dream church

tonight as i was listening to a podcast and i heard tony jones say the phrase “my dream church.”it got me to thinking about what my dream church would look like. since judge marilyn says i rule i figured i should write down a few things on what my dream church would look like so that you, my loyal subjects, would know these things. so here goes:

  • my dream church would be concerned about the kingdom of GOD – i would want the overriding focus of the church to be on living out and expanding the kingdom of GOD (e.g. living life the way it is supposed to be) – not just missions, evangelism, social justice, discipleship, worship, community or any other single element. we would need to be a group of people that were not only spreading the good news of JESUS CHRIST but also fighting to see that kingdom lived out in this world – fighting with and for the marginalized of the world. basically i would like to see the best of liberal protestantism and conservative evangelicalism brought together.
  • a group of people passionately in love with each other – for me this means lots of pot lucks and constant eating together.
  • a diverse group of messed up people – i want a church that is full of people that admit how much they don’t get and how much they don’t live out concerning the gospel. a group that is trying to walk closer and closer in the way of CHRIST but in the end realize that we are all screwed up and entirely dependent upon GOD’s grace. i would want a place where the perfect middle class family and the drug addict are both in the same room, in love with each other, and realize they both stand before GOD in need of HIS grace.
  • a great mix of people – i dream of a church that is made up of different ethnic groups, socioeconomic groups, sub-cultures, etc. e pluribus unum, baby. the rich and the poor, the black and the white, the packers and the bears fans all living life together.
  • a church that has chili dogs once a week – okay it’s a selfish thing but i really love chili dogs. this is not a make or break point but i am talking about my dream church so i figured i should dream a little.
  • a church that seeks to live as simply as possible – i’m not doing a very good job of this personally but i’m trying and i would love to be a part of a group of people who are always struggling to do this.
  • a hospitable church – i want to be a part of a group of people who are always “inviting the stranger into their midst.”
  • a body of believers that are growing in CHRIST’s love together – i want a church where GOD is sought after, HIS word is delved into, prayer is practiced in a variety of manners, and devotion is encouraged as ways of experiencing GOD’s love to greater extents. part of this means a church that is not afraid to mess up. part of growing is sometimes getting it wrong. i want to be a part of a body of believers that is struggling with GOD and HIS word. it wouldn’t be a place where someone had all the answers, rather it would be a group of people who are constantly struggling with figuring out what the questions are and trying to accept the love of the ONE WHO is the ANSWER.
  • a group of people who are committed to being between 200 and 300 in size – this doesn’t mean a lack of growth or excluding new people. instead it means that church plants would have to happen all the time.
  • i want a church that is constantly experimenting – i want to be a part of a body that is trying new things all the time. new forms of ministry, new room set ups, new teaching methods, new issues jumped into, new chili dogs … you name it. i want to be with a group of people who are not afraid to fail and therefore will try anything.
  • i want to be with a church body that is embracing its heritage – i want to be a part of a group of people who truly know what is important to them. not the programs, rooms, etc. rather then ideals that all those things came from. i want to be with a group of people who have those ideals in their minds and honor them even while they are trying new things.

that’s what comes to mind off the top of my head. i’ll probably read it tomorrow and decided to change some of it – i’m tired and i never really trust what i write when i am tired.

Currently playing in iTunes: City Of Blinding Lights by U2

discipleNOW ‘06

for the past 9 years i have been writing my own small group material for the discipleNOW of the youth ministries i have been involved with. for those who don’t know what a discipleNOW is i will briefly explain – it’s a weekend retreat where you group kids and adults in small groups of 8 to 12 for in home bible studies – we use 4 small group bible studies and three large group worship times. anyway i started writing my own material because i didn’t really like any of the other material i could get at the time (except for student discipleship’s back to the basics curriculum which i do really enjoy). i had looked at several other youth minister’s self-published material and pam, my cute and intelligent wife, said “you can do that.” so i decided to try and suddenly found out that i enjoyed doing it. so i started writing my own material.

of course, this means that i have to finish it in time for my leqaders to have a few weeks with it. this means that i have about 4 weeks to finish it. right now i would say that i am about a third of the way through. that’s not as far as i would like. so i need to really start churning the stuff out.

here’s the shockwave flash file we are using as an announcement during our announcement slide loop.

[Listening to: Show Me Heaven – Delirious? – Touch (3:24)]

listen and obey

judge marilyn says i rule
awhile back i saw something talking about getting free autographed photos from the people’s court. it sounded like something fun to do so i did it. the other day my autographed judge marilyn photo arrived and she said i rule. read it and weep. i rule! since i rule it is safe to say that i must therefore be king. as you king i command each of you to send me $100. do it now. remember according to judge marilyn … I RULE

listen and obey

judge marilyn says i rule
Originally uploaded by ratterrell.

awhile back i saw something talking about getting free autographed photos from the people’s court. it sounded like something fun to do so i did it. the other day my autographed judge marilyn photo arrived and she said i rule. read it and weep. i rule! since i rule it is safe to say that i must therefore be king. as you king i command each of you to send me $100. do it now. remember according to judge marilyn … I RULE

is that an ear piece or are you just plain crazy?

