Recently we had our first “Official” membership class at the Crossings and it was a lot of fun. It was just neat to see so many new and old faces excited about what God is doing in our own little part of the Kingdom. It was neat to see people stepping up to the plate in heartfelt commitment. Now I understand that in the greater body of Christ there’s been some debate as to what to do with Church membership. Some claim it is not a Biblical principle and others hold the opposite position and see it as a great practicality for our day. On my part I lean toward the second camp, so I’ve listed 7 reasons at the bottom of the post as to why we’ve gone with a formal membership at The Crossings. But I think the greatest reason why I fall on the side of a designated church membership for the located body of Christ actually comes from a true story from our time in the former Soviet Union. (more…)
Deb and I still have a bunch of really great friends back in Nor. Cal who will always be a part of our lives and the Kingdom effort. One friend that is somewhat new to me is a great guy named Troy who has been involved in church planting and discipleship for a while and is really striving to know God. Troy and Dawn live on the edge for Christ and I really appreciate their wisdom and input. So, I was strolling down one of Troy’s blogs yesterday and came across a recent post he put up. I thought that it really fit some of the discussions we’ve had on Kingdomology and the CHURCH. In particular, do we really need to go to church every Sunday or is that just something archaic and for our grandparents. I’ve got some thoughts, but check out Troy’s post, chew on it for a bit, and I’ll get back to you in a few days.
Thanks Troy, (more…)
I’ve always said that I could eat Tex-Mex food two or three times a week and I think that’s probably true. But tonight was a dinner full of memories as we got together with some friends in North Houston for Borscht and Blinchiki. Our chef, Oksana, is from Uzbekistan which used to be part of the Soviet Union. So it was a lot of fun trying to remember our Russian and the names of the great dishes we had while living in Moscow back in the mid 90s. I love trying foods from all over the world. Probably the worst thing I’ve ever eaten was on a college internship in Chile back in 88 and I’d say that the best food I’ve ever had was in Nagaland, India. But I think one of the greatest parts of these fun food festivities is not just the palate, but the friendships, culture, and Kingdom experiences that come along with them. Cultural because we are all different and I love that. But from the Kingdom standpoint, it is a reminder that the Kingdom of Heaven is not an American thing, but a God thing. The real Kingdom of God, or Heaven, is something that Jesus said is within us. It stretches all over the world and across time. It will continue to expand in the hearts and minds of God’s children until Christ comes back. So in a very real sense, the Kingdom is all over the world and transcends all cultures. Having grown up in Texas, you could say that Tex-Mex really is a “national” or cultural reality for me. But because the Kingdom of God is so big, there is really no one “national food” for Kingdom citizens. But rather, it’s kind of a multi course banquet. Now THAT smells good. Fish Tacos anyone?
There’s a lot you have to say and I like your honesty and being upfront. No need to play games here. So with everything you wrote, (and didn’t write) we’ll just tackle one point at a time.
As I noted earlier, there exists a counterfeit church today which is quite foreign from the real deal. But there is always an element of the real CHURCH in the world no matter what kind of institution is being propagated. You can read more about the authentic church here in Kingdomology under the CHURCH page. But in short, the Church has nothing to do with buildings or institutions. The authentic Church is more about God’s people called to him. When it comes to people, yes, you are quite right, there are a lot of people who make great claims about being good “Christians” but don’t seem to be any different than the rest of the world other than just being a religious pain in the rear because of self-righteousness. I get that. But here are some other points to consider. (more…)
Well it’s obvious that I’m nuts about following Jesus and wouldn’t have it any other way. As for me, I arrived at my convictions about Jesus not because I simply grew up that way kind of like a cultural thing, but because of a point in time where I was presented with the clear evidence of Christ, and then chose to accept it and follow him. But that does not mean that I think I’m any better than anyone else or even those who have chosen not to accept Christ or his teaching. In fact, there are times when I prefer to hang out with those who would consider themselves “outside” of the Church and even joke about themselves as being “pagans” or something like that. They’re at least honest in the sense that they’re not trying to fool anyone by being more spiritual than the rest of humanity. This is one of the many things I liked about living in CA. (more…)
We’ll I’m just about back into a consistent “blogging” saddle again as we’re finishing up our transition from the church plant back in CA to a work in the Houston area. We’ve landed with an exciting bunch of folks in Cypress, Texas where there are some real needs and huge opportunities for Kingdom advancement. This past Monday night we had a group of leaders over at our house to watch the movie Miracle on Ice. The flick was based on the true story of the 1980 US Olympic Hockey team defeating the Soviet Union and winning the gold medal. Personally it was fun to watch as I remember being glued to the tube when it happened in real life 30 years ago. But we didn’t watch it to reminisce, but to learn some church leadership lessons. We came up with at least these five principles. Enjoy and feel free to add anything. (more…)