Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

28 September 2007

Fun Friday

First off... THIS is funny!


Report: Many U.S. Parents Outsourcing Child Care Overseas

And check this out from Derek Webb and others...
It's called My Free Music Friday.
Out of Webb's successful "To Kill a Mockingbird" free CD download, every Friday, they offer 3 free downloads of lesser-known Christian artists and songs! Amazing idea since it's so hard (especially in Canada) to hear about and get into cutting edge Christian music!

27 September 2007

Dtown Btown

Just read a great article on Relevant's website, written by a guy from St. George about an up-close encounter with local homelessness. Check it out here...



Tomorrow night, we do our final street BBQ for the season. As I was thinking about that this morning, I realized how thankful I am for the opportunity to be able to get to know some of people who live on the street.

It's the luck of the Lord it is (said in the internal voice of a Leprecon it was).

There are few comments that anger me more than, "Makes me realize how lucky I am". Because usually it's in the context of either observing poverty from afar or flipping a proverbial quarter in the direction of the needy while basking in our own goodness.

Last Friday night, I had something very interesting happen. There is quite a brisk prostitution trade that happens on the block where our church is. 4 years ago, one of our first late nights at the Big Blue House, we were doing renovations. We came outside for air and pizza around 1 or 2am to find someone turning tricks in our church parking lot! That was a mind blow right there. Where did God put our church??? Huh?

There is one specific gentleman that drives a blue/grey, very old van who cruses past our BBQ every 10-15 minutes. He does this all night. At least until 6am. He's either a John or a Pimp... likely both. At the beginning of this summer's street Q, I started waving each time he drove by. About a month ago... he finally stopped in our vicinity. Being brash and dumb... I jumped at the chance and ventured over to the window of the man we'd jokingly dubbed "John VanBlue".

We'd been on a prayer kick of asking those in our hood the question... "if you could ask God one thing... what would it be?". So I asked "John". Turns out, his name is Dave. He's a real person (go figure) and giggled awkwardly at the question. He genuinely thought about it. He couldn't come up with an answer. So I prayed briefly for him and invited him to come back sometime to have a burger with us. Half an hour later, we saw an upset prostitute getting out of his van.

Wow.

Last Friday, I was talking with some friends at the Q about sometime stupid likely... and all of a sudden... Dave was standing there with me.

Dave is cigarette stained yellow.
Dave is gnarled by life and sin.
Dave is trapped by a horrible cycle of sex and poverty that he doesn't know how to get out of. But last week, Dave and I sat and ate hamburgers together.
We talked about the weather and what we were doing later.

I know the names of many of the "regulars" in the Dtown Btown. I called Brenda Lee (a long-time semi-homeless lady addicted to drinking Scope who makes her living gathering cigarette butts and selling them to people on the reserve...) by name the other day. She looked at me and said, "WHAT THE HELL?", shocked that anyone knew her by name! I laughed pretty hard at that.

Man, this poverty issue is enormous. The political and administrative levels of influence MUST be a part of the solution. But, honestly understanding that even the people living in the lowest of the low down... are real people, is shockingly enlightening. Even in the context of Evangelism.

It almost even allows you to take a deep breath and know that all things are possible. Because, just like God helps me walk through my own "stuff", He can do it for others too. We're all just people. And not unlike Mr. Wendel, none of us is "better off" or "worth more". Let's get over ourselves shall we?

25 September 2007

Jesus Camp chit chat

Dave Carrol's Facebook profile

Had a few GREAT discussions about Jesus Camp since yesterday's post. Here's a few samples:

My friend Lynn gave a great quote from "Blue Like Jazz"

"...to many in the church the word tolerance is profanity, but that is precisely what I wanted. I wanted tolerance. I wanted everybody to leave everybody else alone...I was tired of biblical ethic being used as a tool with which to judge people rather than heal them. I was tired of Christian leaders using biblical principles to protect their power, to draw a line in the sand separating the good army from the bad one. The truth is I had met the enemy in the woods" (he had camped out with 'sinners')"and discovered they were not the enemy. I wondered whether any human being could be an enemy of God."

And yet... in Bible, the people of God had enemies. Enough so that God sent them to slaughter.

I had a great Facebook exchange with a University student (slight edits):

24 September 2007

Banner says

Started singing this over and over Sunday morning...

