entropy and institution

I've been working on this concept of entropy in the church and I read an article by Ron Schwartz today that further amplified my thoughts.

Entropy means that when things are left to themselves, they decay, slow down, or fall apart. To me, this means that systems or individuals need dynamic input in order to not fall into decay. People need transforming power in their lives. They need vital union with God and meaningful interactions with others, giving and receiving: having dynamic interactions.

When a pastor or any other titled person "takes over", then entropy sets in for all the others. When we institute hierarchies and titles, then entropy sets in and maturing slows way down.

So, my view is that if you have titles or hierarchies, then it actually makes things harder as far as everybody growing up into Christ

dream job

Eight characteristics of meaningful work:

Optional office

I think that "the office" should be more like a central hub that can serve you rather than a cell where you serve time. I think that it's a place where you can get work done, but not where you must get work done.

Meet with people anywhere

Steve Sjogren talks about how Jesus was constantly among the people. That's where I'm coming from ( or going). People should not have to come to you, but you should go to them, one if you are truly serving, and two if you want to succeed.

Some writing

I'd like to write 5 to 50 hours a week, depending on what I'm working on. I don't want a job yet as a writer per se, but I like to write.

Some speaking, teaching

Phone consultations

Email consultations

Interpersonal & spiritual problem solving

Independent study

A few thoughts on Jeremiah 33

Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jer. 33:3

I've heard this verse quoted a lot. But did you know the context of the text, what the overall flow of the chapters there say? It's about restoration- stuff taken away, restored. It's also an invitation to go deeper, to ask more questions of God. It's an invitation to be encouraged. Jerry is listening to God and maybe writing down the words he hears and then God says, "you Jerry, ask me and I will tell you cool stuff." Don't just be passive, but call.

lost and found

Lost and found has been a theme lately. A long lost pair of glasses was found, a cell phone given up on was found, and a rented dvd that disappeared was found before we had to report it and pay.

I also reconnected with three friends who I had not spoken with or seen for a long time,

pastor factors

Peter Drucker who wrote 33 books on management, leadership, economics, and sundry issues; said that the four hardest jobs in America are, The President, University presidents, CEO's of hospitals, and pastors.

A statistic is sited that only 5% of pastors make it to retirement. "Pastors at Risk" authors London and Wiseman, say that 40% of pastors have considered quitting in that past 3 months, that pastors who work less that 50 hours a week stand a 35% greater chance of termination, and 58% of pastors need their spouse to work to get by financially.

rest and bless

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.

In repentance and rest is your salvation.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

These two ideas are what I'm living in to today: rest and bless. Rest is a weapon of warfare against my enemy. It seems like a no brainer, but I come back to it again and again; that I need rest. That mostly means sleep, but also relaxation: r&r. Rest and relaxation bring renewal to me. Taking a nap or getting to bed can be a form of spiritual warfare because it makes the statement that God is in control. I'm getting my hands "off the wheel" and I'm getting rested and refreshed for walking out my life.

The second idea is that blessing God, praising God, speaking God's word, or meditating on it; is the opposite of worrying and speaking negatively.

Results Only Work Environment

Not nine to five, nor flex time, but "ROWE". I saw this piece (article) on Business Week (video) about how Best Buy headquarters is allowing workers to work "off campus", when convenient, and on campus meetings are now optional. I think this kind of thing is the wave of the future. If you're skeptical, the truth is that with the employee groups that they are trying this with at Best Buy, productivity has gone up and creative, hard working people are no longer leaving the company due to having someone looking over their shoulder too much. Very cool.

my cell phone

My cell phone has been acting up these past couple of months, so I took it in for service last night. It made me think about how easy it is to blame others for miscommunication. I have a new friend that I would call from the freeway and the reception was so bad, that I was annoyed by not being able to understand him. I totally blamed him for his shoddy telecom equipment. Now I realize that it could have been all my (phone's) fault or at least a large portion of the blame was mine.

I am remembering that communication is a two way deal. It's pretty narcissistic to make you responsible both to hear me and to speak so I can hear you. It's pretty selfish to assume that the problem is all on the other guy's end. It's funny now, but the way to honestly put it is that we have a failure to communicate. The problem's between us. We're both responsible.

