Friday, December 28, 2007
I went to bed last night thinking about that and how that applies to bringing someone up in the faith. I am a firm believer in personal discipleship and have witnessed so many new believers fall through the cracks of a church because 8 people had one eye on them but no one had two. I have heard it said that "Everyone's job is no one's job".
Saturday, December 1, 2007
About the same time I was reading a book at the same table and made a discovery of my own. I am reading a book by Ed Stetzer called Planting Missional Churches. He quotes a book called The Shaping of things to Come. He explains that our Christology (our understanding of Jesus) shapes our Missiology (our understanding of the Mission of Jesus) and creates our Ecclesiology (the way we function as a church).
Too often we put the cart before the horse when it comes to doing the work of the ministry. The form and function of the church must never come before the person of Jesus. We must start with understanding, loving, and serving Jesus before we try to do church. It will remain a partial picture of the real thing and not a completed version of the Body of Christ.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I thought this was interesting on Sunday when I heard this because of the translation it makes into church world. There are those that you lead, disciple, serve, or take part in helping develop and need you to know them so well that you might be able to step outside of the normal route in order to make a better play in terms of their development.
There is a book I am excited to read by Dennis McCallum from Xenos Christian Fellowship called 'Organic Disciple-Making'. I heard him speak about it at a conference I went to this summer. McCallum advocates an organic approach to discipleship that involves a unique method towards an individual spiritual development. He likens it to building a fire. He said that he's been camping with enough city boys to know that not all men know how to build a good fire.
He speaks of the tinder as a initial concern for a nonbeliever and the light to your presentation to that person about their need for repentance. The logs put on after the fire is lit represent your prayers over that person you are teaching. It is common and God ordained that we agonize over these people in prayer asking that God give us clear marching orders as to know when to throw on the next log to keep the fire going.
It is tempting at times as disciplers to want to throw accelerant on the fire if it isn't growing like it should. This seems to be a quick fix but you get what you pay for in the long run by using this approach. It is better to watch the fire and if it is growing all by itself at a normal rate than that person will respond positively to the next level but we have to be patient with those that aren't as fast at comprehending biblical truth. This requires much prayer and leaning on the Spirit of God to show us what is the best approach for these kinds of situations.
I believe that most people don't train others in the faith or share their faith at all for that matter because paying close attention to someone's development takes time but it is well worth it to see a new believer serving, loving, and living like Jesus because that is what God wants rather than what the person who is teaching them wants.
There might be an approach or program that your church favors in order to grow people but we must know that as much as people are unique so must the method be that is used to grow them.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I was talking with a co-worker today about this and felt that the only influence on the mission field that most people have consists of about 12 people on mySpace - give or take. I went to a conference in October called Catalyst. Craig Groschell of Life Church in Oklahoma said something that I will never forget. He said "God, forgive us when we become full time pastor's and part time followers of Jesus."
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
"We are standing on the rooftops
We are circling like sparrows
We are tiny, we are trembling,
Scared of everything
But the heart is still a red wing"
The basic idea of all of us wanting so badly to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
I love the line that says we circle like sparrows. It took a few times to listen and sink in that sparrows don't circle like predatory birds. We're all tiny, trembling, and scared of everything and that's perfectly ok because our hearts are still redwings.
My kids have a tendency to get out of bed about a dozen times before they really go to sleep. Tonight I tried something a little different to help them go to sleep. I made up a play list on itunes called sleepy time and played in softly in the front room. I checked on them a few minutes ago and they are all sound asleep. I must admit I'm getting a little tired as well. Here is the play list...
