social mediaMore and more each passing week I come to see and believe that one must master, use and posses three things in the future in order be both social connected, plugged into the world. As well as necessary for corporate America. Here are the three must do/haves to be connected.

1. One must use, be integrated in the Web social media tools Twitter, Facebook and Linkin, or some form of such, what ever my come down the pike as the new media. And one must Blog, as I have read many career coaches say, you Blog is the new resume.

And one must go mobile, in order that one may keep connect to their network of social platforms. But white collar job’s more and more monthly now require you to be portable, connected to the Web and the phone system where every you are, all the time.

So, that leads to number 2 & 3.

2. You must use a smart phone, not just a cell phone but a smart phone, such as a iphone, that you have Web, email access at all times. As well as to keep connected to your social media, Twitter what you are eating at dinner.

3. You must have and be able to use a laptop computer.

I already have my foot hold in the social-net-ism, I have a personal Web site, two social action Web sites I maintain. Write two Blogs, one for personal and ministry, one for career/business. I have a Facebook and Linkedin account and Twitter my daily activities (an in a host of other’s).

For example several people I twitter with just did overseas mission trips to India, Africa one is Europe as I write this, and they keep all of us updated nearly hourly through twitter and by blogging. Pastor Pete Wilson on his African visit two months ago even still did his Sunday sermon from an African village va his laptop and Web cam.

So prepare yourself for the new way of doing life and business, get, learn and connect to the way to be social and do work in the 21 century.

bible-studying-pen-papgerI was asked why I do not like study bibles. (in reference to my post on finding a new bible read here )

1. When I read the bible I want God to speak to me though what I am reading. The comments in study bibles interfere with that.

2. I rely on the Holy Spirit to enlighten the word to me, not someone else’s interpretation of what it says.

3. I interpret the word of God with the word of God just as God taught me to do, that is, I read the entire bible, ever verse related to every verse, the concordance is my main study aid. Study bibles can make one lazy and just rely on the notes instead of reading every Word.

4. Study bible are like Cliff Notes, someone else’s summery filtered threw their interpretation, theology and beliefs. So study bible leave you at the mercy of whom wrote the notes, do you really want to trust your spiritual life, put your understanding of God and His word in the hand of someone else? I do not.

5. Study bibles make people lazy as to never engage in real bible study, read every word, study the history and languages of the bible. Not want to take the time to actual study, learn, know and discover for themselves what the word of God says.

The only study notes you find in my Bible are my notes that I have written in, what God said to me about that verse, or word study notes. Study bibles can have there place as a study aid for quick reference. But for me never as a primary source for study or to use as my daily bible I read and study.

mac-vs-pcPC vs. Mac, we all love the ad’s demonstrate the two systems against each other in the form of two different people. I was thinking how that applies to Christians and salvation. I see a collation between the two computers operating systems and our nature, we have a operating system so to speak, that like a computer determines our course of actions, and who we interact with the world around us.

The big difference between the Mac and a PC is the operating system. The Mac is more stable, and not as susceptible to viruses, Trojans and worms out there that the evil cyberspace has lurking about waiting to infect and destroy your computer. To where the PC is total vulnerable to them. And because 90% of the computer market is a PC, it is far more compatible as to working/communicating with everyone else out there. That is when you live in the old nature, operating system, you fit in, work better with the rest of the world, your all on the same system, way of operating.

We are born a PC, have a sinful, worldly operations system therefore was are susceptible to the viruses, Trojans and worms, that is Sins. Becouse they are all written by and for the old operating system, the do not fit, work with the New Operating system, God’s system.

We are told in Eph 4:22-24 to “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Rom 6:6 Could be rewritten to say: “knowing this, that our old man (operating system) is crucified (deleted) with Him (new operating system) in order that the body of sin (viruses) might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve (be infected with) sin (viruses, Trojans and worms).

So in essence when we get saved, filled with the Spirit and walk in the Spirit we get reformatted with a new operating system. And the new operating system is immune to the viruses (sins) out there just like a Mac, and we are no longer compatible with the ways (non Mac programs) of the world. We switch from being a PC to being a Mac, more stable, not susceptible to viruses and not compatible any longer with the ways of the world.

