Saturday, July 31, 2010

Family Photos

A friend of mine sent me a link to this article/these pics from the Huffington Post. I didn't include them all, but I thought these were so funny that they had to be shared. The comments above each pic weren't part of the Huffington story.

"Mom, dad, you're going to have to give me some space."

Next year we're getting dad pajamas, too!
"Can't sleep. Doll will eat me."
I don't recall the last time I saw a single picture that told such a long and painful story.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Are You a Leader?

My friend, Scott Wakefield, introduced me to this video on leadership. The video is short and if you're at all interested in what it means to be a leader, you'll want to watch it. It's fun and instructive all at once.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Take A Quick Break. Look at Three Pictures.

This week's sermon is on the horrible, horrible text from Judges 19 and 20. The book of Judges ends with a nation in chaos and it's hard to find enough scraps of redemption to bring this to the pulpit.
So we'll talk about something a little less intense in this post.

This sign at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway made me chuckle (I didn't laugh out loud, though). We've all heard British characters in movies or plays tell people to "sod off". This sign just made me think of that. I don't think I've seen a "Keep Off Grass" sign like this one before.
I saw this book in a bookstore last week. Forgive me for judging a book by it's cover, but I can't imagine David Archuletta has been through all THAT much. When did American Idol start water boarding their contestants? I don't think a cancer survivor or someone who has been through the loss of a child would shed too many tears for David as he confesses that he was really, really, really hurt when Simon didn't affirm his singing talent.

Am I wrong on this? Has he been through something horrible that I don't know about? (don't tell me to read the book to find out because ... well ... I'm not reading this book).

Monday, July 12, 2010

IHN Volunteers Needed

Imagine you've been charged with staffing a ministry to homeless families for one week. Now imagine that when you put sign-up sheets out in the foyer. People think about signing up, but eventually breeze past the sheets. You KNOW their hearts are in the right place and they want to help. You KNOW they want the ministry to homeless families to bear fruit. You KNOW they just need a gentle nudge.

If you've imagined that scenario, then you might hope the minister would provide a gentle nudge on his blog.

Gentle Nudge.

Call the church office, please, if you can help. This ministry, in my opinion, is the most gospel-centered ministry the church of Johnson City offers. Please participate if you can!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The NACC Wednesday Morning Sesion

First the pics ... I'm not staying in downtown Indy this year. I miss being able to get back to the hotel and shut the noise out, but the BONUS this morning was the sunrise as I was leaving my brother's house.
This is as close as I got to the stage today. I took this pic during worship. The music was excellent.

Here is a quick pic from the back/top of the room this morning.

Greetings to you from a dark corner of the food court at the Circle Centre mall in Indianapolis, Indiana where Day 2 of the North American Christian Convention is in full swing. Ben Cachiaras delivered the opening message last night and did a fantastic job of challenging folks to go BEYOND (the theme for the week as you ... hopefully ... will remember). He ended his sermon with a touching story that looked back at his Greek grandfather’s fidelity to his calling and the ministry that his life had spawned.

Good job, Ben. Keep up the good work.

Now to my assigned task, which is to blog about this morning’s 9:30 am session in which Brian Jones delivered the message.

We opened with prayer and worship, singing Today is the Day, Blessed Assurance, Glory to God Forever, Take My Life and Let It Be, and ending with a Matt Redman song called Shine. Then Paul Williams introduced Brian Jones, who is the planter/preacher at Christ Church of the Valley in Philadelphia.

Brian’s task was to preach on the Great Omission, which is the phrase we’re using this week to talk about the penchant of some churches to stress evangelism at the expense of teaching and discipleship once someone has accepted Christ. Usually we just get fussed at for not evangelizing. This year we're getting a more balanced fussing!

Brian arranged his material around three main points:

Undiscipled converts might fall way.

