Sunday, September 27, 2009

Business Unusual: Work That Skirt! -

For years, the debate over modesty has ravaged the church. What is modesty? What does it mean to dress modestly? Does every inch of skin except for the hands and face need to be covered? What does the Bible really say? Should women wear pants or not? What can men not wear?

The church women have always complained that they get treated unfairly because they can wear pants, skirts, or shorts. But men, well, our options are limited (pants/shorts), until now....

The man skirt...

Business Unusual: Work That Skirt! -

Posted using ShareThis

This was absolutely amazing to me! Pretty sick...

check them out at

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rule of 5

This morning at church, Dr. John Maxwell, taught on generosity in a message titled "Pay it Forward". One of his points to be generous was to take action; part of taking action is following the Rule of 5.

If there is a big tree to be removed, and the farmer goes out once a day and takes 5 chops at it with his axe, eventually the tree will fall. On the day that the tree falls, the farmer is no better at using an ox, he wasn't any stronger, he didn't do anything different or special on the day the tree fell, he simply kept at it everyday until it was accomplished.

That is the key to taking action and being met with success, just do something, do it every day. This is my weakness, I have a lot of really great ideas, however, most of them never get started, the ones that do never get finished. We worry about everything being done just right, or for everything to be done in the right timing. All we really need to do is a little every day, starting where we are.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Secret Information of Utmost Importance...Coming Soon!

Something that really "grinds my gears"...

All these great authors write books (non-fiction), because they feel that they have important information/solutions/insight that all people should know. That's awesome! Thank-you so much. But, in order to receive this life-changing information you'll have to pay anywhere from $14.99-21.99.

If the message is so important, and life-changing (and it should be, if people are going to spend time reading it), then why not provide it for free. Free online or in print. If the message produces life change then people should be happy to freely contribute/donate to the authors vision.

It reminds of the news on TV, " 11 we reveal local restaurants that have failed health inspections due to rampant rat infestations..." What!? What if I am planning on eating at this "mystery" restaurant at 6? Now I have to wait until 11:00 at night to find out why I suddenly feel ill. How important is that bit of news?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

7 Faith Tribes

George Barna identifies the seven faith tribes that make up the American identity; Casual Christians, Captive Christians, American Jews, Mormons, Pantheists, Muslims, and Skeptics. He delves deeply into these tribes and outlines the way they think, what they value, and why they matter.

I was especially struck by his description of the casual Christians. These are the "Christians" that show up to church (usually), but that is about as deep as it goes. They don't desire closeness with God, they don't really spend any time in personal devotions, they are more concerned with the material (wealth, fame, health, etc.), and self-improvement.

A lot of churches/pastors seem to cater to this Christian more than try to grow them to become a Captive Christian (the Christian whose main goal in life is Christ like-ness, not earthly pursuits). The casual Christian is the one who is happy to attend the church that mainly preaches "how to..." sermons, the preachers that put on a motivational seminar every Sunday. Those preachers are the ones that attract large crowds of casuals.

The main point of the book is that, although there are all these different belief systems that make up America, there is common ground that we all share. In order for the American people to take back our country, and return it to the greatness it once was we need to rally around our 20 shared values:

1. Represent the truth well.

2. Develop inner peace and purity.

3. Seek peace with others.

4. Demonstrate wisdom.

5. Be forgiving.

6. Practice self-restraint.

7. Get yourself together before criticizing.

8. Invest in young people.

9. Respect life.

10. Treat others how you want to be treated.

11. Be a good citizen.

12. Justify people's respect.

13. Avoid harmful behavior.

14. Honor the elderly.

15. Be generous.

16. Do not judge or condemn others.

17. Be mutually respectful of human rights.

18. Cultivate civility.

19. Belong to a caring community.

20. Facilitate basic skills.

With the great emphasis placed on leadership, it is easy to forget how to follow. However, in order to maintain the strength of America we need to learn to support our leaders, by following them. Twelve commitments of great followers are:

1. Know what you're looking for in a leader.

2. Live and die for the vision.

3. Refuse to settle for anything but the best.

4. Provide constructive feedback.

5. Hold leaders to the highest reasonable standards - and expect them to do the same with you.

6. Always place community interest above self-interest.

7. Be proud of your leaders.

8. Become a great team player.

9. Perform your duties with excellence.

10. Add value all the time.

11. Focus on the future.

12. Keep growing personally.

In the later chapters of the book, Barna outlines how we must recommission the media (tell them what we want, not just suffer through mindless entertainment, and bad news) and step up the families contribution (be the parents, stop outsourcing our kids, stop using the excuse of, "I do the best I can").

He presents a vision for restoring America. Barna reminds us that through adversity Americans have always come out on top.

"What we need in the United States is not division, what we need in the Unite States is not hatred, what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black...tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world." -Sen. Robert Kennedy, on the assassination of Martin Luther King.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


A student ministries pastor, and friend of mine, Jarm Turner, sent me this:

We are kicking this “WE” series off this week in Crossings and we are using this story of “Into the Wild” as an illustration. Great Book Great Movie if you have not seen it. VERY POWERFUL STORY of a young man who thought it best to go at it alone and right when he had enough of isolation and tried to get back to the relationships he left behind – he found himself trapped in the Alaskan wilderness.

