26 April 2007
25 April 2007
How to know that your church is reproducing rapidly:
• When your church seeks the lost more than the found.
• When you love the edge more than the center.
• When you start to prefer the going more than the staying.
Big dreams change things…
• Big dreams change the questions you ask.
• The bigger the dream the more profound the questions you have to ask.
• Big dreams change our prayer life.
• Big dreams change others that are around you.
• Big dreams draw people to you.
• Big dreams change the way you see the world.
Some BIG questions Dave asked:
• How do we create movement that moves at the speed of God's spirit?
• What is it going to take to see rapid reproduction in my church?
• How can can churches be structured to help make rapid reproduction happen?
• What BIG calling is God doing in your life that you haven't had the guts to share with anyone?
Wayne Corderio shared an acronym that he uses for his devotions.
S = scripture, try to follow a reading plan
O = observations of the scripture that was read
A = application, how does this apply to my life
P = prayer, what do I need to pray about.
Wayne uses a 20-20-20-20 model. He does this in a small group setting. 20 minutes of scripture reading, 20 minutes of writing down personal observations, 20 minutes of making applications, 20 minute of prayer. He said it takes discipline to do 40 minutes in silence in a group of people, but it is a valuable time growing. He makes journals that can be purchased that are written based on this SOAP outline.
• Affinity: are you drawn to what you are being called to? Does it excite you thinking about what God might be calling you to?
• Ability: has someone confirmed your abilities to do what God is calling you to? Do your abilities match your calling?
• Opportunity: is there an opportunity available for you to put this calling into action?
If so, GO FOR IT!
Ed asked the posed the question/challenge that in some church circles we have compromised the gospel for the sake of being relevant to the culture. Here is a list of being able to see if there has been a compromise. He asked, "How do we express a loss of confidence in the gospel?"
So, what happens when relevance is the goal not the tool:
• When we focus on personal transformation, not gospel transformation.
• When sermons are so practical they lack the gospel.
• When we talk more about practical more than we talk about biblical.
• When your outreach demeans others that preach the gospel.
• When your approach makes you the hero not Jesus.
• When personal evangelism is an oxymoron at your church.
• When “invest and invite” never leads to evangelism.
• When attendance is the biggest voice in the church
• When the cross gets less focus than the church
24 April 2007
21 April 2007
I took the kids for a bike ride today and met up with some friends, it was a great time. The kids LOVED it. I highly recommend family time outside on a day pushing close to 80 degrees. We saw some crazy stuff: a monstrous dog, a couple making out in public (down with PDA), and bicycle torque. This picture didn't make it into our crazy stuff, but it would have added a nice feature.
20 April 2007
17 April 2007
A few excerpts from decoding culture... read more here.
The church no longer enjoys a cultural monopoly. We are the minority in post-Christian America. And the significance of that is this: we can't afford to do church the way it's always been done. Our tactics must change.
Don't get me wrong: the message is sacred. But methods are not. And the moment we anoint our methods as sacred, we stop creating the future and start repeating the past.
Too many pastors are getting As in Biblical exegesis and Ds in cultural exegesis. We know Scripture, but we're out of touch with the times. The end result is a gap between theology and reality called irrelevance. We're out of touch with the very people we're trying to reach--the unchurched and dechurched. We've got to exegete our culture so we can close the gap.
16 April 2007
A man was driving down the highway late one night when his minivan broke down. He turned on his flashers and tried to get someone's attention to help him. Eventually a Lamborghini Countach pulls up. "Any chance I could get a lift into town?" said the minivan driver.
"I can do better than that," the man driving the Countach replied. "I've got a V-12 under this hood, I can tow you to the nearest town, no problem. Just honk your horn and flash your lights if I start going too fast."
They head off down the road and eventually come to a stop light and up pulls a Ferrari F40 with a V-10. The F40 began to rev its engine to get the Countach to race. The Countach revs its engine and the light turns green. They fly out of there, and about a half a mile down the road they pass a speed trap.
The officer there watches them pass and radios to base saying, "Base, you will not believe what I just saw. A F40 and a Countach were driving down the road doing about 120 with a minivan honking its horn and flashing its lights trying to pass them!"
