I am through with all but two things in my dissertation/project report for finishing my Doctor of Ministry degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. 1) I am waiting on a letter and Curriculum Vitae from one of the experts who helped me with my project, and 2) I need to figure out how to do the page numbers in one section.
ARGH! Where are you when I need you Clippy
This second part is killing me. I need to have two different page numbers on the same page. One page number is the overall page number of the paper and the other is the page number for just that section. It should look something like the image above. Can anybody help? I have searched and searched the interwebs trying to find out how to do this in Word 2007 and I haven’t had any luck. I’ve even written the author of the paper that the above image came from hoping that he can help.
Once this is finish I get to send it to the style reader and then I am REALLY, REALLY close to being finished. So come on people. Help a brother out. I’ll buy an ice cream cone for whoever finds this answer for me.
She gets a little more amazing every year.
I am in the process of interviewing with a corporate chaplaincy company to be a part time chaplain in some local businesses. I’ve gone through several interviews thus far and I am really excited about the possibility of working with this group, both for what they do and for how I believe it will help me to be a better pastor in Tapestry. Today I had the opportunity to interview alongside Pam. The company wants to make sure that the spouse has an opportunity to ask any questions he/she might have. This is really just a quick post to say that I am married to one incredible woman. Just a lot of fun being in that interview with Pamela. Hopefully I always do an adequate job of remembering how cool she is.
SIDE NOTE – a shallow but cool part of the corporate chaplain position is that part of the uniform can be a company sweater vest. I really never knew it until moving up to Wisconsin but sweater vests are the most awesome things ever.
I feel like I should just keep the above photo on a rotating schedule because Pat Robertson invariably makes a few stupid statements every year. I’m ok with stupid statements, after all I make quite a few of my own, but Robertson speaks dogmatically over a large megaphone on subjects that is just plain wrong on and then people lump me in with him. I am an Evangelical and when other Evangelicals consistently make dumb and much worse UNLOVING statements it stains me too. Robertson’s latest? Basically he blames a wife for her husband’s cheating and puts the burden of maintaining the marriage on her (the offended party). You can see the entire video of Robertson’s <SARCASM>sage advice</SARCASM> here in this Huffington Post article.
“Recognize also, like it or not, males have a tendency to wander a little bit,” … “What you want to do is make a home so wonderful that he doesn’t want to wander”
What kills me is Robertson misses two great opportunities to deal with real issues. First, The wife asks “How do you let go of the anger? How do you trust again?” In other words, how do you live out Jesus command to forgive? The woman is asking for help following Jesus’s command. What a great thing. This is the cry of someone trying to be a disciple. Trying to follow Jesus even though it is difficult. Instead of helping her Robertson gives her advice that I am pretty sure Jesus never would give her. Robertson’s advice takes the responsibility for the cheating out of the hands of the cheater (the husband) and puts it in the hands of the wounded (the wife). Here’s the second great teaching moment. I believe personal accountability is a part of Jesus’s message. Claiming and repenting of your sin is a part of forgiveness. The husband needs to do this. Yet Robertson basically tells the woman “it’s up to you to make sure you husband doesn’t want to cheat on you.” There’s no personal responsibility for the husband’s sin there. It’s the equivalent of saying “it is someone else’s fault.” Robertson could have tried to help this hurting spouse and in the process also help the one who did the hurting. Instead, Robertson says things that I would bet money Jesus never would have said and in the process besmirches Evangelicalism … again.
I just really wish Robertson would shut up. Yes I know, as Pam and I taught our boys, it isn’t nice to tell somewhat to “shut up” but I really believe Robertson needs to hear forceful words now. So if you are listening Pat, I am pretty sure you are embarassing Jesus and I know you are making it more difficult for many of us who follow Him and try to love in His name. So please shut up!
By now there is a pretty good chance that you have seen Jamie Moore’s wonderful photos of his daughter as female heroes worthy of emulation. They are really awesome. I didn’t get into photography until late 2004ish. Thankfully at that point the boys were still interested in me taking photos. I wish I had seen or had this idea then. Yes it is important for little girls to have good roles models, that aren’t just helpless Disney princes, but it is also important for little boys to have heroes worth following that aren’t just stupid stereotypes. Really when you think about it the male Disney heroes aren’t that great either.
