Hitting 'da slopes in 'da Burgh?

Posted by tom | Feb 27, 2010

Wow! HT to my friend who posted the link on their blog, inspiring me to pack-up and head back to the Urban slopes, i.e., in my imagination. I'm probably too old to give this a try, but the footage helps me envision how the snowstorm blessed places which I used to trek around near our house and the campus. 

Emerging Scholars at Jubilee 2010

Posted by tom | Feb 26, 2010

In Emerging Scholars at Jubilee 2010 my colleague Mike shares about the connections he made in 'da Burgh last weekend. Pray as he explores next steps in partnership with a number of ministries. I'm expecting that we'll both be back in 'da Burgh for Jubilee 2011. In addition to a reception/meal and various conversations (even interviews), hoping we have a booth to meet/chat with lots of students about the vision of the Emerging Scholars Network.

Time to turn my focus to today's ESN blog post.  Which reminds me, make sure you swing by the read Addressing Our Errors where I share notes from a presentation by a professor/practitioner of family medicine and an encouragment to meditate upon living out the Greatest Commandment as we journey through Lent (and beyond!).

Franciscan Benediction by Joshua Spiers

Posted by tom | Feb 25, 2010
May God bless you as you reflect upon the words, pictures, and music.

Came across the video through Christine Sine's post Franciscan Benediction by Joshua Spiers. Thank-you!

Embracing and celebrating the gift of Eden

Posted by tom | Feb 22, 2010

Below are some reflections, taken from my Spiritual Autobiography

But first swing by this album for some photos of Eden's growth/development and click here for some birthday party pictures.  To God be the glory!

Eden's birthday cupcakes. She requested carrot cake cupcakes. Dad's favorite ;-)

On February 22, 2006, our family rejoiced in baby Eden’s first birthday as a child who continues to improve in health. As a sleepy newborn in her first several weeks of life we did not observe the way she twisted her neck and the misalignment of her eye. Maybe the bleed in her brain occurred shortly after the birth and was not immediately apparent. But after about a month, we had significant concern and before we knew it, Children’s Hospital had become a regular destination. On Good Friday, our doctors advised us to begin chemotherapy just after Easter to halt the growth of what at the time was considered most probably a brainstem tumor.


Eden turns 5

Posted by tom | Feb 22, 2010

What a joy to celebrate Eden's 5th birthday and her continued growth, development, healing.  Do you remember when she was a baby? Check out her baby pictures. Note: Some of her story is posted beginning here -- follow the Eden thread backward.  To God be the glory!

Cell phone back on-line

Posted by tom | Feb 20, 2010

After Eden's fabulous birthday party,* I headed over to Verizon to upload Theresa's contacts to her new phone** and revert to my old cell phone.  As some of you know, my new cell phone took a bath the other evening.  Since that time it has received prayer and sat in a bag of rice.  This morning it had no life and I consigned myself to it's death. 

But at the Verizon booth, the manager gave it one final look and it came to life. Hallelujah! Prayers and human efforts received recognition. The little things in life, ministry, and communication are a great encouragement.  So I'm ready for you to give me a call while according to NBC I watch Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso in the super-G. Plus, U.S. speedsters (live ET/CT) on tracks both short (Apolo Ohno, 1000m) and long (Shani Davis, 1500m) or The Office: Season 3 (if Theresa prefers). 

PS.  Did you pick up free Aunt Annie Pretzels today? I made two runs with the twins, enabling us to pass along treats to the whole family :-)

*Praise God for Eden's moving around so well and making so much progress as she turns five on February 22!  It was great to watch her in the pool at today's birthday party. 

**Because I didn't have her old phone with me when I came across the time to walk through a good deal on phone upgrade.

Press for ESN activities on 2/28

Posted by tom | Feb 17, 2010

Emerging Scholars And Elizabethtown BIC Team Up To Offer Seminar ran in the Elizabethtown-Mount Joy Merchandiser.  The article promoted the upcoming day with Donald B. Kraybill, Distinguished College Professor & Senior Fellow in the Young Center for Anabaptist & Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College.  What a joy to be engaged in this creative ministry pilot between Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Emerging Scholars Network! Note: For event page w/RSVP for lunch, click here.

Christian Privilege in the Academy?

Posted by tom | Feb 15, 2010

What do you think about "Christian Privilege in the Academy," http://blog.emergingscholars.org/2010/02/christian-privilege-in-the-academy/?  I'll be thinking about it as I run some errands this morning. Hope to get back to it later in the day.

