“What if church planters quit planting churches and instead planted church “practices?” Like a doctor’s practice, I believe the church shouldn’t be about building some institution, but about practicing the faith that has been given to them. It should be about “being” the church – not about building the church. The analogy breaks down in the sense that at a doctor’s practice, the only one “practicing” is the doctor. The church should be a place where everyone is “practicing” – maybe more like the imagery of the doctor’s “clinic” on Patch Adams. Everyone was a patient (in need of something), but everyone was also a “doctor” who helped others – sometimes he helped by listening, or by picking up trash, or whatever, but he contributed to the health of someone else and that made him a “doctor” by Patch’s definition.
I think these are important ideas for church planters. If a planter begins his ministry working to build/grow a church, then things are going to get really confusing – think about it – everyone has a different idea about what a church should be. And everyone has a different need that they want to see met by the institutional church. Instead, if the planter works to “be” the church and works to equip others to “practice” their faith, then won’t that church naturally become whatever it’s supposed to be? If each member is doing the ministry that God has called him to, then when they are assembled, it wouldn’t be about building the institution, but simply about celebrating the things God has been doing throughout the week.
This was just a random thought I had in the car today. I thought it was worth sharing.
I didn’t do so well this week with this whole healthy eating/exercising thing. Not real bad – just not as well. We had a good friend come down this weekend and ended up taking her out to dinner at a place where we had only been one other time. It was a great meal, but they didn’t have much on the menu that I was willing to eat that was still semi-healthy. I opted for a steak. I know it’s not that bad to eat a steak, but I still felt sort of guilty about it – of course the “delicious factor” overwhelmed my guilt, but never-the-less at least there was a little guilt. I figure that means I really am turning some sort of corner. I mean – I would never have felt any guilt at all before all this. At least I know my mindset is changing. I also failed miserably with the whole food thing during our youth lock-in Sunday night – it’s tough for an old man like me to stay awake all night and be responsible for 25 youth without a few cookies, chips, and caffeine in the middle of the night.
Not only that, but I also didn’t do so well with the exercise stuff this week. I missed one day of exercise yesterday ’cause I was sleeping after the lock-in all night Sunday night. No problem – I’m make up the 2 miles later this week.
I went to the Doctor last week and he gave me some great news! I don’t actually have to get down to 178lbs, but only down to 190lbs. That’s 12lbs less to lose!!! Yeah!! I didn’t get to weigh myself this morning, so I don’t have a current update for today, but I figure I’m probably still around the 233lb mark that I was last week.
Here’s the pic today in comparison to my first week. PS – I happen to be wearing the greatest T-shirt I’ve ever owned today. It says, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Listen to Country Music!” (I don’t really have much against country music, but I still think it’s hilarious!)
Here’s another pic of what I’ve gotta lose. This burger is 60 lbs. So far, so good.
This week I weighed in at 233! I lost 7 pounds in my first week with this new lifestyle of exercise and better eating.
I also have an appointment to see my doctor this coming Thursday. I’m sure he’s gonna tell me I gotta eat more vegetables and salads and rabbit food, but he’ll probably also want to check my cholesterol again. (It was actually too high to measure the last time.) This time, I’m gonna request the pills to get it down though.
Anyway, keep prayin’ and encouraging me. This is not easy. I’m constantly hungry. And every time my stomach growls, I’m tempted to have a chicken fried steak! My body is simply not used to surviving on “just enough.” It’s used to having all kinds of extra fuel in the tank – and to be more accurate, I probably shouldn’t even call it “fuel” – the junk I’m used to eating, is really more garbage than fuel. (Tasty garbage, but garbage nonetheless.) A sidenote: I’ve noticed that when I exercise, it benefits me spiritually and emotionally too – the sermon podcasts I listen to on the ipod help me to grow in tons of different ways too. I’ll do a post with some of my favorite podcasts later. Here are my pics for this week.
I’ve been learning a few things over the past couple of days. We had to bring Kesleigh, our 4 week old baby girl, into Houston to the Texas Children’s Hospital last night. She’s was already on antibiotics and was running a fever of 101.5. By the time we got to the hospital, it was 103.1. Scary. . .they rushed her in to a doctor and began the process. I hate emergency rooms, ’cause I hate waiting in them – this time we didn’t wait, but it was still worse than any other time I’ve been in one. (I’d rather have had to wait ’cause that means it would have been a more minor thing.) Anyway, I had a moment last night, and a few times throughout the day today where God seemed to be speaking to me. He has been showing me over and over, that there’s nothing I can do. I’m her father. I’m supposed to cherish her, and protect her, and lead her, and keep her safe. But I’m no good – the bottom line is that I can’t do anything. Prayer is all I’ve got. God is all I’ve got. Ultimately, it’s completely in God’s hands. I trust Him and have tried to do so throughout my Christian life, but it never gets easier. Trusting Him with my baby girl?!?! That’s too precious. I don’t think I can do it. I can’t let go of her. I’m responsible. I’m her father. I’m supposed to protect her. I confess. I’ve probably held on too tightly to both she and my son Kasen. Maybe this whole experience is something God is gonna use to remind me that they’re really better off in His hands than mine anyway. He’s the one with all the power to actually do something. What can I offer? Ultimately, very little. . . . Unless I’m praying. Then I’m offering Him. Then I’m offering power. . . ultimate power. . . healing power. . .redemptive power!!
OK so now, we’re waiting. Kesleigh has had blood, urine, and even spinal fluid drawn. They are keeping her temperature down with tylenol and we’re waiting . . . 48 hrs for the tests to come back. We’re 24 hrs in and the cultures are all negative so far. (Thank you God!) Another 24 with clear cultures, and a few hours with no temp without tylenol and we might be on our way home tomorrow. That’s our hope. That’s our prayer. . . . I’m scared to even type this. . . .but I have to. . . . can I do it? . . . .
I trust You God and I know that You know my heart in this, but I’m also smart enough to know that I don’t know everything. My prayers might not be what’s best for Kesleigh. Or maybe You just want to use her situation to glorify Yourself in some other way. . . so God. . . . with fear and trembling. . . and faith . . . I’m praying for You to do whatever You want to do with her. I’m gonna do my best to trust and to stand by You no matter what the outcome. I’m placing her in Your hands. She is truly Yours anyway and I know she’s better off with You. Help me to understand my role and to be the father that You’re calling me to be. Help me to truly represent You to her. AMEN.
PS – I wish I could communicate the number of tears shed in praying that prayer – in letting go of my baby – and the truth is, even with my tears and all my sincerity, I know there’s more “letting go” to do. I’m still holding on. Maybe this is a good first step though?