Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

The Table – An Experience to Consider

table-2A good friend of mine and a group of his friends help to provide soul-care and spiritual direction for pastors, which they call The Table.  The Table is a two year communal experience where you will give attention to the state of your soul and the true longings of your heart.  You meet intermittently throughout the two years, and get some individual spiritual direction throughout the time.  Click here for more information and an application.  Go to the very bottom of the page to get some specific dates, and spread the word if you know of any pastors that might be able to use something like this.

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Praying with Walter Brueggemann


Squircle Set of Favorites from Squared Circle

Originally uploaded by cobalt123

We all know about being entitled
and then growing careless

We all know about self-indulgence,
even amid work to be done.

We all know about being – for a moment –
beyond Torah requirement and
outside of your world of command

We know about seasons of life not given over to us
and grief at being failed selves

We also know that you circle back among us
in harshness and in mercy
in rigor and in generosity

Now our world has gone careless and
self-indulgent and
beyond Torah.

So circle back, we pray – one more time,
among us with your mercy,
our only source of comfort,
for we belong to you in your faithfulness.

From Prayers for a Privileged People

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The Five Marks of Mission – What Would Yours Be?

Mission 21st CenturyMissiologists Andrew Walls and Cathy Ross are editors of the book Mission in the 21st Century: Exploring the Five Marks of the Global Mission.  Cathy Ross works for the Church Mission Society in Oxford, and Professor Andrew Walls was formerly the Director of the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World at the University of Edinburgh.  While the editors say, “the five marks are neither a perfect or complete definition of mission”, the are rich “with potential and they do form a good working basis for a holistic approach to mission.”  As you read the five marks that they explore in this book, consider writing a reply of what your five marks would be, or which marks you agree with or disagree with, or which would you keep and what would you add.

THE FIVE MARKS OF MISSION
1. To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
2. To teach, baptise, and nurture new believes
3. To respond to human need by loving service
4. To seek to transform unjust structures of society
5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth?

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This Week with Henri Nouwen

Van GoghJesus is taken by God or, better, chosen by God. Jesus is the Chosen One. From all eternity God has chosen his most precious Child to become the savior of the world. Being chosen expresses a special relationship, being known and loved in a unique way, being singled out. In our society our being chosen always implies that others are not chosen. But this is not true for God. God chooses his Son to reveal to us our chosenness.

In the Kingdom of God there is no competition or rivalry. The Son of God shares his chosenness with us. In the Kingdom of God each person is precious and unique, and each person has been given eyes to see the chosennes of others and rejoice in it. – Henri Nouwen

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Bonhoeffer and Mission

bonhoefferI still remember the paper my friend Kurt Fredrickson, the director of the DMin program at fuller, wrote on Bonhoeffer.  Here is how he summarized Bonhoeffer’s approach to mission.

There is mission with a view from inside:  Renewal
There is mission with a view from below:  Suffering and Solidarity with the Poor and Oppressed
There is mission with a view from the outside:  Embrace
There is mission with a view from the world:  Redemption of Everything
There is mission with a view from the cruciform center:  The Cross 

When I think about these various dimension of mission, my heart beats faster.

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This Week with Henri Nouwen

Van Gogh“When Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, he summarized in these gestures his own life. Jesus is chosen from all eternity, blessed at his baptism in the Jordan River, broken on the cross, and given as bread to the world. Being chosen, blessed, broken, and given is the sacred journey of the Son of God, Jesus the Christ.

When we take bread, bless it, break it, and give it with the words ‘This is the body of Christ,’ we express our commitment to make our lives conform to the life of Christ. We too want to live as people chosen, blessed, and broken, and thus become food for the world.” – Henri Nouwen

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Monday Morning Medicine

Coffee Line“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22

“It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.” – Dave Barry (via Scott Wagoner and Jim Palmer on fb)

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This Week with Henri Nouwen

Van Gogh“To enter into solidarity with a suffering person does not mean that we have to talk with that person about our own suffering.  Speaking about our own pain is seldom helpful for someone who is in pain.  A wounded healer is someone who can listen to a person in pain without having to speak about his or her own wounds. When we have lived through a painful depression, we can listen with great attentiveness and love to a depressed friend without mentioning our experiences.  Mostly it is better not to direct a suffering person’s attention to ourselves. We have to trust that our own bandaged wounds will allow us to listen to others with our whole beings.  That is healing.” – Henri Nouwen

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