Abductive Columns

Friday, September 30, 2005

(Emergent) Answers for Ed Dobson

On September 12 Brian McLaren, Mike Wittmer, and Ed Dobson engaged in a conversation on the background, current state, challenges, potential, and future direction of the emergent church. All of the sessions were recorded and are available for download in mp3 format. To get them use this [...link]

Of most value (in my opinion) was the Reflections & Questions session which addressed some of the criticisms of the emergent conversation.

The most intriguing was Ed Dobson’s A Pastor’s Reflections (over 60 minutes). Using a very modern approach Ed gives the listener his take on the emergent. He talks, preaches, admits he knows little about the movement (his reference to the conversation), he uses humor and story, but most important are his genuine questions to those of us involved in the conversation.

I’m going to give you Ed Dobson’s questions and then attempt to answer them. I realize your answers and everyone in between will have different answers than mine(emergent is diverse) . But geez this is fun. Here goes--
1. Emergents believe salvation is a process more than an event. But what about the person near death? Does it become an event for them? To bring this all together Dobson tells a story of a woman about to die. He visits her; talks of life & death. Before leaving her bedside he describes how he wrote out a prayer for her. Just before her death the woman came to faith.

Dobson says he agrees that salvation is a process; a journey lived out (what are we becoming?) But when do we talk to people about their salvation. What about heaven and hell?

My answer: I have no problem with this understanding. I hate that many have misunderstood what is being said about process and event. Ninety percent of the time I am a spiritual explorer on equal footing with the one I walk alongside. When a relationship has progressed and matured to the place where trust and comfort are the primary elements in the relationship is when I can be called upon to become a spiritual guide. It is then, and only then, I am given permission to help connect the dots.

2. Dobson asks a thoughtful and probing question:

“I would ask the emerging church in a culture that has moved beyond certainty; where everyone’s story is valued; where truth is sought in community—at what point and on what issues and in what context will you dare speak for God? The prophets spoke for God—they didn’t speak their own opinions, their own ideas. They didn’t form their truth out of a social context—they spoke for God. There comes a point in our journey where in the face of modernity and postmodernity we say—this is what God said.”

My answer: First let me say something about truth being formed in community. This isn’t something unique to postmodernity. It happened in modernity also. The Methodist found truth-in-community when they sprinkled for baptism. The Freewill Baptist found their truth of feet washing in community. The Church of Christ found truth-in-community with their a ccapella doctrine. So, one’s understanding is often formed and matured via the tribe they assemble with. Think independent of your tribe and…well…you know what can happen.

Often this idea of relativism and absolutism is confused with the relativism of the world. The believer, whether pomo or modern has a far different worldview than the unbeliever. So with his comment that the “…emerging church has moved beyond certainty” without knowing he is comparing apples and oranges. Two different beasts.

So his question, “when will you speak for God?” is answered with “I speak for God everyday.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Cultural Understanding

Go down and read the three posts below this one and then come back to this post and click the link at the end of the next paragraph.
Okay…read them and come back.

Did you read them? Great. Click on the link, but …pay close attention…you’ll need to piece the cultural puzzle together. The three post you just finished reading are in the image […link here]

Which blend is you faith assembly?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A Postmodern Moment: Understanding Culture



When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” --John Muir

“The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there.” --Yasutani Roshi

Everything in the universe is connected. Sages, poets, philosophers, theologians and, now, scientists understand the interconnection and interdependence of all living and non-living entities, of all phenomena.

In the March/April 2003 issue of Utne magazine, Philip Slater writes about a “gradual but massive collision between two competing cultural systems,” systems he calls the Culture of Division and the Culture of Connection. According to Slater, “The Culture of Division is based on boundaries and seeks to uphold and create them. The Culture of Connection seeks to dissolve them.”

“Connector culture is characterized by a preoccupation with linking—people, concepts, places,” Slater continues. “It seeks to recognize commonalities and promote democratic decision-making.”

