Batterson, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

At the very least you should notice this book because the title is about as long as your arm. Mark Batterson is a pastor of a multi-site church meeting in movie theaters, an author and a blogger. Everytime you turn around it seems we are seeing him right now and he’s not even published by zondervan!! That is until Zondervan buys Multnomah…

Anyways – this book is good. Not my kinda gig, but inspirational in a get off your but kinda way. He wants us to go out there and tackle the lions that are affecting us. Kinda like the time me and my friends attacked a bear with sticks. Or like the time my wife and I loaded up the van and moved to another country. Or the time we moved 3 time zones away to follow God’s call…yeah – I could write this book.

There are a couple nagging questions for me in this book though – like how age affects lion chasing and how careers develop, even the main character’s in this book, Benaiah. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.



So I have started a facebook. You can check it out. I started it because a lot of my family and friends from growing up in Canada are on there. A lot of them still live in snowy Canada, which makes me question their sanity. I also got on because it’s like my myspace without the porn and the girl who wants to be my girlfriend from the ‘true’ ads. Nick MAC told me that if I change my profile to ‘gay’ then those will switch to alluring men. But then all sorts of people will think I am gay?

Making us think…

Barth says…

I am not now saying anything new to you in reference to this question. It was indeed one of your most renowned and ablest men, General Superintendent Gunther Jacob in Cottbus, who not long ago announced the “end of the Constantinian era”. Because I have certain wariness about all theoretical formulation of a philosophy of history, I hesitate to make this expression my own. However, it is certain that something resembling this approaching end begins to show itself simply everywhere, but very sharply in your part of the world. It is certain that we all have reason to ask ourselves each of these questions and in every case quickly and clearly to give the answer:

No, the church’s existence does not always have to possess the same form in the future that it possessed in the past as though this were the only possible pattern.

No, the continuance and victory of the cause of God which the Christian Church is to serve with her witness, is not unconditionally linked with the forms of existence which it has had until now.

Yes, the hour may strike, and perhaps has already struck when God, to our discomfiture, but to his glory and for the salvation of mankind, will put an end to this mode of existence because it lacks integrity.

Yes, it could be our duty to free ourselves inwardly from our dependency on that mode of existence even while it still lasts. Indeed, on the assumption that it may one day entirely disappear, we definitely should look about us for new ventures in new directions.

Yes, as the Church of God we may depend on it that if only we are attentive, God will show us such new ways as we can hardly anticipate now. And as the people who are bound to God, we may even now claim unconquerably security for ourselves through him. For his name is above all names…

(Source: Karl Barth, “Letter to a Pastor in the German Democratic Republic” in How to Serve God in a Marxist Land (New York: Association Press, 1959) 45-80)

ht: alan hirsch

three things: Zero and Five and encouragment

This morning I took a challenge from Pastor Hacks dot com and decided my production goal for today would be to get my email inbox down to zero. I am not the most organized person in the world, and so my skills are not exactly compatable with responding to emails in a timely manner. Unfortuanately, if I want to not suck as a leader I need to get back to peeps and deal with details. So I sucked it up and went through an inbox that was up to 192 emails last week.

Also – I did a strength finder 2.0 thing that our whole staff is doing – it’s a cool and fastidious way for our staff to interact and be mutually encouraging and complimentary. My five strengths are:

IdeationPeople who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena. Input People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.
LearnerPeople who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.
Self-AssurancePeople who are especially talented in the Self-Assurance theme feel confident in their ability to manage their own lives. They possess an inner compass that gives them confidence that their decisions are right.
StrategicPeople who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.

Thidly, I was really encouraged today by a random email from someone in our church today and twice more over the past week. Unsolicited people letting me know that they think I am on the ball and they are praying for me and my family. It was plain stinking awesome. So, go open your email program and send your pastor (not me, ‘cuz i just told you to and it wouldn’t be as cool) an email listing all the things you appreciate about him/her and that you are praying for him/her. If you do that then you are awesome and you may comment on this post.


This past Saturday night our church started Saturday evening services. The group is not intended to be another option if you are busy on Sunday morning, but is a new ministry with a solid core group who are dedicated to exploring what Christianity looks like in a new postmodern world. It is also the baby steps of our church exploring what it would mean to become a multi-site church. We expereimented with it for Easter and had a lot of positive things happen – it seems good to us and to the Spirit…

It was really great to be there. We’ve been talking for a few years in this direction and we have been gathering and meeting with the core group since January. I am really hoping and praying that we are able to be where God is working and follow His lead in this new congregation.

Anyway – I wanted to post my notes from the teaching here. We don’t have a sound person at all yet, so there’s no recording. If you want to hear Kainos you’ll have to be there, or pray that God leads someone to become a sound person!!



Too much thinking today begins in Genesis 3 – “we are fallen”

Misses the real beginning – WE ARE CREATION

Genesis 1:26 (MESSAGE)

WE are creation and so we are made GOOD – male and female – unique because we are images of God – moral, ethical, capabilities, different

We are the developers of CREATION – ‘rule over’

We are made to BE WITH HIM.

But God gives us a choice – to live as we are created to – or to make our own way

ADAM and EVE choose their own way, sin

This happens all the time


People choose, yet God pursues

Genesis 3:9

1. SELF – first question – Where are you?
2. MOTIVATIONS – who told you that?
3. ACTIOS – what did you do?

We live as God asks these questions and creation groans in anticipation of God’s answer – the questions beg us to turn to God in worship because he is the only one who can respond to our choice to live away from HIM


Sin decays the culture quickly

And people get the questions backwards –

GENESIS 11:3ff

Let’s do something!!
Let’s figure out who we are!!
Let’s maintain where we are!!

