Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Changing my blog name: a poll

I stated before that I have been considering a name change for my blog.  So, at the top you will see a poll you can participate in. I have a few ideas and I think I have settled on one.   This is the result of a couple things.  First, I intend to focus my writing more on building up than tearing down.  I also want my blog to reflect the way God has revealed his Son in me and in my understanding of all things.  Included in this is my thoughts on salvation, the church, and our mission as disciples of Christ.  That is why I am leaning toward Once Was Blind.  It reminds me that what I see now I haven't always seen.  It reminds me that I could not see unless it had been revealed to me.  In all this, it is humbling for me.  I like that.

Still, I would like your input.  Do you think this is a good change or should I leave well enough alone?  Maybe you have another suggestion you would like me to consider...either way, please participate in the poll and leave me a comment.  Thanks.

organic church planting = make disciples

When we think of church planting we usually think of a missionary or a group of missionaries who enter an area, preach the gospel, have a kingdom presence in the community which eventually becomes a group of believers with a name, a building, and non-profit status.  This is far from what we see in the NT.  There we find believers living out the great commission of making disciples of Jesus and equipping those disciples to make more disciples ad infinitum.  The Church is the body of believers who met to stir one another up and build itself up in Christ.

Gathering to build

As I said in a previous post, one of the things I want to write about is praising God in thankfulness for how great it is to have a gathering of believers locally that meet in a simple/house church/organic fashion.  You can expect more of these types of posts here because I want my blog to provide a picture of how the whole simple church works out practically.  In my own search, I have found this information lacking which left me in the dark as to what to expect if my family and I stepped out of the institutional church.  Hopefully, these posts will help answer the question:  what does an organic church look like?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Possession with intent to distribute

As a businessman walked the streets of his city one night, a common, blue collar looking fellow approached him.  He said he had an offer he couldn't refuse.  A substance that would take away his burdens and make his life much better.  The businessman had heard of it before but was never really interested.  The fellow offered it to him for free.  Finding the offer irresistible, he decided to take it.

His life has never been the same.

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's all my fault

We are going through some very trying times in our lives right now. The story is this: we have a daughter that is nearly 16 months old. Most toddlers her age are walking, talking, feeding themselves and being chased around by their parents. Our daughter still has to be fed with a bottle to be well nourished. She cannot walk, she is not even able to crawl on her hands and knees. We haven't heard the joyful sound of her calling for mama or dada. She is like a newborn in a toddlers body and I think it is all my fault.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It never fails

Every time I get a thought, an inclination, a desire to come along side and join with my brothers and sisters that are still clinging to the institutional form of church I run into a dead end.  It's very frustrating and grevious.

Just as I go ahead with the intention of living out the union we have in Christ Jesus with one another I get another slap in the face, a stiff forearm, and a swift kick in the rear end as I am sent away from the ones I love.  I don't understand it, I can't explain it and I am broken because of it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The complexities of a love/hate relationship over dinner

It took a while, I know, but the waiting is over.  Here is the way I tackled the kindergarten inquisition of whether or not God loves Satan. And no, I didn't have an easy button.

A while back I shared with you all a question that was asked by our five year old son. God says we should love our enemies, does God love Satan?
I also told you about an email I sent to my wifey to try and equip her to answer the question.  Here is the email I sent
It's not as simple as black and white. God has the capacity to love and hate at the same time. Similar to how a child always has love for their parents even when we disappoint them. There is love and there is disappointment. Or between brothers, even when we are angry with one another we have love for one another. Furthermore, God has these same complexities but the most loving thing He can do is glorify Himself. He can glorify himself through the destruction of sin through condemnation in Hell and also through dying to ransom undeserving sinners. So, God all at once loves and hates Satan. He will both be saddened by the ultimate destruction of his creation (Satan) and pleased by the vindication of his holiness that the same destruction brings.
 As I said before, this email didn't get me off the hook.  In fact, my wife gave me a "I can't explain that to a five-year-old...I don't even get it" look.  Later, as we gathered around the dinner table, this question became the topic of conversation.  The dialogue went something like this.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It has been quiet in Neverland

This is my first post in almost two weeks.  I haven't gone this long without writing a blog post since I started blogging again. I have been busy doing this and that but that is not the only reason why I haven't been writing.  My main reason for being absent is because I have been trying to let the dust settle in my mind over a meeting I had a little over a week ago.  The results of that meeting have been on my mind quite a lot over the last two weeks.  I have had to refrain from writing anything publicly because quite frankly I wanted to blast out and throw a pity party.  Instead I decided I should meditate on our conversation and focus on what Christ is bringing about in me as a result.  So, I'm ready to jump back in and I have a few thoughts bouncing around as a result of my recent internal gymnastics.  They are as follows:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hoping for an interpreter

This afternoon I had the strangest dream while I took a much needed nap.  I usually don't remember my dreams.  This one was so fresh and vivid that, as I woke up, I began to wonder how I had gotten into my bedroom.  This leads me to believe that there may be some meaning behind it.

