Sunday, July 29, 2007

Is it better or worse?

In a 1992 publication, "Unveiled at Last" by Bob Sjogren we see some staggering stats. I wonder if things are better or worse when we look at how the church spends God's financial resources here in America.

Bob writes, "On the average, for every dollar that gets put into the plate in the United States, 96 cents goes right back into the American culture. Out of the remaining 4 cents for the Great Commission task, 3.5 cents go to the world's people groups where there's already a church. Less than one penny goes to reach the unreached peoples of the world where there is no church." (end quote)

Now I have two questions, I would like your help on. Give me your thoughts?

1) Would you say our world outreach is better of worse than the stats from 1992?

2) From the statement above, "96 cents goes back into American culture", how much of that 96 cents goes for the already reached and how much goes towards making disciples outside of the church who end up making disciples themselves? In other words, how much of the 96 cents does the church keep for themselves and how much is given to reach America for Christ? Believe me there is a difference.

The Bible, one book, one purpose??

Bob Sjogren author, pastor, teacher, Co-founder of Frontier Ministries, was at the General Conference of the Missionary Church, Inc early in July. I find myself being intrigued by his ahead of his time book, "Unveiled at Last" a 1992 publication forwarded by Dr. Bill Bright.

Bob insists that Christians are focussed on well meaning things. "They're focussed on the C's of children's ministry and choir, the D's of discipleship, the E's of evangelism and the F's of faith. These are all good things, but they're not the ultimate focus God intended. As a result, these ministries have become ends in themselves rather than a means toward the end - God's 'Big Picture' of redeeming people from every tongue, tribe, and nation.

This narrow focus causes us to err in two ways when reading the Scriptures: We view the Bible as 66 separate books and we insist upon writing ourselves in as main characters.

...Today we must return to a deep study of the Word of God, seeking the role of our ministry in God's plan, plot, and purpose for the human race. To do this, we must be willing to end an affair with Western society known for its self-centered, man-focussed living.

We in the Church must view God as greater than ourselves and our culture, and learn to appreciate God's love for the diversity He has created. We must catch a fresh understanding that we are His creation, created for His glory. These will be accomplished when we, led by the Spirit, view God as the main character of His word. Then we will more clearly see that 66 books become one to present a divine purpose of redeeming people from every tongue, tribe, and nation, resulting in a greater glory to the Lord through His creation as we know it." (end quote)

What do you think about this - the Bible, one introduction, one story, one conclusion from Genesis to Revelation as the driving theme for ultimate God glorifying world redemption?

Is it or would it?

Is it possible or would it be possible for the Church (the Body of Christ) around the world to unite around something really important? Aside from all the stuff we do at church, is it or would it be possible for us to agree on the central theme of the Bible? Would it be possible for all of us to lay down doctrinal differences, differing approaches or methods and just agree on the supremacy of the Great Commission, the redemptive theme of the Bible?

To be united in a belief we must also be united in our actions.

Amazed and filled with joy...

I am amazed and filled with joy over what has transpired over a few short months. Too many stories to tell here, but one that must be told here.

Josh was left for dead in a parking lot after he was given drugs that caused his death. He was revived as some good Samaritan happened to find him laying in that parking lot. Several days later he came to True Vine where he accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior. He was different. He was redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.

Josh later attended several of our disciples making disciples training sessions. He responded to his need to be baptized in the Spirit. We prayed over him. He cried and cried and laughed and cried. When I asked him what happened to him as we were praying he could not describe it. He had a God encounter that was indescribable.

Josh left that training and immediately went to the hospital to share Jesus, the Jesus in his heart with a friend who was near death and very sick after having a long seizure coupled with kidney failure. Josh was so concerned with JR that he shared Jesus in a matter of life and death way because for JR it was a matter of life and death. Josh could not bear for his friend JR to spend eternity without Jesus.

Josh shared his experience or story about Jesus and how He changed his life and how He brought him from death to life. He told JR that God was going to touch Him in a way that He would know that God is God. JR was so messed up by his long seizure that he was having therapy to learn how to walk again. It almost immediate after Josh spoke the promise of God's touch that JR got out of bed and walked on his own, he needed no more therapy. He was healed.

Josh was so convinced God was going to save JR that he told us with passion that JR would come to Christ soon, he was sure of it.

