It is a bit difficult to keep up with the POCBlog these days. I would mention how many days I have had off in the last 2 months but then the Sabbatarians would tell me what a sinner I am. Believe me, I am very aware already. Life has moved along at quite a clip with being a husband and father, speaking, leading inversion, raising funds for Jacob's Well, travel to NJ, seminary...and blogging. Well, at least once in a while I find a moment to write.
I just returned from a week in New Jersey which ended with a delightful day long delay in Newark airport and a midnight arrival on Sunday evening. From there I had to get up and read about 100 pages and then report to my church history class for a quiz and the 411 about our upcoming final exam. Jersey was good. I spoke twice at Rutgers, went to the RU/Pitt football game and met with some pastors and campus ministry leaders in the area. I feel like I am learning more and more about the community God has called us to...it really going to be a walk in the park - an easy cushy church job. Just kidding...there have been a couple of days when I have asked Jesus if he still liked me after calling us to Jersey.
To be honest, where we live today is just a great place. Lots of families, lots of friendly people (a few shallow church folk as well), lots of housing, low taxes and cost of living, some good churches, good schools etc. Let's just say that Jersey is about as different from Nashville as Toby Keith and the Dixie Chicks. A few thoughts on Jersey culture are here. One of my prayers is to actually become a Jersey guy - I guess about 10 years from now I will feel abrasive to southern folk...wait, I already feel abrasive to some southern folk. Perhaps I have a little Jersey in me already. We'll see.
Anyway, I am back home and enjoying the final days of a church history class, meeting with some friends about partnering with Jacob's Well and deeply thirsty to have some down time for Scripture and reflection. Our schedule is intentionally going to slow down here in the coming months to focus on relocating and the church plant...but more importantly for time to drink deeply with the Lord in preparation for our coming labors in the northeast.
I have greatly enjoyed the slow reading of Alistair McGrath's new book Christianity's Dangerous Idea - The Protestant Revolution from the 16th Century to the 21st. I am going through it as a pure pleasure read - which for me means no highlighter and no sticky flags...though I did dog ear a few pages on the plane Sunday :) Look for a review here some time before the Rapture (if you believe in such things).
Finally, I ran across a few interesting articles today. First, Bishop Desmond Tutu echoes the current zeitgeist about homosexual practice over on the BBC. It is quite clear that the demonization of anyone who holds traditional morality is a present reality. The malaise of the Anglican communion is indicative of a greater disjunction of many churches from their scriptural moorings. Second, Dan Kimball, a prominent voice in the emerging/emergent conversation writes some excellent thoughts regarding the balance between Kingdom living now and gospel proclamation associated with the after life. A find balance that we have been preaching from day one at Inversion. I don't jibe with everything Kimball, but this is a timely and good word. If you are not familiar with Kimball - you need to at least check out his stray cats like 1980s rock-a-billy hair. Nice.
Finally, I had a great reunion with my beloved family this week after being out of town for a good 8 days. It was great to be home to contemplate the future together. Kasey and I are wrestling with schooling decisions - mainly between public (great missional opportunities to meet people...no extra money) and Christian (laying a cooperative gospel foundation in the early years) schools. Please pray for us on that and your opinions are welcomed.
My most recent talk in our Gospel of Mark series is up online...I have so enjoyed studying this gospel and communicating its words to my friends. The gospel is the story we live in and I am humbled by God's grace to me - in all my pride and sin - extended my way on the cross of Christ.
May you all have a great Thanksgiving - a meaningful day for those who have someone to thank.