I have to admit that my favorite thing he said today was under this heading. Brian gave proper respect to John Piper (who is a fantastic preacher) and to Mark Driscoll (whom people say is good and I believe them) but then made it plain that he disagreed with their stance that people can’t lose their salvation. Thems fightin’ words to some folk. I love my Calvinistic brothers and sisters, but I’m glad to have someone remind our folks that we aren’t the spiritual descendants of Calvin.

Ancient theological battles aside, Brian hit the nail square on the head on this one.

I would have appreciated hearing how he addresses the need to disciple and deepen at CCV in Philly. Should churches be like AA where you have to have a sponsor? Not a bad idea, actually. When it comes to deepening and to discipleship there is no substitute for personal, one-on-one attention--for prolonged periods of time. Hence the difficulty.

Undiscipled converts might eventually become bad PR for God.

If you've ever been embarrassed by unChristian behavior from a Christian friend then you totally get this one. Brian quipped that he has known people he wished he could offer $10 in hopes that they would never admit to being Christians.

The bad press we Christians give ourselves by behaving in ways that are contrary to the gospel can be devastating.

Undiscipled converts might become polite church members.

Here is where Brian challenged us to be aware that we are following someone who died for the cause of faith. Jesus doesn't call us to be good ladies and gentlemen. He calls us to be followers who pick up our crosses daily and offer our lives to God. Our lives. Not just our time and talents and dollar bills. Our lives.

This morning's session was a good one. I'd say more about it, but I'm supposed to have this posted soon and I'm running out of free internet and battery power.

It is really good to be here at the convention. It's good to be back in Indy. It's good to see friends.

God is gracious.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Arriving in Indy

The convention center in downtown Indy is half springing to life today. The convention doesn't begin in earnest until tonight, but the exhibit hall is open. I've gotten to see a host of our Grandview folks including the Greers, Brent Nipper, Bob Hall, Dan Lawson, Erin Layton, Bob and Loretta Hull, Phyllis Fox and her daughter (one of my favorites), Katy.

I also got to talk to Ethan Magness, Lee Magness, Karla Cachiaras, Greg and Becky Johnson (of Generations Christian Church near Tampa), Wye Huxford (of the EES), and David Wright (of TCM). It's been a nice afternoon. Part of the fun of attending the NACC is catching up with folks we don't get to see on a regular basis.

The girls and I arrived at my brother's house last night. Anna and Cora are spending the day with their Aunt Missy and their cousins. This morning Meghan and I were able to visit my dad and his wife. Dad is looking good after his surgery! The recovery seems to be kicking in. After visiting my dad we went to see my grandfather. He was looking well.

On our way downtown we took a detour to the Indianapolis 500 (it was more of a stop than a detour ... my grandfather lives in Speedway). Here is a picture of Meghan from inside the first turn of the Indy 500. We also took a van ride/tour consisting of one lap around the track. We traveled a blazing 30 mph.

Then we hopped into our own van and drove to the convention center (driving faster than 30mph).

I never promise a next post, but tomorrow is a pretty sure bet. I've been asked to blog the morning session by speaker Brian Jones. I'll try to take some pics.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Bend Cachiaras Visits Grandview

My old friend, Bend Cachiaras, visited Grandview today. He must have been on his way to the 2010 NACC in Indianapolis where he will spend most of his time in the Emmanuel School of Religion booth (#601), posing for pictures.

He arrived on his purple, Minnesota Vikings motorcycle.
He even let me take it for a ride on what was a beautiful day here in East Tennessee.
Then we sat down in the lobby of the church and enjoyed a little coffee clutch.He wanted me to hear his new song that he wrote for the worship services at Mountain Christian Church in Joppa, Maryland.
Then he preached a great sermon that he's hoping to preach at the convention.

The sermon was so good that he convinced himself that it was time to be baptized.

Since I was the only other person around, I got the honors of participating in his baptism.

I know he's been thinking of getting baptized for a long, long time.

After the intense spiritual experience, he has emerged as a major ecumenical figure. He even embraces Packer fans now.