Thursday, July 31, 2008

Book Review: Wild Goose Chase

Wild Goose Chase

Mark Batterson (Multnomah Books, 174 pp.)

Mark Batterson stays true to his passion: to give the reader a whole new perspective on forging a relationship with God. In Wild Goose Chase, Batterson challenges believers to get away from the things that hold them back and to pursue the Holy Spirit in the chase of a lifetime. He paints a picture of a holy adventure that is so much more than what Christians sometimes settle for in terms of walking in the Spirit. In the very first chapter, he points out that the title of the book in which the Holy Spirit enters the scene, Acts, is a verb, not a noun. Christianity is a way of life, not just a box to be checked off on forms.

One of the maxims in Wild Goose Chase is “live like today is the first day and last day of your life”. It coincides with the hang-on-here-we-go approach to faith in and relationship with a living and holy God that Batterson presents. Without offering a roster of excuses, Batterson explores the limits of our humanity in stark juxtaposition with the total limitlessness of what God can do in and through a willing servant. He highlights six “cages”, or reasons why believers tend to hold back, like guilt, failure, and fear. Yet as he uses the concept of cages to emphasize the things that hold believers back, he is unceasing in his encouragement to go for it, to enjoy the journey, and to not be afraid to engage at a no-regrets level with the Creator of the universe.

Here is a link to Mark has 10 Steps to Setting Life Goals – be sure to check it out yourself! It’s great material for personal OR group study. Here is a link to purchase the book.

-Reviewed by Mike McCrary, Young Life and Family Ministries pastor, Central Assembly of God, Springfield, Missouri.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My internal radiator is broken!

I like (not love) to run. I do it for the physical and emotional benefits. I love to get outside and clear the mind. I run until I get physically exhausted and then push through for one mile. However, today the heat was scorching. It was 90-95 degrees the entire run. It felt like my internal radiator was broke down. I used half my water bottle to soak my melting face. It was HOT, in all the wrong ways.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Speaking of Fire

I am reminded today of the goodness of God. His discipline is good. Trials of many kinds are good. His grace is good. He is good. I don't want to miss the goodness of God in and through my life because of my inability to recognize it.

Hebrews 12:28-29 (The Message)

28-29Do you see what we've got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He's actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won't quit until it's all cleansed. God himself is Fire!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend Review

This past weekend I had the privilege of speaking in "big church." I brought a talk called "Family Matters," which was on the importance of the family of God. We explored the significant beginnings of the family. I believe the Family of God is the hope of the world and when it's on task can be the fountain head for love and compassion in the world. If you missed the weekend you can grab the podcast.

I am continuing to make progress with the website, style guide, and communications team at Central Assembly of God. Chase Replogle and Jill McDaniel blow me away with their seeming "jedi-like intuition" for telling the brand story of Central Assembly for writing and graphics. I'd like to prop up SethGodin and ChurchMarketingSucks for all their thoughts in this development.

Lost the Fire?

I confess. I have a ton of hobbies. Hobbies keep me on the edge and I am obsessive, at least for a while, about any that I experience. I research products, techniques, reviews, and professionals who are great at what they do. Through the years, I have tried tennis, basketball, football, math club, table tennis, pool, paintball, golf, guitar, hiking, biking, backpacking, running, and fashion to name a few. The problem of motivation becomes the "it" factor when progress from a beginner to expert.

A few leaders in Success Magazine were recently asked the following question:

Q: I get so excited about my goals and then I lose motivation. How can I keep myself constantly motivated and on track?

A: "The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire brings a small amount of heat. If you find yourself lacking in persistence, the weakness may be remedied by building a stronger fire under your desire.”

To build a stronger fire you have to surround yourself with the dream so you are constantly reminded of it. Have a goal for a custom home? Start clipping pictures and plans of custom homes that appeal to you. Be a regular visitor to open houses featuring custom homes. Hire an architect to design the custom home you envision (that act of faith alone will probably bring you closer to your goal than most anything you can do). Taking any type of action toward your goal will stoke your desire.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Practice what I Write

I have heard people say that you should "practice what you preach" or even "preach what you practice." The concept of my previous post is something that I need to practice this week. While keeping a blazing pace at work is alright for a season, it gets difficult to sustain. I am looking forward to a weekend of intense play.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Work Hard and Play Hard

Due to recent expressions of my calling to Central Assembly, I have willingly accepted more responsibility. I have always enjoyed marketing/communications but this is the largest organization which I have ever attempted to renovate.

It has been a time consuming challenge. Currently, we are neck deep in laying the foundation of a sufficient communication system for Central. We are concentrated on developing style guide including an updated logo, a communication team, and launching a new website. We are desiring the website to be our new brand rationale piece which lays before the people the philosophy of communications for Central.

This new "passion" for communications is fighting for the margins of time left in my daily, weekly, and monthly routine (and winning at times). Nevertheless, I have found one thing that has kept me alive and feeling vibrant--action.

Every man has a cave (OR NEEDS A CAVE) in which they retreat to find rest and relaxation. Lately, mine has been the half mile track outside my house and the local golf course. When work loads increase so must the play/cave time. Challenging myself physically helps keep me sharp when I arrive at the office for eight hour days with back to back meetings. It also helps me keep things in perspective. For example, I have a tendency to see things through my perceptions and tastes while most of the people we interact with have different lifestyles than me.

If you work hard--play hard.