Thursday, March 26, 2009

Two 4 Two Last Night

Wonderful evening at Two 4 Two, marred only by the news that Miss Velma has a broken femur (she fell at the doctor's office). Please keep her (and Bob) in your prayers.

Here are the top pics from last night. Labels beneath each picture.
The Grandview Ballet Troup ... coming to a Palm Sunday Service near you!

Jake, David, and Kara ... bro, bro, and sis ... arriving to Two 4 Two.

Such a cute picture of Ella (who doesn't ALWAYS smile for me).

These three, however, are easy smilers. Isaiah, Elliot, and Lola.

Speaking of easy smiles ... I love this picture (my favorite from last night). Cora, Emma, Melanie, Emily, Logan, and Chandler.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Faith and Art

I enjoy reading the blog Stuff Christians Like (it's linked on my page). It is often funny, sometimes serious, and almost always insightful.

I read this post today about artists, fidelity, and our response to God. I thought it was so good that I wanted to link it on this blog.

I wish I was more artistic, but I've found that when the details of an organization start crowding your life, creativity and artistry can too easily be pushed aside.

That said, I've included pictures below of some of the artistry of our Grandview folks. I love this stuff ....
Tom Root's sketches for a series of paintings he is working on for us.

Below are samples of the stained glass windows Betty Taber (member since in back in the 1960s) created for us.

The pulpit, lectern, and communion table come from the minds and skills of our own Garry Smith (designer) and Roger Allman (craftsman/builder)

Beth Bader teaches ballet to some of our girls on Wednesday nights. The results were fantastic and universally loved by the people who were able to witness it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sunday's Coming

I've been meaning to post pics from Wednesday night, but haven't had a chance. Look for names beneath the pictures. I haven't learned everybody's name, so I'm sorry if I miss some.Left to Right: Emily, (? I'm pretty sure her name starts with an A), and Chandler.
Cassady, Becky, Matteus, Anna, and Kara.

Seth was proud of his artwork on Wednesday night.

Liz, Shirley, Jim, and Dwight.

Now I'm back to work on tomorrow's sermon, which looks at the text in the Gospel of John when a large group of disciples leave Jesus, Jesus turns to the Twelve disciples and asks, "Do you want to go away too?" It's a touching text.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Two 4 Two Review

Here's the weekly slideshow from Two 4 Two/Rendezvous. Thanks, Sam, for taking the shots and making the slideshow.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sad Beeson News

Word out of my Asbury friend and current Beeson Pastor, Robbie Phillips, is that due to the collapse of endowments the Beeson Program is being put on hiatus. The current students, like Robbie, will be covered through the end of May, then they will be responsible for the rest of their costs in pursuing their Doctor of Ministry degrees at Asbury.

I feel for the people who have to make the calls to incoming students, students who have already received their books for their first classes. These new students are being told there is no place for them.

The economic collapse threatens all religious schools that rely on endowments. These are trying times for people who manage money at these institutions.

I think the church is about to recover prophetic preaching. Greed and corruption at the top of the system have gone unchecked. But that's too easy a target (even though they are a legitimate target). The greed and corruption aren't limited to CEOs and politicians. We have our own greed at our end of the system that is just as bad, but not as noticeable. We live beyond our means. We don't save. We buy stuff we don't need. If Christians (like me) would live simply, we wouldn't be in this shape.

I hear calls for justice, but in the Old Testament the words righteousness and justice are words that often come in pairs. Any system devoid of righteousness loses it's ability to mete justice. Any person who rises up to point the finger of justice is undercut by his lack of character, his extramarital affairs, his tax-dodging past, his acceptance of bribes. Nothing shuts us up faster than our own past.

My friend Robbie reminded me of this skit on Saturday Night Live. It's as good as any sermon I could preach on the topic:

Farewell, Beeson Program. Thanks for all you did for me and my family. I hope you return someday.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Dissertation Defense Day Determined

Judgment Day approaches. I found out this morning that my defense hearing will be on Tuesday, April 21st, at 9 a.m. Prayers are, of course, appreciated. If you're a regular visitor to this blog, then you'll be reminded of the event as it approaches. I started this blog to chronicle my family's journey to Asbury so I feel a certain symmetry in reporting this. And now to this week's Two 4 Two pictures:
Drew smiling big for me.

Felipe' smiles too.

Elliot and Marin show us the true definition of cute.

Oh no, I can't remember if this is Austin or Caleb. I think It's Austin.

You knew I would have a picture of Caroline.

Jack wants his soda.

Spring emerging on the other side of the sanctuary windows.

Ella adds even more to the Cutie Quotient at church.

When you ask for a smile from Eden, she delivers ... every time!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Dissertation Delight and Two 4 Two

I'm pleased to report that I'm back on track for graduating in May. My mentor approved the copy I sent him and is sending it on to the editor. The editor has two weeks to fill it with red ink and then send it to me. When I receive it I will then have two weeks to "get the red out" (I just thought of that, off the top of my head!) and send it back, in triplicate. Once they receive those three copies they will schedule a defense/hearing (probably during Holy Week). If I make it through the defense they will, most likely, still want some changes made. THEN, if I get THOSE changes made on time, I'll graduate on Saturday, May 23rd.


In the meantime, here is the slideshow for Two4Two/Rendezvous this week:

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Dissertation Update, Two 4 Two, and Max Miller

First: Dissertation Update: Tomorrow (Friday) is the due date for the mentor approved copy of my dissertation. Sadly, my mentor's mother died this past week and I won't make the deadline. My mentor is a good guy and I am terribly sorry to hear of this turn of events. Feel free to pray for Dr. Lowe. The next, and less important, matter is whether or not I can still try to graduate in May. As far as I can tell, it is still possible. The DMin office is willing to give it a try if I am. So, we'll see.

Second: Two 4 Two: It was great to be back this week. Here are some pics from the night. We were really glad to see Sir Isaac again. We miss you, Isaac.

Meg led the bread-making group.



Allisa and Anna



Third: Former Emory professor, Max Miller, spoke at Grandview on Tuesday night, delivering the first Kershner Lecture for Emmanuel School of Religon. He was really good. I learned!
Here is incoming president of Emmanuel, Mike Sweeney, introducing Dr. Miller.

And, of course, Dr. Miller himself.

Monday, March 02, 2009

What I'm Working On This Week...

How about I use my blog to plan my week? This is what's up this week:
  • Dissertation. I've been gone, essentially, for two weeks. Life has been dissertation and more dissertation. I turned my first full draft into my mentor last Friday. He will let me know what needs to change. If I can make those changes by Friday and get the new dissertation to the editor, then I'll still be hoping to graduate in May. If not ... hello December graduation!
  • Administration. Two weeks in Wilmore and the loss of John Marr leave me in administration deficit. I have lots of projects needing attention. The most pressing, the new Grandview website, has been stalled for two weeks. I don't know why, but to get people to do their jobs you sometimes have to call and remind them, email and remind them, and then drop by and ask them what's up. I have other administration activities I have to get my mind around, but I haven't stopped long enough to identify them.

  • Max Miller Lecture. Grandview gets to host the first lecture of this week's Emmanuel School of Religion Kershner Lectures. I'm really looking forward to hearing Dr. Miller and am very pleased that we get to host the lecture. But, that means I've got a lot of stuff to get ready for tomorrow night.

  • Family. Being gone for two weeks puts a dent in family time as well. Cindy has had a lot on her between taking kids to doctor visits, taking her grandfather to doctor visits (he's in the hospital now), helping me with my dissertation, and trying to work.
There we go. That's a start. Thanks for being a sounding board!