Jerome's Seventh Reflection

on Friday, 10 August 2012. Posted in Words

A reflection on the visit to Ross and Rachel.

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            This week I visited a trailer park and met with a couple that has pushed a side their conventional life style and the idea of the urban neighborhood to live out their mission. They have decided to live with the people they are trying to help instead of just visiting them. They have chosen to live and emotionally invest in the lives of the people that they care about and it has been a transformation in not only their lives but also in the lives of those they live with.  They have become a part of the community.

            They now have hosted events for the community, opened their home to kids in the neighborhood, watched them grow from kids to teens and changed some of their cultural values to be accepted into the neighborhood. 

Scott's Eighth Reflection

on Tuesday, 07 August 2012. Posted in Words

Happiness and Faith are found in Kingdom beauty.

scott“It is not up to us to build the kingdom, but we can build for the kingdom. As resurrection people who know that heaven and earth overlap, we can become agents of God's beautyin a world that needs a song, a beautiful painting, a new dance, or a heart-touching poem,” (N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope).

The Kingdom of God is mysterious, yes. But for me, much of the mystery has come because I spent years and years of my Christian experience, underestimating its importance to my tradition and my understanding of God.

As I reflect on this last week in our internship I think the theme God has been confronting me with is ‘Kingdom Beauty’. The quote above is from N.T. Wright’s book Surprised by Hope where Wright talks about what it means to live as a Christian in the reality of the resurrection and the hope of the Kingdom of God.

Alli's Eighth Reflection

on Tuesday, 07 August 2012. Posted in Words

The end is near, and Alli is playing with kids.

epoexpo 062            There are a lot of women out there that really love kids. Every bone in their body aches to help them and play with them and nurture them. I am not one of these women. Whenever I'm around them I go through this panic of not knowing what to say or what to do. They typically don't get my sense of humor and I'm a bit too competitive to play games with them. I usually just stand there awkwardly and pray for time to move very fast. When I found out that part of the internship was going to be playing with kids at apartment buildings I immediately felt the knots forming in my stomach. Right before I went to the apartments each week I would worry about what we were going to do or if kids were even going to show up. Over the weeks I became more comfortable around them and without even realizing it I started looking forward to hanging out with them.

Jerome's Eighth Reflection

on Tuesday, 07 August 2012. Posted in Words

How can we work to transform our communities? Three steps...

jeromenew           To transform as city one must look to first transform the individual. I feel that this is happening to me by learning to view the Trinity and as an extension of the ideal community via Trinitarian thought. I‘m learning to view each relational interaction as an opportunity to share the message of service, or a chance to operate in the same method of love that God exercised by allowing his son to die for our sins.

 

            One, I think it is really important to allow missional proximity to transform you. You have to live with and amongst the people or community you are in service to.  This is the point of connection, that is the point where you gain and share the perspective of their life. I feel this has transformed me spiritually by humbling me. I ride the train like they do. I live in the same neighborhood and I have to travel outside of my neighborhood to buy affordable food.  This has placed me in the same set of social pressures to live and gives me the same struggles to survive.

Josh's Eighth Reflection

on Tuesday, 07 August 2012. Posted in Words

What affect does our city have on us?

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            The last couple weeks we have been reading To Transform a City. One of the things the authors (Swanson and Williams) emphasize is the importance of a city in our own growth.

            The book uses Jeremiah 29:7 as an example of the importance of a city in our prosperity. Jeremiah 29:7 says this, “’Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.’" (NIV) This means that the city, or community, which we are a part of directly affects us in many ways. Often in more ways than we think.

            Swanson and Williams also talk about the affects of the city on our spiritual formation. They make the bold statement that the city has more influence on our spiritual formation than the church.

Scott's Seventh Reflection

on Friday, 03 August 2012. Posted in Words

What comes out of Friday Night Stories?

10834 1287820320758 5425142 n             I have a friend. (Cue the sarcastic ‘Really, even you Scott?’ jokes… )

            But for real I do. I mean if I truly looked around and took inventory I would realize that I actually have quite a few friends. And if I looked at my Facebook page I would be informed that I have even more than that. But the thing about many of those friendships is that they have come from such a subtle and evolutionary process, that they seem almost like an obligation. Like something we owe each other because it is how it always has been and always will be.

            I don’t mean that these friendships don’t bless me, bring me joy, or sharpen me as a person seeking to love God and neighbor. But I feel like for many of us, we rarely choose to enter a friendship with enough intention that we recognize the mutual acceptance it takes to offer part of oneself to another.

Scott's Sixth Reflection

on Friday, 27 July 2012. Posted in Words

Which, if any, of us are exiles and from what are we exiled?

exilesHow do we separate the mindset of following Jesus into exile, from pride?

This is the question that has consumed me this week as I have reflected on our text by Michael Frost Exiles and engaged in conversations related to practical ministry.  The book is clearly intended for, and titled after, a group of people who are stuck in between the boring, old, traditional church model and secular culture. They are people who feel alone as they pursue an authentic, justice-minded existence within the Kingdom of God. As the book unpacks this population’s desire for authenticity, social justice, community and other virtuous qualities, I can’t help but feel that by separating these exiled Christians from the rest of the church, or the rest of the world, we are perpetuating a prideful mindset that holds tightly to the insider/outsider paradigm.

We missed our introduction to Scott!

on Friday, 27 July 2012. Posted in Words

So who is this guy anyway?

