Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Thoughts...and Action about Living on Purpose for What Matters Most

Ok, for for the next few days, I'm going to put down a Topic and Short Thought, all in the same post. All of them about living on purpose in response to Jesus.


2. Since we live in 2 worlds, Our job is to be a Translator
Jesus left Heaven and entered Earth. Creator hanging in creation. While He was here, he was trying to give us a peek into a New Kingdom He was ushering in. This New Kingdom had it's formal entrance when Jesus busted out of the Grave, conquering death, and giving God the opportunity to send the Holy Spirit to remind us of Jesus and lead us into truth. What an entrance! Now we have the kingdom of this world, influenced by Jesus' enemy, "co-existing" with the Kingdom of Our God, with King Jesus reigning. We know, because Jesus told us, how this story will play out. Jesus wins! But in the meantime, the two competing kingdoms are overlapping.

Our job, with "our" meaning every person who has been transferred from death (old kingdom) into life (New Kingdom) by trusting in Jesus, is to Translate this New Kingdom to those who God loves, who He sent His Son to provide a way out of death for, to those who are in the old one.

It's easier, beloved, to just stay in the trappings of the New Kingdom and avoid all the stuff in the old one. It's easier to just go to church, spend as much time there and with Christians as possible. To, rightly, point out all the things wrong with the old kingdom and turn our backs on its stench.

Trouble with that is there is a reason God didn't put an end to the old kingdom already. The reason is He wants people to be transferred from death to life. And if He ends the old kingdom, then such an opportunity ceases to exist. So He's waiting. He's putting up with the stench of sin, holding his nose while we thumb our noses, ignorantly, at Him. He's a kind, loving, gracious Heavenly Father. And He wants all those son's and daughters of Adam to be bought back by the precious blood of Jesus into right standing with Him!

That's where we come in. Jesus told His 12 disciples to go and as they are going to make disciples. Disciples who would then, in turn, go and as they are going make disciples. And, eventually, that's what they did.

We are here to translate for those in the old kingdom the values, the Truth, the Hope, the Love, of the New Kingdom.

1. Gather and Scatter
I regularly emphasize the need for practical discipleship. That is, learning to follow Jesus is what we are actually doing. Often this includes a compare-and-contrast discussion, comparing the lecture/listening types of training environments that are common in our church life with the doing of being of living an on purpose, on mission life of following Jesus.

I was recently invited by some cool friends to be a part of an intense discipleship class. Multiple hour gatherings per week, very legit peeps speaking, homework and heavy commitment for a couple months. My reaction included a desire for the participants to take it to the hilt, and include a participation component, where we go and do based on what we learn in the gathering/teaching/learning times.

I realized that my responses to our teaching/training/preaching times can lead people to think I am anti-gathering, anti-Bible Study. Not So! We need lots of this, and most people who follow Jesus need more, not less Bible.

What I am saying is that for our discipleship to be whole, to be well rounded and bring about the kind of faith and practice that is city-changing (to keep our key metaphor for discipleship going, that because there are Jesus-followers here and churches full of Jesus-followers then from #Goosport2Graywood #theCityShouldBeDifferent), we need lots of practice in the actual doing. Lots of training like this: you come with me as we mentor a young person, then you learn to do it yourself; you come with me as we cook for folks that weren't expecting it and we start conversations, natural conversations, and include Jesus along the way.

So I'm all for the Gathering. I love gatherings! AND, I'm all for Scattering. Sending. Going. Being salt and light all over the city.

My sense is that we, church, need more practice in the Sending part.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Investments. In Relationships

This young man at T H Watkins is practicing being interviewed
by KPLCTV about his leadership at his school...Yes!

We have been hard at work. Making investments. Investments in relationships with the young, the not so young, and in-between. Tonight I'm just loading some pictures of friends and family, of high-points and things that mark a typical day. We have lots and lots and lots to share about city changing, harnessing the opportunities from the upcoming industrial expansion to activate the unemployable because of lack of character readiness, about deploying the church to support that effort. About encouraging and equipping entrepreneurs to practice a lifestyle of engagement with their businesses. About helping others learn to live on purpose, and growing in our own engagement in the process. More on that soon. In the meantime, we will keep investing in relationships! 

This is in the parking lot, following a 16 hour work day.
We laughed at Buck telling a great story. What a great day!

Our crew at Passion 2014. Investments in following Jesus!

Sam getting ready to play the keys at the 3rd
Annual Celebration of Children's Banquet

Here we are at T H Watkins, Again! #PartnersInEd

Here you get on of the teachers at T H Watkins in on the
action! These boys are growing, and they LOVE It when
adults invest in their lives.

This great friend is practicing the art of the party!
We are wrapping up is rockin afternoon of building
friendships! #GoTrent

I met this young man in 2012, and we've been through
a lot. I have learned much, and so has Nick. 

This young princess made me this hat! #funatwork

Here are several young man working and growing via
our Internships at Laundry World. 

Ms. Victorian, Principal at T H Watkins!

Our 1st 5th Grade led cookout for the PTO at
T H Watkins. The Kids LOVE IT when Adults invest
in relationships with them.  Chuck and Sam are in the mix!

It's how the city gets different. 

These artists held the "Hate Violence Movement" at
Lock Park, and we got to be a part.

Monica Grimoldo from KPLCTV covered our 2nd PTO
Cookout hosted by us and the 5th Graders. We invited her
to come back and teach the kids how to do an interview.
The kids LOVE IT when caring adults invest in relationships
with them! #areyoufindingatrendhere

Ms. Ann Polok has been coming to Watkins for several
hours a week, and the kids LOVE IT! 

Yeah, Ms. Victorian and T H Watkins!

Every Friday morning is Synergy Rally!

I am so proud of these two young men. It's been my honor
to get to be a part of their lives. Here they are working hard
in the middle of the night redoing the ceiling at Laundry World.

Sam and Buck, at work! Learning skills, learning character
learning to lead themselves and others. Work is a great
context for relationship, mentoring and growth in character
and capacity! 

My brother and one of my very best friends, Willie King.
We are at the MLK Breakfast. But you could take a picture
of us almost anywhere!

Here Buck learns a new skill, pressure washing. This task
has several components for him to grow. More on that later.

Welcome to the Princess Party that is my life.
These are my wonderful daughters. My biggest investment!

Buck and I at Passion 2014. #InItToEndIt
The red X is to show that we are in it to end
global human trafficking. 

Mardi Gras at T H Watkins! 

This is Hannah Pettefer. She is Incredible! This was her
3rd year to be a part of the Celebration of Children's
Banquet. Yeah!!!

This is April the Beautiful. She is wise and wonderful.
This is our 21st Anniversary #iloveApriltheBeautiful

This is the Donuts with Dads. I got to speak with dads, and
build new relationships. The PTO is growing and we
so love that!!!