Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gustav is Coming

The path has changed a little and it has moved in a little faster than they were originally thinking. Here is the new projection:

'You need to be scared'

Gulf Coast residents fled by car, train, bus and plane as Category 3 Hurricane Gustav plowed into the Gulf of Mexico, aiming for a Monday landfall in areas still rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina. "You need to be scared," New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said as he ordered his city to evacuate. "You need to get your butts moving out of New Orleans.

Most were, up until the hour that Mayor Ray Nagin told the public to run for their lives.

"It's the storm of the century," he said.

Here is the following from CNN:

As of 8 a.m. ET, the eye of the Category 3 storm was about 375 miles (605 kilometers) southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

The storm was moving at 16 mph (26 kph) on a path that would take it across the central Gulf of Mexico on Sunday and toward a Monday landfall on the northern Gulf Coast, forecasters said.

The storm has maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, with higher gusts, making it a Category 3 hurricane, forecasters said. The storm could increase to a Category 4 storm, with winds of 131 to 155 mph, forecasters said.

Maps of Gustav's path shows it could strike southern Louisiana and other areas battered by Hurricane Katrina.


"You need to be scared," he said. "You need to be concerned, and you need to get your butts moving out of New Orleans right now. This is the storm of the century."
"I'm not sure we've seen anything like this," Nagin said Saturday.

This is from an area that was completely devastated three years ago from Katrina. He is saying that this will be worse ???

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Update: Gustav

The path has changed a little but not much (LA is still in the target area)and it has picked up. It is now a category 3 hurricane. The evacuations are taking place. Hopefully, everyone will be save and disaster will not be overwhelming.

We are scheduled to go to NO in July for the National Gathering.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Threat at McCutcheon

The Story

This is the high school that a lot of the students at CUMC go to. I see that a few of them are not at school today because of the possible threat. My thoughts and prayers are with you today.

I pray that nothing occurs and that the "threat" of violence is just a rumor and that nothing will ever occur.

It is a tough decision for parents to make.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gustav & Hanna

The potential for two strong hurricanes to hit the states early next week are strong. It will be interesting and scary to see how much they develop and where they hit.

Of course with Gustav, many will have their eyes down at New Orleans to see if it goes in their direction and what will occur if it hits that area again.

The debate will then become intense on the rebuilding, the help given, the government responsibility, the people who choose to live there responsibility and more.

Watching, Waiting, and Praying.

My Walk With God

The alarm clock went off at 5:15 this morning. I shot out of bed when it went off. I must have been in a real deep sleep. I got dressed, brushed my teeth, and put my shoes on and was headed out the door by 5:30.

It was a nice cool morning and it was still pitch black out as I began my walk. I absolutely love the feeling of walking in the dark with a cool crisp air surrounding me. Today's walk was an 8 mile walk. During the 8 miles, I had plenty of opportunity to talk to God and reflect on a lot of things that are occurring in our families life and the life of the church.

The conversation was plentiful and I really enjoyed the opportunity to walk and pray with/to God for 2 hours this morning. I have only been doing this for about a week+ but I am really enjoying the early morning adventure. For the last 10 days, I have taken various routes and today, I think that I may have locked in my route when I go by myself. Sometimes, the boys go with me and we do a shorter walk and chat it up. Tomorrow, I am going to try the "locked" in route. It is a little different from this morning. We will see.

Anyways, I enjoyed the time out there this morning and loved talking toGod and asking questions and asking for guidance in the following areas: Kids Care Club, Zion Care Groups, Family Productions, Council Proposals, Future Schooling, Confirmation and Calendaring issues (time).

Tomorrow, I am getting up 15 minutes earlier (5 am) and trying out my locked in route. I think that I may need 2 hours and 15 minutes to do the walk. We will see. I may pick up my pace and walk faster but I think before I do that I need a "uniform". Compared to all the other walkers out in the morning, I look funny. But, oh well, I am out walking at least and spending time in "solitute" to clear my mind for the day ahead.

