Dec
21
2011

Reflections on Isaiah 53

Isaiah 53

Last week I shared my first thoughts on the Common English Bible.  My intention was to read through it a little more and do another post and give away sometime in January, but this morning I was gripped by the CEB’s handling of the first six verses of Isaiah 53:  Who can believe what we have heard, and for whose sake has the LORD’s arm been revealed? 2 He grew up like a young plant before us, […]

Dec
20
2011

Come and Adore Him or Christmas is Coming!

Nativity Scene

It is hard to believe that Christmas Eve is only five days away. As you rush from party to party, event to event, and program to program my prayer for church leaders is that you will have the opportunity to stop, exhale, and adore Him.  We know that the busyness of the season can get in the way of our being able to truly celebrate it… many of you who are reading this may have […]

Dec
19
2011

When Your Message Tells People Don’t Come

social media

Nearly fifty years ago Marshall McLuhan’s book Understanding Media coined the phrase “the medium is the message.”  In the five decades since we have been struggling to fully come to grips with all the ramifications of different forms of media and how it is used.  Adding to the complexity is the speed at which media is changing, and the options that we now have at our disposal.  Over the last six months I have had seemingly dozens […]

Dec
16
2011

Finance Fridays: Church Budget Nuts & Bolts

BUdgets

Church budgets are on my mind at the moment. Since budgets are something I deal with almost daily, and December marks the end of the fiscal year for many churches, I thought it was time to share a little bit on budgets.  While there are MANY philosophies on how to create a budget, most churches break down into one of two catagories: Those who budget with the expectation that growth will happen and help them […]

Dec
15
2011

Ministry Systems: Cutting Out the Noise

Person Annoyed by Others Talking

Over the last few weeks I have had a bunch of conversations about communicating our priorities.  Whether it is over lunch with a pastor, skype with a friend, or just talking through stuff with my wife this topic seems to be following me.    Today, I watched a video that Matt Cutts shared on his blog that nailed this point.  The video is Larry Lessig speaking at Google about his new book Republic, Lost.  The video […]

Dec
14
2011

First Thoughts on The Common English Bible

ceb

A couple of months ago I was asked to take part in a blog tour for The Common English Bible.  While I probably haven’t been the best blog tour participant (mainly because this is my first post on it), I have wanted to get a feel of this new translation before I shared my thoughts.  In the interest of full disclosure, I received a free copy of the CEB… and you can get one too, […]

Dec
13
2011

John Piper on Exploding From Within

explosion

Driving up to Albany on Saturday I was listening to the Catalyst Podcast.  John Piper was the guest on this episode, and he seemed to have an obsession with explosions. When asked about his latest book, Bloodlines, he spoke of how he had no choice but to write the book since it was exploding from deep within him. At first I thought it was an odd way of describing things, but strangely accurate.  What struck […]

Dec
12
2011

A Nice Place to Go to Church

ideal church

On Saturday I spent a good bit of time in my truck.  Driving up to Albany and back to attend a funeral for the mother and grandmother of close friends, I had the opportunity to get caught up on the backlog of podcasts sitting on my iPod.  Near the beginning of the return trip I listened to a quick discussion about Greg Hawkin’s book, Move.  To be honest, I haven’t yet read the book (Christmas […]

Dec
8
2011

Our Ideal Messiah Versus the Messiah We Need

Nativity Story

Two thousand years ago (give or take a few years) Christ was born in the most unlikely of places.  While the baby Jesus lie in a manger, the Jewish world was expectantly waiting for the arrival of the Messiah. Having been scattered, oppressed, and marginalized for centuries the hope and expectation was a Messiah who would come in and restore Israel to a place of prominence in the world.  They wanted a Messiah who would […]

Dec
7
2011

Lincoln on Leadership: Seasonal Leadership Change

Lincoln

Yesterday I began a mini-series™ based on a few of the chapters I heard of President Lincoln: The Duty of a Statesman, by William Lee Miller during the drive back from my Thanksgiving vacation.  Yesterday I wrote about Lincoln’s handling of the Sioux Uprising, and his willingness to say no to the mob. Listening to the audio book (which would make a fantastic Christmas gift for your favorite blogger) Lincoln was portrayed as a merciful, compassionate man. […]

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