Monday, May 3, 2010

Looking for Los...Join Me at Tumblr

I have moved this blog over to Tumblr...would love it if you headed over there to follow all the happenings of this Christian/Husband/Father/Church Planter....

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tim Keller's Mini Guide to Proverbs

In an effort to meditate and think upon Scripture in a deeper, more meaningful way, I am going to be blogging through the book of Proverbs over the next few weeks. I thought this breakdown of chapter 3 by Tim Keller and his description of it being a bit of a road map for the rest of the book would be a good way to start this:

Here is how he opens:
In my regular, daily Bible reading over the past year I read through Proverbs 3, a passage I've studied and preached through many times. But during this reading, I realized that in verses 3 through 12 we have all the themes of the rest of the book, and therefore a kind of mini-guide to faithful living. There are five things that comprise a wise, godly life. They function both as means to becoming wise and godly as well as signs that you are growing into such a life:

The 5 points he sees are:

1. Put your heart's deepest trust in God and his grace. Every day remind yourself of his unconditioned, covenantal love for you. Do not instead put your hopes in idols or in your own performance.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart (Prov 3:3-5a)

2. Submit your whole mind to the Scripture. Don't think you know better than God's word. Bring it to bear on every area of life. Become a person under authority.

Lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Prov 3:5b-6)

3. Be humble and teachable toward others. Be forgiving and understanding when you want to be critical of them; be ready to learn from others when they come to be critical of you.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. (Prov 3:7-8)

4. Be generous with all your possessions, and passionate about justice. Share your time, talent, and treasure with those who have less.

Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. (Prov 3:9-10)

5. Accept and learn from difficulties and suffering. Through the gospel, recognize them as not punishment, but a way of refining you.

My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. (Prov 3:11-12)

For the rest of this article click here.

For more from Pastor Keller's new blog/church planting resource site, Redeemer City to City, click here.

A Good Word for Spouses with Children

Such an important and maybe even controversial word for those of us with children, from C. J. Mahaney:

"How common is it today for people to say things like, "My kids are the most important thing in the world to me." Well guys, for you and me, as Christian husbands, that's just an unacceptable attitude because it's so clearly unbiblical. A husband's love for his wife, as Puritan preacher John Wing put it, "must be the most dear, intimate, precious and entire that heart can have toward a creature; none but the love of above it, none but the love of ourselves is fellow to it, all the love of others is inferior to it." In short, the love of husband and wife for one another should plainly exceed, in intensity and scope, all other human loves." (C.J. Mahaney, Sex, Romance and the Glory of God, pg. 90-91)

Click here to purchase this great book for husbands

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Future is Now!

And you thought the iPad was sweet, check this out...Hellllo Jetsons...

Props: Mike Anderson Blog

7 Miles

Sermon jam from Matt Chandler that touches on what Ryan Kelly spoke on this past Easter Sunday regarding the reality of the resurrection.


Props: Z

Monday, April 5, 2010

John Piper Responds to Why He Asked Rick Warren.. speak at this year's Desiring God conference. I am so encouraged by Dr. Piper's response and willingness to cross lines and upset/challenge fundamentalists. There is a lot we can learn from John Piper including theology, lifestyle and how to hold things with a closed hand and open hand.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Christmas Means Nothing Without Easter

"...if the death of Christ on the cross is the true meaning of the Incarnation, then there is no gospel without the cross. Christmas by itself is no gospel. The life of Christ is no gospel. Even the resurrection, important as it is in the total scheme of things, is no gospel by itself. For the good news is not just that God became man, nor that God has spoken to reveal a proper way of life for us, or even that death, the great enemy, is conquered. Rather, the good news is that sin has been dealt with (of which the resurrection is a proof); that Jesus has suffered its penalty for us as our representative, so that we might never have to suffer it; and that therefore all who believe in him can look forward to heaven. ...Emulation of Christ's life and teaching is possible only to those who enter into a new relationship with God through faith in Jesus as their substitute. The resurrection is not merely a victory over death (though it is that) but a proof that the atonement was a satisfactory atonement in the sight of the Father (Rom 4:25); and that death, the result of sin, is abolished on that basis.

