19 July 2007

Tonight: mesh-a-ritas!

One final reminder: come "mesh" with us at 7pm this evening at Tequila Grande in Vienna. First round's on us!

10 July 2007

And now, a word from our sponsor

Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.

(John 13:34-35 - The Message)
We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

[Yeah, I know, if you just want to read the Bible, you probably own one, and I just did this a few posts ago. Sorry; just didn't have anything to add, at least not until I've spent quite a bit more time meditating on this one myself. Shalom...]

06 July 2007

Events of the "upcoming" variety

A couple of things to put on your calendar, if you're so moved:

The Washington, DC Emergent Cohort is meeting on Monday evening, 16 July, 7pm, at a new place: The Front Page, right across from the Dupont Circle metro. Easier to get to than the Irish pub in Bethesda where we used to gather, blessed as it was with delicious Harp, Guinness, and fish and chips, but cursed as it was by Quiz Night loudness and, well, being in Bethesda. I don't think we're going to have an impressive guest speaker, but please come anyway - it's never been about the guest speakers (though we've had some fine ones) - it's about connecting with folks trying to make their way following Jesus in different area communities. More info on the Cohort blog.

Also, the little community called "mesh" is going to meet on Thursday the 19th at Tequila Grande in Vienna, also at 7pm. This month, we're giving up any pretense of being "about" anything - no book or movie to discuss; we're just going to have some margaritas and chips and salsa together and share what's going on in our lives. Again, it's all about the connecting. There's a theory that says this group is for "young adults", but I don't know what that means, nor am I certain that either word applies to me personally. If you're old enough to drink a margarita, and young enough to not disapprove of margaritas, you're invited. :-) More info on the mesh blog, including the fact that Susan and I are buying the first round of 'ritas.

Let me know if you want further info on either gathering. Peace!

04 July 2007

He is watching you

I wish I'd said that...

Well, I don't seem to be very bloggy-creative myself lately, but I just read a really nice little essay that seems like it wouldn't be out-of-place (or inappropriate, in terms of message) as a sermonette preached in just about any church I'm aware of in this postmodern age. Check it out:

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

I'm speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.

In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we're talking about is Christ's body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn't amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ's body, let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren't.

If you preach, just preach God's Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don't take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don't get bossy; if you're put in charge, don't manipulate; if you're called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don't let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.

Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they're happy; share tears when they're down. Get along with each other; don't be stuckup. Make friends with nobodies; don't be the great somebody.

Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you've got it in you, get along with everybody. Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it."

Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he's thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

It was written by this itinerant Palestinian church planter, but it was adapted for this language and culture by a seventysomething Presbyterian pastor/professor guy. Good stuff.

(Yes, you've probably read it before.) ;-)