Monday, May 29, 2006

Summer in the City

Went for a drive into the City of Chicago this morning. The Sun was shining along the lakefront and the beauty of the city was just radiant. As I drove north from the museum I found myself thankful for the proximity of the museums, the embedded culture in the city, the art galleries and the beach and the many other things that create the city ambiance. I suppose that there are better places but I love Chicago.

Alongside all the amenities are the people. They are walking their dogs, running along the lakefront, riding bikes, eating at restaurants, and attending shows. So many of them need spiritual help. They are seeking satisfaction but often from the wrong source. Who knows what kind of hurt and pain they are experiencing or what kind of inner struggles they are masking with their exteriors.

How do we reach them? Preoccupied with their externals, having disguarded Christianity as ineffective and unproductive (primarily because it was untried!) they are facing a Christless eternity. Each person MUST be the kind of person who shares his faith with his friends and acquaintences this summer if we are to reach the city.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

real beauty

Stop and think for a moment - what is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen in your life. Can you think of it? I can think of beautiful moments. I distinctly remember sitting on the western side of a very small island in the middle of the canadian wilderness. The water had laid down like glass, the sky was bright orange, lit up from behind the clouds with the fading sun set, I was drinking a cup of black coffee and my sons were sitting around me watching the day end and the night begin.

Another beautiful think is the way my wife looks when she sleeps on vacation. When we are sleeping on vacation she seems to sleep better than at home. I remember one day while we were sleeping in the camper I awakened to see the sun rise and the light reflecting off her rested and beautiful face. I was like a symbol of peace.

I also think a beautiful moment was a time when our family was sitting around the table and somebody was acting up and we all started to laugh so hard that we had to push away from the table. laughing so hard that it got messy! I think that is kind of beautiful.

What is your moment of beauty?

Friday, May 19, 2006


Assembly of God General Superintendent Thomas E. Trask was recently asked, "Brother Trask, some may be hearing about the Vision for Transformation for the first time, so can you give an explanation of what it is and what it hopes to accomplish?"Trask responsed, "The Vision for Transformation was launched in order for the Assemblies of God to take a serious look at its internal and external operation and ministry. Externally, we were created as a fellowship. There are many who call us a denomination, but there is a world of difference. A denomination, as it ages, becomes more restrictive. It puts in place policies, practices and procedures.A fellowship is a releasing agency. We are 91 years old. However, over this period, we have put into place practices, procedures, and policies that have become more restrictive. I believe, for the 21st century, the church needs to be a releasing agency.But, ultimately, this isn’t about whether the Assemblies of God is a denomination or fellowship. It is about the kingdom of God. This church was raised up by God to serve the kingdom of God. Not to serve a fellowship. Not to serve a denomination.Internally, everything is up for evaluation except, of course, our doctrine. Over the past two years we’ve made some hard decisions. Some of those decisions were made so that we would remain a new wineskin."

What happens when the system is restrictive and doesn't move people into ministry but keeps them away from ministry? Does it need to be scrapped?


It is really rough being a model. Standing straight all the time, mastering the turns, having all that good will for world peace! Good God it is exhausting! As I sit here typing, with my hand on my hip!, I am trying to contemplate why would anyone want to be a model?

In my devotions this am I read 2 Thess 3.9 where Paul says that he made himself a model to be followed. Why does God choose to use broken and fallable human beings as models of godliness? Wasn't Jesus' incarnational life enough? or is it that there needs to be an incarnation into the life of every person who longs to be molded into Christ's image? And if so, why does anyone want to be in ministry? Isn't it just setting yourself up for frustration and failure?

I mean - when was that last time YOU felt up to the task of being a model?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

An Uncooperative Spirit

I really ticks me off that people in the church say they want to "serve the Lord" but then spend most of their time belly aching about the way that we "who direct the affairs of the assembly" (1 Tim 5.17) try to do our job. Now don't get me wrong- I have never claimed infallability- but I am available! Many of God's uncooperative kids don't care enough to make a call to tell you what they think. (Maybe they don't think!) But do you think that stops them from complaining? NO WAY! If you ask them to do the task they volunteered for when they signed on they look at you like your spitting when you talk! The real problem is they don't want to take orders from someone- well guess what?- everyone takes orders from somebody and these malcontents are no different from anyone else! If they would ask (but they don't) their questions could be answered and maybe they could learn how to Serve the Lord with Gladness! (Ps 100.2) Or maybe their suggestion would benefit the rest of the brethren in the church. But they would rather sit and stew in their own damned rebellion. (1 Sam 15.23) No wonder we are embarrassed when our friends visit the church and see the slip-shod manner in which some of these people serve Christ! The joy is gone, the ideas are half baked, thier giving is stingy, and whatever blessing God could give them for their sacrifice is discounted because there is no spirit of cooperation, instead- only foot draggers, tongue waggers and back stabbers.

If we want to make a difference we had better learn how to serve without complaint (Phil 2.14)

Starting off

Don't ask me why- but I decided to start a blog. Perhaps its a place for my vitriole and disgust to be vented? I don't know. But I am launching today. I don't even know if anyone will care what I am writing but I need a place to put down my thoughts. I want them to be cutting and critical but at the same time uplifting, thought provoking, and perhaps a germicide to the boredom and inanity we call the christian life here in america.