Dream … Small

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Ed:

Loved Eric’s thoughts here… as a former Willow staff member and church member, I have SO many great memories and I’m forever grateful to the people and the ministry there. But this idea of remembering to dream “small” is a wonderful reminder of our individual and intimate call to Christ in the midst of the big BIG dreams presented to us. I love the power of the BIG and the small dreams, and believe the church needs both. Cheers

Originally posted on this is eric case:

Are big dreams the only dreams

Last week I spent two days along with some other leaders from my church at Willow Creek’s Global Leadership Summit (full disclosure: my wife actually works for the GLS). As usual the conference was full of top-notch speakers and cutting edge leadership and vision discussions, and it was awesome to take a bunch of folks from my church and have them hear such great speakers.

However, with where I’m at in my life personally, the GLS brought up some interesting tensions. Most of the speakers (Christian and otherwise) talked over and over again about having huge dreams, and how important these big dreams are to the world.

The particular challenge that I have in my life—and one that I have to continually come to terms with—is how damaging “big dreams” actually are to my life. You see, if you were susceptible at all (like I am) to the ravages of pride and self-centeredness

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Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)

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Ed:

What a great compilation! a BIG thanks to the Well Spent Journey blog…

Originally posted on Well Spent Journey:

I’m writing this post primarily for my own convenience. During my online journeys to r/atheism, “freethought” blogs, and beyond, I encounter the following arguments so frequently that it seems sensible to fact-check them all at once.

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The Claim: “Religion has been the primary cause of war and oppression throughout the history of mankind.”

photo source: http://radiomankc.blogspot.com/

The Truth: In their comprehensive Encyclopedia of Wars, Phillips and Axelrod document the recorded history of warfare. Of the 1,763 wars presented, a mere 7% involved a religious cause. When Islam is subtracted from the equation, that number drops to 3.2%.

In terms of casualties, religious wars account for only 2% of all people killed by warfare. This pales in comparison to the number of people who have been killed by secular dictators in the 20th century alone.

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The Claim: “Thanks to modern science, the days of religion are numbered. Humanity’s superstitious…

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Hunger Games

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There are times when I realize just how out of the loop I am.  This weekend was one of those times. I must confess to all of you… I have not read the Hunger Games trilogy, and I have not seen the Hunger Games movie… yet. I wish I had time to see it, but I don’t. Now, I don’t actually have any complaints about this. I just turned thirty last month, I’ve come to grips with the fact that I’m just in a different season of life now I love my life, my wife and kids, and the fun/crazy pace we keep.  Life with a 3 and a 4 year old never gets dull… so I’m completely thrilled to be where I’m at.  

As a director of youth ministry at my church, I do feel the need to rush out and see this movie ASAP. I think I need to be in on the conversation.  So much of the plot can be gleaned from the trailer and from what I’ve heard students talking about. PLUS, my mom has read the books and LOVES them.  :-)   So, I do feel like I understand some of the key concepts… but still, I feel that I’ve missed out on a chance to be a part of something really significant in our culture, and more specifically, in our youth culture, by not seeing it yet. Looking back, I probably should have seen in at midnight last Thursday. 

Once I DO see the movie, I plan to write another post. It will be my “review” of the movie to some extent.  But I will also be trying to discover what we as Christians may be able to learn from the conversations this movie has started. Like the Lord or the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter, the Matrix, and countless other movies before it… I imagine that this Hunger Games phenomenon will have something to say about who we are as a generation, as a culture, and what we think can save us. Or, it will be just one more big budget hollywood movie.  Who knows  :-)

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Ed:

What a good dialogue! My friend Ian wrote this and I think this is the best commentary on this new christian “topic” I’ve read. Please take the time to read it. It’s worth it. :-)

Originally posted on .the sword and the plowshare.:

(Be forewarned that this post is long. If you’re brave enough to tackle it, you may want to stretch and hydrate first)

Jesus ≠ Religion…

Please don’t misunderstand me – I thoroughly and completely believe that Jesus is, indeed, greater than (>) religion. Much greater. So much greater, in fact, that I feel it is almost frivolous to make the comparison. But not entirely.

If you haven’t yet clothed yourself in sackcloth over the anguish my words have caused, please feel free to read on with the understanding that this is merely one man’s feeble attempt at articulation. God has spoken, the rest is just commentary, right?

Otherwise – my condolences to your soon-to-be-very-itchy skin.

There’s a video by a chap named Jeff Bethke that’s been blowing up the interwebs this last week, and if you have even one moderately gregarious Christian friend in your life – it’s likely you’ve…

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