Any gospel that talks merely of the Christ-event, meaning the Incarnation without the atonement, is a false gospel. Any gospel that talks about the love of God without pointing out that his love led him to pay the ultimate price for sin in the person of his Son on the cross is a false gospel. The only true gospel is of the 'one mediator' (1 Tim. 2:5-6), who gave himself for us."

-James Montgomery Boice

Ponder and Mediatate on Him Who Hung on a Cross

"Take this to heart and doubt not that you are the one who killed Christ. Your sins certainly did, and when you see the nails driven through his hands, be sure that you are pounding, and when the thorns pierce his brow, know that they are your evil thoughts. Consider that if one thorn pierced Christ you deserve one hundred thousand.

The whole value of the meditation of the suffering of Christ lies in this, that man should come to the knowledge of himself and sink and tremble. If you are so hardened that you do not tremble, then you have reason to tremble. Pray to God that he may soften your heart and make fruitful your meditation upon the suffering of Christ, for we of ourselves are incapable of proper reflection unless God instills it.

But if one does meditate rightly on the suffering of Christ for a day, an hour, or even a quarter of an hour, this we may confidently say is better than a whole year of fasting, days of psalm singing, yes, than even one hundred masses, because this reflection changes the whole man and makes him new, as once he was in baptism."

-Martin Luther

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Church Planting Update

About a month ago Ryan Kelly, Desert Springs' teaching pastor, mentioned that I will be planting a church in a couple of years. Since then many have asked questions, such as, exactly when, where and what the church would look like. Not much has been said, by DSC or myself, but much has been simmering. More on that to come in the future, but this picture should give a hint as to what Jesus seems to be guiding us to...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Brooks on Obama and the Left and Right

I am not super political, I am not a passionate Republican or Democrat, and I find the constant arguing and debating a bit sad and embarrassing.

There are things I really disagree with the President on, and things he has done I am really supportive of, and that was the same with our previous President too.

I know being a Christian, a Christian minister on top of that, people assume I would be a strong right wing conservative, well you know what happens when you assume...

David Brooks, op-ed writer for the NY Times hits this on the head.

In a sensible country, people would see Obama as a president trying to define a modern brand of moderate progressivism. In a sensible country, Obama would be able to clearly define this project without fear of offending the people he needs to get legislation passed. But we don’t live in that country. We live in a country in which many people live in information cocoons in which they only talk to members of their own party and read blogs of their own sect. They come away with perceptions fundamentally at odds with reality, fundamentally misunderstanding the man in the Oval Office.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Move Over Rob Bell

Francis Chan has some "Nooma" type videos called Basic, coming out this summer...they look pretty sweet!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Great Post Game Interviews with Lobo Players

If you are not from NM, or understand Lobo Basketball, you may not realize how big of a win the game at BYU was. Growing up in NM, going to Lobo games since I was 9 years old, I can tell you, it was one of the biggest wins in NM history. To give you a little hint of the enormity of what is going on in Loboland, the day after the win over 1000 fans (some estimate 2000) showed up at the airport to welcome back the team.

Yeah, this is a special time to be a Lobo fan!

Here are some great post game interviews from guys on the team:

Props: KRQE 13

March Madness Is Here

This pic says it all...

Pic from: ABQ Journal

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thank You Mom

This video that Josh Harris posted made me aware of how thankful I am for mothers.

My own mom, who is currently battling cancer, who is a rock of faith and love. She is one of the main people who shaped and pushed me, who showed me what true love and compassion is.

My mother-in-law who raised up 3 great kids, one being my wife.

My wife, Lauren, who is an amazing mother, she is patient and gentle with our kids.

This video reminds me how important it is to say "Thank You" to mothers around us.

Update #7 From Matt Chandler

Mark Driscoll Really Dislikes Avatar

Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle and Albuquerque, thinks Avatar is not amazing, mind-blowing and enlightening, instead he thinks it is demonic, dark and evil.

I have not yet seen the movie, but other than Mark's view, all I have heard was how amazing the movie is and looks.

