Archives For Missional

For those who would call themselves Christ-Followers, Sunday was HUGE!

It was a day of rejoicing.  A day of proclaiming Jesus’ victory over Satan, sin, and death.  A day of innumerable “He is risen / He is risen indeed!” exchanges with “Marco?  Polo!” precision.

You know, all the things that we appropriately do on Easter to give praise, honor, and glory to our amazing God and risen Savior.

It’s Tuesday.  Now what?

We read that after Jesus’ death, the disciples hid at first, then waited for the Holy Spirit to come as Jesus told them to.  Hopefully you are not in hiding today and we receive the Holy Spirit when we accept Christ as Savior…no waiting.

So, now what?

Continue Reading…

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I think sometimes we wrongly think that the only people who make a difference or have “impact” for God are the “professionals.”  You know, the pastors, evangelists, worship leaders, authors, etc.

Sure, as Christ Followers we’d never say that out loud; but we think it and often act and even live like it.  We know the passages in the Bible that talk about every part [or person] of the “body” [or church] being important; but we often equate ourselves as the “pinky toe” – you know…necessary, but usually not seen (except in season).

I read a verse today that reminded me that, in addition to the “professionals”, it’s regular folk that make a difference or have “impact” for God – in some cases even greater than the pros.

Erastus, who is the city’s director of public works, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings.

Romans 16:23

Here, at the end of his letter to the churches in Rome, Paul mentions a bunch of specific people to greet and also lists people who send their greetings.  For whatever reason, Erastus’ job is listed instead of simply calling him a fellow worker, friend, or brother.

Honestly, when I first read this, I thought Eratsus was the sewer coordinator for Corinth; but a check of the Greek shows that he was the city treasurer.  At any rate, dude was not a church “professional” as we usually categorize people.

Anyway, Erastus’ job title just struck me and reminded me that we all are important and contributing parts of the body of Christ.

REMEMBER: It’s not just for the “Professionals”

– Dennis…just a regular, old, security [φύλακα] dude.

A Tarp?

February 17, 2010 — 1 Comment

Imagine:

Right now, right where you are…

Sitting under a plastic tarp…

A terrible downpour…

You’re wet.  Your family is wet…

The little that you have is wet…

…and that tarp is your shelter for the next few months.

That is the shelter that is proposed until May 1st for about 250,000 Haitians.  I don’t know about you, but that just seems wrong.

From an MSNBC article:

Haiti’s homeless get tarps, want tents
Aid agencies tell quake refugees they’ll need to get by with plastic sheets

Instead the officials are mobilizing a plan they call the “shelter surge:”

– By May 1, one plastic tarp will be given to each of about 250,000 displaced families.
– Transitional shelters of 194 square feet, with corrugated iron roofs, will then be built.
– Shelters will have earthquake- and storm-resistant frames of timber or steel and are supposed to last for three years.


[Further details on this YouTube video.]

I’m sure there may be a logistic rationale for this, in reading several other articles, the general consensus of relief organizations is that tents take up too much room, but still – a tarp for someone who lost everything they owned?  And for upwards of three to four months?

It blows my mind…I’m sure it does yours as well.

Continue Reading…

Listen Up, D! [v2.16.10]

February 16, 2010 — 1 Comment

[Paul, to the Corinthians]

“… Christ [sent me] to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

1 Corinthians1:17 (NIV)

[Holy Spirit, to Dennis]

Whatever you do or say in the name of Jesus, make sure it’s not based on YOUR words or experiences alone.  They are powerless without pointing to the sacrifice and grace of Jesus.  That’s where life-changing power lies.

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…Am I the only one challenged or convicted by this?  How about you?

I_HeartLast night, Hillsong United premiered its documentary film, THE I HEART REVOLUTION: WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, in theaters across the US and Canada (it will premier across Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa on November 18). I’d heard about the movie a while back and forgot about it until Tuesday night. I’ve been on a business trip in Virginia this week, so I figured I’d see it after work. I’m glad I made the choice to see it.

