Tell me more about liturgies

Posted by tom | Nov 24, 2009

... liturgies make us certain kinds of people, and what defines us is what we love.  They do this because we are the sorts of animals whose orientation to the world is shaped from the body up more than from the head down.  Liturgies aim our love to different ends precisely by training our hearts through our bodies.  They prime us to approach the world in a certain way, to value certain things, to aim for certain goals, to pursue certain dreams, to work together on certain projects.

James K.A. Smith
Desiring the Kingdom

Join me in prayerful consideration/application of this quote as we enter the holiday season on campus and in the larger culture.  HT:  *CINO daily asterisk (11/3/2009). Placing Smith's book on my to read list, check out Byron Borger's post A rich week of new books: Bobby Gross, James K. A. Smith, Walt Brueggeman, Timothy Keller DVD

Begin Living the Christian Year in Advent

Posted by tom | Nov 23, 2009

Swing by Emerging Scholars Network for Mike's excellent interview of Bobby Gross, director of InterVarsity's Graduate & Faculty Ministry & author of Living the Christian Year: Time to Inhabit the Story of God (IVP, 2009). Our family will be journeying through this book in the coming year (starts November 29). Check out Byron Borger's rave reviews at A rich week of new books: Bobby Gross, James K. A. Smith, Walt Brueggeman, Timothy Keller DVD and Pennsylvania State Pastors' Conference: Books about Church, Congregational life, and more.

     Bobby Gross, director of graduate and faculty ministries for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF). Bobby serves on the national board of Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) and lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Previously, Bobby was a national field director for IVCF, served as an InterVarsity chaplain at the University of Florida, launched campus ministry in South Florida and was the regional director for New York/New Jersey. Bobby is the author of Living the Christian Year: Time to Inhabit the Story of God. He has also contributed chapters to three other books, including Faith on the Edge (InterVarsity Press) and Signs of Hope in the City (Judson).    'Living the Christian Year: Time to Inhabit the Story of God' (IVP, 2009) by Bobby Gross, director of InterVarsity's Graduate & Faculty Ministry.

PS. For those in South Central PA, mark your calendars for when Bobby visits the area on Ascension Day 2010 (i.e., May 13), in partnership with Hearts & Minds Books. Details tba. ...

Advent 2009

Posted by tom | Nov 21, 2009

As we prepare to enter the Adventure of Advent. I once again invite you to join me in participating in Advent posts with Christine Sine at Godspace.

For the Beauty of the Earth

Posted by tom | Nov 10, 2009

On Sunday, the Cherub choir, which includes Eden, sang the first two verses of For the Beauty of the Earth for Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ.  After the reading of Psalm 148, the Junior Choir sang led the congregation in For the Beauty of the Earth.  Below's a video which I shared with girls over Sunday breakfast, in preparation for morning and as a time of worship.  

Lord of all, to Thee we raise, This our hymn of grateful praise. 

May our words, relationships, lives, Churches be such a hymn today!

Related choir post: How Great is our God.

How Great is our God

Posted by tom | Nov 9, 2009

On Sunday, Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ's Junior Choir, which includes Ellen & Hayley, led the congregation in worship.  How Great is our God was one of selections.  Below's a interview of Chris Tomlin which I watched with in Ellen & Hayley as we discussed the song.  Tomlin shares the simple origin of How Great is our God, sings the praise song, and then shows the chords. 

PS.  Ellen and Hayley liked the section which showed the chord progression. 

Reading "Introverts in the Church"

Posted by tom | Nov 6, 2009

Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture (Adam McHugh, InterVarsity Press, November 2009) arrived today and I've started to read it.  Hope Theresa has some interest in chatting about the book during our much needed date night.  Below's a quote from Chapter 1.  Any comments from friends, whether more heavily oriented toward introversion or extroversion.

The pragmatism that we have inherited fosters an action oriented culture. Evangelicalism values the doer over the thinker.  The evangelical God has a big agenda. It’s as if the moment we surrender our lives to Christ we are issued a flashing neon sign that says “GO!” There is a restless energy to evangelicalism that leads to a full schedule and a fast pace. Some have said that, in Christian culture, busyness is next to godliness. We are always in motion, constantly growing, ever expanding.

I’ll never forget the statements a senior pastor of a 300-member congregation uttered when I interviewed for an associate pastor position: “This is a really high-octane environment. We’re looking for someone who is excitable and high energy. You have to be totally sold out to work here. We work full throttle.”

