Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Let's praise God while reconsidering...

I'm praising God for all He is doing in the world and through the Body of Christ. Even in the worst of situations we can find God showing up in mysterious ways. While we praise God for His ability to work His glory everywhere we should also review our personal walk with Jesus and the way we obey Him and serve His mission.

We need to be careful to separate out God's work from man's work. Sometimes with good intentions we drive the ship with our dreams and ideas regarding how we engage the mission of Christ. Sometimes those new approaches have led us astray. John Maxwell used to say and I've heard him personally say it, "If we always do what we've always done, we'll always get what we've always gotten."

While God works in spite of ourselves -- you need to fasten your seatbelt for a staggering admission by Bill Hybel's in a Bob Burney article in the Christian World Review Network. When you hit the article just scroll down for "Seeker Sensitive Church Leader Admits..."

Check out this article!

I've been missing in action here...

Some of you are wondering where I have been and why the slow on the blog posts. Well, I'm happy to respond. We have been out of our home due to our house fire since March 17th and getting back in is tougher than it seems. We were told we would be back home in August, then September, then October and now maybe sometime in November. It seems if it can go wrong (construction wise) it does. I cannot begin to tell you what we've been through trying to get our home back to where it was before. Our insurance company has been wonderful. The restoration contractor and process is another story. All of this has resulted in huge time commitments to seeing that the job is done as expected and agreed upon.

This week, our home and the construction is finally on the right track again after numerous corrections and serious eyeball to eyeball discussions.(This is one of my strengths).

As for my health, I am slow to recover the strength/energy I had before the staph infection in September. Two months of infection took its toll for sure.

Thanks for your prayers, we long to be back home and the sooner the better. We pray you will never have to go through this yourself.

We can always learn from history...

What have you learned as it relates to how we are reaching our world for Christ?

Are we missionally gaining ground? Are we satisfied with the results? Are we measuring the right things as measures of ministry success?

Any answers, comments or other questions to consider?

One of our greatest blessings...

Silas Dean Carder, our first grandchild is growing and ever so cute.

Monday, October 22, 2007


I've spent way to much time grinding away at the American Church and far less time praising God for what He is doing in a movement of making disciples where transformation is a common reality.

I repent. Truly repent. I have been guilty of useless rhetoric.

It's time for a renewed and passionate focus on what God is doing in our midst.

What is God doing in your life these days?

For me, God is chiseling away the sharp edges and so much more.

When God made me, He made a full time job for Himself.

Perhaps tonight and in our future, this blog will carry a different tone. May God help me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

How does this speak to you..

This speaks to me in many ways. First I realize that whenever we confess or repent (which means to change course) something very important must follow. Do you know what it is? It is obedience. I have ministered to people who agreed with scripture especially as it relates to the Great Commission, they have even confessed their neglect in personal fulfillment, but then nothing changed by way of obedience.

"Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks." - John 4:23

Leroy Eims speaks to this in his devotionals dating back to 1998. "There is an old story about two families in the mountains of Kentucky who had been feuding for years. When a young man was asked why he was fighting the other family, he had no idea. It's what his family had always done.

That was exactly the situation in Isaiah's time. When the Lord spoke to His people through the prophet Isaiah, it wasn't good news, because judgment was on the way. The reason? They were going through various rituals and religious activities, but they had forsaken the Lord, spurned the Holy One of Israel, and turned their backs on Him.

Oh, they were bringing offerings, but they were meaningless. They celebrated various convocations--feasts of the new moon and special Sabbaths--but God said, "They have become a burden to me." Isaiah 1:15 records these words of the Lord: "When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen."

They had kept the form but lost the meaning. And the problem is still with us today."

Give me your thoughts on how this relates to you or your church. Do we have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. Are we trapped between repentance and obedience?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Isn't he a wonderful Grandson?

Michelle and I are so blessed and little Silas Dean is changing/growing everyday.Please keep praying for Mom, Dad, and baby Silas.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Two choices

There are really two options.

1. Put our signs out and invite the unreached to come to church.

2. Put yourself out and invite the unreached to come to Jesus.

Are you a one-er or a two-er?

I'm finding

I'm finding that the church in America loves the event of worship more than they love the Jesus we worship. I'm finding that the church in America loves the traditions of the church more that mandates of Jesus for the church. I'm finding that we are rather comfortable in the church and most unwilling to become uncomfortable for Jesus outside the church -the place!

Whatcha think?

Friday, October 05, 2007

You got answers?

I'm anxious to hear about what you think will work to turn the American Church around? You got answers, why not share them?

It's a Boy!

Michelle and are the long awaiting and proud grandparents of a healthy baby grandson. Our first! Cause for celebration, yes? Matt and Liz Carder gave birth to a fine son born Thursday, October 4, 2007. Silas Dean Carder weighed in at 8 pounds and 4 ounces and is 20 1/2 inches long.

