The video below was posted on the Lifechurch.tv Swerve blog on January 30th. The statistics shown prove how quickly the world is changing. Change is coming more rapidly and our churches need to wake up and recognize that the same ole, same ole just won't work anymore.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
I came across this site a week or so ago. The stories being told by this project are amazing. The tagline is enough to make me want to see each of the full documentaries.
"A New Film Series Telling True Stories of an Active God"
Deidox | Trailer from Deidox on Vimeo.
Posted by Greg on 1/31/2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
I'm in the process of taking a poll about online church donations. Please follow the link below and give me your input.
twtpoll ::Does your church take donations online? If so, which of these methods do you use?
Posted using ShareThis
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
We have all heard the phrase - ignorance is bliss. Ignorance is the state of being uneducated, unaware or uninformed. Therefore, the basis behind the familiar phrase is that someone who is ignorant is completely unaware or uninformed about information that would keep them from being happy.
In a recent discussion with the Youth at church, the phrase "Optimistic Ignorance" popped into my head. Where did it come from? Well, our discussion topic for the evening was "What would you change about church?". The youth were coming up with some really great ideas. These ideas ranged from members being more real to increasing the amount of interactivity between leaders and the led. The idea that germinated the phrase was "doing more to share the gospel".
That phrase caused me to stop for a second. One of our Youth just stated that the one thing they'd like to change is doing more to share the gospel. I was suddenly thinking, "Why would one of our Youth say that? What would cause him to say that?" Then it hit me - Optimistic Ignorance. (Bear in mind, this whole conversation with myself happened in about 5 seconds). I blurted the phrase out, looked at one of the other adults and quickly grabbed a dry erase marker and jotted on the board to hold for later.
Optimistic Ignorance - an interesting two word phrase. In my opinion, the phrase is similar to the phrase I started with, ignorance is bliss. But, there is a subtle difference. Instead of simply being blissfully unaware of the condition of their communities, I believe churches and ultimately, we as Christians have a more difficult problem to overcome. While we may suffer from some level of ignorance about the state of our communities, we also choose to be overly optimistic about their true condition.
Back in 1982, Petra, one of the first Christian rock bands released a song entitled "Rose Colored Stained Glass Windows" which captures this problem perfectly. The first verse and chorus are:
Another sleepy Sunday, safe within the wallsOk, so what do we do about it? What Paul wrote in Romans 12:1-2 gives us a clue:
Outside a dying world in desperation calls
But no one hears the cries or knows what they're about
The doors are locked within, or is it from without?
Looking through rose colored stained glass windows
Never allowing the world to come in
Seeing no evil and feeling no pain
Making the light as it comes from within so dim... so dim
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (New Living Translation)I particularly like the way the NLT handles verse 2. Paul urges us to "let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think." First, we have to LET God transform us. Only then will we begin to see the world as God wants us to.
Now Playing: "Put Your Lips to the TV" by Project 86
Monday, January 12, 2009
If you've ever wondered what true friendship looks like, this is what happened to friends of ours - Mike and Lorrie Camp.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Over the last few years, there have been numerous news reports about the decline of Global Sea Ice. Most notably, reports have focused on Arctic Sea Ice and its steady decline. Global Warm...er, Climate Change advocates have warned that Arctic Sea Ice will soon be completely gone leaving an open Arctic Sea during the Arctic Summer.
However, recent data came out that implies otherwise. Below are some key excerpts.
Thanks to a rapid rebound in recent months, global sea ice levels now equal those seen 29 years ago, when the year 1979 also drew to a close.In my opinion, the fact that this rapid recovery is faster than any decline makes me question the statements about decreasing Global Sea Ice.
Ice levels had been tracking lower throughout much of 2008, but rapidly recovered in the last quarter. In fact, the rate of increase from September onward is the fastest rate of change on record, either upwards or downwards.
Each year, millions of square kilometers of sea ice melt and refreeze. However, the mean ice anomaly -- defined as the seasonally-adjusted difference between the current value and the average from 1979-2000, varies much more slowly. That anomaly now stands at just under zero, a value identical to one recorded at the end of 1979, the year satellite record-keeping began.Could it be possible that changes to Global Sea Ice are cyclical? If Global Warming, aka Climate Change, is accelerating then why would the level of Global Sea Ice be back to the same level it was when satellite record- keeping began? Beyond that, how would these changes in Global Sea Ice affect ocean levels?
What I find refreshing about the closing paragraph is that it admits that researchers don't completely understand climate variables.
Sea ice is floating and, unlike the massive ice sheets anchored to bedrock in Greenland and Antarctica, doesn't affect ocean levels. However, due to its transient nature, sea ice responds much faster to changes in temperature or precipitation and is therefore a useful barometer of changing conditions.
Earlier this year, predictions were rife that the North Pole could melt entirely in 2008. Instead, the Arctic ice saw a substantial recovery. Bill Chapman, a researcher with the UIUC's Arctic Center, tells DailyTech this was due in part to colder temperatures in the region. Chapman says wind patterns have also been weaker this year. Strong winds can slow ice formation as well as forcing ice into warmer waters where it will melt.
Why were predictions so wrong? Researchers had expected the newer sea ice, which is thinner, to be less resilient and melt easier. Instead, the thinner ice had less snow cover to insulate it from the bitterly cold air, and therefore grew much faster than expected, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
If researchers held incorrect beliefs about the dynamics of Sea Ice, then those same beliefs and assumptions would've been reflected in Global Climate Models. I still firmly believe that we don't have enough data nor do we have a deep enough understanding of climate dynamics to make sweeping "the argument is settled" statements about Global Warming or Climate Change. However, as we continue to learn, as evidenced in this study, these new assumptions can be used to further refine Climate Models.
Now Playing: "Disdain" by Modern Day John