- The church needs to find new ways to expand its outreach. The old methods do not work to reach new people.
- Expansion needs to be about reaching out to people, not asking people to come to us. There is too much competition for us to assume that people are going to continue to come to us. We need to learn to go to them.
- The church needs to be about building people, not buildings, programs or celebrities. Our focus must be on others, not ourselves.
- We need to move the church away from an emphasis on programs and attendance increases to building relationships.
- The church needs to use its buildings and resources more effectively and efficiently. For many days each week our huge buildings, offices, classrooms and recreation areas are empty. This ought to be a sin.
- The church ought to be about reconciling people to God and one another, rather than continuing to alienate the culture around us. For many people Christians are evil. This must change.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The relationships between brothers and sisters are tricky for most humans. We are connected by blood, by proximity, by parents, and often by little else. We know we are to love and respect each other. We feel a responsibility to defend and protect, but we often view siblings as adversaries, competitors in a familial Olympics of sorts. But we are put in families with brothers. We have sisters. Shouldn’t we relate to them in positive ways?
To further complicate these issues, we have an image of the church as a family. That means that for most of us, we think of our fellow church goers as brothers and sisters in Christ. (This was intimidating for me as a young boy. There were people in our church who were called Brother Grim and Sister Thrillkill.) So, how should we relate to one another? Can we get along?
- Those who do the will of God are brothers and sisters of Christ (Matthew 12.50). If we are united in doing what God calls us to do, we are family- in the best possible way.
- We are responsible for the well-being- physical, emotional and spiritual- of our brothers and sister. When God asked Cain about his brother, Abel, he did not have a good answer. His response was to pretend not to know Abel’s whereabouts (Genesis 4.9). Obviously, God’s will is that we take care of one another.
- We are to love our brothers and sisters. The Great Commandment in the Scripture is that we are to love our neighbors (also known as the “Golden Rule”). Certainly family members and church members qualify as our neighbors. Love everyone (Matthew 19.19).
- Put the interests and well-being of your siblings ahead of your own (Philippians 2.3). We can celebrate the victories of those we love and support.
Many of us have been blessed by God with brothers and sisters. All of us have the benefit of a church family. How great life will be when all these relationships are in line with God’s plan for our lives. Join me in being the best brother (or sister) that you can be whether familial or spiritual.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
- Blocking health care reform
- Blocking immigration reform
- Wrecking congressional town hall meetings all across America
- Calling for the President's birth certificate
- Beginning the "patriotic" tea bag movement
- Giving us Sarah Palin and other giants of experience and intellect
Monday, February 22, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
- Attractive teenage girls in underwear, pajamas, nightgowns, lingerie or swim suits.
- A psychopathic killer in a mask that everyone thinks is dead, in a mental institution or jail.
- A scene in which the killer is chasing the teenage girl. She is running and screaming. He is walking slowly with a limp. He catches her anyway.
- There are always several scenes in which a door is opened to reveal something terrible. It could be a dead body, the killer or something innocent. But the intention is to make you jump and scream.
- The music is always in the background and barely noticeable until the moment just before the murderer strikes, or the aforementioned door is opened.
- If it is predictable it cannot be scary.
- If it uses more computer-generated special effects than Star Wars, it cannot be scary.
- If it requires the monsters to open their mouths too wide, it cannot be scary.
- If I am only scared because of a particular startling scene or revelation, it cannot be scary.
- If the marketing campaign is focused on 17 year old boys, it cannot be scary.
- Hard Candy
- The Silence of the Lambs
- Dead of Winter
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
- Because they are right, they cannot imagine an alternative. They can easily become offended or agitated at the suggestion that there might be other options. There is no need for discussion, negotiation or compromise. I am right, after all. And anyone who does not agree with me is necessarily wrong and has nothing of value to add to the conversation.
- Because they are right, they can feel superior to others. And why not? If I am right I am superior. Why should I even pay attention to anyone else?
- Because they are right, they become offended and/ or angry with anyone who disagrees. Just like a child on the playground who had the ball first, if I am right you should not even try to convince me, or anyone else, otherwise.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
- Never again order chicken products in a fast food place. (Exceptions can be made if you are at KFC, Chick-Fil-A, Chicken Coop, Lee's or Famous Recipe.)
- Speak to children about the dangers of undercooked chicken, salmonella poisoning and inhumane treatment of chickens on factory farms.
- Encourage the development of a hamburger nugget.