Thursday, April 26, 2007

Undefiled Religion

Sometimes God's people remember who they are--children of the King. A friend of mine, Julie, who goes way back (actually to 7th grade but mostly college summers) brought this video clip to my attention. I'll put the link in at the end, but first a short intro.

The subject of this video is Lance Wooldridge, affectionately known to Julie and me as "Puck." We all worked at Pine Cove together in the early 90s as camp counselors. I haven't heard much from Lance over the years, other than that he moved to Nashville with hopes of recording his music. He got married, had kids, etc. I did hear a few years later that his wife had some sort of major health problem. That's about all I knew. He's now on staff at Fellowship Bible Church in Brentwood, TN.

Watch what happens when God's people serve humbly, anonymously, generously, and lovingly. When one couple reaches out in obedience to the Lord's leading, a host of people are blessed. This sort of crazy love is exactly what the Father is all about. Givers, recipients, even the unborn, benefit when God's people come together for the good of one another. Watch! (When you get to this page, click on "Miracle in Franklin"--the picture of the family.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mixed News

By now the Virginia Tech tragedy is on the front page of your hometown newspaper. When I first heard the news, my thought immediately went out to my friend Erin Teske, a proud Hokie alumna. Say a prayer for the VT family, the surviving victims, and the surrounding community as they begin to deal with this horrible event and its aftermath.

On a completely different note, we have had some mini-celebration this weekend at our house. Those tornadic storms that stormed (ha!) through the DFW area did nothing more to our part of town than send much-needed rain and a cold front. Speaking of the cold, Nate's baseball team won their second game in 40-degree weather. 6 year olds should not be asked to play baseball, however questionably they "play" it at that age, in such awful conditions. But the Cardinals persevered, got some good hits, and pulled it out in the final inning.

My personal celebration this weekend? Mailing in the completed manuscript for Mixed Ministry: Working Together as Brothers and Sisters, the WIP that Sue, Henry, and I have been toiling over for a year. The book is based on the family model set out in 1 Timothy 5:1,2

Do not address an older man harshly but appeal to him as a father. Speak to younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters – with complete purity.
The past few years have seen a rise in women joining American evangelical church staffs. Women have of course been heavily involved in volunteer leadership and service in a variety of ways for many years. But sharing leadership positions, working together regularly as equals or partners, is (unfortunately) somewhat new to the evangelical world. Our book argues that the church is meant to be a family, and as such men are our brothers and we women are their sisters. If that mindset comes first, and we believe it can be learned, the ministry the church offers to believers and the world will be enhanced, not threatened. What better way to model Jesus than to treat one another with respect, deference, and humility.
Some of the topics we address: how Jesus and Paul treated women, new research in gender differences, fostering a family ethos within a staff and church body, modesty, dealing with physical attractions, healthy--not artificial--boundaries between men and women on staff, how to work together harmoniously so that Jesus is honored...
This one took a lot of research and a lot of help from volunteers who interviewed, wrote, edited, argued, and sharpened us. We're hoping our next project (just Sue and I) will be a bit easier to write! That one's on conflict...hmmm. Oh well.
So there it is...safety from the storm, victory on the field, and a project completed. On to the next task...