The Threads Blog
One of my favorite sites, Mashable, ran a story today listing over thirty online resources to help you sift through the U.S. election for President (yeah, I know, it’s still a year away :-) ). They’ve listed links to sites that let you do everything from find out how much money candidates have raised/spent, news on the race, political social networks, and a good sized list of information on political parties/candidates/issues.
Found this web site via Digg this morning while checking my email. It is a site set-up through the folks at poverty.com to help raise awareness and support for world hunger. On the face of it, I have to admit I was a little unsure about the whole prospect. It just comes off as a little cheap to me. How in the world are 10 grains of rice really going to make a difference? But then I realized that just might be the point. Here’s what I think the site accomplishes…
What would make perhaps the most influential American church of the last 25 years come out publicly and say they were wrong? This is an incredibly interesting and provocative post about Willow Creek. In a culture where everyone is quick to criticize everyone else, it’s refreshing to see an entity admit they haven’t got it all figured out. I really respect what Bill Hybels has done here. I encourage you to take a deeper look at this article, too—especially as we continue the conversation about the nature of the church.
I’ve had a horrible day. The kind of day that movies are made of - full of mistakes, off-kilter circumstances, and ends in tragedy.
It started off with looking at the wrong week on my calendar last night, and thinking I’d be on an entirely different schedule, one that didn’t start until 9:30am, and one that gave me a little breathing room on a deadline I’ve been working hard to meet for weeks. But the deadline was really today, and the meeting that I was preparing for was at 8:30am. I found this out at 7:30am today. I still had some work to do for the meeting, and it takes me half an hour to drive to work. I won’t describe my morning tabulations when performed in 5 minutes.
Do you read the fine print cautions and instructions when you buy something? If so, you know that these sound like they’re written by lawyers, even when the rest of the packaging reads friendly, exciting, caring, or like your best friend. This week, I bought some tomatoes for a salad. And quickly experienced sticker shock…
So the saying goes. I think the meaning is clear - when the chips are down and life is at stake, there are very few people stubborn enough to face that moment alone. But I would add something to the old saying. There are also no atheists in waiting rooms. Having spent considerable time in waiting rooms of hospitals over the past year, you can’t help but notice how the complex faith of the super-spiritual becomes simple, how the simple faith of the barely believing comes to the forefront, and how the non-existent faith of the faithless suddenly rears its head. People believe in waiting rooms because it is in there that you find yourself in a position of helplessness. You don’t know the difference between a fracture and a break, between Amoxicillin and Penicillin, or between a short beep and a long one from an IV machine. You just know that you don’t know. And you want to believe that there is someone who does.
But I think it goes beyond that, too. I would say that in waiting rooms, not only are there no atheists, there are also no white people. There are no black people. There are no rich, no poor, no smart, and no stupid. There are just people. That leads me to this… perhaps the one thing that unites the human experience more than anything else is our shared pain. Everybody has it, and everybody has been wounded from it. That’s how we are all alike.
“In 1972 a crack-commando unit was sent to military prison for a crime the didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem… If no one else can help… And if you can find them, maybe you can hire… THE A-TEAM.”
It’s been a great few days at Catalyst. Threads has been able to make some incredible inroads and we look forward to seeing how the Lord develops our relationship with the hundreds of new friends we made this week. As for me personally, I’ve really been challenged by the reverb message of Catalyst. The worship has been incredible and the communicators have brought it for 3 days straight. It’s been a great time of hearing from guys like Andy Stanley, Francs Chan, John Maxell, Irwin McManus, Dave Ramsey, and others. I took more notes than I know what to do with. At a point during one of the services I was typing so fast in effort to capture everything that I actually thought to myself, “Wow. I didn’t know I could type this fast.”
The first day of Catalyst was great! Listened in on four sessions total - all from amazing guys. Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church in Highland Village, TX, was incredible!
The story of The Village is one that is amazing in and of itself - growing by nearly 5000 people in about five years time. This is one of those churches that people look at and want to tap into whatever it is that they can draw from the pastor (Chandler in this case) - most of the time in an effort to try & duplicate it in order to hopefully see the same numerical growth in their own ministries/churches.
I knew I was going to like Matt from what he had to say right out of the gate…
The following checklist is from William Newell. He was a Bible teacher and pastor who died in 1956. He also wrote the hymn “At Calvary” if you are familiar with it. Anyway, a friend of mine sent me this checklist of things that Newell wrote about living under grace. He encouraged me to “soak them in.” After reading these several times over the last few days, they seem to go deeper each time. I’d encourage you to do the same—read over these and allow them to simmer with you for awhile. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this list.