Saturday, July 28, 2007

We made the switch...

The Tanners have decided to bump up their blog hosting...


This is where we will be updating if you are reading this and wondering why it has been a year since we posted. It is because we have moved. See ya in the VOX world.

Walt and Betsy Tanner

PS: to all the folks who have us linked (Kevin, Laura, Ian, Lindsay, Jenny and Gene) don't forge to change our link. Peace!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Gospel According to Starbucks

Below you find a well written write up on the book Betsy has just finished. Here you will find random thoughts from a dyslexic, horrible speller that just finished a book called "The Gospel According to Starbucks" by Leonard Sweet (I hear an 'Amen' from the older fellow in the back - Gene Jennings.)

It is funny to see people's faces when they ask me what book I am reading right now, and I tell them "The Gospel According to Starbucks." They look at me like I am going to say "Sike!" or "Are you serious?" No matter what you think of Starbucks or the title - this is a great book.

Sweet discusses the things the church can learn from Starbucks (one of the fastest growing companies and known names in the world - they do have Starbuck in Isreal!) One of the major points he talks about is that you don't go to Starbucks for the $3 coffee. You go for the experience. You go for the atmosphere Starbucks offers you. Raising the question what are the atmospheres in our churches? Do people enjoy the community that happens on Sundays? Are we doing our best to make people feel welcomed and not like they are walking into a holy huddle. Starbucks goes out of its way to make sure community happens. From the big soft chairs, to the arrangement of the chairs...almost like a living room!

Sweet brings up an excellent point that in today's home we don't build large front porches. Instead we spend money on large decks in our backyard. Why? Because we don't want to see our neighbors walking by. We want to shield ourselves from the world, and be all about us. He goes further to say that Starbucks has become our front porch in today's world. Again, a place we feel comfortable to have conversations. A place where discuss life. Where we see our neighbors. (tonight at Starbucks - Betsy and I saw people from TNC and we sat outside to have conversation)

Didn't know this, but the CEO at Starbucks is not the "Chief Executive Officer" but the "Chief Evangelist Officer." Apparently the hip thing to do in the Corporate world is to be an Evangelist. A word that the church is scared to use. Is now being picked up by the world. Funny! Basically they are preaching their "gospel." Whether it is Starbucks, Coke, Nike - they are out spreading the "good news" about their company. I find that very interesting.

That is just a few things from the book - but if you are interesting learning more about what the church can learn from Starbucks. This is a good read.

One more thing. Leonard says, "Coffee is the Baptist beer." And that "Starbucks in their pub." Great Quote.

Irresistable Revolution

I finally finished Shane Claiborne's "The Irresistable Revolution: living as an ordinary radical." Walt wants me to write some thoughts about it, but I am not sure my thoughts are totally collected. I may ramble some. Condensing the book into a nice little synopsis is almost impossible, but here are some of the things I got out of it.

Social Justice: as Christ followers we should hate poverty, oppression, killing, and injustice in general. We should work to eradicate the social injustices of our times. God does not want us to be indifferent to human suffering. Instead, we need to meet the needs of our community and our world. As Mother Teresa says, "In the poor we meet Jesus in his most distressing disguises." How can we let our "neighbor" go hungry when our plates are overflowing? How can we let children in our community live on the streets when we have empty bedrooms and money to spare? When we do for the least of these, we do for Christ himself.

Isolation: I wrote in an earlier blog that I live an insulated and somewhat isolated life from the raging chaos outside my windows. I am safe, clean, and well fed. My brothers and sisters live in chaos that I am quite oblivious to. Sure, I know that it exists, but I don't experience it. My comfort level is much too great.

Why?: An old comic strip had 2 guys talking to each other. One asked why God allows all of this poverty and war and suffering to exist in the world. And his friend says, "well, why don't you ask God?" The fellow shakes his head and says he is scared. When his friend asks why, he mutters, "I'm scared God will ask me the same question." When we ask God why he allows the injustices to exist in our world, he likely would answer: "You tell me why we allow this to happen. You are my body, my hands, my feet." (This comes from pages 64 and 65 in the book).

War: This is a hard topic that I am still struggling with. Maybe I will write about it later.

Creation: God has allowed us to enjoy his creation, but he has only given us one shot at it. His creation is his, not ours. We are here to enjoy, not to exploit. We need to be environmentally friendly to preserve this precious gift. This means recycling, reducing our dependence on oil, using flourescent bulbs,and much much more. As Rob Bell has recently preached on: "God is green."

Love: Everything written above must be driven by LOVE. Most importantly, love for God. Then, love for our neighbor, love for justice, love for righteousness, and love for creation. When we love we will be driven to bring justice and equality.