Just ordered this Samsung.

Update (12/27)
I still have my old phone that does not work well!

Con mucho gusto!

With much pleasure. How many things to we do with pleasure, with much pleasure? The question is does pleasure have us or do we do with pleasure. Those are two different things.

You can eat a meal and be satisfied, but eating with pleasure is another dimention.
The same goes for drinking wine, or even smoking a cigar. (pictures deleted)

The Bible talks about giving with pleasure. Take a look at Judges 8:25 for example. I looked up "con much gusto" in a Spanish concordance and found this one:
Con mucho gusto te los daremos le contestaron.
English translation:
They answered, "We'll be glad to give them."
con mucho gusto = we'll be glad to = with much pleasure
The word "gusto" is the word that gastronome and gourmet come from: A connoisseur of good food and drink; a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially good food and drink).

So, I could say, "come dine with me", and you might say, "with much pleasure", or "it would be my pleasure". Also, After being thanked for a wonderful time together, I might say, "it was my pleasure".

I see the two things coming together in this phrase, "con mucho gusto". It's the same feeling of pleasure that you might have from delicious, fine tasting food or drink; but the feeling comes from serving or giving. Giving or serving with much pleasure.

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." I Cor. 10:31

Operation Red Flag (movie)

I saw this movie the other night and highly recomend it to people who are interested in air force planes and pilots, weapons and tactics. It was an IMAX film.

poop deck or crustacean (bottom dweller)

Do you want to be up on the poop deck or down on the very bottom? The choice is yours. Crustaceans are "bottom dwellers", feeding on waste from other creatures. They actually have to "stir things up" with their appendages, in order to feed.

The poop deck is a place that is elevated for vision. It is the place of observation and navigation. Poop is from a Latin word puppis that simply means elevated. On sailing ships, the helmsman, who steers the ship is on the poop deck.


I have been reading about a WWII battle for the Libyan town of Tobruk. Several times, it changed hands between Allied and Axis forces. But, what caught my attention is the 8 month siege that the Australian defenders resisted against German guns and dive bombing. Over the 8 month period, the Aussies lost 12,000 out of 14,000 men, while the Germans and Italians lost 8,000 out of 9,000.

With the help of Brits and Poles and Czechs, they broke the siege on December 4th, 1941; in an operation that began on November 18th.

The story made me think of the spiritual paralles with:
  • Siege
  • Bravery and courage
  • Perseverance
There are times in our lives when God lets the enemy lay siege to us. God is not only the God who brings you out of something, but also the God who brings you through it. Most of the book of Job, for example, is about a man going through something. Bad things layed siege to Job's life. Will he persevere? Will his faith hold?

The post-script to the story is that the Allies chased the Axis forces so far that they got over extended to the point that the Germans were able to counterattack and retake Tobruk, by the following June.

But the end of the story was that the large scale Allied landings in North Africa gave them the upper hand and Tobruk was re taken for a final time


Did you know that today is day 333 of this year?

I read that there were 333 prophecies in the OT that all came true about Jesus.

Jeremiah 33:3
'Call to me and I will answer you. I'll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.'

in quintessesence

Jesus is the purest possible, most concentrated embodiment of God. Not "he was" or "he will be", but he is and was and will be, always God. One with God and God. Jesus is the divine extract, the very substance of God. Because Of Jesus we can know God better. What is God like? Look at Jesus.

I see a cone shape that starts at infinity, with God The Father and goes down to five six feet, encircling Jesus. God, who is beyond human measure, is concentrated down to one person, the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are a Christian, then you get to partake of and participate in this same essence of God that Jesus carries. Jesus is quintessential God, but we can be godly and Christ-like, through Jesus: in quintessesence.

Neo returning to the source

Remember this little speech from The Matrix Reloaded where your mind probably went into information overload?

