Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What's up with us? - Catch up from a Heart-Breaking Weekend

Well, it's been almost a month since I've "blogged", but things are hoppin' right along for us. Every year, I really look forward to the Hokies' Thursday night home game. I have always taken Friday off and made some sort of fun plans for the rest of the weekend. In previous years I've gone white water rafting with church "young adults group", Debbie and I have spent time in Roanoke and the Blue Ridge parkway, and we've gone down to Asheville and Black Mountain. This year, the Hokie hosted number 2 Boston College, and we planned to go hiking on the Appalachian Trail and visit some friends who just moved to Roanoke.

  • The game was heart breaking. As someone put it "we love college football, and we just got college footballed." The Hokies played their hearts out and played the best they have all season. The running game clicked a little bit against the #1 rushing defense in the country, the offensive line blocked as well as they had all season, Sean Glennon ran the offense efficiently for an injured Tyrod Taylor, and the defense absolutely shut down the best QB in the country. Until the last 4 minutes. Up 10-0 with the VT defense hitting on all cylinders, Matt Ryan bracketed an Eagle onside kick recovery with 2 TD passes. I think the last time an onside kick actually worked, I was 8 and we we executed it perfectly in the neighbor's back yard. Kudos to the Hokies players for playing so hard; that's why I love you guys. Anti-kudos to the guys Andy sold his tickets to and their foul language. Additional anti-Kudos to the guy near us who screamed "You Suck Hokies" after the clock expired.

  • After spending 4 hours watching our team lose in the rain, we decided against a five hour hike on the AT in the rain, so on Friday we went to Dixie Caverns, drove a bit on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and went to the mall. We also met my friend and former co-worker John, who just moved to Roanoke, for breakfast. Friday night we went to The Homeplace (same as it ever was) and spent the night with our friends Terri and Marty, who also just moved to Roanoke. They have 5 acres in Botetourt County; you can see their house from the AT.

  • Saturday we met the Trogs at the NC Barbeque festival. Good times, but basically a big street fair like many small towns have, just very well attended with good music and 'cue.

  • Back in town Saturday night for small group on Sunday evening. Sunday morning I watched God Grew Tired of Us, which was a really interesting documentary about 3 Sudanese lost boys who grew up without their families in UN refugee camps, and then immigrated to the US. Really heart-warming and uplifting, but also convicting of just how good we have it here. I suggest it for anyone who is interested in such things.

I have a lot of things to capture here, but they may have to wait. We've started our new small group and are really excited about how that's going so far. I've also finished several worthwhile books, and have more in the queue (of course). But, we'll be in Washington next week visiting Debbie's family and then, the day after we get back, I leave for Denmark again for a week.

Jesus Wants to Save Christians

As promised several months ago, here is short review on the sermons of the Rob Bell series, Jesus Wants to Save Christians. Rob takes the idea that Christians are saved and others are not and flips it upside down; asking what we, as Christians, need salvation from. I certainly realize there are things I need deliverance from in my own life. This was, once again, a really great series that was very convicting to me. The first time I listened to it, about a year ago it really shocked me that a preacher would say some of these things, but a year later, they have sunk in and it just makes me focus on the things I need to give up and/or work on.
1 – Review of the new Exodus. This is a review of his previous series which is a primer on narrative theology. It portrays the story of Israel as a story we are all part of, asks what are our personal and societal (metaphorical) Egypts that we need to be delivered from, and asks what are the empires (systemic injustice) that we need to oppose. God always hears the cry of the oppressed. Exodus 3:7-8
2 – Jesus wants to save Christians from having to have all the answers 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
3 – Jesus wants to save Christians from (an improper understanding of) Hell. This sermon is a survey of the English word Hell (translated from greek words Tarturus, Hades, Gehenna) in the New Testament and it’s meanings. Turns out, Hell is an actual place outeide Jerusalem So you can go to Hell. Really, you can.
4 – Jesus wants to save Christians from having too much. (Because it makes us out of touch, indifferent, and alone) Luke 12:13-21
5 - Jesus wants to save Christians from Prejudice. This sermon is delivered by Kent Dobson, who is a member and former worship pastor at Mars Hill and talks about who Jesus ate with, what he ate, and why this is so important. Luke 10:4-11
6 - Jesus wants to save Christians from Hate. Luke 10:25-37. The Samaritans were hated by the Jews, but in the parable, the man was dependant on the person he hated to save him.
7- Jesus wants to save Christians from Greed. Luke 16:19-31
8 – Jesus wants to save Christians from worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth. Matthew 13:1-23

If you want to lsiten to the series, you can download it here.