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Archive for March, 2005

Evangelism ‘outside the box’

I just started reading this new book by Rick Richardson. Well the copyright is 2000 but it is new to me. Anyway, I’ll try to post a few thoughts I have about the title as I read through it. This will mean it will take me longer to read, but I should process it better so that’s a bonus.

the book begins with Richardson sharing a story from his childhood. When he was six his two brothers and the three neighbor girls across the street all went to a North Carolina ocean beach for the day. 30 minutes into the ride home (which took place in an old, green station wagon) the family noticed Richardson’s three year old brother was missing. He was left behind at the beach. After much speeding and risk taking the car was back at the beach and the missing child was found near a far out guard tower. Richardson tells of a lovely embrace and hear felt reunion between mother and child.

the connection to evangelism should be obvious. God is the mother racing back to the beach to find us, the missing children. The question is what role do we play in this? God has asked us to help him bring his children home and so in effect we are driving the car… Which leave us with a choice. Do we turn around and go look for some people, or do we just keep on driving happy about whose already in the car?

an interesting analogy and thought.

Categories: Uncategorized

monticello times email

I sent this email to the Monticello Times. They had someone write an article about MN voting down a statewide smoking ban. I was upset because the writer claimed MN was not joining other ‘progressive’ states in instituting a ban. I’ll post the email here. Hopefully not to many people will be upset with my thoughts. Here is the email.

3/30/2005 2:52:00 PM
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Rest in peace, smoking ban

While I sympathize with people who do not enjoy sitting in smoke-filled restaurants, I cannot agree that I am saddened that the smoking ban was “snuffed.”The whole idea of a smoking ban regarding places that are privately owned is ridiculous to me, and is a step in the wrong direction regarding personal freedoms and rights.

Whoever thinks that a restaurant owner (someone who puts his own money and time and sweat on the line) should have to cater his or her business to people who don’t like the smell of smoke is just wrong.Where in the Constitution does it declare that anyone has the right to eat at a particular place? Nowhere.

Let me tell everyone this: You do not have the right to go out to eat at any particular restaurant! If you do not like smoke, don’t go there. It is that simple. I have two young children myself, and if I am worried that the atmosphere of a place is not healthy for them, then I won’t take them there.

Restaurant owners should not be told how to run their businesses. If enough people had a problem with the smoke and stopped eating there, business owners would make their restaurants smoke free. That is how consumers influence business–with their dollars, and not with their legislature.

So everyone who whines about smoking, and smoking bans, in privately-owned businesses, just stop, take a deep breath, and eat your food somewhere else that is more comfortable to you. You don’t have a right to tell someone how to run their business, just like they don’t have a right to tell you how to take care of your own house.

–Brenton Balvin, Monticello.

Categories: Uncategorized

monticello times email

I sent this email to the Monticello Times. They had someone write an article about MN voting down a statewide smoking ban. I was upset because the writer claimed MN was not joining other ‘progressive’ states in instituting a ban. I’ll post the email here. Hopefully not to many people will be upset with my thoughts. Here is the email.

3/30/2005 2:52:00 PM
Email this articlePrint this article
Rest in peace, smoking ban

While I sympathize with people who do not enjoy sitting in smoke-filled restaurants, I cannot agree that I am saddened that the smoking ban was “snuffed.”The whole idea of a smoking ban regarding places that are privately owned is ridiculous to me, and is a step in the wrong direction regarding personal freedoms and rights.

Whoever thinks that a restaurant owner (someone who puts his own money and time and sweat on the line) should have to cater his or her business to people who don’t like the smell of smoke is just wrong.Where in the Constitution does it declare that anyone has the right to eat at a particular place? Nowhere.

Let me tell everyone this: You do not have the right to go out to eat at any particular restaurant! If you do not like smoke, don’t go there. It is that simple. I have two young children myself, and if I am worried that the atmosphere of a place is not healthy for them, then I won’t take them there.

Restaurant owners should not be told how to run their businesses. If enough people had a problem with the smoke and stopped eating there, business owners would make their restaurants smoke free. That is how consumers influence business–with their dollars, and not with their legislature.

So everyone who whines about smoking, and smoking bans, in privately-owned businesses, just stop, take a deep breath, and eat your food somewhere else that is more comfortable to you. You don’t have a right to tell someone how to run their business, just like they don’t have a right to tell you how to take care of your own house.

–Brenton Balvin, Monticello.

Categories: Uncategorized

Evangelism ‘outside the box’

I just started reading this new book by Rick Richardson. Well the copyright is 2000 but it is new to me. Anyway, I’ll try to post a few thoughts I have about the title as I read through it. This will mean it will take me longer to read, but I should process it better so that’s a bonus.

the book begins with Richardson sharing a story from his childhood. When he was six his two brothers and the three neighbor girls across the street all went to a North Carolina ocean beach for the day. 30 minutes into the ride home (which took place in an old, green station wagon) the family noticed Richardson’s three year old brother was missing. He was left behind at the beach. After much speeding and risk taking the car was back at the beach and the missing child was found near a far out guard tower. Richardson tells of a lovely embrace and hear felt reunion between mother and child.

the connection to evangelism should be obvious. God is the mother racing back to the beach to find us, the missing children. The question is what role do we play in this? God has asked us to help him bring his children home and so in effect we are driving the car… Which leave us with a choice. Do we turn around and go look for some people, or do we just keep on driving happy about whose already in the car?

an interesting analogy and thought.