I double-checked my surroundings to make certain I was at a church and hadn’t stumbled into an interview for the pit crew at the Indianapolis Speedway. I would have laughed at his statements if I wasn’t so mortified. I was reminded of Eugene Peterson’s indictment of our brand of Christianity: “American religion is conspicuous for its messianically pretentious energy, its embarrassingly banal prose, and its impatiently hustling ambition.” -- Chapter 1 can be found on-line here.

Note:  You may remember my earlier post, For My Introverted AND Extroverted friends, in which I express enthusiasm for the book's release.  Since my time at The Changing Face of Ministry: Engaging All Ages in the Mission of the Church and The Authority of Scripture in the Christian Life, it has only increased.  More on that later, need time to get-away to read, process, and then chat before writing more.

Notes on "The Changing Face of Ministry"

Posted by tom | Nov 2, 2009
Click here for my notes from Gordon MacDonald's presentation on The Changing Face of Ministry: Engaging All Ages in the Mission of the Church (10/29/2009, Center for Leadership Impact, an initiative of the Evangelical Theological Seminary).

What are the spiritual resources for ministers?

Posted by tom | Oct 31, 2009

Another quote from Gordon MacDonald's presentation on The Changing Face of Ministry: Engaging All Ages in the Mission of the Church

What are the spiritual resources for ministers? What prevents them from becoming dull, sullen, lukewarm bureaucrats, people who have many projects, plans, and appointments but who have lost their heart somewhere in the midst of their activities? What keeps ministers vital, alive, energetic and full of zeal? What allows them to preach and teach, counsel and celebrate with a continuing sense of wonder, joy, gratitude, and praise? -- Henri Nouwen, The Living Reminder

A number of people have found Henri Nouwen's book The Living Reminder a helpful resource in addressing these questions.  Anyone have a copy I can borrow?

There are scars on my faith, but

Posted by tom | Oct 30, 2009

Another quote from Gordon MacDonald's presentation on The Changing Face of Ministry: Engaging All Ages in the Mission of the Church

There are scars on my faith, but underneath those scars there are no doubts. (Christ) has me with the consent of all my being and with the cooperation of all my life. The song I sing is a life song. Not the temporary exuberance of youth that often fades when middle and old age sets in with their disillusionment and cynicism. … No, I’m eighty-three and I’m more excited today about being a Christian than I was at eighteen when I put my feet upon the Way. ... Now by seasoned, tested, corroborated experience I know that this is not a way, but the Way. -- E. Stanley Jones

To God be the glory!  Join me in prayer that Theresa and I might share such testimony in coming years.

My Heart's Christ Home -- kids, adults

Posted by tom | Oct 18, 2009

The kids' version of My Heart's Christ Home came off the shelf again. We only read part of it over Thursday night dinner, but Friday morning we pushed through it with Eden, Ellen, and Hayley before the twins headed to school. Note: Eden has enjoyed it several times over the past several days.

I was impressed how the pictures and the plot still kept Ellen and Hayley's attention. It connects with 4th grade class (including multiplication tables), playground action, and relating to Christ in the context of family commited to following Christ alone. If you don't have a copy for your elementary age child, I'd recommend you check it out.

Note to parents and adults: the original My Heart's Christ Home alongside Tyranny of the Urgent, have been vital pieces of campus ministry with generation after generation of college students.  In addition, I periodically use these resources to prayerfully review my own walk with God and work through with others in the context of adult electives.

Note:  Related posts include 

  1. My Heart - Christ's Home
  2. Drawing Close to Our First Love

Why all this labor?

Posted by tom | Oct 11, 2009

Why labor minute after minute on-line with email, Facebook, web research, Emerging Scholars Blog ... hour after hour in prayer, Bible study, 1-1 appointments, phone conversations, presentations ... day after day in campus visits, retreats/conferencing, training, reading/writing. ...

Because of the passion to sow, water, and harvest the seeds of the Gospel, i.e., the redemptive love of God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit not only evidenced in history through the cross/resurrection/ascension but even now overflowing from the life of the people of God into the lives of others as we eargerly dive into the reversal of sin/darkness/death while anticipating complete restoration in coming of the new heavens and the new earth. 

How does one sustain such an endeavor over what is approaching 14 years, now with 4 kids running around?