Monday, September 26, 2005

A Postmodern Moment: Understanding Culture

Gathering as a Participatory Experience


…each person took part in the burn in their own way. Even the madhouse dance club known as the Deep End told its patrons, who apparently live to gyrate and gyrate to live, that it was time to go home, put on some threads and meet back at the club for a communal stroll to the burn.

People do things in a spirit of togetherness here. In fact, there are no petty jealousies, no rivalries, no misunderstandings. No one's feelings get hurt.
Just kidding.

But most people do seem to enjoy doing things together. I'm sure it's annoying to have to hear all this talk of community and shared experience, but last night everyone was rooting for the same thing. "Have a good burn," people would say. It was as simple as that. Just have a good burn. Maybe it's not much different than saying "Happy New Year," but the fact that you had made it through this hellish week, and the fact that you were miles and miles from the creature comforts of this world, and the fact that so many thousands of other people were willing to do the same crazy thing, well, it made you feel like you belonged.
SF Gate Culture Blog

Saturday, September 24, 2005

A Postmodern Moment: Understanding Culture


Pomo packaged BudLight
Featuring the familiar Bud Light logo in distinct white lettering against a sleek, cobalt high-gloss finish that is cool to the touch and a pry-off cap, the bottle not only makes a striking visual impression, but also helps keep great-tasting Bud Light super cold.

“This Bud Light aluminum bottle is a major image enhancer and the type of look contemporary adults want when out enjoying a beer with friends.” Dan McHugh, Senior Director of Bud Light Marketing
read the complete promotion

A Slice of History in the Emergent Conversation

A couple years ago Kevin Miller’s keyboard flamed with the article Nomo Pomo [read the article]; A Postmodern Rant. For fun I thought I would dust off the archives and resurrect the conversation that filled Christianity Today’s mailbox.

In response to that article, Mike Stidham, Stephen Shields, Caroline Wong and myself wrote the following response.

At the heart of postmodernism is deconstruction-of institutions, ideologies, traditions, patterns of behavior and speech-which is based on a distrust and suspicion. So in an attempt to engage postmodern culture our church tasked the deconstruction ministry team and had them take out some walls to expand the sanctuary area. Soon after the youth minister adopted an abductive approach to growing his youth group. You have to admit it sounds so much nicer than "sheep stealing" … uh what's that? It means what? I'm sorry, never mind. Let's move on.

The article by Kevin Miller titled Nomo Pomo was, to a degree, an over-reaction. No doubt we need to learn, but there are some of us who are way too ready to toss out the baby and the bathwater. As an alternative we have chosen a simple deconstruct of Kevin's almost profound article.

Admittedly, there is much in this article we agree with. He acknowledged that PPMs (Proponents of Postmodernism) have made some important points with their narrative themes, their emphasis on mystery and transcendence. He goes on to say that " … the same New Testament that gives us the elliptical parables gives us the straightforward exposition of Peter in Acts 2 and the dense argumentation of Paul in Romans 9-11, not to mention the name-by-name genealogies of Matthew and the linear history of Acts. Let us recapture indirection but not canonize it."

Cool. But Kevin, are you saying that all PPMs are advocating an exclusive use of right-brain-speak! Most all of us, moderns and postmoderns alike, have neurons firing bi-laterally. So don't be surprised when pomos say the detective work that comes with mystery activates the left-side-brain just as much as it does the modern's mind.

Miller almost made a profound statement when he said that the "postmodern movie-makers will be our bards, but the modernist gene-splicers will be our wizards."

Regrettably this is a type of forced dichotomy. The arts can be relativized, science (especially technology) not necessarily so. The doctor doing brain surgery doesn't have the luxury of saying, "It's all relative," and then proceed to noodle around with open-heart techniques. We don't find it hypocritical to view one area as proper for deconstruction and another area not viable. Accusing Pomos of being hypocritical when it comes to technology is just as forced a construct as when moderns are accused of "foundationalism" for insisting on inerrancy.

