"When you begin to think outside the box, you often become some other "leaders" lousy follower. That usually costs something" (Andy Rayner)

"Our guardian angels are bored." (Mike Foster)

It's where I feel I'm at these days. “In the second half of life, it is good just to be a part of the general dance. We do not have to stand out, make defining moves, or be better than anyone else on the dance floor. Life is more participatory than assertive, and there is no need for strong or further self-definition” (Falling Upward. Richard Rohr.120).

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Reformers Missed Gods True Household

"However, as important as the Reformation was in restoring some 1st Century doctrines, it was largely ineffective at restoring 1st Century structures and practices."
(John White.  What Calvin and Luther didn’t know AUGUST 26, 2015)

Speaking about  the Greek "OIKOS"..... and it's central role to spiritual life, activity, gathering, and mission in the first centuries of the church.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Trying To Givile Away Tickets To A Place We Have Never Been

He nailed it with the last line.

"We are living in a time where discipleship is having a resurgence. 

Regrettably, however, many of the people who are teaching on discipleship today are ignorant of the discipleship movement that swept through North America in the mid 1970's.  Consequently, many of the mistakes that were being made in that movement are being repeated today.
And i am going to make a statement that i hope you will remember.  Countless Christians today are trying to give away tickets to a place they have never been."    

(Frank Viola)

Yep.... The issue is not lack of training, programming, classes, nor strategy; it's connection, a tangible connection with the divine many have never experienced. A connection they wish to, hope to, desire to after 5, 10, 20, 30 years of religion, but admit they have no clue where to begin..and feel powerless to help others get there....

Monday, August 24, 2015

Nobody Ever Taught Me How.....

"I know we're all going to die. I know that. But I'm going to die today, funny that, you know, to know. But the thing is  that I'm still  scared. I'm really scared. Nobody will mourn for me, no one will pray for my soul.
Will you mourn for me?
Will you say a prayer for me?
Or is it too late?
I mean, I would say one for myself but I never prayed in my life. Nobody ever taught me how. Nobody ever taught me how."

(Sandra Bullock. In Gravity)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

You Dont Even Know Your Own Truth

" I think if we were given the Scriptures it was not so that we could prove we were right about everything. If we were given the Scriptures it was too humble us into realizing that God is right and the rest of us are just guessing."

(Rick Mullins)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Ending Of Life

"Now it is like this: Keita is riddled with cancer. His spine looks like an Emmenthal cheese there are so many holes and there are tumours growing everywhere. His blood count of white blood cells or plasma cells are mass producing at an increasing rate, taking over and leaving no space for red blood cells which means he is totally anemic and has to be given  blood transfusions. But he is not bed ridden, he is walking around , talking and laughing and apart from being tired and from having bad pains in his back at night the cancer has not yet caused any major damage to his body’s function.
We went to the hospital in Bamako which has treated him since the beginning, and rather than coming up with a plan he was prescribed morphine. We know what that means of course: after morphine there is nothing. It seemed to us that he was being written off. As we were leaving the hospital a couple of orderlies were crossing the road before our car carrying a stretcher with a body wrapped up in a brightly coloured piece of cloth on their way to the morgue. ‘That will be me soon’ said Keita, and however much I tried to shake it off, we  both felt the deep chill of Destiny’s Angel passing over us…"
(Sophie. Djenne Djenno Blog)

Friday, August 21, 2015

When Making Money Costs You Too Much

An Interesting Conversation Between A Harvard Graduate And An Ordinary Fisherman
This is an interesting story about a conversation between a businessman who did MBA from Harvard and a fisherman from the local village. An American businessman was enjoying his holidays in a seaside village as he saw a very tiny boat coming. In that boat was a fisherman who was just coming back from his usual fishing. The fisherman was Mexican, he had caught a few big yellowfin tuna and he stopped at the dock. The businessman was watching him and as the fisherman came closer, he praised the fisherman for catching those quality tuna.The businessman asked him as to how long did it take him to catch them. He replied that it took him just a couple of hours. The businessman then again asked him a question, he asked him that why he didn’t spend more time there. He could have caught more fishes. The young man told him that it was enough for him and his family. He could take care of his family’s needs with the amount of fishes he had caught.
The man got a bit curious and asked the fisherman, how he spends his other time. He told him that he likes to sleep late, watch TV, spend time with his family, take his wife out, sometimes go out in the village and spend time with friends playing guitar and singing songs.
The man advised the fisherman telling him that he was a Harvard graduate and he could help him gain more profit. He told him to spend more time fishing, doing that he can catch more fish, he can earn more money which will eventually allow him to buy a bigger boat, and then maybe two and more and he can increase his business. He can make more money and start his own business.
The fisherman asked how much time will this all take, the man said maybe 15 to 20 years. The fisherman said “then what”. The man smiled and said that then you can enjoy your retirement, the money you’ve made, maybe sleep late, watch TV, spend time with your wife and children, hang out with friends in the village and play guitar.
The moral is that one should follow what really matters to him or her. You never know when you’re going after that money and all, what you really want to accomplish might already be in your hands.

