Thursday, September 30, 2004
Project Vote Smart
A wonderful, complete, objective (really) resource for information on elected officials and candidates
Michaela Siobhan (my 8 year old) wanted to send a letter to her government representatives to ask them how laws are made. I'm just a little ashamed to say that I didn't know who our representative was in the House and so surfed a bit to find a site where I could find this out based on our address.
I found Project Vote Smart which is a fantastic resource not only for what I needed but also for anyone trying to decide for whom to vote in state and federal elections.
For what I was looking, I simply put in my Zip+4 (every Zip+4 designates around 6-15 households - if you don't know your +4 designation just go to this site where you can put in your address and it will give you your +4 number.) and I was told our Senators and House Representatives, in addition to our State representatives with links to pages that provide their respective biographies, their primary website url, their committees, education, affiliations, and - perhaps most signficantly - their interest group ratings and their voting records! In addition, they also list the candidates for any upcoming elections for any of these offices.
I was wondering what the group's political affiliation was and it's apparently bi-partisan. From their about us page:
The gap between the ideal of democracy as intended by our country's founders and the reality of how today's political process works has never been wider. The typically irresponsible use of modern mass communication by candidates and political campaign practitioners has resulted in an unprecedented degree of misinformation, disinformation, distortion, confusion and emotional but empty imagery at all levels. The absence of any kind of consistently trustworthy system of accountability or unbiased institution to provide just the facts makes responsible voter decisions difficult, frustrating and time-consuming.
Recognizing this void in American civic culture and the need to create a new organization, 40 national leaders, including former Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, formed Project Vote Smart (PVS) in 1992. Dedicated to upholding the ideal of democracy and serving the American people with unbiased and accurate information, PVS constructed a user-friendly voter's self-defense system accessible through a website and a toll-free hotline (1-888-VOTE-SMART) over a 10-year period. Described by the New York Times as "one of the most comprehensive campaign information sites on the web" and by the Philadelphia Inquirer as "spectacular" for gathering in one place the information any intelligent voter needs, PVS is becoming recognized as the answer for objective and trustworthy information. A primary goal for PVS in the years ahead is to increase awareness of its services and use by American citizens.
Project Vote Smart covers these candidates and elected officials in five basic categories:
* Background and contact information
* Issue positions, provided by candidates through our National Political Awareness Test (NPAT)
* Voting record
* Campaign finances
* Interest group ratings from over 100 groups across the ideological spectrum
The PVS website also includes:
* Public statements made by President, U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives and Governors
* Voter registration forms for each state
* Contact information for state and local election offices
* Polling place and absentee ballot information
* Ballot measure descriptions for each state, where applicable
* Links to federal and state government agencies, political parties and issue organizations
* Information about PVS membership and internship opportunities
On their objectivity, the site says,
PVS was inaugurated in 1992 by national leaders as diverse as former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, former U.S. Senators Barry Goldwater and George McGovern, and former U.S. Representatives Newt Gingrich and Geraldine Ferraro. All Founding Board members must join with an ideological opposite to provide balance and ensure strict impartiality in PVS programs and materials.
Every candidate - Democrat, Republican, third party or independent is treated with equal deference, and only relevant and unbiased facts are presented. PVS does not lobby for, support or oppose any candidate, position or issue. All PVS staff and interns are required to sign a pledge affirming their commitment to absolute impartiality.
I'm blown away. What a resource!
Posted by Stephen at 9/30/2004 05:31:00 AM
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Missions and the Emerging Church
A friend of mine asked me about this topic and I did a little digging and came up with some resources that might be helpful in beginning to wrap the brain around the nexus of emerging church and missions.
Through knowing Rogier Bos (Rogier was the first editor of Next-Wave), I've come to appreciate Christian Associates International.
Matthew Glock has an interesting article on emergingchurch.info that he subtitles "An incomplete manifesto for cross-cultural missions in the emerging post-modern culture"
A number of emerging church types also are reading Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch's The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st Century Church. It's also helpful to review some of the blogs referencing this title through allconsuming. In October there's some Shaping of Things to Come gatherings in England. And Len Hjalmarson recently reviewed this book for the folks @ allelon (free registration required).
I also found an interesting discussion thread on this topic on opensourcetheology.
Also, emergesque readers, I'd be most grateful if you commented here on other resources that you believe would be helpful to review in this discussion.