And maybe Kevin Miller overlooked the fact that there are a good number of Pomo scientists and mathematicians working in western culture. Here are some of the differences we have noted between Pomo and modern scientists/mathematicians-

Pomos don't believe science will solve all our problems.

Pomos don't believe that science will answer all our questions.

Pomos know the rules their fields operate in are not sacrosanct and so they are willing to consider truly 'heretical' science ideas as fantasy or make-belief just for the fun of it.

So, Kevin let's not act as if pomo people lack scientific understanding or logic or that they have to put on a modern cap in order to function in these arenas.
And while we're at it, let's be up front and admit that there is an enormous difference between what the Pomo Christians are saying and what the Pomos are saying (we paint with a broad brush here). Postmodernism says we can't know absolute truth but we can know the truth of our culture/community. Postmodern Christians know there is a meta-narrative and absolute truth (God).

Jesus calls every generation to incarnate their culture. Moderns were seeker sensitive. Pomos are E.P.I.C. (Our world is being altered as we transition from rational to Experiential, from representative to Participative, from word-based to Image-based, and from individual to Connected. In other words, it's E.P.I.C.) The "soon-to-fade" traditional modern church continues to meet the needs of many; likewise, the post office continues to run even though we've got e mail. What the emerging church is doing is e mail, and the established church is running the postal routes.

If we had two separate cultures operating independent of each other things might be simpler. Yet, in the same community exist both Pomo and modern. The Pomo minister, in the attempt to be incarnational, must encounter and engage the "balding, befuddled" modern just as the old school pastor must likewise learn to engage the latte-addicted, multi-pierced Pomo.

Romans 12:4-5 reminds us we are "members one of another." Pomo and modern are going to have to learn to work as co-belligerents for the sake of the call, not as competitors.
Chris Seay wrote his response [here]

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Purpose of the Christian Life?

The purpose of the Christian life is not about how good I am or how well I’m liked. Neither is it about abstinence or moderation. It’s not about whether I drink or don’t drink; whether I cuss or don’t cuss. Understand, I advocate none of the above; I have my own personal convictions and so should you.

My point—many of us have confused the expression of a lifestyle with its purpose.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Missional Churches and Faith and Trampolines

Missional Communities
Missional churches perceive missions not as a program of the church, but as the essence of the church. Therefore every component of the church’s identity relates to its missional purpose. No longer a single compartment within the church’s structure, missional churches expect every task of the church to be informed by the church’s missional purpose.
from Shaped by God’s Heart: The Passion and Practices of Missional Churches by Milfred Minatrea

In his book, The Velvet Jesus: Repainting the Christian Faith, Rob Bell goes to great lengths (chapters one and two) articulating his understanding of faith and inspiration. He builds his case via the metaphor of trampoline and springs.

Somebody recently gave me a videotape of a lecture given by a man who traveled around speaking about the creation of the world. At one point in his lecture, he said if you deny that God created the world in six literal twenty-four hour days, then you are denying Jesus ever died on the cross. It’s a bizarre leap of logic to make, I would say.

But he was serious.

It hit me while I was watching that for him faith isn’t a trampoline; it’s a wall of bricks. Each of the core doctrines for him is like an individual brick that stacks on top of the others. If you pull one out, the whole wall starts to crumble. It appears quite strong and rigid, but if you begin to rethink or discuss even one brick, the whole thing is in danger. Like he said, no six-day creation equals no cross. Remove one, and the whole wall wobbles.

What if tomorrow someone digs up definitive proof that Jesus had a real, earthly biological father, named Larry, and archaeologists find Larry’s tomb and do DNA samples and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the virgin birth was really just a bit of mythologizing the Gospel writers threw in to appeal to the followers of Mithra and Dionysian religious cults that were hugely popular at the time of Jesus, whose gods had virgin births? But what if as you study the origin of the word virgin, you discover that the word virgin in the gospel of Matthew actually comes from the book of Isaiah, and then you find out that in the Hebrew language at that time, the word virgin could mean several things. And what if you discover that in the first century being “born of a virgin” also referred to a child whose mother became pregnant the first time she had intercourse.