And the OT becomes a place where harmony must be regulated, produced and continually restarted.

They begin to need to produce places and ways to see where God is – yet, they continually have the choice – with God or not

Noah, Babel, the formation of Israel, the exile, the return to Israel – these are all stories of regulations, production, failure and restarting.

In this cycle – LEADERS arose – prophets and judges who called out the questions of God to the people –

We can see this in Daniel – THE MESSAGE

Chapter 1 – Daniel’s story tells : WHERE IS HE?

And Daniel experiences blessing and a long career as he chooses to live with GOD instead of apart from Him.

And the voice of the prophets call out from a holy God –






Hebrews 12 calls Jesus the Author and Perfector of the faith

CHRIST IS THE ultimate response to the QUESTIONS…

a. Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God

JOHN 8 – if you know me you know the Father

JOHN 1:14 – the glory of God exists in his identifying with our limitations. NO OTHER GOD does this.

a. John 10:10 – LIFE TO THE FULLEST

Jesus was driven by the hope that you can have the best possible life – not just someday out there – but now and today

a. MATTHEW 5-7: the kingdom manifesto

Peculiar long teaching given by Jesus – no discussion – almost like a rant!

Summarize: (from McLaren, Secret Message of Jesus)

Be poor in spirit, mourn, be meek, hunger and thirst for true righteousness, be merciful, be pure in heart, be a peacemaker, be willing to joyfully suffer persecution and insult for doing what is right.

Be salt and light in the world – by doing good works.

Do not hate or indulge in anger, but instead seek to reconcile.

Do not lust or be sexually unfaithful in your heart.

Do not presume to make vows, but have simple speech, where yes means yeas and no, no.

Do not get revenge, but find creative and nonviolent ways to overcome evil done to you.

Love your enemies, as God does, and be generous to everyone, as God is.

Give to the poor, pray and fast secretly.
Don’t let greed cloud your outlook, but store up treasure in heaven through generosity.

Don’t worry about your own daily needs, but instead trust yourself to God’s care, and seek God’s kingdom first and foremost.

Don’t judge others, but instead first work on your own blindness.

God to God with all your needs, knowing that God is a caring Father.

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Don’t be misled by religious talk, what counts is actually living by Jesus’ teaching.

SO WE live in this way of Jesus – sure we fail, but God is chasing us asking us questions, and providing Christ as a response to our choice to sin.

WE must know, though, that if you follow these ways, the only natural place to end up is the cross…


Center of our space, even as we are sitting open to one another in community, it is the sacrifice of Jesus which is at our center.

Kainos is new – but it is really just a very old way of people following these ways and participating in communion to show our unity with God and with each other.

Our desire to be the kingdom of God – to be Eden again.



SO WE HAVE the beginning and the very ending of the story and our task is to

LIVE OUT the middle so that it aligns with the rest of the story.

The church is this act – universally and locally, SACC

There have been times when we have strayed from that story – both universally and locally…yet we continue to seek to get our questions in order and return to the gospel and be messengers of it.

Kainos is the new effort of SACC to bring the gospel to an emerging, postmodern culture.

We are asking who we are as Christians living in a new world?
How is the message of Jesus GOOD NEWS in this world?
What will we do to live the kingdom manifesto here?


Characteristics of the new world – authority based on trust, loss of a metanarrative, many truths can be held in opposition, deconstruction of hierarchy, communication revolution, terrorism – new kinds of military action, etc.

BARTH – “The gospel is not a truth among other truths. Rather, it sets a question mark against all truths.”

So it is my hope that Kainos holds a question mark to the emerging culture – not with words, but with LIFE!

So we will eat, play, sing, serve, explore, give and BE together as EPHESIANS 2:22

IN WORSHIP OUR Dominate metaphor will be a living room – as we sit totally comfortable with Christ in our midst.

By doing so, we hope to expand the mission to new places and reach new people with hope and light and love – 2 CORINTHIANS 10:15

But this is not our program or our mission –

Romans 12 (The MESSAGE) – we will all live it – we are all contributors – we are all co-creators as we partner with God


Acts 4:33

Much Grace be on us all.

Nice Christmas!

I was looking at another blog and have come across and offer of a whole free library that I want to be a part of (because of my love of the books) and want to get you in on if you blog at all.

Kevin Stilley is offering to give away up to $1000 of books! You can be a part of this give away by going to his site and getting in on the whole load of excitement.

I don’t know who Kevin is, but he seems to be an avid reader – which makes him someone with something to say, so check it out and get involved!

Amen, Healing the Hardware of the Soul

Dr. Dan Amen heads up a new organizational clinic that scans brain activity and attempts to medicate in order to stimulate and de-stinulate according to activity patterns. It makes a lot of sense to me – and I think I can make a scanner with a microwave, undeveloped photo film and tinfoil.

He gets into some theological questions which is where people in my class got all humanistically antsy. He questions whether people should be held accountable for their actions when their brain is sick and malfunctioning. He even asks if St. Paul had a brain siezure that caused his Damascus road vision instead of the traditional explanation.

These are good questions that should be considered. I like this book, even if a SPECT scan costs thousands upon thousands of dollars in a country with no public health care program for the masses. But, I don’t want to rant twice in a row.