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Showing posts from February, 2007

Perceive it

Isaiah 43:19 states: "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?"

To, me, this means that when God does something, you can't miss it. Paradoxically, people miss God all the time; but what I'm talking about is that when you as a God seeker are watching, you can't miss it.

It's interesting that in the same prophetic word, God says,
"forget the former things, do not dwell on the past.
See
I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up;
do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland."First off, in order to see, you must turn from dwelling on the past. It's obvious that if you are looking backwards, you can't look forwards. Forgiveness is the currency of the kingdom. You can't hold onto something while laying a hold of another. I think that God said this because we have a tendency to dwell on or be embittered by our personal grievances.


The Electric Company song

"We're gonna turn it on
We're gonna bring you the power
We're gonna light up the dark of night like the
brightest day in a whole new way"


Yes, I had this song, also from 1971, going through my head this morning. I think the applicable scripture is, "arise, shine for your light has come". The church is not the source of the power and light, but the conduit of it.

I'd like to teach the world to sing (in perfect harmony)

I woke up this morning thinking about this famous song who's lyrics begin with, "I'd like to build the world a home and furnish it with love..." The Coke ad version is credited with making Coke the #1 soft drink in North America and the "Coke removed version" went to #7 in the US pop charts and #1 in the UK and Japan.

Wikipedia and the church

This article in today's Washington Post by Cass R. Sunstein will tell you about Wikipedia, if you are not already familiar with it. My take is that the Wikipedia phenomena is a picture of where things are headed and where the church is headed too. The Wiki way is that everyone gets a chance to play and the people police themselves if someone gets out of line. Perhaps some one or a group of someones somewhere started Wiki and and keep it going, but they don't control it and stop others from giving input.

When I research anything, I tend to end up at Wikipedia the majority of the time; because there is no limit to the expertise or knowledge base there. It is truly communal.

I don't believe in no leadership or pure chaos, but there is leadership that facilitates and there is controlled chaos.

You get to the moon or solve Apollo Thirteen's crisis through a team effort, but you blow up The Challenger when hierarchy rules and rules out team effort.

Open-source.

Some people a…

Roots and Fruit

Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the LORD our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison. (Deuteronomy 29:18)

See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. (Hebrews 12:15)

I'm reflecting on how our roots can affect us. Our roots are our heritage passed on from our families. They are also our deepest inner chambers where secrets live or where there is gabage that has never been taken out.

Everyone that has done weeding knows that if you don't pull the weed's root out or if poison does not kill the root, then the weed will spout right back up.

So, to get better, we need to go deeper, go underneath in the shadows and deal with what lurks there.

Officer Training

I watched some of a PBS program last night on the Marine Corps Officer Training School. They made the point that the rigorous training is to evaluate if the idividual will be able to lead others in life or death situations. These guys have to be able to stay focused on taking care of their people under conditions of extreme stress and chaos.

Isn't this what the church should be like in terms of discipleship? We need to lower the bar on church and raise the bar on disciplship. Not complex, sophisticated church with little discipleship, but simple church and costly discipleship

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday which marks 40 days before Easter Sunday, which is also referred to as the season of Lent. Before I began to reflect and read up on the meaning of Ash Wednesday, I was listening to a CD in the car and the speaker said that we should start our days with repentance so that God can move on our behalf. He was saying that our sin will block God from working. For me, I was thinking of my need to forgive.

Ash Wednesday is traditionally a day of repentance. That's what the ashes are about. Today, people attend gatherings where they might hear a talk on repentance and then line up to get some ashes placed on their foreheads. In ancient times people would heap ashes on themselves as a physical act during their repentance. My reflection is that people leave the ashes on their heads all day as a witness and a reminder of what the day is about. The ashes are also applied in the shape of a cross, as a reminder that the cross is the place where the debt of sin is p…

Chicanery

Chicanery is the word for today. My first thought was of the devil or devilishness: his wiles (Eph. 6:11). This word connotes lack of straightforwardness and honesty: crafty, devious, shady, underhanded, deceptive; " the use of tricks to deceive someone" (Wordnet).

