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Christian Discipleship Conference

Friday, February 23, 2007
I've been a busy busy busy person these last few weeks. Seems like when I get some down time, I just spend it trying to catch up with myself. I've recently inherited my mom's inability to sleep, but catching up in the form of naps is seeming to work for the time being.

In any case, tonight I went and heard Brian McLaren speak, and tomorrow is more of the same. Tonight's talk was entitled "The Seven Jesuses I Have Known." It was good, but not much more info than given in his books. This one seemed to be a summary of A Generous Orthodoxy. I still managed to take some new info from it. He talked at then about some stuff he mentioned in The Secret Message of Jesus as well. Overall it was good, but I'm hoping tomorrow will dive into some things that I haven't heard from him before.

So the Jesuses. I'll hit on them briefly and hit the stuff that struck me. Check out A Generous Orthodoxy if you want to know more of what McLaren thinks....

1. Conservative Evangelical Protestant Jesus
This Jesus is all about how we get salvation through Christ's death. Good Friday is probably the most important day for this group because Christ's death fixes everything.
2. Pentecostal Jesus
Jesus is something you experience. It is all about emotions.
3. Catholic Jesus
We get a glimpse of the risen Christ through the Eucharist. When we take the Eucharist seriously, we can take everything else seriously. There is no such thing as JUST a symbol.
4. Eastern Orthodox Jesus
This one caught me off guard but I loved it. He mentioned a book called Beginning to Pray by Anthony Bloom. I immediately came home and bought it used online. I like buying used books online. The most important piece of this Jesus is his entry into the world. When Jesus enters the picture, the whole world is changed. The other awesome part was his discussion of the perichoresis, the trinity is not just this chain of command thing with the Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier (Father, Son, and Spirit) it is this beautiful dance. That image is really just moving around in my head like nothing else.
5. Mainline (Liberal) Protestant Jesus
McLaren said these were the ones he was told to be afraid of. Of course the room was filled with a bunch of Methodists. It cracked me up the whole time. Of course this is the Jesus I grew up knowing. The teacher. The one who talks about the kingdom of God being here and now. He talked about how he was taught that he shouldn't pray the Lord's prayer because it was just repetition and unbiblical... Huh... never thought that the Bible was unbiblical before.
6.Anabaptist Jesus
Jesus as a peacemaker. He talked about how there are many many non Christians who do this one better than Christians today. And how non-violence is really the only way to overcome division. When you use violence to overcome violence, violence always wins.
7.Liberation Theology Jesus
This is another on that intrigues me. Jesus says we are to take up our crosses. Crucifixion was reserved for political revolutionaries. Are we revolutionary? Or does our church work within a safe and quiet bureaucracy?

So why is it that we don't want to follow all of these different Jesuses? Why is it that we can't see Jesus from 7 (or more) perspectives? I'm comfortable with 5 and 6. 3, 4 and 7 intrigue the heck out of me. 1 & 2? Scare the heck out of me.

McLaren left us with this thought... maybe we're only comfortable with 1 or 2 of these because we don't want to be disciples. Maybe we just want to be Christians. I'm going to work on embracing these different viewpoints. Even the ones that scare me. Or at least coming to the point where I can truly appreciate the differences, and use that to understand this radical Christ that I've chosen to follow.

The beginning of reflection

Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Today is Ash Wednesday. I wish I felt more prepared, in heart, in mind, in spirit, for this time of reflection. As I get closer to the service tonight, maybe I'll get more in the mood. I'm usually considerable more excited for Lent (strange, I know) but it is a season that I really like. I think it is because it appeals to my introspective side. But I also just like the struggles that you have to go through to get through Lent. The struggles we go through really make us stronger.

I think this is why I'm so inspired by the families I work with. Under serious amounts of adversity, they have strength that just astounds me. Sure, some of them can fall back into the traps that they have constantly been in, but some have been through some seriously tough stuff.

So tonight I'll head into the worship service ready to be open to what God has for me this season of Lent. Lots of life decisions coming up, should be a great time to work through them.

I'm a celebrity

Thursday, February 15, 2007
In December I posted at video blog. To do so, I put it up on youtube.

Last night I got a text message telling me that my youtube video was on the news.

This morning a few more people inquired about said video.

