Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Forceful Men Lay Hold of the Kingdom

Jesus has said a lot of things that haven't made sense to me. This has been one of them. What is the deal with violent people taking the kingdom of heaven by force?

Matthew 11:12

"From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it."
'And, from the days of John the Baptist till now, the reign of the heavens doth suffer violence, and violent men do take it by force,
Luke 16:16

"The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.
“the law and the prophets are till John; since then the reign of God is proclaimed good news, and every one doth press into it;"

Are some bad guys forcing their way in, and trying to overthrow the kingdom? I don't think this makes sense with the context.

I need some help with the Greek to make sense of these verses

suffer violence - βίαζομαι - biazó (in both verses)
  • properly, to use power to forcibly seize, laying hold of something with positive aggressiveness. 971 /biázō ("to advance forcefully") is only used twice in the NT (both times positively).
  • According to google translate βίαζομαι has a modern definition of 'hurry'
violent men- βιασταὶ - biastai
  • a forceful, violent man; one who is eager in pursuit.
Jesus may have been making a connection with this passage in Michah 2:12-13 (NIV):
“I will surely gather all of you, Jacob;
I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel.
I will bring them together like sheep in a pen,
like a flock in its pasture;
the place will throng with people.
The One who breaks open the way will go up before them;
they will break through the gate and go out.
Their King will pass through before them,
the LORD at their head.”
Imagine a wall that sheep are kept behind. A shepherd will breaks a hole in the wall and lead the sheep to green pastures.

Just imagine a flock of sheep breaking through that narrow opening in the wall.

That may be the picture Jesus is referencing here. Sheep following the Shepherd, breaking through into the kingdom. Starting with the days of John the Baptist sheep have been breaking free from the law in a hurry to enter the kingdom.

What can these verses mean to us?

Friday, January 28, 2011

I won

A great personal accomplishment. Nobody else has ever done this before, or will ever do it again. It was a one of a kind moment here.

I'd like to take a moment to thank all those people who made this accomplishment possible. My parents. My wife. My kids. Jesus. And thanks to all my fans out there.

I'll display this prize with honor. (The above graphic was emailed to me as my prize)

And to those others who can only hope of similar accomplishments.... keep dreaming, believe in yourself, anything is possible.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Gospel in the Gospels - Summary

This is my 6th post on a series looking at the question: "Do you see 'the gospel' clearly taught in each of the gospels?"  This summary post will make the most sense if you read the first 5 posts:

  1. Gospel in the Gospels - introduction and some thoughts to consider
  2. Gospel in Matthew - verses related to the term gospel in Matthew
  3. Gospel in Mark - verses related to the term gospel in Mark
  4. Gospel in Luke - verses related to the term gospel in Luke
  5. Gospel in John - verses in John that that make similar points
  6. Gospel in the Gospels - Summary

The premise of this series is that each gospel writer would not have assumed his readers had access to all the other NT books, or had our modern theological mindset.  We should assume each book would contain enough details to describe the essentials of our faith. For example John should give enough details to achieve the goal of vs 20:31
"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." (NIV)
Or Luke writing to Theophilus an orderly account of everything so "so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. " (Luke 1:4 NIV)

So after looking at the passages linked above, here is my summary of what stands out to me. I'd love to hear what others think.

Summary :

  • Jesus preached a lot about the kingdom of God or kingdom of Heaven, it seemed to be his favorite topic.  
  • We don't need to be thinking castles and knights etc when we think kingdom. Thinking more along the lines of reign, rule, authority, and dominion may be helpful.
  • These teaching about His kingdom are often referred to as gospel or good news
  • Jesus says the/a reason he was sent was to preach the good news of the kingdom of God
  • The disciples went out preaching about the kingdom of God/Heaven
  • There are many parables that describe the kingdom of God
  • Some references to the kingdom of God seem to be present tense and something to be received now. Some references to the kingdom of God are future tense.
  • Something about this kingdom is especially good news for the poor
  • We must have some child like quality to be part of it
  • Jesus is frequently called Messiah, King, Lord, Savior, Son of God
  • Jesus tells his disciples to go and preach the gospel to the whole world... and they did
  • Walking with Jesus is compared to walking in the light as opposed to darkness
  • John mentions many examples of believers who believed in Jesus' name, that He was/is the savior, the messiah, the son of God, or Lord.
Scripture is full of many truths. Many of these truths are good news messages.  When talking about the gospel of Jesus, I want to be faithful to the gospel according to the gospels, and to the gospel that Jesus and His disciples preached.

