Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I just wanted a documentary that has given me an encouragement I needed. It has reminded me once again that our Father have given each of us more power to change the world around us than we can ever imagine. A simple school project at a middle school in little Whitwell, TN, touched the students, the faculty, the community and people around the world in ways that no one could have imagined.

Here is the trailer. If you need encouragement, get this movie (if you have Netflix, you can play it instantly on your computer (or your Nintendo Wii for that matter!)).Your kids and grandkids need to see it. Those middle schoolers and teachers who started this project over ten years ago never imagined how it would change their lives.

Remember, no matter where you find yourself in life, the death of Christ on the cross, and His resurrection are the ultimate proof that LOVE WINS! Don't get cynical; don't think God is through with you; don't think there is nothing new you can learn that could make you and your world better! Learn more about the school, the museum and the project here:

Learn more about the film at: http://www.paperclipsmovie.com/synopsis.php

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Getting Ready for Holy Week - "Why did He have to die?"

I think I've posted this for the past couple of years, but it is one of my favorite songs about Christ's death, and it gives us an opportunity to stop and consider the price Christ paid for us on the cross. If you can, attend a Good Friday service this week (Our is at 7:00 pm if you're near enough to attend.) to gather with other Christ-followers to consider this ultimate act of love from the One who died that we might live! Your Easter Sunday celebration will not be nearly what it could be, if you skip by the crucifixion and forget that you and me are part of the "why" of Jesus' death. (Warning for those with kids: this video contains images from "The Passion" movie.)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Watch that Fire in Your Mouth - It's Dangerous!

Came across the story of Centralia, PA, this past week. It was a vibrant mining town of over 1600 people, and now there are ten! It's destruction started in 1962 when someone thought it would be a good idea to burn trash in a local landfill that was sitting on top of an abandoned coal mine. The fire ignited the coal and spread to underground veins of coal running under the city. The result? Poison gases, ground collapsing under people's feet, and eventually the town was vacated (except for the ten people left.). They estimate it will burn for another 250 years!

Here is a trailer for a recent movie documentary made about Centralia.

Whoever started the fire, they did not intend to destroy their town. They did not know that once the coal was ignited and the fire spread, that they would not be able to put it out easily. That one act (which was compounded by the government's inability to deal with the crisis) destroyed a town.

This fire reminds me of the destructive potential of our careless words to each other. James writes, "Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell." (James 3:5,6)

Fiery words (and they don't have to be a full blaze, but just "smoldering" comments) can do irreparable damage. Words destroy families, businesses, friendships and ministries. Please listen to your words. It is so easy to argue, to pick, to be sarcastic, or trivial.

Yet our words also have the power to bless, to encourage, to instruct, to enrich, and, in the hands of God's Spirit, to point someone to Jesus Christ.

So pray for wisdom and guidance in the use of that powerful flame in your mouth. Fire, uncontrolled, can destroy whole towns, but it can also be used to bring warmth and life IF it is controlled! It's too late for Centralia, but not for you!

May you and everyone you meet today enjoy the blessings of your God-given, God-glorifying words!

Note: Read more about Centrailia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_PA

What We Can Learn from One Lucky Penguin

(Note: special thanks to Gene Jennings for showing me this one!) Feel free to go to the halfway point of this clip to get "the" point. A penguin is in the chase of his life, and he makes a wise decision.

This reminded me of the insanity of someone who leaves a church for less than theologically sound reasons (got their feelings hurt, were overlooked, etc.), and never connect with a church family again. The word reminds us: "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8

We are saved to be a connected, healthy part of our Father's family, the church. What if that penguin decided to jump right back in with all those killer whales circling? That would be a tragedy.

Jesus saved us for Heaven, but also so we could look out for each other, too. This is a reminder to all of us who are members of God's family:

  • Don't ever give someone an excuse to leave your church fellowship by being insensitive, mean, selfish, immoral, etc.
  • If you must leave a church fellowship, make sure it is for reasons that Jesus would endorse, and immediately find another church family to connect with(Note: television church families don't count!).
Don't be an easy target for Satan or the world! Have you been missing someone in your Sunday School class or Bible study group? Pray for them, then go and invite them back in the boat!

Easter as a "Bait and Switch" Opportunity - Hope Not!

This morning a read an interesting blog at

This blog is part of www.christianitytoday.com and is aimed at church leaders. The post is warning pastors about using Easter as a "bait and switch" approach to reaching lost people by putting on the biggest and most elaborate services of the year, setting up disappointments when people return for "regular" services.

What attracted my attention were these comments which reminded me of how we might best reach people for Christ as individuals living in the real world:

I would much prefer we both explicitly and implicitly communicate a model that includes
  • befriending people
  • enfolding them into the rhythms of our lives
  • sharing the highs and lows (and how our faith informs those) with them
  • and integrating them into home groups, dinner times, and the big and small events of our lives.

How natural would it be after all that love and enfolding that they become a part of our community, even before they believe? And when they believe, they believe because they've seen and tested the reality of a life of faith, as opposed to simply watching a special Sunday morning service where the band rocks extra hard and the pastor has a few more funny stories than normal.

I would put such an approach in line with the teachings of Paul in Colossians 4:2-6: Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

This simply reminds us that God's preferred method of evangelism is not merely having special worship services, but to have His beloved children share His love and salvation with others