Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A good friend lost someone important in their life this week

Pray for him in whatever way you find best.

Seth Gobin, the Post Consumption Consumer, and The Church

This interview with Seth Godin mentions:

It doesn't matter that there are all these books for sale, because we haven't finished the ones we already bought. The post consumption consumer still wants something. They want attention, they want time; they want the privilege of choosing again. So, creating more noise, adding more clutter isn't solving anybody's problem, and it's not working particularly well. Into this world we threw the web, the most cluttered medium of all time. It's a giant haystack, and your product and your service on your website is a real tiny needle.

The mistake I think that many people make is that they want that needle to get sharper. That just isn't going to work, because the haystack is too big. Instead what we have to do is understand exactly how noisy it is, it's really noisy; and realize that we are not going to win by yelling louder than everybody else. We have to figure out someway to put the noise to work for us, and to work with our audience, so that they can spread the word instead of us forcing the word out.
So I am how does this related to "the church". Are we giving more choices or just fewer answers. How do we give people the choice of choosing God again without all the clutter.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Quote I like

Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours.

- C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Thanksgiving email from Bill Hybels

So I got this email and bolded the parts I really liked.

It made me think about good old Billy. I really like Bill Hybels much the same as I like Steve WU (willow chicago), and Jackson Crum (Park Community Church). So what is the deal? I think its how their beliefs manifest themselves into an institution and how that works. Maybe I just don't see how Christianity works when you make it a religion or an institution in the way they have manifested it. I believe that these three men are men chasing after God but I still can't get the organizations they run and how they interact with God and the world around them.

So as I continue on my path for reconciliation with "The Church". I ask God to give me grace and help me overcome my judgments. In the end we all care deeply about following God.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Bill Hybels
Date: Nov 21, 2007 10:00 AM
Subject: Happy Thanksgiving (from Bill Hybels)
To: enews@arrow.willowcreek.org

Dear Enews Friends,

After another three weeks of speaking and mentoring pastors throughout Scandinavia and Europe, I was able to fly to a friend's place in Florida where my family was already gathered. Upon walking through the front door my 14 month old grandchild was running my way, arms extended. Ahhhhhhhh! What a way to start a Thanksgiving holiday!

The older I get the more I treasure family. I know that many of you share that view. Other competing values simply seem to fall by the wayside as the decades unfold. All that really remains is our faith in Christ and the family and friends God graces our lives with.

This Thanksgiving is a poignant one for Shauna and Todd in particular. Shauna's new book "Cold Tangerines" has found an extraordinary response in the first few months after its release. This has opened up opportunities for ministry that she never imagined. Todd has put almost 3000 miles under his keel, as he makes his way toward the Panama Canal on his way to see the world on a forty-two foot sail boat. To have both of them at the table this year will surely generate lots of interesting conversation.

Son-in-law Aaron has been guest worship leading and recording a new worship CD these past few months. Lynne has been teaching in Germany and is preparing to speak at the AIDS Conference at Saddleback Church next week. She will also help host our weekend services on World AIDS Day weekend, December 1-2.

As for me, I am trying to get back on the right time zone and am rejoicing over the reports of God's power that was poured out on our baptism services last weekend. I can't wait to get back to teach at Willow in December.

To say I am a grateful man this Thanksgiving is the understatement of the year. My health is good and I feel the goodness and grace of God everywhere I turn. I do hope you feel the same way this holiday and at some point in the next few days you will rally the family around for a time of heartfelt gratitude to God for His magnanimous spirit toward the likes of you and me.

Happy Thanksgiving!


PS. If any of you would like to follow Todd's sailing progress, his web site is crisismode.org.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A moment of gratitude

I was talking to Brian about a talk he had with Todd who said something to the affect of "If you look at your life now and you can't be happy (or some similar word) then when and what will it take . It will never happen so be happy now."

Taking this to heart and also talking to Mitch last night about the idea of contentment and then reading an article by Timothy Ferris. I have been reminded to be grateful.

So far those of you who read this blog I am thankful as I know who you are and what you have meant in my life.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Connecting With Homelessness

The last few weeks I have been spending some time with a homeless guy in downtown Chicago. We grab lunch and sometimes I buy him a place to stay for the night. Presently I am working to get him into the Men's Shelter I serve at. Assisting anyone who shares such different paradigms is always a challenge. Pray that God gives me the insight to serve in the manner he sees fitting.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Deconstructing a Language before you learn it

Tim Ferris has a great post on deconstructing a language before you take the time to learn it. You can find it here at: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2007/11/07/how-to-learn-but-not-master-any-language-in-1-hour-plus-a-favor/

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Blood Donation

For the first time ever I gave blood. I qualified for the special machine that takes out just red blood cells because I have a ton of iron in my blood (16.1 something or other). So I guess I ended up giving the equivalent red blood cells of like 16 people donating. So I guess I am the man. Can't give blood though for like 4 months though. Also got a cool sticker.

Rob Bell: The God's Aren't Angry Tour

Last night I went to see Rob Bell at the Vic Theatre in Chicago. The line was around the block to the sold out show.

The stage was set up with a rather large alter in the middle. Rob Bell hopped out a few minutes after 8 looking a bit waffy with a shaved head. He started by telling a story of primitive people and how they might have related their internal feelings and external enviroment to a sense of god and then ritual. It was interesting. ]

The things I got out of the night that stuck with me where:
- Maybe Abraham sacrificing his son was about his faith but about God providing (in this case a ram to sacrifice).
- Abraham brought an incredible new religion because it was a god who cared and wasn't always pissed off.
- Jesus was even crazier because he said we don't need this alter. I am the alter and the sacrifice. The sacrifice is complete in me.
- God doesn't want inhuman sacrifice for the sake of just giving more but he wants life to be a celebration of God in everything we do (still working through some of this).

It was great stuff. Hopefully I can get some of his old tours on dvd and It seems that by searching the google I can.

If you haven't read them I would highly recommend:


Friday, November 2, 2007

Mentor Meeting

I meet with my mentor last night. We talked a lot about the book. What it should look like and focus on. How I should be more involved in it's publicity. He put on a compelling talk. I think I might have even been persuaded. Looks like reconciliation with the church will come faster than even I imagined.

Also been reading Matthew 5-8 because it's probably good for me. Mostly read it and go huh.

I'm going to need to work on this

Matthew 7:2
2"For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

I hope that infinite grace is so much more than I think it to be.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Today as I was going into Panda Express there was a man holding the door open for everyone and asking if he could get something to eat. I invited him in and got him some food. I convinced him to sit with me and eat. It was a good time of getting to know each other. He told me about Mississippi (where he was from), what he was doing here, and how he was getting by. It was a good story and his accent made it better. We are having lunch again next Tuesday. Hopefully it will be as enjoyable.

Something to think about: I was just going to Panda to get my lunch to go. There was a teleconference I wanted to listen to that might help my new business. It was free so I cost me nothing but I decided to miss it to eat with Ricky. This reminded me of something I have thought a lot about after reading Robert Lupton's book "Theirs is the Kingdom". He talked about God and efficiency. He maybe he should stop and talk to someone in need even he will be late for his big donor meeting. Maybe God isn't about efficiency and doesn't want us to always be "responsible" in the way we classically think. Something to think about.