Architect: The function of the One is now to return to the Source, allowing a temporary dissemination of the code you carry, reinserting the prime program. After which, you will be required to select from the Matrix 23 individuals - 16 female, 7 male - to rebuild Zion. Failure to comply with this will result in a cataclysmic system crash, killing everyone connected to the Matrix, which, coupled with the extermination of Zion, will ultimately result in the extinction of the entire human race. Neo You won't let it happen. You can't. You need human beings to survive.
This fictional conversation might have been inspired by a school of religious philosophy, born in the third century called Neoplatonism. Neoplatonists believe,
that all people return to the Source. The Source, Absolute or One, is what all things spring from and as a superconsciousness is where all things return. It can be said that all consciousness is wiped clean and returned to a blank slate when returning to the source.
Not what I believe and I flunked Philosophy in college! Just interesting to know where in the heck they might be getting their ideas from.

manifest destiny

Manifest destiny is commonly known as an idea that started in the 1840's by John L. O'Sullivan, advocating the expansion of the United States westward, through any means. That's not what I want to write about.

The word manifest means, "to be caught in the act". What a person truly is may be hidden, but from time to time, they are "caught in the act" of being their true self. I think also that we manifest when we are in movement or moved upon.

The word destiny means "determined". I believe in free will, but also that some things are determined. I lived my life and made day to day choices, but I believe that it was determined or my destiny to meet and marry my wife. Destiny is most easily looked at backwards and helps explain your life before a given event. To look forward to your destiny or to walk into it takes faith. Before I met my wife I felt destined to meet and marry someone like her. I believe I had words I heard from God that gave a glimpse of her. But until I met her and made her my wife, I was only looking forward to that destiny and believing for it.

So when I think of manifest destiny, I think of how do I right now, line up with what my destiny is? I think this is the essence of the prophetic life. As I heard Graham Cooke say, it's like we tie a rope to our prophecy that is out there in the future for us, and seek to bring our selves into becoming like the person that will have that prophecy fulfilled. This isn't some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy, but a wise answer to the question of, "what do I do between now and the time when my word is fulfilled?" A simple example is that if someone received a word that they would be a missionary, they would want to get some training.

So, for me, manifest destiny simply means watch how you are living today based on your future determined by God.

Solid Rock

Delirious in Singapore.

my new coffee machines

The Kitchen Aide Proline grinder is outstanding. It's built like a tank and is very consistent.

The Presto is a very good coffee maker. It heats the water properly and the stays at a low enough temp., so it doesn't cook the coffee.

The Gaggia is great. After a bit of practice, I'm getting good crema and able to follow the golden rule. You could pay more and have an all metal housing, but what's inside is what makes great espresso!


If you've spent any amont of time in the north american institutional church, most of what you've learned about leadership is probably wrong. You might think you are following Jesus example, but you're probably just forcing an extra-biblical, big-business or military grid onto the Bible to make it fit.

I agree with these brief thoughts by Len Hjalmarson on leading:

  • Instead of leading from over, we lead from among.
  • Instead of leading from certainty, we lead by exploration, cooperation and faith.
  • Instead of leading from power, we lead in emptiness depending on Jesus.
  • Instead of leading as managers, we lead as mystics and poets, “speaking poetry in a prose flattened world” and articulating a common future.
  • Instead of leading from the center, we lead from the margins.
My comments:

Jesus was constanly among the people. We need to be with people, beside them, in their lives, and with them. We are not over or ahead of people. We aren't detatched and unreachable. And we don't refer to people as "our people". They are God's people as we are. We don't order people or play master/servant with them.

Real Christian leadership is hard becaue it's counter-cultural. Jesus word on leading was to not to do it like the culture does it.

Incontrovertible and Inconsequential

Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
and don't go back until they've watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
not come back empty-handed.
They'll do the work I sent them to do,
they'll complete the assignment I gave them.

Isaiah 55:11

incontrovertible and inconsequential were the words that I wrote down this week after the election. What God has already set in motion will be. God needs people to pray and they are and have been.

random notes

If the church is like Gilligan's Island, which one are you and what's your role?

I love the Hans Christian Anderson story, "The Emperor's New Clothes". I think we are often witnessing absurdity - life as the theater of the absurd, and we cry out, "you've got no clothes on!", just like the little boy in the story.

what's your story?