So the question is are you a PC or Mac, who’s operating system are you operating under, the devils (old nature) or God’s, the Holy Spirit, New nature, making you immune to the viruses, Trojans and worms out there. That is sins such as adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness, covetousness, envyings, murders, drunkennesses, revelings, and evil habits such as porn, drunkeness and idolatry.

neon-bibleI have been asked a couple of times the last few days what book I think is the best book on church planting. Well after having helped plant 3 and working on number 4 the book I believe to be not only the best, but the definitive book on church planting, the only book that should be used as a guide is the book of Acts.

Everything one needs to know about Church planning you will find, learn in the book of Acts. The other book, resources are just efforts by the flesh to make happen what is Jesus’, the Holy Spirit job to do, build the church.

the-shepherdIs there a Public Speaker claiming to be a Pastor in your pulpit? God showed me this yesterday, that most of those in the pulpit today are not Pastors, not fulfilling the role of a pastor, but simply are speakers. Look at the chart below showing some clips from dictionary definitions of the two.

 

 

Public Speaker

Pastor / Shepherd

A public speaker is a person who makes speaks in a public setting.

The objectives of a public speaker’s presentation can range from simply transmitting information, to motivating people to act, to simply telling a story.

A public speaker is one who is paid for his appearances do to his expertize in his field and subject knowledge and/or simply do to his speaking ability, charisma or persuasive abilities as a speaker.

A Public speaker’s focus is on building large crowds of followers and to promote his program, material’s, organization, services and self to generate sales of his material’s (books. CD’s) and developing even larger audiences to hear him speak.

   

The actual word in the text translated pastor is Shepherd, the role and tasks of a pastor are the same as of a shepherd over sheep, only his duties are over the body of Christ.

He is someone who has a passion for the Church, body of Christ and a passion for seeing the gospel impact every area of their lives.

One who herds, guards, and tends the needs of the people, One who cares for and guides a group of people.

A pastor is one who takes personal responsibility for the life and welfare of the people put in his care. He is willing lay down his life for the lives of his people. The pastor is in the trenches with the people, living life with them, among them to care for, instruct them and protect them. He keeps the wolves (the enemy, false teaching) from coming in and carrying off or leading his sheep astray. He is to feed the flock the Word of God.

He imitates the life of the good Shepherd Jesus, exemplifies Jesus’ description of Himself as a shepherd in John 10:1-16.

A pastor is intimately connected to his flock. The true pastor will follow the perfect example of the Chief Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ. He knows his flock therefore he knows their needs and can tend to them. He protects them, even at the cost of his own life. He not only feeds, instructs the people with the Word of God. He lives among them, eats with them, washes their feet, heals their wounds, prays with and for them, he knows them by name. If one wonders from the flock, is lost, he goes after them, seeks out his lost sheep to bring them back into the flock, he leaves the 99 to find the one lost sheep. He rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. And this can not be done from the pulpit, like Jesus he must live among, do life with his flock, and a true pastors heart wants to, must do so.

I heard a well known pastor of a large church a while back advise some new young pastors to never make friends with his people, never get personal with them. To hire a staff of people to keep everyone at bay. Never give out your phone number or email address. Never go among your church people, give your sermon and leave. ~ That is not a pastor according to God or the examples in the first church and scripture. It is impossible for a true pastor to be a private man, for he has the burden for his people.

So lets start calling people who, what they really are, lets stop calling a public speaker a pastor. and put them on the speaking circuit and lets get a true biblical Pastor/Shepherd in the pulpits. Someone who will do the job as defied by God, displayed by Jesus.

I feel this might be what is at the core of so much of what is wrong with many churches today, the one in the pulpit is not personally caring for the flock, pastoring. In other words he is NOT doing the job of a Pastor/Shepherd, he is simply a speaker delivering a message to a group of people who he has no real personal connection to.

