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Showing posts from April, 2005

threads

On Alex McManus' blog today he introduced the concept of threads. He says,

"A thread is a term used often in online classes and conversations. For example, within the conversation environment of this blog, many of you have started new conversations sparked by the conversation that is already taking place here. These conversations are a kind of thread that weaves in and out of our general conversations.

When a Christ following leader engages a community in a conversation or initiates a new relationship with say a nonbeliever, he begins a new thread. These conversations, of course, are guided by the environment created by the spirit of Jesus that heals the world and yet they are also spontaneous and free to develop in their own way.

Start a new thread today. Have coffee with someone who has not yet believed. Or...Engage a group of nonbelieving friends in a conversation around the scriptures. Or...Ask Christ followers what would need to happen for us to live our lives for someone o…

the power of relational evangelism

A couple of weeks ago I posted some thoughts on a book by Bill Hybels called 'Becoming a Contagious Christian.' The main concept was that we need to develop relationships with people far from God before we just hit them up with the Gospel. People respond to relationship and community, trust-based relationship open up their hearts to hearing the message.

One of the challenges for me to relational evangelism is that I don't have many relationships with non-Christian people. So, what do I do?

I recently read 'More Ready Than You realize' by Rick Richardson. This is another book about evangelism. In his book he challenges people like me to make conscious decisions that place us in the line of fire with non-Christians. This may mean joining a sports league, coaching a child's activities, or attending town meetings. Another idea Richardson lists is to visit the same place regularly and get to know the people who work there.

I have been intentional about doing this at…

the role of hospitality in evangelism

I recently read this on the blog of Alex McManus (brother of Erwin out at Mosiac church in Los Angeles, http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=alexmcmanus) and I thought it was a great thing to think about regarding evangelism:

Hospitality is a key to evangelism in the 21st century.

Let's distinguish hospitality from entertaining. Entertaining guests means that we put on a demonstration of our best to give a good impression. Entertaining is like our fine china. Nothing wrong with that. Hospitality, on the other hand, means inviting people into our lives. Hospitality is our paper plates.

Inviting others into our lives and homes is natural when we move from being strangers to becoming friends of God. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," said Lydia, "come and stay at my house." (Acts 16.15)

It is all part of the revolution of the Kingdom of God and making the decision to live our lives, to give every part of our lives, for the sake of others. Like every revoluti…

unbelievable day at willow creek

I spent the day at willow creek community church for a conference about how churches can handle resources in a God honoring way. It was an unreal event.

there are many highlights and lessons learned, but I want to post a few things that were said by Ed Young, Jr. of Fellowship Church (www.fellowshipchurch.com). This guy is great, a true wordsmith and an amazing communicator. Here are a few of his best lines from the day:
1. 'it not about my thingdom, but about his kingdom'
2. 'do I need that, or do I greed that'
3. 'the higher the predictability, the lower the connectivity'
4. 'when I bring God the best, the rest gets blessed'
5. 'we take the American Express to debt, we need to read the Masters Card, and then we get a Visa to financial freedom'
6. Offering is not about giving, it is about 'bringing it'
7. 'too many people are running around talking smack, but not doing jack'

That guy is funny and intense and great. It would be ama…

nice day for golf

Today I headed down to Chicago with Jim C. and Tom M. For the willow creek resource conference. The conference doesn't start until tomorrow, so on the way down we stopped in Wisconsin dells to play some golf. The course was called the wilderness. It was a beautiful course. I shot a career best 41, with my second birdie of the year. Admittedly the course was short, 3200 yards, but who cares I had some good shots.

so I was listening to rob bell on the way down. It was a message called 'the salvation of our stuff' (www.mhbcmi.org). He retells the parable of the man who had many crops, gained more, built new barns to hold his new spoils, and then just sat back to be lazy and enjoy them. God was pretty ticked about it. So how am I doing? What am I doing to eliminate the gap between rich and poor in my own life? Do I live in excess, or do I willingly part with my things when there are others in need? Rob comments that there is no Hebrew word for spiritual, that all of life is s…