Posted by Stephen at 9/29/2004 05:42:00 AM
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
the post-emerging church
Andrew Jones contributes to the growing post-emerging church meme (not to be confused with any necessarily actually current post-emerging church!)
Posted by Stephen at 9/28/2004 07:31:00 AM
A friend of mine and I were emailing about the relationship of religious epistemology and geography and it reminded me of this old post. If you do go there, be sure to check out the linked to email exchange I had with Brian McLaren on this topic; I found it helpful.
Posted by Stephen at 9/28/2004 06:55:00 AM
Monday, September 27, 2004
Saturday, September 25, 2004
the post-emerging church?
Emerging Church and Church
Jason Clark blogged about FutureGen 2005 and the post-emerging church, which prompted a bit of discussion on his site.
Jason had commented on this before; Darren Rouse actually predicted the post-emerging church on 30 January 2004 and just last month, Graham Old said it would arise in 2 years.
What is the relationship between "church," "emerging church," and "post-emerging church?"
Perhaps it's most helpful to think of the emerging church movement (Emergent likes to call it a "conversation;" Bill Bean prefers "phenomenon") in the same spirit Richard Foster of Renovare displays when he discusses The Six Traditions of the Church in his wonderful Streams of Living Water. (These traditions are also listed and described on Renovare). I think this approach brings humility, a character trait we could well use in this discussion.
I suggest that those of us in the emerging church conversation err badly if we come to the point of thinking that we're the ones with the best bead on things. At the same time, I further suggest that on some matters it very well may be that we are riding at the top of the some of the Spirit's waves.
Just as it's easy for a member of Christ's church to believe that the expression of her own God-gift is the most important activity for the church today, I suggest a local church, a denomination, a parachurch organization, or a movement can make the same error.
I, for example, have a passion to see the church operate well as an organization, balancing both executional excellence with holistic spiritual relationships. All the time I'm thinking about mentoring, coaching, leadership, effective meetings, how to run projects well, etc. But I don't delude myself into thinking that organizational excellence is the issue today that's nearest to God's heartbeat. I am but a cog in a larger Kingdom-machine.
Similarly, consider Jason Clark's recent post of "summary of outcomes" stemming from an emergent leadership gathering that occurred near the end of August. Jason lists:
1 - gender diversity,
2 - racial and ethnic diversity,
3 - denominational diversity,
4 - church tradition diversity,
5 - internationalization, and
6 - justice
among some other internal concerns.
Are these important issues to consider? Yes. But where is the gospel? Where is spiritual formation? Why didn't they merit a mention? I suggest it's because the leaders of emergent don't see emergent church and church as a tautology. Their organization addresses very specific concerns that their leadership believes are worth addressing.
Similarly, I suggest that the emerging church - by the very definition of "emerging" - is not an enduring phenomenon. It is addressing very specific concerns in a very specific season of the church's history.
Ironically, it is a modern impulse for us to rest calmly within the parameters of emerging church concerns and circles: we've figured it out; we can rest; we blog and convention and read and hang out and surf with the coolest folks in the church today and we have the most turbocool thoughtleaders. Now we should, of course, celebrate and joy in our friends and leaders, but we must watch out carefully for complacency and inclusiveness.
I recently visited a church that was following the Willow Creek Seeker Model. When I made an appreciative comment about the church being more traditional, one of the elders of the church looked at me quizically. "Traditional?" He didn't realize that the Willowesque non-denominational church is The New Traditional and that many are moving beyond its comforting confines into more uncharted territory. And uncharted territory has a tendency to become charted.
Now I don't mean to imply that the emerging church phenomenon has necessarily reached its fullest maturity in all quarters, but I do suggest that the post-emerging church is an inevitability. The church will become or is becoming post-emerging (and, of course, different parts of the church will do this at different times or not at all). And we should celebrate that transition with the same enthusiasm as when we sense our own spirits entering a new season where we find ourselves emerging farther up and deeper in.
Posted by Stephen at 9/25/2004 01:18:00 PM
Friday, September 24, 2004
NT Wright MP3's: The Future of the People of God
Jason Clark announces that these are now available online. Andrew Perriman earlier provided us with some helpful preliminary material including outlines of some of Wright's books in his Christian Origins and the People of God series.
Posted by Stephen at 9/24/2004 07:02:00 AM
Thursday, September 23, 2004
the problem with balance
I'd like to add that even before my son was diagnosed with leukemia, but certainly since then, I've clung to Scripture more closely than ever. In this regard, my model has not been my theological training in a conservative Baptist church or at Biola University, but my understanding of how the Bible is used among the poor and pentecostal in the world. You read the Scripture as if the Holy Spirit himself is talking to you. It is not an abandonment of the idea that we stick to the meaning of the text. But it does fall in line with the idea of "receiving a word" from God, or Jesus himself speaking to you.
