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.

Sky Links, 9-27-17