Christian Legal Society v. Martinez

Posted by tom | Jun 29, 2010

Please join me in prayer as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship seeks discernment on the national and local scene regarding how the Supreme Court decision Christian Legal Society v. Martinez applies to our ministry.  InterVarsity has an article posted at

Below are my initial thoughts on the case followed by some articles of interest.*  Feel free to share your thoughts/responses and article recommendations ...

We believe that the Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Association principles of the First Amendment provide that InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Christian Legal Society, and other campus ministries should not be forced to compromise our basic Christian beliefs in order to have the same campus presence as other organizations.  InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court decision fails to recognize this basic principle. However, over the next few days InterVarsity Christian Fellowship will be receiving further legal opinions on the ruling and its implications. The fact that the decision was remanded back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also means that its impact is still not fully known.

When I served at Carnegie Mellon U, although the InterVarsity Undergrad Chapter was recognized by the campus, the Chapter did not receive money from the school because of the religious nature of the organization.  This stemmed from a policy that no religious groups receive funding.  Although the Chapter secured office space in the new student center in 1996 (Note:  they had office space in the previous student center), they were charged a monthly fee for the use of office space.  (More)

Update from the visit to the eye doctor

Posted by tom | Jun 23, 2010

Yesterday on Facebook Theresa shared her hope for "good news and a cooperative kid" as she entered Eden's eye doctor appointment.  Many of our friends/family stood with us in prayer.  Theresa's report from the appointment:

Thanks for your prayers. I was pleasantly surprised at how cooperative Eden was, despite a long visit. And the good news is that her eyesight continues to improve! Hurray!

Praise God!

Time for Victory Gardens

Posted by tom | Jun 22, 2010

Passed by a sign for a Victory Garden, thought maybe it referred to sports.  But maybe it was the site of a previous Victory Garden or of a future Victory Garden. I couldn't quite tell. 

What pictures/memories does Victory Garden evoke for you?  I immediately think of the PBS TV series, which I watched a lot as a child (and is still running).  Others probably remember wartime or stories of WWI and WWII gardens for the common cause (not just in the United States, but many other countries). With the economic downturn and the concern for organic food, what a practical time to rejuvenate "Victory Gardens" (including community, industrial, school, special education) and use them as part of educational effort to bring us "close to earth" as we raise/share/cook the "fruit" of our labor?*  FYI:  Last year Michelle Obama tore up some of the White House lawn for a garden, the first time since Eleanor Roosevelt.  Ready to join the effort?  Time to stop the mowing, unless it's being done by alpacas, cows, goats, sheep, etc :-)

*Classic resource: Victory Gardens: Handbook of the Victory Garden Committee War Services, Pennsylvania State Council of Defense (April, 1944). Smithsonian's Victory Garden & Resources.  Recent research on Urban Agriculture, here.

Recipe: Amish Friendship Bread's Dirty Little Secret

Posted by theresa | Jun 21, 2010

And no, I'm not talking about how it is likely to END friendships... I did some experimenting and the results were quite favorable. I got to "Day 10" aka The Baking Day. Knowing I did not plan to "bless" my friends with bags of starter I couldn't bring myself to add all the ingredients to the bag, then divide and then make my batch of bread with what was left. So I added nothing to my bag but poured a bit (I didn't measure; maybe 1/2 cup??) in a bowl, added the wet ingredients to it and then added that mixture to the dry ingredients and baked. Voila! Tastes great! It worked so well that I made a second batch of bread later in the day (cinnamon the first time,cranberry orange the second time). If I was really ambitious (which I'm not) I could make at least one more batch, maybe 2. But I'll just the bless the weeds behind my house with the rest of my starter. AFB doesn't top my list of favorite things to bake. Nutritionally it really has nothing going for it. I prefer baking things in which I sneak healthy stuff that my kids won't recognize. But I hope somebody out there has some starter they'll share because, you know, "The Amish are the ONLY ones who know how to make the starter!" Oh give me a break! -- note: originally posted on Facebook.

