Wednesday, August 24, 2016

FULLY HUMAN, FULLY DIVINE

fFrom time to time I just want to share how others explain how life matters to God and you matter to God. The SKIT GUYS are among the best-STEVE

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

FACEBOOK PROPHETS--MKSCELLANEOUS COMMENTS

BY STEVE DUNN

Here is this week's collection.  Enjoy or squirm or both.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

1000 POSTS - LIFE MATTERS

BY STEVE DUNN

On July 4, 2016 I passed a milestone with this blog.  I published my 1000th post.  (In case you missed it 1000)  I was so busy at the time that I missed the significance of that post myself. 1000 blog posts - a whole lot of words.  Some more eloquent than others.  Some more useful than others.  Some more memorable and some quite forgettable.


My first post was March 3, 2009. Here is what I wrote more than seven years ago:

 Many people think Christians have closed minds, more concerned with being the moral police than good neighbors. I believe that Christians are called to reflect the character of Christ--which means that loving God and loving my neighbor are two sides of the same coin. Rather than exhibiting a closed mind, it is important for me to possess the mind of Christ. The Christ portrayed in the Gospels possessed clarity and a deep commitment to the truth. That meant that he was open to people's questions and even taught the truth by asking questions, not merely making pronouncements. A mind committed to knowing and living by the truth is essential to being a genuine Christ follower. Having a mind assumes that you are required to think, ask questions, reflect, and respond. It also implies that your actions and values are the result of well-examined, open-minded (to the truth) conviction. As a sign I once saw on a campus minister's door proclaimed: JESUS CAME TO TAKE AWAY YOUR SINS, NOT YOUR MIND. 

I doubt if I have changed the minds of everyone who has read this blog; but then my purpose is really more in line with Ravi Zacharias "to simply get people to open their minds and let the Holy Spirit do the persuading."  I hope in some small measure that LIFE MATTERS has accomplished that purpose.



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

MONDAY MORNING REFLECTIONS - BACK TO SCHOOL PREPARATIONS

BY STEVE DUNN


I have been in the ministry for 45 years--starting as a youth pastor back in 1971.  Since 2008, I have added teaching graduate students in a seminary to my resume.  Since last January I have added teaching history to high school students from Korea to my professional mix. I am about to do both again. Monday Morning Reflections this week is late because I am busy completing syllabi, lesson plans and initial lessons for high schools kids (9th, 10th and 11th graders) and seminarians (only God knows some of their ages and it would be ecclesiastically/politically incorrect to ask).  High school starts next Monday, seminary two weeks later.

At this moment I am firmly reminded of the words of Solomon, an ancient wise man of centuries ago:



As they say in my profession: "That'll preach."  And so far that is true just for the instructor.  It will soon be the lament of my students and their compatriots.

Yet as I wade through all the paperwork and other preparations, it is a labor of love.  It is also a critical endeavor.  Knowledge is the beginning of power and ignorance is not bliss, it is dangerous.
Education provides knowledge, but more than that--the discipline of learning and the accountability needed not only to get a good grade but to live life with competence, confidence, and significance.
Knowing the details of early American politics may not come into daily usefulness for all of my high schoolers, any more than the nuances of biblical interpretation for my seminarians.  But the process of learning with its requirement to live by standards of excellence and to use that learning with integrity are survival values for society and the Church.

I love my students too much to let them be wallow in ignorance, shackled by laziness, and handicapped by an uninformed life.  And I love our nation, our world, and the Kingdom of God not to do my part in educating.

So now--back to the preparations.  May they bear much fruit which will last.


© 2016 by Stephen L. Dunn.  You have permission to reprint this provided it is unchanged, proper authorship is cited, it is in a publication not for sale, and a link is provided to this site or to www.drstevedunn.com. For all other uses, contact Steve at sdunnpastor@gmail.com 


BETTER WEDNESDAY THAN NEVER-FACE BOOK PROPHETS

Getting ready for classes to begin and I am swamped but here's Facebook Prophets - STEVE








Tuesday, August 9, 2016

FACEBOOK PROPHETS - STRAIGHT TALK

BY STEVE DUNN

This week we emphasize some straight talk to people who believe our lives matter to God,plus a little nonsensical levity.
 









Monday, August 8, 2016

MONDAY MORNING REFLECTIONS: THE POWER OF A CALL

BY STEVE DUNN

This September I will have been in the ministry for 45 years (not bad for a 39 year-old. right?)  I had a part-time job as the Youth Pastor for the Newville PA Church of God. Twenty-five kids from grades five through 12.  An impossible assignment, yet I survived and continued to serve God in a variety of ways.  There have only been two, maybe three times in those years that I gave serious thought to quitting the ministry but each time God caught my falling soul, set my feet on solid ground, and provided me with a vision that moved me forward.  Moving forward even though I knew times of testing would again intersect my life trajectory.

Such stick-to-itiveness is regarded by some as stubbornness and others as stupidity.  But those of following this path know it to be something deeper, more profound. It's called "The Call."

Frederick Buechner defines The Call this way:   “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” If you can discern what your greatest joy is and what you believe is a pressing need in our world, and then find where the two intersect, chances are you will begin to understand God’s calling in your life.' 

This weekend I participated in the commencement exercises for Winebrenner Theological Seminary.  I am on their adjunct faculty and have taught for them since 2008.  Along the way I have had the chance to teach many men and women who experienced that Call.  At the Commencement I was celebrating the graduation of four of my students in particular.   With all due respect to my other students and all the grads, I celebrated two in particular: Bob Collins and Jeff Musser. 

 Both Bob and Jeff found deep joy in serving Jesus and their hearts were moved powerfully, perhaps compelled by the reality that God loved His World and the people He had created.  They deeply desired to share that truth with all people.

Dr. Brent Sleasman presents a diploma to Bob Collins who has been wheeled to the that spot by fellow student Jeff Musser

Bob and Jeff are what we call second career pastors.  They entered seminary not via the conventional route of a liberal arts education followed by seminary.  They came from industry and entered a program that will allow them to pastor local churches. Jeff worked throughout his seminary time and even planted a church.  Bob followed a different trajectory in part because of physical infirmity.

During his four years of seminary Bob endured eleven surgeries, two of which were amputations and several vascular.  As he entered his last class, Jeff was struck down by a heart attack and had to recover from open heart surgery while finishing his studies.

Yet both believed they had a call from God and knew that by God's help NOTHING would keep them from completing their preparation for ministry over the long haul.  So as Bob rolled across the stage being guided by Jeff, my heart leaped with joy and I saw one more witness to the power of The Call.

© 2016 by Stephen L. Dunn.  You have permission to reprint this provided it is unchanged, proper authorship is cited, it is in a publication not for sale, and a link is provided to this site or to www.drstevedunn.com. For all other uses, contact Steve at sdunnpastor@gmail.com