"Banner says Come
Banner says Stay
Banner says lie down in the shade
Banner says hey hey ho...
That's what the Banner says"

Song of Solomon 2 (New International Version)

4 He has taken me to the banquet hall,
and his banner over me is love.

Song of Solomon 2:3-4 (The Message)

...my lover stands above the young men in town.
All I want is to sit in his shade,
to taste and savor his delicious love.
He took me home with him for a festive meal,
but his eyes feasted on me!

Jesus Camp



I watched the "Jesus Camp" documentary last night... and frankly... I'm not sure HOW I feel about it. Unsettled for sure. But about who is my question.

Frankly, Becky Fischer's world... is the world I live in. I've spoken the terms she's spoken. Prayed the prayers she's prayed... I spend lot's of my spare time in meetings not unlike those at her camp!

But there's something about what I watched that I just didn't like. And it wasn't about her whatsoever... but there really are some WAYS that we (me) COMMUNICATE truth that are slightly off.

I tried to think my way through it last night for a word to describe what didn't like. One thing that I don't much care for, is the "Condemnation" that Christians can heap on... mostly on ourselves. Especially with kids. Kids (and adults for that matter) have tender hearts and spirits... and while sin is sin... there is a difference between helping a brother through their stuff; and making them feel like a bag of crap.

One little girl was struggling between her dancing for the Lord and dancing for her flesh. And you could tell that it was laced with guilt. Guilt that leads to condemnation. That ain't freedom sister. Tread real careful.

Sometimes I think that as time goes on, I would like Evangelicals less and less if I weren't one.

BUT (and big big butt here)...

I DO believe in Evangelism. AGGRESSIVELY, actively even.
I do believe training up "an army" of Christians.
I do believe that kids see visions and hear the voice of God and can pray for others to be healed...

etc etc etc...

I just spent A STINKIN' WEEK with my best friends in a Prayer Room 24/7 praying for these very things! For A whole city to "get saved". It's why I live my life!

So what's askew in Evangelical Christian functioning that leads to these concerns.

My first wave of thoughts come back to 2 things...

  1. Freedom... there needs to be some freedom and liberty at the heart of it all. Without the freedom that Christ came to bring... it's "The Law". Something that was quite bothered Jesus.
  2. Love. It all needs to motived by... laced with... drenched in love. Kindness. Graciousness. If you don't have Love as the center, the hard line comes across kinda heavy and yucky
I don't mind how Jesus Camp portrayed Christians whatsoever. I think it's quite accurate actually (aside from some looming foreboding soundtrack work and the unfortunate usage of Carmen music). I'm sure I would rock right along with Becky and the kids. But let's never stop going from glory to glory and never be afraid to change the ways we do and say things so that we can better reflect God... that's all...

very curious to hear what you thought...

21 September 2007

Pre ordered mine today... Yippee!

Moment of Sharp

Sticks and stones were stupid.
Words architect like Lego;
Topple structure like an invisible wrecking ball.

The pen isn’t mightier than the sword… the pen IS the sword.

Words are unseen. Words ARE faith.
Releasing transparent wishes into the frequency eyes aren’t defaulted to see.
Words are letting go of confidence in my hands.

I hate the malaise.
The hiss of fluorescent. Gak.

It looks bright but an artificial chill still runs up my spine.
Do I really need a sweater? It’s 30 degrees!

Sucks… it makes me pale.
Makes my fingers logy, my belly soft, my mind dull.

I kinda need to stop carrying my own ego back pack for an hour or two.
Maybe 3 if I can work it into my schedule…
Pull out my on-the-go grind stone and sharpen up my prophetic pocket pen.

Time to carve out a slice of eternity on the walls of the cave.

To my annoyance, the stone’s dust is all over my new shoes.
Stupid Johnson.
Ages, Eons and Eras on my incredibly man-dreamt decorations.
Mountain craftsman dulling the feeble flawed fruit from the far far away.

One lasts months. One lasts more.
Why do I brag on the shorty?

A moment of sharp makes me mindful of His courts.
The distant drumming perks my nosy nature.
Hello?

20 September 2007

Dollarama

Finally my Loonie is worth the same thing as Washington's severed head. The Canadian economy is thriving!

Now... I'm off to a Michigan outlet mall to purchase electronics...

