Sunday, July 27, 2014

Scott Zingerman

Next up to talk about churchies is Scottie. Scott is my best friend from college and a little schnookems. You may know him by his eyebrows. I met him in the cafeteria at school and had a big ole crush on him, but that marinated into tenacious friendship. He was my family in college. We asked questions about God, both dated and subsequently broke up with people, complained about roommates, he taught me how to wakeboard and I spent four years trying to prove I was cool. We grew up together. In a few weeks Scott is moving to the Ivory Coast for a year to be a teacher at a partner school of the one he works for in Tulsa. This guy, the one whose name is synonymous with adventure, is walking with such fervent faith into this knowing God to be big. I admire him fiercely and I am so grateful that we was willing to let me share his thoughts. 

// What do you see as being God's purpose behind the creation of church? //

I see God’s purpose in the creation of church as being a healthy way for people to interact and live together. We are social creatures and need social interaction. The church gives us a place where we can come and spend time with like-minded people. It is a place where Christians can encourage and guide each other in their pursuit of knowing Jesus and in following the commands that God gives in His word, the Bible. Church is not only designed to be a place of spiritual unity, but also a place where physical needs can be met. The church was given the responsibility in the New Testament to take care of those in need. This includes the poor, widows, orphans, and anyone going through a hard time and in physical need. The church was given this responsibility so that Christ’s love may be demonstrated in a broken and hurting world.

// Do you feel as if you are a part of something that falls within the purpose you described above? //

All the churches I have ever attended have definitely striven to achieve this purpose.

// Are you involved with an organized church body? //

I have been going to the church my parents attend since returning from college but have not fully engaged in the church because I am leaving for Africa in August to teach for a year.

// How do you find community in your life? //

In my life, I find community with the friends I spend time with. These friendships are very important to me as they help me process and get different perspectives on things from people I can be vulnerable with and whom I greatly care about and respect.

// What problems/hardships have you felt in your church experiences? //

The biggest problems I see in my experience at church are unrealistic expectations of people in the church. We must remember that we are all sinners in need of a Savior and remember to give each other grace.

// What do you think could be improved about the American church? // 

One thing that I and many other Americans struggle with is our consumerism mentality with church. We have the tendency to view church as a product and attend the one that gives us the most of what we want. Instead, we need to realize that no church is perfect, make a commitment to one, and devote ourselves to making it better.

// What is the one thing you would tell someone who isn't a Christian about church? //

I would encourage someone who isn't a Christian to try out a church but remember that we are all imperfect people striving to get closer to Christ and love one another.

To end, I'm using this as an excused to post one a montage of pictures from freshman year of college. Please enjoy the horrible quality and was college and we apparently thought it fun to look homeless.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Movie Night 101

So I bought a projector. And last night commenced the first of hopefully many movie nights in the future. And like any good match up between me and a good idea, there were kinks. Well. One kink. But we'll get to that.

First, let me walk you through the other important factors necessary for a successful movie night.

Chipsters. This Jackson Family Classic surmise summer. Homemade chocolate chip cookies with a big ole scoop of ice cream and ugly-slapped together in a plastic baggie until the two unionize and become a frozen delight.

A white sheet. Which I didn't have, so I rushed to the land of tchotchkes, Walmart, to grab that.

Duct tape. Because really, who needs to be classy and hang the sheet from your house with something reasonable, like clothes pins?

Blankets and peelows (also known as pillows). Now don't skimp here. This is of vital importance to the feature. Without this staple piece, there could be potential havoc wrought by twigs and bugs trying to claim territory. But we must defeat them first, smothering them with cozy accoutrements. Once victory has been assured, move along to the next detail.

The film. Now when it came to picking the correct film, two things were considered. Notoriety and funness. I wanted a movie most people had seen, or at least heard of, but wasn't something they had to be extremely focused on since it was a group thing. Naturally, the Goonies was the only choice.

Finally, and most obviously, you'll need a projector. I bought mine for $65 on eBay a few weeks back. It's a tiny little guy, but he worked fabulously for my purposes.

You put all this together you and you get this.

But don't forget. The kink.

You see that adorable mint green Anthropologie speaker above? Yes, the tiny thing on the table. Turns out it works much better for background music at the pool than projecting Sloth's voice belting, "HEY YOU GUUUUUYS" at a humanistic volume.

The final result of the evening ended up being much more.....intimate, then the original set up. Subtitles were displayed and heads were systematically laid closely to our mint green baby. He tried so hard, the little speaker, but it was like trying to make Wonder Bread into a beautiful sourdough. It's just not in his DNA.

I am the Film Phoenix though, movie nights are going to rise from the ashes and come back with a vengeance.

Truly though, what's most important is that the Chipsters were excellent. And for me, that's enough.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tyler St. Louis


Meet Tyler. Our friendship began in line at a Starbucks. He introduced himself as "Sweet Lou" and I thought he was lying about his name, the rest, as they say, is history. Now he gets mad at me for thinking too much and I get mad at him for liking Justin's a beautiful friendship. Tyler was gracious enough to go first, by virtue of being the first to return their answers. Really though, he's the best and below are the 7 questions I asked him about church and his straight answers

//  What do you see as being God's purpose/reason behind the creation of church?  //

Loaded question eh? If I had to guess, because as a man trying to figure out why an infinite God would do anything is almost laughable, I would guess that God created the church to draw people closer to Himself through community. I believe in a triune God, and by this community is in and of itself part of who God is. A perfectly eternal being in three parts constantly acting as one. So as I said, my guess would be that the church was created to be a place where people live in a community that tries to exemplify the same community that is God and in doing so draws closer to God. As this community grows closer to God it would display the character of who God is to the world. With this God could reveal himself through the community, allowing someone who believes in God or even someone that may not to feel welcomed, encouraged, and loved in a broken world.

//  Do you feel as if you are a part of something that falls within the purpose you described above?  //


//  Are you involved with an organized church body?  //

//  Where/how do you find community in your life?  //

I find community in my life among my friends and family. I find that the community that I enjoy the most though is the community of friends and family that are apart of the church. I think this is because generally they all want more for another than themselves. This is encouraging.

//  What problems/hardships have you felt in your church experiences?  //

The problems or hardships I have with the church? I guess I first have to examine myself. As a member of the church I would be a part of any problem or hardship I had with it. I guess a current hardship I have is when church bodies try to set standards or rules that people of the church must live up to or follow. I believe this can be helpful for some but may not be helpful for everyone. There are certain things a church should exemplify and try and uphold but when rules or standards start to be put in place their is generally a consequence for no upholding a rule or standard. This consequence can then cause people to live out those rules or standards but more so out of fear and fear is something that the people of God shouldn't be tied to. We are to be free from fear. This fear can also keep people from confessing or being honest about the sin they may have in their life. As the church we should exemplify love, grace, and peace not fear.

//  What do you think could be improved about the American church?  //

Whew. I don't have a clue. Perhaps at the core of any issue I might have with the american church would be a lack of faith in God. If God is as big as we believe Him to be, what if we truly trusted Him to do the things He promised and we did less. Sometimes I feel like we as Americans have the ability to do so much we lose the need for faith. This is both a blessing and a curse.

//  What is the one thing you would tell someone who isn't a Christian about church?  // 

I would tell them to try and find the church outside of a building. To connect with the people of the church outside of a place that may hold the name "church." To get to know those people, because those people are the church, not some building. I would encourage them to ask those people hard questions about their faith and have difficult conversations consistently even if they don't seem to agree. I would also tell them to love that person among those difficult conversations.

So that's Tyler. More to come!