Monday, December 28, 2009
I'm only one third of the way through Mark Batterson's latest book Primal, and I'm already challenged beyond compare. I agree that the problem with Christianity is not Christ, its us, the Christians. We are not as great as the Great Commandment. I can see instances in my own life where I do not live up to the Love4 (Love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength). It is so easy to compartmentalize our walk with Jesus. And honestly, I have come to the point to where my Christian faith is like stale bread in the middle of the desert. I need to discover new ways of loving God. It is true that people respond to compassion, as Mark calls it, the ultimate apologetic, and that we need to start a revolution of compassion to show the world the real Jesus. Personally, after reading the section about income ceiling, my wife and I are considering ways we can downsize our lives in order to greatly live out the Great Commandment. From the mundane, to the challenging. Batterson sheds new light on the primitive nature of the Christian Faith. We need to get back to our roots. We need to get back to something Primal. Thanks Mark for reminding us.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Monday, November 02, 2009
Another point of tension is how divided the study time can become. We spend a great deal of time studying what we believe, but never practicing/doing what we believe. And the problem with beliefs, especially in the context of our times is that present day Christians are better known for what we believe we are against (homosexuality, abortion, and pre-marital sex) rather than what we are for (faith, hope, and love). Jesus said that people would know that we are His disciples by our love, not by our beliefs.
Cox also describes this coming Age of the Spirit as one that will rediscover “the sacred in the immanent, the spiritual within the secular” (page 2). I agree. People are looking to see how we can live our whole lives as worship unto Jesus. No more compartmentalization – Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, soul, mind, and strength. People are looking for something to live for now, not just the hereafter.
I agree that our Faith in Jesus should be more about a direct encounter with Jesus. After all, I am a Pentecostal. However, my only contention with Cox’s proposal so far is that the Christian Faith is never to be lived in polar extremes. Just as Cox points to the abuses of creeds and party line stances, many can point to abuses of the freedom of the Spirit. A life following Jesus is not just our reasoning out our beliefs, but it is one of weighing out what the faithful hear the Spirit saying. Does it line up with what has already been revealed in the Holy Bible? Yes. I believe and trust and have faith that the Spirit who blows where He wills speaks to us today. Never should we only look to one aspect of our faith. We should always have a healthy, holistic, Spirit filled Faith.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Philip's new book is Transforming Christian Theology for Church & Society and Harvey's is The Future of Faith. Both are worth checking out at one of the many tour stops. If you can't wait you can listen to them interview each other.
Joseph Weethee , Jonathan Bartlett, The Church Geek, Jacob’s Cafe, Reverend Mommy, Steve Knight, Todd Littleton, Christina Accornero, John David Ryan, LeAnn Gunter Johns, Chase Andre, Matt Moorman, Gideon Addington, Ryan Dueck, Rachel Marszalek, Amy Moffitt, Josh Wallace, Jonathan Dodson, Stephen Barkley, Monty Galloway, Colin McEnroe, Tad DeLay, David Mullens, Kimberly Roth, Tripp Hudgins, Tripp Fuller, Greg Horton, Andrew Tatum, Drew Tatusko, Sam Andress, Susan Barnes, Jared Enyart, Jake Bouma, Eliacin Rosario-Cruz, Blake Huggins, Lance Green, Scott Lenger, Dan Rose, Thomas Turner, Les Chatwin, Joseph Carson, Brian Brandsmeier, J. D. Allen, Greg Bolt, Tim Snyder, Matthew L. Kelley, Carl McLendon, Carter McNeese, David R. Gillespie, Arthur Stewart, Tim Thompson, Joe Bumbulis, Bob Cornwall
This Tour is Sponsored by Transforming Theology DOT org!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
3 A voice of one calling:
"In the desert prepare
the way for the LORD;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
The point of this passage is to remove all obstacles in front of people so that they can see/experience God. In the in the New Testament this passage is used by John the Baptist to prepare the nation of Israel for the coming of Jesus.
