Saturday, October 31, 2009


Ever felt like a complete idiot? I'm sure you have. :)

I did today.

I went to get a new phone. This is something I do about once every 27 years. But it was time. My last one weighed about 8 pounds and was awkward to carry in my pocket. It made me tilt to one side.

So anyway, I went to the store to get a new one. My contract was up and it was time. The guy at the counter was about 16-and-a-half (looking) and his name was SHAI. There ya go.

He tried to explain the ins-and-outs of the new phone - what it would do (wifi - GPS - itunes library - scramble an egg) - what it wouldn't do (it will do everything except file my taxes for me). He was giving me a tutorial of the phone - flipping around on the keypad - touching the screen with lightning speed - all the while talking, expecting me to follow along. I nodded my head and said 'yeah' and 'sure thing' a lot, but otherwise, I was clueless. My wife was standing nearby and she, being much more versed in all this stuff than I, asked appropriate questions and basically made sure I didn't totally glaze over during the conversation.

So I've been sitting here for the past 3 hours trying to figure out my new Palm Pre. I know how to turn it on so far. Tomorrow I'm going to try to actually place a call on it.

On a side note - here are the results of the 'most annoying word/phrase' survey. YAHOO! told us it was 'whatever.' My readers did not quite agree. Our results were:
"Like" - 46%
"Whatever" - 31%
"You know" - 13%
"Totally" - 8%

And be blessed.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


The church was designed to focus light on just one thing - Christ. But when we continually move the lampstand and use it for other purposes -- personal agendas or political ambitions or anything else -- even those outside the chuch can recognize our misuse of the light.

People are constantly asking us what our stance is on certain subjects - asking us (without actually asking us) to move the lampstand a few inches here or there ... "What does the church think about Harry Potter?" ... "What does the church think about children going trick-or-treating?" "What does the church think about Hollywood?" "What does the church think about President Obama?" -- and so on.

And the temptation is to move the lampstand to shine on those other things.

Why do I sometimes get so anxious about things that really don't worry God? I have a real hard time imagining Him up in heaven saying: 'Oh no! It looks like Disney is going to let 'those people' into their park for a special day again. I better get some Christians to go boycott that.'

Instead, I can more easily see God pointing at the lampstand saying: 'Who moved it way over there? Why are you focusing on that? Bring it back over here where it belongs. Show them who I AM.'

As a believer, you can certainly have your personal convictions and opinions, but as far as the church is concerened, don't ask us to wage a battle that God isn't fighting. Don't ask us to move the lampstand away from its rightful position - smack dab where Jesus is.

Because when we move the lampstand, our influence becomes weakened and we make it harder to see what Jesus looks like.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


A day in the life ...

I hit the gym after work before heading home today. When I get the chance to go, I typically step on the scales sitting right there before you head to the locker room. I'm not the kind of guy who fluctuates much with weight. Right now, I land right between 197 and 199 - pretty religiously, no matter what. Two days ago when I was there, sure enough, like always, it said 199.

So today I stepped on as I entered the locker area and it said ... 211! 'WHAT? That's IMPOSSIBLE.' I couldn't have gained 12 whole pounds in two days. That just isn't in my history at all.

So I went on into the locker room. A couple of guys were in there that I was familiar with and I mentioned that the scales must be 'off.' We were joking around about it but inside - I admit - it was bothering me. Twelve whole pounds? No way.

Both of the guys went to test the scales themselves. Both returned to let me know it was pretty much what they expected. The scale seemed accurate.

Then one of the guys asked me if I was usually dressed when I stepped on the scales. And -- well -- yeah -- since the scales are located OUTSIDE the locker room --- um --- definitely dressed every time.

AND THEN -- it dawned on me. I had done something today I don't ever do, but i guess I was just in a hurry when I walked past the scales and stepped on real quick. I had my gym bag on my shoulder when I weighed myself.

So I went back out WITHOUT the bag just to make sure - stepped on the scales --- yep --- 199. My faith is restored. I'm gonna have that extra HO-HO now.
Note to self: I have way too much stuff in my gym bag. Fix that.

And be blessed.

Monday, October 26, 2009


"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." ---- ROBERT FROST

I will admit that I have struggled more of late than ever before about the implications of the Gospel in my own life.

What is my responsibility to the poor?
How should I use my money?
How do I deal with my own pride and self-centeredness?
What exactly does God expect of me if I claim to follow Him?
Can I call Him "LORD" if I'm not always doing what He says to do?
What right do I have to pastor a great church, challenging others in THEIR Christian walk?

