Archivo de la categoría: Health and wellness

How to Move from Forgiveness to Reconciliation


How to Move from Forgiveness to Reconciliation.

¡Qué importante este mensaje!

Sufrimiento y Comunidad: 2 experiencias que nos roba la Teología de la Prosperidad


3 Bendito sea el Dios y Padre de nuestro Señor Jesucristo, Padre de misericordias y Dios de toda consolación, 4 quien nos consuela en todas nuestras tribulaciones, para que también nosotros podamos consolar a los que están sufriendo, por medio de la consolación con que nosotros somos consolados por Dios. 5 Porque así como abundan en nosotros las aflicciones de Cristo, así también por el mismo Cristo abunda nuestra consolación. 6 Si nosotros sufrimos, es para que ustedes reciban consolación y salvación; si somos consolados, es para que ustedes reciban consuelo y puedan soportar como nosotros cuando pasen por los mismos sufrimientos. 7 Firme es nuestra esperanza respecto a ustedes, pues sabemos que así como participan en nuestras aflicciones, también participan en nuestra consolación. (2 Corintios 1:3-7 RVC) 

Este pasaje nos abre los ojos a dos misericordias y bendiciones que Dios nos da y a las que hoy, la Teología de la Prosperidad nos está aislando e insensibilizando: el sufrimiento y la comunidad….específicamente, el sufrimiento EN comunidad.

Pablo nos revela aquí dos aspectos importantes de su relación con la iglesia en Corinto: 1. su admisión de su sufrimiento personal que es consolado por Dios y 2. la bendición de poder compartir esa experiencia con su comunidad de fe (la iglesia corintia) para que a través de ese compartir, venga un consuelo comunitario que al final, glorifica a Dios. Lee el resto de esta entrada

De por qué debemos deshacernos del mensaje de la supuesta prosperidad


El “evangelio de la prosperidad” no tiene en absoluto que ver con el Evangelio.  Mala teología con mala economía = frustración, pérdida de fe y pérdida de esperanza.  Prediquemos en Evangelio….eso es lo que el mundo y los cristianos necesitan.

Racism in Christianity Today


Someone please tell me I’m misinterpreting the author….
 
The following article is located at:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/115/42.0.html

Play Ball
Un Problema Grande, No?
What major league baseball reveals about the dangers of immigration.
by Mark Galli | posted 04/13/2006 09:30 a.m.

Related articles and links

I repent in infield dirt and line chalk. I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote a couple of pieces on behalf of Christianity Today supporting a lenient immigration policy. But when I read a recent press release from Major League Baseball (MLB), I saw the light. I now have eyes to see and ears to hear. Verily, verily.

It dawned on me that the one part of the economy catastrophically affected by our current immigration policies has been something as American as apple pie: professional baseball. This year, MLB tells us, 27.4 percent of major leaguers are foreign born. And that’s nothing compared to the minor leagues, where 45.1 percent of the players are foreign-born.

And the AFL-CIO thinks it has problems! In any event, when it comes to baseball, this is (pun-intended) a major-league problem.

1. These "guest workers" are taking jobs from qualified Americans!

We’re not talking about washing uniforms or shining batting helmets, which is work beneath any true patriot. We’re talking about 223 ultra-high-paying jobs in the majors, and 2,964 modest paying jobs in the minors. So immigrants are taking jobs that Americans want after all! Believe me, you can go down any college baseball roster and find well-qualified, red-blooded American boys who would die to fill those major and minor league slots.

Okay, granted, that the presence of the foreign born—the likes of Albert Pujols (Dominican Republic), Ichiro Suzuki (Japan), and Andruw Jones (Curacao!)—has dramatically raised the bar of professional baseball, forcing the Americans who do play to work harder to remain competitive. Overall immigrants are raising the quality of play. But of course the issue is not achieving excellence as a nation, or fostering a strong work-ethic that builds character. It’s really about, well … it’s about, uh, something else, believe me, which I’ll get back to in a minute. …

2. They don’t even speak English, yikes!!

Take one of our local teams, the 2005 Chicago White Sox, who took multiculturalism to new heights. Last fall sportswriters sat amazed during the World Series as they extolled the fact that between the team members and coaches, the White Sox represented six foreign countries and spoke three languages besides English. It was commonly noted that Japanese second baseman Tadahito Iguchi had minimal command of the English language, and that Cuban pitchers Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez (since traded to Colorado) and Jose Contreras only used translators when they spoke to the media.