Baby With Two Heads

Sometimes on this blog, I share about news stories that I see or hear about and today is one of them. There was a baby ( in Bangladesh ) that was born with two heads. His life was very short. He developed sickness and the family did not think that they could afford the hospital bills, so they took him home so he could die with them in their home. Below is a picture of him and their short story.

Bangladeshi baby Kiron rests in a blanket at a hospital in Jessore, on August 26. The baby boy in southwestern Bangladesh died after his parents decided to take him home because they could not afford adequate medical care, a doctor said (AP).


A baby boy born with two heads in southwestern Bangladesh died after his parents decided to take him home because they could not afford adequate medical care, a doctor said Thursday.

The boy, named Kiron, was born Monday by Cesarean section and died at home late Wednesday after developing a fever and breathing difficulties, paediatrician KS Alam told AFP.

Kiron had attracted such attention that 150,000 people gathered at the clinic where he was cared for after his birth in Keshobpur, 135 kilometres (85 miles) from the capital Dhaka.

Police were called in to control the crowds and Kiron was transferred to a hospital in nearby Jessore city.

But his parents decided, against doctors' advice, to take him home, Alam said.

"We wanted to refer him to a hospital in Dhaka but the family was so poor that they could not afford to take him there, so they took him home where he died," Alam said.

"It was a very unusual case. The boy had one body but two complete heads."

He weighed 5.5 kilogrammes (12 pounds 1 ounce) at birth.


My prayers go out to the family as they had to make a very tough decision and only had Kiron for a very short time. May you have (somehow) have peace.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cold, Rain and Wind

It was 59 degrees outside this evening. The wind was ripping across the open field and the rain was coming down - hard at times. So, there we were ..... 200 kids and parents out in this open field on a very dreary evening at soccer evaluations.

Fall soccer is upon us and Isaiah is now in the "senior" league. Man, he is getting old.

Bee is in K


here is her 1st day of school:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Church: How It Should Be

As I was listening to Michelle Obama last night, she made a comment that referred to Barack and his statement: The World How It Is and The World How It Should Be.

At the present time, I do not want to get into politics. But, the speech made me think; especially those words. What if we change one word. That word being world to church.

The church how it is and the church how it should be.

Just as Barack said that the gulf between the two is huge, I believe that the same is true for the church.

We, as a church are a far way from where we as a church are currently. There is a big gulf and we need to begin to bridge the gap. There is so much that we can do and become, yet we are not there. I do not think that we are the Bride of Christ as Christ intended it.

Just a Thought

Monday, August 25, 2008

All That Matters

Lyrics | All That Matters lyrics

4th Grade

The boys have entered fourth grade. Today was their first day of school.

Isaiah and Jacob

Thursday, August 21, 2008


If I had to choose one word to describe my life right now and the next 3 weeks, busy would be the word. There is a lot going on and it is all coming down at the same time. The good news is that I knew that it was coming, so it was not a "shock".

So, this is what is occurring in my life:

School is getting ready to Start

Isaiah and Jacob are entering 4th grade and Bethany is entering Kindergarten. I cannot believe that they are growing up so much. Thus, we are trying to squeeze as much as possible (it seems) into the last days of summer.

Kids Care Club

It is upon us. We have our "kick-off" meeting on Saturday. We are actually going low-key and did not make our big push into the community. Thus, it will be church kids and a few kids from VBS. We have 21 kids registered and we think that this will be a good start. Once we get our feet wet, we are going to make the push into the community. KCC will meet the first Wednesday of each month and we will then have our project. KCC is a service organization. we are looking forward to this.

Zion Care Groups

They launch in September. Registration has gone well for our smaller church. We have 64 adults who have signed up for the groups. We are going to launch 10 groups. We have hosts and leaders for each group that is exciting. We have a trainning session in two weeks (same night as our first KCC meeting) and they should be off and running. I am looking forward to see what happens in the groups.

