Well, it’s Monday again, and…what’s this?  Another video featuring me?

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in a video panel discussion with Tim O’Donnell, who you may remember I featured a couple of months ago with his book, A View From the Back Pew.  We talked about the cultural phenomenon of people calling themselves “Spiritual but not Religious,” among other topics.  Tim was the “Spiritual but not Religious” voice.  I represented the “Religious but Outside the Mainstream Church” voice as a house church pastor.  We were joined by a pastor from Michigan, Bob Cornwall, who represented “institutional” Christianity.  And Evita Ochel, who writes Evolving Beings moderated for us.

The video is, needless to say, awesome, but pretty long at an hour, and you can watch it if you like.  Fast forward to about the 13 minute mark and watch for a couple of minutes to see my comments on the spiritual but not religious phenomenon.

If you don’t want to watch, you don’t have to miss out.  Let me tell you why I think so many people are calling themselves “Spiritual but not Religious.”

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Why I Stopped Praying

May 13, 2011

I’m probably the least inspiring person I know.

Mind you, being inspiring is different from being awesome, which I am in spades.  But I’m not inspired by myself because, well, most of my life is very ordinary. It’s not all that risky or amazing.  Even being me every day loses its novelty.

Then I realized what my problem was.  I’ve been praying too much.  Way too much.

So a few weeks ago, when the opportunity came to do something kind of risky and out of the ordinary, I didn’t pray about it.  I didn’t ask God’s blessing, or seek out his plan for my life.  I didn’t even sleep on it.  I did something completely impulsive, which is very unusual for me.

Keep reading, and I’ll tell you what I did, and why I didn’t clear it with God’s “plan” for my life.

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The average person knows 10,000 words in the English language.

Though the way we blog sometimes, it seems like we know about 100 words.

We get in these little word ruts.  We find some words and phrases we like.  Then we use them ad nauseum until no one can stand us anymore.  For example, I can’t stand McDonald’s commercials…any of them.  I don’t think the McDonald’s corporation can produce one advertisement that doesn’t make me want to bulldoze the nearest McDonald’s.

And that’s what we do when we use cheap, trite, or overused words.  We become McDonald’s commercials.

Today, I’m here to help you clean up your act when it comes to blogging, tweeting, commenting, Facebooking, or whatever you do, with my countdown of words and phrases that have got to go.  Because I guarantee that if you use too many of these words too many times, I will cut off all online contact with you until you shape up.

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I Made the News

May 9, 2011

It’s true, I finally made the news.

The last time I was on the news, I was ten, and was caught by a cameraman…walking away from the camera.  Not exactly a big media splash.

But a couple of weeks ago, I got a call from a reporter from our local NBC station.  Since I don’t regularly get calls from news reporters (this was, in fact, my first) my heart rate jumped to about two-hundred inside ten seconds.  I could not imagine why a news reporter would want to talk to me…

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Heresy Wins

May 6, 2011

As the “Rally to Restore Unity” wraps up, I have a few final thoughts on Christian unity.

First of all, the name “Restore” Unity is kind of a misnomer, since I can’t remember the last time we had unity to restore.  Kind of like having a “Revival.”  How about just a “Vival?”

My much more important thought for the day is this: we don’t trust God.

No matter how much we say we trust Him, or go to church, or pray, deep down, we have real trust issues with God.  We think He’s asleep at the wheel, or just doesn’t care.

If I had to pick one thing that causes more Christian disunity, that would be it.  Here’s why.

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Sometimes, Christian unity just isn’t possible.

The “Rally to Restore Unity” continues, and I’m throwing down more thoughts on Christian unity, specifically, how to break it.

I’ve been really surprised lately.  In email and Skype conversations, in comments on the blog, several people have shared with me a very specific problem.  Their problem isn’t finding a church, or creating a ministry in a church.  They just need to leave their church!

As a longtime member and pastor of small churches, I can tell you that watching people leave your church sucks.  It’s a punch to the ego.  But leaving your church doesn’t mean you have to break Christian unity.  Leaving a church is a lot like breaking up, and a lot of people need a lesson in the how-to’s of breaking up with a church.

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