Posts on General

The Wisdom of the Horse

June 6, 2015 3:26 pm

Early most every morning I pour my coffee and wander out on the back patio to enjoy not only the cool morning air and taste of that first cup, but also the sights and sounds of one of the greatest shows a person can experience: horses rising to meet the day. Chestnut, black and grey, dappled and ivory white, Paints, Quarters, Saddlebreds, and Thoroughbreds gallop through open pastures, roll on the ground, sing and shout good mornings to one another, snort at owners for attention – especially some breakfast – and playfully nip at each other to make sure the... Read this post

Quotes About the Church, Part One

June 1, 2015 8:48 pm

Here are some of my favorite quotations about the beauty, necessity, and community of the Church. “Whatever it means to be a Christian, it at least involves the discovery of friends you did not know you had.” ― Stanley Hauerwas, Hannah’s Child: A Theologian’s Memoir “We believe that many Christians do not fully appreciate the odd way in which the church, when it is most faithful, goes about its business. We want to claim the church’s “oddness” as essential to its faithfulness.” ― Stanley Hauerwas, Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony “The Church is a whore, but she is... Read this post

Re-Membering the Church, Part Five

May 31, 2015 4:38 pm

Re-Membering the Church Bearing One Another’s Burdens Mark 2:1-12; Galatians 6:1-10 First Sunday after Pentecost May 31, 2015 Vows and Covenant – a brief word of background Vow 5: Do you submit yourselves to the government and discipline of the church, and promise to study its purity and peace? One of the matters we’re drawing attention to is the difference between aggregation and congregation. The former is a group of people gathered together briefly for a shared experience but with no particular connection, commitment, or governance that continues afterward. The latter is a highly visible, deeply committed community of reconciled... Read this post

Shall We Gather at the River?

May 30, 2015 2:42 pm

When people learn I moved to Franklin-Nashville from Austin, Texas they’re often eager to discuss the affinities between that community and our own – our unique music scenes, the brilliant entrepreneurs, the world-class academics, the political centers, hipster heavens, and their desirability as a home for millennials. The list could go on. This past week we added one more notable aspect of life we share together – the experience of devastating floods. It was shocking for me to see the footage from North Lamar in Austin where the Shoal Creek burst its banks and turned the street into a waterway.... Read this post

Charity and Authentic Faith

May 19, 2015 4:25 pm

The life of charity and care for the poor is the Christian vocation. One can no more separate one’s faith from one’s actions towards those broken by want and violence than one can separate the heart from the body and still live. It is impossible. The care of the poor may gain a opening for further communication of the Gospel, but that is not its objective because care for the poor IS a proclamation of the Gospel, a visible witness to the reality of God’s love in Christ. Like the sacrament of the Table, charity proclaims the reality of Christ... Read this post

Entering Into Rest – The Beauty of the Second Membership Vow

May 14, 2015 5:38 pm

    “I’ve got this.” Those words were a huge relief one evening when a group of people I was working with were due to appear before the city council on a major building project. We were all pretty nervous about the outcome, and more than a little uncertain about whether anything we’d prepared to say would help or hinder our case. In the end our colleague was exactly correct: we could leave behind all the anxieties about our performance because his arguments and ability won the day. We never had to say a word. The second membership vow, like... Read this post

Time to Say Goodbye? How to Know When to Leave a Church

May 7, 2015 8:18 pm

People leave churches. It happens. Sometimes that’s a great thing too, because God is directing their steps to do so. There are also times when it’s not the right thing to do. How do you know if its time to make a move? Five Good Reasons to Go 1. “My Beliefs Changed”: Growing in grace means we also grow in our understanding of God’s word. Every church believes that its theology is consistent with Scripture, but unless its a sect or cult must surely also know that it doesn’t have the corner on all truth. Some church members come to... Read this post

The Sweetness of Grace and the Promise of Membership

May 7, 2015 5:27 pm

One of the moments I treasure most is praying with people as they stand before the congregation and publicly take vows as members of Christ Community Church. What a joy to witness people making the move from casual enquirer to committed member, in many cases for the first time in their lives declaring their allegiance to Jesus and his people. This is a deeply moving moment in their lives, and in ours as well. When we become members, we respond to five questions that form our covenant vows, answering each question by saying, “I do” – a very potent little... Read this post

Snapshots of Hope

May 6, 2015 9:20 pm

I remember once sitting in a worship service and hearing some verses being read that described the Church as a ‘peculiar people’. Those words were from Peter’s first letter, and I recall thinking as I looked around, ‘Well, whatever else Peter thought, he sure got that right.’  You too might think of the Church as ‘peculiar’, as kind of weird, something like an eccentric aunt with a strange smell, odd manners, dated dress, and slightly deaf and blind to what’s really going on around her. Its also true that you may not think of Jesus’ Church very often, or that... Read this post