Archive for March, 2006
Posted by LT in on March 26, 2006
I’d rather have a pro
One aspect of my house church life is the personal discipleship of my 9 year old boy David. We are slowly working our way through Mark and we got to the part where Jesus picked his disciples. I flipped us over to Acts 1 and talked about how we an be empowered by the Spirit to be Jesus’ witnesses in the world. We can be disciples much like the first ones. I asked David if he wanted to be a disciple and he said yes. I responded by saying Jesus spent a couple of years teaching and training his disicples and asked him he wanted me to do that. He said no, he’d rather have a pro! After I explained to him that my education actually qualifies me as a pro he said ok.
My own megashift?
In days gone by one of my favourite books was The Open Church by James Rutz. His straightforward irreverent style appealed to me back then. He is a bit showy but he really tapped in to my feelings at the time. I just read Megashift and it may have an even bigger impact on me. The whole first chapter of the book is recorded miracles from around the world. By the end of that chapter I felt convicted. Why don’t I walk in that kind of spiritual power? It isn’t like I haven’t been part of miracles before. I have.
Since I read the book I’ve been in some kind of inner turmoil. I feel like I’ve been avoiding situations that require faith, and coasting along without calling upon the supernatural power of God. I think that maybe there has been a subtle deception in my life that kept God’s power out of focus in my perspective.
Rutz chronicles the ins and outs of organic/simple church movement around the globe. It is no less than inspiring. Right now it feels like a giant kick in the butt. I didn’t sleep well last night. I felt anxious and excited and repentant all in one. I’m repentant because I feel regret over my lack of faith. Anxious and excited because I feel like a whole window of opportunity is being presented to me.
Revival in Saskatoon
This is a very interesting site. It is a city directory as well as church directory with upcoming Christian events. What really caught my eye was the Prophecy, Revival in Saskatoon, and History of Saskatoon. This is what they say about themselves.
We may have listings to thousands of businesses, organizations, people and churches but our real purpose is to on encourage love, unity and revival in the Saskatoon Christian community.
I am probably more post-charismatic than charismatic in my approach to things so I look at the whole prophetic movement with a bit of suspicion. I certainly have issues with the “word-faith” and “prosperity gospel” elements in the charismatic movement as well as the hype. I’ve been hearing about revival in Saskatoon since I started going to church 17 years ago. I think a lot of us got tired of the hype and started questioning the pursuit of revival. It isn’t that I think a revival is a bad idea, it is just that revival seemed to become an idol. We sought the idea of revival more than Jesus. Privately I started wondering if we have chosen to pray for some big outpouring behind the safe comfy walls of the church because we are afraid to go out their and face reality. If prayer is the artillery to soften up the enemy positions sometime somewhere someone has to go in and take the land.
Now that I’ve said all that I think that in my life the pendulum has swung too far away from a reliance on the power of God. In my mind I’ve discredited things that were genuinely of God. I’ve been too cautious. If there is a revival in Saskatoon I imagine it would look a lot different from what people are expecting. There is too much complacency. Too much thinking that renewal is something that has to happen to other people and not me. I don’t think God will entrust his power to those people who would use it to promote themselves. Those who seek to participate in such thing will have to be content with being nameless and be prepared to let go of some preconceived notions of how everything is supposed to go down.
Posted by LT in on March 24, 2006
Web design and hosting
I imagine lots of you know that I operate my own web hosting and design business. If you didn’t now you know. I’ve finished a long string of work and now I’m looking for new projects. If you are interested in a web design for your organization or a personal blog design I’d love to help.
I’ve hosted blogs since I made my own blog software to escape from blogger. I really like it because it has all the features of other systems and I can customize it to my needs. I think it is one of the most straightforward systems to do a custom design with but most people use templates. With the advent of WordPress 2.0 I started to see the advantages of this platform, especially for my clients. WordPress has finally addressed the spam problems and has lots of great templates. I built myself a Linux server for hosting WordPress and now have 3 new wordpress blogs on my system: My wife, NextReformation.com and TheoSpeak.net. If you are tired of blogger’s glitches or find TypePad a bit expensive I can get you started with WordPress for a small startup fee and $5.95 / month.
