Following Jesus on my Birthday

Posted by tom | Jan 17, 2012

In preparation for Kent Annan's February 13 - 16 visit, a number of people have shared with me how much they have been challenged in their faith by reading Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle: Living Fully, Loving Dangerously (InterVarsity Press, 2009) and how his early work prepares one to digest After Shock: Searching for Honest Faith When Your World Is Shaken (2011). Today, I am reminded that Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle is a helpful word to me as I turn 38.

As I begin a new year of life, I have the opportunity to live "One More Day" to the glory of God. This is not a time to slack in "Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle." Hold me accountable to live out this commitment with a deliberate, daily passion for Christ alone.

Saturday Scripture Series: Bible reading

Posted by tom | Jan 14, 2012

Opening of Bruce Kuhn's "One man recitation of the gospel of Luke," http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNSTtILNygg.

What's your experience of Bible reading in your local assembly, various public settings, in your house?

On Friday, December 23, I received "the call." I was invited to do a Bible/Scripture reading which provided the overarching narrative for Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church's Christmas Eve Service, comprised of a creative mix of drama and worship. What an opportunity! Question: what hymns/songs would you place in the various sections (keep in mind various children choirs were singing).

 

 

As I thought about the great opportunity, I was also struck by the great responsibility to read the Word in such a setting. Inspired by this consideration, I performed a quick on-line search regarding "Bible" reading. I found these two posts of value.

No, I didn't do all the preparation discussed by these pieces, but they complimented some of my thoughts stirred by memories of Bruce Kuhn's One Man Show of The Gospel of Luke (below pictures of Kuhn as Tolstoy and in a drama training in 'da Burgh a few years ago when we hosted him for a campus outreach at Pitt and CMU). By God's grace, the evening offered a unique opportunity to bless the many in attendence including my family, my parents, Theresa's parents, and wife's sister (along w/one of her three boys) -- who provided plenty of care for Lily who enjoyed the whole service. To God be the glory!

PS. Maybe it's time to invite Bruce Kuhn for an outreach series in South Central PA . . .

alt

alt 

RE: Planning worship with CCEL.org and Hymnary.org

Posted by tom | Jan 5, 2012

Excellent on-line resource on hymns, http://www.hymnary.org/

Recently received an enthusiastic reply regarding the resources available through Planning worship with CCEL.org and Hymnary.org, particularly the link and the tools found at Hymnary.org. May I commend them to you (and those involved with leading worship at your local congregation) once again?

Planning worship with CCEL.org and Hymnary.org

Posted by tom | Jan 3, 2012

Ascribe unto Jehovah the glory due unto his name: Bring an offering, and come before him: Worship Jehovah in holy array (I Chronicles 16:29).

Amen!

Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL) library, http://www.ccel.org/.

Enjoyed reading The CCEL Times 7.1 (Planning worship with CCEL.org and Hymnary.org, January 2, 2012) and passing along the e-newsletter to our local assembly's Director of Music Ministry. I encourage you to do likewise.

Note: As you may have already noticed, I've found Christian Classics Ethereal Library an excellent resource not only for personal study, but also to share with others. If you haven't already, time some time in the new year to "check out" the writings of the faithful who have gone before us.

Gratitude . . . Happiness Revealed by . . .

Posted by tom | Dec 29, 2011

Sing to the LORD with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love (Psalm 147:8-11).

Are you mindful of, exploring, and soaking in the gift of God by which you're surrounded? It's not just another day . . . it's given to you, it's a gift . . . the only appropriate response is gratefulness . . . Are you cultivating gratefulness today, as you enter a new year? I pray you spend this day well, framed by the lens of Scripture. I read Psalm 145 and Psalm 147 with my children this morning. May such texts (and not the vauge spirituality of Louie Schwartzberg) be a guide for you as you embrace "One More Day" as a gift from God in the stunning beauty of creation, the relationships you find yourself in the midst of (maybe even more so during Christmas/New Year season), and material shared by Louie Schwartzberg/others.

 (More)

Saturday Scripture Series: II Timothy 3:1-5

Posted by tom | Dec 10, 2011

A friend recently reminded me of the dangers of the last days. May you not find this to be the case in your household during the celebration of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany. Praying for the Father to grant the Body of Christ the grace through the ministry of the Word & Spirit to truly be salt, light, and leaven during dark times given a happy-faced veneer. . . .

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! -- II Timothy 3:1 - 5

Saturday Scripture Series: Matthew 6:10

Posted by tom | Dec 3, 2011

“your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” From the Lord’s Prayer we ask for the coming of God’s kingdom and that God’s will be done here on earth. -- Matthew 6:10

A Scripture text (and prayer) which led me to prayer (and a meditation upon the Kingdom of God) while writing Finding Calcutta: Prayer and Our Calling -- based on a Sunday School which explored Mary Poplin's Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me About Meaningful Work and Service (InterVarsity Press. 2008). Please join our family in praying the Lord's Prayer today.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one,

for yours is the kingdom
and the power and the glory forever.
Amen.

