Monday, March 21, 2011

Rob Bell & Eugene Peterson

I purchased the book the first day that it came out. I bought the Kindle version. I had to start loading up my Kindle (a present from my parents). I enjoyed the book. I do not think that I agreed with everything that it said and what he believes but that is okay because I do not think that I have read an author where I have agreed 100% with that person.

I am thinking about doing a reread and doing a write-up on all 8 chapters for my thought process. Maybe if I did that (committed to it), it will/would jump start my blogging again.

I have read 50 +/- reviews/blogs from individuals and most of them are from people that did not like the book. I have read a few from those who have enjoyed it and wrote some great reviews. I should have book,marked all of them for references but that would be another fail on my part. However, today, I wanted to share with you an interview that was on It is an interview from Eugene Peterson on Rob Bell and the book:

What are your thoughts regarding Rob Bell’s book and the controversy it ignited? What inspired you to endorse the book?

Rob Bell and anyone else who is baptized is my brother or my sister. We have different ways of looking at things, but we are all a part of the kingdom of God. And I don’t think that brothers and sisters in the kingdom of God should fight. I think that’s bad family manners.

I don’t agree with everything Rob Bell says. But I think they’re worth saying. I think he puts a voice into the whole evangelical world which, if people will listen to it, will put you on your guard against judging people too quickly, making rapid dogmatic judgments on people. I don’t like it when people use hell and the wrath of God as weaponry against one another.

I knew that people would jump on me for writing the endorsement. I wrote the endorsement because I would like people to listen to him. He may not be right. But he’s doing something worth doing. There’s so much polarization in the evangelical church that it’s a true scandal. We’ve got to learn how to talk to each other and listen to each other in a civil way

I really wish that we could have civil conversation in all manners.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Words from A Confirmand

Recently, we came back from our confirmation retreat. This is the first year that I have led the students at CTS in the retreat. I made some tweaks in their standard program and I was a little nervous. I changed up the location and I changed the format of the curriculum. When we got back, our communication director asked me to get a student to write a summary of the weekend. I want to share it with you. These words are from a 8th grade girl who is on a wonderful spiritual journey:

March 4th through 6th was one of the most meaningful weekends of my life. Cliché, I know, but it's true. The retreat that us 8th grade youth took that weekend changed me and the way I view God. I learned so much about myself and my faith and so did 25 of my peers, peers of mine that I have been with for –what seems like- my whole life. Some of the kids that joined me on this trip played in the nursery with me when I was just a baby, but until that weekend I was never this close with any of these people, even the one who I call some my best friends. For example my small group and I stayed up all hours of the night and told each other our secrets and all about our lives then went on to talk about how our small group and our weekend at Lake Luther had impacted our lives in such tremendous ways. Over the weekend we played games in our “fruit groups”, we took long walks in Narnia-what we named the woods of Lake Luther for its remarkable resemblance to the fictional land-, we played games like screaming toes and ninja for what seemed like hours, we spent time puddle jumping and playing in the rain-turn-snow, everyone there loved playing with baby Paige, we watched hilarious skits put on by our peer guides and even just hung around in our cabins during our free time but our fun is besides the point.

I know that I personally grew so much in my faith and learned more about myself and my walk in one weekend then I have in weeks of church camp, two weekends at Springhill, and in all 14 years of going to church. It seemed like this retreat made it all just clicks. I owe that to so many things: Jeff’s lessons, our seemingly endless quizzes, the songs we all sang, the prayers we all prayed, the communion we took part in Sunday, the time by the fire with my small group, watching my peers give their banner presentations and the beautiful landscape God provided to us, among some of top things that attributed to such growth. This retreat provided me with a jump start to the rest of my walk with the Lord and a weekend of fun that I will never forget.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Celebrated # 17

Over the weekend, I celebrated being married to Stacey for 17 years. We did so up at Lake Luther in separate cabins. We were up there with our friends (church family) from Christ the Savior.

We had 26-8th graders there along with 14 high schoolers (their peer guides) and 8 other adults. The weekend was a fantastic weekend.

No, we did not do anything flashing but we were doing what we loved. I was teaching and leading and she was in the kitchen cooking and serving.

It has been a journey and I look forward to many more.