Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Problem of the Narnia Film

Terrifying words!!!! As a lifelong Narnia fan, I've been counting down the days to see The Chronicles on the big screen. However, I stumbled upon this letter written by C.S. Lewis to an inquirer about an adaptation of the books.

Will a film stimulate or stifle our imaginations?

Should Disney not produce to honor ole Jack's wishes?

What do you think?

Dear Sieveking

(Why do you 'Dr' me? Had we not dropped the honorifics?) As things worked out, I wasn't free to hear a single instalment of our serial [The Magician's Nephew] except the first. What I did hear, I approved. I shd. be glad for the series to be given abroad. But I am absolutely opposed - adamant isn't in it! - to a TV version. Anthropomorphic animals, when taken out of narrative into actual visibility, always turn into buffoonery or nightmare. At least, with photography. Cartoons (if only Disney did not combine so much vulgarity with his genius!) wld. be another matter. A human, pantomime, Aslan wld. be to me blasphemy.

All the best, yours C. S. Lewis

Starbucks? Really?

"You are not an accident. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did. He wanted you alive and created you for a purpose. Focusing on yourself will never reveal your real purpose. You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense. Only in God do we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance and our destiny." - The Rev. Rick Warren for Starbucks

The most disturbing part of the entire scenerio is the acknowledgement, "The Rev. Rick Warren for Starbucks." According to the story, Warren wrote in to Starbucks and submitted a quote from his 23-million-copies-s0ld book. He wanted facetime an evolutionist got on a cup. "Warren says the idea of a grande pitch for God as creator came to him after seeing a Starbucks quote on evolution from paleontologist Louise Leakey."

My question is this, who is being marketed here, Warren (free advertisement from Starbucks!!!), Starbucks (all of those conservative evangelicals will now drink our coffee since they can read Rick Warren as they drink! maybe this will balance out our fear that Starbucks supports evolutionists and homosexuals?), or God. Marketing tool or evangelism tool?

Part of me wants to scream at evangelicals for joining on any sort of bandwagon for self-promotion. However, I am stuck with the picture in my mind of someone reading a coffee cup and actually finding answers to life on it. However, we aren't quoting Jesus here; instead, we are quoting Rick Warren. Is he a better seller?


For anyone interested in experiencing Advent, this blog is an excellent tool to guide you through the Advent season.


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Prayer of Oscar Romero

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction ofthe magnificent enterprise that is God's work.

Nothing we do is complete which is another way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.

No prayer fully expresses our faith.

No confessionbrings perfection, no pastoral visitbrings wholeness.

No program accomplishes the church' s mission. No set of goals and objectivesincludes everything.

This is what we are about.

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.

We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide produces effects far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.

This enables us to do something,and to do it very well.

It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers not master builders. Ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own. Amen

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Advent Ideas

Does anyone have any creative ideas on celebrating advent corporately?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Help Needed

Sunday morning, I led a service that focused on church as an instrument of grace vs. church as a political force. It has amazed me the opportunities that have come just this week.

A few guys associated with the Salvation Army in Atlanta have started a soccer league for a Hispanic community near them. They coach kids (average age 7-9) and have about 30 children participating. They could have so many more, but that is the max number that will fit in the vans.

The children (and coaches) are having the time of their lives. However, many needs exist that are simple for us to help solve.

*Many of the girls are playing indoor soccer in sandals and clog-style shoes. A local church in Conyers has volunteered to provide shoes for all of the children.

*The championship game in next Saturday. A children's minister has now donated metals for everyone.

*We need socks for the kids.

*They would love to have some sort of pizza party to end the season.

*Last, they want to give each kid a soccer ball to take back with them.

*Any other creative ideas are welcomed!

*You can join me and the others tonight, next Thursday, or next Saturday to help with the kids.

Would you be willing to help? If so, please contact me at caroline@summit-ministries.com. I would love to overwhelm those kids!

For the Good of the World

Each week that I prepare a sermon, God brings a visual representation to give life to the concept. I have come to expect it. Now, my mom is calling me to ask what has happened yet. We all walk in to worship, look around, and try to find what God brought us this week.

One week this summer, the topic was "Being Known By Christ." My text was Zaccheus. The outline I had drafted started with everyone singing the children's song and doing the motions. I wanted to illustrate that what we knew of Zaccheus was incorrect. Jesus did not scold him; He found Zaccheaus and treated him with great compassion. As I stepped from my chair, placed my notes on the podium, the middle-schooler on the front row made eye contact with me. He is a little person, standing about 3 feet tall. I skipped the intro, let the text speak for itself (Zaccheus was small in stature), and moved on to the fact that he was alone.

It happened again last month. As we talked about forgiveness, it was time to discuss forgiving those who wounded us greatly. That week, a man my age visited us for the first time. He is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. A drunk driver hit him when he was in high school.

However, Sunday took this experience to a new level. My sermon topic, "Grace, Morality, and Politics." How can we live "for the good of the world" instead of existing as a church for mere political purposes. A dear father in our congregation walks in wearing his army uniform. As a Westpoint graduate who has a daughter there now, he keeps in contact with his college friends. One is a general in Iraq. This man feels that God has called him back to Baghdad to train Iraqi leaders on developing a democratic government. It was his last Sunday with us. I sat and gave my sermon, a young girl adopted from Sudan told her testimony, and this father came forward for prayer. Amazing.

God is real and cares about even my sermon topics. Can you believe it?