An added bonus of this approach is we arrive at a good news message that all Christian traditions agree on. This isn't a gospel message highlighting distinct beliefs of one tradition. These are basic teachings that are widely accepted. I don't think it's a watered down gospel either. There is nothing simple about trusting Jesus as Lord and savior. Being a child of the King brings great rewards, but also great responsibility.

Related Posts:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Gospel in John

Continuing the series looking for 'the gospel' in the gospels. Six posts in this series here:
  1. Gospel in the Gospels - introduction and some thoughts to consider 
  2. Gospel in Matthew - verses related to the term gospel in Matthew 
  3. Gospel in Mark - verses related to the term gospel in Mark 
  4. Gospel in Luke - verses related to the term gospel in Luke 
  5. Gospel in John - verses in John that that make similar points 
  6. Gospel in the Gospels - Summary

This time considering what John has to say. If John was asked "What is the gospel?", how do you think he would respond?

Keep in mind, I don't think John would have assumed his readers had access to all the books we have in our New Testament. We should assume the gospel according to John highlights what is essential.

OK, I'll admit up front this one is a bit harder to answer. The other 3 gospels frequently use the terms gospel and good news with an emphasis on teachings about the kingdom of God. John doesn't take this approach.

However I think John still supports the same theme. He just doesn't use the words gospel or good news to link to the theme that Jesus is king, savior and Lord.

Christ = Messiah = Anointed One or Anointed King

1:17 "For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ"
1:41 "The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ)."

4:25 "The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (the one called Christ); “whenever he comes, he will tell us everything.”

4:29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Surely he can’t be the Messiah, can he?”

7:31 "Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?”

11:27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

17:3 "Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
20:30-31 "Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiahthe Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."

Lord, King, Kingdom, Son of God

1:23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”

1:49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”

3:3-5 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.

8:33-38 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”
“Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

9:38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

12:13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! ” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!”

13:13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.

19:15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.

19:19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Theme Deity and Humanity of Jesus Christ

1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

3:13-17 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

I think this fits well with the good news of the reign, rule, and authority of God that the other gospels emphasize. God/Jesus is King. Jesus is God's Son. Jesus is the Savior and Messiah of the world.

Theme Light vs Darkness

1:4-5 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

1:9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.

3:19-21 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

12:35-36 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

To me this light vs darkness analogy fits very well with the good news of the reign of God. There is a kingdom of light, and a kingdom of darkness. Which kingdom do you want to be in? It brings similar imagery as is portrayed in this video.

Theme: Bread

6:32-35 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

6:48-51 I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

6:58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

Theme: Believe

The word believe shows up more in John than in Matthew, Mark, and Luke combined.

I did an earlier post on this here.

According to John, what do you think are the essential beliefs to be a believer?

I find it interesting there is never a list of all our common essential beliefs in one verse or passage.

John gives a picture of a simple belief or trust in Jesus. John described people believing in Jesus' name, trusting Him as savior, the Messiah, the Son of God, or Lord.

Are you a believer? Do you believe in Jesus' name, that He was/is the savior, the messiah, the Son of God, our Lord?  Are you walking in the light?  Are you being sustained by the bread of life?

John writes in 20:31
"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." (NIV)
Can we assume John accomplished this purpose? Did John share the gospel in this book?

Related Posts:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Week of Prayer For Christian Unity

I just want to encourage you and make you aware that this week is the 102nd Week of Prayer For Christian Unity (January 18-25, 2011).

We may have different views as to what praying praying for unity is about. Some may vision some distant unity where all Christians join their denomination and agree with their doctrines. Others may fear that unity will mean they have to give up or water down their distinct beliefs.

Whatever your beliefs, or however you picture possible unity...

It can't hurt to pray.

Please join with Jesus and pray for unity, John 17:20 - 26 (NIV)
"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."
I pray that we will recognize the unity that exists. Yes we have created divisions and factions. But I believe in God's eyes there is only one Church. I believe the truth is that we are one, we just don't always see or understand it.

Related Posts:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Off Air

Current blog programming on pause.

I need to pause and seek some balance about these topics.

In hindsight we are thankful for the work of the reformers from 500 years ago. It is an understatement to say it wasn't easy in those days to ask questions either.

