Sunday, September 25, 2011

Right Diagnosis

I recently read an article in World magazine (Sept. 24, 2011), entitled "It's not about the dream." In the article, Phil Vischer, creator of Veggie Tales, discusses what he views as the problem with the Veggie Tales movies. In doing so, I think he also diagnoses what is wrong with many American churches. I looked back at the previous 10 years and realized I had spent 10 years trying to convince kids to behave Christianly without actually teaching them Christianity. And that was a pretty serious conviction. You can say, "Hey kids, be more forgiving because the Bible says so," or "Hey kids, be more kind because the Bible says so!" But that isn't Christianity, it's morality. He goes on to discuss what he refers to as the "American Christian ideal." : We're drinking a cocktail that's a mix of the Protestant work ethic, the American dream, and the gospel. And we've intertwined them so completely that we can't tell them apart anymore. Our gospel has become a gospel of following your dreams and being good so God will make all your dreams come true. It's the Oprah god. In the first quote, he gets it exactly right as to what is going on in so many churches. They teach you how you are supposed to act, but they don't give you the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ. In the second quote, he gets it right by saying that the gospel that is often presented is not the pure gospel. I am not sure how he defines the gospel, so I will comment that the gospel is specifically Christ for you, for the forgiveness of sins. That is what is missing in so many churches, and that is what the church is here to offer to a sinful and dying world. Editorial update: This post won Issues, Etc. Blog of the week, Sept. 30, 2011.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sweet Potato Pie

I recently received some sweet potatoes from a gardener at church. Since there are only a few in my family who enjoy a sweet potato baked in the oven, I tried a new recipe. However, I did not announce that it was not a pumpkin pie, even though it looked like one. Lindsay told John after he said it was delicious. John later told me, "You should trick me more often." Here is the recipe (which I found easier to make than a pumpkin pie from scratch): Sweet Potato Pie 1

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Why do Lutheran pastors wear clerical robes, anyway???

Here is a link to a show on Issues, Etc: "The Gospel for Former Evangelicals: The Office of the Pastor.": If you don't have time to listen, and want my bullet-point "why Lutheran pastors wear clericals", here it is: (1) No, we don't put the pastor on a pedestal when he wears a clerical. On the contrary, it is his uniform, just like a policeman wears a uniform to work. (2) The clerical is not to make a big deal out of the man. Although in many evangelical churches the pastor's personality and appearance is expected to make people comfortable and communicate that the pastor is just one of you, in our churches the clerical is used to hide the man, and magnify the Word. (3 )We do not think it is a meritorious work when the pastor wears a clerical. We do believe that symbols are useful in communicating truths, but we do not worship the symbols.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

This 'n' That Photos

The start of the 13th year of our homeschool. My oldest student is in her room, where she does her studying.

A fox who kept hanging around.

My bicycle from when I was a child, all fixed up by a neighbor from KC who helped us load our moving truck. We couldn't fit my bike on the truck, so he offered to take it and work on it, since bikes are his hobby. I still remember going to the bike shop with my dad when I was about 11 years old. They don't make Schwinns as well as they used to, so I'm glad I held on to it. I put a lot of mileage on it when I was a kid, so it was fun to ride it again.

I spent about $1.50 on these petunias from Wal-mart. I never had much success growing them in KC, but I got my money's worth out of them this year!