Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Holy Rule 8 - of Divine Office during the NIght

With the vast majority of the credit going to emergents, new monasticism is very sexy right now. However, this does not seem to be a case of bringing sexy back - monasticism was never meant to be this sexy.

Chapter 8 of St. Benedict's rule gives direction for the nighttime and daybreak observances of the daily office. The times differ according to season, because of the amount of sunlight received during the different seasons, for the Holy Rule was established before the discovery of electricity.

And just in case you still think monasticism is sexy, chapter 8 directs that during the summer, the monks are to observe Matins at night, then they "may go out for the necessities of nature" before returning to participate in Lauds. For we all know a monk really needs to go first thing every morning.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Worship Journal 6

I just finished listening to a podcast from Mars Hill Michigan where the teacher made connections between worship service and service as worship. I liked it a bunch because I like to see when people put real actions into their words. I guess I think talk is cheap, but when I see Christianity in action, it’s a beautiful thing.

Part of this in me, I figure, comes because the music that I hear on Sunday mornings just doesn’t resonate with the music that plays in my soul. That sounds cheesy, but I figure most everyone has a soundtrack playing inside of them and they hear music and they like it when the music they hear resonates with whatever is already playing inside of them. This little theory of mine has no backing, but I think it’s true anyways. I figure that’s why the oldies in church sing louder when it’s time for a hymn, and that why I find myself lost when I try to sing them. It’s like the beat or the rhythm or the mood of the music just doesn’t match with the music that’s already playing inside of me. And that’s why I work better when the music is louder – my soul soundtrack is loud, aggressive and has a heavy bass line.

One the other hand…maybe I’m wrong. Either way, there’s something about certain types of music that matches with certain types of people – and that’s very clear in corporate worship services all over.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Worship Journal 5

I’ve been reading the Tozer book. He sure has some strong things to say about worship. It’s kind of interesting to see someone saying the things he said, back when he said them. I appreciate his assessment of the leaders of the church and a consideration of their influence in leadership according to their passion in prayer and worship. I hate when church leaders pray and it lacks any passion.

Someone also mentioned to me this week that he sees a lot of children worship happening in our culture. I thought he was right on with that thought. A lot of people with kids are worshipping (ordering their lives to ascribe supreme worth) to their children. I wonder how Tozer would speak into this phenomenon. I’d love to see his reaction to hearing that a church is family-centered instead of Christ-centered!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Planting Missional Churches 3

The third chapter of Stetzer's book is the token chapter on biblical basis. These chapters in every textbook drive me crazy. It's like every person has a biblical basis for their own slant on whatever. It's like treating the Bible like a horoscope.

That being said, this chapter isn't horrible, but it's not the kind of subject matter you wake your wife up to discuss. Here's some quotes of interest:

p.38 "Until the late eighteenth century, most Protestant Christians believed that Jesus' commisions applied only to those disciples who actually heard his words."

Worship Journal 4

4. October 16, 2007

Worship this weekend was alright. The sermon was excellent for me, the singing kind of regular – it didn’t really go anywhere for me. I didn’t really go anywhere either. I know that’s not supposed to be the point of worship, it’s supposed to be like is God honored and stuff like that, but that seems to be an ‘of course’ answer. I mean, wouldn’t a better question be – how was God insulted? That would be a way more interesting discussion, that’s for sure.
We had our first night of the year with singing worship at the high school worship gathering. I was also a night with HS volleyball, water polo and JV football. Needless to say, our attendance was down significantly and overwhelmingly male – it wasn’t exactly a great night to try and get them to sing. I thought it went well, though. I certainly don’t think God was very insulted by it! Great!


Mars Hill Church in Seattle is putting their sermon topic selection in the hands of bloggers in pajamas. You can vote up to 10 times per day and get a question put into the series.

Of course, I put one in and would love to have some of your votes!

See my question here

Let's see what we can do!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Book Nut

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Dedicated Reader
Book Snob
Literate Good Citizen
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Sex God 5

The fifth chapter of Sex God goes after the relationship between risk and love. It draws the two closely together showing how great risk potentializes great love. This is used as the descriptor of the incarnation - God's great risk because of his great love.

p.101 "As we read the Gospels, we find Jesus' message putting him more and more in conflict with the religious and political leaders of his day. He's threatening their power. This is what love does, it threatens the empires of power and control and wealth and manipulation."

Friday, October 05, 2007

Planting Missional Churches 2

Chapter 2 of Stetzer's book is on Redeveloping a Missional Mind-set for North America. I loved it from the get-go because he admitted that there is a great big country right about USAmerica. The one that most consumer oriented Christian writers ignore because there's just not enough Christians there to support the Christian merchandise machine. Not that that's a sore point with me...

The chapter begins with some horrible math and misuse of statistices (as do most) but then settles down into a valid assessment of the influence of madern rationalism on Christianity in the western world. To the point that, in my estimation, Modern Western Christianity has become more modern and western than it is Christian.