  • Not on one's own! 
  • By the grace, power, love and strength of God the Father
    • one becomes shaped more and more like Christ through the redemptive work of the
      • Word
      • Spirit
      • people of God (through time/space and accountability).
  • There is no doubt that the call to be about such a mission involves all of one's person and that God the Father has wired me to enjoy digging into the transitional/habit forming years of higher education with whomever he sends across my path. AND I'm inspired by the call of the Upside Down Kingdom, the new heavens/new earth, the outrageous task of identifying, encouraging, and equipping Christian scholars to be redeeming influences among the people, ideas, and structures of higher education.
  • I followed the call to follow God with my whole person as part of the Kingdom of God at the time of conversion/commitment/transformation during my first year at Grove City College ('93).  The call to student leadership came at the Urbana Student Mission Convention '93.  I stepped into the commitment to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship staff at Urbana '96.* But God alone is my rock and strength.

I stand upon this rock today as Stephen Nichols, professor of theology and church history at Lancaster Bible College and author of Jesus Made in America: A Cultural History from the Puritans to "The Passion of the Christ"  partners with Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Emerging Scholars Network to ...

  • Preaches on "To Whom Shall We Go?" (John 6:66-69)
  • Teach an adult elective for the whole congregation on Jesus Made in America: Honest Looks, Honorable Responses (10 - 10:45 am)
  • Present on Jesus for the Academy: Freeing Christ from our Agendas for the 2nd Central PA Christian Scholars Network Lunch.  

Time to get ready. Join me prayer that God the Father will be glorified through all this day's activities/conversations. Pray for Stephen Nichols, by the direction of the Word & Spirit, to clearly contrast Jesus the Christ with the Jesus of our culture/time, challenging participants to follow Christ alone as individuals & as the people of God. Praise God for the good communication between all involved in preparations. At present we have 42 guests for the lunch. Praises: With the help of some volunteers, I finished basic set-up last night.  My parents have been able to help out with the kids this weekend.

*Note:  What will happen at Urbana 09, just 77 days away? Pray for meand the others which fill the Rams Stadium, St. Louis, to share/live the challenges/lessons we receive from the Word, Spirit, and people of God from around the globe.

World Vision ACT:S

Posted by tom | Sep 30, 2009

What is World Vision ACT:S? A network of students committed to

  • Exploring what our faith says about poverty and injustice
  • Using creative activism to bring issues to life and change hearts on campuses
  • Using our voices to advocate with our government leaders to help end poverty, injustice, and human suffering.
If you haven't already done such, check it out and join in a Day of Prayer as the U.S. Government enters a new fiscal year. 

P.S.  Theresa and I enjoyed our many opportunities to serve at the Pittsburgh Gifts-in-Kind Distribution Center, a number of which were with students from Carnegie Mellon U.  Wonder where those pictures are?  Maybe Theresa will find some as she tries to organize our digital pictures.  On second thought, I bet most of them are before we aquired a digital camera :-0

Reflection Question II

Posted by tom | Sep 26, 2009

What a day with a number of friends and family from across Lancaster County at the Reader's Jamboree, Dutch Wonderland! Before bed we opened the books again ;-)

Hayley takes Theresa for a ride at Dutch Wonderland's Readers Jamboree. 

Back to the Reflection Question, our family discussed it in the car en route to Dutch Wonderland. I highlighted hitting the wall, i.e., realizing the world didn't revolve around me and that I couldn't do it all (or anything for that matter, but particularly that which is holy) on my own. That happened my first year at Grove City College with chicken pox in Zerbe Health Center, but in some ways happens afresh day after day as I cast off more & more of the old self.  Note:  To read my spiritual autobiography visit here.

Then we discussed how we know what's righteous and what's sinful ... resting in the hands of the Father, study of the Word, & filling/direction of the Spirit which transform us into greater and greater Christ likeness as individuals and members of the Body of Christ.

We wrapped up by encouraging one-another to follow Christ during our time at Dutch Wonderland, to treat one-another as Christ would have us. As the kids chatted about other things, I silently prayed to the Father for us to evidence the fruit of the Spirit as the children of God in the park. The Spirit was evident & amazingly continued to be, even with the girls being wound up through dinner/evening. Praise God!

More coming. ...

