From the monthly archives: May 2015

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'May 2015'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Throwing Bulletins at Pastors, or, Why Contentment Is Key to Stewarding Your Time


 


Since The Art of Neighboring was written by some married dudes, and all the pastors preaching this series at Summitview are married dudes, this post was supposed to give some fresh ideas on neighboring from someone not married and not a dude. Something to encourage our singles in particular, as many of us struggle to figure out how a series like this applies to our lives. I’ll explore that more next week in the blog post I was supposed to write.

Honestly, as a single person, the book The Art of Neighboring wasn’t my favorite. As I read it, I didn’t have a lot of ideas of how to apply what the authors were saying to my experience. But the first major topic I had trouble with was time. For me, it’s not a matter of deciding how many extra-curricular activities my kids do. Since all the responsibilities of adult life fall on my shoulders alone, it’s a matter of deciding if I can afford to take time off work, not mow the lawn or not do the laundry in order to be more available for my neighbors.

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Update from Nepal: An Email from the Children's Home, Possible Help for the Building


 


Last Thursday, Kishor GC, the director of the Children’s Home in Nepal, emailed Nathan Hrouda with an update of their condition in the aftermath of the second earthquake that jarred the country on May 12.

Kishor described the scene as the second quake hit. He and his wife were in the market, about to head back to the Children’s Home, when people flooded onto the street in a panic. The Kathmandu area was spared heavy damage, as the epicenter was further to the north. But tremors in the area triggered more fear and uncertainty.

Eventually, Kishor and his wife made it back to the Children’s Home. “We were worried about the children at home,” he wrote. “At last we reached the home, and we praise our God that everything was good.”

The building is still unsafe to occupy, and Kishor reiterated that they are still sleeping in tents and using an outdoor kitchen. He is concerned about the number of flies in and around the kitchen. They are praying that God keeps them safe from disease.

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'Street Football,' Neighboring and the Importance of Origin Stories


 


For most of us, we began dabbling in the art of neighboring long before it became a book and city-wide sermon series that simply and soberingly presented us with a counter-cultural way to live. Before we were adult neighbors, we were kid neighbors. Our experiences when we were young can profoundly shape the way we approach our neighbors and our “theology of place” now — for good or for ill.

It also likely that as you have aged, your perspective on your neighborhood — and how you and your family neighbored — has changed. You see the subtle dysfunction that your innocent eyes didn’t recognize. You identify isolation and misunderstanding where you once chalked it up to simple unfriendliness. You see the power of relationships formed from proximity that you might not have realized at the time. We’re humans — image bearers of God born broken and corrupt. Nothing is ever simple. Mayberry is a false narrative.

Regardless of how painful or pleasant it may be for you to recall your childhood neighborhood, I believe there is great gain to be had here. If the deluge of superhero movies has taught us anything, it’s that origin stories matter. Acts 17:26-27 was just as true when you were 11-years-old as it is today. God has been writing your story the entire time.

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Wonderfully Made: Exploring the Beauty of Male and Female at DTC 2015


 


As I write this, it is Pride week at Arizona State University. Tens of thousands of dollars (one knowledgeable alumni thought it might be up to $100,000) have been provided for speakers, events and publicity to help students understand that sex and gender in any possible expression is a good thing, especially, of course, same-sex gender expressions. Though all may not choose to live that way, every university student knows that they are all expected to be proud of such things.

But Pride week is just a small raindrop in a drenching downpour of influences that is shaping the internal realities of our culture, especially with our youth. As Christians, our Book tells us that “faith comes by hearing.” Ironically, there is a message that is heard continuously, with unparalleled clarity. And this message is about sex, and gender, morals and marriage. It tells us who we are in those profound, God-created categories. If it is true that God has so created human life that faith comes by hearing, then the ubiquitous presence of advertising, movies, social media, YouTube, education, peers and cultural icons make it hard to believe that young people can enter adulthood imprinted with anything other than the values of our world.

Yet those values lead to beliefs that lead to choices that lead to shattered lives. Consciences, bodies, relationships and futures are all raped and gutted by a way of life that knows no life. The consequences for our culture and for our children are dark and tragic.

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Responsibility – What's That? On Repentance and Owning Up to Our Sins


 


Earlier this year, four Vanderbilt University football players were convicted of raping an unconscious classmate on the way home from a party in the summer of 2013. The four players, after attending a particularly rousing get-together where at least one of them consumed up to 22 alcoholic beverages, made their way back to their dorm with a severely intoxicated female friend. The woman, who at the time was dating one of the four, had passed out at the party, so three men helped their teammate carry his unconscious girlfriend home. Once they arrived at her dorm, the four of them took turns sexually assaulting her. Some of the process was captured by the dorm's closed-circuit television cameras, but one of the players also sent several pictures and videos to another teammate throughout the whole ordeal. Basically, this incredibly heinous crime was captured on video nearly every step of the way.

Nevertheless, when it came time for trial, each of the men pleaded not guilty. How could they possibly deny culpability? Evidently, the guilty party was "campus culture." One of the defense attorneys offered an opening statement that described how his client "walked into a culture that changed the rest of his life.” The defense called on the testimony of a psychologist who explained how “at that age peer pressure is critical . . . because you’re just going out on your own, you’re not fully an adult, you’re not fully a child . . . You tend to take on the behavior of people around you.” The same psychologist stated that "because he was this intoxicated, he was not his normal self . . . He was doing things that he would not have done normally." These players were "good boys" who were acting outside of themselves. Alcohol and campus culture rendered them irresponsible for their actions.

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