Monday, April 18, 2011

REALLY love them, for keeps.

Many traditional approaches to evangelism attempt to talk others into the Kingdom (apologetics). Perhaps a better approach might be to (take them by the hand and) walk them into the Kingdom.

Friday, April 01, 2011

wow. (which no longer contains capitol letters)

it didn't take long before I travelled the familiar road to NextWave ezine and then on to TallSkinnyKiwi.

...good times.

hello blogosphere.

just stopping by to read some old posts.

Have a day. 8-|

Monday, August 31, 2009

Everyone wants a hero.

Today my hero is Lindsey Pond. Lindsey is one of those on my prayer list. I went to her blog today to read and catch up on her situation. All I could find was inspiration. Her words blessed me.

"Life is so NOT about the cake" - Lindsey Pond
Best wishes to Lindsay and Brian on their journey.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Celebrity Communicators

While recognizing that the vast majority of those engaged in "video venues" have, at their core, a passion for seeing people come to know, love, and follow Jesus, Bob Hyatt cautions in the cover story of this month's Next-Wave Ezine that "video venue franchises - prepackaged church-in-a-box" will lead to fewer and fewer men and women who ever learn to preach or ever get the experience of learning to work with others to discern what God is saying to their local body.

The Apostle Paul once referred to preaching as "foolishness" (and I've done my share of that), but he went on to say it was a tool that God has used to save those who believe (1 Cor 1:21 KJV).

While I can appreciate the quality of the worship experience and depth of training that these churches are able to provide, I insist that it should never become a substitute for the necessity of those who follow Jesus to continue the relational work of living out the gospel before those who are outside the Kingdom.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Focus on Bible Study

The focus of our Biblical study needs to be on discovering:


We dare not ponder that question without the aid of the Holy Spirit. Genuine revelation only comes through Him. Anything less than revelation is folly. God's treasures are not for collectors, but for stewards.

Christ follower

Each new year I fall victim to self-evaluation. I don't think that it's part of my spiritual DNA, but more probably a cultural expectation. In my past, I've been guilty of using this ploy to motivate others towards a re-dedication experience, a kind of "spiritual new years resolution" of sorts which seemed genuine and appropriate at the time. Only God knows.

Maybe it's because I chose to follow Christ during the Christmas break of my sophomore year in high school (January 2, 1972) that I perform this annual ritual. Tonight I ponder the difference of my early years of faith with my current journey. The early years were filled with confidence and certainty of the Baptist expression of the Christian faith which was the context of my conversion. My current path is more investigative and less trusting of the traditions of my youth.

On the way, I am ever evaluating my list of essentials (doctrines and practices). Many fellow travellers consider my path too treacherous or a fool's journey of accommodation and compromise. I'm less concerned about their opinion and more interested in an open, honest pursuit of God and His purpose in me.

So today I pause to note these tentative statements of my faith:

1. Like the early believers in Jerusalem, I aim to:

  • continue steadfastly in the apostle's doctrine
  • fellowship
  • breaking bread together
  • prayer
2. Like modern skeptics, I will allow genuine scholarship to challenge traditional perspectives.
    3. Like post-modern individuals, I will endeavour value mystery over certainty.
      Finally, I offer this trail map of my current surroundings:
      • supremacy of Biblical authority for matters of faith and practice - Yes, but void where possible of cultural interpretations and adaptations.
      • traditional church attendance as evidence of discipleship - No.
      • Association with non-believers (pre-believers) as indication of lifestyle compromises - No.
      • Commitment to application - Yes! (over inspiration, edification, illumination, mere information, etc.)

      Wednesday, November 26, 2008

      give thanks

      As I prepare for the American tradition of Thanksgiving with my family, I'm mindful of those in the US and elsewhere that are not able to share this kind of celebration because of their poverty. Whether it's someone who is struggling financially in these difficult economic times or someone who has been homeless for sometime or even someone in a developing society who lives their whole life in hunger and poverty, may each of us take the opportunity to be kind to someone in need as part of our celebration.

      Monday, November 24, 2008

      What's all this Business about...

      ...the dominating metaphor that’s typically constructed for the church today is the business corporation. The pastor is the CEO. The clergy and/or staff is upper management. Evangelism is sales and marketing. The congregation is the clientele. And there is competition with other corporations (“churches”) in the same town.

      But the corporation metaphor has a major problem. Not only is it glaringly absent from the New Testament, it does violence to the spirit of Christianity.