When JR saw the power of God heal him so that he could walk when the day before he could not, he accepted Jesus as his personal Savior. Here's the take, Josh was saved and filled with the Spirit, Josh got involved in a spiritual way in JR's life and now JR is saved. These two men were once lost and now they are found, they are Christ followers.

See how it works, Pastor Terry led Josh to Jesus, Josh led JR to Jesus (with the help of Pastor Terry) and now it is JR's turn to lead someone to Jesus. Isn't this exciting?

Today in our True Vine gathering (our worship, praise and communion) at the park, Josh baptized JR his new Christ following disciple.

So now you can see why I am amazed and filled with joy. God is a God of miracles, both physically and spiritually. While some argue with our approach on this blog, I have seen more true miracles in this Holy Spirit led disciple making movement than I have in my entire 24 years of ministry. Something truly happens when it is led by the Holy Spirit and perfectly aligned with the supremacy of the Great Commission.

Don't you dare....

Don't you dare call me a Christian!!! This name carries nothing near what it used to carry. It once meant something significant. I used to be proud to be a Christian! Now I am offended. The name is now damaged beyond repair. We "Christians" have done a great job of destroying the reputation of the name "Christian". I'm not a "Christian" in the way the world views "Christians". I do not want you to call me a "Christian."

I serve Jesus, I am a Christ follower, Jesus is my Savior. I'm not a "Christian" I am a Christ follower.

I don't want to be a "Christian" because being a "Christian" doesn't mean what it used to mean. I am willing to have you call me a rotten sinner but never again a "Christian". The name has lost it's holy significance.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The cost of following Jesus...

Jesus had no place to lay His head...just grabs me when I think of the cost of following Jesus.

What in your mind is the cost of following Jesus?

Tell me what following Jesus has cost you?

These two questions will help many of us sift through what it means to follow Jesus so closely that we are actually breathing the dust from His foot steps.

Jesus spoke of a price!

Can you help us here?

Thursday, July 26, 2007


If I ever pastored a traditional American Church ever again (which I will not), how long would I last with the message I boldly proclaim?

Tell me how long would I last in such a church? Or, how long would the people last?

DId you know?

Did you know that the Jerusalem Church was not the best "perfect" example of the church? I mean they just kept wanting to hunker down and build buildings in one location and enjoy the fellowship of the believers. Over time the Mission of Christ to take the Gospel into all the world was brought to a halt with a few expressions here and there.

Neil Cole in his book, "Organic Church" page 42 has this to say, "By 70 A.D. this local church (referring to the Jerusalem Church) was dead and gone forever. The only lasting effects that it left behind were accidental moves of the Spirit in alternative ministry venues with second-tier leaders and laypeople, such as what occurred in Samaria (Acts 8) and Antioch (Acts 11). These new works eventually spread to become healthier expressions of the Kingdom that would actually obey Jesus' original command to fill the earth. Churches such as those at Antioch, Thessalonica, and Ephesus became a better representation of what Jesus intended. These second and third generation churches were healthier, more productive, and more intentional about reaching the rest of the world with the Good News." (end quote)

As a baby boomer I could in my lifetime see our second and third generations becoming healthier expressions of the Kingdom with a intentional Holy Spirit led movement and kingdom expansion through disciples making disciples around the world.

I'm praying for my generation to catch this healthier expression of the Kingdom with intentional and personal disciple making. With faith I believe and trust God for the second and third generational tiers to get right what we are slow to see and live.

Take note, our second and third generations are leaving the church and seeking to find Jesus outside of the Sunday church. They long for an authentic and sacrificial expression of following Jesus. It is quite possible that they actually have more integrity to really live it than many of us boomers. There is hope that they will rise up and be the strongest kingdom minded expression in our lifetime.

But of course...

All this humbugaroni (my new word) about peace at any cost and the cost is usually the Message of Christ diluted and ineffective. Peace at any cost is death to a movement of God.

I know the traditional American church functions the way they (we)have been taught. I pastored for 24 years and did what I thought I was supposed to do. Had a great ministry when measured by the standards of men. Not so good when measured by how I led my flock the make disciples who make disciples. While at this blog we point out the problems and dialogs about solutions, the problem is not personally directed at any believer. The problem is the problem! The problem is that for generations we have misunderstood the Mission of Christ and how Christ originally intended for the church to function. We have been taught wrong. I taught some of you and others wrongly. I was taught wrong how to live as a little Christ in the world so that through me Jesus could work to redeem others. I was a good church member but also a poor incarnational follower of Christ.

