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Prayer of Relinquishment

This Lenten season I've been in the school of "letting go" or put a little more suavely, "relinquishment."

Here are two good articles on it:
http://www.cslewisinstitute.org/webfm_send/433
http://www.hannahscupboard.com/prayer-relinquish.html

For this season of life (by choice and by chance) some of my spiritual gifts, natural talents and acquired skills have been "put on the shelf." This has caused some deep work and darkness which has led to more self-awareness than ever before.

However, I am also aware that God often "shelves" us for season of renewal and preparation. That head knowledge is helpful, but does not negate the emotions of release, grief, and inactivity in gifts that bring the most life. Most of the great leaders (or servants of God - whatever language you prefer for people God uses to impact others experience of God) in scripture all (by choice or chance) were brought into the school of relinquishment before doing greater things. They needed to learn to be and re-rooted only in the love of God and re-attuned to God's activity around them - even if they experienced more silence than before.

Emotional and spiritual health go hand in hand. New Life Fellowship Church in NYC has gone a long ways down the ancient-future path and has some amazing resources (http://newlifefellowship.org/ministries/prayer/).

So in this period I've been drawn to this prayer, almost daily as part of my personal daily office (devotions with ancient rhythm and prayers):

A Prayer of Relinquishment
Today, O LORD, I yield myself to you.
May your will be my delight throughout the day.
May your way have perfect sway in me.
May your love be the pattern of my living.

I surrender to you my hopes,
My dreams, my ambitions.
Do with them what you will, when you will, as you will.

I place into your loving care
My family, my friends, my future.
Care for them with a care that I can never give.

I release into your hands
My need to control,
My craving for status,
My fear of obscurity.

Eradicate the evil, purify the good,
And establish your kingdom on earth.
For Jesus’ sake, AMEN.

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“Apocalypse of the week”

It's been a while since I've posted another secular apocalypse report. The Number around AI/supercomputer intelligence are the trendiest ones. Enjoy! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3011302/Could-robots-turn-people-PETS-Elon-Musk-claims-artificial-intelligence-treat-humans-like-Labradors.html

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Jesus is bigger than the Bible

(Shel - one reason why I am Anabaptist is that it put Jesus at the top and gave me a useful "Grid" if you will, for reading the Bible as the Inspired word of God and not some 1800's enlightenment textbook.).

one big reason why so many young people are giving up on the Bible–and their faith
March 18, 2015 by Peter Enns http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2015/03/one-big-reason-why-so-many-young-people-are-giving-up-on-the-bible-and-their-faith/

This one comes from the heart.

I’m speaking from my experience here–no polls or surveys, though I know what I say here lines up with those I’ve seen over the years.

As is well known, the trend among young people raised in conservative churches is to leave their Bible, and often their faith, behind.

In my experience, one big reason (not the only reason) behind this trend has to do with the Bible–maybe not the Bible itself, but how they are implicitly taught to read it:

*As a collection of go-to verses that tell them definitively and absolutely all they need to know about the world they live in a what God expects of them.

*That this kind of Bible is their sure anchor for maintaining their faith. Stray from it and their faith is shipwrecked and their eternal destiny is in jeopardy.

But as they grow older, especially when they enter high school or college, they find that their structured world supported by Bible verses is not adequate for providing a compelling explanation for the complex world around them and how the Bible can continue functioning as the anchor it once was.

So here is a simple plea–from a biblical scholar with his feet firmly planted on the ground, who has raised now adult children, and who now teaches young adults and sees the stress they are sometimes under to shelve their questions and misgivings and “hold on” to their faith.

*The way to reach them is not simply by promoting a more aggressive Bible reading program. If they are having problems with the Bible as it has been taught to them, shouting at them to keep reading the Bible they have been given “or else” won’t do much good.

*The way to reach them is not by taking an even more rigid, protectionist, “here I stand, the gospel is at stake every 5 minutes” position. That is the very attitude that contributes to them wanting to walk away. A reinvigorated apologetic for a faith that already doesn’t connect with them isn’t going to make them want to connect more.

*The way to reach them is not by glitzy rallies and hyped up motivational speakers with tattoos and torn skinny jeans. These young people are not shallow. They are worried and even despairing that the faith they have been taught is actually unable to support them once they leave the nest. They are not consumers looking for a cool deal. They are looking for meaning, whether their faith matters.