I'm beside myself and cannot hardly wait to make the drive to see that little rascal and of course his parents too.

Prayers for them are in order.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Get off the defensive boat...

People have said to me, "I want to reach our culture for Christ, but I don't want to bash the church to accomplish it." They sometimes get mad when something negative is addressed or targeted toward the American Church.

Did it ever occur to you that no one is bashing you personally as part of the body of Christ? Harsh words against the church are words against how we operate, the forms, the locations, the business, the archaic institution, the lack of flame spreading mission, the lack of engaging the lost personally. Instead we are taught to bring em to church. It's an indictment on our exclusivity and let's build "our/my" church in a competitive spirit to get our share of the people. It's no longer about the cross cultural - cross generational -cross denominational mission, but instead, it is about "us" and what "we" have to offer ourselves and those who visit us.

I will not tolerate or continue giving excuse room for those who refuse to be kingdom minded in the Great Commissional sense. You can ignore the problem if you want in order to be seen as non-threatening, while I insist we must beat the drum loudly in order to wake up the sleeping - or dead in some cases!

This is not a sugar and honey coated matter - this is spiritual warfare. It's way to late for the "sugar and honey coated" approach - it is time for the armor of God. It's time for an offensive rush against the gates of hell. It is time to quit holding your ground and start charging ahead before it is to late for you and your offspring. Let's mobilize the troops and kick them out of the safety of the barracks (church). Let's recapture those the enemy (Satan and his cohorts)has stolen from us and the ground once called sacred. Satan must be pushed back and that means more than just holding our ground in a defensive posture.

Can anyone say "Amen"? I'm about you?

Reggie McNeal

Reggie McNeal in his book, "The Present Future" has this to say, "We are witnessing the emergence of a new world...The phenomenon has been noted by many who tag the emerging culture as post-Christan, pre-Christian, or postmodern. The point is, the world is profoundly different than it was at the middle of the last century, and everyone knows it. But knowing it and acting on it are two different things. So far the North American Church largely has responded with heavy infusions of denial, believing the culture will come to its senses and back around to the church."

The Planter: Reggie has been in the ministry for over thirty years and comes right out of the Bible Belt. I used to preach that the postmodern culture was a fad that will pass. Now as take a hard look at our culture, the church as we practice church may be the fad. The only church that will survive this changing cultural environment will be the Church -the Bride of Christ not dependent on the American Church model for doing church.

A Doomsday Forecast...

As much as I hate to say this, the church in America in her present and static "location" and institutional forms has a gloomy future. If I'm right and I'm not always right, but if I am, there is a changing climate on the horizon. As America continues to become more and more post-Christian it is more likely than probable that the church institution will be threatened. I can see a government crack down and enormous persecution on the church in less than 50 years which means I could see it in my lifetime sparing good health.

While I predict a Doomsday forecast for the church "the location" I predict a huge harvest of disciples for the Church "the movement" of Christ followers who are not held to institutional structures and certain locations. The church "the location" will empty. The Church "the body of Christ" will thrive. When people ask me where my church is I tell them they are looking at part of it. People are the Church not buildings. People are the bride of Christ not bricks and mortar. Instead of asking people to go to my church I ask them to come with me. I tell them about Jesus not about my church program. I show them the way to Jesus.

I believe God is orchestrating an underground movement of disciple-makers who are not dependent on certain locations, larger budgets, more butts in pews, better programs and more staff. God is raising up believers who will carry the torch of the Gospel without the identifying structures known as the church. There is a Church being birthed who don't just go to church -they live as the Church in the world where people live work and play.

It's not if, it is when!

Dan Kimball in his new book, "They Like Jesus But Not The Church", has this to say...
"I once heard someone explain that the church in America is not above what happened in Europe. European nations have truly become post-Christian nations. Their great cathedrals and church buildings once were filled with people, but now they sit almost empty on Sunday mornings and serve as tourist attractions. Far more people go through them sightseeing than actually worship there. We shouldn't think we're above such a thing happening here. With the increasing dropout rate of people in emerging generations, it could be our destiny that in thirty or forty years, all of our recently constructed mega-church buildings, which are now filled with people will end up as virtually empty tourist attractions. I bet in Europe they never guessed that was their future, and we shouldn't be so overly confident that it won't happen here too."

The Planter responds, It is happening in America. Two thirds of our emerging generations have or are leaving the church upon high school graduation. That's a well documented fact. Emerging generations are missing in action within the static institutional church. They love Jesus, they long to serve Him, they seek intimacy, they long for authenticity and they live for truth. They clearly want Jesus but do not seek Him at church.

The huge difference between Europe and America is simple to see. Europe didn't see the train wreck coming, but in America we do.

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