Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Reading Music: Michael Gungor’s Doxology

Posted: September 17, 2013 by thoughtsfrommyshelf in Leisure, Reading, Uncategorized
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I am hardly ever using spotify to listen to music. The reason is that I prefer covers, live songs, or just rare jam sessions you can’t buy. There is something about live acoustics or live renditions that just captures my attention a little more. I normally have to create a playlist on youtube of my favorite songs since I can’t really find them any where else. I am going to start posting some of them here so that others can listen to them too.

If you have ever wanted to play the guitar, this is going to make you pick up a Fender. If you know how to play the guitar, I would love to see you do this! If you know of any chill songs, leave a link in the comment section.

Conversations w/ David Platt

Posted: August 6, 2013 by thoughtsfrommyshelf in Uncategorized
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Radical has been posting individual videos of David Platt answering some questions regarding his book Radical, disciple-making, the local church, and global missions that will lead to a simulcast August 14th. The simulcast is going to be a teaching/QnA on his newest book Follow Me. 

All 11 videos in this conversation are numbered below, and they correspond to the following questions:

  1. Three years after Radical, what has been encouraging and what has been concerning about responses to the book?
  2. What is the role of the church in following Christ?
  3. How does living radically fit with the normal Christian life?
  4. What does living radically look like for David Platt?
  5. What’s the difference between God’s commands and His individual callings?
  6. How is radical devotion to Christ different from religious legalism?
  7. How does caring for the poor fit with the church’s primary task of making disciples?
  8. Should we lead people in a ‘sinner’s prayer’?
  9. What led you to write Follow Me and why do you see it as more foundational thanRadical?
  10. What are some cultural misunderstandings about follow Christ addressed in Follow Me?
  11. What should we expect from the Follow Me simulcast?

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Amazon Prime

Posted: July 2, 2013 by thoughtsfrommyshelf in Uncategorized
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Amazon Prime is a special membership program that offers participants premium benefits for just $79 per year. It offers members the ability to watch over 40,000 movies and TV episodes, anytime. Plus, they receive FREE two-day shipping on millions of products with no minimum order size. 

One of my favorite perks about being a Prime member is being able to borrow books from other Prime members for as long as I want. If you want to a free 30 day trial you can click here. College students get member ship for free so sign up!

The last couple of days, I wrote a four part series on what it means to follow Jesus. It is by no means exhaustive, but I hope you were encouraged by it. If you would like to review that you can see the intro, part 1, part 2, and part 3 before this.

One of the questions I find myself asking God is, what work still needs to be done and how can I join you? The answer is by no means unique or hyper-spiritual. It is simple- make disciples of all nations. To make disciples is a two-fold project that involves making disciples and maturing disciples. It would be a false dichotomy and a misunderstanding of the great commission to pit these two important components against each other.

How are we supposed to reach the ends of the earth? Well, some of us are called to follow Jesus by leaving our careers, leaving our homes, and going to a place where there is no church or Christian witness. Others are called to leverage their business by creating access in places that are closed and restricted to missionaries. Regardless of what we do, or how we accomplish the mission, the scope of the nations is to be carried by every Christian and every local church.

How do we, who are here in the US, fulfill the global scope of missions? First, lets define what nations meant in the great commission. “All Nations” (panta ta ethne) can be translated into all ethno-linguistic people groups. There are 196 geo-political nations which is not what was meant by Jesus when He said “all nations”. There are 16,590 different people groups with their own ethnic background and their own language. 7,163 are still unreached which means that there is less that 2% of a Christian presence in their population. 3,400 of which are not being engaged (no one is making an effort to reach them). I see Jesus speaking of nations in the second form, and not in the geo-political sense.

With 7,163 people groups still to be reached, what can we do? My prayer is that the command to make disciples and the global reality will open our eyes and mobilize us to mission. I am praying that some of you reading this would go, and that others would engage the unengaged and unreached here. I am praying that all would have a global mindset.

Many have said that the reason that they don’t go overseas is because there are many who need to be evangelized here. The problem is most of them either miss the global scope of our witness, or they don’t evangelize at all. You see, the nations are here and there is a lot that we can do for the global purposes of God. There are many international students, immigrants, and refugees here in the US. Look at these numbers here :

India has 2,533 unreached people groups living among them.China comes in second with 516- that is a significant drop from first and second. I wonder if you all would know what nation comes in third place? It is, amazingly, the United States. There are 381 unreached people groups here. Walk around and think nations and see if you don’t begin to realize that the great commission is within our grasp. From college students, to business men and women, neighbors and bazaars the nations are at our doorstep, in our backyard and within the range of our local churches.

