Sunday, September 26, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
"I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can." -Glenn Beck
"When people of faith get to the public square they shouldn’t say “my religious view is this.” They should speak in moral language that is inclusive of everybody." -Jim Wallis
Wherever God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven, in that place God’s rule is manifest, He is King and the kingdom comes. The kingdom is the domain of the King’s rule, the territory where His authority is acknowledged, His orders are heeded and His ideal will is carried out (Matthew 6:10).
Jesus said His kingdom had at least two territories: “within” and “the world.” The religious left largely ignores the necessity of the first in the accomplishment of the second while the religious right largely ignores the necessity of the second for the validation of the first.
Kingdom In Us
Jesus said His kingdom is within us (Luke 17:21). When we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9) we are transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of Christ (Colossians 1:13). We are no longer ruled by our “nature” (Romans 7:5), no longer slaves to sin, but we are citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20), slaves of Christ our King (Romans 6:22).
Christ now rules over us from within us. He rules over our sin with forgiveness and forgetfulness (Psalm 103:12). He rules over our shame with His purity (Ezekiel 36:25). He rules over our old pattern of thinking with His renewal of our mind (Romans 12:2). He rules over our weakness with His strength (Acts 1:8). He rules over our pain with His Comforter (John 15:26). He rules over our rebellious “nature” by giving us a new disposition or desire to obey Him (Ezekiel 36:27). He rules over every inch of our inner terrain.
Kingdom Thru Us
As we go into the world God rules over it through us, preaching good news to the poor: freedom for the prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind, release for the oppressed (Luke 4:18). We announce that God, here and now, reigns over the world. And then through our collective action (1 John 3:18), sacrifice (Isaiah 58) and self-denial (Acts 2:44-45) God’s reign becomes practical, physical, visible and present tense, not merely theoretical, spiritual, unseen and future tense. Jesus calls the arrival of his kingdom Good News – eugelion in Greek, also translated “gospel.” It was a secular word, not a sacred one in Jesus’ day: a pronouncement or official message made by a king.
Jesus’ message or announcement was that He reigns! He reigns within us and thru us, over the past, present and future. To espouse one dimension of Christ’s gospel and ignore the other is to preach half the gospel.
The Left Omission
Some on “the left” of the gospel are preaching God’s rule through us without first demanding God’s rule within us. It is correct to say that God wants to overthrow injustice and poverty and corruption. It is incorrect and naive, however, to believe that people who have not submitted to God’s rule within can even define words like “peace” and “justice” and “enough”, let alone bring them about here and now by their own godless power.
Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world, he said. If it were then men and women could advance it with their own might, weapons, strategy and intellect. Jesus Himself said that first the Spirit must be in us (Acts 1:8) and then we are to go into the world, as Jesus did, by the power of God to heal and teach (Matthew 4:23).
A political or social movement or government initiative bent on “reform” that does not have the person and power of Christ at the heart of it – at the heart of the people in it – is an impotent faux kingdom build on the sands of “morality” or “spirituality” or “civic duty.” And those “powers” are no match for the gates of hell (Matthew 16:18).
The Right Omission
Some on “the right” of the gospel are preaching God’s rule within us without teaching the sort of biblical faith that is God’s rule thru us.
In Matthew 25 Jesus says that when we arrive in heaven He will sort those who claimed to be His loyal subjects from those who truly were using one measure: What did you do for the least?
In this passage, I don’t believe Jesus was commanding us to care for “the least” so that He will accept us and allow us into heaven. We are accepted by God because of what Christ did on the cross and by his resurrection. Period.
I also don’t believe Jesus was saying “works” like feeding the hungry and visiting the imprisoned were merely possible results of faith in Christ either. Compassion, love, peace making, generosity, justice, evangelism – these are not electives. We don’t choose, as people with faith in Jesus, to take or leave the poor or oppressed or lost. These works are our faith. Faith without “works” is not faith (James 2:14-26). It is not faith just like fire without heat and light is not fire. Heat and light are not just the possible result of fire, something fire sometimes does. They are fire. Inseparable from flame itself.
It is impossible for Christ to be King of my inner life and yet leave me cold toward those in every kind of need. I cannot have His mind, His disposition, His forgiveness, love and His power and not desire to exercise it on behalf of those in spiritual and physical need (1 John 3:16-17). I cannot believe in the authority of scripture on the subjects of sin, forgiveness, heaven and hell but put no stock in its teachings about the poor.
Jesus’ central message was that God’s rule has arrived on earth now (Mark 1): In the hearts of those who deny themselves and place their full trust in Him as absolute King. And through them over everything busted and broken in the world. Jesus came to redeem or reconcile all things – inside and out – by His power alone and for His glory always (Colossians 1:19-24).
Jesus said our response to His gospel is to be repentance. Repentance is a military term for shifting allegiance from the former ruler (John 12:31) to the new conquering king (Hebrews 2:9). It was a choice given to defeated enemy soldiers by their new ruler after they’d been overthrown: “Repent. Stop fighting against me. Switch sides. Join me. Follow me and live.”
