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Showing posts from August, 2014

BOYHOOD, First Days, and Every Day Following

Today was, obviously if you have a Facebook account, the first day of school. Not only was it that for our boys, but it was another first day in a new school. We've had all summer to contemplate this day, since we made the decision to buy a house in Allen. We tried to comfort James with the reality that every other 7th grader would be new at the school too, but of course many of them have previous relationships from other schools. Thankfully James has some church friends there. This will be Miles’ (4th grade) fourth school, and Linus (2nd) second school. Yeah, we are hoping for some school stability! I was excited to hear first day reports—including James’ first experience riding the yellow dog to school—and the good news is everyone had a good day.
Christy and I recently watched Boyhood, the new film from director Richard Linklater. You may have heard about because of its unique nature. Richard Linklater spent twelve years filming two actors, one of whom was his own daughter. Th…

Faith: Of or In Christ?

Ever have one of the moments where you leave a discussion and on the drive home you think of an amazing point you could have contributed? That happened to me the other night in Bible study. We are studying Romans and the material referenced Martin Luther's incredibly impactful changing of a single word in his translation of Romans-- a change that shifted Christian theology. Luther changed the word of in Romans 3:22 to in:

Romans 3:22

New Revised Standard Version translation: "...the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ..."Common Englsh Version: "God's righteousness comes through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who have faith in him." We talked about this change and its significance, not only for what the Bible says but how it effects the mission of the church, for quite some time, to the point where one or two basically said, "There's really not much difference. Let's move on." I was ready to move on too!
But on the d…

New York, New York

Last week we took the boys on their first-ever flights, to New York City. Each day started fairly cool and ended warm and sunny-- about 85-87 degrees. Christy has visited New York several times; for me this was the second time-- the first was only a weekend five or so years ago. We flew on Southwest, still constricted by the Wright Amendment, meaning we had to stop in St Louis on the way up and Nashville and New Orleans on the way back. We arrived at La Guardia, which, compared to the airports above, and especially Love Field, is way too small and crowded. The plan was to take the bus and subway to the hotel, but for some reason neither our credit card nor debit card worked (we fixed it later)-- and the machines did not take cash. So we hired a mini van! Like our every day life!

We stayed in a hotel in MidTown, near Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. Checking in around 4:00 p.m., we picked up some hot dogs and giant pretzels from a street cart and headed to Times Square, where we…

Our Need to be Fully Known

Ferguson, Missouri is roughly the same size as my home town of Bay City, Texas. Police in riot gear shooting tear gas into peaceful protesters is impossible for me to imagine where I grew up. But it has happened every day this week near St Louis. Protests erupted after Michael Brown, an unarmed, young African-American man (18 years old) was killed by police. The police responded with aggression and tactics WAY out of scale with what was happening in their community-- including gassing members of the media and destroying their equipment. #mediablackout is now trending on Twitter.

Across the country, those communities who have felt threatened by, rather than protected by, the police have made their voices heard. Many years ago I participated in an anti-racism training with other pastors and layfolk from North Texas. The material referenced this perspective, although I have forgotten the source: "To African-Americans, even a black man in a blue uniform is a white police." Thes…

Amazing New Friends, and New Faith

Last week I tweeted a couple of seemingly random messages:

Absolutely amazed by God's grace. Gotta learn Farsi.. @CusterRoadUMC
— frankdrenner (@revfrankdrenner) July 24, 2014
(Farsi is also known as Persian, one of the predominant languages of Iran.)

Then the next day:

آیا می خواهید برای گرفتن تعمید
— frankdrenner (@revfrankdrenner) July 24, 2014
آیا می خواهید برای گرفتن تعمید means, in Farsi, "Do you want to get baptized?" (thanks, Google translator).

Why the interest in Farsi? Well it's kind of a complicated story with several characters. Every Sunday I spend a few hours "mugging" folks-- meaning a visit I make to every first time guest of Custer Road on the day they worship with us. I bring them a CRUMC coffee mug as a welcome gift. A few weeks ago I mugged Marci, who lives less than a mile from my house. She and her family came to America fourteen years ago from Iran. I met Marci's husband and son. Marci and her daughter are both baptized Christian…