Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Sunday, February 25, 2007
is a great introduction the this amazing humble enigma and mystic..Especially if all you know of him is next to nothing, or just his most well-known song "Awesome God." Here is Part 1:
Unfortunately, concert video...where Rich was at his most genuinely prophetic and down-home apostolic... is hard to come by, though this site has several (currently not working) clips. There are even a couple music videos on YouTube. Knowing his disdain for the commercialization of Christian music, it is hard to imagine Rich connsenting to an official "music video," isn't it? Which is why I think he'd prefer me to show...if anything...this promo he did for Compassion International:
Or "The Color Green" (which you may have guessed by now is not about money):
...Oh, the shower thing. Smith tells a classic story that capture's Rich's spirit:
If I could live like that.
Finally, with a sigh of resignation, I decide to muster a mustard seed of hope that someone somewhere saw Rich for what he likely was: an apostle. I winced, and googled that unlikely combination of words.
The official result:
Of course not.
Which is why he was.
Rich would undoubtedly be the first to deflect and deny it anyway.
Further evidence he was.
Brian Dodd again (just replace the word "apostle" with Rich Mullins. It works):
An “apostle” in the ancient world is simply someone who is sent (Greek: apostolos). An apostle was someone who was sent to conduct someone else’s business on their behalf. There was—originally speaking—nothing religious about them. They were normally an unvalued slave, who was expendable...
... If we practiced slavery like they did in the ancient world, when you said “apostle” today no one would think of the manager, owner or executive of a restaurant. They would think of the dishwashers and busboys. “Apostle” was not a claim to high status or authority, but a claim to low status and expendability. When you attached the words “of Christ” this communicated whose business and authority the apostle was operating under. Christ is the boss, he sent the apostle and, when the apostle speaks, he is merely the conduit.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
"It is interesting to note that any religion which postulates the existence of fulfilled prophecy requires, at the very least, an agent which can move information from the future into the past." (click for source/more)
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
All due respect to the author; I even have one of his books.
He may have had nothing to do with the terrible title.
But I seem to remember Someone saying this ("pouring new wine into old wineskins" ) is something that by definition and design couldn't/shouldn't be done.
And check the subtitle. Jesus also specifically addressed the subtitle, suggesting that if it is done via the way of the title, all is lost.
"No one" does this, he says:
Jesus said: “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; it will never work. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.”
(photo link "Leonard Cohen never drinks wine..")
It's "Tower of Song" by Leonard ("God is Alive")Cohen...even more haunting/daunting when performed by Cohen and U2 (Cohen: "Well, like the Talmud says, there's good wine in every generation." ): watch it here...
More here on Cohen's spirituality:
Leonard Cohen: Poet, Prophet, Eternal Optimist
THE ORDINATION OF THE ARTIST
FORMERLY KNOWN AS LEONARD COHEN
Interview (2001):"why nirvana is now a mean tuna sandwich ..."
Video interview snippet about religion/"Hallelujah"
"Tower of Song"
Well my friends are gone and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I’m crazy for love but I’m not coming on
I’m just paying my rent every day
In the tower of song
I said to Hank Williams, “How lonely does it get?”
Hank Williams hasn’t answered yet
But I hear him coughing all night long
Oh a hundred floors above me
In the tower of song
I was born like this, I had no choice
I was born with the gift of a golden voice
And twenty-seven angels from the great beyond
Well they tied me to this table right here
In the tower of song
So you can stick your little pins in that voodoo doll
I’m very sorry, baby, doesn’t look like me at all
I’m standing by the window where the light is strong
Ah they don’t let a woman kill you
Not in the tower of song
Now you can say that I’ve grown bitter but of this you may be sure
The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor
And there’s a mighty judgment coming, but I may be wrong
You see, you hear these funny voices
In the tower of song
I see you standing on the other side
Don’t know how the river got so wide
I loved you baby, way back then
And all the bridges are burning that we might have crossed
I feel so close to everything we’ve lost
We’ll never, we’ll never have to lose it again, oh, oh-oh
So I bid you farewell, I don’t know when I’ll be back
They’re moving us tomorrow to that tower down the track
But you’ll be hearing from me baby, long after I’m gone
I’ll be speaking to you sweetly
From my window in the tower of song
Well my friends are gone and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I’m crazy for love but I’m not coming on
I’m just paying my rent every day
In the tower of song
Also: Much like the "All That You Can't" U2 songs took on new meaning after 9/11, how could you not suggest the same for Cohen's "First We Take Manhattan":
They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
For trying to change the system from within
I'm coming now, I'm coming to reward them
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
I'm guided by a signal in the heavens
I'm guided by this birthmark on my skin
I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin...(lyrics)
Friday, February 09, 2007
Brain (that was a typo...should be "Brian," but I'll leave it as it was prophetic)Dodd...see previous post on his "Just go low; don't worry about getting up" here ..has sent out a new piece with permission to share. Here it is below. I found it highly helpful..I want to hear more about the secular use of the term, what would it mean to be sent to the world; not just the church. For related, see Wolfgang Simson's "Nobody recognizes apostles when they walk into the room" and "Taxi triving apostle gives us five fingers "..
