Monthly Archives: November 2009

advent starts tomorrow

The Coming of the Lord is near


a quote by one of my favorite authors — Buechner

“When you remember me, it means that you have carried something of who I am with you, that I have left some mark of who I am on who you are. It means that you can summon me back to your mind even though countless years and miles may stand between us. It means that if we meet again, you will know me. It means that even after I die, you can still see my face and hear my voice and speak to me in your heart.

For as long as you remember me, I am never entirely lost. When I’m feeling most ghost-like, it is your remembering me that helps remind me that I actually exist. When I’m feeling sad, it’s my consolation. When I’m feeling happy, it’s part of why I feel that way.

If you forget me, one of the ways I remember who I am will be gone. If you forget, part of who I am will be gone. “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” the good thief said from his cross (Luke 23:42). There are perhaps no more human words in all of Scripture, no prayer we can pray so well. ” — Frederick Buechner

why God chose us

I read this here this morning and it struck me afresh of why God has chosen us (hint: it aint because we are so ‘worthy’)

Deuteronomy 7:6 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you…

7:7-8 The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you…

Thanksgiving prayer

Charles Simeon’s Thanksgiving Prayer

Blessed Lord, the only living and true God,
the Creator and Preserver of all things,
We live by you;
and our whole dependence is upon you,
for all the good that we either have or hope for.
We now desire to bless your name for those mercies,
which in so large a measure
you have generously given us.

Worthy are you, O Lord our God,
to receive all honor and glory,
all thanks and praise,
and love and obedience,
as in the courts of heaven,
so in all the assemblies of your servants upon earth;
for you are great, and you do wondrous things;
you are God alone.

You have looked favorably on your land,
and you have dealt graciously with us.
Instead of giving us over to all the calamities that we feared,
you have multiplied your mercies towards us,
for which we are now called to solemnize a day of thanksgiving.

How sweet and wonderful is it
to recount all the instances of your patience with us, and your blessings to us!

O what shall we render to the Lord for all his benefits!
O let not our hearts be stingy towards you,
whose hand has been so open and generous unto us.
But do enlarge these hearts of ours,
and fill them with more love and thankfulness to the gracious Giver of all our good things.

– Charles Simeon, 1850, adapted

HT: Trevin Wax

message length ??

A very good comment below on the length of our messages. (something that I am desperately working on).
I could not agree more with Rob on this one…

BWC: You’ve already explored the “high content, low word count” concept with your book Drops Like Stars, and it’s clearly a big concern to you at the moment. What inspired this “endless evolution” you’re referring to?

Rob Bell: The first century rabbis were not praised for going on and on and on and on. Great rhetoric has never been about how many words one can fill the air with, it’s always been about how clean and uncluttered and lean an idea can be articulated. It’s always been the short, crisp parable that has infinite layers of meaning that knocks around your head for days. The idea that you have to go on and on to prove that you’re smart, it’s relatively new. Mark Twain said, “If I had more time, I would write a shorter letter.”
I was working on a new book this morning, and about whole sections I said, “There’s so much there that can go.”

BWC: Do you think the church as a whole is embracing a more streamlined approach to message delivery?
Bell: I don’t know if the future is in 17-minute worship services, but I think there is so much more clutter in the world: more advertising, just more. One of the ways you honor people’s time is that you get to what you’re saying quickly, and well. Maybe “quickly” isn’t even the word. Maybe just “well”—well intentioned, thoughtfully. Distilling an idea down to what it is, making its access easier.

And there’s this group of churches—thousands and thousands of churches—who are encouraging their members not to be consumed by our wealth and abundance but using it to help others in smart and innovative ways.

HT: JesusCreed

this is a test

trying to blog from my phone and see how easy it is…

looking down Hollywood blvd

from JR’s apartment building: