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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Candidate Comparison Chart

Interesting chart comparing the 3 remaining candidates running for president based on their voting record in Congress.

Adam: The Trailer for the Book

I am so looking forward to reading Ted Dekker's latest book. It's his fastest selling pre-release yet. It's called Adam. Enjoy the trailer!

Monday, March 24, 2008

What is worship?

Worship is just singing songs to God, right? I don't think so.

If I remember correctly, there are at least 2 words for worship in scripture. One is proskuneo (Greek). Vines defines it, "to make obeisance, do reverence to (from pros, 'towards,' and kuneo, 'to kiss')" This is like when you approach a king, bow and kiss his hand. It's an act of explicit adoration and worship.

The other work is latrueo (Greek) and it speaks of the idea of service. Vines defines it, "to serve, to render religious service or homage." It shows that service and worship are two sides of the same coin. It's used in Rom 12:1 and speaks to this idea that worship is life.

Hebrews 13:15-16 does a beautiful job of showing both of these kinds of worship together.

"Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased."

Notice the first type of worship in the phrase, "a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips". Then notice that the second part is seen as indispensable, "Do not forget to do good and to share with others."

Some of us like to sing praises to God all day--but we are lazy when it comes to serving others. Others of us like to be busy serving the Lord but are bored singing praises to God or slow to just give God praise verbally throughout the day. Perhaps this verse will remind us that both are not only appropriate but necessary to please God who is worthy.

What do you think? What else should we think about when we consider worship? Who do we worship? Why? How often? Where? Give me some help here.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Screenagers

Several months ago, Tim Elmore of Growing Leaders hosted a focus group of students (ages 16-24) and asked them: "What are your preferred methods of communication?" Here's what he learned.

Their top eight methods of communication are:
1. Text messaging
2. Internet (i.e. MySpace or Facebook)
3. iPods and Podcasts
4. Instant messaging
5. Cell phone
6. DVD / CD
7. Books
8. Email

Summarizing his takeaways,

1. He noted email was last and that one teen called email, "How you communicate with old people."
2. With one exception, this list moves from more personal to less.
3. These teens prefer a screen over face to face in 6 of the 8.

My takeaways,

1. Teens want to communicate on their own terms.
2. They are intensely relational.
3. The way they communicate will continue to change.

If we want to influence and lead young people, we need to learn how to communicate with them.

Action items:

1. Learn to text your kids or grand kids.
2. Go the extra mile to make your correspondence more personal.
3. Give instead of take whenever possible.

Stop the Traffik

sobering pic

Vienna was the delivery of our declaration but it was also a new beginning – Money/Sex/Chocolate.

MONEY Money matters. It takes money to fund projects to prevent trafficking, protect the vulnerable and prosecute the traffickers. The STOP THE TRAFFIK Global Fund will be a worldwide war chest to fund the fight against trafficking.

Read the rescue story of Puja & Accamma.


SEX: Safety, hope & choice80% of the millions of people who are trafficked around the world are being used in the sex industry. Their freedom ripped from them, they are commodities, human cargo herded because of the greed & depravity of others. We must not turn away & ignore their plight. Find out more

Follow this link if you want to receive updates on this campaign.


CHOCOLATEThe chocolate industry is starting to realise that we are not going to stop until they STOP THE TRAFFIK of young children who work as slaves to produce our chocolate.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Home-Schooling: A Criminal Offense?

From Gary (sorry, not Jack) Bauer:

A California appeals court recently ruled that parents, "...do not have a constitutional right to home-school their children." The ruling could be devastating to many of America’s 1.5 - 2 million home-schooling families.

In my Human Events column today, I discuss why more and more parents are choosing to home-school their children, and why it’s so successful. I also interview Michael Farris, founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association, about the impact of the ruling and the options for Americans who care about the fundamental right to educate their own children.

Click here (http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=25498) to read my
column and join in the spirited debate. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Super-sized Vision

In light of yesterday's post, I started brainstorming what a God-sized, super-sized vision might look like at our humble church. We have about 90 members and run about 80 on Sundays. Here are some of the thoughts that came to me in my time alone with God yesterday...

* Start a free medical clinic
* Translate (pay linguistic experts to) NT into a language it hasn't been translated into yet (www.oneverse.org)
* Build some clean drinking water wells in a third world country (or as some call them, "Two thirds" world country)
* Buy Cesar and Emma, locals in Curacao, a new van to help them in their ministry to children in their neighborhood
* Substantially support our 3 missionary families (East Asia, Central Asia, Thailand)
* Support one Gospel for Asia missionary family for every 10 of ours
* Support 1 Compassion International child for every child in our church
* Create a free tutoring center & computer lab for Summerville children
* Start an Upward-type soccer or football league in Summerville
* Buy & renovate or build a house to house for free single mom's keeping their child and needing 6 months to get back on their feet
* Tithe to a church plant until we start one ourselves
* Rescue 1 slave prostitute for every teenage or grade school girl in our church
* Send 2 medical people to Jamaica on a medical missions trip
* Scholarship 2 of our college students
* Send to of our people to Catalyst Conference., 2 to Wired Conf. & 2 to The Summit Conf.
* Bring in small group leadership expert for training
* Setup an office/HQ in town
* Scholarship 2 to go to Curacao

This is a start but I'm not sure how to proceed--so I continue to pray. Please feel free to share ideas that God puts on your heart for us to consider.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Give half of everything away

If you haven't heard of Francis Chan, the pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA, it's time you did. He's a fireball of passion for what matters most in life. He's also a great communicator of God's word. Check out his podcasts on iTunes.

I heard him speak live at Catalyst '07. In his session, he challenged me up to my eyeballs as a pastor and a leader. I felt convicted and encouraged all in the same message.

He hit on one thing that has bothered me as a church-goer. How come what the early church giving looked like seems so different from how we give and handle giving in the church today?

The church in Acts and the Epistles gave to the poor and to support the work of evangelists, apostles, preachers and teachers. The only buildings they used were their own homes and other local buildings (synagogues, temple). They were primarily (in some cases, exclusively) lay-led, if I can use that lingo for a moment. As a result, a high percentage of their giving could go directly towards meeting tangible needs.

Chan talks about taking a 3-month hiatus from his church because he was beginning to be more a pastor and less a follower of Christ. This scared him and so he responded well. (You can find this 6 min. video clip as part of the Catalyst podcast on iTunes)

He came out of this time fired up about simply doing "Whatever" God told him to do through His word.

When he came to "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:37-39) and he seriously considered that command (part of the "Greatest" commandment according to Jesus), he found himself wondering to his elders, "Why not give half of all we receive away?" And their remarkable response was, "Sure let's do it. That's right."

So I asked my Home Group last night what they thought. They said they were pumped about being a part of that kind of a church. I admitted to them I was a little scared. (not as much as you might think but way more than I should be) I left encouraged and excited about the possibilities.

I have no idea what God is up to or what, if anything, will come of this. But I left that time feeling like my vision was just that--MY vision. And it was puny.

We prayed that night for God's vision to become evident--one so big we couldn't ever imagine being able to make happen or afford. We prayed that God would show us His vision for our church. And for the courage and faith to embrace it. Not just "Love God. Love People." but more specific than that.

What do you think? Am I misinterpreting this verse? Am I smokin' something? Am I on the right track?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Biblical Barbie

Nice thought B&H. We need to combat our culture's flawed view of what's expected of women today. What a great series this would make too...