Saturday, June 08, 2013


Comic Art

Sometimes in comics you run into something that is clearly meant to refer to something else. Such I believe is the villain Kid Karnevil:
Very little is known about the origins of the mysterious being known as Karnevil. Rumour has it that he once died and went to Hell for his sins, but was kicked out because he "scared the staff", in his own words.
OK, you have to love the joke there, but the name? Where did that name comes from? Created by Bill Willingham of "Fables" fame where how is such a character conceived? Why Kid Karnevil?

I went looking for the origin of the word "karnevil" thinking a hint may lay there, instead I was reminded of a bit of my youth. So here's what I'm thinking - Bill Willingham is an Emerson, Lake, and Palmer fan.Enjoy you're Saturday!

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Friday, June 07, 2013


What Elders Do

Jeramie Rinne @ 9Marks discusses how an elder should be working to build mature disciples
>:Elders shepherd church members in order to help those members grow up in Christ. Elders tend the flock in such a way that believers develop from spiritual infancy to full-grown Christ-likeness. Overseers labor in hope that the sheep will move beyond a needy, self-focused, toddler Christianity to an adulthood of serving Jesus and leading others to Jesus.
He discusses different and personal aspects of helping others reach maturity. (Marks, as a blog, is also based on a slightly different form of church government than the Presbyterian one I inhabit. But regardless of the specifics, Elders are the leaders of the church and a big part of leaderships is accountability - both amongst the elders, but also the elders and the pastor. So not only must the elders be personally engaged in building mature disciples, they should also be helping the entire institution do the same thing.

It is as if the pastor is now the evangelist and the elders are supposed to be the pastors. But as Rinne points out, pastors and elders are hardly distinguishable scripturally and they are charged with helping the body mature, not simply replicate.

That makes me think that there is a metaphor here I need to explore. When we are immature we are obsessed with our reproductive "capabilities." When we mature we learn that such a function is a part of a much larger context of our lives and while it is good and wonderful, it is not the point of our existence.


Friday Humor


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Thursday, June 06, 2013


Shifting Gears

Todd Rhoades discusses "5 Crucial Disciples-Making Shifts"
  • Shift 1: From Reaching to Making
  • Shift 2: From Teaching to Modeling
  • Shift 3: From Attending to Participating
  • Shift 4: From Connecting to Transforming
  • Shift 5: From Attracting to Deploying
I really like what he is driving at here, but I do want to pick a few nits.. Firstly "From Attending to Participating" is about the church. I'd change that to something along the lines of "From Consumption to Provision" or "From being fed to feeding." I don;t care if the people work in my church, I care if they feel God's call to work at all.

Second nit - just becasue you deploy does not mean you are not attractive. You deploy simply to spread how far the attraction is felt. This means those we deploy must be attractive.

Nits picked.

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Illuminated Meditation

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Wednesday, June 05, 2013


Declaring The WORD!

Ed Stetzer wrote about 3 approaches to preaching
The inspired approach. We probably know this better as the "I had a word from the Lord" approach. In its best form, this approach reflects a preacher who has been impressed by the Holy Spirit concerning a particular truth in Scripture. It is, in a sense, firstperson: "The Lord led me, and I want to tell you how He is leading." In some ways, it reminds us of 1 Peter 4:11: "If anyone speaks, it should be as one who speaks God's words."

The danger here is that if we aren't binding ourselves to the Word of God, it isn't difficult to get off the path of truth and allow our hearts--which the Bible calls deceitful--to guide our preaching more than we allow Scripture to guide us.

The proverbial approach. The book of Proverbs is a remarkable compilation of wisdom sayings inspired by the Holy Spirit for our instruction. Since Scripture teaches in that manner, it makes sense that we are also teach by providing common-sense life principles people deeply need to hear. Messages with a proverbial approach include phrases like, "It makes good sense to do this." The danger here is that if we don't tie the message to the person of God, we only offer powerless slogans and pithy sayings. In and of themselves, they aren't bad. But if our message is only pithy proverbs, detached from the biblical text, it removes the Holy Spirit's primary instrument for changing people's lives.

The moralistic approach. The Bible tells us to do and not do certain things. Scripture gives us commandments that must be preached. From the Ten Commandments to the Sermon on the Mount and to all the imperatives in our New Testament epistles, God's call is to "do."

He suggested some different approaches, but not the one I thought of. - "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." - You want to proclaim the Word? Then flesh it out. Live it. Let me see in your life the reality of the words you utter.

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Tuesday, June 04, 2013



A Place for the God-Hungry writes of appropriateness:
A man visits his friend in the hospital. His friend has just undergone heart surgery. The man begins telling his friend, who is barely out of recovery, about other friends of his who died within weeks after having the same surgery. Is this really appropriate?
 A woman confides in her co-worker regarding her marital problems. The co-worker takes it upon herself to call her friend’s husband and tell him about that conversation. Is this appropriate?
Not exactly heartwarming stories. Things get interesting when they discuss three ways to learn how to be appropriate:
  • Be humble.
  • Consider how a comment or story might be perceived by others.
  • Take the time to question the wisdom of what you are about to say.
Let me sum those three point up for you is a single sentence.

Have a perspective other than your own.

That means one must know God as best as one can and know the other. And yet church today seems to be about self. How do I feel better? How do I improve my life? Well, maybe you do so by ceasing to think about yourself.

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Kitty Kartoons

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Monday, June 03, 2013


Giving Out Of Your Need

Erin Wheeler @ 9Marks writes of "Discipling when you need to be discipled":
I was not sure what discipling was supposed to look like, but I was certain it did not look like what I was doing.

“I must have it all backwards,” I thought as I closed the door behind the poor sister who had given up an hour of her life to come and be discipled.

“I am a mess. I have no idea what I’m doing here. There certainly wasn’t any ‘teaching’ going on with my crazy hooligan children and my heart in a bad place toward my husband. I shouldn’t be teaching anyone. I’m the one who needs discipling! God, what would you have me do?”

I mumbled all this half aloud as I walked back into the kitchen to finish making dinner.

Shoe goes on to talk about what a blessing it was in her life and how she grew from the experience. It brought to my mind the parable of the widow's mite. I was all excited about the idea that is the title of this post.

And then I thought about things for a minute. If we give, either of time and talent in something like discipling, or of our money as in the parable, with an expectation of return, with the idea of some sort of quid pro quo, can we really have been said to have given at all? IF we give because God will bless us richly in our giving, then we are not giving, we are purchasing the blessing.

Give out of our need, yes, but also give without expectation - simply give because God wants us to give. Give because the other is more important than the self.

We must remember that in some incomprehensible way, God abandoned Christ on the cross. In that moment, Christ's hope of future glory disappeared. We can but follow His example.

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