stream of consciousness

Here are some things on my mind this Friday morning:

  • My spiritual hero, Dallas Willard, died this week of cancer. I grieve for his family, and for those who’ve been shaped by his writings as I have. No other Christian author has impacted me as much as Dallas Willard. He is so much more than an author, though. Using the term “author” to describe him is a gross understatement.
  • I could post Dallas Willard quotes on this blog for a year and never run out. But, here’s one that came to mind as I was studying for this week’s message. It’s from The Great Omission: “Christians who do read their Bibles often don’t know their Bibles. The reason why they don’t know their Bibles is because they don’t really read their Bible as a treatise on reality, as something that brings change and transformation of our lives.”
  • Here’s another: “But, someone will say, can I not be “saved”—that is, get into heaven when I die—without any of this? Perhaps you can. God’s goodness is so great, I am sure that He will let you in if He can find any basis at all to do so. But you might wish to think about what your life amounts to before you die, about what kind of person you are becoming, and about whether you really would be comfortable for eternity in the presence of One whose company you have not found especially desirable for the few hours and days of your earthly existence.”
  • I was thrilled to hear my utility rates are going up again. I was just thinking they were far too low 😉
  • So all four American Idol judges are supposedly gone after this year. It’s been a good run, but it’s over. I think the best years were those when just Simon, Randy and Paula hosted–and it stayed really clean.
  • Glad to hear someone is in talks with Kiefer Sutherland to have 24 come back. However, it isn’t fair to play with my emotions this way. They must get it done. Jack needs to be back…Jack!
  • The Padres are on a roll. This is occupying my thinking to some level because of its rarity. When the Space Shuttle first landed on the moon…it was a big deal.
  • I’ve noticed people have a lot of opinions on doctrinal issues these days which are not grounded in Scripture. What I mean is that even for Christians, Scripture isn’t necessarily the starting point for shaping one’s worldview and opinions any more. Increasingly, it’s our own sense of what is right and wrong in our own eyes. Dangerous and sad.
  • Ask someone where the biblical root of their position is on a contemporary issue or doctrinal position. Fewer and fewer Christians can do so–or are interested in doing so. This of course doesn’t make their position unbiblical. However, doing/thinking was is simply right in one’s own eyes without considering God’s desires takes whatever position one takes off the mark–from a Christian perspective.
  • When I consult with churches, I’ll often ask to interview a few members of the congregation, the staff and elders. One of the questions I’ll ask them is, “If you were forced to choose one, is your congregation more loving or spiritual?” While these are obviously not mutually exclusive, I’ve never seen a church in decline where the dominant answer was “spiritual.”
  • Love is fruit of God’s Spirit. We need God to love others well.
  • Whatever happened to OJ Simpson?
  • I spent three days with the good people of the Solomon Foundation and learned some incredible stuff at the leadership conference. I got to know a lot more about two churches you ought to check out: Real Life Ministries (Post Falls, Idaho), and The Crossing (Quincy, Illinois). Both are extremely large churches that are multi-site and in, relatively, the middle of nowhere. If your church is in the country or located near “micropolis” communities, you ought to check these churches out. I’d add that Real Life is doing some amazing work in the area of discipleship, and the Crossing is doing some of the most ambitious and innovative multi-site stuff out there.
  • While at the Pepperdine Bible Lectures last week, I was thrilled to hear so many people talking about starting new churches. This is certainly a good thing.
  • Summer is stinking expensive when you have kids. And long. And awesome. And one month too long.
  • Let me encourage your church not to surrender the summer, entirely. It’s a time when people do a lot of transitioning, and we’ve noticed the summer provides one of our highest growth seasons.
  • So, if you are going to use the summer to water the horses, rotate people like a hockey team–regularly and somewhat briefly. Don’t play like it’s off-season. It’s not.
  • How can you not like the Golden State Warriors right now?
  • Dennis Bratton and Don Wilson (CCV) did a great and convicting session on Sabbath at the Solomon Foundation conference. I need to process that one and do something with it.
  • I got to play golf at Torrey Pines this past week. I’m still smiling.
  • The more time goes by, the more I love my Windows Phone.

What’s on your mind this Friday morning?