Wednesday, February 28, 2007

snickers on my head

maybe the most basic point of the last post and all of its comments is that we all need to be willing to tell each other about the snickers on our heads?!?

(ps. for those of you who don't attend Union Center, there really is a profound meaning behind that statement! when it gets posted, listen to Pastor Craig's sermon from 2/25...)

Monday, February 26, 2007

words for my thoughts...

Over the last several months, I've been puzzling over a difference in viewpoint held by different ones of my church family. I've had an instinct of what my opinion was, but had been unable to voice it. Today, while reading the latest book on my reading list, 'imagine. a vision for christians in the arts' by steve turner i finally found the words for my opinion!

The discussion in question is 'what does being real really look like in community?' Are we to wear masks to hide the sin and pain we are struggling with in order to not burden or disturb the people we come in contact with -- specifically our Christian brothers and sisters?? Obviously not. But is the only answer then to walk around totally 'naked' -- willing to share every sin and wound with anyone who will listen so that we don't come across as hypocrites? I should hope not.

I have a weakness.

I need to confess it here before going any further.

I have a hard time seeing in shades of grey. Because of my personality and life experiences, it is far easier for me to see things in black and white. This is the reason I struggled with the dilemma mentioned above. Some of my readers may have found the perfect balance of an answer to the dilemma. As I mentioned, I have not yet been able to do that. Until this morning....

"Admission of personal sin has to be treated carefully because we live in a climate of exposure. Artists [the audience for this particular book] are routinely commended for being 'daring', 'honest', 'frank' and 'disturbing' by admitting to base desires. [this sentence is followed by some examples of just that sort of artwork].

But the attitude behind such gut spilling is not one of remorse and shame but of brazenness. The sin, in their view, would be to hold back, and the virtue is in telling all. The Christian is bound by some important considerations. There is a responsibility not to use examples of our vileness as entertainment. "For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret" (Ephesians 5:12). We must put the needs of others before our own: 'Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others" (1 Corinthians 10:24).

I sometimes hear Christians justify mentioning their weaknesses in their art because 'I am a sinner like everyone else.' That is just not true. The Christian isn't a sinner like everyone else because a Christian is a forgiven sinner, and this alters his or her whole relationship to sin."
[this last statement is even more interesting to me since Pastor Craig's sermon from yesterday)

For any of you who share my struggle with an out-of-balance-black-and-white-thinking-paralysis, let me be really clear....

i am not saying that we are wrong to share our stories in very real and open ways with each other. We are commanded to 'confess our faults to one another that we may be healed.'

At the same time, i am saying that i think we need to watch our motives (hence the scripture qualifier, 'confess...that we may be healed').

Am i speaking from a place of humility that displays Christ's strength in comparison to my weakness OR

am i just brazenly and unashamedly so self-absorbed that either 1) i refuse to air any of my 'dirty laundry' in the appropriate times and places in order to maintain an image or just plain-old appear 'mysterious'

2) am i intent on building a 'fan club' for the personal sins and struggles that i've built my identity on and then masking all this self-disclosure in the premise of "I'm just being real."

i admit that i'm on a little bit of a rant today, but i'm so tired of hearing that phrase, "i'm just being real" as if that absolves us of any personal responsibility or consequences. i'm starving to hear more people say, "i have sinned and i repent and i'm pressing on toward the prize of Christ."

can you even imagine what our community would look like if we all owned that attitude??

Monday, February 19, 2007


do i ever agree with this...God change us.

From Tim Steven’s blog (Granger Church)

Q&A with Bill Hybels
We also had an opportunity to be involved in a question and answer session with Bill Hybels. There was one thing that he talked about that I resonated with so much. In fact, it tied directly into an ongoing discussion we've been having on Granger's senior management team.

Willow did an exhaustive survey. What they found was the most satisfied church members were those who were new believers or early in their faith--and the least satisfied were those who were more "mature" in their faith.

Bill said they had really missed teaching their growing believers to not be dependent on the church for their spiritual growth. The goal, Bill says (and I agree), is to slowly make believers independent. We (as a church) should focus our attention on introducing people to Christ, and then helping them grow to a certain point. After that--they should feed themselves and focus on helping the church introduce more people to Christ.

To do that, Bill continued, we need to help people "right-size" what they should expect from the church. The reason that the seasoned believers are more dissatisfied is because they still expect the church to be feeding them. They haven't been taught to feed themselves.

