My to-do list for the day…and yours

Love others well, and don't hide behind a mask; love authentically. Despise evil; pursue what is good as if your life depends on it. Live in true devotion to one another, loving each other as sisters and brothers. Be first to honor others by putting them first. Do not slack in your faithfulness in hard work Let your spirit be on fire, bubbling up and boiling over, as you serve the Lord. Do not forget to rejoice, for hope is…

A Generous Life

I was challenged today to think about what it means to live a generous life. Now since I heard this challenge in the midst of a coaching session on generous giving, I was tempted to think in financial terms and move on from there. But the phrase "generous life" keeps coming back to haunt me. Let's discuss financial terms for a moment. We've all known people who -- whether by need or by personality -- are not generous with their…

Are You Being Served?

Have you had your toes stepped on lately? My pastor warned us that studying James was like having your toes stepped on repeatedly, and he's right. God does that sometimes, inflicts a little bit of emotional pain (or a lot of it) to teach us a lesson. Yesterday I was listening to the August 1 sermon by Buddy Hoffman from Grace Fellowship Church in Georgia. This church is my "second home church," and when Buddy brings an admonition, I listen.…

My father’s house

My father. I don't write about him often because words just can't capture the kind of man he was. He died four years ago, and the world -- my world -- has never quite been the same. As time has gone on, however, his life has begun to evolve and shift in memory. Reality, I guess, is being replaced with legacy. And what a legacy he leaves. For the past few days I've been listening to the Audio Adrenalin song…

Who’s at my door now?

We all get introspective around the first of the year, and I'm no exception. I finally got some time today to sit in Jeremy's Starbucks and just read and think. Right now I am reading Ron Martoia's new book, Transformational Architecture. Ron's writing is not the kind you can zip through at a breakneck pace! His last book, Static, really impacted my thought process and I can already feel this one doing the same thing. Today, I was thinking about…

Afraid of the future?

One sign of the interesting times we are living in is the increase in "chatter" out there in the community. Like the increase in friendly speculation on the approach of a hurricane, today people are wanting to discuss the economy, job market, election and the future. For some people the future seems to be a large, scary unknown, and they are looking for reassurance in the face of it. I firmly believe this represents an amazing opportunity for those of…

Where can you go to hang out in your town?

Sometimes the simplest of phrases catch my ear and stick with me. Today it was a random comment by Tim Stevens, written on his blog. He was referring to Ebenezers, the coffee shop run by Mark Batterson's church, National Community Church. The coffee shop was built as a place, he said, for the church and the community to hang out. That was it: the church and the community to hang out. How do you do that? Assuming that most churches…

Just add coffee

I spent part of my morning hanging out in Starbucks with David today, reading The Tangible Kingdom by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay. I came to a section that really gets me excited about my life because it fits my giftings: building community. Now those of you who know me realize that I actually do not enjoy hosting large parties, even though I regularly do this for my church community. I enjoy the fact that I CAN host large parties,…

Why Do Christians Come Late to the Party?

Yesterday I was struck by Ed Bahler's post on the importance of understanding the people who come to your Third Place, whether it be inside the church or a stand-alone coffee shop. And I have to agree with one of Ed's statements: if it was up to the church, we'd probably have still been doing a feasibility study on how to feed the 5000 while the crowd wandered off to the nearest pub. Can't you just see the chagrined disciples…

Have you lost your reputation yet?

I recently watched a video based on the book Jim and Casper Go to Church. The book, which I haven't read yet but is on its way (thanks to Amazon 1-click!), is the story of  an atheist who visits our churches and offers up his opinion. I am anxious to read his words, painful as they are likely to be. If you want to, watch the video over on Ed Bahler's blog, here. The words that convicted me are these:…

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