At the heart of this word is deception. In the courtroom of life, the accuser uses chicanery to try to provoke guilt or shame, or to just distract us from God's grace by appealing to legalism.

So that brings us back to the "wiles of the devil". What are they, besides accusations? All those sucker punches.

Hirsch notes: consumer spirituality, missional church

Alan talked about our spiritual consumerism in his Forgotten Ways workshop at the CMA conference in January. We approach church (meetings) as consumers. How was the show? We even approach house church meetings this way. How waaaaas the show?

House-churching can easily become just a renewal thing. All the house-churchers I have known are former institutional churchers who are detoxing, rehabing or something like that from institutional church life. All of us have been getting renewed. That is a good thing, but it's not mission.

The light bulb really came on for me as I coupled Alan Hirsch's talk with my experiences. Big meetings are not where it's at, but neither are small groups or cell groups or even housechurches. There's nothing wrong with all these and they can do a lot of good. Where it's at is out there. John Wimber famously said, "the meat is in the street".

So, what I have discovered or the dots have been connected, is that outreach, out…

Today's Holocaust

Since the attacks of 9/11, I believe we have lost about 6,000 lives in the war on terror. During that same time period, about 6,000,000 unborn babies have been killed through abortion in the United States. These people were denied their lives because of a choice.

The slave traders and owners convinced themselves that black people were sub-human, so they could rationalize slavery. The Nazis convinced the Germans that Jews were sub-human and they were allowed to try to rid a continent of a whole race. Today, we are being sold the lie that unborn babies are not human beings and can therefore be killed at will. This is wrong and it's the issue for our country, in my opinion.

Check out these resources for more info: Abort73, Bound4Life, TheCauseUSA.

Love

Love is the fist thing. Love is about generosity. Love is about giving. In the beginning, God created man, knowing full well what would happen. Why? Love. God wanted to share. God wanted to related to beings. He already had that with angels, but it would be different with man. Angels made a choice, but mankind makes choices. We must live by our daily choices, choose to believe or not.

church planting notes

I'm working my way through Devin Hudson's blog where he writes about his experiences as a church planter. It was funny to read his thoughts on the people who will join your plant, because he was so right. He talks about unhealthy Christians who want to join you who need to be known and recognized. Underline the word need. Unfortunately we sometimes label these souls as "church hoppers". The other "watch out for" category he writes about are growing believers who are new to the same area where you are planting and want to join you, but have a different vision in their hearts and will seek to steer the plat towards what they are familiar with.

Yesterday I was reading Shaula Overholt's blog, where she wrote that, "During the start-up phase of planting, Robb and I read a book by Steve Sjogren in which he suggests that all church planters should go to therapy in order to deal with the rejection that is faced. I thought that was comical until we a…

Hirsch notes: Christology first

Alan Hirschs gave a talk he called, "Jesus Made me Do It", at the CMA conference in January. He talked about putting your Christology first, then Mission, and then Ecclessiology. I'll start here with what I heard Alan say and then add my own thoughts.

Our Christology informs the mission, which then informs the ecclessiology. Jesus is Lord and Savior, Jesus invites us to commission with his mission, and his community is formed around him and his mission. If ecclessiology comes first, our buildings and rituals shape us instead of Christ and missions becomes something that a few fanatics are into doing overseas and the rest of us write checks to send them. Christ ends up knocking on the door of the church to get in.

If mission comes first and informs our Christology and Ecclessiology, then we end up with a humanistic, social agency church with an unknowable far off Christ.

