The Euphemist

Reflections on Jewish Studies and many other subjects big and little, by a perpetual student who sometimes searches a little too long for just the right word ...

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Location: Minnesota, United States

Christian, truth seeker, husband, son, brother & uncle, Lutheran pastor, musician (cello, etc.), Jewish Studies grad student, intellectual historian, aquarium enthusiast & pet owner, philologist, astronomer, Norwegian-American, Ford pickup driver, buffoon.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Purpose-Driven blog entry

Glad to be resurfacing once again. The last month has been a full one. I presided over the funeral of my aunt, and then, without any intervening "breather", our local community was hit by the tragic loss of a teenager who died by his own hand. I was called upon to assist in the aftermath, ranging from "grief counseling" at school to co-presiding at the funeral.

Besides that, the Town Church held a "40 Days of Purpose" seminar, which was well-attended by people from several area churches. The book & seminar have their strong & weak points - I wouldn't want to make it the centerpiece of our Christian education efforts, but I think it can be a useful tool in the hands of a church that's generally well-balanced and discerning in their theology.

One point I appreciated from the Small Group Edition Study Guide was "The first building block for fellowship is authenticity." My personal theory about why certain things such as The Purpose-Driven Life appeal to many is as simple as this: people are looking for opportunities to "get real" and open up about what's really going on in their lives.

We've now begun another 40 days of purpose, namely the Lenten season, which always blesses me. The Ash Wednesday service was at the Country Church this year, and was well-attended considering that a near-blizzard briefly hit later on that evening (right when I was driving home - visibility was alarmingly low, and I would have streamlined the service if I'd realized it was coming - there's a somewhat remote 17-mile stretch between the Country Church & home, and many accidents have happened there). In our Lutheran pietistic tradition we tend to do Ash Wednesday without ashes - maybe we should call it "Clean Wednesday" in parallel to the Orthodox who start Lent with "Clean Monday," but I suspect trying to get everyone to cooperate in a terminology change would be like herding cats or squirrels.

Rick Warren of The Purpose-Driven Life also states that knowing your purpose streamlines your life, since you spend less time doing things that aren't really part of your purpose. I was thinking for awhile, "is blogging part of my purpose? Is it worth the time?" The conclusion I've come to is "yes, I don't have that much time for it, but it's an opportunity to 'be real'." So, I'm not going to be a daily blogger, but every few days or so I'll post something. How's that? And I'm giving up on trying to be too "focused". The most popular blogs seem to be the ones where people unashamedly write for themselves. If there's an audience out there for them, they'll connect.

Speaking of connecting with an audience, I'm truly gratified to see that my blog has generated some interest. According to my Clustrmap I've had an average of 5.87 clicks per day since January 1. The amazing thing is, for half that time I haven't posted a single post. I'm intrigued by the string of big dots stretching from my home in the Heartland over to some point in New York or New England. I know the big dot in Minnesota must be Lars, the one in Indiana must be Michael H, and the one in England is definitely Dave, but I haven't a clue who the others are. I invite everyone out there to say "hi" - you don't have to blow your cover or anything, but I'd like to hear from you. Maybe you could tell me what interests you on this site, and what you'd like to see more of.

Thought for today: would a wandering stocking cap be a peregrine toque?


Anonymous michael h said...

Rick Warren's theology is not merely shoddy, it is downright dangerous:

For a more in depth analysis, check out this excellent book.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I'll take a careful look. Thanks, Michael.

6:27 AM  

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