Going that route, we open ourselves up to all sorts of charismatic excesses. Well, it's always going to be something. I don't like the word "balance" when I hear it in discussions of Christian faith, because it often sounds like a cop-out to me, a way to end a difficult conversation.
see Rudy Carrasco's entire post.
Posted by Stephen at 9/23/2004 07:27:00 AM
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
I've been reading Jon Meacham's Franklin and Winston that documents the great friendship between these two World War II leaders. Today I read a fantastic letter from Clementine to her husband Winston Churchill after she received complaints about his manner with subordinates:
It is for you to give the Orders and if they are bungled - except for the King, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Speaker, you can sack anyone and everyone. Therefore with this terrific power you must combine urbanity, kindness and if possible Olympic calm. You used to quote: -- "On ne regne sure les ames que par le calme" [One can only reign over souls with calmness]...."
This enjoined calm in the midst of the Nazi storm reminded me of a similar characteristic of psychological hardiness in Franklin Roosevelt, about which I earlier blogged.
See The Sceptred Isle for the rest of this wonderful letter (scroll down to "Letter From Clementine Churchill To Her Husband Trying To Warn Him About Talk In The Commons")
Posted by Stephen at 9/22/2004 06:44:00 AM
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Mars Hill Audio
MARS HILL AUDIO exists to assist Christians who desire to move from thoughtless consumption of modern culture to a vantage point of thoughtful engagement.
We believe that fulfilling the commands to love God and neighbor requires that we pay careful attention to the neighborhood: that is, every sphere of human life where God is either glorified or despised, where neighbors are either edified or undermined. Therefore, living as disciples of Christ pertains not just to prayer, evangelism, and Bible study, but also our enjoyment of literature and music, our use of tools and machines, our eating and drinking, our views on government and economics, and so on.
We endeavor to encourage the sensibilities and habits of thoughtful cultural engagement through creative audio resources that we produce at our studio
If you are wondering what a faith-based NPR would sound like, look no further than Mars Hill Audio. The Mars Hill Audio Journal is exec produced by Ken Myers, who, "for eight years he was a producer and editor for National Public Radio, working for much of that time as arts and humanities editor for the two news programs, Morning Edition and All Things Considered."
I've intermittently subscribed through the years and have found their offerings invariably intelligent and thought-provoking.
You can also purchase backissues. One of the valuable features of their website is the ability to scan previous journal issues by topic or by guest.
You can also ask for a free sample copy of the Journal here.
Posted by Stephen at 9/21/2004 10:47:00 AM
Monday, September 20, 2004
new to the emerging church discussion?
on resonate's online discussion group, jordon cooper lists some online articles to read for those who are just beginning to explore the church emergent. (also good for those who are interested in the nexus of postmodernity and the church, though emergers don't really talk a lot ab postmodernity much anymore).
earlier, i had blogposted ab good books to read for an intro to all matters ec and pomoChristian
Posted by Stephen at 9/20/2004 06:53:00 PM
Sunday, September 19, 2004
more on anne lamott
She came to Jesus just as she was—a foul-mouthed, bulimic, alcoholic drug addict. One week after having an abortion, she surrendered to him in her very own version of the sinner's prayer, punctuated with the f-word.
i blogged ab annie a few days ago and i think i actually earlier blogged about this Agnieszka Tennant article on her some time ago but i wanted to mention it again.
Posted by Stephen at 9/19/2004 01:42:00 PM
The Religion of George Bush
Before President Bush addressed a Knights of Columbus convention last month in Dallas, the audience of 2,500 conservative Catholics watched a documentary film about a woman who chose to die rather than end a pregnancy that threatened her life. Then the president gave a speech in which he called Pope John Paul II "a true hero of our time" and used the pope's phrase "culture of life" three times.
When it was over, many in the audience were convinced that the president shared their view that abortion is murder and should be banned. "The 'culture of life' is a very important code word that will resonate with Catholics," said Carl A. Anderson, head of the 1.6 million-member Knights of Columbus, the world's largest Roman Catholic men's society.
But Bush had not actually said that abortion is tantamount to murder.
The Washington Post runs a piece called "Openly Religious, to a Point."