Reading the right books

Posted by tom | Jun 21, 2010

"Something was crawling.  Worse still, something was coming out.  Edmund or Lucy or you would have recognized it at once, but Eustace had read none of the right books.  The thing that came out of the cave was something he had never even imaginged -- a long lead-colored snout, dull read eyes, no feathers or fur, a long lithe body that trailed on the ground, legs whose elbows went up higher than its back like a spider's, cruel claws, bat's wings that made a rasping noise on the stone, yards of tail.  And the lines of smoke were coming from its two nostrils.  He never said the word Dragon to himself.  Nor would it have made things any better if he had. ... In the first place Eustace (never having read the right books) had no idea how to tell a story straight." -- C.S. Lewis. "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader." HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.  1952.  From Chapter 6, 7.  

These two sections led to a brief, helpful conversation between myself and the twins regarding "reading the right books."  Now it turns out that the culture which Lewis is critiquing in Eustace, before "he began to be a different boy" (Chapter 7), failed.  For today children (even college students/young adults) enjoy much fantasy, but fail to engage with "exports and imports and governments and drains."  I guess this emphasizes the pendulum swings of culture.  But I would point out that fantasy comes largely through TV/film instead of reading/discussion.  Entering Narnia with the twins has reminded me that although "a picture speaks a 1000 words," the ones which we create in our mind by reading a series such as the Narnian Chronicles can be much better/benefical than the pictures which illustrate a book or fill major motion pictures.

Please Pass the Hummus

Posted by tom | Jun 20, 2010

Good to read Hummus Catches On in America, interesting to read the full title of the NY Times article Hummus Catches On in America (as Long as It’s Flavored). We've been enjoying hummus for quite awhile, but that's the influence of unique family taste buds, family in the Middle East, and international students. Has Hummus always been or recently become a staple for you?  If so, do you have a preference in brand or do you make your own? We have it every Sunday lunch and sometimes at other times during the week.

Trailer for "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader"

Posted by tom | Jun 19, 2010

The twins and I have been reading through "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader." So we all enjoyed watching the recently released trailer,  And we'll be ready to compare the book and film in December ;-)  Watch for our comments. ...

Toy Story 3: The Great Escape?

Posted by tom | Jun 18, 2010

A great walk through the storytelling ... maybe a little too much in the below YouTube piece (, particularly for those who want to experience the film on their own. If you see it tonight/this weekend, let me know your thoughts.  Maybe there's some material for a seminar on the transition from high school to college ;-)

For now, I'm going to have to satisfy myself w/the reviews by the NY Times,, and Christianity Today,

Of course, I have been enjoying various trailers/interviews spread across the internet and YouTube.


Resurrection Sunday Dance, Budapest, Hungary

Posted by tom | Jun 17, 2010

Thank-you to my friend Miller for sharing Resurrection Sunday Dance, Budapest, Hungary.  The twins loved watching over 1,300 young people, all of them members of Faith Church celebrate Resurrection Sunday (April 4, 2010) in Budapest, Hungary.  Brings back the powerful moments of 1989 doesn't it?  What a revolution.  What a powerful example of the Kingdom of God breaking into history.  To God be the glory!

The Faith Church Hungary has quite a story, quite a perspective

  • "Faith Church considers itself as representing a modern Reform movement in Hungary. It accepts the results and spiritual, moral values of both early Christianity and the Reformation, as well as other revival movements serving the progress of the Christian faith. Nowadays the process of renewal gains new momentum from all around the world, affecting both the traditional Christian communities and the Pentecostal-Charismatic churches formed during the 20th century." --!/faithchurchhungary?v=info
  • Official Faith Church Hungary Website,

Worst Paying College Degrees

Posted by tom | Jun 16, 2010

According to Worst-Paying College Degrees: We all know money doesn't buy happiness -- and that's good news for these new grads (Charles Purdy, Yahoo! HotJobs). ...