Is Mark onto something, and if so, are we watching movies with Biblical discernment, or are we just as distracted by pretty lights and sounds like the rest of the world?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It Is Fun To Be A Lobo

I have had the privilege of being the chaplain for the UNM Men's Basketball team for the past 3 seasons. This season has been a very special one for the team. They are currently 26-3 and heading for a huge showdown on Saturday in Provo, UT, against BYU. They are currently ranked #10 in the A.P. and the nation is taking notice.

USA Today featured a story about them today.

Here is an excerpt:
The chemistry is unreal," Alford says. "It's as good as I've had."

Selection Sunday for the NCAA tournament is 17 days away, and the Lobos are all but guaranteed an invitation for the first time since 2005. That's surprising because the season began with uncertainty. For one, the Lobos were inexperienced. The team's three leading scorers, who helped New Mexico reach the NIT's second round, had graduated, leaving one senior: Roman (row-MAHN) Martinez, a 6-6 forward who had deferred to others in the past but is the second-leading scorer and rebounder with averages of 13.9 points and 6.3 rebounds.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Sweetness

If this doesn't bring out the patriot in you, I don't know what will.

Props: Z

Friday, February 19, 2010

Matt Chandler Updates

Here are the weekly updates from Matt Chandler for weeks 4-6.

For more information visit The Village Church Pastor's Blog.

Next 2010 Promo Video

This looks to be a great conference for young adults.

My only question: Why do all the good conferences have to be on the East Coast?

Next 2010 Promotional Video from Sovereign Grace Ministries on Vimeo.

Props: Josh Harris

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Apolo Ohno's Disciplined Training for Olympics

We all want to be part of something great, right? The question is, are we disciplined like this?

Doug Wolter says this:

This is one of my favorite events: short track speed skating. Amazing how they train! Made me think of the verses in 1 Cor. 9:25:

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Props: life2gether

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Don't Phone It In

I really appreciate and agree with this thought from Seth Godin:

This was sort of shocking, at least to me:

I was talking to a religious leader, someone who runs a congregation. She made it clear to me that on many days, it's just a job. A job like any other, you show up, you go through the motions, you get paid.

I guess we find this disturbing because spiritual work should be real, not faked.

But isn't your work spiritual?

I know doctors, lawyers, waiters and insurance brokers who are honestly and truly passionate about what they do. They view it as an art form, a calling, and an important (no, an essential) thing worth doing.

In fact, I don't think there's a relationship between what you do and how important you think the work is. I think there's a relationship between who you are and how important you think the work is.

Life's too short to phone it in.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tip For Helping the Homeless

Jonathan Dodson gives 10 Tips for helping the homeless in your town.

Here are the 1st four:

1. Never give cash to a homeless person
Too often, well intended gifts are converted to drugs or alcohol – even when the hard luck stories they tell are true. If the person is hungry, buy them a sandwich and a beverage.

2. Talk to the person with respect.
Taking time to talk to a homeless person in a friendly, respectful manner can give them a wonderful sense of civility and dignity. And besides being just neighborly, it gives the person a weapon to fight the isolation, depression and paranoia that many homeless people face.

3. Recognize that homeless people (and their problems) are not all the same.
The homeless are as diverse as the colors of a rainbow. The person you meet may be a battered women, an addicted veteran, someone who is lacking job skills the list goes on.

4. Share God’s love whenever you can.
If Jesus were walking the earth today, He would certainly spend time with the homeless. He would speak with them, heal them, and help them. Today, Jesus chooses to work through those who believe and follow Him.

Read the rest here

Monday, February 8, 2010

1000 Questions

Lauren and I visited another local church on Sunday. They played this video to end the sermon, it was very powerful and I pray God uses it to rally His people in this city.

The Big Red Tractor

I wonder what would happen if we actually took to heart, and then took to our knees the meaning of this story?

The Big Red Tractor from Jacob Lewis on Vimeo.

Facebook and Reader People you Might have to Click Here to View

Props: Z and Brent

Ed Young Responds to News Reports

I appreciated Pastor Young's response to recent news stories that have questioned his spending and luxurious lifestyle. Whether or not you agree with how he lives, I do think we must be willing to listen, and pray for Ed and Fellowship Church in Dallas. It is easy sometimes to get out our snipers or baseball bats and almost rejoice when a "mega-church" pastor gets in trouble, let's fight that sin and repent of that.