Posted by Stephen at 9/19/2004 12:26:00 PM
Saturday, September 18, 2004
Friday, September 17, 2004
Thursday, September 16, 2004
I've been listening to Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies on my commute last couple of days and am enjoying Anne's story. It's the first time I've read any of her material. In fact, it was listening to Anne that prompted my note yesterday ab godthreads. I think that where she sees God is the the aspect of her work that I'm enjoying the most. She frequently brings my heart to my throat. She's also very earthy.
Found out that book is comprised of some of Anne's Salon columns where are archived.
Posted by Stephen at 9/16/2004 07:47:00 AM
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
The Question of God
The Question of God, a four-hour series on PBS, explores in accessible and dramatic style issues that preoccupy all thinking people today: What is happiness? How do we find meaning and purpose in our lives? How do we reconcile conflicting claims of love and sexuality? How do we cope with the problem of suffering and the inevitability of death? Based on a popular Harvard course taught by Dr. Armand Nicholi, author of The Question of God, the series illustrates the lives and insights of Sigmund Freud, a life-long critic of religious belief, and C.S. Lewis, a celebrated Oxford don, literary critic, and perhaps this century's most influential and popular proponent of faith based on reason.
PBS is running this program tonight at 9 PM! Should be interesting!
Posted by Stephen at 9/15/2004 05:36:00 PM
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
godthreads are conduits of God into your life. They're different for everyone. Pat Metheny's Road to You for me is a godthread; it's led me to worship. The last scene of the Matrix where Neo flys out of the phone booth with Rage Against the Machine playing on the score was a godthread. John's Abiding in the Vine meme for me is a godthread. I keep going back and back and back to it in my thoughts. A few years ago I was taken by the concept of practicing God's presence. Yesterday morning, Psalm 107 was a godthread. I had been very aware of a hunger of God and it had made me feel unhappy and disconnected. 107:9 taught me not to resist the hunger but rather to lean into the hunger, to see it as the clarion call to Home.
We mustn't think that our godthreads are necessarily someone else's. We mustn't impose our Godthreads on others. They are idiosyncratic.
This concept has helped me enormously. It lets you look for God anywhere. Where is His Spirit speaking to you? Through what or whom? A godthread can be found anywhere you find resonance with God.
Posted by Stephen at 9/14/2004 08:34:00 PM
Quote of the Day:
There are too many weenies in the world, and not enough people willing to take action.
Thanks for the reminder, Justin! Keep 'em coming!
Posted by Stephen at 9/14/2004 06:34:00 AM
Monday, September 13, 2004
the future of emergent
At the end of August I met with Doug Pagitt, Tim Keel, Laci Scott, Tim Condor, and Brian McLaren, to talk, pray, and plan about emergent’s past and future. There’s a lot to report: we worked intensely from morning until night when we were together. Here is part of a summary of the outcomes of our time together.
Jason Clark updates us on the future plans of emergent.
thanks to rob mcalpine for the heads up.
Posted by Stephen at 9/13/2004 07:35:00 AM
Sunday, September 12, 2004
Saturday, September 11, 2004
Three Years Ago Today
The September 11 Digital Archive uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the history of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania and the public responses to them. Funded by a major grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and organized by the American Social History Project at the City University of New York Graduate Center and the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, the Digital Archive will contribute to the on-going effort by historians and archivists to record and preserve the record of 9/11 by: collecting first-hand accounts of the 9/11 attacks and the aftermath (especially voices currently under-represented on the web), collecting and archiving emails and digital images growing out of these events, organizing and annotating the most important web-based resources on the subject, and developing materials to contextualize and teach about the events.
from the September 11 Digital Archive.
Steve Wynkoop lets us know about The September 11 Digital Archive
Posted by Stephen at 9/11/2004 11:11:00 AM
From the 104th Floor
I really, really want to post the entire text of this wonderful poem by Leda Rodis, which she wrote in September 2001 when she was only 14 and had seen the picture of the couple jumping from one of the Twin Towers holding hands. But I have a dear friend who is an author and genuinely passionate about copyright laws and so I won't. However, I do believe that I can quote part of it.
...I look towards the open window.
would falling feel like?
I remember the roller coaster at Coney Island.
The wind tugging at my hair
How good it felt to scream.
The feeling in my stomach.
And how all the way down
I was with you.
CNN did post a transcript of the reading of a good bit of the poem if you scroll down that page.