Theology (starting annual salary: $34,800; mid-career annual salary: $51,500)
This is the perfect example of a degree earned by someone who's "not in it for the money": people who choose to study theology often feel they're pursuing a higher calling (and often feel a strong desire to do good in the world, no matter the cost).
Quick comment:  Yes ;-)  Praise God for the gifts of the people of God (love, counsel, time, finances, basic household needs ...) and WIC!  Of course, I haven't made the full-time commitment to seminary, so my undergrad degree is in Biology* and my masters in Education (another low paying field, although 'higher education' is not the same as what's described in the article).
Education (starting annual salary: $36,200; mid-career annual salary: $54,100)
For the right people, teaching is an immensely rewarding career--and it's truly a noble one. The good news is, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment opportunities for primary, secondary, and special education teachers are expected to grow by 14 percent in the coming decade. And there will be plenty of new opportunities in continuing education for adults, as professional skill requirements change ever more rapidly. 
*Even though I took a lot of religion classes and could have graduated with a dual degree if I had stayed another year at Grove City College in order to subsitute classes for the six core curriculum classes, which you can't take twice ;-)  But I was ready to get into the "field" at Carnegie Mellon University.

Investing in the Lives of Scholars

Posted by tom | Jun 15, 2010

Thank-you to the many partners in ministry who invest their resources to enable me to give focused time and attention to the strategic, pioneering work of the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN).  You've all heard me share about ESN's growth in "identifying, encouraging, and equipping the next generation of Christian scholars who seek to be a redeeming influence within higher education" AND the amazing stories of of those whom I have had the opportunity to walk along with in the challenging academic journey. ... But to make sure I keep those who desire more specifics up-to-date, below's a teaser.  Note:  the full report (based upon our May 2010 member survey) will be available in mid-July.

ESN Members: 3,604 as of April 2010 (8.4% increase from June 2009).

ESN Blog for the last 30 days: 

  • 1,700 unique visits (42% increase from a year ago)
  • 2,795 page views (60% increase from a year ago)
  • Averaging 156 subscribers over past 30 days
  • A couple of quotes from our 2010 ESN member survey:
    • Graduate student: "[I have been] fed spiritually through the articles on the site."
    • InterVarsity staff: "An excellent resource to direct students and faculty to join!"
    • ESN Mentor: "I've been glad to be a mentor to younger, up-and-coming scholars."

What have I contributed to ESN since moving to South Central PA?

  • “In many ways, Tom Grosh’s ministry to students and faculty is a 'throwback' to the early days of InterVarsity, yet his vision always casts forward to the redeeming influence that Christians can have in the university. Through his visits to campuses throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland, his writings on discipleship of the mind, and his concern for the whole of the Christian life, Tom consistently brings a word from God to the students and faculty he encounters. His gifts of reflection and discernment, as well as his deep love for the people and ideas of the university, are a great benefit to the Emerging Scholars Network and InterVarsity.” -- Micheal Hickerson, Associate Director, ESN, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

PS.  If you haven't visited the ESN Blog recently, I'd encourage you to swing by to check out an interview of a follower of Christ engaged with higher education:

On "surrendering" things to God

Posted by tom | Jun 15, 2010

When God asks for something to be surrendered, it is important and necessary to surrender it.   In other words, God Himself is worth giving up everything else to gain.   Otto Konig's series of sermons entitled "The Pineapple Story" is a great reminder of this principle.  It is interesting that God often requires "extended surrender" or "repeated surrender".... not just a one-time event, but as in Abraham's case, a three-day demonstration, or in Job's case a several-week or several-month demonstration...  even many years, as in some of the prophets' lives.   This provides greater glory-to-God as it demonstrates to others in an extended way how valuable God is. -- on surrendering things to God (, 5/29/2010)


Note:  The post on surrendering things to God begins with a reference to Genesis 22:1-19 and ends with Philippians 3:7-11.

