Toward the end of the apostle Paul’s life he writes a letter to a man named Philemon. Philemon had been intimately involved in the Colossian church and had built a reputation of being a man of character in the community. In the letter the apostle Paul goes on to affirm Philemon’s character and refers to him as a refresher. Leading me to consider, “What if the church was refreshing?”
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5 Tips on Parenting
For the last 6 months we have had a friend living with us and this next week she will be moving out. To be honest, we are a little excited. We will get to walk around in our underwear, we will get some space back in our fridge, we will…well that is all I can really think of because it has been something we have really enjoyed.
When most people find out we have someone living with us they usually say something like, “I’m sorry.” As though we had been taken hostage in our own home and had no choice. In reality it has been a great experience (at least for our family) and the greatest value was the one it will leave on our children.
What if the church benefited culture?
Sometimes culture seems so abstract it is difficult to determine the best way for the church to benefit culture. To help make that process easier many people have identified 7 domains of culture. These are typically the primary influences of the culture. Below is a list of the 7 domains and our challenge is to identify how the church could benefit the culture collectively and individually.
Volleyball @ Brentwood Park
We got to get together with some people to play volleyball at Brentwood Park and it was a lot of fun. I have noticed as we move forward to see a church and a people that are living on mission that it is easy to get so focused on the mission that we forget about relationships and connecting with each other. I was encouraged to see that even though we didn’t have hangouts every week sense we started meeting together, our group was surprisingly excited to hang out with each other. Which led me to a few observations:
Creating a website has been a bit of a roller coaster. At first we were excited to have a website and then after trying time after time to create a “branding” it seemed impossible. Our context is rather eclectic and it was difficult to find a website that would capture so many different characteristics. It got to the point where we no longer cared about a website.
Recently started reading Philippians. We are going through the book as a core team and going through it with one of our neighborhood gatherings. I have always thought of the theme revolving around joy and just quickly concluded the joy was in reference to Jesus. Kind of that whole “Jesus loves you, be happy” kind of thinking, but it seemed there was always a disconnection. I would read that Jesus loves me, but I didn’t always “feel” joy. I still believe Jesus is the focus, however, recently seeing the practical part of that joy is found in how we live through Jesus.
Who Is Leading Worship?
This is a question I am starting to get lately. Never before did I wish that I grew up playing the guitar to get girls to talk to me. I could have a one man show that was all about me.
This is one of our challenges right now. There is a part of me that believes it will all come together and it will work out fine, however, there is another part of me that believes I am being naive and need to have more urgency in this area.
Four Myths About God
As I have spent time with people over the last 10 years I have seen a common misconception of who God is. Due to our life experiences, background, family, and religious influences it seems there are at least 4 myths of God:
Santa God: This is that God that we turn to when we are in trouble and we need him to come through for us. We will call out to him in desperation to get a house, car, spouse, job, etc. Or even call out to him on more serious matters like the health of a loved one, relational conflict, or financial strain. We crawl up into his giant Santa God lap and let our requests be made known. When we find ourselves about to get a speeding ticket we think to ourselves, “Santa God, if you let me go with a “warning” then I will be good for the rest of the year.”
Austin City Limits
In October Austin will host one of the largest music festivals in the country. This year will have well known musicians like Pearl Jam, Beastie Boys, Dave Matthews Band, and up and coming artists like Flogging Molly, Phoenix, and Black Joe Lewis.
Lucy Read Pre K
Dropped off the paper work today for the school. It isn’t 100% done but it is moving us in the right direction. Our hope is to solidify some dates in the summer for us to provide “previews” and work our way toward a weekly gathering in September.
The school has some limitations as a location but overall we are excited about the opportunity. It is the only Pre K school in AISD and primarily serves low income families.
I am in a network of churches in Austin and our vision is to saturate the city of Austin with new churches. Our goal is to have 5 churches have a shot at starting in the city every year for the next 5 years before we re-evaluate.
Our plan was to go to Exponential (a conference for those interested in starting a new church) and make connections with those who might be interested in coming to Austin and partnering with us in our vision to saturate Austin.
We live in Texas and if you grow up in Texas or live here long enough there are two things that happen: First, you become a big fan of Texas. Not necessarily the “Lone Star State” guy who puts stars up all over his house, but when you are surrounded by states like Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico it just leads to arrogance. After all we do have paved roads.
Possible Meeting Location
Tomorrow I am going to walk through one of our top locations. I had been hoping to find a spot that was free, already set up, provided chairs, audio, and refreshments, but that hasn’t happened yet.
Our hope is to start meeting in a home in May, and then once a month in our future location, and then start meeting weekly in September. Now the location we meet in once a month doesn’t have to be our weekly location, but it would help.
September – December: Easiest mistake in starting a new church is to simply go with what is on the surface. Culture is deceptive and so are our emotions, intellect, and desires. Instead of making a quick decision we spent many weeks praying through neighborhoods, talking to people, spiritual conversations, and getting council as we waited for Jesus to show us where. We wanted to spend adequate time seeing what God sees before “doing”.
Happy Easter Pt. 2
As we approach this celebration there are two theological positions for us to reflect on:
Resurrection: His resurrection is equally important and without the resurrection our eternal state is still encased in sin. The penalty of sin has been satisfied through the cross but it is His resurrection that overcomes sin. Scriptures teaches the wages of sin is death, but Jesus overcomes death, and as a result overcomes sin. I was reading recently that few in the ancient world believed in the resurrection and although it is familiar to us, Christianity was born into a world where its central claim was known to be false.