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Showing posts from July, 2003

What Would Jesus Study?

I sit here in a cyber cafe in New Orleans. I am here on a mission trip for my youth group. I sat last night and listened to a man talk about what went into planting a church here in New Orleansn, and he went throught demogrpahic studies and average income and all that. He is a very Godly man, and an extremely intelligent one at that. Still, as I sat and listened to him talk, one thought kept going through my head. Is this what Jesus would do?

What would Jesus do in order to plant a church? If he was just like you and me. I don't know that he would do a demographic study and average income and all these things that church planters do. He would not care if the people he was trying to reach were black and he was white. Or if they were mostly senior adults and he was a college student. He would not study how other churches have done it and what makes them "succesfull" I don't think he would care about all that. He knew the power of the message that he brought…

Ashamed

I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. I must admit, however, that I am ashamed of the gospel of my generation. To state from the begininng, I am not a modernist nor a post modernist. I fall somewhere in the middle. I suppose that makes me more of a post modernist than not, but that is another day.

The Gospel of My Generation
As I am on the internet and read and surf and read books and read, I come across a lot of the same things. The same ideas tossed around by different people. What are we going to do to reach this generation? How will we deal with the emerging church? We need to incorporate all these ancient practices and contemplation to engage the whole body and mind. We must deconstruct our worship and then strip it to bare essentials only to reconstruct it with post modern world views, filters, and paradigms. These are the things I read all over the internet. I have an idea, lets deconstruct our worship to get rid of all the fluff and then leave it at that. Do …

There I Stood

In the waiting room at ICU at Presbyterian hosptial. Not the place that I expected to find myself this morning. Father, it says your mercies are new every morning. Why am I standing here in this hospital with this family this morning. What is good about this? Where are you at in this? I don't get it. She was a mother of four, and a Godly woman. Two of her kids were at camp that week with their church. He came home Monday night to find her lying in the yard, collapsed from a vessel bursting in her brain. Flew her to the hospital. One of the most Godly and righteous families I know. But here she was, uncouncious for several days now. They didn't know if she would make her way out of it. Probably not. I stood back and watched the family and friends interact. Support each other, lift each other up. I was a part of this awesome net of prayer lifting this woman and her family up and laying them before the throne. If they could have cut a hole in the roof, and lower…

I have been dissilusioned

I always thought that following God was full of pillows and roses. Such is not the case. Oh, I could quote you the verses. Luke 9:23 Galatians 2:20 And on and on. But for some reason I chose to ignore them. It is true then, I guess, that I was dissilusioned. But it was of my own doing. Why when we are faced with the truth of God do we walk away from it and embrace something else? Why do we think that we can find truth that will better suit us somewhere else? But I do. Daily. My mind is in a continual struggle with itself. I think that because I am following God, it should be easy. But the christian life is hard. We here in America don't know. We have everything easy. Even our poor live better than the rich in many places. So we want our religion to be easy also. That is why so many sermons focus on getting a better life, marriage, kids, money situation, all these things that we think will make us happy. Actually, it's pretty easy to follow God on sundays …

Relationships

What does it mean to be in a relationship? Why do we do it? What purpose does it serve? As you might can tell, I think about things alot. Why do people who date go to movies, hang out, talk on the phone, go to eat, do all the things that they do? The purpose is clear, the purpose is simple. Just to simply be with them. Why do I do the things that we do? So that I can be with the one whom I love. Why do I read my Bible, pray, meditate, go to church? So that I can be with the one whom we love. Why did God create us? Why did he send His son, create the world, hang the sun moon and stars, and put everything in motion to bring me to this place in my life? So that I can be with Him. For He loves me and wants me to be with Him.