Sweet Baby James - JT
Betting On Trains - Hem
How's The World Treating You - Alison and JT
Lazy Eye - Hem
walkin' man - JT
Sailor - Hem
Carolina on my mind - JT
Polly's Dress - Hem
You Can Close Your Eyes - JT
Sarah Maria - JT
Waltz - Hem
A Junkie's Lament - JT
For My Father - Andy Mckee
My Traveling Star - JT
Rylynn - Andy Mckee
Wandering - JT
Into the Ocean - Andy Mckee
Daddy's Baby - JT
Such Great Heights - Iron & Wine
Naked As We Came - Iron & Wine
Lion's Mane - Iron & Wine
Waitin For A Superman - Iron & Wine
Hold Me Jesus - Rich Mullins
Ebb Tide - Emile Pandolfi
An Affair to Remember - Emile Pandolfi
Until it's Time For You to Go
Emile Pandolfi An Affair to Remember
Saturday, October 20, 2007
"Kitty", who has access to our house and the neighbors (which is another story in and of itself), was caught red pawed in my garbage tonight. I wasn't upset at him but a little shocked that he wanted my garbage instead of the feast inside. I don't know if finishing the story would take away from some of the magic but I need to illustrate.
I couldn't help but make the connection between "kitty" and myself in terms of my relationship with God. I feel like "kitty" when I get caught sneaking around God's best digging through the left overs when the smell of a 7 course feast is just behind the partially open door. If "kitty" only knew that he were a full bread Siamese - he would never wonder if he were accepted in my home. If only we knew that when God looks on us that He only sees Jesus and that every thing in God's kingdom is at our disposal.
1 Peter 2:9 - But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Your best friend will always be the person who brings out the very best in you. According to Billy Graham, he wouldn’t have made it as an evangelist if he had to minister alone. Over 53 years ago, Billy Graham met his staff and best friends: Cliff Barrows, George Beverly Shea, and Grady Wilson. These three men protected him, strengthened him, counseled with their wisdom, and corrected him when he needed it. He is convinced that without these friends he would have burned out within a few years after his first groundbreaking crusade in 1949 (Just as I Am: The Autobiography of Billy Graham, pp. 125-129).
Developer friends will bring the gift of encouragement to your life and bring out the very best in you.
We tend to think of mentors as a personal, hands-on coach. The Latin and Greek define them more as “advisors” or “wise men.” Jesus was a master mentor. He ministered to thousands, trained hundreds, equipped twelve, and had an intimate friendship with three men.
Designer mentors may live near or far, be acquaintances or strangers, or may even be dead. They “design” our lives through Scripture, books, tapes, articles, or seminars.
We need friends who will shake up our status quo. Disturbers ask us difficult questions, forcing us to take a closer look at motivations and ambitions. Disturbers know when we have retreated into our comfort zones, and they call us out to greater effectiveness. God uses disturbers in our lives to become the object of greater force that breaks inertia and propels us to greater achievement.
A biblical picture of a disturber is in Deuteronomy 32:11. In this passage the mother eagle tears up the soft nest to reveal sharp thorns that bring discomfort to the eaglets. Because of discomfort, the eaglets leave the nest and learn to fly. The mother develops her young by repeatedly pushing them out of the nest and catching them until they become skilled flyers. Eagles were never meant to stay in the nest and neither were we. The disturber pushes us to learn to fly.
In a lifetime of relationships, perhaps only a handful of people are willing to play this vital role because it requires mutual vulnerability. More popularly known as accountability partners, discerners bring the gift of spiritual insight into our lives. They know how to speak the truth in love. They know how to exhort and rebuke, seeking to keep their friend on the right track. They are also vulnerable—the true friends who will walk into the room of your life while everyone else is walking out.
Proverbs 27:6 reads, “The wounds of a friend are trustworthy, but the kisses of an enemy are excessive.” Always be slow in choosing your discerners and even slower in leaving them.
If you are without close friendships, I urge you to seek them out.
Monday, September 3, 2007
I am reading a great book right now called "This Beautiful Mess" by Pastor Rick McKinley. His preface is that Jesus said of the Kingdom of God that it was coming and is in you. While most evangelicals wait for the Kingdom, or claim to be building the Kingdom, Rick believes that the Kingdom of God is here now and is also coming. His plea is to recognize that even though it is not visible the Kingdom is here and that we are called to live in it and be signposts to others directing them towards the reality of the present Kingdom and the physical Kingdom that is coming when Christ returns. Here is a poem from the book that I really felt.
