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Do you have an M Squared life? Matt does...
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:: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 ::

Creech's Survey

Alan Creech is conducting a survey of his readers on the area of church leadership. I have posted the following answers to his first two questions:

1. "Q-1 >> In light of some rethinking and redefinition you may have done on your present journey into the life of being the "church" - what is a pastor? what does a pastor do?"

A pastor: a person (yes, man or woman) who helps to guide people in their development in Christlikeness - a kind of spiritual path coordinator.

2. "Q-2 >> Taking into consideration your perhaps new understanding of what a "pastor" is and does - what qualifies one to be a pastor?"

I would suggest the following:

1. Spiritual Maturity (should we define/explain this?) Namely, a life of not just spiritual passion for a cause, or morality of life, but a deep and abiding lifestyle of obedience. This kind of obedience will naturally lead to some degree of doctrinal depth, since without depth in this area, obedience often can be misapplied. This kind of disciple intentionally lives in structures of life that enable the grace and love of God (i.e., the Holy Spirit) to flow in and through the particular person.

2. The call of God to work in a particular place at/for a particular time.

:: Matt 1/21/2004 10:02:00 PM :: permalink :: comments (0) ::
:: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 ::
In Chicago

I'm in Chicago this week (through Friday evening) taking a class on missions. No posts likely until Friday Night.

All the best...

:: Matt 1/20/2004 08:48:00 PM :: permalink :: comments (0) ::
:: Sunday, January 18, 2004 ::
Some of you might think this is really funny

"It is the chiefest point of happiness that a man is willing to be what he is."

You are Desiderius Erasmus!

You have great love for others and will do just about anything to show it to them. You are tolerant
and avoid confrontations, so people generally are drawn to you. You are more quiet and reserved in
front of strangers, but around some people you open up. When things get tough, you like to meditate
alone. Unfortunately you often get things like "what a pansy," or "you're such a liberal."

What theologian are you?

A creation of Henderson

Link through Steve.

Funny... even though I answered all of the questions the way I thought, I'm not sure this is me... :)

:: Matt 1/18/2004 07:48:00 PM :: permalink :: comments (0) ::
Blogger Idol

Darren's got us thinking about the 80's this week.

Here's my thoughts:

I am not a child of the 80s; I was a child in the 80s. Though I was born during the Carter administration, I remember asking my mother (during the 1984 election year) why anyone would want anybody other than Ronald Reagan for President of the USA. I thought he'd been president forever. I didn't know anything about his politics. Same story with Big Jim Thompson, Governor of Illinois. (At least he was easier to spell than Blagojevich!)

I vaguely remember the 1983 Illini Football team that lost horribly to UCLA in the 1984 Rose Bowl. I didn't watch the game, but I remember that everyone at church was upset about it afterwards.

I went to Kindergarten in 1984, after my Mom gave up trying to home-school me. (grin) "Dress Clothes" for 5-year-old boys meant slacks, a turtleneck and a cardigan, with brown "penny loafers." I wore that to church and for school picture day. I wore my hair in the ubiquitous "bowl cut."

I remember the Challenger disaster, but since I didn't have a TV, I imagined the spacecraft looked like the old Saturn V rockets used to propel the Apollo missions to the moon. After my Dad discovered this, we went to the library and found some newer books on space.

I remember playing with copious amounts of Legos, and having an elaborate Star Wars action figures "pretend" with my best friend while Illinois lost to Michigan in the 1989 Final Four.

I remember Cub Scouts and the Pinewood Derby where my cars always won prizes for artistry and creativity but not for speed.

For me, the rest of the 80s was filled with games of "boys chase girls" on the playground, building treehouses and underground forts (which my parents always made us fill in at the end of the day), learning how to ride a bike (ouch), catching minnows in the creek, building elaborate "electronic" devices out of a solar-powered calculator, (disassembled) desk phone and a scrap of 5/8" plywood. I sang in the children's choir at church, and sang "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" so loud from the swingset in the late afternoon that the neighbor lady came and sang it through the fence with me.