... or maybe to sign a free agent.

19 September 2007

Funny. True? Kinda!

Freedom Lodge

Freedom is a language that I didn’t used to speak.
It was an unrhymed line.
An illusive metaphor.

Being alone is cold. DARN COLD boss.
It’s the bleak mid-winter that didn’t start out that way.
It once was a tasty exotic fruit.
Then it got dark…darker than I thought it would be.
Bare isolation on a campsite where the fire had long since gone out, yet I was left sitting like a fool on my lawn chair surprised; expecting no one to rekindle what I thought I had.

Then I saw the lights go on.
How could I have missed the toasty lodge with their tasty lodge pies in the oven.
Come to think of it, I did hear their laughter.
But I was suspicious; figured it was a stupid joke away.
Me and my tree is all I need.

You know how creepy I must have seemed peeking in the windows of Freedom Lodge?
What must have those playing snakes and ladders by the fire thought of me?
Of course… my face was one of a thousand peekers.
I looked back at me and my tree; there were some good times weren’t there?
Walden thought so.
I wonder if Walden got lonely when he heard the “whoops” of Freedom Lodge?
Who is Walden and why should I care what He and His tree thought???

The door handle of Freedom Lodge is big. Oversized… almost excessive.
Who carved this thing??? I couldn’t have done that!
The door is quite unlocked indeed. Who are these freaks? This is BIG lodge. It must have surround sound systems, WI’s aplenty; think you should lock’er up?

The warmth in this lodge is ethereal almost.
Before I could get out my pen to record my thoughts, I’m on a sofa with a hot chocolate in hand.
Little white marshmallow half dissolved. How did you know?
]There is a gorgeous girl coming to sit by my side.
Hope I don’t stink.
She’s got some of the widest bell bottomed pants than I’ve ever seen and a smile to match.
Do people like this actually exist? I’ve read about them.
“She’s no tree” I say in that sarcastic place I hope to soon muzzle.

What is this feeling I can hear buzzing in the room.
Is it a bird?
Is it a plane?
Clearly not.
The buzz smells like cinnamon.
It tastes like Christmas morning.
It floats like a hospitable host, proud of the home He’s prepared for his good friends.

I shouldn’t feel like I belong. But I seem to.
My name’s already over my feathered bed.
Pillow puffed the way I like it.
My tree is screaming muted hooks of the past in my ear.
No can do.
Tonight I take my shoes, AND SOCKS off.
I’m waking up to the Freedom Lodge breakfast buffet this chick keeps raving about.
I’d call this place rare, but it’s somehow not.
Tomorrow I’m going skiing.
Taking a break from me… sitting awhile…

DC

7:25am September 19th 2007

18 September 2007

I like Bloggers

I suspect I would get along with most bloggers. But I need a pair of those narrow glasses first. You know the ones... with the black rims?



Yeah that's them.
I now drink far too much coffee so I qualify there.
I'm an outspoken, introverted nerd, so check on that one.

Found a cool blog called "Jesus needs new PR" by an author named Matthew Paul Turner. Check this clip from his new book called "How to ruin your dating life"

• Just because both of you love Jesus doesn’t mean you’ll fit together like two puzzle pieces.

• Just because he loves Jesus doesn’t mean he won’t try to sleep with you [his moves will just be slower and guilt inducing].

• Just because she loves Jesus doesn’t mean she will love you the way you are.

• Just because he loves Jesus doesn’t mean he’ll be attracted to obesity.

• Just because she loves Jesus doesn’t mean she’ll overlook your insulting her in public [and she shouldn’t].

• Just because he loves Jesus doesn’t mean he will want to pray with you every time you close your eyes and bow your head.

• Just because she loves Jesus doesn’t mean she won’t be, um, a [bleep] once in a while.

• Just because he loves Jesus doesn’t mean he’ll initiate the DTR.

• Just because she loves Jesus doesn’t mean she’ll understand your desire to hang with the guys once in a while.

• Just because he loves Jesus doesn’t mean he won’t decide to break up with you [for no real reason at all].

• Just because she loves Jesus doesn’t mean she’ll take you back after your spontaneous breakup.

