Monthly Archives: November 2006

Rain, Ice, Snow and Pain

It is a blustery day in Michigan. It has been raining for a day, and the rain is quickly turning into Ice! One of the perks of CMT is excruciating pain when it is cold, when it rains, when it snows…etc…So, I am pretty out of it right now. Please pray that I can find a way through the pain.

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Who Would Jesus ‘convert’ ?

Main Entry: 1con·vert
Pronunciation: k&n-'v&rt
Function:
verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French
convertir, from Latin convertere to turn around, transform, convert, from com- + vertere to turn — more at WORTH
transitive verb
1 a : to bring over from one belief, view, or party to another b : to bring about a religious conversion in
2 a : to alter the physical or chemical nature or properties of especially in manufacturing b (1) : to change from one form or function to another (2) : to alter for more effective utilization (3) : to appropriate without right c : to exchange for an equivalent <
convert foreign currency into dollars> <convert a bond> – From Webster’s Dictionary

18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20 ESV

So here’s a question. Does Jesus actually call his disciples to ‘convert’ others or is there a deeper implication here? I have been bugged with the whole notion of Evangelicals to do what is called ‘outreach.’ This notion seems to mean that “we” (who are on the inside of right belief) reach outwards towards those “others” (those who are outside this right belief system) to logically reason them to believe the same thing that “we” do. (cudo’s to George Hunsberger for the imagery)

There are many examples of Christ commanding his disciples to Love others…including ‘enemies’….and teaching others, tending to others needs, feeding the hungry and so on, but does Jesus actually tell his disciples that it is their role to “convert” others? It seems to me that this process of change is reserved for the Holy Spirit. Could it be that Evangelicals have – with all good intentions most likely – completely assumed for themselves God’s role in humanity? Could it be that “The Way of the Master” has less to do with guilt and manipulation (sorry Kirk Cameron) and more to do with meeting people’s needs in depariate times? Is our role have more to do with how we tend to creation and less to do with consuming it?

So rather than ask “What Would Jesus Do?” perhaps we need new questions. How did Jesus love people with different worldviews? How did Jesus love people who were on the margins of the society? What did Jesus model and teach the disciples to live like and what does that mean for us today?

I believe that the notion of becoming a disciple of Jesus may be the most important question for Christians to ask. (by the way, so does Dallas Willard. Read his books) Perhaps many “Christians” need to ‘convert’ their own faith journey’s and concentrate on the actual call to “go and make ‘disciples'” rather than manipulating people who don’t share their particular way of thinking/believing.

MSU Hires New Coach

(Photo by ROD SANFORD//Lansing State Journal)

MSU has officially hired a new football coach: Mark Dantonio

Mark had previously coached at MSU under “the traitor” Nick Saban. He comes to MSU from Cincinatti. I honestly thought that Coach Kelly from CMU – who had been interviewed at the same time John L. Smith did and was the coach at Grand Valley State – would get the job. But, am just as pleased to see Dantonio. I hope that he can somehow turn around the program at my beloved MSU. I hope that he can shake this unpredictiple roller coaster that we call green and white football.

All our hopes reside with this new coach. We shall see…

The Messiah

I am preparing a message for the Advent season. I am thinking that I will explore how the birth of Christ was not a miracle. In fact, the only thing “miraculous” was the conception, and how the idea of virgin birth was not the first claim in the ancient times. Then, what does this conception mean for us? So, I am exploring these ideas….anybody have something to add?

glosoil

Wow!

While on our way to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with my wife’s extended family, our Volvo died on the on-ramp to I-96 East. So, we called the local towing company and my oldest sister and brother in law (who were less than ten miles on the highway from us!). So, we had it towed to this garage in town. I feared it was the alternator, so I was checking on prices and was figuring that between the tow, the time and the parts we were going to spend between 500 and 900 bucks!  (which we don’t have).

Well, I just got the call from the garage and he said, “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you car. It just needed a jump.” So, it is considerably cheeper!

God really showed up in this one.

We sincerely thank Him and those who were praying.

McDonald’s Gift Cards

Is it just me, or do others think that when someone gives another a “McDonald’s Gift Card” for Christmas its like they are saying, “I hope you die soon, in fact I’ll pledge ten bucks to speed up the process” ?