Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Free Derek Webb Music

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A good offense is to be offensive?

This is sick... and truly offensive I just warned you.

Time for Faithful Pastors to Go on the Attack!

I just have three questions...

1. Are we really starving with more churches and bibles in the USA than any other country?

2. Are we supposed to be dependant on our pastors to "feed us"?

3. How is using a picture of a starving man not using pragmatism?

OK... I really have more questions than that... but to me there is a fundamental and foundational misunderstanding of the real issue. It seems that some see that they are free to do anything yet anyone they deem lesser than themselves can do nothing right. This is sick. There is a sickness that is out there and it is from lack of biblical nutrition... in fact the postcard is part of the issue. The meat of the Word is in the "Doing of the Word" not in going to church and sitting in a pew and letting someone spoon feed you every week. Let those pastors attack... it seems that is what they do best.

And yes I get it... but it is so wrong and off base that it is not only offensive, but it is promoting people to not be dependant of Jesus, but on a man. To me this is a perfect example of the promotion of a "man-based" faith that misses the mark completely.

We are to become like Jesus, not like our pastors... even if they are truly great men. Chris Rosebrough seems to think that the answer is keeping people in diapers and not integrating their faith in their life. I say that as anyone who promotes spoon-fed christianity misses that we are to be not just hearers of the Word, but doers.

The milk is at all churches.... it is fed to us from all pastors... If Chris R and Ken Silva really want mature Christians out there... they need to call for doers of the Word and not focus on the milk and superficiality of "Churchianity."

For what others are saying about this I recommend this post.

The Gospel is of Good News... not of sensationalism... not of scare tactics of this world.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Heading out to San Jose this next week

I know I have a few readers in the San Jose area. I am planning on being there next week. If you want to meet let me know. I have a fairly loose itinerary so far. It would be really great to have a chance to meet some of you in person... I will be there Sept 29th - Oct 2nd.

Be blessed,

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Exchanged Life

The Exchanged Life…

I have been thinking a lot about the Exchanged Life and how so many miss the mark in their understanding of some very basic biblical truths. Often I have had exchanges with people that end very sad ways as they argue with me over these things. They seem to desire to hang on to what is not true as if it was a talisman that could pull them out of any trouble they may fall into. I often pray for many who have fallen from Grace to works and miss that there is so much more to the Christian Life than they realize.

Don’t get me wrong. These are not stupid or ignorant people. Often they are very educated and can pull out the bible, quote from memory or even are fluent in the original languages. To me this is no real surprise as Jesus spoke directly to people in their own language and they did not understand thing either.

One of the biggest errors people commit is to mistake the written word with the Living Word. Meaning they unintentionally worship the Bible and seek in it the life they desire. The Bible is called the word of Life or the word of truth, yet often most miss it is not the word that gives life or that is “truth” in and of its self, rather it leads us to Truth. Jesus stated such in

John 5: 39. You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40. yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

Jesus pointed out that knowledge of the written word is not enough, that the Bible cannot give Life. It is only in the Son we have Life. John furthers this thought in his epistle:

1 John 5: 11. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Just recently I was in an argument with a man who professes to be one who has discernment, yet he insisted that one must be saved by what one believes. I tried to point out it is not “what” we believe, but in Whom we believe in.

The second error that many fall into is that the bible is the source of all truth. I have written a lot about Jesus being The Truth. In fact I was taken to task for stating this by some who insist that I am wrong and that Jesus only “taught” truth. Yet, they miss Jesus IS The Truth and that He alone is the source of all Truth just as Jesus is the source of all Life.

Jesus in not a propositional statement, He is a person. With out Jesus the bible fails in being true. For if the bible points to Jesus, then there must be a reason. The reason is that Jesus is the very source from which the bible has any truth in it.

The exchanged life is when we take our faith in our belief and knowledge and exchange it for the Person of Jesus. John Hudson was a missionary to China and is credited as the originator of the phrase “The exchanged life” here is a passage from his diary.

