Defining Church…

Don Miller stirred up one hell of a storm by stating he doesn’t connect with God in a traditional church service setting and so, he doesn’t attend church regularly. I have very good friends of mine who don’t feel comfortable or connect in traditional church services. I’ve been in bible studies and home churches with them. They are great people who have challenged and help me grow in my faith. And I love and am extremely grateful for them. 

Kevin Miller wrote a piece about how sad and how far Don Miller, Brian McLaren, and Rob Bell have fallen. There were a couple points in Miller’s piece that bugged me more than others. 

(Kevin)Miller has a problem with Don’s story about a communion experience he had with some friends of his. 

As a movement, we treasure the individual getting right with God, the religious born-again experience, the innovative way to do mission. Sounds good, but when individual trumps communal, experience trumps received teaching, and innovation trumps the Great Tradition, you get exactly what we’ve all just lived through. It can go no other way. How else can you explain Don Miller’s nostalgic delight in do-it-myself Communion: “I remember pulling over on the side of the road with friends, climbing into an old abandoned building that we thought looked interesting and doing communion on a loading dock using hot chocolate and cookies. … It was a fantastic bonding moment between us but also between us and God.” The same soil that grows create-your-own sacraments feeds create-your-own moral teaching.”
Isn’t (Don) Miller’s experience with his friend, the essence of communion? Isn’t it a beautiful picture of what communion can be? That communion doesn’t have to be limited to inside church walls eating stale mini crackers and grape juice past its best by date. I’d take hot chocolate and cookies any Sunday morning. Communion is a meal of remembrance. Isn’t stopping, taking a moment to recognize God’s goodness, and celebrate what’s He’s done in your life , with whatever elements you have? Why should this beautiful expression of communion be frowned upon? How did we get from a communion that features hot chocolate and cookies to create-your-own morals? That’s quite a leap…
My other big issue was this statement…
yet that Scripture was written by the church to the church for the church, so it must be read within the church.”
Uh… Say what? On certain levels I understand what Miller is trying to convey… But it’s a little offensive. I love my church. Our teaching team is phenomenal and I love them! But… Most of what God has shown me and taught me in the last year has not been in a sermon. It’s been in my own personal reading time. In fact the message with the most impact on my life in the last year was given by Don Miller. If the only place the scriptures are being read is the church… That’s a problem. And I know this isn’t what (Kevin) Miller meant, but it sure sounds like he’s suggesting that our spiritual fill of scripture should come from the church alone. 
Why are we trying to define and limit what a church is and should look like? 
The church is you and me. It meets in beautiful church buildings, movie theaters, coffee houses, bars, wineries, abandoned warehouses… Heck, have church on a baseball diamond (why not!). The church is Keveil Miller, and Donald Miller, and Rob Bell, and Joel Osteen, and the right wing gun owner, and the tree hugging democrat, and all of us who proclaim Christ as our Savior. We are the church. We need to work together and love each other. The world will know we belong to God by our love for one another (John 13:35). Shouldn’t we be focusing on our common ground and strive to work together to bring the love of God to everyone? Isn’t that what matters more?

The Wanting In The Waiting

I just found this on my computer. Not sure when I wrote it.
“The wind chimes clash together in an un-united melody, a sound so unsettling yet so beautiful that my ears can’t help but listening
Her high-heeled gait breaks through the sound of the tea kettle singing as she walk down the stairs towards me.
Her hand brushes my shoulder as she walks past. Click, clack, click clack
There’s a bird outside my window singing the prettiest tune to the lilies about how wonderfully dressed they are.
The reassurance of a promise long ago given.
Fear not my child, your father knows exactly what you need.
The radio played a sad song but no one was around to cry.
Wedding feasts contained laughter but no body danced.
The street preacher is calling for repentance while a man tv is asking for my money
And somewhere a baby cries for the very first time, bringing a smile to it’s mother’s face
There’s a violent storm raging in my heart
The thunder speaks louder than all the words of man
But I’m still waiting for the whisper that is your voice
To speak truth and peace into my soul
There’s a crack in the window that turns this blustery day into a summer breeze
But it’s January and the wind is cold
Set my soul on fire, like California in the summer”

FREE DE LA SOUL!!!!