      ...In short, the church that’s introduced to us in Scripture is a loving household, not a business. It’s a living organism, not a static organization. It’s the corporate expression of Jesus Christ, not a religious corporation. It’s the community of the King, not a well-oiled hierarchical machine.
      As such, when the church is functioning according to its nature, it offers:
      • interdependence instead of independence
      • wholeness instead of fragmentation
      • participation instead of spectatorship
      • connectedness instead of isolation
      • solidarity instead of individualism
      • spontaneity instead of institutionalization
      • relationship instead of programs
      • servitude instead of dominance
      • enrichment instead of insecurity
      • freedom instead of bondage
      • community instead of corporation
      • bonding instead of detachment.

      - Frank Viola

      Don't cheat yourself, read the rest of the article in Next-Wave...

      Frank Viola is an author, conference speaker, and church planter. Visit for more information.

      Sunday, November 16, 2008

      FB - Blogger - FB - Blogger

      Facebook is seriously cutting into my already diminished blogging time. I must say that I've throughly enjoyed re-connecting with friends, new and old and really old (well, from a long time ago).

      Pray for:

      Perry (Minnesota)
      Craig (Rhode Island)
      Matthew (S. Indiana)
      Stephen (London)
      Randy (Hillcrest High School)

      Wednesday, November 05, 2008

      apocalypse soon?

      Now that we have an "antichrist" in power, refresh my memory... is the mark of the beast my IP address? wait... my social security or my driver's license or my random sequence number (draft lottery) or was it my student id in Junior High? Did I miss it?

      Tuesday, November 04, 2008

      our only hope

      I sincerely hope we pray as fervently for our new president as we campaigned for our candidate of choice over these last several months. Perhaps we will listen to the voices of our future generations and think creatively with them about that future.

      In all your ways acknowledge Me and I will direct your path.

      - God

      Sunday, October 26, 2008

      Interesting stats

      40% of age 16-29 are outside the Christian faith.

      Thursday, October 23, 2008

      thing 1 and thing 2

      actually there are 5 things...


    • A Commitment To Reality
    • A Commitment To An Honest Theology
    • A Commitment To Love
    • A Commitment To The Footsteps Of Jesus
    • A Commitment To Change
    • - Jonathan Brink

      good stuff.

      Sunday, October 19, 2008

      What's that...Batman you say?

      Thanks Bobbie Jo. Find more of her beautiful art at

      Friday, October 17, 2008

      ... Is that all you got?

      excerpt from an article on Human Trafficking in the e-newsletter A Glimpse of Glory

      "What has the BGCT done in response to this issue?
      The BGCT has responded in several ways, from forming a resolution condemning human trafficking to holding conferences to raise awareness on the subject"

      *now to be fair there are additional resources.

      Thursday, October 16, 2008

      Our Only Hope

      Somewhere between 6pm and 8pm, Central Time, on November 4th, 2008, the eschatology of American evangelicals will become clear.

      If John McCain wins and the evangelical becomes delirious or confident that the Golden Days are about to arrive...

      Or, alternatively, if Barack Obama wins and the evangelical becomes delirious or confident that the Golden Days are about to arrive...

      ...if a more Democrat oriented evangelical becomes depressed and hopeless because McCain wins, or if a Republican oriented evangelical becomes depressed or hopeless because Obama wins, those evangelicals are caught in an empire-shaped eschatology of politics.

      Where is our hope? ...where does my hope turn when I think of war or poverty or education or racism? Does it focus on November 4? Does it gain its energy from thinking that if we get the right candidate elected our problems will be dissolved? ...participation in the federal election dare not be seen as the lever that turns the eschatological designs God has for this world.

      Where is our hope?

      Our hope is in God...the church’s mission is not in fact the “church’s” mission but God’s mission...

      Our hope is in the gospel of God...the gospel as God’s good news for our world...

      Our hope is in the gospel of God that creates God’s people...God’s gospel-shaped work always and forever creates a gospel people...We are tempted to divide the USA into the good and the bad and to forget that the gospel has folks on both sides of political lines. Even more: we are tempted to think that the winners of the election are those who are blessed by God when the blessing of God is on God’s people...

      Our hope is in the gospel of God that creates a kind of people that extends God’s gospel to the world...

      Our hope is in God’s mission in this world, and that mission transcends what happens November 4th.

      - Scot McKnight

      Scot McKnight is the Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies at North Park University, author, and blogger.

      Catch the full article on the October 2008 issue of NEXT-WAVE or read the original article from the September 26, 2008 issue of ChristianityToday.

      Service and Worship

      What if He did away with the praise and worship band and all the external stimulants?  Would you still find ways to worship?  What if there were no more children's programs or church ministries to kids?  Would you still find ways to lead your children (or any children) to be disciples of Jesus?  If God eliminated all the missions programs and "outreach" initiatives, would you still find ways for the Gospel to be advanced through your life?  If there was no more church to receive your tithe, would you still be a fountain of giving and generosity?

