Friday, January 28, 2005


I found a quote from Robert Webber last week that has very succintly put what I have been trying to say for several years about the mission of the church. He says,

“The calling of the church in every culture is to be mission. That is, the work of the church is not to be an agent or servant of the culture. The churches’ business is not to maintain freedom or to promote wealth or to help a political party or to serve as the moral guide to culture. The church’s mission is to be the presence of the kingdom. . . . The church’s mission is to show the world what it looks like when a community of people live under the reign of God” (Robert Webber, The Younger Evangelicals, 2002, 133).

I have the blessing of living in a small town were the pastors of the various churches have a good relationship. We feel a sense of team instead of competition. But my question is this - What would it look like if the churches in my community lived "under the reign of God"? It's an exciting thought. And one that I'm willing to take some risks to see come about.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Letting God Grow Us

Darren from thin spaces shared some great ideas today. He writes, "While surfing blogdom today, i ran across a repost of Neil Cole's (Church Multiplication Associates) response to the question 'If you could start all over what would you do differently?' over at

i resonated with the comments made as i am currently on that journey myself. i feel that this is such good material that i am re-posting Neil's answers on my blog so i can easily find it again. The reminders he offers are simple, insightful and rather counter-cultural for many Christian church planting movements today."

Read more of "Letting God Grow Us"

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Do we really want to see God?

Isaiah 6:1-13

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for." Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" He said, "Go and tell this people: " 'Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.' Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed." Then I said, "For how long, O Lord?" And he answered: "Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, until the LORD has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken. And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land."

We sing it often – “Open the eyes of my heart Lord, open the eyes of my heart – I want to see you, I want to see you”. As we read a text like the one we are looking at today we have to ask ourselves if we really understand what we are asking for. We equate seeing God with a warm fuzzy, a sense of wonder, a taste of something wonderful. For Isaiah it began as his worst nightmare. Shaking, smoke, loud voices, and an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame. When Isaiah saw God he clearly saw himself as well. Throughout chapter 5 we’ve seen him pronounce God’s “woe” on the people 6 times, and now in chapter 6 the woe is pronounced upon the prophet himself. “’Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.’” (Is. 6:5)

We watch as God purifies Isaiah and calls him to a difficult task. He is to speak God’s word to the people – and for the most part they will not respond. There’s a lesson here for each one of us. If we want to be used to communicate God’s truth to the world we must first allow that truth to penetrate our hearts. Isaiah not only shared the message, but he became a living example of what the message was supposed to accomplish. His life was an illustration of what God was calling the people of Judah to - humility, repentance, answering the call of God.

Too many times we want to take the message of God to the world before we take it to heart. We want to show everyone who God is without taking the time to see Him clearly ourselves. God’s call in our lives is more about making us like Christ than it is about showing others the way. As we become more like Christ they can see the way clearly. Instead of being a distraction we help to focus their attention on who Jesus is. That’s the call. Live the message in your heart before you run to share it with the world. Think about it.

Friday, January 14, 2005

A Nation of Faith and Religious Illiterates

"....according to a 1997 poll, only one out of three U.S. citizens is able to name the most basic of Christian texts, the four Gospels, and 12% think Noah's wife was Joan of Arc. That paints a picture of a nation that believes God speaks in Scripture but that can't be bothered to read what he has to say."

LA Time - A Nation of Faith and Religious Illiterates

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Toilet Brush Warning Wins Consumer Award

"The sign on the toilet brush says it best: 'Do not use for personal hygiene.' "

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Our Postmodern Faith Needs Fire

From Desert Pastor, always stirring my thoughts...

"Fire is what our emerging, postmodern faith needs today.

Not the fires of passion (we seem to have plenty of that);

Not the fires of deconstruction (disassembling takes too much time; burning is faster, right?)...

We postmoderns need the fires of persecution."

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