What may help reach young people is modeling an attitude of vulnerability:

*A genuine willingness on the part of their leaders and mentors to acknowledge the legitimacy of their experience of disconnection.

*Honoring them by being willing to engage with them the difficult hermeneutical/theological challenge they face.

*Deliberately creating a culture where the sometimes overwhelming difficulties of joining contemporary faith and ancient text are a welcome and expected conversation and where the outcomes of those conversations are not predetermined.

Vulnerability like this is risky, but worth it, because our children are worth it.

It will mean accepting the paradox that helping promote the continued spiritual vitality of your tradition will likely require some adaptation and change of that tradition for the very sake of those you wish to pass it on to.

It will mean not simply a preoccupation with training young people to be faithful to the past, but a genuine willingness to be faithful to the future, to deliver a viable faith to our children and children’s children.

Truth be told, one reason I write most of what I write (like here, here, and here) is to work through and contribute to this kind of conversation.

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2015/03/one-big-reason-why-so-many-young-people-are-giving-up-on-the-bible-and-their-faith/#ixzz3UjwHMWLM

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Keep the Problem the Problem

Leadership 101: do you turn a person into the problem, or make the problem the problem to be addressed? So often we default to the first one and miss growth opportunities for everyone. This is nothing new, but good to remind oneself of if you work with others (which is all of us). Jesus was a master at loving and calling out problems in people. For us it means also legitimately learning from others. Pharisees tended to often miss this. ‪#‎irreligiousleadership‬

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The Meeting House

Those of you who follow my blog and ministry over the years have probably noted I've said almost nothing about my current place of ministry at The Meeting House on my blog. I do post MANY more comments on what's happening on my facebook and twitter accounts. But the blog is not a place of reflection on my ministry at TMH, nor TMH's ministry vision, my experiences here, etc.. Ministry with people in general, yes! My ministry and thoughts, absolutely - only in that sense would there be "cross-over."

That has been intentional on my part because being new to the organization means I really don't have a full view, nor have the voice(to be faithful to my position in TMH) to speak on behalf of TMH. As a result of this, regarding any specifics you won't find them here.

So if you are looking for great Meeting House perspectives, want to know more, the best thing I can say is to HIGHLY encourage you to check the website: www.themeetinghouse.com - tons of great resources. (You will note that any posts on this blog about TMH are a re-direct to the TMH links).

Obviously in a site-lead pastor capacity I can speak to some of that - and most particularly spiritual-direction in following Jesus!

In general (meeting house wide) because I am not senior leadership in this structure I leave all the other stuff in our leadership team's well trained hands ;-). In fact regarding teaching Bruxy welcomes email and BBM - so don't let that opportunity pass if you really curious about something at TMH!

So please check out the teaching, q & eh?, and other links on TMH site and enjoy! If you're in Toronto - come drop by our site in High Park or schedule a coffee/meet-up I'd love to hear your story!

And remember this: READ THIS FIRST about my personal ministry and leadership blog>

Previous Posts about The Meeting House:
http://shelboese.org/new-day-or-every-sunday-is-fall-back-sunday/
http://shelboese.org/caliphate-or-kingdom/

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New Day – Or every Sunday is “Fall Back- Spring Forward” Sunday

Sunday is the traditional day of gathering in face-to-face community for worship, teaching (as part of worship), ministry of the church (prayers, sacraments, etc.) then scattering into the rest of life. It's a great "clock reset" where we both "spring forward" and "fall back" at the same time. We fall back on the grace of Christ's love and gifts of the Spirit in the gathered face-to-face community which calls us forward into new risk and life as wounded healers.

SO HEY it's a new day and week - start it by reordering your life around someone who is more for you than you are. Join me Sunday 10am The Meeting House - High Park to learn and experience more.

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Two Articles Pushing On Cultural Assumptions

A great article someone from my church pointed out: http://fortune.com/2015/03/03/female-company-president-im-sorry-to-all-the-mothers-i-used-to-work-with/

And another one that makes me sad for First Amendment freedoms on Christian Colleges: https://believervsnonbelievers.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/christian-theologian-demoted-for-preaching-peace/

The sermon is great to listen to on it's own too.

[embed]https://vimeo.com/119726581[/embed]

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A pastor-theologian who loves the questions…