So if I could still take photos of Adam and Noah as role models that I hope they would learn from, who would I choose? Here are a few that I would consider.
So cool they are often referred to as the Immortal Chaplains.
The Four Chaplains – Unless you are or were in the military or you’ve been a chaplain then you probably haven’t heard of the Four Chaplains. You should go read about them. Why would I want my kids to learn from them? Because they took what they knew and used it in a sacrificial manner in a time of need. Let’s face it, when your ship is hit by a torpedo no one is shouting “quick, somebody get the chaplain.” I imagine that these chaplains knew very little about welding or patching the ship. They did, however, know how to bring peace into chaotic situations and they used that skill to save lives. That’s why they are remembered. Whatever my boys end up specializing in, I hope they use it in sacrificial manners.
- C.S. Lewis – Why? He was brilliant and not real concerned with fitting into someone’s political agenda or stereotype of what a Christian intellectual should act like. He was a medieval literary critic who didn’t like children very much but was able to write children’s literature that really connected with kids and adults and responded personally to tons of kids’ letters to him. He was a single man who enjoyed his single life until he realized that he loved Joy Davidman and then wouldn’t let a little thing like the fact that she was in the hospital dying keep him from marrying her (again).
You must be doing something right if people want to hang you in the nude.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer - An amazing example of living out your faith no matter what. Bonhoeffer’s faith was so true that the Nazi’s finally thought he was such a threat that they needed to imprison him and then kill him in what they thought was a humiliating manner. I believe that the examples found in the Bible tend to show that when your faith ticks off people in power that is usually a good thing. Bonhpeffer lived out such a faith.
- Mark Twain – Why? Well because it would be a cool picture ;) Actually Twain used his art to critique the society in which he lived. Yes Twain is hilarious but his humor is biting humor that pointed (and still does) to things in society that we needed to (and still do) reconsider. You can critique society and still succeed. Good art usually does.
- Terrey Fox - Only have one leg? That’s no reason not to try running across Canada. What an amazing example of perseverance and grit.
They are others but these are the ones that came to mind as I was wasting time waiting to go to the hospital and do my rounds as a chaplain. I’ll have to see if the boys are up for a few photos.
Institutions do not die easily. They tend to linger around a very long time. Recently I’ve been listening to some lectures on Medieval/Reformation history and the Holy Roman Empire keeps coming up as a pretty significant illustration of this. The HRE lasted far past its relevance. It might not have actually died till 1807, but it had been comatose for at least a century before its death. Institutions don’t die easily.
The shrinking Holy Roman Empire. It wasn’t “holy,” “Roman,” or an “empire” but it sure lasted for a long time.
I think the phone book is another example. We received our new one yesterday. I honestly can’t tell you the last time I used a phone book. I’m sure there are people out there that do use them and I assume that Yellow Pages still makes a profit off of them (though businesses aren’t immune to simply keeping things around either) but I would bet there aren’t many who still use them. My phone book went directly into the recycling bin and I am sure that a VERY large percentage of others did too.
Institutions, and habits, are hard to kill. This is just a true in the church. Things that served a wonderful purpose at one time tend to last long after they are no longer needed. If you see something stupid in a church you can usually safely assume that at one time it as a brilliant idea that served a real need. The only thing that makes it stupid now is that the need no longer exists and the action continues. This is also true of the churches themselves. It is really ok for a church to die. Its not always a bad thing. Some churches do amazing things with God and then lose their way or the community around them changes in such a manner that they are no longer able to reach it when other can. Such churches never really die, they just slowly fade away in a long, agonizing manner. I have guest preached before at a church whose building once held gatherings with hundreds of people but now only has four that come to it. Such churches will continue to exist even though there is very little life in them. Their not technically dead but that is only a technicality.
Why? I think it is because it takes more courage than most people have to admit that something is over and to decide to move on. It takes a very brave person to say “God did great things through this and now we can push these resources in another direction where He will do great things again.” Instead we usually would rather just let something limp along very slowly to its grave.
We don’t have a lot of examples of this at Tapestry right now for one very simple reason … we are a new church. That’s doesn’t mean that in the future we won’t have examples of things that should be allowed to die. I hope that when we do have such examples we are brave enough to say “its time is over, glory to God for what He did through it, and now what’s next?” I believe we are that brave.