I think John 10:13 reviles a lot when Jesus says “The hireling (public speaker) flees, because he is a hireling and does not care for the sheep.

days of the week shirtsTo me Sunday is not above any other day, how can that be you might say, what about church and it being the Lords Day, this is how Paul explains it;

One indeed esteems a day above another day; and another esteems every day alike. Let each one be fully assured in his own mind. Rom 15:4

 

This is how it brakes down for me.

  1. For one I hear great bible teaching everyday of the week, because I download podcast of my favorite pastors from all over the world to listen to at the gym, so I get feed by good teaching everyday not just on Sunday. I do not limit it to a Sunday event.
  2. I study the word of God daily, intently and have great in depth discussions with others on what I have studied. So I do not depend on someone else to study the word and give me the cliff notes of it.
  3. I worship the Lord daily, with passionate worship, at home every day and I also go to IHOP (International House of Prayer) a 24/7 place of worship filled with passionate worshipers of God, and enter into not only passionate worship myself, but do so with like minded followers of Christ in the presents of God daily. I can worship God as long as my heart desires, an hour, two, even eight hours if I want (and sometimes do), and anyway my heart desires to, dancing, shouting, kneeling, laying prostate, raising my arms, clap my hands, leap with joy, sing my own songs from my heart, how ever I want.
  4. I pray through out the day, daily, as well as at IHOP where I also engage in passionate prayer in the Spirit both alone and corporately. Enter into prayer for the nations, churches, lost, others, every need under the sun with others for as long as my spirit wants to pray, an hour, two, even eight. And I can do it daily 24/7.
  5. I gather with true followers of Christ daily, people who are living passionately for God, living on His mission, in the battle, living the Kingdom life and busy proclaiming it to others, followers who are on the front line of the battle. People who passionately love and worship God with great passion. I engage in true fellowship with others over a meal, cup of coffee, where ever daily with other believers.

To me church, Christianity, the worship of God, bible study and fellowship with the body of Christ is not a one day a week thing. It’s to be a way of life, the way followers of Christ are to live daily.

So that is why Sunday does not standout, offers nothing I do not do already have access to, already doing daily. In fact most Sunday services are detrimental to my worshiping of God, block my fellowship with God and the body, but that is another whole blog.

hole in our gospelThe Hole In Our Gospel, by Richard Stearns, the President of World Vision published by Thomas Nelson, is a compelling call to Christ-followers to know and understand the whole gospel, and our obligation to take it to the world. This book is amazing; it is one of best books I have read in a long time. In this book we learn of Richard’s personal story, his rise to not only CEO of World Vision but God’s working in him to know and embrace the whole Gospel. We learn of Richard’s ventures into the world, the world of poverty and need. As he states “Poverty, disease, and squalor had eyes and faces that stared back, I had to see and smell and touch the pain of the poor. We learn “The mission of God is now our mission, and the whole gospel is the good news”. That the Kingdom which Christ spoke of was one in which the poor, sick, grieving, cripples, slaves, widows, orphans, lepers and aliens – the lest of these, were to be lifted up.

This subject is one of my passions, world hunger and ending it, so this was preaching to the Choir for me, but helped fuel my passion for the need and for the church to get, know, embrace the whole gospel and do something with it. This book should be a must read for every Christian, in the pew of every church. A required reading for every pastor. Stearns tells a powerful and compelling story of how God transformed him from one who like most Christians believes the American dream is the gospel, Christianity lived out. To one who was changed by the whole gospel, humbled and broken, giving it all up for Christ and to take the gospel to the world.

NoticerThomas Nelson newest book The Noticer by Andy Andrews. Is a great book, destined to not only be on the bestseller list but to be there for a while I’m sure.

In this book Andy Andrews tells about Jones and his life changing impact on his world around him through active observation giving him “perspective” on life that he was missing, not seeing. Jones shows us that having the right “perspective” in life is of the up most importance to living it right. Although this is a small book only 167 page I simply could not breeze through it, found myself stopping and contemplating what was just said in one of the stories and finding my own life in the pages.

I found myself and so much of my own life in the pages of this book, in almost every chapter, me that Jones was talking with. I would like to have met someone like Jones in my youth to have giving me such wisdom such as he gave Andy in the opening chapter.

