Archive for December, 2008

My New Year’s resolution (that one I hope to keep)

December 30, 2008

As I was cruising the Internet today, I stumbled upon Newsweek’s 50 Most Powerful People for 2009 and the Lord laid upon my heart that I (and I hope you too) should pray for these leaders in world society. I Timothy 2:1-4 invokes us to pray for “all those in authority”. So I took some time and organized the list so that each person is prayed for 3 times (there are three exceptions, for which a general prayer request is replaced when a person would be prayed for twice in the same week).

Feel free to copy and re-post this as I want as many people as possible to be anointing these people. I am planning to pray for one person from the list each week as my Sunday School class’s focus, one for my on-campus prayer group’s focus, and one for my personal focus for any moments of “redeeming the time”. I also encourage you to write each person during that week and tell them that you have prayed for them.

This is a resolution for the year, with benefits in eternity!

Prayer list of 2009 50 most powerful people:
(Newsweek, http://www.newsweek.com, 12/20/2008, for issue dated 1/5/2009)

1/4/2009 Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud (Saudi Arabia)
Barack Obama (USA)
E. A. Adeboye (Nigeria-leader of Redeemed Christian Church of God)

1/11/2009 Amr Khaled (UK-Muslim televangelist)
Hu Jintao (China)
Nuri al-Maliki (Iraq)

1/18/2009 Angela Merkel (Germany)
Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (UAE)
Nicolas Sarkozy (France)

1/25/2009 Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud (Saudi Arabia)
Ben Bernanke (USA)
Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani (Pakistan)

2/1/2009 Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Iran)
David Axelrod (USA-senior adviser)
Jean-Claude Trichet (EU Central Bank)

2/8/2009 Barack Obama (USA)
Masaaki Shirakawa (Bank of Japan)
Pope Benedict XVI (Vatican)

2/15/2009 Ben Bernanke (USA)
Gordon Brown (UK)
that greed and vice will not overwhelm the souls of America

2/22/2009 Angela Merkel (Germany)
Jeff Bezos (USA-Amazon.com)
Pope Benedict XVI (Vatican)

3/1/2009 Bill Clinton (USA)
Michael Bloomberg (USA-NYC mayor)
Vladimir Putin (Russia)

3/8/2009 Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud (Saudi Arabia)
Bill Gates (USA)
Gordon Brown (UK)

3/15/2009 Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Iran)
Carlos Slim Helú (Mexico)
Warren Buffett (USA)

3/22/2009 Dr. Margaret Chan (WHO)
Kim Jong Il (North Korea)
The Dalai Lama (India)

3/29/2009 David Axelrod (USA-senior adviser)
Hillary Clinton (USA)
The state of the Union

4/5/2009 Bill Clinton (USA)
Gen. David Petraeus (USA)
The Holy Spirit to convict all men of sin

4/12/2009 EASTER

4/19/2009 Dominique Strauss-Kahn (IMF)
The Dalai Lama (India)
Timothy Geithner (USA-Treasury)

4/26/2009 E. A. Adeboye (Nigeria-leader of Redeemed Christian Church of God)
Gen. David Petraeus (USA)
Jamie Dimon (USA-JPMorgan Chase)

5/3/2009 Eric Schmidt (USA-Google)
Mike Duke (USA-WalMart)
Sonia Gandhi (India)

5/10/2009 Gordon Brown (UK)
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Brazil)
Rahm Emanuel (USA)

5/17/2009 Hassan Nasrallah (Lebanon-Hezbollah)
Sonia Gandhi (India)
Warren Buffett (USA)

5/24/2009 Bill Gates (USA)
Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani (Pakistan)
Hillary Clinton (USA)

5/31/2009 Hu Jintao (China)
Melinda Gates (USA)
Nuri al-Maliki (Iraq)

6/7/2009 Bill Gates (USA)
Jamie Dimon (USA-JPMorgan Chase)
Timothy Geithner (USA-Treasury)

6/14/2009 Carlos Slim Helú (Mexico)
Jean-Claude Trichet (EU Central Bank)
Melinda Gates (USA)

6/21/2009 Jeff Bezos (USA-Amazon.com)
Nancy Pelosi (USA)
Valerie Jarrett (USA-senior adviser)

6/28/2009 Hu Jintao (China)
Jim Rogers (USA-Duke Energy)
Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (UAE)

7/5/2009 John Lasseter (USA-Pixar)
Mike Duke (USA-WalMart)
Steve Jobs (USA-Apple)

7/12/2009 Katsuaki Watanabe (Japan-Toyota)
Kim Jong Il (North Korea)
Rahm Emanuel (USA)

7/19/2009 Eric Schmidt (USA-Google)
Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani (Pakistan)
Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (UAE)

7/26/2009 Amr Khaled (UK-Muslim televangelist)
Jamie Dimon (USA-JPMorgan Chase)
Kim Jong Il (North Korea)

8/2/2009 Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Iran)
David Axelrod (USA-senior adviser)
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Brazil)

8/9/2009 Dr. Margaret Chan (WHO)
Shahrukh Khan (Bollywood star)
Valerie Jarrett (USA-senior adviser)

8/16/2009 Dominique Strauss-Kahn (IMF)
Masaaki Shirakawa (Bank of Japan)
Osama bin Laden (Afghanistan?-Al-Qaida)

8/23/2009 John Lasseter (USA-Pixar)
Melinda Gates (USA)
Rex Tillerson (USA-ExxonMobil)

8/30/2009 Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Brazil)
Michael Bloomberg (USA-NYC mayor)
Steve Jobs (USA-Apple)

9/6/2009 Angela Merkel (Germany)
John Lasseter (USA-Pixar)
Mike Duke (USA-WalMart)