An “apostle” in the ancient world is simply someone who is sent (Greek: apostolos). An apostle was someone who was sent to conduct someone else’s business on their behalf. There was—originally speaking—nothing religious about them. They were normally an unvalued slave, who was expendable.
Travel in the ancient world was dangerous, and something that individuals did not choose lightly. Who would have the right to send someone on their behalf? A slave owner or a governmental or military commander. The person sent—the apostle—did not have a choice. In the case of the government or military, the apostle sent with orders normally would be a part of an armed entourage. The slave-apostle would not have such protection. The master would pick the slave he could most afford to lose, and send that one to conduct his business in some extended location. The apostle-slave might be the same as the lowest household slave who was given the shameful duty of washing feet (see John 13). Mattering least, and therefore sent.
Paul identifies himself as one such sent-slave in many ways in his letters: “Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God” (Romans 1:1). Paul’s most common self-description throughout his letters is: “I am a slave who is sent by Jesus to non-Jews to communicate the good news that the Kingdom of God has come in Jesus.” English readers of the Bible find it easy to overlook this important aspect of Paul’s self-understanding, since the 190 different Greek terms used for slavery in the New Testament are sanitized to “servant.” This is not a very appropriate translation, since in Paul’s day 1/3rd of the population of the Roman empire were masters who owned slaves, 1/3rd of the people were slaves, and 1/3rd were former slaves. Paul makes it clear what he means: slavery to Christ is about exclusive ownership—Christ is master/lord (kurios is the simple word for master-owner of a slave). “Am I now trying to win the approval of people or of God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s slave” (Galatians 1:10).
Another problem in understanding how the word “apostle” is used in the Bible is the medieval pictures we have in our minds of the twelve disciples of Jesus with halos around their heads, or the false assumptions that apostles were only religious figures, they were high status people with a lot of power, there were only a few of them and now they have ceased to exist or their work is now embodied in others with different titles (bishops of various sorts of the Catholic/Anglican traditions). This is a complete revisionistic interpretation of what an original apostle was. “Apostle” was not a title for a high status leadership position. Before and after Jesus “apostles” were low status slaves with no power of their own, and they were as common as dishwashers are today. If we practiced slavery like they did in the ancient world, when you said “apostle” today no one would think of the manager, owner or executive of a restaurant. They would think of the dishwashers and busboys. “Apostle” was not a claim to high status or authority, but a claim to low status and expendability. When you attached the words “of Christ” this communicated whose business and authority the apostle was operating under. Christ is the boss, he sent the apostle and, when the apostle speaks, he is merely the conduit.
Several years ago I wrote, “The leadership we need today is apostolic leadership” (Empowered Church Leadership: Ministry in the Spirit According to Paul [Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 1999], p. ____). I describe what I mean in that chapter using all extra-biblical language (because we so hopelessly misunderstand the term “apostle,” and lose its import in hierarchical misinterpretation). “Apostolic” is not a scriptural term. If I had been speaking scripturally, I would have explained why slave-apostles (like helps, giving, mercy, etc.) were common gifts then, and should be now. There were many apostles in the New Testament who were not the Twelve or Paul, who didn’t author scripture, and would not have considered the gifting a title, status or privilege. What we need more than anything is a release of these kind of slave-apostles for the mission of Jesus to the lost and hurting. God is a sending God and commands to go to those who have lost their way, not waiting for them to come to us.
Many leaders have heard the buzz and read the books and would like to be “apostolic in their leadership” and yet remain in-charge, in safety and security, in the cushy-comfort of some Christian bunker. Can’t be done. Apostles are given by God as a gift to the church and the world (Ephesians 4:11), and are needed most desperately. A church without apostles (and prophets, for that matter) is a fire without the flame. What’s wrong with this Body? We have severed an essential limb of apostles through intellectualism, religious control and the flesh (and therefore most gifts lie dormant and unoffered to God—the role of apostles is a mainstay in equipping the Body for service and maturity; Ephesians 4:11ff). Most apostles are not found in the church-as-we-know-it, and that is why the flame is burning hot elsewhere. Jesus is the boss—as He was sent, so He is sending these He owns to suffer and serve to make know the presence and coming fullness of His Kingdom. Apostles and prophets are the foundation of the church-as-God-wants-it (Ephesians 2:20; 3:5-6; 4:11).
