What Christians Can Learn from Vultures

I don’t think it’s any secret that Christians these days have a PR problem. That’s why one of my questions I ask each person in my Off the Record interviews is about whether we should find a new word to describe ourselves. The word Christian is tainted for many people.

Now consider another tainted word: vulture. Odds are high you imagine a repulsive, scary creature you’d prefer to avoid. But consider the following story in this video.

Pretty amazing how easy this video, and the article that explains it, challenges a strongly established preconception. I believe the transition happens when we change our view from an offensive creature to a creature with needs like everyone else (and vulnerable like everyone else). When we are able to see what they contribute instead of what they threaten. Here are a couple of the quotes that stood out to me: (more…)

A Tough Question

I’m doing a bit of book research here. There’s a question I ask in the book I’m working on that I originally assumed most people agreed about. After showing initial versions to some people and through a few conversations I’ve realized there are a variety of perspectives on it. This question applies to anyone reading this who considers themselves a Christian.

If I could prove to you (and you believed me with certainty) that God didn’t exist, would it change the way you live? If so, how?

I’d love to hear why you would say yes or no in the comment section below. If you answer yes, please explain which areas in particular you would change.

The Prodigals

Here is the message I gave at Central this weekend. When we move toward God, He runs toward us!

Forget the Books

Books

Here is a comment I recently received on my blog:

“Read the Bible, forget the Books, they are Satan’s web of deception. The Bible states, in the end times many even the elect will be deceived… Your choice.”

I deleted the comment because it isn’t respectful or on topic to the post it was left on. The comment author (whom I will grant anonymity) assumes that we can read the Bible and perfectly understand God through the process. Further, it is a sign of being deceived to quote anything other than the Bible. I wish this comment was unique, but sadly I see this time and again. Let me take a moment to reflect using this comment as a launching pad.

As I’ve written before, we all have filters we use when it comes to how we read the Bible. While it sounds super spiritual to say “I just read the Bible for what it says,” the reality is it’s impossible to do. We each bring our own perspectives, biases, personality, and experiences with us when we read. This shapes how we understand what the Bible says. This is why healthy Biblical community in the local church is so vital to a person’s spiritual health. For a practical application of this, read this post and then take the quiz to find out your score.

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The Smell You Can’t Smell

Watermark Church - Dallas, Texas

Watermark Church (click to zoom)

A handful of us from Central visited six churches in Dallas last week. We were researching building ideas for the next worship center at our Gilbert campus. Two of these churches stood out to me.

One of them, who will remain nameless, left us with a very bad impression. As we walked into their worship center, the aroma of mustiness washed over us. The damp air weighted upon us with a heavy thickness. My mind flashed back to my junior high locker room. Our guide, an executive member of their church staff, proudly showed us around. While we each stole glances of shock from one another, it was apparent our guide didn’t smell anything.

That’s because he was used to it. It was normal. To an outside guest however, nothing was normal about that smell.

Earlier that day we toured another church building. The church was Watermark and featured a cutting-edge design with wood panels all around the walls. This produced a rich smell that brought a feeling of a cabin in the woods or that moment you open a fine humidor of cigars. While we each glanced at the members of our group a pleasant look of surprise stole over our faces. And again, it was apparent our guide didn’t smell anything.

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May With C.S. Lewis

Year with C.S. LewisThis post is part of my series through A Year with C.S. Lewis.

This month is a bit late… but better late than never! Here are my favorite quotes from the assorted C.S. Lewis books that are covered in the month of May in the book. I’ll begin with a section that I use when I do a funeral for someone.

On the one hand Death is the triumph of Satan, the punishment of the Fall, and the last enemy. Christ shed tears at the grave of Lazarus and sweated blood in Gethsemane: the Life of Lives that was in Him detested this penal obscenity not less than we do, but more. On the other hand, only he who loses his life will save it. We are baptised into the death of Christ, and it is the remedy for the Fall. Death is, in fact, what some modern people call ‘ambivalent’. It is Satan’s great weapon and also God’s great weapon: it is holy and unholy; our supreme disgrace and our only hope; the thing Christ came to conquer and the means by which He conquered.

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