Here's some great quotes:

p.19 "The end of Christendom allows the church to recognize that the gospel is distinct from Western culture."

p.22 "Instead of engaging in missional thinking, churches tend to fall back on one of two appeal to tradition of an appeal to technique. Neither is the response of a missional congregation."

p.24 "The church absorbed in technique is convinced that it's missional - that it's techniques actually are actually expressions of misison, while they are actually methods that replace missional thinking."

p.29 "Most church planters start the church in their head and not in their community."

A great and accuarate warning for the western church that pastors must put some thought to.

Sex God 4

The fourth chapter in Rob Bell's book is on lust. It's a great centerpiece for this book as Bell disects what makes people sin - continually. It isn't the lust, either - it's the willingness to accept what one is told (by your mind, desire, the devil, etc.) as truth coupled by the inability to see that the chosen path does not lead to life - which means it works in opposition to God.

One of the things I love is the way Bell instructs the reader to redirect their (sexual) desire into something much much better. It's a very different approach than that of my "we-put-the-mental-in-fundamental" bible school, where the over-riding approach was duck and cover in the face of anything beautiful. Under that system some relationships and marriages were based solely on finding someone with the same calling as yourself to be a partner with - with little consideration of the beauty in the other person.

Great chapter, insightful and would be a great discussion starter!

Everything is Spiritual

So, Rob Bell has just released the website for his everything is spiritual tour. That's the one where the lady from zondervan told me I could just go down to Los Angeles to see him, that'd be my closest venue (Great west coast geography...). Hi snew tour, The Gods Aren't Angry is coming to Portland (much, much closer) but would cost me $45 to take my wife. I'm sure it goes to a good cause, but it's just not gonna happen, especially in a blog world. Last week I got to learn from Len Sweet and he talked about how people are going to pay for content less and less - what they'll pay for is a relationship. That's exactly why I don't need to pay $45 to hear something first hand - I can get info for free from blogs!

!Viva la revolucion!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Muslim Punk Music

So, the Rolling Stone magazine is talking about it and I have no idea what to do with it. How is the rise of Muslim music going to be accepted?

Read the ariticle by clicking on the title link - what do you think will happen? What can the businessmen learn from CCM? What will come of Taqwatour?

Worship Journal 3

1. October 4, 2007

Well I haven’t really gotten to the Tozer book. It’s been put behind two other textbooks,
but I will get to it eventually. Thinking about worship – this past weekend was pretty regular. A lot of time people think that good worship is all about that big moment, that one thing that surprised everyone. I think that’s really true, those moments are awesome and enjoyable, but, there’s something to be said for the steadiness of God and the people who worship him. Maybe that’s why people like the hymns so much – because they’ve been around so long, there’s a certain amount of trust in a faithful song that has been a part of keeping the church steady in worship so long.
I am going to be picking up the new David Crowder Band album, hopefully this
weekend. I will surely love to worship along to those songs as they just seem to be able to wonderfully put words into my feelings about God. I am also excited to see them live on the 18th of this month – I think we can anticipate a worship journal that is a little excited about that experience. I’m looking forward to a big moment!

Holy Rule 7 - of humility

This is the longest chapter so far in the Benedictine rule. It lays out the 12 levels of humility, so that, by attaining the 12 levels a monk will reach full and perfect (fearless) love of Christ.

It is so intresting to read because I thought the peak was a t level three and then it kept going and going - and gives a lot of conviction and challenge into the world of humility - and perserverance of spiritual discipline - as a monk develops. The relationship between humility and perserverance is direct according to the Benedictine Rule. To say humility is growing and not be developing in patience and perserverance is a impossibility for this way.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Monday, October 01, 2007

Name Your Blog

You know you want to be a published superstar who gets 10 independent hits a day!!

It all rests on your ability to pick a good blog name. Here's some help: BLOG NAME GENERATOR

Worship Evangelism

I really love Sally Morganthaller (sp?). I've always had a funny feeling about her contending for worship evangelism. Her book was put into much practice in the youth ministry I now lead, and "successfully" so (quotes indicate success according to formerly chosen metrics, of which I disagree).

She now has gotten out of the worship industry and published a really wild article through a little ministry in Idaho. Here's a taste:

No sad songs. No angry songs. Songs about desperation, but none about despair. Worship for the perfect. The already arrived. The good-looking, inoffensive, and nice. No wonder the unchurched aren't interested.

Read the rest here.


The American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied only a little while.

The American then asked, “Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more fish?”

The Mexican said, “I’ve got enough to support my family's immediate needs.”

The American then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats; eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you would run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But senor, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15-20 years."

”But what then, senor?”

The American laughed, “That's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

”Millions, senor? Then what?”

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos..."

ht: bob