It’s Summertime…Got Fruit?

Last week, while watering the plants in the garden, I took a look at our fig. I found lots of figs, each at different levels of ripeness. I picked two ripe ones and popped one into my mouth. The fruit burst open, sweet and juicy, with its distinctive flavor. I immediately thought of paradise, of the bliss of having such a luscious fruit available to pick and eat right at my home. Then my mind went to Jesus, approximately a week before his crucifixion, as he and the disciples were heading from Bethany to Jerusalem to check out the temple about a week before Passover.

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via V3: Of Oaks and Aspens

A pastor friend of mine, Jonathan Cleveland, recently reminded me of a metaphor that is not necessarily new but is good to revisit, especially when talking about missional church planting and ecclesiology. The imaging of this metaphor revolves around the differences between an oak tree and aspen tree.

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Crisis Care: How VA Baptist Chaplains Have Responded Since the Mass Shooting in Virginia Beach

The Virginia Baptist Disaster Response Crisis Care Team Chaplains were called into service during the months of June and July after a fatal shooting by a disgruntled employee at the Virginia Beach Public Works Office claimed the lives of 11 employees and one citizen on May 31. Four other employees were also injured in the incident. The shooter, a 15-year veteran of the public works office and civil engineer, was fatally shot after a standoff with police.

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