Monday, April 24, 2006

Podcasts I Listen To

I thought I would share with you the podcasts I currently subscribe to via Apple iTunes. The great thing is that they are all free. Another great thing is that I do not have to go visit some of these churches and spend money on airline tickets and hotels when I can get some of the best preaching and teaching out there with just a high speed connection. Yes, I know, there is nothing like the sense of community and value of being there. But, I will go this route for a time.

Also, you do not need a ipod to get podcasts. You can subscribe and listen to them if you download Apple iTunes. Of course, if you have an ipod you can lsiten to it in the car, while exercising or while waiting in the doctor's office.

Here is who I am listening to now.

Willow Creek's Defining Moments Podcast

Simply Strategic Show with Tim Stevens and Tony Morgan

Perry Noble from New Spring Church

Adam Hamilton from the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection

Erwin McManus at Mosaic

Alistair Begg's Truth for Life Broadcast

Thursday, April 20, 2006

How to Pray

Here is the podcast for the second message in the series "Power Prayers".

To listen now, click on the podcast icon below.

How to Pray (Length 25:11)

We have been told time and time again that we "ought to" pray. Hardly though have we ever been given instructions on how to pray. This message provides a basic outline for the ordering of one's prayer life using the ACTS method of prayer based on Jesus' prayer he taught the disciples to pray.

This message is from the series "Power Prayers". Prayer still has power today. When we know what prayer is we are able to "believe again" in a God of goodness. When we know how to pray we can improve our prayer lives. And, we unleash the power of God in our lives and in the lives of others when we keep praying and are persistent in prayer.

Subscribe to this podcast via Apple iTunes by following this link.

Get Apple iTunes for PC or Mac here.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Gospel of Judas

The Gospel of Judas has been making waves in the media the last weeks and many have been wondering what it is all about. A good description of this so called Gospel of Judas can be found here in an article by Collin Hansen an associate editor of Christianity Today.

I want to make a couple of points that I think are pertinent when it comes to the issue of the Gospel of Judas as well as the best selling DaVinci Code book and upcoming movie.

The first point is that followers of Christ and the church have to deal with such things. Christianity is not a religion that asks followers to bury their heads in the sand and willingly drink the kool-aid. We are to study and offer a reasoned defense. Both the Gospel of Judas and the DaVinci Code, while interesting and good reads as fiction, are not Christian in their outlook or content. Instead of burning books or boycotting movie theaters or book stores, followers of Christ do better to use these opportunities to engage in a dialogue with not yet followers of Christ. By doing this we redeem culture. We plunder the Egyptians as it is said.

Second, when it comes to the Gospel of Judas we must not drink the kool-aid poured out for us by the secular media whose aim is largely to discredit Christianity in any way it can (notice when they want a quote from a Christian leader they always go straight to those paragons of mainstream Christian thought Gerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and goad them to stick their foot in their mouth). The media pundits (now religious scholars all) have done their best to portray the translation and release of the Gospel of Judas as some earth shattering discovery that somehow calls into question the veracity and reliability of the canonical Gospels. However, the Gospel of Judas is not the first book to not make it into what we call the Christian canon (the books that we accept as scripture that we have in our bible). For example, other Gospels such as the Gospel of James, The Infancy Gospel of Thomas and other extra-canonical books such as the Acts of Andrew or the Acts of Peter and Paul also did not make it into the canon. Why? Because of political pressure- no. Most books that did not make it into the canon were written much later than the books we have in our bible now, were not written by eyewitnesses, contained heretical teachings that portrayed Jesus as a magician or soothsayer, or did not agree with the overwhelming evidence presented by other period literature. The Gospel of Judas, not a Christian text but a Gnostic text, is both late in composition, not written by an eyewitness, contains heretical teaching, and does not agree with the other period literature like the four biblical Gospels.

Now all this does not sell newspapers or lure viewers and cannot be explained in :30 second sound bites. But it does lead me to my third point. That is, each year we are subjected both at Christmas and Easter to the “drive by” media’s renewed attention on Christianity. During Christmas you can find cover stories on the major news magazines wondering about the birth of Christ and whether it occurred as the Gospels say it does or whether Mary was raped by a Roman soldier. I go too far but you get the point. At Easter we have documentaries and 20/20 and Dateline specials about the events leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection that call into question centuries of Christian teaching. Be on the look out next Christmas. We do well to examine the motives of such efforts.

In the end I invite you to discover for yourself and form your own opinions. Let those opinions be formed by an understanding of scripture, the teaching of 2000 years of church tradition, your own experience and your own reason. Use the opportunity to enter into discussions with persons you might not usually have such discussions with to the end that they might come to know the Christ who was betrayed by Judas for thirty pieces of silver. By the way, if Judas was Jesus’ friend and helper why did he commit suicide?

Here are some links to get you on your way in discovering about the Gospel of Judas.

You Are God

Steve Kropp, our Celebration Team Leader at New Season, has just released a new single- You Are God. You can download this cool tune at Steve's website for just $ .99. Go here. You Are God is going to be our Song of the Month at New Season in May. The single was produced at New Season's sound engineer Matt Montoro's studio.

While at you can check out an article from the Culpeper Star Exponent about Steve and the new release.

Keep up the good work Steve.

Calling in Dead

You know it is one thing to fake your own death in order to get off work. But to fake your child's death and an illness to get off from work and then ask for memorial contributions to your family like the people in this stroy. Here is a great story for those who think that humanity is basically good and the nitwiited enlightenment philosophy that the world is getting better and better. Come soon Jesus!! Come quickly!!!

Check it out here.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Open Source

The term open source is usually applied to software and specifically code for software. In general, open source refers to any program whose source code is made available for use or modification as users or other developers see fit. (Historically, the makers of proprietary software have generally not made source code available.) Open source software is usually developed as a public collaboration and made freely available.

This term has (I am not the first) and will continue to be applied to the church as well. The idea is that churches make available "things that worked for us" or "resources" for other churches to use in order that they more effectively make disciples of Jesus Christ.

Here are a couple examples I found at Church Marketing Sucks:, a multi-location church with sites in Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona, is making their sermon series resources available to other churches for free. You can download video, layered graphics files and sermon outlines.

The Vine, the young adult service of Southeast Christian church in Louisville, Ky., has also made their sermon series resources available for free download. You can get videos, backgrounds and graphic files.

These two churches are to be commended. I know the trend has been to package resources in order to sell them to further benefit ministry- and that is fine. But how great it is to make such things "open source" too so that the greatest ideavirus ever- the Gospel of Jesus Christ- can spread virally throughout the world.

So thanks to and Southeast Christian. Way to go. And please know that if there was anything anyone could ever possibly use from New Season Church to help make and empower radical followers of Jesus we are open source.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Church Goers Live Longer

Yet another reason to invite friends, relatives, neighbors and work associates to be at this Sunday's worship celebration experience and to be there yourself. Check out this article from about how people who attend church on a regular basis live longer except of course if your pastor is Jim Jones or you belong to Heaven's Gate. Those guys skewed the numbers.