Thursday, December 31, 2009

The BLENDER: that's the problem!

Just a last minute thought for the Old Year.

As we move into the next chapter of humanity on this planet, people are getting bombed, killed or smashed by the latest volcano somewhere other than Altoona Iowa. So what I read on the net or see on the tube means little to my comfort as I stand in line at the local Fareway grocery store purchasing my Velveeta and Rotel for our New Years Eve party at church.

I wonder if that’s what Jesus had in mind.

I want to leave you with this challenge. Are we eating whole foods, biblically speaking, or are we using a blender to homogenize the tastes of this world with the Bible?

I ask that because for years, I’ve made my kids fruit and veggie smoothies. Now mind you, when they were real little they had no clue that the canned peaches, apples, strawberries, and bananas were blended with the frozen spinach and broccoli, plus a good dose of apple juice and dry coffee creamer.

Now they’re old enough to accept the fact that I duped them into drinking something that tasted real sweet, but contained all the phytochemicals they would need for at least two years in one glass full. And that’s okay; at least when it comes to kids, veggies, and proactive health and nutrition strategies for parents.

But what about the church? Curt my friend from Cornerstone in DeWitt, Iowa, has been a stalwart example of biblical influence in his community for the better part of 20 years. He challenged me regarding my passions for a church re-born in the twentieth century or before the Perousia. Thanks man, I need your old ex-Lutheran perspective.

As of yet, my research and rebuttal has been limited to citing George Barna and pollsters of the like. But I think I came up with a thought regarding the modern American church. The problem: THE BLENDER!

That’s right… the blender. Not the Jack LaLanne juicer, but the religious and culture Sunday morning church blender.

See with the blender, I was able to sneak all sorts of weird and healthy stuff into my kids’ drinks. And they had no clue, until they got old enough to ask why their smoothies were kind of brownish green.

And the same is true with the need based hunger of the American church. If I’m good enough, I can mix in all sorts of worldly stuff to make something powerful and life changing taste real good. And if I’m compromising enough, I can mix all sorts of worldliness into my biblical teaching so it tastes real palatable. All in the name of getting the group to drink what I think they need to drink.

This paradox could go either way. If my values are God’s values and I’m basing my teaching and life on the New Testament, but I want to creatively mix in some of the worldly flavors, so my worldly culture becomes willing to consume the often tasteless biblical truths I present… then okay. Right?

But if on the other hand, I’m mixing more and more worldly flavors so they hide the biblical taste of what I’m presenting and the power and potential of the truth is diminished, then maybe I’m doing a very eternal disservice to my drinkers.

Either way… beware of the BLENDER. Pluralism could be the undoing of a century of efforts here on the American homeland. But then again, who am I but a lowly tradesman who preaches on the weekends.

Happy New Year! Hope your blender is full of fruity spirited cheer this evening!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

_____ the Day of Being PC About Our Faith!

Here it is… if you got hung up on my suggested use of harsh or vulgar language, then you will have missed what the God of all eternity is saying. Isaiah 6:5 (NIV) “’Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.’” And yet we still converse and traffic in lies.

We are either a people of defeat… or a people of vague politically correct concessions. Or if we are so inclined to receive Wisdom; then we may become a people of Victory! That’s the bottom line. And if we’ve had generation upon generation, since the WW2 generation, who have opted for the “let’s all smoke a bowl and get along” mentality…, then we “is” in for some serious trouble! Excuse the redneck inference.

I for one am part of The Revolution. If we are not able or willing to hold to the teachings of Jesus Christ (John 8:31), the Scriptures and the leading Voice of the Spirit… then we have a major issue within our own ranks. And I’m kind of worried that we already do. A network of what… Amway salesmen? Draw me some circles.

I make that claim because we’ve lost the continuum of biblical value sets. I’m not talking about legalism, but I am talking about what we as the people of God have determined, by the grace of God’s Word, what to identify with in the written verse and the spoken Word to our spirits. What should His people “look” like within this present generation?

When I say “look” like, I’m not hung up on tattoos or piercing or fashion, but what I am hung up on is a composite behavioral lifestyle that not only mimics Jesus’ approach to culture, but also produces lives of Power and Effectiveness so as to change or cause change of mind and heart (repentance) within this present generation.

Just last night, as I drove past a prominent eastside Des Moines AG church, on the marquee they displayed a message regarding “values” as not being something that are transient or changing. Yet in America, that’s simply bologna!

