Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Rockets Over The Red
Chillin with the Kids
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Bibles for Hunger
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Preaching to Postmoderns
Labels: emerging generations
Newsweek's Politics of Jesus
I picked up the recent Newsweek about “The Politics of Jesus.” I found the articles on the topic to be a fresh presentation of the movement within evangelicalism to broaden the scope of issues they give their voice to in politics. There are growing numbers of them who see that not much has been done by the religious right for the issues it has held dear and there certainly has been no voice from them on issues such as unjust war, poverty, AIDS, and human rights. I would number myself among those who want the evangelical voice in
I also liked the quote from the pastor at the Willow Creek summit this past summer, at which an interview between Hybels and Bono was shown, who said, “I went in there wondering if Bono was a Christian, and I came out wondering if I was.”
The more we look at Jesus and his politics the more we will see our need to move beyond the things that divide us to the things that are close to the heart of God. I’m excited to consider how the emerging generations I’m working with have the potential to one day give a fresh expression to what Jesus intended with the church. May they be generations known for what they do in the world than what they were against while taking up space awaiting rapture.
Monday, November 20, 2006
A Pre-Insititutional Paul
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Labels: Highland Center
Friday, November 17, 2006
Obama at Saddleback
Monday, November 13, 2006
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Thursday, November 09, 2006
My Wife and Mrs. Haggard
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Rain and My Missing Paper
Friday, November 03, 2006
Pics of the Week
Monday, October 30, 2006
Walking, Part 2
Americans are walking less than ever, but not necessarily because they're lazy, say health experts. It's because they can't. There are no sidewalks nearby, the school is miles away, and a six-lane highway separates home and stores"Hsu also quoted from theologian Robert Banks
One of the key victims of the automobile is the experience of local neighborhood. Since people drive to and from their homes, they do not see, greet or talk with each other much anymore; since they go greater distances to shop and relax, the corner store disappears, and the neighborhood park empties, so removing the chief hubs of local neighborhood life.Have you been on a walk lately?
Jesus in Prison
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Walking to Work
Today was the first day of walking to work. It took me and my two children 12 minutes from our front door to the church/school. It has been raining non-stop here for the last couple of days but it stopped just long enough for us to make the walk today. It is a beautiful walk and just the right distance. I am walking for several reasons: the kids think it is cool (for now), my fat gut needs help, and my intentions to fully inhabit my neighborhood. The third of these reasons comes as a result of how I have been challenging our 8:45 worship congregation to become “Matthews” in their neighborhoods, getting out of their houses and comfort zones to meet their neighbors. I think it is easier for me than those I’m challenging because I am new in my neighborhood and can introduce myself to people as new as opposed to having lived next door to someone for ten years and still haven’t met. One of the strategies we are using is remembered by the acronym for the abbreviation for Matthew’s name:
M—ake a commitment to God for your neighborhood
A—sk a neighbor over to share your dinner table
T—ake the initiative to build relationships with your neighbors
T—throw great parties
I will be blogging about my walks and neighborhood experiences and I hope you will share some of yours as well.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Lauren Winner in Shreveport
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Saturday, October 21, 2006
One Groovy Chick
Friday, October 20, 2006
Sunday, October 15, 2006
What Happens when 500 Baptist Street Preachers Gather
Monday, October 09, 2006
Teenagers and Faith
Saturday, October 07, 2006
5 Hours of Misery
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
The Real Jesus
Friday, September 29, 2006
Two Things I Liked at Willowcreek Today
Three things I liked today at willow creek
The front porch represents wc's new emphasis on neighborhood-based groups. I heard randy frazee launch this last night for the church. I was influenced by his Connecting Church approach several years ago and saw the power of connecting with the folks on my street in Texas.
Thing #2 is that they are using Pura Vida as their coffee choice. Good stuff and good cause.
The small groups confer is going well and I look forward to hearing Donald Miller. Its also good to see that Doug Pagitt is here as well for a breakout.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
USA Today and Darfur
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Days 3-5 of Building Blitz
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Day 3 of Building Blitz
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Pics--Day 2 of Building Blitz
Monday, September 18, 2006
Day 1--Millard Fuller Building Blitz
Friday, September 15, 2006
Millard Fuller This Sunday
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Bono and the Saints
Monday, September 11, 2006
America and Religion
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Yes, It Still Happens
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
A Morning Covenant
Meditation for Day 5 THE METHODIST COVENANT PRAYER I am no longer my own, but Thine. Put me to what Thou wilt, rank me with whom Thou wilt; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for Thee or laid aside for Thee; let me be exalted for Thee, or brought low for Thee; let me be full, let me be empty; let me have all things, let me have nothing; I freely and heartily yield all things to Thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Thou art mine, and I am Thine. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Fair Trade Coffee
Best Sumatra I've Had
I found this coffee in my new neighborhood in Shreveport, LA. A wise quote was on their website: "I have meausered out my life with coffee spoons." T.S. Eliot
They are based in New Orleans and you will find them at www.pjscoffee.com
___ Sent with SnapperMail www.snappermail.com
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
"Electric Meat", the Meaning of Life and Separation of Church and State
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Young Adults and Church
Monday, August 14, 2006
Hybels interview with Bono
What can I give back to God for the blessings you pour out on me?
Hybels asked Bono what has been most satisfying in this last year of awards and recognition. Bono says that music is still most satisfying; most thrilling. The other reason is the work he is doing on the ONE campaign. Bono said that the poor and most vulnerable are often not treated with the respect of other interest groups. “We want to represent the poor and most vulnerable without coming with our heads bowed and cowed; that the poor deserve an honorable place—the head place—at the table.”
In re: to family: summers are sacrosanct for the family. We go to
Re: spiritual activity. Hybels said he learned that it began in his youth group. I never had any problems with Christ; it was Christians . . . I found them to be disinterested politically, culturally. I found it difficult to relax around them. Christians can be very judgmental, judging people on the surface yet never mentioning corporate greed, etc. In the system we have, governed by karma, grace enters the picture. It is hard for humans to grasp grace. I grew up suspicious of Christians but determined to learn more about Christ.
Duality is the mark of great art. I did live in tension between Christian faith and my music. There is a fear of duality in Christianity. The key that great art has with Christianity is that you will know the truth and it will set you free. That’s how I start my day.
I relate more the the blues. They are like the psalms. Oh, God, where are you?
In re: to believing in Jesus as just as a good man doesn’t work. He was either a nutcase or who he said he was. This man went to the cross what he said he was prophesied about; God in human flesh. I am fascinated by a child born in straw poverty.
In 1985—going to Ethiopa with Live Aid with his family—this rang every bell inside my head; went over with my wife and worked in an orphanage, under the wire, just to see what was going on there. To see them trying to stay alive is something I will never forget. How could this be in a world of plenty? People growing up starving to death. If this is the way of the world, we need to overthrow this way.
Hybels: how did this finding take manifestation in your life?
Bono: If I am honest, I tried to put it out of my head. To carry this with you is too much. We were both clear that at some point we would be called upon to revisit these questions that were too big.
What happened to you in the last several years that made you shift gears even more to do even more lobbying? Bono: what else are you going to do with celebrity? It is ridiculous. But, hey, its currency and I’m going to spend it. I have a head for the world’s poor and I’m strategic. God has made me an opportunity. I have a voice.
An idea whose time has come and has a moral force is powerful. Now there is momentum behind it. People are waking up and realizing that the world doesn’t have to be this way.
Hybels: why is the church late to this?
Bono: The church has always been behind the curve, with civil rights, etc I think the church is afraid of politics. The church has been very judgmental, about the AIDS virus in particular. Christ won’t let the church walk away from the AIDS crisis. I was very angry when I read the stat. about 6% of Christians feeling the need to respond to the AIDS crisis. The church started to wake up and ruined it for me (not liking the church).
Love thy neighbor is not advice, it is a command. In the global community, can you say it is not really my concern if it is happing over there? No. If people are starving somewhere in the world, we must do something. The only place Jesus mentions judgment is in re: to taking care of the poor and vulnerable. Your service to the poor and needy defines you in the kingdom. This is what it means to live in the kingdom.
If the Christian church can eradicate malaria, defeat AIDS, . . .
I think the most moving moment is when a friend asked me to stop asking God to bless what you are doing. Find out what God is doing and do it. It is already blessed. That’s what I did with these issues. This generation can be remembered for doing away with poverty—the stupid kind of poverty.
“Thy Kingdom come on earth as in heaven” grabs me because our purpose is to bring heaven to earth not have a pie in the sky mentality. The world is not a happy place for most people living in it.
Hybels: You have the opportunity to preach to 70,000 pastors. What do you have to say to them?
Bono: Open the doors of your church and make them clinics. Make your congregation aware of the ONE campaign. Let’s walk together and stand up for the least of these. Give permission to your leaders to spend your money on the poorest of the poor.
Hybels shared about Hebrews , of how this is the scariest verse in the Bible in re: to how God will hold church leaders accountable, esp. about the greatest humanitarian crisis of our day—with the AIDS virus. The church cannot idly sit by. Every church should do something. Doing nothing is no longer an option.
What can a church do?
Educate itself (books, tapes, learning groups).
