Monthly Archives: April 2008

Pangea Day

4 Hours.  24 Films.  A new way to see the world.

On May 10th, gather to watch films made by the world for the world, broadcast live around the globe.

This event is a worldwide event designed to be watched as a community.  We’re hosting an event at our house to accomplish the following things:

1. Expand our horizon and awareness to “others” beyond ourselves around the world.

2. To connect with those around us in our community that share the same heart to love one another.

3. To be inspired.  I love the Pangea Day quote: “Movies can’t change the world, but people who watch them do.”  In a world that is so easy to see our differences – we need to keep focus on God’s dream for the world and realize how He includes us that dream!  To truly be inspired to change the world – to experience His Kingdom here on earth.

Come see the world through different eyes.  Begin to change the lenses from which you’ve viewed the world from your entire life – one of self and individualism.  Gather with people that have different social classes, different economic classes, different race, different background…and gather together to find your similarities.

If you’re in the Portland-Vancouver area on May 10th – please join us!  If you aren’t going to be in our area, think about hosting your own event or finding one near you.

If you end up hosting an event – share your experiences with us!!

 

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Here and Now…

You know those times…when you’d just like to camp out for a bit…when the glimpse In is just too much?  I’m overwhelmed this morning…I’m overwhelmed by the Kingdom.  

What’s that mean?  What’s that really mean?

It means everything.  It means all.  It mean that everything matters.  It means the Kingdom is here and now.  It means we don’t have to wait.  It means…it means that God is for us.  The God of this universe is actually for us!  No guilt.  No pressure.  No competition.  Just love.  His overwhelming love.  We can go in this world and love and be loved! 

Now.  

Not tomorrow.  Not when I have more time.  Not when I get out of debt.  Not when life gets better.  Here and Now. Why wait for Heaven?  Why wait for Heaven…when Jesus says “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  In a world that is constantly reminding us that its’ foundation is fear, power and control…this Kingdom is here and now.  We don’t have to live the way the world lives.  Instead of fear, power and control – we can live by Love, by Hope and by Faith…all things that are His life!  In reality they are Him.  We call them different names, but they’re all Him – distinctively.  We don’t have to project this Life into “another world.”  This reality can be our reality of today.  This changes everything!  This is our Hope – a hope that truly satisfies.

God calls us to live in the tension between two realms, holding them precious together.  He’s telling His story.  Truly, what part will you play today?

There’s so much here.  There’s so much more to come – it’s just too much…

And life could not be more exciting.  Today is the most exciting day of our lives.

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Sometimes, the worst part of buying something…

…is the buying part.

Check out this very quick post by marketing guru Seth Godin.

I love Seth.  I read him and subscribe to him.  But this is the consumerism that scares me.  It all scares me, but the simplicity of this is unbelievable.

Buying never satisfies.  It’s the world’s most accepted form of Heroin.  Our economy is driven and actually measured by it.  We actually measure how “well” our economy is doing by its’ production and consumption.

Let’s, as a “called out people,” stop this hypnotic dance with the world.  How incredible and earth shaking would it be…if Christians started to recognize this trance of consumerism we’ve fallen into.  We’d suddenly not fit into this system very well would we?  Right now, we’re “okay.”  We’re accepted – actually we’re loved. Because we consume…a lot.  Everything must change. 

Tramps like us…

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I Can’t Stand It Anymore…

“Since 1913, the United States witnessed only one other year of such unequal wealth distribution — 1928, the year before the stock market crashed, according to Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington.”

I wish this quote wasn’t true.  I wish I could post about how things in the United States were improving…that the gap between the wealthy and poor was diminshing – but it’s not.  It’s getting worse, much worse.

One of the leading hedge fund managers, John Paulson, made $3.7 billion dollars in 2007.  No typo here…it really is $3.7 billion…BILLION…in one year…for one man.  It’s 14 times more than Oprah Winfrey and 32 times more than Tiger Woods made last year!

Is the gap really widening?  The amount executives are making is 18 times more than they did in 2002.  It’s clearly widening.

If you can stomach it, click here for the full article.

The Tension: A year ago – I’d be defending these executives.  They work hard-They risk big-They deserve every penny they make.  But I can’t do it anymore.  This world’s system is all about “getting mine” no matter at whose expense.  As long as I get mine – it doesn’t matter if you “get yours.”  This is the ultimate in self-protection.  There is so much here.  This is what this blog is about.  How do we, as a called out people, operate completely in contrast to this world’s system?  A recent Barna study revealed that Christianity is so closely connected to consumerism that believers can barely be distinguished from the outside culture. “Barely” may even be a stretch.  We’ve got to look different. We’ve got to subvert this empire.  This is why I blog.  To share with you how I’m being transformed and to hear how each of you are being transformed.  How the decisions you’re making don’t make any sense to the world and even to the Christian system.  How your lives are being invaded and taken over by a new Kingdom culture…and to hear how instead of this being depressing…its actually the best thing that’s ever happened to you!!  

Please don’t be quiet any longer.  The world is listening.  Other disciples are listening.  We need to share and hear from each other.

How is the Kingdom culture invading your life?  How is your world being turned upside down?

 

 

 

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Is Theology Important?