It's like one blind beggar helping another blind beggar find food. And yet, God uses broken, imperfect people to bind up wounds, heal hurts, speak truth and inspire others. He uses both mistakes and victories to shine light on a path for others to follow. What He has done in all of our lives is a miracle.

In the end, responding to the Gospel is not for nations or committees or even churches; it is for individuals - one person at a time. It takes transformed people to transform the world.

And be blessed.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Today was our every-six-months emphasis on Missions.

Maris Banas -- who spent 11 months ministering in 11 countries all around the world thru 'The World Race.' What a tremendous ball of wonderful energy she is.

Sam Johnson -- former missionary to Portugal and Spain and currently establishing churches in Africa, including countries in the 10/40 corridor such as Algeria and Egypt. Another amazing ball of energy.

Highlighting of '09 - '10 missions trips -- England, Jamaica, Thailand (6 trips), Honduras, Mexico, Minneapolis, Kenya, Nicaragua, India.

Thailand Dinner at Las Cazuelas -- I know -- a Thailand fundraising dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Go figure. Over 100 people didn't care because that's how many bought tickets to eat in support of the trip. Packed full of noisy, hungry KFA-ers. All that energy under one roof.

A ton of energy this morning. I'm pumped.

And be blessed.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Please vote in the 'most annoying word' poll at right. Thanks.

The Associated Press reported the other day that the most annoying word in the English language this year was 'whatever.'

When accompanied with great exasperation, it's pronounced, "WHAT-ehv-errrr." Or if you're hip, it's just "WHAT-evvvv." Immortalized in song by Nirvana in 1991 ('Oh well, whatever, never mind') ... popularized by the Valley Girls in "Clueless" later the same decade ... it's still commonly used, often by younger people.

USES: an all-purpose argument ----- a signal of apathy ----- a word indicating 'dismissal.' Either way, I agree the word is annoying. The original poll found it to be consistently disliked by Americans regardless of their race, gender, income or where they live.

Other annoying words or phrases vying for contention in no particular order were: totally ----- you know ----- anyway ----- like -----

Now it's your turn. Do you AGREE that 'whatever' is the most annoying word/phrase in the English language right now? Vote in the poll at right and let's see.

And be blessed.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Last night was kind of cool. We had our bi-weekly small group at one of the local coffee establishments. We're working thru the book of Ephesians together. Over the past 2 weeks, we've made it thru eight verses. At this rate, we'll finish sometime next July. :)

But as we were prepping to get started - moving tables - ordering cappucinos - a man came over and asked what we were about to do. He was just kind of hanging around. He asked if we minded if he sat in on it. We said, 'Sure.'

So we had a walk-in at our small group and it was awesome to have someone there who wasn't from the regular group that we just opened our arms too spontaneously.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Joelene and I were privileged to speak at a Couples Retreat in Waupaca, WI this past weekend. Here is a brief download of our final session (see past three blogs):

The truth is, I'm mostly interested in things that interest ME. But hold on there. You're mostly interested in the things that interest YOU. So we're even. I’m not naturally into things that aren’t interesting to me … and you're not naturally into things that aren’t interesting to you. Follow? Meaning, left to myself, I gravitate with everything in me to my things – my interests – and if they don’t interest the person I’m closest to in life and in love with, we have a problem.

The key - according to Paul in Philippians 2 - is to very intentionally learn to put the other person's interests above your own -- to express interest in the things the person you want to stay in love with forever is interested in. Simple, right?

At some point, Joelene wanted a little dog. Me, not so much. So I put it off – I hoped her dream would fade – I never actually said we couldn’t have one, I just punted it away every time the conversation started up. I knew the things the dog would do would be things I wouldn’t want to have to clean up.

Or the garden … there wasn’t much in me that wanted a garden. I didn’t say she couldn’t grow a garden, I was just like, ‘For what?’ I knew if she planted a garden she would just grow things I didn’t want to eat.

So, I have a decision to make. Am I going to love ME – am I going to talk her out of that – am I going to ignore it and hope it goes away? If there’s a problem with it, "I'll be over here - it's your garden. I'll be over here reading the Bible - it's your dog."

So there is a decision to make. It’s not a complicated decision. The issue isn’t: 'Do I like gardening?' I know the answer to that already. The issue isn’t: 'Am I going to eat those veggies?' The issue is: Am I going to look to my own interests first? OR --- am I going to move her direction to discover what she's interested in and make that a priority?

