Disruption

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The silence on here is likely making me crazier than anyone else. My apologies, my friends, for the lack of posting lately. This silent stretch has been due to a few unusual factors:

1) Our nearly-always-healthy home has been anything but for much of the last month. Colds and flu bugs have cycled twice through our family, and I dare to dream we are nearly done with this new experience!

2) What started with sick children quickly turned into extremely fragmented night times, which led to sleep-deprived parents, which fueled the cycle of the sickness from the little ones to the big ones. Bundled into the short nights is the disruption of my early morning routines. This led to a breakdown in reading habits, exercise habits, and… my normal blogging time.

3) With health returning and nights stabilizing, I am hopeful that my morning routine, with all of its ingredients, can be regained. That means, more steady devotional habits, a healthier body, and more blogs posted!

Thanks for all of you who love me and my family. We hope your new year is off to a wonderful start!

Come With Me

goldfish jumping out of the water

Wandering & Wondering has moved.

For quite some time, I have been looking at alternate set-ups for this blog, with an eye on ways to develop and further its value in days ahead. Today marks my first observable move: A relocation to jasonbandura.com.

As readers, you’ll visit a site still very much like this one. In time, themes and appearance will be played with, settings and plug-ins will be tweaked, past content will be organized and archived, and new content will be streamlined for better focus and value.

[Huge thanks to my friend Chad for helping the relocation happen. If anyone is in need of the services of a sharp website guy, well-versed in all things WordPress, I can introduce you!]

For today: Two things:

1) Note the move to jasonbandura.com. Update your bookmarks, as all future posts will be over there.

2) Leave me a comment. What would YOU like to see in the future for Wandering & Wondering? I’ve got a few ideas, but you may have some better ones. Let me hear ‘em!

Worth Another Look: A.W. Tozer on the Holy Spirit

Here are a few beautiful portions from one of Tozer’s best-known works:

“A doctrine has practical value only as far as it is prominent in our thoughts and makes a difference in our lives. By this test the doctrine of the Holy Spirit as held by evangelical Christians today has almost no practical value at all. In most Christian churches the Spirit is quite entirely overlooked. Whether He is present or absent makes no real difference to anyone. Brief reference is made to Him in the Doxology and the Benediction. Further than that He might well as not exist. So completely do we ignore Him that it is only by courtesy that we can be called Trinitarian….

“…The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of life and light and love. In His uncreated nature He is a boundless sea of fire, flowing, moving ever, performing as He moves the eternal purposes of God. Toward nature He performs one sort of work, toward the world another and toward the Church still another. And every act of His accords with the will of the Triune God. Never does He act on impulse nor move after a quick or arbitrary decision. Since He is the Spirit of the Father He feels toward His people exactly as the Father feels, so there need be on our part no sense of strangeness in His presence. He will always act like Jesus, toward sinners in compassion, toward saints in warm affection, toward human suffering in tenderest pity and love.

“It is time for us to repent, for our transgressions against the blessed Third Person have been many and much aggravated. We have bitterly mistreated Him in the house of His friends. We have crucified Him in His own temple as they crucified the Eternal Son on the hill above Jerusalem. And the nails we used were not of iron, but of the finer and more precious stuff of which human life is made. Out of our hearts we took the refined metals of will and feeling and thought, and from them we fashioned the nails of suspicion and rebellion and neglect. By unworthy thoughts about Him and unfriendly attitudes toward Him days without end.”

Quotes are taken from The Divine Conquest (or, God’s Pursuit of Man), pp. 64-75

Six-Pack (50)

Welcome to the big 5-0! Since starting the Six-Pack back in March 2012, over 300 links and articles have been shared in this space.

So thanks for joining us for this silver edition. Here’s the latest collection of “best recent reads” on faith, ministry, and who-knows-what!

If six overwhelms, start with two. The *Picks of the Week* provide an easy starting point.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) Slowly Putting it Back Together: How One Couple Rescued a “Love Lost” Marriage (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Can a marriage on its death-bed be rescued from the brink? Megan Raines affirms that it can. Thanks to Gary Thomas, for both posting this story and for his ongoing work and writing toward strengthening and supporting marriages everywhere.