I think its important for us to realize that Theology and Doctrine are not the same thing.  With most of us having departed from the institutional church, it’s easy to have a slight fear to reluctancy to use some words or terms – and I think Theology is one of them.  The word seems so scholarly, so rigid, so pedantic, it seems maybe “unpractical” and maybe meant to be discussed exclusively by clergy or at least intellectuals.  And I don’t think those could be more wrong.  I do however think it’s completely normal for us to feel this way about the word – but also be good to become comfortable with the word again.  To me, Theology simply means – “thoughts on God.”  That’s it?  That’s it.  It’s your thoughts on God.  And the cool thing is, we all have them – even if we think we do or not.  We all have our thoughts and opinions on God based on the things we’ve been taught and the experiences we’ve had or not had.  Everything we’re taught and every experience shapes our “thoughts on God.”  “I believe God is a loving God because he rescued me from a horrible time in my life.”  Or, “I think God is an unloving God because he didn’t rescue me from a horrible time in my life.”  So, since we all realize we all have a Theology – it hopefully will become easier and more comfortable to share it with each other.  Most importantly – we need to realize: our different Theology doesn’t mean one of us is right and one of us is wrong.  We can’t be afraid to share with each other in fear that my thoughts don’t match up with your thoughts.  They’re just thoughts – you don’t have to cling on to them or be afraid of them.

For me, I’m realizing how valuable it is to write them down.  I think we tend to gloss over some of our thoughts or beliefs about God without REALLY thinking about what that means or why we think that way.  How many of you would be comfortable answering this question in front of the group: What does it mean to you that “we meet under the headship of Jesus Christ?”  How comfortable to would you be to answer that right now?  I think most of us would agree to that statement, but I don’t know how many would be comfortable answering it.  So, I think writing it down – makes you ACTUALLY think about what you think about.  You can’t just skip over a thought if you actually have to write it down.  It’s so easy to skip over thoughts and think – “well, I just know what that means…”

And for me – writing isn’t easy.  It’s not easy and I don’t like it.  But – I think there is value for us all to stretch ourselves and be able to write out our thoughts on God or Core Values.  I think it’s easy to maybe just fall on just believing what my husband believes or what this or that brother believes.  How incredible would it be for somebody to sit down to write down their core values …and really not know what to write down.  How exciting is that??  I think both – scary and exciting actually.  And that’s okay.  Normal and okay.  The greatest thing about seeing what everyone’s Theology and Core Values are…is that it will effect and shape my Theology.   This Christian life indeed continues to be a shared One…how incredible is that?

As far as Doctrine goes: Doctrine and Core Values could defined as being similar – both meaning “beliefs or positions.”  But the difference – and it’s a biggie – is that doctrine refers to a “principle of law.”  And I don’t believe this exercise that we’re doing has anything to do with Doctrine or putting law into effect.  There’s a huge difference between a belief you have versus a law that is mandatory.  One you self protect and the other you don’t.  One breeds Life and the other one breeds death.

So, let’s realize that we’re doing this exercise to find our Lord in together and not to find reasons to split or disagree.  Not meeting together because our beliefs are a little different from each has been done before…again…and again….and again.  We don’t all believe the exact same thing…hey, maybe that could be one of our core values… 🙂  Also, it’s important that visitors know what we believe.  We can’t depend on “personal one-one-one’s” to accomplish this everytime we have a visitor.  So – knowing what we believe is two fold!!  For us AND for visitors.

I’ll end with this:

We have to be okay with being wrong.  We have to be okay with not knowing everything.  We have to be okay with realizing that we don’t have God figured out.  We have to be okay with the fact that our “core values” may look different a week after we write them down.  We have to be okay with our Theologies looking different after talking with a fellow Brother or Sister.  And just because you write something down – doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong.  It just means that it was for you at that moment in time.  It is okay to be wrong.  Let’s agree that we’re going to look back on our lives five years from now and realize that we missed the boat on some things…and be okay with that.

It’s not about right or wrong – it’s about Christ.  And it’s about what it means “to be about Christ.”  It’s about God telling His story and us getting to be a part of it.  It’s about His life being lived out in each one of us while living in the tension between two realms.

Life could not be more exciting.

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My life is being turned upside down…

I recently had lunch with Steve Kimes, pastor at Anawim Christian Community.  Anawim is Hebrew meaning “the poor people who are going to be blessed because they depend on God.”  They’re a community church of the homeless and mentally ill (not one of popular demographics for American Christians to hang out with).  To clarify – I don’t mean they give annual donations to the mentally ill…and I don’t mean they visit the homeless once a month…I mean they actually are a community made up of the homeless and mentally ill. They actually are homeless and mentally ill. What’s amazing is Steve Kimes looked for churches that would welcome these people – and he realized they’re…well, not really welcome.

Not welcome?  Not welcome at church?  Not really surprising I guess.  People without homes and unstable mental capabilities don’t really work in our “contemporary” church services.  Branding and service-flow has become so important – the truly needy don’t really fit in.

So Steve decided to create a church for and made up of the homeless and mentally ill.  The sad part he says…nobody else really comes.  I’m not sure what’s a bigger tragedy, the fact that nobody “normal” belongs to their community or the fact that the needy aren’t welcome anywhere else?

I went to lunch with Steve because my world’s being turned upside down.  His entire life looked different than mine.  I’ve been a “Christian” since I was 14…but my life really hasn’t looked that different than most everyone else’s.  Why is it that Jesus’ life look enormously different than the worlds…but modern (American) Christians lives really don’t?  Things aren’t adding up.  I’m too comfortable.  American Christianity is too easy – at least what I’ve known as Christianity.  A great test that I’ve recently asked myself is “If you turned the sound of your life off, would it look any different than everybody else’s?”  It’s the answer to this question that is causing my life to be turned upside down. 

Christ called us to be set apart from the world.  Not just on the inside…but on the outside too.  Every part of Christ’s life confounded everyone around Him.  His life looked extremely different than the worlds.  Why do we think our lives should be any different?   If my insides (spirit) has been transformed…how can it not effect my outside?

The Tension:  The inward must effect the outward.  You cannot have one without the other.

 

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