From Ed's Blog:
This was an awesome weekend at Fellowship Church! I am humbled by the outpouring of love, encouragement and support from so many people. Before I spoke, I took the opportunity to thank the church and address some recent news coverage. And now, we will continue to move forward and follow God in the work He is doing here.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Advice for Young Preachers

CCWblog has some great tips for those of us early in the game of preaching.

1. Take advantage of less formal teaching opportunities.
2. Meditate on your text far longer than on commentaries
3. Teach one thing, not a bunch of things
4. Amplify your comments with colorful words and helpful illustrations
5. Practice out loud what you will say, as you will say it
6. If you use notes, don't constantly look at them
7. Avoid imitating your favorite preacher's style
8. Care for the people you will teach before you teach them something
9. Pray
10. Try Again
Click here for a more in depth look at each point.

I also really agree with this last statement given to the older, more seasoned preachers.

If you are an aspiring preacher, and the opportunity arrives to open up the Bible and tell people what it says and why it matters for their lives, go for it! If you are a pastor, let me encourage you to give other men in your church the opportunity to teach the Bible. Your willingness to subject the congregation to a beginner may give wings to a life of faithful ministry. Even men who have preached thousands of sermons were given their first opportunity. Pour on the encouragement and see what God does.

Props: DashHouse

Friday, February 5, 2010

We Are Far Too Easily Pleased

From Desiring God.

The script comes straight from C. S. Lewis:

If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. (The Weight of Glory, 26)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Leading Yourself Checklist

Dave Kraft over at Resurgence, has a very helpful post about leading yourself before and while you are leading others. There are parts in this list I find extremely convicting. #5 is something I really struggle with as I often find myself stretched out too thin and have nothing left at the end of the week, I have also been struggling with keeping a good sabbath schedule and I am now feeling some of the affects of that emotionally, physically and spiritually and am in the process of repentance and restructuring how and what I do.

What areas do you struggle with?

A Checklist For Self-Leading

Here are a few areas to consider that are consistent with 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 as you reflect on leading yourself.

  1. My gifts. How am I doing at leading myself to know my gifts, stay within my limits, and develop those gifts to their highest, God-pleasing potential?
  2. My character. How am I doing at leading myself to be a person of integrity who follows through on promises made and is a person that others can trust?
  3. My purity. How am I doing at being careful of what my eyes see, my ears hear, and my mind thinks about? How are my relationships with members of the opposite sex? Do I have guidelines, safeguards, and appropriate and honest accountability?
  4. My pride. How am I doing at keeping Christ at the center? Am I the hero of my own stories? Do the words I speak communicate an attitude of arrogance and superiority, or am I characterized by humility and teachability?
  5. My pace. How am I doing at leading myself in the use of my time? Is my schedule writing checks my body can’t cash? Am I going at an unbalanced pace that is digging myself, and those whom I lead, an early grave? Do I have a biblical view of work and leisure, or am I a workaholic who gets a sense of self-worth based on my work?
  6. My finances. How am I doing at leading myself in the money arena? Do I have healthy protection and checks and balances built-in regarding organizational funds that don’t belong to me? Are there healthy audits over all financial dealing with which I am associated? Do I resist the lusting and grabbing lifestyle of my culture, choosing instead to be content and satisfied with God’s provision? Or is my happiness at the door of the next purchase?
  7. My anger. How am I doing at leading myself emotionally? Do I have a reputation for being a hothead and having a short fuse? Do I keep score regarding perceived slights, insults, and put-downs? Do resentment, bitterness, and lack of forgiveness characterize me? One survey I came across revealed that bitterness is the major cause of burnout for men between 38 and 50 years of age.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Do Not Get Lost in Lost

I get that everyone in the world is stoked that Lost is starting tonight. I am too. As I sit here though I am more aware than ever how foolish it is to get over excited about Lost.

The same excitement we have for Lost we had for the series finale of Friends and Seinfeld. I can honestly say that neither of those “events” changed my life or moved me in a way that influences how I raise my kids or love my wife. Whether or not Jack Bauer saved the world or not did not comfort me when my mom got diagnosed with cancer.