2) Three Things I Learned from Oprah
Steven Pressfield came on to my radar a few years ago, when his book “War of Art” was on a “Recommended Reading” list I received for a conference.  If you’re involved in any sort of creative process, he should be on your list too. Recently featured by Oprah, he observes what he noted from that interaction. Number three is: Oprah did not get to be Oprah by accident.

3) Seven Habits of Ineffective Leaders 
I’ve been entrusted with a number of leadership roles throughout my life. More than I care to admit, I’ve stepped up to those plates poorly. Here is a short and clear list of ways to go wrong. Let’s go do better!

4) The Silence of our Friends: The Extinction of Christianity in the Middle East
The Spectator’s Ed West does a great job highlighting just a few of the recent blows to Middle East Christianity, while asking the obvious question: Why aren’t we hearing or doing more about this?

5) The Audacity to Question God: An Interview with Greg Boyd (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
If you don’t yet know Greg Boyd, Jonathan Merritt wants to remedy that. You’ll be glad he did, as the two chat about doubt and how it pertains to Christians’ faith in the Jesus and the Bible.

6) Jack Handey Is the Envy of Every Comedy Writer in America
As I revealed in my last post (and elsewhere), I love comedy and those who “do it” in special ways. Jack Handey certainly makes that list. Don’t know Jack Handey? Start with these Deep Thoughts.

May the week ahead be filled with life, as the Father fills you with all you need!

Thanks for plowing through 50 Six-Packs with me!

YOUR TURN: Which link above was most worthwhile–why that one? Direct others readers to the best of the bunch. Your input makes this post better!

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

An Evening With Cosby

Several months ago, my wife bought me a birthday gift — a bucket-list-altering ticket to an event “some evening in the fall”.

Tonight is that evening, and it’s all tied back to a 2002 documentary.

Comedian-300x439Sometime after the end of his famous sitcom, Jerry Seinfeld was featured in a documentary called “Comedian”. It chronicled his journey, from sitcom star back to stand-up comedy. It provided anyone who cared a peek behind the curtain of what is involved in the creating and performing of a carefully crafted and painfully put-together stand-up act.  I found it fascinating.

Many of the best scenes feature Seinfeld in the back rooms of various comedy clubs, chatting with other known or lesser-known comics. They’re trying out jokes, analyzing what works and doesn’t, and shooting the breeze. Perhaps the best visit features Seinfeld and Chris Rock. The tone of the dialog suddenly changes; it gets slower, quieter.  They begin to speak of “someone”, someone whose comedy and career and character impresses them in an unusual way. They marvel at his longevity, at the fact that he had just performed what they thought was his greatest stuff yet. There is almost reverence in the scene, as they speak of Bill Cosby.

Bill-cosbyAnd that was when I made up my mind: I needed to see Cosby perform before one of us could no longer keep the appointment.

Tonight is that night, in Minot, ND.

Happy birthday, indeed!

Why Beavers are Better than Computers

Wily water-critters with their smacky tails, beavers can dam things.

Flashy control-centers with the wacky apps, computers can damn things worse.

Chunks of my past days have been spent trouble-shooting both my phone (Who knew IOS stood for “Your phone will become a paperweight”?) and my computer. The computer issue is not yet resolved, and it revolves around my Evernote application. I have nothing bad to say about Evernote, which is generally slick as can be. But my program seems to be locked up by a PDF I tried to upload on the weekend.  Multiple opens and closes have solved nothing. A re-load might be next.

Most of this is relevant to this blog only because I use Evernote to collect all my Six-Pack candidates.

And that’s why I’ve now missed a second edition of the struggling-to-be-weekly feature.

So I will continue to pound away at the Evernote elephant. And if that doesn’t work, I’m hiring out all my tech needs to beavers. If things are going to be this plugged up, there might as well be some buck-teethed furry fellows running the show.

Missing Six-Pack

MissingMy apologies on the absence of a Six-Pack this week. A three-day bathroom renovation, coupled with a Small Group Leaders Retreat at church dissolved large chunks of the past weekend.

But a new week has arrived, so the Six-Pack hunt is back at full speed.  If you have nominees for an upcoming Six-Pack, send them my way.  Together, we’ll put forth a special offering five days from now.

Grace and peace, my friends.