Archive for September, 2005

putting the new humanity on display

September 29, 2005 Leave a comment

I know that I should be starting my morning with some devotions in the Bible, but I feel like I already did with my Ipod. On my way to the coffee shop today I was listening to Rob Bell’s latest message “Directions 2.0 Pt. III.” You have to download this message right now. Stop reading and click here to download it for free.

With Ephesians 2:14-22 as a backdrop Bell talks about how it is the call of the Christian church to put a new humanity on display for the world. “The church is called to put on display how everyone was created to live. It is for everybody.”

Halfway through the message a South African Pastor shares his testimony and talks about the adoption of a child who no one else wanted and who was sick and dying of AIDS. (this story makes the whole message – it deeply touched my heart and brought me to tears) At one point the man says, “She [his wife] said to me [because he was at first hestitant to bring the child into his home] ‘We can only love God to the extent that we love those in our lives who we love the least.'”

‘We can only love God to the extent that we love those in our lives who we love the least.’

Wow. Powerful. Convicting. Take a second and read that again, and again, and again until it hits you. That is the call of the church. Rob describes the new humanity like this, “Them has a face, and they have a name, and those become us.”

Radical, revolutionary, subversive love…poured out equally and without judgment on everyone. The new humanity is a picture of equality and love set forth by the reconciling work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

It is the job of the church to bring the love of God to this world, with no concern for the cost. In the eyes of God all people are equally valuable and loved. There is no wall of division, no picking and choosing, no ‘in’ and ‘out.’

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thanks anyway Tony

September 28, 2005 1 comment

Tony Morgan is a cool guy, and not just because he named Qurry ‘Cool Church of the Week.’ He was trying to help me make it to the Innovative Church Conference. Unfortunately, Stephanie cares enough about me to not let me drive to Indiana tonight at 8:30 pm and she also thinks sleeping in my truck is not that good of an idea.

I think it sounds like an adventure of epic-Donald Miller proportions (read Through Painted Deserts) but its all good. I am totally pumped to see Erwin and Andy at the A2 conference in a couple weeks anyway. God is bringing together and awesome team of people to go. I can’t wait to be motivated and inspired, and to spend time with our team dreaming about what God is doing at this little kingdom beach head we call Quarry Church.

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emptying out my head

September 27, 2005 2 comments

Its a wonderful thing to have an outlet for the mind. Many times people will keep a diary or a journal as a place to air out their brains. Blogs are increasingly becoming the place where thoughts and feelings are poured out and processed (though the blogosphere is an incredibly delicate place to do this because of the public nature of blogs). Other times we empty out our brains in conversations with people, sitting in a cafe or Caribou drinking latte’s and trying to put the pieces together to make sense of it all.

I went with Stephanie and another couple to see the movie Just Like Heaven last night. It was a cute movie (yes I did say cute, and yes I would wear pink, and yes I like hand lotion – so what!). At one point in the film one character is having coffee with a psychologist friend of his who makes the statement, “See that…that is the world man. You need to join it. Stop swimming around by yourself in there[his head] all the time. That is a dangerous thing to do.”

Sometimes we need to be quiet and alone so that we can process thoughts and feelings. But other times we need to get them out. Write them down, pray about them, share them with a friend. If we don’t, if we choose instead to just withhold and stuff, eventually the weight will become so much that it will crush our spirits. This is something that I am learning. It is much easier to stuff than to share. But in the long wrong we will pay a price much higher than if we would have just laid it out there in the beginning.

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Quarry Church – cool church of the week

September 27, 2005 1 comment

I was pretty excited on Sunday morning to check out my Bloglines subscriptions and see that Tony Morgan had named Quarry Community Church “Cool Church of the Week”. Tony is a pastor at Granger Community Church and he has a great blog.

Thanks for taking the time to check us out and mention us Tony. I love reading your stuff, its humorous, insightful, and encouraging. I’m glad that South Bend and the surrounding area has people like you who love God and are working to reach out in relevant, innovative, creative and excellent ways.

In case you read this…is there anyway you can hook me up with a Innovative Church Conference pass? I’d love to be there, but its just not in the budget. Keep it up man and thanks again for the mention.

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faith worth the wager

September 26, 2005 Leave a comment

We finished up our series Faith Worth the Wager today.

I gave a message called living an “All in Life.” The main point of the message was that if we want to life ‘all in’ for God then we have to intentionally point our feet in his direction and start walking. The text that I focused on was Philippians 3:12-14:

12I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. 13Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward–to Jesus. 14I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

During offering we played ‘Dead Man’s Rope’ by Sting and we concluded the service with ‘This Is Your Life’ by Switchfoot. It was a great Sunday.

I think all the services in the series went well for us. Our music and drama people did a good job and each message was compelling and relevant to the stuff people are dealing with in their lives. Way to go Quarry team.

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the apprentice is back

September 23, 2005 Leave a comment

I don’t watch a lot of TV but one show that I really like is The Apprentice. The new season started tonight and the show is already intense. I don’t know if it is because of my competitiveness or my business background or what, but something about the show really gets me.

Which makes me think: What kind of a leader am I? Do people want to be around me and follow me? What kind of attitude and aura do I put out there? How do I balance love and kindness, with demanding the best from people and calling them to something greater (esp. because in church work you deal with volunteers who can pretty much bail at anytime)?

Who would have thought I could get such a good leadership development moment from a reality show?

PS- The PM from the winning team is gone for sure. He doesn’t have the ability to speak in tight, coherent sentences and I doubt Trump has time for that. I knew that Melissa had to go right away. She was negative and demeaning and would have been horrible to be around.

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donald miller makes me think

September 22, 2005 Leave a comment

I love reading Donald Miller’s books. I have read Blue Like Jazz and Searching for God Knows What. His style and sense of humor makes his books easy and fun to read. The way he sees God and describes faith is complelling and free from religious language. Donald Miller makes me want to know God more completely, free from academia and systematization. I am currently reading his re-released book Through Painted Deserts.

Here are a couple quotes that I have enjoyed:
– Its interesting how you sometimes have to leave home before you can ask difficult questions…its funny how you can’t ask difficult questions in a familiar place (pg. 24)

– Trouble leads to question and question leads to prayer. Its funny how I usually don’t care about faith until life falls apart, until I find myself in the middle of some jam. (pg. 70)

– And maybe this is why he [Paul] seems so different to me, because he has become a human who no longer believes the commercials are true, which, perhaps, is what a human was designed to be. (pg. 76)

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