Tag Archives: Church

My Picks for Wednesday 11-4-2015

Just some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing…

I can often relate to how she feels…

Thoughts Lisa Spence
Lisa Spence“I once thought thoughts. You know, deep and meaningful thoughts, thoughts I pondered and wrestled with and deliberated over and contemplated and, well, thought and sometimes wrote about, sometimes not. “I don’t think stuff anymore,” I told my husband awhile back…”


http://www.mazapoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/love-and-marriage-quotes.jpg
I’ve always felt uncomfortable with that sentiment. Here’s why…

My Spouse Is My Best Friend -Mark Jones

“It seems weird to me, mainly because my wife belongs in a category that goes beyond friendship. How does a man compare his wife with several of his male friends, as if she is first but there is a second, or third best friend behind her? He doesn’t. He shouldn’t. We take away something from our marriages when we talk in this way, and we take away something from our friendships with people of the same sex when we speak like this.”

Seven Myths of Contextualization-Bob Kauflin
shutterstock_184172318_Fotor“In the past few years, much has been written, advocated, and modeled to help us understand why we should be concerned about leading services in ways that people actually comprehend what we’re doing and saying so that they are impacted in the right ways (Mike Cosper’s Rhythms of Grace is one example). That might mean changing your music accompaniment, liturgy, communication methods, and more.

But I’ve seen contextualization misapplied at times. Here are a few things I’ve found helpful to keep in mind when thinking through how to connect with people…”


If the opportunity ever comes up for a retired worship minister to visit the ISS, sign me up! Some amazing photos here.

International Space Station: 15 Years In 50 Pictures…
“As of this week, humans have spent 15 continuous years living off the Earth thanks to NASA and the orbiting International Space Station…. “It [ISS] has taught us about what’s possible when tens of thousands of people across 17 countries collaborate to advance shared goals,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement.”

 

On Family and Church

Hamiltons – Christmas 2013 Photo by Katy C Photography

Let me tell you about my family.

My name is Lloyd. At the time of this writing I am 62 years old, the oldest child of parents Bob & Faye. My dad is 83 and my mom is 80. They were both very young when they married in 1952 and I was born the following year while Dad was in the Air Force. Four years later my sister Rhonda was born and eight years after that (Surprise!) my sister Ginger was born.

In 1974, at the tender age of 21, I married Kathie, my high school sweetheart. We had been married for 7 years when Liz was born. Two years later Kate was born and our little family of four was complete. Well, that’s what we thought until our grandkids were born!

Kate married Timm in 2006 and our family began growing some more. Iris was born the following year and is now 8 years old (I can’t believe it!), Asher came along 2 years later and little Oliver was born just this summer on the Fourth of July, 2015.

Also, Liz began dating Trent a few years ago and he has become very much a part of our family.

If you’re keeping track, that’s a total of 13 people ranging in age from 83 years to 4 months.

But wait…there’s more.

My sister Rhonda married in 1981. She’s divorced now, but while they were married they had 3 children: Chris, Becky and Mike. Chris is married and he and his wife, Mary have 2 beautiful daughters: Elliot and Harper. Becky married a handsome young man named Josh about two years ago. No kids…yet. And we recently took a road trip to Baltimore for Mike and Kristin’s wedding.

My baby sister Ginger eloped with her boyfriend Bob in 1993. Their daughter Sara is now a college student.

Twenty-three people.

Single people. Divorced people. Newlyweds. Oldlyweds (63 years!). Boomers. Gen-Xers. Millennials. Republicans. Democrats. Jazzers. Rockers. Headbangers. Country music lovers! Video gamers. Musicians. Writers. Artists. Teachers. Public servants. Medical professionals. Accountants. Techies. Care-givers. People in need of care-giving.

When you think about it, we have more differences than we do similarities. What do we have in common? Nothing.

Well, there is one thing:

DNA.

Also, we are each somewhere along a path from utter dependence on others in the family, to being responsible for others in the family, and back again to dependence. As we travel along this path, I think we can look at our role in terms of need, contribution and responsibility.

