Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ministry Events

Here's some of my takes on last week's events...

We'll start with a picture from The Fountain (La Fuente). A chunk of my job involves meeting with people, and often it happens around a meal... everyone has to eat. Mexican is always a good choice. What do you notice is missing in this picture?

You got it...agua. The meal came out- seriously- less than two minutes after we ordered. It even beat the water out to our table. But that's ok- who needs water when you've got salsa to drink?

Below: This is a picture from our family ministry on Wednesday nights called D6. It's amazing the work that goes into making every week a dynamic production. But the content is great and our kids are learning to express their passion for Christ through singing and dancing.

Below: Fred Stoeker, author of "Every Young Man's Battle" (and a number of other books, including the recently released, "Hero") spoke at Salt Company on Thursday. 

It was perfect, because my good friend Paul Sabino told me, "You've got to have him speak at TSC." Never having heard Fred or read his books, I thought, "It's a win-win, because if it sucks then I can blame Paul, and if it's a home run, I can take credit."

That's a joke.

Kind of.

I ended up doing a little of both :)

Our younger students raved, "That was the best speaker we've ever brought in to speak at TSC." Other upperclassmen weren't so enthused about the talk. 

Without going into detail about everything that Fred spoke about (it will soon be up on, I will say this... I introduced Fred as a man commended to us by Paul Sabino and a man with a "prophetic" message. I was corrected afterwards on my use of the word, "prophetic" in my intro.

Here's why I think it was the appropriate word and why I thoroughly enjoyed Fred's message to TSC:  The usage of the word "prophetic" in the N.T. is vastly different from that in the O.T. I wasn't expecting Fred to be infallible and make predictions about the future. I wasn't thinking I was doing an intro for Ezekiel or Amos. On the contrary, Fred calls out for purity in a generation that is jacked up and well acquainted with suppressing truth and justifying sin. His message is timely and must be heard. He's not crying out "Peace, Peace", when there is no peace. He's sounding the alarm- "Wake up to the life God is calling his followers to!"

There was no shortage of criticism from people after his talk. I understand. People want to be discerning and ensure the Scriptures are being preached. Some said it was legalistic. Others said it elevated his son too much. Others complained, "Where was Jesus in that talk?" I get all that. There were many things I didn't necessarily agree with. But that's exactly why I love having guest speakers. I welcome a fresh perspective.

I think this passage is instructive in situations like this:

"Don't suppress the Spirit, and don't stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don't be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what's good. Throw out anything tainted with evil." (1 Thessalonians 5:20-ff from The Message)

The point is not that we're looking for the bad in what people have to say. We don't need to be the theology police. What we need to do is work hard to ask ourselves, "What is the good I can take out of this? What might God be saying to me through this person?" As Paul says, "The bad stuff we can just let blow away in the wind. But the good stuff we cling to."

I hope we raise up and send out students from Salt Company who are 
grounded, not gullible, 
gracious, not critical, 
and teachable, not judgmental.

Overall I'm proud of the maturity of our students to welcome Fred's challenge to be pure. But that makes two weeks in a row we've been nailed- last week on submission from Romans 13, then on Purity, and I think it's by God's providence we have Romans 14 this week (on disputable matters).

Below: Brian and Erin Scott Wedding. I always get emotional at weddings. Especially when "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" is played. This couple is going to rock for the kingdom. Bless the Scott family! 

PS to those of you getting married: If you actually want good advice during the message portion, get Pastor Tom- it's ridiculous how much wisdom he dropped on us in 20 minutes.

Below: Wedding #2 on Saturday... Nate and Jess Eagles! It was a long time coming, and it finally happened. This picture is the closest I've ever been to a bride as she walked the aisle.

Below: This wedding was so cool, I turned to Leatha and said, "I'm counting this as a date night." It was unique in that we were sitting at our table during the wedding ceremony, and it turned right into the reception. It was a blast to see so many old friends who were back in town.

Below: Spring in Iowa.


Barbie said...

I Can't Believe that Picture!!! Oh, I am so sorry. The kids and I spent Saturday at the beach. I don't ever remember seeing the Ventura beach that crowded. It was a beautiful day. It would have been even more fun it you could have been here with the kids!!!!

clarkitect said...

Thank you for touching on an important aspect in this post that you probably were not attempting to address. The current church (the kingdom on earth, specifically North America) does not address spirtual gifts well. First, what they are and the meaning of apostle, prophet, evangelist, teacher, pastor, etc. Second, identifying and training to use them more effectively for the kingdom. A theological debate I once had with a fellow believer on a topic wholly different from spirtual gifts met an impasse due to the incorrect view and understanding of the meaning of prophet. The debate had to stop because we could no longer address the topic at hand without first addressing the misunderstanding of an abused term.

Metropuritan Mark said...


We would've LOVED to have been there with you guys. You know how much I love the beach and california sun! One of these days....


It would be interesting to talk to you more sometime about your conversation with your friend. There is a lot of confusion on this topic, for sure! Unfortunately, I don't have all the answers, but it would be fun to talk about it.


clarkitect said...


The conversation was addressing the roles of men and women in church leadership; so not a controversial subject by any means. However, I have come to be known by a select band of men as Carl the Oppressor.

p.s.- I enjoy mugs of strong coffee or pints of good beer and would love to talk over either.