"When my brothers were to young to be wise but to old to name things creatively, they invented a game called: Let's take turns jumping off of Tom's roof and throw the cat after the person who jumped. At least they took turns... Later when my brothers were too young to be wise but old enough to put their scientific knowledge to use, they played a game called: Let's pour gas over this giant pile of weeds and light it on fire. At least the Doctor said that their eyebrows will grow back... Later when my brother was old enough to be depressed but too young to know how to cope, he would play a game called: Let's go to Tom's house and do a lot of drugs and drink all his step dad's beer. At least there was that one English teacher who asked id something was wrong... but what could you say? We are so poorly equipped to deal with these troubles, and there are so few doctors of the soul these days... What is there to do? I know some people who fight it all their lives, kicking against the goads until they bleed to death. Others, like Dad, ignore it, thinking that hard work, sunshine, and the passing of time will resolve it. Still others, like Mom, ostracize and cast blame by leaving condemnatory evangelical polemics taped to your bathroom mirror. But now my brothers and I are old enough to begin to be wise, yet still young enough to climb the cold roof to talk and to smoke. So I will play a new game called: Let's go and bear one another's burdens. At least I will not laugh at your pain, I will not try to fix your problems, I will not ignore your suffering or condemn you with my piety... I will simply lie here next to you in the cold while we breathe our smoky prayers to God." ~ Raeben Nolan
Music I am listing to today:
1. Calling on You - Stryper
2. 8th Grade - Chris Rice
Monday, August 13, 2007
"In God in the Wasteland, David F. Wells points to the problem of approaching the church from the angle of marketing. "A business is in the market simply to sell its products; it doesn't ask consumers to surrender themselves to the product. The church, on the other hand, does call for such a surrender. It is not merely marketing a product; it is declaring Christ's sovereignty over all of life and declaring the necessity of obedient submission to him and to the truth of his Word. When the church is properly fulfilling the task it has been assigned, it is demanding far more than any business would ever think of asking prospective customers. Simply put, the church is in the business of truth, not profit. Its message--the message of God's Word--enters the innermost place in a person's life, the place of secrets and anguish, of hope and despair, of guilt and forgiveness, and it demands to be heard and obeyed in a way that not even the most brazen and unprincipled advertisers would think of emulating.""
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
A $300 dentist bill will change your mind real quick though. I will be pulling those teeth myself from now on. Heck I'll probably start tonight on the rest of them. What's the difference - they'll all come back by the tenth grade - right?
One tooth that was pulled today had been ridiculously loose for about 5 weeks and had finally lodged itself again sideways. It was a lesson to me that most bad habits have a small window to be corrected without help from a professional. God gives grace in that window to break a bad habit that holds you back. I heard John Maxwell say "You form habits, and then they form you." Don't wait to break a bad habit until it costs you dearly. Do it now and save yourself the trouble of needing professional help. God again gives grace to us in the pulling of our own teeth. Yank them out before it becomes more than you can handle.
Monday, August 6, 2007
My family and I went to the Columbus Zoo today and we saw this in the parking lot. This was shocking but what we saw when we drove around to the back of the car was just plain jaw dropping. It appears as if the car was just purchased due to the fact that it was still sporting a temporary tag. Oooh - Sorry 'bout your luck man.
Friday, July 13, 2007
I have been reading an excellent book by Dr. Henry Cloud. The book is entitled Integrity - The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality. If you read any of my previous blogs I refrenced "the diamond life" by Kevin Meyer. I am on first base which is character (developing leadership skills). Dr. Cloud says that someone's character is two sided and looks like a wake that is left from a boat. The two sides of the wake are relationships and results. Everything falls into one of these two categories. He mentions that character is only mastered by someone who continually gets better at what they do (results) and continually develops those around themselves (relationships). People of integrated character (all the parts working in union with one another) are defined by six characteristics.
