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Showing posts from April 18, 2010

It really is sunny in Philadelphia!

Good morning blogverse. This morning I'm in Philadelphia and it is sunny and a warm 70 degrees. How nice for the town to welcome me in such a temperate way. For the next five days I will be taking part in the Youth Ministry Institute at Princeton Seminary. This weekend is the beginning of a two-year masters level certificate program. I'm so excited as to what I will learn and experience in the next few days, and a little nervous too. My family is great and supportive of all this, but I will miss them so much in the next week. So in line with a prayer exercise what my friend Marlaena used when on her last mission team trip, I'd like to ask you to pray for me and my family in a specific manner over the next few days. This is a great opportunity, and I want to make the most of it. I know your prayer support will assist me in that goal greatly! So here's the outline: Saturday April 24: Pray for Tara's heart. As today she will meet many new people and her coh

I'd like to confess that...

Another thought on confession that I picked up on on page 80 of the text of Holy Conversations: "We also need to confess that we have come to Jesus. Confessing sin is the negative side of confession ( saying no). Confessing Christ is the positive side (saying yes). Both confessing sin and confessing Jesus are necessary for new life in Christ." When I think of the word confession, I tend to frame it in a primarily negative context. I think what is freeing about the above explanation is that it give a person a place to let go of what inhibits and then take up the thing that uplifts. Jeff (from our facebook group) commented above on how "Confession is good for the soul" - I'd like to suggest that this entails both sides of confession, the - and the +. If the christian community were more likely to live out this way of confessional living, I believe it would breathe life into our communities.

Confession: Getting by with some help from my friends...and God too!

Image from the blog "A view from the balcony." Confession is a key step in conversion. Confession is repentance actualized. How do you talk about confession? Clearly it isn't your place to say to a friend,"Here are the issues I see in your life. You need to name these issues, offer then to God in repentance and ask for forgiveness." Your friend would say rightly, "Who are you to tell me what is wrong in my life?" In fact, you probably don't want to talk about confession directly at all. What is helpful is simply to talk about the issues in your own life and the power of confession for you. In other words you model confession instead of talking about it. The response of your friend is up to him or her, but by your openness you have given your friend the option and the right to be open with you. What role, if any, did confession (of sin, need or longing) play a part in your own coming to be a follower of Christ? ---------------------------------

Love letters

Image from Phil Mack Irish Country Music . My husband Ian and I have old photos from when we first started dating, also in that box are the letters and cards we sent to each other when we lived a town away from each other. While we will have been married for eighteen years in June and have accumulated many things in that time, my favorite possessions are contained in that cardboard box. There are so many things available in the world for us to own. So often, we begin to believe that things are the key to happiness. However,the most precious possessions for most people are not things that are found at the mall. The old treasure boxes of our lives bring back the memories and relationships represented by the contents in that box of old photos. I think I love my old box of photo's, because it helps bring those memories back to life. I love the way the mind can recall things so vividly with the help of a photo, a familiar smell or an old letter. Letters epically have a way of cutting