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           My name is Scott Ostlund and I am a senior at Warner Pacific College studying Religion and Christian Ministries. I am a 22 year old product of the small Willamette Valley town Silverton. I moved to Portland for school when I turned 18 and have been split between two homes ever since. My parents are Dan and Amy and my siblings are Anna and her husband Rich. If I could be a superhero it would be iron man because even when he doesn’t have his suit on, he is cool and smooth. But having that glowing orb in your chest would be super lame.

            My heart for ministry developed through my work with Young Life starting at age 17 and as I have experienced Portland and Second Stories, I have seen my vocation in Christ deepen and develop as I both share and receive Jesus with the world I encounter.

Josh's Seventh Reflection

on Friday, 27 July 2012. Posted in Words

Wait, who are called to be missionaries?

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             This week at Second Stories our theological topic was the incarnation. The community development principle that comes out of the incarnation is relocation. Jesus relocated himself from heaven to earth in order to fulfill the mission of God. We as Christians are called to be missionaries, which, at times, call for relocation. In order to fully devote ourselves to a certain culture (or people group), we must be fully engaged within that context. Meaning we “live decent lives among unbelievers”. (1 Peter 2:12)  

            We went and visited Ross and Rachel this week. Ross and Rachel are missionaries who relocated to a trailer park in North Portland.

Alli's Seventh Reflection

on Friday, 27 July 2012. Posted in Words

A lesson in patience.

epoexpo 062            This week we went to visit Ross and Rachel who have relocated to Fox Run trailer park in North Portland. Throughout the morning they told us about how they came to live there, some of the things they are doing and how it has impacted their life. Rachel had been doing things with the kids at Fox Run through her church before her and Ross got married. Through the church outreach, Rachel was able to build relationships with some of the residents. When she got married it was a natural instinct to her to live where their relationships were.

            Rachel explained that a lot of the relationships came from gardening, walking around and talking to a resident who had lived there for over twenty years. Typically when you want a relationship with someone you should approach them. One of Ross's most significant relationships came from doing the opposite.

Jerome's Musings; 6th Reflection

on Tuesday, 24 July 2012. Posted in Words

Incarnation, Sustainability, Local vs Global, People's Gifts - there's too much to think about...

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        In a world that is constantly moving it’s important to find the one constant or steady thing that is always the same. Walking the path with Christ provides us the stable rule of thumb that will give us the same measurement every time.

        Living a incarnation life/mission we build relationships that are two way. Relationships based on an exchange of ideas that take place over repeated conversation and shared experiences.  This turns the focus of these interactions to the details of the shared moment instead of a focus on an end result. So much of this exchange is about listening, about learning what motivates the other and what skills they possess.

Josh Gets Introspective

on Monday, 23 July 2012. Posted in Words

Motives, Ice Cream Parties, Gospels, and Brother Lawrence

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            “We must never tire of doing little things for the love of God, who considers not the magnitude of the work, but the love.” – Brother Lawrence (Exiles 68)

            The more I read about Jesus’ life, the more I see how much this quote is true. Often throughout the Gospels Jesus shows little interest in what people are doing, but is focused on why. When Jesus goes to a Pharisees house in Luke 7, a sinful woman washes his feet in response to Jesus’ love and mercy towards her. Jesus applauds and defends her for this.

            As I reflect on my own life I see many times where I have had false motives.


Scott Is Catching Up

on Monday, 23 July 2012. Posted in Words

Quasi-hippie term might actually be biblical! What?

10834 1287820320758 5425142 n        Reflecting on the first two texts of this internship, Ministry in the Image of God and When Helping Hurts, I have become focused on the importance of the interconnectedness of creation. Growing up it was easy to think interconnectedness was just a quasi-spiritual hippy term that didn’t apply to my life but as I have considered how dependent I am on the rest of creation without any intention, I have seen how our interconnected nature needs to be embraced.

        It seems that a struggle we encounter with the gospel in America is that even though we read about a Savior who gained strength from weakness, we seek to reflect our faith in that Savior through living and appearing strong to all people. This is not an issue strictly because it is dishonest, or inaccurate. It is an issue because it is an active rejection of true relationship, denying the fact that I am by my very nature, in relationship. It perpetuates a lie that I am stable and comfortable mentally and spiritually, whether I am supported by relationships or not.

Alli's Latest

on Monday, 23 July 2012. Posted in Words

Thinking about Exiles and 3rd Places

imag0188        We have been reading a Michael Frost book called Exiles. The book is about living missionally in a post-Christian culture. One of the ways that we can live missionally is by having a third place, a place that is not our homes or place of work. Examples of third places are coffee shops or bars. At a third place you have the comfort of being at home, but there is diversity in the people that are there. As a person who likes comfort and routine a third place is appealing to me because I can fulfill my mission and still be comfortable. I tried to think of somewhere I could go that would be my third place. When I was in the process of trying to figure out where my third place could be I realized that I had already had one.

Jerome's Fifth Reflection

on Monday, 16 July 2012. Posted in Words

Jerome thinks about what it means to follow Jesus in today's culture.

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            This week Clark took us to Arbor Lodge Coffee Shop to show us a living example how faith and conviction can transform individuals to broaden their needs for community, worship, living, and work. Vocation is the effort to integrate worship, living, and work into a cohesive system that brings these elements into a harmonious unit that holds Christ’s consciousness and values as a center focus.

Vocation is the collaboration of all these elements within a geographical location, the linking of all of these strata of being into one perfect organism.

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