When I, along with a friend and colleague, started planting a new church in Chicago about five years ago, we had lots of ideas about how to do church, but one thing was certain: we wanted to do church differently. Lots of church planters have the same mission.
We told other existing churches that we weren’t in competition with them—we wanted to attract people who, for whatever reason, would never set foot in a narthex. In other words, we didn’t want our church to be too. . . . churchy.
My wife and I recently went to see William Inge's play Picnic,
which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. It was a riveting performance. I
was moved by how deeply the characters struggle to figure out who they
are in their corner of the world, a small town in Kansas.
I have not baptized many adults, so those I have baptized stand out and
are special to me. One was a woman I'll call Eleanor. Eleanor's hair has
tight curls. She walks with a slight limp and smells a bit of cigarette
My George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine is sitting in
my basement, serving as a lovely stand for our waffle iron. It still
works fine, but I think I've only turned it on twice since I unwrapped
it two or three years ago.
In the marketing world, a high "Q score" means that an item or brand is
well known and regarded. I'm not aware that anyone rates biblical
passages in this way, but if you did, Matthew 25 would have to have one
of the highest Q scores—not far behind Psalm 23 at the top.
Kurt Vonnegut, the renowned writer and self-avowed humanist, once said that his epitaph should read, “The only proof he ever needed of the existence of God was music.” I wonder if Vonnegut had been listening to Franz Jackson; hearing Jackson on the saxophone would inspire such a statement.
Imagine being brilliant—Massachusetts Institute of Technology kind of brilliant. You’ve aced the course work in electrical engineering and computer science and you’re ready to work as a Wall Street analyst. But there’s one test left, and it has absolutely nothing to do with electrical engineering or computer science. You have to swim 100 yards.
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