Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Chapter 7 – Stability
What an issue for our day and age. If ever there was a time in history that people needed to know the importance of stability it would certainly be our transient culture. I’m not saying that our culture is unique in the fact that we are nomadic, but we may be unique in the fact that we are nomadic with structured and centered communities. Communities that are able to provide the stability that we need in our lives.
This makes me even more excited about the possibilities of moving to St. Louis and beginning our mission. It will for sure take fortitude that will require the need for stability. There is no cut and run when it comes to that type of work. We must be present on a regular basis to make an impact in people’s lives. I look forward to that day. God help me not to lose sight of your dream.
It’s raining outside right now so it’s fitting that these verses should be read on this day. I often wonder what exactly those torrential down pours will be for our future ministry. Will they be monetary and support problems? Most likely. Will we lose our wits about us? Probably at times. Can we expect to be scoffed at and told we are not making a difference? I would say definitely. That then makes me wonder what exactly our foundational rock will be. Perhaps, it will be strength in the assurance to know that our God will supply all our needs. Those needs will not only being physical, but emotional as well. I have to admit that I am scared at times. I’m just a punk suburban white boy looking to change the world. I’m also scared for my future family and their safety. Through all of those anxieties I have to rely on God and I have to know that he WILL supply all of our needs. Lord, you are the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. You know my heart more clearly then I could ever know it. Purify me and make me clean so that I may be fit for your service. Wash me from the inside out so that what proceeds from my inside is clean. I love you! I love you! I love you! Help me to feed your sheep. Amen.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Few Quick Things
2. I want to draw your attention to a new link I now have up. It is for Meredith. She is an avid runner, dog lover, wife and so much more. Check out her page.
3. This is probably the first year in about 5 that my bracket hasn't been shot to you know where. I have succesfully picked all four Final Four teams. Now we will see if the Bucks can pull it off. I can't wait for the battle of the big uglies!
4. Mustoe: Where's my Hot Wings?
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Then, Now, Someday Soon
My name is Adam Kenneth Caldwell. Though some people might not think that names hold much importance, I would respectfully disagree. Names tell us who we are, where we’ve been, and quite possibly where we are going. I like that about names. So, my name is Adam Kenneth Caldwell. I was born at exactly 3:20 in the afternoon in Dayton, Ohio on October 30th of 1981. I don’t know that I believe in premonition like signs, although the Magi certainly did, but I do find it interesting and somewhat significant to note that the name of the hospital where I was born was the “Good Samaritan Hospital” ( Holy Bible, Matthew 2:1-2, 1). The running theme of the “Samaritan” characters, those being the Good Samaritan and the women at the well, seem to pop up in my life more and more these days.
Adam is a fine Christian name. He was the first man and father of the entire human race. I have mixed reports as to the origin of my name. If you talk to my father, he will give you a pleasing Sunday school answer. “You were God’s gift, and our first born son,” he claims. My mother, on the other hand, gives a more down to earth answer. She says, “While you father and I was living in Tennessee we attended a church in Mt. Juliet. There was a little boy there named Adam and I thought he was cute. Plus I liked the name.” I’ll let you decide on which one is the most probable explanation.
My childhood was much like many others’ who grew up in a Christian family. I was taught from a young age that if the church doors were open, we should be there. For the most part, that was the case. Consequently, during an Easter presentation of the crucifixion of Christ at the ripe age of seven, I felt it necessary to make a public profession of my faith by accepting Jesus into my heart. According to Baptist upbringing, this meant that I needed to get saved. Of course I have come to understand that salvation experience on an entirely different level then I did back then. At the age of seven I felt that I was being saved from something, primarily the damnation of Hell, and secondly, the “bad” stuff in life. As one would expect from a seven year old, my intrinsic value system was entirely egocentric. I was asking the question, “What can God do for me?”, rather than “What can I do for God?” Maturation has since taken care of that. I now view my salvation experience as being called to something rather than away from something. My prayer is that my intrinsic values are no longer egocentric, but rather God centric. Loving what God loves, for God, has called me to experience the life giving force of the Trinity. God has called me to a life of self-sacrifice. God has called me to a life of thankfulness. As Oz Guinness says, “Calling is a reminder for followers of Christ that nothing in life should be taken for granted; everything in life must be received with gratitude” (Guinness, 195). Finally, God has called and is moving me towards my ultimate teleos, the final purpose of my life.
Kenneth is my middle name. My father’s first name is also Kenneth. Perhaps in this instance, you might say that the latter bears the image of the former. I suppose it is a natural progression in life for a little boy to want to be like his father. Of course, as that little boy begins growing up, particularly in his teenage years, he tends to make statements like, “I never want to be like my dad when I grow up.” As he grows a bit more he starts to realize that, indefinitely, he has indeed become just like his father. My story is the same and I say that with no regrets. I believe that inheriting my father’s traits is more than blessing. God could not have given me a better example after which to pattern my life than what I have found in my father.
