Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2012

simple church

Doing a quick Kindle read of a recommended book, Simple Church by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger.  Getting some good thoughts from this, and of course, Kindle allows me to underline, and then cut and paste from my clippings text file.   About halfway through here are some key highlights: Study findings: "There is a highly significant relationship between a simple church design and the growth and vitality of a local church." Sadly, most churches miss this truth. They are not simple. They have not designed a simple process for discipleship. They have not structured their church around the process of spiritual transformation. And they are making little impact.  To have a simple church, you must design a simple discipleship process. This process must be clear. It must move people toward maturity. It must be integrated fully into your church, and you must get rid of the clutter around it. A simple church is designed around a straightforward and strategic process that m

living with the end in mind

Here are some notes and quotes from Don Emerson's message on Sunday... “A wise person always lives with the end in mind” “'If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you will be right.' When I was 17, I read this quote and for the past  33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself; ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to  do what I am about to do today?’ Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I have ever encountered to help  me make the big choices of life.” (--Steve Jobs, Stanford University, 2005) We leave lasting footprints after we’re gone by... --Demonstrating how to handle failure. --Investing in the lives of others around us. --By modeling the good life of loving and obeying God. --By showing how to die with confidence and hope. We leave lasting footprints after we’re gone by... 1) Demonstrating how to handle failure. “ … I have now allowed you to see it with your own eyes

dignity, humility continued

Blaise Pascal, in his Pensees , on human weakness and dignity... #347. Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed. The entire universe need not arm itself to crush him. A vapor, a drop of water suffices to kill him. But, if the universe were to crush him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him, because he knows that he dies and the advantage which the universe has over him; the universe knows nothing of this.  All our dignity consists, then, in thought. By it we must elevate ourselves, and not by space and time which we cannot fill. Let us endeavor, then, to think well; this is the principle of morality. #793. All bodies, the firmament, the stars, the earth and its kingdoms, are not equal to the lowest mind; for mind knows all these and itself; and these bodies nothing.  This last statement has sometimes been paraphrased, "We are greater than the stars, for we know them and they know nothing." Previous post: Scha

human dignity and humility

Francis Schaeffer, in The God Who Is There, shared a helpful diagram which illustrates the dignity and humility of humanity.   God is our Creator, infinite and self-existent.  We share with all other creatures our creatureliness and finite-ness.  There is a great chasm between us and God in this regards.  We will never be God, who alone is necessary and self-sufficient.  This is our humility. Yet on the side of personhood, we are very much like God.  We are made in his image (Gen. 1:26, 27).  We can think, reason abstractly, feel with complexity, plan and dream, and choose right or wrong. We can exercise dominion in the world and -- by God's grace -- create a human culture of truth, goodness and beauty.  The chasm then exists between the rest of the creatures and man.   It is important to remember both aspects of our make-up.

inexpensive starter FP

what is the church's mission?

During drive time I'm listening to  What is the Mission of the Church? Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom and the Great Commission , by  Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert.  Very thankful to for their offer of a free download on this! Here are some popular highlights, which will give a sense of the direction of this work: We believe the church is sent into the world to witness to Jesus by proclaiming the gospel and making disciples of all  nations.  This is our task. This is our unique and central calling. God does not send out his church to conquer. He sends us out in the name of the One who has already conquered. We go only  because he reigns. We are concerned that in all our passion for renewing the city or tackling social problems, we run the risk of marginalizing  the one thing that makes Christian mission Christian: namely, making disciples of Jesus Christ. If there are missiological implications from Genesis, their emphasis is not “go and bl


the morning after

On the morning after our national elections, this is what I’m thinking: the work of the church is far more important than the work of the government. Why is this? Jesus said his church would prevail against the gates of hell (Matt 16:18).  His kingdom is an eternal kingdom that outlasts and supersedes all governments (Dan 7:14).  The church is God’s own possession, purchased by the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28).  It is the church that can care for souls as well as bodies (Acts 2:42-47).  Wherever the church has gone, orphanages and hospitals have been established, and the outcast, the lonely and the dispossessed find a home.   It is the church that has gifted teachers who proclaim eternal truth (1 Cor 12:28ff).   The church is the pillar and buttress of truth (1 Tim 3:15).   God has given many special gifts to the church whereby people can be restored and built up.  It is through the church that God’s manifold wisdom is made known to heaven and earth (Eph 3:10).  Angels long

happiness (joy) the goal

Edwards writes in his first notebook of Miscellanies that it is not simply the glory of God that is the end, or goal, of creation.  Rather, it is  the enjoyment of the glory of God .  God eternally enjoys his glory within the Trinity.  Creation becomes an arena of God's revealed glory, specifically revealed to sentient creatures.  And it is not the knowledge of this glory only, nor the communication of it, that is the goal, but the enjoyment of it...   #3. HAPPINESS IS THE END OF THE CREATION, as appears by this, because the creation had as good not be, as not rejoice in its being. For certainly it was the goodness of the Creator that moved him to create; and how can we conceive of another end proposed by goodness, than that he might delight in seeing the creatures he made rejoice in that being that he has given them? It appears also by this, because the end of the creation is that the creation might glorify him. Now what is glorifying God, but a rejoicing at that glory he h