Here is the clip of his final moments depicted in the movie:

Here is the story: Great stuff when talking about community and isolation:
In 1990, Christopher McCandless was just a recent graduate from Emory University. After leaving Atlanta following his college commencement, Chris set out on a quest for independence. He changed his name, cut off contact with his family, donated all his savings to charity and abandoned his car. Inspired by writers like Jack London and Henry David Thoreau, Chris thought that if he set out to live in the wilderness of Alaska alone, he would experience freedom, achieve the ultimate, complete independence from people and a pure union with nature. After hitchhiking and journeying south, west and north, he ended up at the culmination of his dream—in the wilds of Alaska, on the Stampede Trail. He brought ten pounds of rice, a .22 caliber rifle, a camera, several boxes of rifle rounds, some camping gear and a journal. He didn’t take a map or a compass. In his mind, this was as authentic a trip as he could make to experience the ideals of the wilderness. And he thought the truest expression of this would be to do it alone.

Chris lasted 112 days in the Alaska wilderness. He was dead for two and a half weeks before his body was found in early September by a group of moose hunters, and even then the cause of death was uncertain. Apparently Chris either died of starvation or from eating a poisoned seed plant. His story is the literal picture of our inability to do life alone. In the bestselling book Into the Wild (1996) by Jon Krakauer, where Chris’s story is told, the reader gets the impression that towards the end of his life, even Chris started to realize the need for people. Just days before dying, after having finished the reading and rereading of some of his favorite books, Chris writes, “An unshared happiness is not happiness . . . happiness is only real when shared” Just days earlier, Chris had made his first attempt to leave his campsite only to find himself trapped by a raging river moving too fast and being too cold to swim. He confessed in his journal to being scared . . . afraid . . . and lonely. At one point, Christopher felt as though being alone was the best way to live. He felt that being in the wild completely alone was true freedom. He was convinced that by escaping the real world, government, society and people, he would be able to find answers and a better, easier life. But his journal, his books, his notes seem to suggest he didn’t die thinking this way. They seem to hint at the fact that shortly after it was too late, he understood the need for people, the comfort of community. Christopher McCandless is remembered as a failed attempt to make it alone.

"Ask me how you can be a voice for the next generation."
Jarm Turner
Student Ministry Pastor
St. Mark's Church
336-584-8983 Ext 13 - Office
336-693-6755 - Cell

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Revival Call

My personal devotions have been spent in the book of Joel for the last few days. The theme of Joel is revival. Revival to the nation of Israel. Joel opens his book by lamenting Israels plight. A nation that has lost sight of and touch with its God, ground that is no longer fruitful, crops destroyed by locust swarms, people enjoying the lives of sin with no regard for closeness with God.

Joel begins to call his people back to their God, with this admonition,

Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! (Joel 2:1)
It is important to pause here and look at the significance of the "trumpet". The horn referred to here was most likely the rams horn or shofar. In Hebrew culture the shofar was blown only on certain occasions:
  • to summon warriors to battle, and signal the beginning of an attack.
  • to summon worshippers to Jerusalem.
  • blown by watchmen to indicate important news (of celebration, or disaster)
  • on holy occasions (Day of Atonement, return of the Ark, renewal of the covenant, temple worship)

Joel was calling Israel to revival! He was calling them to a spiritual attack, signaling the beginning of a spiritual battle to take back the hearts and minds of the Israelites, and return them to the things of God. He was calling the people to put aside their sinful ways and return to their worship of God, that they once couldn't escape from. Joel was warning of the disaster of life without God.

Joel does not just give warning, he also proclaims the battle plan,

"Now, therefore," says the LORD, "Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning." (Joel 2:12)

Perhaps Joel's call to the Israelites, also serves as a call to Revival for us today. As "Christians" become more and more casual in their relationship with God, happy to come and go to church, without ever experiencing the face and power of God, happy to return home to a life void of devotion to Him, perhaps this is the call that God wants us to heed. The call to revival!

Joel's strategy for battle for the Israelites, is our strategy for revival today. "Turn to Me with all your heart", we have to actively turn our hearts to Him. We need to step away from the distractions, and the things that pull us from His presence, and make a concentrated effort to turn all our heart to Him.

As committed and captive Christians God is calling us to battle. To battle the things of this world, the distractions that draw us away from God, the lack of a "need" to worship, God is calling us to fight for our souls, and the souls of those around us. He is calling us to fight for Revival!

Revival of our hearts will require fasting, weeping, mourning. It will require fervent, dedicated, and focused prayer. It will require weeping, mourning, remorse, and regret over the condition of ours and others souls. It will require a desire to be close to God!

What is it in your life that you need to battle? What actions do you need to take to draw close to the heart of God? What distractions do you need to step away from, so you can see Him more clearly?

In conclusion I would like to close with this story of the Boston Tea Party:

After the Boston Tea Party, the British navy retaliated by blockading the port of Boston. The colonies surrounding Massachusetts responded with sympathy and action. On May 24, 1773, the House of Burgesses in Virginia proposed and approved a Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer:

This House, being deeply impressed with apprehension of the great dangers to be derived to British America from the hostile invasion of the city of Boston in our Sister Colony of Massachusetts Bay, whose commerce and harbor are, on the first day of June next, to be stopped by an armed force, deem it highly necessary that the said first day of June be set apart, by the members of this House, as a Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer, devoutly to implore the Divine interposition, for averting the heavy calamity which threatens destruction to our civil rights and the evils of civil war; to give us one heart and mind firmly opposed, by all just and proper means, every injury to American rights; and that the minds of his Majesty and his Parliament, may be inspired from above with wisdom, moderation, and justice, to remove from the loyal people of America all cause of danger from a continued pursuit of measures pregnant with their ruin. (from The American Patriot's Bible)

Chick-fil-a Song

Tim Hawkins Comedy: