From the monthly archives: September 2013

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'September 2013'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Living Vicariously through Worship

 

Last Sunday evening, Seattle Seahawks fans set a world record for loudest crowd noise measured in an outdoor stadium. The fans screamed their place into the history books during the Seahawks’ win over their divisional rivals, the San Francisco 49ers. The volume was measured at 136.6 decibels, louder than a jet would sound from 100 yards away and at the level that can cause permanent hearing damage from even short-term exposure. Evidently, Seattle fans have a lot of pent-up emotional energy.

I remember going to Broncos games at the old Mile High Stadium when I was younger and during exciting moments of the game feeling like the stadium might crumble from the crowd noise. Being in the middle of that kind of crowd is captivating. When tens of thousands of people are cheering with one voice, it’s hard not to join in and offer all your emotion, as well. Really, there’s not even a need to be in the stadium. There can be just as much emotional intensity watching at home on the edge of a couch. And we know that the outcome of the game is going to dictate our mood for the rest of the day, or maybe even week.

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Life as Celebratory Waiting

 

When my daughter was born in 2011, I was bombarded with unexpected emotions: Complete joy in her arrival after months of anticipation; awe and bewilderment at what had happened and resolve to slay any dragon that may come for her.

But leading up to the delivery I was not thinking any of those things, honestly. I was anticipating it being a life-changing experience for sure, but the reality of having a child had not emotionally hit me. I had to trust that there was in fact a healthy and real person inside my wife’s womb. I was at times working myself up to feel those emotions, because by sight and touch, I was not experiencing them. 

The whole time I was awaiting her birth, I was no less a parent, but I was not fully a parent, either. I knew that a child was there. It was assured to us that we would have a healthy baby. Our faith was that we could celebrate being pregnant because it was the start of a human life that we believed would be completed in childbirth. 

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Today, We Remember


 


In the fall of 2001, I was a junior in high school taking a basic guitar class in Centennial, Colo.

I don’t remember much from that particular class, as I had already been playing guitar on my own for a few years at that point, but one morning in that class is forever impressed into my visual memory: Tuesday, September 11.

Shortly into class, we began to hear rumblings that we should turn on the news and see what was happening. I’m not sure where the rumblings came from (perhaps one of those newfangled “texts” from a parent to a child or perhaps another teacher passing by). For whatever reason, our teacher turned on the television.

We did nothing but sit and watch that television set for the rest of our 90-minute class.

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Asking the Right Questions in Tragedy


 


The anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon will find many of us flipping through slide shows and recalling the horror of it all. And the process will undoubtedly bring challenging questions to the surface. 

Where was God?

Was this outside of his control or was this an act of his judgement?

What, then, is God really like?

In his time, Jesus was presented with a similar problem and similar questions. His response provides surprising wisdom in the shadow of great tragedy. Indeed, he lays out the only way to hope. 

 

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:1–5)

 

According to Jesus, "Where was God?" isn't even a right question. The better question is, "Why didn't this tragedy fall on me?" In all our sorting out of the implications tragedy has on God's character, we forget to examine what it might say about our position before God. Why does Jesus steer the question this way? Because there is grace downstream from the right question. 

The humble question of "Why am I still alive?" changes our first response. Compassion takes the place of pontificating about cause and effect, conspiracies and geopolitics. It enables us to actually mourn (Romans 12:15) and extend comfort (2 Corinthians 1).

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Let’s Make the Most of This Opportunity to Rebuild a House Destroyed by the High Park Fire

 

It’s 58 degrees and raining as I write this. One of Leonard Elmore’s rules for good writing was to never start a book with weather. Well, this isn’t a book and this post is directly related to the weather. So there’s that.

I’m writing about the weather because there’s a woman named Anne Kainu who lost her Rist-Canyon home in the High Park Fire. It’s just now being rebuilt. I believe they recently finished the framing. So, she’s been without a home for more than a year and it’s 58 degrees and raining. We all know that there’s a decent chance of a crazy snowstorm in early October. That’s when the contractor hopes to have the house finished – before that crazy, early-October weather hits the foothills west of town.

I bet Anne would like to have her own roof over her head by then. 

Here’s where you come in, Summitview: You can help rebuild her house. Mitch Majeski is friends with Randy Rivers, pastor of Poudre Christian Fellowship. Anne has been coming around Poudre Christian for a little while now, and when Randy told Mitch that the contractor could use some help finishing Anne’s house before the crazy, early-October weather hits, Mitch volunteered the Summitview family. You can help rebuild her house and you can help us to be in relationship with Anne, even after her house is built.

On each of the remaining Saturdays in September, we are asking you, your friends, your D-Team and/or your family to sign up to help with the construction work. If you can swing a hammer, you can help. We have three Saturdays left. Anne and her contractor can take any time you have to spare.

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