Around my hometown they are making a highway that streches only about 17 miles. The old highway was two lanes, but led to the city of the old part of the next town. So, the Highway Department starting preparing the land for the new four lane highway. If you've spent any time on the interstate/highway system (at least where I'm from) it takes a LONG time to get the land ready for a highway. They survey, and survey, and survey the land again. Then they plan, re-plan, and plan. They negoiate with the landowners, homeowners, and figure out exactly where the roads are going to be. After the plan is done, the land mover rigs come in. They grate, flatten, and move earth around until they have a solid road.
Only after all of this does the actual road go down. This is a whole other process. Packing the dirt, paving with the asphalt, both lanes, putting up barrier if needed, painting the lanes, putting up the speed limit signs, and I'm sure a dozen other processes I'm not even aware of.
I wonder, do we put that much work into "making straight paths" for Jesus? Do we take this amount time, effort, money to ensure that people see Jesus and not all of the stuff that gets in the way? Or, do we just clear a walking path that slows people down, or worse, one that no one can use or even knows exists?
Should we not have a spiritual/cultural DOT for everyone of our faith communities? Perhaps a group of people that keep their eyes on the road, so to speak, for those things that get in the way of people seeing Jesus? At the very least, should we not view all of our processes in the same manner? Should we not look at everything we do with "highway tinted glasses"? Isn't this what being relevant to our culture is all about?
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Genesis 29:31 When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, "It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now."
33 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Because the LORD heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too." So she named him Simeon. c]">
34 Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons." So he was named Levi.
35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "This time I will praise the LORD." So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children.
Leah, the "weak eyed" unloved wife of Jacob was the mother of Levi (The Priestly Tribe) and Judah (The Kingly Tribe).
No application here. I just find this interesting.
3 His father and mother replied, "Isn't there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?"
But Samson said to his father, "Get her for me. She's the right one for me." 4 (His parents did not know that this was from the LORD, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.)
Interesting. God was seeking an opportunity to confront the enemies of the people of God. He used an outside the box (at least culturally to the Israelites) solution to create conflict in order to bring peace.
I wonder, what in our lives is Jesus pushing us into conflict in order to bring peace?
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
The result? I've only had one of the Coke Zero's today and have not been tempted by sugar at all. This investment makes me want to give Cara a greater return on her investment. Her return? A healthier Monty.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
This got me to thinking...I could have the $5 pizza anytime. It's quick, cheap, and satisfies my hunger. It's convenient as the $5 pizza is just down the street. Don't get me wrong, it's a good $5 pizza. However, it's nothing like my new favorite.
Relevance? Well, I could live a life of $5 pizza. Quick, cheap, and convenient. But, is that the life I really want to lead? Or, do I want to lead a life I REALLY ENJOY? A life in which I look forward to partaking? I know that MOST of life is mundane, but should we not take every opportunity to LIVE life and not just endure it?
Thursday, April 09, 2009
19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
There is a parallel here in my own life between fits of rage vs. patience and kindness. Lately it's been really stressful at work. Although I haven't yelled, screamed, and cursed out my co-workers, I haven't exactly been patient and kind. The acts of my sinful nature have been obvious. Jesus doesn't command us to be patient and kind ONLY when things are going well. It's when things ARE NOT going well that we must stand up to the stress and be patient and kind.
So, my focus today has been to be patient and kind to everyone I encounter today. So far, I'm about 50/50. I pray the day improves.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
- Friendship Evangelism Makes Me Sick
- The Chillax (Chill & Relax) Method of Evangelism
- An Interactive Faith with an Interactive God
- The Priesthood of Unbelievers
- Secondary Church Plant Leaders
- Play Evangelism (hangin out for Jesus?)
- Organized Miracles (how miracles can flow through organization)
- Barnabus - The Invisible Church Planter
- Is God Proactive or Reactive?
- The pursuit of God-ordained passions.
- Personal Philanthropy
- The Preacher Gave Me the Finger (it's not the one your thinking)