The 7 foods experts won't eat

Posted by tom | Feb 15, 2010

Do you eat some/all of The 7 foods experts won't eat (Liz Vaccariello, Prevention, 11/24/2009)? Is it because the concerns expressed in the article are

  1. news to you, at least some of the concerns and now you'll reconsider.
  2. unfounded, i.e., scare stories.
  3. probably valid but not enough to break an old habit, maybe one that is only occassionally practiced.
  4. valid, but appear to be a financial necessity which can't be avoided.
  5. a mix of the above.
  6. other ...
I confess that we consume some of the The 7 foods experts won't eat, falling under 3 and 4.  Peeling the apples ...


Meddling with teenage relationships

Posted by tom | Feb 14, 2010

What do you think about the findings shared in Why Puppy Love Matters for Parents? Any advice for us as our twins approach their teenage years?  Thoughts on courting, particularly as it crosses over in higher education in settings far away from parents (potentially both sets of parents)?  Happy Valentines Day ;-) HT: National Center for Fathering.

Lenten Preparations 2010

Posted by tom | Feb 12, 2010

Take a moment to reflect upon Lent is not a Ritual (Christine Sine, Godspace, 2/9/2010).  If you have a post to share with regard to the Lenten journey, which begins next week with Ash Wednesday (Ted Olsen, Christian History, 8/08/2008), join the contributors to Walking with Jesus to the Cross: How Do We Follow (Christine Sine, Godspace, 1/12/2010).  

PS. Lenten Preparations (Tom, Groshlink, Feb 23, 2009). 

IVCF/Groshes: February Update

Posted by tom | Feb 10, 2010

Note:  Email sent to ministry partners.  If you desire to be part of the email list, please let us know. 

"I think one of the greatest needs today is to help people understand how the situation between reason or understanding and revelation has changed in our time, and specifically to understand that what is in trouble on our campuses today is reason itself. Reason is in big trouble!  The task of the university in the next century is to redeem reason and bring it fully into the camp of God. ... My claim will be that only the body of Christian knowledge and intellectual method can redeem reason." -- Dallas Willard, "The Redemption of Reason" (keynote address at the academic symposium "The Christian University in the Next Millennium," Biola University, La Mirada, California, February 28, 1998, http://www.dwillard.org/articles/artview.asp?artID=118).

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

A few items to pass along:

  1. February Prayer Calendar
  2. 2010 Ministry Summary half sheet -- attached. Note:  The original half sheet was created to share with members of Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ, our local congregation.  It has received a slight edit for wider distribution.  If you are a member of a fellowship which supports us (e.g., fellowship group, local congregation, missions committee, small group) and have an opportunity to distribute, please print and do such. 
  3. Sunday, February 28 -- Partnership with Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ in hosting Donald Kraybill, Distinguished College Professor & Senior Fellow in the Young Center for Anabaptist & Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College.  If you're in the area, please join us for all or part of the day (Note: he'll preach on "Jesus' Upside Down Kingdom," teach adult Sunday school on "The Riddle of the Amish," and share "The Sociology of Faith: An Autobiographical Study" over lunch.  Info/RSVP available at http://www.etownbic.org/kraybill/.
  4. Ministry and family updates continue to be posted at http://www.groshlink.net/, also regular posts on higher education at http://blog.emergingscholars.org/.
  5. Weather update:  Preparations for the Mid-Atlantic Graduate Student Winter Retreat took much of Tom's time over the course of the past week.  Due to the snow storm it was canceled.  Pray for discernment regarding next steps for area training.  Tom's currently snowed in, but working on posts such as http://blog.emergingscholars.org/2010/02/lost-in-a-blizzard-of-hidden-persuaders/.  All four kids are running around the house and will soon venture into the snow drifts when Tom turns attention to digging out.

Following and Walking in the Light of Christ,

Tom & Theresa Grosh

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
Graduate & Faculty Ministry

Our Mission: "To establish and advance at colleges and universities witnessing communities that follow Jesus"

Our Vision: "To see students and faculty transformed. Campuses renewed. World changers developed."

Basement Library

Posted by tom | Feb 10, 2010

An inspiration. ... come visit my library/booktable to be blessed by the opportunity to chat about a book, to check something out of library, or pick something out of the booktable.  Maybe some day I can visit Al Mohler's study. HT: Miller.

Study: Youth now have more mental health issues

Posted by tom | Feb 10, 2010

What do you think about Study: Youth now have more mental health issues (By Martha Irvine, AP National Writer, January 11, 2010)?  A helpful piece for educators, parents, youth ministers.  HT:  Miller.