9/13/2009 Michael Bloomberg (USA-NYC mayor)
Nancy Pelosi (USA)
Rupert Murdoch (Australia-NewsCorp)

9/20/2009 Hassan Nasrallah (Lebanon-Hezbollah)
Nicolas Sarkozy (France)
Pope Benedict XVI (Vatican)

9/27/2009 Barack Obama (USA)
Katsuaki Watanabe (Japan-Toyota)
Nuri al-Maliki (Iraq)

10/4/2009 Nancy Pelosi (USA)
Oprah Winfrey (USA)
Rupert Murdoch (Australia-NewsCorp)

10/11/2009 Gen. David Petraeus (USA)
Jeff Bezos (USA-Amazon.com)
Osama bin Laden (Afghanistan?-Al-Qaida)

10/18/2009 Rahm Emanuel (USA)
Shahrukh Khan (Bollywood star)
Vladimir Putin (Russia)

10/25/2009 Jim Rogers (USA-Duke Energy)
Osama bin Laden (Afghanistan?-Al-Qaida)
Rex Tillerson (USA-ExxonMobil)

11/1/2009 Hassan Nasrallah (Lebanon-Hezbollah)
Nicolas Sarkozy (France)
Rupert Murdoch (Australia-NewsCorp)

11/8/2009 Dr. Margaret Chan (WHO)
Eric Schmidt (USA-Google)
Shahrukh Khan (Bollywood star)

11/15/2009 Carlos Slim Helú (Mexico)
Masaaki Shirakawa (Bank of Japan)
Sonia Gandhi (India)

11/22/2009 Dominique Strauss-Kahn (IMF)
Steve Jobs (USA-Apple)
The Dalai Lama (India)

11/29/2009 Oprah Winfrey (USA)
Rex Tillerson (USA-ExxonMobil)
Timothy Geithner (USA-Treasury)

12/6/2009 Amr Khaled (UK-Muslim televangelist)
Jean-Claude Trichet (EU Central Bank)
Valerie Jarrett (USA-senior adviser)

12/13/2009 E. A. Adeboye (Nigeria-leader of Redeemed Christian Church of God)
Katsuaki Watanabe (Japan-Toyota)
Vladimir Putin (Russia)

12/20/2009 CHRISTMAS

12/27/2009 Jim Rogers (USA-Duke Energy)
Oprah Winfrey (USA)
Warren Buffett (USA)

On death and life…

December 15, 2008

WFAA report

Bart Barber’s reflection on the tragedy

As I read through my Monday litany of blogs, I came upon a scene of hurt and or redemption. Words are failing me now, but I will attempt to transcribe my thoughts.

“God is love.” (please read the poem written by Malcolm Yarnell, comment #5 in Barber’s post) So often it seems that theodicy slaps us in the face. Why, God? Why Nicholas? Why Bart? (silence…)

Why not? (our silence…)

Bart, you probably won’t read this, but here is my (pathetic and somewhat Elihu-like) response:

You were chosen by God because you get it…. You took the time to hold a dying boy’s hand. You are robbed of sleep though you know that there was nothing else you could have done. You were the one God and Nicholas needed.

You were chosen by God…(this is raw, please forgive me)…because you needed this. You needed to be reminded of God’s plans…and how painful they are. (So cheap is grace when we don’t feel death’s sting.) You will be haunted by this and shaped by this. It will make you a better disciple and a better pastor. You are but dust and ashes, brother…mortality waits for your body too.

Why Nicholas? (I am silent…I do not know)

Why this, God? (Teach us Lord!)

I sit silent now…I mourn for life cut short and for life forever marred by this. I rejoice with families being bound in hurt, but finding love and forgiveness. I stand in awe of a God who loves and yet lets happen…who teaches lessons we still don’t want to learn….

Theology Ditty 4: “How is the Bible Special Revelation?”

December 6, 2008

Well, shiny things distracted! Between mid-terms, my teaching schedule, getting laryngitis (twice!) and finals, I have been elsewhere than blogspace. My apologies — now that school has wound down, I will again try to post at least every other week (so embarrassing when people ask when I’ll post again!) In future events, once I get it revised, I will post a link to my theology paper, “The Trinity and the Gender of the Pastor”

+++++++

The Bible is special revelation in two senses: it is revealed in a manner unique to the human understanding and it is revealed in a manner unique in the human experience. That it utilizes language, unlike general or natural revelation, means that it can only be engaged at the human level, by means of our consciousness and intellect. That it involves relationship with God means that it is tailored to our place in creation as His images.

Beyond the mere fact that words and language were utilized to bring us special revelation, the ideas that expand and expound upon what is seen and understood (Romans 1:19,20) are best explained and presented in language. Think only of the difficulty of our attempts to transmit the Word and the truth of the gospel across linguistic and cultural barriers, where we lack the words or even the common framework of ideas to address even the simplest and most obvious aspect of the human need for Christ. That the gospel, and God’s progressive plan of history, is logical and easily discerned in His Word testifies to the idea that the advent of language and culture have enabled the transcendent God to reach finite mankind.

The Bible is also special revelation at a more personal level: it speaks to me individually even when it uses corporate terms. The truth of the gospel is not merely an intellectual proof or logical system. It is also a deeper, emotional and spiritual fulfillment, a completion and expansion of who I am and what I desire to be. The communion with the Father through the Son by means of the Spirit brings me into a community of love in the spiritual sense while I am brought into fellowship with a community of faith and hope in this physical realm. The Scripture speaks to me, to my condition, to my needs, hurts, and longings and it does so for all who have been enlightened by the Spirit’s power.