A Matt Update…

Took my boy to his first UNLV Runnin’ Rebel Basketball game on Sat.

We handled the Utah Runnin’ Utes (yes, they stole our cool nickname) in front of over 10,000 fans.

Notice I did not take Lorelai. That is because I have heeded the unintentional warning of Devin Hudson (6 junior high girls basketball games in 4 days!) and decided she will be taken to ballets instead.

All in all life has been pretty crazy lately. I have a lot to write about but very little time to write. I plan to write a post later this week about my church on this blog, and a post about Family Legacy on my family blog.

Please keep us in prayer as Vicky and I learn how to emotionally and physically handle caring for 2 infants.

Oh, and Ryan has a seminary degree now (congrats!!!) but refuses to use it (booooo!!!). Pray that he will repent. Also, feel free to rebuke him if you feel led.

matt

Graduation: Master of Divinity

k-walking

I got my diploma in the mail this last week. It was kind of surreal and anticlimactic at the same time. Three years of community, dedication, education, and experience and it is all summed up in a piece of paper that says I am a master of divinity.

I thank God for the grace and support he gave me to get through it, and the relationships I built during it. Like most things in life, it went much faster than I thought it would (except for my two years of Greek.)

I have a whole laundry list of topics, books, lectures, and Greek vocab cards that I have resolved to go back through now that I am done. I think I will first start with reflecting on the process and experience. Feel like I have yet to even do that!

ryan

the word “church”

Recently I was asked for my thoughts on Jeremy Pryor’s blog, Please Define “Church”. Here goes.

One thing I have come to find infinitely valuable when discussing anything is to first question the validity of a question/thesis. If the question/thesis proves invalid for any number of reasons, I can focus my discussion on that, or ignore the topic altogether. If the question/thesis proves valid, I can hardly find a reason not to engage. Sometimes, however, the validity of a question/thesis is ambiguous and requires further clarification. That is where I find myself when I hear statements like the one Jeremy leads off with:

We need a clear consensus on the New Testament meaning of the word “Church”.

Perhaps Mike Edwards comment best illustrates my point:

I think there may be a confusion of terms to square away. The word “church” is an english word that more accurately means “the place where God dwells”.

From this perspective we have 2 valid meanings for the word church:

a) The idiomatic meaning (the meaning that is commonly accepted) – the building where a worship service takes place.

b) The actual and literal meaning – the place where God dwells.

I find it a quest of insanity to commit oneself to deconstruct an idiomatic meaning to replace it with the actual meaning. An example of this would be someone hell bent on explaining to a bunch of 12 year-olds that the word “cool” is a temperature reference and not a state of one’s general acceptance among peers. What’s the point? Even if you can convince them, the embeded idiomatic meaning cements it’s usage in their vernacular.

So now I come back to Jeremy’s thesis: We need a clear consensus on the New Testament meaning of the word “Church”.

Now, there is another side of this coin, and that is when an idiomatic meaning trumps or hinders the ability for people to understand the true meaning of the word. Take our example of 12 year olds and the word “cool” again. Does their use of the word in it’s commonly accepted meaning trump or hinder anyone’s ability to understand the original meaning of the word? Of course not. Does our commonly accepted use of the word “church” trump or hinder anyone’s ability to understand it’s orignal meaning?

Ahh, now we are getting somewhere.

So now we are faced with a dilema. We desperately desire for people to know the true meaning of thw word “church,” but are faced with the reality that (IF WE ARE HONEST WITH OURSELVES) attempting to change the idiomatic meaning of the word “church” is a fruitless endeavor.

My solution: allow people to use the word church however they so please, while attempting to build a church that is authentic to the New Testament meaning. Worry less about getting people to use the word right, and focus more on getting them to be the church right. That seems far more condusive to Kingdom building.

matt

Time

What will you use yours on this year?

There is no such thing as time management, time can not actually be managed, so we can only learn to manage ourselves.

If your lucky you will get 3,900 of each day of the week during your life. Think about that for a second 3,900 is not much and counts down quicker than most of us imagine.

When you look at purchases this year don’t look at the monetary price tag, calculate the time tag. How many days, months, years of work will that item cost you? Is it worth it?

And as I have been learning from Andy Stanely recently; the best question we can ask ourselves is What is the wise thing to do? In light of your past experiences, present circumstances, and future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing to do?

ryan

Two quotes That Hang In My Loft

The first is: “Show me a man’s friends and I will show you his future.”

I love this quote because it reminds me how much I have been shaped by community, and am a product of those around me. I cherish those around me who have shaped me and have influenced my life.

The second quote is: “The future is paid for by the present.”

I love this quote because it helps me live for a legacy rather than the moment. It reminds me that the things I want most in life, those things that instant gratification will never bring, require sacrifice today, in order to achieve.

As a vision/planner oriented person, it motivates me and gives me fuel to realize dreams and goals. The the cumulative effect of actions will significantly shape my future.

ryan