Category Archives: What I’m reading . . .

Blogs, websites and related items that I’m reading

On being a Disciple

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the term “Christian.” As I’m sure you have noticed, if you’re reading this, I chose to use the word “Disciple” in my blog title, not “Christian.” My reasoning is quite simple – I don’t beleive that the term “Christian,” in todays culture, truly identifies who I am nor who I should try to be.

Dan Kimball, speaking recently at the National Pastors Convention, played a video consisting of a number of interviews with people about their thoughts on “Christians.” Overwhelmingly, the respondends in the interviews spoke negatively about Christians and attributed to them descriptors such as judgemental, hateful, homo-phobic, unloving and evil. Ironically, these same respondends spoke highly of Jesus and attributed descriptors such as loving, caring and great to Him. Although I’m proud to be a Christian based upon my understanding of that term, I don’t want to be known as one based upon these impressions.

As a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, I want to follow Jesus’ teachings and reach more people for Him. When I think of outreach, going out and winning more souls to Jesus, I think of a quote I heard recently that went something like this “Why would I want to be a Christian if it meant being a jerk like you.” I don’t know who to attibute that quote to, nor who it was said to. I do beleive that it is an all to accurate opinion though of many non-believers when they look at Christians. As such, I believe that I personally need to move away from the descriptor of “Christian” and towards the descriptor of “Disciple.”

I realize this is largely semantics – yet I believe it’s also important that we use terms in todays culture that accurately reflect who we are based upon the filters and lenses that those in the culture will see us through. Therefore I strive to be a disciple. This morning, while reading my Bible, God led me to this verse as encouragement for my thoughts on this:

Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31b-32 (NIV)

So, I guess I need to ask. Are you a “Christian” or a “Disciple?”

Jesus Painter

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I’m back . . .

I’ve been gone for a bit . . . deciding what to do with this blog.  Originally my intent was to use this blog for personal use as a repository for bits and pieces of Christian thought from around the web.  That worked for me, although I don’t think that was understood by all as some may have thought I was simply copying other bloggers and posting here.  That’s simply not the case.

Regardless, the focus of this blog is going to change and I’m going to try to post to it a few times a week – regarding my own personal meanderings and whims related to my Disciples Journey.  While you’re waiting for that first post – feel free to take a look at my NPC 2007 blog and read about my recent experience at the 2007 National Pastors Convention.

I’ll be back soon . . .

Chasing Lions – Points from Mark Batterson’s Latest Book

  • “Taking no risks is the greatest risk of all.”
  • “Our calling is much higher than simply running away from what’s wrong. We’re called to chase lions–look for opportunities in our problems and obstacles, and take risks to reach for God’s best.”
  • Lion chasers “thrive in the toughest circumstances because they know that impossible odds set the stage for amazing miracles. That is how God reveals his glory–and how He blesses you in ways you never could have imagined.”
  • “At some point in your life you have to make a choice between fear and boredom. Lion chasers choose fear.”
  • “Maybe prayer is less about changing our circumstances than it is changing our perspective.”
  • “You have to do something counterintuitive if you want to reach your God-given potential and fulfill your God-given destiny.”
  • “Maybe faith has less to do with gaining knowledge and more to do with causing wonder. Maybe a relationship with God doesn’t simplify your lives. Maybe it complicates our lives in ways that they should be complicated.
  • “Most God-ordained dreams die because we aren’t willing to do something that seems illogical.”
  • “Most of us regret sins of commission in the short-term. But it’s the sins of omission, the missed opportunities, that haunt us the rest of our lives.”
  • “We need to stop criticizing culture and start creating it.”
  • “If you wait for perfect conditions before you seize an opportunity, you’ll be waiting till the day you die.”

tony morgan | one of the simply strategic guys

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2006 In Summary – I simply could not agree more . . .

I have a growing appreciation for the sovereignty of God. Nothing is too big. Nothing is too small. In a nutshell: my sense of destiny grows stronger!

The Batterson Blog – Thoughts on Life and Leadership

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The 25 Most Innovative Churches in America

Outreach magazine organized a panel of twelve ministry leaders and experts to help determine which 25 churches in America are the most innovative. The list is as follows:

  1. LifeChurch.tv (Edmond, OK) :: Craig Groeschel
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04, ‘05, & ‘06
    — the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06
  2. Granger Community Church (Granger, IN) :: Mark Beeson
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04 & ’05
    — the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘06
  3. North Point Community Church (Alpharetta, GA) :: Andy Stanley
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04
    — the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06
  4. Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX) :: Ed Young Jr.
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04, ‘05, & ‘06
    — the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06
  5. Mosaic Church (City of Industry, CA) :: Erwin McManus
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06
  6. Seacoast Church (Mt. Pleasant, SC) :: Greg Surratt
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘05 & ‘06
    — the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06
  7. Community Christian Church (Naperville, IL) :: Dave Ferguson
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04
    — the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘06
  8. National Community Church (Washington, DC) :: Mark Batterson
  9. Mars Hill Church (Seattle, WA) :: Mark Driscoll
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘05 & ‘06
    — the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06
  10. New Hope Christian Fellowship (Oahu, HI) :: Wayne Cordero
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04, ‘05, & ‘06
    — the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06
  11. Mars Hill Bible Church (Grandville, MN) :: Rob Bell
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04
    — the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06
  12. The Potter’s House (Dallas, TX) :: T.D. Jakes
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04 & ‘06
    — the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06
  13. Crossover Church (Tampa, FL) :: Tommy Kyllonen
  14. Church of the Open Door (Maple Grove, MN) :: David Johnson
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04
  15. Redeemer Presbyterian Church (New York, NY) :: Timothy Keller
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06
  16. Healing Place Church (Baton Rouge, LA) :: Dino Rizzo
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘06
  17. The Journey Church (New York, NY) :: Nelson Searcy
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘05
  18. Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA) :: Rick Warren
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04, ‘05, & ‘06
    — the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06
  19. North Coast Church (Vista, CA) :: Larry Osborn
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04
    — the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06
  20. Willow Creek Community Church (South Barrington, IL) :: Bill Hybels
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘05 & ‘06
    — the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06
  21. Imago Dei Community (Portland, OR) :: Rick McKinley
  22. Christ the King Community Church (Mt. Vernon, WA) :: Dave Browning
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04
  23. Radiant Church (Surprise, AZ) :: Lee McFarland
    >> other achievements include being one of
    — the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04, ‘05, & ‘06
  24. Living Word Christian Center (Forest Park, IL) :: William Winston
  25. The Sanctuary (Santa Clarita, CA) :: Marty Walker

If you are a pastor looking for some innovative ministry ideas, these 25 churches are a great starting point to begin your search. Visit Outreach magazine online for more on how this list was created and for profiles of some of these innovative churches.

Sponsored by: Oaktreeidea.com It’s not your typical social network. It’s a place to collaborate with other Christians and change the world. And it’s free!

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Hmm, isn’t that interesting . . .

Things I learned from my horse trainers #42:

Practice saying, “Hmmmm… how interesting.” Say it when you’re frustrated. Say it when you’re mad. Most importantly, say it before you say or do anything else (including hit the “send” or “post” button).

It should be the first thing out of your mouth when things go wrong–or don’t meet your expectations–because:

1) It inserts a pause and gives you a moment to think before you react.

2) It keeps you from taking things too personally

3) It helps you ask more questions instead of jump to conclusions.

Church Tech Matters

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Quote of the Day

In the words of General Norman Schwarzkopf,

Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.

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