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Archive for June, 2009

a young former-baptist (probably soon-to-be baptist again) visits to SBC (for the first time)

June 30, 2009 1 comment

Picture 1That is the longest post title in the short history of the re:wilsons blog – hands down.

I just couldn’t help it, there is just so much interesting stuff packed into my buddy Dwight’s first trip to the Southern Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting.

Let’s just let Dwight get right to the good stuff:

I was a Southern Baptist once.

I was pretty burned by the church I was part of and walked away from Baptist life, and by walked away I mean I went to a Southern Baptist college but attended an Anglican church. For a long time I wanted nothing to do with Southern Baptists because I casted my old churches mistakes onto the entire SBC.

Then I met people who proved to me that there are Southern Baptists out there who genuinely love you and are truly filled with the grace of Christ. Still, I originally had no intention of going to the SBC.

Lee was in Nashville and wanted to meet up for coffee.

[Editor’s note: cue dramatic music to foreshadow ironic turn of events]]

I never pass up an opportunity for coffee, especially coffee with a good friend, so of course I met him. That eventually turned into me tagging along while he went shopping for a suit for the Southern Baptist Convention, which turned into him saying, “Hey, you’re coming to the SBC, it’ll be good for you.”

Lee has far too much power over me. A couple of hours later and I’m in the car with Lee and Professor Worley on the way to Louisville, this was not the way I saw my day going when I woke up that morning.

. . . . . . .

So what did this young man who was so bitter towards the SBC just two years ago think of his first real life Southern Baptist Convention?

Some of it was absurd, some of it was incredibly frustrating, some of it did not exhibit the grace of Christ, and all of it encouraged me.

There were a few frustrating parts for me such as: attacks on Ed Stetzer and other Baptist leaders for their involvement in Acts 29, attacks on the Acts 29 church planting network (a network I hope to one day be partnered with in planting a church), and attacks on Mark Driscoll – a man I look up to quite a bit.

What was encouraging was the Baptist leaders’ responses.

Mr. Stetzer said something about how anyone could get their hands on the mic at the SBC – but that they didn’t necessarily reflect the wants or views of the entire denomination.

I also really appreciated the Biblical and grace-filled rebuke from the platform for making personal attacks on Christian leaders.

It was ultimately very encouraging to see a group of people come together under the banner of Jesus Christ for the sake of furthering the Gospel.

There were a lot of different ideas of how to best further the Gospel and that caused some dispute but if you look deeper you can see a bunch of people who love Jesus and want to see His name proclaimed to all people.

For me, this was another step towards healing the wounds left behind by a careless church. While I am still not a Baptist and still have a few qualms with the SBC, I thank God for it and I pray that He uses it to further the Gospel.

My thanks to Dwight for succumbing to my persuasive abilities and demonstrating a willingness to fight to see evidences of grace in the Southern Baptist Convention.

I remember that I walked away from my first SBC with more pessimism and frustration than Dwight experienced, so I am thankful that he saw the gospel evidenced among Southern Baptists and that there was much gospel grace to witness in Louisville this year.

[For more Dwight, check out his two(!) blogs, Convergence Truth and Convergence Review, or follow him at Twitter – @dwight_david]

. . . . . . .

For those of you who have been to a Southern Baptist Convention, what was your first visit like?

For those of you who have never been, what was your impression (if any) of the events of the Southern Baptist Convention (in this year or years past)?

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evangelicalism, gospel behind the veil?

June 28, 2009 1 comment

This summer I am reading through Tim Chester and Steve Timmis’ book ‘Total Church: a Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community’ with some of my college friends.

As I sit and read this morning, I find myself in a local Starbucks watching people come in and pick up their lattes, coffees, and ‘Refresh’ iced teas on their way to church.

Sitting around me are, I guess, people from around town who use their Sunday mornings to linger in Starbucks, sip their beverage of choice, listen to Starbucksy music, and read novels.

Outside, a young man reads a ragged magazine, a worn journal sitting on the table in front of him. His dog is leashed to his back pack, his blanket sinched beside his water bottle.

As these people live and move and have their being around me, I read these words:

”We agree with conservatives that the emerging church is too often soft on truth. But we do not think the answer is to be suspicious of community. Indeed, we think that conservatives do not ‘do truth’ well because they neglect community. Because people are not sharing their lives, truth is not applied and lived out.’

‘Do Truth…..DO truth…..do TRUTH….’

My mind drifts to the Old Testament, to the Temple, to the place where God would live one day out of the year.

The place where man (A man, the High Priest) would interact directly with God.

Behind a veil, where nobody could see him, that is where all of this occured.

And now Christ has come, pouring out His Spirit on all who believe in his life, death, and resurrection – making his people into his temple, his place of residence and dwelling.

But are we any different from the priests of the Old Testament? Is it possible that we keep our interaction and enjoyment of God hidden behind a veil, locked in the privacy of church, home, quite time?

Where do we ‘do truth’?

Does anybody see it when we do?

I am still sitting in Starbucks and now the police have gathered to arrest (or run off) this young traveler and his dog.

And here I sit. Behind a glass veil of picture windows.

Now what?