Permission granted to share this email
Thursday, February 08, 2007
but now with God's help I can become myself. "
-The first line: no source found in SK found the source:
The second line is from SK's journal:
"My whole being is changed. My reserve and my self-isolation is broken--I must speak."
(Journals, Oxford edition. p. 747, April 19, 1848.)
A few paragraphs later:
"It is essentially owing to her, to my melancholy and to my money that I became an author.
Now with God's help, I shall be myself.
I believe that Christ will help me to be victorious
over my melancholy, and so I shall become a priest."
(Journals, p. 748. April 19, 1848.)
A few days later:
"No, no, My self-isolation cannot be broken. at least for now."
(Journals, p. 749, April 24, 1838)
1. How much time do you take to observe pop culture? I depend on “human intellifence” and automated resources (e.g., Google Alerts).
2. What do older people want to offer the young? An example of how to do reverse mentoring in their own lives one day—or maybe even now. We want to offer them a place at the table, i.e., at our house.
3. What about how we learn spiritual things from one another? The young need spiritual mothers and fathers. Our last church taught us so much through the example of passionate, corporate prayer set by our young adults. People were broken by the example of this intense spirituality.
4. What can we say to the younger generation to encourage r-mentoring? Basic openness to people outside your generation. Don’t assume there are walls when they re not.
5. Is there a cycle of Pentecost in Earl’s life? A rising of hunger for renewal in the church + a declining interest in what renewal looks like. Plus, don’t forget the power of God.
6. How can we make space for God to move? Create small patches of “white space” in our services and grow it into the culture of the church from there. Keep the focus on lost people.
I will be teaching a class for pastors/missionaries/leaders in March and would love to get your thoughts on a few questions. .. would help to have input from a wide spectrum..whatever your faith..or none (especially if you don't do church).
My questions, post your thoughts as comments, email, whatever:
1)What words come to mind when you think of "Sunday morning church"?
2)What "horror stories" do you have about the church not "getting it"...(being corny, judgemental, irrelevant, boring, whatever..)
3)How would you summarize how the world/culture has changed in the last thirty years?
4)How might the church take steps to actually get people connected to God and each other?
5) Share about your experience with modern technology (Railway Zero or other forums, IM, text message, cell phone, webcam, MySpace, YouTube etc) that helps you meet people/connect with people/receive prayer or support, and talk about how/what the church might learn (pro or con) from such technology.
6)What..if any..role do you see for "the sermon" these days...(length, style,pulpit or not, dialogue, who delivered by..anything)
7) Share stories about churches you like or that "get it."
8)What "secular" music, bands, artists move you spiritually?
9)If you could design the seating arrangement and choose furniture for a church gathering, what would the room look like?
10)If you could give advice to pastors and leaders and knew you would be listened to and your advice implemented..what would you say?
Here is my course description, complete conference schedule and even regisration
See you there.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
|Ever put a lit cigarette up your nose?||Uh, years ago...BC...1976..don't ask...there is a slide somewhere|
|Ever cussed at God?||Like anyone else honest, yeah.. Like some Bible pray-ers..|
|Ever streaked?||Sure...same year as two above ...No photos that I am aware of..but don't ask Mumbo Man|
|Ever stolen?||Hostess Snowballs from Gong's Market as a kid...(amd a prayer, as St. Vincent Furnier did in the amazing song "Stolen Prayer"|
|Worst sin you ever committed?||killed Jesus|
|Cheated on a math test?||i don't think so...but i have a hilarious story about someone cheating off me in college math...They knew I was an "A" student..but didn't know I was not so in Math!|
|Eaten guinea pig?||not sure...been to Peru twice so it's possible. I think Cathie Metz has.|
|Which talk show host should interview Jesus?||Colbert, or Keltic Ken|
|Predestination or free will?||yes|
|Dance south of the equator?||i have and plan to again|
|Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme?||since only KK in town, i'll choose that|
|Hegel or Kierkegaard?||Tough..Both are informative...buy they had their differences. Probably the Dutch Dude by a hair..but a Hegelian synthesis of the two would be huge fun|
|Batman or Superman?||Superman...but I have fond memories of the TV Batman...Oof!|
|Guilty pleasure?||mindless pop music once every two years; Ray Bradbury|
|AM or FM?||AM just to hear Keltic Ken, Tom Gonzales, or Bruce Hood on KRDU 1130; other than that: FM and BM in the PM|