      What if God really is finished with our systems of service and worship? ...Are we ready to leave it behind and find other ways to serve His purpose of intimacy and relationship?

      - Scott Bane

      If this quote offends you, you probably won't read the article.

      Monday, October 13, 2008

      Great Emergence

      oozing out of politics and back into the church

      ...With a change of political climate, and the diminished platform and voice of religious fundamentalists has within the political arena, we may see an influx of people coming back from the political dialogue into the ecclesiological one. Perhaps with the same passion they lobbied the political system, those in the religious fundamentalist movement might come into the Church with a renewed sense of recapturing the "nostalgic" vision of what the "Church" is ...

      -Spencer Burke

      ...ooze on over for the full article.


      Jesus was a failed leader though it’s critical to point out that Jesus did not aspire to leadership.

      -Ruth Tucker the rest of the post

      Thursday, October 09, 2008


      …it's just the name of the book.  It's not a "How to" guide.
      I wish I could record the looks I'm getting from church goers as I tote this book around with me.  Maybe I should print business cards with an explanation to hand out.

      Monday, October 06, 2008

      Best solution for now...

      Well it looks like email is going to win. There might be occasions when I need mms.


      Get rid of crap

      Mobile blogging

      Well. The email option could be used to save the effort and time of logging in, but there's that nasty privacy notice (document!) that just looks tacky. I'd spend more time editing the post to remove it than I think it will be worth.

      The text message looks cleaner, but I can't figure out how to add a title. Not that it's critical.

      ...stay tuned, both of you.

      Now I need to figure out how to add a title...

      Now i'm trying the text message instead....

      Message from Bob

      Just testing the email functionality. Maybe it will help with frequency.

      This e-mail (including any attachments) is confidential and may be legally privileged. If you are not an intended recipient or an authorized representative of an intended recipient, you are prohibited from using, copying or distributing the information in this e-mail or its attachments. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify the sender immediately by return e-mail and delete all copies of this message and any attachments.
      Thank you.

      Friday, October 03, 2008

      postcard from the land of lost socks

      Yup.       I've been living C.O.D. for quite a while. For me that means "Conflicting Objectives Disorder." Though time spent at work has slowed down, it's because too many plates are spinning. I really need some serious single-tasking time. My fear is that at the end of the day, something major is going to be left undone.

      In addition to work stress, I'm back sharing the teaching responsibilities for an adult Bible Study class and I picked up some child-supervision-in-church opportunities with Sam (my just barely five year old grandson). Plus I have a friend who wants me to start a house church and I've thought about starting an off-campus Bible Study group during the week.

      I find the house/cell church idea interesting, but the other individuals involved seem to have different needs or they seem to be at different places in the journey.

      For me... I just want to hang out and have some conversations with those who are not "Institutionalized". Make some new friends and see where God takes those relationships. I feel like that's my calling. It just seems clear and natural to me.

      Saturday, July 12, 2008

      it’s not rocket science

      I had this brief discussion with Bob Hyatt...

      OK. I read this on his blog. But it fills in the other half of a conversation that I've been having with myself on and off over the last couple of years and mostly on the last couple of months.

      Start small. Raise some support, trust God for the rest and get a job at Starbucks if need be. Let your community be what it will be. Refuse to do for the people who come the ministry that they should do for themselves. Concentrate on laying a foundation of community and common core values and let your church grow organically without superimposing a grand “vision” on it.

      When we were still in the dream phase of this thing people would ask me- “What will it look like?” I grew to love answering “I have no earthly idea.” All I could say was that if a bunch of cloggers and bluegrass musicians showed up, well… we’d be the clogging church. If a bunch of skate punks showed up, we’d be the skate church. I wasn’t out to niche target-market our community, and so felt great freedom to just sit back and watch what happened. I still feel that freedom…

      Like I said, it’s not rocket science.

      - Bob Hyatt

      Tuesday, June 10, 2008

      Hayden Head

      Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

      - unknown

      Hayden is a caring 4 year old without an enemy. Anyone who has met Hayden falls in love with his sweet demeanor, his laugh, and his hugs. He just wrapped up his first season of honk ball and this is what he is getting to do in his off-season. He came into Cook Children's on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 to have a CT Scan on his stomach and was diagnosed with neuroblastoma.

      Click on his name in the heading to visit his carepage. Please feel free to login and share scripture, prayers, and well wishes.

      Thursday, May 29, 2008


      ...we all come in to church looking for a personal something. "I want to feel something" or "I want this" or "I want that" rather than "This is about God, and nothing else matters.