I once took this self evaluation test called DISC. It is designed to give you “increased self-awareness and personal effectiveness.” I’m not sure this test told me anything that I didn’t already know, but I do know that it showed how much I am like my father. Without going into all the minute details about the test, I will explain that each letter corresponds with a “profile pattern.” My predominant letter was S. The S dimension tells me that I am passive, patient, loyal, predictable, a team-person, serene, and possessive. All of these qualities point me back to my father. He is passive, meaning “calm” and certain, “even when put under pressure.” He is patient “in times of stress” and loyally “devoted to a cause.” His predictability gives him strength “to establish an efficient system or routine.” He is a team person with a serene attitude that embraces “a tranquil mood when problems arise.” Lastly, he is possessive in that he has a “sense of ownership and accountability.” If these same qualities are found in me, then I can only give credit to the one who taught me the necessity of all of them. I now live my life trying to emulate them and him as much as possible (DISC Report).
Caldwell is my last name. I once heard it said that to move forward in life one needs to first look to the past. To be honest, I am not completely sure as to the exact origins of my family name. What I do know, as the name implies, is that my ancestors’ main occupation was well digging. Wells tend to produce cold water, hence the name Coldwell, and somewhere along the line the ‘o’ was changed to an ‘a’. I like the fact that my ancestors were well diggers. I’m sure it wasn’t the most desired job, but it was certainly necessary. It reminds me that if my ancestors had the gumption to get down and dirty to provide water for the parched and thirsty, then I certainly can get down and dirty to lead those to Jesus who can give spiritual water that will cause a man never to thirst again.
Remember the story about the women at the well found in the gospel of John? It contains two prominent well diggers, one being Jacob, the physical life giving water provider, and the other being Jesus, the much needed spiritual life giving water provider. I often get the impression that Jesus was not arguing for an either or situation. Meaning, you can only have either the physical water or the spiritual water. I think he was simply saying that we shouldn’t raise one to a higher level than the other. Rather, we should tend to both, our bodies and our souls (Holy Bible, John 4:1-42, 72-73).
I have a dream, a dream to someday fulfill my calling by pursuing a mission of holiness. God’s holiness is, arguably, equated in the New Testament with love. So, to experience God’s holiness is to experience God’s love, and to experience God’s love is to experience the Person of Jesus. My mission is to, like the Good Samaritan, care for the stranger - but it does not stop there. I am also called to care for the orphan, the widow, and all who oppressed. This mission is two fold. First, I must do my best to meet the physical needs of such individuals. Second, I must lead them to the only one who can meet their spiritual needs. God is a holistic God and He cares for the entirety of the human condition. Thus, He cares for both the physical and the spiritual.
My hope and prayer is to someday open a half way house for those in need in the down town area of St. Louis. I’ll admit that I am ignorant to all that that entails, but I am more than willing to learn. St. Louis has recently been named the most dangerous city in America (Morgan Quitno). It is time for God’s redemptive love and power to be released over that entire city. I believe the only way to achieve this transformation is to live, breath, and experience life with the inner city on a daily basis. This will mean that myself and my family will not simply “work” in the half way house but we will essentially “be” the half way house. Our purpose will be to cultivate a new culture among the community a culture filled with God’s unending song of redemption and call to a better path. We must be imitators of Christ in every way by putting on the mind of Christ. I end with Paul’s plea to the Philippians and to us, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus” (Holy Bible, Philippians 2:3-5, 152).
"City Crime Rankings." Morgan Quitno. 30 Oct. 2006. Morgan Quitno Press. 6 Mar. 2007
Monday, March 05, 2007
200 and Counting
I thought that the content of this post could be focused on the role of God. Dr. Allen Coppedge is my Doctrine professor for this semester. It's a lot of work but certainly an enjoyable class. We have primarily been using the hermeneutic lens of Trinitarian theology to view all other subsequent doctrines. It's a great approach! By doing this we are able to see God in His true relational form. (That is God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.) This seems to be extremely important to me considering the Western church has had a long history of reducing or focusing on God's oneness rather than His threeness. A darn shame.
I leave you with a quote from Dr. Coppedge soon to be published book Triune Theism.
"The nature of the Trinity with the desire for redemption and sustenance is a further testimony that the purpose of creation was not merely an arbitrary expression of the creative will of the Sovereign concerned to manifest his glory. It is apparent that redemption and sustenance would be meaningless to some perfectly static cosmos. Only in a dynamic process in which potential must be nurtured and maintained, in which it can be realized and lost, are these aspects of the being of God involved...The purpose of creation was a dynamic unfolding of a relationship between created persons and uncreated Persons in which created persons cam increasingly to share the character of the Uncreated, in particular to participate in that Love that is the most central expression of what it is to be Holy." -Dr. Allen Coppedge
I also have a secret to tell you...I now consider myself a "recovering" Calvinist. Oh how things change. (SHHH...Don't tell anyone.)
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Should I write something in response to this book? I figure I could title it Our Best Life Now: Absolutely No Steps to Living a Desperate Life in Pursuit of Christ.
What do you think?