Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Sometimes, in the church circles I run in, certain individuals talk about a piece of music or a particular event "speaking to them". Well, this bit of Dilbert spoke to me big-time about a number of areas of my life:
- Gaming: I am so very, very tired of the whole "Ameritrash/Eurosnoot" thing...
- Church: This goes double for the whole "private prayer language"/"beverage alcohol" snipe hunt some of the leadership in my denomination seem to think is more important than Christ-like character or actual reading of the Bible... (btw, if this doesn't make sense to you, don't sweat it. This is one of the those moments where Ira Glass is, sadly, wrong.)
- American Idol: If a faux-hawk made out of ponytails can't convince people to stop voting for Sanjaya, nothing can.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
My dad taught me many things:
- how to change the oil on my car (which I don't do because I don't like being covered in stuff that looks like it came straight out of an X-Files rerun)
- how to comparison shop for electronics (a skill I still use)
- some basic dating skills (best bit of advice: "Ask for the second date at the end of the first date... while you're still both having a good time." It worked with Shari - and we'll be married 17 years this June!)
- how to clean things thoroughly (a skill I don't use as much as I should)
- how to think like a CEO (something he did very well and I hope I've figured out how to apply that stuff wisely to church life)
- the incredible grace of giving generously
And the list goes on...
But one of my favorite things he taught me is how to mix chunky peanut butter & light Karo syrup to make a gooey substance that is best on scooped & eaten with graham crackers. Of course, there's some "art" involved in getting the balance of peanut butter & syrup right - too much syrup & the sticky goodness drips all over the place; too much peanut butter & you can't scrape it off the plate with a knife, let alone a graham cracker. We have to maintain that same delicate balance in our lives as people who are followers of Jesus Christ. We need to safeguard ourselves from sin & grow deeper in our individual relationship with God (metaphorically, we'll call that peanut butter). At the same time, we need to "go everywhere" (Acts 1:8) as witnesses of what Jesus has done in our lives (we'll call that Karo). Too much Karo and we end causing a mess - sharing a faith without substance or depth that is more about putting convert notches on our spiritual gun belt than about seeing people become fully devoted followers of Christ. On the other hand, too much peanut butter & we find our stuck to our spiritual plates - so addicted to church life & the Christian bubble that we have no influence on a lost world who desperately needs Jesus. We become whiny Christians whose demand for "deeper teaching" is a mask for our fear of the way that non-believers might challenge us. Ah, but when the mix is right... when we long to know Jesus more as well as see people come to know Him, we are a little slice of heaven... on a graham cracker. I'm not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. John 17:15-18 (New Living Translation) You've probably figured it out by now, but a simple note: I was really hungry when I wrote this. This article originally appeared in the 3/26/07 issue of the Grapevine, the newsletter of NewLife Community Church.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
- Debbie was underpaid and underappreciated at Dalewood - not least of which because she was a woman. I said it above and I mean it - the survival of my youth ministry in the dark days that followed our pastor's adulterous affair were directly affected by the high quality of work she did in creating a volunteer staff who loved Jesus & loved kids.
- Debbie was kind & thoughtful with me... taking time to meet with me and answer MOST of my questions when I came on staff at Dalewood. (She was careful not to poison the well with current staff members, even though she & I ended up having difficulty with the same person.) Instead of scaring me away from kids, she encouraged me to develop my own relationships with them - owning that someone else might be better at reaching them than her.
- Debbie & I saw each other off & on through our work at Lifeway for Youth Discipleship Training. (For the non-SBCer's in the audience, Lifeway is the publishing house affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.) She was always gracious & funny.
- I also appreciated the ministry of encouragement she started, Anchor Deep Ministries. Her letters & prayers were always welcome.
- Finally, as I was writing this I realized that 2 of the 7 folks that helped start the church @ hickory hollow were "graduates" of her youth ministry - Michelle & Allen were & are credits to Debbie's willingness to live out Jesus.
I lost contact with Debbie when I started church planting... so it's probably been 10 years since we've talked. I do look forward to seeing her again, though - cuz our anchors are set against the same Rock.