This is great stuff for every church leader to wrestle with!
February 08, 2007 in Conferences Permalink

winter blues

it's official -- i have SPRING FEVER in a big, big way! i've been kind of moping around the last couple of days and finally figured out why.

i'm done with winter. i mean literally done. i've enjoyed all the benefits of the winter -- the warm fuzzies of the Christmas season, the joy of bundling up next to the fireplace with a good book while the wind howls outside the window, the big snow day with my daughter's famous coffee cake -- and now i'm done. i realized that for about 7 years out of the last 10 i've either had a business trip or incentive trip to some warm, exotic place right about this time of year and that part of my life is over, but someone forgot to tell my body! (of course, following zephaniah317 road trip in the sunny, green West hasn't helped my maladay at all. )

so, i could post about the eventful weekend we had babysitting my 2 and 4 year old niece and nephew, or how hearing the french horn playing the Lord's Prayer on Sunday brought me to tears, or how thankful i am that there are now blue hot tamales (actually they are called ice tamales), or some vague references to major disappointments i am feeling with a former mentor in my life, or how b and i have learned that we can not have service evaluation meetings when we are in bed, or the response i gave to a John and Stasi Eldredge critique i read today or all the ways the sermon series on the kingdom is effecting me (is it effect or affect, i'm never certain!) -- SOOOO, i'll just leave the post saying that i am really, really, really missing warm sunshine right now.

be back again soon (or brb as my kids say) -- with a smile on my face

ps. z, maybe my blog template is a reflection of my current need for sunshine?!? actually i just like how the font colors show up on the black background...the colors are sooooo pretty.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

thinking about this quote today....

An invasion of armies can be resisted. But not an idea whose time has come.-- Victor Hugo

(an irony that i watched les miserables last night for the first time ever and received a Victor Hugo quote in my 'quote of the day' email today...)

Monday, February 12, 2007

well whaddya know?!?

I've been reading my way through some books about the history and theology of worship. If I'm understanding correctly, the church in the third century had both a 'seeker' service and a 'believer' service.
who knew?!?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

let's talk about Oprah for just a moment...

...I recorded Thursday's Oprah and am watching it this morning. I feel sorry for her. The show is called, "The Secret" and she has invited a panel of 'experts' on the secret of the universe -- the secret to living the greatest life possible for you -- the secret that will allow you to get out of debt, lose weight, make millions, and appearantly have the whitest teeth on the planet.

It seems that Norman Vincent Peale should be calling his lawyers 'cuz these guys have just repackaged "The Power of Positive Thinking".

Really, Jesus must be crying right now.

This panel of experts have just 'shanghaied' the truth of the King of the Universe and are taking all the credit for it ... as well as selling it in their DVD for a small cost.

They are taking the credit for Jesus' simple truth, "As a man is in his heart, so is he..." (Luke 6:45)

Now the guest on the show who is in $43,000 in debt because she and her husband spent money to feel more in control of their lives and then the man left her with the daughter and the bills is saying "I am sick and tired of being the victim" and the panel is giving her a list of tips and techniques to visualize her life of freedom ("close your eyes each morning and see yourself being able to do whatever you'd like to do with your daughter") This panel is so full of themselves and Oprah is so busy trying to prove to them that she is just as 'hip' to the secret of the universe that I literally feel sick to my stomach. Oh how I wish Jesus could just walk onto this stage and turn it over in righteous anger.

Now they're telling her that if she will forgive her husband and claim her birthright of feeling her best best about being a woman and a mother, "Claim it now, sweetheart" she will be able to walk in freedom. And Oprah responds, "Hallelujah!". And they are instructing her to be grateful and live in forgiveness and believe that she has the right to love herself. My heart is sobbing. Church where have we been? The truth is being robbed from our lips and repackaged without the true author's name. Our world is starving for Jesus Christ and the freedom he brings.

They are shouting over each other in order to be heard as the smartest, most successful people in the universe. I am thankful for the humility of my Savior. I am repentant for the times when I have ignored and even despised the truth of His upside down rules of freedom. (the greatest is the least, the rich squeeze through the needle's eye, the first shall be last...)

Woe to this group of people who worship the creature over the Creator and to us as a people...
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

And so I'm sorry for Oprah because I believe God has called her name and she has refused to allow Him to take her life. What a sad, sad waste...

overwhelming grief...

Monday, February 05, 2007

have you seen this commercial?

I was thinking the same thing as this author so I thought instead of restating, I'd just link the article...

did you have the same reaction when you saw this commercial??

Saturday, February 03, 2007


*whatever group of people tried to claim that male and female are no different from each other never sat in the middle of 30 jr high girls watching a team of 10 jr high boys playing basketball...

*when your 13-year-old son tells you that he is not nervous when 30 jr high girls are watching him play basketball, he is lying

*little girls who promise to clean up after dumping several hundred pieces of confetti at a baby shower will use every method possible to pick up said pieces without actually using their hands

*little girls who promise to clean up after dumping several hundred pieces of confetti at a baby shower will try to get out of cleaning up said pieces of confetti

*a wife who annoys her husband in the grocery story can still trick him into spending more money than he intended and innocently ask for more later to go out with friends

*don't ever try to give marital advice to your own father when you are in the dairy aisle standing next to a church elder's wife

*better yet, don't ever give marital advice to your own father

*if you are trying to keep your interim job as a worship coordinator do not plan a service containing a song by the 80's rock band, Whiteheart

Have a happy Sunday!
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