|Funny hospital stories?||as a pastor, yeah" I think a guy burned his hand trying to hide a lit cigarette from me; also: "accidentally" seeing hindquarters from those crazy hospital gowns. Rev Kev Clancey has the best story|
|Regular or Decaff?||Come on, no contest. What's the point in decaff...that's Oxy the Moron|
|Cheech or Chong?||both gifted with great voices in the old skits... Cheech as Sister Mary Elephant, maybe...and as the man talking to Jesus in "Welcome to Mexico" Chong as the character "Man."|
|Last wine?||Last Sunday @worship (what kind of church do you think we are)...but it was stale, eh, Ken?|
|Bath or shower?||Sometimes...more than Rich Mullins...ok, ok: shower|
|Next US state to visit?||Washington (to scout out church plant with Kev, maybe...and because it's one of the few states...besides sanity...I've not visited)|
|What's on your bedside table?||Bible, 17 books, flashlight, 3 magazines, pencil, 53 cents, an Israeli Shekel, a cat, Kleenex w/booger|
|Desk: Piles or files?||Tohu Bohu|
|Email or MySpace mail?||Like many, I now get more MySpace mail than old-fashioned e-mail....as far as personal messages.. I guess email is so "last millenium" (remember pay phones? Beta video? Adam Ant?)|
|How well can you do that under-the-armpit noise?||better than you...more musically than your mom|
|Spiritual gifts?||pastoring (one hopes), compassion (need more), discernment|
|Car?||Toyota Corolla..not matter what Pastor Scott thinks|
|If you could have just one Old Testament book?||Isaiah..|
CREATE YOUR OWN SURVEY!
Serving on the board of a wonderful sex-addiction recovery ministry (chime in with an opinion below, Russ), watching the history of this exposure , and just knowing too much, this headline may well be an answer to my prayer; but I fear it is my worst fear: Haggard will declare himself healed and jump back into full-time ministry too soon..
Sigh...click the headline and keep praying..Maybe I'll feel better after reading the article, could've been an overly-dramatic headline...
I do believe, help my unbelief ..
In the meantime, read the book I hope Ted has:
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Sunday, February 04, 2007
1)How do we mistake wineskins for wine?
2)How do we discern the "real gift"?
3)How do we as believers cultivate imagination?
4)"All you need is a box...and imagination"...comment
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Friday, February 02, 2007
Note to my parents :
Not only does he have a great name, but he is a believer as well.
A couple quotes on the tattoo trend before I paste in an old column of mine on the controversial(?) topic of Christians and tattoos.
First, the theologian George Carlin:
I officiated at a wedding for a wonderful couple. They asked me to be careful mentioning to one of the grandmothers who would be at the rehearsal dinner exactly how the couple had met.
I heard a pin and a few jaws drop.
"...They met online. Isn't that so wonderful!"
She had known all along, and was good with it.
But I still wonder:
So here below are the questions I got circa 1997 on my "Ask Dave" web column....from the bride mentioned above:
1997 was a long time ago. So last millenium. The whole world and church has changed since then (anyone remember pay phones?). Tattoos have become much more mainstream. And I am not sure how my answer would differ today, but here's how I answered then:
Answer: Probably the best translation of Leviticus 19:28 is the NIV as you have quoted. Most of the purpose of all these OT laws were to call Israel to a life of holiness that was not conformed to the pagan practices around them and pure. note the emphasis on not mixing clothes, etc,. as a symbol of that unity of purpose). One of these practices was cutting or disfiguring (a rough equivalent of tattooing) your body as a way of atoning for the dead (a clearly pagan and I might note modern Mormon principle) getting the attention of whatever god you were praying to. A classic example of this is the prophets of Baal in I Kings 18:28. If a modern person has cut or tattooed themselves as a means of manipulating a deity *(including the Christian God) then that would indeed be sin. Since you are clearly not doing that, I would place a body piercing (clearly to me not the same as self-mutilation) and/or a tattoo under the area of freedom gives to each New Covenant believer to choose if they desire to participate or not. For some it might be sin, but the sin would be in the motive (to invoke a deity or to intentionally offend or blaspheme), not necessarily in the piercing or tattoo itself. Clearly, St Paul asks us, also, to be sensitive to not offending a brother or sister who does not sense the same liberty you do. So in some cases and places, discretion, or at least a lack of flaunting, would be appropriate. A note on tattoos: another reason they were forbidden in OT law is because it would be assumed in may case if a picture of a deity were involved, it would not be the God of Israel. So by extension, a modern tattoo picturing or naming a counterfeit god would likewise be dangerous and open demonic inroads.
And of course as you have noted so well, when is the last time you have heard anyone. even the most conservative Christian. claim that some of the mandates from this same chapter are directly applicable today: the beard (cutting your beard a certain way was also a pagan ritual of the day) and fruit regulations, for example. You have picked up on the two streams of OT law, which scholars often call "ceremonial law" and "moral law." As you have suggested, the 10 Commandments fall clearly under basic an intrinsic moral law, while the more ceremonially, or culturally-conditioned items (such as piercing, tattoo, fruit, beard) are not law that were ever meant to be lived out by people of another day and culture. or better yet, of a new Covenant. Didn't Jesus summarize even the 10 Commandments into the 2 Commands to love God and neighbor?
Of course many would suggest that this leaves an open door to ignore OT laws against homosexuality, for example. One cannot biblically make this case, as sexuality is fundamentally moral, or better yet, based on creation, as opposed to culture or tradition,. And besides, this behavior is clearly spoken against in the NT (1 Cor 6:9). Tattoos, piercing, fruit and beards are not.
1.I can't make a blanket statement about why people get tattoos or piercing. Some may do it just because they like the way they look; some to attract attention, some to fly in the face of tradition, some because they desire to witness to Christ. Maybe a large percentage of younger kids who do it, do it as an attempt to rebel or react against their parents generation, but I could never make a blanket judgment.
2.I don't see piercing as necessarily a form of mutilation generally speaking, though for some it may indeed be an intentional or unintentional way of doing the equivalent. Some may do it as a manifestation of low self-esteem or a self-hatred, but certainly not all.
3.I think God has a lot more important things to worry about or look down upon.
4.If an individual has a tattoo that is directly satanic or their conscience will not leave them alone after becoming enlightened or becoming a Christian, they have and should take steps to remove them. However, as this is not always possible , I can't believe God is not all that hung up on it. In a previous church, no one less than my associate pastor had tattoos he was sorry he had received. He was embarrassed by them,. and knew they might offend some Christians, but as they were not satanic, he did not feel pressure to have them removed at all costs. And let me state again, I have no intrinsic problem with tattoos in and of themselves, especially on persons such as yourself, whom I know and trust to follow the Spirit's guidelines for you as an individual. I wouldn't see the need to remove them unless you were so clearly convicted,. In itself, I'm guessing the tattoo is neutral, the way I read the Bible.
5.For some it may well be a generational thing; even the contemporary equivalent of something someone who grew up in the forties did that is now completely inoffensive in our current century and culture. But as this trend crosses generations, it is also bigger than that. link
Here's an answer I really respect from Skibster, (a great wedding photographer, by the way) a deeper theologian than myself.
Here's a discussion on our forum centered around "Does God Hate Your Tattoos?," including comments by our self-confessed "very tattooed" (even in Koine Greek) guitar player.
Steve Beard at Thunderstruck has a whole list of "tattoo and church" links about halfway down this page.
More to say on tattoos as branding later.
Finally, some of my favorite "tattoo" lyrics (do you have others?):
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Of course, I great reminder about transparency, self-disclosure and the "Splagnhizomai glasses' (to switch the metaphor.
Sunday was amazing.. I will post on it later...Basically, the "sermon" preached by one became the "habitat" (someone...Ron Martoia? offered "habitat" as a name for the new "sermon")experienced by all. We split into seven groups with various projects.
Bono: (Our manager Paul McGuinness) would sit me down and say, “You have what it takes. You must have more confidence in yourself and continue to dig deeper. And I don’t be upset or surprised when you pull something out of the depth that’s uncomfortable.”
Assayas: So you discovered things that, on first glance, you’d rather have kept hidden? What were those?
Bono: The gauche nature of awe, of worship, the wonderment at the world around you. Coolness might help in your negotiation with your world, maybe, but it is impossible to meet God with sunglasses on. It is impossible to meet God without abandon, without exposing yourself, being raw. That’s the connection with great music and art, and that’s the other reason you wanted to join a band: you wanted to do the cool thing. Trying to capture religious experiences on tape wasn’t what you had in mind when you signed up for the job.
Assayas: What about your own sunglasses, then? Do you wear them the same way a taxi driver would turn off his front light, so as to signal to God that this rock star is too full of himself and not to hire at the moment?
Bono: Yeah, my insincerity… I have learnt the importance of not being earnest at all times. You don’t know what’s going on behind those glasses, but God, I can assure you, does.