Prayer Request: Summer Break, Fund Development Update

Posted by tom | Jun 14, 2010

We covet your prayers for our

  1. family as we step into the daily life of summer break.  As you know, this demands setting a good pace for family time, reading, rest, and worship with a house filled with energy to bolt out (into the yard and to various special events/programs).  Pray for the six of us during summer session to be truly filled with the mysterious Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), i.e., the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, which we cannot generate in large quantities over extended, stretching times on our own.  Pray for us to follow Christ as a family each step of the way  ;-)
  2. year end fund development.  Update: we've received $3,000 plus some to address our $15,000 shortfall. So only about $12,000 by 6/30 to reach the $90,000 budget.  If you have the resources to give at this time, direct gifts to "InterVarsity Christian Fellowship" P.O. Box 7895, Madison, WI 53707-7895 AND enclose a separate piece of paper indcating that the gift is for the work of "Tom Grosh."  Note:  On-line giving available at God provides. To God be the glory!

PS.  Be sure to check out Giving Back :: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (Marci Weidler. Circle of Life Photography. 6/14/2010) for all the 'hot off the press,' amazing pictures of our family (including some with the chickens).  Thank-you Marci! To God be the glory for the gift of family and the ability to 'capture' the moment through Marci's craft and skill.  

PPS.  In case you haven't heard, Lily turned two on 6/13.  Wow!  You can see the enthusiastic expression on her face ;-)

Invictus (2009)

Posted by tom | Jun 13, 2010

How many of you remember Mandela taking office in 1994?  What a change ... what an inspiration ... what a story.  For those that remember or have learned about this landmark event in history, how many of you remember the 1995 Rugby World Cup?

He was a prisoner who became a president. To unite his country, he asked one man to do the impossible. 

Have you seen the film (  What do you think about Invictus the poem?  Thoughts in process, feel free to beat me to the punch ;-)

Individualism: An Orthodox Priest Speaks Out

Posted by tom | Jun 12, 2010

Thank-you to Kevin for the recommendation of Praying for the World (, 4/29/2010), "An Orthodox priest, Father Stephen Freeman, has some very convicting words here on the issue of individualism.  Humbling and refreshing." Below's a quote which connects with a thought which I've been articulating in a similar manner for some time.  Please visit the blog post for the larger context and Father Stephen Freeman's clarifying comments on boundaries. 

Our lives are a common life. Whether I want it to be so or not – my life is intimately connected with the life of every human being – both those now living as well has those who have gone before and those who are yet to come. This is an inherent part of the fullness of the Christian faith.

Refusals of this teaching mark the earliest sins of mankind. Adam refuses to accept union with his wife when he seeks to pass blame on her (and through her to God): “The woman You gave me – she gave me and I did eat…” In a similar fashion Cain, when confronted by God about the murder of his brother, defends himself by saying, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Higher Education's Big Lie

Posted by tom | Jun 11, 2010

Although Higher Education's Big Lie (Ann Larson, Inside Higher Ed, 6/3/2010) is too strong, it compliments several articles which I've recently posted (e.g., College For All? Experts Say Not Necessarily, Worst Paying College Degrees) AND is a helpful warning as to how we can fall for "the education gospel."  It's much more complicated than that.  No doubt that's part of the rise of Helicopter Parenting Out in the Open, But what is the Origin & Purpose?  Below's the opening 2 paragraphs, be sure to read the whole article,

The notion that education, particularly a college degree, is the key to career success is a particularly American idea. It is what the sociologists W. Norton Grubb and Marvin Lazerson have called "the education gospel," a national ethos of hard work in school paying off and of equal opportunity for all. Politicians of every stripe have addressed unemployment by advising the unemployed to take individual responsibility for their futures by learning new skills and by reinventing themselves for a global economy where opportunity will materialize for those with the right credentials.