1. Are able to connect with others and build trust
2. Are oriented toward reality
3. Finish Well
4. Embrace the negative
5. Are oriented toward increase
6. Have an understanding of the transcendent
I will go in detail with what I learn in a later post but i also recommend the book to anyone. Enjoy!
Friday, July 6, 2007
I came across a sermon by a pastor down in Atlanta by the name of Kevin Meyer. He introduced a grid for personal growth quite like nothing I've ever heard. He calls it "the diamond life". It is in the shape of a baseball diamond and there is a point of growth at each base.
He says that everyone starts at home and finishes at home. You don't get to bat from first base just because you made it to the big leagues. Home plate represents (1) calling. When you discover God's unique direction for your life He grants you clearance to go to First base which represents (2) character-leading yourself successfully grants you clearance to go to Second base which represents (3) community-winning with others. Once you have learned to lead yourself and others this now allows you to go to third base which is (4) competency - winning at work. Lastly home plate stands for (5) significance. Kevin believes that you will not live a life of significance until you run the bases in the right order - calling, character, community, and lastly competency.
He makes mention of the verse in Romans 12:2 - Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Kevin makes the point that one of the patterns of the world is to run the bases backwards. I can't tell you what that did to me. It is so easy to run the bases backwards because it is not only accepted by others but expected. God will not bless a backwards base running pattern where his children run to third (competency) and cheat the other bases. They aren't just cheating others they are cheating themselves. Kevin asked the question "What is it called when you run the bases backwards?... Little League!".
It's only funny if you're five. After that we have to learn to run the bases in the right order. It is then and only then that God will allow you to win with significance after you honor Him with your calling, character, community, and competency.
The Diamond Life... Give it a go and let me know what you think.
Friday, June 22, 2007
We are all different learners. Some learn by imagining, some are analytical, some are common sense type learners, and still some are more dynamic. I like to say that I admire all four but lean heavily toward story telling (imaginative).
I like stories best because it is truth or experience attached to someone's life. Not all stories are accurate depictions of truth but it is ok sometimes to hear someone else's story simply for the fact that you get to experience the joy of someone else's discovery (even if it is second hand) and most of life's lessons can be learned from someone else's vantage point whether by failure or success.
These last few years I have grown accustomed to learn by way of discovering LAWS. This blog is mostly for me so that I don't forget what I have learned. Here are a couple laws that I have been chewing on:
1. The Law of the Frame of Reference
2. The Law of the Boundry
I will edit this post in the future for sake of update and expounding but most likely it will be a whole new post for each LAW. These are two of many on my journey that I will learn. This should be fun. Go with me down the road for a spell and we'll discover some interesting things together. Just think of it as an online treasure hunt.
by Erwin McManus
True leadership affects the soul of the organization and the spirit of the people. The irony is that, while secular leadership has become blatantly spiritual, Christian leadership has become blatantly (and blandly) secular. We need to recapture the invisible aspects of leadership. We must focus our attention on the creating and shaping of ethos and then on the structures that best nurture and harness its potential. In the end leadership is nothing less than spiritual. And spiritual leaders are essentially cultural architects.
Spiritual leadership is both art and science, so the pastor must be both artist and engineer. Frank Lloyd Wright’s assertion that form and function are one is nowhere more apparent than in the church. All the material from which God builds his church exists and emerges from the hearts of God’s people. The church is a construct of human talents, gifts, intelligence, passions, skills, disciplines, experiences, and commitments energized by the Holy Spirit.
If true leadership is essentially spiritual, then serving as a pastor is the ultimate leadership challenge-leading as a servant of God. The context is invisible, mystical, of the spirit-both the Holy and the human. The product is real, tangible, transforming both personal and cultural.
The metaphor of a leader as a cultural architect encompasses this dynamic, not on a parallel track in the leadership process but as an integrated component. The cultural architect effects cultural transformation from the wisdom of both disciplines. His work is sacred as he labors to build the house of God, not with brick and cement but through each life that is joined with the community by the transforming power of God’s Spirit.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
This was a good thought from Jerry Bridges book The Pursuit of Holiness.
