29 January 2007

Wonderful discussion in the previous post...

We the congregant tend to rely on leaders yet refuse to let them lead us sometimes. We put many on a pedestal and when we find out they are human we crucify them and revel in their bleeding. Of course this is nothing new. We love to make them superstars and then become riveted to the television to watch the police chase their white Ford Bronco and the ensuing courtroom drama. We knife them in the Market place... "Et tu, Brute?"

I had a great pastor, who taught always with the view of developing people to lead others and self. He provided a safe place to worship that wasn't too encumbered by technology but would take advantage of modern marvels. Many times the power would go out and we would continue to worship, many with eyes closed and arms lifted high. Acoustic guitars quieted but not silenced, would continue to lead us. Much of the service was about worship - instruction, music, conversations, all directed us to the Great Throne of the King.

Senior pastor was incredible, yet so were the associates. All bringing us to the Throne through a different hallway... but we always arrived.

This attracted people who were very involved in creating and managing ministries throughout Fresno. Incredible ministries started. The institution didn't start the program, the Body of Christ did. Home groups started up out of ministry not program. People came because they knew they would be fed, challenged, and encouraged to go out and ministered. We could do that because we had entered the Throne Room of the Great King and were empowered to do the work of the Kingdom.

I learned a lot...

28 January 2007


What would happen if all of the christian leaders had to step down for a year because of financial, spiritual, moral, or intellectual infidelity or something like that? In what condition would the congregations be? Are we equipping the Body to effectively follow Christ?

Or what would happen to a Sunday worship if electrical power was shut off every Sunday for a year or more? What would drive our worship and what would it look like?

Just some thoughts...

27 January 2007

Just so that we don't leave out C.S. and Kirk...

Again, I am not saying we should do without seminaries any more than we should do without camps and conferences.
I am not saying we should do without good theology.
I am not saying we should do without ivory towers where one removes themselves from the common man.
I am not saying we should do without good intellectual understanding of the Word of God.
I am not even saying we should do without Kirk Cameron and his banana.

Are we doing the will of God or are we just perpetuating a system of man? Has the institution isolated itself intellectually, socially, emotionally, economically, and spiritually from the guy who is wanting to be saved now?

Basically, fundamentally, rhythmically that is my question. And will be until I die or go to work for Hot Dog On A Stick.

26 January 2007

Time with Jamie...

Check out my friend Jamie's post.
I love that woman...

Just another thought...

I was having a conversation with someone who was saying that the church needs to be more relevant to the culture. Shouldn't we be more relevant to the Spirit? Culture doesn't need a christian fusion to flavor it. In fact, that has been the problems since the first basilica.

I don't think we need apologetics for the church, we need disciplemakers of Christ.

If we are following JESUS, we will walk in the Way, Truth, and Life.

We spend a lot of time defining and battling what should be in a "worship" service, while many outside the doors don't know the love that Jesus offers them.

There is a huge difference between institutional survival and survival of the Kingdom. The gates of hell will not prevail against the Kingdom, but as the UK has demonstrated, the church can "lose it flavor on the bedpost overnight."

25 January 2007


I have been praying and thinking a bit about our time together last week. I am deeply concerned if I have given the impression to you or anyone else that I think we can do without anyone of the Kingdom. I would hate to think that I communicated to you that I think the Kingdom should alienate anyone who has a different role or opinion than I have. I would hate to be thought of as bigoted, intolerant or narrow-minded to people of difference. Boy, I don't think there is a single, narrow way that should alienate anyone from the Love of God. I appreciate your call to me to be more broad minded and accept those who's role it is to be on committees and provide for me and my family to work for an organization like I do. I do truly respect those open-minded people who's gift it is to monitor and keep others in line so as to not have things get out of control and order.

The Kingdom is big and for those of us who tend to be a bit spontaneous and rebellious having some of these people around has really been a hidden blessing to keep the Kingdom in its proper place...

20 January 2007

Interesting quote...

The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution
of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?
~Dorothy Day

As found on Shalene's email...

19 January 2007

To answer you...

I think there was an incredible thing taking place after Christ ascended. The work, the love, the movement began. They waited and they were empowered to do the work of the Kingdom. Make disciples. Let the disciplines of Christ be yours. Empowered to do that which He is doing (my mantra). Deacons were selected to meet the needs of the people while the disciples tried to teach a new idea to people as well as create the framework to do the work of the Kingdom. Committees began. Stories remembered, events explained to those who were not witnesses. Disciple making by stories, structures, remembering, waiting, etc.