"... God made me a new man! God has made me a new man!" Wonderful was the experience that had come in answer to prayer, yet so simple as almost to baffle description... Do you know, I now think that this striving, longing, hoping for better days to come is not the true way to holiness, happiness or usefulness. It is better, no doubt, far better than being satisfied with poor attainments, but not the best way after all. I have been struck with a passage from a book... entitled Christ is All. It says, "The Lord Jesus received is holiness begun; the Lord Jesus cherished is holiness advancing; the Lord Jesus counted upon as never absent would be holiness complete... "He is most holy who has most of Christ within, and joys most fully in the finished work..." ... To let my loving Savior work in me His will, my sanctification, is what I would live for by His grace. Abiding, not striving nor struggling; looking off unto Him; trusting Him for present power... resting in the love of an almighty Savior, in the joy of a complete salvation, "from all sin" -- this is not new, and yet 'tis new to me... Christ literally all seems to me, now, the power, the only power for service, the only ground for unchanging joy... How then to have our faith increased? Only by thinking of all that Jesus is and all He is for us: His life, His death, His work, He Himself as revealed to us in the Word, to be the subject of our constant thoughts. Not a striving to have faith... but a looking off to the Faithful One seems all we need; a resting in the Loved One entirely, for time and eternity. ... I looked to Jesus, and when I saw -- oh, how joy flowed! It was resting in Jesus now, and letting Him do the work -- which makes all the difference. Whenever he spoke in meetings after that, a new power seemed to flow from him, and in the practical things of life a new peace possessed him. Troubles did not worry him as before. He cast everything on God in a new way, and gave more time to prayer. It was the exchanged life that had come to him -- the life that is indeed "No longer I"... It was a blessed reality "Christ liveth in me." And how great the difference! -- instead of bondage, liberty; instead of failure, quiet victories within; instead of fear and weakness, a restful sense of sufficiency in Another.”

You can read more here.

Our salvation comes from the Person of Jesus Christ alone. “Christ is All” is the banner of the believer. My prayer is that we take time to reflect on this important truth.

Hebrews 7: 27. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.

There is no other sacrifice to be or that is needed. It was done and finished at the crucifixion and we now have the Life of the resurrection.

Be blessed,

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bozeman Emerging Ministry

Yesterday I went up to Bozeman MT and spent some time with Michael D. Wainwright and Jesse Ahmann who are starting an emerging outreach there. I had met Jesse earlier and we had a nice lunch and conversation at Applebee’s restaurant here in Billings. I left pretty early, in fact I was up at 3:30 and there by 6am. I took a while to find Wild Joe’s on Main, and drove around a bit having memories of when I lived in Bozeman. At 7am Wild Joe’s opened and Michael came in and introduced himself to me. Jesse showed up a bit later. After some initial confusion as to what to call me… (iggy or Carlos) we settled on Carlos. It did not take long as we started talking to feel like we were all old friends even taking playful pokes at each other. It is strange that three strangers can get along and enjoy each other’s company… even stranger that one was Baptist, one from Vineyard and the other from the Presbyterian Church. It seemed there was a great Spirit of unity as we got to know each other. We each shared a bit of our story and journey.

They meet there every Thursday at 7am and I highly recommend going. I found no one judging other’s views and felt very comfortable. It truly was a blessing to be with these men.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Front Fell Off


Some of you may already know I was laid off my job at the Billings Gazette. Apparently I was one of nine... with about 20 total with Lee Enterprises. I feel a bit relieved as the job was a real pain sometimes. Yet, I still need an income.

I am not destitute... yet... :wink:... I think we can make it a while.

This does make one look at things. Changes can be really scary. Not knowing where your paycheck will come from tomorrow has its own special joy. Over all I know God is in control.

Now, this may seem strange to some, but God let me know that "big changes" were coming. I already had some big changes at work and thought maybe those were the changes... yet, I was a bit surprised by the Big Change of being laid off. Again, God is in control and is my provider and has been faithful in the past many times.

Meanwhile, I am still in school and still at the Billings Vineyard Church. In fact this has opened opportunity to do more things of God. For instance, this Thursday I hope to meet with a couple of guy in Bozeman MT to talk to them about their starting an "emerging" ministry. I also hope that God will supply in a way that will allow me to pursue ministry full time.

