Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Blessed Man

Proverbs 31:10-12 reads...
"An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far
above jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life."

I have been thinking this morning about the amazing nature of the woman that I am married to. The Bible speaks wonderful words of truth when it says that the worth of an excellent wife far exceeds any precious jewel that we could own. This weekend God has reminded me that I am married to the most well-rounded woman I have ever met. Those that know me well know that I am not vulnerable with many people in my life. But I am so vulnerable with my sweetheart, and she still loves me and cares for me and serves my family. Her devotion and love simply overwhelm me.

This weekend I have seen her continue to work hard to build authentic relationships in a way that challenges most people. I have seen her sacrificially give of herself so that my oldest son could have the best 2 year old birthday I think I have ever seen. I have seen her serve me and the boys humbly and graciously. I have seen her exude the qualities of Christ that demonstrate to all that Jesus has transformed her heart. In short, I have been reminded that God worked His second most gracious event in my life (right behind salvation) in giving me a wife named Barie.

I Love Her.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Author's Conversion

If you have been exposed to anything that Anne Rice has written, you know that she has always had a fetish for the dark things in the spirit world. An article in the Dallas Morning News grabbed my eye as it described her life-changing encounter with God and her new book.

Check it out here.

Let me know what you think.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Abortion Article

I just finished one of the best pieces on abortion I have ever read. This op-ed appears in tomorrow's Washington Post, and it moved me deeply when I read it tonight. Please encourage everyone you know to reflect on the powerful message in this wonderfully written article. Post your comments here on what you think...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Catalyst Day #3

After sitting through the final day of Catalyst speakers, I am thinking...

...that just as the church needs leaders, churches need leaders. In other words, there are those people inside each church that set the pace and shape the vision for the future of the church. And in the country, there are those churches that set the pace and shape the direction of other churches for the future. I know that God has called me to be a leader in the local church - I hope that the Lord gives me a team of people to work with that will help our church be a pace-setting church for other churches in America and the world.

...that I worry too much about the future because I am a control-freak, and that I need to really trust the Lord for my future and the future of the ministry He gives me. I know that God is in control, and I am learning daily what it means to have full confidence in His sovereign authority. God is full of mercy, and I thank Him that He is able to shower grace on me during all the times when I have made huge mistakes in my life and ministry. His goodness gives me peace as I seek to serve Him.

...that young passionate ministers of the gospel need to quit beating up on those who have gone before them, but rather appreciate their successes and learn from their failures. It is the height of arrogance for us who are under 30 to bag on those who are over 50 who have actually done it.

...that most churches are hurting in America because of a lack of competence and leadership from those in positions of authority. I am afraid that the 75 churches that close each week quit asking how they could improve and simply got used to doing things the way they have always done them. We must continually seek to serve God with excellence and dependence.

...that God does things we don't understand, but that He is always working around us if we will just open our eyes to see Him.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Catalyst Day #2

After sitting through the amazing main sessions at Catalyst today with Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Donald Miller, and John Maxwell, I have been thinking...

...that progress never warrants compromise as a leader. I see times in my future when I will be tempted to compromise my biblical principles for the sake of making quick progress as a leader. I have decided today by God's grace I will never compromise my integrity for the sake of moving forward. In other words, I have chosen to say that the person I become is more important the progress I make.

...that we have committed the error of worshipping music rather than worshipping the Creator. We have come together in community and sung songs of "worship" to our Lord for years and never surrendered the areas of sin in our lives that we struggle with. We have talked a good game, looking for the hottest worship "experience" without truly surrendering all of our identity and life to the Lordship of Jesus. I have failed to communicate to others that worship experiences without worship lifestyles lead to dead faith.

...that I need to repent before God for my lack of connections with His world. I have been so enveloped by the Christian subculture that I hardly know many lost people. I'm not talking even being friends with non-Christians, but just knowing them. I have lost all relationships with people that are without faith, and I have lost a voice into this godless world. I need to start noticing that other people exist, and I need to start valuing others above myself. I have looked out for number 1 for too long, and in the process, I have lost sight of a hurting world.

...that in order for me to be the Leader that God uses, I have to be passionate about making a real difference in this world and know what God is calling me to do. I have to find that one thing that God has wired me and built me to do, my passion and my calling. And then I have to do that one thing with all my heart. I am hungry to fulfill God's call on my life, and passionate about obeying the Lord as He clearly puts that picture before me.

...that God is so good.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Catalyst Day #1

After a few labs with leading thinkers today and some discussion time with my wife, I am thinking…

…that those outside and inside the church are tired of all the talking and want to be more involved with doing. Endless sermons and Bible studies and small group discussions are wearing everyone out with the talking – people need to be led into the doing.

…that the church fools itself into thinking it is a place where reality is addressed when many issues that the culture are talking about are never even touched inside the church. The church needs to speak the life-changing message of Christ in such a way that shows the world that we understand the world we live in.

…that the church will always be hopelessly behind the culture if we continue to model the methods of the church after the methods of the business world. Instead of leading the charge, the church in America is always about ten years behind the culture and destined to stay there when trying to copy and imitate. The church needs to drop its desire to be like the world and instead learn what it means to be the church in the world.

…that evangelism in the 21st century will only occur when the church gets more serious about showing the gospel. The church in America will continue to only reach the already convinced until it confesses up the fact that it has a major image problem in the non-Christian world. The church needs to get serious about repenting for past sin and serving the world to Christ. I would love to see the people of Christ serving so faithfully and passionately that pagan people ask us how they can become followers of Jesus.

…that honesty, authenticity, and transparency must begin with the leadership in the church if we every desire to see those traits in our people. The church desperately needs leaders who will commit to showing the gospel on top of teaching the gospel.

…that the crises of the church of the 21st century in America is a crises of leadership, and that 75 churches will continue to close every week in this country until leaders begin to call the church to missional living and service.

…that we all need to look harder for the work of Jesus around us. He is alive today, and He is active in the world, but we are missing Him. There is nothing more powerful in life than to join up with what God is already doing in the world.