Can that take place is a large arena? Something takes place in a large arena, I am just not sure what does. I surely believe that large things don't necessarily cause deep things. Intimacy happens at the dinner table, in the bedroom, on a bench, in a car ride to Colorado with friends, not in a auditorium. Mass communication can take place in large buildings, but not intimacy. Still small voice type stuff.

Small groups can be intimate and I hear of many which are. Life changing, words given in love, vocations defined. Just because a program has small groups doesn't mean that intimacy will happen. It is the disciple deciding to be vulnerable and trustworthy. Personal choice and commitment.

House churches are better than large auditorium churches for many things that tend towards the relational. Egos don't develop as much in small groups, they are usually held in check by those who are familiar. That is good. Large groups don't ask for much except show up, line up, and don't disrupt. I am not sure what needs are met in large groups. 5000 people can get fed but do they know the story of the one who gave his lunch?

In large churches, resources are great to do greater projects. People with needs may be able to find a program in a larger church. But is it a good use of the property, facilities, and resources it takes to maintain it? How much of a budget is just to maintain the large facility?

Don't read into this that I am against anything here. I am just asking questions...

An open invitation...

A few years ago, August of 2003, Rudy Carrasco* and I were eating a couple of Forks Burgers on Bass Lake and he told me about blogs. He said it with his mouth full of the incredible cheeseburger, with the special sauce running down his chin, "Blog." He repeated. He told me what it stood for and what one did on it and by 2:30pm that afternoon he had me up and running.

That afternoon I wrote my first thoughts. That was significant for me. I was told during my entire educational process that I was dumb and would never amount to anything. I saw my work "published" and kept. I have a record of my thoughts. I can't journal because my disability kicks in with a pencil or pen. But with a keyboard for some reason I don't experience the same thing.

I am calling for a revolution, a transformation of the heart and spirit, which aligns with Christ's. Not a cultural shift or fusion, a revolution of the Kingdom Come. Not a political stance of defiance but a loving embrace of the King.

I am not trying to publish hate or discord. But I am trying to keep a record of my thoughts and plans that also have a public view-ability. It also comes, as Lauren Sage* was telling me yesterday in an interview, with the prerogative of free will. I appreciate people who read it and respond. I do. I am not afraid to air my opinions in the public fearing that the "committee" will take away my food and roof. I hope people will respond with love and inquiry, and as Timbo first did, with creativity, but also grace.

You are invited to participate or not. But please allow me to...

(* please excuse the blatant name dropping!)

18 January 2007

An open letter...

Feet and Farmer,
You crack me up because many people are writing their thoughts and you continue to hide behind nom de plumes which hide you from the heart as well as the eyes of the conversation. It is easy to give our opinion, it is harder to own it, walk with it, and be responsible for it. We can argue and still be friends.

I said that my position is ass, not my name. You used it as a weapon, I used it as a feather. Shame on you.

My blog is, and I quote, "This is an insignificant blog from a middle-aged man's perspective." I don't believe it to be global, only from my little perspective. I have never thought of myself as anything more than having a small part in the cosmos, you give me too much authority. I am a program director for a small camp outside of Yosemite, not the Pope. I don't pretend to be anything great but a husband, a father, a program director and a lover of friends and food. I am the first to point out my problems (after my wife and kids... and maybe a few coordinators from last year)

If you want to have a conversation, take off the mask, wear comfortable shoes, and pour yourself a pop and let's talk. You are so invited. But no more hiding. It is safe. Love is greater than opinion, even if you didn't bring any, we will share. There is plenty of room at this table.


17 January 2007

Out of nowhere the Feet come...

In the previous post's comments, The Feet made a comment that I would like to address. (To see the entire comment click here.)

"Dear Head, ...you are in effect saying that your work and the perspective you offer are more important than the other members of the body of Christ..."

Dear Feet,

I think you are wrong on two counts. First, I am not the Head. If you have read your Scriptures you would know that it is Christ who is the head. I do appreciate the acknowledgment but just because I am round and above you doesn't make me the head. I am nothing more than the ass. And, second, I do not think myself as more important nor am I saying that we can do without the institution, I am just concerned that the institution is doing without the Head in some of its decisions and time. I am just getting rid of some of the crap that has been coming my way a lot lately. It might just be gas.

