Thunder-Struck

Just hours away from the 2012-13 tip-off, here are my predictions for the upcoming season…

EAST
Heat
Pacers
Celtics
Sixers
Bulls
Hawks
Knicks
Nets

WEST 
Thunder
Lakers
Spurs
Nuggets
Clippers
Grizzlies
Mavericks
Rockets

NBA FINALS:  The Thunder upset the Kni…I mean… the Heat in six games.

What do you think? Who do you have in the playoffs?  Who will be champion when it is all said and done? 

Thunder-Struck

Dreaming of More for the Next Generation

One of the most exciting aspects of launching Blue Bridge Church will be watching our families utilize Tru.  After much prayer and discussion, Keana Lough (our family life director) and myself, decided that Michelle Anthony’s curriculum best fits our conviction that the parent/guardian is to be the primary discipling agent in the child’s life (while the church is to compliment and cooperate in that venture).  You can read more of about this philosophy by picking up a copy of Spiritual Parenting.  
That being said, I recommend any leader of children or youth to read Anthony’s follow-up work titled Dreaming of More for the Next Generation.  The author writes, “Formation is where kids meet with Jesus; they’re hearing from Him; they’re sitting in solitude and silence.  We don’t often think of kids sitting in solitude and silence, but they can.  And God spekas to them.  This is an important part of how we’re formed.  Spiritual formation is not just when somebody else tells us something, but when God tells it to us or we feel His conviction” (66).  
What habits are we equipping parents and children with based upon our current environments and techniques? 
Dreaming of More for the Next Generation

Decision Points

I normally do not read memoirs or autobiographies.  They just cannot be objective.  How many of us are able to share our memories, motives, and mistakes with the utmost accuracy and authenticity.  We too often show ourselves the grace that we refuse to extend our opponents.

Not only that, but time must pass and tensions must cool before fair and balanced criticism and celebrations can be claimed.  That being said, I just could not pass up President George W. Bush’s Decision Points when I came across a copy at a local Value Village.  The price was right for what might turn out to be the perfect vacation read.

Politics aside, here is my takeaway…every leader must look back.  What a task it must have been for a president to narrow his life down to a dozen pivotal decisions and then defend those choices to anyone willing to hear them?

Of course most of us will not have to face the troubles and tragedies that a leader of the free world faces each and every day, but we do have to decide to do the right thing no matter the cost to ourselves.  This makes me wonder if I carve out adequate time in my month or year to reflect.  If I revisit what I did, how I did, and what I learned as a result?

What are some of your decision points?  

Decision Points

Taking Your Church to the Next Level

As part of planting Blue Bridge Church, I am involved in a coaching network.  One of our recent assignments was to read Taking Your Church to the Next Level.  Here are a few of my takeaways:

  • The author writes, “At [the emerging] stage the mission and vision of the church are clear.  Mission is a church’s understanding of the biblical reason it exists, while vision is an understanding of how the new church is gong to fulfill some aspect of the mission in the community where the church will be planted” (38).  
    • The mission needs to be Christ-centered, clear, and compelling.  
    • The vision needs to be protected & propelled from beginning (shared & celebrated).   
  • The key question that our church seeks to answer in the emerging stage is Who are we? 
    • Initially, the only real resistance from within our team might be our tendency and temptation to fall back on what is comfortable and convenient (past experiences) rather than what is risky and rewarding (future possibilities).  
    • Our strategy for dealing with such resistance will be to honor the churches that have invested in our lives but at the same time paint a new picture – a different context, culture, lifespan, gifting, and need.  We will highlight why our partners do what they do while being able to brainstorm new ways of accomplishing similar goals and objectives.
Taking Your Church to the Next Level

Comfort or Cross

Today I had the opportunity to return to Maltby Christian Assembly (the church that I was youth pastor at for over six years and the primary partner to Blue Bridge Church).  I gave them an update on the church plant in the Tri-Cities as well as continued their series on Not a Fan.

We talked about comfort.  On that note, what do you do to rest and relax?  What is the danger of allowing comfort within the church?  Hear my thoughts on Comfort or Cross?  Share your responses below.

Comfort or Cross