Editors

I’m working through the final round of edits on my Thesis. Some very important questions were asked, and some very helpful suggestions were given.

Part of this process required that I toss half of my introduction.  Such a great suggestion.  It reads much better.

In order to do this I had to come to the painful realization that my words are not an extension of my being.  They are tools that I use to communicate an idea.  Sometimes I need to get rid of some tools.  Usually because they don’w work properly.

It’s very easy to try to defend every idea and sentence that I wrote.  But I want to be a better writer.  When someone who doesn’t live in my head points out that an idea doesn’t work or a sentence isn’t necessary, then I need to listen to those people.

A good editor wants the writer to succeed.  I’m blessed that my editors have all been on my team.

Wouldn’t it be great if we all had editors, people who were trying to help us to make the best possible product, with our whole life.  People who want us to succeed are invaluable.  They come in the shape of mentors, family members, friends.  Listen to them.

God Particle

Has your kid ever asked why is there stuff?

If not then you are pretty lucky because that’s a pretty difficult question to answer.

As a Christian I believe that everything had it’s origin in God.  But why is there matter and stuff and why does that stuff matter, that’s where things get complicated.

Scientists have been trying to find this thing called the Higgs-Boson particle that theoretically could give some understanding to why things have matter.  It is completely theoretical because no one has ever seen it.  It’s been called the God particle and as Alister McGrath explains in this article it’s actually a great place to begin the search for God.

I am going to paste the last half of the article in this blog becuase I think Mcgrath gives some helpful understanding for the importance of science and how it relates to Christian faith.  The two are not mutually exclusive.

Some tell us that science is about what can be proved. The wise tell us it is really about offering the best explanations of what we see, realising that these explanations often cannot be proved, and may sometimes lie beyond proof. Science often proposes the existence of invisible (and often undetectable) entities – such as dark matter – to explain what can be seen. The reason why the Higgs boson is taken so seriously in science is not because its existence has been proved, but because it makes so much sense of observations that its existence seems assured. In other words, its power to explain is seen as an indicator of its truth.

There’s an obvious and important parallel with the way religious believers think about God. While some demand proof that God exists, most see this as unrealistic. Believers argue that the existence of God gives the best framework for making sense of the world. God is like a lens, which brings things into clearer focus. As the Harvard psychologist William James pointed out years ago, religious faith is about inferring “the existence of an unseen order” in which the “riddles of the natural order” can be explained.

There’s more to God than making sense of things. But for religious believers, it’s a great start.

 

Stewardship [or] All About (all) the Benjamins

I am currently working on a series of sermons about Stewardship.  As a pastor, when I use the word stewardship the common assumption is that I’m going to talk about money.  If I say, I’m doing a series on stewardship, people hear, “Here come four week talking about money, give more, give more, give more.”

Can I be completely honest and vulnerable about something here on my blog.  (I’m going to anyway so deal with it.)  I hate this common understanding of stewardship.  I hate it because it is just too narrow.

Am I going to talk about money?  Yes.  1 week.  Am I going to talk about tithing and giving offerings?  Yes.

I have said before and I will say again, I will never apologize for talking about money at Creekside because no one is getting rich at Creekside.  If all of a sudden all the pastors pull up in Bentleys then we will start apologizing for talking about money so much.  (Just between you and me, we are so far from that becoming a possibility.)

Another part of my problem with the common understanding of stewardship is that all that matters is Tithes and Offerings.  These stewardship campaigns often feel like, the goal is simply to increase tithes and offerings.  To give a shot in the arm for the year to make sure that we keep making budget.  Ministry has expenses, there is no way around that, and at Creekside we try to run a pretty tight ship to make sure that we are getting the most of the resources that people have given in tithes and offerings.  So it’s important to talk about the importance of giving, and we do that every week.

But stewardship, and specifically talking about financial stewardship is more than just tithes and offerings.  God cares about every penny that you spend.  And he cares because he gave it to you, and he wants you to use it towards his purposes in the world and his purposes for your life.

Pay your bills, enjoy your life, there is nothing wrong with doing these things.  But stewardship is so much bigger than just making sure people tithe.  Tithes and offerings are a key indicator in spiritual growth and if people are truly trusting God, but so is whether or not you are spending wrecklessly on credit, or if you are neglecting your financial responsibilites.

All of that is also stewardship.

I think we would all benefit, church attenders and church leaders, to take into account that God has called us all to be disciples, not just on Sunday but every day where ever we go.  And not just with 10% of our gross income, but with every dollar.  God cares about all of our life, and how we are using all that he has given to us to advance his mission of grace to the world.  And he cares about the Benjamins, all of them, as well as the little copper Lincolns.