Early in our lives our need is great. We are responsible for nothing and our contribution is measured in terms of the joy we bring to our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents as they see to our needs and watch us grow and develop.

As the years pass into our teens, if things develop normally, our need lessens and our contribution increases. We begin to learn what it means to have responsibility for things and ourselves. Certainly, we still have needs, and others are ultimately responsible for us, but we’re learning.

When we move into adulthood we find that we now shoulder real responsibility. We are not dependent on others to sustain us. In fact, we are the ones responsible for the well-being of others who are younger (or older) and have greater need. Our contribution during this time is great, even to the point of sacrifice at times for the need of others.

Then, of course, as we grow into old age we find our personal need increasing. Our level of responsibility begins to subside and our contribution is mainly in the area of mentoring and the sharing of wisdom gained over the years. The rest of the family begins to see us as their foundation, and if our life has been lived well, they love us and appreciate us for being a positive example and influence in their lives. They may be filled with gratitude that we have built this family into something they can be proud of. We will find, however, that while our family respects us, cares for us, and is there to help when needed, their lives no longer revolve around us.

I believe that’s as it should be.


White Oak Christian Church – Colerain Campus, December 2, 2012

Now, let me tell you about my church family.

Single people. Divorced people. Newlyweds. Oldlyweds. Boomers. Gen-Xers. Millennials. Republicans. Democrats. Jazzers. Rockers. Headbangers. Country music lovers! Video gamers. Musicians. Writers. Artists. Teachers. Public servants. Medical professionals. Accountants. Techies. Care-givers. People in need of care-giving.

When you think about it, we have more differences than we do similarities. What do we have in common? Nothing.

Well, there is one thing:

Jesus.

Also, we are each somewhere along a path from utter dependence to responsibility and back again to dependence.

Early in our spiritual lives our need is great. We are responsible for nothing and our contribution is measured in terms of the joy we bring to the rest of the church as they see to our needs and watch our lives change as we grow and develop.

As the years pass into our spiritual adolescence, if things develop normally, our need lessens and our contribution increases. We begin to learn what it means to have responsibility for things and ourselves. Certainly, we still have needs, and others are ultimately responsible for us, but we’re learning.

When we move into spiritual maturity we find that we now shoulder real responsibility. We are not dependent on others to sustain us. In fact, we are the ones responsible for the well-being of others who are younger (or older) and have greater need. Our contribution during this time is great, even to the point of sacrifice at times for the need of others.

Then, of course, as we grow into old age we find our level of responsibility begins to subside and our contribution is mainly in the area of mentoring and the sharing of wisdom gained over the years. The rest of the church begins to see us as their foundation, and if our life has been lived well, they love us and appreciate us for being a positive example and influence in their lives. They may be filled with gratitude that we have built this church into something they can be proud of. We will find, however, that while our church family respects us,  cares for us, and is there to help when we have need, their lives no longer revolve around us.

I believe that’s as it should be.

Don’t you?

Lloyd

 

The Only Proper Response


“Worship gatherings are not always spectacular, but they are always supernatural. And if a church looks for or works for the spectacular, she may miss the supernatural. If a person enters a gathering to be wowed with something impressive, with a style that fits him just right, with an order of service and song selection designed just the right way, that person may miss the supernatural presence of God. Worship is supernatural whenever people come hungry to respond, react, and receive from God for who He is and what He has done.
A church worshipping as a Creature of the Word doesn’t show up to perform or be entertained; she comes desperate and needy, thirsty for grace, receiving from the Lord and the body of Christ, and then gratefully receiving what she needs as she offers her praise— the only proper response to the God who saves us.”

– Geiger, Eric; Chandler, Matt; Patterson, Josh . Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church

Weekend Picks

Just some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing…

I was a little surprised to find that I resonated with a lot of what he has to say in this Leadership Journal piece:

Six Church-and-Culture Issues I Don’t Care About Any More
Karl Vaters
Six Church-and-Culture Issues I Don't Care About Any More“When I say I don’t care about these issues, I mean it. I don’t think they’re bad. I’m not upset. If your church does them, fine. I don’t want to take a sledgehammer to them. I’ve just shrugged them off due to apathy…”


I liked that one well enough that I followed his link and found this one from a few days ago. More good stuff…

Six Church-Insider Issues I Don’t Care About Any More
-Karl Vaters
Six Church-Insider Issues I Don't Care About Any More
“I grew up in the church. But in recent years I’ve found myself caring less about many of the issues I used to think mattered so much. I’m not just apathetic about them, I’m passionately apathetic.