The event started with a mini-concert and introduction by United – broadcast from Australia. It set the stage for and explained the documentary, which tells stories of justice, compassion, and mercy around the globe – all filmed over the past three years during their concert tour.

Apart from the 30-minute intro, the movie ran about two hours (a little long and sometimes bumpy in the message, but it needed to be). The film was divided into three distinct parts:

  1. Stories of injustice, loss, neglect, poverty, – the harsh and terrible realities of life across the globe…the realities that we don’t know about or often choose to ignore.
  2. The Hope amidst those realities found solely in Jesus.
  3. A call to those who follow Jesus to have a heart like Him, consider #2, and (because of it) take action on #1.

It was a profound film. So much hurt and hopelessness in the world…and we too often turn a blind eye to it.  I (and many around me) couldn’t help shedding tears at given moments during the film.  It is a profound message.

There were so many “amen” moments and phrases.  I found a few of them on Twitter to share:

  • Loneliness is the worst form of poverty.
  • If what happens inside the four walls of the church doesn’t make a difference in the streets that people travel to get there, then maybe we are missing the point.
  • We’ve trained ourselves to look past need.  Injustice and indifference go hand in hand.
  • Jesus didn’t die to give us religion, He died to give us love.
  • Preaching does not come from the pulpit, it comes from the people of God living their lives out for Him -Brother Andrew
  • There’s a dangerous division between sacred and secular… There’s nothing secular, everything belongs to God.
  • The church exists for those outside of it. -William Tyndale
  • Having seen all this you can choose to look the other way, but you can never say again, ‘I did not know.’ -William Wilberforce (regarding the English slave trade in the 1800s)
  • “Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something”
  • You think that all the preaching must come from the pulpit. It’s not true. It comes from the life of those who follow Jesus.
  • For too long the church has made a big deal out of small things and a small deal about big things!
  • Talk is cheap, put feet to your vision.
  • The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
  • The future will be written by the way we respond to moment that’s in front of us.

Driving back to my hotel, my mind was reeling – information overload, conviction of my own apathy, and thoughts of how I can make changes in my own life to “do something.”  (OK – my mind is still reeling)

God has really been working on my heart in this area lately and I needed to see this movie.  I pray that my heart is changed, last night wasn’t a wasted moment, that I would be part of the solution.

Will you be part too?

(If you didn’t get to see the film, I’m sure it will be out on DVD at some point.  I HIGHLY recommend it.)

God-Pleasing Worship

October 30, 2009 — 1 Comment

I thought I would share this as we start the weekend – which is filled with many things, including opportunities for gathered worship (otherwise known as “church”).

God has been really working on me in this area lately.  I’m far from where He would have me be and know I will never “arrive” at that place this side of Heaven.

Anyway, I thought I would share two songs that have been hitting me heavy this week:

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Instead of a Show, Jon Foreman

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Fade With Our Voices, Jason Gray

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“… Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

– Jesus (Mark 12:30-31)

“Speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

– Wisdom from King Lemuel’s mom (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

– James the Just. (James 1:27)

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What will our “gathered” worship result in this coming week?

I sit here typing this having just finished eating a nice meal, in my warm home, with a 2×4 sticking out of my eye partly blocking the view of both the keyboard and the monitor…

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So Facebook changed its Live Feed / News Feed / Status Updates (whatever the “official” name is) display, which has led to much uproar by users.

Groups are being formed…petitions signed, …

I drive by their Palo Alto office on my way home and did not note any protesters today.  Though, one never knows whose lurking!

Anyway, quite honestly, I really didn’t notice the change too much, nor was I really bothered. My measly (though appreciated and loved) ~190 friends offer very little “clutter” and I really do enjoy reading my friend’s posts…

What’s bugged more was the whining and ranting…

So, as a public service, I’d like to offer a forum for the very few people who frequent my blog to air their Facebook rants.

Please, feel free to view the photo below as you type your rant in the comments field below – probably having just finished a meal, now sitting in your warm home, etc…

Compassion

C’mon folks!

Just sayin’!

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(…dropping my stone and walking away now…)