Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What is Convergence?

This video is about Convergence, which most of us will understand, simply, as the amazing technology of cheaper, smaller, better helping us to reach out to each other, easier.

Red blood cells? Wow.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Worship Changes

This coming Sunday, we'll be making some changes to our format of worship. It's been in process for a while now, but we are taking the leap this week.

We've had a few changes along the way, and for the most part, people have stepped up and responded positively to change. However, this is a change of worship. We are including more contemporary elements, streamlining flow, and hopefully creating a place for visitors to feel welcome.

I'm not a huge fan of blended worship, but after talking with so many people, I think we are ready to start...I think we are past time to start...But, blended worship is a compromise that includes older hymns, contemporary songs, liturgy, and videos. There's something for everyone, and something for everyone to say, "It's not my style, but the person next to me is enjoying it."

My prayer is that we can make it through this transition well, glorifying God, and reaching out to our community in order to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why? What? How?

Why does a U2 concert feel more worshipful than a typical, mainline church service to a born and raised mainline, UMC pastor?

Moreover, what, if anything, can we do to help people connect in the life of faith and worship?

Most of all: What can we do in our local churches to bring a spirit of worship that helps people experience the tranforming grace of God?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Magnificent by U2


I was born...I was born to be with you.
In this space and time,
After that and ever after,
I haven't had a clue
Only to break rhyme.
This foolishness can leave a heart black and blue.

Only love, only love can leave such a mark.
But only love, only love can heal such a scar.

I was born...I was born to sing for you.
I didn’t have a choice but to lift you up...
And sing whatever song you wanted me to.
I give you back my voice.
From the womb my first cry, it was a joyful noise…

Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love can heal such a scar.

Justified till we die, you and I will magnify...
The Magnificent...Magnificent.

Only love, only love can leave such a mark.
But only love, only love unites our hearts.
Justified till we die, you and I will magnify...
The Magnificent...Magnificent...Magnificent

Monday, September 21, 2009

Music for the Soul

The U2 concert was just absolutely fabulous. Stephanie and I enjoyed time away...from work...from kids...from the "every day." See this video for a taste!

Today, I sat working in my office listening to several different U2 songs, and I've had more worshipful afternoon than I've had in a long time. As I posted on FB, it was a God moment.

Poetry and music do so much more than mere words. Hearing someone sing encouragement to their daughter (Original of the Species), praise to God (Magnificent), or apology to their wife (Sweetest Thing), is somehow more real than a lot of the daily life we surround ourselves with...We put so much mundane around us to keep life predictable, safe, and comfortable.

Listening today, I felt alive and emotive...more so than I've felt in a while.

It's led me to other thoughts that I'll share later, but today I listened and heard life...and I praised God...Magnificent.

Monday, September 7, 2009

6 Days...

6 days and counting...

U2's first concert of the North American tour this coming Saturday in Chicago! We can hardly wait! Click here to see some footage from the London concert.

The pic is the cover of Joshua Tree, my favorite U2 album.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Unembarrassed Ad for Disciple Bible Study

First, to clarify my last post, I do read my Bible...religiously. How ironic is that?

But, it got me thinking, I've read Dune at least 18 times, so how many times have I read the Bible, cover-to-cover? My first time through was in college. Did it in a month. I did it once in seminary, too. Since then, I've done it 3 times, and each time it's taken me 34 weeks...

Why 34 weeks? Disciple Bible study! It's a great Bible Study program, and if you've never done it, well you really need to! The approach is very good. It comes with a book that outlines the readings. There are 5 days of reading, 1 day of answering questions in the booklet, and a day of rest. Then once a week you meet with your Disciple class where you watch a video done by professors who study each part of the Bible you're reading that week. After watching the video, the class discusses the readings, shares their thoughts, and answers some questions.

In a nutshell, here's why Disciple I is AWESOME!:

  1. You have accountability friends to help you read all through the Bible...even the slow, hard parts where Hallugoaboah begat Yaojodeeoho who begat Bill...yeah, those parts, too!

  2. You get great insight from the video, the booklet info, and the class discussions.

  3. The aim of the study is to help us apply Scripture to our lives...not just study it.

All, in all, I highly recommend it, and if you're in Winchester on Thursdays, we start at 7 p.m.