Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Information Stupid Highway

Go ahead.

Talk on your cell phone on your way down the road (I did!). Eat a hamburger. Shave with an electric razor if you must.

But please...do not do this:*

this is an audio post - click to play

*For some reason, this audioblog is just making its way to my blog, even though it was recorded last week!

By the way, in the audio, I make a reference to Chris leading worship this Sunday, but that was actually last Sunday! Chris did a great job and it was a blast having him with us!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Return of Chris

A long time ago in a church far, far away, my family stepped out in faith to plant a new church in a new developing area called the Alliance, Texas Corridor. Another brave soul with a heart for God and a willingness to serve, prayed with his wife, grabbed his guitar and came along for the ride.

And for the incredible journey that was "North Point Fellowship," Chris Roberson was our worship leader, a Trustee, and basically my "right hand man." As North Point's time was drawing to a close, Chris moved on to new adventures but has remained a faithful prayer partner and friend.

So I'm happy to report that this Sunday (8/27), Chris returns to fill in for Kim as she takes a maternity leave from leading worship at Compass.

Kim, by the way, will most likely be bringing baby number two into the world before this week is out. I know that she and her husband, Ricky would appreciate your prayers this week!

But in honor of the return of Chris, I thought it would be fitting to post this classic video from an old series in the archives. It stars me, my fam, Chris, and the off-camera voice of a hot chick I know...

Johnny's Extreme Makeover
Watch the video, here: Johnny's Extreme Makeover

[Sorry for the ".wmv" file, to those of you who hate them, but I had trouble quickly shrinking the file size any other way and time was rocking on. Eh, it is what it is.]
Update: Ok, here's the video in a ".mov" format. It's a much bigger file, but it looks 10 times better.
Johnny's Extreme Makeover.mov

[And yes, the hot chick in question is my lovely wife, Leona.]

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Fun With Planets

When I was in first grade, I made a lame painting of the "9" planets that orbit our sun. It was for a science fair. The project was 100% made by me (hence the lameness), but I was very capable of describing each of the planets in great detail to the judges as they stopped by.

Unfortunately, my display of the current knowledge of planets at the time was not enough to win the blue ribbon. Apparently my watercolor and marker painting on plywood didn't make the cut. But the judges were very impressed with my command of the facts. Thank you very much.

Of course even then, there was talk of a mysterious and possible "planet X" out there. We always thought that sounded cool, although it was highly debated among scientists. So when I discovered the news yesterday about the discussions about planets within the scientific community that are currently going on, I was very interested. First grade curiosity is hard to shake, sometimes.

It seems there is some disagreement right now about what constitutes a "planet" and it is very possible that the new accepted understanding will be that there are 12 planets instead of 9 making their way around that lucky old sun. If that happens, there will be a lot of textbooks and educational toys and my 1st grade science project that will need to be updated.

This little news item inspired me to scribble the following cartoon as I was about to head out the door tonight. Sorry for the lame drawing, but I was in a hurry. A quick scribble, a fast scan and there you go. ...How bout that hair? (Feel free to pass it along, by the way. ...The Cartoon, not the hair....)

Actually, generally speaking, when people say that they "believe" or "trust" in science, they really mean that they believe in the scientific method. I do too. It works pretty well for what it was designed to do.

Unfortunately, science and the scientific method cannot adequately answer the ultimate questions of life or really even the origin of life. The changing nature of the facts derived through the scientific method make it the wrong discipline for discovering answers of meaning and purpose.

Faith and science do not have to always be in conflict. By their very nature they will sometimes be at odds on ultimate issues, but do not have to cancel each other out.

Faith in scientific "facts" alone, however, is fairly shaky for maintaining certainty, because the "facts" could change at any moment. That makes the definition of "fact" itself a little shaky, also. Not to mention that it's a fairly cold and empty way to live life on the third rock from the sun.