Posted by Stephen at 9/11/2004 12:10:00 AM
Friday, September 10, 2004
considered conversions and baptism
chris monroe writes,
The room is quiet, except for wordless music softly playing in the background. The man up front has asked us to bow our heads and close our eyes.
"If you would like to receive Christ," he begins, "just raise your hand." The awkward silence continues.
"I see your hand... and I see your hand... and yours..." he says before continuing, "Now, I'd like you to pray and repeat after me..."
Something like this has been the reality for countless thousands of Evangelical Christians over the past 50-some years. The raising of a hand; the repeating of a prayer; the explanation of a new-found faith.
But things are beginning to change within Evangelical churches -- increasing numbers of pastors and leaders are teaching that baptism rather than a raised hand or a repeated prayer is the true sign of faith -- the true sign of decision.
"And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you--not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" - 1 Peter 3:21 (NRSV)
An appeal to God...
Could it be that we were never meant to separate our "asking Christ into our lives" from the act of baptism?
I think Chris is nearly right if not spot on. If you read Acts it becomes apparent that very soon after you decided to follow Jesus, you got wet. This, I believe, is why so many confuse baptism as being a requirement of salvation in the same way some in the Southern US might confuse the raising of the hand on verse 4,984 of "Just as I am" as a requirement of salvation.
Posted by Stephen at 9/10/2004 06:32:00 AM
Thursday, September 09, 2004
Brian McLaren: New Thoughts
Through the intrepid Jen Lemen (it pays to have friends in high places) Brian has very kindly agreed to an email exchange with me on a short series of questions on writing in general and A Generous Orthodoxy specifically. I'll post one question and answer every couple of days here.
Brian's posting some original material over on the Generous Orthodoxy blog in response to questions by Mike Todd.
Posted by Stephen at 9/09/2004 05:40:00 AM
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Monday, September 06, 2004
Sunday, September 05, 2004
chechenskaya respublika (chechnya)
The interior minister of North Ossetia, Kazbek Dzantiyev, submitted his resignation Sunday, saying he could not remain in office after the attack, Interfax and Itar-Tass reported.
"After what happened in Beslan, I don't have the right to occupy this post as an officer and as a man," the Itar-Tass news agency quoted him as saying.
According to MSNBC, in the last 2 weeks, 480 people have died in apparent connection with the Chechnyan crisis. In Beslan, CNN says that 338 people, including 156 children, were killed. 700 were injured and 447 are in hospitals - half of these children - while 58 are in "very serious condition." 191 people are missing. Some of the former hostages are beginning to speak out about their experience. NBC reports that this is the "second largest terrorist attack after Sept. 11".
Here are some resources for those who want to get a better understanding of the Chechnyan Crisis:
Russia and Chechnya: A long, bloody history - Yesterday Michael Davidson of CTV gave us some historical background to the Chechnyan conflict. Thanks to Robert Wilde of about.com for the reference.
Brief History of Chechnya on Infoplease
Timeline of Key Events in Chechnya from 1830 to 2004 from Infoplease.
About.com's Site on Chechnya with Maps and Background Info
Posted by Stephen at 9/05/2004 01:39:00 PM
Posted by Stephen at 9/05/2004 08:36:00 AM
Saturday, September 04, 2004
pray for the russian children
Come, Lord Jesus. Bring peace to our friends. Bring comfort to parents; bring comfort to children. Bring peace in Russia.
Posted by Stephen at 9/04/2004 11:06:00 PM
Friday, September 03, 2004
a leadership requirement: psychological hardiness
A meme that has been enormously helpful to me has been "psychological hardiness". I first encountered this concept in Kouzes and Posner's wonderful Leadership Challenge. A couple of years ago, Next-Wave ran a Leadership Primer I had written based mostly on this book.
Here's the excerpt from the Primer dealing with psychological hardiness:
Yet change is stressful. Accordingly, a leader must possess or develop “psychological hardiness.” Psychologists Suzanne C. Kobasa and Salvatore R. Maddi studied individuals in business who although in the midst of highly stressful situations nevertheless experienced low degrees of illness. By studying executives at Illinois Bell during the deregulation of AT&T and the Baby Bells, Kobasa and Maddi were able to identify certain characteristics that healthy individuals shared in distinction from those who were unhealthy in stressful situations. They discovered that individuals with psychological hardiness
1 – believed that they had an influence on their environment and acted consistently with that belief;
2 – consistently considered how to change situations for advantage and never accepted events at face value;
3 – regarded change as part of the normal course of events;
4 – viewed change as a helpful path to positive development; and
5 - were committed to learning and personal transformation.
