Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I feel that at times service needs to hurt. We need to be uncomfortable in doing it and it should suck but we strive on.

I've been spending time with someone who I meet at a homeless shelter who is there until he can get a job that will allow him to make enough money to live on his own. He has a tough time with finding great work because he spent most of his life in jail. Now that he has been out for a few years he has yet find steady work even though he gives more of an effort at it then I ever have.

The things about all this is that it isn't service really anymore. We go driving once a week to get him a better at driving to go and get a drivers license in a few weeks and last week we hang out with some people on Sunday. We hung out though because I wanted to just hangout and thought he could show us some of the stuff that the uptown area has in the realm of service and such. He served me.

Actually he teaches me things constantly. I know I teach him things and I'm all in favor of this but its really not this service is horrible thing I bought into. I feel bad at times because we have such a good time. He isn't a charity case and I don't think he ever was. He's my friend.

Now I just need to figure out what this all means when those you are serving are serving you just as much and you are having a good time.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Willow Creek Leadership Conference

A trip well worth my time. I was able to listen to Michael Porter and Marcus Buckingham. Which was funny because they were two of the least religious sounding folk there and yet I enjoyed them the most.

Marcus gave me the idea to combine strengths and the NLP for the ebook I am writing. So by focusing in on the NLP patterns I think it will be great and much more motivating than the more fix what is wrong NLP.

Michael Porter made me think a lot about whether or not it was important to be effective in service activities you are involved in. So I am still sorting through effectiveness, service, how that is measured and if it should be measured.


Monday, August 6, 2007


I shall now attempt to explain how I and most of Americans fit the above description.

Mark 10: 19-21

20And he said to Him, "Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up."
21Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, "One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."

Let me preface the fact that I never went to seminary and I don't read my bible enough. I am a horrible person to write about this and I am very much the rich young ruler. That said let us move on.

Christ worked with the marginalized. One the few occasions he worked with the rich he mocked them and was sarcastic. When he took them more seriously he asked them to give up their comfort. He asked them to give up their life.

I don't think this was any different then what he asked of the poor they just didn't have much to give up besides bad behavior and then commit to a greater way (Not that that isn't much or that that is all you have to do but the people of time paid 80-90% of their income to taxes. Needless to say they didn't have much) The rich young ruler had something that most people didn't have and that something wasn't money. Of course he had money but what really kept him from following Christ was the idol of what money so often brings into your life. Comfort and Security.

These two things (I will now refer to as C&S) are what I live in everyday. C&S are my idol and I refuse to part with them. By modern church standards I have "crossed the line of faith", weeded out the gross sin in my life (at least that those who know me on a surface level would perceive), and volunteer on a weekly basis. I'm a fucking saint by these accounts.

Only problem is I am not. I worship the God of C&S on a daily basis. I thank God continually for not making my life like those people (hopefully you can reference on your own which parable corresponds to why common day situational relativism is wrong but don't worry if you can't as I will probably write an incoherent rant about it soon.)

We are the rich young ruler because we have grown fat in our comfort. Our poor no longer starve but struggle with obesity. We frown in discomfort as the news talks of the tragic death of young child while in other places genocide roars through a nation. We try and figure out how to give the poor cheap health care while most people plead for any sort of health care for the simplest of curable but terminal diseases.

We truly have no problems no matter the circumstance.

I am not saying that people here are without need. I think there are those of us who are called to this but most of us in America are the Rich Young Ruler. We bow down daily to the God of Comfort and Security. More importantly to this post is that I bow down daily to the God of Comfort and Security.

Forgive me father for I have broken your first commandment. I break it daily. I long to live for you but probably would rather do it tomorrow. Break me even though I know not what I ask.

Fear and Trembling

12So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;
Mathew Henry says about Phillipians 2:12:
It is not for us to judge other people; we have enough to do to look to ourselves; and, though we must promote the common salvation ( Jude 3) as much as we can, yet we must upon no account neglect our own.
I have decided to end my ties with the institutional church. I still have responsibilities for one or two small things but these soon will be delegated to others and I will be a full time UNvolunteer.

This may come as a surprise to some and also to me but I have in the last 3 weeks become very disturbed at what I see presented in the Gospels and what I see presented in institutionalized religion. I feel like Christ has been hijacked and sold as cheap wares to whoever wants to have a "relationship". We have sold this relationship pretty hard and pretty well. Now we have a lot of people who worship a magic genie who they can pray to make everything better.

I don't think the Gospel advocate this at all. I also don't think the gospels advocate a con-artist sales model. I don't think Christ asks us to get people to give a little of themselves and then a little more and then a little at their convenience until they are "fully devoted" Christians (whatever that means). It just seems sneaky. I don't see biblically this at all. I do see people LIVING in a totally counter-cultural way and people seeing and believing that that is the better way. No watering or dumbing it down. No slipping in the real Jesus when they aren 't looking. Full blown Jesus 24x7 that makes outsiders question why people choose to live that way.

I have started to feel that there isn't a simple line you cross after you have said a prayer and all is good after that. Maybe there is a line but I don't know if its where evangelicalism has put it. Don't know if its where I have put it (even though I don't think I can even find it.)

Today I choose to work out my salvation in fear and trembling. I don't have a great ending for this post as I don't have a great or even good answer. I know that God loves me and he loves all the people of the world. I believe he loves all of us in a way we can't fathom but I just don't think our response is part-time Christ following because we can't fit it into our schedule.

Father forgive me for my judgment of others as I have and always will have an unmeasurable distance to go. Help me move towards you and let my actions be enough to show your amazing love.