Is your story that Jesus saved you from hell or that Jesus saved you so that he could now live through you? What if we started at square one with the story that Jesus wants to save you, so that he can live through you? I think that this gives a much richer canvas to paint your life on.

concentric circles

Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Romans 11:36
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

The idea of concentric circles means that no matter what size or in what direction a circle goes, that it circles a fixed point. For me, any discussion of the church has to be christologically centered. Not ecclesiastically nor sorteriologically. The ecclesiology serves the Christology (not the other way around) and the soteriology comes out of the Christology (salvation is through Christ alone).

My application of this is that whatever we do as the church gathered or the church scattered, it is to be Christ centered. In my mind, I am trying to tie things back to that common denominator. If they do not go back to Christ, they should be modified or discarded. I don't want religion or carnality masquerading as being Christ centered. I do want humanity with all it's flaws and weaknesses linked with Christ. To me, that is the true Christ-ian-ity. Because of Christ, we do not hide in the bushes of shame, over our sin; nor are we shame-less, god-squad, holy-huddle, gnostic, or religion-addicts.

On the macro level, I think this also describes how different denominations or streams or tribes of the body of Christ can be so different, yet right on. They might look and sound and smell different, but what's important is the center of orbit.

getting fed

I saw this article today about "getting fed" at church. In a nut shell, the author said that babies and the elderly or infirm need to be fed, while the majority of us should feed ourselves. I concur.

radical congruency

Radical congruency comes firstly from a term in math that means that two angles are the same (congruent). OK, sameness, even identical. I was thinking Christian unity, but I know that we are never called to all be cookie cutter alike. Ya know, God makes all the snow flakes and human flakes different, He likes diversity!

I found some guys in Seattle that have a blog by this name and they wrote that the idea of the title came from something they read by Dallas Willard about following Jesus to a radical extent , becoming like him in life and death to self. This sounds better, like a truer definition.

After reflecting some more, I think that radical congruency means to have your whole life flowing in harmony and as a Christian, with Christ. On the one hand this sounds like stating the obvious; but on the other, I think that we often compartmentalize our lives. Another way of looking at it is that we do things or want things for example, that don't line up with the core of our selves and there is then dischord in us.

simple church interviews

Flatten that pyramid and let the people go

I think that we all, in the Western church, have this problem of thinking of classes of people in the church and if you are ushered into the holy huddle of the higher level or caste, then you are ok, to be trusted, to be followed, and to be listened to. The church is a priesthood of all believers. The whole professionalism of ministry or hierarchy system is alien to the NT.

We really need to re-think and deconstruct most of our ideas leading to our practices of leadership in the church. Jesus said, "not so with you", when contrasting church leadership to leadership in the world.

I think that there has been an addiction to hierarchy and being hierarchichal. People who have led probably have the hardest time doing it differently and will go through a death process or keep causing pain for others.
I keep being surprised over and agian at seeing emergent or reformational
church people still addicted to the old ways.

more on missional

I was thinking about a term or description called "friendship evangelism" and how different that is from a misssional life.  Not a life-style, but life, a life "on mission", a life like Jesus.  Mike Frost said that you do not want to reach out to people and suddenly give them a pitch.  You've got to just be their real friends.  No hidden agenda.  Let God do the saving.  Yes, be real.  Yes, tell your story.  Be the best friend they've ever had.  What if you say you can't do that, then what does that say about the message you are carrying?  I think some other people fear getting lost in the culture.  I think that you should get so involved that you fear losing yourself.
If you read the Gospels, you see Jesus constantly on the road, with time-outs for rest.
Where did we ever get the idea of building an edifice to hide in or seek God in or conduct religious activities in?  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  The problem I have is in the exclusivism I will call it, of thinking or practicing our "God stuff" in one sector and shutting down the rest of the time. 

Mike Frost

I've been listening (again) to Michael Frost this week. He is a Missiologist from down under. I love this guy and love everything he has to say about the church and mission. His whole messege is summed up in being the church and being on (Jesus') mission.

His new book is Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian World

and previously, The Shaping of Things To Come

One point I'll share: Mission and worship must go together. That's probably hard to fathom. Worship is more than going to a "service" in a building somewhere. We worship and praise God with our lives, among the people, being the net that God uses to draw them to Himself.