What if that (trampoline) spring was seriously questioned?

Could a person keep jumping? Could a person still love God? Could you still be a Christian?

Is the way of Jesus still the best possible way to live?

Or does the whole thing fall apart
Velvet Jesus by Rob Bell

Monday, September 19, 2005

Not Evolution but Revolution!

I received a pre-publication copy of George Barna's new book Revolution.

This reading assures us that the future will treat us better than the present!

We've known that the conversation would some day become a movement. It's gaining momentum. If your part of the emerging conversation...buy Revolution!

Here are a few excerpts:

"In this book I will describe what The Barna Group has learned about this under-the-radar but seminal renaissance of faith that will remake the religious contours of this country over the coming quarter-century. You will find out about the seven spiritual passions that fuel the growth of Revolutionaries. You will read about the mentality and the courage of these pioneers as they risk image, resources, and security to be more attentive to and compliant with the God who means everything to them."

Know this: just as the prophets of old were unwelcome in their own hometown, so are Revolutionaries looked at askance by even their closest friends and family members. The skepticism of those who lead conventional spiritual lives is a palatable reminder that growth always comes with a price tag."

"…beyond simply introducing the Revolution and its participants, I desire to help Revolutionaries gain a better understanding of themselves. Many of them feel like the odd person out, and most of them struggle with conflicting feelings about their status as spiritual champions who have no spiritual homeland."

"This new breed of disciples is not willing to play religious games and isn't interested in being part of a religious community that is not intentionally and aggressively advancing God's kingdom. They are people who want more of God—much more—in their lives. And they are doing whatever it takes to get it."

"As we journey together, I want to show you what our research has uncovered regarding a growing sub-nation of people, already well over 20 million strong, who are what we call Revolutionaries."

"…many Revolutionaries have been active in good churches that have biblical preaching, people coming to Christ and being baptized, a full roster of interesting classes and programs, and a congregation packed with nice people. There is nothing overtly wrong with anything taking place at such churches. But Revolutionaries innately realize that it is just not enough to go with the flow. The experience provided through their church, although better than average, still seems flat. They are seeking a faith experience that is more robust and awe-inspiring, a spiritual journey that prioritizes transformation at every turn, something worthy of the Creator whom their faith reflects. They are seeking the spark provided by a commitment to a true revolution in thinking, behavior, and experience, where settling for what is merely good and above average is defeat."

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Notes from NexChurch Conference; Len Sweet (2)

Day 2
NexChurch Leadership Conference
Kentucky Christian University
Grayson, Ky
Sept 17, 2005

My notes from day 2

Len deterred from his scheduled subjects (1The Emerging Culture and 2Carpe Mañana) and spent all morning generously answering audience questions. Good, but would have preferred more info from him. He allowed questioners to take away time (they went on and on and on).

The best insights were:

Len said he understood “belong then believe” but said he didn’t like those words.

He gave the same analogy using John 14:6

I am the way and the truth and the life.

Way-->trust me enough to consider his way. Not asking them to give up anything
Truth-->Over time they begin to see Jesus as truth
Way-->Finally he becomes the way.

Interesting use of Scripture for belong then believe

Attractional Christianity is over! (The Super Sunday Seeker Performance)
Church is a scary place for the outsider

How the people Jesus misses think of church is similar to the way those of us who use to go out on a family ride in the auto to look at the homes of the rich.

Rich people; They’re nice people. Harmless, but different than us.
Church people; Nice people, different though. They like to sing, bow their heads, etc. Not mainstream stuff….but they’re harmless.

