Wednesday, December 23, 2009

While you're drinking egg-nogg and opening that ugly sweater from Aunt Edna...

...27,000,000 people are living as slaves.

Sobering, right? There are more slaves now than in the entire 400 years of the prior slave trade.

Gregg Helvey made an award winning 19 minute documentary (up for Student Academy Award) about the life of slaves today.

Watch the trailer here, then do something to end this injustice.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What to do when you are criticized

Tim Keller wrote an insightful and accurate post on responding to criticism. Lead and you'll be criticized. Have relationships and you'll have conflict. Beautiful stuff that will challenge your heart.

Here's the link.

He references a letter by John Newton (author of the song "Amazing Grace") wrote to a fellow minister called "On Controversy", it can be found here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Do you know what's wrong with where you live?

We're in the process of understanding our community.
It's hurts.
It's needs.
It's dreams.

Really, we want to understand people's hearts and motivations in order to apply some healing salve to the wounds that are always present in the human heart. Too often, American churches have been guilty of franchising. We go to super-conference at mega-church and discover they are doing 'X' and seeing 'Y' results. "Ah," we think, "if we do 'X', then we'll get 'Y' results." So we head home to implement exactly what they did.

What we often fail to consider is that 'X' came out of a long study of the needs of their community. Like good missionaries, they studied their local culture and wrapped their ministry in something their community could grasp. They incarnated the Gospel for their local culture.

We're working to do the same with North County. We're surveying the community, asking questions, building relationships...all with an eye to demonstrating and announcing God's kingdom of love and justice.

Here's a short video about some of the demographics of North County.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Don't Waste a Crisis

Gotta love this from Matt Chandler, a pastor of a church near my hometown outside Dallas.

On Thanksgiving he had a seizure which revealed a 2 inch tumor in his brain needing immediate surgery. He is my age and dad to 3 beautiful kids.

This short video is how he is seeing what is happening to his body. The emboldened question coming out of this for me as a pastor: Who is your everything? What's all-consuming enough to ride you through pain, heartache, and suffering? Is it really enough, as Tim Keller says, to fulfill you when things are going well and forgive you when you fail?

Here's the constant testimony of Scripture and people who've followed Jesus to the death: Jesus is everything.
Amen Matt Chandler, Amen.

You can follow twitter updates on Matt from his wife at

Back from a long winter's nap

The blog has taken a hit in the last few months.
  • A remodel of a house (I don't think I'll ever do that again)
  • My wife falling and breaking her hand while 33 weeks pregnant
  • A new baby
  • 2 overly energetic little boys.
Well, it all adds up. Finally pulling my head above water and excited to be back blogging.