And workers have responded to the call. As The New York Times reported recently, there are now more students enrolled in U.S. institutions of higher education than ever before. Today, women attend college in record numbers, and, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2003, the number of African American, Hispanic, and other minorities enrolled in college reached the highest levels in history. -- Higher Education's Big Lie (Ann Larson, Inside Higher Ed, 6/3/2010)

6/26-27 Pittsburgh Visit

Posted by tom | Jun 10, 2010

Note: A version of this letter was sent via email.  For more information request information by email, phone, or posting a comment. 

For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. -- II Corinthians 5:14-15, NIV

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Lord willing, I will visit Pittsburgh June 26-27.  The purpose of the visit will be to share how God has led/cared for our family during a long transition in ministry/family life and the importance of addressing our $15,000 fiscal year end shortfall (6/30 year) as we seek to

The current itinerary for my visit:

  • 6/26 evening:  informal gathering to share vision, updates, financial concerns. Time/location tba.
  • 6/27, 9:40 am - 1 pm  Allegheny Center CMA,  Meet/greet/chat.  Details to tba.

Please email me to let me know if you're available

1.  to connect by appointment on Saturday during the day or Sunday in the afternoon
2.  to participate in an informal update gathering on Saturday evening
3.  (for those who are members of Allegheny Center CMA) to chat on Sunday morning.

I'll post an update when more details are available. 

One more day by the grace of God alone,

Thomas B. Grosh IV
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
Graduate & Faculty Ministry (June prayer calendar)

For Tom & Theresa's work with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, direct gifts to "InterVarsity Christian Fellowship" P.O. Box 7895, Madison, WI 53707-7895.  Please enclose a separate piece of paper indicating that the gift is for the work of "Tom Grosh."  On-line giving available at

Martyrs Mirror Conference 2010

Posted by tom | Jun 9, 2010

The Martyrs Mirror Conference 2010 (Sponsored by the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College) began yesterday evening with a presentation on “Thieleman Jansz van Braght (1625-1664): A Preliminary Study of His Life and Thought.”

"The conference, which commemorates the 350th anniversary of the Dutch first edition of Martyrs Mirror, features presentations on spirituality, stories of women, tranmission and reception of the book, and details of its publication, especially the Ephrata edition of 1748." --

After a breakfast appointment, I'm looking forward to heading back to campus to learning more about the history, transmission, and significance of "Martyrs Mirror." AND those who give their life to research, write, and present on the history of the people of God.

As always, I'll take some notes and write some reflections for those interested, but unable to come.

Recipe: Pickled Red Beet Eggs

Posted by tom | Jun 8, 2010

My mom amended this recipe to just use red beets. Theresa gave it a shot with our first 2010 red beet harvest.  Her review, "Mmm. Pickled my red beets with raspberry vinegar--tasty. But I think I prefer them unadulterated. I couldn't stop eating them as I was peeling and slicing."  She drained the vinegar for re-use and froze the Red Beets. I like the red beets too ... one of my favorite side dishes :-)


Pickled Red Beet Eggs

Cook 12-15 medium sized beets.  As soon as cooked remove from water and place in cold running water and remove the skin as soon as possible.  Slice in 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices set aside. 

Make syrup of 2 cups granulated sugar, 1 cup water and 2 bottles of Raspberry flavored vinegar.  Recommendation: MAITRE JACQUES Raspberry French Wine Vinegar, available at Giant.   Use less vinegar when making only beets -- 1 cup or adjust for taste.   Mix together and place over heat to dissolve the sugar. Set aside if making eggs with recipe.

Boil about 2 dozen eggs to hard boil, cool, shell, and place in large glass jar.  

Eggs in jar first, then the sliced beets, and finally fill with vinegar mixture.  Refrigerate for about 2 or 3 days before serving.

If not making eggs use about 1/2 the syrup recipe or just enough to cover the beets. Serve next day or sooner if no eggs are used.

