Tuesday, March 04, 2008

All good things...

I apologize right off for the cheesy Star Trek reference.

I'm not going to stick with blogger any more and I am moving to the simpler and cleaner Wordpress. It's all the same content, but in a different place.

So, change your links and now go to the new Re0rienting

Thanks -

Friday, February 29, 2008

Loose Change

tonight we are going to have an ending party to the youth ministry's Loose change to Loosen Change campaign.

We're trying to raise 200 pounds of change to be able to send to International Justice Mission so they can use it to free more and more people from the bonds of slavery.

Should be a great night.

UPDATE: the kids brought in 136 pounds of change!! We haven't counted it yet, but it's a lot of money!

Monday, February 25, 2008


Since a lot of my master's program is next week and my weekend sickness has put me behind again I am going to extend grace to myself and take a break from some of the regular posting that I do here. I've finished Tony Jones' new book, The new Christians, also, and will talk about it here too.


Go do some homework, that's what I'm doing.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Simply Bizarre

This is simply bizarre. A church in Tampa, which calls itself Relevant Church (what, was Cool Church already taken?) has decided to put this challenge out to its members!

Here's my questions:
>> What about people who have past trauma involving sex, like rape or abuse? Is this going to minister to them?
>> What does this look like for the senior's ministry? Or the youth ministry?
>> Would you actually go to this church? How awkward would that be!

To me, this is clearly an attempt to spike web traffic. It's the same tricks youth ministry used 15 years ago, and now those youth ministers are "senior" pastors. It's classic bait and switch.


To quote Brent (Corner Gas): "There's a new low."

just when you thought

you were going to be able to catch up - the flu catches you.

This weekend I am praising God for the advent of modern plumbing technology.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Searches that land here

Words that people end up here from, with frequency.

1. watch 9
2. me 9
3. reorient 9
4. tim 4
5. albany 4
6. j. 4
7. pope 4
8. oregon 4
9. focus 3
10. fallen 3
11. keel 3
12. condition 3
13. blog 2
14. Carmichael 1
15. Keel 1
16. James 1
17. re-orient


I always try to keep this blog from becoming more important than living real life. so, that's why I got away from daily posts. If I were to pay and get typepad I could set it up to post when I am away, but that's a cost and I'm not gonna do that until this blog makes me enough money to do that.

So, I'm gonna try to catch up today.

Also - much props to commenters Darrell and Andrew. I love to make this more of a discussion, so always feel free to comment!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lent 10

Saturday's lent reading gives this quote, the author's prayer during a crises in vocation, education and calling,
"I cannot believe that you intend the best years of my life as a disciple of jesus Christ to be experienced between the ages of nineteen and twenty-one. I cannot accept that I have peaked in my experience of you and the church and that I am to spend the rest of my life going through the motions. I cannot accept this."

I really hate the way the worldly trait of youth worship has seeped into the church. High school is should only be the best years of your life if you are in high school. In the world, youth is worshipped as the thing we wish we all were. There are very few television shows with old heroes. I have heard people brag about high school sports endeavors ten years removed from high school - like they have been living memories for a decade. When does it stop?

In the church, we have also succumbed to this "memory living" as student ministries are living front edge of the gospel and many, many adults are content to ride their pew into eternity. As a leader, I really hope that we can figure out how to break through the numbness that so many churched adults live in and bring people back to that first love for Christ - that which they (at least 85% of them) first experienced as a teenager.

May we live more fully everyday.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lent 9

Today Tim Keel talks about his expereinces in growing frustrated with being in youth ministry in a time when games where the most important part of the agenda and churched kids were entertained as much as possible in order to distract them from the evil (and fun) ways of the world.

Tim does what most young frustrated leaders do - seminary. Yet at seminary he experiences much of the same frustrations, as the institutions are forced to demand requirments that support the institution or else we'll dive into a version of Christianity that has deregulated leadership (and we all know what happens when we don't standardize...taking tongue out of check...).

Anyways - seminary is frustrating for most young leaders as their living in a holding pattern that seems to never end. I understand that and I think today's application would have to be to encourage some young leaders to act on their frustrations and put their energy to work in the kingdom of God - rather than just staying up late and complaining.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Foo Fighters

I am listening to the Foo Fighters here on my office couch right now as I do some studying. They are just one of those bands who just sound so much better when their music is loud enough to fill the room.

