Friday, March 25, 2011

Random Stuff

 When I examine all the things that engage my mind and imagination, the only conclusion I can draw from it is "No wonder I drank."
Now that the "Japan is sinking into nuclear winter." story is taking it's inevitable place at the bottom of the news cycle, we are focusing on important stuff like startled babies on You Tube. It's a story in which a mother blows her nose in front of her baby, films and uploads it to YOU TUBE, and get's 9 million hits. That's right, 9 million. Meanwhile the Rob Bell PFF download for his controversial new book Love Wins has garnered, wait for it, wait, 260 hits. Apparently there is less interest in the disposition of our immortal souls than a baby making cute faces.

Speaking of Japan, there is some concern about a possible breach in the containment structure at the tsunami damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Unfortunately this occurred on the same day Duke flamed out to little regarded Arizona in the NCAA basketball championship series, setting a chilling precedent wherein one has to divide attention between serious end of the world stuff, and March Madness.......go Arizona!!!

Meanwhile, we have a Christian author, on a failed anti-gay book promotion tour. What if you hold a gay-bashing event and noone comes? So sad. And in more news on the failed attempts at gay-bashing front, Apple has irked Chuck Colson again by refusing to sell a gay treatment app for the IPhone. What is the world of commerce coming to?  I'm sure he'll find a way to label it religious persecution.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Do We Really Need Another Church Here? Part 1

When you have to drive by churches to get to church, and yet 94% of the population is unchurched some questions come to mind. Is the church experience no longer valid? Does the church experience need to be reinvented? Has church in the traditional sense become a relic of the past? The answer, I believe, to all three questions is no.
Our community has every style of church imaginable. Small churches and large, contemporary and traditional, hip and formal. If you have a personal preference in worship style you can find it here. So the issue isn't relevance. And many churches in this community are as innovative as it gets in reaching out to the community to encourage attendance. So what's the problem and how will starting another church help?
My experience is that our community has thousands of people who simply will not darken the doors of a church under any circumstances. Which is not to say that they are not open to hearing the message of Christ, they just are highly antagonistic to the idea of church. Nor do their feelings about church invalidate the worth, necessity, and joy of traditional worship, they just want no part of it. Community outreach undertaken in order to bring them to church simply won't work.
So what can we do? I believe a little misdirection is in order here. Bring the church to them just don't call it church. I'll pursue this later in more depth

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Jeremiah 15:19 Therefore this is what the LORD says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me. 

I got the repent-restore part of the deal. That was perfect for a slacker like me, all reward and no effort. But when did they insert that "serve me" stuff?  I think that I'm not alone in that matter either. What has changed my attitude is gratitude. When I finally realized that while Jesus saved me, it took a believer to tell me, I could no longer just sit in the pew content in my own salvation. For gratitude in this matter is a verb.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Everyone Has A Story

Frequently we hear complaints that the media focuses on stories with celebrities imploding in spectacularly public ways while ignoring the feel good stories of  regular everyday people. This isn't one of those complaints. That's just the way it is. In God's world though, stories abound.
The truth is, everyone has a story. Sitting on the patio at my local Starbucks, sipping coffee and watching folks at other tables talking, reading, or just sitting, it's comforting to know that each chair is occupied not just by a person, but a story. That woman rocking a baby in her arms is a story about triumph over the scars of childhood molestation. Those two guys at the table next to her, arguing about who's the best quarterback, just came from an AA meeting, sober now and loving their newfound life. Next to them, a table full of teenagers planning a missions trip to South America.
Take my friends Lyn and Judy. Standing in line behind them at the grocery store you'd never suspect that two years ago Judy was given no chance to ever walk again, and that Lyn devoted himself to her rehabilitation, never giving up hope. Is their story less uplifting because it's not on TV?
Which brings me to JR. JR passed away Friday, an event not likely to make the evening news. JR simply lived his final days in dignity, and died with a grace that I'm not sure I'll emulate when my time inevitably comes. His life story, complete with horrifying failure and stunning rehabilitation is known to those who loved him and that's just fine with me.