That’s what you do when you want to stay engaged and in love forever -- not just put up with her interests – but become engaged in them.

How's that workin' out for ya?

And be blessed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Joelene and I had the opportunity to speak at a Couples Retreat in Waupaca this past weekend. Here are some thoughts from Session #3 of that retreat (see the past 2 blogs for more):

In every love relationship, at some point, there is a gap between what we EXPECT and what we GET. And here’s the choice you make all the time. In every one of these gaps we either choose to believe the best or assume the worst. We put one of those in the gap … every time.

In fact, I don’t have to go much further for you to know which your partner does – but it’s way harder for you to see what you do. Ask your partner. They’ll tell you which you do. In fact, you’re all already THINKING about it.

You can get into this cycle and in this very weird way, you actually start looking for the bad in the other person. You come very close to actually CELEBRATING the wrongs. You start thinking you’re winning arguments and you may win some, but you are losing the most important relationship in your life. And it’s your choice … every single time … as to what you put there in the gap. Believe the best --- or assume the worst.

But we’re not looking for an opportunity to put something in each other’s MINUS column. Instead, we’re actively looking for a way to build up the PLUS column.

Where do YOU naturally go with that?

And be blessed.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Session 2 of the Couples Retreat Joelene and I had the privilege of doing this past weekend (see yesterday's blog as well):

Most people don’t fully know what’s going on inside them until they get into a relationship where they start getting bumped by the one they’re committed to – and then it happens and they say, ‘Oh, my goodnesswhat in the world was THAT? What did you just DO to me?'

And this is why people who make the ultimate commitment to each other end up madder at one another than anyone else on the planet – and HE is absolutely sure the reason that response came out of him is because SHE gets on his nerves and she keeps saying that thing and doing that thing and she knows full well how blasted mad that makes him … but the TRUTH is, that response came out of him because it was already in there.

And SHE is pretty sure if he would just stop and if he would just start and if he would just do more of and if he would just continue and if he would just do less of, then those bad responses of hers would quit coming out ... but the TRUTH is, that bad response was already in there.

We all have stuff in there -- and most of us blame the person we’re most in love with for what comes out of us.

So – what do we DO?

Here’s how the writer of Proverbs says it. He's the smartest guy on the planet, remember? He not only wrote Proverbs, he wrote Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon, too --- and he writes in Proverbs 4:23 … ‘Above all else…‘ which means what I’m about to tell you is as important or maybe more important than everything else I’ve said so far, and that’s quite a mouthful coming from Solomon, the wisest guy on earth – more than anything else, this is IT … and if you’ve read much of his readings, you know the guy talks about everything: MONEY – WORK ETHIC – FAMILY - RELATIONSHIPS - SEX - FUTILITY OF LIFE ----- the writer has covered the gamut – and yet, here he says …

Above all elseguard your heart.” Which means, give great attention to what is going on with the INSIDE of you. The heart in Bible times represented the seat of emotions – and Solomon says, 'I want you to guard that part of you --- I want you to pay attention to it – keep the bad guys out.’ In other words, GUARD IT … cover what is valuable. I want you to PROTECT and DEFEND your heart, is what he’s saying.

Because what is already in you will eventually make it's way out.

And be blessed.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Joelene and I had the privilege of being the speaker at the Couples Retreat in Waupaca this weekend. Great time. I thought I'd just spend the next few days downloading very brief excerpts from the four sessions, starting with this one ...

It was Thomas Aquinas, whom some argue was the greatest theologian in Christian history, who proposed that it might be more theologically correct to grammatically render the word “GOD” as a verb rather than a noun. In other words, we could all ask ourselves: 'Has GOD become the driving activity in your life?' God is LOVE - so - is 'GOD' what you DO every day? Because LOVE doesn’t take WORDS as much as it takes ACTION – because love is a verb, not a noun.

John 13:34 says: 'Love one another as I have loved you.' In other words, He's saying: 'I don't want you taking your cue from culture ... I don't want you taking your cue from reading the newspaper ... maybe you don't want to take your cue from your parents or in-laws.' Jesus says, 'When you think about what it means to love like a VERB, I want you to take your cue from Me.'

And then there is 'SUBMIT.' It’s the very same thing JESUS said when He told us to ‘love one another,’ but Paul adds that BARBED WORD, ‘submit,’ instead. He says – 'Submit to each other out of reverence for Christ.' In the very next verse, Paul says, 'WIVES ... submit yourselves to your husbands as you do to God,' but isn’t it interesting in the verse preceding it that Paul tells us ALL to submit to each other --- ALL of us.