The purpose of a relationship is just to simply be with one whom I love. There should be no other motivation in my relationships than to be with the one whom I love. Remember, love is not dualistic in its purposes. Love does not seek it's own. …

Ordinary

What does it mean to be ordinary? To be just like the world? Can you not be in the world and still be ordinary? Sadly yes, and many people do not believe it is so. "Sure I am different" they say. "I go to church" BIG DEAL No one cares if you go to church or not. Many christians believe that just because they don't go to rated R movies, or do this, or do that, that they are better than others around them. That not listening to rap music makes a difference in the world. Get over yourselves I say. Christians are no longer ones who stand out. They are just like everybody else. In our postmodern, it's all okay society, what makes a difference? One of the greatest fears I have ever possesed is the fear of being ordinary. Of being just someone else in the world. Someone who lives, gets married, has kids, and dies. Of being just another pastor. I might be a good person, but I long to make a difference. I am reminded of the passage of scripture I …

It Happened Again

I always think I have God figured out. Then it hits me. I don't. I think I know where God is going, where He is leading me, where He is taking me, and then my life gets turned upside down. He leads me places I could not expect. Beyond my wildest dreams. Places like Bartlesville and Yukon. Places I would never have thought of going, but I learned so much at.

Why do we continue to doubt God? I sit here typing at my computer, worried, wondering, about where God will take me next. I don't quite understand. Has God ever given me reason to doubt Him? Of course not. But still I do. I come to the foot of the throne and lay it at his feet. I get up and turn to walk away. I take a couple of steps and then I turn and run and lay hold of it again. For those brief instants, my mind was filled with the goodness of the Lord, and with His radiant light and beauty. I sit and bask in his peace. Then it starts to come slowly upon me. What about this? What about that? Mone…

A+B=What?

My whole life I was raised in church. I went to a christian school. I had great christian parents. Now I am in the ministry full time. There is a trend, a movement, that is probably not new but one that I have noticed in the past six months. Christians treat Christ just as if He is something to help them on their way to a better life. They know that they want a better life, and they hope, most of them truly and sincerely believe, that Christ is their key to a better life. Out of their crummy job, of their poor financial situation, to help them find that boy or girl that they have been looking for. So what do they do? They know that C is their goal, so they think that they have to do A and B to get to C. A+B=C

I have been extremely guilty of this in my own life. It was very difficult to see. The things that I wanted were not bad, and were things that were very holy and noble. I wanted to stop wallowing in sin. I wanted to have a succesfull ministry, to see people changed fo…

What's Love Got To Do With It?

What is love? It is something that we talk about all the time but I am not sure it is something I understand. I turned to my trusty 1828 Noah Webster's Dictionary and it said

"...In short, we love whatever gives us pleasure and delight, whether animal or intellectual: and if our heart is right we love God above all things, and the sum of all excellence and all the attributes which can communicate happiness to intelligent beings. In other words, the christian loves God with the love of complacency in his attributes, the love of benevolence towards the interests of his kingdom, and the love of gratitude for favor recieved."

This is all fine and well, but there seems to be more to it than this. Thomas Merton says that love is not pluarlistic in it's interests. Meaning, love has only one interest, that of it's beloved. It does not even consider its self and it's needs and wants and desires. Love only cares about the other. Not in gratitude for favor reci…
My heart is heavy within me. Why must Christians continue to live the ways of the world? What makes us get up everyday and willfully disobey God? How can people continue to run from God? What does the world seem to be offering them that God does not? I don't understand. I wish I knew. It breaks my heart. Everyday they make the conscious decision to sleep with their girlfriend, to continue to get drunk, to watch the things they should not be watching. The human heart is so desperately wicked above all things. Father, why do we run from you when we have already felt your embrace. The greatest tragedy is not lost people doing things that come naturally to them. The greatest tragedy is when we lay those things down to follow Jesus, to run to his arms, only to leave the arms of Jesus and run back to those things we laid down. We stand in the shelter of the Lord, safe from all harm and evil, only to leave it, to go back out into the streets. We continue to live in the dump…
I have been thinking alot about what it means to be a fool for Christ. Wearing a WWJD bracelet does not make you foolish in the eyes of the world. Neither does wearing christian t-shirts or listening to christian music. That does not make a difference. Father, I long to be a fool for you. Rejoicing that I am counted worthy to suffer for your name. Laying my wife and children down to follow you. Laying down my fame and my fortune to follow you.

There are plenty of decent, honest, hardworking, good people out there going to hell. How am I different from the world? How does my life witness to them? Because of the verse on my shirt? Because my music doesn't have cuss words in it? Because I only buy the music that is censored because I don't want to hear curse words? NO. BIG DEAL. Being considered a fool for Christ is found in the little things. Not speeding, even if it's only five miles an hour over. Putting your cart in the place it's suppossed to go at…