I used to love randomly scaring friends when I saw them in public. Actually I still love randomly scaring friends, I just haven’t had as many opportunities recently for some reason. I would see a friend when he/she didn’t see me and I would try to surprise/scare him/her. It was a lot of fun, especially ever now and then when it turned out not to be my friend, but someone who merely looked like him/her.
My personal favorite time was once when I was at Best Buy and I was sure I saw Lauren, an intern who worked with me. She didn’t see me so I snuck up behind a DVD kiosk and jumped out when she rounded the it. She screamed and threw the DVDs that she was holding. It was at that moment that I realized it wasn’t her but instead somebody that I didn’t know who merely looked like Lauren. Not cool, especially when the Best Buy employees started running toward the screaming woman, while I was trying to convince her that I was sorry and I thought she was a friend of mine who I was trying to pull a practical joke on. Thankfully they all believed me and I wasn’t tackled to the ground. Ah, good times.
Man, I miss randomly freaking people out. I hope an opportunity presents itself soon.
Today the following quote from A.W. Tozer has been running through my mind:
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
I think it is a very powerful and challenging statement because I believe it is true. We I think we tend to become like what we truly believe God is like. To put it another way “we become like what we value.” Here’s the example that started me thinking about this.
I just don’t get this hair style. Not attractive at all in my opinion.
Today I saw a couple of youngish females with what I would call “jersey hair.” There is probably a name for this hair style, I just don’t know what it is. All I do know is it reminds me of some of the extreme versions of seemingly dumb people on certain reality tv shows. My first thought when I saw these ladies hair was “why would anyone want hair like that?” You see I don’t like that style and I am very thankful that Pam doesn’t want hair like that. in fact, I think this hairstyle makes people look stupid BUT that is apparently not what these young ladies thought. Surely they didn’t wake up in the morning and think “this hair style will make everyone think we are dumb … that’s great let’s do it.” Nope, they styled their hair in such a manner because they thought such a hairstyle was somehow valuable to them. We become like what we value.
So how does this fit with God? Well I believe who we believe God is affects the way we live. Do you view God as judgmental? I’ll bet you are judgmental. Do you view God as liberal or conservative? You’ll probably be like whatever you think God is. Is your view of God hard on immigrants? Is your picture of God only gracious to certain people? Is your view of God taking care of the needy or congratulating the wealthy? Just like those two young ladies made their hair look stupid (my opinion) because they valued what that look represented, so we become like what we value about and think about God. If you and I truly think God is forgiving this will shape us into becoming more forgiving than we naturally would be on our own. If we truly believe God is a servant (Philippians 2:1-4) then we will be more serving than we would naturally be on our own. And so on and so on and so on. I have a book that I bought just because of the title that I haven’t read yet and the title summarizes this thought pretty well. The title is We Become What We Worship. I think it is a great title and I keep meaning to read the book to found out if it is any good or not. Still, a great title which is why it is in the stack to read.
I think the thing that scares me the most about this is the reverse angle of the question. What do the actions of my life right now betray concerning who I really think God is? Do I think He is selfish? Do I think He is just on my side? Do I think He just doesn’t care? I hope I live a little more each day in light of a growing understanding of the great God who is more than I can ever comprehend. I hope He changes me to be more and more like Him. Truthfully that also scares me sometimes.
Oh Riverside how you haunt me. I miss needing a nap to encourage digestion after eating one of your burgers.
to encourage digestion
Noah and I have decided to take on a project to discover the best burger in Point. We’ve decided that this search will be focused on local restaurants, so no national chains.
Every now and then we both miss our favorite burger from Baton Rouge. Riverside Patty is only one of the places that make incredible burgers in Baton Rouge. Sadly I haven’t found a place in the Point area that makes a truly incredible burger. I’ve tried, without luck, to find one over the 5 years we’ve lived here. So Noah and I are just going to have to try harder.
We are going to start eating and rating burgers at various local restaurants of all levels. If they serve a burger we will eat it and rate it. Any suggestions? If you know a place that makes a really good burger please pass it on.
I just saw this list from Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Hartgrove and I liked a lot of it, so therefore, I am sharing it with you guys. Here are 50 specific ways to love your neighbor.
- Fast for the 2 billion people who live on less than a dollar a day.