However I need to seek God for peace to see if he wants me involved in further reform, or if I should leave the dirty work to others. How can I balance building others up to be more like Christ, while I am also focusing on deconstructing. Can I learn any lessons from past reformers?

In the real world, I desire fellowship with others with the goal of building each other up to be more like Christ.

Is this blog helping, or harming that desire?

Maybe now is not the right timing, or I am not the right messenger (or have the wrong message).

Is this really the path God has planned for me? My family and I need to spend some time seeking God on this. Your prayers are welcome.

Appointing Elders in Acts 14:23

(Part 3 of a 7 part series on leaders/elders/overseers/pastors)

Acts 14:23 (NIV)
Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
I want to look at the bold terms and examine their meanings. I'll use http://biblos.com/acts/14-23.htm to help with the Greek.

appointed - χειροτονήσαντες - cheirotonēsantes
5500 xeirotonéō – properly, stretch out the hands to commission (send forth).
[5500 (xeirotonéō) literally means, "'I stretch out the hand,' thus expressing agreement with a motion, then, 'I elect by show of hands' [of popular vote]), 'I elect' " (Souter); properly, 'to vote by stretching out the hand' (practised in the assembly, so Athenian, Lucian, Plutarch)" (Abbott-Smith).]

elders - πρεσβυτέρους - presbuterous
  • also used in Luke 7:3, Luke 22:52, Acts 4:5, and Acts 6:12 for elders in the Jewish community
  • and used in other places to refer to elders in the new community of believers

What we know from this verse:
  • Eders were recognized in the Lystra, Iconium and Antioch community of believers
  • Paul and Barnabas either did the appointing themselves, or the community of believers publicly recognized them in some manner
What I don't know:
  • Were these elders given some decision making authority over the other believers?
  • Did these elders ever become non-elders before death or apostasy? Did they have 2 -5 year term after which someone else could take their place?
  • Were elders selected/appointed in the same way in every community of believers? I don't think Lystra, Iconium and Antioch (in Pisidia) were predominately Jewish communities. The concept of elders may have been a cultural piece that Paul and Barnabas wanted to introduce into these new communities. In Titus 1:5 we see a similar scene in Crete. But I don't see examples of elders being appointed in communities of believers which were Jewish. Was it obvious to the Jewish believers who their elders were, and no appointment/selection was needed?
  • How many elders would be in place in each community or gathering of believers? When they gathered in different homes were there a certain number of elders in each home?
  • Were believers allowed to gather without elders present?
  • Are we commanded to appoint/select elders in our communities?

Sorry, on this topic I end up with more questions than answers.

Related Posts: Summary on Elders Overseers Shepherds - 9 post series

Elders and Overseers in 1 Peter 5:1-4

(Part 2 of a 6 part series on leaders/elders/overseers/pastors)

1 Peter 5:1-4 (NIV)
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
I want to look at the bold terms and examine their meanings. I'll use http://biblos.com/1_peter/5-1.htm to help with the Greek.

elders - Πρεσβυτέρους - presbuterous
  • 1 of 3 occurrences of this word in the NT
  • it gets translated "Now his elder son" in Luke 15:25
  • The feminine plural, presbyteras, occurs in 1 Tim 5:2. It refers to aged women, i.e. not women with an official church office or title.
  • We don't need to read more into the term 'elder' than simply 'older men'.

(2nd) elder - συμπρεσβύτερος - sumpresbuteros
  • Only occurance of this word, seems to mean "also a presbuterous"
  • We don't need to read more into this than "also an older man"

shepherds - ποιμαίνω - poimainó
  • Only occurance of this word.
  • It is a verb here, not an office title
  • We don't need to read more into this than "care for"

(some versions) serving as overseers - ἐπισκοποῦντες - episkopountes
  • Some manuscripts include ἐπισκοποῦντες
  • can be translated "look diligently, take the oversight."
  • The other time this term is used is Hebrews 12:15, and gets translated "See to it", "look carefully", "watching"... and it seems to be written to all believers.
  • We don't need to read more into this than "watching out for others"

Reading this passage through our traditional church lenses we could assume:
  • This was written to elders - A group of elected or appointed men who rule or govern for a limited term.
  • Be shepherds - some of them can fill the office of pastor
  • Serving as overseers - ruling as those in charge of the church

Or we could read it like this:
  • written to elders - older respected men in the community (similar to the elders in the OT communities)
  • Be shepherds - care for others in your community (everyone should care for others, and these elders should be an example of this)

When we add this verse to what Jesus had to say on leadership, I think this second reading fits well. It also fits well with the rest of the passage:
"not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. "

Am I missing something? Is there reason to read more into these terms?