15 April 2007
What if Christians of all people lived with Romans 12 type of love? What would this world be like if we lived life with love that is...
• Love that is sincere...
• Love that shares with those in need...
• Love that practices hospitality...
• Love that rejoices with those who rejoice and mourns with those who mourn...
Do you have the faith that it takes to love someone like it says in Romans 12? ... Do I have the faith to love someone this much?
A love like this constantly stretches me in new ways to have less of myself and more of Christ in me. This love keeps no record of wrongs... it is not proud... it is not self-seeking...it does not boast...it is not rude...it is not easily angered...it does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth...it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
This love is the most powerful force on earth. It is a powerful force that can change lives. What if love was lived? What would happen? What would life be like? How would this world be different? What if instead of pointing out the lack of love in others we chose instead to just love? What if...
I am convinced that a small group of committed loving people... people that understand and are willing and daring enough to truly love... can CHANGE THE WORLD.
Just a couple of the many examples of people in the bible that did this are: Moses, Joshua, Jesus at the wedding with his first miracle and the healing of the 10 lepers.
There is so much to process about faith and trust ... more on that later.
12 April 2007
Hercules: World's Biggest Dog, World's Heaviest Dog according to Guinness World Records
Hercules was recently awarded the honorable distinction of Worlds Biggest Dog by Guinness World Records. Hercules is an English Mastiff and has a 38 inch neck and weighs 282 pounds.
With "paws the size of softballs" (reports the Boston Herald), the three-year-old monster is far larger and heavier than his breed's standard 200lb. limit. Hercules owner Mr. Flynn says that Hercules weight is natural and not induced by a bizarre diet: "I fed him normal food and he just grew".... and grew. and grew. and grew.
Hercules' sheer volume may have won him the Largest Dog world record, but the Heaviest Dog title still rests with Kell who weighed in at 286 pounds in August of 1999. This English Mastiff, however, only has a 32-inch neck - far less than Hercules' 38-incher. Think about that for a second though - 32 inches is a standard waist size for a man!
Proud owner Tom Scott said Kell is two years old and is expected to continue to grow for the next two years. Kell needs to be fed 100lb of beef every week, and drinks gallons of goats' milk to stay healthy... So hopefully Tom Scott is a wealthy man, because most would go broke feeding this monstrosity!
Tom Scott said: "People cannot believe the size of her. When we go to the vet in people stop and stare and they even gather outside the vet's to get a look." Surprising huh?!
Better to be safe than ....Punch a 5th grader.
Strike while the.....Bug is close.
It's always darkest before....Daylight Savings time.
Never underestimate the power of.....Termites.
You can lead a horse to water but ....how?
Don't bite the hand that ....looks dirty.
No news is....impossible.
You can't teach an old dog new....math.
If you lie down with dogs, you....stink in the morning.
The pen is mightier than the....pigs.
An idle mind is....the best way to relax
Where there's smoke there's ....Pollution.
A penny saved is....not much
Two's company, three's....the Musketeers.
Don't put off till tomorrow what....you put on to go to bed.
Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and ....you have to blow your nose.
None are so blind as....Helen Keller.
Children should be seen and not....spanked or grounded.
If at first you don't succeed....get new batteries.
You get out of something what you....see pictured on the box.
And my favorite, which has the most meaning...
When the blind leadeth the blind....get out of the way.
11 April 2007
10 April 2007
I love the chance to drive the freeways of Chicago. 294 is a real fun one. There are a lot of things that add to the entertainment... other drivers, fun license plates, and billboard ads. Volkswagen just launched a new ad.
Dare to be happy.
It is amazing where you can find truth. As Christian this should be so much more applicable. If someone has found hope in Christ, then there should be happiness beyond measure. I am amazed at the amount of down-in-the-mouth, "the sky is falling" Christians that are out there today. It makes me wonder: have they not found hope in the grace of knowing Jesus, are they choosing misery? Why not choose joy and happiness? Misery will always be available. There will always be someone wanting you to join them in misery. Joy and happiness in the freedom of knowing Christ is a daily, maybe an hourly choice we make. What are you choosing? Misery or Joy... your feelings will follow your choices. A wise man once told me that your choices with determine your feelings. What will you choose?
