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The Parable of Manna from Hell April 25, 2010 Just listened to your message about the plane crash in Wiwinak, Nicaragua. I happened to be able to visit that community just this past Friday along with Mark Vanderwees and a few others. I was struck by the loss of community that this manna from hell brought. My first thought had been that it was quite something that the whole community would share these sudden riches. But it only took a few minutes to realize that instead this sudden wealth had shredded the community. We were not greeted with smiles and hospitality as in many other places but with people whose faces registered fear and sadness. Men walking around with rifles and guns rather than tools, wary of us. Apparently the day before family members came to claim the bodies of those who died in the plane crash. But the community would only give them up for more money. Greed begets more greed. A pastor lamenting the loss of youth whom he can no longer reach because they have given themselves to worldly pursuits.
We were also part of meeting with members of the community that CRWRC and AMC have been working with. It was a hard meeting. The farmers were unhappy because they weren't getting more handouts. The project also works with the agreement that once a farmer is making some profit he will share some of it with the community in order to help others get started. But they were no longer willing to share with others. It was not about community but about self.
It seems to me that the loss of community is no stranger to us in North America. Our wealth isolates us, consumes us rather than we consuming it. The parable you preached on is not a feel good one. Such manna erodes union with one another and with God.
Coldplay - knowing God April 19, 2010 Chris Martin says a lot of things like that. In that interview alone you could probably find at least 2 inappropriate comments. Just the way he is. I have seen practically every coldplay interview I can find, and Chris Martin isn't exactly the perfect role model if you only watch interviews. His music is still magical and beautiful though. I love him and coldplay. JapanFan51
Horton Hears as Who, believing the unbelievable April 19, 2010 really? i thought the dust mite was like an egg and all the fun and life that was within in it, and some people just dont want to give it a chance, but i guess thats just me al3xqsays
World of Warcraft - Interview with a guild master April 12, 2010 People need a hobby and people need progression. Some are more passionate about these two things and since you have to wait to get an education before you can get these two things, some choose to zone out or practice them other places.
So many kids use way more time on gaming the education because education isn't "competetive."
So much time is wasted - And believe me, no time is wasted in gaming. VersatilyAudacious
I was a friend of Shane's and talked with him a few days before he died and what you said about him was spot on and he woulda loved it.
FYI, Shane was a multi-layered guy and he was in truth one of those saints about which the Bible speaks, though he hid it well.
He actively raised money for Make-a-Wish and did a lot of very low profile stuff to help kids, especially those with problems. In fact, he himself was a "wish" for a terminal kid a few years back. The kid's wish was to spend a day skiing with the legendary Shane McConkey and he got his wish. I never wrote stuff like that about him when I reported on his adventures for SKYDIVING Magazine, though; out of courtesy to him, I didn't "blow (his) cover."
In case you were interested, here's the link to where I found your Shane Sermon:
Anyway, really - really - nice job on explaining not only the "why" but the "why-it's-worthy" of extreme sports.
p.s. if you have a transcript of that sermon, I'd love to have it. If you don't, here's the part I transcribed while listening to it:
"Whether you're flying off a cliff or climbing one or going up up frozen ice fall, whether you're racing down on a snow board or skis or in giant slalom, just realizing there is something innately good and deeply right about a human being's capacity and willingness to throw it out there and to take risks.
God has made you for a fully alive life and the means through which God calls you into and asks you, beckons you, to take into that life is FILLED with risk.
According to the Bible, story after story after story of these great saints that we read about that God looks down on and says 'Well done, good and faithful servant,' were people who had the GUTS to step out big time - even risk their very lives."
Coldplay - knowing God March 31, 2010 I love coldplay, they make me smile everyday. Even on days when I am sad and crying. But this gave me a new perspective on their music and everything else also. I wouldn't say that I am a very religious person, but this pastor did open my eyes more. thank you. JapanFan51
Anger and Metallica March 29, 2010 Hi, my name is Jordan Pater and I have been prompted to contact you by my bible teacher. She knew I am an avid listener of Metallica's music and asked me to reflect on Pastor Van Sloten's sermon from a few years back. I proceeded to listen to the sermon and afterwards I came up with an example of my own. Here is the parallel.
Nehemiah 9:19 (I can't write the whole thing since it's from my iPod).
It's very similar to this line: "the window burns to light the way back home, a light that burns, no matter where they've gone"
You said that Metallica's lyrics lack hope, but I think this is but a glimpse of a more hopeful side of them.
The Dark Knight, common grace March 24, 2010 RedBeetle has made a comment on The Dark Knight, common grace:
Your comment section looked so lonely, so I thought I would leave you a gracious comment:
Common Grace is heresy.
It is not Biblical. You are confusing God's providence with His attribute of grace. Grace is not the sending of rain, nor is it the sending of starvation. When God governs His universe, then the Heidelberg Catechism correctly identifies this to be providence, not grace.
Grace is always saving.
See my channel page for more information on Calvinism.
Read Gordon H. Clark.
Whether you go with Calvin or Kuyper's language, wouldn't any movement of God in his creation be of a gracious nature? How could God, being who he is, act in any other way?
God's take on the Sub-prime Mortgage Crisis March 24, 2010 Its really disturbing to see how the pastor at the end relates economic crisis caused by the sub prime mortgage loans to Jesus. If we keep ignoring the actual issues and leave everything to Jesus, then i guess this country is going to be in bigger trouble than what we already have got ourselves into. nash9979
The Power of Positive Psychology? - Flow March 16, 2010 Linda
March 28th, 2010 on 8:11 am
Reading Solo, looking out at my back yard, or at the river valley in the front, watching kids in worship, becoming acutely aware of God in the quietness of his creation, reading my kids’ report cards, remembering “moments” of God speaking directly into my life, travelling, challenging students to think bigger, sharing a beer with friends, coming up with ideas to serve, dreaming about running an “off the grid” organic farm close by the city that students could come to to learn about sustainable living, reading the Narnia series, reflecting on the intense beauty and love of God…These are a few.