What you pursue.... and pursues you....

"A friend, his wisdom anchored in his family’s exile from Uganda, offered advice in a noisy pub just before I departed:  “For each of us there are two destinies.”
I swallowed the remnants of my beer while his mug remained full; I listened.  “One is the destiny you pursue,” said Abdullah, finally taking a drink. “The other is the destiny that pursues you.”

( To Timbuktu For a Haircut. Rick Antonson )

Eating Dog Food

Are we human?

"Kathie Lee noted that Frank was born during the heart of the Great Depression and grew up in severe poverty, sometimes eating dog food as a child and "grateful to have it." He lived in 29 places as a child as his father moved around looking for work."

About her Late Husband... august 2015

The DONES are not DONE

The usual labels we assign don't apply... though insiders are convinced they do.... i have found the most vibrant I've met are on the edges... not at the center.

"The Dones are done doing things they find to be unconnected with God. Even though a stated message of the church is to be active in the community, and Jesus commanded his followers to care for the poor, the sick, and the hungry, the dechurched have experienced church as an organization that cares primarily for itself and its own members. When the dechurched leave, they take their commitment to others and to living the life they think God wants them to live. The idea that Christianity is a way of living that infuses all aspects of life is deeply appealing to the dechurched. They see their faith as the opposite of an overly individualized and self-obsessed world. They view Christianity as an antidote to a disconnected, individualized existence. When they leave the church, they take a commitment to others with them and put that commitment directly into practice."

(Church Refugees : Sociologists reveal why people are DONE with Church But Not Their Faith. Josh Packard Phd )

When Church asks for the Wrong Things

NAILED IT.....

"Finally, when the dechurched leave, they take the need to remain active with them. We began this research fully expecting to find that people were leaving the church because the church was asking them to do too much. We expected to find a lot of overworked, stressed-out people opting out of leadership responsibilities so they could take a break. This could not be further from the truth. The dechurched are, as a general rule, leaving to do more, not less. The church isn’t asking too much of people; it’s asking the wrong things of them."
( Church Refugees : Sociologists reveal why people are DONE with Church But Not Their Faith. Josh Packard Phd )

Community

"Elizabeth made this distinction clear when she said, “There are a lot of us out here who really aren’t walking away from Christianity or from Jesus. We’re walking away from the system.” And when a belief in God is the only thing they have to depend on for spiritual survival, that faith becomes a core part of who they are while organizational structures, hierarchy, and dogma tend to fall away. Those things are simply not seen as worth carrying with them on their journey...
They deeply desire to be part of a community. They find or create these communities wherever they are with whoever is around them."

( Church Refugees : Sociologists reveal why people are DONE with Church But Not Their Faith. Josh Packard Phd )

Scared

"Everybody gets scared sometimes, May Belle. You don't have to be ashamed."

(Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia)

Hungry

"I will put up with any mockery rather than pretend that I am satisfied when I am hungry."

(Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground)

Cry Your Tears

"Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before--more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle."

(Charles Dickens, Great Expectations)

Time To Stop Looking At Your Watch


"Another gift was a pocket watch that clamped shut to keep out the sand. I have not worn a watch for thirty years, having once been late and missed a departing airplane that crashed. Time seemed to move along fine without having me watch it."

(To Timbuktu For a Haircut. Rick Antonson)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Pick a Stone.... And Throw It Hard For Jesus....

There, their friend took them down to a stream. It’s said to be the same stream that the historical king, David, went down to and picked up five stones from as he prepared to take on a seemingly impossible task: the giant Goliath.
“The miracle wasn’t that the shepherd boy was able to kill the giant,” she explained. “The miracle was that the shepherd boy, who had all the skills he would ever need in life, trusted in a living God. Not a religion, but a living God.”
Frank grabbed a stone.
That moment left a lasting impression on him. In fact, it changed him so much that when people came over to his house he wouldn’t take them to his Hall of Fame bust or his Emmy awards, but rather the small stone he plucked out of the stream.
That started a tradition in the family. The couple’s kids, Cassidy and Cody, both got stones when they graduated high school and college shortly after.
“And we said to her, ‘Cass, where you going to throw your stone for the kingdom of God? What is your stone and where are you going to throw it?’ A week later, Cody graduated from college … he got a stone.”
She had a challenge.
“If you ever leave a legacy for your children, let it be that you’ve taught them friendship with God, and that you’ve taught them to find their stone. And show it, show it. Throw it hard and well and transform this hurting world that needs God’s love so much.”

