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Do not give dogs what is sacred…

June 18, 2009

Matthew 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”

I can’t figure out what this verse means. I’m trying to look at it in the context of the passage, which is Jesus talking about not judging others.

Is Jesus saying that we shouldn’t give out time to sinners? I don’t think that’s what it’s saying, because that wouldn’t make much sense to me.

I could look at a commentary.. But I’d rather hear from all of you and your thoughts.

So… Calling all you seminarians. Or just people who want to chime in. 🙂 What do you think?

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Theology 101

June 17, 2009

I’m gonna start a new series. As you can see by the title, I’m naming it Theology 101.

I think a lot of Christians aren’t entirely sure what they believe in. We live in a culture where everything is just fed to us and we don’t feel a need to independently search out our thoughts and foundations. We end up just leaning on the people around us to know the right things.

I love theology. I love learning about it and reading about it and asking quesitons about it. It only becomes confusing because lots of academic people use huge words and complicated charts and graphs when talking about God. I find myself in an in between world. I’m minoring in religious studies, so I know a fair amount of those fancy words and charts. I also have no desire though to consider myself a true theologian who spends all of his time studying and writing articles. I want to be somewhere in the middle.

Having said that, there are a few things that I believe are fundamental to Christian belief and thought. There are often differing viewpoints on those beliefs and thoughts, and I’ll do my best to present multiple sides. The idea behind this series is to make theology accessible to everyone, and I’m very confident that can be done.

Are there particular questions or topics you would like to see discussed?

My First Internet Sabbath

May 19, 2009

Saturday I partook in my first ever online Sabbath. I went offline. For a whole day.

It is much harder than it seems. For me at least, one of the first things I do in the morning is check my e-mail. When I have 1o or 15 minute breaks my default is to go online and do some Twittering. The last thing I do at night is check sportsillustrated.com for scores and big news – I cant even wait to see it in the paper.

I almost didn’t know what to do with myself on Saturday. I woke and just kind of froze. I went and got some coffee, I read for a while, cleaned my room, did some of my RA obligations. I was incredibly productive. It was so freeing.

It’s almost like the online world has me on a leash, and I need to go back to it every so often to check in. This is part of the downfall of living in an instant culture. We want everything immediately. The most popular person is often the one who has “inside knowledge” about something, or is up on the latest trend.

What if the most popular person was the one who loved and served the most? Weird concept, huh?

I do not want to be on a leash. I’m going to try out this internet sabbath thing for a while.

Maybe you should too.

Think about it.

P.S. I got the idea from Anne Jackson, who has a great post about boundaries and technology.

Thursday Night Reflections: The Weight of Busyness

May 15, 2009

Notes from Immersion last night. Justin spoke a little bit about silence and then we did some Lectio Divina on Psalm 91.

  • “God speaks in the silence.”
  • 1 Kings 19 – God appeared to Elijah in a gentle whisper, not in the fire or earthquakes. Translation: God is not always the loudest voice around us. We have to pay attention.
  • “We always say ‘I’m so busy!’ Guess what? Everyone is!
  • Two options: 1) You’re not actually busy, and just spending four hours a night watching your favorite TV show, 2) You actually are too busy, and you don’t think you need a break.
  • “Our bodies are meant to rest.”
  • Busyness has become a badge of honor. We actually put value in it.” // KILLER line. That is SO true, especially on a college campus. People who win student awards and such are usually just those who are in the most activities. No offense to anyone who has won, I’m just sayin.
  • “Jesus was not the energizer bunny and neither are you.” – He took quite a bit of time to rest and retreat. Even God rested after creation and made it holy in Genesis 2.

Biggest takeaway for me? We put value in being busy. I want to create more intentional times of rest. Remember, Jesus says loving God is the most important thing we can do. It is possible to serve too much and not take care of yourself and your body, and it can actually detract from your relationship with God.

What about for you?

Think about it.

P.S. I’ll have a post coming soon on my thoughts from our divine reading of Psalm 91.

