current reading

for some reason my “now reading” plugin is no longer working with my wordpress install. therefore i’ll just post about what i am reading until i find a plugin that works for me (if you have a recommendation i’ll gladly take it). so here goes the recent and current ones:

  • surprised by hope” by n.t. wright – i love n.t. wright’s way of thinking about things. this work is a great way of refocusing CHRISTians on the resurrection or as wright puts it “life after, life after death. wright does a great job of explaining why the resurrection should direct who CHRISTians are in the present age. “surprised” was so good that i’ll probably read wright’s “the resurrection of the SON of GOD” even though it is a mammoth book.
  • the brief and frightening reign of phil” by george saunders – a quick and fun read. very kurt vonnegut-esque. an interesting parable of how fear can be used to manipulate people into doing things they would never normally agree to.
  • JESUS for president” by shane claiborne & chris haw- i finished this book 11 days short of a year but it didn’t take that long because of it being boring. it was quite good. the design and typography is unlike much i’ve seen (reminded me of “house of leaves“). absolutely amazing book on living in the kingdom versus living in the empire. “J4p” is claiborne’s most blatant and powerful argument yet for CHRISTian pacifism. i think my favorite part is claiborne’s discussion concerning “building the kingdom.” you’ll hear this phrase around many different ministries. it’s pretty egotistical to think that we can “build the kingdom” for GOD. we get to work “with” HIM as HE establishes HIS kingdom, we don’t build it for HIM.
  • currently reading – “omnivore’s dilemma” – i’m 3/4’s through and i think this will be one of those books that changes the way i live. “the jungle” started freaking me out concerning “industrialized meat” and this book has pushed me even further down this path. pam and i have already discussed moving towards grass fed beef and chicken and now thanks to michael pollan we are going to start making the jump. don’t worry mom and dad we aren’t becoming hippies and joining a commune – yet. 🙂
  • currently reading – “pagan CHRISTianity: exploring the roots of our church practices” by frank viola and george barna – i’m probably 1/3 through this book. not sure how i feel about it yet. i think viola and barna raise some reall good and important points but make some very dubious assumptions concerning those points. in particular i think they often confuse extra-biblical with unbiblical. i’m not far enough into the book yet to really make a good call on the book so we’ll see what happens as i get further into it.

i should finish the “omnivore’s dilemma” tomorrow or thursday and then will start reading shane hipps’ “flickering pixels: how technology shapes your faith.” i really enjoyed what hipps said at Q so i am pretty excited about reading this.

SIDE NOTE – i watched “taken” with the boys tonight and my word! it’s an awesome action flick. interesting story and tons of action.

SIDE SIDE NOTE – the nba playoffs are amazing this year.

random tuesday things

not much to say today (but when has that ever kept me from saying something?). therefore, i’m posting a few random things from today.

  • great time starting the day off with coffee with perry and john from fellowship church in chippewa falls. great guys. i always learn a ton hanging with these guys. to celebrate easter this year perry and fellowship are doing what they call 40 days of easter. basically they are focusing on celebrating each day for 40 days. i think it’s a great idea. in fact, i wish i had thought of it. 40 days of purposefully living out resurrection. i told him to consider that idea stolen for next year at tapestry.
  • pam, the most wonderful wife in the world, bought me a great backpack for traveling to q 2009. this is great because i needed a backpack but felt like it was a waste when i could just use one of the boys’ old backpacks – which unfortunately look middle schoolie.
  • went fishing with andy lickel today and caught my first 2009 muskie. i’ll post a photo when andy sends me the one he took. i was pretty shocked to catch a muskie this early.
  • i started initial planning today for a touched twice united clinic in stevens point. between tapestry and woodlands church i know there will be at least two clinics in the point area.
  • i love kurt vonnegut. i can’t believe it took me this long in life to finally read any of his work. i haven’t even read his best known work yet, slaughterhouse-five, and i already think he is great.
  • yesterday a stranger heard my southern accent and asked me if i was british?!?!?! i was very surprised that someone could honestly mistake an alabama accent for an english accent. they truly odd thing is that this is the second time this has happened in my life. the other time was about 5 years ago when a couple from germnay thought i sounded british.

my run for the day

  • distance – 3.0 miles
  • time – 31:35
  • pace = 10:32/mile
  • weather – 43

brief freak out moment

i was typing the announcements for tapestry tonight and i had a brief freak out moment. the reason was that there are a lot of things going on in tapestry right now. i freaked out because i worry about us getting too busy with activities. it is far too easy within the church culture to get really busy doing “church” things. i don’t think that is what faith is about. i don’t think that JESUS’ goal ever was to get people to do more and more stuff at church. yet it becomes very easy for churches to think that the goal is to get people at more and more activities. that’s when churches begin to do things just for the sake of doing things. a busy calendar makes it appear like the church is doing important things. this is why activity is often substituted for mission.

but that’s not what tapestry is about. when we started everyone agreed that the goal was to focus on helping people to learn, experience, and live out a faith that is lived out in people’s every day lives. this means doing few church activities and making sure that the ones we do actually support people in living out their faith in their offices, school, families, etc. what we do always has to be on target with our mission. we don’t want to do any activity simple for the sake of doing something.

so i started to freak out when i noticed all the things we were doing. this week we are doing four service activities, two worship services, and a small group study. in addition to those activities there are several other things happening throughout the month. that’s a lot of stuff our small church. my freak out changed when pam pointed out how “on mission” these things are. every activity that is happening fits perfectly within our mission. as a church we’re a little busy over the next several weeks but thankfully none of it is activity just for the sake of activity. what we are doing fits right in with who we believe JESUS is calling us to be.

SIDE NOTE – i made the walls yesterday and we used them at tapestry tonight. they were quite cool. kind of a church stonehenge people have already begun to fill them with sightings of GOD’s life. i’m glad to see them being used for one very selfish reason. yesterday i sprayed them black with four cans of spray paint. i didn’t have one of those spray paint handles (which i have since bought) so i controlled the cans with my index finger and thumb. this was not a good thing. it strained my thumbs and index fingers so much that i wasn’t able to type or hold things last night. it was so bad that i couldn’t even release the clasp on the dogs’ leashes. it would suck to think that i went through that for something that wasn’t going to be used. thankfully that doesn’t seem to be the true.