Tag Archives: Thoughts

Are You Ready to Go For a Spin?

“As each age passes it can not be reclaimed”

Try as we might. No matter how much fear and hatred we throw at it. Whether we like it or not the wheel keeps on turning.

See the video this quote was taken from here.

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A Manifesto for the Church

7catz over at I Don’t Know Yet tagged me with this Meme.

Rules:
1. Post to your blog on the subject “A Manifesto for Church”, outlining your thoughts on what an ideal church would/should be like. Posts can be as detailed or as short as you like.
2. Include a copy of these rules.
4. Put a link to your post in the comments to this post.
5. Tag at least 4 other people.
6. What happened to rule 3?
3. Ah, here it is
When I was tagged for this meme, a rush of things came to mind about what I think an “ideal” church should be. I even started writing them out. As I read over some of the other posts on the topic, I was struck by how similar many of the posts were. There seems to be a growing number of people who are tired of “church as usual” and long for something deeper yet simpler. Church with out the programs, with out the masks, A church were we can be active participants, not just spectators. A Church where we all have a voice, not just the few deemed “spiritual” enough by the leadership or the people who are clean enough on the outside to project the desired image.

Should is a big word, and I don’t even want to attempt to say what an “Ideal” church should be. What a church should or shouldn’t be will vary greatly depending on the make up of the members, the community the church is in, and an endless list of other factors. I decided to post what the Ideal church for my family and me looks like at this moment.

Sunday Mornings at the local State Park
A time of family prayer
A couple devotions with the boys, and good discussion afterwards. It amazes me how much they get it
A short time of Bible Study or discussion with Jenny.
Maybe some hotdogs or brats on the grill and a nice hike.
Extreme teeter tottering with my boys

Tuesdays with another couple God placed in our lives
My wife and I have been going through some tough times in our relationship, and God has blessed us by giving us some great friends who have jumped at the chance to come up under Jenny and I and disciple us and help us to strengthen our marriage.
Wednesday mornings with my Friend Rob
Good conversation. Good coffee & Great Bagels.
A place were I can be open, Where I can challenge and be challenged.
Friday Night Bible Study.
Good Friends, Relaxed atmosphere, Laughter, Openness.
Active engagement with The Word of God.

I’m supposed to tag some people, but the people I had in mind have already been tagged. So I tag anyone who might be interested in responding.

Thin Line Between Madness and Brilliance

“This is either madness or brilliance”

“Its remarkable how often those two traits coincide”

I love that little interchange between Will Turner and Jack Sparrow as they are preparing to commandeer the Interceptor. I started thinking sometimes following Christ is a matter of walking that thin line between madness and brilliance.

I think about Jesus’ disciples leaving their jobs and their comfortable lives to follow someone they didn’t even know. Or Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church. Or Paul standing on Mars Hill Sharing the Gospel with a group of Pagans. I could post for hours listing others who have walked that line.

I believe Christ calls all of His follower to live their lives where Madness and Brilliance intersect.

Grace Is Not a One Time Event

Tyler over at Following Him Alone wrote this beautiful post about Grace. Grace that is more than just “God’s unmerited favor towards us” I’ve posted a couple excerpts I really liked. But I would definitely read the whole article.

“Grace wasn’t favor that I didn’t deserve! Grace is simply the overwhelming power of His unfailing love worked through every moment of my life, and really through eternity. I don’t get more of it some days than others, it is as constant as His love, which is the one true constant in the universe.”

“Much of the body of Christ lives as though grace truly is unmerited favor, and so they don’t see it as an act of love but instead as an act of forebearance, staying the hand of an angry God. But Grace is not an act of forebearance, of that I can absolutely assure you.

This misconception positively drives the “normal Christian life” of Americans. You know, now that you are saved you must toe the line and be outwardly righteous because God isn’t going to be patient with all of these sins now that you are saved. Oh yes, they will say, you are always saved, but there are blessings here and in eternity and so you need to behave properly and be one of us so God doesn’t have to constantly be remembering that you are under grace and not available to be wiped off the face of the earth.

And so we live under a false grace that is anything but graceful. A grace that we do not deserve, that is completely unjustified. It is the gospel of guilt, of being unworthy little wretches.”

My Friend that lives under the Bridge

This is my friend that lives under the bridge. When he is in the police roundup in the local paper they don’t even give his name any more. They just call him the man that lives under the bridge.

But he’s not just the man who lives under the bridge, he not just some one to chuckle at when you see his name in the paper. He is my friend, and he is someone who is created in the image of God. I’m glad that I have a wife who remembers that when I forget. I have known my friend for a few years now. There has been many times I have thrown up my hands and said ” I’m done with him” or “That guy will never learn” or “There’s no hope for him”

I know that if there was hope for me then there is hope for him. I am not afraid to hope for him.

Father, forgive my for losing hope for my friend, for not loving him the way you loved me. Help me to see him through your eyes. Help to not just tell him about your Love, but to show him your Love every time I see him

Amen

Thoughts on Being a Missional Church

Moving the church outside the walls doesn’t necessarily make it missional. If the purpose of our activities is ultimately to bring more people into our church, That is not missional.

Being a missional church is about moving outside the walls, not to grow our church, but to extend God’s love to those around us.

A missional church can’t be concerned about getting a return on their investment

A missional church must me a church where people see them selves as participants in the mission of God, not just passive recipients of his Grace.

As the body of Christ we are God’s physical representation here on earth. Being missional is about being a redemptive force in our community. Its about God’s will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

A missional church is more concerned about how it can enable and encourage its members to serve the community more than it is concerned about offering “services” to its members.

A missional church must be less concerned with making converts than it is with making disciples.
The old way of doing church was attractional. (How can we bring them in?) A missional church is incarnational. (How can we embody Christ in the community?)
Being missional must come from Love. For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son.

A truly missional church must be a loving church. People are smart if they sense that we are doing the things we are doing with the motive of getting them to come to our church they will know, and it will turn them off.

Being a missional church is about loving people like this.

Put The Pipe Down

Religion is the opium of the masses.” Karl Marx

I was listening a local Contemporary Christian Radio station the other day and Marx’s quote came to mind. There is a lot of truth to his statement. There are very few songs on CCR that challenge people to step out side their comfort zones and follow Christ. On local station boasts that it is “family friendly” and “uplifting and encouraging” and only plays only “uplifting and positive news”. It’s so “soothing” at times I have to change the channel before I nod off on the way to work.

Religion can be like an opiate. The outward practice of religion can bring comfort to us. Singing songs with like minded people on Sunday, sitting passively in the pew, having a nice dinner after church, uttering a prayer before dinner, maybe reading our Bible from time to time,listing to Christian music, etc. We can so immerse ourselves in churchianity that we can become oblivious to the world around us.

That is the difference between being religious and following Christ. Following Christ means facing rejection, stepping out side our comfort zones, putting the needs of others before our own, and at times pain. When we make the shift from just believing in God to Following Christ we will start to be aware of all that is wrong in the world, instead of tuning it all out. The things that bring Jesus to tears will move us to tears. The things that provoke him to anger will provoke us to anger, and most importantly the things that move Him to action will move us to action