Top three things non-Christians people say about Christian people:

  • Hypocrites
  • Judgmental
  • Boring
Church is where these people go. No wonder they don’t come.

Jesus never aimed for clarity.

I taught a class of thirty to thirty five people. My subject was Spiritual Explorer, Sometimes Guide; Creating Safe Places for the Outsider

Of the 30-35 people who attended all were under the age of 30 except for two who were probably in their late 40s. That was encouraging. After the talk I was approached by two different people (one a youth minister and the other a quadriplegic) each asking advice on how to deal with homosexuals and lesbians. Interested since I wrote a piece on my Abductive Columns Newsletter about homosexuality. They both asked me to subscribe them to Abductive Columns.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Notes from NexChurch Conference; Len Sweet

NexChurch Leadership Conference
Kentucky Christian University
Grayson, Ky
Sept 16, 2005

Friday night flashes!

While in office Bill Clinton only sent one email
When he left office there were only 500 web pages
Change is rapid

75 churches will close their doors this Sunday

112 million Christians claim themselves as churchless

Notes from Len Sweet talk:

>>Fundamental heresy of modernism is that trees move the wind
>>But wind moves the trees; forces are spiritual
>>Jn 3

>>It’s not by might, not by power, but by the Spirit
>>Modernism says—not by might, not by power but by process (programs)
>>We need to exercise the muscles that move our lips when we say “Holy Spirit.”
>>Church hasn’t yet got its mind in Spirit theology

>> Fundamental realities of the universe is not matter but spiritual
>>The modern world turned us into tree huggers
>>Always looking for the perfect process

>>Primacy is of the unseen and invisible
>>Shed ourselves of tree hugging
>>Need to become wind surfers
>>Our problem—we’ve trained leaders to be tree huggers not wind surfers

Pneuma—Greek for Spirit
Astro-naut=naut means sailor

Pneuma-naut=Wind Surfer
The new era leader is a Wind Surfer

Understand the times:

Starbucks does! They have become the front porch that is no longer on the suburban home
That’s why we spend $3 on something that ten years ago cost ten cents.
($3 adds up to $30 a gallon. Cheaper to purchase gas.)

Starbucks is not selling coffee…they’re selling experience.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Every person is born with creativity and imagination. It’s unfortunately that by the age of twelve most lose their penchant to stretch for the ostensibly impossible. In a short twelve years the world slams it out of us. Teachers and parents tell us what comes from our imagination isn’t true; it’s only…“imaginary.”

Creativity can only be sustained by accepting that you’re not safe; by letting go of control. It’s a matter of seeing everything—even when you want to shut your eyes.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Geese and Leadership

One of the astonishing things about Nehemiah Chapters 3-5 is that virtually everyone is involved in the work of rebuilding. There is no apparent distinction between leaders and people.

In fact, even Nehemiah and his servant worked together on the wall. Nehemiah himself did not take the portion of food that was rightly his as governor (5:15), but instead personally fed 150 at his table daily (5:17). In the process of working together, the people of God rediscovered community.

Participant ministry will increasingly replace pew observation as God's future continues to unfold in this emerging culture. No longer will lecture be the primary form of learning. No longer will authority be restricted to a few shepherds, creating huge bottlenecks in the work of building the Kingdom.

A couple of years ago my wife and I were walking through the hills of West Virginia. As we approach a lake, a host of Canadian geese flying in a southern direction formed a V as they headed directly toward us. From our vantage point, we were almost at eye level with the formation. I watched with fascination as I saw something take place that I had only previously heard about. The lead goose dropped from the front of the V to the rear, and another goose took his place.

At that moment the Lord provided me with a metaphor for what the body of Christ should look like. Immediately I thought, “…leadership is to be flexible and shared.”

Breaking the trail for the entire V formation is tiring. The lead goose bears the brunt of the forces in the air. Each goose along the V does less work than the goose in front. Eventually, the lead goose gets tired and trades his position with the next goose. This allows each goose time to rest and alternately to experience the exhilaration of being out in front.

