I've been thinking a great deal over the past few months about educational theories and learning models. (I know it sounds a bit dry, but one of my majors in college was Christian Education, which I found absolutely fascinating).
I'm realizing that maybe the most important element of learning - or at least the first step to it - is unlearning. What are we unlearning in order to learn? Unhealthy, inaccurate and/or wrong elements of what we believe to be true, but actually aren't.
I've begun to wonder that if we're actually going to be restored to this child-like faith that Jesus talks about then maybe what is needed most is not learning more about who Jesus is. Maybe our greatest need is to first unlearn who Jesus is not.
I have a theory: the longer we are a follower of Jesus the more significant it becomes to be willing to unlearn inaccurate tendencies about Jesus, The Church, faith, life, etc.
Last week someone asked me, "So, do you think people at resonate are learning anything?" I responded by saying that I didn't think so, but I was encouraged because I felt that as a community we were unlearning a few inaccurate things along the way. I'm encouraged by that, because it's beneficial for us, providing the foundation for true learning to happen.
Which begs the question, if I am to learn more about the ways of Jesus, what is it that I need to unlearn first?
It might be a good question for all of us to ponder this week...
Many of you have asked me why I have a personal blog, but the resonate community - which is built around the philosophy of relational connectivity and living life together - does not. It's been a good question. And we've been listening.
We finally have the official/unofficial resonate blog up and running. It's still in it's initial stages, but the skeletal structure is in place.
It'll include important information, allow opportunities for further interaction, a chance to network, a chance to voice your opinion and discuss. Check it out here. Bookmark it and place it in your favorites. Check back on the resonate blog every couple of days.
Let me start by saying this: I love sports. I love the Super Bowl. But I boycott all sports media outlets these two weeks of every year. SportsCenter, the Sports section of USAToday, ESPN.com, WIP sports radio in Philly - it remains silent during this time at the end of every January. And it's so beneficial.
Here's the rationale for the boycott - and why you should consider boycotting it as well: You avoid SBF. SBF has affected - and infected - millions of people (mostly men) during the middle of January for the past three decades. It's a sad reality, for sure. SBF, for those who don't know, is short for Super Bowl Fatigue. It's what happens when you're so sick of hearing all the analysis of the game that by the time the Big Game rolls around you couldn't care less who won or lost.
The problem is that the two weeks from the AFC and the NFC Championship Games until the Super Bowl are filled with a great amount of trivial over-analyzation and insignificant sports media drivel.
There is only so many hours of trivial debate one can take regarding who has the upper hand of special teams for both teams. Only so many interviews you can watch or hear on the third-string punter's life growing up in rural Georgia. Only so many injury report updates you can take before your brain melts. And only so many live on-location interviews taking place at field level this week. After a while, you just get exhausted with facts and stats, Those same interview snippets that you've already seen seventeen times in the past two days? Admit it: you're so familiar with it that you can repeat the next line out of Peyton Manning's mouth before he even says it.
So, here's a word to the wise - and I won't even charge you for it. Skip the sports media between now and the Super Bowl. That way you'll actually look forward to the game, enjoy all the commentary, immerse yourself in the commericials - and actually care who wins the Big Game.
It'll save you from experiencing the devastating effects of SBF this January and many more to come.
If you were opening a coffee shop in Souderton what would you name it?
As many of you know, Calvary is building an extended atrium that will have a fully functioning seven-day-a-week cafe, which will be open to the public this spring. Calvary is soliticiting feedback for a catchy cafe name that would be recognizable in the community. (How cool would that be if the name of the cafe came from you?)
Here's the catch: no cheesy Christian cliches allowed (yes, that means that "Jesus Java" "Higher Grounds" and "Solid Rock Cafe" are out...sorry).
Dave Briggs serves on staff at Willow Creek in Chicago as the director of Good Sense, a teaching and counseling ministry helping people to grasp that utilizing their finances is a great opportunity for spiritual formation. He's also my dad. He loves what he does. It's a great fit for his passions, experience, knowledge and expertise.
This month Willow is doing a series on finances taught by Bill Hybels. They've done it in the past and they're doing it again, but they have a feature called "Ask Dave" where you can ask my dad any question - personal, biblical, theological, practical - about finances that surface throughout the series.
It caught me by surprise, logging onto the Willow website and seeing my dad's picture with an email link below. I've been teasing him that I now have a "famous" dad.
If you don't, you should. Really. He's shaped our lives - and our country - in a pretty incredible way.
Wilberforce singlehandedly was the champion behind abolishing slavery in England, which led to the eventual abolition of slavery in America. And it took him his entire life to do it. As a member of Parliament, it was not his political prowess that helped overthrow the economic machine of human injustice, but his conviction as a follower of Jesus that slavery and the slave trade was just plain wrong. He was good friends with John Newton, the author of the most famous hymn of all time, "Amazing Grace," (written about Newton's change of conviction regarding the slave trade after he fell into the arms of God's grace.)
Talk about a story of fighting for justice in the name of Jesus.
It's this story of conviction why Wilberforce is one of my heroes.
I saw a trailer for a film coming out next month called 'Amazing Grace,' which is the story of William Wilberforce and the abolishment of slavery in England. And I thought I recognized Chris Tomlin's voice on the trailer song, though I am not sure. (It's also well placed, having the film release during Black History Month). It looks really well done (created by the makers of the Academy Award winning movie 'Ray')
I read a biography of Wilberforce about five years ago and just watching the trailer made me pick the book up, dust it off and read it again. If you don't know much about Wilberforce, I challenge you to see the movie, read a biography of a do a google search for this amazing man.
No matter the color of our skin, we all have a great deal for which to be grateful regarding the life -- and the dream -- of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
May we remember this day for much more than a day off of work for some and a delay in the delivery of our mail for all. Take some time to reflect upon freedom, justice and equality and our role in them.
It's the question we're asked with great regularity: "So, are you getting any sleep?" Surprisingly, yes. We're getting more sleep than we thought. Carter is one content little man, sleeping and eating at regular intervals. He's developed a schedule of his own, allowing us to get up just a couple of times a night (thus far). Sure, we're a bit tired, but not as we had imagined.
People have also asked, "So when are you going to put more pictures of Carter on your blog?"
With the help of a loving mother-in-law who was willing to be our first babysitter, it allowed us the opportunity to sneak away and see Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith.
Great movie. Redemption, hard work, a great example of a father, good acting and based on the true-life story of Chris Gardner. See it before it leaves the theatre, or at least put it in your Netflix Queue.