Wednesday, January 27, 2010


“When trust is high, communication is easy, effortless, instantaneous, and accurate. When trust is low, communication is extremely difficult, exhausting, and ineffective”. - S. Covey

It Is Jesus That You Seek

It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your hearts your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.

- John Paul II

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

When Chaos and Order Dance Together

In the face of chaos, connective leaders participate in bringing order, and in the face of order, connective leaders participate in bringing chaos.
When a faith community knows only order without chaos, they can drift into stasis. When a faith community knows chaos without order, they will struggle to trust their participation in God's narritive. But when chaos and order dance together, dynamic faith rooted in God's story finds hope in the midst of a changing context.

-Dwight J. Friesen, Thy Kingdom Connected: What the Church Can Learn from Facebook, the Internet, and Other Networks (Baker, 2009) as quoted in this week's Leadership Journal

Monday, January 25, 2010

No Such Things as a Short-Term Mission

"There is no such thing as a short-term mission – maybe a short-term trip – the mission is never short-term." George Chin, MD from Medical Ministry International

Friday, January 22, 2010

Book Review: "Sacred Marriage"

Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?
by Gary Thomas

I'm not married yet so I find it kind of strange to review and recommend a book on marriage but I will anyway. This book seems unlike anything I've ever read or heard of about marriage. Excellent book from an excellent perspective on an excellent topic! 5 stars. or whatever. Some of my favorite quotes:

Contempt is conceived with expectations. Respect is conceived with expressions of gratitude. We can choose which one we will obsess over—expectations, or thanksgivings. That choice will result in a birth—and the child will be named either contempt, or respect. P67

A man might be able to preach a sterling sermon, write inspiring books, and quote the Bible from front to back. But if he hasn’t learned how to be a servant to his wife, to respect her, and to be considerate of her, then his spirituality is still infantile. His prayer life—the lifeblood of his soul—will be a sham. P76

Christmas Eve and Christmas morning are merely the climaxes to a long-running story set in motion centuries before. It’s a fascinating tale, one that God follows with all the passion of a husband, the hurt of a betrayed friend, the frustration of a wise parent, and the perspective of an aggrieved Lord and King. It would not be fair to judge that history at any one point, for it is the history of God and his people Israel—his bride and his spouse—taken together over the long run, that tells the complete story. P125

Love is a heart that moves…Love moves away from the self and toward the other. –Dan Allender and Tremper Longman III P153

The absence of conflict demonstrates that either the relationship isn’t important enough to fight over or that both individuals are too insecure to risk disagreement. P162

Marriage based on romanticism embraces an idealized lie (infatuation) and then divorces the reality once it presents itself. Marriage based on life in Jesus Christ invites us to divorce the lie (and idealized view of our spouse) and embrace reality (two sinful people struggling to maintain a lifelong commitment). As the Whitehead observe, “The challenge is not to keep on loving the person we thought we were marrying, but to love the person we did marry!” P165

Quoting from Dan Allender and Tremper Longman: These conflicts over time and money cloud the real issue: Are we willing to sacrifice for the good and the glory of the other? Quarrels over time and money usually reflect a demand to “own” our life rather than to serve the other with our wealth and existence. The typical fight over who ought to pick up the kids usually is about whose time is more valuable, who works the hardest, and who is least appreciated. It is not wrong to alternate chores or divvy up responsibilities, but the hurtful interactions usually reflect drawing battle lines over more petty manners. P192

Mission includes not just what we do, but what we become. Christianity is one of those rare religions that marries internal reality with outward obedience. P254

Happy Birthday, Andrew! #25 (January 21st)

Happy Birthday, Andrew! #25

Andrew and Jennifer and myself, along with Jennifer's sister, Cassi, and some of Andrew's friends met for supper last night at Heroes to celebrate Andrew's 25th birthday. Earlier that day Andrew got a shirt and a new runner's watch from Jennifer and even a whip cream covered special little cake with 25 candles!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mourning the Death of a Dream

The following lyrics were shared by Trip, a very good friend of the Angell family, recently to Sarah and I. They are from a Michael Card song. I'm still reflecting on them to figure out what they mean and how they apply to my/our lives but I find them very meaningful and interesting.

Mourning the Death of a Dream
Cool morning shadows sadly shift across the floor
Each time we say goodbye it’s harder than before
Even after all the pain of parting still we find
That we must mourn the death of the dreams we leave behind

As I turn my back on all that means the most to me
The sounds and smells, the light that dances on the sea
The greatest gamble is to act on the belief
That only the slave who leaves it all is truly free

The sacrifice that we both lay before His feet
A thousand moments that belonged to us
That now will never be

By faith we hold a better dream inside our hearts
A time when our family will never have to be apart
Till then we struggle with just what it really means
And we will mourn the death of our beautiful dreams
Mourn the death of our beautiful dreams

Another Awesome Weekend With Sarah (1/15-1/18 in NY)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Quotes of the Day

Vision does stick; it doesn't have natural adhesive. Instead, vision leaks. -Andy Stanley, Leadership

Pain is the gift nobody wants. -Philip Yancey

Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person they are almost indistinguishable. -David Augsburger, Caring Enough to Hear and Be Heard

Worship is key to the renewal of the church. -Robert Webber

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Slow and Cautious or Nimble, Fast, and Multiplying Strategically?

p.114, The American Church in Crisis, by David Olson

“The denominations that are declining today are slow and cautious, concerned about preservation and safety, often alienated from many of their own churches and its members. The denominations that are thriving today are nimble, fast, and multiplying strategically through grassroots ownership of the denomination’s missional vision."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas 2009

I Can't Sing Loud Enough

By Phil Wickham

I'm walking through the bright white gates
Breathing in and out your grace
All around me melodies rise
That echo with the joy inside
So I start to sing

But I can't sing loud enough
I can't sing loud enough
When I'm singing for You my God
I can't sing loud enough
I can't sing loud enough
When I'm singing for You my God

With a thunder roll and a brilliant light
Your glory boasts and the heavens shine
The saints and angels stand in awe
Captured by the beauty of it all
So I fall to my knees

But I can't bow low enough
I can't bow low enough
At the vision of You my God
I can't bow low enough
I can't bow low enough
At the vision of You my God

I can't hold it all inside
I'm reaching for the One who brought me out of death and into life
But I can't lift my hands high enough
Lift my hands high enough
When I'm reaching for You my God
I can't lift my hands high enough
Lift my hands high enough
When I'm reaching for You my God

Oh I'm reaching for You my God
I'm reaching for You
I'm reaching for You
I'm reaching for You, my God