of the Feast, Jesus took his stand. He cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says." (He said this in regard to the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive. The Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.)" (vv 37-39)

This is one of those passages where the imagery is very clear, but the meaning is too big to wrap the brain around. I'm thinking that the experience of having the Spirit gush from you like a river of water would be something you'd know when it happened. I’m not sure what this looks/feels like, but I want it.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

This morning while I was walking to the train, I saw this industrial sized pickup truck parked by the side of the road. In the back were piles and piles of bright orange cones and stantions. The sign on the door said "Alert Barricades" and the two guys in the truck--sporting their bright orange safety vests were fast asleep. Too funny. [If you don't get it, read it again. If you still don't get it, I'm so sorry.]

Speaking of brightness...
I think I did this before, but anyhow, according to my IQ is 133 (downright respectable, eh?) and I am a Visionary Philosopher. Frankly, that’s a lot to live up to!

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Ok, so now I feel better about Blogger. I just signed up for my free thankyou hoodie. [also, there was something in my post that was messing with the publishing of the site, so my bad]. Any how, all is well in Laura's Mind... well, as well as it gets...
Ok, so that's annoying. It works here, but not there. Urgh!
Blogger is not working for one of my sites, so I thought I'd check it out on this one.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

ACTS 5:12-16 Msg

Verse 13 says, "...even though people admired them a lot, outsiders were wary about joining them."

There was something about the early church that made them both attractive and dangerous. The reasons behind these reactions is not readily apparent, but the context does give a clue--the power of the Spirit was at work with visible, undeniable evidence.

When I think of my current church, and other churches of which I have been a part, I do not remember us being so admired or so dangerous. It seems that the church is safe. In fact, we strive to be safe. We are a safe place for unchurched seekers. We are a safe place for unchurched parents to send their children. We are a safe alternative activity for Junior High and Senior High youth. We are a safe place to spend Sunday morning. We are a safe place to hang out on Friday nights.

Theoretical vigor urges me to say, "Let's stop being safe!" But the truth is that I safe and part of me likes being safe. It's good to be safe. Stirring stuff up can get you stepped on. I don't like being stepped on. I prefer to keep the Spirit neatly tucked away where he is safe. None of this bold speech and bold influence. None of that--it's too unsafe. After all, we don't want visitors to actually find "church" when they come to church... do we?

Monday, September 08, 2003

Wired 11.09: PowerPoint Is Evil

Good read, especially since I prepare PowerPoint announcements every week for church. I guess I should start asking how I can prepare the slide show and maintain respect for the audience.
Guardian Unlimited | Life | 'Science cannot provide all the answers'

Great article on science and religion, and on good scientists who also believe in God.
1THES 5:12-24 Msg

Don't suppress the Spirit, and don't stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don't be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what's good. Throw out anything tainted with evil. (vv. 19-22)

A couple of weeks ago, I received a "word from the Master" while having lunch at Ruby's. This "word" came from a group of students who lovingly told me that my teaching was boring and tedious. This was not easy to hear. In fact, it turned my world fairly upside down. You see, I am the type of person who firmly believes what I believe until evidence is provided to the contrary. When I believe something, I go full ahead on the accompanying assumptions. I was of the opinion that I was equipping them. Truth sometimes bites.

Truth bit again while sitting in the tent on Adventure Mountain at Forest Home during College Briefing on Sunday night (8/31). The speaker had been speaking about our inability apart from Jesus. As the band played, I sat down and began to complain that I could not do this college group thing anymore. As soon as the words passed my lips--so to speak--I was hit between the eyes with the truth of the thing. I NEVER could do this thing. I can't do anything apart from Jesus and that's exactly what I had been trying to do. Rather than living in and with him, and ministering out of that relationship, I had been ministering out of my seminary education. Rather than ministering as part of the body of Christ--this portion of which is called "YAM"--I had been ministering out of my own skill--my insufficient, out-of-touch skill.

So, what's next? First, spend more effort on my relationship with Jesus than I do on my seminary education. Seminary is important, but only if it makes me more like Jesus. So far--much to my chagrin--it has produced a 21st century, hermeneutical-exegetical Pharisee--SLAM. Second, spend more effort on ministering WITH the students. This means trusting God's voice through them. This means taking their criticism as a word from God. It also means checking stuff out with the written word, not taking their words--or my own--as gospel.

The road from here is scary and unpredictable. But then it has always been scary and unpredictable, I just wasn't paying attention. It will be a bumpy road. The temptations of seminarian-syndrome are ever present and I will no doubt fall prey. But that's how it is when ministry is held in broken pots. It is not a good thing, but it is the way it is. Let's help each other up.

Sunday, September 07, 2003 PLAYOFFS 2003

Well, the Sparks have tied it up in the Western Conference Finals. One more game to go...