Monday, February 14, 2005


Well, we had our first gathering yesterday, and besides the audio being really quiet (ran out of batteries for one of the mics) it went really well.
If you missed it, we learned how to overcome competition with humility. Next week we will see how to overcome independence. If you aren't sure that independence is a bad thing, be sure to come by and voice your opinion.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Espresso Machine

Just found out that the espresso machine that I bought had been seriously neglected in its past life, but will be resurrected to it's original glorious self. We in fact should have it operating by next week's COMMUNITY gathering.
I can't help but make the inevitable comparison that you know is coming:
The espresso machine was in bad shape due to neglect. The boiler tank had corrosion on the outside (a symptom and sign of what was happening on the inside) caused by impure water, seals hadn't been replaced, electric modules had been "mickey moused" together with a wedge of sandpaper, and the internal pump's normal whirring sound had been reduced to a lowly hum.
On the outside however, it looked like the $5,000 piece of machinery that it once was.
The repair man took a look at the inside and commented that he wouldn't have even taken the boiler out of the trash can because of the damage done, but stated that in his skillfull hands he could make the machine like new. He didn't say that he would take care of the cosmetic problems only, and make the machine simply "look" like new, but said that he can make the machine that I bought for a fraction of the price of a new unit, function like new, and would even give me a year warranty.

Thinking about our skilled creator and physician who has promised to make all things new, I think about how often we ask God to take away things in our lives that only the symptoms of a larger problem. Think about the disservice I would have done if I would have asked Giovanni, the repair man, to only scrape away the scales and make the machine appear clean, we still would not have a machine that could do what it was made to do, (make espresso). And yet, so often we ask God to correct symptoms of a fallen world and fallen people, without asking or desiring for Him to truly make all things new.

May we all desire to be renewed from the inside out so that we can effectively do what we were created to do... Glorify God!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

A New Kind of Christian


I am challenged by the writings by Brian McLaren in, A New Kind of Christian.
In response to a question, one of the main characters, Neo, says," I'd say that 30 to 40 percent of your generation is modern, with the majoirty being postmodern. That's why it's so important--if you're going to have any impact at all on your generation for Christ-- for you to deal with these issues [of postmodernity], as lonely a road as it can be in the church at times. If you were a missionary going to Spain, you'd have to learn to think and speak Spanish. If you are a missionary going to any educated culture on earth today, I think you need to learn to think and speak postmodern."

The apostle Paul set out to be all things to all people ... in the world, but not of it. I am challenged to do the same today.

A. Smith

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Newly repainted Youth Center Posted by Hello


I'm starting to get excited about this weekend. To think that Sunday morning will be able to include spending time with friends, sitting around a table talking about spiritual things and about Jesus. I am super excited to spend Sunday dialoguing instead of monologuing, and participating in worship rather than watching it.


Our first gathering of COMMUNItY will be this Sunday (the 13th). Not sure if the espresso machine will be up and running or not yet, but blended mochas should be.

Amazing Music

Went to a conference last week for churches trying to break out of the "church box" and experienced some incredible worship take place.

Be sure to check out April Stace for some amazing harp/bass/d'jembre music. I bought the CD, and listened to it on the way home from San Diego. It's amazing how listening to harp music while driving in traffic on the 5 will turn normal merging traffic into an auto-ballet.

Also check out Tribela. It is a church in LA that makes extensive use of tribal drums (mostly d'jembres) to worship God. It was like walking through Libby park and seeing 30 people playing drums, only they were playing them for God as worship.