Monday, June 29, 2009

North American Christian Convention

Tomorrow Tracy and I will travel to Louisville, KY to attend the North American Christian Convention. It is an annual gathering of folks from Christian Churches and Churches of Christ. There is great worship and preaching and teaching; informative workshops and fantastic fellowship. When I lived in Virginia it seemed that the NACC was always too far way to attend, but I have been able to go several times since returning to the Midwest. This will be Tracy's first time. We're looking forward to it.

I will post updates throughout the week.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Crazy Lightning Strike

At about 25 seconds. This was taken as we were driving home from vacation. Lightning got a telephone pole just as we were passing by.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Happy Anniversary to the Blog

I don't know how I missed it, but as of June 1, I have been blogging for four years. In my very first post I wrote these words:

I don't know how this blog will develop. I will probably post some funny stories along with everyday life type of stuff. Maybe an occasional serious discussion.

Life is like calling in a reliever from the Cubs bullpen. Ya never know what you're gonna get.

That is how it has turned out so far. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Washington Nationals Game

After spending some time at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, we took the Metro over to Nationals Park. Some guy had some extra tickets ($50 tix that we got for $10 each -- awesome seats just five rows from the field). Nats beat the Reds 3-2.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday in D.C.

Spent some time at Union Station today. I knew that Ebenezers's (the coffee shop owned by National Community Church) was nearby, so we stopped in to get a cup.


Visited Arlington Cemetery yesterday. I wish every American could see this place. The changing of the guard was very moving.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Shepherding the Flock

So I’ve been thinking lately about shepherding the flock. One of the responsibilities of the elders of church is shepherding. It is not their only responsibility -- they also oversee, teach, direct the affairs of the church, etc. In fact, the qualifications (or qualities) in Timothy and Titus barely even hint at shepherding. The greater emphasis seems to have been given to sound doctrine, guarding against false teachers, etc.

Have you ever seen a shepherding program that was effective? I remember Ben Merold (several years ago) telling us that every time he heard of a church that had a great shepherding program, he would try to visit as soon as he could. Usually by the time he got there, the program had unraveled. The typical practice in our churches is to divide the members/families of the congregation among the elders. So if there are three elders/pastors and ninety families, then each elder gets 30 families on his shepherding list (his flock). My experience has been that we have not put these men in a position to succeed. I wonder if part of the problem is the way we have defined shepherding. Usually the connotation is that of a personal chaplain. This is practically impossible when the church is larger than a few dozen people.

The early church was several thousand members strong before the first elder appeared (yes, there were apostles, but only 12 – and they devoted their attention to prayer and the ministry of the word). So how do we get better at this? Do we need to re-define shepherding? And how can the needs of the flock be met more effectively?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Should I Be Surprised?

Twenty years ago, this would have been political suicide, but now it is "perfectly acceptable."

Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,
who put darkness for light and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.