Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Back from vacation

We had fun at Sea World. For pix see Debbie's blog at this link. Back to a busy week at church trying to prepare a video for this Sunday on our church's local Katrina efforts.

Was reading Stephen Hammond's blog out of Mosaic of Arlington, Texas. I like his list of shifts that are happening in the church.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

New morning routine

Today we started a new morning routine. We're having the kids get our simple breakfast ready all by themselves. We eat and have a devotion and then the kids are supposed to clean up. The kids had fun today.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Prayer tomorrow

Tomorrow it's my turn to lead our 30 minute church staff prayer time. Can't decide what to lead them to pray. We could each pray for 3 of our lost friends. We could pray for clarity in a particular area of each of our ministries. We could pray for more leaders to emerge from the congregation. Just thinking as I type here... Maybe we should use our Barbarian Way discussion guide for this week. It's taken from Erwin's message on David's Mighty Men in 1 Chron 11. We could talk briefly about resolve, tenacity, loyalty, humility, and ingenuity from that text and then pray for each other in whatever area each claims he/she needs to grow in.

Resolve - I've almost completed something that God wants me to do. I need to keep on going.
Tenacity - I will not fight half-hearted. I must do whatever it takes even when others won't.
Loyalty - I need to risk my time, convenience, comfort, career, safety, etc for others in the body of Christ and for those who don't yet know him.
Humilty - I need to humble myself under God's hand and let Him raise me up in due time.
Ingenuity - I need to be creative to do what God wants even though I seem to have inadequate resources.

I think we'll mention each of these five traits, read the corresponding passage from 1 Chronicles 11, take a little individual time to ponder, share as a group which one people need the most of right now. Then we'll break up in threes and pray for that.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Homeschool seminar today

Debbie and I attended a houseschool seminar today by Carole Joy Seid about how to get our children to love books. It was a really great seminar. She handed out a list of what she considers the best literature for babies through high school. She also outlined a plan to teach western civilization using literature, history books, art, music, and film.

I have always wished I were more of a reader. I read leadership books or "Christian living" books, but I have never read many of the classics. We've always read to our kids some, but Debbie and I have both wanted to help our kids really love to read. I think that Carole's vision for loving books and the convenient list of resources presented at the seminar will give us the push we need to start our family on the path to loving reading. We just need to stay focused and make reading great books a priority.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Susannah Pix

Susie is looking so big today. From baby summer clothes to jeans and a t-shirt for the fall. It's wild how fast she is growing up.

Continued Katrina work

Today we moved the donated items from our church that had not been used in the adoption of our ten Katrina families. These "left over" items from our sheltering efforts completely filled a 17 foot uhaul. We took them to a big Salvation Army warehouse in Dallas.

Some guys from our church went down to serve in Biloxi last week. They were blown away by the devastation and the amount of need. I'm sure we'll be sending some more people down there and we'll also be continuing the relationship and assistance with the 10 families in Plano.

Again, my biggest question is how we can keep up this level of caring and serving...

Thursday, October 06, 2005


My allergies have fully kicked in for the fall in Texas. That -- on top of moving a lot of Katrina stuff this week -- is wiping me out. Even so, it's a good day. All three kids went with me to buy things for our Katrina family's home tonight. We got to talk about why we do things like this.

Not much else to say at the moment...

More tomorrow,

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Big day of moving

Debbie and I worked tonight on furnishing the new apartment of one of Legacy's Katrina families using the hurricane relief funds given by our church. Other Legacy people have "championed" all the other families like this and have done an awesome job. We wanted to take one of the families so that we could have the full experience of that ourselves. Tonight we moved in beds, sofa, love seat, and some other furniture along with all the kitchen stuff we got yesterday. It's really great to see a totally empty apartment begin to be filled with places to sit, things to cook with, etc. We'll finish up tomorrow or Friday.

Monday, October 03, 2005

I ate Indian food today!

A few weeks ago I wrote here about how I feel convicted that I should learn to like more foods of different cultures if I'm going to engage people in those cultures for Christ. People at church who read my blog have been nagging me ever since.