. . . . . . .

How do you ‘do truth’ in your daily life?

How can local churches ‘do truth’ more faithfully and publicly?

the affectionate communist

June 27, 2009 6 comments

This weekend I had the distinct pleasure of spending some time with my good friend Mason King.

It was one of those nights, followed by a morning stop for coffee, that was a reconnecting of a much neglected (though much beloved) friendship.

Highlights:Picture 9

  • Angus and Sir Winston
  • Jason the Crooked Tree Coffeehouse Barista
  • Paris, London, Cancer, Seminary . . . all bearing evidence of our God’s varied and surprising grace.
  • Introduction to Mason’s lovely girlfriend, Carly, who is way out of Mason’s league.
  • My new french-made Fidel Cap
  • Introduction to the ‘Affectionate Communist”
  • The scoop on The Village Church’s new plant in Dallas

All told – it was an unexpected and unplanned chance to spend time with a friend who I love. respect, and appreciate very much.

Go check out Mason’s blog – he has good things to say when he gets the chance to say them.

. . . . . . .

espressoAnd now, the recipe for the affectionate communist – my new favorite espresso beverage:

  • 2 shots of espresso, pulled in mixture with 2 packets ‘sugar in the raw’
  • 2 shots of water
  • mix
  • savor

. . . . . . .

If you could have one beverage with one ‘long lost friend’, who would it be and what would you drink?

book(s) of the week: pastor dad & pastor daddy

June 21, 2009 1 comment

My favorite book to read to Abbey (other than the Bible) is a fantastic little book called Pastor Daddy.

Picture 1I have posted about this great little book previously, so you can actually listen to me read Pastor Daddy to Abbey over at ‘pastor daddy, pooping daughter‘ if your into that kind of thing and haven’t yet seen the video.

I love it because it encourages me to be a godly father, shepherding and loving my family.

I love it because it teaches Abbey to look to me to lead our family.

I love it because it teaches Abbey how important the local church is in the life of a Christian.

I love it so much that you should buy it.

Here’s the link to Lulu, the site where the fine folks at Sojourn Community Church have chosen to sell Pastor Daddy.

. . . . . .

The next book I plan to read on fatherhood is a little book by Mark Driscoll, pastor at Mars Hill Church in Seattle.

Picture 3If you don’t know Mark Driscoll, you need to acquaint yourself with his preaching and writing – you’ll either love or hate him.

I love him, especially his desire to see young men grow up into godly men.

Enter Pastor Dad.

Based on a sermon from 2001 (which I have listened to), Driscoll wrote Pastor Dad as a gift to fathers for Father’s Day.

Based on the sermon, I anticipate this book to be convicting, challenging, encouraging, and saturated with biblical wisdom.

Since it is a gift, Pastor Dad has been released for free (in pdf format) to download.

It can be read online, downloaded, and even printed out – all for free.

There is also the option to purchase a hard copy of Pastor Dad at Lulu.com.

Give it a read – I think it will be well worth your time.

. . . . . . .

Dads, any favorite books on fatherhood?

Any pastors or authors who have been formative in the way you think about being a dad?

a note for daddy, a diddy for abbey

June 21, 2009 2 comments

I finished mowing the front yard this morning before it got too hot.

It didn’t work.  Its just plain hot . . . like muggy and moist hot.

Needless to say, I was eager to wrap up the yard work and hop into the shower and cool off – so eager, in fact, that I almost walked past a little bundle that my sweet wife had prepared for me.

My first Father’s Day gift!

I unfolded a handwritten note, thoughtfully penned by Beth.  It was one of those notes that I will probably treasure and think about for the rest of my life.

Under the note, framed, is the photo at the bottom of this post – a gift to hang in my office!

I know exactly where I am going to hang it.

. . . . . .

Encouraged and humbled by my wife’s kindness to me, I kissed her cheek (I couldn’t hug her because I was nasty gross), and hopped into the shower.

As I was cleaning up, reflecting on Beth’s words, I started a new song for Abbey:

I don’t love you ’cause your cute

Don’t love you ’cause your smart

I love you ’cause your mine

Right from the start.

That’ll never change

It ‘ll never go away

’cause your daddy’s love

It is here to stay

(more to come?)

My girls are the best and I am incredibly thankful for them on this Father’s Day.

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the Speidi monster: ‘celebrity conversion’

June 19, 2009 3 comments
spencer and heidi pratt

spencer and heidi pratt

Something inside me bucks against the “post-worthiness” of this post.

Maybe its because I have to begin with the confession that I actually watched an episode of NBC’s I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here, having been hooked by commercial spots depicting a Baldwin brother baptizing Spencer Pratt in “the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” in a South American River.

Maybe its because I have to confess that I even who Spencer and Heidi Pratt – that I am actually familiar with the sordid history of these two less than savory ‘reality’ TV celebrities from MTV’s The Hills.

I know, I know, but cut me a little slack, its a college carryover from when Beth and I could only afford a steady diet of ‘noodles in a bag’ and ‘whatevers on’ television entertainment. (side note: apologies aside, there actually is much to learn about our culture by watching some shows that depict a ‘reality’ that is no true reality, yet somehow resonates with a large number of people).