I appreciate all of your prayers...

Be blessed,


Saturday, September 13, 2008

What is to become of the Emerging Church?

What is to become of the Emerging Church?

I have thought about this for a while. I see two paths...

1. The emerging church is only a phase, not to be confused with a passing "fad". God will move in phases. If you look at history, there are many cycles that seem to happen. Often there is growth and then persecution which moves into greater growth. Often the underdog become the new power. For example, early Christians were persecuted, yet not to the extent that was to come later. In this time there was growth as in the example of the 3000 that come to believe after Peter preached in Acts 2. This growth seems almost spontaneous as the Apostle often hear "rumors" of other towns who come to believe. Saul was one who also heard of this group call "the Way" and wanted to stop it as he saw them as apostate and following another "Messiah" other than that of the tradition of the Jews. Yet, as we read in Acts, God had other plans... and Saul became Paul and began planting even more churches.

Again, this pattern kept up until the time of Constantine. Nero and well as other Roman Emperors began harsh persecution until Consisting saw his vision of a Cross and the promise that under this banner he would win his battles. Then after Constantine's battle at Battle of Milvian Bridge 312 Constantine declared Christianity the official religion of Rome.

Now all that is very abbreviated and the debate could go on for some time whether Constantine declaration was a good thing or not. Yet the pattern is always there. We can look at the Reformation as following the same patters before and after and so on.

Now, we can look at the present situation in the same light, though I would not say the persecution is at all close to the violence of the past. It is in some countries, yet as far as here in America the persecution has only been in "words" and not the violence of the past. Yet, these words are aimed at twisting the message of the emerging church into something hideous. Now the path I see is that of persecution and growth. In fact I see this persecution of words is actually helping the emerging church gain more of an audience. People who have never heard of the emerging church now have thanks to those who write against it. Curiosity is a strange animal as people who are "warned" often see it as forbidden fruit and thus are attracted to the thing they are warned about. Now, that sound negative, yet, as in the early church there were those who sought out Christians to persecute them, found that their own lives were changed in dynamic ways. The bible speaks of the message of the cross as "foolishness": "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."" (1 Cor 1:18-19) Those that have decided to use the ways of the world to attack and persecute the emerging church have actually exposed the authenticity and grace that is the foundation of the emerging church.

I see that this persecution is dying... and in that dying hard. People are seeing those for what they are and starting to look into deeper things of God and what the emerging church has to offer. This should bring new growth and though I hate to say, the death of the emerging church to bring out this new growth.

2. The second thing is that we of the emerging church are also growing and changing. Maturity comes with growth. This may be that the emerging church is really only realizing what God has been doing since the beginning. God gave many tools to the early church that have been covered over by man's traditions. Now that is not to say traditions are evil and bad, rather to say that the traditions we hold often taint the truth of scriptures be that mainline denominations or looking at theology from the Reformed point of view. I will caution that not all these traditions are wrong, yet that they should be held out for examination in light of scripture instead of holding scripture to those traditions.

In this we have authenticity and can continue in the values we hold as the emerging church. I believe God has raised up leaders and many others again to see these values the emerging church holds. These values are things such as authenticity, living incarnationally, (allowing Christ to live in and through us), living missionally, (living out the Great Commission of sharing the gospel and making disciples of Jesus), removing personal agendas as we approach others, and seeing God working in peoples lives even before they have come to Jesus for salvation. Of course there are many more, but to me these are the big ones.

In this we have become reacquainted with these values that God holds. I see that as we walk in these values God will begin even a greater growth or awaking of people to the Message of the Gospel

Be blessed,


Sunday, September 07, 2008

What if there was true persecution in America?

I was laughing about a recent article that an ODM had written stating he was being so very persecuted over having to move his blog. I also was sort of angry as he compared this with being a Viet Nam war vet. I though what a dishonorable thing to say about true war vets.