We change our value sets as quickly as we change the 120 plus channels on our cable or satellite TV.

So albeit, Pastor Paul and his church may make a “factual” statement about what values “should” be… they do not present a “truthful” view of the present state of the American church… let alone American culture.

A dear friend of mine gave me some advice yesterday regarding a redemptive relationship that I have with an unbelieving friend.

Rule 1: In any relationship between a believer and a non believer, one person is the potter and one is the clay. If you are not the potter, then forget about the relationship.

Rule 2: Never spend time with people who are in an un-teachable mode. We have too many others who want to be discipled, so do not spend very much of my time with those who do not care to learn and grow.

I love the person who gave me this advice and appreciate the wisdom therein. What if we stopped trying to make everyone happy and got people healed and discipled; or not? If not, then get a great paying job and get on with life here on this earth and forget about eternity. In essence, get out of the disciple making business.

Hey, the crazed Jihadists around the world are doing a better job at recruiting than we are.

If we apply the principle of diminishing returns to discipleship and believe that numbers are the only thing worthy of noting, then we’ve missed the point that Jesus would have come for only the one.

Well… I’d better stop typing and get on with planning my New Year! It’s like getting a new car or something. No money down and zero percent interest. The real question is… can I afford the new annual payment plan? Batterson’s right about margins.

Forgive my intro and blog title… but I believe that our “unclean” lips are not based upon our cussing or the lack thereof, but based upon the relative denial of the Truth that is so rampant within the church, thereby giving way to error or uncleanness in our verbal communication.

Keep in mind all you Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers… your goal? Not equipping the saints to clean the church or teach a class or shovel snow, but His goal, to cause His people to speak the truth in love and thereby cause His kids (and maybe even the world) to grow up in Him. Ephesians 4:15.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

What's Twenty Cents Anyway?

As we approach the end of another year, each of us has the opportunity or the burdensome task of looking ahead while using hindsight from the past 365 days to guide us into greater effectiveness, if that’s what we’re living for. If not; “Party on Garth!”

As for me, my hope is that every year, I will come to greater levels of understanding, compassion and excellence, all according to my God given abilities and the God given resources set before me. If I maximize these combined elements, effectiveness and influence will follow.

Jesus taught a parable about people and their opportunity to do something with what they were given. To one much was given. To another a little less, and to another even less, and so on. We fondly call it the parable of the talents, but frankly you could call it the parable of the resources.

The beautiful grace expressed in that parable is this; each of us is accountable for only what we are given, all according to our abilities. Take time to consider the ramifications of grace in that principle. Then wipe the sweat off your brow and get on with enjoying life.

Our heavenly Father has a unique way of optimizing life for each of us. I’m not a brain surgeon or an aerospace engineer. Not because I’ve never considered those vocations, but simply put, my abilities would not have matched the demand of the tasks. I’m very okay with that truth. Are you?

As I grow older and richer in my need for and understanding of grace, I don’t take the above thought as a downer, on the contrary, I take it as realistic and fact. If I’ve always been a C and B level student, it’s more than likely I would not have made it into med school or the like. Oh it’s not that I’m not smart, I simply didn’t have the abilities to go where that level of scholarship and skill require, therefore God did not give me the resources to go that way.

But what God did do was resource me according to my abilities. For that I’m eternally grateful and content.

As a result, my hope in the coming days is that I can help you to make small shifts in your thinking and feeling. I’m not suggesting that anything I might write or say will ultimately change your destiny, but what I am saying is that if I can shim up your thinking on a matter, maybe, just maybe, I can be part of the divine process of direction change or course correction (one degree can make a huge difference). The end result will be between you and God, but I find great joy in influencing your heart and mind for the good.

Some might call that a paradigm shift, others might call it bologna, but either way I hope to cause some positive influence for some of you. Call it my twenty cents worth of influence or call it a pair-of-dimes shift for the better, either way that’s my goal.

Love to all of you. Anybody seen my twenty cents?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

This is ONLY a TEST

When I was very young, I remember when the emergency broadcasting network would do their weird TEST and they would say "this is only a test". And I always fearfully wondered if I would ever hear the real thing.
So far so good.
I just needed to check to see if this blog is posting. I've had Yahoo issues, so I'm checking my blogspot too.
Merry Christmas!