Confirmation Class

Confirmation class begins September 14th. I am looking forward to seeing how the new (1st year)students gel with the old students (2nd year). We will have 7 students in confirmation class this year, I believe. The curriculum this year switches to Luther theology; thus that can make it interesting. I am going to have a "second" teacher this year that will be doing once a month. At those times, I am going to visit the younger SS classes (oct-dec) and then (Jan-May), I will be prepping for Family Production (if it is in the 11 am slot).

Family Production

We are hoping to launch Family Productions in January. If we "pull" this off, there is going to be a lot of time/resources pulled into this ministry. I am already doing a lot of prep work with "screenings", planned road trips tosee one, talking to staff and leaders regarding time slots, meeting with council to sell them on the vision. The next step for me in this area is to see if I can do a "family screening" ight and get families input/suggestions.

Youth Group

We are changing up youth group a little. In a sense, it is a small tweak and I don't think that there wil be much of a stir. But, you never know what a small change can have. We are shifting time and focus of the meeting. This will also free me up to be at DZ@6 (if necessary).

Cancelling SS

Our hs numbers are small but they are a strong core. We are going to "cancel" HS SS and place them into ministry roles.

There are a few more things, but I am very tired just typing that. I also need to stop so I can finish the host and leaders letters for the Care Groups. This blog post was actually to help me with my to do list BECAUSE there is something in each area that I need to do today.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Weight Loss: Set-Back

I had a set back this past week. I get on the scale every Monday and the last two Monday's, my weight has crept up a little. I am still down 43 pounds from my high BUT I gained 7 pounds the last 2 weeks - OUCH.

Set backs though are part of the life-long journey. I know why I had the set-back. I over-indulged in food that I should have not. I had too much coffee and not enough water and walking was non-existent.

The last 3 days, I have corrected my path and I am already feeling better - amazing. If you are looking at weight-loss; here are 10 tips ( from my wellness center )

So how do you create weight-loss goals that will help, not hinder, your weight-loss efforts? These 10 tips can get you started.

Personalize your goals

Set goals that are within your capabilities and take into account your limitations. Also, take into account your personal fitness level, health concerns, available time and motivation. Tailoring your expectations to your personal situation helps you set achievable goals.

Aim for realistic weight-loss goals.

Healthy weight loss occurs slowly and steadily. Aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week. To do this, you need to burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day through a low-calorie diet and regular exercise. Losing weight more rapidly usually means losing water weight or muscle tissue, rather than fat.

Focus on the process.

Make your goals "process goals," such as exercising regularly, rather than "outcome goals," such as losing 50 pounds. Changing your process — your habits — is the key to weight loss. Make sure that your process goals are realistic, specific and measurable. For example, set out to walk for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

Think short term and long term.

Short-term goals keep you engaged on a daily basis, but long-term goals motivate you over the long haul. Your short-term goals (for example, running 30 minutes every day) can become stepping stones to reaching long-term goals (running in a marathon).

Write it down.

When planning your goals, write everything down and go through all the details. When and where will you do it? How will it fit into your schedule? What do you need to get started?

Pick a date.

Timing is crucial, often making the difference between success and failure. Choose a definite start date and don't put that date off for anything. Be sure to account for life circumstances that might hamper your efforts, such as work or school demands or relationship problems. You may need to resolve some issues before starting.

Start small.

It's helpful to plan a series of small goals that build on each other instead of one big, all-encompassing goal. Remember that you're in this for the long haul. Anything you undertake too intensely or too vigorously will quickly become uncomfortable and you're more likely to give it up.

Plan for setbacks.

Setbacks are a natural part of behavior change. Everyone who successfully makes changes in his or her life has experienced setbacks. Identifying potential roadblocks and brainstorming specific strategies to overcome them can help you stay on course.

Evaluate your progress.

Review your goals each week. Were you able to successfully meet your goals last week? Think about what worked and what didn't. Make plans for how you will reach your goals this week.