What if we did have real persecution? Is having a blog deleted anything compared to having one's wife and children murdered in front of you just because one is a Christian? How about if someone was tossed to wild animals or ripped apart alive...? Yes these are sick things...

Yet, things like this are happening now. My friend Preacherman has a great post called "Crucifixion Legalized and Practiced In Darfur" . Also, please check out the links he has. This IS real... this IS sad... and this is a REAL WAR and not some so called "truth war" that seems more interesting in promoting some peoples relativistic view of truth filtered through their preferred theological system.

Be blessed,


Thursday, September 04, 2008

CRN.info is down... did Ingrid strike again? Updated

I went to CRN.info and it was down. All I could think was that for all the self righteous talk of Ingrid of Slice of Laodicea, she used her lawyers again to shut them down. I hope that is not true... but she has done it before...

It is sad that she rails against others then does the same thing herself. If it is so... need I say again the height of hypocrisy that runs rampant at Slice and those that support her and her libel lies against others?

Update: I talked to one of the writers who say it could be a bad script that is corrupting the site. Still even if Ingrid has not hit this time, I wonder when she will as she has in the past. This post may be wrong, yet it was a question as to the why not an accusation. I will keep updates coming as I get them.
Update two: Apparently it was a plugin that needed to be updated. My apologies to Ingrid. Again though this was not an accusation, but my first thought knowing the history and hysterics of the recent events. It is also what many think and see the ODM as doing... as one commentator stated, "an eye for an eye makes the whole world wide web a 404 error" (R.C.) I am very happy to be wrong, yet still see that ODM's like Slice tend greatly toward a "do as we say not as we do" policies. Again, I am glad I am wrong and apologize to Ingrid for any harm this post may have caused.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Thanks for praying the other day...

God is good. His greatness is shown by His kindness. We rob only ourselves of the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience when we keep hold of our stubborn heart. (Romans 2:4)

I have wondered at how many show contempt for others, mocking and acting as it those they were "exposing" are supposedly less worthy of God's grace that others... In fact to do that is to show contempt for the kindness of God.

My daily prayer is for those who seem to have contempt for the kindness of God and see that Grace is not worthy of extending to others. I not only prayer for them but for my own heart which at times seems to lack the ability to give grace to those who are graceless to others.

Yet, my heart is always for reconciliation. I desire only that the hypocrisy stops. That this hate clothed with a thin veneer of love is exposed and that those who live such ways find the love of God. This love is impossible not to pass on to others as it changes us from the inside out. Once touched by this Love of God that dwells in us as we dwell in Him we cannot help but give it away.

My actions may not always seems loving to some. Yet, the pain of holding the mirror to myself to see who I really am is often painful. Sometimes God uses our friends who feel like enemies to hold that mirror up for us to see.

I remember before I was found by Grace. I heard a man who spoke of this grace. I was "saved" and did all the "right" things... yet I found I hated this man more than any other man I had known. My only desire was to prove him wrong and expose him for the fraud he was....

Yet, God had other plans for me. I listened to his show on the radio and read through Hebrews. I took extra effort and care to keep the context of each chapter as I read. If in chapter 1,2,3, it stated one was secure in their faith, then in chapter 6 and 10 I had to keep those in context of the previous chapters. When I finished, I was profoundly shaken by my discovery that my theology... ( my understanding of eternal security) was wrong. I then read this man 's book... Classic Christianity... and discovered even more of God's grace for me.

I love this man, Bob George, and consider him to be one of the greatest influences on my life and it's course. Funny thing is, Bob and I would not agree on many things, yet, Grace which is rooted in Love, covers our differences. These things are so little and meaningless in contrast to what God's grace is doing in our lives.

My prayer for those that call themselves my enemy... (They are not now and have ever been mine) is that they come to grasp how great this Grace God has for them. I pray that they are so infected by it they are changed from one who judges and condemns others in the Name of Jesus, though He Himself did not come to do that, to one who desires only to show the kindness of God.

Sometimes a friend holding a mirror up to us, will feel like our enemy... yet, in the end if we see what God is doing, that friend will be one of those who had loved us most of all.

Be blessed,