Enough with the personal disclosures and apologies, take a look at ‘The Gospel Accoding to Speidi“, a biting piece of commentary by Jason Boyett at The Daily Beast, which presents some substantial (and heartbreaking) food for thought:

In case you’ve only been paying attention to Iranian elections and other events that don’t merit coverage in Us Weekly, here’s a recap: Last week, the (Spencer and Heidi Pratt) appeared as contestants on the first two episodes of NBC’s I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here, during which Montag prayed with Patti Blogojevich (wife of the disgraced Illinois governor), Pratt got baptized by fellow contestant and born-again Christian Stephen Baldwin, and the two of them generally annoyed the other D-list contestants. Then they quit the show. Then they unquit, and then quit again. At some point, Montag was rushed to the hospital with a gastric ulcer, and Pratt alleged that they were tortured. Then he took it back, presumably for contractual reasons.

Montag recovered, thankfully, in time for the publicity tour, during which we learned that the couple is still very committed to Jesus, and that Montag posed for the September issue of Playboy. “God made humans naked,” she told Ryan Seacrest on Monday. “We weren’t even born with clothes!”

But the couple’s awkward public embrace of religion has left some true believers flummoxed. The pro-Christian message that Speidi is espousing becomes garbled when blended with TV’s need for sensation and sleaze. Then again, in an era where the church could use a PR boost, Montag and Pratt are providing Christianity the type of pop-culture credibility that could wrangle new followers. Whether this tradeoff is worth it depends on who you ask . . .

[Click to read the complete article over at the Daily Beast (which is worth reading)]

I think that most people, whether you consider yourself a Christian or not, are likely to watch Speidi’s televised religious spectacle, read about it in the news media, or hear about it around the coffee pot at work, and shrug it off with a dismissive “stupid publicity hungry wanna-be celebrities”.

I get that.  I agree with that because I think it is probably true, but I think there is more here.

I definitely have my own thoughts, but I posted this excerpt mainly because I am curious to see what you pull from Boyett’s article.

. . . . . . .

What does this say about the state of Christianity in America?  How does this influence people’s perception of Christianity?  Or, is all of this so foolish that it is basically meaningless?

And, what I am most intrigued by is your responses to the idea of ‘celebrity conversion’ and the potential influence that it has on our culture.

Is there any truth to Boyett’s statement that, perhaps, “Montag and Pratt are providing Christianity the type of pop-culture credibility that could wrangle new followers”?

If you don’t buy that, do you think you are representative of most Christians?  Do you think that most people in American churches would affirm that the  “pro-Christian message that Speidi is espousing becomes garbled when blended with TV’s need for sensation and sleaze.”?

I am dying to hear your thoughts . . . happy thinking!

Juneteenth!

June 19, 2009 8 comments

Its Beth…

…and this is Lee

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Today is Lee’s 27th birthday, which also falls on Juneteenth – a much celebrated day in Texas history.

This very important day commemorates the abolition of slavery in Texas.

If we still lived there, Lee would have a parade on his birthday – but we live in Tennessee.

So in order to celebrate blog style, I will parade 27 random things you may or may not want to know about my husband.

1. Lee drinks from the same Quills coffee mug every morning

2. He has an unusually large space in between his big toe and second toe.

3. Lee always makes at least 4 extra cups of coffee in the morning than he actually drinks

4. The day I scrub the bathroom is without fail the day he trims his beard.

5. Lee’s preferred toilet read is a Jcrew magazine.

6. Lee knows four chords on the guitar. He fires them up about every 6 months. (It will always be the same song he played six months prior).

7. He loves cookie dough.

8. Lee is constantly in search of the perfect pair of jeans.

9. He once met Willie Nelson

10. Lee will never go bald.

11. Lee associates manliness with beard mass.

12. Lee puts a tune to just about everything he says to Abbey.

13. If I fail to have dinner ready when he is hungry, he will not complain. He will just eat chips and salsa.

14. Lee cannot successfully go in a grocery store. He says the electronic door zaps his brain and he instantly forgets everything, even the list he has in hand.

15. Lee loves Matt Foster stories.

16. Although we have plenty of seating in our house, Lee prefers a pillow and the floor.

17. Lee will not eat a meal, under any circumstance, unless he has a drink beside him.

18. His senior year in high school Lee’s ERA was 1.27 – oh the glory days.

19. Every time we go to Target Lee tries on the same Fedora hat and looks at me as if this is the day we should purchase it.

20. Lee will let the shower run at least 10 minutes before he actually get in – just to make sure the water is hot.

21. Lee loves a good poop story. They never cease to make him laugh.

22. Lee’s does not like chunky salsa.

23. Lee has the ability to grow a fro – head and beard.

24. Lee always squeezes toothpaste from the bottom – his wife does not.

25. He is my little weather forecaster – he knows what Gary Pickens knows, before he knows it!

26. Lee loves the Cubs – they’ll win it some day.

27. Without fail, wherever we go, Lee will stop and have to get a diet Pepsi.

Happy Birthday Babe – You are in your late twenties ya old fart!

Love you!

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