Faith in Christ, however, provides a rock solid stability that is not shaken by the latest "changing of the facts" that results from the latest scientific discovery. He's trustworthy and constant.
Colossians 1:15-17
15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation.
Christ is the one through whom God created everything in heaven and earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see – kings, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities. Everything has been created through him and for him.
He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together.
Science, Faith and a Cartoon.

Welcome to my blog.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

George Harrison 80's Video for Church Planters

If George Harrison of the Beatles was about to plant a Church in the late 80's...

I started laughing out loud when I made the lyrical connection!


"Master Plan" Quotables

Here a couple of quotes that stood out to me from "The Master Plan of Evangelism" by Robert E. Coleman. All italics bold print are added by me:
"One living sermon is worth a hundred explanations."

"Obedience to Christ thus was the very means by which those in his company learned more truth. He did not ask the disciples to follow what they did not know to be true, but no one could follow him without learning what was true (John 7:17). Hence, Jesus did not urge his disciples to commit their lives to a doctrine, but to a person who was the doctrine, and only as they continued in his Word could they know the truth (John 8:31, 32)."

"...evangelism was not interpreted as a human undertaking, but as a divine project which had been going on from the beginning and would continue until God's purpose was fulfilled. It was altogether the Spirit's work. All the disciples were asked to do was to let the Spirit have complete charge of their lives."
Chew as necessary. I'll post more of these along the way...

The Master Plan of Evangelism

I recently finished the book, "The Master Plan of Evangelism [second edition, abridged]" by Robert E. Coleman, and was amazed by how timely it is. Originally published in 1963, the 85th printing was in 2003.

There are many thoughts on the best way to reach the average "Unchurched Urkle" in the United States here in the early days of the 21st century. Some are still effective and work well and others are quickly showing signs of age and ineffectiveness.

Having read a ton of stuff on evangelism in recent years, this book was refreshing to me. Even though it was written over 40 years ago, I found myself making immediate, relevant application for today.

In some ways it has "filled in the gaps" in my thinking about our current evangelism strategies and has helped me to "round them out" in a stronger way for the long haul.

Coleman's description of the "Master's plan*" is a timeless, long term, and cost- effective way of making disciples of Jesus Christ. It emphasizes the importance of growing strong believers who in turn, can and do begin making disciples. In the process, the results are eventually multiplied in an exponential way.

Just makes sense.

A few stand-out quotes to follow.

* Not to be confused with Kirk Cameron and Ray "banana man" Comfort's TV show of a similar name...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Why didn't I think of that?

The times they are a-changin' in the music industry.

Check this out... SellABand. The music company, the band and the fans all profit from the deal.

There are a lot of indie bands that I have never heard of on this site and the ones I listened to weren't exactly stellar, ...but what a great idea.

This system doesn't really work for churches, but I like the thinking. There are definitely creative ways to reach people and fund ministry that have not yet been dreamed up.

Time to start dreaming...

[Link via Springwise.com]

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thoughts On Spiritual Growth

I've discovered something about spiritual growth and maturity that really isn't that profound. It is, however true:

"Knowing and not doing" = Pride, Bitterness, or Both.


"Doing and not knowing"
= Pride, Bitterness, or Both.

I believe this basic "formula" is true with rare, if any, exception.

Have you ever known anyone who knows a LOT of Bible, but they are also snobby, obnoxious, uncaring, unkind, ungenerous and cranky?

How about someone who is a dizzying display of service, volunteering, hard work and "spiritual" activity, but they are also snobby, obnoxious, uncaring, unkind, ungenerous and cranky?

One without the other leads to an arrogant attitude or a bitter spirit. Or both.

Many people have not grown past the last thing God told them to do. And others have not stopped long enough to know what God is telling them to do.

Spiritual maturity is not just about how much you know. It's about what you do with what you know. It's also about how much your life is reflecting the One you are following.

And becoming Christ-like is the goal.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Iron Man at 41

I'm 41 today.

And this is how I feel.

Notice the look in my eyes. That's the "steely resolve" I was talking about in that last post. :-D

Hey, I'm just getting started...