So when pointing to the areas needed for a turn around in the traditional Sunday going church in America, we need to approach/confront the methods and traditions of man along side of the Scriptural mandate in the Great Commission and examples of the early church. You cannot do this without conflict and even division. You cannot do it without personally becoming conflicted. In Corinthians 11:9, Paul makes it very clear, "But, of course there must be divisions among you so that those of you who are right will be recognized!" I not in any way raising myself up as right! But I'll admit I always think I am right and must also confess that I am not always right. I just like you in this regard.

When seeking for a movement of change there are four steps to the change process.
People move from:
Unawareness to Awareness to Embracing to Implementation to Results.

The church is America is largely stuck in the UNAWARE mode. I contend that there will be pain when we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in leading people into AWARENESS. Only then will the church move into the implementation of making disciples who make disciples leading to a movement of results.

By the way, when I discovered the Mission of Christ to make disciples who make disciples as the main thing, I was conflicted. The way I viewed church was flipped upside down. I knew something was wrong for a long time, I just couldn't discern what. The result was that I had to give up everything in my life that hindered my effectiveness in being a part of a Disciples making disciples movement of the Holy Spirit. We call that going through the wringer, a look at the church with a fresh set of eyes. The process begins with being willing to lay down the methods and traditions and focus on the simple Great Commission mandate to make disciples who make disciples. This is the benchmark of success in ministry and in life.

Now that I've given up some religious stuff I once enjoyed, I now enjoy some God stuff I would never have experienced any other way. I had to die and suffer while letting go of churchiology/traditions/methods in order to experience Christianity as a continuing and expansive move of God in the world filled with life transformation and almost daily miracles.

But, of course there will be divisions, conflicts and conflicted hearts as we help move the flock from Unawareness to Awareness to Embracing to Implementation to Results. Some will never move to awareness while others will follow in the footsteps of Jesus, which means we breath the dust made by His sandals as we follow ever so closely.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Please don't miss it...

Please don't miss the need for peace and unity along with Truth telling. Yes we should strive for unity in the body of Christ but never at the expense of ignoring clear Biblical Truth.

Sometimes I have seen the clarion call for unity combined with the clarion call for ignoring truth for the sake of peace in the body of Christ. When it comes to drawing a line in the sand, I choose truth telling over peace and unity. It is the truth that sets you free.

Before you respond I'm going to call you on the presentation. Some will say, I know it is true, but I cannot accept the way you present truth. Well you know what, you need to "grow up" if you feel this way? There is coming a day when the chiefest of Truth tellers will stand before you and by the way, He will offer no sugar with the message. Jesus doesn't use tact! It's black and white for Him. Jesus is a non tactful straight shooting truth teller. He'll unload those guns within seconds.

Grow up. Stop and smell the coffee, and accept the truth if it is truth even from those who conflict you because of the presentation. Ever stop and think that God gave diversity in the Christ body and He also raises up truth tellers who when they speak they grind like salt in a wound?

In other words, who cares about the presentation or the presenter if he/she is Godly and scriptural? If it is truth accept it. Not liking the presentation or the attitude of the presenter of truth is no excuse for not receiving it for there is a more than likely chance it is from God if scriptural.

Is it truth scripturally? If it is, stop your belly-aching and get on with obedience to truth while there is still time to obey. Quit defending your own "whatever" when the scripture clearly overrides apathy and disobedience and possibly your whatever.

Time is short, I believe! Souls are unreached. I'd leave the already reached in a second to reach the unreached from an eternity in hell without Jesus, wouldn't you?

The problem is most will answer "NO!" I will not leave the reached to redeem the unreached. "I rebuke you!"

I'm not even angry, I am just a truth teller who lacks tact for the moment. Should I be sorry? Or should I burp you?

In God we trust or not?

Subject: The new dollar coin, by John Lynch

Today I picked up at Bank of America several of the new $1 coins with the picture of George Washington on it. To my shock and dismay the words, "In God We Trust", are not on this coin! A quick search of the other coin denominations in my collection confirmed that every one contained these faithful words. The new George Washington $1 coin is the first money ever issued by the USA in modern history without the words "In God We Trust".