No need for control—humility in exchange for pride!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Living in the Third Millennium

With direct deposit, debit cards, credit cards, and electronic bill payment I’m near the place where I never see money, much less handle it. Checks—well, I’m writing less and less.

I wonder if what we're experiencing parallels the adjustment our relatives made when the automobile first appeared; eventually replacing the horse and buggy.

Over the next couple of decades we may forget the feel and look of the well worn green bills we've become use to filling our wallets and purses with.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Religion or Christianity: My Hertitage Leaves Everyone An Example

Off and on, over and over, again and again—I’ve contemplated leaving my heritage. I’ve gone from Pharisee to recovering Pharisee to grace, from traditional to non-traditional; through the years I’ve studied myself out of the Campbellite propositions and doctrines. The congregation I assemble with is a Church of Christ but not of the traditional mainline Church of Christ so many have felt the sting of (they've had the distinction of being listed as a cult). In Huntington, West Virginia there is 7-8 Churches of Christ. Essentially all have dis-fellowshipped us. Cool! Praise God!

Through the years the mainline Church of Christ has left an odious aroma that’s anything but a sweet fragrance. This morning one of my partners-in-Christ gave me a letter written in rejection of his application as a substitute teacher in a Christian school. Why? Because of the trail the Churches of Christ have left in their wake. Exclusivity, a we're right—you’re wrong theology, and condemnation; either join us or you’ll become kindling for the fires of Hell. What a terrible legacy we’ve left. It will take generations to overcome our exclusivity, pride, arrogance and (a ton of) ignorance. Is it any wonder so many want to drop the name Church of Christ?

But there is an emerging. Many Churches of Christ joyfully reject legalism and embrace grace accepting all those attempting to live like Christ.

Click to enlarge

Seriously, In All Honesty, Which illustrates your Community?

1. This is where 85% of Christendom is today. And many would lobby to keep it there. Come on, you have to agree.
Want to restore New Testament Christianity? Keep reading...

2. A picture of the second incanation. The restoration of "people of the way."

from thought from the cheaper seats by Adam

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Habits of Our Hearts

Week after week we file into a church building where we nestle into our pews and dutifully go about the routines of the faithful. We sing praises to our God, follow the worship leader in responsive readings and then settle back for the Sunday sermon.

If we’re honest, we know we can almost do these things in our sleep. Some of us even do.

We sing creative lyrics of a new era, but so often they seem to lose momentum with the repetitiveness of each passing week. We hear robust proclamations of a reformer’s faith, but they seem so hollow, like faraway footsteps echoing off a cathedral floor. We hear the very words of God, but so often those words simply saunter around in our minds, kicking up nothing but a little intellectual dust.

Occasionally an impassioned imperative finds its way into our heart, but the soil is either so filled with competing loves or so overgrown with worry that seldom is there room for anything eternal to take root in our lives.

We read our Bibles, take notes, fill in the blanks, all the while wondering. Why such glacier growth? Why so little fruit? And why do the same old weeds keep cropping up, year after year?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Loneliness or Friendship?

"I’ve just made love to 25,000 people and I’m going home alone." Janis Joplin

from the article Non-optional Friendship by Mike Yaconelli

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


10MoreDays until…

NexChurch Leadership Conference
Kentucky Christian University
Grayson, Kentucky

Pre-Registration has come and gone. But NexChurch Conference is still a bargain @ $35
Register now […link]

Leonard Sweet … September 16, Friday morning (10 a.m. chapel): "Out of the Question, Into the Mystery" (Getting Lost in the Godlife Relationship)

Leonard Sweet … September 16, Friday night (7:00PM)… "Summoned to Lead" …

Leonard Sweet … September 17, Saturday morning (9:00AM) …
“Postmodern Culture"
Leonard Sweet … September 17, Saturday morning (10:30AM) …
“How Your Church Can Seize Tomorrow!" Leonard Sweet