We don't go to houses of worship, but we are houses of worship. We don't give up meeting together, but our lives are the meeting place. Nothing is wrong with meeting in a building- a YMCA, a cathedral, or a house. I think that when you talk or write about anything new that people assume you are deep-sixing the old, and that's not true with me.


Shenandoah is my word for this week. Native Amercans created the name and one meaning is,
"river flowing alongside high hills and mountains".


This first one is a worship gathering in Nepal.

This is an "alternative" worship gathering at Princeton.

Jewish New Year note

eschew evil
snub evil
turn away from evil
1 Peter 3:11

Yom Kippur

(literally, "Day of Atonement") is the holiest day of the year, a day of fasting and prayers of repentance. In ancient times, it was also a day of purification of the Temple. A solemn day, it is nonetheless marked by joy in the certainty of forgiveness.

My "word" for last week was eschew, which is an old English, King James word that means turn away.
God described Job as a man who eschewed evil. Ten days of repentance lead up to Yom Kippur. It's a time to turn away from things that God is dealing with you on. Evil ways are always there to infect us and we have to choose to turn.

praying together

When we pray in a group together, we describe it as "popcorn". Each person prays something brief and everyone gets a chance. Another word for this is conversational. Each person builds from what the others have prayed. No one covers all the bases. God uses everyone.

parties, stories, gifts, friends

I listened to the latest podcast by these two guys, Nick and Josh, last night who interviewed Andrew Jones, who is a veteran or elder in the housechurching and emergent-type movement.
They asked him what he's up to in his life these days and he answered, that he is:
  • throwing parties
  • telling stories
  • giving gifts
  • making friends
I though that was so cool. This is the life-style I want as a seek to live out my life.

Seasons of church

I really liked these notes from Frank Viola's workshop at the house church conference in Denver, taken by Roger at the house church blog on the four seasons you can expect to go through:

  1. Honeymoon-- everything is wonderful and beautiful.
  2. Crisis--conflicts, disagreements, or problems with difficult people. This can cause the church to self-destruct unless they are able to move on to the next season.
  3. The cross--people in the group are able and willing to take their life and issues to the cross and die to self in the area that is being challenged.
  4. Tested Body life--real community is experienced (at least for a while).
Two other notes: If you don't make it through these phases, then your church will disband; and if you make it through #4, then you'll recycle through them again. Lastly, Viola said that house churches generally last between 6 months and 2 years.

My comment or "take" is that we usually have a hard time ending an ecclesia or personally leaving an Ecclesia. Usually, the problem is more that these go on too long and become stagnant or ingrown or "rocking-chaired", meaning that it's a group of saints that are happy to just sit and rock, smiling and loving, but kind of boring. I must give credit to this rocking chair word-picture to Steve Sjogren.

Let all things be done, decently and in order

I Corinthians 14:40 has been quoted both as a proof text for out of control, seemingly chaotic meetings; as well as to say that you've got to keep a meeting under control. The Message translates it, " be courteous and considerate in everything".

In open meetings that aren't "pulpited" and programmed, oftentimes excited people want to share or minister vocally, but they lose consciousness of the group around them and go on too long. I found these words on a sign from a church in New York that experience revival the the Great Awakening of 1857.

Prayers & Exhortations
Not to exceed 5 minutes,
in order to give all an opportunity




Some thoughts after reading some more of Wolfgang Simpson last night:

Here are two different types of meetings that both occur at the same church: A wedding and what I'll call a fellowship dinner. The wedding is highly structured with timings, blocking of people's placements, many scripted sections, and a cast of people in the spotlight, with a crew behind them making it all happen for the audience.

The fellowship dinner is very loosely structured with only perhaps a starting and ending time and maybe a prayer before everyone eats. Everything else that happens is spontaneous and unscripted or staged and a huge variety of things can happen.

Most church services or meetings, whether they occur in a big building or a small living room are more like a wedding. Performers, scripted, support crew, while the majority in the room are a static audience. All the structure that is necessary for a wedding service actually impedes functioning and growth for a regular church meeting.