In contrast, individuals who did not thrive physically in stressful environments held very different attitudes. They
1 – were bored with life;
2 – found life to be meaningless;
3 – considered change to be threatening;
4 – believed themselves to be at the mercy of their circumstances;
5 – prepared for the worst; and
6 – considered the status quo to be normal and viewed change as unusual.
Great leaders display psychological hardiness.
For the last couple of years, I've been reading 20th Century American History biographies with a special focus on Presidential biographies. Recently, after reading Geoffrey Ward's A First Class Temperament, which treats Franklin Roosevelt from his honeymoon with Eleanor to his election as Governor of New York, I turned to Doris Kearns Goodwin's Pulitzer Prize-winning No Ordinary Time, which covers Franklin and Eleanor through World War II.
In 1921 - when he was 39 years old - FDR was struck with polio. Roosevelt's response to the disease deepened his character and helped him to develop psychological hardiness. This characteristic of his psyche was seen at various points in his presidency.
One example was his response to the Battle of the Bulge. This battle began as a result of the Ardennes Offensive, the significant (and delayed) German response to the Allies' D-Day offensive that began with a massive assault on Normandy, France and continued as British and American troops drove to Berlin. Before this Offensive, where Hitler threw 2500 tanks and 250,000 German troops against 80,000 Allied troops, it had been hoped that the European War might be coming to an end. Goodwin writes:
For ten days, with a thick mist rendering Allied operations in the air virtually impossible, the Germans drove forward, outnumbering and outgunning the unprepared American troops. At the Schnee Eifel in souteastern Belgium, nearly nine thousand Americans were forced to surrender, marking the second-largest mass surrender in American history (Bataan was the first). For those who imagined that Germany was essentially defeated, this was a bitter and depressing period.
Through the worst days, Roosevelt remained calm. He followed the course of the attack on the wall charts in his map room, watching somberly as the red pins, signaling German forces, multiplied, forcing the green pins, signaling the United States, into a full retreat. Yet not once, Marshall [George C. Marshall, US Army Chief of Staff] marveled, did he seek to interfere in any way with Eisenhower's command; not once did he force the Joint Chiefs to explain how this disaster had been possible. He had relied on these men through the entire war, and he would continue to rely on them now. "In great stress," Marshall declared, "Roosevelt was a strong man."
Roosevelt's steadiness in the midst of the crisis kindled gratitude in Stimson [Harry Stimson, Secretary of War] as well. "He has been extremely considerate," Stimson recorded in his diary. "He has really exercised great restraint, for the anxiety on his part must have been very heavy" (pp. 564,565, emphasis mine).
Though Roosevelt was under great stress, the experience of polio had taught him a great lesson.
Regarding FDR during the anxious hours leading to D-Day, or Operation Overlord, Goodwin writes,
...Roosevelt remained calm.... In Eleanor's judgment, her husband was better able to meet the tension than many of the others, "because he'd learned from polio that if there was nothing you could do about a situation, then you'd better try to put it out of your mind and go on with your work at hand" (pp. 507,508, emphasis mine).
There are a host of biblical passages that speak to the basis for psychological hardiness in leaders of spiritual communities. Here are a few that come to mind:
Philippians 4:4-9 (all passages English Standard Version)
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
But even when our temporal desires do not come to past, part of psychological hardiness is our awareness that as eternal people we live in the Not Yet.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Those who follow us find psychological hardiness very compelling and reassuring because we are modeling for them faith in the One who loves us.
Posted by Stephen at 9/03/2004 09:21:00 AM
Thursday, September 02, 2004
Is the Emerging Church Rearranging Chairs on the Titanic?
Rick Presley, one of the 'mappers, recently posted some sobering thoughts about the emerging church.
I don't personally view Rick's comments as necessarily descriptive but as an important cautionary. Elsewhere I've suggested that it's possible for any individual emerging church to get caught into Stage Two Emergent. I suppose that's also possible for the movement as a whole.
Posted by Stephen at 9/02/2004 06:47:00 AM
Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Richard Foster: Keeping a Spiritually Missional Community Focused
Todd Hunter Reports Seven Lessons from Richard Foster in light of the fifteen year history of Renovare. I think it's interesting to read these comments and compare them with the view of organizations held by Max DePree.
Posted by Stephen at 9/01/2004 07:52:00 AM