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
Thursday, September 3, 2009 • 6:14 pm
What is worship? And what does it mean to be a worshipper?
After teaching through the Book of Acts for the past two years, and relishing in the years we studied and taught through Genesis and Exodus, and seeing this Truth throughout the narrative of the Story of God in a book known to us as the Bible, it has become clear[er] to me what worship is.
Worship is acknowledging that not only is there a God but that this God, the one True God, the Infinite God…is not just merely propositional but personal. We know that this God is personal because we know that this God becomes personal when God chooses to be consumed by the very flesh and bone that consume our essence and chooses to become anthropos.
He chooses to become one of us though His Son, Jesus Christ, and in a world of constant and extravagant upward mobility, God does the unthinkable and becomes one of us, dwells with us, walks with us, and ultimately, dies for us. Jesus…Amazing. Truly amazing.
Worship then is acknowledging that not only is there this Personal and Infinite God but Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: christianity, seattle, bible, church, Holy Spirit, Jesus, worship
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 • 12:01 am
Eights years ago, I endured through one of the most difficult seasons of my life. I left my (then) current pastorate in hopes of planting a church called Quest but everything I had envisioned didn’t immediately come to pass. Instead of planting a church, I was working as a custodian scrubbing toilets, vaccuuming and struggling to provide for my (then) one child and pregnant wife. I still remember bitterly sobbing in my room one night and saying a few choice words to God:
I am so angry at you. I feel like I lost control of my life.
(the PG version)
I learned through that experience that (again) I don’t have ultimate control over my life and prayed I would never go through anything like that again…
Well, I guess life has its seasons of unexpected turns. Nearly two weeks ago, I had to make one of the most difficult decisions of my life. It was a painful decision but consulted with my wife, and then informed our kids that because of some financial situations (and investment with One Day’s Wages), Dad & Mom had chosen to sublet our furnished home for couple months to some strangers and within 72 hours, we’d have to pack up some stuff and stay with some friends.
And for the past couple weeks, we’ve been “couch surfing” Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: faith, seattle, extreme global poverty, family, non-profit, One Day's Wages, philanthropy
Monday, June 15, 2009 • 12:16 am
I really dislike these folks from Westboro Baptist Church – the folks behind the hideous website GodHatesFags.Com (I don’t even want to link it). Hate is way too strong of a word. And inappropriate in light of the sermon I preached this past Sunday about the sin of hatred. For the past two years, I’ve been teaching through the Book of Acts and while Paul had his issues and shortcomings, I spent some time talking about the “religious” folks that become the adversaries of Paul – that while they sought to defend their ideas of truth and proper doctrine, resorted to the ammunition of hate. Hate that leads them to plot murder.
I don’t care who you are. No matter your religious affiliation or allegiance (or lack thereof) or if you are a self-professing Christian:
If hate is your motivation, you are far from God. And you need to repent.
And while it may be easy to dismiss “hatred” to others, I would contend that ‘hatred’ can seep into all of our lives and impact our relationships – those far and even those in our inner circle of relationships.
Why am I talking about WBC and giving them press on my blog? Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: bible, religion, seattle, fred phelps, westboro baptist church
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 • 12:15 am
Last week, I shared a post about fear entitled, Do Not Be Afraid: Dream, Pursue, & Jump. And one of my readers, Matt S., doctored one of my photos to give me Neo-like skills.
For the past year, my biggest fear has been this burden and conviction that I feel God has placed upon my soul to engage the fight against extreme global poverty through the birth of a new organization.
I have been kicking myself for going public with the vision about a year ago. There’s been hiccups, setbacks, criticisms, and plenty of self doubt but after a year since sharing our vision and starting a group on Facebook, I’ll finally be sharing the name of our organization, current logo, and our vision and fundraising letter this Friday.
As usual, I’m both excited and scared and covet your prayers.
I came home yesterday having doubts if I was ready to share the vision but lo and behold, Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: seattle, extreme poverty, global poverty, non-profit
Tuesday, May 5, 2009 • 1:15 am
We are people with the gift of hope and the capacity to dream. The minute we stop dreaming is the moment we begin the process of death. So share your answer to this question:
What is one of your dreams you want to pursue in your life?
I’m 38. Married over 12 years. 3 children. Planted two churches. Currently pastoring my dream church. Love the cafe and music venue. I’ve taken plenty of “risks” in my life but “the fear” never gets old. I feel like I constantly wrestle with ‘fear.’ In fact, I think this thing called “the fear” is actually growing in my life. It’s getting worse.
Maybe, it’s because I feel like I have so much more to lose. When I was single and roaming around the country all alone in my VW Bug or Toyota Camry, taking risks was really no big deal. But now, I’ve got stuff, mortgages, car payments, kids, a wife, a staff, a $5000 espresso machine, responsibilities, hair products Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: bible, faith, seattle
Friday, May 1, 2009 • 3:16 pm
I just sent out this note to our church email database in response to the growing concern of the H1N1 Virus (aka Swine Flu). In addition to some cases in the larger country, there have now been seven new cases of what is likely the H1N1 virus. Six of them involve children which explains why six schools are now closed.
With the impact of media and social media, news of the ‘Swine Flu’ is going literally viral. While there clearly isn’t ONE response, we should not err on the extremes: Panic or Ignorance.
Leaders: No need to propagate fear and panic but don’t ignore the fact that some of your congregants are genuinely worried for themselves and their families. In Seattle (article above), six schools have temporarily closed their schools in response to the virus. There’s clearly no need to cancel church but we should take measures and precautions to reassure our congregants. Remember: Pastoral Care.
Having said, our church staff made the following precautionary decisions that impact our church worship
Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: church, ministry, quest church, religion, seattle, H1N1, seattle, Swine Flu