Sunday, July 15, 2007

Some Wanderings

I’ve been wandering around the blogoshpere again recently and have found a couple of sites compelling enough to make note of them …

Mark Van Steenwyk in Minneapolis has planted missio dei, a new monastic church, and asks What Would Jesus Wear?

Alan Hirsch (who has written The Forgotten Ways) provides a working definition of the Missional Church.

I thought this was a neat name for a group. Someone has redeemed and made full use of the concept of oxymoron.

A very interesting website about spiritual formation called Metamorphia with some great articles that I have enjoyed and wish I had written because they captured a number of my recent ponderings. If quoted a sample portion of an article by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun to give you a taste.

“Wanting to work with and watch Jesus is where transformation begins. Willpower and discipline alone can never fix your soul. Striving, pushing and trying harder will not recover your life. Unforced rhythms of grace depend on something more than self-mastery and self-effort. The simple truth is that wanting to keep company with Jesus has a staying power that “shoulds” and “oughts” seldom have. Jesus wants us to recognize that hidden in our desperations and desires is an appetite for the Lord and Giver of life. In fact, he says, “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat” (Matthew 5:6 The Message).

The very first thing Jesus asked his soon to be disciples was, “What do you want?” (John 1:37). Over and over again he asked about desires:
• “What is it you want?” (Matthew 20:21)
• “What do you want me to do for you?” (Matthew 20:32; Mark 10:36, 51)
• “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6)

Jesus knew you wouldn’t get well if you didn’t want the responsibility that came with wellness. He also knew that the mother of James and John was clueless about the meaning of her request to have her sons be power brokers in Jesus’ kingdom (Matthew 20:21). So he pressed her to consider what her desire might mean. Jesus never attempts to shut down people’s longings; nor does he ask people to transcend their longings as some religions do. He knew human desire to be an incurable black hole of opportunity.”

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