So the bottom line -- the starting block -- for people who are in relationship is mutual submission … and that’s VERB stuff – it’s something you DO.

All life forms have a genetic code – a DNA. DNA gives each life form specific expression. Your DNA largely determines your physical and psychological traits. Since the church is organic, it too has DNA. Spiritual DNA. We believe in a triune God - the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God - yet there are not three Gods, but one. The Godhead is a community of three - a "Trinity." When a group of believers follow their spiritual DNA, they will gather in a way that matches the DNA of the triune God -- because believers possess the same life God Himself possesses. We are 'made in His image.' Consequently, the DNA of the church is marked by the very traits we find in the triune God --- mutual love, mutual fellowship, mutual dependence, mutual ministry and face-to-face community, mutual submission.

So when we do this in relationships --- when we give MUTUAL SUBMISSION --- when we make love a VERB by DOING it --- we are very much a reflection of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

And be blessed.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


It was a sweaty pleasure to be the speaker for our Christian Life School chapel today. I say 'sweaty,' because they ask me to do it every year and I literally 'sweat buckets' until the day of. Something about standing in front of 400 upper school students that does a number on me. I can stand every weekend in front of 2,000 adults and speak with relative fluidity, but I'm asked to speak to some 16 year olds and ... watch out! Here come the 'shakes.'

But I got thru it with at least 'walking colors.' Let's just say I didn't embarrass my wife, who is on the school staff.

I decided to speak on 'guilt' using the movie, "SEVEN POUNDS" starring Wil Smith. The whole movie is about his search to relieve his guilt after accidentally killing seven people in a car accident, including his own wife. He's searching for seven people worthy enough - good enough - to receive some very special favors from him - but he's doing all that in an effort to assuage his guilt. In the end, he ends up killing himself over his emotional pain (now you don't need to see the movie.)

God allows us to feel helpful guilt to motivate us and warn us of spiritual damage; Satan
counterfeits by heaping all this shame on people God has already forgiven. You have a consience and it’s a very useful tool when it gives you a ‘red’ or ‘yellow’ light as a stop or a warning. But your conscience is a horrible thing when it’s always showing ‘green.’ Our culture no longer seems to much value the element of conscience. It says whatever you do is just fine – EXPRESS YOURSELF. And over time you can get used to your sin. You can become numb to it. You can get completely comfortable with it. Over time you can stop caring about it. The sin can even become your FRIEND.

But how awesome that God's grace is a covering. There are people who can’t believe grace would actually be for them and their conscience just beats them up and they have themselves all knotted up every day by needless guilt. They carry this enormous ton of guilt and condemnation on their backs … it’s not driving them TOWARD God – it’s driving them AWAY from Him {better known as condemnation} – and that’s how you know whether or not your guilt {better known as conviction} is from God … is it pushing you TOWARD Him or AWAY from Him?

Keep running TO God, not AWAY from Him.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


This from Larry Barker ... just thought it was worth passing on, in case you're an irritating person:


1. Interrupting.

2. Not looking at the person speaking.

3. Rushing the speaker.

4. Showing interest in something other than the conversation.

5. Getting ahead of the speaker and finishing his or her thoughts.

6. Not responding to the speaker's requests.

7. Saying, "Yes, but ... "

8. Topping the speaker's story with "That's nothing, let me tell you about ... "

9. Forgetting what was talked about previously.

10. Asking too many questions about details.

Any questions?

And be blessed.


Sunday, October 11, 2009


I would be blessed and honored if you would take the poll at right. Thank you.

I will confess to coming very close to 'losing it' today in an exchange with a total stranger. I say I came 'close,' which is why I can actually share it with you. I did not go over the edge, so it's communicable on this blog.

We were dropping off our youngest, Olivia, at the MEGABUS stop in downtown Milwaukee (I brought her home from North Central University this weekend as a surprise to her mom - and she was returning this afternoon) - and as I was delivering her big red suitcase to the driver who was loading the luggage onto the bus, he honestly treated me like a total piece of garbage -- the way he spoke to me and received the luggage.

I was kind of flabbergasted at this unexpected turn of events and my first instinct (and second - and third - and fourth - and fifth instinct) was to lash back at him. Fortunately for me --- and for the Kingdom --- I followed my SIXTH instinct, which was to smile and thank him for taking the piece of luggage.

