Carson Reed's Blog

Musings of a Wayfarer; Signposts Along the Way

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Location: Atlanta, GA, United States

Thursday, March 17, 2005

New Blog Site

It is hard to change, but the time has come. I needed to find a new site to do some things that I could do here. Blogspot has been wonderful; however, it doesn't like Macs and I'm a mac guy since Tim Sturgeon and Ron Kirchgessner got ahold of me in 1989!

At any rate I am moving to a new site-- http://www.carsonreed.squarespace.com (see. . . . I can't even create a decent link!

Please drop by and leave your comments. The new place will offer me the opportunity to do some new and interesting things.

Thanks to all.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

places to begin

"We’re at the start of a Great Awakening—a time of spiritual upheaval and religious revival.... What’s different about this awakening is that there’s very little agreement on who or what God is, what constitutes worship, and what this ritualistic outpouring means for the future direction of our civilization." –Faith Popcorn, author.

My next door neighbors are ex-Presbyterians who now are looking for a place to worship where they can embrace nature. A drive through the metro area will take you by Buddhist temples and Islamic mosques. Of course, the more subtle sources of spirituality are more likely found in malls and athletic clubs. Being spiritual can mean almost anything today. And people are looking for meaningful spiritual experiences inside of and outside of churches.

It seems that if a local congregation is wanting to be serious about letting people know about the gospel, then the burden does not lie with getting people interested in “spiritual” things. Rather, the task is more appropriately focused on how does a church make a connection with people’s spiritual interests with the claims of the Christian faith.

According to one church observer and leader, Reggie McNeal, much of the problem lies in the perception that exists in the world. “People outside the church think church if for church people, not for them.” In other words, people may not naturally turn to a church in their search for spiritual meaning. The result is quite ironic. People looking for spirituality and wanting to connect with God look everywhere but the church.

So if a church is going to be serious about connecting with people who have spiritual interests, then they will have to show that one’s hunger for God can be satisfied by engagement with the Christian faith. Most important, people will need to see individuals—and communities of people—living lives of grace and hope.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

From the News Services

Actually, this came to me via Aaron Zee. . . .

170,000 people will die of AIDS in Zambia this year, according to the Birmingham News. But there is hope that that awful figure will take a different turn in coming years. As a part of Bush's 15 billion dollar initiative drugs and personnel are setting up clinics, training local health workers, and slowly changing people's attitudes about treatment. The U.S. government is focusing on AIDS in 15 nations.

170,000 people--in one country alone. In Zambia they will have their own tsunami--slow and debilitating. And with the wasting away of large segments of the population, the whole infrastructure of the country languishes.



I don't guess I need a new car after all.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Fulton County Fiasco

Brian Nichols is now in custody. The destruction and loss of human life remains. The senseless violence will not find an adequate answer.

Already in the middle of a trial for rape, he now will have numerous additional charges to address.

The "why" question raises its head and the answer, depending on your point of view, may or may not ever have a satisfactory ring. From a theological perspective we can talk about the problem of sin and systemic way it infiltrates culture and society, leaving individuals distorted. We could explore the depraved and destructive forces of poor thinking, how one poor choice only sets one up to make another poor choice.

But it all seems way too academic and disconnected. All I can say is that we live in a world that is broken. I know that sometimes every thing seems right and most things work. But every now and then we are reminded about how tragically flawed the world is. Something down deep is busted and it is going to take something bigger than the FBI or the Fulton Co Police to fix it.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Quote du Jour

"When I look back on the worries in my life I remember the story of the old man who said on his death bed that he had had a lot of trouble in life, most of which never happened." --Winston Churchill

Quote du Jour

"When I look back on the worries in my life I remember the story of the old man who said on his death bed that he had had a lot of trouble in life, most of which never happened." --Winston Churchill

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Questions

What am I learning about you?

How are you working in the world?

How are you working on me?

Do I see too much of the world's ways and too little of yours?

How do I embrace my failure and still wear your clothes of grace?

Do you ever give up, especially when we seem more interested in our stock portfolio than in the 20,000 people who died today because of the lack of food or basic medicine?

How often could I see your activity in any given day?

Can I live with a deeper sense of your redemptive work in the world?

Will you allow me to join you in what you want to do?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Reformation

I finally took the opportunity to watch the recent movie, Luther. I was impressed. Sitting with my children around we kept stopping the movie and talking about so many of incredible points in Luther's life and in the sweeping sets of ideas that were flowing in the period of time.

I was reminded, as the movie rolled, about the high cost of change. People, values, cultural attributes are all up for grabs when a new vision is presented. The upheaval in society and church that Luther's teaching presented eventually reshaped the world. However, a price was paid.

I wonder, that in small ways, if that is what holds churches (and people) for that matter back from embracing gospel more completely. Embracing the gospel would lead us to have to pay a price. Our customary ways of doing things; the way we do church (which is for many of us the one really stable thing in this world), our perspective about countless persons who have never really heard gospel (their version of Christianity is the tawdry caricatures of media), and so much more would be altered.

Why is it that we have a challenge to find a few people to watch a few children once a month for a nursery or have people upset at the prospects of changing something about the way we do things to make worship more available to the unchurched? Why do people prefer the way we have done things over striking out for some new adventure for Jesus?

The answer lies, as it did in Luther's day, with how serious do we take living Word. Is God for real? And are we willing to pay the price?

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