Is It Really A Free Ride?

Value, Motive and Reason – part 3

As I’ve participated in daily life over the past few weeks, these words have surfaced in my interpretation of each collision I’ve encountered. When I say “collision” I don’t mean conflict, but I do mean a fusion of matter and ideas. All of which comprise each day’s reality check, which in reality often seems so relative and subjective. Yet the harder I look through the ocular of my given equipment, I find common ground with each and every one of you. The only distinction is geographic. But considering this season we are celebrating, I was going to get each of you “Peace on Earth”. But since that seems tacitly impossible, I’ve sent you a piece of earth… look for a chunk of dirt to arrive real soon.

Remember church; green is the new gold, so get ready.

Let me put the words of my heart, soul and mind into a fondue so you can dip the crusty bread of your consumer existence into the hot steamy delight of what happens between my ears and between my sternum and my vertebrae. All the while remembering David’s powerful prayer of repentance and caution: Psalm 19:13 “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” (KJV)

Many years ago, I wondered if I had committed the unpardonable sin, because me and a few other guys (we were teenagers) had mocked the white haired lady in our church who always seems to give a message in tongues all the while her life and family were some of the most odd and asocial people one could encounter.

I think the first time the mockery occurred was at Pizza Hut on a Sunday night after church. I think it was Dave Walker who first mimicked her as he wheezed and coughed through his Marlboros. It was me, Chris, Brian, Jack, Mike, Kevin and whatever girls we were able to recruit to meet us at the east side Pizza Hut, because most of the church people wouldn’t be there to see us smoking cigarettes. Back then you could light a cigarette from the little red votive candles they had burning on all the tables (it was wickedly dark in the restaurant back in those days). And twenty five cents would buy you four song plays on the juke box, usually Free Ride or Frankenstein, by Edgar Winter were included in the four. All of which made for some pretty serious guilt feelings later that night as I lay in my bed. Never understanding what had really transpired in the previous few hours, including church.

The REASON I bring up that historic anecdote from my teenage years is because at the time, I’m sure Walker and the rest of us really had no clue as to what had happened at church that night, let alone why we were driving all the way over to the east side (many times in the deep Iowa snow that few parents cared about if their kids drove in… let alone bumper-sliding… remember those good old days?) just so we could smoke cigarettes and flirt with easy girls.

We didn’t have a clue as to the real REASON we chose to do what we did. Some would have said we were rebellious teenagers, who needed to repent and get right with God, and maybe they were right, but did any of our accusers ever really know how bad Harlan and Elvin treated their boys? Or for that matter did any of our roll models really model that stellar of behavior?

For all of us, value, motive and REASON are the cycle of life. Unfortunately, many of us get off on the wrong foot and the next thing you know (30 years later) we’re sitting in Larry Low’s office trying to figure out why life hurts.

When those who have influence over us, use rationale and REASON that is based upon error or flat out lies believed to be true, the value(s) that is birthed becomes part of who we are (right or wrong, good or bad). Then based upon our patterns of behavior, if we repeatedly do certain things, they become factual evidence that they are indeed our values. And values are the engine or the motive for our doing what we’re doing. Even when something is wrong, it can functionally work for us, kind of like a survival thing.

In some contexts, that’s call the Stockholm syndrome (just Google it). If it works for you, right or wrong, that’s very often what you will continue to do. When held captive by a lie, that has historically caused you pain, you will develop coping mechanisms, so as to just survive and get by. And if you’re real good, like some of those guys who have web casts that we’re all supposed to be watching, because they’re much better leaders or liars than the rest of us (could I say they are just developmentally better at coping).

Either way, the things that motivate us are built into systems or patterns that we’ve found simply work for us. That’s right (or wrong it really doesn’t matter when it comes to functionality); they work at keeping us afloat, at least that’s what we think and feel.

Here’s where it all really implodes and sets us on a success driven collision course with destruction. Value and motive perpetuate the rationale or the REASON we continue doing what we are doing.

And if we can convince ourselves that what we are doing and feeling is working… no change will occur. If we are getting some measure of results that we want or are at least content with (pain or not), we’ll rationalize that things are okay and we have no reason for change. And that’s how good lies work. We’re not supposed to realize they are lies.

And the cycle continues unabated.

I wonder if anyone else reading this blog has ever satiated their pain or confusion with a piece of pizza, a cigarette and Edgar Winter. Maybe I’m the only one.

