Saturday, February 21, 2009

the difference making conviction

When I read the epic MADE story of the book of Nehemiah it seems that on each page (at times plainly written and other times you just feel it there)is this passion. In the backdrop of this extraordinary story is a passionate conviction, and that conviction keeps them moving forward, keeps them in the game, keeps them working and pressing on, fuels their pit-bull like tenacity.

I think when we have this same conviction, then it will do wonders for us too. The conviction that stood as a backdrop to Nehemiah’s work; the gut level, the heart level belief was this- this was God's work!

I really don't think its possible to overstate how critical this is. When we know that we are doing the work of God, when God is in it, it makes all the difference in sticking with it and following through. Nehemiah and the people were absolutely convinced this was the case in their work on rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, and they finished the work- in 52 days!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

influence is up close

A good coach gets close. It has been said you can impress from a distance, but influence happens up close. The people of God in the 5th century BC needed to be MADE. They needed a coach. Nehemiah was their chosen coach. He might have wooed the people with his grand vision for Jerusalem from a 1000 miles away in Susa, but to really influence the work and influence the people so that they captured the same vision that captured him, he had to be close to do that. Near the people. For any dream that we have, any area of life we want to see made over, it would serve us well to do the research ourselves about what it will take to do that. Not just hearsay.This principle of leadership applies to all relationships as well. If you want to know what the real condition of something check it out yourself. If you want to know if the car needs an oil change sometimes you’ve got to go pull the dip stick out yourself and look at it. Check it out for yourself.

A good coach gets close, s/he may impress from a distance, but influence happens up close.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Beginning on March 22, 2009 Breiel Church of God is making a dramatic shift in the way it approaches worship. For years Breiel has offered a blended worship experience.

Understandably, if you haven’t been around church the term “blended” sounds like something having more to with a frozen beverage than a worship experience. Basically the blended service has been the Christian Church’s attempt to mix traditional with modern elements of worship. Across America churches have had varying degree of success (and failure) with this approach. Honestly, Breiel has done better, for longer than many. But we want to do better, and we are certain we can do better. We be honest we want to be the best in the WORLD at offering our community HOPE. It is this calling that has convinced us that now is the time to become a church that will reach more people by giving persons a choice between two experiences.

So beginning 3.22.09 at 10.40 am we begin the adventure of faith. We will begin offering simultaneous yet totally unique worship services.

The Experiences

#1 The Annex will be our more laid-back worship environment. This venue will be located in gym, have a coffee bar and chair seating, with music led by our rockin’ house band. Worshipers are free to enjoy some coffee or snacks during service.

#2 The Sanctuary will be a top quality worship experience utilizing an array of traditional elements. Musical selections include choir pieces, classic hymns, gospel favorites, and cherished choruses. This worship venue is located in the main sanctuary.

If you’re tired of the same old, you have found a community that shares you’re feelings. If you think it is absurd that grandparents can’t worship at the same church as their grandkids, we’re with you. If you think the argument over what is appropriate to wear to church is a tired, irrelevant, and annoying discussion, we’re with you. If you just want to seek God without the drama, then we’re with you. If you don’t like church, but think Jesus is pretty cool. We understand. And we are with you.

You are invited to join us on this journey, be a part of the next chapter of Breiel Church. Let’s all see if we can become a community of unparalleled hope and optimism. Prepare for launch, 3.22.09!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

guinea pigs with capes

my preschool son loves this nickjr show, he watches its regularly. i on the other hand, am rereading a good little book called the way of the shepherd. in the book the authors point out that there are two main questions followers ask of their leaders. 1. does s/he know what s/he's doing (knowledge and competence)? 2. Can I trust him/her? People will forgive a leader who fails from time to time with the first, but failure to establish and maintain the second (trust) means a person's leadership is basically over. Of course trust and competence are connected. if a leader consistently proves to have knowledge and skill, then trust goes up in thier ability to deliver. if on the other hand the leader can cast life-like vision, but doesn't deliver the goods, then it won't take too long before the vision stuff starts to sound like a Wonderpets episode. "wonder pets, wonder pets, we're on our way to save _________ and save the day..." blah blah blah i suppose the point is that a leader without competence and trustworhtiness is little more than a guinea pig with a cape.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

its just that simple

i think it’s a consistent human mistake to make simple things overly complicated while complicated things overly simple. nowhere is this more applicable than to the issue of poverty and wealth. as Christians, our theology has to be sufficiently inclusive (complex) to see God’s special love for the righteous poor, and the special place the righteous rich play in God’s plan as well. it seems to me that it is too simple (and untrue) to believe that God loves the poor and hates the rich, or that God loves the rich and that poverty is God’s curse. That’s too simple.

the gospel is good news for all people. good news for those who work under me, and for those who sign my paycheck. the gospel is for those who can afford a Bently and is equally extended to the one who peddles a bike with a basket, on a dirt road. Christ is good news for stock broker on Wall Street and the stock boy at Walmart; the employer, the employee; the underemployed, and the unemployed. The gospel is for broke carpenters and raw and uncultured sheep herders, and the gospel is for powerful kings and prosperous magi. The gospel is for the outcast and for the privileged, its just that simple.

from a weekend service at

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

chip, remember the block

all who hope for deliverance-all who seek the LORD! Consider the quarry from which you were mined, the rock from which you were cut (Isa 51.1-2). remembering where you're from is important don't you think? i mean most folks think so. as a chip, its helpful to remember the block. you can tell a lot about a person by discovering where they come from. but not everything. some times people surprise us. i had a friend one time, he was really down to earth. as young boys we played sports together and hung out at school. i went to his house one time for a was a very big house, biggest house i'd ever been in. i would have never guessed where he came from, but then again at 7 years of age a pedigree wasn't that big of a deal to me (except for our doberman pinchers, we even had a blue one). i guess the point of this passage of Scripture is to remember where you came from, and remember that God can make more out of our lives than we could imagine for ourselves. that's God's point to Isreal. Abraham was alone, pretty much a nobody. God blessed him, and he became the father of a great nation. Pretty cool, huh?

it's amazing what God can do, i mean it wasn't until i was 22 that i lived in house without wheels. living that long on wheels does something to a person, it's got to. i don't know what it does but i'm pretty sure it messed me up somehow.