Monthly Archives: September 2008

The Cactus that Bit Me

I love Colorado. Absolutely love it. There are not many places I would move to, but Colorado is one of them. Yesterday I stood on top of Pikes Peak, over 14000 feet and was blown away by God’s creation.

But yesterday evening, something happened that made me like Colorado a little bit less. We have one rental car out here, and our hotel is close to the church where the convention is being held. Kirk left before the rest of us, to sing with the choir in worship, and the rest of us decided to walk across the field a bit later. It didn’t look so bad.

On the way across though, it turns out this field wasn’t a “field” at all, but more a prairie dog’s wasteland with little mounds of dirt that could swallow you and prickly little catci (or cactuses, whatever), that just wait for an opportunity for some young moron in sandals to come walking along.

Yesterday, I was that moron. Here is the cactus that bit me.

Glenn Packiam – Let Worship Rock and Justice Roll

Great message from Glenn Packiam concerning worship leading as a catalyst for justice.

Here are the notes:

- Do we believe worship caters to us or makes claims of us?
- Worship becomes something we are consumers of instead of being consumed by.

• Amos 5:21-24 (Look at the MSG Translation)
Aristocracy benefited from the wealth while ignoring the poor

- Worship is not designed to insulate us from the world, but to wake us up to the world.

• Exodus 3:1-8
Moses and the burning bush
God reveals to Moses his heart for the suffering people.
“Moses thank you for giving me your full attention. Do you want to know what has my full attention?”
Worship helps us hear what God hears… the CRY of HIS PEOPLE.

What God Hears:

- 6 million children a year die from malnutrition before their 5th b-day
- 5 million people die each year from water borne diseases
- Nearly 2 million children in the commercial sex trade
- 800 million go to bed hungry every day
• 300 million are children
• Pop. Of America is slightly over 300 million people
• Every 30 seconds, an African child dies of malaria – 1 million child deaths a year
• Every 15 seconds, a child becomes an AIDS orphan in Africa

Worship is loving the least of these as if they were Jesus.
- Matthew 25
• Whatever you did for the least of these…
“Worship is finding the least of these and loving them like Jesus.” – Mother Theresa

The Question is not which need, which organization? The question is what can you do?

“If a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil, does it cause a tornado in Texas?”
- In the Kingdom, yes!

Great Thoughts on Joe Biden.

Check out Tim Granger’s blog on Joe Biden’s giving. Very interesting.

Ross Parsley – New Life Worship Conference

I’m at the New Life Worship conference in Colorado Springs. Pikes Peak is literally just outside. I love Colorado. I thought I’d post some notes from the conference. Pics will come later.

Biblical Worship in the 21st Century

- In much worship today there is a shallowness to the worship taking place.

- The sacrifice of praise is not simply singing when you don’t feel it or like the song.

God is the INITIATOR… we are the RESPONDERS.

*If we are the responders, it takes the pressure off.
*The prayer is not, “God use me,” but, “God make me useful.”
*Art is simply an essential tool to incite a greater response to the revelation of who Jesus is.

We are called to be skillful stewards.
*Ps. 33:3 – Play skillfully.
*Matthew 25:14 – Parable of the talents.
*If you’re resentful of the people you have, why would God give you anymore?
*We have a stewardship problem.
*Lead worship for the guy in the back row.

We are called to be multi-sensory.

*The Passover Meal
*The Sacrificial Lamb
*The Colors of the Tabernacle
*The Ark of the Covenant
*Becoming multi-sensory… i.e. shouting, kneeling,

We are called to be storytellers.

*52 Sundays in a year… 5-6 songs/week… roughly 500 Sundays in ten years for a kid. What will his picture of God look like after those 10 years?
*Deut. 6:4-9

Where do we spend our time?

*Most of it is in rehearsal!
*Most people highlight skill in our church so much because we don’t have any.
*Skill is a terrible foundation for worship ministry

Biblical Principles
Ministry Philosophy
Organisational Structure
Musical Style

This is upside down. If you change any of the things on the bottom it will fall apart.

Biblical Worship is:
– God has to reveal himself… you can’t force it.
– People come to worship dealing with GUILT every week.
– Worship is the pathway to repentance.
– If you walk out the same, did you really worship?
– Doesn’t finish in a worship service.
– The power of worship is not just telling the story, but becoming the story.

If we do this we will see our churches transform with genuine presence.

Pressley’s Evil Kenievel Days

So, last Sunday we were at a friend’s Oktoberfest. Great German food and drink, and an awesome afternoon. All kinds of kids and all kinds of toys for Malia and Pressley to play with.

Pressley, though, being of the size and stature that she is, sometimes eluded our immediate gaze. For the most part, she was fine. But then she found the car.

