Friday, January 26, 2007

Do Be Do Be Do

Recently Michael Toy put on his grumpy pants and posted a great little rant about being vs doing.

I liked his article and it really got me thinking again about this idea. I went roundy-roundy with myself a few months ago trying to figure out how to find worth aside from the "things I do for church". As I read and pondered and prayed, I realized there was a lack in me of being able to just sit; to just "be".

In my reading, I found there is a lot being said these days about moving away from the busyness of "doing so much" and "doing church" and trying to move toward the idea of "just being" and "being church". Michael puts these in great perspective:
the opposite of a life of scattered activity
is a life of focused activity.

the opposite of a life with no rest
is a life with a rhythm of rest and work.

the opposite of trying to get god's love through activity
is a life of giving god's love away.

none of these are "just being"
I've been stuck for awhile now, so I really appreciated Michael's re-definition of the opposites!

I remember hearing Richard Foster at a Pastor's Conference say
"The opposite of grace is works, but
the opposite of grace is not effort!"
and Todd Hunter talking about the ineffectiveness of asking WWJD -- that is a fine question to ask, but when the rubber meets the road and we try to do what Jesus would do, we fail miserably. He said it is more about training than just trying. He said
"I can ask all day long What Would Michael Jordan Do
but if I am on the court, knowing what he would do
and being trained to do it myself are very different things!"
Taking that to the next step for my purposes here, if I am "being" Michael Jordan, but not shooting the ball, I'm worthless to the team!

I moved out of my personal roundy-roundy time a few months ago by finally landing in James where he says (my paraphrase)
"If you're being, you'll do!
If you're not doing, you're not being!"
~ Keith

Monday, January 22, 2007

Open Source Church

Over the past 3 years I've read a lot of books about following Jesus; being part of the church. Many of these books have referenced a phenomenon I find fascinating. Over the centuries, it seems an old idea has been recycled many times, and called many different things:
  • New Testament Church
  • Acts Church
  • Cell-Based Church
  • Simple Church
  • House Church
  • Home Church
  • 1 Corinthians 14:26 Church
  • HeartChange Church
  • Small Group Church
  • Organic Church
And today I was directed to this site:
I think their explanation and layout is very easy to follow. They've condensed into 4 pages where others have written whole books! I also like the way they offer the information: rather than copyrighting anything, this person or persons anonymously published this simple framework, openly inviting copying and redistribution, with changes encouraged.

Maybe another name for this could be Open Source Church!

  1. What do you think of this concept in general?
  2. Does a church need a building?
  3. Does a church need a paid staff person to be a pastor?
  4. What are the basic elements, without which, a church is not a church?
  5. Can church be understood through this kind of reductionism?
~ Keith

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Eyes on the Prize

My friend Lynda posted recently about Bits & Pieces. It reminded me of a recent trauma a coworker of mine went through.

His daughter is currently recovering from severe internal injuries suffered when she fell from a horse and was trampled. She will be OK, but she spent 5 days in the ICU, followed by another 5 on the floor. Can we all say hemopneumothorax together?

It seems the horse she was riding was a retired race horse (she didn't find out until after). She's not a novice rider, so when it spooked and bolted away, she stayed calm and reined him in HARD. Thing is, *apparently race horses are trained to fight the bit. The harder you rein them in the harder they run straight ahead. The only way to whoa them back is to rein in hard...and yank to the side. I guess that keeps nervous young jockeys from losing races. In this case it kept a young girl out of school for a month or two, and almost kept her out of life.

An experienced jockey would know this, and use it to his advantage to coax the horse to give everything he has to give, even beyond what he thinks he has left -- even amidst a crowd of other horses pushing and shoving and straining for the path -- because the prize is worth running hard after.

Paul talks a fair amount about running a race. He also says a thing or two about keeping our eyes on the prize and not looking back; pressing forward.

Maybe, like racehorses, we're trained to fight the bit that would take us off the pace; running all the harder for the strain. Seems Jesus talked a bit about sheep hearing His voice. Good Shepherd? You bet!

Still, sometimes following Jesus is like "the ride of your life".

Here's to the Good Jockey as well.

~ Keith

* this info has not been verified. I heard it third hand from my coworker, who heard it from a family member of his daughter's ICU roommate, also the victim of an equestrian accident

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Masculinity Measured

In an earlier blog post I documented my testosterone normalization. The plan was for me to see my MD in January and, if my levels were normal, I could get rid of my syringes.

Lab results just in: Anyone need a box of unused syringes?

~ Keith

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Do Yuo Lkie Raeidng My Bolg?

In an eMail today:
I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it wouthit a porbelm Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
~ Keith

More details from Cambridge, Wikipedia, & Snopes.

Friday, January 12, 2007

indexed translations

Yesterday = Joy
Yesterday I found indexed.

Today = Fun
I made this one up myself, in homage.

~ Keith

PS -- archives go back to August of 2006. Be prepared to spend hours perusing, laughing, and agreeing as you enjoy the poignancy of them all.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The 'Following Jesus' Manifesto

(Bob linked this today, from The Mission. I thought it was worthy of republication.)

The 'Following Jesus' Manifesto
  1. Stop talking about Jesus. Just stop. If we loved the people around us half as much as we say we love Jesus the rest of this manifesto would be entirely redundant.
  2. Live a Secret Life. Invest the time, effort and vulnerability necessary to delve deeply into the scripture and prayer. Spend long periods of time in stillness. There is no shortcut to this, there is no other way. Without a deep and secret life we soon find ourselves talking about Jesus instead of being like Jesus.
  3. Stop pretending. I'm a Christian, and I suck. So do you. Let's get that out of the way, shall we?
  4. Give more than you get. There will always be more than enough.
  5. Be present for those around you. Following Jesus has nothing to do with your work, your resume or your income. In fact, nothing that matters does.
  6. Treasure broken-ness. Our broken places are sacred spaces in our heart. Honour them. Value them. In doing so you love the unlovely, publicly declaring the beauty of God's image in everyone. Greet the broken with comfort and cool water.
  7. Throw a party.
  8. Know Jesus well enough to recognize him on the street. This is rather important, because he can always be found on the street - and he usually looks more like a pan-handler than a preacher.
  9. Accept ingratitude and abuse as a fixed cost. Embrace them, and then go the extra mile.
  10. If you follow Jesus, you will anger religious people. This is how you will know.

~ Keith

ps - speaking of: for a much longer, in-depth look at a manifesto re: following Jesus, you can check out this link, originally written by Michael Toy whose blog I follow.