Feel free to check out my company’s website. I recently redesigned it to better reflect the nature of my company. PrairieFusion does clean , clear professional work at very affordable prices.
For years I’ve been a windows guy. Just recently I setup a linux server and I had a spare PC kicking around. At house church my buddy Mixy proudly proclaimed that he installed Ubuntu, a distribution of Linux . I had an Ubuntu CD burnt from previous adventures so I thought I would give it a shot. This is really nice. There are somethings that are very convenient about the latest versions of Linux. I go to add applications, I pick a program I want to install and it goes to the Internet downloads it and installs it. It is very nice. I didn’t have to search for any drivers.
More thoughts on anonymous comments
I deleted a couple of comments recently. Here are a couple of items for critical anonymous commenters.
- Using just your first name with no email address and no web address is still considered anonymous.
- If you make a critical comments but are too afraid to put your name behind it I don’t have much use for you. You are avoiding responsibility and accountability for your actions.
- If you make a personal attack against me or someone else and have your comment deleted it wasn’t because I can’t handle the truth. It is because your conduct crosses the line of ethical conduct.
- I have a moral responibility to monitor comments to ensure no one’s character is defamed.
- Critique all you want, but keep it about ideas.
- If you don’t want people know your email address use my contact form. Look at “Contact” on the left hand side.
Posted by LT in on March 20, 2006
The plumbing works
Carol and I are going to have a baby. Just took the test tonight!
Posted by LT in on March 19, 2006
Dallas vrs the Oil
Has anybody else noticed that if the playoffs were held today the Oilers would play Dallas again? Go Stars Go!
Posted by LT in on March 18, 2006
Wanna hear my accent?
Check out this website and you can hear accents of people all over the world. I’d say the guy from Vancouver is the closest to mine. It is a shame that they don’t include First Nations people from the Canada and the US or Newfoundland. Notice how much slower people talk in the deep souther US and Australia. I think we all know why .
Posted by LT in on March 16, 2006
Thoughts on George Barna’s Revolution
Barna has created a stir with his latest book “Revolution” and I wanted to know what it was about. He said that Revolutionaries have large abandoned the local church and have embraced alternative ways of being the church. Despite being a candidate for one of
Barna’s revolutionaries I am still uncomfortable with this thought.
In the book the term “local church” and “congregation” seem to be used interchangeably. On page 62 he defines the congregational model as “a definable group of people who regularly meet at the same place to engage in religious routines and programs under the guidance of a paid pastor who provides doctrinal teaching and organizational direction.”
He believes that people will shift from this to different kinds of churches which designates as macro-models or micro-models. Macro-models attempt to fulfill all the different aspects of church. A house church would be part of that. The micro-models are where people get live out different aspects of church life in different places. A city wide worship event is an example of micro-model church experience.
I believe the ideal situation for the church is a macro-model but so very few people, even leaders in the established churches really believe in it. We have a worship experience here. We’ll go to a concert their. We’ll listen to a teaching tape from this ministry. We’ll send our kids to this bible camp. We go to that college or seminary. The place and role of the local church has been undercut by alternative ministries for decades. I’m not sure so many of our pastors have the right to get flaming mad at Barna over his book. I don’t agree with Barna on a couple of points but I’m afraid people would rather shoot the messenger than deal with the message.
On page 123 Barna says “It [the revolution] has stimulated my curiosity and restored my hope for the Christian body in America.” I think it is safe to say Barna had lost almost all faith in the church in America. He held up a mirror to the church in America and was seemed very discouraged by what he saw. He attempted to make a difference through books and conferences and found it made no impact. In his research he found one group of people that bucked the trend. In an ironic twist these people were the ones that had moved to the margins or right off the margins of established churches.
I think Barna’s theology of the church has weaknesses but his findings should compel us to ask a difficult question. Why has Barna found that church people make lousy Christians? Why are the people in the margins doing better? I’m not sure if Barna’s critics are really dealing with that question. The establishment of local churches is not an end in itself; it is a means to accomplish something for the Kingdom of God.