a slice of what?

well, it is not secret that i am the lead pastor at connection church in hickory, nc - and i might add that i love it :) i got a email from a bud, bob hyatt over at evergreen at the other side of the world [in portland] letting me know that "ingrid" was dogging connection church again - because we have a picture of a girl sitting between two guys on the front page - she thinks it has "sexual over tones." well, i did post a comment on her blog, and i guess we will see if she posts it [she approves all "first time comments" to her blog]

but now here is the dilemma i find myself in. with a new lead guy [me] and a new building, we are developing a new site - and that picture is not in the mix - but if we keep it off the mix, will she then claim it was her voice that changed our minds? do you see what i mean? do we do as we were doing, and just be who we are? for us, the picture expresses community and relationship - nothing sexual at all. then, if we do not use that picture do we look at every picture we then desire to use and think "could this be sexual?" - man, this can be a mind-blowing and weird experience. what is a off centered, connective, relational, loving, accepting, forgiving community of faith to do?

i know, while we encourage her to have her own thought, we accept the fact that her thoughts do not drive us as a community of faith. we will design the site as we desire, and use the pictures we believe best express our community. if we worry about what every person will or will not like we will be placed in fear and never move forward. we encourage her to continue to express her voice, but we also stand that we do not have to agree with her - or allow her to determine the path of connection church -

the "phone poll"

i received a call last night from a young lady who introduced herself as doing a "AP Poll" - so,she asked to speak with a male in the house over 18 who just had a birthday - and that would be me. granted, living with all women, it's a given in my book, no matter when my birthday falls.

she started to ask questions on the way things were going in our country, and i found myself not able to answer them - not because i do not know what is happening, but because the questions seemed to have openly two answers - meaning that the results could be saying one thing, while people claim another - let me give an example. the question was, "should the u.s. senate approve brown as a supreme court judge?"

this question could be taken two ways, procedure, or political. let's say i was not a brown fan [even though it is not may place to vote on him] - so, i could answer yes, because if "procedure" we need to remeber that is their job, and "no" because i do not want them to do that - which do you answer? when one asks for the question in a "clearer form" all they do is repeat it. now, one could say, "it obvious, it's political," but is it? even if that is the intent of the question, is it that obvious? if, the ap were conducting the poll [and they never tell you who they are conducting the poll for] for the political department at a university, is it that obvious?

one thing we need to do in the church, and this gave me the seed; we need to make our questions clear. the answers can still be "both" - but the intent of the question is what drives the answer.


more on patty

robertson's latest is that he is now saying that he never said "assassinate" and that "take him out" could mean a great deal of things including "kidnapping" [which is another crime he is asking people to commit] i wonder what he said about clinton and his famous "that depends on what you mean by 'it'" statement - oh, yea robertson said clinton knew the "it" thing, but was trying to get away with bad behavior - patty, sounds like your doing the same - here, let me refresh your memory and give you the transcript of what you said:

"He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy and he is going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and, and Muslim extremists all over the continent. You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we are trying to assassinate him I think we really aught to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper then starting a war; and augh I don't think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger, and the Unite...this is in our sphere of influence and we can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced and without question this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil that can hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out [IN CONNECTION TO ASSASSINATE HIM" STATEMENT MADE BEFORE], and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another 200billion dollar war to get rid of one, you know, strong armed dictator. A whole lot easier to have some covert operative to do the job and get it over with." [bold face and cap face comments were added]

so, patty now you lie about what you say, even when it is on video with you mouthing the words - bad form bro.

robertson never apologized for calling for the death of a leader, and he only side-stepped the issue by lying about what he said in the first place. this is disheartening. robertson, even though i disagree with his theology, is a person in the public eye concerning our faith - and if he is unwilling to step to the plate and admit wrong doing, he is no better then those he is condemning for lying and not following christian teachings. robertson has moved from a voice in the church, to a voice for terror and violence.


foot in ass = robertson

now, i am not a big fan of the 700 club, and i do not put much stock in the words of pat robertson [in fact, he was the one that cause me to switch parties] but, when something as stupid and as hurtful as this comes out, we need to collectively give the boy a "raspberry." not being part of the "evangelical in" i am slow at getting the latest on evangelical doctrine - but i was wondering when the official doctrine of the church changed to, "kill leaders of countries we do not like before they cost us money?" - again, not being a insider i might have gotten the particulars wrong [not getting the memo can do that], but i am sure there must have been some change in the doctrine of peace - after all, part robertson is one of the "evangelical darlings" and he thinks it is what we should do.


