Why I Haven’t Been Blogging

Rodlie Ortiz —  February 10, 2011 — 3 Comments

You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged in 13 days. For me, that’s quite a big span of time of not writing. There’s a big reason I haven’t been writing, though: I moved…to the other side of town, anyway.

This is something that my family and I have been praying about for quite some time. I’ve written about my frustration in not being able to effectively minister to my church or the community, because I don’t actually live in the community in which my church is. But God has opened the doors, and I now live about 5 minutes from my church. I feel like it’s a new adventure as I’m able to meet new people and make connections. It’s my sincere prayer to be a missionary to my neighborhood (the apartment building where I live), and to seek to live like Jesus if He were in my place.

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One of the subtitles of this book is “A Master Teacher Offers A New Model For Authentic Teaching and Learning,” and I think it’s quite accurate.

Screenshot from the cover

To Know As We Are Known is written by Parker J. Palmer, who won the 1993 award for “Outstanding Service to Higher Education,” and is a sought after speaker in secular and religious communities. Now that I’ve set some pretty high expectations for you, let me address why this book, and his teaching method, is quite revolutionary.

He essentially uses the discipleship model of Jesus and later apostles as a framework for how to engage your students and teach. The three metaphors, he says, are “the study of sacred texts, the practice of prayer and contemplation, and the gathered life of the community itself” (p. 17). We’ll come back to what these mean for the classroom in a few moments.

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Perspective changes everything, doesn’t it?

Sometimes all that’s needed is to look at an idea from the perspective of someone else, or to actually hear the perspective of the other person, to help us see that we might be a little off-base.

On this blog we’ve covered topics of assimilation and how to treat first time guests. Occasionally we get some comments from people that have been guests at churches and have been treated badly. There’s nothing like reading something like that to make me re-evaluate my priorities.

Well, my friend Jonathan Peinado, a pastor, recently sent me a poem that a first-time guest wrote and sent to him after being treated badly for wearing a hat in church. I think it provides some powerful lessons. Check it out:

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In my first year of pastoring I went to a conference where the speaker mentioned that pastors need to take a stronger leadership role.

“Moses received the commands from God, and then led the people where God told him to go,” he said to justify a very strong leadership style. “So you need to listen to God, and then go where he tells you to go. The people will complain…just look at how they complained with Moses, but you have to do what God wants you to do.”

I remember hearing those words and receiving them like I had found a long-lost Picasso. This was the answer! It was my vision, and basically only my vision that really mattered. And I began to find examples in Scripture that supported my premise for my-vision-leadership.

Because of my focus (and ignorance) I had taken this quote, which I believed to be Scriptural, and I applied it as a universal truth as to how God operates and how leadership should be done. I’ve been changing the last few years or so, but I recently read an interesting quote relating to biblical leadership:

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Here’s an interesting conversation between Mark Driscoll and Jeff Vanderstelt on the intersection of technology and mission. It’s a little long, and I didn’t get to see all of it, but it’s certainly worthwhile.

Thoughts?

I think we inevitably all feel a little stressed at times, right?

And what’s really interesting, is that I think at times we can’t completely pinpoint where the stress is coming from. Sure, we can think of some major presentation to be made, or a conversation to be had….but there still may be some lingering stress.

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I received my Square a few days ago. Haven’t heard of it? It’s a great little device you can use to receive credit/debit card payments. Let me give you a closer look.

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Saw this picture recently while walking on a pier. Not sure that it’s the best method.

It did make me laugh, though.

A few days ago I wrote this post on having an iPhone/Android for your church. Interestingly enough, within a day, each of those companies responded to my post by leaving a comment with a little more information. I was pretty impressed by that.

Obviously, each of those companies are hooked up with Google Alerts or some similar service, and because of that they can help to shape the conversation that’s taking place concerning their company. Smart organizations definitely do this.

The questions is….is your church doing this?

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One of the most special things I can be a part of in church is a baptism. There’s nothing that compares to seeing someone take that ancient step and declare that they are dead to their sin and old way of life, and resurrected into a new creation and disciple.

Because of the momentous occasion, I think it’s a near crime when churches barely say or introduce the person being baptized. It’s as if they’re some anonymous person on an assembly and production line. Ever since I began baptizing people, then, I wanted to make sure that the church could make a connection with the person being baptized by hearing a little more of their story.

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