Justicetabernacle

In the chaos of faith, rebellion and obedience

Archive for December, 2009

Whole Foods

Posted by justicetabernacle on December 23, 2009

just introduced mom to some new options for holiday food shopping the next time around. we had a little learning session on things like free range, hormone/anti-biotic free meat.

it’s the little things i hope to instill into our traditions. now the only thing we didn’t talk about was price…
but really, what is the real price we pay for our low cost groceries (ok, i even agree that sounded cheesy) but, unfortunately, it’s true.

for the record, i understand there is a larger debate about things like organic, local, etc. and i don’t think whole foods is perfect, but they do indeed try and have helped sway the market to better accountability. and when it comes to meat production and farming standards, i really see there being some pretty black and white arguments. here’s their philosophy on meat.

happy holidays! 🙂

*hasler

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There is No Place Like Home for the Holidays

Posted by justicetabernacle on December 23, 2009

well, here i am, back home for christmas break (yes, just like the old school days) i’m looking forward to some time of relaxation, time with friends and family.

of course home at christmas is full of all kinds of traditions- some have varied over the years, some have morphed- but for the most part, not much changes over the years.

of course one of the more unfortunate traditions that i have built up over the years is that of the delayed flight. and this year it was no different. i’ve been stuck in places like philly, cleveland and this year, columbus… it never fails trying to get to chicago in the dead of winter- but this time around it wasn’t all that bad. originally, due to my cancelled connection flight to philly, usair wanted to send me to columbus, then back to charlotte, then back to o’hare. luckily once i got to columbus, they were able to switch me to united to get in with only about a 7 hour difference from my initial itinerary. hey- at least it wasn’t a day extra-

so now i sit in a house full of cooking prep and all the rest, getting ready for a couple of big days. i may check in and out of the web along the way, but will mostly be mia for a bit.

*hasler

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Central Union Mission

Posted by justicetabernacle on December 17, 2009

a few weeks ago i was approached by the nyack college here in dc to write a blog piece for the 125th Anniversary of the central union mission.  they are doing a blog series on compassion in the urban context.  they asked me to write specifically about personal and societal barriers in cultivating a compassionate heart.  it was an honor and privilege for me to be a part of this. i love the passion and vision behind the central union mission and we as a church, have a great working relationship with them.

http://missiondc.org/blog/

i also encourage you to keep up with the rest of the series.  it’s a really cool initiative.

ncc is also going to be a sponsoring church for the nyack college urban ministry certification program. i may have an opportunity to teach one of the courses which would be an amazing opportunity. i love the idea of being able to help encourage christians to get involved in the city.

*hasler

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A Mere Snapshot of Jesus

Posted by justicetabernacle on December 17, 2009

i am reading in the book of john and i love the way that he ends his account. it says in john 21:25, the last sentence:

Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

i love the feeling that it conveys- i don’t think that this merely means that there were literally too many events in Jesus’ life to have written it all down- for that could be said of anyone really- but i believe that it indicates more the fact that the scope of the deeds, miracles, teaching that Jesus did was large… but also that there was significant depth.  i think that this simple sentence captures the faith of john.  it is almost like a throwing up of the hands- to say… i am bringing this book to an end and i don’t even feel as if i’ve scratched the surface to explain to you the greatness of God through Christ.  there is something innocent, pure and beautiful in that picture.

i, personally, am happy for his attempt…

*hasler


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Influential Leaders

Posted by justicetabernacle on December 16, 2009

there are many things that i feel like i have learned over the past few months through the process of discerning about berlin- and primarily they revolve around aspects of leadership.

one of the specific things that i learned however, is that i enjoy being around leaders who are at a point of influence. in a way this is very paradoxical to me. because on the one hand, i have a fairly strong basis for the priesthood of all believers- meaning that though i have great respect and see the need for a certain elevation of certain leaders, for the most part i try hard to work against to advocate against the idea ‘celebrity leaders’ in the church; specifically the western church. however, what i have found, working with ncc and people like pmark and pheather, and getting to have more access to influential christian leaders- is that i generally find great value in it.

again, this is not in the googly-eyed, wowed kind of way; rather it is the learner in me, that loves to sit down in an informal setting with people who have wisdom and experience.

while hanging out with the berlin crew this weekend, i saw ways of implementing this brewing passion of mine; somehow using what happens in berlin as a hub of sorts, to have good dialog with leaders in europe and around the world. this is not yet totally clear in my mind, but i think that it is something that God is planting in me, as time progresses.

