Blogging


Mark Batterson posted a great article about hearing God’s voice today:

“I recently read a fascinating story about a musical trainer who worked with Opera singers who could not hit certain notes within an Octave, even though the notes fell within their vocal range. It was a mystery. The trainer did extensive testing on their vocal chords, but he couldn’t find any reason why they couldn’t hit those notes. On a whim, he tested their hearing. And what he discovered is that these Opera singers could not sing a note they could not hear. The problem wasn’t singing. The problem was hearing…”

Read the rest here.

A buddy of mine blogged recently about church.  Here’s what he wrote:

“Last night, I checked out a local church in the area. It was refreshing to go some place new and see how another group “does church.” My friend asked me afterward how I liked it, and I told him that it was good, but church services generally don’t impress or disappoint me. What I’m interested in is how they do community. Most people who consider themselves serious Christians attend church in some form, but how many really have a significant experience in community? Most of us are yearning for more authentic fellowship without understanding how to get there…

…I’m seeing that this kind of re-imagining of church is becoming more the “norm” in the lives of Christ-followers who are wanting to go deep in their faith…”

Click here to read the rest of his thoughts on this.


Here’s an article I wrote a while back for an online magazine edited by one of best friends.  It just popped into my head tonight as I’m working late, so I thought I’d share it with you all.

Happy reading, and may you all step boldly into the pool.

“The only thing louder in that moment than the beating of my heart was the deafening silence coming from everyone around me. I stood there with several of my best friends in the world, all of us waist deep in the cool water of a pool in the early morning. We were waiting…”

…Read the rest of the article here…

If you or someone you know is wading through life in a state of – what I like to call – postmodern skepticism, then you should read Wade Bradshaw’s Searching for a Better God  (Authentic Publishing, 2007). 

The work itself is fairly short on length, but long on depth.  

Bradshaw highlights the issue that we are all searching for what he calls “a better hope.” His perspective is largely sociological in nature, and given his veterinary background, his reasoning and logic are pure are hard to quarrel with.  

Bradshaw obviously has experience in dealing with the “hard questions.”  He answers them skillfully and thoroughly.  

He draws an interesting distinction between what he calls the “Old Story” – i.e., that God’s very existence is what is at question – and the “New Story”  – i.e., that God’s virtue is what is at question.  The difference seems subtle at first, but as Bradshaw elaborates, it becomes obvious to any reader that he is describing accurately the predominant viewpoint in today’s postmodern emergent culture.  

Oftentimes I find myself hopeless in the quest to articulate answers to these tough questions like: “Is God Angry? Is God Distant? Is God a Bully?”  Bradshaw provides clear, thorough answers to these questions from multiple perspectives and suggests that there exists a path, through wisdom, which will guide us to place of further understanding. 

Overall, the work is weighty in nature, but not too much to digest.  I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who deals regularly with postmoderns, or anyone who considers himself a postmodern.  

Here’s a quote from the book that sums up, in my opinion, Bradshaw’s thesis: “Two stories, three paths, but really only one human condition: living in a dying, cooling world and in need of a better hope” (40).

Check it out here.

I’m reviewing this book as part of my involvement as an Ooze blogger, check out what’s going on over there too.  

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)

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”

Here at work, we have several buzz-words that get thrown around quite a bit.  They are usually started by one person and then adopted by the community as a whole.  Let me give you a few examples, with definitions (and their origins, as best as I know them):

“relational equity”:  This is basically how much buy-in you have with someone, i.e., how much trust you have built up with someone based on your interactions with them.  You can “cash-in” relational equity by asking people to do hard things, or having tough conversations with them.  I believe this one originated from our president.  He uses it a lot during team training seminars.

 

“soft-edge”: This one comes from a John Graham book on outdoor leadership.  It describes the nuances of a particular issue or task, as opposed to the pragmatic (or hard-egde) aspects of said task.

 

“bandwidth”: This one refers to the mental capacity that one may or may not have to deal with certain issues at a given time.  It is drawn from the technological aspect of internet usage, and I believe this originated with one of Chris‘ former bosses.  

“debriefing”: This one is the inspiration for this post and, contrary to what might be your intial thoughts about the word, has nothing to do with the removal of anyone’s undergarments.  It is actually the process of processing…experiences.  We have all of our short-term missions teams debrief all of their experiences.  We believe that God can use this process of mentally evaluating the aspects of an experience to teach us and grow us.  

And that’s what I am going to be doing in a few days.  The fulltimers will all be overseas and I will finally have time to process the last month of my life (training, training tour, overseas training week, and overseas departure).  Hopefully you all will be a part of that through this blog.  

Anybody have any specific questions you’d love to hear my thoughts about?  It might help get the ball rolling for me mentally!

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