The higher rates of depression in youth raised to believe than one can be successful in whatever one desires by just doing it rings true to me. There has been a lack of acknowledgement that

  1. one can't do anything/everything that one puts one's heart to
  2. one may need to try, try, and try again -- first time/one time isn't always enough
  3. each one of us has unique gifts/vocation
Let alone the follower of Christ's acknowledgement that human beings are created in the image of God to be a blessing to the broken creation and all in it to the glory of God, NOT be whatever we desire toward our own advancement.

More on Harvard Hoops Star

Posted by tom | Feb 9, 2010

You may remember the earlier post on Harvard Hoops Star Following Christ, more coverage at Harvard School Of Basketball

What's most surprising? The possibility that he might become the first Asian-American draft pick in NBA history? The bigoted jeers he regularly hears at games (everything from "wonton soup" to "Open your eyes!")? The number of microphones and cameras of Chinese and Taiwanese outlets—five covered Harvard-Dartmouth on Jan. 9—that broadcast Crimson highlight packages, including interviews with his coach, Tommy Amaker?

Or is it the hysterically proud new fans, the ones filling gyms from Cambridge, Mass., to Santa Clara, Calif., toting signs and wearing customized T-shirts (WE LOVE YOU JEREMY!) more befitting a Jonas brother than a Taiwanese-American Ivy League point guard?

"The most surprising part," Jeremy Lin concludes, shaking his head and exhaling, "is pretty much everything. ..." -- Pablo S. Torre, February 1, 2010

Pray for Jeremy and his continued growth in Christ-likeness in the face of all the challenges he faces. 

Favorite Super Bowl Commerical?

Posted by tom | Feb 8, 2010
Confession: Stopped watching the Super Bowl due to
  1. already having seen the well crafted Focus on the Family Commercial ... for more of the story visit http://www.focusonthefamily.com/... May Timmy continue to walk in Christ and be a good role model, using his sports platform to preach.  What a joy to hear in the interview the affirmation
    1. no perfect parents
    2. the value of short term missions for the education of the youth who are being sent
    3. babies are not a mistake
    4. pregnancy crisis centers are available to serve those in need
    5. the Gospel brings life
  2. lack of interest in the halftime show by Who? performing what? from when? why? you know where ;-)
  3. indifference to the teams playing, what happened to 'da Stillers?
  4. the need to return Office: Season 2 to the library on Monday. 
Caught up on many, but not all of the, commercials at http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/07/super-bowl-ad-watch-a-look-at-the-other-side-of-tonights-game/ ... but back to the question, what was/is your favorite Super Bowl Commercial?  And you don't have to pick the one below ;-)  Maybe it's google or coca-cola.  Personally, I'd prefer the opportunity to get pants than walk around in underwear, but I wasn't so big on the Dockers commercial.

PS.  Kept following the game via ESPN and Facebook posts.  Caught the last few minutes of the game when we finished Office: Season 2.  Office: Season 3 on reserve.  Conversation about Office is for another day or two ;-)  Should have some thoughts from Theresa on the Office.

Did you watch the Super Bowl?

Posted by tom | Feb 8, 2010
This morning, my friend/colleague Mike delivered a knock-out for the Emerging Scholars Network:

I'd love your responses, i.e., after you've read the post. ... You don't have to follow all the links but Scot McKnight's response/conversation regarding the Christianity Today article is quite good.
Christians, Sports and Compromise: A Brief Response

Sports Fanatics:  How Christians have succumbed to the sports culture—and what might be done about it.

Video Contest on "Why do you believe God is good?"

Posted by tom | Feb 8, 2010

LifeWay is running a contest on "Why do you believe God is good?"  The video with the most votes by April 5 wins $5000.  If you're interested, more below.  The website is here. HT: Miller.


Flock Is Now a Fight Team/the HOPEFUL skeptic

Posted by tom | Feb 7, 2010

Coming out of the Next Generation:  understanding its faith practices and impact upon faith communities, I've enaged in several conversations regarding what it means to be in Christ and the Body of Christ which reflects the reality of God and relies upon the Word and Spirit to be the people of God versus drawing in the younger generation through the things of this world.  What could be more unChristian than not being, i.e, incarnating, Christ in order to get people in the door?  

On Saturday morning, I heard on Public Broadcasting a bust on Evangelical Marital Arts Ministries.  Sigh. It was followed by not to bad recognition of who Jesus truly is, or at the least they composed the words well.  As I returned to my email I found a forward of Flock Is Now a Fight Team in Some Ministries (R. M. Schneiderman, NY Times, February 1, 2010) from a brother in Christ.  Father forgive your people.  Enable us to truly be Christ. 

