My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

29 September 2005

short notes

We're headed to Brown County with my family today, so there probably won't be posts until Monday or so. I'm looking forward to spending time in the woods and reading and watching my son ride a pony and spending time with my brothers, whom I haven't seen for too long.

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This Sunday we're taking part in the Right to Life protest; I think we'll have 50-60 people from our church participating, which is great, proportionally speaking. I haven't thought too much about abortion lately. In fact, I hate to think about it - it's such an ugly, hateful, selfish sin.

But I'm not sure we always do so great when we do get around talking about it. On a past issue of Mars Hill Audio journal, one commentator noted that the church does a good job talking about the evils of abortion, but we clearly don't have a thoughtful ethic of life yet. Most of us can't cogently articulate a Biblical approach to stem cell research or cloning or end-of-life issues.

On the flip side, we often miss the human side of abortion. The pastor in me can't help but wince whenever someone decries the "evil of abortion" without also promising forgiveness and peace through Jesus Christ for those who have had abortions. This is why I choose not to participate in the shock campaigns that roll through town every now and then: because they only address the problem, and anybody can address the problem. I can't avoid the conclusion that to slap someone with the rebuke of sin without offering (at the same time!) forgiveness through Christ is just mean. It's the answer that's so desperately needed.

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I'm really excited about Art & Soul: Signposts for Christians in the Arts, by Hilary Brand and Adrienne Chaplin. My bookmark's only a couple chapters in, but so far it looks like a great book: balanced, easy to read, well-informed. It's got wide margins with really great quotes from other writers & artists. Here in an engineering/agriculture university town, we don't get as many artists as would suit me. But we do get some, and I really want to be a good pastor to them.

Once again, I'll prematurely promise a book review when I'm done.

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Last Saturday night, Keith Magill came and did a workshop on what it means to be a seed family. This is Ref. Pres. lingo for being one of the laboring and founding families in a church plant - I think PCA calls them a "core group." He did an excellent job painting a picture both of the character and the cost of being a seed family. Hopefully, we'll get the audio up on our website soon.

I was incredibly encouraged at the great turnout - we had about 70 adults. Since we purposefully haven't done anything with church planting since I was ordained, it's always been sort of a mystery how deeply this church family is interested and passionate in daughtering another church in our area. Without reading too much into it, I think attendance was a good sign.

The next big decision is the "where?" or, more properly, "where first?" So, we're getting ready to send a survey out to the congregation to get a deeper and clearer sense of where the individual households are.

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Housekeeping: I haven't figured out how to put a button to the side for RSS people, but if you add "atom.xml" to the end of my URL above, it should bring you to the RSS feed site and you can cut and paste that address into your reader. I think.

If this makes no sense to you, that's perfectly okay. Because I'm not sure it makes sense to me either.

2 comments:

Joe Bibby said...

I have an xml image on my site. Feel free to "borrow" it for your uses. If you would like help setting up a link in your sidebar let me know. And the geek in me has to say that technically RSS and Atom are 2 separate but similiar things. This is why an XML button is better than an RSS button. Blogger only supports Atom, which is just as good if not better than RSS. Ah, but I digress, if you don't know what I'm talking about ignore me.

Charity said...

Very good thoughts about abortion. It's also easy to think about/know the awfulness of the sin, but seldom do anything to try to stop it. I did a Right to Life speech last year for a class, and it was a bit more challenging to mention things more than just "it's wrong". Everyone who heard the speech was convinced of that. What was more needed for that group was information about how to help end it. I think the biggest thing most people can do is simply pray continually about it. But I fail to do that...

I think we will be going to the Life Chain on Sunday, as well. I remember when standing silently for an hour used to be for me. ;-)