I am really trying to fill space. It is, don't cha know, my blog.

p.s. And Bill, the committee making decision about chairs? It does sound a lot like the church I read about in Acts.

16 January 2007

Managing the Kingdom...

A friend of mine is an elder at her church. She was telling me that she was working on a new policy for who uses the church building and how much they should charge people for its use and the personnel. I asked her if she writes many policies for things like that? She said that she has been in many committees and discussions on new policies her first year. I asked how many committees or discussions she has been on where they talked about releasing people to do ministry? She said none.


12 January 2007

What if dog was one of us...

Today we said goodbye to our dog, Sierra. She was one of us. Always greeting us with a smile, a real smile. She was happy to see us and be with us. She was happy to see the meter reader, the pest control guy, the UPS drivers,... everyone. Lately, she hasn't been smiling as much. She was 13 years old (human years).

She was my wife, Christel's "arrow" (from a Harry Nilsson song in the 70s, "Me and My Arrow") and walking companion. I guess I am going to have to become that for her.

We got her as a puppy in October 1993 on Halloween and we brought her up to camp that following summer. She was about a year old, that first summer, and a bunch of us were out, late at night, laying on our backs, watching the meteor showers in late August, after a great night when many accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. At the end of watching the stars and laughing, we all got up and one of the guys hopped in his pickup, turned it on and immediately took off. No one knew Sierra was asleep under the truck and when the young man started up and quickly drove off, he didn't give Sierra enough time to wake up and get out from under the tires. He ran over her back leg, breaking it in several pieces. Sierra ran off, yelping, so fast, that we didn't see where she went. We all went off to find her.

When we did find her she was limping badly and her leg just hanging behind her. I wrapped her up and took her to our Coarsegold home to sleep. In the morning I took her to the veterinarian in town, where he took x-rays and showed me how messed up she was. He told us it would cost a couple of thousand to mend her and he doesn't accept insurance or payments. He also said it would cost $35 to put her down. We didn't have the money but I didn't want that night to end in death. He would keep her for a few days to put in pins and rods and monitor her and would need payment for that work when I picked her up. When I came to pick her up, I didn't have the money in full, he then said that I could pay it off by the end of the month. We borrowed some from my parents the rest we just kind of did without for the month.

It was worth the investment. Sierra was a great dog. A bit of a bear hunter (more of a bear barker than a hunter, I guess). We will miss her...

09 January 2007

Great stories...

I had lunch today with Dan K. and he directed me to a great story written by a Calvin Crest Staffer from the early 90's, Jenny.

This is the best story of redemption I have read in a long time. To read it click here. Hat tip to Bill E.

Another great writer is Leisel. To read her blog click here.

Oh Boy...

Apple introduces the new iPhone. Very expensive but very innovative. And it looks great.

More than a resolution...

This past year has taught me a lot about my position. It is easy to make people mad, but harder to give them something that benefits their lives. That takes work, thought, prayer, discernment, and understanding... time. It is easy to tell people what to do, it is harder to show them how to do it and be patient with them until they are proficient at it. Pretty easy to touch people's funny bone and make they laugh, much harder to get into their heart and soul and give them something to consider and ruminate.

I tend to react, quick conversations that deal with the issue, but not the heart. Fix it, not change it. Look, not see.

I also take too much responsibility for the issues that really aren't mine. People have to start speaking up, instead of speaking behind the back. It is in the speaking up and taking responsibility that people become great. I don't want to bury my head in the sand, but I can't fight battles that aren't mine. Until they are mine, I seem like someone with a chip on my shoulder.

I am excited about some new ideas and tactics. One is loving people enough to confront the behavior, listen to the heart, and walking with them as they desire to change. If they don't want to change... it is not my rock.

04 January 2007

I am on the road again...

I know I say this every year, but I love traveling and interviewing people who have applied to serve together this summer at Calvin Crest. (Even though last year was tough.) I have made some decisions as to how I do this and am listening for why I do this and I think this is what I will continue to do. There were some conversations that I was in at the beginning of the week that confirm why I do this. I love listening why people want to serve God with us. Some are wanting to give back for that which was given to them. Some want to emulate the impact a person on staff had on them. Some want to work at a place that is as beautiful as Calvin Crest or be a part of a Christian community. There are some who think it would be cool (they usually don't get hired).

But my favorite is when someone said, "I am looking into a relationship with Jesus Christ and I heard that I would find Him at Calvin Crest."

I sure do bug some people though...