I don't think that's anything much like Jesus experienced when He was rejected and mistreated. It was a small drop in the bucket, but it did make me think about my faith and if it was living enough to be tested at the drop of a hat. I passed this time and I'd sure like to pass every time. I just wish I actually DID.

And be blessed.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Participate in the poll at right yet?

I wasn't sure whether to be enthused or discouraged at our MEN'S FRATERNITY group this morning. It's a great course and the men are pumped up to be there but the leader passed out a list of '100 Skills Every Man Should Know.'

The concept was that every man should have been taught these by his own father and should in turn pass them on to his children. The instructor asked how many men could do at least 50 of the 100 items.

Wow. No. I could only do 36 of them and that was stretching it. Big time.

I won't list them ALL, for the sake of time and space and embarrassment, but I did manage to 'pass' with flying colors on some of them:
Jump start a car
Perform CPR
Carve a turkey
Solder wire
Prune bushes and small trees
Grill with charcoal
Remove a tick
Ride a motorcycle
Drop and give the perfect pushup
Drive a stick shift
Tie a necktie
Use a socket wrench

But there were so many MORE I had no clue about:
Replace a fan belt
Tape drywall
Mix concrete
Fix a toilet tank flapper (WAIT. WHAT?)
Replace a broken windowpane
Fix a faucet cartridge
Sweat copper tubing
Make a drum-tight bed
Hang food in the wild
Skipper a boat
Build a fire in the wilderness
Find potable water
Tie a bowline (Don't even know what that is)
Install a graphics card
Ditch your hard drive
Use a coolant hydrometer and a framing hammer and an infrared thermometer and a sand blaster [pictured above] and a crosscut saw and a grease gun (HUH and HUH and HUH and HUH and HUH and HUH and HUH?)

So ... now what? Guess I have some things to learn.

And be blessed.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Come on and take the poll at upper right.

R. Stearns says: 'Our view of the Gospel has been narrowed to a simple transaction, marked by something similar to checking a box on a BINGO card, registering a decision for Christ on a 3x5 index card, or coming forward during an altar call.'

I admit that my own view of evangelism amounted to that for a lot of years. That's why it was my great joy to see 94 people baptized in water last month at Lake Andrea -- not 94 people who had officially checked a box or come forward at the end of a service -- but 94 people who had crossed a line on their journey with Christ, committing their lives to Him in a 'next step' of obedience.

Prior to that, in our efforts to make the good news accessible and simple to understand, we boiled it down to a kind of 'fire insurance.' Then, when the converted bought into the policy, he/she could go back to whatever life they were living before. As long as the policy was in the drawer ... well ... you had your 'ticket' to the next life.

There's a pretty big problem with that approach. Focusing exclusively on the afterlife denies what God expects of us in THIS life. Salvation was never a way to leave this world but the means to redeem it. Believe ... repent ... surrender ... change ... be discipled ... go ... bear fruit.

Ba-da-bing ... ba-da-boom.

And be blessed.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Did you take the exciting poll at top right? Please do.

Are you living today? No. I mean, REALLY living. TODAY, really living.

In 'The Fellowship of the Ring' the first movie of the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, Frodo and Samwise are leaving their beloved shire, a land of streams and valleys and meadows and forests. They are on a journey that will take them to the very ends of the earth, only they don't quite know that yet. They think they're simply traveling to the next country.

As they cross a field, Samwise stops. Frodo stops as well.

'What's the matter, Sam?'

'If I take one more step,' Sam says, 'I'll have gone farther than I've ever been before.'

Frodo smiles, walks back to him, puts his arm around him and says: 'Come on, Sam. As Gandalf says, "It's a dangerous thing just going out your front door."'

And together they take the next step - then the next, and the next, and the next, into dangers and wonders beyond imagining, into a life that transforms them both forever. Never to be the same again. Into life to the full.

They REALLY lived.

Why don't YOU take a step farther than YOU'VE gone before, and see where the road goes?

I dare ya.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Interesting poll results on your preferred environment of worship, considering our church is in the 800 or more range:

What is your preferred environment of worship?
800 people or more --- 37% of respondents
200 - 799 people ------ 44%
50 - 199 people ------- 11%
20 - 49 people (Coffee house setting) ---- 4%
5 - 19 people (House church setting) ---- 2%

Thanks for participating, if you did.

That poll brought another thought to mind --- wondering how many of you who read this blog actually attend the church I pastor. Very curious to know ... so would you mind voting once again in the poll at upper right?