PS. Beginning Black Friday with The Lord's Prayer (Nov 25, 2011).

Finding Calcutta: "An Adventure"/II Peter 1:3-9

Posted by tom | Dec 1, 2011

The Lord continues to impress upon my mind 2 Peter 1:3-9, a significant text in Finding Calcutta: "An Adventure".* As such I commend these words for your prayerful consideration as you begin a new year through the celebration of Advent.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

*Today's Emerging Scholars Network Blog post (12/1/2011).

Saturday Scripture Series: Ruth 4:9-12

Posted by tom | Nov 26, 2011

Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelek, Kilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from his hometown. Today you are witnesses!”

Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, “We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. Through the offspring the LORD gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.” -- Ruth 4:9-12

A Scripture text which shouted out to me while writing Finding Calcutta: Where am I now? Is this my calling? for the Emerging Scholars Network Blog -- based on a Sunday School which explored Mary Poplin's Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me About Meaningful Work and Service (InterVarsity Press. 2008). Reminded of it as we celebrate and live daily a life of Thanksgiving. To God be the glory!

Beginning Black Friday with The Lord's Prayer

Posted by tom | Nov 24, 2011

To begin what Lord willing will neither be a Black Friday nor a consumeristic pre-Christmas frenzy for your family. May today be instead a day of rest and light focused upon the Person of Christ and the Kingdom of God. To God be the glory!

Psalm 95: A Thanksgiving Prayer

Posted by tom | Nov 23, 2011

As we prepare for Thanksgiving and live a life of thanksgiving every day . . .

To God be the glory!

Beginning Thanksgiving week with Amazing Grace

Posted by tom | Nov 20, 2011

At Friday dinner I shared with my family my passion for our focus to be upon giving thanks to God the Father for His good gifts (AND great gift of His Son followed by the Holy Spirit within each follower of Christ in the amazing Body of Christ) not only during Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, Epiphany BUT each and every day. I shared how countercultural this will be at school, in relationship to the media (internet, TV, radio, etc), and in some ways to our very core. We prayed for a heart of thankfulness and praise. We invite you to pray for us and join with us.

On Saturday, a friend passed along Il Divo - Amazing Grace / RUShttp://vimeo.com/2021830, as an encouragement to our family. We share the excellent gift with you. To God be the glory!

.

 

Saturday Scripture Series: Acts 4:32-35

Posted by tom | Nov 19, 2011

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. -- Acts 4:32-35 

A Scripture text which shouted out to me while writing for the Emerging Scholars Network Blog on Mary Poplin's Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me About Meaningful Work and Service (InterVarsity Press. 2008). The text continues to be a key part of how I understand small and large groups of the people of God. To God be the glory!

Saturday Scripture Series: Romans 12:1-13

Posted by tom | Nov 12, 2011

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love.Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. -- Romans 12:1-13

A Scripture text which shouted out to while writing for the Emerging Scholars Network Blog on Mary Poplin's Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me About Meaningful Work and Service (InterVarsity Press. 2008). To God be the glory!

Hold everything in your hands lightly

Posted by tom | Nov 6, 2011

Shared by a David Dorsey in Psalms class while digging into Psalm 73 and discussing how all that we have is on loan from God during our earthly life.

"Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open." -Corrie Ten Boom.

Saturday Scripture Series: Ephesians 4:1-6

Posted by tom | Nov 5, 2011

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. -- Ephesians 4:1-6  

A Scripture texts which "shouted out" to me while writing for the Emerging Scholars Network Blog on Mary Poplin's Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me About Meaningful Work and Service (InterVarsity Press. 2008). To God be the glory!

Shane Claiborne: "Another Way of Doing Life"

Posted by tom | Oct 30, 2011

What are your perceptions/understandings of Christians . . . God . . . the Kingdom of God . . . heaven? 

A friend in an on-line discussion group brought "Shane Claiborne: 'Another Way of Doing Life,'" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfOGLXwtyCU (38:07), to my attention. If you haven't had the time to interact with material by Shane Claiborne, I'd encourage you to check this presentation out -- and share it with others :)

PS. I bet this caught my attention because of related material in my most recent Emerging Scholars Network Blog post, Finding Calcutta: Find yourself in doing, not criticizing (10/27/2011), which has Mary Poplin, Mother Teresa, and Phil Thuma in the mix.

PPS. Thank-you Vern!

Saturday Scripture Series: Genesis 45:4-7; 49:22-26

Posted by tom | Oct 29, 2011

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. …

“Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall. With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility. But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the skies above, blessings of the deep springs below, blessings of the breast and womb. Your father’s blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, thanthe bounty of the age-old hills. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers. -- Genesis 45:4-7; 49:22-26

A Scripture text/story which shouted out to me while writing for the Emerging Scholars Network Blog on Mary Poplin's Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me About Meaningful Work and Service (InterVarsity Press. 2008). Joseph's story has been told many times around our breakfast table. It is a timeless and intergenerational narrative of God's complex call to lean upon him no matter the cost. To God be the glory!

