Right Answers. Really?

Religion is about having the right answers, and some of their answers are right. But Father is about the process that takes you to the living answer and once you get to him, he will change you from the inside. There are a lot of smart people who are able to say a lot of right things from their brain because they have been told what the right answers are, but they don’t know Father at all. So really, how can their answers be right even if they are right, if you understand my drift? So even though they might be right, they are still wrong. Don’t look for rules and principles; look for relationship–a way of coming to be with God.

This came from a blog post by my friend Jason Duncan, here.

A Great Quote…

“The missionary work of the non-professional missionary is to live his daily life in Christ, and therefore with a difference, and to be able to share the reason and cause of the difference to men who see it. His preaching is essentially private conversation, and has at the back of it a life which explains and illustrates and enforces his words. It is such missionary work that the world needs today. Everybody, Christian and pagan alike, respects such work. When it is so done, men wonder, and inquire into the secret of a life which they instinctively admire and covet for themselves.”

Roland Allen (1869-1947, Non-Professional Missionaries) as quoted by Warren Cole Smith in A Lover’s Quarrel with the Evangelical Church.

If only every single Christian would come to understand this concept. If only this would be the plea from pulpits, rather than a plea to fulfill the ministers ministry vision. If only Christians would actually be Christians, rather than consumers in an industrialized engine of greed, power, and tax-free monopolies. If only Christians would get out of their Christian ghettos, whether they be living rooms or sanctuaries, and get on with living the life Christ crucified and resurrected!

A New Poll….

I’m not looking to save the world with a question or anything. I’m just wondering what people think about the “eternal purpose” of God. I have in view, for background sake, the following Scriptures: Ephesians 1:9-11 and Ephesians 3:10-11.

I listed three very random answers in the poll, but am thinking that many people will add their own answer. Please feel free to leave comments.

Looking forward to reading!

Thanx!

BTW, on a personal note: I believe the MOST important endeavor of our entire lives is to wrestle with this question until God reveals it not only to us, but in us. Also, this question is not only an individual pursuit, but rather a vocation of His Body when gathered.

My Books

Okay, this is my list of influential books that I would like to pass on to my friends. I have not included a link for each book, but I am sure you can find each of these on Amazon.com if you can’t come to my house and pick them up. I look forward to passing these on in the hopes that they will impact your life and thinking as they have my own.

