Monday, August 27, 2007


Yesterday, my pastor continued a series of sermons talking about the foundations of our church's ministry, and as he was discussing the different facets of the ministry of our church he made it a point to say that the church is not a building or a location, but it is God's people.

This afternoon, while I was reading through The Letters of James and Peter in The Daily Bible Study Series by William Barclay, his comment on James 1:26-27 really struck me:
"All through history men have tried to make ritual and liturgy a substitute for sacrifice and service. They have made religion splendid within the Church at the expense of neglecting it outside the Church. This is by no means to say that it is wrong to seek to offer the noblest and the most splendid worship within God's house; but it is to say that all such worship is empty and idle unless it sends a man out to love God by loving his fellow-men and to walk more purely in the tempting ways of the world." (p. 61-62, emphasis mine)
This is truth - I need to remember that "worship" extends beyond the corporate singing that we do on a Sunday morning, reaching into all of our time and all of who we are to being passionate for purity and justice in our lives and in the world that we live. These are the pursuits that James describes as "undefiled worship," and it is these things that are at the heart of you and me being the church today. See you soon.

"This is pure and undefiled worship, as God the Father sees it, to visit orphans and the widows, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." (James 1:27, Barclay's translation)

Sunday, August 26, 2007


I was driving home two nights ago through Niles Canyon, and just after passing through Sunol and I came to a construction zone where a dude with a stop sign was stopping all the cars going in my direction. After a few minutes, a few cars passed by coming the other direction, and then a truck pulled out in front of us to guide us through the construction zone. Apparently, they had installed a rumble strip in the middle of the highway, but other than that I didn't really see any construction, and didn't see a reason as to why they had closed down the road to one lane. But after we had been driving a while, we passed a Caltrans truck, and I saw what all the hoopla was about.

The truck was driving along slowly, and there was a dude hanging off the back with a glue gun, squirting little puddles of glue periodically onto the rumble strip. And here's what blew me away - there were two other construction workers following the truck putting reflective dots into the puddles of glue in go-carts! I felt like I think I would feel if I got to look into Santa's workshop and see the elves putting all the toys together. That made me smile on the way home. See you soon.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I'm getting married a month from yesterday. WOOHOO!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


This past week, I was studying Luke 12 in preparation for a message. One of the things that is really helpful for me is reading other people's thoughts on the scriptures, as these often help me to understand the meaning of GOD's word more clearly. One of the resources that I often use is, which has a wealth of studies and Godly wisdom covering a lot of the bible and other topics.

I was reading this article by Bob Deffinbaugh, and I came across a quote that I thought was very powerful. He was talking about the teaching methods of Jesus, and he said this:
"Good teaching does not tell others all that we know, but it conveys to them a few things that they desperately need to know."
For me, this is a hard principle to follow, because I like to pack all that I can into everything that I say, but I think that this statement illuminates one of the most effective and powerful elements of Jesus' teaching. When he spoke, he spoke relatively briefly and in simple language, but with a wealth of meaning and nuance that we are still in awe of 2,000 years later. He told simple stories of fishermen, mustard seeds, servants and their masters, and good neighbors to communicate GOD's eternal truth.

I think the question for me is this: What is it that we desperately need to know? And how can I say it? Jesus, I pray you would teach me to teach, and to communicate your truth in a way that people will know in their hearts the things you desperately want them to know. See you soon.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


This last week at Silver Spur, I finished reading Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders. My pastor gave this to me a few weeks ago, and I really appreciated it's wealth of Godly insight on what it means to be a "leader" in God's church. It wasn't written in a particularly flashy style, but it's emphasis on biblical interpretation for the foundation of his leadership principles was nails, and he covered a wealth of topics in a straightforward manner that I really appreciated. He also drew on a lot of biographical examples (complete with citations), which has whetted my appetite to read the biographies of some of the great men of GOD that he mentioned. Some quotes I appreciated:

"True leaders know that time spent listening is well invested."

"Time cannot be hoarded, only spent well."

"The strength for moral character is preserved by refusing the unimportant."

"To succeed in getting things done through others is the highest type of leadership."

"Indeed, no man, however capable and devoted, is indispensible to the work of leadership."

"To tell a man he is called to be a leader is the best way of ensuring his spiritual ruin... The church needs saints and servants, not 'leaders,' and if we forget the priority of service, the entire idea of leadership training becomes dangerous."

Powerful and Godly words. Other things I'm reading:

Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, Ronald Sider (I found this for 99 cents in the used section of a Christian bookstore)
Beyond Bumper Sticker Ethics, Steve Wilkens (I've really enjoyed this book)
Abide in Christ, Andrew Murray
Boomsday, Christopher Buckley

See you soon.