The same goes for sporting events, a Lobo Basketball championship this season would be sweet and I would be tweeting about that for sure, but if and when tragedy strikes in my family that championship ring won’t offer help or hope. It will just sit there, I know I have one.

All this to say, that on our deathbeds we will not look back and highlight our time engulfed by fictional characters on TV or even enthralled by great seasons on the hard-court.

What will matter will be how we loved our kids, that risk that was taken where the outcome was not spelled out. What will matter is whether we told our wife that we love her so much and am so grateful to God for bringing her into my life.

What will matter most of all?

What we did with the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. What will matter will be whether or not we saw our need for a Savior before a Holy God, and the wrath that we deserve. What will matter is the love of God that has been poured out for us by His Son Jesus. The resurrection of that Son and His defeat of sin and death that has happened and one day will fully be seen.

With that said, get stoked about Lost, watch it, record it, talk about…but realize that 10 years, 1 year, 1 week from now, it won’t matter, and be OK with that.

Monday, February 1, 2010

This Record Looks Awesome!

From Z via Tominthebox NewsNetwork
From the best of Christian Radio comes an album just for you males in the church out there. It's the best weepy, whiney overly emotional spineless songs to encourage you as you battle through your hard and tedious life day after day. Titles include,

-My Parents are Making me Move Out
-Why Do I Need a Job?
-Responsibility is Not My Spiritual Gift
-My X Box Broke, Help me Through This Storm
-Help Me Through This Trial of the Cable Being Out
-Why Do Girls Want a Man With a Job?
-I Spilled My No-Fat Mocha Latte on My Lemon Yellow Vest
-Mark Driscoll Yelled at Me and Now I Want to Cry

...and many more great titles to lift you up when darkness clouds your spineless, aimless existence.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Missional Church Made Simple

What is the Missional Church? Take 2 Minutes for a very simple yet illuminating explanation.

Props: Tim Chester

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rethink Mission: How to Become a Church-Planting Church

I thought this was a great article from Rethink Mission for churches that have not planted, but want to become a church that does.

Here is how the article starts:
You don’t have to have church-planting already in your DNA, however, to become a church-planting church. Let’s say that you pastor an established, traditional church & have never planted a new church or supported a church planter. Where do you start?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Matt Chandler Update #3

Continue to pray for Pastor Matt as some of the affects of the chemo are being felt.

What About The Postmodern Foundation??

Via Z:
From an address by Ravi Zacharias:

I remember lecturing at Ohio State University, one of the largest universities in this country. I was minutes away from beginning my lecture, and my host was driving me past a new building called the Wexner Center for the Performing Arts.

He said, “This is America’s first postmodern building.”

I was startled for a moment and I said, “What is a postmodern building?”

He said, “Well, the architect said that he designed this building with no design in mind. When the architect was asked, ‘Why?’ he said, ‘If life itself is capricious, why should our buildings have any design and any meaning?’ So he has pillars that have no purpose. He has stairways that go nowhere. He has a senseless building built and somebody has paid for it.”

I said, “So his argument was that if life has no purpose and design, why should the building have any design?”

He said, “That is correct.”

I said, “Did he do the same with the foundation?”

All of a sudden there was silence.

You see, you and I can fool with the infrastructure as much as we would like, but we dare not fool with the foundation because it will call our bluff in a hurry.

Monday, January 25, 2010

JT Sings Hallelujah for Help For Haiti

Very moving and good part of the night.

To contribute money to the relief effort in Haiti through Compassion, click here.

Props. Matthew Paul Turner

Friday, January 22, 2010

Updates From Matt Chandler

Below are a couple updates from last week and this week from pastor Matt Chandler of The Village Church in Texas. Matt suffered a seizure on Thanksgiving day, after tests the doctors found a large tumor in Matt's brain. He had surgery and the tumor turned out to be cancer, he is currently going through radiation and chemotherapy.

Through it all his outlook and exhortation to keep our eyes on Christ has been amazing and encouraging.

Cancer is a vicious thing, and something that has deeply affected me and my family.

Know this as you read, Jesus has defeated death, and sin and cancer may take root here and now in our lives, but for those who trust we know a day is coming when those things are no more. So we battle cancer with chemo and medicines, but our hope is in a future time, when Christ fully reigns, and sin, cancer and death are no more.

