Two Shoes

Christ wears “two shoes” in the world: Scripture and nature. Both are necessary to understand the Lord, and at no stage can creation be seen as a separation of things from God.

John Scotus Eriugena, ninth-century Irish monk (via http://commonprayer.net/)

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Threats

The greatest threat to our economy is neither corporations nor the government. The greatest threat to our economy is both of them working together.
 
James Sinclair
 
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Judy

Goats are herd animals.  They get frightened and panicky if separated from the herd. 

But our goat Judy is different.  For the past two years she seems to prefer to go her own way and to do her own thing.  When all the other goats are out in the pasture grazing, she often can be found lounging in a barn stall.  When the rest of the herd is in the north part of the pasture, Judy may be all alone in the south. 

Judy marches to the beat of a different drum. 

I’ve written before about how Judy joined our herd (HERE).  Since then she’s given us four excellent kids, two of whom (Ramona and Sharona) we still have.  She’s always an extraordinarily gentle goat, who loves to be petted.

I have no idea how old Judy is and when her odd behavior began I assumed it meant she was nearing the end of her life.  I half expected to find her dead in the pasture any day.   Two years later I still have no idea how old she is, but I’ve come to conclude that her behavior is a more a personality trait than a sign of old age.

Judy is due to kid this fall.  But she may not be pregnant.  She had no more enthusiasm for Johnny than she has for her female friends.  The last time she was due to kid nothing happened.  After five months I put her back in the breeding paddock and she kidded there.  Meaning she must have somehow gotten pregnant in the kidding paddock (either that or she is even stranger than it seems). 

If Judy kids I know they’ll be good kids.  But it’s just fine with us if she doesn’t.  And kids or no kids, she will never be culled.  We like having her around.

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Turkey Day

“As a follower of Jesus Christ, I am called to manifest the reign of God in every area of my life. Since torturing animals is not consistent with the reign of God, I feel I cannot help fund an institution that does this.”  Greg Boyd.

Pastor Boyd says very plainly something I’ve been trying to say (less well) on this blog for years.   As we prepare for Thanksgiving, I hope we will pause and think about what goes on behind the curtain to make our feast possible.  Here is the article from which the quote was taken:  http://global.christianpost.com/news/christians-argue-buying-factory-farm-turkeys-goes-against-gods-will-61724/

And here is a more encouraging one which I also recommend:  http://www.faithandleadership.com/content/monks-mushrooms-and-the-sacramental-nature-everyday-eating

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Back Home

I had to go back to Florida for a couple of days to help out on one of my old cases.  While it’s fresh in my mind, here is a list of the things about the city that I prefer over the country:

high speed internet

OK, so it’s a very short list.

Here are some of the many farm things I prefer:

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Priorities

Our friends Timo and Laura are preparing to go to the Congo as missionaries with Missionary Aviation Fellowship.  Laura is a pilot who will be flying relief and supplies to the desperately poor and needy in remote parts of Central Africa.  Timo has an MBA and an M. Div. and will be working in Lubumbashi helping the least of these.  They have two special needs children they adopted from Brazil who will be going with them.

They could both have safe, high-paying jobs in the States.  Instead they are going to live in one of the most dangerous and impoverished places on earth, honoring a call to serve the poor.

Our friends have had to travel all over the country asking churches for support and the process has been disheartening.  Their story and the need they are going to serve is so compelling that fundraising should be no problem.  After all, it’s hard to imagine a better way to spend our excess.  Yet raising the necessary funds has been very difficult. 

Timo and Laura are making a commitment and sacrifices that few of us would be willing to make.  Because of them, the world will be a better place.

I know that there are many great ways to help the needy and I know that resources are limited.  But if any of y’all feel led to help out this amazing family as they step out to help our brothers and sisters in the Congo, here is a link to their page at MAF:  https://maf.org/harkonen

What if lots of people decided to get by with one less Christmas gift this year, and instead use the money that would have been spent to help this young family be a part of changing the world?

Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it’s true, but in the end love really does win.

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Theological Education

How important is it to be a bible scholar or a theologian?

Without going so far as to say it is unimportant (being a seminary student myself, I’d rather not admit that), consider the rigorous training of the Pharisees.

In order to become a Pharisee it was necessary to MEMORIZE the entire Old Testament, as well as the Talmud and the Midrash.   Not study.  MEMORIZE and be able to recall from memory.

Whatever else one might say about the Pharisees, they knew their bibles.  Literally.

Yet Jesus’ harshest criticism was directed to these bible scholars.  As E. Stanley Jones put it, “They were earnest religious men, but they tithed mint and anise and cumin while a world of human need demanded justice and mercy.”

Something to think about.

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