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Showing posts from September, 2009

Life in Greencastle - Learning

Recently, we finished up traveling through the Apostle Paul's final correspondence, a letter he wrote to a body of disciples in Ephesus. Throughout that letter, Paul wanted to help this community bend closer and closer to the life and example of Jesus Christ. His hope was for them to be imitators of Jesus ... in word, in thought, in action.

In the next several weeks, we will be looking more closely at how we can indeed be "imitators." Or, to use another word often used, we are going to consider what it means to be a "disciple," someone who desires to follow the example and teaching of Jesus.

As I have been thinking about discipleship, I keep hearing Whoopi Goldberg's voice.

Clearly, I need to explain that last sentence.

As parents of two young children, my wife and I have discovered a valuable friend: Sesame Street. In our weaker moments, or when we feel that the time has come for some cleaning to be done around the house, we sometimes put in a Sesame Str…

Life in Greencastle - Carrying the Light of Christ

Way back in June I talked to Doug Miller about gathering up some of our children to bring the light of Christ into our sanctuary on Sunday mornings. Doug was more than willing, and in the last couple of weeks he has been talking with the kids about what this means and finding a few volunteers. You may have even seen the announcement in Church Connections: the acolytes are returning.

I can remember serving as an acolyte a few times as a young boy. It was one of my first tastes of a holy responsibility, and both the "holy" part and the "responsibility" part made my sisters laugh. I was known for running through yards with dirt on my knees, not walking solemnly down an aisle carrying a little flower of flame. But one Sunday, as the congregation walked past me and took their seats in the sanctuary, I was invited to stay outside the sanctuary with one of the elders. I don't remember who the elder was, but I remember he held a strange wooden and brass staff tha…

Holding on to the Faith

"Sometimes [attacks] will take the frontal form of actual authorities in towns and cities who try to prevent Christians from spreading the message. Sometimes it will take the more oblique form of persuading Christians to invest time and energy in irrelevant side-issues, or to become fascinated by distorted teaching. Sometimes it will be simply the age-old temptations of money, sex and power. But in each case what individuals and the whole church must do is, first, to recognize that attacks are coming; second, to learn how to put on the complete armour which God offers; and, third, to stand firm and undismayed." - N. T. Wright commenting on Ephesians 6:10-17 (the full armour of God)

This week we enter the final part of Paul's letter to the Ephesians - which is primarily about the difficulties the world throws at us. In this concluding word (Chapter 6:10-24), Paul makes clear that the life of faith is a struggle and that there are oppositional forces aligned against God…

Life in Greencastle - GCB's and the Way of Jesus

What if I were to tell you that in the last few weeks, over 750 people moved into Greencastle - coming from as far away as China? What if I told you that several of these 750 people came here knowing almost nothing about Indiana, had never heard of Dairy Castle or a 4-H fair or Headley's? And what if I went on to tell you that these people were planning to live here in our community for months at a time for the next four years - visiting our grocery stores, tutoring our children, and visiting our friends and family at Asbury Towers or Autumn Glenn?

That would be news worthy, wouldn't? This would be front page material: "750 immigrants arrive in Greencastle." 750 new people coming from a place to a place that is not home (not yet) to live here. But, we don't call them immigrants. We call them "freshman."

And, it is not just those 750 new faces. In the last few weeks, almost four times that many have arrived again as students of DePauw University…

Was Jesus a Politician?

In just over a week, Karl Rove and Howard Dean will be coming to Greencastle for a debate between the two of them at DePauw University. The debate between these two men brings front and center a topic that seems to create and kill conversation: politics. Many of us can remember our own heated debates at the dinner table; others remember nary a word spoken about elephants or donkeys.

All of us have our political opinions, and some of us happen to believe that politics and religion simply should not be mixed. They are like oil and water. And while I too get bored or frustrated with the ongoing circus that politics can become at its worst, the simple fact is God has created us as political beings. What I mean by "political beings" is simply this: we exist and must learn how to live together. This is the basic meaning of what politics is.

And, with this basic definition of what politics is - discussing how, learning about and working on living together - we can say clearly…