Wednesday, May 11

Random Thoughts ...

Just a few random thoughts along the way ...

* Today was our semi-annual, end-of-the-semester, all-day staff meeting. We reserved a room in the Union and spent several hours (including lunch at Uncle Gaylord's) reviewing the past semester and making plans for the future. Though not everything went the way we had hoped it would this year, it was still a good time to reflect back on what God had done, the lives that were changed, the students who grew and stepped up into leadership and ministry. God is so good to let us have a part in what he is doing in the lives of these students. The meeting was also a good time of dreaming and planning for the future. We feel that God is leading us in some new and exciting directions. We just have to be faithful in listening to him and stepping through the doors he opens for us.

* I have a couple of "Ask Mike" questions that I will post soon - along with responses. I do want you to know that the questions you send come to me in an anonymous email, so I don't know who they come from. So if you have questions, feel free to ask and I'll do my best to give an answer that is concise and based on Scripture.

* I have three books I'm reading at the moment: Searching For God Knows What by Donald Miller, Red Moon Rising by Pete Greig and Dave Roberts, and The Teammates by David Halberstam. Here is a passage from Searching For God Knows What that is worth your consideration:

"To be honest, though, I don't know how much I like the idea of my spirituality being relational. I suppose I believe this is true, but the formulas seem much better than God because the formulas offer control; and God, well, He is like a person, and people, as we all know, are complicated. The trouble with people is they do not always do what you tell them to do. Try it with your kids or your spouse or strangers at the grocery store, and you will see what I mean. The formulas propose that if you do this and this and this, God will respond. When I was a kid I wanted a dolphin for the same reason.

I remember watching that television show I Dream of Jeannie when I was young, and I wondered at how great it would be to have a Jeannie of my own, complete with the sexy outfit, who could blink a grilled-cheese sandwich out of thin air, all the while cleaning my room and doing my homework. I realize, of course, that is very silly and there is no such thing as a genie that lives in a lamp, but it makes me wonder if secretly we don't wish God were a genie who could deliver a few wishes here and there. And that makes me wonder if what we really want from the formulas are the wishes, not God. It makes me wonder if what we really want is control, not a relationship.

Some would say formulas are how we interact with God, that going through motions and jumping through hoops are how a person acts out his spirituality. This method of interaction, however, seems odd to me, because if I want to hang out with my friend Tuck, I don't stomp my foot three times, turn around, and say his name over and over like a mantra, lighting candles and getting myself in a certain mood. I just call him. In this way, formulas presuppose God is more a computer or a circus monkey than an intelligent Being. I realize that sounds harsh, but it is true." pp. 12-13

* I have also reconsidered the online Bible discussion. Several have looked at the forum Jake set up for me, but I'm now thinking that it is more complicated that I want it to be. So what we are going to try (if there is interest in it) is more of an email Bible discussion. Soon (like, as soon as Jake can do it for me) there will be a like on this page where you can email me and let me know that you want to be a part of the email group.

* Typically, I don't do "Thoughts of the Week" during the summers. But with the blog, I'll be writing through the summer. So keep checking back!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Ahh.. I remember those staff meetings. :) Thanks for sharing from that book. I am going to read that next! I like this whole blog thing... Congrats staff on your completed year! Enjoy the summer-