Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sally Morgenthaler Quote

Hi friends. I am still on vacation, but thought I would throw up a quote from Sally Morgenthaler that was posted as a comment on Nancy Beach's recent post regarding the future of worship. Nancy is the director of the Arts ministry at Willow Creek Church. The conversation is in regard to how worship services must reform in order to reach our post-modern, post-Christian culture with the gospel.
It is time for the big questions. We cannot afford to just keep doing what we've always done. That has been Willow's message for thirty years: the need for reformation. Now those of us who have been faithful at the contemporary, entrepreneurial model - especially praise and worship - must ask again if what we are doing is really transforming lives and expanding the kingdom.

People who know me will say that I'm not into throwing out the baby with the bathwater. For instance, in worship, there is much the liturgical or classic Christian expressions can offer to us and I called for a fusion of old and new in Worship Evangelism. So what I am not saying is, "Get rid of worship." Yet, how does a missional, "embedded" perspectiive (i.e., being the church outside the building) inform what we do each week? I believe we are at an incredibly exciting juncture where an out of the building focus will re-make - re-form - our corporate gatherings in ways we never imagined. For worship services to be the overflow of our lives in the kingdom instead of the destination - now that is a vision of beauty and faithfulness worth all the wrestling and disequilibrium we can stand. Change is never easy. But the faithful church is always the changing church. The reforming church.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Friends, I am heading out on a vacation tomorrow and will be on the road for 10 days. Please know that posts will be a bit more intermittent for a while. An early June vacation is in order since the rest of the summer will be a bit of a whirlwind as we prepare for Parkview’s 75th Anniversary Celebration at Hancher Auditorium. Yipee!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

God Remembers No More

For my summer course at Covenant Seminary I am reading Jerry Bridges book Transforming Grace. It’s been a great read so far. At one point Bridges highlights Isaiah 43:25 regarding God’s forgiveness for the Israelites sin with the golden calf saying “I, am he who blots out your transgressions, and remembers your sin no more.” So, what does it mean that God remembers their sins no more? Does he literally give himself amnesia? Does he literally keep no record of wrong?

Well, to assume God has erased his mind of any memory would put into question his omniscience, so that is likely not a conclusion that is consistent with Scripture. His keeping no record is likely our best understanding; however, 2 Corinthians 5:10 seems to allege that some kind of record of good and evil is kept for all people (believers and unbelievers) to account for at the judgment seat.

I believe we can conclude that, for the believer, Jesus keeps no record of our sin in a legal sense. This would be consistent with Colossians 1:21-22 where the Bible says we are presented holy in the sight of the Lord and free from any accusation. This legal declaration of “not guilty” is our justification before God. Though God is completely aware our continuing good and evil deeds, the Christ follower can rest assured in their legal standing before God.

So, if we are legally innocent, why does 2 Corinthians 5:10 say that we will need to give account for our good and evil in this lifetime? I’ll hopefully post on that tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Willow Arts Conference

Willow Creek is actively blogging their Arts Conference. They've got video highlights, summary, and discussion. Some interesting stuff.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Gilmore Picked to Atlanta Braves

Our own Jon Gilmore, son of Jeff Gilmore our Senior Pastor, was selected in the draft today to play with the Atlanta Braves. This is the highest pick for a high school player in Iowa history. Way to go Jon!

Here is an excerpt from the Press Citizen website:

"The Atlanta Braves selected City High baseball player Jon Gilmore with the 33rd pick Thursday in the Major League Baseball draft. Gilmore, a senior infielder for the Little Hawks, is believed to be the earliest Iowan taken in the draft’s history. Gilmore signed with Wichita State in November, and the Braves flew him down in May for a workout at Turner Field. Gilmore just missed the first round by three picks and was taken by the Braves in the compensatory round."

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Blogging Tips

Abraham Piper recently posted these blogging tips on the Desiring God blog. They look pretty good. Since more and more people are blogging, I thought it might be beneficial to pass on a portion of Abraham's thoughts....

- - -

Be yourself.

