Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Odds & Ends

  • Tourists began coming to the Oregon Coast because it provided a refuge from the heat. But with this week's day-time temperatures in the mid-50s, I've had just about all the refuge I can stand.
  • Yes, we should ordain women . . . but while we're at it, let's see some more women college presidents. And academy principals. And Vice-Presidents for Education at the conference and union levels. These are all areas, after all, where we have lots of women working, but not enough women leading.
  • I'm puzzled by the Sabbath School lesson's insistence that "the righteousness of God" (Romans 3:21) is not the righteous nature of God, but the righteousness God gives the believer. Yes, Luther would agree -- but what about Wright
  • And I'll close with this quote from Dale Dauten: "A meeting moves at the speed of the slowest person in the room."

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    Odds & Ends

    • Beautiful weather here on the Oregon Coast -- sunny and clear -- but with temperatures in the mid-50s, you'll want to bring a sweatshirt when you visit.
    • I'm preaching this week on I Samuel 12, i.e. Samuel's farewell speech. And no, he's not happy with the Israelites -- not happy at all . . . which leads to the topic of how we deal with people who disappoint us. 
      • What I learned from this week's Sabbath School lesson: the easiest to make ourselves look good is to "dumb down" God's demands. I may be no good at loving my enemies, after all, but at least I don't eat cheese!
      • And I'll close with a quote from Sir Paul David Hewson: "Just because you have a past doesn't mean you can't have a future."

      Tuesday, July 06, 2010

      Odds & Ends


      • You remember me saying the GC Session in Atlanta really needed some vuvuzelas? Well . . . who's laughing now?
      • We're having gorgeous weather here on the Oregon Coast, with blue skies and temperatures in the low 70s. (But there's a fog bank on the horizon, so I plan to enjoy it while I can.)
      • I'm preaching this week on I Samuel 10-11. Right now, I'm struck by the fact that Saul was called -- and his call was confirmed by both miracles and a public proclamation -- but he still needed to act on that call. (And yes, this is all tied in with this week's second reading of the report from our church's Nominating Committee.)
      • Alberto Angela's A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome is cheap, readable, and thorough; having read it, I now understand why Paul said some of the things he did in Romans 1. Be warned, however -- parts of it are definitely NSFW.
      • What should a pastor give for a wedding gift to church members when somebody else does the ceremony? (I used to give them a set of kitchen knives, but the factory-outlet store that sold them has closed.) Any thoughts? 
      • Ask most church members what will happen to those who've never heard the name of Jesus, and they'll respond with something to the effect that "they'll be saved if they lived up to the light they had." It will be interesting to see how they reconcile that with this week's Sabbath School lesson; if there's one thing on which Paul insists, after all, it's that nobody lives up to the light they had.
      • And I'll close with this thought from William Goldman: "There is one crucial rule that must be followed in all creative meetings: Never speak first. At least at the start, your job is to shut up."