Engage in the alleviation of human suffering.
Sr. Pastors have to travel to continents being ravaged by this disease.bono AIDS
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Leadership Summit Reflections, Part 2
Friday, August 11, 2006
God and Science
My Thoughts at the Leadership Summit 06
I am at the Willow Creek Association Leadership Summit today with my church—24 of us in all. We were at the Dallas-Rockwall location (
Hybels closed with a story about the impact of leadership by sharing the story of being in a village in
James Meeks, Sr. Pastor of
Andy Stanley’s topic today was “Focused Leadership.” He said the best leadership decision he ever made was to decide to no longer cheat his wife and family on time and focus, but to instead cheat the church. He said he always prayed for God to make up for his time away from home believing he was doing God’s will by building the church. But, he said he had things opposite and that God never commanded anyone to love the church, but to love their wives. He implemented this in his life, going home when his wife and children needed him most (between 4:30-6:00)
Peg Neuhauser talked about tribal warfare and how to manage conflict in organizations. Good stuff.
I am looking forward to hearing from Bono and other speakers tomorrow.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Community renewal, Pastoral Grit
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Good Samaritan in Lebanon
"Seven hundred thousand out of a total Lebanese population of 3.5 million, 20 percent of the population, mostly Shiites, are now being cared for and given refuge by mostly Christian schools, churches, and other humanitarian organizations. This is the story of the Good Samaritan at a mega scale! And to think that this is the outcome of a strategy that meant to rouse anti-Hezbollah feelings among the Lebanese population and government. Talk about a failed strategy! Of course, this has happened so many times before that any thoughtful tactician would have learned the lesson by now, but military muscle is always too hedonistic and narcissistic to listen to the voice of reason and history."
- Dr. Martin Accad, academic dean of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary of Lebanon.
Source: Christianity Today
Dr. Francis Collins
Monday, July 24, 2006
Community and Vocation in Emerging Generations
My morning newspaper had a story in the Life and Arts section about Chris Wiesinger, 25, who recently graduated from Texas A&M and started a bulb(flower) company. What led me to the article was my interest in all things landscaping but as I read on I was fascinated by a 25 year old's desire to drive around to remote parts of the state to dig up bulbs for resale. He is an Aggie, but there seemed to be something here beyond mere aggieness. It turns out that Wiesinger and two other friends from college live together in a cabin out in the country (near
If the focus seems unusually intense, it is because their interest in gardening is motivated less by aesthetic predilection than by philosophical belief. Wiesinger and his friends said they are all observant Christians who see gardening as a lesson in the politics of personal responsibility and the value of rewards deferred.
Bellafante also finds that Wiesinger's encounter with the poverty in
These four exemplify what emerging generations value in life and what kind of community and world they want to live in, one that is based on authentic friendships and conversation, the mixture of work and spirituality/secular and sacred, care for the poor and neglected, and a focus on making the world a better, more beautiful place.
I don’t know if Wiesinger attends church anywhere nor do I know much of anything else about him or this group, but it seems like he has created a community that looks so much like what I believe Jesus intend His followers to be.bulbs
Friday, July 21, 2006
Day of Donut
Monday, July 17, 2006
Monday, July 10, 2006
Anne Lamott Interview
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Kimball on fall of Axis
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Obama on Faith
Friday, June 30, 2006
Baby Got Book
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Vacation Bible School, a missional beginning
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
A Call for Action
Monday, June 19, 2006
On the Reading of Books
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Colbert at his best
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
"Our happiness is all mixed up with each other's happiness, our peace with each other's peace. Our own happiness, our own peace can never be complete until we find some way of sharing it with people who, the way things are now, have no happiness and know no peace. Jesus calls us to show this truth forth, live this truth forth. Be the light of the world, he says. Where there are dark places, be the light especially there. Be the salt of the earth. Bring out the true flavor of what it is to be alive truly. Be truly alive. Be life-givers to others. That is what Jesus tells the disciples to be. That is what Jesus tells his church, tells us, to be and do. Love each other. Heal the sick, he says. Raise the dead. Cleanse lepers. Cast out demons. That is what loving each other means. If the church is doing things like that, then it is being what Jesus told it to be. If it is not doing things like that--no matter how many other good and useful things it may be doing instead--then it is not being what Jesus told it to be. It is as simple as that."I love the call here to be "life-givers to others." Are those who follow Jesus today living out these words as Jesus intended? Ask a person on the street and you will find that there are many other descriptions, none of which get close to "life-givers." I do believe that these same folks you talk with will see Jesus as one, but not so much those who claim to follow. May the church of today be full of life-givers. Frederick Buechner Church