One incident from last fall suggests the real problem: During a simulated game, bullpen catcher, and South Korean-born, Man Soo Lee went looking for pitcher Damaso Marte, who hails from the Dominican Republic.

"Are you pitching three innings today?" Lee asked in heavily accented English.

The 30-year-old Marte looked confused.

"Three innings," Lee repeated. "Three innings."

Marte remained puzzled, so Lee played MLB charades. He mimicked throwing a ball, then held up three fingers.

Finally comprehending, Marte held up three fingers and nodded.

Now, while nearly everyone agrees the mastery of English, whether here or overseas, is a sure path to success, here we have players getting success before they’ve learned English! Granted, they’ll eventually learn English, like most guest workers and immigrants do, but should they be allowed to play American baseball at all until they’ve learned the American language? It’s just rewarding them for not learning English!

And granted that these multicultural Chicago White Sox became not only world champions, but international celebrities. And granted, even without the World Series rings, they’ve had enormous opportunities to get outside their language and culture just being in America. And granted, the fans have become culturally richer in observing the team work together. But all that, and I mean all of it, is beside the point, because the point is, well … believe me, it just goes to show that, uh … I’ll come back to that. …

Anyway, let’s not get all tied up in pseudo-arguments and other sophistry. Let’s not confuse the issue. The point, which to any red-blooded American is obvious, is this: It’s absolutely unassailable that this country is worse off with immigrants, as the example of Major League Baseball makes clear.

It does make it clear, doesn’t it?

Mark Galli is managing editor of Christianity Today.

Copyright © 2006 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.

Disposable Worship: a caution about using too much technology in worship


Last month I attended a “worship experience” that included smoke machines, lasers, digital graphic projections, and more flat panel screens than I could count. Technology is changing the way we worship, but what are we losing as a result? David Fitch, pastor of Life on the Vine Christian Community in Long Grove, Illinois, and author of The Great Giveaway (Baker, 2006), encourages us to use greater discernment when employing technology in worship.

I read a nice story recently about football player Jerome Bettis (aka “the Bus”) returning home to Detroit for the Super Bowl. They described his whole journey and how he bought a house for his parents on a golf course in suburban Detroit. But he didn’t stop there. Johnie Bettis, the running back’s mother, recalls: “When Jerome found out we were going to the laundromat, he said that wasn’t acceptable and told us to go get a new washer and dryer. But I kind of liked the laundromat because you get to meet so many interesting people.”

Mrs. Bettis’ comments reminded me how technology can change the inherent “good” of the basic practices of our lives. Technology, in this case a washer and dryer, means no longer needing to go to the laundromat. As a result, we lose the “good” of meeting and engaging interesting people in our lives. We must therefore discern whether more technology (buying a washer and a dryer, a cell phone, or Tivo) is a good idea by considering more than just the capitalist reasons: “it’s more efficient,” “it saves time,” or “it just looks and feels so good.”

The same of course is true of worship. Not every technologically enhanced “improvement” necessarily improves our worship. The flashing of the Lord’s Prayer on the screen with a powerful graphic may disable us from bowing as a community and saying it from our soul’s memory—in submission together as a Body of Christ.

The brilliant Albert Borgmann in his book Power Failure, narrates for us how technology can change something that was once a “commanding reality” with deep personal and corporate value, and turn it into a “disposable reality” devoid of meaning and power. For example, the music symphony that took so much time, effort, tuning up of instruments, the staging of a concert hall . . . is now reduced to a handy CD that we can play at our convenience and command. He believes this shift to a disposable reality changes us and how we view our world.

Borgmann says technology can make certain wonderful “goods” in our lives disappear without us even knowing it. Example: the central fireplace is replaced by the invisible central air furnace. In the process the family that once gathered around the fireplace to get warm before heading off to bed no longer engages in the community-building routine. The family no longer talks about the day, tells stories, or prays together. Through technology we lose what Borgman calls a “focal practice.” We lose a concrete, formative, and simple activity, and our lives are changed without ever noticing.

The question is obvious. Have we lost worship as a focal practice? By turning it into an “experience” saturated with convenient technology, have we made worship a disposable reality when in it is supposed to be a commanding reality?

Last night at a worship meeting we talked at length about the use of technology and graphic arts in our worship service this past Sunday. We want to retain the concrete nature and the formative practice of art in our church, but any art that shocks or produces a disposable experience we try to avoid. Art is really important in our church, but we must not produce disposable experiences. We must retain the focal practice of worship.

Focal practices and commanding realities are things we lose when we purchase a washer and dryer. These are things we lose when we turn worship into a theater show for the masses. And so we must be careful with the application of technology in worship. I am not saying don’t use it! I am saying let us be discerning. I believe we need the candles, the wonder, and the mystery of the concrete embodiment of Christ’s work at the Lord’s Table. We need to kneel (if our knees will hold out) before God with all our brokenness. And we need to use the marvelous technologies of our day in worship in ways that resist making God, community, and worship disposable.

David Fitch is pastor of Life on the Vine Christian Community in Long Grove, Illinois, a professor of ministry, theology, and ethics at Northern Seminary, and author of The Great Giveaway: Reclaiming the Mission of the Church from Big Business, Parachurch Organizations, Psychotherapy, Consumer Capitalism, and Other Modern Maladies (Baker 2006).

Posted by UrL on April 6, 2006 12:00 AM

Oswald Chambers got me thinking…


"After we have been perfectly related to God in sanctification, our faith has to worked out in actualities." (My Utmost for His Highest, April 4th)

What do you think of this phrase? It really hit me.  I can see a lot of process in this phrase.  First, the process of personal relationship to God, and inner transformation through the power of the Holy Spirit, our study of the Word, and our personal time we devote to prayer.  The great thing is that it doesn’t just stop there….we need to work out all this in actualities, which I understand as in tangible works, which require us to engage the "real world", to enter into relationships, to face the challenges of everyday life.

Process…process…process!!!!!!!

What do you all think?

Addicted to MySpace


Addicted to MySpace

Rob Alderman

I’ve been having trouble beating my addiction. I’ve tried and tried, but it seems like I will never be free. It’s the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing I do before I go to bed. I do it at least 12 times a day, sometimes more. Curse you MySpace … I hate your guts.

I remember when I was the guy who wasn’t doing the MySpace thing. Not being much of a computer type, I just couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. All of my buddies kept bugging me about it though, and so I thought to myself, “well, it wouldn’t hurt to try it once.” I went through the process of making a profile, entering in all of my information in great detail (hey, if you’re going to do something, do it right, right?), and then came the photos. Grabbing my trusty phone, I quickly snapped a picture that looked just right for MySpace: black and white, not looking directly at the camera, with just a hint of melancholy. Perfect. Finally, a name … I had to be careful too, because MySpace kept warning me that once I had chosen one, it couldn’t be changed …ever. With that finished, I clicked “submit” and held my breath.

It was a life changing moment when I saw the words for the first time: “You have a friend request.” Who was Tom? How did he find me so quickly? Why does he want to be my friend? I’m not one to take friendship lightly, but this guy seemed nice enough, so I said OK. Little did I know at that time that Tom was leading me down a dark path from which there was certainly no return. Soon, I was adding friends and requesting to be friends with people I’d never met. As my list of friends grew, I quickly became aware that I would have to be very careful about who was in my coveted “Top 8.”

I was writing blogs, reading blogs, commenting on blogs, commenting on comments, joining groups, creating groups, posting bulletins, reading bulletins, taking top ten quizzes that told the world what I thought about my favorite CDs, movies and what character I would be if I was living in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! My greatest MySpace moment occurred when one of my blogs cracked the top ten most read blogs on the site. Not bad, considering MySpace now boasts over 45 million subscribers. I was like an internet pariah, basking in my self-published glory. I had miraculously discovered the reason that Al Gore had invented the Internet.

My days were filled with high-speed connection happiness. Admittedly, there were some small problems with MySpace. The site would go down at random points during the day. I would spend an hour pouring my thoughts into a blog only to have it lost in the great MySpace void. And suddenly, people I had never met were posting comments about my personal life. But on the whole, MySpace had become the community I had always wanted. Or at least, I thought it was …

In the back of my mind there were faint alarms going off, but I did hear them, and it caused me to think: That exactly is it that causes us to spend hours staring at a computer screen in the hopes that someone will post a supportive comment about the party we went to last Friday, or the fight we had Tuesday night with our girlfriend? Why are we so desperate for a community that exists only in cyberspace? Just three years ago, meeting someone on the Internet was worthy of being cast to the bottom rung of the social ladder. Now, thanks to MySpace, meeting people via the Internet is not only socially acceptable, but there is a certain level of coolness to having tons of friends on your MySpace page. What was once considered sad is now celebrated … How very odd.

We live in a society where honest friendship is hard to find. As people created to live together in community, we crave human interaction, and yet it somehow eludes us no matter where we seem to look. On MySpace we find people being completely open with their feelings, confessing their sins to a virtual world. In fact, many of us will openly post things for the whole world to read that we would never confide to our pastor. That shouldn’t be too surprising considering most churches have become the types of places where openness and truthfulness is not very welcome.

It seems as though the time honored tradition of face-to-face communication has all but been eradicated. Friendship is complex. Community is something that takes work. We conclude that being friends with real people is simply too complicated so we search for a community that can be had on our terms and our terms alone, and we find it on places like MySpace. Don’t like a friend? Delete them. Don’t want someone’s opinion? Ban their input. Don’t like the way you look? Simply change your photo. You can be who you want, when you want, with who you want. In fact, it’s so perfect and so addictive that it’s easy to spend all of our time there, pouring ourselves into our own little MySpace kingdoms.

I’m not certain how I finally realized that I was worshipping at the MySpace altar. Perhaps it was the fact that I was dragging in late to work as a result of late night blogging. Maybe I realized I was spending more time talking to my new “Internet” friends than my real life college buddies. Perhaps it was the fact that the letters had begun to fade from my keyboard from the incessant typing. Whatever the reason, I am thankful. No matter how fun it is, an addiction is an addiction, and it is not a healthy thing. I knew that I had to do something before I lost my soul completely to the void of cyberspace, and so I hatched one final desperate plan. I would quit MySpace for two weeks cold turkey.

I’m not proposing a ban on MySpace or anything like that. In fact, I’m not even deleting my own profile. I’m simply saying that things like MySpace are only healthy when done in moderation. Logging a hundred hours of Internet time on MySpace is nowhere near as fulfilling as spending real face-to-face time with a good friend. The famous communications guru Marshall McLuhan had a saying, “The medium is the message,” an idea based on the theory that the world was headed to a point of global communication where how we said something would become more important than what we were saying. I wonder what he would think about MySpace, where our online profiles have become more important to many of us than our real selves.

I posted one final blog advising the MySpace world that I was taking a bit of a “MySpace sabbatical” to regain some focus. This has not been easy, but I figure that the new perspective on life will be well worth the time spent away from my Mac iBook. In the past few days since leaving MySpace, I’ve gone for a walk, watched Hotel Rwanda (something I’d been swearing I’d do for months now) and started a great book. Last night, I even spent some time with my best friend Dusty, sitting on his front porch and talking about life, work and faith. He has a new job, and I’m happy for him. He began to tell me all about the great day he’d had and for a moment, I caught myself thinking, “this would make such a great blog,” before suddenly catching myself. I was wrong. This makes for great life.

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