It may make me strange but I believe God can use his people to interpret dreams like the way he used Joseph to interpret Pharaoh's dreams. So I'll retell the dream in hopes that God would send an interpreter my way  and if not at least it will be a little entertaining. I would love to hear your opinions of this dream.  Since I usually don't remember my dreams, when I do remember them, they fascinate me.

Here goes:

The first thing I remember is being among some of my co-workers (plumbers) doing some work in a building I had never been in before.  I needed to find the restroom, so I asked for directions and followed the instructions through a maze of hallways and doors.  I then entered into a series of sliding chutes, the kind that the kids play on at McDonald's or Chuck E Cheese.  The restrooms were only accessible from the slides and the facilities were divided on two levels.  I explored the levels to admire the design of the bathrooms, something I'm sure only a plumber would do, and that only a strange one.  After checking the place out, I went back to the level that I needed to use.  Once I glided into the room I noticed that something had fallen out of my pocket.  A shiny quarter lay on the ground near where I had exited the mouth of the tube.  I reached out to retrieve it just as someone else was coming through.  I jumped back, leaving the money there and watched as that person was followed by another and another and another.  All of them crashing in with enormous speed and each one losing belongings from their pockets as they exited.  I was bewildered as I watched it pile up almost magnetically, supernaturally, into a neat orderly pile.  Then a man, whom I didn't recognize, emerged from what seemed to be below the landing of the slide and offered the pile of lost belongings to me.  At first I rejected, admitting that only one coin in the pile belonged to me but everyone unanimously and loudly insisted that I take it, so I did.

Immediately I was outside, sitting in my car with the sun beaming down all around me.  A man stood outside my window holding a book and was asking me to choose what I would do with the newly acquired treasures I had received.  In his book were choices along with a signature line next to each choice.  I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to do with it but deep down I knew I didn't want to give it to him.  I looked hard at the lines on the page, not really reading, just staring through the page as the frustrations caused my heart to beat in my throat.   I remember that the man made me feel guilty for not immediately signing his book and giving him everything.  He just kept pressing and pressing the issue.  In spite of his pushiness, I had an inexplicable respect and fondness for the man yet I hesitated to give in to his persistent requests.  "What exactly is it that you want from me?" I shouted.  "You're just badgering me and I don't understand what you want and why you want it!"  At this moment I could see his face for the first time, previously drowned out by the brightness of the sun.  He was very tall with a beard and glasses rested on his nose.  The muscles of his face were shaped into a look of grave concern.  At this time, a shorter man approached and went straight up to the tall man, whispering something in his ear.  I listened intently, trying to make out the message that seemed so urgent.  "...decided...make trouble out longer acceptable."  Then he turned away and ran off.  The bearded man looked intently at me and said "what you are doing is now against the book of the law.  Unless you change your mind right now we will have nothing to do with you."  "WHAT?  Against what law?  Who has the authority to make these laws?"  I gasped.  He spoke not a word, just closed his book, shook his head, turned on his heel and walked casually away.  I was confused.  I jumped from my vehicle and followed after him, wanting to understand, not wanting to be distanced from this strange man who I respected and loved yet didn't know.  It was all so overwhelming and I had to figure it out.  I needed to take it one step at a time and try to understand.  The man ignored me and kept walking away.

I woke up.  The sight of the ceiling fan above me convinced me that I would never find the answers I wanted. The man was gone, I was only dreaming.  Like I said, my dreams are usually non-existent or lost before the alarm sounds.  This one left me wanting answers and since I'll never see the man in my dreams again, maybe there is someone who will stumble upon my blog although it is insignificant and trapped in obscurity and they will be given an understanding better than I.

So, what do you think?  Don't be shy, after all it was just a dream.  I have prayed that if there was more to it than my rambling weirded out subconscious gone haywire that God would interpret my dream for me.  If it is his will, he will use someone just like you, after reading this post to write a response.  It can be either a comment or a private e-mail ( ceeking_truth at bellsouth dot net).  Either way it will contain certain elements that only He and I know as a sign for me that it is from Him.

Seems a little out there, I know, but I'm just being honest.  I really believe God will speak through one of you.