Thursday, October 9, 2008

Change of plans

Okay, so when I return to blogging, I won't actually be here. I'll be here. Sorry for the confusion.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Not here yet...

This is not actually a working blog just yet. I'm currently taking a sabbath from blogging, but when I return it will most likely be here. Check back after a while if interested.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

We believe . . .

We believe in God the Father Almighty, 

     who created the heavens and the earth,
        ordering chaos and forming humanity in his image;
     who lovingly suffered humanity’s grasp for independence,
        subjecting creation to corruption and decay;
     who promised to reclaim the world through one family,
        becoming the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;
     who saved Israel from slavery to Pharaoh in Egypt,
        establishing her as a priestly kingdom, a holy nation;
     who revealed his sacred name to his servant Moses:
        Yahweh, who is faithful, compassionate, jealous, and just
     who rules over the nations and humbles the powerful,
        aligning all things with his sovereign mission;
     who abandoned his people into exile for their sin,
        yet promised their forgiveness and restoration.
                                ...God is sovereign

We believe in Jesus the Messiah, his only Son, our Lord,
     who is the incarnation and revelation of the one true God,
        conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary;
     who announced the gospel of God’s coming reign,
        enacting its arrival in meals, signs, exorcisms & healings;
     who gathered a renewed community of repentant faith,
        calling his followers to trust God and take up the cross;
     who lovingly suffered crucifixion under Pontius Pilate,
        dying to defeat evil and save us from sin;
     who on the third day was raised from the dead
        and victoriously ascended to the Father’s right hand;
     who presently reigns as the head of his body, the church,
        the ongoing embodiment of his life and ministry;
     who will come again to judge the living and the dead
        at the resurrection of the body, the healing of creation.
                                ...God is love

We believe in the Holy Spirit, God’s personal presence,
     who hovered over the surface of earth’s waters,
        bringing and sustaining life in all creation;
     who constitutes us as the people of God’s new creation,
        sign and foretaste of God's coming reign;
     who unifies us as the one international body of Christ,
        liberated from the powers of sin and death;
     who transforms our identity and character
        into the cruciform likeness of Jesus’ faith, hope, and love;
     who inspired and illuminates the Scriptures
        that we might hear and learn God’s word afresh;
     who intercedes for us and cries out to God in our behalf,
        testifying with our spirit that we are God’s children;
     who empowers our care, service, and proclamation,
        that we might faithfully witness to the truth.
                                ...God is here

Monday, July 28, 2008

My Favorite Painting

I am in the process of testing various features of blogger, so now I'll try to see how image uploading works. This is probably my favorite painting - "The Taking of the Christ" by Caravaggio.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Please Pray for My Friend

One of my good friends from High School, Brandon Brixey, faces a court hearing today in Tulsa, OK. He is being charged with two counts of first-degree rape and single counts of lewd molestation, kidnapping, robbery and eluding a police officer. My heart literally sank in my chest when I found out a few weeks ago that he had apparently stolen a woman's van outside a tanning salon and raped her 8-year old daughter in front of her siblings. Police have tied him to another rape that happened a couple months ago.

I have been keeping up with many of the news stories online about this case and have seen many outraged people expressing deep anger and hatred toward Brandon; while I agree that his actions are detestable and among the worst forms of sin ever invented by anyone, I still love the friend I remember and I have been surprised to feel, for the first time in my life, compassion toward an (accused) rapist. I still remember how hard Brandon laughed when I told him that he couldn't run the microwave at our house while the A/C was on or he'd blow a fuse. I still remember playing basketball with him in my driveway for hours on end. (I still have a scar on my left eyelid to prove it - the first stitches I ever needed!) I can still remember bringing him to church. And I still remember when he called me three years ago just as I was moving out to California to tell me he had gotten saved and was getting on the right path. Unfortunately I didn't keep in touch with him, though I've always thought of him quite often. I certainly don't blame myself for his actions, but I can't not wish I would have made more of an effort to encourage him in The Way.

I do not think he is beyond redemption, but his road will be a long and hard one, filled with much pain and no doubt more than a little denial. Pray that he comes clean for his actions, that he receives a just but not death-dealing sentence, and most of all that he can begin turning his life around. Pray that his heart breaks at what he's done, that be begs forgiveness for the sins he's committed - from God and the people he's hurt - and pray that God can take even this heinous evil through the process of death and resurrection and perhaps even bring something good out of it all. God never seeks nor wills that anything like this should ever happen, but he is able even to redeem something as horrible as this.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Test Paste #2

So in my problems with blogspot I realized it might be a Safari issue, so now I'm trying things on Firefox. I pasted this next heartbreaking story from a word document to see if it looks right. How brutal is unforgiveness!?!


A married couple was struggling with bitterness and resentment. The wife had betrayed the trust of her husband and he couldn’t bring himself to forgive her. One night during a fight he reached a breaking point and screamed, “I hate you! I won’t take this any more! I won’t forgive you! I’ve had enough! I won’t let this happen! No! No! No!” Months later he woke up in the middle of the night to strange sounds coming from his son’s room. He walked down the hall and leaned up to the door. Inside, his son was repeating in a soft voice – with precisely the same inflection and tone he had heard – “I hate you! I won’t take this! I won’t forgive! No! No! No!”


Font Size Test Post

I'm trying to get to know this blog format to see if I want to switch, and I'm running into all sorts of confusing problems. Now I can't figure out how to get the text to match that of the first post. So I'm just going to type and not paste anything or mess with the font settings, and see what happens. What will happen?


Test Paste

I'm going to try pasting again. I've tried it twice so far; the first time I failed to make it work at all, and the second time it worked but it looked funny. Here goes:


From David Dark's The Gospel According to America

"We might ask ourselves what we're trying to avoid thinking about when we reflexively say or think, 'That's just your interpretation'; 'This is only your opinion'; or 'Timothy McVeigh/Osama Bin Laden/Saddam Hussein is absolute evil.' What is it that we find reassuring in the assertion that terrorists think only about evil, 'flat evil,' and nothing else at any time? Who are we trying to convince? Simply thinking twice and looking hard for what our categories and knee-jerk responses conceal can become an especially effective form of exorcism. A twenty-four-hour fast from using the words 'liberal,' 'conservative,' 'political,' and 'religious' might open whole new worlds."


Friday, July 25, 2008

Test Post

This is a test post. I'd like to see how things look on what may be my new blog. I'll probably delete it eventually (the post, that is, not the blog) so it doesn't really matter what I say on here, but I'd like to see a post of some length, which is why I'm continuing to talk about nothing but what I am doing in talking about nothing. Okay, enough of this. I'll include some text from something else now. 

What in the world? I can't paste in words from another source on this. This is strange, and it will have to be remedied if I am to continue with blogspot. For now let's get this up there and go from there.