not being part of the "in" i guess my vote does not matter much, but i vote we ask pat to say he's sorry, admit that his views are wrong and not reflective of Christians all over the world, then for him to get off the air and give-up his ordination - i may be more of a radical then most, but i have some major problems with robertson's views and his mouth:

1. how can a christian, and even a minister, call for the death of another person? being who he is, he has power over the hearts of many people who call themselves christian and value his words. his call to such an action could actually cause one of his followers to kill someone.

2. what teaching of christ is he quoting when he shares such information with the world? i would love for robertson to share with me, and others, exactly which teaching of christ he is using when he makes such a statement - i might have missed that in my reading, so i would love to know the passage where jesus teaches we kill leaders, or anyone, from another country.

3. he is a terrorist and needs to be arrested and charged as such. only terrorists call for someone to take the life of another person. robertson will need to explain the difference between his statement and a statement by an islamic cleric who calls for the death of one of our leaders.

as a christian, and as a minister, i am upset with this call for violence to another person. his call shows how irresponsible he is, how out of touch he is and how he is unable to see the expressed faith of christ in grace, peace, love and forgiveness.


current happenings

as many know, i am the new "lead pastor" at a community of faith called "connection" - and we are located in hickory,nc - and we are loving it all. but i wanted to share with you an update on how everything is progressing -

we are leasing a building in the downtown area, and we are in the process of gutting it and turning it into a "third place" - coffee shop, hangout, art center for the community we are serving - and all is going great - sure, we could use some extra money [and if you like, you can make a check out to "connection" and mail it to po box 1046, hickory, nc 28605 - we sure could use the money] - but God is leading us to do this, and i have never felt more "connected" with a group as i do with this gathering - i know God placed us here to minister, grow and share - and all that is happening on great levels.

as we progress in this exciting and spirit lead "third place" - keep us in your prayers. the process is long, hard and blessed and we know we are doing what God is asking of us -

ps - just in case it came across as a joke, we sure could use a little extra :) keep us in your prayers :)


moving can shake the crap out of you.

it seems the best way to get a new look at life is to move cross country. now, i am not sure if it because i spent the better part of the day team driving with my wife; or that we had to deal with three kids and a dog; or if it was the fact that we were not connected for over a month - we did not have lap tops at the time of the move; or if it was just that i got to see some amazing things on the drive and spent a great deal of time talking with the women i love - who knows, all i can say is moving sure does shake the crap out of a person.

on the trip i came toa realization that living on the edge is f fun, but rather hard to deal with at time. but more, i even think that what we see as the "edge" is simply a bad spot to be in. so, one says, 'welcome to the edge.' keep in mind, being on the edge means you have people behind you wanting to push and people in front of you wanting to pull - and it takes all you have to simply hold onto the ropes and find a place to stand.

i think the idea is to just be the one God called, and let the others be the others, and let them flap all the gums they desire. for awhile there i was concerned with what cason and others say - and i found myself "picking sides" - and soemtimes i did not agree with the side i picked, but i picked it because it was against the side i did not want to belong too; or felt i should not belong too. then, i drove cross country and took a new position - i think it was all the time away from the "in your face emerging" that changed me and mellowed my thoughts - but for me, the "edge" is not the radicals on either side; they are simply voices that hold no meaning to me, so i let them go; they are the ones with the rope. for me, the edge is a place where God moves us to be and see the vast open spaces before us - and share his vision with us. it is a place where we come to the realization that who we are is based more on our standing with God, then with what someone else thinks. i have come to the conclusion that in that stance i need not defend, define, or explain my views - they are what they are. some will agree, some will not- but all in all i am the one God made and called to this path - and God is the only person i am accountable to.

man, moving can truly shake the crap out of a guy :)


i am back :)

i am back online and it feels good :) if there is one thing traveling 3,100 miles with three kids and a dog will do for you - it will give you a grip of stuff to write about. so,over the next few weeks i will be posting as much as possible. i will also be sharing about 247 connection [the community of faith i am not the lead pastor with] and how this is all progressing - it's a great "third place" and a community gathering place - pictures and more to follow.