Joining the Conversation

I am just so excited about our small groups. I have to talk about them a little more today!

The main focus of our small groups is to provide an environment where you can connect with a few people on a deeper level than any other environment can provide.

But one of the other benefits is that it allows a conversation! We have a ‘big idea’ small group model. What I mean by that is that most of our groups’ discussions are based on the message from Sunday. (We are trying to send out ONE big idea a week, which is actually only a part of the ONE big idea for the month!)

So, while my message on Sunday is a very one-way, me tell you type of communication, Small Groups allow us to turn those ideas into a conversation which everyone can be involved in. And that is a BIG DEAL, because our world is craving to be part of a conversation.

Not sure about that? Think about these examples:
–Online streaming of TV often includes a chat interface. CONVERSATION.
–The fastest growing media in the world is ‘social media’. Media which allows people to discuss, contribute, and rate products, ideas, and ventures. CONVERSATION.
–Nearly every person has Facebook these days. All Facebook is is a network of friends who can keep up with what their friends are doing and comment, encourage or challenge them. CONVERSATION!

Small groups provide a conversation about our big idea for the week. You should join in on the conversation!


God @ the Movies

DCCers and friends~

I am considering doing a series this summer dealing with the popular theology and philosophy of four current movies. Of course, probably two will have to be chosen a little closer to that time. But do you have any ideas or thoughts as to some movies to choose and why?

Of course, I am thinking about the now-famed “Slumdog Millionaire”.

What do YOU think?

"Not for my own vanity"

So, I almost-ashamedly admit that most of the movies I watch are animated and geared for an audience almost 20 years younger than I am! If you don’t have kids, you just don’t get it!!

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I was watching “Oliver & Company” with my kids, and my little siblings. In this particular movie, there is a self-absorbed, vain, and fairly annoying dog named Georgette. (Voice by the famed Bette Midler!) As she is going through her process of preparing herself for the day, she said something that struck a chord with me. She claims that all her preparations are “Not for my own vanity, but for humanity!” She desperately tries to convince herself that her self-centered desire to be the prettiest, most amazing dog on the block was for not for her benefit, but for everyone else’s.

Anyway, this made me wonder if I do that. Do I ever claim to be doing something in ‘ministry’ for others, when really it is all about my own selfish desires? I guess the extreme example would be of the tele-preacher who claims great rewards from God if you send him money! Even though my faults are not so extreme, they are no less real, and no less wrong!

God, teach me to examine my motives and thoughts to be sure I am doing the right thing for the right reasons. And give me people to challenge me and my motives lovingly and often! AMEN!

YAY! for Small Groups

I am continually amazed at what God is doing through the ministry @ DCC. This past weekend we had a gathering of the small group leaders to talk about victories, concerns, plans and goals. It was a great time of sharing, and I was so enthused to hear about the great things happening in our groups.

Angie, who leads our ladies group, said this about our first 8 weeks of small groups:

The ladies in the small group have known each other for many years. However, the study has allowed us to have deeper emotional bonds and more intimate relationships… I love our time spent together.

That is only one of the wins I am hearing and seeing out of our small groups. God is doing great things as we intentionally connect with each other.

DCCers–if you are not involved in a small group, you should be!! You are missing awesome times to connect, discuss, and love on friends! Get involved.

"I just don't have time!"

How much time you got today? Added all up, you have 24 hours. Just like me. Just like Bill Gates. Just like the homeless man on the Baltimore street corner. 24 hours today. 24 hours yesterday. Probably 24 hours tomorrow.

So you have got time. The same amount as everyone else. I guess what makes the difference is how we choose to spend our time! I was, yet again, jack-slapped by the Father through a mentor of mine with this phrase recently: “God gave you the right amount of time to do what He wants you to do. Not what everyone else wants you to do.” Ouch. Big ouch! (BTW- I am learning that that ‘everyone else’ includes me.)

Have you completely submitted your dayplanner, schedule, google calendar and blackberry to the Lordship of Jesus? Yeah, me neither.

Michael Tate and Humility

I went to a concert last night! The tix were second row and FREE, so I went! (Shout out to my bro-in-law, Andrew Widener!) Up first was Bread of Stone, who was basically a teen Christian band who jumped around and was a little crazy. Second was Vota, who was pretty slammin’, but relatively unknown. Then Newsboys, the big band, was up third.

I will have to write some other time about my not-usually-positive attitude for Contemporary Christian Music, but I do know a little about it. And the pioneers of this ‘genre’ (can we say sub-culture) were DC Talk, probably doing their Christian rock/rap in the early 90’s. When I was kid, they were awesome!

Anyway, one of the lead musicians with DC Talk, Michael Tate, was standing at the front of the backstage area watching the show. He was jamming with the first two bands, and for a few of Newsboys songs. But what I found most amazing was what happened during intermission.

At the intermission, Michael Tate and one of the guys from Bread of Stone, were standing by the fence that seperated the main area from backstage. And a couple of girls came up for autographs. But they leaned across Michael Tate, and asked for an autograph, FROM THE BREAD OF STONE GUY! WHAT?!?! Don’t they realize who they just ignored? Michael Tate and DC Talk blazed the path that made Contemporary Christian Music possible!

But Michael just stepped back, smiled and encouraged the Bread of Stone guy forward. I was impressed with his humility. Hope you are too.

Parenting and Hypocrisy

Parenting has brought great joy and depth to my life that I could never have imagined! (I know, you are thinking, “Uh oh! Another sappy ‘Daddy Post’!” Not really…) Actually, though, Parenting has served as tool through which God often gives me a smack in face or a kick in the pants! One area is hypocrisy. See if this sounds familiar:

– “Tori, you need to eat your vegetables!” “Daddy, where are you’re veggies?” “Uhhh…”
– “Will, go back and take your dirty clothes to the laundry room.” (later.. Roseann to me) “Hey honey, it really helps me out if you don’t leave your dirty clothes laying all over the bedroom!” “Uhh..err…”
– (to myself) “Billy, you are such an idiot.” “Daddy, Will is being an idiot!” “uhh..err..uh oh.”
– “William! Pay attention when I am speaking to you!” (later, to Tori) “Uhh…what did you say, darling, I wasn’t listening.”

Yep. I admit it. I am a big fat hypocrite. (Who gets God’s grace anyway!) But I am working on it!

So what about you? What are the biggest lessons God taught you about YOURSELF in parenting?