ray’s random thoughts: paris

Ray is PCC’s Senior Pastor


What do you know about Paris? Wait! I should be more specific. Not Paris as in France, the Eiffel tower and the Louvre; but Paris as in celebrity, Hilton heiress and the Los Angeles County jail. Like most Americans, it could be you know way more than you want or need to know.

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i’ve been beaten by bacci pizza

Over the past couple of days Ray has been talking about this new pizza-by-the-slice place in Wheaton.  He’s been talking about how huge the slices are.  So today I decided to check it out.  I drove over to Bacci Pizza on Roosevelt and ordered a slice of sausage pizza.  Now, I don’t want to say that I didn’t believe Ray when he described the size of these slices of pizza.  Perhaps I thought he was slightly exaggerating.  He wasn’t.  If anything the slice the dude behind the counter gave me was bigger than I’d been led to believe.  It was good.  But I couldn’t finish it.

Did I mention it was big?

Really, really big.

my caribou coffee homeless friend

This afternoon I’m spending a couple of hours at Caribou.  This is where I come when I want to get a bunch of work done, particularly if that involves studying as it does today.  There are a couple of benefits of being a regular at the coffeeshop.  One of those is that the wonderful baristas are making my drink before I even order.  “The regular” for me is a small, in-house, espresso.  Oh man, it’s so good!  And just the trick for that post-lunch sleepiness.  Another benefit is that I get to catch up with some of my homeless friends who I would normally only see at Parkview on Sunday.  A couple of days ago one of these friends told me she hasn’t been feeling well.  Today she told me that, while she’s not well yet, she is feeling better.

I probably will never know the crap many of these folks go through every day.  I mean, what would my friend do if she wasn’t feeling better but worse?  Where would she go to rest?  I guess I was reminded to pray for this person today and the others she represents.  I’m glad I’ll see her on Sunday, and maybe the next time I’m at Caribou.  Sometimes I wonder if, aside from praying and ordering her the occasional smoothie and muffin, there’s something else I could do for my homeless friend.

Something to be praying about.

summer funner theatre: it’s coming

I heard from Terry this morning that the morning Summer Funner Theater (referred to as “sft” by those in the know) session has filled up. Very cool. There are still a few spots in the afternoon session. If you, or someone you know, wants to sign up their kids, call Bette at the church office (630 469 4306).

Terry also mentioned that they are looking for camping equipment to use as props next week during sft. If you’ve got anything that fits the bill- you know, that box that’s somewhere in your basement- let Bette or Terry know this week. Thanks!

scott mcknight on the "robust gospel"

One of the blogs I link to on this site is Leadership Journal’s Out of Ur.  Today there is a post from Skye Jethani, who recently attended a conference where he heard Scott McKnight (whose blog, Jesus Creed, I also link to here) speak on the nature of the Gospel.  Scott, who teaches at North Park University, is that rare theologian who speaks and writes in language most of us can understand.

If you have a couple of minutes, take a look at Skye’s recap of Scott’s conference talk.  Scott differentiates the “popular evangelical gospel” with a “robust gospel presentation.”  Included among the characteristics of a robust Gospel are,

  • A robust gospel cannot be “tractified.”
  • Bible readers cannot skip from Genesis 3 to Romans 3.
  • The “problem” is finally resolved in “four atoning moments”: the life of Jesus, the death of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Fascinating stuff.  It’s these kinds of thoughts and questions that make me think about how we invite people to place their faith in Jesus.  While the Gospel message is beautifully simple, it’s also wonderfully deep.  I think it’s that balance, simplicity and depth, that Scott is encouraging us to consider.

volunteer celebration…tonight!

OK, if you don’t know about the Parkview Community Church Volunteer Celebration by now, well, I’m not sure what to say.  But here is your one last reminder.  Tonight is the night!  If you have volunteered at PCC over the last year you are invited.  If you have volunteered somewhere in the community over the last year you are invited.  I believe close to 200 people have told us they’re coming.  However, (pastor) Brian and (pastor) Chuck are in charge of food for the celebration and I know for a fact they bought more than enough, so showing up tonight even if you didn’t RSVP is not a problem.  The bottom line: if you gave your time to serve this year we want to honor you tonight.

The staff is showing up at 4:00 to get things set up, but everyone else is invited to come at 6:00.  I really hope you can make it.