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Archive for May, 2010

How should I start this review? Let’s just say, I am pretty pumped about this book. I had never heard of the pastor, never heard of the church, and mostly got it because it was the most interesting of the options at the time. I have a love/ hate relationship with church leadership books but have to say, this one hits the mark.

Rather you are starting a new church or trying to transition an established church (prayers be with you), this book is broken down in a very practical way of what really matters. Also, if  you lead a church that seems to be in a good place right now and things are ok, this is a great book to help you get down to what really matters and invite a fresh conversation between you, the Lord, and your leadership to see if there are any areas you can improve upon. Pastors would be wise to have this in your library.

Last point, if you are not a church leader and are reading this…. and let’s say your church is going through or should go through a transformation…. this book also touches base on the importance of your role in your attitude, in your support of the leaders, and your prayer life over the church. Your support or lack of support of the pastor going through these times make a HUGE difference. It might benefit you to thumb through this book as well.

I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.

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The Shepherd’s Fellowship is going to be giving away 100 backpacks full of school supplies to local children who are in financial need on July 24th. This is a great way to show the love of Christ in a practical way and we invite you to help out!

The following is  a list of supplies that we need….

Erasers
Yellow, #2 pencils
Black and blue pens
Glue or glue sticks
Packs of 24 crayons
Round-tipped scissors
Boxes of tissues
Two-pocket folders
Notebooks

Not included in the above list is bookbags.  We are able to purchase a bulk amount of bookbags through a website for about $4.50/bookbag.

You can purchase these items and drop them off at The Shepherd’s Fellowship or you can donate towards this project at our web-site. Please just mark the donation for School Supplies and we will do the shopping for you or put it towards the books bags!

Thank you for considering being part of this great event!

For more info, contact Josh Kramp at josh@theshepherdsfellowship.org

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Yesterday I had the privilege of baptizing 5 people. Baptism is a outward sign after someone has decided to accept Jesus Christ as Leader and Forgiver in their lives. It represents the inward cleansing of the soul from sin through the mercy gift of Christ. It also represents sharing in the death and resurrection of Christ. I know to many looking in from the outside, it might just seem like dunking someone in a pond but it is a profound and touching experience and I never take my role for granted.

Our baptism services tend to be casual  in style though. There is almost always some joking about the temperature of the water, someone slipping a little coming in the pond, and the sound is never good enough so most of those watching can’t hear most of what’s going on. I wondered at one point if some might think we were irreverent in some of our style. Was there something I should be doing it to make it more like what I saw growing up?

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I remember the first time I heard the word postmodernism. It was about 8 years ago and I was sitting in a deacon meeting at a church I use to be youth pastor at. The church had received a flyer that a guy was going to be speaking on ministry in a postmodern world. One of the deacons asked “What does postmodern mean?” The pastor said he had no clue, made a lame joke to cover, and they chuckled and moved on. Ever since, I have been studying postmodernism and how it affects ministry. Not so much because I was challenged by that moment but because if you want to do ministry at all in this world today, you must understand postmodernism as it plagues our culture with a new challenge of thinking.

So what is postmodernism? One way of explaining it is this… A rejection of the idea that there is a certain truth and that there are multiple ways to understand pretty much anything. In ministry, it usually shows as a person picking and choosing what they like from different religions and philosophies and creating their own understanding. It becomes more a quest for what makes them a better person and makes them feel good more than what is the truth. Then when finding that truth, letting that have the same effect they are trying to control themselves.

Again, that’s one way of explaining it. To be honest it’s quite fluid and hard to pinpoint. If only there was a good metaphor….

Well, I found one. I am a HUGE Lost fan and was very much looking forward to the grand finale. There was a certain level of worry that it would be lame but I think it was one of the best finales of all time. It was very satisfying.

At this point, many different people can have several different theories of what they saw and what it all means. The great part is no one can be wrong either because it was designed to be fluid. People all over the country are talking about their theories today at work, school, and Facebook but there is no right answer. The main thing is everyone at the end were together and going to a happy place. Simply cool! That’s a powerful example of postmodernism. No right answer, just enjoy the experience, and all are happy at the end.

It’s great for a show! It’s wonderful entertainment… However, it can be scary in real life concerning your relationship with God. I still baffle that people think it’s ok to define God and His plan as they see fit. IF there is a God (which of course, I believe there is), then there is a truth about that God. It would then be our quest to learn the truth about that God, not try to define Him as we wish. There can be all different theories of what is going on but unlike Lost, not all are right. There is only one truth.

Anyways, I could keep going but if you have been around my blog long enough, you know the jist. Here’s the main thing, if you want to find the truth about God, dig into the Bible and find it. That’s where the certainty of truth can be found about God. Lost is an awesome TV show….. lost is not a good thing when it comes to your relationship with God….

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By now you have heard of the devastation caused by flooding in Nashville, one of my favorite cities in the world. Home of the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, Country Music Hall of Fame, and my niece, Anna Vija. When devastations like this occur, it’s time to come together and lend a hand.

This week, we are having communion at our church. Whenever we do, we always have a special collection for people who have financial needs. We do this to follow an ancient practice of the first century church. This time, we are designating the entire collection to helping work being done in Nashville by a church named Crosspoint who are on the front lines. We are a small church of only 40 but we can each do our parts by donating 100% of this collection to those who have been hit so hard by the storm.

If you would like to help out too, here’s your chance! You can either join us for church this week or donate on-line here (just make sure to mark your donation for Nashville to make sure we get it to the right place!

We can make a HUGE difference!

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Today’s review is a book I was very much looking forward to called “Plan B” by Pete Wilson. He is a Nashville pastor who I follow on Twitter. Over the last year I have appreciated his outlook as well as his personal touch in responding to a few direct texts for myself. So, when I found out he was coming out with his first book, I was excited.

When I first got the book, I quickly skimmed the summary and thumbed through the contents and feared I was going to be disappointed. It seemed very basic, common sense, and not as deep as I hoped. I am thrilled to report that as I dug in and read more, my first impression was way wrong! I loved this book!

With the perfect balance of true life stories, honest and open sharing from his own life, and fresh perspectives on the life application of several Biblical stories… this book cuts to the chase for any who are experiencing life in  a different way than they expected. Going through tough days? Did your dream fall apart and you’re left with the pieces? Wondering why all your intentions fell short but it still seems like God is calling you? Angry at God because life isn’t what you thought it was going to be? Snag this book! Again, I say snag this book! Simply wonderful…..

I received this book from Thomas Nelson publishing for an honest review…..

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Here’s something I have gotten a few other Christians upset with me about…. I thought I’d throw it out here and see what people think……

It starts with a Scripture where Jesus is asked which is the most important commandment and Christ answered….

 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

I believe to love your neighbor as yourself is only powerful if the assumption is that you love yourself.

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