There is so so much more to this book and I wish that everyone would read it. As I process more, I will write more. I want to be held accountable for the knowledge God has given me.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Dog Days

This is Betsy again, and I am on a mission. I REALLY want another puppy (or another kitty--particularly an orange one). Every time I ask Walt he answers with an emphatic NO. I try to use my best lawyering and logic but to no avail. So, my new tactic is to bring in backup. Walt says he doesn't want to be known as "those people" (those who have too many animals and not enough sense). He says 2 dogs and a cat in the house is just one too many. So, I need your help (whoever in the world actually reads this blog). If you see Walt you can encourage him that it is wonderful and logical to let his wife get another puppy or kitty. You can be subtle or forthright--whatever it takes. Thanks for you help on my mission!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Some thoughts from Betsy:

Lately I have thinking a lot about how, as a Christian, I am supposed to live. Christianity is not a set of beliefs, but a complete lifestyle. I suppose that my thoughts began on our trip to Israel and Turkey where we learned that the Kingdom of God is two pronged: defeating evil and bringing peace. Jesus called his followers to bring the Kingdom of God, so as a Christ-follower my life should be spent bringing His Kingdom. The question of course is, how do I do that?

As I was talking to Bobo about living as a Christ-follower, he suggested that I read (and then let me borrow) a book called Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. Wow! This guy and his community really live and love! Their whole mission in life is to love and be in community with the poor. They live for social justice, defeating poverty, and radically loving.

One prevalent thought has been: do I know any poor people? Am I interacting and sharing life with people in need? I live so insulated from the pain and hurts in the world around me. How can I defeat evil and bring peace when I never personally see evil and chaos.

My thoughts are scattered just like this post, but I am on a journey.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Long Lost Tanners

WOW it has been over a month since we posted on the Tanner Blog. We had these grand ideas of posting and just never have. The Summer has been very busy. We have been out and about A LOT! And July is no slower with our HS trip called "Road Rules" - we will be living on RVs for a week. And then we take our MS group down to the beach for several days! Pedal to the Medal BABY.

I am thinking about moving to VOX with Kevin. It has a lot more features and may keep my interest up in maintaining it. If we move - you will be the first to know (all 4 of you who read this!)

On a side note: GO SEE "Live Free or Die Hard". It is great. I rank it up there with the original Die Hard. I told Betsy I was in 5th grade when John McClain battled 20 terrorist in a high rise in Chicago! And now I am 28 and he is still Kicking some - well butt! It will probably be our last movie in the big theatre for about six months. $9.25 for a movie ticket. ARE YOU KIDDING ME. A tad bit ridiculous.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Back from Israel and Turkey

Well Betsy and I made it back from our adventure in one piece. I don't even know where to start on how amazing this trip was for both of us. I have been telling everyone that it was like trying to drink water from a fire hydrant - you get some in your mouth, but most of it ends up all over you. Ray blew our minds with all the information he threw at us.

Most people think it was neat to go over and walk in the footsteps of Paul, John and Jesus and it was. The amazing part was listening to RVL take God's word to a whole other level when you learn the culture and how it related to the text.

We will post pictures and little faith lessons from our notes we took - and we took plenty. Here is our logo book:
Gone - 16 days
Countries - 2
Cities - over 15
Hiked - 120 miles
Hours - 200 hours (hiking, learning, getting to spots)
High Temp - 120 degrees
Low Temp - 50 degrees (cold wind and rain)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Student Ministry Quote

If you don't know who Shane Claiborne will soon. He is a Tony Campolo student who lives an extreme life in Philly. They live in an abandon building making their own clothes, and taking care of homeless folks. He is starting a movement in college students and twentysomethings that could change the entire way we look at life.

Here is a quote from Shane Claiborne’s book "Irresistible Revolution"

“In my youth group days, I had seen all too many would-be Jesus radicals fall by the wayside because they had never been trusted with the adventure of revolutionary living. When I was a youth leader, one of the high school kids who had ‘given his life to Jesus’ got busted only a few weeks later for having acid in school. I remember asking in disappointment, ‘What happened, bro? What went wrong?’ He just shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘I got bored.’ Bored? God forgive us for all those we have lost because we made the gospel boring [or tried to entertain instead of offering God, purely]. I am convinced that if we lose kids to the culture of drugs and materialism, of violence and war, it’s because we don’t dare them, not because we don’t entertain them. It’s because we make the gospel too easy, not because we make it too difficult. Kids want to do something heroic with their lives….”

The Countdown Begins

Friday Morning we set off for a once in a lifetime adventure. Betsy and I will be heading to Israel and Turkey for 16 days! We have lots to do...we will keep you updated throughout this week to see how we prepare.
Today lets take a look at our luggage. Can you figure out whose is whose. I have a feeling I will be be carrying three pieces of luggage - probably not the small one.