If your sentence starts with...
• Have you heard...
• Did you know...
• Guess what I found out...
• I really feel like we should pray for _____, because...
• Did you hear about...
You might be gossiping.
In Christian circles it seems like there is a fine line between praying and gossiping. Maybe the "Christian" form of gossip are those prayer meetings where we give out juicy bits of info and then "pray" about it. There is no doubt how God feels about gossip. Make no mistake... you want to be as far from gossip's entanglement as you can be. Gossip may be a self-indulging, high school power trip, but it fades away quickly leaving you desiring more of the "latest" news. It is a vicious, never ending cycle. It take discipline and strength to have Godly values and principles that compel us to choose to end gossip chains.
09 April 2007
Ben posted some kingdom-killers that loom over every church:
1. Talk about how much you love your church because it's so small and personable.
2. If your church doesn't have a particular ministry, start attending it at another church, rather than starting one where you are.
3. Don't forgive anyone for hurting you or offending you.
4. Instead of telling the pastor about your frustrations, hold out in silence as long as you can, getting angrier and angrier until you can finally leave in one, unforseen blaze of flaming glory.
5. Go to church for what you get out of it.
6. Don't invite anyone.
7. Forget faith ~ that's the pastor's job. Sit back and wait to see what happens, rather than becoming personally invested.
8. Use "prayer" as a conversational piece rather than a spiritual discipline (as in: "I'll be praying for you," or "Let me pray about that.")
9. Do frequent "polling" in hallway conversations to see if other people have the same concerns about the church as you.
10. Meditate on how wonderful the church would be if it weren't for the pastor.
07 April 2007
04 April 2007
Police in Radnor, Pennsylvania, interrogated a suspect by placing a metal colander on his head and connecting it with wires to a photocopy machine. The message "He's lying" was placed in the copier, and police pressed the copy button each time they thought the suspect wasn't telling the truth. Believing the "lie detector" was working, the suspect confessed.
Now if you have fallen for this, felt bad for this guy, or got upset because you thought the story was about the time you got pulled over in Pennsylvania ... then yes you might be an idiot.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Google Inc may be famous for instant searches, but it took a bit longer to find a 3-foot python that escaped in its massive Manhattan offices.
The pet of one of its employees, "Kaiser" got loose over the weekend, prompting a search that ended when the snake was found Monday night, according to company spokeswoman Ellen West. "We are pleased to report that Kaiser was located in the office," West said in a statement. "Kaiser was taken home by his owner and is no longer in the building."
The slippery snake was reported Monday by Valleywag.com, a technology gossip Web site. Valleywag said the gray and brown reptile was brought to the building by an employee who didn't want to be away from it during the work day. It was dangerous to mice but not humans, Valleywag said. West declined to say how the python escaped, or who found it. The episode "was not an April Fool's Day joke," she said.
Now I have heard of some crazy stories, but this one is unbelievable...
BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese woman survived a plunge from a sixth-floor balcony thanks to a convenient pile of excrement which broke her fall, local media said. The accident happened when the woman was hanging out laundry on Monday in Nanjing, capital of the eastern province of Jiangsu, the Kuaibao tabloid said.
"Workers happened to be emptying the building's septic tank, which had not been tended for a long time and had regularly blocked sewage pipes," the newspaper said. "She probably stretched out too far and fell ... right on to a 20 cm-thick heap of excrement." The woman suffered only slight injuries, the newspaper said.
Lessons that can be learned:
• Never stretch too far when hanging clothes on a line or just use a dryer.
• You never know when a "mess" from someone else may help you out.
• Just when you think your life is over... you land in a pile of...
03 April 2007
It was Palm Sunday but because of a sore throat, 5-year-old Johnny stayed home from church with a sitter. When the family returned home, they were carrying several palm fronds. Johnny asked them what they were for. "People held them over Jesus' head as he walked by," his father told him. "Wouldn't you know it," Johnny fumed, "the one Sunday I don't go and He shows up."
01 April 2007
Warning: This might be long. And it might offend a few people (I hope).
1. What is your emotional wake? And what does it say about you?
2. Am I willing to celebrate the right things?
3. How deep are my convictions?
4. How accurate are my criticisms?
These questions were from the message at church today they are all from Matthew 21.
