Blessings, Michelle

Finishing up her final semester at seminary, this former news reporter looks forward to begin full-time Christian ministry in the Anglican tradition.

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Location: Wilmore, Kentucky, United States

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Saturday, January 20, 2007


In a few minutes (by the time I post this), I'll be 33. Seemed like a good a time as any to update my blog.

I've been learning about so many cool things, I barely know where to start. I guess I'll start with some book recommendations.

-- Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within by Robert E. Quinn
This isn't a Christian book, in fact, it's more of a business/leadership book, but it calls people to a spiritual way of thinking about their work that is, in many ways, Christlike.

-- Glorious Companions: Five Centuries of Anglican Spirituality by Richard Schmidt
Easy to pick up book chocked full of short bios of famous Anglicans with snippets of their writings. A way to learn more about Anglican church history without getting too bogged down with long narratives. Among the bios: Thomas Cranmer, John Donne, John Wesley, Samuel Johnson, Evelyn Underhill, William Temple, C.S. Lewis, Madeline L'Engle and Desmond Tutu.

-- A Glimpse of Jesus: The Stranger to Self-Hatred by Brennan Manning
Addresses one of the most central and yet least understood parts of Christianity: accepting God's love for us.

Last semester, I studied Biblical Hebrew, Christian Baptism, Old Testament and Anglican Theology. I read a lot of great books in Anglican Theology. I really enjoyed The Man Born to Be King, a play by Dorothy Sayers and Charles Williams' Descent Into Hell. They are both thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining.

I've been trying to learn more about personal evangelism both by trail-and-error experimentation as well as doing some observing of those who do it well. There's a seeker-friendly church in Lexington called Quest Community Church.

I've visited their Wednesday night services a few times and am amazed by the spirit of love, vulnerability and just "realness" of the people there. It's a place where 600 people committed their lives to Christ last year, a figure that most mainline churches don't get close to. The worship is rock-concert style (not my bag), but I believe that it isn't the style that brings people to Christ, but the people. I'm hoping to learn something from them; actually I already am.

A few people I talked to said their steps toward leading people to Christ has come in the form of getting in touch with their own stories of salvation. Asking God, "When did I come into relationship with you?" or "When was I saved?" As I spoke with them, I was aware of the tension between the catholic and protestant approaches to faith. The catholic answer to when did you come into relationship with God is: When God created you. As for when were you saved, the answer is: When you were baptized. (It's not always that clear-cut, but that's the traditional, historical answer.)

The problem with the catholic approach is that there is an assumption that by being in the church, you will automatically accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. By growing in "the faith" by worship, it will just happen. Or as a friend of mine recently commented, "If you say the Nicene Creed and believe what it says, you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior." That last statement is hard to argue with. One might add, however, that if you believe what it says, then it will bear fruit in your life.

The problem with the protestant evangelical approach is that there is an assumption that once you've said "the prayer" to ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, you're saved: done deal, case closed. Dallas Willard critiques this view, comparing it with scanning groceries in the checkout line. Now, granted, that is a minimalist approach and not the one that appears to be taken at Quest. They are interested in raising up full-fledged followers of Jesus Christ and have programs in place to help people do just that. It's not liturgical or highly sacramental, but it seems to work. And perhaps they have their own "sacraments," which I have not witnessed yet.

On a less spiritual note, I've finally converted from dial-up to DSL. It is a beautiful thing. My roommate, who has a laptop, wanted DSL, so I agreed to get it. I can finally watch videos from youtube, google videos, etc., which is fun since there are a few people in Wilmore who have made videos and it's fun to watch stuff filmed where you live.

Speaking of computers and what-not, all the sound emanating from my computer, whether it be CDs or streaming webcasts or videos comes out tinny sounding, like it's being recorded in a metal can. I've googled a bit to try to find solutions to the problem, but whenever I have, I couldn't follow them. I have Windows XP. If anyone has an easy solution, I'd be happy to hear it. And yes, I've already gone to the sounds in my control panel and seen if I could fix it by rooting around there, but I haven't been able to.

Well, I'm getting tired and have church in the morning (if the weather allows it). We are reportedly going to get a bad winter storm tonight with ice, freezing rain and snow, so church might be cancelled. We'll see.

Have a blessed day (and night),



Blogger Amanda said...

Hey! I was just getting online to send you wishes for a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! when I saw you'd comment on my blog. :) So, just to let you know I remembered before I read your post in case it makes it any more meaningful. I love you and miss you! Have a fabulous day tomorrow!!! And stay warm! :)

21/1/07 1:21 AM  

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