Monthly Archives: March 2009
I’m just back from vacation and instead of writing something for this week’s Theology Thursday I’m encouraging everyone to watch TV, which I know is odd considering I’ve given up television for lent, but this is definitely worth watching.
This week on ABC’s Nightline, panelists which includes Pastor Mark Driscoll, will debate each other and the audience over the existence of Satan.
The full debate will be shown Thursday evening, check local listing for details.
Come back Friday and share your opinions about the debate, and your own beliefs about Satan.
I just wanted to let me dozens of readers know that next week I will be on vacation in Florida with my wife, so you won’t likely be hearing anything from me during that time. However I do want my blog views to keep going up, so if you could come in everyday and re-read my past posts that would help me alot.
Have a great week
Welcome to the second edition of Theology Thursday.
This week I’d like to share some thoughts on the most famous of Jesus’ parables – The Parable of the Lost Son. If you are unfamiliar with this story, please take the time to read it below, if you are well acquainted with it you can skip ahead.
…but this doesn’t look lame, I’m really confused.
Check out the newest trailer for the upcoming JJ Abrams Star Trek prequel/reboot. Will this be the start of a new series of films, or the last kick at the can for a fading franchise? What do you think?
Idolatry is an sin that many Christians, including myself, do not believe we are guilty of. Here is how we check our lives for idols, “I don’t have a golden calf in my living room, I don’t have a little buddah statue in my garden, I’ve got my bases covered.” Or so we think.
Below is a video clip from Pastor Mark Driscoll, of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. I was deeply convicted and challenged to look at how I live my life and where I am putting my trust other than Jesus. Skip ahead to 1:15, take a few moments and watch this clip and allow the Holy Spirit to convict you of your idolatry. This is not intended to shame anyone, but to help us all be honest about who or what we put our faith in.
I can tell you from personal experience that facing the truth about your sin, repenting of it and asking God to empower you by His Holy Spirit to live in obedience and trust in Jesus, can be difficult; but God is faithfull to help us, to change us, to santify us, and to comform us to the image of His son.
It will be my goal every Thursday to share a little tid-bit of theology. Either something I am reading, or listening to, that I think would be beneficial.
This week I’ve bee reading “the Discipline of Spiritual Discernment” by Tim Challies . I will post a more extensive review once I’ve finished it, but so far I would highly recommend it. In the second chapter Tim expounds on how the importance of theology (the study of God) has been downplayed in recent years as the pursuit of fundamentalists, or intellectual elitist Christians only. His point is that theology should be the pursuit of every Christian, because as Christians we love God and desire to know him better. What does it say about us if we say we love God but have no desire to learn about him. Tim quotes Richard Phillips on this issue:
“Theology bore’s today’s Christians, which is another way of saying we are bored with God himself.”
Do you agree with this statement, or do you disagree? Have you seen this attitude in your own church or small group.
I’m interested to hear your thoughts and experiences.
Its official, I survived my first week without television – and I can’t say I miss it.
I’d like to share one of the unexpected revelations that has come through this process. I realized my television watching was a selfish ambition. Tt was my reward after a hard day or week of work, an escape from my own thoughts, an excuse to mentally check out of my life.
What happened once I stopped trying to escape my own thoughts? I began to think of others more. I didn’t anticipate this happening, but it makes perfect sense doesn’t it? If you think less about your own needs you’ll naturally begin to think of the needs of others.
Philippians 2:3 says it this way, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”
Can television watching be viewed as an ambition? Ask yourself this:
How big is your tv?
Do you have theatre surround sound?
Are you saving up for a larger television right now?
This week I took the time to get in contact with two friends who I know are going through a very difficult time, within 4 days I ran into both of them and we made plans to get together. I hope that I can be an encouragement to them and walk beside them as they trust God to help them in their time of need. I also ran into one of my college roommates that I had fallen out of touch with, we’re making plans to get together for dinner this month and reconnect.
What are your selfish ambitions? What would happen if you gave some of them up? What could God use you for if you were more concerned with the needs others and less about yours?
I dare you to try it and find out.
Compassion is the world’s leading Christian child development ministry, Compassion is committed to eliminating the root causes of poverty for children around the globe. Our passion and purpose reside in our unwavering commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ and the ability of His Church to execute his command to serve the poor.
I had the incredible opportunity last summer to travel to Ethiopia with Compassion (http://www.compassion.ca) on a filming trip for our upcoming Sharing Compassion campaign. Sharing Compassion is an opportunity for Compassion sponsors to advocate on behalf of children in need from 25 countries around the world.
In the six years since I have become a Christian I have travelled to Kyrgyzstan and Trinidad on missions and Honduras and Nicaragua with Compassion, but the prospect of travelling to Africa was perhaps the most exciting opportunity to date.
Before leaving I had begun work on an ad for the upcoming issue of Compassion Today where we would be promoting Sharing Compassion. Here is the ad:
We didn’t know which child story we were going to film when we arrived, so I chose child photo from our archive of Ethiopian images with the intention of replacing them with the children from the film later on. Our videographer and director Tim Neeves had identified two possible candidates for filming and we would make our decision once we arrived at our destination.