Here’s a final dip in the fondue. Numbers 14:44 “Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the high hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the LORD's covenant moved from the camp.” (NIV)

I wonder how far up into the hill country we’ve attempted to travel? I told one of the guidance counselors at our local junior high not to be fooled into thinking things were getting better there at the school. Two weeks later another high school student took his own life.

As the kids in our youth group were discussing the matter, they all lamented the tragedy of a life lost in it’s prime, but they even more lamented the tragedy of what appeared to be a kid who was not a star or popular, and so few mourned his passing. Did anyone put a RIP sign up on the pedestrian viaduct over Eighth Street? They usually do if it’s a popular kid.

It really seems like we’ve headed for the hill country without proper REASON, motive or even value (let alone the presence of the Lord and our Covenant). Since I don’t smoke anymore, I think I’ll listen to the Best of Edgar Winter and see what memories Jesus will show me.

Value, Motive and Reason… do not underestimate their impact.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

More Thoughts on Value, Motive and Reason - part 2.2

As I’ve sought to live out the very things that I not only blog about, but that I talk about, act about, and definitely think about, this subject seemed to boomerang itself right back into my lap. And for good reason (no pun intended).

Here’s the more thought. Value, Motive and Reason are cyclical. That’s right, cyclical. Meaning that as each exists separately they are applied in all various and sundry manners and each produces some definite end result. Which may be all well and good, but what God has been stirring in my heart these last few days is this: the SUM IS GREATER THAN ITS INDIVIDUAL PARTS.

Now don’t flame me for being so simple minded and kind of delayed in my wow revelation on this matter. Because I know that many of you probably had had this epiphany in junior high math class, but for me I’ve typically been a slow learner (I live by the trial and error method most of the time). But once I get something it tends to stick.

When value exists regarding a matter, it produces a motive or a driving force that, at least in our minds, becomes a rational cause for doing or being (most often more doing than being), which is reason being lived out. And reason (in my opinion) is pure (not in a divine way per se) if it is associated with genuine belief in something (moral, amoral or immoral and even if it’s truth or a lie).

Now don’t miss this, because it’s short and sweet. As the process or cycle of this principle occurs, reason ultimately produces new values or increased value in something we do (mental or emotional sandbagging maybe). And whatever we do, with relative consistency IS a value. Some would say a core value. Which by the way, I think has been a much over used and over rated verbal nomenclature the church has thrown around in recent years (just like we did with mission and vision). Which in my mind further begs the question of our effectiveness if we now have to TELL people what they SHOULD value, and these are the people that have supposedly had an encounter with the living God, yet they don’t know or understand what He values?

All of which REALLY begs the question (for all of us) once again: WHO IS SHAPING our minds and hearts as to what we should VALUE? Because if we believe and buy into the wrong kerygma, our life cycle of development will tilt little by little to one direction or another, usually very unnoticeable at first, but ultimately by degree we will find ourselves way off plumb or level. Because reason begets deeper value, and value produces motive, which tends to drive us into rational practice or reason for doing or being, and being and doing (especially doing) equals what we value (core values = the things we do the most), which reproduces the cycle all over again.

And depending upon how much truth or error have been mixed into the propaganda (right or wrong) that we’ve been fed, will determine how plumb or level our lives will project into eternity.

If you are only off one degree when extrapolating a vector, ultimately the end width of that vector will be very large. If something rigid that is meant to be plumb as it projects upward is off by only a very small measure, when greater heights are reached the entire structure will be so far off plumb that gravity will utilize it’s off centeredness to raze the whole thing to the ground (oh how the mighty fall – the little foxes do spoil the vines).

So be careful who and what you listen to, because lots of messages can be appealing or simply palatable, but if they are off very much, the cycle of VALUE, MOTIVE and REASON will produce such a leaning tower of Pisa that eventually, at least in that particular area (if not all), it will collapse in a heap.

Value, Motive and Reason, I think they’re important. Do you?
Next week: Our direr need for biblical shims!
Smile God Loves You... Later!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I have a friend who is a religion and philosophy teacher at a local community college near his home. He has also been a senior pastor in the same church for the better part of twenty years. He had some great thoughts on value and the quest for universally applied standards in that area. Here are his words in response to my previous post.

