Sticky Church…


As I have said before, I really appreciate the heart and teachings of Larry Osborne.  This was just one reason why I was looking forward to finally checking out one of his first books titled Sticky Church

My favorite quote from this particular book is when the author warns, “We’ve had to say no to many great ideas and programs that would have broadened our ministry but blunted our impact”.  

A few questions that I wrestle with…
  1. What would most of the people in one of our small groups say the purpose of their small group is? How well does this match up with what our leadership would describe as the primary purpose?
  2. How does our church measure success or failure in making disciples?  How are we doing?  How do our measurements differ from those used by North Coast Church?
  3. Are there any areas of our small group ministry that have experienced (or are in danger of experiencing) significant mission creep?  Be specific.
Sticky Church…


I highly recommend Britt Merrick’s Godspeed: Making Christ’s Mission Your Own.

My favorite quote was when the author suggested, “One of the opening lines from John Piper’s famous book Let the Nations Be Glad! is ‘Mission exists because worship doesn’t.’  The goal of all Christian activity is to glorify God; therefore, we are on mission to the places in the world where worship is not happening.  The goal of all mission is the glory of God, first because God is worthy of all glory and also because humanity is healed in worshipping God . . . When we exalt anything or anyone to a functional place in our lives higher than God, the result is destruction and a broken world.  But when Christ is in His righteous place upon the throne, humanity is healed” (232).

Check the book out and let me know what you think.


Toxic Charity…

Every once in a while I come across a book that makes me stop dead in my tracks.  I pause.  I pray.  I reflect.  I dialogue.  I change directions.  Robert Lupton’s Toxic Charity is one of those works.

In fact, I hesitate to even blog on the book so quickly after completing it.  First, I need to think on it.  For months.  Secondly, there is so much to be done.  What right do I have to expound on a topic that I have not yet fully experienced?

So much of these ideas and insights just resonate me.  In my context.  My heart is for Blue Bridge Church to quickly and quietly (at times slowly and strategically) turn our communities right-side up again.  Being truly Incarnational – going where the people are no matter the cost to ourselves – is rarely easy but almost always rewarding.

For example, the author proposes, “When we do for those in need what they have the capacity to do for themselves, we disempower them . . . For all our efforts to eliminate poverty – our entitlements, our programs, our charities – we have succeeded only in creating a permanent underclass, dismantling their family structures, and eroding their ethic of work.  And our poor continue to become poorer . . . Giving to those in need what they could gaining from their own initiative may well be the kindest way to destroy people” (2-4).

With every work of nonfiction, the reader has to show discernment.  There will be propositions and conclusions that you will agree with and others that you are very uncomfortable with.  Regardless, you will be grateful that someone decided to begin the difficult conversations.  Churches will be better for it.

Check the book out and let me know what you think.

Toxic Charity…

Criss Cross…

Tonight my family completed yet another Newbery Medal Award Winner in Lynne Raye Perkin’s Criss Cross

I have updated my rankings accordingly.  Like I have mentioned many times before, the following list does not include the works that did not happen to make the list of award winners (but that we still enjoyed as a family) such as the seven books included in The Chronicles of NarniaHatchet (an honor recipient), and The Hobbit.

Here is the list to date (along with my respective reviews):

  1. The One and Only Ivan (2013)
  2. Bridge to Terabithia (1978) 
  3. Dead End in Norvelt (2012)
  4. Shiloh (1992)
  5. Flora & Ulysses (2014)
  6. When You Reach Me (2010)
  7. Holes (1990)
  8. A Wrinkle in Time (1963)
  9. The Higher Power of Lucky (2007)
  10. Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! (2008)
  11. The Graveyard Book (2009)
  12. Moon Over Manifest (2011)
  13. Criss Cross (2006)
My favorite quote from this book was when the author suggested, “They looked for one another when nothing else was happening, the way you pick up a magazine or look in the cupboard for a snack. Not exactly by accident and not exactly on purpose. You could go out in the world and do new things and meet new people, and then you could come home and just sit on the stoop with someone you had never not known, and watch lightning bugs blink on and off.” 
Not a fan.  Fairly confusing layout (the narrative jumps around quite a bit for a younger listener to be able to follow along) and I found myself skimming over a tad bit of content that I felt was not age-appropriate.  A disappointment to say the least.  
As far as our next selection, let’s hope our luck turns with Kira-Kira.  Has anyone read this book?  Thoughts? 
Criss Cross…

Best Team (On Paper)…

Nothing better than Opening Day (even if it means that it has to all begin at 2am in Australia).  Who better to start it off than the Boys in Blue?  

Last year’s predictions were a bit off (to stay the least) but my World Series predictions were not too shabby.  

Here are my 2014 Major League Baseball predictions…

Red Sox


Blue Jays


White Sox 









Tigers over the Dodgers (I will stay with my initial 2013 prediction).  I prepare myself for disappointment, I guess. 

Thoughts? What are your picks? 

Best Team (On Paper)…