Archives For September 2006

A speaker I once heard quoted Henry Ford as saying, “I’m looking for a lot of men with an infinite capacity for not knowing what can’t be done.” I love that thought! The idea that we can accomplish what someone else thinks impossible.

Maybe I like it so much because God is always sticking ideas in my heart that other people scoff at. Maybe I like it because it reminds me that I’m not the only one who’s not satisfied with status quo existence. Ford basically stated what he was going to do and gave people the chance to join him or mock him. “I’m going to do what’s ‘impossible’ – want to help?Most of us drive the mass-produced results of his undefeatable attitude.

But there’s a bigger picture for us. Today, God is at work in the world doing the impossible. He’s transforming self-absorbed, self-righteous individuals into a community of faith, hope, and love. He’s turning people’s attention from themselves to their neighbors. He’s changing my focus from what I want to what others need.

You might expect me here to say that He’s doing it in the church and you should attend more often and be a part of it…But that’s not where I’m going. God’s not just at work in the church – He’s at work everywhere in the world around us. Volunteerism isn’t just something that a few ‘extra-nice’ people do anymore. Students no longer do community service because they broke the law. And they don’t just do it because they have to get some credits to graduate, either. They do it because they want to help!

Unfortunately, many adults have turned their blindside to youth. They’d rather believe the status quo that youth are always getting in trouble and disrespectful. But God is at work in the youth of today, and He definitely has “an infinite capacity for not knowing what can’t be done.” Do you? Then work with God to build future generations.

Good Article from Mark Driscoll

Mike —  September 19, 2006 — Leave a comment

Just read this on Mark Driscoll’s blog. His last book was a great story of what God’s been doing through the church over the last 10 years. Pray that the junk that’s gone on will only strengthen the church for the future.

Returned.

Mike —  September 19, 2006 — Leave a comment

The men’s retreat went fairly well from all indicators that I’ve seen. Thank you for praying. I got through all 4 messages without saying anything really stupid, and there were only a couple guys that caught a few zzz’s while I talked! Seriously though, it was evident that God had something to say and I’m glad I got to be a part of it. (If I can, I’ll get the gists of my messages posted here later, which would be a lot easier if I’d have had some notes!)

We golfed on Friday and Saturday, despite the crazy wind, and that was fun, too. I’ve finally learned how to hit the ball, so my scores are much better (though I’d still hesitate to call them good). I may be at the point now, though, where I’m good enough to really have fun, and inconsistent enough to get really frustrated.

I’m getting ready to buy an old junked car that I’m going to race next year, too. They’ve started a new class at the track here for 4 cylinder cars that you don’t modify much at all so it’s cheap, so I’m going to race next season! It’s been a great way to get to know a few guys from church and the students I take out with me. Plus, I’m really looking forward to driving fast with a bunch of other cars!

Also this week, I began leading a Bible Study at the Middle School here in town before school on Monday. It’s pretty exciting to be invited in to do this in a public school.

God’s at work.

Question…

Mike —  September 12, 2006 — 2 Comments
In preparing sermons for the men’s retreat that I’m speaking at this weekend, I came across some notes I took from a sermon by Len Sweet given at a National Youth Leader’s Convention a few years ago. (I’ll be borrowing his term ‘pneumanaut’ for the weekend.)
In describing a shift in focus in the church from the Reformation to the present, he contends that God is moving the church into a more missional mindset. From the “Here I stand.” mentality of Martin Luther to the “There we go.” of today’s missional churches. The question that the church has been asking for the past several centuries (especially evident in the modern evangelical churches), “How do we get more people to come?” is giving way to the more missional, “How do we send more people out?”
In youth ministry, I am constantly asked, “So how many kids do you have coming?” It’s tough sometimes to not get snippy with well-intentioned questioners, because the truth of the matter is that we have quite a few kids, with the potential for a lot more, but that’s not the point. How many kids am I sending out? How many of my students are taking the kingdom with them into their schools? How many are setting aside the ambition of the world in order to serve Christ with every ability they have been given? These are the questions that should be asked.

Pneumenauts ~ Navigating by the wind of His Spirit.

The big statement in Sweet’s sermon was that God is on a mission in the world. The big question is “WILL GOD’S MISSION HAVE A CHURCH?” Will we set aside our own agendas in allegiance to His Kingdom?

Lately…

Mike —  September 7, 2006 — Leave a comment

Haven’t posted much lately due to about a half hour limit on daily internet usage before our server’s been ‘molassassed’ into non-functionalness. It’s fixed now (since we undid a change we made last week). Probably won’t be posting a whole lot next week either, since I have four sermons to be finishing up for a men’s retreat I’ll be speaking at next weekend. Also, I’ll be preaching here this Sunday night at WestWay if you want to come…

Something to Ponder

Mike —  September 7, 2006 — Leave a comment

I recently came across these articles about some research into the effects of homework. One is an article in Time, the other an article in Salon.com. Maybe there is more to life…

I guess it probably varies greatly by school, and even by teacher and student. How much is too much? I really appreciate the overall attention in the articles given to the concept of loving learning. If we can foster in kids a love for learning… we wouldn’t have to ‘assign’ busywork.

This has some great application in the church, especially in the area of discipleship. Often, discipleship is reduced to a process of forced daily 5 minute readings, shallow times of prayer, and mandatory attendance of weekly gab sessions with other ‘disciples’. (I know that’s the bleak side of the picture, but bear with me.) The view is that if you’re fulfilling these obligations daily and weekly (or is it weakly?) then discipleship must be happening. (Just like the thinking that, if you’re getting all your hours of homework done, then you must be learning.)

But the conclusions don’t strictly follow the actions. Just because you’re doing homework doesn’t mean you’re learning, and just because you’re dutifully going to your small group meeting doesn’t mean you’re a disciple. You’re a homework doer. You’re a faithful attender. Learning is more than filling in the right blanks. So is discipleship.

May you have a love for following the Master. May the love of growing more like Him lead you to pursue His likeness with everything you are in every place you find yourself – whether it’s assigned or not.