#1 Buffalo Bills receiver Steve Johnson tweets he's angry with God because God let him drop a game-winning pass. Christian blogosphere indignantly dissects. Drudge highlights the tweet. (This is the same Drudge, by the way, who posted a headline saying the guy who accidentally busted the President's lip in a basketball game "didn't say sorry." I wondered how Drudge knew that. He didn't. He just made it up because the guy didn't say sorry in a press release.) I wondered at first why we were assuming Johnson wasn't joking. He could have been just trying to do a funny "Thanks a lot, God" kind of thing. Time passed, and he didn't say he was joking. But I wonder if it would've been cool to respond the way Christian and NFL future hall-of-famer Kurt Warner did. He just tweeted to Johnson that he understood his frustration and gave him some words of encouragement.
#2 I do think the Church too often poorly stewards her artists. But this piece by Carl Trueman struck a chord with me. You can quibble with his sarcasm and (alleged) condescension, but I've been in many conversations with frustrated artists in which I wanted to say, "So basically you're saying there should be more of you do in the church service?" Whatever happened to "I must decrease; he must increase"? I blame some of this manner of thinking on the idea that real usefulness in the kingdom is measured by how much we do in contribution to a worship service, which appears to the be top-end for Christian maturity in the attractional church paradigm. (Please re-read the first sentence of this paragraph before commenting. ;-)
#3 Some other local pastors and I are dreaming up a monthly worship event to encourage and equip college students and young adults in this area of Vermont. They need it desperately. Many of them are sojourners in hostile lands. We want to give them gospel shape, help them see who they are in Christ and see their environment through Christ's eyes, in which there is no fear or forsakenness. My friend Rob Townshend, who is the family ministries pastor at his church, says "It takes an act of God to fall in love with Rutland, Vermont." That's what we're praying/planning for.
#4 There are some neat things happening in our church as we continue to "raise the sail" for revival and ask God to send his Spirit to do it. We have seen an increase in attendance over the last several months to the point there is now talk of knocking out the upper wall of our church to (re)install balcony seating. We have seem some healings. We have seen people committing to working through relationship conflicts. We have seen an increase in serving and an increase in evangelism. And best of all, we are seeing an increase in people expressing the need for first-time faith in Christ. I wonder if this is what revival looks like? Why am I tempted to think this isn't "it" yet?
#5 By the measure of most anyone, we are a small church. But drawing from surrounding towns too -- not every town in our area has a Bible-teaching evangelical church, remember -- our attendance is roughly 15% of our town's population. By that measurement, we're a megachurch! ;-)
#6 Christians in New England don't pass other churches to drive long distances on Sunday mornings for the killer kids' program or the rockin' band, but to hear someone who believes the Bible.
#7 Introduced the chickadees (7 and 9) to LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring (the movie) last weekend. They weren't scared by the "creepy stuff" (as my eldest calls it) and we ended up having all kinds of cool conversations about the characters and their histories. This geeky dad was stoked.