All because Jesus came down, God in Flesh, came and died for us, came and died on the cross, a horrific death that was punishment for our sins, our rebellion. Then 3 days later He rose from the dead, a real rising, in a resurrected body, a real physical body, to show that He was who He said He was and thus can do what He promised He would do.

So we wait in hope and expectation for the day cancer is no more, and death is dead!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday Jordyn Piper!!!!

Churches Helping Churches in Haiti Video

Pastors Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald spent a few days this past week in Haiti assessing the damage left by the earthquake that hit on Jan. 12th. The aftermath this quake has left in Haiti is catastrophic. Mark and James have started a group called Churches Helping Churches aimed at helping rebuild the churches that have been destroyed in Haiti. Below is a couple of videos they have posted from their time there.

Click Here To Support Churches Helping Churches

Reader/Facebook People Click Here

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mark Driscoll Sermon on Temptation

Last Sunday night I went to Mars Hill Albuquerque and was very blessed a few different things. First I was blessed by the diverse crowd that sang out to our Lord, mostly young adults but they were young adults from all walks of life and that was awesome to see. Second there seemed to be a sense of brokenness and hope that covered the whole night, it honestly felt like the Holy Spirit was there empowering all of the night. Finally the night was centered around God's Word, Pastor Mark Driscoll spoke (via video although after 2 minutes you didn't notice that) on temptation. The temptations of Jesus in the desert and our own temptations here in this life.

The message was convicting, encouraging and Gospel centered. I was hit in the gut several times as I sat there listening to Pastor Mark, and I also was over and over again brought to the feet of Jesus as our hope, esteem and great Victor.

If you have some time, watch this sermon, take notes, talk about it with others, it is something we need to be thinking through in a fallen world.

Facebook People Click Here to See Video

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Would It Make Any Difference?

Francis Schaeffer once asked his wife:

“Edith, I wonder what would happen to most churches and Christian work if we awakened tomorrow, and everything concerning the reality and work of the Holy Spirit, and everything concerning prayer, were removed from the Bible. I don’t mean just ignored, but actually cut out—disappeared. I wonder how much difference it would make?” We concluded it would not make much difference in many board meetings, committee meetings, decisions and activities.

—Edith Schaeffer, The Tapestry: The Life and Times of Francis and Edith Schaeffer (Waco: Word, 1981), 356.

Props: JT via David Sunday

Are You As Passionate Before God as Before People?

Francis Chan wrestles with that in the latest article from Catalyst. This is something all pastors have to wrestle with, because they are called to lead, not just guide.

He starts off:
I wonder if the inconsistency in my walk with God has anything to do with the fact that I can lead a “successful” church in America without being in love with Jesus. I’m sure I could blame American church culture, my position, or a busy schedule for my lack of reverent intimacy. The truth, however, is that my sin and hypocrisy is a result of me.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Loving Your Neighbor Today

Eric Johnson at the Desiring God blog has a great post about our need to see the world around us and their need for Christ. He talks about ways to love our neighbors in Haiti, as well as our neighbors in our city.

This all started when he went to a candlelight vigil for a couple of Somali immigrants who were killed in an attempted robbery.

He says this:

A colleague and I went to the candlelight vigil the community held for these men, and I was struck with how little I really knew about these men and the thousands of East African immigrants in my community. I had passed this market dozens of times and never stopped in. Surely, at least once, I could have purchased a Coke and struck up a conversation?

We know that in this world, there will be tragedies and suffering. As Christian Hedonists, we need to stand ready to give an account for the hope and confidence we have in Christ (1 Peter 3:15). But if we never step out to meet others, it's not likely we'll ever have a chance to tell of the hope we have in God.

With these two events in mind, here are some practical things we can do to love our neighbors:

  1. If you're able, go. Go to Haiti and serve.
  2. Donate to churches and ministries that are working in Haiti.
  3. Volunteer in your city. Help immigrants learn English. Babysit a neighbor's kids. Buy a Coke at a local market and get to know the clerk.
  4. Be ready to give an account for the hope that you have. As you serve, look for chances to talk about the good news of the Gospel. Ultimately, if we truly love our neighbors, we will care not only for their immediate physical needs, but their spiritual needs as well.

