Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Yo, Suckah! Jesus don't need no stinkin' 3D!

Another example of America's consumer church mentality. How sad when we dumb down the eternal sacrifice of our Almighty God. I'd call it blasphemy.
Read this post by Bill Kinnon, and let me know what you think of this idiocy.

Yo, Suckah! Jesus don't need no stinkin' 3D!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Performance-based Christianity

David Wayne (aka Jollyblogger) has the best post on his blog that I've read in a long time. It's a message and a challenge for the whole church. Go there and read it!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Awesome God or Aw...Some God!

Just read a great post by Jason over at "Beneath the Crust" on the "smallness" of God in our thinking. Go read it and tell me what you think. Is our God GOD, or is He just an accessory in the wardrobe of our lives?

Monday, April 05, 2010

Michael Spencer aka Internet Monk With the Lord

Internet Monk…His dispatches from the post-evangelical wilderness sent his readers to either examine their faith, or to run for the door. Over the past several years, as I read IMonk’s blog, I watched him chip away at the icons of our religiosity, inspire us to look beyond the traditional “God-Box” and try to define a Jesus-shaped life. Often that life seemed to fly in the face of everything our Christian culture depends on today. It flew beyond big-box evangelicalism into what was uncharted territory for many of us.

Today the Christian blogosphere has lost a voice crying out to challenge us to re-examine our worship, our understanding of the Gospel of Jesus, our mission as Christ’s Church, our relationship with other believers, our orthodoxy and our orthopraxy. He brought together Baptists, Methodists, Roman Catholics, Calvinists, Anglicans, atheists and agnostics in civilized dialog. We may not have agreed, but we found a safe place to talk and to leave our weapons at the door.

But we have lost much more than just a “voice”. He was a preacher, a teacher, an object lesson. IMonk was transparent in his own life. He shared his own struggles with many of the practices and definitions that had governed his ministry, his growth as a Christian, even his relationships with those closest to him. He called us to join him in leaving behind “churchianity”, as he called it, for a Jesus-shaped life.

Now that voice has been silenced. After suffering from cancer’s “thorn in the flesh” for only a few months, Michael Spencer is in the very presence of Jesus tonight. The shaping of his life here on earth is finished.

I encourage you to visit the Internet Monk blog and read the wealth of archived blogs there. You will be challenged and blessed.
Michael leaves behind his wife Denise, his son and daughter, and thousands of readers and fellow-bloggers. Please pray for his family, his co-workers and students. His voice…his presence…will be missed by all of us.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pray for A Fellow Blogger

For several years, I've been reading Michael Spencer's Internet Monk blog...probably one of the best-known Christian bloggers. IMonk spoke to and for many of us who questioned the direction in which evangelicalism is heading. He dared to actually dialog with those who might not agree with him and invited us to join the conversation.
He introduced us to other Christian traditions and theologians. He brought out the "Liturgical Gangstas" to converse on everything from baptism to the Lord's Supper to music in the church. He let us know that God doesn't shoot you dead for asking honest questions.
And through it all, he was always transparent about his own life, his own walk with God. Today, that walk is through the valley of the shadow of death. On Christmas Eve he underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. Today his wife, Denise, has posted the news that they are ending chemotherapy and he will be entering hospice care.
Please join me in praying for Michael and Denise and their children during this time when they prepare to say goodbye and Michael anticipates seeing His Lord face to face.

Monday, March 08, 2010

God's Opportunity

Nearly 30 years ago, a friend of ours from Thailand spoke at a mission conference. He said that most people are either unable or unwilling to go to the ends of the earth to proclaim the gospel of Christ to those of other languages and cultures. He also said that God was overriding our failure to “go” by bringing substantial numbers of those people to us, in the form of immigrants to this country.
He was right.
Only a few weeks later, I learned that a family had moved to our small community from a refugee camp in Thailand. Originally from Laos, they were ethnic Thai and ethnic Chinese—and Bhuddist/animist in their beliefs. A coalition of local churches had sponsored them and brought them to town, and they were living about a block from my house. When an appeal was made for volunteers to teach them English, I knew that God had given me the opportunity to “go”.
That was one of the best experiences of my life.
God allowed me to know them through the ESL class for the adults, as a neighbor and mentor, as a tutor for their children. They were introduced to a larger Asian community in a nearby city and took part in adult Bible studies led by my friend from Thailand. I was able to teach the children. Although they later moved from the area, they came to know Christ and became members of His Church.
Fast forward to 2010…
Recently, a building in our area was purchased by a Muslim professional man for use as a place of prayer and instruction by other Muslim families who have immigrated to our part of eastern Wisconsin. That property must be re-zoned in order for it to be used as a mosque.
In light of the events of the past 10 years, Americans have developed a paranoia about people of the Muslim faith. As a result, there is significant opposition to interaction with them.
Ironically, many of our churches have supported missionaries in Muslim countries for years, yet they seem to have a NIMBY attitude to “going” across the street to get to know local Muslims as people. They speak English and have been culturally integrated in many ways, so they don’t have the same needs as my Asian friends did, but I wonder what opportunities God has for us.
We will never know if we bar the doors and refuse to let them come.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Count It All Joy

James wrote, "Count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations...".
That's another of those great verses to memorize, to preach, to write about...and it's a rough place to live. We're all happy with the joy, but the "diverse temptations" are something we'd rather not think about, and certainly rather not live with.
This has been the week of diverse temptations, and I expect more weeks ahead.
On Monday, my son called to say that they'd taken our 3 year old grandson to the doctor with a persistent cough and fever. He'd had it for over a week and they suspected pneumonia. After an x-ray and blood work, their pediatrician was sending them down to Children's Hospital in Milwaukee for further testing.
They went for tests...and are still there.
A bone marrow aspiration showed that Joey has acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He's had a spinal tap since then, more tests, and has had a PICC line inserted. Toxic chemicals are being pumped into his little body to fight the invaders. His parents are staying with him day and night.
While all this has been going on, we've had another "diverse temptation".
Joey's 8 year old sister is staying with us. Yesterday, I took her to the same pediatrician who saw Joey. She now has pneumonia in her left lung--persistent cough and fever. Antibiotics are doing battle with the enemy, but they don't do much for the hole in her heart. She misses her brother and her parents.
We are counting it all joy. With each new "temptation", God has shown Himself faithful. He has surrounded us with an army of concerned prayer warriors...some who live in the most remote corners of this earth. He has provided us with concerned friends and family who are willing to meet immediate needs. He has allowed us to live in close proximity to excellent medical care. He reminds me that He will never leave us or forsake us and that ultimately we will see good if we trust and obey Him.
I am willing to see that good now. I will count it all joy today.
In December, another blogger, Internet Monk, was diagnosed with cancer and has undergone brain surgery, radiation, and is now undergoing chemotherapy. I prayed for him then and have continued to pray for him. But, his "diverse temptations" were not mine. They were his, far way in Kentucky.
This week, that all changed. They've come home. And the joy has to be mine.

I encourage you to read today's Internet Monk blog by a guest blogger at