• Just because both of you love Jesus doesn’t mean you won’t need a whole bunch of therapy to make your relationship work.
It's continually funny to me to think that Christians are shocked (and sometimes crestfallen) that relationships and life aren't always sunshine rainbows and lollipops. One thing that I like about Bloggers, is that I don't have agree with everything I read. But I actually get to hear something other than "the company line".

Saying the "corporate safe gibberish" was annoying for me as a student, but repulsive and offensive to me as an adult Christian. Pre-packaged lunch meat Christian wisdom is shortsighted and has the spiritually nutritional value of a bucket of Fruit Loops.

Google wins again

Today Google has announced that you can do presentations with Goggle docs. I think Goggle and I should snuggle.

16 September 2007

14 September 2007

Can you smell the fall coming?

I love the melancholy ways of Fall.
It's more than just annual rusted quilt that beds my weary, summer-scorched yard.
It's the smell of the damp...
The thrill of dawn and the creeping of dusk.

Enough of this boisterous summer, with it’s flashy cars, muscle shirts and teenagers possessing the landscape.
Let them be set aside for a moment of unspoken soliloquy...
For the earthly hush, and mature introspection of Autumn.
It’s the texture of the fall gets in my nose.
It’s a visible tapestry of time.

You remember when life was conceived; you had your moment in the sun, and you can taste the cold coming.
It's what happens between "the yesterday" and "the tomorrow".
Summer is for amateurs and screamers.
Fall is for those confident enough to know that the sun is shining somewhere.

It's the unseen and under-touched.

Dave Carrol

10 September 2007

The Sound of the Underground


The room is cold in the mornings. Even the musty old furnace doesn't do much to take the chill out of the air. My sadly thin hoodie is quite inadequate.

I try and let a few refrains of "Jesus" fall out of my mouth but I'm not "feelin' it", so I read "the vision". I sit under its revelation.

The words, "...my feeble, whispered, faithless prayer" ring the more true than the rest today. But then the counterpoint of the "thunderous, resounding, bone-shaking great AMEN" hits my weak second-serve offering right back in my direction.

The jingling of keys announce the arrival of another voice to the room. I cheat and peak at the face of the new voice. I'm snapped to attention and notice that my whispers are a little louder now.

Flesh? Pride? Vanity? Likely somewhat.

Another new voice adds some quiet harmony flavor shots into the cocktail of the old chorus. Tongues of audible hope leaping from my lips.

Another now sways to the unheard rhythm found only in the current of the Spiritual waves rolling through a room that's buzzing with petition and conjoined personal praise.

No leader but THE Leader.

Whispers, sways, songs and off key scatting of those who journey to Zion.

They didn't pack a lunch or bring anything that we'd recognize as a tent. They look very under prepared. The joke's on those still back in the lodge making their vain preparations and dishing out rations. For there are fields of life-berries and rest-stops of outstretched Psalm-wings all along the path.

It's a path that you head out on alone but are quickly engulfed by the rushing stream of the purified masses.

Some who recharge your Ipod battery.
Some who read you bedtime stories.
Some who bring you picnic baskets.
Some just hug you.

Turns out I wasn't alone. I was just looking the wrong direction. Anytime I need the stream of travelers, history and faith... all I have to do is dig. This is the...

"Mystery is screaming in whispers,
Conspiracy is breathing...
This is the sound of the underground"

What are they saying? Anytime I need to hear the writings of the early morning poets and the pickin campfire prophets, I just join my voice to the stream.

This is prayer. The resonating, unheralded voice of one, joining with the underground stream of many.

7 September 2007

Great Sex Blog!


I really do have great respect for people who dare to speak frankly... without arrogance... in the church. And sex is one the areas where a greater degree of honesty and frankness is like gold.

I found a GREAT Blog called "Love, Marriage and Christian Sex" right here. Someone once made the comment to me, "I didn't know sex could get saved." Smart mouth's eh!
There is an enormous variance in how sex should be thought of and dealt with as a Christian.

But the "bits and pieces" are pretty much across the board. One thing that Christians are scared to talk about (even within good healthy marriage) are the "nuts and bolts" (pun intended) of the sexual ins and outs. The "What's OK's and what's not's". So many ask people anonymously. And that's OK.

