...thoughts expressed here are not necessarily final.
January 31, 2005 Happy Birthday!
After the UK uggggly win over Arkansas (we'll take it, thought they could NOT have played any worse and still won) ..we went out on a cold, snowy weekend to celebrate a friend's birthday- we won't mention which one (friend nor age), but we found our way to Bahama Breeze in Chesterfield for a taste of the Caribbean and a break from the winter greys.
There was enough left over for a doggie bag to go for another full meal.
We had a small but very engaged class this morning. I taught on Luke 20. Text to follow...
February 3, 2004-- Gee it's great to be back home.
I just learned that EPIC church has a new meeting place. See the new website here. Checkitout.
Thoughts on doing church today
We were involved in a couple of emergent churches over the years. I found that I really clicked there and we saw God working in special ways. As I have gotten older, I have now realized that I just cannot engage young people the way I did when I was at SMU. One reason is that I am now 48 I suppose. But another is that I am becoming more and more alienated from the culture. The young people I have encountered here have shied away from one who wants to speak of the majesty of Christ in all things. So do the adults for the most part, so I have to see what God is going to do about this. I have to change if it's me that is the problem.
I was once a great proponent of cultural engagement, indeed I majored on the Christian's responsibiblity to interact in a deep and effective way. I just cannot seem to practice what I used to preach anymore, it all seems so prodigal and off the point of life. I also think my thoughts are becoming more reified. I have a hard time concentrating when someone is expounding on the box scores. I don't seem to be able to turn the conversation to spiritual things as easily as i once did.
I am not interested in being acceptable or liked , qwhixch was a pitfall in my younger days, and do not worry about being "compelling" to others. But in bringing me through this I hope I have not become boring or insipid in a way that will dishonor Jesus. I have a feeling people indwelt by his spirit should cetainly not be inaccessible. :-)
I do want to communicate effectively, but I have found that the preaching of the cross with your life does not gather crowds. Another reason is that my more recent experience with emergent church plants is that they really do not have any less struggle for authenticity than more traditional experiences of the Body of Christ. So I have decided that the formal concerns are just not that important to me anymore- I will bloom where God plants me, and passionately pursue life in whatever context I find myself..
Thoughts on transitions: It is a great temptation to second guess God's sovereign direction of our life at times.
My time this past year at my current church has been a strange and unusual one with unforeseen blessings , especially in the form of a real, honest to god Pastor who will listen and provide encouragement. I never realized how starved a human being, especially one who is seeking to please the Father in all areas of life, can get. I haven't had the numbers of folks flocking to my classes. I haven't seen very many even want to get to know us. I know we are sojourning here for a limited time and given human nature, I expected this to be the case. In spite of the false start on starting a new class, I think our time here has been blessed. I really hope that the relationship with my pastor will move into the future even after we move on to Louisville this Spring.
Yet we would not be looking at the same horizon that beseeches us now if we had not sojourned here for the past year. I am eternally grateful for the time I have spent seeking God's face.
Thoughts on Stewardship
Don't try this at home Kids- unless God impresses upon you to do so...I am thankful that we have not had to deal with untoward scutiny in our circumstances. With the explosion of expenses with my Mother In Law's declining health, a reversal of 15K in my paycheck at the same time, and Earnie not able to work due to family responsibilities, it is miraculous that we have seen the seminary journey begin. We have actually beenable to be MORE generous in our giving in the process. Some peeople preach the risk of "losing rewards" by talking about them, and I understand where they are coming from.
But I want to testify that God is faithful- I hope that now it can be said the right hand does not know what the left is doing. I know that technically the word on this is in regard to alms, but I think the spirit of it goes far deeper to all our stewardship. It is to God that we make account.
My days are energized with the Word of God on my lips wherever I am. I find myself going to sleep and waking up with the Lord on my mind. I have considered asking about being licensed or ordained to preach, but, the process seems rather unnatural. We'll get godly advice on this. I have yet to understand what legitimate part such strictures play in the Kingdom. Taking no heed has set us free, and God is blessing day by day. In the process our load is lighter and we have less to be responsible for. I am blessed with a wife who sees eye to eye with me on this front.
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From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @http://anthonyfoster.com/blog/