Title   Author(s)   Type
Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus   Ann Spangler & Lois Tverberg   Alternative/Simple
Roaring Lambs   Bob Briner   Alternative/Simple
A Generous Orthodoxy   Brian McLaren   Alternative/Simple
More Ready Than You Realize   Brian McLaren   Alternative/Simple
The Emerging Church   Dan Kimball   Alternative/Simple
The Monkey and the Fish   Dave Gibbons   Alternative/Simple
Church Planting Movements   David Garrison   Alternative/Simple
unChristian   David Kinnaman & Gabe Lyons   Alternative/Simple
Searching for God Knows What   Donald Miller   Alternative/Simple
Soul Cravings    Erwin Rahael McManus   Alternative/Simple
Seeker Small Groups   Garry Poole   Alternative/Simple
Letters from a Skeptic   Gregory Boyd   Alternative/Simple
Corinthian Elders   Jack Fortenberry   Alternative/Simple
Rethinking the Church   James E. White   Alternative/Simple
Jim & Casper Go to Church   Jim Henderson & Matt Casper   Alternative/Simple
Future Church   Jim L. Wilson   Alternative/Simple
Wide Open Spaces   Jim Palmer   Alternative/Simple
Captivating   John & Stasi Eldredge   Alternative/Simple
Wild at Heart   John Eldredge   Alternative/Simple
Waking the Dead   John Eldredge   Alternative/Simple
Walking With God   John Eldredge   Alternative/Simple
Organic Community   Joseph Myers   Alternative/Simple
Revolution in World Missions   K. P. Yohannan   Alternative/Simple
Confessions of a Reformission Rev.   Mark Driscoll     Alternative/Simple
Vintage Jesus   Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears   Alternative/Simple
Search & Rescue   Neil Cole    Alternative/Simple
Organic Leadership   Neil Cole    Alternative/Simple
Velvet Elvis   Rob Bell   Alternative/Simple
The Irresistable Revolution   Shane Claiborne   Alternative/Simple
The New Conspirators   Tom Sine   Alternative/Simple
The Rabbit and the Elephant   Tony & Felicity Dale   Alternative/Simple
Houses That Change the World   Wolfgang Simson   Alternative/Simple
Re-Jesus   Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch   Alternative/Simple
Pagan Christianity?   Frank Viola & George Barna   Alternative/Simple
Reimagining Church   Frank Viola     Alternative/Simple
The Untold Story of the New Testament Church   Frank Viola   Alternative/Simple
Paul’s Idea of Community   Robert J. Banks   Alternative/Simple
Revolution     George Barna   Alternative/Simple
The Total Money Makeover   Dave Ramsey   Business/Finance
Cashflow Quadrant   Robert Kiyosaki   Business/Finance
Good to Great   Jim Collins   Business/Finance
Coached by Jesus   Alan Nelson   Christian Life
The Best Question Ever   Andy Stanley   Christian Life
Jesus, The One an Only   Beth Moore   Christian Life
Lifetime Guarantee   Bill Gillham   Christian Life
Mere Christianity   C.S. Lewis   Christian Life
Being the Body   Charles Coleson & Ellen Vaughn   Christian Life
How Now Shall We Live   Charles Coleson & Nancy Pearcey   Christian Life
Finding Peace   Charles Stanley   Christian Life
Christianity: The Faith That Makes Sense   Dennis McCallum   Christian Life
Happiness is a Choice   Frank Minirth and Paul Meier   Christian Life
Experiencing God   Henry Blackaby   Christian Life
Created to Be God’s Friend   Henry Blackaby   Christian Life
Fresh Power   Jim Cymbala   Christian Life
Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire   Jim Cymbala   Christian Life
Fresh Faith   Jim Cymbala   Christian Life
An Appointment with the King   Joel Comiskey   Christian Life
The Lie: Evolution   Ken Ham   Christian Life
In a Pit With a Lion On a Snowy Day   Mark Batterson   Christian Life
One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven   Mark Cahill   Christian Life
The Jesus I Never Knew   Philip Yancey   Christian Life
What’s So Amazing About Grace?   Philip Yancey   Christian Life
Life On Fire   Ronnie Floyd   Christian Life
Grace Land   Steve McVey   Christian Life
Grace Walk   Steve McVey   Christian Life
Grace Rules   Steve McVey   Christian Life
Free at Last   Tony Evans   Christian Life
Life on the Edge   James Dobson   Family Life
Bringing Up Boys   James Dobson   Family Life
The Love List   Les and Leslie Parrott   Family Life
Point Man   Steve Farrar   Family Life
His Needs Here Needs   Willard Harley   Family Life
7 Practices of Effective Ministry   Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner, and Lane Jones   Ministry Help
The Seven Deadly Sins of Small Group Ministry   Bill Donahue & Russ Robinson   Ministry Help
Building a Church of Small Groups   Bill Donahue & Russ Robinson   Ministry Help
The 7 Laws of the Learner   Bruce Wilkinson   Ministry Help
Spiritual Leadership   Henry & Richard Blackaby   Ministry Help
The Word for the Wise   Henry Brandt & Kerry Skinner   Ministry Help
Developing the Leader Within You    John C. Maxwell   Ministry Help
The 21 Indisputable Qualities of a Leader   John C. Maxwell   Ministry Help
The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict   Josh McDowell   Ministry Help
Prison Ministry   Lennie Spitale   Ministry Help
When Prisoners Return   Pat Nolan   Ministry Help
The Purpose Driven Church   Rick Warren   Ministry Help
The Bridger Generation   Thom S. Rainer   Ministry Help
Surprising Insights from the Unchurched   Thom S. Rainer   Ministry Help
High Expectations   Thom S. Rainer   Ministry Help
Breakout Churches   Thom S. Rainer   Ministry Help
Simple Church   Thom S. Rainer & Eric Geiger   Ministry Help
Bruchko   Bruce Olson   Narative
Finney On Revival   V. Raymond Edman   Narative
Bowling Alone   Robert Putnam   Sociology
The End of Poverty   Jeffrey D. Sachs   World Economics
A Framework for Understanding Poverty   Ruby Payne   World Economics

Mental Defragmentation…

Wow. It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I have been getting adjusted to Facebook and Twitter. They will not replace my blogging, but I have enjoyed getting in touch with folks I haven’t seen or talked to in years. Though, a few I could have done without.

Anyway, I just want to unload my mind now:

  • I hate computers. It seems like I have faced computer difficulties around every corner this summer.
  • I love what we do for a living. I have enjoyed the summer to chill out and get ready for what we hope to be a VERY productive and busy Fall.
  • I can’t wait to see our new website for All Star Fundraising. We have a final logo, and should have the site up within the next month.
  • I love simple church. I love our friends we do life with. These folks challenge me and encourage me. See some pics here.
  • Kacey and I are getting ready for trip to Orlando, FL, to meet Frank Viola next week. Should be a great time to hang out and meet new people.
  • I am supposed to have a conversation today with a guy who emailed me from Memphis a couple of days ago regarding a network of folks in Memphis who are interested in simple church.
  • Kacey and I are praying about starting a new church. We believe it’s close.
  • Some friends of ours are about to make some huge changes that will effect us in a big way. Good changes we believe. Can’t share too much yet.
  • We are trying to help another new church get started on the other side of the city.
  • The CrossLifewebsite will be going through some major changes over the next several months. It will become way less of a “church” website, and more of a network training portal for simple/organic church. We aren’t really sure what that means yet other than the fact we believe this is what God wants us to do with it at this time.