So we can change our ecclessiology and do church differently, even in really good, fun, interesting,…

I'm a fool for Christ

John Wimber's testimony was that when he recieved Christ as Lord and Savior at a home Bible study, he saw this picure in his mind of a man he had seen before with a sign on the front that read "I'm a fool for Christ", and on his back was another sign that read, "who's fool are you?"
When I share my hopes with people, I sometimes wonder and muse, "what if it doesn't work out, then I'll look foolish!" My next thought overides the first one and that is that if I'm thought a fool, I'm a fool for Christ. I shared what I shared because it is what I believe about Christ in my life and if it does not pan out, I'm still walking with Christ and I am his. I would rather follow him and trip than to stay seated and do nothing. I'd rather pray and see no results than not to pray at all. I'd rather give and get no return than not to give at all. If we do anything that seems like a waste of time or energy or cash, shouldn…

Love

Love is painful. Sure, it feels great to be loved and loving feels good, but the real deal is sacrificial. When God expressed His love for mankind, He did the most painful thing, totally sacrificial. God didn't invite the human race for a "love-inn, hug-athon", but sent Jesus. Nails in hands and feet, scurging, crowned with thorns: that is love. It was not a charade.

All of love is not painful, but if love will not sacrifice, is it love?

Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

What a great picture
of not living in fear.
The Three Little Pigs
came out in 1933
and won the oscar
for best animated
short film.

Permission: chapter one quotes

All real partnerships are based on a shared vision that combines personal dreams with corporate identity.

All the fivefold gifts are consultants for the Kingdom of God and they are leaders, trainers, and equippers of people. Their purpose is wholly centered on development.

Everyone has a dream.

Everyone in the body should have an action plan for his or her life and calling.

Today, people are excluded because they "don't fit in". In addition, people have to subjugate their own dream in order to serve the vision of the house. A box has been created that captures people instead of captivating them.

Models are not transferable, principals and values are!

The vision you begin with is never the one you end with.

Pioneering vision must always give way to empowering vision.

How many of our meetings revolve around motivating the saints instead of equipping them?

The church needs generals and fathers

"The church in North America is full of teachers, but what it needs are generals... a teacher never led an army into battle."
-Barna (paraphrased from notes)

"There are a lot of people around who can't wait to tell you what you've done wrong, but there aren't many fathers willing to take the time and effort to help you grow up."
-Apostle Paul, first letter to the Corinthian church


The hammer and the screwdriver

Some people are like a hammer. They see nails and hammer them down or pry them up. Other people are like a screwdriver. They see screws and can screw them in or tighten them or unscrew the screws.

The hammer cannot work on a screw. It's useless or damages. Different tools are for different tasks. A screwdriver is of no use for driving in or removing nails either.

Permission Granted: Introduction

Change...

Transition is an adventure into the unknown with all the attendant risks that the uncharted can formulate around us.

Every change involves letting go of one thing to reach out for what is next. It is death by installments-

Future fruit comes from present death (see John 12:24).

Rest is a weapon against evil.

Death, the understanding of change, liberates us to experience the adventure of new things.

Change is an opportunity to grow more like Him.


Permission Granted: Preface

When we speak of the Third Day Church, we are speaking prophetically as to how we are being offered new and innovative ways of doing church. Some of these ways seem new in the sense of actually being old, yet untried.

The first day, then, is how we used to do church. The second day is when we let the old ways die. The third day is when we begin to experiment with new ways to meet,new ways to make more room for His presence, and new ways to see our mission and purpose as a Church, both locally and regionally.


Jonah and the whale: God's alternative transportation

I was thinking this week about the story of Jonah and God's intervention through the whale, to get him to his destiny. Jonah was avoiding doing what God told him to do, and in so doing, was seen to cause problems for those around him or was an irritant to them, and was thrown overboard. The story doesn't end here, because God placed the whale in his path who swallowed him and took him to where God wanted him to go. Inside his new mode of transport, Jonah changed his mind about following God's direction. When the whale released him, he very possibly would have carried on his person the gastrointestinal acidic body wash. Jonah was changed on the outside and on the inside