What things are you or your church doing to love your neighbor? Leave a comment and let us know.

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

Take a moment to remember the impact of Dr. King today, thank God for Him. One of the driving forces for Dr. King was Love, not just love for Humanity, but God's Love for humanity by becoming one of us, to live the life we should have lived (sinless) and die the death we deserved to die in our place. That is the Love that breaks down all racial, social, economic boundaries.

Daniel Baugh Art

My brother-in-law is a pretty good artist. His art has a New Orleans type feel and is pretty cool. Above is one of my favorite pieces he does.

If you have a second go and check out his website and maybe pick up a few things.

Click Here to go to DBaughArt Shop.

John Piper-The Bible Isn't Boring, Avatar is Boring.

Props: Desiring God and Z

A Great Dream For Albuquerque

From Steve Furtick:

Acts 5:28
“We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said.
Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”

That’s what I’m talking about.
If you’re going to accuse us of something, accuse us of that:
You have filled your city with the teaching of Jesus.

Church, let’s fill our cities with the good news of Christ.
Let’s fill the places of poverty with our generosity.
Let’s fill our schools with students who are not ashamed of the Gospel.

The future of our cities is empty and desolate without the power and the presence of God.

Let’s keep preaching, reaching, and giving until our cities overflow and can’t deny it:
You have filled this city with Jesus.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Church Planting Thoughts

Interesting insights and thoughts from Jason Salamun:

A handful of random thoughts on church planting and leadership.

There’s a healthy way to start and lead a church without losing your soul.

Jesus has left footprints to guide us and our responsibility as leaders is to see them and follow him.

Your calling to lead a church will never, ever, ever trump God’s requirements to lead a church.

Rather than starting a church at the expense of your family, include them.

He has called you not because you’re so great, but because he is.

You must be faithful in a world full of fads.

You must boldly pursue him in a world that doesn’t.

The idea of a super-spiritual lone ranger pastor from whom all things flow is unbiblical and unhealthy.

The church is the body of Christ made up of many parts, not a giant robot with you behind the controls.

Funny how I had more answers 3 years ago than I do today.

Like many would-be church planters, I was a bit arrogant and knew it all.

Then I started a church and soon new questions arose that I didn’t even know existed.

We church planters read and learn from the same circle of people.

We live in an age of cookie-cutter churches and copycat church planters.

We look like our favorite churches and talk like our favorite leaders.

We’re not original, we’re posers.

We need to get over our man-crushes on celebrity leaders.

It’s pathetic and needs to stop.

Be a man, not a puppy dog.

Babies aren’t born adults and neither are churches.

Seeds don’t turn into trees overnight and neither do churches.

In a culture that values the speed of the microwave it’s hard to appreciate the the slow bake of an oven.

Yet, which method makes a tastier turkey?

Something to think about.

Ultimately, it’s about the gospel.

The gospel always produces community.

The gospel always compels us to mission.

The gospel always leads to Jesus.

Check out his blog "Live Free"

Why Leaders FAIL.

From Scott Williams:
Below is a list of 4 memorable reasons leaders FAIL in an easy to remember acronym FAIL.
  1. Fake- A leader who attempts to be someone they’re not instead of simply being themselves has a difficult time succeeding, at some point it just catches up to them. This also applies to the leader that has a different face, different persona, different tone, different everything… when certain people are around. In other-words when the big boss comes around they put their fake-face on. Not to say a leader might not make some adjustments when company comes around; however the super-fake-face comes from insecurity of how they act normally. Remember: Don’t be fake, be yourself… “Do You! It’s A Statement… Not A Question!” Fake Leaders Fail!
  2. Attitude- One of the primary reasons that a leader fails is because of a poor, negative or a no-can-do attitude. If a leader thinks he can fly and has a positive can-do attitude; even though they may not be able to fly they will come darn close. The reason why attitude is important is because that leader’s attitude will rub off on their team members and their followers. Remember: “Attitude reflects leadership, Captain.” ~Julius in Remember The Titans
  3. Integrity- If a leader doesn’t exhibit a high degree of integrity they will fail. The integrity issues will either catch up to them (what’s done in the dark, will come to light) or those that follow them won’t respect them. If team members or followers don’t respect the a leader, it puts the leader in the place of pushing a snowball up hill… it’s a difficult task. These integrity issues run the gamete: profanity, lying, cheating, stealing, affairs, flirting, yelling, substance abuse, pride-filled decisions etc. I have worked with many high capacity leaders in both the secular world and ministry that have failed because they allowed their integrity to get off track. Remember: Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching.
  4. Lacking- Although I believe that everyone has potential for some degree of leadership in them; the bottom line is that some leaders fail because they are either: a.) Not the leader they think they are, or b.) Promoted above their leadership capacity/leadership role has outgrown them, or c.) Not a visionary, or d.) Not a leader at all! They are lacking what it takes! Remember: Just because someone has an office, role, title or responsibility doesn’t mean they are a leader. Leadership is an art, a skill, a craft, a gift… and it must be developed!