"Prayer is a vital part of our fellowship with God; yet the psalmist said, "If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened" (Psalm 66:18). To regard wickedness is to cherish some sin, to love it to the extent that I am not willing to part with it. I know it is there, yet I justify it in some way like the child who says, "Well, he hit me first." When we are holding on to some sin we are not pursuing holiness and we cannot have fellowship with God."
Music I am listing to today:
1. The hand song - Nickel Creek
2. The Riddle - Five for Fighting
3. Danny McKee - Drifting ~ copy the link to see it...
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Have you ever driven past someone in their car unabashedly singing at the top of their lungs to a favorite song? I saw a kid at Starbucks in his car headbanging so hard I thought his head would have been thrown from the car if he would have kept it up. I don't know if he thought the 10% tint on his foggy windows provided him a mystical orb of protection around him but this kid was just lost in it. I can't say I minded too much to see his unbridled passion.
I played with a worship band one time that had a drummer with a very hard shell. He seemed to be the type that wouldn't let anyone in. I later found out that he had been through some major family problems at such a young age including being abandoned by his dad. His mom and his 4 brothers were left to fend for themselves. He was the oldest and felt the need to be the caretaker in his father's absence. I gave him a compliment after practice knowing that he probably hadn't received affirmation from a man in quite a while or if ever. His reply to my compliment was "Well, let's not get carried away". Before he could even finish his sentence I followed up with "No. Lets." After that I had a friend for life.
It is always ok to get carried away with a kind word or blessing! At all times it is ok to get lost in your music! Constantly shower those you love with love and get carried away! It is always ok to show God your love for Him in worship!
JT sings of a father lost in a trance dancing a dance he brought back from the war in France. Can you sense his imagery seeing a man come back from a war. Even though he saw men die he can get lost in a dance that brought out passion he never had known before.
My wife and I sat with my mom and dad at a pizza cafe in Springfield MO listening to the band play songs from my "dad's generation". I will never forget that moment. I could taste the nostalgia my dad felt. By the look on his face he would not liked to have been anywhere else in the world at that moment. Man - that is life!
Don't you ever be afraid to get lost in it. There is a treasure trove of passionate moments that go unnoticed everyday. Don't miss them.
I was reading in Daniel about how Daniel's name got changed to Belteshazzar.
The King Belshazzar gave Daniel his new name because of his ability to interpret the “writings on the wall”.
I love what John MacArthur says about Daniel. "He was the King's favorite because of his leadership, his experience, wisdom, an excellent spirit, direct revelation from God Himself, and (Ilove this) a sense of history." This thought was more for myself but anyone in leadership must know that God uses some to influence the heart of a king so that God's ways might be established right where they are.
This is a call for shepherds to learn, know, and embrace history. There are so many benefits to it. In my own experience I've found that a good way to (number one) really attach yourself to the city God has called you to, (number two) and give yourself instant credibility as you converse with leaders in the city, is to learn its story.
And to those who are creative ~ How are you going to be able to navigate "out of the box" if you don't know what's "in the box"? Learn your history.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Hey guys I am excited to let you hear a song I had produced after wanting to do so now for a very long time. It was "Trains" and now is "The Train". Give a listen if you like on www.soundclick.com/inkerd and vote for it. I will have it on mySpace by tomorrow. The guy that produced it is Jeremy Medkiff. Wow this guy made my song sound like a million bucks - ok maybe a thousand...give or take. Thanks!
Friday, June 8, 2007
Dude I swear I just came up with a new term for Evangelicals who are labled as intolerants. I was just emailing a friend and said this... "I saw this a few days ago and I think I mentioned it to you. It is a blog posted by Mark Batterson of National Community Church in DC. He is a pentecostal and I don't claim to be a baptihostile." And there you have it - a new term for someone to use against most of those closest to me in Baptist circles. Man I might end up regretting this. As of today "baptihostile" could not be googled. Man I hope I get an audiance soon. If I never do I reccomend it to all pastors to blog even just for the sake of journaling. Share the love - Tim
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
I was listening to Ravi Zacharias today and he made a comment about something that I thought was so profound that I felt the need to blog about it even if I just posted his comments with adding nothing of my own. He used the text in Job where Job's friends were trying to console him in his agony. One of his friends Eliphaz told Job that a spirit glided over his face and this formless being asked him if mortals could be more righteous than God and if a man could be more pure than his maker. I can only imagine Job's indignation at his friends counsel. Ravi then made the point that some religions of the world are based off of one man's experience and millions follow without asking for anything to back it up.