(Kathie Lee Gifford.About HEr Husband Frank Who Died. Her story on air on August 18th, 2015)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Intriguingly Church

"I discovered that I could have a more fruitful connection with people and share Jesus’ life more freely without all the accoutrements, political intrigue, and routine that our institutions force on fellowship...

Unfortunately, however, an entire industry has emerged in trying to make them just another system. Sometimes called house church, simple church, or organic church...

I’ve been in home groups that had more hoops to jump through than many congregations...

The problem is not the venue; it is our preoccupation with anything other than him...

My counsel is always the same : Avoid starting something. Once you start some “thing” your focus will shift from connecting with people to ensuring that the “thing” goes well."

(Finding Church. Wayne Jacobsen)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Language Is A Flash Of The Human Spirit

"When each of you were born there where 6000 languages spoken on the planet. A language is not just a body of vocabulary or a set of grammatical rules. A language is a flash of the human spirit. It's a vehicle through which the soul of each particular culture comes into the material world.
Every language is an old growth forest of the mind, a watershed of thought, and ecosystem of spiritual possibilities... today... fully half are no longer whispered into the ears of children, they're no longer being taught to babies." 

(Wade Davis: Dreams From Endangered Cultures. TED Talk)Rob Baker

Friday, July 24, 2015

A Museum Of Memories In My Soul

"The most important question is not, do I remember my memory accurately? .... The most important thing.... is to ask these questions:

Why have I chronicle these particular memories?
Why have I remembered them the way I have remembered?
How do they help me live and believe as I do?

This is the process of narrative spiritual formation. I have built a museum of memories in my soul."

(Tony Kriz. Aloof)

Human Story

"Storytelling is an important spiritual practice. It may even be essential to the way we humans have been designed.

You see, our stories are precious things. They are the foundation of our beliefs. They are the fuel of our hope. My soul has forgotten most of my stories. They have long ago drifted away into the fog. However, there are a precious few that my soul vigorously holds on to."

(Tony Kriz. Aloof)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Monday, July 6, 2015

When Our New Thing Becomes The Old Thing

"As institutions age they tend to harden into intransigent systems and displace the simplicity of life in Christ for their own needs. Our two-thousand-year-old experiment proves that whenever we convey the life of the Spirit to an institutional arrangement, the institution wins—not always quickly, but eventually.

While I’m grateful for the good they have accomplished they don’t seem to be able to sustain a community of love nor display an accurate reflection of God’s character.

How many congregations, mission groups, and Bible studies began as a small group of people in a home burned out on the rigidity of their previous group, hopeful for a better reflection of his life and love? Soon they grow into the very organization they had fled with the hope that this time all will go well because they have better people in charge. What they don’t realize is that organizational needs shape its leaders, not the other way around. Many start out well intentioned, hoping to reform the institution and bring it back in line with the priorities of Jesus. That effort is usually short-lived as the needs of the institution to protect the influence and resources of the group require greater control in the hands of fewer people. The simplicity of loving one another will eventually get swallowed up in the process no matter how hard we try to resist. In the end, our institutions end up just like everyone else’s."

( Finding Church. Wayne Jacobsen )

Wouldn't One Religion Be Different?

"During my first trip to Israel, I was a little put off by some of the people on our pastor’s tour who were trying to convert our Jewish guide, Abraham. They kept making snide asides to him as to why he wouldn’t accept Jesus as the Messiah. On the last day we stood by the bus as we were waiting for others to bring their bags from the hotel. I asked him if he had been offended by some of the things said to him on this trip. He passed it off with a wave. “Not at all,”he answered. “I’ve been doing this for twenty years. Everyone tries to convert me to their religion—Catholics, Pentecostals, Baptists, Reformed Jews, Orthodox Jews, Mormons, Muslims—everyone.”Then he looked up at me with a smile. “Would you like to know why none of them convince me?”“I would!”I replied. “Come with me,”he said as he led me around the front of the bus and onto the edge of the road. “Do you see that building down there with the Star of David on it?”“Yes.”“That’s ours.”“Do you see that steeple with the cross on it across the way?”I nodded. “That’s yours.”And then he pointed me toward the dome of a mosque on a hillside not far away. I nodded. “That’s theirs.”I smiled trying to imagine what he’d say next. “Take off the Star of David, the cross, and the dome, and underneath aren’t they really all the same thing? You would think if one of us were serving the Living God, it would look different.”He was right. Christianity doesn’t look any different from the outside."
(Finding Church. Wayne Jacobsen )

Monday, June 29, 2015

Unlearning.... More Than Learning

"Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything. Maybe it's about un-becoming everything that isn't really you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place."

