Friday, June 29, 2007

my yoke is easy

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

I have been thinking about this text a lot lately. This is one of those passages that has always held onto, even if I couldn't totally make sense of it.

For me, at least, I have had trouble making sense of it. My yoke is easy. I mean the disciples spent years with Jesus, learning from him and it seems like most of the time they got it wrong. I realize that what they got wrong is they were continually trying to figure out the "new" rules. But it wasn't about "new" rules. Replacing the list from the Old Testament with a new list.

There are few times that Jesus gives a straight answer to a question. Usually when Jesus is questioned he answers with another question or a story. There is one blaring exception, when he is asked about the greatest commandment.

Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:37-40

The theory for my own personal life is I will try to focus on these commandments, once I got those down I will move on to others.

I think that ahead of all things, we as Christ followers, as people who claim to follow the one true God, the one thing we are called to do is love.

1 John 4:8 says "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."

Here he says God is love. Not God likes love, not God wants you to love, God IS love.

I used to think love was like a limited commodity. I remember having my first son and thinking there is no way I could love anyone on God's green earth more than this. We waited a while to have #2. I was nervous about when we had our second son if I would have enough love. So when he was born I siphoned off 1/3 of my love from #1. Alright, that's not what happened, my love grew exponentially. The more I loved, the more love I had.

We can debate church styles. We can talk about theology and church doctrine. We can discuss music choices and the future of organized religion. I enjoy all these things, but these cannot be what we are about. We are in the business of love. We are called to love. Not just the people that make us feel good, but everyone. We are to love with reckless abandonment. Crazy love.

Jesus has parable after parable describing this love.

It is not about power or control. It is not about searching the Bible for the "new" law. You don't need political power or fame. Everyone can do it, and children are perhaps the best at it.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Jesus said his yoke was easy, and I choose to believe him.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

iPhone fever

iPhone mania hits fever pitch this week as the long anticipated phone is released this week. In honor of that here are some post about the iPhone.

iffect fromMike Metzger

A Letter to Rich, the Young Ruler from Dan Edelen

How does the iPhone stack up in total cost? from engadget

You Got to Be Kidding Me! - The new iPhoney by Carlos Mencia

And before you say there has never been anything like it, check this out.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

whole lotta love

Now you can make eating a burrito a selfless act by joining us for a fundraiser. Buy a burrito on Monday, June 25th at any Minnesota area Chipotle and a portion of the proceeds up to $35,000 will be donated to the Red Ribbon Ride, a 300 mile bike ride that benefits 8 HIV/AIDS service and support organizations right here in Minnesota.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

where are you going on vacation?

Next time you are in Orlando, why visit a mouse when you can visit your Lord and Savior. That's right, the Trinity Broadcasting Network brings you the Holy Land Experience.

Now you can not only walk in the footsteps of Jesus, you can walk with him and buy his crown of thorns hat to take home.

There is nothing like watching the crucifixion while enjoying a funnel cake and refreshing Coke, the official cola of Jesus.

Visit Calvary's Garden Tomb. Is it empty? It depends on if it is Saturday or not.

So the next time you plan a family vacation prayerfully consider a trip to the Holy Land, in Florida.

And for those of you who are not excited to go, you need to find Jesus. He will be greeting guest at the temple after the 10:30 parade.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

the Bible is not an ethical textbook

I bought this book a while back with another. I read the other first and finaly got around to picking this one back up. It is not a very long book, but it is one I will likely read several times over, highlighting and learning new things each trip through. It is one of the best books about Christianity that I have read.

From the book
Our interpretations of the Bible must then be understood more as temporary shelters than eternal structures. We never finish reading the Bible, but always find ourselves standing on its threshold, ready to read again. Thus we can never rest easy, believing that we have discovered the foundations that act as a key for working out what we must do in different situations: for the only clear foundation laid down by Jesus was the law of love. This love demands that we use scriptures not as an ethical textbook but rather as a text that extrapolates the Christlike way of being in the world.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

just finished reading

from the book
I asked him where he was going to church. With no hesitation he said he was not going anywhere. His life was full. His work was valuable. He spent his days with people of many faiths and no faith at all, who gave him ample opportunity to practice his own.

Still immersed in church life, I was skeptical. "Say more," I said.

