"If you're going to go to Everest ... I think you have to accept responsibility that you may end up doing something that's not very ethically nice. You have to realize that you're in a different world." Lydia Bradey, the first woman to summit Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen
I stole this title and excerpt from Mark Driscoll's blog because I think it is pretty insightful. The title of his post is "Is Oprah a Cult Leader?"
Oprah seems to be a contradiction perfectly suited for a confused world of pluralism. She is a billionaire who speaks passionately about the pain and suffering in the world from the comforts of her sheltered life. She is among the most beloved icons of mothers yet she has never had any children. Many viewers tune in to learn how to improve their marriages yet she has never been married. And, she speaks of spiritual matters often and has an entire segment of her show titled "spirit," which makes you wonder which spirit sheÂs referring to.
I think this is accurate. Many people know more about what Oprah has to say on life's issues than what Jesus taught regarding those same things.
Why do you think this is? Why would we rather be Oprah disciples than Jesus disciples?
The latest Leadership Journal magazine surprised me. Guess who said which of the following two quotes. One is NorthPoint Church Pastor Andy Stanley and one is business guru Jim Collins.
Quote #1 "There's nothing distinctly spiritual [about leadership]. I think a big problem in the church has been the dichotomy between spirituality and leadership....I grew up in a culture where everything was overly spiritualized," ____ said. "I don't want to be a cynic, but raking out all the spiritual versus non-spiritual, I think, is healthy."
Quote #2 "One of the things that really resonated with church leaders was the Level 5 Leadership finding," ________ told us, "that leaders who took companies from good to great are characterized by personal humility and by a fierce determination to a cause that is larger than themselves....I was delighted how the Level 5 concept took hold, and yet the deeper I got into it, the more I realized that Level 5 leadership looks…
Stephanie and I have just started to attend a Bible study on Tuesday nights that is designed to bring restoration into a person's life. What does that mean? It means this. When a person becomes a Christian and enters into a life in the Kingdom of God their eternal direction is transformed. We shift from hell bound sinners to heaven bound saints.
However, just becoming a Christ follower doesn't always undo the years of life circumstance and experience that have shaped and formed us into the people we are. So, the goal of restoration, is to look at my life and see what types of faulty beliefs and attitudes I have built my life on. I want to walk with Jesus Christ in fullness and freedom and so I am striving to build my life on the truth of His word to me.
Here is something that hit me tonight: "You are not free to help other people in their pain when you are focused on your own."
If my foundation with God is bad, how can I help others? Usually I will just end up using the…
I've been wondering about this for awhile. There has been a lot of talk in the last 10 years about today's church developing a sense of community like the church described in Acts 2:42-47. There is emphasis put on the sharing of materials, common meals and authentic small group relationships.
So how come meeting daily for apostolic teaching (I am guessing non-seeker, non-topical explanation of the OT), sharing communion more than one Sunday a month, and the regular occurrence of signs and wonders (miracles and healings) is not talked about with quite as loud a voice?
Seeing people get healed is not quite culturally relevant (or maybe it is...people and towns flocked to Jesus to be healed didn't they?) but it would certainly create quite a buzz. Taking a couple months to teach through the Book of Numbers might not be as marketable as a three week series called: 'Lost- Finding God's Will' but I am guessing that if Jesus taught the OT maybe we could find some applic…
So, there have been a bunch of house projects piling up and today I decided to do something about them. The problem is that I stink at building projects. What always happens is that I run into all kinds of issues and frustrations. Nothing ever seems to go smoothly - unless I have someone help me.
This 'make-over' inaptitude you probably knew of. Here is what you didn't know. Whenever I'm working around the house and my projects are going poorly, I get frustrated, and when I get frustrated I get super hot. This means I start losing layers of clothes like Santa Claus in Mexico. Before too long I'm usually down to a white t-shirt and boxers.
Today I started fixing the blinds in Jacob's room. Then I was trying to fix a closet door in the same room. It didn't go well and so off came the clothes. Then I moved to the kitchen to take out the lower heating element in the oven. After that I started changing burnt out light bulbs in the hallway and finally in the gara…
Here is another question that I was emailed: Here is a question I have been pondering all of my life. I know what the Father and the Son is/are, but what the heck is the Holy Ghost?? I have never been able to figure that out and have always been baffled by that.
This is another great question. The mystery of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (the Trinity) is hard to understand and requires much faith. Here is my attempt to answer that question.
My response: In traditional Orthodox Christian understanding God exists as one, but has three distinct parts. These three parts are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit/Ghost. All three parts of God has distinct roles and activity in Scripture, and yet all three are one.
How this is possible is part of the mystery of God. It might help to think of an egg, which has a yolk, a shell, and 'the white part.' This is only an analogy though.
In the Bible the Holy Spirit/Ghost is spoken of as the part of God that lives inside a Christ…
A while ago a friend emailed and asked me a good question: People talk about being obedient to God and listening to him. I'm never quite sure what this means. How do I hear God speaking to me?
