Reasons for Stories of Faith

Our Friday morning men’s group at church is continuing a study of Dallas Willard’s book “The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering our Hidden Life in God.” Among other projects this fall, I have started a new project titled “Stories of Faith Podcasts” with our youth deacons. I’ve started a webpage (still hidden from direct linking from the main website because we’re not ready for the official project announcement to the congregation) for this initiative, as well as a WordPress.com blog where we’ll link episodes into an RSS feed. Right now we just have 1 episode, which we recorded Sunday night.

Stories of Faith Podcast

I still need to create the Feedburner feed and link it to the main page on the church’s website.

This morning I was continuing to read Willard’s book (along with Matthew Chapter 5) and came across this passage, which spoke to me as a justification for why initiatives like our “Stories of Faith Podcast” are so important and needed in today’s world. On page 64 Willard writes:

It is, frankly, hard today to think adequately of God– or perhaps to think of him at all. Our intellectual history works against it, and we certainly do not get much training for it. Frankly, our daily experience, under pressure from many quarters, constantly keeps us from thoughtful living and “dumbs us down,” in many ways– especially theologically. But the resulting lack of adequate ideas and terminology does great harm to our faith. It insulates our real life from what we say we believe. We cannot, even by a miracle, believe a blank or a blur, much less act on it. There is now “what” for our minds and lives to lay hold of in such a case– or it is the wrong “what.”

To trust in God, we need a rich and accurate way of thinking and speaking about him to guide and support our life vision and our will. Such is present in the biblical language, of couse, and it continued to be carefully crafted in the works of Christian writers well into the twentieth century.

Still today the Old Testament book of Psalms gives great power for faith and life. This is simply because it preserves a conceptually rich language about God and our relationships to him. If you bury yourself in Psalms, you emerge knowing God and understanding life.

While the content, style and form of user-created content like that included (and to be included) in our Stories of Faith podcast series may be a far cry from the carefully chosen language of the Old and New Testament books of the Bible, I believe that God continues to speak through his people. I hope this podcasting initiative, and more specifically this COMMUNICATION, learning and evangelism project, will enable more people within our congregation and in other places and times to “think more adequately of God” and obtain more “rich and accurate ways of thinking and speaking” about Him.

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Podcast7: 10 year old reflections about Jesus on Christmas Eve

Our 5th grade Sunday School class of 10 and 11 year old students recorded a seven minute podcast today, which is going to be played during our family Christmas Eve service at church this year.

[powerpress]

This podcast is available in several formats:

  1. As an audio-only mp3 file
  2. As an enhanced podcast (requires free QuickTime Player software or iTunes software)
  3. As a YouTube video (published later in 2010)
  4. As a VoiceThread digital story

 

You are welcome to leave feedback for our students on the VoiceThread or here as comments. Merry Christmas!

An amazing video from Casting Crowns

A friend showed me this video from a concert by Casting Crowns today. Wow.

This is a completely unique take on musical interpretation than I’ve seen previously in videos or live stage performances. Very creative, as well as moving. I love this song. I first learned of Casting Crowns several years ago, listening to Air1 Radio when we lived in Lubbock. (Here in Oklahoma, I listen to K-LOVE more than Air1 now, when I listen Christian radio.) I think the band started as a youth group praise team, and they continue to serve in that capacity as well as play concerts. Their music is definitely inspired by the Lord.

Their official website is www.castingcrowns.com. They have more YouTube videos linked from their website. I think it is great Casting Crowns has embraced the use of new media sites, like YouTube, to share their music and their gospel message with the world. Seeing this video adds a different dimension to the experience of listening to their music and allowing the message to penetrate my mind and spirit.

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5th Graders speak: “Who Is Jesus?”

5th grade students in the Sunday school class I’m co-teaching this semester contributed to this four minute audio podcast on the theme, “Who Is Jesus?” Some of these recordings were made during our Sunday school class last week using Audacity and an external microphone, but most were made by students and teachers from home using their phones and the free Gabcast service.

Ox, Lion, Eagle, Man

Chatting with my cousin/sister and her husband, they shared a different way of perceiving people, or personality theories. Although this is a practice we–human beings–have traditionally engaged in with everything from the 4 humours (e.g. sanguine, melancholy, etc) to “orange/blue/green/yellow” as ways to describe personalities, I’d never heard of a Bible-based approach.

Apparently, the approach they shared is based on Revelations 4:7. It reads:

And the first living being was like a lion, and the second living being like a calf, and the third living being had a face as a man, and the fourth living being was like a flying eagle. And the four living beings had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.

Now, I was not aware of all the symbolism that goes along with these beings. Apparently, they are known as the Symbols of the Four Evangelists.

Matthew is the Man. The Man is Humane.
Mark is the Lion. The Lion is Bold.
Luke is the Ox. The Ox is Sturdy.
John is the Eagle. The Eagle is far-seeing.

    Personality styles/models are fun reading, and frightening in their accuracy.

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