Thursday, January 28, 2010

John 21: 1-14 Haiku

 by Larry Chitwood

They fished for refuge
from fear and uncertainty
while Christ cooked breakfast.
©2010 Larry Chitwood
Text from John 21: 1-14 (NIV)
1Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Moving Post from Dr. Richard Beck at "Experimental Theology"

Why I Pray: Part 2, Solidarity
by Dr. Richard Beck

I've looked but I can't find where I got this quote, but I remember it clearly and it is Reason #1 for why I pray:
"When you pray, you stand in solidarity with all those who pray."

I pray because people around the world are dying and god-forsaken. They have nowhere to turn. They are helpless and powerless. Prayer represents that moment when all hope is gone and you turn your face heavenward looking for aid, comfort or solace. Looking for a miracle.

When I pray I stand in that hopelessness. I place myself in the position of those who can do nothing put pray. Prayer is their only option, only recourse. It is the only move available to them. Life forces people to their knees. So I go to my knees to be with them, to pray with them. In this sense, Jesus was God's prayer.

Click here to read the rest of Dr. Beck's post on "Experimental Theology"

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sermon for January 17, 2010

John 2: 1-11
1On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine."
"Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied, "My time has not yet come."

His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet."

They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now."
 This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

For a long time I just couldn't understand this passage.. I could not get past seeing this miracle as much more than a magic trick. Water to wine, keep the party going. Next maybe Christ would take some parchment, make a cone, and pour the wine into it only to disappear into thin air. Like the old magic trick kids learn.


"Remnents of Grace"
by Larry Chitwood

God's sustaining Grace
flows through us, like a river
leaving pools of Love


"Bird Feeder"
by Larry Chitwood

Backyard bird feeder
goldfinch, black capped chic-a-dee,
tufted titmouse, two
©2010 Larry Chitwood

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Challenge to the Church by Bishop Will Willimon

Read this at Bishop's Willimon's blog, "A Peculiar Profit".

Monday, September 21, 2009
Christians as Consumers or Disciples?
Tony Robinson’s book, What’s Theology Got to Do with It? has some good insights on the theological basis of the church, insights that can help our efforts at congregational renewal in the Wesleyan spirit. This week I continue with some of Tony’s insights that I have found helpful.

Lutheran pastor Michael Foss argues that the central challenge facing many congregations today is to shift their dominant paradigm from being cultures of membership to cultures of discipleship. When Foss describes what he means by a culture of membership, he turns to the model of the now-ubiquitous health club.
Writes Foss:
I don’t want to push the analogy too far, but for the sake of illustration, let’s think of the membership model of church as similar to the membership model of the modern health club. One becomes a member of a health club by paying dues (in a church, the monthly or weekly offering). Having paid their dues, the members expect the services of the club to be at their disposal. Exercise equipment, weight room, aerobics classes, an indoor track, swimming pool—all there for them, with a trained staff to see that they benefit by them. Members may bring a guest on occasion, but only those who pay their dues have a right to the use of the facilities and the attention of the staff. There is no need to belabor the point. Many who sit in the pews on Sundays have come to think of church membership in ways analogous to how the fitness crowd views membership in a health club.3

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Read what Jim Wallis of " Sojourners" has to say about his newest book.

Dear Larry,
"I never expected to write this book, and it's different than anything I have written in the past

From the first outline, it was my hope that Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street would start a conversation about the deeper roots of this economic crisis, how we lost our way, and how to find it again. The book tries to provide A Moral Compass for the New Economy.

Yes, we need an economic recovery—but we also need a moral recovery. Sure, we all want to know when the recession will end. But it is more important to ask, "How will this crisis change us?"

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Post from The Church Hisory Blog Site :; © 2010 Lex Loizides

Don’t Become Weary of Doing Good
God gives us encouragements in the midst of difficulties. And each encouragement is deeply appreciated. Your leadership challenge may be tough for reasons that are entirely outside yourself.
It’s great to hear news of numerical breakthroughs and blessing in other places. We’re often helpfully stirred to pray and believe for greater breakthrough in our own towns.
But faithfulness to God’s call, with a heart toward God and a helping hand toward man, can sow spiritual seed that will produce fruit not only in our generation but also in the one to come.

Monday, January 4, 2010

"The Theology of John Wesley: Holy Love and the Shape of Grace"

I was looking for a book that would explain the theology of the founder of Methodism, John Wesley. Kenneth Collins' comprehensive and thorough study of Wesley has proven to be just that and so much more. "The Theology of John Wesley: Holy Love and the Shape of Grace", though challenging for a newcomer to Wesley and theological study, delivers an in depth look at the historical Wesley and exposes the 18th century preacher's relevance to modern believers.

Collins presents John Wesley's theological system using the writings of Wesley and the historical and cultural atmosphere in which Wesley's theology  developed. As I lumber through this book, I hope to share both Collins's findings and my reflections on those findings.