By omitting these words, our politically correct, secularist leaders made a conscientious decision that either; 1) God does not exist, or 2) that God exists, but can no longer be trusted. Who originally put 'In God We Trust' onto our currency? My bet is that it was one of the Presidents on these coins. All our U.S. Government has done is Dishonor them, and disgust me!!! I am personally offended and fed up with the denigration of God and Christianity in my country. I am certain George Washington would never have agreed to his picture on the coin if it any way diminished faith in God.

What can we do to show our displeasure? First of all, let's boycott the coin. Do not ask for it at bank. If it is given to you in change ask for dollar bills instead and tell the person why. Write your Senators stating your displeasure. Finally, if you agree, pass this e-mail on to others. Collectively, we must send a strong message to those secularists who are trying to remove God from our culture. If we do this, some 300 million $1.00 coins will back up and rot in the supply chain! To God be the glory! Together we can force them out of circulation. Please send to all on you mail list !!!

It might be surprising to some to learn that Jesus actually talks about what's printed on government currency in Mark chapter 12:

Monday, July 23, 2007

Missional Church?

The term floating these days is Missional Church intended to describe a church in mission among other things.

Is there another way of describing what Jesus is doing around the world regarding His mission?

Give me your thoughts.

Here's what I came up with:

“New Testament Missionary Movement”
-following in the footsteps of Jesus
-fulfilling the Great Commission of making disciples
-filled with a commitment to be incarnational daily
-flowing full of the Holy Spirit and being led by Him

Other ideas?

May your britches burn...

May your britches burn for hunkering down and being satisfied with American Churchiology? The church of consumerism! The place of spiritual buffets that feed the soul with feel goodisms (my new word). A group of groups of groups that believes certain things but never acts on what they say they believe. The only place where ME is always first, ALWAYS!

Are your britches burning?

Are you really satisfied?

Are you really satisfied with the results of the mission of the American Church? Or, do you long for a better way to fulfill the mission as given to us by Jesus?

Are you really satisfied? Or not?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Money, more feel goods and much missing

I got depressed today while listening to television preachers manipulating people to give money to their ministry. If you want to keep us on the air, send us a note, let us know how we are doing, and by the way, tuck a little gift in the envelope for us. (direct quote)

Or if you can give, we'll send you? Or how about buying this set of CD's on our entire series on sexual relationships. (direct quote)

Four Pastors later (I cannot believe I hung on that long) I pulled the plug on those guys. Charles Stanley was just doing a feel gooder (intended mispelling) message. The audience looked like they need to feel gooder all bored and looking like they had just got baptized in lemon juice. Joel Olsteen, another feel gooder positive thinking sermon in a mass filled stadium. Forgive me for being disappointed.

What will all those people discover when Jesus asks us what we did to fulfill His Mission of making disciples who make disciples.What if He asks us to present Him with the disciples we reached for Him? What will we do if He shows us on the screen of life all the stuff we sought to get from church rather than being the Church that gives daily in sacrificial service to the world.

All I wanted to hear was a message from God about His mission in the world. Why can't I find it? When will we tell our people why Jesus came and what we are supposed to continue until He returns?

Answer this one for me: Did anyone hear their pastor preach a word of God message on our responsibility to make disciples who make disciples at church today?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Have you...

Have you ever been to a church planters boot camp? What did you learn? Did you learn how to plant a church? How so?

Have you ever been involved in a disciples making disciples (themselves) movement? What did you experience?

Did you know that it is our job to make disciples?

Did you know that it is God's job to birth churches?

Give you random comments to these random thoughts...please?????

Thought provoking...

FROM a post by Mike Hayden in the Allelon forum and was stolen from Bill Huffhine's blog the link is on the right column under blogs.

Mike says....

I long for a Sunday where we don't take up a tithe and share the Malachi disobedience scripture as a way of increasing the purse.

I long for the day when we actually sing unto the lord for more than 25 minutes exactly with 2 fast songs and 2 reflective.

I long for the days when we don't have sermons planned ahead for 6 months!

I long for the day when we don't name our sermons after Reality Shows!

I long for the day when we actually realize that to heal sick people you have to actually practice it by the laying on of hands not just want people to get better by osmosis and hugs.

