Tag Archives: God

An Interview with Peter Rodger

We set off to interview Peter Rodger, world-renowned photographer and director of the new documentary Oh My God. An interesting look at the question “What is God?” Take a seat and listen as Peter explains his vision for the film and shares interesting insights you won’t get anywhere else.

To find out more about Peter and his new film, Oh My God, check out the website at www.omgmovie.com.

We also invite you to the opening of the film in Portland, Oregon on Friday, December 11th at the Fox Tower 10. After the 7:10pm showing, Rethink will host an opwn interfaith discussion based on the question, What is God? Join us. For more information on the theater and to order tickets, click here.

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Is There a New Savior in Town?

For the last several weeks I have been eagerly awaiting the premier of “V” – a new TV series on ABC.

The show highlights how the world would react if a technologically superior race of human-like benevolent aliens suddenly showed up on our front door step asking for water in exchange for advanced technology.

The show’s premiere particularly delved into how Christianity would handle the situation; and it did so quite well. Originally the world turned to the Church to see how it would respond to the situation. But as the aliens began to perform miracles that before only God could preform, people’s devotion starting turning towards the aliens and their promise of hope in a new world and away from the devotion and worship to God. The aliens set themselves up to be saviors in a broken world. It was a fine metaphorical expose on culture, religion, and politics in modern day America.

The Bible said such things would happen (minus the aliens) and to an extent they already have several times throughout history. So, while this is a weird topic, it leads to a good question. How should (and would) the Church respond if a false savior showed up offering breakthrough and hope to us in such a time as this?

anth Anthony Trask lives in Salem, Oregon with his wife Susan and his two beautiful children. He is a pastor at Fellowship Church in NE Salem. He is currently trying to figure out how to lead a community of grace, hope, and love within our culture. You can visit their website at www.fellowshipsalem.com

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Hey God, I Have a Question

The fine folks of Lighthouse Christian Fellowship in Chula Vista, California have come up with this clever little video. They have set out to ask the everyone: “If you could ask God one question, what would it be?”

Take a minute, watch the video, and then leave us a comment with the one question you’d like to ask God.

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Filed under Featured Articles, The Daily, Video

My Rose of Sharon

Just because I fail to put my wallet in its rightful place or because I leave my bag in the middle of our living room floor, doesn’t mean I’m lazy. In fact, my socks belong right where I left them – on the floor next to the chair in my office. I keep telling Melissa that but she doesn’t seem to believe me. Regardless, I stand by my argument: I’m not lazy, I simply forget.

Let me digress.

Several months ago, when moving into our new place, our new neighbor stopped by to drop off a welcoming gift. Unfortunately, we weren’t home at the time but she was kind enough to leave it at the door. The following day, in my normal hurry, I sat it in our garage, hoping for the chance to plant it in the near future.

It was a rose bush. The kind that comes in a plastic bag and has a handful of branches sprouting from the top. You know … the kind that should be planted shortly after its purchase? Or rather, the kind that requires water at least once in its lifetime … Yeah, that kind.

Now, it’s imperative that I remind you that I’m not lazy, I simply forget. Like the time I drove a flat bed truck for an equipment rental company I worked for who rented equipment to contractors, it wasn’t laziness that caused the truck’s boom arm to stay extended up to the sky only to rip down two electric poles, it was forgetfulness. And forgetfulness was the root cause as to why I didn’t get around to planting that beautiful rose bush our neighbor bought us.

So as you can imagine, weeks passed and it sat there. Months passed and it sat longer. In fact, it sat there up until a few weeks ago when I went in search for the occasionally used yet invaluable tool in the garage: the plunger.

Now, just because my garage isn’t as tidy as it could be, doesn’t make me lazy. The unorganized look is what I’m going for – or at least that’s what I keep telling Melissa. She doesn’t seem to believe me. Nevertheless, the story must go on.

In my desperate search for that invaluable tool, I came to what I call “The Corner.” You know what I’m talking about right? The dark, mysterious corner in every man’s garage where things just seem to congregate – the same place you store those nearly empty cans of paint you want to get rid of but for some reason you keep them forever. And it’s the same spot you hide those important thingamajigs that, if put anywhere else, your wife would “accidently” throw away.

That’s where I found it. Tucked into the dark corner, sitting next to the plunger was the rose bush that had long escaped my memory. Except this time its contents had noticeably changed. The stubby little rose bush that we were given had started blossoming right there in the corner of our garage – still in its original packaging.

I wasn’t sure if its growth was attributed to the fact that it sat for months next to the family plunger or if people were sneaking into my garage in the middle of the night, secretly spraying it with some miracle rose-growing chemical. Either way, this rose bush had experienced a radical transformation and I was pleased with the outcome.

After seeing what that rose bush looked like in the beginning and then, despite its lack of water and sunlight, seeing how it started growing into a beautiful plant, really got me thinking. Especially about all the times I’ve been through dark and dry seasons in my own life – or how Melissa and I have seen those moments of emptiness or lack of water being poured into in our marriage or ministry.

