October 2008

This week we are re-training our fulltime teams, as they prepare to go out for their fall tours.  Needless to say, it’s a massively busy time for me.  Thus, my updates have been rather infrequent of late; however, their frequency shall increase immensely after this week!

In the meantime, I read this again yesterday and it blew my mind:

3 When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you set in place—
4 what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?” (Psalm 8, NLT)


“Solomon tells us that the opposite of fear is trust in the Lord.  This means that when we are not moving forward and doing something great in our lives for God, the bottom line is we do not trust God.  Sometimes it feels like fear can begin to grip us so tightly that we stop breathing spiritually.”  Shawn Wood, 200 Pomegranates and an Audience of One


Tony Campolo once threw a birthday party for a prostitute in Honolulu (their paths crossed in a diner late one night where he overheard that the next day was her birthday and that she had never had a birthday party; so he threw her a suprise party the next night).  Harry (who owned the diner where the party was being held) asked Campolo what kind of church he went to.  Campolo responded:

“The kind of church that throws birthday parties for prostitutes at 3:30am,” to which Harry responded, “…there’s no church like that.  If there was I’d join it.”  

“That’s the kind of church Jesus came to create,” Campolo writes, “I don’t know where  we got the other one that’s so prim and proper. But anyone who reads the New Testament knows that Jesus loved to lavish grace on the left-out and the used-up and the put-down.  The sinners loved him because he partied with them.  The lepers of society found in him someone they could eat and drink with.”  (The Kingdom of God is a Party

This story illustrates a common problem in churches today: we’re not acting like Jesus intended and people, like Harry, are tired of churches that are more concerned about being proper than acting like Christ would. 

I often struggle with what the church should look like and how we could do things differently to be more like what Jesus would want us to be, which has led me to a conclusion about the church.  

It, like any other human institution, is bound to fail.  

Sounds hopeless, right?  How do we fix it?

Maybe we should start by throwing a birthday party for a prostitute…

The other night, I went out with some friends after we got done with worship team rehearsal.  We talked about life, love, the church and laughed a lot.  

Amidst our conversation was a discussion of the upcoming Sunday and the rehearsal that we had just finished.  

Let me insert a parenthetical comment here: The worship team that we are playing on this week is stacked, in terms of musical talent.  

My friend, who happens to be the hardest-working, most talented guitarist I have ever/will ever know, looks at me and says:

“Paul, you know what the best part of Sunday is going to be?”  (I was scrambling mentally: guitar solo?  vocal breakdown? special music?)

“That we get to do what we just did [i.e., sweet musical goodness] with the church…with all the people.”

In the words of Brian Regan: “How true that is!”

Hello everyone!

Just thought I would give you another quick video update on how things are going with me right now.


Check out this article by my great friend, Jeff Goins.

“I turned right instead of left. That’s all I did, and it made all the difference. I don’t know why I did it exactly. My wife had sent me out to pick up some groceries, and it was habit to turn the steering wheel left when pulling out of our apartment complex. Yet, something inside compelled me to go right, driving past the lower income housing in Southeast Nashville, where every sign quickly goes from English to Spanish to Arabic…”

Read the rest here.

So the question is: when you hear that voice calling you to turn the opposite way, will you?

“You’ve never felt in place
And you tell yourself it’s all okay
But something’s different today
You want to run the opposite way

And it seems like you’re locked in a cage
And you need to find a way of escape
When everyone is setting the pace
It’s okay to run the opposite way”
– Leeland, “Opposite Way”

The following is a really interesting video I found recently.  It ties in really nicely with the ongoing discussions here and here.

The jury is still out for me on whether or not I agree with this video’s content.  BUT, I am leaning towards yes.  Whatever your opinions are on the subject matter, no one can dispute the cinematic quality.  This video is very well done (FYI, it plugs a book at the end, which I have no clue about and make no statement on whether or not I agree with) and very thought-provoking.

Check it out:

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