I met a man that says that modern worship is doing a major disservice to those in the church simply based upon the fact that whenever he is exposed to modern worship it does something to his spirit. I in no way discount his emotions or experience but what this man is doing is forming a worship philosophy based solely upon what Ravi Z. calls "unfalsifiable evidence". This means that the argument is stacked in such a way that no one can refute their evidence.
Ravi went on to say that it is dangerous to form theology based upon an experience that is not sanctioned by the theoretical word of God. If we all based our theology on feeling we would be worse than sheep without a shepherd. Rock on Ravi Z.!!
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
These last few weeks I have been mulling over something that I have seen a few men in my life go through which I feel is an immanent disposition for all of us with back hair and bald spots. I was sitting at Bob Evans eating my Border Scramble Omelet just lost in a fog of things to come on the emotional horizon and my wife asked me if everything was alright. It was one of those times when you feel so bad for someone in your life going through something and there's nothing you can do about it.
I have seen a lot of men in my life pass through emotional duress. I have been wondering what it is that sends men shamelessly through the proverbial 'midlife crisis' and if there is anything that whippersnappers like myself can do to ensure that we are prepared for it. First you have to ask the question of why guys go through it and then you can answer the question of how to prepare and recover.
I think it can come from someone that has spent the lion's share of their career headed in one direction and comes to somewhat of a crossroads asking themselves if what they have done has been as fulfilling and fruitful not only for themselves but to those in their direct influence .
A man can lose his sense of self-worth and effectiveness based upon a number of things including things such as energy level, unrealistic vocational demands, work ethic, family issues, intimidation, and so on.
I have been reading a book by Dr. Henry Cloud entitled ~ Integrity - the courage to meet the demands of reality. He states that a person's character is two-fold like the wake left from a boat. The two sides of the wake are task and relationships. Most people are capable of success based upon ability to preform and build alliances with others but it takes integrity to not screw it up over the long haul.
I firmly believe that faith is also crucial to those who are getting hit from an emotional storm. When it comes down to feelings of tremendous loss and also feels devoid of hope they really have to be a believer in the Resurrection. Peter told Jesus that he had left all to follow him. I can only imagine Jesus' response that Peter hadn't given up anything that he wouldn't get back 10 fold in eternity.
My prayer is that in my later years I can really believe in the promises in scripture that even though there might be a delay of gratification I can rest easy knowing that as a child of God I will someday have the full joy and inheritance of Jesus.
Finishing up on my breakfast platter I looked over and saw a man in his fifties wearing a bluetooth headset. I really think he thought that made him look younger. Man if you ever see me wearing one of those I promise to complete the outfit with black socks and flip flops.
Friday, June 1, 2007
Um - I'm trying to think what's next with this blogging stuff. I've been reading lately about church prouction stuff and it has started a landslide of other info about this subject regarding tech, media, rss, hertz, SI and a whole lot of other terms that I had no idea even existed in my realm of expertise before this week. I get by pretty well in my job but I have to say that because of my knowledge or lack of knowledge in my perspective feilds - due to this weeks findings - is that if I can get along with half of the education that I need in order to be a 'specialist' - than most of all of us who claim to be "specail" at what we do are really good liars. I tell you one thing I'm not is a journalist. Man did you see that last sentance. I have no desire to go and fix it. Why because you get the point without me being a specialist in ... wordsmithing. I'd say that we generally get by with a percentage of education to do what we do on a regular basis. This in essence is what seperates most of us from becoming great - doing less for sake of working smarter.