Saturday, May 19, 2007

My Shoes

Right now Jadyn is walking around in my shoes.
In many ways, I hope she never really does that.
But it sure is cute for now.

(I'll post the rest of the Orange Conference stuff later.)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Orange Pt 2

Today we had a few really amazing sessions. The first was by Francis Chan and it was really inspiring and convicting. Here are some of the ideas he presented (and my responses):

  • What is it that I ALONE am called to do? (I'm still working this out, but I'm getting closer to it. More on this another time.)
  • Oswald Chambers had a quote: "Never make a principle out of your experience. Let God be as original with others as he has been with you." (This really hit me, not just as it refers to making principles out of MY experiences, but I noticed that I tend to make principles out of OTHERS' experiences as well. I need to remember that God will also be original with ME.)
  • He told the story of Dean Karnazes, who came home drunk after celebrating his 30th birthday and suddenly decided to run. (Cue Forrest Gump montage.) He finally stopped 30 miles away from home after having run ALL NIGHT LONG. He realized that maybe he had a gift. Now he is a very accomplished runner. The point is that he had no idea of the outcome when he decided to "just run". But that's exactly what he did. (Too often I get caught up in not doing things because I'm unsure of the outcome. I suspect this is true of many people.)
  • He talked about an encounter he had with a Jehovah's Witness. This person asked him what he thought of the JWs and his response was that he didn't like them very much because instead of allowing people to truly discover God for themselves by searching His word, they are feeding people what they want them to hear. But then he realized that this may also be true for most Christians. (I definitely think most of what I "know" of God has been fed to me by others and not self-fed.)
  • He asked a rather thought-provoking question. "If I ONLY ever had the Bible, what would I expect to see when I walked through the doors of a church for the first time?" (Hmm. Is that what we are presenting now?)
  • He told about having been invited to speak at a Korean prayer meeting that met at 5 AM in Anaheim, CA. His first thought was that it would probably just be a few folks kneeling for a little while, no big deal. But what he encountered was drastically different. They were doing this prayer meeting for 14 days straight and there were THOUSANDS of folks there every day, including babies, preschoolers, kids and teens. It was amazing to see the video of the event. These people were seriously committed. He said that if someone in that church wanted to serve in ANY capacity, including just passing out bullitens, they had to complete a 3-year discipleship training that included 10-15 hours of Bible training per week. Over 3,000 of them have already finished the training. (I wonder if we've set the bar so low that we in the modern American church have removed the need for any real commitment on the part of our members.)
  • What would it look like if we truly took the Bible literally? For instance, loving your neighbor AS YOURSELF. We all make sure we have enough food to eat, clothes to wear, housing to enjoy, etc. What if we made sure the same was true for the people around us? How would it change our family and church budgets? (Wow.
  • Remarking on Hebrews 11 and Rahab specifically, he said that if it's true that without faith it's impossible to please God, what if the reverse is true? Maybe with faith it's impossible to DISplease God. (To God, the result isn't nearly as important as my dependence on Him as I make a sincere effort. Failure does not negate faith!)
  • Don't get paralyzed by the church. It's not an excuse to not try. No church leader will tell us NOT to follow Jesus with all we have. We may not be able to use the building for a prayer meeting at 5 AM, but we can certainly use our own home. (I'm glad I'm part of a church that is more likely than not to encourage doing whatever God is truly calling us to.)
I'm wiped out, otherwise I'd talk about the next session now. Maybe later this week.

Monday, May 07, 2007


This is day 1 of the Orange Conference. (If you don't know about Orange, check the link. It's a pretty cool concept about church ministry.) I am blogging on some of what I heard tonight so I can keep it fresh. You reading it is just icing on the proverbial cake.

  • Sometimes we think what we're doing (to reach others) is working, but it's not. This could be because it works for US, but it doesn't work for others. This especially hit me as it applies to worship music. I've recently set a goal for myself to write a worship song that a brand new believer with no church background would write. So many worship songs have words like glorious or redeemed or exalt. While these are Biblical words, they are not something the average new believer would say with authenticity. I wonder how much of our worship music doesn't touch new Christians because it seems so "churchy".
  • Offering a "blended" service to keep everyone "happy" may be completely ineffective because it's not really relevent to anyone. Trying to combine service elements from different styles of worship can be powerful, but often it's just a random combination that seems to have no forethought, and that's just annoying.
  • Are we making it easier or harder for people to come to God? This question also came up at the DRIVE conference at Northpoint Church last fall. I'm glad it came up again because I think I'm ready to ponder it in a new and different light. I may touch more on this in a subsequent post.
  • Ministering to the family unit as a whole is not only possible, but it is powerful. It shows all the members not only the stories of our faith, but it also shows each member that they have something to contribute to the whole. The Bible story used as an example of this was the story of Nehemiah. When he was gathering people to help rebuild the wall around the city, he called families to come together for this common purpose. Imagine how the kids of the day felt when they saw that wall come up and realized that they had a part in it! How empowering for them!
The next installment will hopefully come at the end of the day tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Have you ever?

Have you ever justed want "normal"....
...only to realize that normal doesn't exist?

Have you ever thought you finally had something figured out...
...only to realize you have no idea what's going on?

Have you ever hoped for something good...
...only to realize that what you have already is better?

Have you ever felt that your days stretched endlessly before you...
...only to realize that mortality is always a breath away?

Have you ever been experienced captivity...
...only to realize that the door was open all along?