“Russell… values, as a group, are not either universal or relative, they are both universal and relative. For example: we all value a cool drink on a hot day, (universal) but some would choose tea, others coke, or perhaps a Pepsi, or some juice (relative). There are primary values that meet a need, that we all share, and there are secondary values, that we develop according to our own physiological, psychological, spiritual, and experiential makeup. Value theory is an important area of debate in philosophy.”

Thanks Curt, those are good thoughts. They all-the-more affirm my convictions on the subject at hand. Generally speaking, within the American church and even more relevant and critical for our future, within the Kingdom of God, these matters had better get solved real soon or chaos will be so rampant we won’t know what to do with ourselves. Although a chaos of that nature could be prophetic by design; all according to the grace of our God given free will and His plan for the eschaton.

My niece’s husband posted some great words regarding Value, Motive and Reason. “Values we are instilled with and adhere to provide us with motive in what we do and how we do it, thereby inspiring our life's reason.” I think that’s pretty straight forward. Thanks Jordan! I love you man.

My dear sister Bonnie posted the following. “All of these subjects are missing from our current society (or if present, they are sadly distorted). They only can be found in true form in the Christian life.” Of which I wholeheartedly agree. She speaks from many years in the ministry. She’s a great pastors wife… or should I say the wife of a great pastor.

Yet all of these good thoughts continue to beg the question of Value, Motive and Reason (as far as I’m concerned and it’s my blog). What I mean is this; if your family was raised with slaking their thirst on a hot day with Pepsi… it’s likely you may assume a similar relative value for doing the same (entertainment, fashion, politics, religion and relationships pan out in a similar manner). All of which is very benign, unless Pepsi is thought of as something that can and will separate you from God and His best for your life (Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists and the like… when I was a kid we drank Pepsi like Otis drank bourbon on Andy Griffith… daily).

And as Jordan pointed out, “Values… are instilled” and my question is this: how well is the “church” and the “Christian” family doing these days? Granted, we all develop differing convictions according to the Spirit’s leading, but somewhere along the line, it seems that we should all run into the same threshold of limitation and constraints according to God’s standard in the written Word and the Spirit’s leading. But that seems to be more and more up for grabs. And we seem pretty okay with that, as long as the offerings are still flowing. Maybe we’re just getting closer and closer to the truth?

I concur with my sister Bonnie that within the “true form” of “the Christian life” correct value, motive and reason, are established and produce life and life more abundantly, but again I pose the question: Where is the “true form” of “the Christian life”? All too often it’s not found in the church or the home.

I have yet to read Mark Batterson’s latest book Primal – A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity, but my guess is, he may address some of this lost ground we’re experiencing within the Christian community. Okay, I take that back, I have read the free pdf download of the first chapter (it’s good). And it appears that’s where his journey will take us. Thanks Mark… I paced that same chapel balcony. Wish I had that balcony right now.

When we value what God values our motives change (our desires change). That’s right, the engine of our soul that keeps us moving in a positive God ordained direction, flows directly from the development of parallel values with God. And therein lays the path of God’s will for our lives. The thing I hope we all want. Or at least I hope so?

The challenge we face in this postmodern day and age is holding on to the things that God values. Simply put, we are bombarded by this message: “Value what we value”. Madison Avenue, Hollywood or even the Fox News Channel are all vying for market share. But if we consider the challenge facing the church today, the challenge of market share, we face the same thing. Value what we value. But boy is that hard to get across anymore.

Yet how many of us are spending our lives promoting the things that God values? If we can, by the Spirit’s leading, bring light to those in darkness and help them understand value from God’s perspective, we just might see some positive forward movement within the Kingdom of God in the American church.

If we can just be motivated by His will and not ours, if we can just find pure reason in all that we do, genuine hope might pay off. Not some campaign slogan that only works to get votes.

Immanuel Kant wrote, "Although all our knowledge begins with experience, it does not follow that it arises from experience" alone. With that I would agree. Based upon my belief that there is a God who seeks to influence humankind by conscience and providence, my life quest is to value what God values. I believe He will make those values self evident, if I’m willing to listen. Our problem is that God may not be sending MP3’s and MP4’s, and that’s all we’re formatted to receive.

I believe that long before the Bible was ever codified, individuals heard from God and were led in various and sundry manners of righteousness (and my friend Don the atheist, whom I love, will tell me in various and sundry manners of evil in the name of god – he’s right). All of which reflect the probable influence of the Imago Dei that Kant could have been suggesting existed prior to experience (or an awaking to God or Satan); a deep intuitive knowing that would tend to construct a civil thought process that would further construct a lifestyle that produces good behavior reflecting that internal presence I would call God.