Have you ever wondered this? I know I have.
Here is my short answer response: How do I know that God is speaking to me? There are many ways that this can occur, though none of them are necessarily easy to decipher. Hopefully I can help you out a little though.
1. One way God speak to people is through the Bible. The Bible claims that it is written by God through the minds and pens of humans. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that all Scripture is God-breathed - which literally means 'from the mouth of God.' What this means is that if the Bible tells us to do something (i.e. - not fornicate, take care of the poor, worship God alone, pray, speak kindly of others) we can assume that God would say they same thing audibly to us if he would choose to do so.
Here is some interesting Idol talk on why Chris got voted off. Idol Speculation looks at the show through the lens of politics and compares voting on Idol to voting in elections. Its worth the read and raising dire predictions for Katharine and Taylor.
I found the article over at Transition Pete which looks like a cool blog by a pretty cool guy. Check it out.
I was reading some posts from Gary's blog this morning and saw that he had a link to Seacoast Church resources. I went to check it out and saw that Seacoast is making all their creative resources available for free. You can check it out Seacoast AllAccess.
Seacoast's Open Source Philosophy
We have adopted an open source philosophy and decided to give away free stuff to other churches. If you are a Seacoaster and know a church that might be interested in using our artwork, worship backgrounds, or our messages, please let them know about this site as well. This is another way that Seacoast would like to continue to make a difference around the world. If you are a church leader, we hope you can use these resources to help your ministry communicate the love of Jesus.
Any material made available from this site is not to be resold in any way. The materials on this website were produced by Seacoast Church to help people become fully devoted followers of Christ - all we expect is for you…
I didn't think it could happen. I really didn't. I figured that it would be Chris and Katherine in the final two - NOT the bottom two. Man, from all the love Chris was getting on this blog I figured he would be safe. When Ryan said he was leaving I was shocked.
Chris is a great singer and he'll get his record deal. I think what did him in was that he was a rock star and not a pop star. In the end, Chris was just too edgy for the general public.
Here's another angle: "controversy + popularity = buzz marketing"
In his book, Buzz Marketing, Mark Hughes highlights the show American Idol as a master of buzz marketing. One key component of what gives Idol such a high buzz factor is the controversy the show invokes among the people who watch it. On page 62 Hughes writes,
"Simon creates controversy with outrageous and taboo remarks. He's shock to the American culture, and we salivate for his next zinger each week-compelled to talk about it and read about it the…
I was laying down with the kids tonight and as I waited for them to fall asleep a thought registered in my mind. Among others, two character traits came to mind, that I hope I will always remember and be remembered by.
1. I want to be accessible and approachable. 2. I want to be generous.
There are many other things I pray will define who I am as a man, husband, father, and pastor. But these two things popped into the brain tonight.
I would love to know, "What do you want to define you?" (please leave your name)
...the heart of it is this: to make the Lord and his immense love for you constitutive of your personal worth. Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. God's love for you and his choice of you constitute your worth. Accept that, and let it become the most important thing in your life.
- from John Eagan's journal, as quoted in Brennan Manning's book Abba's Child
Just finished speaking at the Woodridge Church "He Said/She Said" senior high youth retreat. I had a fun time sharing with about 30 students. A friend of mine from seminary, Joelle Binder, is the senior high pastor. She did a great job leading the retreat and she seems to have a great team of adult leaders supporting her there. The names of my talks were:
1. Building a Rock Solid Foundation 2. God's Sexual Standards
(the manuscripts are available upon request)
I love speaking. I have really been thinking a lot about the relationship of a teacher and the Holy Spirit in life transformation. As a speaker I believe it is my job to present the truth of Scripture in a way that is clear and compelling. But then I have to trust that the Spirit of God will intervene and change a person.
Without the Spirit of God working in a human heart it doesn't matter how funny, articulate, compelling, or creative I am. My words will just be words. However, when spoken in tandem with what God…
I was sad to see Paris leave American Idol last night. She was a very fun girl to have on the show. I would have preferred to see Elliot hit the road. But I guess I'll have to wait one more week for that.
A bunch of really cool guys are all hanging out at the Buzz Conference today. What a bummer for me to miss that.
Hey...if anybody reading my blog is there (man I am jealous of you) will you please grab me any cool extra promo stuff that you see getting handed out. I'll even pay to have it shipped to me. That would be sweet. Thanks.
I am growing more and more excited about a couple talks I am giving on Saturday at a weekend youth retreat. A friend of mine from college and seminary, who is the youth pastor at the church, asked me to come and speak to her kids. It is an honor and a blessing that God would give me this opportunity. I believe I am called to teach, write and speak and I look forward to the day I get to operate with those things as my primary responsibilities. I also know I have much inner work to do before God will be fully able to use me in all the ways he desires. Praise him for his goodness and patience.