You have ideas, and people are reading because they’re interested. So be you. (When I say this to myself, I don’t mean that everything I think is gold—I just mean that I shouldn’t pretend to be someone else, whether it’s gold or not.)

Here’s how I test myself: After I’m done writing, I pretend I’m telling the same content to someone. If there’s no way I’d speak it the same way I just wrote it, then I’m probably not using my own voice.

Write less.

Don’t write any more than is necessary to make your point.

This has nothing to do with whether or not long posts are good. People are just unlikely to read them, good or not.

Here’s how I test myself on this one: After I’m done writing, I go back and pretend I have to pay $100 for every word. Seriously.

And if I’m ever inclined to pretend I have a hefty vocab, I make myself pay per letter.

Write to be scanned.

Compose your posts so that your point is accessible to those who are not reading word-for-word, because most people aren’t.

Here’s a list of what will usually make text scannable:

· Putting your point at the beginning.

· Composing short, one-point paragraphs.

· Organizing with headers and sub-headers.

· Setting lists apart with bullets or numbers.

· Highlighting important words and phrases with bold or italics (but not all caps).

Use common keywords.

Vocabulary affects visibility; so usually it’s good to write with words that people are likely to search when they are interested in your topic. Using the most normal word, especially in your title, even if it is less interesting, will help more people find your post when they’re searching.

For instance, if someone is curious about the Bible, they will probably search “Bible,” not “Scripture” or “God’s Word,” even though these are perfectly good synonyms.

Link a lot.

With discretion, link to anything that will support your content.

It's good when a link itself gives some idea what you will find at the other end. So, as a rule, it’s most user-friendly to connect links to meaningful words rather than words like “this” or “here.”

· Least helpful – Go here:


· Pretty unhelpful – You may be interested in this.

· OK, but could be better – “Beckwith discusses his return to Catholicism. Read it here.

· Most helpful – “Beckwith discusses his return to Catholicism.”

Also, linking does not mean condoning; so don’t be afraid to send people to sites you disagree with. If you discuss the KKK, it may be useful to link to their site. (If only to show how lame it is—my goodness!)

Don’t tease with titles.

The best headlines are both eye-catching and content-rich. They are interesting and they state the main point of the post.

  • Bad: “Big News at Crossway!”
  • Good: “Justin Taylor Is Voting for Clinton”

Allow exceptions.

Guidelines are not commandments. Break these as necessary—but do it on purpose.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Teacher of the Year Dave Bousfield

Congratulations is in order for a long time volunteer in the vocal ministry at Parkview, Dave Bousfield. Dave has been named Iowa's "Teacher of the Year" by the Association of American Educators. Dave is more than a great teacher, he is a follower of Jesus Christ and it's awesome to see how his faith has shaped his commitment to make a difference in the lives of children. Thanks for your great example Dave! Below is a clip from the Press Citizen website:
David Bousfield, a Lemme Elementary resource teacher, has been named the AAE-PEI Teacher of the Year by Professional Educators of Iowa.

The award, given by the national education association, Association of American Educators and PEI, is presented based on the application submitted by the teacher's administrators and fellow teachers.

Lemme Elementary Principal John Bacon called Bousfield "the ultimate professional" who "exemplifies the Golden Rule and six pillars of character." First-grade teacher Susan Thrams said Bousfield is a valued colleague and one of the "most respected leaders" in the school, while parents Jim and Michele Weno said Bousfield has brought their daughter to an educational level that is "a true success story."

Bousfield has been a resource teacher at Lemme since 1979.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Chronicles of Tech Ninja Sensei

Adam Carmichael our new Technical Director now has a blog called "Chronicles of Tech Ninja Sensei". You need to read his first post to understand why a technical ministry blog can be associated with life as a Ninja. Adam is a great addition to our team. For words of wisdom (or in the very least words of entertainment) be sure to check out his blog here.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Bill Gates Touch Screen Table

I couldn't resist linking to the newest innovation coming out from the PC side of the world (sorry Mac people). This video is a promo of the new touch screen table that Bill Gates and his Microsoft cronies are marketing to commercial interests. I'm sure they are unbelievably expensive, but am also sure we'll all be able to do this with our kitchen table in a few decades.