Sorry I haven’t posted anything for a while. I’m not assuming you’ve been checking everyday hoping for new stuff, but I wanted to acknowledge that I’m aware it’s been nearly a week since I’ve added anything. I took some time off from everything (school, work, writing) this weekend and spent time with my family. My parents got back from Tanzania on Thursday, so I spent the Easter weekend at their house and heard stories about my dad’s three month adventure, saw tons of pictures, watched basketball from about noon until 10pm everyday, went to church a few times and my whole family spent the afternoon together on Easter at one of my sister’s houses. It felt like an eventful weekend, but thinking back it was actually pretty lazy (which is always nice), and even though I didn’t do this intentionally, I had an almost internet-less weekend (which also felt kind of good, surprisingly). It’s great to have my parents back, especially my dad since he was gone for so long. If you didn’t get a chance to read his blog from when he was in Tanzania, here’s the link to Tom Goes to Africa. It’s worth skimming through and reading a bit, even if you aren’t familiar with African/Tanzanian culture (since it’s written from an American’s perspective). He’s a great writer and he shared some really incredible experiences.
I realize this entry has already been somewhat personal and random, so I’m going to continue on that theme and share some quick notes and links on a few things I’ve been thinking about and working on lately.
- Thanks for all the nice notes about my article in Prodigal Son Magazine. I forgot to mention that the magazine also has a media section and the “Broken” video that I made is on there.
- It looks like a reworked article from the “Consumer Evangelism” entry I posted on anewdoxology (2/23) will be in the next issue of Prodigal Son that will be online a week from Thursday (4/3). If you remember, that was the entry about stores, restaurants and other retailers who express Christian messages in some way, shape or form through their products and/or business practices. I only started chipping away and all the examples of who/how/where these forms of evangelism take place in the American marketplace, so if you know of others (even if it means doing a little research), please share them by leaving a comment on the article here AND on Prodigal Son (I’ll post a link to the article when it’s online next week).
- One of my seminary profs is preaching in chapel on campus next week and she asked me to consider creating a video to be used as part of the message. The Gospel text she’ll be using is from Luke 24:36b-48, which is a bit of a strange story of Jesus appearing to the disciples after he was crucified and then his body disappeared from the tomb. They were obviously freaked out, because they thought he was a ghost. Jesus gets them to settle down, maybe gives them each a Zanex, then he shows them the holes in his hands and feet where the nails had been (he even eats food in front of them so they know he’s not a ghost). Jesus then reminds them that he had been telling them all along that he would be beaten, killed and then rise from the dead for the forgiveness of people’s sins, and that he had now done these things so that the Good News of eternal life and forgiveness could be shared with all people throughout the world. The story ends with Jesus telling the disciples, “You are witnesses of these things.” My professor wants to focus her message (and the video) on the word “WITNESS.” This is the word Jesus uses in reference to the disciples, but I think this word also has meaning (and implications) for us in our life and faith. Trying to create this short video has been really challenging (and frustrating) for me. I just didn’t know where to start and what direction to go in. The first thing I thought about was this Nike commercial of LeBron James from the NBA Playoffs last year called “We are all witnesses.” Then I thought about something that Jason (the guy from Prodigal Son) started with his wife recently called One Million Witnesses. They’re calling it “the ultimate faith experiment” and basically they’ve partnered with mission organizations to raise awareness and funds for projects like build wells for people in other parts of the world so they have clean water. The way people like you and me can get involved is by sharing stories of our faith on onemillionwitnesses.com and making a donation. It’s a cool idea, and one of the best other ways people can get involved is by telling others about it (so please pass on the link if you think it’s something that other people should know about). Back to the video I have been struggling to create. From Sunday evening until late Monday night/early Tuesday morning, I probably spent at least 12 hours making notes, searching for videos, images and quotes, listening to songs and finally (late last night) putting it together into a video. I have a rough version nearly finished now, but I’m still not sure if I like it and have no idea if it’s anything close to what my professors was looking for. I thought about posting a request for help on Sunday night as I was having a really hard time finding focus for the project, but I decided to keep pushing through on my own and asking for feedback later. Depending on how much time I spend on it over the next few days (I’m on Easter/spring break until Thursday), I might post a first draft later this week. Not that I think anyone will be holding their breath in anticipation of its release, but please check back to see if I’ve put it up because I’d really appreciate it if people watched it and let me know what they think since I’ll need to have it completely finished soon so that my professor can incorporate it into the message of her chapel sermon before next week.
- Finally, I wanted to post something about this yesterday but then I got caught up in making the video having a “chill day” with my roommate. A friend of mine is starting a new faith community (aka “a church”) in downtown Minneapolis that I think fits a lot of the core elements of anewdoxology. It’s being held in a bar really close to the Target Center and it’s called The Well (a community of faith thirsty for something different). The first service is tonight (3/25) at Lone Tree Bar & Grille (528 Hennepin Ave, Mpls). Doors open at 6:00pm and the service starts at 7:30pm (drink and food specials until 7:00pm). I’m planning to go check it out and support someone who’s taking a radical step for the church to truly meet people where they’re at (even though that’s what a lot of churches say they’re about, but they require people to come to the actual church building first in order to “meet them”). At least for now, The Well will meet on the last Tuesday of each month (so the next one after tonight is 4/29). For more info, check out this facebook group.