- Contact your local crisis pregnancy center and invite a pregnant woman to live with your family.
- Ask your pastor if someone on your church’s sick list would like a visit.
- Join an open AA meeting and befriend someone there.
- Adopt a child.
- Mow your neighbor’s grass.
- Volunteer to tutor a kid at your local elementary school. (Try to get to know the kid’s family.)
- Grow your own tomatoes–and share them.
- Ask a small group in your community to meet regularly for intercessory prayer.
- Build a wheel chair ramp for someone who is homebound.
- Read the newspaper to someone at your local nursing home.
- Plant a tree.
- Look up the closest registered sex offender in your neighborhood and try to befriend him.
- Throw a birthday party for a prostitute.
- When you pay your water bill, pay your neighbor’s too (they’ll let you… really).
- Invest money in a micro-lending bank.
- Ask the next person who asks you to spare some change to join you for dinner.
- Leave a random tip for someone who’s cleaning the streets or a public restroom.
- Write one CEO a month this year. Affirm or critique the ethics of their company (you may need to do a little research first).
- Start tithing (giving 10%) of all your income directly to the poor.
- Connect with a group of migrant workers or farmers who grow your food and visit their farm. Maybe even pick some veggies with them. Ask what they get paid.
- Give your winter coat away to someone who is colder than you and go to a thrift store to get a new one.
- Write only paper letters (by hand) for a month. Try writing someone who needs encouragement or who you should say “I’m sorry” to.
- Go TV free for a year. Or turn your TV into a pot where flowers grow.
- Laugh at advertisements, especially ones that teach you that you can by happiness.
- Organize a prayer vigil for peace outside a weapons manufacturer such as Lockheed Martin. Read the Sermon on the Mount out loud. For extra credit, do it every week for a year.
- Go down a line of parked cars and pay for the meters that are expired. Leave a little note of niceness.
- Write to one social justice organizer or leader each month just to encourage them.
- Go through a local thrift store and drop $1 bills in random pockets of the clothing being sold.
- Experiment with creation-care by going fuel free for a week–ride a bike, carpool, or walk.
- Try only reading books written by females or people of color for a year.
- Go to an elderly home and get a list of folks who don´t get any visitors. Visit them each week and tell stories, read the bible together, or play board games.
- Track to its source one item of food you eat regularly. Then, each time you eat that food, pray for those folks who helped make it possible for you to eat it.
- Create a Jubilee fund in your Church congregation, matching dollar for dollar every dollar you spend internally with a dollar externally. If you have a building fund, create a fund to match it to give away and by mosquito nets or dig wells for folks dying in poverty.
- Become a pen-pal with someone in prison.
- Give your car away to a stranger.
- Convert your car to run off waste vegetable oil.
- Try recycling your water from the washer or sink to flush your toilet. Remember the 1.2 billion folks who don´t have clean water.
- Wash your clothes by hand, or dry them by hanging to remember those without electricity or running water. Remember the 1.6 billion people who do not have electricity.
- Buy only used clothes for a year.
- Cover up all brand names, or at least the ones that do not reflect the upside-down economics of God’s Kingdom. Commit to only being branded by the cross.
- Learn to sew or start making your own clothes to remember the invisible faces behind what we wear. Take your kids to pick cotton so they can see what that is like (and then read James).
- Eat only a bowl of rice a day for a week to remember those who do that for most of their life (take a multivitamin). Remember the 30,000 people who die each day of poverty and malnutrition.
- Begin creating a scholarship fund so that for every one of your own children you send to college you can create a scholarship for an at-risk youth. Get to know their family and learn from each other.
- Visit a worship service where you will be a minority. Invite someone to dinner at your house or have dinner with someone there if they invite you.
- Help your church congregation create a Peacemaker Scholarship and give it away to a young person trying to avoid the economic draft, who would like to go to college but sees no other way than the military.
- Eat with someone who does not look like you. Learn from them.
- Confess something you have done wrong to someone and ask them to pray for you.
- Serve in a homeless shelter. For extra credit, go back and eat or sleep in the shelter and allow yourself to be served.
- Join a Yokefellows ministry at a prison close to you. Remember that Jesus said he would meet you there (Matt. 25).
Obviously some of these are a little extreme but the way Jesus describes loving your neighbor is extreme.