Thursday, August 28, 2008

More Lord!

We have not had significant rain in almost a month it seems. The last couple of days we have this overcast weather with a little bit of drizzle not amounting to much more than a tenth of an inch of rain according to my rain gauge. I mean if it is going to rain it mind as well rain. It is frustrating. I find myself asking "More Lord!" More rain!!

More Lord! is also a prayer for our spiritual lives. I think God delights in this prayer. During seasons of blessing, intense times of vision, during periods of personal and communal transformation- the prayer should be more Lord! More of you, more of your love, more of your presence, more of your vision, more of your Holy Spirit, more Lord!

When God is pouring out his blessing and anointing our prayer should not just be for a trickle, or drizzle but the full onslaught of a torrential downpour. Not a sprinkle but a fountain. God delights in pouring out his blessing. Might we pray again and again: More Lord! More Lord!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ready- Aim,Aim,Aim

In his book The Multiplying Church, Bob Roberts talks about the difference between studying and analyzing something to death and actually acting on it. I find this happens all the time in the church. I find this happens on the Conference level like an epidemic. I find this happens in my own personal life. I call this the "Ready, aim,aim,aim" syndrome where we never pull the trigger because we are so worried about staying safe and refusing to risk.

Here is what Bob writes about the difference between engaging and constantly studying and analyzing:

"...Here comes the ball. Focus on it. Run toward it. Jump up. Reach out your hands. Grab it! Run, baby run.


Here comes the ball. Study the ball. Notice the shape and dimensions of the ball. Observe the spiraling patterns. Notice the speed. Map out wind currents and evaluate what the perfect atmosphere is. Look at where it is coming from to understand its origins. Map out projections of the ball. Log all your projections and give lectures on it. Get hit in the head with the ball- what care less person threw that ball?!"
The Multiplying Church p. 98

Why is it that we are more comfortable in the church and in life to study and over analyze than just grab the ball and run with it? Do you study and analyze or just take the ball and run at work, at school, at home, in your life?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sign Up Resources for Your Church

I believe that churches need to make available to their people every avenue possible for signing up to serve, to be a part of small groups, register for one time classes etc. We do that through the "Mother of All Sign Up Sheets" in our worship program. Sometimes we have sign up sheets at our Info Center for people to use. We also do an electronic sign up. If you do not have the skills or the time like me to design special scripts to then cut and past into the html of your web page you might check out the folks at Wufoo.

Wufoo is an easy to use form builder that I have been using for a few months now that works great. It allows you to build a variety of forms. Results can e delivered by email or even by phone. You can directly link to your form. The html/ xml for the form can be cut and pasted to your own site. Te best part of it is its free for something like your first five forms. If you want limitless forms it is something like $19.95 a month- which is a deal.

Check out Wufoo- it will increase your signups.

I was not paid to post this entry but my name is Robb Almy and I do approve this message.

One Prayer Message Viewing

Hey, if you have missed any of the One Prayer messages or want to view them again or send them to someone to view please find below links to both Mark Batterson's message and Perry Noble's message as well links to their churches and blogs.

Mark Batterson
"Make Us Dreamers" View it Now
Mark's Blog
Where Mark serves

Perry Noble
"Make Us Dangerous" View it Now
Perry's Blog

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Greatest Dream

In Mark Batterson's One Prayer message "Make Us Dreamers" he talked about followers of Christ being part of the greatest dream ever. That greatest dream ever was Jesus' command known as the Great Commission to go spread the good news to the ends of the earth.

So many times after reading and listening to the Great Commission for the 312th time it can become routine. Mark reminded us though that in Jesus' world the average person never went more than something like 35 miles from where they were born. For Jesus to call his disciples to take the Gospel to the ENDS OF THE EARTH was a huge crazy dream from a human perspective. This God sized dream could only be accomplished through the power of God at work through his disciples and his church.