Imagine two pictures: A surfer riding a wave and a man's head alone coming up out of the sand with a hand waving two feet from the head. The surfer is what the church is supposed to be. The whole body working together.

A children's ministry attitude I love

“We love children at Solomon’s Porch and very much desire for them to be a part of our community. Our intention on Sunday nights is to create an atmosphere that is conducive for children. Our children are part of the Worship Gathering all the way through.”

“..we find that crying babies remind us that it is good to take time to listen to one another cry – even during the ‘important’ times of life.”

church so excellent that it's not real

Mike Sares quoted at Out of Ur:
"Every generation is quick to point out the hypocrisy of the one that preceded it. The generation born just after WWII began rejecting the values of their parents during the '60s. Now it's their kids’ turn.

Today’s young adults see a generation of baby-boomer Christians that has striven for "excellence" in every part of church life. Boomers proclaimed in the 1980s that image is everything, and their churches have reflected that cultural trend. The nurseries have got to be sparkling clean, the church buildings are marvelously functional as opposed to artistic, the music is as close to FM radio quality as possible (even if they must hire a band), the Sunday services are seamless with perfect transitions (just like television), the preaching is entertaining and informative (but not so deep as to offend visitors), and the plants on stage are beautiful (but artificial).

As a result, according to Dieter Zander, the next generation has concluded that "everything is image," and therefore nothing can be trusted. Church is too slick, too good, too polished to be real. And the twenty-something hunger for raw authenticity just doesn’t fit in.

in the beginning

My first memory of church is of the whole congregation singing The Lord's Prayer. From my perspective, as a child, it was powerful. At the time, I thought that it was proper to end prayers with, "all men". I also thought that adults got to have "super salad" with their meals. Our family often went to a coffee shop called "the wooden shoe" after church. I called it the broken shoe. After all these years, Wooden Shoe is still in business, but I could not find a picture to share.


There are times when you feel bad and you are supposed to feel bad and it is good to feel bad. During those times, the wrong thing to do is to act like you feel good. Inevitably, the bad feelings and thoughts will leak out and continually spoil your show and give you away and you are perpetually stuck in the muck of bad feelings that never go away.

Sorrow and grief are feelings that are human, as God created us. Grief is good and heals. God's grace is greater than any sin.

Love, loving as God loves is a serious thing. It involves sacrifice and real forgiveness

Jesus had harsh words for people who act one way or say one thing, but in reality are something else. He called them hypocrites, which is to say, someone who wears a mask and are just play acting a part, but are really something else.

So, the word is get real.

Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over.
Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.
James 4:9 TNIV, The Message, NLT


Have you been shorn lately? Sheep need to be sheared once or twice a year. They are shorn in groups. Being fleeced is good for a sheep. All that wool is heavy.

on guard

Watch is the word.

entre vous

Entre vous is French for "between you" or "among you". It means that something is between two or more people. Not on you and on you too, but in your midst. It means sharing, like sharing the Lord's cup in communion (Luke 22.17).

What strikes me is how highly individualistic that we are in our culture. When it says "you", we usually think it means "me" or "I", but it often means "you all"... plural. Stuff does happen to us individually, but it also happens to us communally.

What is between us or what's happening among us? Another way to see it is that when something happens to one person, it affects the rest of us. There's a common sharing, a community.

I'm also thinking about the between space between us and God. What's between us and God?

This week

I've got so many things I'm reading and listening to and thinking about, that I have not been able pick one to write about this week. As each week goes by, I think that I have found all the new information or many sorts, but then perhaps after a pause, I find or discover lots more. The funny thing is that much of this information or writings were out there before, but I didn't find them. A season of acceleration was decreed or predicted or prophesied upon us and our Third Day friends back in January, I believe, and I'm really in it now. It's funny that I found someone else who's going through the same thing, of whom Graham came and spoke at his church back in February. Back in Feb., he wrote about a desire for deconstruction. It's very exciting to find out that many others are on this wavelength.

I finally got to a meeting Monday night, with people who want to do something about problems that Long Beach faces. I met some real Christ followers!

