August 29, 2008

Thank you Amie Berryhill!!

Why am I thanking my fellow GSUMC staffer? Because she sent a link today to one of the best blogs I've read ever!

Oh how true so much of it is!

Enjoy and have a great weekend,

August 28, 2008

Bible nerds and computer nerds unite!

I just came across this story tonight. It's pretty incredible how technology has the capacity to so greatly improve our knowledge, not just of the world, but of God's Word as well. The further away we move from the original Scriptures, chronologically speaking, the more technology helps compensate and bring us, somewhat paradoxically, closer to those originals.

Anyway, for all of you who wanted to see the Scrolls when they were here in Charlotte, but weren't able to, soon you'll have a much better view than any of us got in the dimly-lit museum tour!


August 26, 2008

Paul and women

Last night I was at a guys' small group that I've recently begun attending and the conversation touched on Paul and his views on women in ministry. We talked some about people's understandings (and misunderstandings!) of Paul's letters when it comes to the issue of women and their role in church and society in general.

It's a topic that is surrounded by so much half-truth, urban legend, and just plain bad interpretation, that I thought it would make a good post here in the Dojo.

Here is a link to a series by one of my old professors, Dr. John Jefferson Davis (with whom I didn't always see eye-to-eye, but whom I respect greatly and learned many many things from!), on Paul's views on women in light of the "chauvinistic" passages found in some of his writings--particularly 1Timothy 2:12.

Enjoy! And as usual, feedback/critiques/comments/discussion are always welcome!


ps: On an unrelated note, I just found out that 3 lectures given earlier this year (the third of which I was able to attend in person) by fellow GCTS alumnus and New Testament Scholar, Ben Witherington, have been posted online. They're all about the pseudo-Jesus that we often see portrayed in pop-media or bestselling books. I encourage you to listen to them, particularly the 1st and 3rd ones, and pass them on to any friends or family who may be curious about what to really believe regarding the historical Jesus and the modern claims being made by some about Him.

August 17, 2008

Training thoughts from the past few weeks

This past Saturday, I tested for my brown belt at my real-life dojo, Leadership Martial Arts. It was a physically as well as mentally demanding 90 minutes that I had been planning for and getting in shape for for a while now (though I still missed a few things during it and didn't do as well as I'd have liked). Brown belt is the rank just beneath black belt at our school and the curricula is a mixture of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), Judo, Taekwondo, kickboxing, Jeet Kune Do, stick-fighting and wrestling. Needless to say, a black belt at LMA is no small feat! So testing for my brown belt was something I had been looking forward to for months now and I'm anxious to find out how I did.

The week before my testing week, as many of you may know, I was in Nairobi, Kenya for 10 days working with a team from Good Shepherd at the Jubilee Children's Center. The JCC is an orphanage for children, most of whom were orphaned due to HIV/AIDS, that is supported by GSUMC and a number of other churches. In the mornings, I helped with the Bible lesson portion of the Vacation Bible School we did and in the afternoons, I worked with the teachers on studying and interpreting the Bible.

The children at the JCC were an absolute treasure, no doubt God has great things in store for them. But what was most rewarding for me was seeing the hunger with which the teachers approached the study of Scripture during our time together. Two of them, Solomon and Raydon, both in their 20s, shared with me that the biggest need in Kenya right now is training and resources for the pastors. Even simple things such as a Bible dictionary or basic Hebrew language training are extremely hard to come by for the average rural pastor. This really brought home to me the amount of wealth, both financially and informationally, that God has blessed many churches in the West well as how little we do with it--focusing instead on gobbling up top-10 bestsellers which are often nothing more than spiritual cotton-candy.

I was able to test for my brown belt Saturday because I have access to an amazing instructor, a fantastic dojo, and a group of fellow students equally committed to sharpening one another's skills. The teachers and pastors I met in Kenya do not have the equivalent of this when it comes to their training and instruction in wielding "the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God" (Ephesians 6:17). Yet, they continue to minister faithfully with what the knowledge they have, and in the grace of God poured out in proportion to their faith (which dwarfs that of most churches in the West, I would suspect). I pray that God stirs up His people whom He's blessed abundantly with resources to take or send those resources to where they are needed most throughout the world...beginning with us at GSUMC.

Training daily,

August 13, 2008

This is an amazing interview!

A friend of mine sent this to the Fusion listserve today. It's an interview with Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a Hamas leader in Ramallah. He converted to Christianity and now is living in the U.S. seeking asylum.,2933,402483,00.html

His analysis of the wrong on both sides of the Israel/Palestine conflicts is right on in my opinion. I pray more and more people take notice of what he's saying, especially Christians who simply believe "Palestinian = evil" and "Israel = righteous."


August 9, 2008

Do you live in Charlotte or the Charlotte area??

If so, then you need to know about CharlotteONE:. CharlotteONE: is a ministry that GSUMC fully supports and has benefited from greatly. It's an amazing place where young adults from all over the area can connect, make new friends, experience phenomenal music and be challenged by fantastic speakers.
Here's a peek at what it's all about:

2008 CharlotteONE Promo Video

Tell everyone you know!


JM's Audio Teaching Archive

Check out for some of my messages and teaching sessions:

Bruce Lee quote of the day...