      - Andy


      At 52 my world is a very different place than I had imagined it would be. I've learned a few things about myself. I'm not particularily creative or innovative. I'm not the most talented (at least I'm the best looking). I am analytical (to a fault).

      I've learned a few things about parenting. There are no simple guidelines. Just because it worked once doesn't mean it will work again.

      I've also learned:

      You don't have to drive a sports car like it's a race car.
      If it's not funny to everyone, then it's not funny.
      "Enough" is usually more than enough.
      To err is human. So is to cover it up.
      Whenever possible, avoid being institutionalized.
      Life is too short to put up with some and too long to put up with others.
      There is joy to be found in having nothing to do as a hobby.
      Eighteen years is not a long time.

      Beware the Emerging Church

      I am proud to pastor a church that invites questions, and embraces the deep complexity of truth found in a life of following Jesus.

      - Don Heatley

      If you're not subscribed to the Emergent/C newsletter, you're missing out.

      Sunday, May 25, 2008

      will you dig it?

      When a missionary moves in, and the town needs a well, we expect the missionary to dig a well. We are sitting in a mission field but thinking like club members… It may be that we've reached everyone that wants to be just like us. Innovation must push us to move out of mono-culturalism, back to high-intensity people development.

      - Reggie McNeal

      Saturday, May 24, 2008



      there is a chance that you may be disillusioned spiritually

      - unknown

      here's a pastor that get's it...

      This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

      Wednesday, May 21, 2008

      where do we go from here?

      ...we need to create emotionally, intellectually and relationally honest environments where seekers can see us up close, tell their stories and ask their sometimes tough questions.

      - Todd Hunter

      Thursday, May 15, 2008

      let's pray

      ...leaders and churches that are weak in prayer are weak in power.

      It is prayer that releases God's power. It is only by this power that anything of eternal value happens.

      ...perhaps you pray daily, but you sense it's more routine and duty and you need more freshness and fire in your prayer. Or perhaps your faith needs to be increased.

      ...don't let this become a road to guilt. That's what the enemy wants. Think grace. But get in the game and pray.

      - Dan Reiland

      "used by permission from Dr. Dan Reiland's free monthly e-newsletter, "The Pastor's Coach," available at"


      Wednesday, October 17, 2007

      Christ Follower

      Sorry for the delay. Trying to find some time to reinvest. Meanwhile...

      Monday, August 13, 2007

      Christian vs. Christ Follower

      This is the first of many. You can find it at YouTube and chase the links back to the originator. There are other excellent vids as well. It's worth the journey. This guy reminds me of Drew Sheffler.

      Thursday, May 17, 2007

      into the DEEP

      ...rather than focus on people’s weaknesses, there is the move to explore and develop people’s strengths... your focus stops being ‘what is wrong?’, and becomes ‘what is right?’ ...with that in mind, I often wonder if we have made the mistake in our assessments of church, in becoming almost pathological... [in this]‘sickness’ diagnosis, we measure who we are by what we don’t do, and what we are not.

      ...the Deep Church focus becomes, not about what is wrong and invalid or that which is authorised by existing or new groups, but about the challenge of the shared context we find ourselves in. There is within Deep Church, a desire to recover a confidence in the gospel and scripture, along with the accessing of the spiritual resources of the historical church in non superficial ways, so that we might align ourselves with the work of the Holy Spirit in forming communities, that are living faithfully in discipleship to Jesus, in our contemporary context.

      We are not wanting to re-package the past, or be fashion victims of the emerging culture, but rather aspire to an understanding of church embedded in the past, whilst fully engaged in the present. So that within that we might discover and build on what is ‘well’ with the Church Catholic. (not the same as the Catholic Church)

      - Jason Clark

      Hey C.S.Lewis fans... Wonderful article on Lewis and his passion for Church Unity here. Lot's of rich fodder today from the Emergent/C newsletter. More later.

      Wednesday, May 09, 2007


      Any pastor or teacher who still calls himself/herself a “preacher” is either in love with the terminology of the past or simply doesn’t understand the fullness of the comprehensive call to connect with the culture around us that God so loves.

      -Steve Sjogren

      Saturday, April 28, 2007

      Episode 709

      Comedy Central's South Park. I'm not a fan, but I know many of you are. (It happened to come on after the Warriors' basketball game while I was moping about how pitiful the Mavericks were.)

      This episode (Christian Hard Rock) was spoofing Christian culture and its music. I'd like to have a copy to show followers how other's often see us and our attitudes, practice, and values. If you took the lyrics out of this context, they might be embraced in many churches.

      ...thanks to Wikipedia for the synopsis.