I was going to blog about the law that just passed in Kansas but it’s Friday. And it’s Valentine’s Day. So not hatred today! Just love!

And what could be better for this Friday than spreading the love of hip hop!

For a limited time De La Soul is offering their entire catalog for free!!! No joke! FREE!!!

Why are you still reading my stupid blog? Go get some free music!

http://www.wearedelasoul.com/

Man Fail?

So Tide released this commercial…

It’s kind of funny. It made me chuckle. It apparently ticked Owen Strachan off. Strachan had this to say about the ad…

I will say, though, that the “Dad Mom” concept is a “man fail” in my view.”

And I’m super offended by this… 

Strachan declares that men should be out working and bringing home the bacon and women should be where God has placed them… In the kitchen and in the laundry room. 

It’s 2014… Maybe I’m “too influenced by the culture around me”, but this kind of thinking is really damn primitive. 

I do the laundry at home. I cook dinner 50% of the time. I clean the dishes often. I cleaned our house the other day to get things ready for small group. Does that make me less of a man? 

Look, I haven’t been able to find a full-time job in four years… I would love to be able to go to work all day and be the one bringing home the bacon, but I’m not. And that probably wouldn’t change the dynamic of who does what in my household. I’d still probably do the laundry. Why? Because my wife has a lot more clothes than I do and I just need to laundry at a rate that is significantly higher than she does. And I’m man enough to my own damn laundry! Who did Strachan’s laundry before he got married? 

Why does doing laundry, or cooking and cleaning equal a man fail? Aren’t there guys who just enjoy doing these things? Can’t a guy work from home and have more time to do the laundry? Why is being a stay at dad home such a bad thing? Can’t each marriage define the roles they take as a partnership? Can’t that look different for each couple? Why are we branding a couple’s decision as a man fail? Because he stays at home? Didn’t maybe God design different people to hold different roles? Isn’t it oppressive to tell your wife she has to be the one at home taking care of all the household chores because “It’s God’s design?” Does that sound like God? 

It seems backwards to me… If doing laundry makes me a failure as a man, I’ll just continue to fail. Besides, my failures are why I need Jesus… 😉


Paper.Beats.Rock – Steady

I’ve been listening to the new ep from Paper.Beats.Rock today. Loving the ep. Catchy ep, full of rich instrumentation. It’s refreshing. And I love the band’s idea behind the ep.

In a world of highs and lows, we have found steadiness in God and His grace alone. Our experience leads us to believe that human beings are not meant to be the foundation of hope. We’re too emotional, too instinctual, too inconsistent. One doesn’t have to look too hard to see a broken world and a broken way of thinking. This EP looks to move from the unsteadiness found within humanity into the steadiness found in an unchanging, unconditionally loving God.”

Check out the ep http://noisetrade.com/paperbeatsrock/steady

OkDoThis

Amanda downloaded the OkDoThis app onto my phone while we drove to Alabama for Christmas. And it’s pretty much sat there dormant. But I’ve been pushing myself to use it and try and spark some creativity in my life. Just find a do and take a picture. I’ve learned a couple of things…

1. I take terrible iPhone pictures. And I’m ok with that… It’s a phone. Sure, I’ve taken some nice shots. But when I’m trying to be all artsy on my iPhone, I fail.

2. Taking pictures of random stuff as prescribed by someone else, doesn’t get my creativity flowing… Not photographically. I had an idea I’d been kicking around for a little while and it’s started to take shape over the last couple of days. My juices have gotten going. Not sure if it’s app related or not, but hey… Something happened.

OkDoThis is fun. You should give it a spin!