Well... today I gave in and let them take me out to the Sitar Indian Buffet. I'm a big meat and potatos kind of guy, so this was a stretch. I tried just about everything. Most of it wasn't too bad except that some of those flavors hang around in your mouth much longer than I'd like. It turned out that the food wasn't nearly as bad as the conversation. Everybody thought since I was trying new food they should tell stories of the strangest food they'd ever heard of or had ever eaten themselves. One guy told of his five part snake meal... they poured the blood in a glass, the gall bladder bile in another glass... and on and on... he had also been served a chilled goat head on a platter. Another guy talked about people who kill cobras and eat the still beating heart. Between the food and the stories I wondered if I should have brought our "hook bucket" (pronounced like the oo in food). In our family we call throwing up "hook-ing".

It was a good experience... but I still really wanted to go across the street for some On the Border queso afterwards.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Why do we in the church copy the world?

The world segments to population into all of these little age groupings. Seniors, adults, youth, kids. People are taught by the world to enjoy only things geared precisely for their age group and to loathe everything else. I think we perpetuate this problem in the church. There isn't a children's body of Christ, a youth body of Christ, an adult body of Christ, etc. We are all in the same body. Why did people long ago let the church become so segregated along age lines? The church is one of the few places that the family has any chance at all. Let's not send our youth and children off to their own worlds to learn about God in their own way. Let's instead grow as one body with many members each member having a different function and a diversity of age.

Why am I thinking about this? It started with the question of "how does a church simplify?" My church has 7 different programs on Sunday morning for about 400 people... separate worship for adults, Jr high, Sr high, 3rd-5th, K-2nd, preschool, and nursery. If you don't count nursery we have 6 worship/programming leaders, 6 teachers, 6 small group caring structures. What if we just had one service that speaks to the whole body of Christ (all ages) and we had family-based LifeGroups? Then those other 5 worship leaders, other 5 age group leaders, other 5 LifeGroup structure leaders, and many other age group volunteers could be freed up not to make the church run week-to-week, but they could be dreaming up ways to use music and teaching and all their other skills out in the community engaging people with Christ's love.

Also, it's a whole lot easier to have a church without a building if you only need to find one room to meet in as a large group. It would be almost impossible to find a place with 7 rooms for all the worship services and nursery we currently have.

Any thoughts?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Lots of stuff in my head

Legacy now has 8 Katrina families that we are helping with furniture and household essentials. 3 are almost complete, 1 is in progress and 4 are just getting started. This has been a great experience working to mobilize Legacy around all of this. The two biggest things I've seen are these:

1) The faith community in our city is getting a reputation for truly caring about people and doing whatever it takes to help.

2) Members of the body of Christ can do so much. I've just been a coordinator. The real work has been done by the church members who have each volunteered to be a "champion" for one of the Katrina families and those who have donated money and delivered lots of great donated furniture. People are capable of much when the need is pressing and great. I think that the challenge coming out of Katrina is how to inspire these immensely capable people to give this much and serve others this much when we are finished with hurricane recovery and are back to only having people's eternal relationship with God at stake.

Other thinking these days...

How does a children's ministry in a barbaric "mission outpost" look as opposed to a children's mininstry in an institutional/educational church or a "seeker" church? How does the church partner with parents to teach kids how to be risk-taking, radically obedient Christ-followers?

What does a church do when it's body of missional Christ-followers is strong but relatively small and it finds itself in an infrastructure of buildings and staff that is large? Do you vision-cast the heck out of downsizing and then move to a rental facility and be prepared to send staff back into the marketplace--not to go look for a bigger church to work in... but to continue on at the church--simply getting income somewhere else? Or do you count on growing the church and expanding people's faithfulness in giving? I know one thing to do is pray.

What should my own LifeGroup do to get back on track? Meeting on the weekend doesn't seem to be working because people are so often out of town. Moving back to Tuesday night would mean childcare problems. I'm wondering about having a LifeGroup made up of families. When you meet it's families - parents and kids all in the room together working on how each familiy can be barbaric... how they as a family can spend money in a Godly way... how they as a family and as individuals spend time with God... etc...etc... It would be very different, and I don't have my head around how the "curriculum" would look... but I'm intrigued. Then, you could have he guys of the group and the girls of the group meet separately at two different times of the week (or even every other week) for deeper adult discussion and accountability.

Anyone have any thoughts?