Reassess and adjust your goals as needed.

Be willing to change your goals as you progress in your weight-loss plan. If you started small, you might be ready to take on larger challenges. Or, you might find that you need to adjust your goals to better fit your new lifestyle.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Care Groups

We have had a fantastic response (in my opinion) to our groups. We have individuals making phon calls this week, so hopefully more will join up.

We should have a minimum of 10 groups that will begin the journey. Later this week (after staff retreat), I will be contacting the hosts and leaders to make sure the day / location is fine.

After that, we will get the group announcements out and the groups will meet fr the first time. I am looking forward to the stories that will emerge.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I love simple conversations with individuals about their life and what is going on.

A Close Race

This photo ia the second of three video frame grab images taken from International Olympic Committee Beijing Olympic Broadcasting pool video, shows United States swimmer Michael Phelps, above, as he swims toward the finish of the men's 100-meter butterfly, along side Serbia's Milorad Cavic in the adjacent lane. Phelps beat Cavic by a hundreth of a second setting an Olympic record in 50.58 seconds, earning his seventh gold medal and matching Mark Spitz's seven gold medals from the 1972 Munich Games.

Milorad thought that he had won. From the photo, it is amazing. He must only been a centimeter from the wall and did not get there before Phelps did the "chop" and got his hand to the wall before Milroad. They protested the race ... then they were allowed to see the video.

To the live human eye, no one knew who won the race, only that Phelps had come from seventh place at the split to deliver a heart-pound finish.

“I didn’t breathe the final eight meters,” even he declared.

When Cavic and Phelps hit the wall, all eyes, including the swimmers’, spun to the giant television screen on one wall of the Water Cube. The pool was silent for a couple of seconds, fans hanging on edge.

It declared Phelps had won.

He pumped his fist and screamed. Cavic slapped the water in disappointment. They didn’t even know how close it really was.

On television replays, it kind of looked like Cavic got in there. He had been in the lead and was “gliding” to the wall. Phelps was midstroke or “chopping,” which is normally a poor strategy.

As the replay was slowed, some thought Phelps made it first. Others thought Cavic. The Serbian media were part of the latter. Cavic’s own coach hugged him after and declared, “You won.” All over the Water Cube fans debated it, reenacted it, questioned it and basked in the fact they just witnessed what might go down as the most famous and greatest race in swimming history.

Then some more from Yahoo News ...

FINA knew it needed to let the Serbs see it for themselves, even if it was against protocol.

“We did not want them to go sleeping thinking something was lost,” Ekumbo said.

So the Serbians and the FINA judges watched the replay. They watched it a few times. Watched it from both systems – one powered by cable, one by battery.

“It was very clear the Serbian swimmer touched second after Michael Phelps,” Ekumbo said.

Clear to whom? The Serbs?

Indeed, even the Serbs. As incredible as it sounds, they all agreed there was no doubt. The question wasn’t even that Phelps touched first; it was if Cavic had managed to get there at the same time and share gold. The Serbs conceded. The protest was withdrawn.

Cavic, for his part, so trusted the timing device he had declared Phelps the winner even before the protest. “I’m not fighting this.” He did add a little trash talk, though.

“Is Michael Phelps the gold medal winner?” Cavic asked. “I think if we had to do this again, I’d win.”

Friday, August 15, 2008

Old Picture from Lincoln Christian College

What you will find on the internet at times :)

These are girls from D-2 at Lincoln Christian College. This goes back to 1992. When I saw the picture, I had to put this up for some of the readers here that have gone to LCC or have connections from there.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Unbelievable Pain

I cringe at the pain that Janos Baranyai must have experienced.

Baranyai was trying to snatch 148kg in his third lift in the men's 77kg division, when his elbow popped out of its socket.

No longer able to support the weight of the barbell, his right forearm bent backward. The 24-year-old Hungarian fell to the floor in shock, shaking and crying out in pain.