Religion has historically screwed us up. Jesus has not. Church has historically drifted from biblical mandate. Jesus has not. The Assemblies of God within America has lost market share. Jesus has not.

While I was on holiday with my family up in Minnesota and Wisconsin, I took a brief pause to read an article in Christianity Today (the November issue I believe). This short article talked about the Southern Baptist’s alarm at ministers like Mark Driscoll (the cussing pastor – I think he drinks too) and their negative postmodern influence upon the established traditions of the church, namely the Southern Baptists. So I understand they made a resolution at their last national council meeting to ban all cussing and drinking pastors or at least limit their relationship with them. I guess that’s a good idea, unless the cussing and drinking pastors are the ones really hearing from God these days. And unless they are the ones that God is bringing fresh biblical revelation too. Remember Balaam’s ass?

Because our 19th century American Christianity was so influenced by the holiness movement, we have historically gotten our God “revelations” from those we’ve perceived as most holy. Or at least that’s how it appears at first glance. It’s kind of funny (in a tragic way) how we listen to and follow with wrapped attention the guys who can keep our attention in the name of God, all the while they are doing the “wild-thing” with someone other than their wife. Until they get caught.

I remember when it was considered really bad for ministers to look at porn or get involved sexually with anyone outside of their marriage (I still think it’s really bad… so does God). But somewhere in the last few decades that VALUE disappeared. Yes it did… and don’t argue with me about that, because values are measured by what we do, not by what we say. What we say can be of value, but most often what we say or write are only ideals. If purity in body and soul are of value, then behavior would dictate that. Blessed are those who are pure in heart, for they shall see God. Hmmm… it’s no wonder we have a generation that can’t seem to perceive (see) God in much these days. Have we lost our purity?

So who sets VALUE on anything but God? If I set it, it means squat. If my fellowship sets it, it means squat. That’s why we need to once again develop the ability to hear God’s voice. And further, if we VALUE Him, His voice will MOTIVATE us with pure REASON.

Otherwise, it’s just all “yada, yada, yada”! Did God say that? Right… and that’s my point. Who is shaping us? Jerry or Jesus?

Well… this is what lots of snow gets you… lot’s of blogging. I’m still simmering so the stew just might get more potent. Get a glass of milk… it will help.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Value Follow Up - part 1.1

This will be a shorter post to follow up on my previous thoughts on value.

Tools are important. Monday through Friday I work in the trade business. I’m a painting contractor, a carpenter, handyman and jack of all trades and master of none. I understand that good tools are important to get the job done right and on time.

I’m not throwing stones, because I have lots of expensive tools that some might consider a luxury, unless you do this kind of work day in and day out to make a living.

But here’s my point. Several years ago a friend of mine who is on staff at a large church somewhere here in the middle of Iowa, shared with me some information about some new equipment the church had purchased. As I recall, it was some very fancy lights. That’s right, lights that were able to change color and do cool things and who knows what else (maybe they could make angel shadows or something). Regardless of how functional they may have been, my friend told me that they cost in the range of forty thousand dollars (yep… 40K).

I suppose they got a good deal, because they bought more than one, and my guess is that many people got saved and entered the Kingdom of God, because the perfect ambiance was achieved. And I suppose the church grew exponentially and many saints grew closer to God because of the power of those incredible lights, but 40K? Is that a good value?

Our entire church budget for the year is less than 40K, but then again I only pastor a church of 40 people. I wonder how much value those really hip lights added to the church and the Kingdom.

Value... Imagine what 40K could have done for a little church that just needs a jump start and some compassionate friends?

Value… Imagine what 40K could have done for a pastor that has little time to blog, let alone prepare sermons, visit shut-ins, make hospital calls, counsel hurting people and oh yeah… work 40 plus hours a week on top of it all? Day off? What’s that?

Value... Imagine if we all stumbled upon a universally accepted value? Not just something that people value in New York or the Netherlands, but something that was equally valued universally around the globe?

Our problem is just that: Nothing seems to be equally valued universally, therefore value appears relative. Therein lays the journey I’m on and the mission I’m charged to accomplish.

Value, Motive and Reason. More to come!