Friday, January 27, 2006

Special "Date" with Dad

We have a deal with our kids that whenever they have done their chores for a certain number of days and have also stayed out of trouble they get a special "date" with mom or dad. Today Alex and I went ice skating and to Sonic. We also went to the motorcycle store up the street. There a little 50cc motorcycle that a five year old could ride. Alex has been talking about it all day. Maybe someday Alex and I will both have motorcycles. Mom and Deb, hope you aren't reading this!!!

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The only hot dogs they had were foot long!
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Next, Alex will be up for his special date with Deb and then back to me for what is billed to be the best, super, special, amazing, unbelievable Dad-date of all time. It's such a secret that I can't even tell Deb. (No, it's not buying him a $1000 kiddie motorcycle)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

What questions about the Church does the Bible address?

I've decided to take a relatively quick trip through the New Testament to see what it has to say specifically about the Church and what she should be.

Questions I've got in mind for God in His word are:

How much is the presence of 'local churches' in Biblical towns culturally conditioned? In other words... Is there a 'church at Ephesus' because having a church at the town level is how God wants things always or is it because the Ephesians didn't have the internet or airplanes? Is the local church a necessary Biblical concept? If so, what is local these days with our sprawling metroplexes and our connectedness across the globe?

Should a believer necessarily give a percentage of income to a church in the local town or is it ok with God for some believers to give all of their contributions in whatever way we see fit across the globe to advance his kingdom?

What will a person miss out on if he is just worshipping at Crowder concerts, reaching out to co-workers, making Christian friends on the internet, studying God's word with Bible Study Fellowship, and serving with any of the numerous relief organizations? Maybe he misses accountability? But is accountability really a good thing? Does accountability make someone hot or does it just usually warm a cold person to lukewarm?

How can we find the level of community and oneness mentioned in John 17 regardless of church style or structure?

How should life coaching or mentoring fit into the Church?

Is the method Paul used to start churches God's way or was it just Paul's way? Trying to discern the roles of apostle, pastor, teacher, elder, deacon, etc in a non-institutional church model.

What about "church discipline" in a more fluid, less structured church? Does a Christ-follower need a solitary person he follows as his pastor and spiritual authority?

What constitutes "not neglecting to meet together" as we are instructed in Hebrews?

Is it mission or love that binds us together as the church? Or is there another combination of the two?

Though I'm currently reading through the New Testament, what does the Old Testament teach us today about these things?

I am NOT looking for any one of you to answer these questions. But I would be VERY INTERESTED in what additional questions about these things (church, church structures, and the growing band of revolutionaries) you would suggest I ask as I read through the Scriptures in coming weeks.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Dr. Martin Luther King Weekend

Each January I am deeply moved by the vision, courage, integrity, clarity, and tenacity of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the famous "I Have a Dream" speech, King said the following about urgency of mission which really resonates with me right now:

"We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood."

While some thought that the civil rights problems for non-whites were gradually going to get better, King was not content with gradual. He knew that there was immensely important progress that had to be made and he was even willing to die accelerating the process.

Am I "taking the tranquilizing drug of gradualism" in any areas of my life or work right now? What about you?

This year I have immersed a little further in the celebration of King's life. I contacted the MLK celebration committee in my city last July and made myself available to help in any way needed. I ended up doing some web work for the celebration this weekend and also made a video for a couple of the events.

Today I also found some MLK speeches online. is a great resource for mp3s of tons of great speeches. I downloaded King's "I Have a Dream" speech and burned it to a CD. We played the 16 minute speech in the van as our family went to the mall today. I don't think the kids fully understand, but I love letting them hear great vision and courage and determination.

One other thing today... At the city's celebration, they had a gentleman speak who was both a scholar on Dr. King and a King impersonator. He told King's story through some narration and then he would break into speaking portions of King's amazing speeches in a voice amazingly like King's own. The fact that this impersonator was a white man made the experience all the richer. It was a picture of the bridging of the races.

Do you have any thoughts this weekend about Dr. King?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Sun Clock Widget

For mac bloggers: I found this widget on It is a map of the earth and tells at any time where the sun is and which part of the earth is in daylight. As we interect more globally through the blogosphere I think this is one more little tool to help us feel more connected as we, at a glance, remember what part of the day our friends across the world are in.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

What is Local?

I've been reading George Barna's "Revolution". He talks about how many are starting to pick and choose parachurch ministries to create their own Christian experience. They fill their plates with things like:

- supporting and enjoying Crowder worship concerts
- teaching or learning in Bible Study Fellowship studies
- organizing or serving on serve trips
- throwing some parties with neighbors and friends who don't yet know Christ
- blogging with great Christ-following friends from around the globe.

It's funny... I just categorized Passion and BSF and by the descriptor I've always heard... PARA-church ministries. Why can it not be acknowledged that these are PART OF THE CHURCH? I think I could be a pretty complete Christ-follower doing the five things listed above. In fact, they are Rick Warren's five purposes. Barna is bold to question the validity of the statement "The local church is the hope of the world." Maybe the concept of the local church is being blown away since the world is now so small that a believer can stream Tomlin, blog with Scotland and paypal dollars to AIDS orphans.

In the same vein, instead of making the local church the place where everyone's gift finds a usage, why not allow the global church to be the place where that happens?

What do you think?