In the chaos of faith, rebellion and obedience

Archive for July, 2010

Online Learning and the Gospel

Posted by justicetabernacle on July 29, 2010

a few weeks back, i began a series of online courses that are going to help prep me for my time in berlin.  the topics of these courses range from basic theology to cross-cultural sensitivity, etc.  though i got off to a slow start, due to being on vacation, i have fully immersed myself in this online experience and i am really enjoying it.

in one of the assignments for this week we were supposed to talk about our definition of  the Gospel: content, power and purpose.  i thought i’d share it here—-

What is the Gospel? This is a question that I have been wrestling with a lot lately. Over the past few years here in DC, I have met regularly with a group of guys to discuss the Gospel. It all derived from us traveling together to the ‘advance conference’ in North Carolina. It was a fairly reformed viewpoint, talking about how the church can be revitalized today- In it, we began to meet to talk about the Gospel, the church today and how we can be effective in helping advance the Kingdom.

For me the Gospel is the simple message of creation, fall, redemption through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ, the time of the church leading up to the final consummation of things upon the return of Christ.

The power of the Gospel is embedded in its content- the recognition of the grand narrative of God’s plan (past, present and future) as revealed through the Scripture and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. In the recognition of the truth of the way things are, that is, the existence of the trinitarian God and the relationship of our own existence in relation to that creator God, we find power, which is understanding the meaning and purpose of our lives.

This of course then leads to the purposes of the Gospel- that is to understand who we are in the context of creation. Once we are then reconciled back to God through Christ, we are able to be empowered by the Holy Spirit, following after Him to achieve the good and perfect purposes and plans of God. This is of course, always remembering and understanding the complex and mysterious sovereignty of God. As it is, we are playing into His great plans and purposes through our own lives.



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Born in the U.S.A.

Posted by justicetabernacle on July 16, 2010

no, this is not a post about patriotism or anything else of that nature. (sorry andy)
the blog title is merely to reflect the fact that i just finished up planning some crazy cross-country travel across the u.s. that i will embark on starting in august to prepare for the berlin launch.

mike, our partner in ministry in berlin, is in the u.s. for a little while, so we are going to utilize the time that we are both on this side of the atlantic to travel and raise up awareness and support about the project.  we have some strategic partnerships in place already and some others that could hold some big time potential.

so my journeys over the next month will take me to the following- nashville, knoxville, chicago, milwaukee, minneapolis, st. louis and san fransisco…

i’m really excited about having one last big american hurrah before transplanting my life over to europe for a while.  and in doing so, helping make connections that are going to spur on the advancement of the Kingdom.

before all of that craziness begins however- it’s time for a little relaxation and vacation with the family in michigan…


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Posted by justicetabernacle on July 13, 2010

it’s funny- i opened up a ‘new post’ window last week and entitled it ‘reinvigorated.’  that was supposed to be descriptive of my state of mind and heart and motivation that day- then i never actually wrote anything.  how ironic.

but it’s a new week and i feel like i am getting some of that flow back.  last week was pretty tasking and emotional as i thought and prayed through a lot of different things that are happening in my life simultaneously.  in general, there are just a lot of transitional things happening- from travel, to new responsibilities- from embracing new experiences to bidding adieu to some old ones.

the next couple of months are going to fly by as i look to berlin on the horizon.  the good thing is that i feel great about how the next couple of months are shaping up in regard to work responsibilities and schedule.  i am going to stay connected to some things here on the ncc/dc front, all the while working with our partner in the berlin initiative, who is currently stateside.  we are mapping out a plan that is going to utilize the things that i can gain and prep from being around ncc, but also getting on the road to pitch the vision to other churches, potential partners and supporters.

all of this is being put into place so that i am as prepared as possible to leave at the end of october.  that we have utilized all of the benefit of being able to build a foundation here in the u.s. as well as focus on some initial scheming for the initial time that i will be living and working in berlin.  this project is all God all the way- all the networks, convergences, and divine appointments that have lined up to get it to this point are amazing.  i do not think that is going to cease any time soon.  so we are just trying to be open and stay out of the way- all the while working our tail off to be in a position to utilize the things that God is preparing.

part of my re-invigoration is wrapped up in the plan that is unfolding before my eyes- bringing to conclusion some of my current jobs, tasks and responsibilities and taking on the new things- reading, learning, studying, observing- and ultimately hoping to be prepared to venture out, back to europe.


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