I wonder how they do that? How do you make a record where the awesomeness is directly related to the volume? In order to find out, let's make a list of other records that hold to the same axiom. Then we can find some commonalities and postulate a thesis.

Also, let's call the axiom: Grohl's First Axiom. Of course, if we logically deduce further applications we will change this to Grohl's First Theorem.

Lent 8

Perhaps the hardest discipline in reading through Intuitive Leadership by Tim Keel is not taking off with it and reading ahead. I have set small chunks for me to read each day. This is hard, because his dominant theme is to embrace narrative, metaphor and chaos. In this, he determines that the medium will be the message. His message is found in story form and he is just getting into the parts that are attractive. At the same time, Lent is a time of discipline, which is something I love to be able to have the Lord develop in me.

I am having conversations with high school students as they go through lent right now and it is so awesome to see them struggle through and be dedicated to letting God develop discipline in them. Just last night they even had a whole (loud) discussion on what fits the category of fast food. What they don't realize is that they are really trying to figure out how to deal with the temptaion of legalism that invades people who are seeking discipline.

Anyways...what I really want to remark from my lent reading today is that I love watching college students who are really living life for Jesus. Not in a cultish kind of way, but in a way that gives life and shows how desperate they are to follow Jesus and live the gospel all around them.

If I could only hang out with three kinds of people for the rest of my life it would be:
1. New converts who are amazed at the love of Jesus
2. College students who don't even realize what they are doing as they live out the gospel so fully.
3. People who sleep at my house. That means my family. They are easily awesome.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lent 7

In today's section of Keel, he writes of the difficulties of growth. Specifically he talks about the difficulty of growing something else.

Not much said in these 5 pages. Maybe I should take bigger chunks each day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lent 6

On page 43 Keel writes, "We no longer live in the world of modernity...We are indebted to it and wary of it, and well we should be."

I love this quote because I find a lot of postmodern-loving people who are really just modernism haters. When, in reality, modernity haas given us so much. Through categorization we have been able to find and learn and discover all sorts of exciting things about ourselves and our world. The problem occurs when we substitute the worship of God with the worship of the modern understanding of God. Keel deals with this very well. It seems that, over time, modernity no longer worshipped God but worshippped their understanding of God.

It's a tricky little nuance, which makes it hard to detect. So you don't even know you've got a problem until its too late.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lent 5

On page 36 Tim Keel writes about the ways that we try to hide our stories by aplogizing, domesticating and neutering them. By 'our stories' I mean the stories found in the Bible. This is something that frustrates me to no end. I wonder how we can do this better. The problem seems to be that we tell children the stories of the bible, but not adults (which Keel agrees with). When children are young, we cannot tell them about David's adultery, Noah's drunkenness or Judas' messy suicide without getting interesting questions (at best) or giving them scary dreams (at worst). For this reason, we must revisit stories when people are teens, young adults and fully into adulthood so that the stories can be better understood. Consider the story of Abraham and Isaac, specifically, when God tests Abraham by asking him to sacrifice Isaac. For a child, the story makes sense from Isaac's perspective. However, when a father hears this story, the empathy for Abraham's pain is clearly seen. I would even say that godly parenthood exposes God's love for us in the love found for one's children.

So here's a prayer for those who try to expose the truth of God at it's rawest and those who refuse to let God's story be apologized, domesticated and neutered.

Lent 4

When I was in high school my family was involved in starting a Saturday night service at our church. We were not following any models or had any idea what was going on other than we were full on Sunday mornings and Saturday night services were culturally acceptable because of the dominant Catholic influence in northern Ontario. My dad told stories. To the children officially, but anyone who has been in church with a decent story teller knows that the adults are all listening in, very interested.

Then our church spilt. It was so ugly it was funny. One of those 'God told us so you can't argue' deals.

In less than a year my dad went from storyteller to chair of the elder board. It was so beautiful it was funny. One of those 'what just happened?' deals.

After reading Intuitive Leadership tonight I thought of that history of mine and remarked to my invisible sidekick (a la Craig Ferguson) that, perhaps, it is genius to have great storytellers in leadership positions in a church. Mysteriously, storytellers have this quality of Jesus that many regular people do not have. The ability to transform communities through the telling of stories.

I wonder what would happen if, when considering people for leadership positions in the church, we considered their storytelling skills. What would happen if the key leaders were all storytellers?

To bring life with words.

Just like God.

Thank God for storytelling leaders.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Free Time


Doodle by Lee. The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.