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The Gratitude Dance

Go on! Do it! Every day!

Montreat!!!

Well, I just put the registration in the mail for our first everMontreat trip!

I was so excited, I decided to fool around with the blog's appearance again. I think the last one almost looked scary. I hope this one is nicer.

September 21: International Day of Peace

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Click on the post title to go to the Peace Day Page. or click on the banner to go to Only Love Prevails. They're trying to get people to do two things:


Say the words "Only Love Prevails" whenever you sense something happening which draws you away from peace. (Actually, I'm personally OK if you pick your own phrase, like "Jesus is lord" or "God wins".)

Become aware of how much the media (news, movies, music, advertising and more) influences your attitudes and thoughts. You might also try to reduce the influence you don't want.


OK, so the site talks a lot about "positive and negative energy," and they call the two steps an "experiment". Basically, how they say it is not the way I'd choose, but what they say is neat.

Help out by praying for peace on the 21st (Friday). And if you can find a way to work for it as well, so much the better.

It's hard to dance when you're marching lock step

Several people from Chloe's family have already reported to me that you keep arguing with each other. They have said that some of you claim to follow me, while others claim to follow Apollos or Peter or Christ. Has Christ been divided up? Was I nailed to a cross for you? Were you baptized in my name? - 1 Corinthians 1:11-13
The church is divided. It always has been, to some extent, even in the earliest days. I think one of the problems, maybe one of the prime problems, is education.

Actually, it's lack of education.

I think we Sunday school teachers often imagine that we are molding you into our image, theologically at least. Especially when it comes to teenagers, we want you to make the decisions we made, or the ones we wish we made. We have the best of intentions, but we do the church no good. We end up making camps.

For example, I think it is theologically NECESSARY (and Biblically mandated) that we ordain and install women as elders and ministers. The Sunday school teacher dow…

Peacemaking

The link above is to the letter from a Scottish soldier I read to you in class.

You are all peacemakers: You do hard things, like not hitting back when you are hit, or nor cursing back when you are cursed at. You do this from strength, not cowardice or weakness, but you will most certainly not be applauded for that strength by many, if not most, people.

Being a peacemaker does not, at first glance, help you fit in. You will stand out, and you will be called all manner of nasty names. Some will praise you, but many won't. As a youth leader, there are many who would say that I shouldn't tell you that, because "youth" are all about fitting in. If I want you to be peacemakers, they'd say, I should keep my mouth shut.

But being a youth leader, to me, is to tell you, in the best way I can, the best theology I can. And if you are going to be a servant of God, a peacemaker, then, sometimes, it's going to seem like you're all alone in the world.

But, understand that y…

Did a little tweaking...

I tweaked the overall look of the blog a bit. Let me know what you think!

Love Not Fear

Well, I guess it's about time I took some time to describe what the title of the blog means. It's one of those cool phrases that change meaning depending on the punctuation, like "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen".

Love, Not Fear: With the comma, it gives a choice. "God is love" says the Bible. "Fear not," it also says in numerous places. I think the choice the Bible wants us to make is pretty clear.

And it is a choice. Love and fear are both emotions, and you can't really help what you feel, but you can help what you do. Love and fear are also verbs. I don't believe that God wants you to be so concerned with your own survival that you jump at shadows. When Christ calls us to love our neighbor, I don't think he means for us to fear our other neighbors.

Now, there are a lot of people who say that I should not tell this to you young people. I constantly see advice that young people need to be made afraid for their futures, either their eternal…