Hope everyone has a great week. We're headed to Michigan to hang out with my extended family. If you're waiting on phone calls from me (and those who are know)-- apologies-- I'll catch you when we get back.
Katie and I had the privilege of spending last Sunday with the people of Oikos Fellowship in Bellingham. I have planned on writing a "review" of Oikos (similar to the 10th Ave Alliance review I wrote when Katie and I first moved here), but have been prevented from doing so on a number of occasions. For now, I will let the following comment I made to the folks at Oikos suffice for my review: If we had known about this church before we moved to Vancouver, we wouldn't have moved to Vancouver-- I would have gladly commuted to school.
In addition to the privilege of hanging out with these people (which we have done on several occasions), this time I had the distinct privilege of preaching at Oikos. It was a humbling experience for me for a million reasons-- two of which I will mention here. First, according to my notes, the last sermon I preached was October 24, 2004. It had been a long time, and I certainly felt rusty. Second, the text I was preaching (James 1.22-25) was especially humbling to me-- lest I deceive myself and think that preaching a text means that I live it.
For those who were there on Sunday-- or any others who might be interested-- I willpostposted some extra notes/quotes HERE.
(FYI- for all my trash talking about the length of Pete's sermons, I clocked in at just under 48 minutes!)
Spurgeon arranged the text and his sermon around the theme "Two Sorts of Hearers." Spurgeon refers to these two types of hearers as the blessed and unblessed. Some of my favorite portions of his sermon are quoted below.
Ted Harro has an excellent article in the Summer 2006 Leadership Journal, entitled, What Volunteers Want. Essentially, Harro asserts that volunteers want two things:
1. Make it mean something...
Give me a clear, compelling purpose. Happy volunteers are crystal clear on their ministry's purpose. They can tell you not only why their group exists, but also why that cause is important. For an important cause, they will give selflessly, and thank you for it.
Quoting Andy Stanley:
...volunteers want answers to the following questions:
1. What is the problem?
2. What is the solution?
3. Why are we the ones to solve it now?
2. Make it positive... Harro unpacks this point in three stages: 1) Don't waste my time; 2) Don't waste my time; and 3) Stop the ball-hogging
If you're one of the 40 million readers of The Da Vinci Code, get ready to stretch your credulity still further. An author is about to claim that she is the living embodiment of the Holy Grail, a direct descendant of the physical union between Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ. She's American, she's 43, and she means it - every word.
Ms McGowan's claim to be descended from a child of Mary and Jesus is outlined in the afterword to what she says is a partly autobiographical novel.
She has offered no proof of her heritage but said she had traced it to an ancient French lineage that claimed to trace its roots to the pair.
Earlier in the summer, I felt inspired to follow Joe&Steve's example by featuring one of the pictures I had taken during the week on my blog each Friday (not because I possess a fraction of their skill in photography, but because I thought it was fun).
As the number of people continues to increase that are posting "Friday Photos" on their blogs, I wanted to make it easy for us to aggregate all the "Friday Photo" entries in one location. Enter the new Friday Photo Group @ Flickr. I've set it up as an open group (eight members so far), and all are welcome to join and post one picture each Friday (read the rules here). Now, instead of cluttering up your Friday photo with thirteen links, you can just link the Friday Photo Group. Spread the word.