There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

Archive for August, 2006

Sending out one of our own…

Julia Londis is headed out for the Philippines! Which means that those of us who are staying behind have the distinct responsibility, as fellow members of the Body of Christ, to “send” her. Go ahead and print the attached itinerary, I’ve got it next to my computer where I can see it… where are you going to put yours? Let’s send her into Christ’s work with our specific prayers on a daily basis. On the itinerary you’ll also find some prayer requests so that we can know ways to begin praying: Philippines Mission Trip Itinerary Soon we’ll be able to hear from her what the Lord has done in this opportunity!

Phillippines Trip-2006

Pollyanna doesn’t live here

Ecclesiastes, it’s been said, is in our Bibles to ensure we don’t embrace a “Pollyanna” view of reality, despite how some segments of evangelical culture seem to be doing just that. Well, here’s a little parody of that Pollyanic form of faith.

Dare I ask for your own versions of familiar hymns set to prosperity themes? Fire away!  Here’s my contribution:

It only takes a seed to get a windfall going

“part of the heart gets lost in the [x], somewhere along the road”

If you will bracket whatever theological difficulties you may have with the Pontiff for a moment, and nevertheless consider a comment he’s made in the last day or so about rest. It rings true.

p.s. the title of the post comes from a line from a Dan Fogelberg song, redone (I confess to knowing) by Ashton, Becker, Dente several years ago.

insulation, isolation–let’s call the whole thing off!

This from the web this morning–ironic in light of our discussion yesterday about the paradox of loneliness and intentional insulation (the latter perhaps better articulated as a loss of the basic knowledge, will, or courage to form meaningful friendships).

Something I forgot to add yesterday (contain your disappointment): Connally Gilliam (whom I quoted the week previous from her book, Reflections of a Single Woman), mentioned an editorial by the late, Meg Greenfield, who noticed how marriages are now having to bear a weight they’ve not had to in previous eras, due to the increased social fragmentation/isolation we find in American culture. Where once people had a strong support structure in which to cultivate, celebrate, and manage marital relationships, now without said structures, the marriages themselves are having to be almost entirely responsible for staying afloat.

All to suggest, we may be as needful of cultivating strong, enduring, friendships as we are interested in finding a spouse. Ain’t no third wheel about it: you don’t have a larger community to confide in, celebrate with, confess to–you got no business devoting yourself to another human being. Plain and simple.

lonely, yet preferring insulation? What gives?

Letting you in on the theme of Sunday’s lesson from Ecclesiastes 4:1-16: the necessity of holy connectedness.

If, in fact, connectedness covers a multitude of sins, why, then, might we be so averse to being known or taking the time to know one another?

It’s not that there aren’t any good reasons for our hesitation to be more courageous or bold in becoming involved in one another’s lives (and messes), but surely we can isolate a few reasons why the preference for isolation still exceeds our desire for connection.

Ideas? Guesses? Shots in the dark?

the marks of repentance

By now you’ve heard about Mel Gibson’s caustic tirade (albeit influenced by alcohol) while being pulled over on a speeding violation. Sadly, DUI wasn’t the most egregious offense, it appears.

But here‘s his public apology to the Jewish community.

Repentance is a word whose meaning gets easily stripped of its multi-faceted character. It includes sorrow, contrition, embarrassment at how the sin offends (not merely how it makes the offender look), and a desire to make amends where possible. So from what you read, does this sound like repentance? It does to me–like the beginnings of truer repentance than we’re accustomed to seeing in public figures: no dodges, no excuses, no pretense, no minimizing its seriousness. Thoughts?