As I sat with Carrie and some friends, my back toward the slight descending grass yard behind us, I caught from the corner of my eye this play car gaining speed in a descent towards the brush line about 50-75 yards away. As I looked closer, I saw a little bobbling Pressley head inside the car. In one moment I shot out of my seat, ran out of my sandals and tried to catch the car, my only hope being to do some sort of soccer slide-tackle into the front of the car before she ran headlong into the sharp brush down below.

The car was too fast, and thankfully Pressley came to a quick stop and was fine. I wasn’t, but she was. In fact, she giggled as I took her out of the car. It’s amazing how much you love and care about your kids.

Mormons on the Street

We returned from North Carolina last night about 8 pm. It was a great weekend, with a ton of driving and fun.

We went to Chapel Hill for a couple of reasons. When I started this blog a couple months ago, with the few of you that actually read it, I was at a point of total struggle and frustration. But… I also didn’t just want to keep complaining. I needed to find out what God wanted to show me. In my mind, I was taking a leap, in a community of people, to find out what the future might hold.

About that same time I started thinking about Chapel Hill. I love college students, and I’ve spent time around UNC a few times with our friends from North Carolina. Every time, I’ve loved it. The area is incredible, and ripe for ministry. Maybe it was just a need to get away, or maybe it was God speaking, but Carrie and I decided to take a weekend down there in prayer and exploration… and wondered if God might be leading us there permanently. I was terrified, and felt like an absolute crazy man. But I wanted to at least DO something.

Anyway… the trip was great. We spent late Thursday night driving and pulled into our friends’ house about 2:30 Friday morning. Our friends, Jordan and Deirdre, went with us and it was great having some other perspective on the trip.

Friday we walked around Chapel Hill and I realized that I really had no clue how I was supposed to “discern” God’s voice. Funny story though, the first people that talked to us in Chapel Hill were two young mormon men on mission. Complete with short sleeved dress shirts and black ties, they were also about the only people in Chapel Hill who spoke with us. It was at this point that I started to realize how much I was stressing myself out trying to “hear” God.

Saturday we relaxed. I spent some time in prayer Friday night and really felt like I needed to just stop stressing and be present with the people we were there with that we loved a lot. We all went to get tattoos Saturday (even my wife!) which was a blast and took it easy.

Long story short, we’re not moving to North Carolina. Most of you probably realized that as soon as I told you we were even taking the trip. I think I did too, but was perhaps glamorizing my own “Abraham experience” of going into the wilderness. I don’t regret it though. I think the clearest I heard God on the trip was in the voice of the people I was there with.

That is what I keep returning to–the absolute divine nature of the intentional community we surround ourselves with. I am excited to be home… I missed our family and our friends… those of you who love and support Carrie and I. We have some big ideas that we’re praying about and I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks… I’m dying to get them out there for you all to start praying too, but I don’t think it’s quite time. If you really want to know, give me a call and I’ll pour out my heart, but it may be a long conversation.

Anyway, thanks for your prayers and love for us. It is good to be home and I still have no clue where the road is going, but I think we’ll keep walking.

Back from Carolina with Ink

We had a great weekend in North Carolina. We went with Jordan and Deirdre and stayed with our friends there, Pam and Tony, and their kids Christian and Amanda. They are some of our favorite people to hang out with. I don’t think we ever laugh harder than we’re with them. Great sweet tea, funny stories, and new, southern terminology keeps us on our toes. Just a few of the new terms we learned:

“Lala’s & Lucies”

I’ll let you figure out what they mean.

Also, I’m more tattooed than I’ve ever been. Saturday afternoon, Jordan, Carrie, Deirdre and I all went for tattoos. Great weekend away and a fun way to end the summer… even if it’s the middle of September.

Here are a few pictures.

The view of my steering wheel. It was a TON of driving in a short time.

Jordan sleeping on the way back.

One of my tattoos. “Reconciliation” in Hebrew.

The other new tattoo. “Beloved” in Hebrew.

Carrie’s new tattoo!!! “Beloved” in Greek.

Off to Explore

Carrie and I are off this weekend to spend some time in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Be praying for us. I’m hoping it’s a great weekend away, and somewhat clarifying for us as to where God might lead us in the future. I’ll try to keep you all updated.

In My Mind I’m Goin’ to Carolina…

Carrie and I are off to the booming metropolis of Pittsboro, NC this weekend to visit our friends the Howards. Being at their house is like hanging out with the southern Seinfeld. We’ll try to keep you posted as we go.

Great Christian Album

In the “Jesus is My Friend” line of blog posts, thanks to Nate for this endearing Christian album cover.