today i watched a crazy woman carry on a violent conversation with a burger king sign. i stood in the order line and watched as she shouted, pointed, and responded to this sign for awhile. at least i think she did because as i watched her i suddenly became aware that she might be having a conversation with someone via an ear piece hooked up to a cell phone. that’s the problem with those stupid little ear peices … you can’t tell if you are looking at a crazy person or someone who really loves their cell phone (maybe the are both the same).

now i have to confess that i use an ear piece with my cell phone if i am driving. i definitely feel safer with both hands on my steering wheel. i’m okay with people using cell phone headsets while they are driving – probably because i do it and therefore i somehow few it as acceptable. i still get a little freaked out trying to determine if someone talking while they are driving is a) singing to music, b) arguing with talk radio, c) talking with someone on a cell phone, or d) crazy. yet this is not as bad as the random stranger walking around either talking to their cell phone or to the voices that reside within them that only they can hear. i generally make it a policy to avoid people who are on the side of the road screaming at invisible combatants.

so that’s why i was so intrigued by the lady at burger king. i had to figure out if the lady was crazy or merely in the midst of a heated phone call. the two situations make for very different stories. nobody wants to hear a story about someone talking on a cell phone but a crazy woman screaming at a burger king sign is an entirely different matter. who doesn’t love a good “crazy woman shouting a fast food logo” story? nobody i know. so i searched with my eyes as hard as i could to determine if i was witnessing schizophrenia or clear cell reception. i looked for any sign that there might be an electronic device involved in her conversation but i couldn’t find any. so i’m assuming she was shouting at the voices in her head that she apparently thought were residing within the burger king sign. of course, who can really blame her? every knows that burger king signs are evil.

a few movies & books

my cute, beautiful, intelligent wife is away for the week working on an operation smile project in managua, nicaragua (i am very proud of her). she’s been gone since wednesday and will be gone until next saturday. because of this i am watching allot of movies and reading a good bit – not much conversation around the house when my boys go to sleep. here are a few of my thoughts on what i have been reading and watching.

  • memento – movie – the language in this movie is rougher than i usually like in a movie. i am sensitive to coarse language in a movie and therefore usually avoid anything with much cursing in it. i watched this because of one of the books i am currently reading. the book referenced the movie as an amazing non-linear story. boy was it right. the movie is exceptionally well crafted. i have heard this for years but avoided the movie because of the language. i still wish it didn’t have such harsh language within it but this movie is one of a kind.
  • reel theology – book – some amazing thoughts on why film is so important to our post-modern culture. i love the thought of claiming truth where ever it is found.
  • antwone fisher – movie – what an amazing movie! i haven’t gone through physical or sexual abuse but i believe we all understand the desire to walk to the big table and hear someone say “welcome.”
  • dirk gently’s holistic detective agency – book – i love douglas adams’ writing. it’s incredibly funny in an odd english humor sort of way.
  • catwoman – movie – BORING. this movie was a complete waste of time, money, and film.
  • the scarlet letter – book – i can’t believe that i didn’t like this book when i was in high school. it always takes me a few chapters to get back into the language of the book but it is an amazing book. i sometimes think that the books kids or forced to read in high school should be forced to read them later when they can actually enjoy them.

i’ve got allot more to read and watch.

Currently playing in iTunes: City Of Blinding Lights by U2

this is a test. if this were an actual emergency you would have been sent to a blog that actually made sense.

i’m trying out w.bloggar as a desktop blog client. this is a test to see if i have it configured right. i’ve been using marsedit on my powerbook and i like it allot. it gives me the ability to work on my posts offline and then post them later. the problem is that i’m using marsedit on a trial basis and trial is about to end. being my father’s son i am too cheap to actually buy the software. this means that i need to something that does basically the same thing but is free (and works on the windows based machine at church). therefore, i am trying w.bloggar now until marsedit is given away for free.

[tags]w.bloggar, marsedit, blogging, desktop client[/tags]

pam & operation smile #2

my cute, beautiful, intelligent, and wonderful wife now have access to the internet down in managua, nicaragua and is therefore updating her blog to keep everyone up to date on what is happening on the operation smile project she working on. here’s yesterday’s update. if you read it and wonder what a “complete bilateral facial cleft is look here (warning this is not for the faint of stomach).

as usual i am very proud of my wife.

[tags]operation smile, cleft palatte[/tags]

operation smile

my cute, intelligent, and absolutely amazing wife left for managua, nicaragua today. for the next ten days she will be the only speech pathologist on the operation smile trip to nicaragua for 2006. for the next week she will be part of a group of therapists, doctors, nurses, technicians, and others who will be working to change the lives of kids who have cleft palates. it should be an incredible week. i am very proud of her.

if she gets the chance to access her blog she is going to update it. you can read it here.

SIDE NOTE – if you haven’t read the austin’s blog you might be interested in knowing that arnold sliced one of the muscles in his arm

[tags]operation smile, cleft palatte[/tags]