I long for the day when we stop tracking numbers and then gaging our attendance as whether God is on our side.

I long for the day when we eat dinner together laugh, pray, and share stories about Jesus and that's actually called communion (Not the all-in-one communion container handed out at church) (I'm waiting for a comedian to get his hands on one of these fast food communion containers).

I long for the day when the Pastors and teachers equip the church to do the work of the ministry not how to succeed in the world as Christians.

I long for the day when we will not see homosexuality as the issue of the day or worse never talk about it at all because of possible offense.

I long for the day when we will stop putting kids in kids church, teens in teens church, blacks in blacks church, whites in whites church and then wonder why we the church cannot break racial barriers or why the family is weakened in the church.

I long for the day when Children's ministry stops entertaining kids with coloring books and movies and then wonders why they just want to be entertained when they are 16 years old. Then we hand them to a youth minister and say fix them…

I long for Jesus and love his bride.. Help!

The Planter: WOW! I wish my brother Mike would continue this excellent introduction moving on to the rest of the story.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Something to ponder

Since I am not a racists nor a Rooney fan and so that no once confuse the two about me, I deleted the article. I've only deleted articles twice in my life. Don't want anyone to misunderstand my heart and love for all the people of the world. In fact I tend to gravitate towards other races and ethnic groups.

I used to sing this song as a child and find myself singing it now, sing it with me, "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they're all precious in His sight. Jesus loves (all) the children of the world."

This is a better post than the last one anyway.

For those who commented all positive ones, forgive me for dropping you somewhere in cyber.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Let's do a survey...

1. How large is your church?

2. How many 20 somethings do you have attending "church" regularly?

3. What happens to your children and youth when they graduate from high school with reference the your church?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

If you like living mostly in gray areas...

Be reminded that many things that Jesus said were stated in black and white. Some issues are clearly not clear and so I am not bothered because it can be seen may ways. Many more are black and white and I take them seriously. Thus I do tend to write more in black and white that I do in the gray.

I love it when people try to take black and white and make it gray so I can seize the opportunity of further dialog.

Don't try to make everything Jesus taught something "gray". Truth is truth and it is very clear, I just wish you could see it clearly.


I'm also amazed, but with questions.

In "Organic Church, Neil Cole says, "It amazes me how much effort and how many resources(time, money, and people)are expended for a single hour once a week. We have made church nothing more than a religious show that takes place on Sunday, and after it is done we all go home,until church starts again next week, same time, same place. Is this what the bride of Christ is?

The Great Commission says that we are to "go out into all the world," but we've turned the whole thing around and made it a "come to us and hear our message."

We expect people to come to church in order to come to Christ, and the people want nothing to do with church...Instead of bringing people to church so that we can then bring them to Christ, let's bring Christ to the people where they live."

The Planter: Amen, Neil! If you cannot say "Amen" to this, why not? If you can say "Amen" to this, why do you?

Does anyone have a solution on how to get this fixed? It seems to me that the church believes in the Great Commission but they do not act on that belief, which makes me wonder if it is even their belief at all. This is a serious indictment and it is meant to be.

Friday, July 13, 2007


I'm only alive because of God.

When we had the fire that consumed most of our possessions on March 17th of this year (my gold wing motorcycle malfunctioned and caught the house on fire) there is more to the story.

I am a stubborn fighter so I stood my ground trying to put the fire out. I stood in the back of the garage and struggled to pull the pin out of the fire extinguisher so its contents could be released. The pin refused to come out. So I left the burning garage and once out of the garage the pin easily came out of the extinguisher and I released its' contents.

Two things you should know:

1) The paramedics told me that had I been successful in extinguishing the fire at the back of the garage, I would have inhaled the heated smoke from the fire and would have likely collapsed right in my steps.

2) After I emptied the extinguisher outside the garage, within seconds the garage ceiling collapsed.

I say all of that to say to you that God is a God of miracles and that I am fortunate by God's grace to be alive. He (God) alone redeemed me and saved me (twice) from imminent death through fire.

It wasn't luck, it was God's hand. Only the future will tell why God saved my life if I am obedient. I do not want my life lived to die in vain. I long to be faithful to God with every passing second. He saved my life now I long to live His purpose in doing so. Will you pray that I will be found faithful?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Simple Clarity

Every where I go I find leaders who refuse to accept the supremacy of the Great Commission. Listen up! Jesus rose from the grave and gave the Great Commission with all authority and full power as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It seems to me that before Jesus left for glory He wanted to remind us of something very very important. If it wasn't important why did Jesus demonstrate the importance by making sure we received this final reminder/command?