That little rose bush caused me to rethink the way God works in certain areas and times in our lives. How, despite the heaviness of going through dark times, situations or even hurts, we can grow… And not only can we grow, we can flourish and bloom into something more beautiful than we were in the beginning.

So, maybe it’s in those times we should start asking more questions; start asking how we can grow or how we can be pruned. Maybe God is faithful enough to meet us where we’re at, even if it’s not in the place we need to be. And maybe, just maybe, for some of us it’s time to get out of the darkness where we hide, push the smelly plunger out of the way, and show the rest of the world how we’ve been transformed.

The next day our neighbor, Sharon, was outside planting flowers of her own. I asked if she would like to plant the bush she gave us in our yard – since I’m not quite the green thumb. She gladly accepted.

Now, every time I walk out my front door, I’m greeted by what I call my “Rose of Sharon.” I was going to add something else to the end of this article … but I forgot.

Bo & Melissa Lane have two beautiful kids, Benjamin and Bella Lane. Besides having the privilege of printing this wonderful magazine, they enjoy long walks on the beach, listening to Hillsong United, and will pay virtually any amount for a quality babysitter.

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Filed under Bo\'s Blog, Featured Articles

The Fine Line

I have a problem. His name is Kary Oberbrunner. He has actually become a friend of mine. Well, he was a friend … up until he gave me a copy of his latest book, The Fine Line.

It wasn’t the title that bothered me. It wasn’t even the appearance of the book – its yellow-ness is quite appealing. And, since I’m always looking for ways to “rethink” topics and positions within my relationship with Jesus and within the church as a whole, it wasn’t the book’s bi-line (“Re-envisioning the Gap between Christ and Culture”) that caused such a stir within me.

The emotions began to flare up when I got to Chapter 7. It enraged me and, at the same time, caused me much discomfort. Read this excerpt and tell me how it makes you feel:

Every guy knows the rule.

You can talk about someone’s lack of athleticism, humor, or even intellect, but you never disrespect his girlfriend. A couple of years ago, I gave in. I broke the rule and badmouthed someone else’s girl. I was sitting in a coffee shop with a few of my buddies, and we started talking about a guy we all knew. We liked him, a lot. He was our friend. But his girl annoyed the heck out of us, and the negativity started to fly.

Ripping on this girl felt good because it helped to separate us from her. After all, nobody wants to be associated with a loser. And we were clearly associated with her. She had been part of our lives since we were kids. Most of us had even fallen in love with her at one point or another. Maybe that’s why we started throwing around the comments—we were insecure or hurt. I walked away from the coffee shop that night feeling pretty low. Although the conversation had been entertaining, I still felt convicted.

But the next week my buddies and I started to talk about our friend’s girl again. Only this time it was more intense. Mild dislike soon devolved into hatred. We started telling stories about how this girl offended us. She didn’t dress well or talk right. The music she liked was old and stuffy. But our main gripe was her looks. Put simply, she was as ugly as a dog. It was an ugliness that could be seen on the outside and the inside. Her entire look was outdated and irrelevant. She just didn’t fit in, and none of us wanted to be around her. We were ashamed to admit that we even knew her, much less that we used to hang out with her.

This went on for several months. And then it got worse. More people knew this girl than I first thought. At parties on the weekends it almost became an opening line—talking about this girl. I met more people than I can remember just by communicating my dislike for her. I had the lines memorized and my timing perfect. People howled as I told story after story about how ridiculous this girl was.

Then I ran into her guy.

I didn’t expect to see him. I just kind of bumped into him one day. As soon as I saw him, I realized how much I missed him. I didn’t even remember the last time I’d seen him. But my delight quickly changed to deep embarrassment. I could hardly even look at him.

He stood and looked me in the eye. “Why, Kary?” he asked quietly. “How could you talk about her like that?”

I could sense how much he loved her, and he could sense how much I hated her. His question bored a hole right through me. Why did I hate her so much? What had she ever done to me? Suddenly all my well-rehearsed insults and petty gripes seemed pretty trivial.

I dropped to my knees—I couldn’t help it. “Jesus,” I said to this guy, “I’m sorry I spoke about your bride, the church like that.”

Are you?

Like I was saying, it enraged me. But it wasn’t the words that Kary wrote that bothered me, it was the conviction I felt from within. I, too, have talked about another man’s girl. And let’s just be honest – that’s not right.

Kary is still my friend. And he does an amazing job with this book. There are few resources that explore this “Fine Line,” so take a minute and pick up a copy of it today (click the image below).

You will be challenged. I guarantee it.

Leave your thoughts below.

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Excerpt from “The Fine Line: Re-envisioning the Gap between Christ and Culture” by Kary Oberbrunner. Published by Zondervan. ISBN 0310285453. To purchase the book from Amazon, click here.

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