Reflection Question

Posted by tom | Sep 26, 2009

What has been one of the major truths or experiences you have had in your life that has significantly empowered you to follow Jesus and overcome sin and your life? -- HT to Fred. 

Some of my story coming later, gotta run to the park with the girls.

Heaven breaks through

Posted by tom | Sep 24, 2009

Because God loves us with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always & Forever Love - Heaven is breaking through! He is sending us a Light from Heaven to shine on us like the sun to shine on those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death to guide our feet into the way of peace. -- John the Baptist's song in The Jesus Storybook Bible (Sally Lloyd Jones, illustrated by Jago, Zondervan, 2007, p. 200). 

From this fall's family devotions.   At Monday dinner, I read The Light of the whole world and The King of all kings, but Eden couldn't wait for Tuesday dinner to read about John the Baptist.  So we opened up The Jesus Storybook Bible to read Heaven breaks through over Tuesday breakfast.  FYI:  We didn't stop there, we added Let's go! 

What a joy not to just read these words for the education or spiritual formation of a child, but to be dwelling in the Presence of God through the Word with Eden.  I was reminded of the Great Story of which I am a part, receiving encouragement and direction in how I was to be part of the rescue mission as an ambassador of Christ on Tuesday, September 19. ... How are you part of the work of God today on Thursday, September 21?  May God the Father send you forth with his Word and Spirit in power to His life and Word as you become more and more like His Son Jesus throughout this day. 

To learn more about family's approach to devotions and the resources which we enjoy visit:

Note:  Please let us know how your family practices devotions (or did when you were growing up or had kids in the house).  We're always eager to receive insights from other households of faith.

Notes from the Nightstand: I Corinthians 13:4-8a

Posted by tom | Sep 18, 2009
The second one, is a I Corinthians 13:4-8a bookmark, probably received through a women's ministry.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. 

Why have we found I Corinthians 13:4-8a such an encouraging text during times of stress? 

  1. God is love.  We rest in His love.   I John 4 provides more insight regarding who God is and our call to express God's love toward one-another.  Note:  What a gift to receive the patient, kind, protecting, hopeful, persevering love of God through the people of God during times of distress.  To God be the glory!
  2. Despite the challenges we face, the Spirit continually fills us with the fruit of the Spirit, directed by the Word and the intentions of the Father, transforming us more and more into His children who are part of His complete Body.  What an amazing gift to find oneself becoming a little Christ expressing the love of God even when one's frustrated and even toward those who frustrate/anger us.  Christ has come.  The Kingdom of God has come and will one day reach it's completeness when Christ comes again in full power.

Notes from the Nightstand: The Silversmith

Posted by tom | Sep 16, 2009

Over the weekend, while cleaning through a nightstand I came across a stack of cards, letters, and notes which we received as encouragement during trying times.  As time permits for editing, I'll share pieces of them as a testimony to the work of God and as a blessing to those calling out for the Lord's strength/provision.

The first one, is The Silversmith.  You've probably already come across this in some form via email or web.  We received a copy during the uncertainty of Eden's first year.  The friend who passed along the story shared with Theresa:

The Silversmith story reminded me of you.  Although I already see His [God's] image in you, I'm glad He knows what fire you need and for how long.  I know that He will carry you through all this with Eden exactly according to His plans.  Keep giving Him glory -- as you do so well.  My thoughts and prayers are always with you

How true these words and prayers have been as God shaped Theresa, Eden, and our whole family during those difficult days.  Days which are still with us, but in different form.  And His hands remain in the midst of our family, molding us and shaping us by His Word, Spirit, and Body into the image of His Son Christ Jesus.

The Silversmith
author unknown

Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.  One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get
back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.  As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."  She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.  The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the
fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.  The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"  He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it"

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

all that glitters ain't gold, all that shines isn't diamonds diamonds!

Posted by tom | Sep 15, 2009

The 2006 Acura Classic, Kim Clijsters. Photo taken by Andrew Huse. 2006. Downloaded from you have a moment, listen/read Beneath the Surface posted by Kim Clijsters's husband Brian on the family page of her website. The song

pertains to people's outlook on other people in the spot light. It seems that most people think that just because you are a professional athlete or because you are in the public eye that everything is perfect but that certainly is not the case. Everybody, and I mean everybody has their everyday struggles that they face, their own cross to bear. In this particular song, it really hits home for me because it was written by a friend of mine, Kevin Reed that I played with in Bree who talks about the struggles he faces playing pro basketball in another country, yet everyone that he knows back at home thinks he is living this perfect life and everything comes easy. Thats not what real life is. He talks about proving people wrong who thought you wouldn't be able to make it. He talks about your everyday struggles but having the will to get through them. His positive words are to let you know that you can achieve greatness, but the road to it is not so easy. He breaks it down nice lyrically and I hope that it can touch and inspire you like it did for me.