Hungary's coaching staff and competition officials rushed to Baranyai's aid as he lay trembling on the floor, his arm limp and twisted out of position.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

You are NOT cute enough

I am sorry but this story bothers me.

A little girl and her song captivated millions of viewers during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. But what they saw was not what they heard.

Lin Miaoke was the darling of the Olympic opening ceremony, but it turns out she was lip-syncing.

Game organizers confirm that Lin Miaoke, who performed "Ode to the Motherland" as China's flag was paraded Friday into Beijing's National Stadium, was not singing at all.

Lin was lip-syncing to the sound of another girl, 7-year-old Yang Peiyi, who was heard but not seen, apparently because she was deemed not cute enough.

The statement that first made my hair stand up was the following:

"The reason was for the national interest," said Chen Qigang, the ceremony's musical director, in a state radio interview. "The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feeling and expression. ... Lin Miaoke is excellent in those aspects."

Yang (the actual singer) was a good sport with the following comment:

As for Yang Peiyi, she's been quoted as saying she was honored to have had a role in the opening ceremony, even though few realized just how big her part really was

* cynicism* Yes, having a girl singing that is "not-picture-perfect" is definitely a NATIONAL INTEREST issue.

I guess that I am definitely not smart enough to get this and maybe it has to do with me not being entrenched in their culture. But, it still makes me sad.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sermon: August 10th, 2008

Today, I had the opportunity to preach at all three services (8,9 and 11). The sermon was a "completion" of a 11-week "push" that are leading to the launching of our care groups at the church.

Our SP, did a seven-part sermon series on the Fruit of the Spirit and then a three-part sermon seires on LOVE ( God, others in church, those outside church ).

Then today, it was tying everything together. The sermon was an "application" sermon. We (I) wanted them to do something. The something that I wanted them to do was join a care group.

The main statement was the folowing: We are called to move into community and Zion Care Groups can provide that for you. I followed the me, you, God, you, we method (or at least I tried).

Overall, I thought that the message was good. If you want to read the message, it is below:


Sermon: August 10, 2008
Care Groups

Sometimes, I find myself wondering if investing in a Zion Care Group will benefit my life.

I have to be honest with you this morning and make a confession to you. Five years ago, I was approached to join a small group. At that time, we were at Discovery in Alabama. When I was approached, I quickly said no. I was hoping and if I were to be 100% honest, I was praying that would be the end of the conversation. However, that would not be the case.

Her name was Becky Mantooth. She hounded me for six months. Yes, six months. Each and every Sunday, I was approached by her. At times, I tried to hide. I tried to run. I tried to act like I was pre-occupied. I entered into conversations. She, however was kind and patient and waited. Sometimes, she waited and waited and waited.

Finally, I said yes to her. Her persistence paid off. However, what she did not realize was that I just said yes, to get her off of my back. I told Stacey that we were headed to “small group” on Tuesday night. We are only going to satisfy the request. We went back week after week after week for two years. The small group became our family and we absolutely treasured their relationships.

Why was I hesitant to say yes? I was very busy. We were a very busy church and our church calendars were filled with church, youth nights, weekly leaders meeting and more. With nothing “special” on the church calendar, we were already gone 4 nights a week. I did not want to be gone a 5th night.

The small group that we were asked to join was an every week commitment. It was a commitment that we are extremely thankful that we decided to take on. We truly experienced what the church can and should be in that group.

We are called to move into community and Zion Care Groups can provide that for you.

I imagine that you have found yourself asking the following question: “Why should I carve out precious time to join a care group?”

Dietrich Bonheffer said, “Christian brotherhood is not an ideal which we must realize; it is rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate.”

There is biblical evidence and there is personal experience that can provide evidence to why it is in your best self-interest to embrace small group life.

The biblical record shows that true community offers us four blessings:

1. We get strength for life’s storms

There will come a time when life turns against you and you will need help. The heroes of faith discovered this truth. The heroes of faith survived adversity through faith and community. So can you. But you need to invest in community today, so you can reap the benefits during tomorrow’s season of deprivation and loss. The bible tells us how to invest in community.