Looking forward to it

Do you often trip when you walk because you are always looking backwards? Have you lost good friends because you daydream of the past when they are talking to you?

Have you noticed that you can not look two ways at once, nor listen to two things at once, nor think of two things at once? You know what happens when you try to? You get driven nuts and don't look too good when you've rammed into something (figuratively speaking). You can tell the officer or the insurance person how important it was that you needed to look out the back window, while driving forward, but the piper will still have to be paid.


"with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

Metronome is from the Greek words metron (measure) and nomos (rule or division: law).

I was pondering about giving and generosity and then the word metronome came to me and through it, I was led to the measure for measure sayings of Jesus, in Mark and Luke. The word law or rule is not explicitly in these sayings, but I think it is said implicitly. You measure out and it's measured back. That's what it says and I believe it.

Tick, tock, tick, tock.......

whatever or whatever?

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Just let a smile be your umbrella, On a rainy, rainy day . . .

I believe that the idea of having a positive attitude is an idea that God thought up and it's good advice. Did you know that if you grin, it acually changes the way you feel inside? Did you know that laughter is healing? Ever heard that old song about accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative? Could it be that God inspired that song? God is very positive, very optimistic, and very cheer-ful.

All of the lyrics to "Let a smile be your umbrella", here.

simply training

Think about training. Athletes train. Pilots train. Soldiers train. Kids have training wheels on their bikes. Training is a word that translates into our culture for discipleship. Training in disciplines of life, training in a way of life; the way of life that Jesus taught.

In the great commission passage in Matthew, Jesus says to go out and make disciples-----> Train people in what you know, that was passed down from Jesus. That's what he tells his followers to do. Jesus didn't say to go plant churches. Churches are the result of groups or gatherings of people in training.


I went to my local Christian bookstore last night and decided to buy a new Bible. I discovered that a revised version of the NIV is out now, called Today's New International Version. Today, I found out that some of the texts that have been revised are controversial. The TNIV translates words previously translated in a male way (sons for instance), instead into gender neutral language. It also goes away from the antisemitic tone in the gospel of John changing "the jews" to "the jewish leaders"(John 18:36), which is a better translation in my opinion. Other choices they made that I like are to me distinctly post-modern, like to go back to a more literal "the heavens", rather than "the sky" (Isaiah 50:3).

Piper, Dobson, Sproul, Robertson, Falwell, Tada, and Grudem don't like it, as well as the Presbyterian Church in America and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Waltke, Hybels, Wiersbe, Ortberg, Bock, D.A. Carson, Blomberg, Fee, Stott, and Strobel like it.

A good article is here.

apostolic migration

This chart by Wolfgang Simpson is about the journey from the old to the new. You can't go from peak to peak. You must go down to go up.

-2 You're happy in the old.
-1 You want to leave.
0 You leave to search.
+1 You've found the new.
+2 You're reproducing.

Point 0 is a place of dying to the old. After getting to point +1, it is totally nornal to cycle back to point 0, according to Simpson.... and that's where we're at. I was listening to a micro church planter from Australia, Tony Collis, and he is having the same experience that we've been having: after feeling great in the new thing for about a year, then feeling a disorientation of "I don't know what I'm doing", and then going through a cycling back of dying to the old ways. This is totally normal, according to Wolfgang! You can hear him discuss this process here.

Go here to read a more complete set of notes on Simpson's migration thesis.

authentic teaching

Did you know that when the NT mentions teaching and preaching that the way it was done is very different than what most of us in the west have experienced in our churches? The original way (that the NT has in mind) is dialectical.

authentic worship

I think that we need to go back to what worship is in the NT and start from there.
How much of what we expect from worship is me centered consumeristic and tradition?


Joshua 2:1-3
Go, look over the land.

Reconnoiter means to (on line dictionaries say):

  • scout: explore, often with the goal of finding something or somebody.
  • To make a preliminary inspection of, especially in order to gather military information.
  • To examine or survey (land, enemy troops, etc), especially with a view to military operations etc. Often shortened to recce.
  • Thesaurus: investigate, examine, scrutinize, explore, probe, survey, inspect, patrol, scout.

Sky Links, 9-27-17