Showing posts from June, 2012

Iona would call this a smooch!

Enjoy. I am off to travel the West Coast.

The pile of books...

There is so much to read and so little time. There are so many conversations. So much preaching. So much prayer. So much parenting. So much dating. So many meetings. So much writing to be done. So much driving. The pile of books get larger and larger. The titles more and more enticing and needed. The Amazon points become a mountain. One day. There will be reading. This is my picture of glory.

Living for Legacy

I do a fair amount of talking about legacy. I think it is natural to do so when you are encouraging those older in ministry to determine vision, it is often couched as "what do you want your legacy to be?" Mostly this call is to cling to central truths of the faith and let our legacy be about them. It is the old saying, "I don't care if you remember my name but please remember the Jesus I preach." In a series on the book of James we also spent some time on the reality that our legacy would be vapor. Our time of influence is short and we must be about the business of seeing lives changed in Christ. But perhaps I have given too much air time to the idea of legacy. David Murray has some important thoughts on the topic and what we should really be about. In his post on not living for a legacy Murray points out that we must be living in the moment to do life and ministry well. "It’s hard enough making the right decisions day-to-day without having also to weigh


"With thee I can live without other things, for thou art God all-sufficient, and the glory, peace, rest, joy of the world is a creaturley, perishing thing in comparison with theee. "Help me to know that he who hopes for nothing but thee, and for all things only for thee, hopes truly, and that I must place all my happiness in holiness, if I hope to be filled with all grace." - Valley of Vision  

You’ve been taken for a ride by your elders...

I know a number of you clicked through to read this because you think I am bashing some church elders (how sad that you would do that) but in actuality it is a quote from Matt Miller's Washington Post piece  on the generational divide. "...younger Americans. You’re in big trouble. You don’t even know it. You’re busy trying to get a degree, land a job, start a family, save for a home. You don’t follow the news. But trust me — you’ve been taken for a ride by your elders. The question isn’t whether such talk will stir up generational war. That’s already being waged — and you’re losing. The question is whether you’ll wake up and engage in a little generational self-defense." Miller goes on to show the reality of an America that is in far worse shape than the one the generation before inherited. There are some goods points and his perspective is not simply the age-old tension between generations, this is a real problem that boomers are too comfortable in their excess to realiz

Measuring Success

John Johnson gave me an A- when I felt like I deserved an A. I have been bitter since. With that behind us, I want to point you to Johnson's thoughts on rethinking success in ministry. In his recent post he relates how we typically measure success in ministry but the reality is that those measurements are not always right and honestly leaves us wanting. He then suggests some nuggets pulled from the Apostle Paul that are helpful for the young and old minister alike. "Both of these books are needful reads today, as are Paul's final words in 2 Timothy 4:1-5. Seeing a church that was giving way to captivating voices in Ephesus, he closed his book giving a blueprint of sort for success for young pastors. It has little to do with size, numbers, eloquence, or books written. But it does have everything to do with our calling— • Preach the Word-a reminder of Oden's words—"Effectiveness in a church is not measured by size of congregation, but by depth of genuine hearing of

The Preacher's Legacy

What will you be known for as a preacher? Your cute idiosyncracies? Your catch phrases? Your style of dress? Your dry sense of humor? Or the gospel that you preach? As I think of my future reflection back on a life of preaching, my prayer is that I will be made less and Christ be made more. That I will be continually astonished by the work of the cross and reconciliation to my creator. And that no one will remember me but remember the gospel that I preach. Justin Buzzard has shared a great quote from a pastor looking at 40 years of preaching... " I have been preaching Christ for nearly forty years, and in the contemplation of him I am more and more filled with wonder, admiration, and joy. Perhaps this may have given some new freshness, and power and unction to my preaching. ‘O, that I all but knew him!’ In Christ there is a beauty that is unspeakable; there are wonders which human language cannot describe. If I may say so, in Christ there is a an ocean of wonders. For, how wonder

It was the servant that proclaimed the gopsel

Reading in Acts 7 the story of Stephen and his martyrdom I can't help but notice that Stephen was among those appointed to serve the Hellenist widows. He was most likely a Hellenist believer himself (someone from a Greek speaking nation as many Jews were after centuries of displacement). He was faithful in serving and did not balk when he was chosen to care for the people as the Apostles devoted themselves to preaching and prayer. Stephen was a servant. His belief was vibrant and one that he would stand up for and proclaim regardless of his role. He would die at the hands of murderers but seeing the face of God. Shall we be servants that proclaim the gospel to our death? This death might not be physical but social. The service may not be glamorous but faithful. We need more Stephens.

The Garden of Your Mind

Enjoy. [youtube=]

Neglected Boldness

"And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”  And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness." Acts 4:29-31 In response to commands to stop preaching Christ the church prayed for boldness to continue proclaiming. In response to complaints within the church or attitudes of our neighbors or a desire to not "offend" we cower and water down a message, we strive to serve nuggets of "truth" that are universal and not specific to Christianity and we want to make everyone "happy." We have neglected boldness. Maybe we stopped praying for it. Maybe we became too comfortable. Perhaps we have put metrics for measuring our success in

Embracing Accusation

Cranking in my office today. The father of lies Coming to steal Kill and destroy All my hopes of being good enough I hear him saying cursed are the ones Who can't abide He's right Alleluia he's right! The devil is preaching The song of the redeemed That I am cursed and gone astray I cannot gain salvation Embracing accusation Could the father of lies Be telling the truth Of God to me tonight? If the penalty of sin is death Then death is mine I hear him saying cursed are the ones Who can't abide He's right Alleluia he's right! Oh the devil's singing over me An age old song That I am cursed and gone astray Singing the first verse so conveniently He's forgotten the refrain Jesus saves! He redeemed us from the curse of the law Thanks to Jon Lamendola for pointing me to this...

Be Rooted Where You Are

In a great post on the importance of rural ministry, Jared Wilson quotes Keller with this nugget: "Wherever you serve, put your roots down, become a member of the community and do your ministry with all your heart and might. If God opens the door to go somewhere else, fine and good. But don’t go to such places looking at them only as training grounds for ‘real ministry.’" While the point is about serving in a rural context it certainly applies to those of us running a smaller ministry in the 'metropolitan' of a large church. I want to be rooted where the Lord has me. Without an emphasis on the next step or next pulpit. It is a good word. Read the whole post here .

The church as a tricycle...

Church is about more than a weekly gathering. In fact we can think of it as a tricycle... Sean Post shares a good word with some students in the Olympia area but it is a message we all should embrace. [vimeo]