Archive for the ‘Lifechange’ Category

As fully devoted followers of Christ we are mandated by Christ Himself to go and share the good news of salvation through Him alone with the lost. Sadly though, many countries are actually closing their doors to missionaries on the ground, even though statistics show more than two-million people search daily for spiritual matters online. I believe that makes Social Media and online church campuses a great way to reach those people in those countries, because they’re out there searching.
What type(s) of online tools/sites have you used to engage those in the world that are hurting, broken, hopeless, and lost? Share a story of that interaction if you you’d like. 

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My sign would read

Front side:  Wounded, broken, and bleeding out into the grey of lifless existance.

Back side: Proud to show the scars in my life as proof to the healing life found only in Christ.

What would YOUR sign say?

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I got permission from one of the best bloggers that I know to share one of his recent blog post. All credit for this post goes to http://thewayitcouldbe.com and Chad Missildine. Post found at 25 Ways to Become a Christian Atheist.

The Christian Atheist: Someone who believes in God, but lives as though He doesn’t exist.  Someone who has gone to church for years but realizes their relationship with God has done nothing to change how they lived. Here is a link to Craig Groeschel’s blog with info on the book and how you can pre-order his new book The Christian Atheist.

I was a Christian Atheist for many years and had a blast (for awhile)! I picked up the below tips from personal experience and by watching others.  Live your life incorporating as much of the below as possible and you can become a Christian Atheist:

1. Don’t submit yourself to any form of accountability in a local church. Just set your own rules and whenever you don’t like something, just change churches….again.

2. Don’t ever open your life up to others. Instead live in a bubble and make sure all your relationships are surface level.

3. Go to church every time the doors are open. Listen really closely to the message, and then don’t think about it once you leave.

4. Blame the “church” for your lack of spiritual growth and don’t take personal responsibility for you or your family.

5. Make your kids go to church all the time, but don’t ever show them any evidence of your faith at home. This is a great way to create other Christian Atheists.

6. Don’t ever talk to anyone about your faith. Make it all an intellectual pursuit in your own brain, in your own world.

7. Be as divisive as possible with other Christians. Make unchurched people thankful that they have nothing to do with you and your arguements.

8. Be rude to waiters, kids, and poor people. Kick dogs too while you’re at it.

9. Be hateful all the time to certain groups of people.

10. Wear a cross around your neck while you defile God publicly with your body in public.

11. Make your kids your god and don’t ever serve any one outside your family.

12. Don’t serve anyone ever. Instead fill your schedules every night of the week with as many activities as you can.

13. Don’t ever pray. Hearing what God would have you do is way over-rated!

14. Don’t ever seek out truthful feedback from others about what they see in you.

15. Worship your money and your success. It’s all about you.

16. Judge people frequently and be thankful you are better than they are.

17. Say Christian things all the time like “brother” or “praying for you,” then never do what you say you are doing.

18. Have an emotional affair with your spouse and don’t ever tell anyone about it.

19. Blame the church for your kids’ lack of spiritual growth. Don’t ever take personal responsibility.

20. Put “Christian” on your Facebook or Twitter profile, then blend in with the rest of the world with what you post.

21. Don’t ever forgive your self or seek forgiveness. Instead, just try to be a good, moral person without God in your life.

22. Don’t ever listen to other people.  Talk about yourself during the whole conversation. This will give them hints that you don’t care about anyone but yourself.

23. Don’t ever engage with the Scriptures. Allow your mind to become numb to the things of God.

24. Place your popularly above your desire to be obedient.

25. Read about becoming a Christian Atheist from TheWayItCouldBe.com, then continuing to live out many of the above items.

What other ways can one become a Christian Atheist? Please share!

Chad, Thank you for this thought provoking, gut wrenching, heart transforming, insight, into “the cultural church.”

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This time of year always get’s me thinking about names and what goes into the naming process. Websters dictionary describes the word name to be a description, a word given to describe someone or something. When someone says I went to Yosemite, you understand where it is, the majesty there. If someone says I went to the Grand Canyon, you get a visual of its grandeur. When some one says I have seen the king, you don’t get a proper picture of whom he may be, because the word king is more of a title then a name. In Isaiah 9:6 the child to be born unto us, the Lord Jesus Christ, will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Many people say these are titles, I will argue that these are names. Take Prince of Peace, He is called The Prince of Peace, the Sar Shalom, not a peaceful prince. It is His name not just a title, He is not a mere peace maker, but The Prince over Peace.

Most of my readers have a personal relationship with God through Jesus, but some do not. I welcome them both, my question is why are you a follower of Christ vs one who rejects Him, why are you a fully devoted follower vs one who rejects Jesus. Who is this child who grew up fully Jewish, who is this child who at 12 was a teacher to many adults, who is this man who was called rabbi, teacher, Lord. Who is this man who is called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. We have all these names for who Jesus is, who God is. The question is what is the name you have given Him, what do you call Him, to describe who He is to you. Whats in a name….majesty, soaring mountains, majestic cliffs, waterfalls, like at Yosemite. Or a gaping hole, an inspiring canyon, that you find at the grand canyon. I’m not looking for titles, I am looking for who God is to you. When I think of God I think of Abba, yes its a title but also a name, Daddy. When I think of God I think of Adonai, Master, to whom I am a slave, not a harsh master but a loving, caring, compassionate Master who gives instructions for living, as a blessing not as a burden. So who’s God to you, what name do you call him, be it good or not? For the One who was and is and is to come, why does the name you give him mean so much to you?