This book not only made me think about my own life while reading this book, but made me think of others also, want to be a “noticer” in the lives of other just as Jones was, that I might offer the right “perspective”. Be their new best friend as Jones says, the one who hold others to a higher standard. And that takes living outside of yourself, loving your neighbor as yourself. Caring just as much that your neighbors marriage is working as your own. Caring about that person living under the pier not going anywhere in life just as much as where yours is going.

holy bibleSet out on a quest this past weekend to get a new bible, mine is worn out, starting to fall apart, I usually have to replace mine about every 4 or 5 years. And I must say it has been a journey of frustration and disappointment looking for a new one for two reasons, the choice of verity of style and the quality of the bibles.

First, I will start with the quality, one only has to read the reviews on Amazon to see what I mean. Shabby quality, poor binding, poor paper and printing quality. I found this in every bible I looked at, for all most every publishers. I think one review summed it up well, bible are now being printed in China by the lowest bidder on each printing. Publishers take note, this is the bible, the word of God, not some cheap paperback romance here. Great care should be given to print the highest quality bible as possible.

Second, verity, selection and I am not speaking in terms of versions/translations here. I will only use two translations, the NKJV and the NAS Updated, for the last 20 years I have used NJKV bibles. I prefer word for word translations of the word of God so I use only those two. I am speaking of layout and features.

It seems that today Study bibles are dominating the market now, there are so many versions of them out there, it’s like if you want a bible now days you have to get a study bible. I do not like or want a study bible, why:

When I read the word of God I seek God to speak to me though it. So I stay away from study bibles becouse I do not want all the clutter and noise of someone’s personal opinion and theology in the way while I am reading the word. I’m actual one who studies the word of God and does not rely on someone to do it for me and give me the cliff notes on it, and trust they are right.

All I’m asking for is a nice verity of the bible, just the bible, the word of God, not a book full of someone opinions of what the word says

  • Great cross references
  • A nice concordance with more than 3 or 4 references per word
  • Full size bible with pages large enough to add a few lines of notes here and there, say like 7 x 10in
  • Font big enough you do not need the eyes of an eagle or magnifying glass to read, like a 9 font
  • Some nice maps, maybe helps like a list of the Harmony of the Gospel, the Parables, Major Payers, Prophecies of the Messiah fulfilled in Jesus, daily reading plan, est.
  • And 5 or 10 blank pages in the back for our own references & notes.

Just a high quality bible that contains the word of God (with out someone’s comments) with cross references, that is bigger than a box of cracker jacks is that to much to ask, I mean really.

What does it look like to live out the gospel, the would gospel. This is what it looks like in this story shared by Richared Stearns in his new book The Hole in our Gospel.

Richared met a pastor of a house church of 83 people while in Cambodia and he asked him his story, how did he come to Christ, and his story is summed up was.

His encounter with Christ began with Christians with World Vision who came to serve the poor, nursing the sick, educating the children and helping increase the food fro the hungry. So compelling was this service that it provoked questions in the mind of the curious man: Why are you here? Why are you helping us? The answer to these questions was the gospel, the good news. And they took me to a pastor who told me all about Jesus. He opened his bible and told me all about Jesus, explained salvation in Christ. And I committed my life to Jesus that day.

When asked, now what about the 83 people who worship with at your house church, how did they come to follow Jesus.

“I was so excited to learn about Jesus, that I had to share this good new with everyone I knew.

Wow there it is, the gospel in action, the great commission fulfilled.

A group of Christians taking the whole gospel va the great commission into the world. They saw Jesus was hungry so they gave Him food; that He was thirsty so they gave Him drink; that He was a stranger so they took Him in; that He was naked so they clothed Him; that He was sick so they visited Him.

Then giving an answer as to why they where doing it, Jesus. And as a result one person comes to faith in Christ, then he immediately goes and shares the gospel with other in the shadow of what the others where doing for them, they also come to faith and then he starts making disciples and a church is born and he is their pastor. That’s the gospel in action.

So let it be said of each Christians life, like Jesus said as you have seen, read, go and do like wise.