Sing along with "Hallelujah Chorus -Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat 5th Grade - Quinhagak, Alaska"

Posted by tom | Oct 28, 2011

Our family will start tomorrow with the "Hallelujah Chorus," http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyviyF-N23A
. . . in anticipation of snow like what they have in Alaska :) 

 

HT: David. Thank-you! The piece brought much more than a smile to my face after a full day, week, month. . . . To God be the glory!

Saturday Scripture Series: Colossians 3:1-17

Posted by tom | Oct 22, 2011

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. -- Colossians 3:1-17.

First of several Scripture texts which shouted out to while writing for the Emerging Scholars Network Blog on Mary Poplin's Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me About Meaningful Work and Service (InterVarsity Press. 2008). To God be the glory!

"Morning has broken" (Cat Stevens)

Posted by tom | Oct 21, 2011

Morning has broken at our house, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nL_yON7--N8. Enjoy the new day with our family.

 

 

To God be the glory!

HT: Marie.

 

Finding Calcutta: Silence and Prayer

Posted by tom | Oct 16, 2011

Finding Calcutta CoverIn case you haven't had the opportunity to follow the new Emerging Scholars Network Blog series on Mary Poplin's Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me About Meaningful Work and Service (InterVarsity Press. 2008), I encourage you to dive in with the posts on silence and prayer:

PS. Interested in paging through all of my ESN blog posts? Click here :)

Saturday Scripture Series: James 5:13-20

Posted by tom | Oct 15, 2011

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. -- James 5:13-20, NIV

A text brought to my attention when reading Secrets of Your Family Tree: Healing for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families (a reading for Personal Foundations in Ministry, Evangelical Theological Seminary). 

In partnership with the church, Evangelical Seminary develops servant leaders for transformational ministry in a broken and complex world by nurturing rigorous minds, passionate hearts, and Christ-centered actions.

Saturday Scripture Series: I Peter 5:8-9

Posted by tom | Oct 8, 2011

Through the combination of seminary, maturing children, Bible quizzing, and Terri Roberts' focus upon "Anchor texts" during her presentation at The Power of Forgiveness: Lessons from Nickel Mines: Forgiveness in the Face of Tragedy: Five-Year Lessons Conference,* the Spirit has brought to my attention the importance of keeping the Word in front of me all my waking hours. As part of the overflow, I've chosen to posts text which I've been meditating upon. At first I'll try to just post the text so it may speak to you without my commentary, but I confess at times I will be unable to hold back. The first several are taken from a section on addressing dysfunctional family situations in Secrets of Your Family Tree: Healing for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families (a reading for Personal Foundations in Ministry, Evangelical Theological Seminary). 

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. -- I Peter 5:8-9 NIV

*FYI: Amish once again front page news (& "witness") | Thomas. B. Grosh IV | Groshlink.net | Sep 27, 2011].

In partnership with the church, Evangelical Seminary develops servant leaders for transformational ministry in a broken and complex world by nurturing rigorous minds, passionate hearts, and Christ-centered actions.

Here's to the Crazy "One"

Posted by tom | Oct 6, 2011

A musing which took a more serious turn and I decided to post:

I meet (and have met) lots of "Crazy Ones," http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rwsuXHA7RA, not only on campus, but also in the community (local, virtual), local libraries, my imagination (inspired by dreams, aspiriations, and media), various Christian communities, on the farms. . . . I used to think of myself as creative, but I've been quite humbled AND no longer see it as 'the end game/purpose for living' or the root of long-term social/creational change.

Some of where I'm at today: I begin each day celebrating the unique gifts each and every one of us has been given by our Creator, asking/praying for the courage to call/encourage myself, our family, those whom I labor, and beyond to offer the gifts we've been given by our Creator as a blessing to others -- to turn the tide of brokenness/sin with eager expectation of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to "coming through" as we are under under the shadow of the wings of God. Oh, how I long for the new heavens and new earth, BUT what joy it is to have glimpses of Kingdom of God here and now. In the end, God is quite a "Crazy One" to use the Body of Christ (of which I am only a small part at a particular time/place AND includes lots of "crazy ones" who have chosen to count the cost*) to be about his mighty healing, redemptive, transformational work. Related thoughts on vocation/call: Finding Calcutta: How do I get there? How should I prepare for the journey? (Tom Grosh. Emerging Scholars Network Blog. 10/6/2011), for a progression of thoughts on the ESN blog click here.

To God be the glory!

Addendum (10/6/2011, 10:23 PM): Two posts by Andy Crouch on Steve Jobs:

HT: Kevin for the link to the Steve Jobs Crazy Ones video.

*Note: A leader of one of the fellowships with which I partner was recently asked why he/she "wastes time" with such a work. What an opportunity it afforded to share the Good News. Join me in praying that the scattered seeds of the Word, will grow and bear fruit.

«Previous   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 18 19 20  Next»