Related, just picked up Nick Fiedler's the HOPEFUL skeptic: revisiting CHRISTIANITY from the OUTSIDE. Anyone else reading it? I'd be interested in being part of a discussion group. FYI: "A Note to the Reader" and Chapter 1 are posted here. Nick's blog is http://thehopefulskeptic.com/.

Download Growing Deeper in Our Church Communities

Posted by tom | Feb 6, 2010

Thank-you to the Facebook friend who introduced me to Chris Smith of The Englewood Review of Books via Facebook! This morning I downloaded Chris' excellent piece Growing Deeper in Our Church Communities, thanks to a link I saw while reading Fighting despair in 2010 (an superb challenge to cynicism). Let me encourage you to check out both of these links and pass them along to brothers and sisters in Christ ;-)


Retreat Cancelled/Rescheduling for 3/12-14?

Posted by tom | Feb 5, 2010

Due to the snow storm coming through the Mid-Atlantic, we've cancelled this weekend's Mid-Atlantic Graduate Student Winter Retreat.  Pray for discernment for the staff team as we prayerfully consider rescheduling the retreat for March 12-14.  Check back for updates.

Brit Hume Interview by Focus on the Family

Posted by tom | Feb 5, 2010

Have you beein following Brit Hume's comments regarding Tiger [Woods] needing Christ? HT to Miller for this Focus on the Family interview with Hume where he shares his own testimony and his journey with God after his son killed himself.

Eden's Early Intervention Progress Report

Posted by tom | Feb 4, 2010

Yesterday, Theresa discussed Eden's Early Intervention Progress Report with those giving specific attention to Eden's development.  In brief, Eden has made much progress over the past year.  Praise God!  Pray for Eden's continued growth in physical, social, communication skills as she prepares to enter kindergarten next fall. 

P.S. Eden turns five on February 22.  How about that?  Not what we were told to expect early on in the journey.  To God be the glory! What a privilege to be entrusted with raising this precious gift of God. 

How about "Setting a Reading Goal"?

Posted by tom | Feb 3, 2010

Setting a Reading Goal: 100 Books in 2010. What do you think about reading everywhere, faster, smarter AND setting a reasonable goal (maybe you're not up for 100 in 2010). Maybe you already do that.  If not, Lent's around the corner.  Maybe it's time to give up TV (or vast stretches of browsing the internet) and turn to being stretched by reading ;-) HT: Arlene.

FYI: Best Books for Graduate Students? (ESN) ... Best books for undergrads (ESN) ... Hearts and Minds Booknotes (scroll down for best book of the decade and best books of 2009).

1/31/2010 God at Work Testimony

Posted by tom | Feb 1, 2010

Below is the God at Work testimony which I shared during Sunday Morning Worship on January 31, 2010, Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ.  If you desire to join our prayer team team, volunteer, or support us financially, please drop us an email.  Note:  On-line giving available here

At the turn of the new year, 15,000 plus college students from across North America sang praise to God at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Urbana Student Missions Convention. In addition to time focused upon the study of John 1-4 and various seminars, students had opportunity to connect with numerous mission agencies. At the Emerging Scholars Network table, we registered over 150 students from a wide range of fields and a number of countries.

Why the popularity of Emerging Scholars at a missions convention? Because many students realize that their campus is their current mission field and many of them are continuing to receive masters degrees and PhDs in this unique mission field. Some are seeking to enter closed countries through business entrepreneurships, engineering projects, staffing hospitals, teaching roles, etc. Others are remaining in the U.S. with a vision to redeem their vocation and participate in regular short term mission projects, such as the 1 PSU-Hershey Medical Center physician who is part of a team in Haiti now, the president of the PSU-Hershey Christian Medical Society who is serving in Chile as part of his fourth year, and the 20 members of the PSU-Hershey Christian Medical Society who will minister in the Dominican Republic over Spring Break.

Graduate & Faculty Ministry Table, which includes the Emerging Scholars Network Tom chats with a Grove City College student (his alma mater) at the ESN table. Tom connects with a Canadian scholar regarding ESN.

What did conversations at the Emerging Scholars Network table look like? Typically one saw a face of astonishment from a student as they passed the books on our table. If they were with friends, they pointed out and chatted about the books they’d read or were on their to read pile [Note: Check out Best Books for Undergrads: Your Picks!]. If a student or a group of students took a moment to stop, I’d introduce myself,