Monday Morning Brief – 2.22.2010

What I’ve Been Up to –
1. We had our Sr. High Winter Retreat last weekend at Harvey Cedars. I am thankful that it went well. I plan on blogging some thoughts concerning our material. We showed Bill Maher’s Religulous and discussed the topics of doubt and faith. A lot of content but our students did well with it. We also had a pajama party game night and a talent show over the weekend. Some really great moments.
2. Went to the Ecclessia gathering last minute. That was a good thing for me and I really enjoyed my time there. Dallas Willard’s Divine Conspiracy was a game changer for me back in college. I am realizing that I need to read more of him, I need more voices like him in my life. There were some other excellent speakers there too, I hope to blog about that too.
3. Susan and I went out to eat over the weekend. It’s funny that we used to go out all the time and now a monthly date is quite the event. Also funny that we decided to go to the Olive Garden. I know, I know, it’s not cool but we do like that salad dressing and we said, “Who cares about fine local eateries, we are going to sell out to the corporate juggernauts because they do have awesome salad dressing!” It’s like the Big Mac secret sauce.
4. Watching Lost and reading Lost blogs. I can’t wait for this week.

Regarding Lent –
If ever there was a time of the heart’s preparation that I needed, it’s now. For years I had given up coffee and I’ve gotten bored with that and so I am among the many that have decided not to give up something tangible but to give up something spiritual. If the idea is about trust and prayer then the I need to give up my anxieties. I know how that reads on a blog – lame. But if there’s one thing that would help me prepare my heart to celebrate the Risen Savior Jesus, it would be to expend my mental energy on the things of life, loving God and others, sacrifice and life again as opposed to the things that are sabotaging my life. It feels like there is a lot going on and it’s distracting and I truly need to focus on the essentials here and am committing to some spiritual disciplines to get me there.

What I am Reading –
Read The Dispensational-Covenantal Rift by R Todd Mangum (one of our Biblical professors).
Reading A New Kind of Christianity by Brian McLaren. My fellow Evangelicals, as you know fewer people are calling themselves Christian (or Evangelical). We should read this book because it carries a number of insights that would be helpful as we serve the Kingdom.
Need to read Piper’s Future Grace. This is like the Ridderbos of 2 classes ago – long-winded, reformed, not yet sure if it’s repetitive.) In truth, I think it’s actually a good book.
Just started NT Wright’s Justification for a independent class that Evan and I just started.

What I am Listening to –
Another Side of Bob Dylan, The Wilco album, and some worshipful playlists.
Relevant Podcast. And I’m behind on the rest.
Jim Belcher’s Deep Church on audio. Everyone has raved about this book and I think it’s pretty good too. I’ll reserve my final thoughts for a review post but Belcher sounds like a fair soul at this point. He’s trying to see the traditional-emerging discussion from all angles and I give him credit for that.

What’s Going on in our Student Ministry –
Invisible Children benefit Concert this Friday. If you’re local, come on by to the Back Door Cafe in the Nyack Community Center at 7pm. We will have the IC roadie team sharing between sets and the music will be by local high school bands in the Bergen-Rockland county areas.
We will be starting a few new series soon. One is called, “Practical Atheists – We say we believe but do we live like we do?” and another on how the Bible was put together. Should be fun.
Looks like I’m going to a lot of school plays in the coming weeks. We have some serious talent in our group so I’m looking forward to it.

What I’m Looking Forward to –
Catching my breath at home.
Second Mile service this weekend. The message is entitled “Love & Heartbreak From Chicago to Dashboard Confessional and yada, yada, yada”.


  1. Tim, I know you have more than enough reading to do right now, but if you enjoy Dallas Willard, I think you will enjoy the book Jayne and I are presently reading… it’s gonna totally reshape the way we approach leading our weekly worship gatherings at HPCC: Desiring the Kingdom by James KA Smith.

    His thesis: we are creatures who desire, not so much creatures who “think” or “believe.” our habitual practices shape our desires. what we ultimately desire shapes our identity. SO… churches should be about shaping people’s desire for The Kingdom. How can we do that well? It’s very intriguing and I can’t stop thinking about this approach to church.

  2. Another Side of Bob Dylan is an underrated album, maybe cause it was such a departure from its predecessor, The Times They Are A-Changin’. But songs like My Back Pages are really among the best he’s ever done, I can relate to that one, growing tired of the politics of it all. And of course Motorpsycho Nightmare is just funny and clever.

    I love Wilco too, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is one of the best albums of the last decade.

  3. Thanks KrisAnne – Nice summary, I’ll add that to the reading list.
    The sentence alone “churches should be about shaping people’s desire for the Kingdom …” could create a lot of sermons and blog posts.
    Hope you are well.

  4. Ryan, it was so good hanging out last week. Can’t agree more about Another Side … I think I Shall Be Free No. 10 is pretty funny too.

    Yankee Hotel was on all the best of the decade lists (Paste, Spin, etc.) and I know it’s the right one to like but I have always liked A Ghost Is Born more. But really, I like all of them. I’ve seen them play a couple times and they’re not exciting live but they’re real good. I think my favorite though was seeing Jeff Tweedy play at Messiah College. I loved that they invited him (it was on the back end of a faith and arts conference).

Speak Your Mind