The command was not for a change of allegiance without a change of action or for a new course without a new compulsion. Christ demands a full surrender of our inner and outer lives to His loving rule (Luke 10:27).
Any gospel that denies the necessity of either the inner or outer dimensions of God’s rule is not the gospel of Jesus. Right or left, it’s wrong.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Well you can officially call me Jennifer, the Director of Media and Public Relations at Louisiana State University in Shreveport!!!
I know it's a mouth full but you will get use to it :)
I am so uberly super excited to be starting this new job! It is exactly what I got my degree in and exactly why I chose that major. It is everything I wanted in a career! I feel like I have won a prize! I feel so lucky to be able to do exactly what I want to do!
Things I know I will love about my new job:
1. I already know everyone in the office and I love them and they love me!
2. I get off work ar 4:30!
3. I am 1.7 miles or 4 minutes from my house! Talk about saving gas money! Wooo Hooo!
4. I get two weeks off at Christmas! Seriously!
5. I get to be on campus with students and young people and promote a school I went to and enjoyed!
Things I might have to get used to:
1. A much heavier work load
2. Operating an office with a budget- (I can do it just have never had to)
3. Honestly, that's all I can think of...I just know I am going to love it!
There are always going to be good days, and not so good days. But I know I will enjoy every minute of it!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
1 day until Chris is home for the weekend!
2 days until a real date night!
5 days until my last day at The Foundation!
6 days until my first day at LSUS!
7 days until Autumn begins (probably doesn't mean it will be cooler, but oh well.)
41 days until Chris comes home for GOOD!
70 days until Thanksgiving! (my favorite holiday!)
79 days until the last day of class for this semester!
84 days until Chris and I have been dating for a whole year!
And 100 days until Christmas!!
Among all these count downs there are LSU Football games AND Saints Football games!
Disclaimer- please don't go to your calendar and check my counting. I have never claimed to be a mathematical wizard. Just know I am close.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
This picture just happens to capture both things I love!
Celebrations of Jessica's life will be Friday. I can't wait to get together with everyone! Chris probably will not be in town early enough for dinner though.
As for the SAINTS: I was reading an article in the Shreveport Times by the Associated Press earlier this morning. Only in Louisiana:
As the Saints prepared to open the defense of their Super Bowl title, the city was in Mardi Gras mode: schools set to close early and concerts and a parade planned in the French Quarter. Even City Hall closed for the day.
Each group also had a tall, skinny black-and-gold tent holding a portable toilet. "We pioneered that," said Danny Trent of Reserve. "Look inside." The 5-gallon black bucket was still empty. Except for a Vikings decal."
And how yummy does this look- Pork bombs! This is apparently a tailgating neccessity in New Orleans today. It is pork, jalapenos and cheese wrapped in bacon and grilled! YUM! Definitely adding this to my "to cook" list!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
New Board Game Café Welcomes You, But Not Your Laptop
from Torontoist by Steve Kupferman
Snakes and Lattes on Sunday evening, papered up in advance of its first day of business, which is today.
Owned by Castanie and his girlfriend, Aurelia Peynet—first-time entrepreneurs—the place looks similar to any other newly renovated café on its section of Bloor Street, except for the board games, which occupy a set of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves that run half the length of the room. Castanie amassed the collection over the course of two years, by diligently scouring garage sales and thrift stores. He inspected every box to ensure that no pieces were missing. A few must-have games were purchased new.
The five-dollar fee, in addition to usage of the games, buys expert instruction-manual guidance.
Castanie, who is proudly French, but speaks English with a British accent because of time spent in the UK before he and Aurelia emigrated to Canada four years ago, is a believer in the power of games to bring people together. Anyone who comes in a small group should be prepared to make new friends.
"A game is not meant to be [played by] two," he says. "So you know what? If there's two groups, well then, we'll just make sure they play together, right?"
"You learn a lot from people playing board games."
A bookshelf holding some of the café's 1,500-plus game collection.
The games on offer include many old favourites, but the catalogue runs far deeper than just the basics. Castanie is particularly proud of his selection of "Euro games," so-called because they tend to be designed and produced in countries like Germany and France. Euro games are characterized by their simple rules, and their lack of player elimination. They're considered quick and easy to learn, and they lend themselves to casual play. Settlers of Catan, a German game, is one particularly popular and well-known instance of the genre.
Board game cafés are not unheard of in other parts of the world. South Korea experienced a vogue for them, beginning about a decade ago—but Castanie, who would know, says that the fad, there, has peaked. Now, he says, board game cafés are beginning to become popular in English-speaking parts of Asia, like Singapore and Hong Kong.
Asked if he's worried that the idea won't catch on in Toronto, he grins.
"I don't think so," he says. "I think they're gonna like it."
Photos by D.A. Cooper/Torontoist.