(James 2:8) - James referred to God’s command - love your neighbor as yourself. (Galatians 6:2) Paul advised, carry each others burden

2. We receive wisdom for making important decisions.

Our care groups will also provide wisdom when we face important decisions. Proverbs 15:22 explains, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed.” The more advisors you have, God says, the more likely you are to make right choices.

3. We experience accountability, which is vital to spiritual growth

Proverbs 27:17 reminds us why we need fellowship for true spiritual growth: “As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend.” such sharpening, a rare gift of life change, won’t happen unless we get close to one another. Care groups offer a connection - between Jesus, others and ourselves - that purifies us. As John explains, “but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another. (1 John 1:7).

4. We find acceptance that helps us repair our wounds

We need community to achieve lasting transformation. But, during this change, we also need acceptance and care, something that, more than any other institution, the church is uniquely suited to offer.

Though most people have become resigned to isolation, no longer expecting to find true community, the church can offer ultimate friendship. It is the only institution given this mandate from Jesus: “My command is this; Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15;12-13). Jesus really does expect us to lay down whatever we have, however we need to, whenever requested.

We are called to move into community and Zion Care Groups can provide that for you.

The bible teaches us that we should care deeply for one another and care groups at Zion provide that opportunity for you.

Community is both vertical and horizontal - just like the bars on a cross. They meet in the center and true community is born when we experience God and all of His fullness and His people in all of their fullness.

Jesus entire public ministry models what it means to live in community. His patterns show us why community - most particularly, community experience through small group relationships is a necessity, not an option, for those of us who bear his name.

Then, in John 17, Jesus is praying and he prays for his disciples and then for us, listen to these words:

I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one.

Jesus says, “I want human beings for example, these men into whom I’ve poured my life to find the kind of oneness we experience in the Trinity. The triune community -that is the first community. The God-head; that is the model of community. Jesus really thinks that this is possible. On his final night, he asks his Heavenly Father for something specific; to grant his community (his followers) the gift of oneness.

Let us take a look at the relationship that they had and the relationship that he is praying that we will have the following six:

1 - They are seen as enjoying one another
2 - They are seen encouraging one another
3 - They are seen supporting one another
4 - They are seen loving one another
5 - They are seen deferring to one another
6 - They are seen glorifying one another

We are called to move into community and Zion Care Groups can provide that for you.

The next time you think that you are too busy to be in a care group, ask the following question: Am I too busy NOT to be in a care group.

When we aren’t in meaningful relationships, we suffer natural consequences, whether we realize it or not. Several relational maladies tend to come our way:

1. Lost Perspective

When we live in isolation, we can easily lose perspective on life. Simple decisions can appear bigger than life and decision making can become more impulsive when we don’t have others to point us back to “truth north”.

2. Fear of Intimacy

People who fear intimacy think that if others really get to know them, they won’t like them.

3. Selfishness

Disconnected people tend to be more selfish. Overtime, a disconnected person becomes self-absorbed.

4. Poor Health

People who live life alone are at much greater risk of sickness and poor health then their connected counterparts. Researchers have found that the most isolated people were three times more likely to die than those with strong relational connections. Strong relationships pay huge dividends, even toward our health.

That is why, from God’s perspective, living life alone is not good. It’s not good because it is not how He created us to live. Alone and isolated were never to be used to describe His children. It is not good because we were created with a deep need for rich and meaningful connection with other people. Without it, we don’t reflect the image of the one who created us. And without it, bad things happen, like lost perspective, fear of intimacy, selfishness and poor health.

We are called to move into community and Zion Care Groups can provide that for you.

In our hectic lives, we need to invest in people and allow people to invest in us. Imagine what would happen at Zion if everyone in the church felt accepted, felt like they belonged and were truly cared for.