After posting the above story/song on Facebook, a friend shared with me how this material would be helpful for their "professional" family to discuss.  As you might guess, this son of a dentist came out with a different perspective on the road to greatness and whether it should be traveled at all. 

The Dentist's Son with Tools for Another Craft

Some of my thoughts are posted at Confessions of a Dentist's Son, including a link to Growing Up in a Dental Office, the outline of a presentation I gave to the Duquesne University faculty group on Building a Community You Can Count On: A Case Study of Growing Up in the Dental Chair (January 2005).  As I described the story to a friend this morning, I thought to myself that I should write a book on the topic some day. Maybe it could be part of larger collaborative storytelling series or piece.  For visual learners, pictures of the office can be found here.  Newer ones of our kids are on the camera.  They'll be posted in the near future. ... Open Wide.  Smile ;-)  Click.

Book Review of "The Mind Of Christ"

Posted by tom | Sep 14, 2009


Since a friend on Facebook already expressed interest in the 8 page book review/personal reflection on Dennis F. Kinlaw's The Mind Of Christ, written for Luke L. Keefer Jr.'s "Brethren in Christ Theology of Salvation" class,* I posted it here.  Feel free to make comments and share your testimonies regarding the "mind of Christ."  Disclaimer: I hope my cold didn't affect my writing too much. Please forgive me for typos, I really could use a formal editor ;-)

As a teaser, here's my introduction ...

Dennis Kinlaw’s The Mind of Christ leapt off the shelf at Roxbury Holiness Camp’s bookstore.   From an early age, I desired to know, understand, and even shape the complex milieu of reality through my mind. But as the case with all fallen human beings, I chose to use my mind to pursue self-interest rather than the intentions of our Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. God’s relentless transformation of my whole person compels me to dwell in Him more richly, declare His glory without reservation, and invite others to receive the “mind of Christ”. With this background, I found particular value in these five aspects of The Mind of Christ:

  1. the humility of Kinlaw’s writing
  2. “the mind of Christ” serving as an internal guidance system
  3. the reality of sin
  4. the call of God
  5. the impact that Jesus has upon a person’s understanding

*A Brethren in Christ Core Course credited through Ashland Theological Seminary and taken as part of my growing relationship with Brethren in Christ World Missions.

"Simply Christian" Adult Elective at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ

Posted by tom | Sep 12, 2009

Pray for Arlene and myself as we prepare to kick-off an adult elective which walks through N.T. Wright's Simply Christian:  Why Christianity Makes Sense.  Below's a description of the study, which will span two quarters.

Based on N.T. Wright's book of the same name, this class addresses questions such as, "Why do we expect justice? Why do we crave spirituality? Why are we attracted to beauty? Why are relationships often so painful? How will the world be made right?" According to Wright these are the very echoes of a voice we dimly perceive but deeply long to hear. Such questions even take us to the heart of who God is and what he wants from us. Wright makes the case for Christian faith from the ground up, assuming the reader has no knowledge of (or even some aversion to) religion in general and Christianity in particular. Simply Christian walks us through the Christian faith step by step and question by question. Wright challenges skeptics by offering explanations for the toughest doubt-filled dilemmas, leaving believers with a reason for renewed faith. He takes us beyond the controversies that can obscure what the Christian faith really stands for. Class will consist of viewing a short video and discussing questions it raises. Participants will benefit most by reading the suggested sections of the very readable book prior to class.

As you may have guessed, I'll keep you posted regarding personal reflections and topics which the class finds of interest.  Feel free to pick up a copy of the book to read along with us (or if you've already read it) and share your own reflections

PS:  If you're part of Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ and haven't signed up for an adult elective, you can see a description of all the options here.

Where do you find the church of God?