Categories: Uncategorized

Evangelism ‘outside the box’

I just started reading this new book by Rick Richardson. Well the copyright is 2000 but it is new to me. Anyway, I’ll try to post a few thoughts I have about the title as I read through it. This will mean it will take me longer to read, but I should process it better so that’s a bonus.

the book begins with Richardson sharing a story from his childhood. When he was six his two brothers and the three neighbor girls across the street all went to a North Carolina ocean beach for the day. 30 minutes into the ride home (which took place in an old, green station wagon) the family noticed Richardson’s three year old brother was missing. He was left behind at the beach. After much speeding and risk taking the car was back at the beach and the missing child was found near a far out guard tower. Richardson tells of a lovely embrace and hear felt reunion between mother and child.

the connection to evangelism should be obvious. God is the mother racing back to the beach to find us, the missing children. The question is what role do we play in this? God has asked us to help him bring his children home and so in effect we are driving the car… Which leave us with a choice. Do we turn around and go look for some people, or do we just keep on driving happy about whose already in the car?

an interesting analogy and thought.

Categories: Uncategorized

clarification on ‘the bridge’

I don’t know how many friends I won or lost regarding the content of my last entry and some of the conversations I’ve had, but in case anyone is listening (reading) I want to clarify a few things.

first, I admit that I am probably ignorant when it comes to the amount of work that people put into a service like we pulled of on Sunday. My vision of what we could produce is clouded by the numerous examples of churches with much larger staff, budget, and able volunteer bases. I realize that the people of the quarry gave quite a bit to pull off what we did. To those people- I apologize if my feelings came across as condemnation or a call for more, more, more.

secondly, I really do think that what we did could be accomplished on a more regular basis. The key component however is not more effort (though sometimes that thought creeps into my mind…) but more people moving together in the same direction. larger teams and more delegation. More spiritually gifted people in areas of giftedness, etc. I understand the limitations of our people and the amount of time and effort they have to give. Maybe I just shoot too high…

thirdly, I have my own part to play in all this. I could surely improve at building teams and empowering people to do things that I cling to myself. It is often easier to point things out in others, than own them in ourselves. I think Jesus said something about this relating to a log and a speck. I need to be more reliant on God brining about his vision for us and this church and less reliant on my own desires and dreams. Making God’s dream my dream is likely the best thing I could do.

so in conclusion, I stand behind the idea that Easter Sunday was an amazing time and that the people of the quarry gave a ton to make it happen. I also think that sort of service can happen more often – but rather than people just giving more, we need to get more people on the bus and look for things that will simplify our efforts. We have a wonderful team of people at the quarry with amazing giftedness. All people who I know love god and people, and so please accept this post as an apology for my criticalness, high expectations, and frustration inducing comments.

and if anyone reads this … Please talk to me about it. That is acts 2:42, people being real and getting everything out into the air so that loving relationships grow and blossom. And that is a dream that everyone can make happen, everyday.

Categories: Uncategorized

clarification on ‘the bridge’

I don’t know how many friends I won or lost regarding the content of my last entry and some of the conversations I’ve had, but in case anyone is listening (reading) I want to clarify a few things.

first, I admit that I am probably ignorant when it comes to the amount of work that people put into a service like we pulled of on Sunday. My vision of what we could produce is clouded by the numerous examples of churches with much larger staff, budget, and able volunteer bases. I realize that the people of the quarry gave quite a bit to pull off what we did. To those people- I apologize if my feelings came across as condemnation or a call for more, more, more.

secondly, I really do think that what we did could be accomplished on a more regular basis. The key component however is not more effort (though sometimes that thought creeps into my mind…) but more people moving together in the same direction. larger teams and more delegation. More spiritually gifted people in areas of giftedness, etc. I understand the limitations of our people and the amount of time and effort they have to give. Maybe I just shoot too high…

thirdly, I have my own part to play in all this. I could surely improve at building teams and empowering people to do things that I cling to myself. It is often easier to point things out in others, than own them in ourselves. I think Jesus said something about this relating to a log and a speck. I need to be more reliant on God brining about his vision for us and this church and less reliant on my own desires and dreams. Making God’s dream my dream is likely the best thing I could do.

so in conclusion, I stand behind the idea that Easter Sunday was an amazing time and that the people of the quarry gave a ton to make it happen. I also think that sort of service can happen more often – but rather than people just giving more, we need to get more people on the bus and look for things that will simplify our efforts. We have a wonderful team of people at the quarry with amazing giftedness. All people who I know love god and people, and so please accept this post as an apology for my criticalness, high expectations, and frustration inducing comments.

and if anyone reads this … Please talk to me about it. That is acts 2:42, people being real and getting everything out into the air so that loving relationships grow and blossom. And that is a dream that everyone can make happen, everyday.

Categories: Uncategorized