I am now a local celebrity. I was hoping they would put the story online (it was about snowfall here and how people are reacting to it via youtube). But it isn't online. So I didn't get to see it.

But still, having a youtube video show up on the news? Awesome.

Moral of the story, be careful what you put up on youtube, it might end up on the news.

snow day!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Well last night I went to bed slightly jealous of my friends in Illinois because they were going to have a second snow day today. Well this morning, I didn't have to be jealous, because Albuquerque has shut down too. In snow that Illinois would scoff at, the city shuts down (or at least is delayed).

For your entertainment...

A picture of the snow in Illinois that my dad sent me...

Versus a picture of the snow in ABQ. It kind of makes me laugh.

But the world stops for this, and for me, that is ok.

product (RED)

Thursday, February 08, 2007
Well I've been saving up to buy a bluetooth headset and I thought that today was the best day to buy one since they made handsets illegal to use while driving in Albuquerque yesterday.

I did some research, and ultimately decided to pick up the product (RED) motorola headset because proceeds go to fighting the AIDS pandemic, specifically in Africa. I have mixed emotions about buying something seemingly frivolous, but I spend a lot of the time on the phone while driving, and I guess I justified it by knowing that there was some good I was doing.

As much as it is commercialized, this whole product campaign is helping get awareness out. I ran across this site of pictures from the recent trip of Sigur Ros to Swaziland. I've been a fan of Sigur Ros for awhile, but this whole site, the images, everything really speaks to me. We have to know what is going on across the ocean from us. We have to know that this is more than just a few countries struggling with the HIV/AIDS issue. We have to really begin to use the word pandemic when we talk about the crisis. It is a big deal.

We have to do something about it. Donate money to places like UNICEF, buy products where the proceeds go towards buying medication. Make yourself aware of the situation. I don't really care what you do, just commit to doing something. I watched the movie RENT earlier this week, and was reminded of the struggles that one had to go through in the late 80s when dealing with AIDS. Now, if you can afford treatment, you can live much longer than you could back in the 80s. In places like Africa and India, the cost of treatment is out of this world. People continue to be infected, and continue to die. Men, women, children. Everyone. This all happens because there isn't education there, and there aren't enough people paying attention here. Hopefully campaigns to raise awareness can change the way we think about Africa and the way we think about HIV/AIDS. We've got to start somewhere.

Invitation to Disciple: Romans

I am a huge fan of these short term disciple studies that cokesbury has been putting out. Last night, we started Romans. I've done intro to OT, Genesis, and now Romans. I'm hoping I'll do intro to NT at some point, I just missed the class that was doing it last year.

Anyone that has participated in a Disciple study knows that there is a lot of homework. Thankfully these ones only meet for 8 weeks. I still managed to bring more upon myself by deciding to co-facilitate it. This is good though, because it gives me a reason to have to dig a little deeper and not just brush it off and not do the study.

So in our beginning class, we talked a lot about how Romans has influenced the church thus far. Romans is this book that runs deep. Last night we even discussed it as being this raging river that you have to wade through and sort through and struggle with. I dug that imagery. Many major leaders of the church have felt a profound impact on their faith due to Romans. From Augustine to Luther to Wesley, these major figures of faith have seen strikingly different things in Romans and have come away from the experience blessed... or perhaps having their heart feel strangely warmed.

Part of me was in a panic yesterday and didn't want to teach. Mainly because I don't always like or agree with Paul's interpretations of Jesus' message. This is a big text for Paul, and whether I like it or not, the church seems to be continually shaped by his letter to the Romans.

Is this a challenge? Of course. Am I up for it? Always. Will I struggle through the whole thing? I can only hope so.

An Eventful Sunday

Monday, February 05, 2007
Ok, so the bears didn't win, but Hester's first return certainly elicited a response like no other from me which involved screaming and jumping up and down and running around. It was a good game, and there's always next year. Every good Chicago Sports fan thinks in those terms. Especially Cubs and Bears fans. Like me.

We did do the glorious gutter sundae again during halftime. This year I participated. I forgot how disgusting it is to have ice cream up your nose. Seriously.

this is how i feel about the game sunday

Friday, February 02, 2007
It seems that every sports persona is saying the Colts are going to kill the Bears... but this says it all I think...
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