Apathetic enough not to care. Passionate enough to write about them anyway.

I’m not even upset about them. It’s more about setting priorities than being right or wrong….These are issues that church insiders care a great deal about, but outsiders (and most regular church folks) don’t care about at all.

I’ve decided to join them.”


Insightful and frightening analysis on how school shootings catch on.

Thresholds of Violence – Malcolm Gladwell
In the years since Columbine, school shootings changed; they became ritualized.“The problem is not that there is an endless supply of deeply disturbed young men who are willing to contemplate horrific acts. It’s worse. It’s that young men no longer need to be deeply disturbed to contemplate horrific acts.”


I’m part of a church who cares very deeply about communicating the Gospel in ways that touch the hearts of people in our generation. I’ve heard this criticism more than once…

Stop Watering Down the Gospel – Marty Duren
The Areopagus“Is there such a thing as watering down the gospel? Yes, but making the gospel clear is not it. Making the gospel understandable is not it. Making sure hearers comprehend the truth of the gospel is not it.”


I suppose it’s because my new web site is just a week old, but this one hit a little close to home…

https://wronghands1.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/grammatical-voice.jpg

Source: Wrong Hands

Thursday’s Picks

The Church is Not a Drive-Through Restaurant Daniel Hyde
“Because of cultural influences on the church in America in our time, we tend to treat the church like a drive-through restaurant. We think to ourselves, “It will always be there and it will always have what I want, when I want it.” So, some of us attend worship once a week, some twice a month, and, sadly, some of us only occasionally. We come to get something and to leave. If it is not there, we go somewhere else.”


The Two Review Technique – Seth Godin
“…if you work to minimize criticism, you have surrendered the beauty and greatness of what you’ve set out to build.”


Ben Carson wouldn’t vote for Muslim president because he takes religion seriously (COMMENTARY) – Trevin Wax
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson speaks at the North Texas Presidential Forum hosted by the Faith & Freedom Coalition and Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas on October 18, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Mike Stone *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-WAX-COLUMN, originally transmitted on Oct. 19, 2015.
“Today, the people who were most astonished at Ben Carson’s comments seem to think that a person’s religious beliefs should be totally irrelevant to how they govern or to how one votes. But that kind of religious reductionism is silly to most religious people. We know that religion really does matter in our daily life and how we think and how we live. So, ironically, Carson is the one taking Muslims and the Islamic faith seriously when he says he would not vote for a Muslim for president.”


If you need a smile today, this should do the trick…

 

Monday Morning Picks

Putting the Mini in Ministry
I really appreciated this article reminding us of “Small things we can all do to make a big difference in our churches.” Basic stuff that we sometimes forget.

It’s Ok to Be the “Away Team”
11_Tune_ICOM_JN“The church is now the visiting team in our culture. The crowd is not cheering for us. Any measure of “home-field advantage” the church may have once enjoyed has vanished. A new game plan is needed.”

The power of fear – by Seth Godin

Fear will push you to avert your eyes.

Fear will make you think you have nothing to say.

It will create a buzz that makes it impossible to meditate…

or it will create a fog that makes it so you can do nothing but meditate.

Fear seduces us into losing our temper…

and fear belittles us into accepting unfairness.

Fear doesn’t like strangers, people who don’t look or act like us, and most of all, the unknown.

It causes us to carelessly make typos, or obsessively look for them.

Fear pushes us to fit in, so we won’t be noticed, but it also pushes us to rebel and to not be trustworthy, so we won’t be on the hook to produce.

It is subtle enough to trick us into thinking it isn’t pulling the strings, that it doesn’t exist, that it’s not the cause of, “I don’t feel like it.”

When in doubt, look for the fear.