Saturday, July 19, 2008

Off to the beach

This past week has been extremely busy. We've had a lot of air conditioning problems, but this morning we're going to have a new compressor installed. Hopefully this will finally solve the problems. I also officially started my new job as a property manager. My first client is a family here in Cooper-Young. My plan is to add a few more this fall. There's been a somewhat steep learning curve with this, but I'm really enjoying it.

This morning we are heading to St. George Island in Florida with Mandy's sister and parents. Mandy, Micah and I are traveling in one vehicle, and Adam will go with the others. Today we're driving five hours and staying the night in Montgomery. In the morning we'll travel the final five hours. Hopefully Micah will do ok riding that long in the car. We're going to take our time and stop whenever we need to.

Joey Dorsey can score!

22 points, 13 rebounds. I know it's just summer league, but that still makes me happy.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Divine Conspiracy

As I wrote in my last post, our church is spending a few weeks discussing Discipleship. Today I've been rereading chapter 8 of The Divine Conspiracy, by Dallas Willard. I don't think there's any book (other than the Bible) that I've wanted to internalize more than this one. As I was reading today, I typed a few quotes. Enjoy!

The assumption of Jesus’ program for his people on earth was that they would live their lives as his students and co-laborers. They would find him so admirable in every respect – wise, beautiful, powerful, and good – that they would constantly seek to be in his presence and be guided, instructed, and helped by him in every aspect of their lives (273).

The narrow gate is not, as so often assumed, doctrinal correctness. The narrow gate is obedience – and the confidence in Jesus necessary to it. The broad gate, by contrast, is simply doing whatever I want to do (275).

A disciple, or apprentice, is simply someone who has decided to be with another person, under appropriate conditions, in order to become capable of doing what that person does or to become what that person is (282).

And as a disciple of Jesus I am with him, by choice and by grace, learning from him how to live in the kingdom of God. This is the crucial idea. That means, we recall, how to live within the range of God’s effective will, his life flowing through mine. Another important way of putting this is to say that I am learning from Jesus to live my life as he would live my life if he were I. I am not necessarily learning to do everything he did, but I am learning how to do everything I do in the manner that he did all that he did (283).

Only with such images (pearl & hidden field) before us can we correctly assess the famous “cost of discipleship” of which so much is made. Do you think the businessman who found the pearl was sweating over its cost? An obviously ridiculous question! The only thing these people were sweating about was whether they would “get the deal.” Now that is the soul of the disciple (292).

The entire point of this passage (Luke 14:25-33) is that as long as one thinks anything may really be more valuable than fellowship with Jesus in his kingdom, one cannot learn from him (293).

The counting of the cost is to bring us to the point of clarity and decisiveness. It is to help us to see. Counting the cost is precisely what the man with the pearl and the hidden treasure did. Out of it came their decisiveness and joy. It is decisiveness and joy that are the outcomes of the counting (293).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Weekly Links

  • NT Wright on The Colbert Report

  • Hulu - Mandy and I have just discovered this site for tv shows, movies, and clips. We've been watching Arrested Development together. I don't know why I never watched it before. It's awesome!

  • Ed Stetzer gives a bullet point review of the new research from The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

  • Dallas Willard on Discipleship. We're going through a series on discipleship at NC, and this was one of the nuggets I (re)discovered and read last week.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Micah Update 6

This little guy really likes to sleep. Last night he went to sleep around 10:00 and woke up at 5:15. I'm sure it won't last, but we're going to enjoy it as long as we can!

Straight Out of Isaiah

On Wednesday I picked Adam up from school, and as we were walking down the hall, he noticed a statue of a lion and a lamb. He looked at it curiously. I could tell that he recognized the lion (he loves lions), but he wasn't sure what the lamb was. I said, "That's a lamb." He looked up at me and said, "But lions don't go with lambs. I'm just going to call it a female lion."

What a great reminder of the upside-down Kingdom. It's amazing how much I learn from my child!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Recession Woes

This morning I heard a commentator on MSNBC state that because of rising fuel and food costs alone, the average person is spending on average of $140 more per month than they were just a few months ago. That's pretty scary for a lot of families.

On the other hand, though, perhaps the state of our economy is an opportunity for change. I just read a great article from Bankrate. Here's an excerpt:

If you are old enough to have worn a mood ring, Earth shoes or bell-bottoms the first time around, you probably recall the "stagflation" days of the 1970s with a bemused mix of humor, national pride and nostalgia.

The forecast was just as dire back then, and for good reason. In 1975, inflation topped 14 percent, unemployment approached 6 percent (but doubled that in some locales), and fuel and food prices were headed skyward.

Most of us would be well into the Reagan years before our wallets grew appreciably heavier.

The funny thing is, I don't remember the sacrifice. We drove used cars and lived within our means, since car leasing and credit cards were not yet widespread.

We rented and shared apartments, since the average home mortgage rate hovered around 10 percent.

We shouldered none of the financial burden of such modern conveniences as cell phones, high-speed Internet or fitness center memberships.

No one wants a recession, of course. It can cause serious economic pain for millions.

However, economists tell us there are some reasons to actually welcome and perhaps even embrace a recession. After all, a recession is the ebb part of the natural ebb and flow of the U.S. economy.

Read more.