A man worth learning from

I am currently sitting in a class on evil and suffering taught by Dr. David Clark. He is the pastor of Faith Covenant Church in Burnsville, MN. It is an extreme privilege to be here. Dr. Clark is an unbelievably bright individuals who has an uncanny ability to make theology simple - as the case necessitates. It would be a great experience to be a parishioner at his church. I have really liked sitting in his classes at seminary. Go to the Woodland Hills Church website and download some of his sermons. www.whchurch.org

john stuart mill quote

submitted without comment for your reading and thoughts:

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature, and has no chance of being free unless made or kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
--John Stuart Mill

becoming a contagious christian

i just read Bill Hybels book 'Becoming a Contagious Christian.' It is an easy read that I highly recommend. Hybels discusses his equation for effective evangelism: HP+CP+CC=MI. This breaks down to high potentcy+close proximity+clear communication=maximum impact.

This is a very doable strategy that makes a lot of sense and encourages me as a Christ follower who is intimidated by the thought of relational evangelism. After reading the book I am excited to look for opportunities to share my faith.

Check out this message by Louie Giglio (www.722.org) about temptation:
http://www.268store.com/download/downloadit_free.php3

childism

Have you ever seen a man or women in a car filled with cigarette smoke with a toddler or young child stuck in the back seat? Man I hate that. I almost wish that there were like rules or regulation as to who can have children. I think to myself, if no one steps in...if nothing ever changes...what is going to happen to that kid?

Maybe that sounds judgmental. Maybe it is. But anyone with eyes can see the vicious cycle that children get stuck in.

I read this today:

"Kids can be noisy and messy. But the fact is, children are a silent population. They have little status in the social sphere. There are millions of children who suffer because of inadequate schooling, underfunded day care, lack of health insurance, malnutrition, and exposure to cigarette smoke, as well as, abuse, neglect, and pedophilia. These are children without a unified voice. Having words like racism, sexism, and ageism has helped focus our minds on those prejudices. Isn't it time to have a word for the pre…

response to my letter to the editor regarding the smoking ban

I am so thankful to be part of a Christian community that holds one another accountable to truth and witness in a loving way. This is a response a friend sent me regarding my letter to the editor of the Monticello Times. While I maintain part of my position, it should be obvious after you read the response that in some ways I spoke prematurely and without regard for some blatant holes in my position.

Check this out...

In response to the Letter to the Editor, March 31, 2005
“Rest in peace, smoking ban.”

While I tend to agree with you that the smoking ban is unneeded, I think your argument that the public (government) has no right to “tell people” how to run their business is wrong and irresponsible.

Do you afford business owners the same, leniency in running their businesses when it comes to the disabled? I mean if a business does not want to make itself wheelchair accessible, then the disabled won’t shop there. If that hurts business, the owner will change, if not, then they are doing w…

honest abe and some thoughts on God and war

a friend sent me these quotes which i thought were pretty interesting, I'll let Abe speak for himself:

Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes.

"Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe …

mourning the passing of Pope John Paul II

Its interesting to the such a huge portion of the world moved by the death of the Pope. I have no Catholic background and thus really no logical connection to this event. Except it affects me some how. Maybe its in seeing all the video images of him holding up his hands in blessing or in his giving people the sign of the cross. Maybe it is the pomp and circumstance that surrounds his every word and movement. Maybe it is the beautiful Cathedrals and buildings that so often provide the backdrop for his appearance. Maybe it is just the fact that this man was loved by millions as a representative of God.

While I do not affirm much of the Catholic doctrine (esp. With regard to Mary, good works, and parts of the afterlife) I think that the devotion that they show (here I am speaking primarily of more conservative, Europeans and third world Catholics) has something to it. What is the comparison: Billy Graham, Bill Hybels, Rick Warren as the American Pope? Yeah right.

Maybe there is something t…