The 80s ended when I was in 5th grade.

:: Matt 1/18/2004 04:59:00 PM :: permalink :: comments (0) ::
Matt and the Cops, Again & Again

I must talk to the cops more than the average person.

This afternoon a construction crew was working on the building next to our property and had commendeered a significant portion of our parking lot, blocking in several of our vehicles (including my parking spot). I asked them to move their trucks several times, and they kept cussing me out and threatening me. They repeatedly insisted that I call the cops and quit bothering them - assuming that I wouldn't.

I did.

The cops came over, and he gave them some long story about how I was threatening them, etc. and how I was being a real jerk. (Lies, all lies!!!) The cop saw through it at once. We talked and sorted it out.

That's why there were four squad cars sitting in front of our property this afternoon. They were friendly and helped me out this time.

At least they didn't make me call my mother... :)

:: Matt 1/18/2004 03:55:00 PM :: permalink :: comments (0) ::
:: Saturday, January 17, 2004 ::
Discipleship and the DMV

I have been working with a good friend of mine to come up with "structures for life" or, as we revised it at Mayhem, "structures for love." We are choosing to design our lives so that God can move in and through our daily stuff of life - our eating, our sleeping, our going to work, our recreation.

We noticed almost immediately that these structures started to chafe our prior existence and commitments. In the process of reflecting on that experience, we developed the following analogy:

The process we go through when we create "structures for life and love" is much like the process of developing the "rules of the road" for a given society. Here in the states, everyone drives on the right, passes on the left. When we arrive at an intersection simultaneously, the person on the right goes first. And so on.

Most of the time, we don't even think about these structures - even though they are arbitrary and quite exacting in how they need to be followed. They are so "normal" that they are invisible to us. Most of the time, it doesn't take any effort for us to follow them.

So it is with "structures for life and love." We are attempting to create structures that are, yes, somewhat arbitrary. But they are necessary to be able to do and receive what we need and want and are called to do. If, however, we are still committed to old structures of existence that require us to drive on the wrong side of the street, run traffic lights, etc., we will find that the structures we are forming will chafe us. We must surrender the other things in our lives so that we can operate in one system.

We hope that these structures will eventually become invisible to us. It will take some adjustment to our schedules and to our lives. We believe it will be worth it. Instead of letting our structures dictate our lives and create a frenetic pace, we are intentionally creating structures that will be the support four our existence, enabling love and life in Christ Jesus.

:: Matt 1/17/2004 02:06:00 PM :: permalink :: comments (0) ::
:: Monday, January 12, 2004 ::
Common Table

A housemate and I began a discipline today of the common table. We live in a house of 22 graduate students where everyone cooks for him or herself. We have chosen this as a discipline because we have seen the need to slow our lives down and interweave them with each other enough to eat together a few times a week and to share groceries.

We shall see how it goes. It might take a little adjustment!

:: Matt 1/12/2004 11:15:00 PM :: permalink :: comments (0) ::
:: Sunday, January 11, 2004 ::

I just got back (yesterday) from the Mayhem conference in Cincinatti. It was absolutely incredible!

The slogan of the conference - "You are not alone" is what appealed to me. I enjoyed the "conversations" with Brian McLaren - he pushed me to think about things deeply. I enjoyed the conversations I had with so many of the people I met - from all over the country.

What really compelled me was meeting the Nixons and seeing a small part of their life in the Community House. I have lived in cooperative Christian community for nearly 7 years now, in three different forms. I enjoyed seeing a new perspective on how believers can share life together.

I rediscovered why I like aesthetic beauty when I saw the Convent and St. Elizabeth's at Vineyard Central. I praise God that people are rediscovering the stewardship of elderly, beautiful buildings.

In light of the conference, I have made some changes to my site's links - and added some of the people I've been in contact with through the last eleven months of blogging. If you feel left out, contact me! Seriously! Don't be afraid! I'll keep adding to my "blogroll" as I become inspired.

:: Matt 1/11/2004 09:16:00 PM :: permalink :: comments (0) ::

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