Random thoughts after Toastmasters

“The Magic Eyes” was a really good fable from “Forgive & Forget: healing the hurts we don’t deserve” by Lewis Smedes I used for my “storytelling” Advanced Speech No.1. The response was more positive than I expected. the message of forgiving was clear I think!

I enjoyed interacting with two fellow toastmasters for supper. One Christian, the other well-informed non-Christian. Both of their minds have an interesting mode of operation. 🙂

Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace” was a good realistic movie we watched this morning. The quotes in the movie on lying and truth, on a new form of Christianity and the prayer/poem on “Who am I?” rocked me a little.

Got two books from Pastor Chan (quite a intellectual-academic-pastor) on “Radical orthodoxy” which caught my attention some time ago. wow! these books which are part of this so called Radical Orthodoxy Project are expensive. Milbank is the name that captured my attention. Sharp ideas don’t come cheap these days, let’s see what they have to offer tonight!

OUCH … the headache was bad after the morning session and lunch. Wonder why. A short nap helped a bit. We are embodied beings!

Stepped into LCMS HQ office after a long gap … the comments kind of caused me to wonder what is in people’s minds these days. What keeps those brain waves electrifying the matter in between the ears?

Enjoy feeding Gareth every morning or whenever I can. he’s got great appetite. Some impatience here and there. Overall .. a cool kid as he approaches one years old. Time shoots … it doesn’t just fly!

Wondered about “compromise” .. when is it when we are compromising? or what can or cannot be compromised?Even in Christian practices… if I don’t do a traditional “altar call” does that mean I am compromising in preaching the gospel and inviting people to the kingdom? What happens if I do it differently like asking them to join a “inquirer”-seeker class and/or ask them to come up to communion to be prayed for? Is not the substance what we are looking for?

How about big meeting crusades whether it’s with the healing component or not? So if I feel the better strategy is to empower local churches and ordinary members to pray for healing and share the gospel, and downplay the traditional “evangelistic” big meeting … does that mean we are in danger over accomodative?

When were certain practices “non-negotiable”? I do not mean to say that these methods have no value … many have been blessed and channeled into the kingdom of God through these means. But, the priority is “to invite people into the Reign of God” right? – that is non-negotiable … and we must not compromise that ….! As for methodology …. if something doesn’t necessary work, or may even paint a misleading picture of what discipleship, GOD, and Christian life is all about … or some “teachings” which are not really core to our faith (e.g. Christians must be “nice” – what about the nastiness of the OT prophet? or even Jesus to the pharisees and Paul to false teachers!?). I’m open for giving those methods (& teachings) up for better ones, revise them, or re-construct them .. whatever … it’s a long journey!

Grace, Gospel, GOD – must not be compromised! Amen to that … our well-intentioned, culture-mixed (whether it’s sub-culture or ethnic-culture or foreign-culture) good ideas and well-intentioned ways … well ….

“The magic eyes” metaphor (i.e. a new way of seeing) maybe translated to this discussion … as well. It’s a start not the end though. Thanks Dr. Luke, Acts 15 was a great help to put things in perspective! Gentile Christianity had loads of construction involved after that 1st letter … check out the other letters from Romans to Revelation!

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