I will be taking a brief break from posting on this blog. I need a chance to catch up some other things and I need to give the page the time it deserves. I’ll be back!
Jesus said, “This is how you should pray:
“Father, may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
Give us each day the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation.”
Luke 11:2-4 (NLT)
A good friend sent this to me, it is excellent. If we can get permission, we will see this on the stage at Maranatha in the near future. Enjoy!
Just a quick note about our weekend at the Fusion Forum: This two day conference was designed for younger pastors and I had the privilege of helping to lead the event. Letha and I really enjoyed spending time with these good folks. The sessions I led went pretty well and I received a lot of affirmation from the guys. Maybe more importantly, we made some great connections with friends. This entire event is relationship based and I suppose that it why it is so life-giving for me. I came to church this morning tired but refreshed from my time at the conference.
Kudos to the guys who helped put on the Fusion Forum and to the Church of God State Office for sponsoring the event.
I am getting ready to attend the Fusion Conference in Clearwater, Florida this Friday and Saturday. This a special time designed for young pastors. I know what you are thinking: “who invited you, old man!?” Here’s the thing: I am not a going as just a participant, I am also speaking at a session. So there, that explains it!
Seriously, this is a really a great event that brings life to my work. The idea of sharing with young and energetic leaders ignites something in my heart. My topic on Friday night is “ministry in the new reality“. I plan to share with these guys and gals how the future of ministry is going to be way different than the past. Our definition of “successful ministry” has to be adjusted. We used to think about large buildings with a cross on top, large pastorals staff, and lots of big programs. Because of seismic changes in our culture, that stuff may not work anymore. Instead, we have to take a more organic approach. More ministry has to be done with fewer resources. The ministry has to be accomplished by the average person, not some paid professional. Our economy won’t allow for spending lots of money on facilities. It is time to rethink what ministry looks like. I am pretty excited about the topic and about the opportunity to talk to these leaders. I would appreciate your prayers that it all accomplishes what God desires.
I’ll keep you posted as we get to the weekend.
This is how we know what real love is: Jesus gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for our brothers and sisters.17 Suppose someone has enough to live and sees a brother or sister in need, but does not help. Then God’s love is not living in that person.18 My children, we should love people not only with words and talk, but by our actions and true caring. 19 This is the way we know that we belong to the way of truth. NCV)
A few thoughts on these verses…
Real love defined: self-sacrifice.
God’s love in action in us: giving to those in need.
Words express love; actions express it more effectively.
We know we are right with God when we make His love obvious.
I got pretty excited this week when I learned that U2 was scheduled to come to Tampa in October. I have been a fan for years but all the more so since Bono has been such a vocal proponent of active involvement by the church in addressing the needs of the world. I have heard him say some very provocative and challenging things to Christ-followers. He tells us to speak out on behalf of the marginalized, get involved in the AIDS crisis in Africa, feed a hungry child. Make a difference. Way to go, Bono.
So Letha and I started looking at our schedules and checking on-line for tickets. Pretty quickly, I realized that I would have to settle for iTunes. Ticket prices start at only $30 or so but you have to be willing to sit in the nose bleed section completely BEHIND the band. Move forward, prices go up. Move around the front, they go up more. Plan on getting close enough to actually see the band and, POW!, they sock it to you. Seriously, we saw lots of tickets for over $1,000 per. We starting adding up ticket prices (mid-priced ones), gas to travel over, food and probably one night’s lodging and we were at $500.00 before we knew it. I just can’t do it. No way am I paying $500 to hear a band, no matter who it is.
I hope Bono would approve, I would rather send the cash to someone who needs some food or clean water. I am not criticizing the people who are buying tickets. I am saying that I couldn’t sleep if I spent that kind of money on a concert.