A few thoughts...
An 'emotional wake' is what you leave behind when you leave a conversation or a room of people after you come in and give your $.02 into the relationships. Are people better? I love this question... are people better, encouraged, lifted up when I leave? Are people depressed, down, discouraged when I leave? What is your emotional wake?
What are the things we celebrate? And why do we celebrate them? I have, in the past couple of months seen people celebrate the destruction of others. For some reason I don't think this is something to celebrate. Do we celebrate Jesus? Have we become so expectant of Him in our lives that we forget to celebrate the "right stuff"? Matthew 21:8-11 Jesus is with us. May we never become so jaded that only the children know what to celebrate (vs. 15). Ask yourself... is my life about celebration or dread?
Are my convictions deep? Do I stand for what I believe in? Am I easily swayed? Do I make a decision simply because "everyone is for it"? Do I make decisions because "it's just better this way"? I am glad that is not who I am. Even if people won't believe, agree, or validate; my convictions run very deep. I know what I stand for and that won't change. God has a HUGE vision he has been giving to me. Patience young jedi... more will soon come on this it will.
Next was one of the best parts of the message. We went through the passage where Jesus flips the tables of the money changers in the church. Matthew 21: 12-15. First problem with the situation: deception. Jesus was upset about the deception that was taking place in the church. The money changers were deceiving the people that were exchanging money. They were profiting from deceiving people that were coming for genuine worship. Money changers were ripping off the people. The "religious" were "approving" sacrifices. Most sacrifices were not approved and then turned the people away with the "offering" they brought and told to purchase one of their approved offering/sacrifices. It's amazing what "approved religious" items we think we can purchase. You can't buy your sacrifice. You can't buy a message from God. It does not please God when the "religious" turn away a genuine sacrifice because THEY don't approve! Another part of the problem: the "money changers" used a moment of integrity for personal gain. How many times have the leaders in a church used a moment that they were expected to deal in integrity for their personal gain. If you don't ask me... I know one. So, what's the solution: purification. Jesus comes in and flips it all over! The lesson: if you are deceiving for your personal gain... Jesus will flip it all upside down for you. He is not pleased by leaders that deceive for personal gain. What is the result: restoration. Prior to this the lame were not welcomed into the church, after the flipping, they were healed and there was great celebration.
Lastly... criticism. Oh boy, don't get me started on criticism. How critical are you? Do you know critical people? I sure do. Criticism is not funny, no matter how funny you try to make it. I know some incredibly critical people. Matthew 21:15-17. Criticism is a cancer. It will infect and destroy; relationship, churches, lives, etc. Do you believe that it is possible for someone to love Jesus and be a critical person? Just take a look at the pharisees... they were looking so hard for Jesus, but because of their criticism they couldn't see him and he was right in front of their faces. Critical leaders in the church that criticize in the name of "holiness" claim to be godly but can't live out godliness due to their critical hearts. Would you recognize Jesus if he were to walk into your life? Or would you criticize him for not fitting your idea of "religiosity". Ask yourself... am I critical? Why? May we always be so like the children in this story that see Jesus!
You know the amazing part. This was an awesome service, but in reading this post some will be critical and miss Jesus' message right in front of their faces!
The church in which the blind and lame are not healed is not worthy of attendance.Adam Clarke
I told you it was long... maybe offensive... maybe good... but it will change you.
You don't want to miss this opportunity. This will revolutionize how you live your life. Look at some of the things that people are saying...
“Gmail Paper is a scrapbooker's dream. I paper archive all of my son's emails, cut them out in creative shapes, and paste them in my binders.”
Anna-Christina D., Lifecoach
"It's paper, plain and easy. I sometimes find myself wondering: what will Google think of next? Cardboard?"
Bill K., Armchair Futurist
Today we were at lunch with Doug and Ranelle and a lady is seated after we had finished our meal. This lady was seated behind me directly in the sight of my highly observant daughter. As we were in the middle of a fairly deep conversation about the abrupt ending of jobs, my daughter exclaims for our table and the rest of those around us, "Look she's a pirate!". Yep, you guessed it, the lady was wearing an eye patch.