March 19th, 2010 on 10:22 pm
I thought of quite a few!
When I’m writing a story and the characters seem to come alive – when I am able to put the “me” aside and just listen to the story and let it be, to let it lead. I am able to create something that astounds even me when I do this.
When I’m lost in the love of my husband – no matter what we’re doing – it is impossible to care or even notice what time it is. From going for a walk together to sharing in the wonderful joy of making love in which it is impossible not to feel surrounded by beauty.
When I’m playing music/singing a song – most especially with others. The song takes on a life of it’s own and almost becomes a separate entity. It is a bond that connects me to my other musicians in a very intimate way as we all get lost in it. Playing a song together, to me, brings us closer than anything else.
When I get away alone – anywhere. I can become lost in the simplest of sights or sensations if my mind is willing to relax.
Talking to a friend! I have a few friends that don’t live in the city and when they call I can be on the phone with them for HOURS and i don’t realize it until I hang up!
Reading a good book. I can read all night if the story pulls me in. I don’t realize the time passing – and I never want the book to end!
I constantly get lost – stop dead lost – in beautiful music.
A great movie. Wow. I just watched Forest Gump again and felt that those two and a half hours were like nothing to me. I was moved.
When I have had a friend who has needed me to be there fully. I’ve held a sobbing friend in her dark room for hours and not noticed nor cared about the time. I’ve sat up all night with another friend to make sure someone didn’t die on us while we slept. I’ve cleaned wounds and stopped the shaking. These moments take my all – and I give of it gladly.
Thinking about concepts – I just spent about twenty minutes on this and didn’t realize it.
March 19th, 2010 on 2:48 pm
hmmmmm. this is a puzzler. For me I would say that flow happens for me when I’m lost in deep thought. Generally over thinking scientific concepts, and contemplating the overabundant opportunities for learning about the universe.
As well, being secluded from the “world” as in other people. Being in Calgary it’s difficult to be far from civilization, but back where I grew up on Vancouver Island, I could pick a spot off the highway, climb a mountain for a couple hours and spend, well God only knows how many hours at a time looking over the valley just thinking about the future, what heaven would be like, what the world would be like without hate/war, the list goes on. It was always these times when I was able to clear my head of life’s stress and connect with myself, with God, with nature.
Thanks for this topic John. It’s made me realize that I really don’t get the opportunity for that flow at all anymore really. I think I’ll find some time for that.
March 18th, 2010 on 5:52 pm
I experience flow when I’m planning. I’m a teacher, and one of my favourite things about my job is envisioning a lesson, a unit, or a semester. I can literally lose myself in front of the computer for an entire work day and then wonder where the time went. And I love the feeling at the end of it, because I’ve solved several “problems” (usually timeline and content related), I’ve been able to use my creative energy to infuse “new life” into my teaching, and I’ve accomplished something that will help guide my work for the next day, week, or month. There’s definitely a sense of joy in this for me.
March 18th, 2010 on 3:17 pm
Time stands still when I’m editing video – sorting through hours of footage making a story or a montage come out of nothing. There is a sense of accomplishment and purpose to the whole thing. I am at one with the process and it defines who I am for the time I am engaged with it. Hunger, thirst, and other biological functions fade away. I enter eternity – or maybe it takes an eternity to complete a project.
March 17th, 2010 on 7:11 pm
when does time stand still for me?
it’s the times when my kids are sick, or sad, or lonely, and they melt into my arms to find comfort and encouragement and love, and in those moments i get a glimpse of the love that god has for us, and the anticipation of heaven and resting in the arms of my saviour.
and it’s the times on a friday night when the kids are in bed and the neighbors come over for a night cap, and we can share our lives, good and bad, when we can relax and enjoy the company (and sometimes order a giovanni’s pizza).
it’s also in the sharing of a conversation with a really good friend, whom i’ve grown so close to, yet i know won’t be around forever.
and sometimes it’s when i’m on facebook, and the hours just melt away and then i realize it’s after midnight and i’m going to be tired and cranky the next morning.
March 17th, 2010 on 2:36 pm
I personally see a direct correlation of “flow” with the act of love. I notice flow happens when I’m caught up in loving or being loved. Whether its in the thrill of talking to someone new, a quiet date with my husband, making someone smile, expressing myself through written word or paint, or just doing something that electrifies me…love is the common denominator. God gives us all the capacity to love and endows his love by giving us skills and abilities to physically show that love…I’m pretty sure that’s what I’d call flow.
March 17th, 2010 on 12:08 am
I would say “flow” happens for me differently. It doesn’t have to be things I “enjoy”, or “never want to end”, but more when my brain is fully engaged. Doing paperwork (trying to find a missing entry), fixing the car (mechanic work), putting together a proposal, or writing down the plan for my next “great” business idea. When these times occur I come away from them feeling accomplishment and fullfillment, which for me is a form of joy.
March 16th, 2010 on 10:07 pm
I’ve been mulling this question around and my conclusion is that for me it’s lots of seemingly little things. Snuggling up with one of my kids on the rare occasion that they’ll sit still, when supper’s over and the kitchen is cleaned up and we can relax and just “be” as a family, having a deep conversation and really connecting with someone, losing myself in a great book in the tub after the house has quieted down for the night, talking with women about their birthing experiences and dreaming of becoming a midwife, having my breathe taken away by a fiery sunrise, all of these and more are when and where I experience joy. Thanks for getting me thinking about them John