My ADD Blog

May 14, 2009

Hello. It’s been a few weeks. Between Drake Relays and finals, I just have not had time to update. I’m also transitioning my blog back to this wordpress site, because the host for my personal website does not do blogging well.

That brings us here. This is the third redesign I’ve done to this page, and I promise it is going to stay like this. Mr. John Saddington, blogging king, has some great blogging tips over at Church Crunch and I’ve decided to roll with a couple of them.

I can easily become obsessed with making my blog look nice rather than delivering high quality content. I think that’s probably a problem for most budding techies like myself.

I would also like to be more focused in my conent, hence the tagline “The Tug of War Between Technology and Tradition”. I promise I will not be blogging about what I ate for lunch, and I have been pretty good about that this last school year.

Let me know what you think about my new banner, I just designed it this afternoon, and I think I like it. Please please please gimme your thoughts on the redesign and the move back to wordpress!

P.S. I’m going to get Wannabe Theologian on Twitter very soon. Any ideas for a good handle?

Want to Change the World? Okay, do it.

April 5, 2009

I want to change the world.

Do you?

We often think of ourselves as so insignificant in this world that we cannot possibly make a difference all on our own. It is the reason for our inaction. We see injustices or things we want to change all over the world, and even right here at home, but we don’t think that our minuscule efforts will actually affect anything.

So what do we do? We close our eyes. If we were to see, and not act, that makes us worse than just not seeing altogether.

Here’s a challenge for you. Open them. After that, do something.

Here’s a list of people who single-handedly changed the world:

  • Jesus Christ
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Mother Teresa
  • Gandhi
  • Bill Gates
  • Martin Luther (the original)
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Michael Jordan
  • Henry Ford
  • Adolf Hitler (obviously terrible, but he changed the world)

We think we cannot possibly achieve what these people did. We think that they somehow had/have something that we do not. Charisma? Money? Superior Intelligence?

That is a lie.

What they have that separates us is passion. They changed the world with zeal for their cause. They made sacrifices because they could not stand to see and not act. They wanted to make a difference. That was it.

Do you want to change the world?

Do not be discouraged.

Open your eyes, look around, and do it.

Think about it.

The Dwindling Value of Human Life

April 1, 2009
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So InterVarsity at Drake is doing a week-long awareness/service project called Jesus.Justice.Poverty. People on leadership were put on a team to plan each day of the week, and I got Modern Slavery. It was a very eye-opening experience to say the least.

Some facts:

  • 4 million women and children around the world are in sex slavery
  • You can buy women in the United States for $10,000. That’s 1/3 of Drake’s tuition. In comparison, to buy a slave in 1850 was the equivalent of $40,000.
  • You can buy women in Bosnia for $50. I still cant believe that even after reading it.
  • In Ethiopia sex goes for as little as 10 cents.
  • Over 1 million children enter into sex slavery every year
  • 30 million children have lost their lives to sex exploitation over the last 30 years. That’s one million per year.

We had a coffee-style chalkboard posted outside of our sub/pizza shop with prices listed for what you can buy sex slaves for in about 10 different countries. It was amazing seeing people’s faces as they walked by.

They had no idea this was happening in our world.

They were absolutely shocked.

What’s interesting though is that it was especially men who seemed interested. The men in our society who so revere sex. They couldn’t believe that women were being used like this. It was awesome to see.

We also sold scarves made by former Ethiopian prostitutes at that stand. It was about 30 degrees yesterday and we sold 34 scarves in just over an hour for $12 each. It was incredible.

And that is the goal of Jesus.Justice.Poverty. To make people aware of the world around them. To make people aware of that fact that Des Moines, Iowa isn’t all the bigger it gets.

Yes, you can give. But simply being aware and lifting up prayers for these women and children is the first step.

Think about it.

P.S. Cool story – I was standing outside in the cold working this stand, and a girl came up and said she bought me a hot chocolate and appreciated what I was doing. I have no idea who she was. Maybe an angel in disguise..