While we were at Andrea’s parents house the other night I picked up this book off the coffee table. My father in law informed me that it was very good and that it was given to him by my brother in law after his church’s leadership went through it together.
It’s a very unique book both in style and content. I have read about half the book and I’m pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t expecting much based on the title, some of the quote sources (Dog the Bounty Hunter for example) and the odd format in which it’s written.
The theme of the book is integrity. The authors believe that good character and lasting integrity is the result of complete honesty with someone(s) you can trust. They postulate that when we keep struggles to ourselves we empower those sinful proclivities, enslaving ourselves even further. I couldn’t agree more with this theory and hope to implement some of their ideas into our leadership and church.
What I like about this book is that they concede the fact that accountability is only as good as the people involved. It doesn’t do any good if I’m just honest after the fact. Accountability is supposed to keep me from doing stupid stuff…the only way this is going to happen is if I’m honest with the little things that lead to the big life altering failures.
My only criticism so far is the lack of Scripture. While I believe the principles they are purporting are biblical I’m curious why they chose to quote Duane “Dog” Chapman and not God Himself.
Unfortunately this is becoming more and more prevalent amongst those who claim to be teachers of the Word.
Last night Andrea and I went to see this movie…
Stewart (our worship leader) had told me it was amazing, but the review on Crosswalk wasn’t so positive. So I went with mixed expectations and conflicted anticipation.
As usual we showed up to a packed theater right when the movie was supposed to begin. There was no where to park except in the back forty lot so after driving around like an idiot for 5 minutes I finally found a vacant spot along the road right by Red Robin. I don’t want to brag but I pulled off a sweet parallel park job and off we went.
To our surprise the previews were still going as we entered theater number 3. The movie begins with some cool foreshadowing and then launches into what is a very difficult storyline to follow. But those that can track with it, and tolerate the unusual plot arrangement this movie employs, will be pleasantly surprised how good this movie actually is.
The spiritual implications are huge…the moral and ethical lessons are compelling.
Ben Thomas (Will Smith) is clearly a conflicted man who struggles with many things but the self-sacrifice he displays in this movie will make you think through how you treat others.
I highly recommend this movie. There is some language (a few GD’s) and one sensual scene that shows some kissing and then the couple in bed but there is no nudity and it’s fairly short.
We are going to be starting a quarterly movie viewing and discussion night called “Film and Faith” and this will definitely be a movie to crank up for that.
So take some time over the holidays and go watch Seven Pounds you’ll be glad you did.
Last night we had an amazing Christmas Eve Service (even though we came in to find the roof leaking just above the sound booth). The building was packed…we had a wonderful time of worship and singing Christmas songs, I taught a short message from Luke 2:36-38 (4 characteristics from the life of Anna), and then we closed with candle lighting and singing Evan Wickham’s song “Halalujah Jesus”
It was really cool to look out at the congregation and see all those candles shining in the dark but I was unprepared for the mess these little suckers would make
As some of you know we just bought brand new chairs for our sanctuary…now they are brand new chairs adorned with candle wax. We also have a remolded building that is less than a year old…now we have new carpet with huge splotches of white wax to add some character.
Actually I’ve heard there are some simple remedies to wax removal…either freezing it with ice until it hardens and crumbles or heating it with an iron and soaking it up with a paper sack are the most recommended solutions.
Not ideal especially for the folks who clean the church but we’ll get it cleaned up and research some alternatives for candle light for next year.
It does prove that you can have small disasters like these and still have a great service…everything doesn’t have to go perfectly for the Lord to bless His people. I’m continuing to learn this principle maybe one day it will REALLY sink in.
Have a Merry Christmas!
These are my friends “Agents of Christ”. They are two families (the James’ and the Chaffee’s) who sold everything they have so that they could travel the country coming alongside churches to help them in the area of evangelism and drug and alcohol abuse prevention.
Please pray for them as they put on evangelism classes, preach the gospel, share their testimonies with young people, and minister to whomever the Lord leads them to as the travel from city to city in their motor home and van.
Currently they are in the Phoenix area and plan to travel to New Mexico and Texas over the next month and then eventually all the way across the south and then up the east coast.
If you are a pastor or church leader in these areas and you are interested in having them come alongside your church you can contact them from their website here.
This is an article I wrote for our local newspaper, the Central Oregonian. Continue reading