"After a lot of listening," he said, "I think I finally heard the gospel. the good news of God in Christ is, 'You have everything you need to be human.' There is nothing outside of you that you still need - no approval from the authorities, no attendance at temple, no key truth hidden in the tenth chapter of some sacred book. In your life right now, God has given you everything that you need to be human."

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

currently reading

from the book
Sometimes known by its Greek name, this kenosis is captured best in the second chapter of Paul's letter to the Philippians. "Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, " he writes, "who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness."
The import thing to notice is that no one emptied this Christ Jesus. He willingly emptied himself, leaving his followers a baffling example of how powerful the surrender of all power can be. While my taste of this truth was admittedly no more than a drop on my tongue, I could still taste it. My new powerlessness in church gave rise to such a riot in my ego that I became freshly aware of how much emptying I had left to do. The wish to be in charge was, among other things, the wish to avoid the pain of not being in charge, of my life or anything else.

Monday, June 04, 2007

random photos

around the house

Here are some of the things that have been happening around the house.

We stopped by our local lighting store recently and found an entry way light that we both liked and was very reasonably priced, and when they included free instillation, it was too good for us to pass up. The only problem right now is it is not working, but they are suppose to come out this week and check it out.

We finally got rid of the wires running accross the wires running across the floor for the rear surround speakers. I found a good deal on amazon for some ceiling speakers.

For my birthday I got a audio tower to replace the old turntable stand that I had gotten free at a garage sale that was holding the equipment previously. I undid everything, rearranged, cleaned and then rewired the entire system. It was a lot of fun to do.

This is the new TV I bought when Valerie was in Canada. I didn't actually go and pick it up from CircutCity until Val was back and we talked about it. Up higher Lincoln cannot get to it and it has given us more storage space below.

Oh, Canada (or how I spent my Memorial Day weekend)


Val left for a meeting at 7am and then straight to the airport for her weekend trip to Canada to see her sister and new baby Finley, who came quite a bit early.

Cooper was a little upset because it was grandparents day and none of his grandparents could be here. I told him I would drive him to school. I then noticed that Val had left her boarding pass at the house. I was able to get a hold of her and find out where she was parked in Buffalo and took it to her car. I packed up the kids and away we went to Buffalo. We have a spare key, but for some reason while it unlocks the door, it also sets off the alarm. I put the boarding pass in the car and we sat in the parking lot until the alarm stopped. Thank heaven for those things. If someone was actually stealing a car everyone would do nothing. It's great.

Then took Cooper to school. While Lincoln napped I put together my birthday present, an actual audio tower. What we had been using was something I got free at a garage sale.

The kids stayed up late, Cooper went to bed around 10pm. After the kids went to sleep I took everything apart and set up the equipment in the new stand and rewired the system. I then watched Glory Days, my free gallery rental.


In the morning I did some cleaning, laundry and hanging out with the kids. Cooper played some Shreck video game that we rented.

We went out for a very special Birthday lunch at McDonalds. We drove to Buffalo because they have a playground.

That afternoon we watched "Night at the Museum" which we got free because the last time we went for a family movie night the movie was all checked out and it was their guaranteed rental. We played and hung out and the kids went to bed early.

That night I watched another free gallery rental, The 40 Year Old Virgin.


Got everyone together and went to church Sunday morning. It was a really thin crowd. For those of you who don't live in Minnesota, in the summer half of the state goes "up north" to the cabin on the weekends. Especially the holiday weekends. I think people in Northern Minnesota must go to Canada, but that is just conjecture.

After a light lunch at home we went to a little carnival in town. It was REALLY expensive. I let Cooper ride a couple of rides and play a couple of games since we had packed up everyone and I wasn't going to drive to the Mall of America that day.

That night we had a special pancake dinner. One of Coopers favorite. I did not stay up and watch a movie.


On Monday we mainly hung around the house cleaning in mommies anticipated return. We did grab some Arby's and head to the park for lunch. I had also been checking into a TV that Mom and Dad were thinking about getting from CircutCity. I ended up buying for our playroom because the deal was only through Monday. I don't usually make purchases like that when Val is out of town.

Val got an early flight from Toronto to Philadelphia, but was delayed from Phily to home. Although, from what I understand she had Chick-fil-a for lunch, so I don't feel too sorry for her.

I stayed up for her and in the middle of the night Cooper vomited. So when Val came home I was putting his sheets in the wash.

And that is how I spent my Memorial Day weekend.