A re-read of Romans 14 brought this phrase out in my mind: "disputable matters." Paul starts the chapter saying, Accept him whose faith if weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters." I've read through this passage many times, understanding that it's point is the relationship between the mature and immature. As mature believers, we should guard our actions so that we do not put a stumbling block in the path of the immature believer. This is in keeping with Paul's statement that "everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial." We are free to do what we want, but must always strive to measure the impact of our actions on others. You all know this (but if you are like me, you wrestle with it greatly). But I've never really thought about the things he goes on to list as "disputable matters."
One dictionary defines "disputable" this way: "open to argument or debate," and "matters" in this manner: "a vaguely specified concern." So, "disputable matters" leads me to believe Paul is now going to talk about "vaguely specific concerns that are open to argument or debate."
Paul (as Jewish as one man could be!) addresses two items as disputable matters: dietary laws and the Sabbath! Devout Jews observe these two matters more than any others. Yet Paul minimalizes them as disputable matters. This passage drove me to the place of asking, "What are some other disputable matters?" What do you think?
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
It's almost bitter-sweet when you realize at 4:20 on the last day of your ski/snowboarding trip that it's the last run until next year. What I can't figure out is why I don't spend more time doing what I love so much. We only live 4 hours from the slopes. And Jeremiah LOVES to ski almost as much as I love to snowboard. As a matter of fact, his old man's legs slowed them down and kept him from making one more run. Just a few pictures from the trip to Telluride, CO.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Loose teeth. Our home is filled with discussion about loose teeth. Both Jeremiah and Cayla have loose teeth, and teeth that are coming out. Jeremiah pulled one of his loose teeth yesterday. The "landscape" of their appearance is changing every day as they grow into adults. I remind them all the time that they are growing up too fast. But growth is inevitable. With every sun rise we are a day older. And for my kids that means a day closer to adulthood. What do we do with them? How do we invest in them? During a time of reflection last night I contemplated how little time we truly have with our children before they are out "on their own," so to speak. It's put me into an existential frame of mind, dwelling on how much time we really have at all, not just with our kids. Am I spending it on what's important? Will I leave a legacy? Will people be better because of my life? Has the kingdom grown thru my work? I think it is a healthy thing to ask these questions from time to time. Refocusing or "centering" is a vital part to maintaining a forward focus. I know it seems counter-intuitive to think that a great way to look forward is to look back. But, as George Santayana, a notable philosopher, once said, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." And surely the nation of Israel is a testament to that truth. Let today be a day of reflection for you; a time of centering.
What does this mean for us as Americans? A California Appeals court ruled last week that parents without teaching credentials will no longer be allowed to home school their children. As many of you know, often times what happens in California politics then spreads out from there. Will we see this in Texas? I read about this through Bob Hyatt's Blog, where he links to Denny Burk's Blog.
Friday, March 07, 2008
The Journey is on the move. This Sunday we begin the next chapter in our story. We're moving to J&B Coffee for our gatherings. I'm excited for several reasons. The greatest reason, though, is that we will be in a neighborhood coffee shop surrounded by Texas Tech student housing! We have an opportunity to become the neighborhood church. And that is the challenge, too. We have to figure out how to engage the neighborhood out where they are, and not just hope they will come to us. I think I am going to begin a dialogue around theology. Hmm, "Caffinated Theology." Anyway, I'm excited!