What do you think? Are there others you would add to the list?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

And You Thought Avatar Was Sweet...

check this out...

Props: The Least Read Blog

Help Haiti Video From Fee

From Fee:

Click banner on the right to help through Compassion.

Taking the 1st Step

This post from Seth Godin has been on my mind for the past week. I wonder how many of us are "ok" with keeping the status quo, of being careful not to "rock the boat". And I wonder, is that a sign of fear? If it is, then is keeping the status quo sinful? The answer to that changes everything.

One of the most common things I hear is, "I'd like to do something remarkable like that, but my xyz won't let me." Where xyz = my boss, my publisher, my partner, my licensor, my franchisor, etc.

Well, you can fail by going along with that and not doing it, or you can do it, cause a ruckus and work things out later.

In my experience, once it's clear you're willing (not just willing, but itching, moving, and yes, implementing) without them, things start to happen. People are rarely willing to step up and stop you, and often just waiting to follow someone crazy enough to actually do something.

I'm going. Come along if you like.

Props: Seth Godin

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti-How To Help

A good way to help and donate money to the people and relief efforts in Haiti is to click the link on the right side of this screen. It is from Compassion International a great organization that helps children by getting them sponsors who through $38 a month help educate, provide medicine and above all hear about the love of Jesus.

They also help when natural disasters strike. Even $10 will go a long way to help these people. Maybe while you are there you can also think about sponsoring a kid, and changing a life forever.

Runway or Top-Down Matters for Production

Matt Perman, again offers some valuable lessons in how we should operate in business and yes in how we do ministry, practically speaking.

By the way, his blog, What's Best Next, is one well worth reading and subscribing to.

There are two main ways to put in place an approach for staying on top of things. First, you can start with the “runway” level — all the actions and stuff that lies right before you. Second, you can start at the top levels of mission, values, and goals.

The difficulty with the top down approach is that all of the things at the runway can easily keep bugging you and make it hard for you to see at that level.

But starting at the bottom is worse. If you tell yourself that getting all of your runway actions in order will allow you to work on up to the level of roles, goals, values, and mission, you’ll never make it.

It’s like a few months ago when I was jogging through a field of grasshoppers. When I went faster, there were just more grasshoppers to jump out.

That’s what happens if you focus on the runway level of actions and the stuff you need to process and try to work on up from there. The runway-level stuff will just multiply, and you’ll never rise much above it.

The best solution is to take a both/and approach. You have to deal with the stuff right before you, of course, and that will in turn provide good illumination on the nature of your roles and goals. But if you start there, don’t stay there too long. Go up to the higher levels and work down so that you will have your priorities defined, which will enable you to cut out a bunch of that stuff that’s been cluttering the runway anyway.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How Much To Tip the Delivery Guy

This post from Matt Perman seemed appropriate as we get closer to the Super Bowl.

Via What's Best Next

I’ve never been clear on this — until now. Turns out there’s a whole website devoted to this issue.

My favorite page is what the tip is not. It is not:

  1. One dollar.
  2. Leftover coins.
  3. Saying how much you appreciate the pizza and the driver, but not giving a tip.
  4. Included in the bill.
  5. Included in the delivery charge.
  6. Included in free delivery.
What do you tip? The answer is here