I am unable to go to the nations…at least for now. My wife and I are praying about going in the future and when that would be. But there is still so much that could be done from here. I would encourage you to get a copy of Operation World and begin praying for the nations. I have also put an app on my blog with an unreached people of the day, stats, geography, and ways to pray for them. If you have an Ipod, Ipad, or Iphone,  there is an app called the Unreached People of the Day that you could download for free.

But why do this? We do this because Jesus is worthy. We do this because Jesus is to be glorified and made much of by every people group on the face of the earth. We do this for the sake of people. We do this because there is an eternal reality of heaven and hell. We do this because we want to see the lamb receive the reward of his sufferings.

Here are some questions I would like for you to consider:

1) How could I leverage my time, money, and career to reach the nations for Jesus?

2) Where are there opportunities for me to engage with different people?

3) How can I mobilize members of my church to go here or go there?

Book Review Sticky Teams by Larry Osborne

Posted: April 17, 2013 by thoughtsfrommyshelf in Uncategorized

           Whether you are on a sports team, ministry team, or executive team we all have experienced the difficulty of team unity. Larry Osborne is no stranger to boards and executives being at odds. In his book, Sticky Teams, he shares a very helpful paradigm that could help bring unity among diversity.

            The first section of the book fleshes out what brings a close-knit group together. Speaking specifically to ministry teams, he argues for doctrinal, relational, and philosophical unity. If the people on your team disagree doctrinally, the implications will look differently and decisions will take longer to make. If there is relational division, it is likely that your agenda meetings will be more like the UFC minus the crowd, or a sparring match between two team members. The same thing goes for the philosophical aspect of a team. If there are two different avenues to carry out doctrinal convictions and two are at odds there will be more disagreements than actions items.

            The second section of the book answers a set of questions that come up as you read the first: How should I handle conflict? How do I get the right team together? How have you sought to get your team on the same page in search for unity?  I believe that you could sell yourself cheap if you do not finish the rest of the book and see the insights and thoughts Larry Osborne has to offer. Though I suggest you read these solutions as possibilities to a context rather than prescriptions for all settings, I believe you will find most of them helpful.

             The most helpful chapters for me were: What game are we playing (Ch. 4), Making room at the top (Ch.8), and Equipped to Lead: Lobbying isn’t Training (Cp. 9).  These were helpful in creating a framework for how to structure teams, create pipelines for leadership, and for creating convictions among the team. Different teams operate in different ways, so too with ministry teams. Pipelines for leadership will look different depending on the size, capacity, and resources. If young leaders aren’t given a platform by which to be catalyzed they will more than likely find room to fly in an area where their wings aren’t being clipped. 

            When it comes to leading a team, it is easy to lead from personal convictions instead of leading the team through a thought process. It is much harder to lead a team through a journey of why we do things the way they are done. Lobbying is not the same thing as training. Osborne hits the nail on the head when he says that the process is more important than our curriculum.

             In conclusion, I find this book helpful in discerning what kind of team I have, the pipelines of leadership I make, and the training that is provided to create doctrinal, philosophical and relational unity. I highly recommend this book to anyone who serves in any leadership capacity. The principles in this book can be transferred over to build a tighter, impenetrable group.

J.D Greear’s rant on flip flops

Posted: April 8, 2013 by thoughtsfrommyshelf in Uncategorized

I am not a huge fan of flip flops, sandals, walking barefoot or pretty much anything that exposes feet- especially guys feet. It is probably because my feet are ugly, and mostly everyone I know has hobbit-like feet. This is a funny rant I came across that resonated with me. 

“I unapologetically maintain a rule around our office: Staff guys cannot wear flip flops in the office. This “level” of rules around our office is very unusual because a) we are very casual in our dress and b) I’m not a very autocratic leader by nature.

That said, this is one I won’t let go.

The reason(s) are simple:

1. Guys’ feet are gross. Period. No one wants to look at your feet. Keep ugly stuff covered.

2. The guys with the grossest feet (i.e. guys with bright yellow fungus growing up through their toenails, jacked up cuticles, dry-flaky skin around their heels or corns or bunions or just all around mal-formed, hobbit-like feet) seem to be the least aware and most likely to display their feet for the whole world to look at. If anything, flip flops should be a privilege, not a right, for guys with normal looking feet. But then again, refer to (1) for clarification on that.

3. People’s feet are generally dirty.

The little thong that goes between the big and second toe on a pair of flip-flops has to be the nastiest article of clothing in the history of civilization. The flip-flop thong resides in one of the dirtiest places in your body–your toe jam hollow–and it NEVER gets washed. Do you realize how disgustingly nasty that is? Think about how your shoes smell when you wear them 4-5 times without socks. I can imagine dirtier articles of clothing, but you keep them covered. And that’s my point.”

Three little pigs in archaic English

Posted: March 15, 2013 by thoughtsfrommyshelf in Uncategorized

I wish I had a working vocabulary that would allow me to communicate clearly.