Once we arrived we agreed that the story of Selamawit and Nahu’s, a brother and sister orphaned by AIDS, would be the most compelling story to share. So we set out in a van to meet them at their home in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
When we entered their residence I was awestruck. On the wall of their home was the exact same picture I had chosen for the Sharing Compassion ad, Selamawit and Nahu were those same children! It is impossible me to see this as coincidence; Compassion assists tens of thousands of children in Ethiopia, and the odds of choosing to film Selamawit and Nahu and separately choosing their picture from our photo archive are infinitely small. At that moment we knew that we were filming the exact story that God wanted to share through Sharing Compassion this year. Here is the result:
If you this film has moved you, and you would like to do something to help children like Selamawit and Nahu, please join us in Sharing Compassion at http://www.sharingcompassion.ca
Or sponsor a child like Selamawit and Nahu at http://www.compassion.ca/advocate/adamduguay
An intriguing title for a book isn’t it?
Regardless of how good your work environment is, we would all admit that there are parts of our work that suck. Maybe it is the constant interruptions by well meaning co-workers, the long pointless meetings, or the obsession your boss has over what time you arrive at the building and what time you leave, that are on your mental list of things that suck about your job.
Author’s Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson offer a simple, it perhaps unbelievable, solution: The Results Only Work Environment (ROWE), here is how it works:
In a Results- Only Work Environment, people can do whatever they want, whenever they want, as long as the work gets done.
Seems like a simple enough idea, but if you think about the implications on your work you begin to realize how radical this way of thinking about work would be. It could change everything.
For many people the nature of their work has changed greatly over the last few decades. In the past people needed to go to a building to work because the majority of jobs were in manufacturing, or in the case of office environments, the technology did not exist for people to work collaboratively without occupying the same space.
In recent years there has been a huge leap forward in communication technology that allows people all over the world to work collaboratively with one another, and their job has become more information based than product based; they are now pushing pixels instead of paper. Think about your own office or work environment, how much of what you do is based on ideas and digital information? Is there really a compelling reason for you to be at the office, or is it just expected that you be there to put in your “face time”? Does being at your desk at 9am and leaving no earlier than 5pm insure that you get your best, most creative work from your employees?
Here is an excerpt from the first chapter:
This book is based on a simple idea: Our beliefs about work—forty hours, Monday through Friday, eight to five—are outdated, outmoded, out to lunch. Every day people go to work and waste their time, their company’s time, and their lives in a system based on assumptions—about how work gets done and what work looks like—that don’t apply in today’s global, 24/7 economy. We go to work and give everything we have and are treated like we’re children who, if left unattended, will steal candy. We go to work and watch someone who isn’t very good at their job get promoted because they got in earlier and stayed later than anyone else. We go to work and sit through overlong, overstaffed meetings to talk about the next overlong, overstaffed meeting. We see talented, competent, productive people get penalized for having kids, for not being good at office politics, for being a little different. We go to work in the Information Age, but the nature of the workplace hasn’t fundamentally changed since the Industrial Age.
But most of all—most tragically of all—we play the game.
Does this sound familiar, if it does you’ll definitely want to pick up a copy at Amazon
Not only does it insightfully point out many of the difficulties we all experience at work, but also shows how a large company, Best Buy, has gone about changing their work environment by focusing only on results and giving their employees the freedom to achieve them however they think best. “Why Work Sucks” also includes many testimonials from Best Buy employees describing the difference it makes to employees when they focus only on getting results and not on work politics and upholding old methods of work.
You can read more on Why Work Sucks at Cali and Jodi’s Blog
This week my wife and I began the great tradition of Lent
In Canada you know that Lent is coming up because Tim Hortons begins its “Roll Up the Rim to Win” campaign. For those of you who are not familiar with how this works let me explain. Roll Up the Rim to Win turns every paper coffee cup into a lottery ticket, when you purchase a regular or large coffee you are given a specialty cup that you can roll up the rim to see if you have won any of the thousands of prizes. These prizes range from donuts and cookies, to cars and cash. I hope the irony is not lost on anyone.
This year my wife suggested that we participate in Lent and after a short debate over what we would actually miss if we went without out, we decided to abstain from television. Now that being said my wife and I are not big television watchers; in fact we can count “our shows” on one hand, but what we had noticed lately is that we would end up watching when we needed to relax or when we were bored. I greatly underestimated how impactful this would be.
On Wednesday night my wife was out at choir rehearsal, which left me home alone with a free evening, and no television. What happened when I couldn’t watch television for an evening? To my suprise I couldn’t find enough activities to keep me occupied that night. I spent time reading (Knowing God, by J.I. Packer), doing some website design for a financial planning company, dishes, laundry, and cleaning the bathroom. What I realized that night is how much time I actually wasted in front of the television every day and what I could potentially be doing to contribute, to my home, to my wife, to my career and to my spiritual development if I was more focused.
This new awareness got me thinking about faithfullness. How faithful am I being with my time, my energy, my talents? How much more could God use me and grow me if I really gave my best energy to the activites that I believe have the highest value. Am I really loving God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength?
So I’ve decided that I will take the next few weeks to see what happens if I give my life over to God with a deeper committment than ever before. I think it will be a great adventure, maybe you should join me.