Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Interesting thoughts on "Rental Fatigue"...ie the challenges (and blessings!) of continual having to set up and tear down the equipment at a church.


Friday, May 2, 2008

Cool thoughts from Sam Allbery @ http://allberry.blogspot.com/

Friday, March 28, 2008


Three things to think about next time you're staring up at the stars:

God's glory

The sky is God's daily blog. Each day the message is unchanging, and yet brought to us in an unending variety of ways. In eloquent silence we have the glory of God proclaimed to us (Ps 19:1). We're reminded of God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature (Rom 1:20). The stars remind us of the scale and dimensions of his creation. The greatest understatement in history has got to be Gen 1:16 - "He also made the stars", as if a casual aside. They speak of his might and our need to worship him. If we see our smallness before the stars (Ps 8), we should also see his greatness.

God's gospel

Abraham is urged by God to look up at the stars, and even to attempt counting them (Gen 15:5)! Imagining the scene without the faint orange glow of light pollution is hard, but Abraham would have seen the night sky lit up like a Christmas tree - a canopy of numberless twinkling lights. "So shall your offspring be", God says to him. Redeemed humanity really will be a vast number, as hard to imagine as the starry night is to take in, and yet what an encouragement. If it's tough soil which God has given us to work on, we can take great comfort. It will not always be so. Christ's people will not be the handful in a lifeboat, or the straggling survivors huddled in a shelter. Each night-time glance at the heavenlies is an opportunity to believe the gospel again.

God's people

As we strive to live together as God people, struggling to share the mindset of Christ as he went obediently and sacraficially to the cross, purging complaint and argument from our communal life, heading a step at a time toward the blameless lifestyle to which we are called, we shine like stars in the night sky (Phil 2:15). Our unity in Christ, worked out in our relationships with one another, sets us apart as clearly as a bright star against the pitch black of night. Our collective Christ-mindedness makes us the glow-in-the-dark people; our fellowship itself becomes a poweful witness: our illumination in this generation hold out the word of life to it. Our shine is not from better health, better looks, better teeth, better success, but from better minds as we follow the example of Christ and consider one another's needs before our own. [Optional cheesy finale: We become the bright stars that the wise follow to find Jesus :-) ]
Labels: God, Stars

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Pray for Those who Preach (from http://justinchilders.blogspot.com/2008/03/pray-for-those-who-preach.html )

In most of Paul’s letters, he included a record of exactly what he prayed for the churches or individuals he was writing to. His prayers are rich with insights into the character of God and Paul’s own love for the churches. However, Paul did not just pray for his readers. He often asked them to pray specifically for him. For example, at the end of Ephesians, he asks the church to pray that he would be given boldness that he might preach the gospel (Eph. 6:19-20). In Colossians, Paul requests prayer for his ability to make the gospel clear when he preaches it (Col. 4:3-4).

Prayer is essential to the fruitfulness of preaching. God has ordained that prayer be one of the means by which He accomplishes His purposes through preaching. Once, Charles Spurgeon (The Prince of Preachers) was asked about his obvious success in preaching. He simply replied, “My people pray for me.” What a profound insight from a man who knew that he was not alone behind that pulpit. He was confident that God was with him because his congregation was laboring in prayer for him and with him.

Christians, how often do you pray for your pastors who preach the Word of God to you? How devoted in prayer are you for the work of preaching? The health of the church is dependent on a man of God standing with an open Bible and declaring the glory of Christ’s person and work. The success of the sermon depends upon the sovereign work of God to open our hearts to hear and apply His Word. Thus, we must plead with God for His blessing on the preacher and on the message he preaches.

Here are a few suggestions of what to pray for those who preach:
1. During the week, pray for God to reveal the burden of the text to him.
2. During the week, pray that God would grip the preacher’s heart with His glory revealed in the text.
3. On Sunday morning, pray that God would free him from distractions.
4. On Sunday morning, pray that he would proclaim the truth boldly and clearly.
5. On Sunday morning, pray for God to powerfully speak through him.
6. On Sunday morning, pray that Christ would be treasured by all gathered.

Think of the effect on your own heart of praying for those who preach. When we plead with God to do these things, we will wake on Sunday with an anticipation of what He is going to say to us as we hear His Word. All glory for successful preaching should ultimately go to Jesus Christ, who purchased all good things on the cross. However, pray in such a way that your pastor will be able to say, “My people pray for me” when he senses the help of God to proclaim the gospel.

“would you rather your children grow up in uganda or america?”

Written by Anne Jackson on April 3, 2008 – 6:59 am

that was one of the questions david kuo asked at our dinner with leadership development students while we were in uganda. a man who is ugandan, a father, a pastor, and leader answered without hesitation,


some of us seemed a little shocked. america. it’s the land of opportunity. it’s safe. you can get medical attention. at least three meals a day.

“exactly,” the man said. “you know where your next meal is coming from. you have jobs. paychecks. in uganda, you may not know where your next meal comes from. you have no money. you have nothing to depend upon but God. and i would rather have my children rely on God more than i would want them to be distracted by everything else.”

i have been contemplating the things upon which i have dependence. my job? absolutely. my paycheck? yes. my car. what’s in my fridge. other people.

when one of those things gets murky or muddy or falls apart, it’s easy for me to fall apart, too. i am distracted by them, sometimes (and probably more frequently than i’d care to admit) more often than not.

where does my help come from?

i am distracted from dependence on god.

in a culture of over-abundance and luxury, how can we remedy this?

(ps - if you want to look at some of the most beautiful children in uganda, click here.)

Posted in Compassion International |

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Against Music*
by Greg Gilbert

I think the entire evangelical world ought to put a moratorium on any kind of instrumental music, and just chant psalms in their worship services—for the next ten years.*

I’ve been amazed since becoming an elder in a local church just how dependent many Christians are on a certain style of music, or certain level of excellence in music. How many times have you heard someone say, for example, “I just can’t worship in that church.”? Or “I just don’t feel like I’m connecting with God there.”

Of course there can be a lot going on there, but I think that many times if you press in on statements like that, what you find behind it all is not very far removed from “I don’t like the music there.” People don’t put it that starkly, mainly because if you do it sounds silly. But I think that’s a lot of what people mean when they say, “I can’t worship there.” The reality is that a single flat-back piano just doesn’t gig their emotions as much as a full electric band does. They don’t get that “transcendent feeling,” so they get discouraged and end up saying they “can’t worship.”...

Home Alone: Do We Still

Need the Local Church?

Jim Elliff
The down-the-street local church is not the only show in town anymore. We are able to enjoy faith-building messages, listen to the latest Christian music, and explore the rich diversity and variety found in the most noted Christian gatherings, all with the click of the mouse or the touch of a button.

Many local church pastors now say, "The world is my parish," just as did the horseback-riding evangelist, John Wesley. But they mean this without ever going out of their own studio or auditorium! Some are communicating to millions.

It is not unusual for savvy web users to feed from many sources during a given week. Avid cable television viewers can watch the world's premium communicators any on almost any day! Some listen to Christian radio all day long. In fact, you can hear and see Christian leaders on your handheld media device while eating a hamburger in the local fast food restaurant.

For some time we have been losing the aura of significance once automatically assigned to the local church...