Finally, I have been reading a lot this summer. I will be reviewing some books, but for now, I will just list them:

  • “The Monkey and the Fish” by Dave Gibbons
  • “The Rabbit and the Elephant” by Tony and Felicity Dale
  • “The Stewardship of the Mystery” by T. Austin Sparks
  • “God’s Spiritual House” by T. Austin Sparks
  • “Prophetic Ministry” by T. Austin Sparks

I am currently reading and very much enjoying “The Normal Christian Life” by Watchman Nee.

That’s about it for now. I am still planning on getting on a blog “schedule” for posting book reviews, meditations, website reviews, and random stuff. Just haven’t figured it out yet…

Thanx!

How We Got Here: A Video Recap – LSUSports.net

How We Got Here: A Video Recap – LSUsports.net—The Official Web Site of LSU Tigers Athletics

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Kissed By Eternity…

I am smitten. The beauty of the eternal purpose of God is laying hold of my life as never before. Oh, the bliss of my soul….

What, you may ask, is this “purpose”? Well, I will say, it is not just any purpose; it is THE purpose. It is the very reason behind the cosmos. It is in Biblical terms, a great mystery. Hidden throughout the ages in God, and revealed through events, dispensations, and ultimately God’s Son, Jesus. This is the purpose of highest grandeur. It is the heart-beat of Father. It is the very expression of God’s mind to the creation. I shall try to explain further….

I think of a line from eternity past stretching forth into eternity future. This is perhaps a forced concept because eternity is neither linear nor comprehensible. Also, God inhabits eternity rather than moving along a fixed line of time, but for the sake of simplification for our finiteness, I see a line….

Somewhere along this line in eternity past, God, within Himself, as perfect and complete and communal with Father, Son, and Spirit as He was and is, felt a strong desire, say I with reverential humility, a need, to share Himself. This would be no ordinary sharing, for it was no ordinary need. You see, God had not a Body. God had not a Family. God had not an expression of Himself outside of Himself, thus He was unexpressed. I am not saying God was lonely. I am not saying He wasn’t self-sufficient, for He was and is. God was not incomplete as though He needed to be more than what He was. He simply had a strong desire to express Himself outside of Himself….

So, He created. And, wow, did He ever create! All that we see and know, and so much further beyond that, He created. But, it was a Body, a dwelling place, that occupied His longing….

Thus, in the beginning, God created all that would ultimately give Him expression outside of Himself, yet of Himself. In this spectacular realm of creation, He made a man. That man, He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and He became the image bearing expression of God for the cosmos. Then, out of that man bore He forth and woman of equal magnitude and splendor, which was the completion of God’s expression. How beautiful God’s expression!

But God knew what was to come. And in the counsels of eternity past had already planned what would become redemption, for this man and woman, the expression of God in reality, would not stay as thus, but would rather become something other than God’s very own expression. They chose instead to express themselves, and exert themselves over God….

So, this man and woman, the original corporate identity of God in the creation, became of their own, for their own, and by their own. They now existed from God, but outside of God, separated from Him and in all their ways against Him. But God did not remain at loss. He had a purpose all along!

God began breaking into this new reality. Over and over again we read of this in-breaking throughout the history of the world through the prophets of old, until Christ, who became the very expressed image of the Most High. Emmanuel. God in the flesh….

And so this linear line of eternity of which I first spoke was altered, so to speak. A tangent. An alternate reality from that which conformed to the eternal purpose of God. Again, this was no surprise. It is not alternate in that God didn’t seit coming and came up with plan B. Rather, it lies outside God’s original purpose. This redemption was not God’s original purpose. It became part of it by our choice and course of free-will action. The linear progressionof the eternal purpose of God’s expression takes a dramatic dip, of which we are still a part today. We are on the “upswing” of this “dip”, for we are on the revealed side of the Cross, but we are yet to see fully the eternal purpose of God realized….

Until, we catch a glimpse of it in the last two chapters of Revelation. We see once again, a Man and a woman. Rather than a garden, we see a city made from the materials originally present within that garden, and so much more we see….

So, in the beginning and in the end, we see this eternal purpose of God as God’s ultimate passion. In between these two scenes we see this unfolding passion and purpose revealed over and over….

So, the question is, where does the Church fit into this ultimate passion and purpose?

More to come….