Long Distance Spirituality

Posted by tom | Jun 7, 2010

In Long Distance Spirituality (, Timothy Keller, Redeemer Report, 5/2010, HT: Kevin), Timothy Keller shares his appreciation for the practice of a monthly reading of the Psalms (which confesses he doesn't always finish) and highlights Psalm 71Psalm 71 has led Keller to embrace the truth, "When it comes to the spiritual disciplines, don’t be a sprinter. Be a long-distance runner." Take some time today to join me in reflecting upon Psalm 71 through the lens of Long Distance Spirituality.

How and Why Pornography Hurts a Marriage

Posted by tom | Jun 6, 2010

Thank-you to Kevin for forwarding How and Why Pornography Hurts a Marriage: Occasional and addictive use is damaging to real relationships (Harvest USA, Nicholas Black).  The article begins by discussing the decline in Christian marriages and the role which pornography (especially internet pornography) has played, particularly among men.  Black highlights three central ways in which Pornography damages marriage:

  • Makes Sex Selfish and Self-centered.
  • Isolates You From Your Wife and Family
  • Can Make Sex a Compulsion
Conclusion:  "This article started by saying this: One way to start on the road to change and transformation is…to examine the damage to oneself and others when one is caught in addictive struggles. Honestly facing the damage it can cause can provide some motivation to change. But there needs to be more. You need to believe that God has so much more for your life and for your marriage. Real relationships are worth the investment of your time and your heart. They always are, even in the midst of their brokenness.   When God entered our world in flesh-and-blood he placed the highest value on our bodies and on our relationships. His forgiving work toward us on the cross is what he came to do—to heal the brokenness in our lives and in our relationships and to give us a taste of what real life is all about.
There is a wonderful journey of freedom ahead.  But as pornography was an isolated activity, the hope for change cannot be done all by yourself.  It must begin by asking God for forgiveness and to seek his help to change. And God is gracious to forgive and help, but the help that God will give you will come only through your willingness to seek help from others.  That is generally how God works, through his people, the church.  Begin that journey by talking openly and honestly with a friend, or a pastor or church leader.  Taking that first step will give you the experience of forgiveness that you need and the hope for something better that you long for."
Father, Grant me your protection, purity, and grace as I research higher education and interact with with many in the context of the internet and various forms of social media.   Stand with your people by your Word, Spirit, the accountability of the Body among both the single and the married, guiding our eyes, thoughts, and lives.  Grant me the words to challenge friends, colleagues, and members of the campus community to turn their first love to you.  In the name and power of your Son Jesus the Christ, Amen.
Related post: The Gospel and Sex.

Helicopter Parenting Out in the Open, But what is the Origin & Purpose?

Posted by tom | Jun 5, 2010

As Parenting Out of Control (Serena Golden, Inside Higher Ed, 6/3/2010) evidences, conversation about 'helicopter parenting' is now 'out in the open.'

A few days ago on Facebook, I pointed out that I don't agree with placing the burden of its rise on social class. Let's be sure to include a complex set of factors such as:

  1. the campus rejection of 'in loco parentis'
  2. lower faculty involvement/mentoring of students, which placed more of a burden on student life and parents
  3. responsibility being pushed by society to an older age
    • Thank-you to my friend who shared, "I think that some of it also has to do with the fear of failure from parents' perspective, and the lack of failure from the kids' perspective. I found the only comment to this book revealing on that note. Many of the kids I teach in the first few years at the U. have never failed at anything in their lives... Or never really had to work hard to succeed... I attribute that to both parents and schooling... So these kids don't really understand the consequences of failure, lack of effort, what it really means to "do your best"...  However, I think failing at something, or knowing the consequences of one's (in)actions, is a terribly important lesson. Too bad some of these "kids" only learn this lesson at age 20."  Note:  More comments have now been posted, it's ironic that one of the comments has a faculty confession of trying to help their kids with assignments in order to help them graduate.  What does this have to say about the passion for learning in that household?
  4. historic differences between residential/commuter perspective
  5. the increasing ability to communicate:  from mail/personal visits to phone to cell phones, email, texting
  6. And now as I come to think about it, a growing relationship between parents and children.  
    • In and of itself, this can't be viewed as all bad. Maybe we're developing a new form of apprenticeship.  Hmm. ... maybe I should revise some of my thoughts at College For All? Experts Say Not Necessarily
    • Teaser:  Nathan Foster and I talk about this over the course of our interviews, in particular how the Leave it Beaver Dad focused on earning money/success for the advance of the family but wasn't present for his children.  Maybe the Helicopter Parent to some degree is an overcompensation for the experience of parenting by some who are parents today.  Although we can critique this situation, there were some contexts in which it was necessary for the dad (and at times the mom) to work with abandon to enable the family to put food on the table.