In John 17, Jesus actually prayed that real people - this little band of real, live flawed followers - would find an amazing kind of oneness. That it’s even possible for humans to find such relational connection is remarkable. Yet, Jesus says it is available.

Even more stunning, Jesus doesn’t stop by requesting oneness for his inner circle. He shifts his focus to a broader audience: My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you (John 17:20-21). Jesus, on death row for our redemption, prayed a real prayer at a real place at a real time, not just for his followers, but for you. He prayed a prayer that we would find the same kind of oneness that he wanted his followers, oneness that matched His experience in the Trinity.

Gilbert Bilezikian, one of Willow Creek’s founders said the following:

This concern for the survival of the church through the ages, provide the explanation for the anguished tones of Jesus prayer. He knew that if the church should fail to demonstrate community to the world, it would fail to accomplish its mission, because the world would have reason to disbelieve the gospel (vs. 21,23). According to the prayer, the most convincing proof of the truth of the gospel is the perceptible oneness of his followers.

We are called to move into community and Zion Care Groups can provide that for you.

We want our care groups to be safe communities, not unsafe communities. Recently, I was reading an article from Kathy Escobar and she mentioned Townsend’s book “Safe People”. The following is a description:

unsafe people (and communities):

- think they “have it all together” instead of admitting their weaknesses
- are defensive instead of open to feedback
- are self-righteous instead of humble
- only apologize instead of changing their behavior
- avoid working on their problems instead of dealing with them
- demand trust instead of earning it
- blame others instead of take responsibility
- lie instead of tell the truth
- remain stagnant instead of growing
- resist freedom instead of encouraging it (can’t take no for an answer)
- flatter us instead of confronting us
- condemn us instead of forgiving us
- stay in parent/child roles instead of relating to us as equals
- unstable over time instead of being consistent
- gossip instead of keeping secrets

safe people (and communities):

- accept us just like we are
- love us no matter how we are being or what we do
- influence us to develop our ability to love and be responsible
- create love and good works within us
- give us an opportunity to grow & stretch & practice
- help us feel comfortable being “ourselves”, to be on the outside what we are on the inside
- allow us to become the us that God intended
- use their lives to touch ours and leave us better for it
- help us be more like Christ
- help us to like & love others more
- make the relationship more important than opinions
- receive instead of just give
- are humble & willing to say what they need
- are honest, kind & don’t pretend
- work through resistances instead of giving up

We are hoping and praying that you will join a Zion Care Group and help Zion be a church that is known for caring.

Will you be willing to answer the call ?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Learning About Relationships

In my last post, I mentioned that Jesus prayed that we can and need to experience the same relationships that the Trinity had and experienced. I think that there are at least six attributes that we see from them:

- They are seen as enjoying one another
- They are seen encouraging one another
- They are seen supporting one another
- They are seen loving one another
- They are seen deferring to one another
- They are seen glorifying one another

These are six very important aspects that we need to put into our lives and the relationships that we have with one another.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


I am preparing for my sermon on Sunday and I came across a Scripture that I have read 100+ times BUT something JUMPED out to me and thus, I began reading what others had said and my eyes were opened.

As I continue to read Scripture and read Scripture that i have read numerous times, it amazes me the "new' things that jump out to me. I believe that it is where you are at and what speaks to you at that time ....


John 17:20-23

I'm praying not only for them
But also for those who will believe in me
Because of them and their witness about me.
The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—
Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
So they might be one heart and mind with us.

Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them,
So they'll be as unified and together as we are—
I in them and you in me.
Then they'll be mature in this oneness,
And give the godless world evidence
That you've sent me and loved them
In the same way you've loved me.


So, Jesus is praying that you and me have the same type of oneness that THE TRINITY has. Wow. Jesus thinks that you and me can have the same relationship that He (Jesus, the son) experiences with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

How many of us can say that we (or the church that we participate) have that type of a oneness. To me, that is amazing.

The theological ramifications do not stop there though, he goes on to say that our relationships with one another is the MOST CONVINCING truth of the gospel.