James A Garfield

I learned to appreciate James Garfield listening to Play the Man by Mark Batterson on RightNow Media.

Born in a log cabin in Ohio.

Only ordained preacher to become US President. (our 20th)

Only president that didn’t run for president.

The 1880 Republican National Convention, they were deadlocked after 35 ballots. They nominated James A Garfield, who hadn’t been running and had not been previously nominated. We was chosen as the Republican nominee and went on to win. Inaugurated in March 1881.

Was shot in his first year as president. After a extended illness (and infections) he died some 200 days after holding office.

I mean to make myself a man, and if I succeed in that, I shall succeed in everything else. James A. Garfield
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/james_a_garfield_150413

He was a teacher, preacher, college president, officer in the Civil War, scholar, politician, proponent of education for all, and family man.  (and a hard worker, because of all that he did)

He was left-handed. As a teenager pulled canal boats along the canal in Ohio. Out-going. Friendly. Moderate Republican.

Last, but certainly not least, he found a proof of the Pythagorean Theorem.  The Pythagorean Theorem can be proven in scores of ways and we’ve had it since the Greeks, but it is significant that Garfield found new, cogent proof in 1876.

He’s an inspiration.

Videos and Audio

2-hour plus excellent video from CSpan: Life Portrait of James Garfield

5 Crazy facts

LibroVox has a reading of his “Presidential Farewell and Last Addresses,” which, sadly, was his Inaugural address.

RightNow Media

BrainyQuotes

Charitable Contributions

I saw online someone suggesting that people should contribute quick (to NCTM, in this case).

My response:

Yes, we should contribute to NCTM’s Trust. However, I think “charitable deductions will be treated very differently in the coming year,” is misleading. It is my understanding, with the new tax bill, that charitable deductions can still be itemized as they have been. The ‘argument’ that has been put out (by the media also) is that with a higher *standard deduction* there will be some who won’t be ‘motivated’ to give to charitable groups, because they aren’t going to itemize deductions. Ugh! People need to give to NCTM, the Salvation Army, churches, etc. because it’s the right thing to do — now out of greed of what they’ll save on taxes.

IN FACT, with the government giving less and less to schools, communities, and social services it is MORE important that people to make charitable donations.

Creeds, et al.

from Creeds – Part 2 by Communio Sanctorum History of the Church season 2.

Creed – I believe = ‘creedo’  – a statement of faith. core elements

Confessions – elaborates on a Creed.  a more detailed description of the things of God.

Catechism – to teacher/instruct; outlines of teaching. Have aspects of creeds and confessions.

Councils – meetings/gatherings of believers.

Servant Leader – Jim McClarey

Servant Leader

I am so glad I have been able to get to know, work along side, and become friends with this man. I’ve gone on 13 mission trips (and about as many ski trips) with Jim McClarey (in blue). Those who have gone on the mission trips know that being there with Jim is a joy and fulfilling.

This picture was taken on day one of our June 2017 mission trip to Virginia Beach, VA, to do hurricane relief. Here, Jim McClarey (and Patrick Lindsey, also a mission-trip veteran) are clearing brush. The overgrowth had poison ivy in it. (Hurricane Matthew, and associated flood, hit in October 2016. For people who have been stressed and distressed with everything from the water heater to electricity to repairing floors in the house, they might have let their yard get out of control.)

On a mission trip you never know what you are actually going to do.  Jim jumps in no matter how difficult the task is, with a positive attitude. (I think it’s the second year in a row Jim has dealt with poison ivy. Last year, at Little Grassy, he helped clear a path at the church camp.)

Here is a before and an after picture from the Virginia Beach yard they were working on:

Jim McClarey is a servant leader in many, many ways. We, youth and adults, have learned much from him.

He has taught us:

  • How to overcome adversity, with a smile,
  • How to work hard,
  • How the Holy Spirit can flow in us and through us,
  • How to have fun,
  • How to praise God,
  • How to strive for excellence to honor God and inspire others,
  • How to mentor youth,
  • How to lead by example, and
  • How to Knock down the Three-Pointer.

Thank you Jim!

For more information on our 2017 mission trip use the hashtag #VAMissions2k17 or visit Youth Group Facebook Album or Facebook Page.

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Ten Practical Ways To Take Your Ministry To The Next Level

This is a very good post by Tim Price.

Ten Practical Ways To Take Your Ministry To The Next Level – Click here

Does look toward taking it to the next level, but also about building foundations, intentionality, and sustainability.

Under Document Your Ministry he has a good list:

Vision; Culture; Process; Main Thing; Fully Involved; What To Delegate

Throughout he emphasizes leadership and community.

Pax Romana

Notes taken while listening to espisode 3 of Romans video series on RightWay Media (by Mart De Haan [with Jimmy DeYoung]).

Ceaseria Phillipi (named in honor of Caesar Augustus) was the administrative center (for the Romans) of Palestine.

Herod was put in by the romans as the ‘King of the Jews’. He had a palace in Jerusalem. He also built up Ceaseria and had a palace there.  (Herod, of course killed all the babies at the time of Jesus’ birth.)

Roman tax in Jesus time was lower than US tax in America (today).

The Romans had lots of gods (to who laid the rail), but they didn’t have an answer for mortality and what happens after death.  This was a big flaw, a gaping hole, in fact, in the system of gods the Romans had.

The book of Romans (by Paul) was circulated throughout the Romans Empire and had widespread affect.

Much (most) of the New Testement is counter-cultural.

In chapters 3 and 5 of Romans explains how we ‘get right’ with God. This would have been welcomed by many at the time.

Establishments and Institutions

Sermon idea: 

I like institutions (look up definition). They exist to carry out a needed duty.

‘The establishment’ on the other hand seems to mainly be there to maintain itself. 

In Yancey’s ‘The Jesus I Never Knew’ book he says, on page 197, that Jesus posed a genuine threat to the establishment in Jerusalem.

More later (e.g., pg 203). It was very ironically, the supposed church of God that had Jesus killed. As an establishment, they had spiraled far away from God.

The institution that Jesus was proposing was to  love your neighbor sacrificially. This was certainly difficult to comprehend and to grasp by even the disciples. But the institution of loving one’s neighbor sacrificially proposed a threat to the good-ol-boy establishment. Enough of a threat that it got him killed.

Loving one’s neighbor sacrificially is the opposite of an establishment, which is inward looking/self-centered. 

An institution, by definition is outward looking/other-centered.

We, as the church, need to be careful that we don’t turn from an institution to an establishment.

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Fun to look at the words

establishmentarian 

disestablishmentarian

antidisestablishmentarian