Posted by tom | Aug 31, 2009

Christianity Today's Church History quote for the week caught my attention:

Wherever we find the Word of God surely preached and heard, and the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ, there, it is not to be doubted, is a church of God. -- John Calvin

Not bad, but ... I'd like to see the larger context for this quote.  In particular, was this a response to a question or small part of a larger section which gives reference to the Father and the Holy Spirit?  Tough to have one's numerous writings chopped up, analzyed, and stereotyped over close to 500 years!  If you're unfamiliar with Calvin and from Baptist circles, I'd encourage you to take a few minutes to read "What Baptists Can Learn From Calvin: The Genevan Reformer's words are still worth hearing today" (Timothy George). Below are two sections which I pass along for your consideration:


You're lying to me, aren't you?

Posted by tom | Aug 10, 2009

How do you define lying, deception, and truthtelling in your own mind, as you interact with others, as you train youth/children?  The NY Times hosted Errol Morris's provocative series Seven Lies About Lying, based upon an interview with Ricky Jay. According to Morris, "Jay is an actor, bibliophile, historian of magic, arguably the greatest living sleight-of-hand artist, and a master of the art of deception."   

Seven Lies About Lying (Part 1)
Seven Lies About Lying (Part 2)

As various elements of Joseph's story are regularly told in our house, I have found the piece of particular interest.  Here's the conclusion of Seven Lies About Lying (Part 2) and one of the paintings referenced, be sure to go back to Seven Lies About Lying (Part 2) for the other painting along with his critique of popular definitions/understandings of lying.


"They Found the Secret" -- Andrew Murray on waiting upon the Word/Spirit

Posted by tom | Jul 31, 2009
"Take time. Give God time to reveal Himself to you. Give yourself time to be silent and quiet before Him, waiting to receive, through the Spirit, the assurance of His presence with you, His power working in you.  Take time to read His Word as in His presence, that from it you may know what He asks of you and what He promises you. Let the Word create around you, create within you a holy atmosphere, a holy heavenly light, in which your soul will be refreshed and strengthened for the work of daily life." -- Andrew Murray, The Secret of Adoration.  Quoted in They Found the Secret by V. Raymond Edman (Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 1984), p. 118.

Millard Fuller shares the faith on Humankind

Posted by tom | Jul 30, 2009

I don't often have the opportunity to listen to Humankind, but recently I tuned in and received the blessing of hearing Millard Fuller share the Christian vision of Habitat for Humanity.  What a testimony! For an excerpt click here

NPR's Remembrance of Habitat For Humanity Founder Millard Fuller (All Things Considered, February 3, 2009) shares the story of his transformation:

... Fuller was a country boy from Lanett, Ala., who started raising pigs at age 6, launched a marketing business, became a lawyer and was a millionaire by the time he turned 29. He began having health problems and his marriage was breaking up, so as Fuller told the National Press Club in 1996, "After spending most of my adult life in the pursuit of success in law and business, I wanted to make my life count for something of more lasting value. So I made a radical change. Linda and I divested ourselves of our wealth and sought a very different kind of life — a life of Christian service."

Fuller believed people of faith must put their faith into practice. He and his family moved to Zaire in 1973 to build homes, and in 1976, he returned to the U.S. and started Habitat for Humanity with his wife. Fuller said the key principle was to build simple, decent houses. ...

But it's hard not to grieve over the allegations of sexual harassment and the fight for control of Habitat for Humanity, which led to Fuller's departure from "his" nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry (after which he founded The Fuller Center for Housing).  I guess we'll never know the truth as to what happened.  At this time, leave these issues to the judgment of God.  But I am going to place Bettie Youngs' The House That Love Built on my to read list.  Anyone have a copy which I can borrow?

The House That Love Built

Quotes from "They Found the Secret"/Andrew Murray responds to trial/testing

Posted by tom | Jul 28, 2009

As I mentioned in Circumcision of the Heart, I'm preparing for The Brethren in Christ Theology of Salvation, taught by Dr. Luke L. Keefer, Jr.  They Found the Secret, by V. Raymond Edman, is among the required readings. 

They Found the Secret (V. Raymond Edman, Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 1960)

Over the course of the next several days, maybe it will be weeks, I'll share some quotes from They Found the Secret and then move onto the other required readings.  Note:  Since I'll be writing some papers on salvation and testimonies of the work of God, I'm interested in any comments you have regarding the topic as a whole, the specific quote given, and/or the author of the quote.  Let's begin with Andrew Murray's (1828–1917) response to a time of trial/testing as recorded by Amy Carmichael (1867–1951).

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