Jesus also said, "Wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit."

I see a common thread in the church where the Great Commission and the Holy Spirit are largely ignored.

We must reaffirm our theology of:
The Great Commission and the Lordship of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

We must reform our practice by:
Returning to the missional supremacy of making disciples.
Being filled with and walking in the Spirit.

What we say we believe must be seen in our actions or we really do not believe it.

We must measure the right thing as the one true measure of success:
Holy Spirit transformed followers of Christ.

It's time to quit celebrating our human success of buildings, budgets, better programs and butts in pews and begin counting Holy Spirit transformed followers of Christ. What really matters for eternity is changed lives who live to see other lives changed as the main thing. Why settle for temporal results when we can count the eternal ones?

If Jesus didn't want us ALL to make disciples why did He tell us ALL to make disciples?

People tell me they accept the authority of God's Word but refuse to accept the Great Commission as a personal mandate given to us with authority from Jesus following His resurrection.

I could say more, but I'll leave that to you.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Reportedly written by a Columbine student...

Heart Food: Multiplied Possessions, Reduced Values!

"The paradox at our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways but narrower viewpoints.

We spend more but have less, we buy more but enjoy less, we have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge but less good judgment, we have more experts but less solution, more medicine but less wellness. We have multiplied our possessions but reduced our values, we talk too much and love too seldom. We hate too often.

We have added years to life but not life to our years. We've been to the moon and back but we have trouble crossing the street to meet our new neighbor. We have higher incomes and lower morals, long on quantity, short on quality, deep on profits, shallow on relationships.

We've learned how to make a living but not a life!"

Let's face it before we lose them...

USA Today (Monday July 9,07) published an article called, "Holier Than Thou" front page cover story. I read it with a bit of anxious concern.

Cathy Lynn Grossman points out the divide between the parents and their kids referencing religious issues with several examples of young adults and their parents.

You must hear this to understand how the young adults think about the church and Jesus.

"George Moss feels the divide. He finds it harder to sit down with his mother to talk about Christ than it is to share the Gospel in the streets of Jamaica."

"My mom was always very churched," Moss says. "But it was habit without heart behind it. I wanted real faith, not just church. I wanted my faith to play out in everything I do all the time --raising my son, rapping Christian music."

"But his faith, like his nondenominational church, is too "free spirit" for his mother. 'I dress up and give my Lord respect,' says Pamela Moss, 53. I even saw someone barefoot there. And the pastor was walking around in a shirt and pants, and not on the pulpit in a robe."

"I was brought up in the Word, and I will never depart. But George takes this to another level. He's out there rapping, and I can't catch his words. He's going on missions trips. He's always out there witnessing. Now, I don't have a problem with witnessing, but I'm sorry I have a job and when I get home, I'm tired. On Sunday, I go hear the Word and leave."

The Planter: Does this small confessional story give you a glimpse into the problems we face in the American Church? It is apparent that mom professes Jesus but it is not evident in her life. It is apparent that the son (George) professes and lives it with deep and passionate consistency.

I believe that younger generations are longing for something real and genuine. They are tired of profession without possession. Many love Jesus but dislike the church. We have failed to show them that what we believe is something we live everyday. I think that if you will be honest with yourself, the world also sees our inconsistent connect between what we say we believe and how we lack living it.

What have you to say about this?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A Must Read...

An article on the significant role of the Ephesians 4 in Great Commission movements.

Dick Scoggins

Friday, July 06, 2007

Fire Update...

Several have been asking about where we are in our health and house.

Here is goes, for those who are newly joining us, we had a total loss house fire on March 17th. My Goldwing was the culprit. It either had a short in the wiring or the choke float got stuck while I was running the bike in the garage to charge up the battery. Or something else happened, we will never know. Anyway the running bike caught the house on fire, then caused my burns as I was trying to put the fire out. We lost everything but the stuff in storage in the basement.

Anyway, I sustained third degree burns on my left arm and forehand. Had skins grafts which are taking and I continue to have nerve regeneration pain and itching. But, I am on the mend.