The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to ComeI'll have to look at the book to see what material would be helpful to incorporate into Next Steps, my seminar on the transition from high school to college for parents, students, youth ministers.* I think that more parents should be concerned about and invest in the preparation for the transitions from an early age. As I've been telling my twins (who are 10), they're almost adults. It may be awkward, but they're already setting patterns and making big decisions in how their identity in Christ works out in daily life, in the coming years that will most probably include college. We pray for God's leading every day.  Maybe in a few years my college ministry will extend from children's ministry through dying well [Note:  currently reading The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come (Rob Moll, InterVarsity Press, 2010) for my work at PSU-Hershey Medical Center's Christian Medical Society (CDMA)].

*If your local congregation or youth ministry is interested, let me know.

College For All? Experts Say Not Necessarily

Posted by tom | Jun 4, 2010

Quick thought on College For All? Experts Say Not Necessarily (Alan Scher Zagier, Huffington Post, 05/13/10), which I initially sent via email to the friend who brought the article to my attention, followed by my friend's response to my quick thoughts.

No, not necessary.  But we must be satisfied with having less.  Can we move back in the direction of enjoying handmade/crafted items (e.g., clothing, furniture), sustainability through home grown food/animals even in the cities (e.g., community gardening, chicken coops), shared life (e.g., communal living)?  Can we scale back the prevalent sense of 'right' to inordinate levels of consumer products, technology, travel/vacation, health care?

Response: "but discipleship training would need to include teaching on supporting ourselves from God's resources where we we wouldn't be dependent on stuff sent from china to walmart...the mennonites and others do better at raising enough to store away or freeze for the coming year...and developing recipes that are inexpensive yet with good nutritional value...with grains, beans, etc...the first step is to get off addiction to expensive fast foods, and mcdonalds type stuff...less expensive clothing from thrift stores...more walking (many students at x [the college where I teach] drive five blocks to class)...."

What do others think?  Would such a perspective lead to a widening of the gap between a wealthy, educated class and the craftsman?  I've always found it of interest how much the aspirations of societal/individual success through education downplays the value of skills in the practical trades, crafts, home, kitchen.

Note:  3 related posts on the ESN blog. 

Any Trok fans out there?

Posted by tom | Jun 3, 2010

Probably not surprising that ‘Trock’ Gaining Traction With Time Lord Fans in the Grosh house, well I guess that's just me. Any other fans out there? 

Alex Day has a number of Trok audios on his blog.  I first came across him in his excellent 3 Minute Summary of LOST, which helped me understand why he has received quite a following (at least that is in Great Britain). 

BUT I have came across some sexually inappropriate blog and Youtube posts by Day, which raises the question of how follower of Christ links to culture.  How do you respond when you come across the darker side of a musician/actor which you've found of interest and desire to recommend to others, but find now it needs to come across in a nuanced manner?  At present, praying for the redemption of a very creative mind, encouraging readers to use discernment if they explore Day's material, and remind readers of the post The Gospel and Sex (note: highlights an article by Timothy Keller).

IVCF/Groshes June Prayer Calendar

Posted by tom | Jun 2, 2010
Our June Prayer Calendar is posted at  Please join us in prayer as we rejoice in a year of ministry, prepare for summer activities, and look for the Lord's provision in addressing our current support shortfall of $15,000.
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