22
Oct
10

Looking for Your Input!!

Here’s an opportunity for you to win your choice of a copy of Tim Elmore’s new book, Generation iY:  Our Last Chance to Save Their Future or Philip Yancey’s new book, What Good Is God? In Search of a Faith That Matters.  All you have to do is complete the brief survey by clicking the link below.  By doing so, you will provide me with some helpful information in developing a new blog site in the near future.  I’m really interested in getting your input!  I will draw randomnly from all the respondents next week to see who wins the book.

Click here to take survey

THANKS SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS!!

21
Oct
10

100 Comments!

Although it’s not a large number in terms of the blogosphere, I want to take the opportunity to celebrate reaching 100 comments on my blog.  Since I have just become serious about this whole blogging thing in the last several weeks, I suppose reaching this milestone is worth celebrating.

Thanks to those who have commented and engaged in the conversation.  As I learn more about how this process can be developed, I hope to see the traffic (and the corresponding comments)  increase.  I am also in the process of developing a new blogging property that will be launched in the near future that will engage my training as a counselor, pastor and desire to provide guidance to those on this journey we call life.

Let’s travel together!!

20
Oct
10

In-Person isn’t “In-Person” Anymore

Listening to NPR commentary by Frank Deford this morning on the way to the office, I was struck by something interesting.  Deford was talking about the trend among professional sports fans to attend events.  His prophecy seems to indicate that HD TV, sports bars and the comfort of one’s own home with high-tech viewing will continue to keep fans at home and progressively empty stadiums of their paying customers.  Now I don’t know if this is the case or not, but I do know that colleges are increasingly opting for pay-per-view broadcasts of their games.  Is this perhaps just a way to recapture the loss of revenue for smaller crowds at the games?  I haven’t seen the statistics.

Deford reports, “Besides, everybody has access to huge, brilliant high-definition TV. A Nielsen survey has shown, in fact, that sports events are watched by 21 percent more viewers if they have HD. I’ve talked to folks who’ve been on the sidelines at the huge new Dallas Cowboys stadium, and, they say, people down there close to the field nevertheless choose to look away from the actual game and watch on the monster video screens above.”

We are a video-oriented society.  The question is, “How is this going to continue to impact our worship services?”  Video is already in most worship services of more progressive churches.  This is true for at least a Powerpoint presentation with song lyrics and sermon support.  Many have live video feeds to their screens…especially in large venues where the speaker is a significant distance from the remotest parts of the audience.  In those settings where live video is available, I find myself tending “to look away from the actual game and watch on the monster video screens above” even if I’m close enough to watch the actual speaker.

What’s the next step?  Will we begin to opt for watching at home from a live internet feed rather than actually attending a worship service, so we can be more comfortable?  How will this phenomenon impact our worship in the years to come?

I know these questions are hyperbolic, but there is fodder for thought here.  Certainly, a move toward remote video “participation” at home will reduce our interaction in community.  That is definitely something none of us would say is healthy.  I like video usage in a worship service and have felt my worship experience has been broadened by it.  I would recommend we continue to ask ourselves the best way to utilize it for enhancing worship and building community.

What do you think?  How has the use of video impacted your worship?  What are creative ways you would like to see its use expanded or changed in your setting?

19
Oct
10

It’s Your Turn

I enjoy writing.  I may not be the best writer in the world, but when it clicks, it feels good to express my ideas in a way that connects…or at least connects my thoughts to reality and relevance.  That’s my aim anyway.

Sometimes, however, I feel like a talking head.  I’m afraid I appear to be a verbal faucet that spouts off and doesn’t invite response, reply and rebuttal.  I don’t want that.  Sooo…to prove my point, I’m simply going to ask a question.  It’s your turn to speak up and share what’s on your mind!  I want to hear you…I really do!!  Let’s get some interaction going here.

QUESTION:

What drives your passion?  Where do you get your inspiration?

18
Oct
10

Come as You Are; But You Won’t Stay That Way (Re-post)

As I was reviewing the statistics for this blog, I noticed the post that has received the most views of all was on February 9, 2010.  It was refreshing and powerful for me as I went back to read it again.  So, I thought I would re-post it today in hopes that it will be a powerful word of truth to someone today.

Jesus was a controversial figure in His day…during His earthly ministry.  He spent time around those whom the religious community considered the scum of the earth (Luke 5:29-32).  He reached out to them in love without expecting them to “clean up” before He would have anything to do with them.  This is where we get the idea for the old hymn, “Just as I am.”

I’m glad that we don’t have to get our act together before we come to Jesus.  His love and grace calls to us to come and experience His healing touch.  Contrary to some post-modern thinking, however, we don’t come to Jesus and stay the same.  It isn’t an “addition” of Jesus to our lifestyle.  He doesn’t accommodate His truth to our situation.  It is a transformation that takes place (2 Corinthians 5:17).  Actually, it would be a cruel thing for Christ to accept us and then leave us as we are…in our sins.

I am a new creation…and I’m becoming a new creation.  It is an event (salvation) and it is a process (sanctification).  Thank God it is real!

Check out the video below “Come as You Are” by Northland Church.  Celebrate your new life as you watch.  If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ, go here to find out more.

17
Oct
10

Refuse to Do Nothing

This Saturday, hundreds of people from First Church will be heading out into the River Valley to touch lives with the love of Jesus.  We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus by making sure that our faith is a loving, practical, active faith (James 2:18).  We’re calling this Servolution Saturday, but our desire is to adopt a Servolution Lifestyle.

If you are a follower of Christ, how are you demonstrating your faith?  What is the difference you’re making?  Whose life has been impacted for good because you cared and you stepped up to get involved?  It is easier to look the other way and not be bothered.  It is easier to think, “Someone else will do it.”  Let’s quit taking the easy way.

Josh Wilson, singer/songwriter, has written a song that says, “I refuse to do nothing.”  He produced the video below after experiencing Nashville’s 1000-year flood and being convicted about his involvement to help the victims.  I hope as you view this, you will be inspired to ask how you can be the hands and feet of Jesus.

How are you inspired to serve?  Where do you make a footprint for the Kingdom?

15
Oct
10

An Easy Way to Make a Difference

The focus verse for Hydrate this week is James 2:18.

But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

Faith and works are inseparable for the true believer.  If we are the recipients of the tremendous grace of God through salvation, how can we help but want to share that grace with others?  Real salvation will result in real concern and love for others because we have experienced real love from the author of love:  God Himself!

We need to ask ourselves, “How am I expressing the love of God to those around me?”  Is there a way to make a difference in both the eternity and present  life of people with whom I have influence?  The love of Christ motivates us, the Spirit of Christ guides us to be intentional.  How will you let Him use you?

Look around you and pray for God to show you the needs of the community in which you live and the world beyond your locale.  Submit yourself to be used by God to meet these needs and open doors to share the life of Christ through the gospel.

If you want to take an easy first step of making a practical difference, click on the Blood:Water Mission link on my page and complete the activity.  The sponsoring business will make a donation to the organization which provides clean drinking water and AIDS care for people in Africa.  Let that activity then be the first step in a long list of ways you become involved in touching the world with the love of Christ and His gospel.

Celebrate!  Comment and share the ways and ministries through which you are making a difference.  I would love to hear all the ways God is at work through you.




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