Our home is being rebuilt. All is going well. All we need now are the windows, new siding and interior work such as drywall plumbing and wiring. Finally there is progress. The general contractor needs our prayers, he has sustained major heart failure, so the owner of the company has taken over our home re-build. Things are moving forward. We are eager to get back to a neighborhood filled with neighbors whom we love and it is obvious that they love us also.

We are looking forward to a August/September move in.

Anyway these are stress filled days as we try to pick out the stuff such as cabinets and flooring and furniture. Even in the light of getting new stuff (thanks to having good insurance), I would rather have what we had before the fire. But reality is such that we cannot go backwards but in the end we must move ahead.

God has protected us, and He is alive and well and His Holy Spirit gives daily infilling and direction for which we will forever give thanks.

Thank you for your continued prayers as we get through this traumatic fire and all that continues to follow. We are becoming optimistic that what Satan meant for evil - God allowed for good.

Keep prayin, please!

How do you excel?

Do you excel as a church member?


Do you excel as a disciple maker?

Do you know the difference.

Remember the lack of comments says something. I'm sure you know what it says.

Where are you?

Thursday, July 05, 2007


My friend defines Attractionalism— "The belief that creating an appealing church service and programs will attract unbelievers to come to church."

The Planter says, attractionalism is attraction because we have something that attracts. It's the what and not the WHO that bugs me. In the above definition/reality, I grieve because we are attracting people to church, a place and not to Jesus a person, our Savior and King. He alone is enough to attract people. Why not use Him instead of all the other stuff that rusts and deteriorates. Jesus is enough! Let's attract people to Jesus by using Jesus to attract! A novel thought!

WARNING: Be careful my friends, What we attract them with - we attract them to.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

My observations from True Vine in the park

Our every other week gathering of the True Vine family (we meet weekly in homes and other venues) was held last Saturday at Quiver River State Park, the same place that God gave birth to the True Vine family. It was awesome.

Two disciples, the two that took us to the fourth generation were baptized by those two dear people (Steve and Judy) who discipled them. Imagine the joy of Tim and Kate and their disciplers Steve and Judy baptized them.

Around 50 people gathered for the gathering. I call it a gathering because we gather to go into the world as we are the Church into the world everyday in the lives of those God brings to us. We don't go to church to gather because we are the Church in the world. We do not "go to gather" "we gather to go" into the world. AWESOME HUH?

Aside from being blessed to see discipleship work the way Jesus calls all of us to, I was struck by what God did in Brian's life. Brian came to us with His dear family through a God ordained path. Had not God connected us, they would not be with us. An incredible miracle in and of itself. Brian came to True Vine with his wife and children as God connected us together.

Brian was held at bay by Satan. His voice was tied up with fear so much so that in a group of three or four he would remain silent with sweating, fear, and trembling. But something happened, he was healed. I mean it when I say Brian was healed. Before he could not speak even in a small group of two, just months ago, he froze, he fled, he was defeated. But God healed him, a story I cannot begin to tell in this post. But a story worth telling. Brian and Lori are God appointed servants and God has something great for them.

Brian was healed and at this baptism he shared the gospel (for about 20 minutes) without fear in a way all could understand, it was anointed. He spoke as one who has done it for years. I know few pastors who could have done what He did last Saturday. A miracle!

In this disciples making disciples movement here in St. Louis miracles are commonplace. We see them and we recognize them as God at work. What was for me in 24 years as senior pastorate as something rare, I see monthly or weekly and even daily.

The God of Africa and Asia and China is our God and what happens over there is happening here. I wish all could see it for themselves.

This I know! When we make the making of disciples the supreme focus and main thing, we see miracles of transformation every time. May God help us to stay on His mission without the clutter and distractions of the American church. Let's do what Jesus commands of us and the rest will always follow.

I pray you will hunger and thirst for what I describe here.

It works....take a look and see as Terry writes...

Disciples Making Disciples that Make Disciples

When Bob Carder first started ministering in St. Louis there were many people that said “It will never happen”. The “it” they were referring to is a disciple making movement. Yesterday the True Vine family gathered at a lake in a park and watched as the disciple making movement takes its next step. Bob Carder’s vision of discipling to the fourth generation became a reality yesterday. The disciple making vision has been caught and incorporated into dozens of lives.

Visit: Terry Goodwin

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