Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What Story Are You Telling?

Thanks to Seth Godin who points us to this story about Apple. Apparently Apple is firing about 800 of it's employees for stealing - right before Christmas in the middle of it's biggest growth spurt ever.

Apple had given each of it's employees a free iPhone, but some greedy employees turned in a $100 credit offered for early buyers. Apple wasn't very happy about turning over almost $80,000 for employees who already got their phones for free.

Seth's point is this: Apple is sending a message about ethics. And we also communicate a message through every decision we make and action we take.

He's right! We ARE are always telling a story - whether you want to or not. As a worker, as a parent, as a Christian, or as a leader. What story are YOU telling?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"The Truth" Video

I've had a number of people comment on the the video we played in the service on Sunday, October 21. It is called "The Truth" and was produced by Community Christian Church in Naperville, Illinois. The video can be viewed and purchased at here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Perfect Kid

Newspring Church in Anderson, South Carolina is one of those churches that seems to do just about everything right. They are seeing awesome life change in their community.

They are also one of those churches that are intentional and purposeful about answering the questions that society is asking. They plan out their message series a year in advance and start the creative process at least three months ahead of time. This allows their creative team to create supportive material that gets the message series remembered.

Here's a great example. It the trailer for their upcoming message series on parenting entitled "The Perfect Kid." This trailer cracks me up...

He's Everything!

Greg Atkinson posted this video from his church, Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Dallas, TX. He writes:

"I can’t help but cry every time I watch this video. I watch it again and again. Yes, I love the song (”Everything” by Lifehouse), but to see what Christ did for ME acted out is amazing. Watch it until the very end. It’s worth it… especially if you know the song. WOW - Did I mention I cried? Thank you Jesus for redeeming this life from destruction (Psalm 103)."

I agree.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Too Much On Your Plate?

Continuing the thoughts on information vs. transformation, knowing vs. doing, head vs. heart ... here's a great post from Travis Petty who is guest blogging for Craig Groeshel over at Swerve blog. About the "All You Can Eat Buffet," this is a very important post to digest. Click here for his post.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Ring! Ring!

Something kind of weird happened Saturday night. My cell phone rang just before the boys' bedtime and it turned out to be a message with a sound file attached. The caller ID indicated was a local Montana number, but I didn't recognize it. I called it and got a voice mail message from someone I don't know. All I can figure out is that someone sent the file to the wrong number – MINE!

All of this story just leads up to this. The sound file turned out to be a ringtone that I find hilarious! We keep playing it over and over. Click the play button to hear it...

P.S. I think it sounds like Gollum from Lord Of The Rings.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

More Deep Thoughts :-)

I don't know if you've ever heard of Deep Thoughts from Saturday Night Live, but many of those crack me up. In fact, I get a new "Deep Thought" every time I open my browser on my iGoogle page.

The truth is, though, I'm in a contemplative mood tonight, so I wanted to share the impact some reading from around the web is having on me.

Craig apparently talked about "practical atheism" at the Buzz Conference. That is when we believe in God but we do life as if God doesn't exist. What I find scary about it is that I see it in the church (and especially in church leadership) all the time. Here are some of the defining characteristics:

1) We believe our effort is more important than God's power!
2) We believe our private life doesn't effect our public ministry.
3) We believe we must please people more than we must please God.

Mark writes: "One of lessons I've been learning is that nothing is more dangerous than praise from people. You have two options when people praise you: the praise can turn into pride or you can take the praise from people and praise God. And how you handle the praise will make you or break you."

As one who's calling is to lead people in praises of God, it is always a temptation to misuse and mishandle praise. Even further, we are accountable in not letting others misguide their praise away from the true Object of our praise.

I'm not called to be a Christian. I'm called to be Christlike. And those are very different things. And the more Christian and less Christlike we are ... the bigger turnoff it is.

Apple is committed to reaching people and so are churches. The question is, "who's doing a better job?" I have to believe that Apple is - and despite the failure of the contemporary church, God still wins people over.

But Tony Morgan asks the question, "What if Apple (or Starbucks, or Target, etc.) was committed to reaching people for Christ?" How would they do it? And finally, why aren't we?

I would propose that churches are not as successful or as committed as these secular companies because we are much too attached and comfortable with our man-made traditions that we are with the mission and purpose that Christ has set out for us. What do you think?


Are You A Coward?

I was reading a post over on Perry Noble's blog and it really got me thinking. Click here to go read it now. Perry basically wrote about a one-minute conversation he had nearly 8 years ago...

On August 10, 1999 I was having lunch with a mentor at Red Lobster and discussing with him that I really felt God was stirring me to do something; however, I THOUGHT of an option or two and informed my buddy of my incredibly safe plans.

He looked at me as I was eating a cheese biscuit and asked, “What would you be willing to attempt for God if you knew you could not fail?”

Without hesitation I answered, “I would start a church!”

He replied, “You are a coward if you don’t!”

My thought is this: God has a purpose for your life. And more specifically, He has planted something in your heart, that you can do for Him right now. So the question is, "Why don't you do it?"

Actually, that's what I'm asking myself right now. I know that God desires something specific from me - He's placed big dreams in my heart and I am constantly battling with them ... 1) Because I'm not quite exactly sure what I am supposed to do, and 2) I must be afraid. But the truth is exactly like Perry says, God has planned for me to offer something to Him that cannot fail!

I am still searching for what that "something" is. What I do know is this ... I am tired of church politics. I am tired of "playing" church. I am tired of the status quo. I am tired of doctrine without life and heart. Quite honestly, our time here is much too short to waste any energy on these things.

What does that all mean? I'm not sure. But I do know that I am tired of being a coward.