On this blog, someone asked about the Kama Sutra and if it should be used in a Christian marriage. He broke it down so well in warning that there is a spirit behind the teaching itself and cautioned against that... but encouraged the "nuts and bolts" of it. But how do you teach it? Teddy Bears of course



Awesome. I don't think it can be an overstated fact that sex impacts marriage. And what impacts marriage... impacts life... and that impacts ministry.

It's not a rocket science statement and I'm not expert but I do know as I've dug deeper and talked with friends, I've realized that Christians have taken on man-imposed boundaries that are not healthy for us.

Yep... I wonder this


www.reverendfun.com

6 September 2007

The truth is in the grass


Sometimes you can learn more from a blade of grass that you can from a space shuttle looking down at the earth. Granted, I've only ever done one of those two things.

Christ could have spent all his time telling people long drawn out details accounts of heaven. Instead he dropped nuggets like...

Matthew 6:27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
I've been having a down day. No real reason. Just blah and overwhelmed with worldly bits of busywork nothing. I had to force myself out of the office for a change of scenery today.

So I sat out on a bench on the Hamilton mountain overlooking the "Golden Horseshoe" and listened to David Crowder sing. I like this guy. Not afraid to proclaim AND lament. I wish I had that sometimes... but music of those who can helps breathe.

Anyway, God got me thinking (I'm a thinker before I'm a feeler) as I looked out at the financial heart of Canada. It's really very small. So insignificant from afar. Then I looked at the tangled brush that was growing on the top of the escarpment. I thought of this verse:

1 Corinthians 3: 6I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
Then i was quiet.
We make a lot of stuff. Some of our stuff is pretty cool.
Even some of the ministry trick's and groups and programs we've thought of are pretty clever...

But only God makes stuff grow.
The truth is in the grass.

4 September 2007

Take THAT Darwin

The right fights back?



It really is ludicrous that THIS is our society. That Christians have to feel nervous in DARING to speak that there could be intelligent design in our universe.

Go Ben Stein go.

3 September 2007

Bundles of Wheat

Some very very cool things happened this morning on Labor Day morning prayer. I'm personally so geared up for fall this year (it's my favorite season)... and I think there are some great "harvest" moments ahead for our church and city!

God showed me:

In the middle of our main room floor, He showed me tall stalks of wheat. I was singing "O Come let us adore Him" and God said that this wheat was a "harvest of Adoration". I begin to symbolically walk around and around the wheat as if I was tying it up with a big rope, getting it ready for threshing.

After about a half an hour, God brought me back to the wheat and showed me it all harvested and tied up in bundles and lying in a big pile. One by one, the Christians in the city showed up to pick up "their" bundle and took it home. I believe this was signifying the discipleship of those about to be "harvested" in our city!

Not only does God want us to harvest... He wants us to take real ownership of those "harvested"! All of us! Awesome!


God also said:

"Turn your noses toward heaven, you can smell the seasons if you try. Use all your senses. Sometimes I bury my truths to make you dig for them. Because as much as I desire to come back for my bride, I want her to look gorgeous first. I'm not in any rush here"


Angels:
I'm not always a big "there's an angel in the corner" guy... but today, there were Angels in the house! 3 times I saw a glimpse of something and an overwhelming sense that we were not alone this morning. They were at The Big Blue House to be dispatched; picking up their assignments.

This morning they were headed to the Elementary Schools to get the classrooms ready for the kids headed there tomorrow. This is the 2nd time in our (now week 4) prayer journey that God has specifically targeted the elementary schools. So that means that He doing SOMETHING COOL there...

SO LORD BE RELEASED TO USE OUR KIDS AS AGENTS OF REVIVAL IN THE SCHOOLS IN JESUS NAME!

Can't wait for tomorrow!

2 September 2007

Yeah... it's Labor Day!



I love that it's September. Labor Day signals the coming of the greatest time of year.

"I love the melancholy nature of fall. Odors of damp leaves combined with rich rustic color blanketing the earth. Cool mornings and dim evenings. The boisterous summer, with it’s flashy cars, muscle shirts, teenagers possessing the landscape give way to an earthly hush and mature introspective moments. It’s the texture of the fall that excites me. It’s a visible tapestry of time. You remember when life was conceived… you had your moment in the sun, and you can taste the cold coming. The texture of autumn."

Summer is for amateurs and screamers. Fall's for those confident enough to know that the sun still shines somewhere. Fall is for the poets.

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