Saturday, April 16, 2011 • 2:41 am
I’m very fond of this season in the Christian calendar because I can mention the word “ass” during my blog post and sermon and still keep all the fundamentalists off my back. ;)
But seriously, the message of Palm Sunday is very significant. True, this fulfills the prophecy of the Old Testament and that’s very significant but there’s more:
The image of Jesus riding on a donkey – aka “an ass” – during Palm Sunday is a great paradox.
In some ways, it’s when things go downhill really fast for Jesus and for anyone and everyone associated with Jesus that had a different agenda about “the Kingdom” than Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: christianity, church, Jesus, justice, leadership, ministry, ass, donkey, palm sunday
Monday, July 5, 2010 • 12:00 pm
Everyone needs to read this.
Every Christian needs to read this. Every Christian, pastor, leader, community organizer, and influencer needs to read this.
Whatever tribe, denomination, or team your roll with; whatever term or word you’re comfortable with; small church or mega church; organic or online; reformed or monastic; conservative or liberal…blah blah blah. You need to read this.
Because many of us think that God was addressing someone else when we read or preach Amos 5:21-24. You know…the other person, group, team, church; That other misguided and self-righteous quasi-Christian, borderline heretic, and religious legalist; the other person on the fence on that hot theological issue; the other liberal or conservatives; that feminist or ultimate fighting Jesus lover, and on and on. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: bible, christianity, church, religion
Wednesday, June 16, 2010 • 12:01 am
It passed quietly this year but as I’ll likely do each year, I want to share about one of the greatest sermons I’ve ever heard. It didn’t come from a pulpit but rather through the stories of about 50-60 folks from a church community that no longer technically exists continues to make an impact through their lives, legacy, stories, and friendship.
Three years ago (June 2007), a 65-year-old church named Interbay Covenant Church (our landlords for several years) chose to “die to themselves” and gift themselves and all their assets to Quest Church.
These amazing folks gave away more than property and assets worth about $5-6 million dollars. More courageously, they shared their lives, stories, and legacy.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote:
One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons…
I am so humbled and blessed to have witnessed Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: church, faith, leadership, ministry, pastors, seattle
Tuesday, February 16, 2010 • 12:05 am
This is from last year but still helpful for those who are not familiar with the purpose of Ash Wednesday.
For 2010, Quest is holding their ASH WED service on Wednesday, February 17 (7-8am). There is also a Family Ash WED event that same night from 6.30-8.15pm. All the info can be found at http://seattlequest.org
Depending on your background, you may or may not be familiar with Ash Wednesday or otherwise referred to as ‘Day of Ashes.’ It marks the beginning of the Lent season as we journey towards the Holy Week in the Christian calendar. The Lent season culminates with Good Friday [Dark Friday] and Resurrection Sunday.
And a simple primer from Beliefnet: Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: church, faith, Jesus, quest church, seattle, ash wednesday, day of ashes
Monday, February 1, 2010 • 9:44 pm
Several weeks ago, I had an extensive phone interview with a reporter from the New York Times about the growing popularity of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in the wide and nebulous net of “evangelical churches.” The reporter had come across one of my previous blog entries and contacted me.
The NY Times article came out today (February 2, 2010). You can click here or the image above to read the full article.
My hour interview was reduced to basically one quote:
“I don’t live for the Jesus who eats red meat, drinks beer and beats on other men.”
Let me clarify since I have a feeling I’ll be getting my share of visitors over the next couple days who have no idea who I am or the context behind that one quote. But first, some initial thoughts: Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: christianity, church, culture, Jesus, seattle, mixed martial arts, MMA, new york times, NY Times, UFC
Monday, January 4, 2010 • 12:01 am
I saw this photo somewhere (not sure where) of Jesus, a rifle, and a Nazi (Hitler?) and couldn’t stop staring and reflecting upon it. I’m sharing it here as I’d love to hear your thoughts:
What do you see? How would you interpret this picture? Does it confirm or challenge?