I wonder if we are dreaming God sized dreams for ourselves, our families and our church or we are only capable of dreaming our man-sized dreams? If you can accomplish your dream by your own it is a man-sized dream. If you can only accomplish your dream with God's help and through His intervention then you are beginning to touch God's dream for you, for your family and for your church.

One Prayer Update

We are three weeks into One Prayer. I started off the series with the message "Make Us Alive". Last week we heard from Mark Batterson whose message was "Make Us Dreamers." This Sunday it is Perry Noble with the message "Make Us Dangerous."

You can listen to my message "Make Us Alive" here.

Friday, August 08, 2008

What is One Prayer?

Writing to followers of Jesus in a city called Ephesus the early church leader Paul wrote, “We have only one Lord, one faith, and one baptism." It this verse that forms the basis of this brand new series of messages we are starting here at New Season called “One Prayer.”

From Sydney to Memphis to Karachi to Phoenix to Fredericksburg, churches all over the world are standing together like never before. One Prayer is unifying churches from all over the globe to stand together and promote unity in the body of Christ. The things about it is that New Season Church is not the only church that will be doing or has done this series called One Prayer.

Thousands of churches are partnering with in Oklahoma City through One Prayer. Pastors from around the world have submitted sermons that respond to the question, "If God would answer 'one prayer' for the church at large, what would you pray?" Almost one million believers have come together through this shared teaching as well as the spiritual discipline of prayer and fasting.

One Prayer churches are not only joining forces through shared teaching but also joining forces to show God's love to the world. All One Prayer churches are working together through local service projects in our communities, as well as an ambitious mission initiative to plant hundreds of new churches in Cambodia, India, Sudan, and China.

The local church is the hope of the world, and these churches will be able to make a sustainable, lasting and eternal impact on these four strategic regions.

One Prayer Starts This Week

I am real excited to be starting the One Prayer message series this week. I think the One Prayer concept which you can read more about here makes a great statement of our Oneness in Christ. That despite all our differences we are unified in Christ.

I have written previously about a new ecumenism that is being birthed around the common mission of seeing people come to the richness of Jesus' love and see them develop into devoted followers of Jesus. That is this.

I will be starting off the series sharing my One Prayer- Make Us Alive. I am inspired by what John Wesley once wrote. Writing way back in 1786 he wrote: “I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist in Europe or America. But I am afraid, lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power of.”

I think that is a concern not just for Methodists but for all followers of Jesus everywhere.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

DMV Woes

I recently purchased a used Volkswagen Golf to save on gas mileage. I got tired of spending $80 a fill up for my truck to go 250-300 miles which goes awfully fast when driving around town. I have had a time getting the title from the used car dealer but it finally came. I had to go to DMV to get the license plate/ registration.

I thought going near the beginning of the month was a good idea. You know they say stay away at the end of the month. I did not think it was a good idea an hour and a half later with an over tired 9 month old and a four and six year old who could not be still (who could blame them). It didn't help that for whatever reason people that came in after me went before me. They really should have a sign up explaining why that is.

The DMV though is the perfect argument for privatization. I can think of very few things the government does better than the private sector. See if the DMV had competition or was run by the private sector there would be more than one DMV for one of the fasting growing regions in the country, all the windows would be open, and things would be more efficient. It is high time for the state to get out of a business they cannot afford to fully staff or provide adequate service for.

But alas, Jesus is Lord! I am blessed beyond measure and the DMV is the least of my worries except for that hour and a half!! Thanks be to God!!

Back from Vacation

I am back from vacation with my family to Massachusetts. We had a good time though the ride there and back was not so hot. The ride was not so bad because of the children, though they had their moments, but because of the traffic. Leaving to go north on a Sunday afternoon is just an invitation to be sitting in traffic. Coming home we hit downpours in Connecticut and over the GW Bridge that slowed things up.

One of the values of vacation, apart from having extended time with family and time to relax, is that a change in venue renews one's vision. So many times, in the day to day grind, we become too focused and locked in and we lose effectiveness in so many areas of our lives. A vacation helps us to renew, revive, and focus once again. God called vacation Sabbath and commands it!