*hasler

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Off With Team D Again

Posted by justicetabernacle on December 16, 2009

so we are having our final planned team d (discipleship) offsite of the year. originally we had only planned to have one per month, so this is our december one. however, due to operation kaboom and brainstorming for the bible reading plan, we had a few more thrown in there.

this however, will be more departmental meeting stuff and getting some timeline hammered out for facilitating all the stuff we are doing and developing. finally, the one last big hurdle is leadership retreat planning. normally we have a theme done and rolling by now-

should be a good afternoon. i’m really reaching deep to scrape up any creativity that i might still have. it’s fun though- not really draining at all. i love the creative and critical thinking part of my job!

*hasler

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Extreme Planning

Posted by justicetabernacle on December 15, 2009

if planning was some kind of extreme sport, i definitely had some good training for it this past week. the berlin initiative corp just departed after a full few days of strategic planning and dreaming. above and beyond that, though, was the relationship building included in it all. the core team is really strong and we all get along and compliment one another well. it is one of those things that when you reach the end of a 7 hour brainstorm- though you are exhausted- you kind of don’t want it to end. those are good people to be around.

so after hanging with the willow guys hashing through small groups, and the berlin guys visioning through the project, i’m energized and full. now it is a matter of safeguarding my heart and mind- because it is in the aftermath of good Kingdom progress, that the enemy loves to come in and kill it, and beat you down. so now it’s time for rest and prayer.

*hasler

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Berlin Dream Day

Posted by justicetabernacle on December 14, 2009

it has been an extremely full few days. went right from the strategic small group planning into berlin planning- and even had some cross of the two in between.

looking forward to spending the day thinking through some different scenarios on how to move forward with the berlin project.

*hasler

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Small Group Training

Posted by justicetabernacle on December 10, 2009

i get to participate in a really cool event over the next few days.
dave treat and russ robinson are here from willowcreek to put on:the strategic small group ministry leadership workshop.

ebenezers is hosting the event and we, team d, along with other former zone leaders have been invited to sit in.

just got to hang out at union station with these guys over lunch. they have done some amazing work throughout the years in small group world. i’m excited to hear what they have to share over the next day and a half.

*hasler

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Jesus, The Moral Teacher

Posted by justicetabernacle on December 9, 2009

in our culture today- Jesus as the moral teacher- is one of the many ways in which Jesus is looked upon and referred. it is a reaction from those who read the stories of the bible and see the things Jesus did, deeming them good and moral; yet they do not accept His divinity. they see that He helped the people and society around Him, and that He was a man with wisdom and compassion. they see Him as one who did and taught things that caused the world, at least the small one around Him, to be a little better of a place. based upon these characteristics and attributes, He is thus a man, though among many, worth looking to as an example of how to live.

at first glace, this seems like a pretty positive assessment. and for a long time when i heard people say things like this, i would think that it was a good thing- one off of which i could continue a further conversation about Jesus. i though that it was a stepping stone to a deeper understanding of who Jesus was.

yesterday however, i was challenged in this thinking. along with team d, i am currently reading, frost and hirsh’s book ‘reJesus.’ and on page 128 they write:

Our way to God is through the redeeming love of Jesus Christ. Therefore, any false idea of Jesus will destroy the fabric of a New Testament faith. False ideas devastate the way of Jesus from the inside. At the least, idolatry fosters an immature following of Jesus. That is why false images of Jesus are so insidious, and this is the reason why we must strive to constantly reJesus our lives and the church.

after i read this, the thought that crossed my mind was: hm, maybe calling Jesus a good, moral teacher is not actually a good thing, rather a huge aberration of the true character of God. it might just undermine His entire being. i’m certainly not saying the authors’ intent was to undermine the moral teacher argument, but in reading this section, it caused me to think of it. and it came to mind that it’s not always the outright blatant blasphemies that are damaging to the image of Christ- it is also the subtle, nuanced views, often that appear positive, that can be just as deceptive.

not only is the ‘moral teacher’ comment a huge understatement- it is actually in a way not true, due to the fact that Jesus did incite some social upheaval and revolutionary tendencies. worse than this however, is that the view completely strips Jesus of His divinity. it puts Him into a human box of ‘good,’ when in reality, His ways are so much higher and mysterious than our ways; that our ‘good’ is like a grain of sand to Him.

now i’m not saying that we cannot interpret the things Jesus did as good and compassionate. i strongly believe that the way He acted in society is indeed to be modeled by the church- however, it is to be modeled because Jesus is Lord, and we want to follow Him, know Him, and understand Him. we want to follow what He did, because our spirits recognize the Spirit of God. it is a strange kind of paradox really- because all good is from God, but it only belongs to God not us. so, while i believe that all benevolent action is rooted in the Spirit of God, it does not mean that individuals acting it out recognize its source. to merely judge actions on the surface of whether they appear good or bad, is shortsighted and shallow. this is why the moral teacher interpretation of Jesus is really audacious at the end of the day. for one, He is beyond good and moral, and two we are in no position to ultimately judge such matters in the first place.

*hasler

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