THANKS -- and be blessed.

Monday, October 5, 2009


LAST CHANCE to vote on the poll on CHURCH SIZE - scroll down on blog - right side.
In nature, there is a flowering shrub called the bigleaf hydrangea. If you take the seed of that shrub and plant it in the soil of Indiana, it will yield pink flowers when it blooms. But if you take that very same seed and plant it in the soil of Brazil or Poland, it will produce blue flowers. Even more interesting, if you take that very same seed and plant it another type of soil, it will yield purple flowers.

The bigleaf hydrangea, however, will never produce thorns. Not ever. No matter what. It will never bear apples either --- or grow tall like a pine tree. Why not? Because those features are not within the bigleaf hydrangea's DNA.

In the same way, the church of Jesus Christ - the REAL church - will produce certain features by virtue of its DNA. Its the same DNA that Jesus Himself has, since He IS the DNA. Like the bigleaf hydrangea, the church may look different from culture to culture, but it will have the same basic expression wherever it is allowed to flourish.

And be blessed.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Feel free to participate in this last day of the SIZE poll -- located at the very bottom of this blog page at the far right.

All life forms have a genetic code -- DNA. DNA gives each life form specific expression. Your DNA largely determines your physical and psychological traits.

Since the church is organic, it too has DNA. Spiritual DNA.

Christians adhere to a Triune God - 'the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God - yet there are not three Gods, but one God.' (Athanasian Creed)

The Godhead is a community of three - a "Trinity."

When a group of believers follow their spiritual DNA, they will gather in a way that matches the DNA of the triune God -- because believers possess the same life God Himself possesses. Similar DNA -- 'made in His image.'

Consequently, the DNA of the church is marked by the very traits we find in the triune God --- mutual love, mutual submission, mutual fellowship, mutual dependence, mutual ministry and face-to-face community.

How are you doing with all those?

And be blessed.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Participate in the SIZE POLL located at the bottom of this blog on the far right. TWO MORE DAYS TILL THE POLL CLOSES.

We hosted fifty student leaders at our home this evening for a stuffed shell Italian dinner. Originally the night was supposed to be in our yard, but it was wet out so we transformed the garage into a little restaurant with some pretty nice ambience --- Christmas lights swagged overhead, covered tables, firepits and tiki torches --- all right there in the garage. Lots of fun.

The student leaders were taken on a retreat by our three youth pastors --- kind of a 'progressive retreat' - four different surprise locations. Our house was the final surprise stop over two days.

I had a chance to talk to them about what KFA expects from them -- how they can help us fulfill our mission. Then we had a dryboard brainstorming session about how we can better reach our community for Christ. I also asked them what kinds of things they'd like to hear communicated from the main speakers on the weekends.


Great group of student leaders.
Great youth pastors.

And you be blessed too.

Friday, October 2, 2009


There is a poll at the very bottom of this page. Feel free to scroll on down and participate. There are a couple of days left to vote.

I will confess to being just SLIGHTLY surprised at the 'so-far' results of the poll at the bottom of the blog page here. Surprised because my thought had been that most of the readers of this blog are probably from my church, which is over 2,000 people on a weekend. Yet, a stronger number of votes were cast for 'we love a smaller church' in the poll. AND ... as I am finding out, a considerbale number of people who read this blog aren't FROM my church. Which is very cool, I guess.

So --- just a few comments then on the subject of the poll --- size.

Extra-large or Super-Size isn't as popular as it used to be. For instance, there is a trend in home buying AWAY from larger homes to more compact, smaller, cozier dwellings. A bigger house doesn't make a better house. Cottage is the feel-good word of the new millenium.

There is not always a strong correlation between size and significance. The most important light in your home may not be the big chandelier hanging in the dining room. It may be the little night light that keeps you from stubbing your toe when you get up at night.

Speaking of little and small - and this is EXACTLY how we take a larger congregation like ours and keep it cozier-feeling ... small groups. We have thrown twice our weight behind them in the last couple of years. Small groups are far more valuable than you may think. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world --- indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." (MARGARET MEAD)

To have a place to be heard, to be encouraged, to share, to be loved, to learn about God, to pray for others, and to have others pray for you is no small wonder.

Now ... as an unrelated closing ... I leave with you with a great line from the movie my wife and I took in tonight -- "CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS." If I ever re-name this blog, this is going to be the title: "I am off to carpe some diem now."

And be blessed.