72 and counting

It was a one hundred percent success rate. Seventy-two followers had gone out at Christ's instruction as ambassadors of the kingdom. All seventy-two returned telling Jesus they'd done the stuff they'd seen Him do - all of it! - and that demons submitted to them in His name.All seventy-two of them. No spiritual gift inventory was administered to them before they were sent. There was no organizational analysis of their group. There was no extended time of training for ministry, save for what … [Read more...]

I’m a dirty rotten…

...sinner.Yup. And every single week, I say it loud and say it proud. We've been attending an Anglican church since last fall, which means that our worship is offered through liturgy. Midway through the service, after lots of unadorned, proclaimed Scripture readings and a sermon, there is a time for confession. We confess our faith, and we confess our moral skunky-ness. This is my favorite part of the service next to communion. Listen to these words:Most merciful God, we confess that we have … [Read more...]

Oh, if only I could unplug my synapses

It's 11:39 PM on a Monday night. My body is tired, but my brain is ready for important musings and oddly random thoughts. Be very afraid: (1) On the food-as-theater show America's Iron Chef the "secret ingredient" the dueling chefs must use to create 5 dishes ranges from terrifying fish that look like they could chew through your jugular to the more prosaic garlic. My husband and I thought it would be more realistic if the secret ingredient was Cool Whip or Cream of Mushroom soup. Or maybe you … [Read more...]

Church as an advertisement for the church

Mega-church Willow Creek has been drawing a lot of attention from bloggers passionate about the church as they've rolled out the Reveal study, as well as the changes they're trying to implement throughout their institution as a result. The study (so far) has basically quantified what a lot of us who care about the church already suspected: the deeper you grow spiritually, the less impact church services and programs seem to have on your life in God. Although I don't resonate with the marketing … [Read more...]

Ding! You have mail!

If I had a nickel for every time I checked my e-mail in a typical day, I'd have enough shekels in my pocket so I could fill my gas tank. If I drove an 18-wheeler from New York to LA.When I first started writing, I used to run to the mailbox to look for the return of the self-addressed, stamped envelopes (SASEs) I'd sent along with my article or script submissions to editors. These SASE's contained the editor's verdict on my work: a fat envelope meant they were returning my manuscript to me with … [Read more...]

Pray for Rachel’s little boy

Our daughter Rachel is expecting baby number 2. We learned he's a little boy. We also learned there's a potential complication with his umbilical cord Instead of 2 arteries and a vein, he only has one of each. This condition, called SUA , could be a sign of an array of serious things - or he could be just fine. If you have any experience with SUA, Id' love to hear from you. The baby is about 20 weeks along. Halfway there...Rachel and Carlos are very, very concerned, as are we. Please pray for … [Read more...]

Ratio, O Ratio, Wherefore Art Thou, Ratio?

In the most recent issue of Rev magazine, church growth dude Charles Arn spun out some interesting ratios featuring the word "should":5:100 - Your church, according to Arn, should average 5 visitors for every 100 in attendance.1:4 - 1 of every 4 visitors should be a regular attendee within a year of his/her first visit. 1:7 - Every one of your members should have at least 7 friends in the church. 7:100 - Your church should have 7 groups for every 100 members-plus-regular-attenders6:10 - For … [Read more...]