Sunday, June 28, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
To Be Like Jesus contains twelve worship songs that teach the fruit of the Spirit in a creative and memorable way.Through these songs kids will learn that Jesus is our perfect example of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,and self-control. More than that, they’ll discover that we can’t be like Jesus unless we trust in the power of his cross to forgive us and the power of his Spirit to change us.
Purchase the CD HERE! You may also purchase an MP3 download of the album and begin listening today.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
What is a pastoral sabbatical?
It is an intentional time away from the people and routine of one's local congregation in order to recalibrate one's spiritual perspective, rest one's body, reinvigorate one's mind and renew one's family relationships. A sabbatical provides a pastor a period of disengagement to remind him that he is a person, not just a pastor; that he is married to his wife, not the church; that he has a lot to learn from wise teachers from elsewhere, not just from the books on his study shelves. A sabbatical is a gift to a pastor, but it is also a gift to the congregation he serves, for it reminds them that their greatest need is not their pastor but Christ.
What am I planning for my sabbatical?
In July I will be at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina taking two classes, one on church leadership and one on the theology of Jonathan Edwards. After I return I will work hard to finish my reading assignments and complete assigned research papers - hopefully by early August.
2. Time with family
After I complete my schoolwork, I plan to do a number of things in August and September with my family. They include a Cub Scout family camp in Minnesota, rebuilding and painting our fence with Carson and Evan, taking Terri to a pastoral couples retreat center in Wisconsin for a week, reading lots of stories, taking lots of bike rides and spending a few days alone with our boys while Terri has the opportunity to get away by herself for awhile.
3. Time alone with God, the Bible and my books
I will likely take a few days at Assumption Abbey in Richardton to pray, read and write. I may also do that at a friend's cabin. Though I need to do some reading to get ready for my Proverbs sermon series, most of my study will involve my continuing exploration of several theological topics, continuing to wrestle with Christianity and contemporary culture, a potential writing project I'm thinking of pursuing and enjoying some great works of fiction. I look forward to the chance to spend unhindered time in prayer, and some time practicing the spiritual discipline of just 'being' to the glory of God.
While I'm 'away' you'll still often see me in church and around town. Feel free to ask me how my sabbatical is going, what I'm learning, whether or not I'm resting and how you can be praying for me. I'll be happy to share.
Our other elders are eager to continue ministering to you while I'm 'away'. Vince is going to be preaching a series on I Timothy beginning next Sunday. I'm excited to hear it! He and Doug, Dave and Jay are here to serve you, teach you, pray with you and encourage you any way they can. My time away won't diminish ministry at Trinity at all.
Finally, let me say 'Thank you' for being the kind of congregation that would think to give their pastors an occasional sabbatical away for rest and growth. It reflects your generosity and your Kingdom-focus. All of us Perrys are tremendously grateful for the gift of the next three months.
Grace and peace,
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
If you missed their story on the news last night click HERE to watch it from the local news site.
If you would like to stay up to date with the latest news on the adoption you can visit the Burckhard's blog HERE.
During the Q&A following his lecture, Dr Patel was asked about evangelism and whether his vision of “proactive cooperation” among believers of various faiths conflicted with their mandate to proselytize. His answer was, I think, both personal and very wise.
Patel said he respected his friend’s faith commitment that included the mandate to pray for his salvation and to evangelize him. That conversation should occur, he said, but it shouldn’t be the only conversation that occurs. We also need, Patel said, to get to know one another; to listen and ask questions; to learn each other’s traditions, ideas, and beliefs; to respect one another; to learn from one another; and to work out how we can live and work together for the common good.
I like that way of putting it: evangelistic conversations should occur but they shouldn’t be the only conversations that occur."
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
"From the Enlightenment onwards, it is the 'rights of man' which has seemed axiomatic. To the founding fathers...to embody the principles of this new philosophy, it seemed necessary and natural to begin with the famous words: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.' The rights of the human person are the unquestioned starting point from which all else follows.
These rights include the right to pursue 'happiness.' Happiness was hailed by the eighteenth century philosophers as 'a new word in Europe.' In place of the joys of heaven to which the medieval person was encouraged to look forward, Enlightenment people looked forward to 'happiness' here on earth.
Hannah Arendt (On Revolution, 1963) has pointed out that, for some at least of the American founding fathers, the happiness intended was the 'public happiness' of actively shared responsibility for public life. She also shows, however, that while any sort of private hedonism was very far from their purposes, the course of events led inexorably to an interpretation of their language as meaning the pursuit of private wellbeing. The result is that the world becomes a place where each individual has the 'right' to pursue 'happiness' in the domestic and privatized sense, and it is the responsibility of the state to see that this right is honored.
Nationalism [read 'patriotism'], therefore, becomes our effective ideology, always in times of crisis proving stronger than any other ideological or religious force [think American flag draped and 'God Bless the USA' saturated Christian churches after 9-11]. If there is any entity to which ultimate loyalty is due, it is the nation-state. In the twentieth century, we have become accustomed to the fact that - in the name of the nation - Catholics will fight Catholics, and Protestants will fight Protestants. The charge of blasphemy, if it is ever made, is treated as a quaint anachronism; but the charge of treason, of placing another loyalty above that of the state, is treated as the unforgivable crime. Tha nation-state has taken the place of God."
- Leslie Newbingin, Leslie Newbingin: Missionary Theologian, A Reader, pp. 195-96
The reason for this mess? Our primary pursuit of present, private happiness.