The image perplexed me for so many reasons. It made me recall a conversation I had during my seminary years. During one lecture, we were discussing Dietrich Bonhoeffer – who was a Lutheran pastor and a pacifist faced with the dilemma of Hitler and the Nazi regime: Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: christianity, church, faith, Jesus, dietrich bonhoeffer
Wednesday, October 7, 2009 • 4:30 pm
We’re all familiar with this phrase:
The grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
It may or may not be true but often times if not most of the times, it’s because we spend most of our time dreaming, coveting, envying, complaining, wishing, stop caring, and before you know it, we stop watering the grass on your side.
You may eventually get to the other side of the fence but for now:
Water the da*n grass on this side of the fence.
Here’s the sermon from this past Sunday about 10 things that Build Community. This is the sermon in response to the Things that Destroy Community. This goes about 58+ minutes long and I wished I could have gone a tad longer to flesh out a few more things but I made a pact in blood w/ our other staff to end at a responsible time. And I barely made it this Sunday.
And a short clip about ‘Watering the Grass on This Side':
Here are the 10 contextual points I shared: Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: church, Jesus, pastors, quest church, bible, community, fellowship, preaching
Monday, August 17, 2009 • 12:01 am
The prosperity gospel is a sham for the very simple reason that the emphasis is not on the gospel but on Prosperity. In fact, any movement that’s not focused on the GOSPEL is a false teaching as far as I’m concerned.
So, while I can acknowledge why some folks would be captivated by this movement, I’m more curious about how those who oppose prosperity theology should respond.
The NY Times published an article yesterday entitled, Believers Invest in the Gospel of Getting Rich, and it’s worth your read.
But back to my question:
How do we respond? Do we simply say that “We’re against it” or should go further to teach against the movement; to specifically cite preachers behind the movement? How strongly do we voice our opposition?
Or maybe you disagree with me entirely and believe the Prosperity Gospel is legit…
FORT WORTH — Onstage before thousands of believers weighed down by debt and economic insecurity, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland and their all-star lineup of “prosperity gospel” preachers delighted the crowd with anecdotes about the luxurious lives they had attained by following the Word of God. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: christianity, church, creflo dollar, kenneth copeland, prosperity gospel
Monday, July 20, 2009 • 10:22 pm
I read this piece from former President, Jimmy Carter, over the weekend explaining his decision to sever his ties with the South Baptist Convention – after being an active member for six decades. While I don’t agree with everything he writes, I agreed with the crux of his column: Enough is enough.
Most of you are aware of my hermeneutics and convictions pertaining to the issue of equality of women and my full support for women in all levels of leadership in the Church. I’ve written numerous posts about the issue but here are some worth checking out:
I hate to admit it but it still seems lonely with that “position” so I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be a woman – called by God – but seen not only as “unqualified” but in essence, “living in sin” for being deceived…a la Eve all over again. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: bible, christianity, church, Jesus, leadership, ministry, Jimmy Carter, SBC, southern baptist convention, women in leadership
Monday, July 13, 2009 • 10:53 pm
I’m currently rockin’ in Knoxville, Tennessee. I have the privilege of being one of the morning teachers of an event called CHIC2009 – a gathering of 5200+ high schoolers from all around the country. I’m simply teaching one message but 8x to 600+ students at a time (twice/day). I’d really appreciate your prayers.
I was asked to speak on the topic of ‘my relationship with others.’
Simple enough but it’s clearly one of those things that seem much easier said than done. My sermon – through various points – seeks to explain this:
…more and more Christians are falling in love with the idea of loving and serving our neighbors…than actually loving and serving our neighbors.
And one of the most important ways we love and serve our neighbors is if we build relationships with people.
And this is where I get a lot of push back from people. By building relationships with people, we need to let go of the agenda of “evangelism” and “let’s convert this person to Jesus Christ.” Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: bible, christianity, church, emerging church, CHIC2009