Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Ripple Effect

This is not a post singing the merits of textured potato chips. This is about infectious discipleship. The kind that ripples through the church and spills out onto everyone who is ready for change and growth.

We have been reading books as a leadership team. I have watched some of the individuals on our team totally embrace the concepts that are contained therein. Those who get it have incorporated the language into our vocabulary and have talked about it with passion and enthusiasm such that others get excited about it and are driven to read more. Then, the fresh recruits, in turn, share it with their friends and family and then the next wave catches it and gets excited about the concepts and their implementation.

This is about multiplication. The Christian life is not meant to be lone rangerism. It is meant to be a place of accountability and ripples. As I understand God's wisdom better and make successful, albeit hard, decisions, I share it with those around me. Then, the whole thing goes into other circles and suddenly, I am affecting change and growth in circles that I do not even frequent! God is good! He has enlarged our borders even without daily prayers of Jabez!! :)

NOTE: This post is about celebrating the joy of discovery and watching the aha! moments spreading in the body of Christ. These comments are based on a real situation that was just reported to me! :) YES! Remember to share the good stuff withthose who teach you! Gal 6:6

Sharing with you,

Thursday, December 27, 2007

So What Report Are You Bringing Back?

Do you remember the story of the twelve spies who entered the land of Canaan first? They "scoped out the digs" for 40 days and then returned to give a report on the land before them. They had experienced the promise of God in a limited audience preview. They were the ones who were hand selected to report back on what God had in the immediate future for the nation, the people of God.

Andrew Murray draws on this image as he addresses the issue of the report of a loving community of believers, growing and bearing much fruit for the glory of God, the divine husbandman.

"Is not this [obedience to Jesus' command to love one another] some of the much fruit that Jesus has promised we shall bear, -- in very deed a cluster of the grapes of Eshcol, with which we can proveto others that the land of promise is indeed a good land? Let us try in all simplicity and honesty to go out to our home to translate the language of high faith and heavenly enthusaism into the plain prose of daily conduct, so that all men can understand it."
Abide in Christ, p. 184

What a pity, no rather, what a travesty if we see the love of God, flowing with milk and honey, and report back to others "It's too intense, it will cost you too much to have it, let's just settle for a taste, God can't give that kind of love to us". Or, in my opinion, even worse, report back to those around us -- silence about the greatness of the love of God. It would be the equivalent of the spies saying, "We had a huge cluster of grapes and they were tasty. But we ate them on the trip back from the vineyard and now there's nothing to show to you."

Don't hoard the grapes.
Don't consume all of the fruit by yourself.
Don't miss the chance to use the produce for ministry to others who maybe still don't believe there is a land of promise or a God who has promised it to them.

That I may bear more fruit,

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Falling Into the Abyss


I apologize for the long delay. I just realized that the last post was back in October. (That's not exactly true!) This is December and we are closing in on one of the busiest times of the calendar that anyone should be exposed to. Let me catch you up on some really big stuff that is going on right now in our lives of ministry.

1. A DAD&LAD TRIP -- Scott and I went to Erie PA on an overnight Father-n-Son adventure. We took in some lighthouses, shot some digital photography, ate some Chinese, played in the waterslides, ate some hot wings, played chess and ate Timmy Ho's Canadian Maple Donuts!! Oh yeah, we also had a great conversation about coming of age, becoming a young man, and following after God. We used Proverbs 3 to have a "my son" speech of our own. Scott was pretty freaked out by the whole serious conversation thing. But I tried to tone it down when I saw how spooked he got. It was a great weekend, except for being beaten in chess by a teenager!!! :)

2. A DRAMA -- Sue and I are the husband and wife in a family holiday drama called "Baggage Claim". It is an outreach drama with a great message. The family looks the stereotypical part of four people with it all under control. In fact, my character makes a speech to his son about the world respecting a man who has in all under control, who takes charge of his own life, etc. In the end, all of their internal dysfunction comes out and they leave their baggage in the capable hands of the baggage bellhop character. It is a modern day parable of Jesus Christ and his offer of rescue for today. Very good script, very grueling schedule -- very great results?? We are praying to that end.

3. A SEASON of ADVENT -- our church has included the advent candles/wreath in our worship. We light the candles each week and talk about what each one symbolizes. We use this as a time fo rthe kids to come up front and interact with me around the wreath. The problem is that it is all unscripted. And as Art Linkletter (and later Bill Cosby) said "kids say the darndest things". It has been a good time of focus for Christmas for me and for the kids. We are using the nativity poem and characters from Family Life Publishing called "What God Wants for Christmas". It is really neat to watch them open each box. I hope that they get the ending!

4. AN MP3 PLAYER -- I just bought a Creative Labs Zen Stone MP3 player and have been enjoying downlaoding sermons, books, music and other stuff from off of the web. For a guy that loves information, an MP3 player is a very cool toy. I just listened to four pastors on a Pastor to Pastor intervew series with HB London Jr. on the topic of Church Health. Great stuff!

Well, please keep blogging and reading and growing and ministering, even when this page falls silent. Be assured that I have not laid down or fallen off the face of the earth. I also have been blogging with some other sites as a contributor rather than a host. Why don't you drop me a note and tell me what you are doing?

  • sites that you have visited in the past 24 hours
  • books that you have been reading
  • trips that you have taken, plan on taking for Christmas
  • ministries that you are involved in
  • etc.

I hope that you have not fallen into the abyss of busyness and that if you have that you are climbing out. I hope that you will drop me a note letting me know how you are doing,