Saturday afternoon, September 17 —

Preaching to Postmoderns: Guthrie Veech, Professor of Preaching and Ministry (KCU)

Worship and the Arts: Norm Brunelle, Professor of Worship (KCU)

Speaking the Culture’s Languages: Rick Chromey, Professor of Youth & Family Ministry (KCU)

Planting Emergent Churches: Brad Henson, Lead Pastor of Four Rivers Church (Paducah, KY)

Spiritual Disciplines: David Roadcup, Director of The Center for Church Advancement, Cincinnati Christian University (Cincinnati, OH)

Creating Safe Places for Unchurched Friends: Fred Peatross (Huntington, WV)

Monday, September 05, 2005

Biblical Miracles

Is it possible that an earthquake caused the walls of Jericho to crumble? Can we probe the mystery and ask if it’s possible that a local miracle at times can be explained in local terms? No doubt the Sun and Moon standing still for a day defies explanation and was surely a global event. But could natural causes explain the strange twenty-four hours in Joshua 10?

Let me premise the following by first looking for agreement in one area:

The possibility that a miracle explained in terms of the laws of nature, as we understand them, is no less inferior to a miracle which seems to defy nature. Can we agree on this one sentence? (It may be all we’re going to agree on…but that’s ok—read on)

Being able to explain a miracle in no way devalues it or changes its status. The Bible seems to recognize two types of miracles.

1. Those where the laws of nature operate in combinations which work for man

2. Those which defy any explanation
Examples of the former can be seen in the plagues of Egypt, some of which could imitated by Pharaoh’s magicians.

Aaron’s rod becoming a serpent (Exodus 7:8-13)

The plague of blood (Exodus 7:14-24)

The plague of frogs (Exodus 8:1-7)

The crossing of the Jordan into Canaan (Joshua 3:14-17) could have been affected by a landslide which pounded the waters back.

All of the above fall into the “combinations category”

Examples of the latter include the feeding of the 5000 with two fish and five loaves.

Jesus walking on water

The fiery furnace

The point of a miracle is not how it was done but the effect it had. To deny the reality of any miracle which seems to defy all known laws is sheer arrogance. To deny the miraculous in any event which can be explained is equally arrogant for it still needs to be explained how these natural events could so coincided with the spiritual needs of the moment. God may have used an earthquake to destroy Jericho’s walls or a landslide to aid the entry into the promise land but neither was delivered until Israel shouted and the priest carrying the ark dipped their feet in the water.

I had to turn off my comments. I'm getting spammed.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

New Toy

I’ve downloaded Google Earth and I’m having a blast. Won’t get much done today, but who cares today is my birthday.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

On the Lookout For A Friend

I’m a writer and for the most part writing is a solitary endeavor. I’ve told others that you could lock me in a room with my library and computer; slide a dish under the door twice a day and I'll be just fine. It’s no secret; those who know me recognize my constant battle with my independent nature.

Being a Christ-follower I've learned the importance of relationships, so I dogedly seek out that one meaningful, transparent friendship where trust and accountability can reign.

Through the years I have recognized five things a friend can do for you.

1. Bring Good Cheer
We need to be told that the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t a train.

2. A Listening Ear
My acquaintances and co-workers aren’t what I call good listeners. They just reload, waiting to tell me their next thought. I need that one important friend who shares with me and substitutes listening for solutions.

3. On Occassion Shares a Sensitive Tear
One day little Johnny was very late from school. When he came in his mother asked, “Where have you been?”

He said, “I had to help a friend.”

“Well, what happened?” asked his mother.

“My friend fell down and started to cry.”

“And what did you do?”

“I sat down and cried with him.”

4. A Kick in the Rear
At different times in my life I needed someone to kick me in the rear. Enough said.

5. Someone to Tell Me the Truth without Fear
I need someone to see through me while seeing me through.

I suspect you need a friend. Be on the lookout.