Related Posts:

Monday, January 3, 2011

Jesus on Leadership

First I must mention my angst with these types of posts. What I write may be sharply opposed to what you believe. Please do not assume this means I am judging you. I am not. I maintain high respect and love for brothers and sisters who don't share my viewpoint on a number of issues. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, and I don't assume I have any authority to judge my brothers and sisters.

I admit I am struggling with some tension on the topic of leadership. I do see elders playing a role in the early church. Elders in the OT society had a leadership role in their communities. The elders in the NT church would have also played a leadership role in the church community.

There are a number of key verses that come up in discussions on this topic. I will take a look at those soon. However, I think it makes sense to first look at what Jesus had to say on the topic of leadership.

As you take a look at the following verses, consider these questions.

According to Jesus does leadership mean a decision making authority?

Should church leadership resemble government or corporation leadership models?

Or does Jesus simply want his followers to serve each other? Are the leaders among us the ones who serve best and model a servant life the rest should follow?

Jewish Religious Leaders

I think it is worth noting that Jesus was persecuted by the Jewish religious leaders. I think it is safe to say Jesus didn't get along well with most of the religious leaders of the day. They were threatened by Him, and He was challenging their authority. Jesus was known more as a friend of sinners. There were some exceptions where the religious leaders hearts were seeking truth.

Stuff like this were common Matthew 23:26 (NIV)
"Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean."
and a long rant in Matthew 23:13-39 (NIV)
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to....."

Who did Jesus pick to be leaders?

Who were the men he chose to be his disciples? Did he find the most educated, the best orators, the most respected men to take on this task. Did he look for natural leaders? No, he picked ordinary people: fishermen, tax collectors, a doctor, and a rebel zealot.

Upside Down Kingdom

Matt 19:30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

Matt 20:16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Mark 9:35 "Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Luke 13:30 "Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

Matthew 19:14 (NIV)
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Servant Leaders

Matt 20:25-28 (NIV)
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 23:8-12 (New International Version)
"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Luke 22:24-27 (NIV)
Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

From these verses:
  • should church leadership include some decision making authority over others?
  • should church leadership models resemble government or corporation leadership models?

Or does Jesus simply want his followers to serve each other? The leaders among us are the ones who serve best and model a servant life the rest should follow. Isn't this the life (and death) he modeled for us?

Personally I find His example very challenging to follow.

Related Posts:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Playdough Scripture Ephesians 4:11

"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors who would be the sent ones to each community, speaking the word of the God, evangelizing the lost, and teaching the believers and teachers, "

Ephesians 4:11 (Playdough Version)

Is there 5 separate roles listed here for 5 different people? What do we do today with a verse like this?

Really Simple Syndication 101

If you have an RSS or news reader, skip this post, go check the next item in your feeds.

I suspect there are a few people out there who read some blogs from time to time, who may be interested in the benefits of subscribing to an RSS feed.

You may have bookmarked this blog, and/or other blogs and webpages. But you have no idea when new content is posted. So every now and then you click your bookmarks to see what is new. Sometimes nothing is new, and you've wasted a click.

The beauty of using an RSS reader is you will automatically get a list of recent blog or news items listed in your feeds when they are posted.

I use Google reader http://www.google.com/reader/ , this is what it looks like. Notice the recent posts from the feeds I've subscribed to listed on the right. I can quickly scan through them and click on the ones that I want to read.

There are many other RSS readers available. Bloglines is another popular option. I believe Yahoo and Windows Live have similar options. I just can't help you much with them since I don't use them.

Anyways, if you have a google account, it doesn't take much to get going with google reader. Just sign up at http://www.google.com/reader/. You can then add a subscription by clicking 'add subscription' and entering an URL of a blog or website with a feed. Or you can look for one of these icons on the blog or website. Simply click it and follow the directions.

If you want to go a step further, you can also try igoogle. You can look for igoogle in the top right of the google search page. It gives you the option of adding a bunch of gadgets to a page, google reader and many more. I set igoogle as my browser default homepage, and I get my google reader feeds, BBC news, CBC news, Google News, weather, and bookmarks all in one view.

Anyways, I just thought I'd share that tech piece with you. If you have questions about this I'd be happy to help.