Monthly Archives: April 2010

What Should Church Look Like?

There are some people that when you get together with you can’t help but dream about what a Christ-honoring church might look like.  I had coffee with one of those people this week. One of the things she asked me is “what would a hypothetical new church look like?”

I appreciate the challenge and pointedness of the question. It is far easier to pontificate about what church should be than to really put flesh on it.

As we talked, here is part of what I think a church should like:

The church should do 5 things (worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and mission); and should be a gathering of Kingdom-people passionately pursuing the King of Kings; and the church should invest in our community, making a significant positive impact on the community — so that if the church would dissapear, the community would feel the loss.

I know it is not pithy… but captures a lot of what I think the church needs to be.

What are your thoughts? Do you know of churches really doing this? What does it look like in real life?

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Posted by on April 30, 2010 in Uncategorized


Three Me’s

Some days I feel like there are three me’s.

  • ME #1 is the ME most people see. 
  • ME #2 is the ME most people don’t see.
  • ME #3 is the ME I want to BE.

To be more specific:

ME #1: in many respects, well adjusted given all that has happened. Successful at school and work. Bit-by-bit re-building a normal life. This is the ME that can’t quite escape being a pastor — in a good way. People still confide in me, ask me to pray with them, look to me for wisdom. This is also the ME who is a leader and a teacher and a strategic thinker. The ME that is surprisingly successful at almost whatever he tries (surprising to me). And this is in many ways the real me that people have always known… and the best of me. Passionate, compassionate, optimistic, visionary, funny (in a kind of weird way), etc.

ME #2: Desperately sad and mildly depressed. Hurt, sad, and tired of the continual false accusations, lack of forgiveness, and mean attacks. This ME still wakes up everyday and has that first thought of “my life sucks — and always will.” This ME is often lonely, scared, sad, angry and hopeless. Now this ME is not more real than ME #1… but he is real nonetheless. I wish he wasn’t. I try to hide him from others and ignore him myself. Some days that works and ME #1 wins… other days ME #2 wins. The truth is that the relational losses I have experienced the past year are almost unbearable. There is really no other way to describe it. As I have written before, the whole process has been incredibly dehumanizing and painful. The continual rejection, lack of forgiveness, continuing false accusations, etc… and these things trigger cycles of negative thoughts that lead in a downward spiral. These are the days that ME #2 wins.  Any day ME #2 wins is a bad day.

ME #3: The way I hope to be… and I get glimpses of this every once in a while. It is the authentic ME #1 without ME #2. It is all the things that I am (my SHAPE), but with even more authenticity, compassion for others, and grace towards others. It is ME #1, but with renewed passion, purpose, dreams, visions, and hopes.

Each day is a battle and I wish I could say it is getting easier. But it is not.

Why write and share this here?

Well… as I have alway said, this blog is simply a window into my life — raw, uncensored, honest, transparent.  Good, bad and ugly.

I also find that writing is therapeutic for me. Sometimes when my mind gets running, it can just get caught in a vicious cycle of negativity. Writing helps me focus and clarify — and gives me a perspective that is always helpful.

And also I really do believe in the power of prayer… and know that many of you pray. So the added advantage to being totally open and honest is that you can pray for me more specifically.

Are there downsides to sharing like this?


Some people over-react and freak out (please don’t). Some people parse every word and try to read between the lines (there is nothing to read there). Some accuse me of playing the victim or being manipulative or such — all I can say is of that is what you think, you are probably better off not reading this blog.

So that is a little insight into where I am today… tomorrow I may be somewhere else… it is a journey indeed.

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Posted by on April 29, 2010 in Uncategorized


Jennifer Knapp, Bob Botsford & Ted Haggard on Larry King Live

Here is the interview and panel discussion with Jennifer Knapp, Pastor Bob Botsford and Rev. Ted Haggard on Larry King Live last week. If you missed it I think it is worth watching… would love to hear your thoughts.

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Posted by on April 28, 2010 in Uncategorized


Father, Son & Holy Book

For too many conservative and fundamentalist Christians, their conception of the Holy Trinity is pretty much “the Father, Son & Holy Book”.  In other words, many are guilty of “bibliolatry” — worshiping the bible, often to the exclusion of the Holy Spirit.

In response to such heresy, here is an interesting quotation from Ted Haggard that he posted on Facebook last week:

“The Bible didn’t die on the cross for me, it tells me about how Christ died for me. Jesus’ blood saves me, the Bible tells me about that, but it didn’t bleed for me. Jesus will never leave me or forsake me, that’s what the Bible says, but I might not have access to a Bible always — but I always have access to the Holy Spirit. The Bible is not God, it is the book that tells me about God. We must not worship the Bible, that would be idolatry. We worship the God of the Bible. That’s the difference – and it’s very important.”


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Posted by on April 27, 2010 in Uncategorized


Take a moment to worship today…

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Posted by on April 26, 2010 in Uncategorized


Broken is Beautiful

A powerful video from the folks at People of the Second Chance:



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Posted by on April 26, 2010 in Uncategorized


Quick Take: Gays at Prom

Many of you have probably been following this story about the school that cancelled its prom so that a lesbian teenager could not attend with her girlfriend. Not every school system handles it this way… for example here.

My quick take: those who opposed the student attending prom are 100% wrong and 100% hypocritical.

They are wrong — legally and morally — and inflict damage on gay teens everywhere… certainly a group that does not need to be beat up anymore than they already are.

And they are hypocritical for this reason… those that oppose allowing LGBT students to attend prom (and please note, in this case she would not have been allowed to attend alone… you had to have a date for this prom) argue that to allow them would be to support “sinful behavior”.

For just a moment, let’s assume that two teenagers dancing together and having fun at a glorified school dance could be construed as sinful (not quite sure where you find that in scripture, unless you are a baptist who thinks all dancing is sinful)… but assume that position… and ignore the obvious issue of whether a public school has any business enforcing such a view (it does not)… there is still a major problem…

No one opposed heterosexual couples who were sleeping together from going to the prom (also sin, I assume, from the perspective of those opposing the gay students)… no one suggested banning any students who were going to have random hookups after prom… or get drunk… or stoned… etc etc… 

The truth is that proms are seeding grounds for tons of “sinful behavior” — pretty much endorsed by the school and parents. But no one cared about those things… just the gay student.

So that is my quick take… what is yours?

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Posted by on April 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

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