Monday Brief – May 4, 2009

I’ve got 2 weeks worth of catch-up.

What I enjoyed this week (and last week) – (1). I can’t say the year has flown by but I can’t believe that Nathan is a year old already.  I also enjoyed stopping by Giselle’s First Birthday party too. (2).  The Fermi Project’s Q Conference in Austin, TX.  I have a couple drafts that I need to finish up but I’m excited to share some of these thoughts with my friends here.  (3). Our Dinner Silent Auction went well.  We raised a little over $6500 for our mission trip to serve at the All Saints AIDS Camp in Nassau, Bahamas.  (4). Thought Tim Nye did a great job on his sermon last week.  You can listen to it here. (5). Though this is borderline overly dramatic for a blog post, it seems more and more I’m reminded of the goodness of my family, friends and my spiritual community.  I’m enjoying seminary, youth group is going pretty well, and I love my family room (when I’m not studying or watching the Yankees middle-relief give up 5 runs in the 7th).  Where was I?  Oh yea, I’m finding it harder and harder to complain but don’t worry, I’ll find a way for I’m fairly resourceful

What I’ve Been Listening to –  the new Jars of Clay album, The Long Fall Back to Earth is pretty good.  I’ve always had a great appreciation for Jars of Clay.  They are a band that has never failed me.  Zach Williams!  He was at Q and I hope to listen more soon.

What I’ve Been Reading – The Coming of the Kingdom by Herman Ridderbos for school.  It’s pretty lengthy and I think for the first time ever, I liked the middle of the book more than the beginning or end.  But it’s a pretty thorough analysis on what Jesus meant by the coming kingdom.  As a youth pastor, I feel affirmed that we’re not selling the “Hang in there, Jesus is fun and we’ll all go to heaven one day and play dodge ball forever, while the Newsboys perform and it will look like our beloved camp but with a Starbucks … that tips us for coming in …”.  But I’m also a bit overwhelmed by the bit that I have not been able to communicate effectively because has Ridderbos affirms, it’s pretty complicated and in-depth.  (2).  Above All Earthly Pow’rs: Christ in a Postmodern World by David Wells, also for school.  I think everyone likes this book but me.  It provided a solid overview of thought throughout the ages but I find it to be a little dated.  In my humble opinion, Dr. Wells ought to read up postmodernity since the year 2000 and consider the shortcomings of the enlightenment and the modern age and how Christian postmoderns (not just the emergents but don’t exclude them either) have responded.  So perhaps it’s time to update and re-release it.  (3). Almost finished with Who’s Goes There? A Cultural History of Heaven and Hell written by Rebecca Price Janney, a Biblical Seminary graduate (represent sister). was kind enough to send me for review.  I’m liking it and hope to post on it soon.

What’s going in our student ministry – I was grateful that leader extraordinaire, Eric, who led Fusion for us while I was away.  I’m always trying to find the balance of over-using and under-using our youth leaders.  (2.) Was also very grateful for all our students who partipated in the silent auction by either helping to serve the food or participating in the auction itself.  They had nothing to gain but to help their friends.  I’m encouraged because we’ve been saying that this is our mission trip, these students are going but you are a part of it too.  This is how missions works.  Could it be that they are getting some of that?  I’ll know if I don’t see 10 community service papers requesting signatures on my desk this week or if they show up to help at the car wash this Saturday.  (3). Needing to plan out our senior sneak.  Each year we take the active seniors for an all out celebration of getting kicked out of our youth group (I mean graduating).  Previous years have included seeing Seinfeld perform, Brian Regan, beach trips, incredible restaurants, Yankees games, staying at the Waldorf, NYC, Philly – yeah it’s been pretty ridiculous.  We figure how can a public high school make a bigger deal than our church?  

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