Good Hearted People Or Leadership?

"I trust good-hearted people listening to Jesus more than I trust any hierarchy whose perspective is so easily skewed by the needs of their institution orthe realities that let them hold on to power. The historic heresies have not arisen from simple people following Jesus, but from someone trying to gain a large following."
- Wayne Jacobsen

Suffering Beautiful People.......

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."
(Elisabeth Kubler—Ross)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

It's My Journey.

"I think it's my adventure, my trip, my journey, and I guess my attitude is, let the chips fall where they may." (Leonard Nimoy)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Poverty is like..........

"Living Poor is like being sentenced to exist in a stormy sea in a battered canoe, requiring all your strength simply to keep afloat; there is never any question of reaching a destination. True poverty is a state of perpetual crisis, and one wave just a little bigger or coming from an unexpected direction can and usually does wreck things."

( Moritz Thomsen. The Saddest Pleasure : A Journey On Two Rivers)

Burn Down The Old One

"l was frightened but exhilarated. I had been only four years in the country but I had seen enough to hate the government and its timidities and in-efficiencies, the corruption of the police, and the shameless way the people were raped by the ruling families. I hoped that it was finally happening, that the whole poisonous and feudal system that enslaved the country would come crashing down. I had always dimly felt that when the people of Ecuador would gather together to topple the ever-changing but identical regimes that kept them slaves, that the terror would begin among the wild free Negroes of the coast, those men of spontaneity, vengeance, and emotion. If in their ignorance and their passion they would be unable to construct a new and fairly decent social system, at least they were capable of burning down the old one."
( Moritz Thomsen. The Saddest Pleasure : A Journey On Two Rivers)

Loneliness

"I stand at the window feeling the real beginnings of loneliness, or rather, feeling the beginnings of a desperation that I had anticipated and come looking for.  (Moritz Thomsen. The Saddest Pleasure: A Journey On Two Rivers )

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

House Without A Planet

"What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" #Thoreau

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Trust..... Bust

"There is no respect between the souls of two individuals if their minds can’t trust each other and there is no trust between them if their hearts can’t accept the truth of each other."
Anuj Somany

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Free From Becoming A "Somebody"

"... what it would be like to be free, free from the need to be spectacular, free from my addiction to people's applause, free from the burden of being a somebody."

(Jim Palmer. Divine Nobodies : Shedding Religion To Find God - And the unlikely people who help you.)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Little Papacy Style Leadership

"During the last thirty-five years or so I have had the privilege of traveling to many countries and observing the church and it's leadership. As a result, it is my firm conviction that there is too much autocracy in the leaders of the Christian community, in defiance of the teachings of Jesus and his apostles, and not enough love and gentleness. Too many behave as if they believed not in the priesthood of all believers but in the papacy of all pastors." - John R. W. Stott

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Strangling Brennan Manning For This One.

When I get to heaven, I am going to find this man, and I am going to hug him in my sure fishermans grip, so hard, Brennan will beg God for My mercy.

"Recent studies have shown that the average congregation on a Sunday morning can tolerate only fifteen seconds of silence before someone feels compelled to break it with an announcement, a song, a prophecy, or whatever.

Ironically, the church itself often impedes our efforts to reach inward and upward toward God.

As Parker Palmer notes: "Too often the church is an enemy of our solitude. Too often the church is one more agent in the vast social conspiracy of togetherness and noise aimed at distracting us from encountering ourselves. The church keeps us busy on this cause or that, this committee or that, trying to provide meaning through motion until we get “burned out” instead and withdraw from the church’s life. Even in its core act of worship the church provides little space for the silent and solitary inward journey to occur (sometimes filling the available space with noisy exhortations to take that very journey!)."

When the glory of the transcendent God is not addressed, our focus shifts to human behavior, the cultivation of virtues and the extirpation of vices, the qualities of discipleship, and so on. Personal responsibility replaces personal response to God, and we become engrossed in our efforts to grow in holiness. Our primary concern becomes our spiritual, intellectual, and emotional well-being. When other Christians ask us if we are happy, we automatically respond in the affirmative or brush them off with a benevolent smile even if we are close to tears."

