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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Road Trip – Rockies & plain states

Day Two of our road trip found us traveling from Grand Junction, CO to North Platte, NE.

Colorado is a beautiful state. Then again, I’m a bit biased since it is my home state.

While western Colorado is beautiful, eastern Colorado looks a whole lot like western Nebraska. Flat farmland as far as the eye can see, punctuated by the random grain elevator and livestock pen.

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2011 in Photos

 

Day One of the Road Trip

Carol and I are on the road from L.A. to Boston this week. We started out with sunset on the Pacific Ocean. Afterwards, we had dinner with our son, Jonathan.

We left L.A. early on Monday which meant we saw the sun come up over Nevada before we got to Las Vegas.

Some of the more interesting scenery we saw was in Utah on I-70. We enjoyed some beautiful rock formations near Bryce Canyon.

The Western States have a unique beauty all their own.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2011 in Family & Friends, Photos

 

The Great American Road Trip

This week, Carol and I embark on the Great American Road Trip. The trip has a fourfold purpose:

  1. See family. Carol will spend a couple of days with her parents and sister. Carol and I will see each of our kids in vastly different locales.
  2. Deliver a car to Caitlin for her final semester in college. She has survived for three years without one, but now needs transportation for an internship in the spring.
  3. Spend time with each other.
  4. See our beautiful country and enjoy God’s creation.

We start by flying from our home in Seattle, WA to So Cal, where we will have dinner with our son, Jonathan, who is studying at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. We will also see Carol’s folks in Cerritos, CA. From there, we start driving east with stops in Grand Junction, CO; North Platte, NE; Le Claire, IA; Youngstown, OH; New York City (where Amanda is currently working); and Wenham, MA, where Caitlin is finishing her studies at Gordon College. From there we fly home to Seattle.

Yes, we could have put the car on a transport and saved ourselves the wear and tear, but this is something we wanted to do.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2011 in Family & Friends, Photos

 

The glory of fall

Once again, God’s creative handiwork in our display in the colors of fall. And to think, I only have to walk out the front door to enjoy them.

 

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Psalm 19:1

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2011 in Photos, Scripture

 

Caring enough to confront

Most leaders would rather keep the peace than stir up conflict. We would rather comfort than confront. We are more than willing to put our hand on someone’s shoulder and pray for them. But we would rather die than get in their face and confront them.

Our lack of caring confrontation makes us unbiblical leaders.

I was reminded of that lesson this week. I’ve been studying the book of Nehemiah with a group of men on Wednesday evenings this fall. We’ve learned some great lessons about the characteristics of biblical leaders—vision, communication, planning, dealing with criticism, motivating people, and numerous other qualities. But willingness to confront also needs to be on that list.

The book describes how Nehemiah rebuilt the walls (chapters 1-6) and the people (chapters 7-12) of Jerusalem. Having finished his task, he returned to his post in Persia (13:6). When he came back to Jerusalem after an absence of perhaps two years, he discovered the people had returned to their lifestyle of sin. In some respects, they were worse off than before.

Discovering the evil that had been done, Nehemiah became angry (13:8). (Perhaps that is why many of us shy away from confrontation. Evil doesn’t bother us enough to do something about it.) That is certainly not the case with Nehemiah. He tossed Tobiah’s furnishings out of the temple (13:8), confronted the officials who should have known better (13:11), confronted the nobles of Judah who were breaking the Sabbath (13:17). And when that wasn’t enough to bring revival, he also confronted the people directly and forcefully (13:25). Nehemiah was so committed to bringing revival that he was willing to do whatever it took, including cajoling and confronting.

Would that we had more Nehemiah’s in our day. Would that I would act with Nehemiah’s convictions.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2011 in Bible Study, Character, Leadership

 

How should a Christian think about culture?

Book Review: Culture Shift: The battle for the moral heart of America, by R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

How should Christians thoughtfully engage the culture in which we live? How should Christ followers think about technology, bioethics, public schools, the abortion debate, politics, terrorism, and the digital deluge? How can we remain faithful to Christ as we live in this culture?

Those questions lie at the heart of R. Albert Mohler, Jr.’s book Culture Shift. Originally published in 2008, it has been revised and expanded in its 2011 edition. The book is designed with the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40) in mind—loving God with all our mind. The author attempts to help Christ followers understand our culture and its challenges to our faith. He points out that we are to be ready to think as Christians when confronted with the crucial issues of the day.

Through a series of short essays, the author explains a Christian worldview on the subjects of politics, terrorism, science and theology, abortion, natural disasters, character, new atheism, and many other subjects. While the book does not seek to provide in-depth answers to every question on these issues, it does provide the basics to keep the dialogue moving forward.

A thought provoking volume.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2011 in Books, Culture

 

How do you grow deep people?

Book Review: Going Deep: Becoming a person of influence by Gordon MacDonald

What is your church’s elevator story? In the amount of time it would take you to travel 17 stories up an elevator, how would you describe what your church is all about? If you were traveling with an investor, would that person want to invest in your church’s purpose after hearing your story?

That question prompts Pastor Gordon MacDonald to search for a “great idea” to define and drive his fictional New England church. After much thought, prayer, and discussion with other leaders, he settles on CDP—Cultivating Deep People. His consuming passion becomes how to develop and grow people who have a deep faith in and commitment to Jesus Christ.

Going Deep is written in novel form about a fictional church in New Hampshire pastored by Gordon MacDonald. The story takes place over a period of two years. The great idea is developed and refined over the first year. During the second year, the idea is put into place with the first group going through the CDP program. They spend every Monday evening together for 40 weeks. During their sessions, they study the topics of temperament, spiritual gifts, biblical leaders, leadership characteristics, prayer, and how to write your faith story. In addition, the group shares in each other’s lives including a cancer scare, a life-threatening accident, and the defection of one of their members.

Going Deep is probably one of the best books I have read on the subject of developing leaders and growing deep people. Rather than merely telling you how to do it or trying to persuade you to implement another program, the book invites you to enter into the lives of the CDP group and see the idea fleshed out in front of you. You not only catch the vision for the idea, but understand how to implement the strategy.

Practical. Helpful. Entertaining.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com http://BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2011 in Books, Leadership, Ministry, Passion