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Ever been rudely woken up out of a hard sleep? Yeah, me too – this morning in fact. Woken up by the yelling of “How big is your god…how big is your God!” My eyes pop open and I’m ready to go psycho Billy ninja on someone for waking me up before the alarm clock when I realize that it wasn’t from around me, but from inside me. As I sat up in bed, my mind beginning to clear from the fog of sleep, it became clear that, not only was it God that asked the question of me, but that He was waiting for an answer.

Admittedly my mind is spinning with a hundred answers to and thoughts about His question to me, and each one ending in a simple one word question of my own. Really? Each answer and thought forcing me to examine my own heart. Each question of “really?” forcing me to dig into places that, to be honest, I’d rather not go. Nevertheless, I’m begging God for the same thing David begged God for in Psalm 51.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
Let me never bow to any other but You God. Search me Lord and open my eyes to those things deep inside myself that displeases You. Exchange all of You for all of me God. In Jesus name I ask, amen.

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I know it’s been a while since I last wrote here on my blog, and for that I apologize. So much has been going on in my life and the life of my family over the past few weeks that I honestly haven’t been in the frame of mind to post. I have so much to share with everyone and simply don’t know how or how much.
That said though, I just couldn’t pass up posting on this day of Thanksgiving. There has been so much in my life and the life of my family that I can say I’ve been thankful for over this past year, but in light of rather recent events I have to say that I have found a heartfelt thankfulness for things that for too long I took for granted.  Here’s just a few of the things I’m thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day.
I’m thankful for the job I have and that we didn’t go out on strike. Thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to build relationships with many that I’ve worked with over these past eighteen years.
I’m thankful for my wife and children. Thankful for their love for others as well as for each other.
I’m thankful for my friends, both those face to face as well as those forged online. Thankful that the walls of separation by distance have been breached in so many ways to allow the true bonding that it takes for real friendships to be built and sustained.
Most of all, I’m eternally thankful for the greatest gift the human race has ever known, the gift of salvation by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ Jesus. Thankful that a life like mine, a life that was bound by the chains of sin and rebellion against God could matter so much to Him that He would Love me even then and make a way for the gap between His Holiness and my sinfulness to be bridged so that I could enter into relationship with Him.
These are just a very few of the things I find myself thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day, 2009.
I’d love to hear what your thankful for. Please share at least one thing that you feel thanks for today.

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Person, Place, or Thing.
This past week I had two separate conversations about this thing called church. One with a coworker here in Arizona. The other with a friend who lives in the Middle East. The conversation with my coworker was about church, him possibly attending and what church is. This coworker stated “There are so many ones to choose from and they’re all different, how can you know it’s the right one? That the one you attend is teaching the right thing?”
It got me thinking about the church I partner with as well as my co-worker and so many others. We are in a Western Culture with a Western Mindset, where the church is a place we go, place we spend an hour a week, a place where you just check your God box and then go about your business. For us in the West, the church has become a building, a denomination, ours verses yours. First Baptist, Presbyterian, Phoenix First Assembly, Healing Place, LifeChurch.TV, even NewSpring Church. Is that all church is? A Place?
In talking with my friend in the Middle East I got a different perspective. We discussed ‘church’ and in his perspective we are heroes. He was brought up where church isn’t a place but a thing. A place where church isn’t welcomed with opened arms. It’s not that they don’t congregate in one place, it’s that people in his country view church as a thing, a movement that sprouted from the West. Where its soul purpose is to dominate and reign. A movement that attempts to infiltrate government. A movement that attempts to cause division within families by setting one family member against another. It’s a mindset of church being a movement that causes so many to reject it’s principles. Personally, when I read scripture, and I read about what church is intended to be I don’t see it as a place, its not described that way, nor as a movement, its not described that way either.
I see church as a people. In fact when you see church in scripture, the Greek word used is Ecclesia, it simply means called out ones, not called into, not called for. But simply called out. See, the scriptures say the church is a people that sometimes congregate together for fellowship, to lift each other up as a community of believers, a people that can create change in government, in family, but not by their own movement, but by the spirit of God. To live as a fully devoted follower of Christ.
I submit to you that the church wasn’t created for us, but as followers of Jesus we are the church created for the world, not as a place, not as a thing, but as a people. A people that doesn’t seek their own agenda, but instead the agenda of God. His purpose, His will, His passion, His desire. I believe the church according to scripture is depicted as the bride of Christ.
Now if the church was simply a place then admittingly it would seem as if she were riddled with bipolar multiple personality disorder schizophrenia. Is that the bride that the very son of God is looking to wed?
Now if the church is simply a movement then would Jesus be wanting a bride that shifts her option at her whim, as she sees fit, no matter others perspective, feelings or thoughts. Would He want a runaway bride? Would you?
Now if the church were a people that came together with one mind, in one accord, fully devoted to Christ in passionate Love, with nothing around them but Him. A people that not only believed, but knew that He knows them intimately, all their past, all their present, their passion, their desire, their hopes and hurts. That He knows how many times they have fallen short and how many times He has forgiven them completely. A people set apart to be His Ecclesia, to be the bride of Christ.
So for me the church…. Person? Place? Thing?
YES! A people called out, set apart that at times come together in a place whether that place be called LifeChurch East Valley, Chase Field, or Phoenix International Raceway. A people called out, for a movement, not of their own design nor desire, but one initiated and motivated by God, for God, through God. To create the radiant Bride of Christ.
Person, Place, or Thing. Share your thoughts. You have mine.

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