(Brennan Manning. Ruthless Trust )

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Bible Whisky

"Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)... There are just some kind of men who - who're so busy worrying about the next world they've never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results."

(Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Divided Because Of Our Shepherds.

"The reason we don't see one flock today is because we have hundreds of thousands of would-be shepherds leading people to follow their mission, vision, or program. Jesus said we'd be one flock when we have one shepherd. As long as we have thousands of men and women claiming to lead on his behalf and ensuring loyalty to themselves and their program, we will find ourselves in conflict with God's goal to bring all things together in him."

- Wayne Jacobsen

Why Speak of Brokenness In The Past Tense?

"The worst thing we do as a church is that we like to talk about our brokenness in the past tense."

- Jamie The Very Worst Missionary

Religious Obligation Enforcers

"The undercurrent to a life of obligation is the belief that God is not endearing, and life in him is not engaging. Until we see that the life of Jesus is the most engaging invitation we’ve ever been extended, we won’t find our way into its joy. Knowing him will make all he wants for us an
irresistible reality."

- Wayne Jacobsen

Churching The Church Right Out Of Me.

“I guess the church just sort of churched the church out of me.” (youth)

(Josh Packard. Church Refugees)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

O Divine Madman

"Fourteenth-century mystic Catherine of Siena is one of three women who have been honored by Catholic Christianity as Doctor of the Church, because of the depth of her writings on the spiritual life. She often began her prayers, “O Divine Madman.” When this brilliant, fiery Italian woman was asked to describe the God of her journey, she whispered, “He is pazzo d’amore, ebro d’amore”—he is crazed with love, drunk with love."

(Brennan Manning. Ruthless Trust)

As Big As You Will Ever Get!

"You won, this time. But you are as big as you are ever going to get. And I’m still growing."

– Sir Edmund Hillary (to a picture of Mt. Everest after his first unsuccessful summit attempt)

Painless Music

"One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain."
(Bob Marley)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Human Failure Is Only Sure Church Thing

"Human failure is the only sure thing that happens in church."
(Paul Russell)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Source...

"Much of my growth in the Christian faith has been provoked from places far outside the Christian church."
(Tony Kriz. Neighbors and Wisemen)

Friday, April 24, 2015

What The Sun Lights Up Willingly

But this: it is heaven itself to take what is given,
to see what is plain; what the sun lights up willingly;.."
(Poem: Daisies, by Mary Oliver)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

By Our Sweat Rather Than God's Provision

Second Agers are prone to get stuck on “by the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread,” (Gen 3:19) rather than “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory .” (Phil 4:19)

(Leonard Sweet. The Well Played Life)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wilderness Is A Fountain of Life.

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”

(John Muir)

Take Off Your Religious Work Boots

"When we get faith formidable, we take off our work boots and put on our dancing shoes . Then we begin to rock and roll the world."
(Leonard Sweet. The Well Played Life)

Rediscovered Jesus Springs

What is more foundational that all this talk about the church suffering from a lack  "leadership" and "vision".  Those are the easy things....

<blockquoye>"Those who desire holiness must learn and relearn to play with God. God-pleasing and Godplaying replace goal seeking and vision casting. Does your church life revolve around goals? Do you go through a vision-casting process every five years? Or do you seek to be quick to fall on your knees and spring fast on your feet to be the people of God in every walk of life? Participation in God’s nature is the true goal of human life"
(Leonard Sweet. The Well Played Life)
</blockquote>

Right or wrong, and not suggesting that making plans is evil, but for a long long time i have felt the real issue is not lack of vision, nor lack of leadership from people like me, or a lack of leadership toward me from others...

There is something deeper, more guttural we are not addressing with the bows and ribbons we are constantly playing with... Well the bows and ribbons I played with for 15 years.....  Anyway, How do you measure transformation? The only thing Jesus said is "by their fruit you will know them."   How do we lead, and vision cast a people who lost their "spring" and their "fall"? - that Leonard writes about...

If they have a living "spring",  "fall",  and "walk" my experience is they have no lack of vision and no need of my leadership.  
The book of Collosians may have the only answer. When the people are off track, there is immorality, false teaching, a loss of love for others and  for Jesus.... Paul's solution in Colossians was simple... to unfold a greater revelation of the person of Jesus.   The only one who gives "springs", fixes "springs", and invented "springs"... no reason to spring without him. Can't  help but "spring" with him....