Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Here's list of things I'm thankful for:

* My amazing wife Wendy. She is everything I could have ever hoped for or dreamed of in a wife. I am constantly amazed by her and in awe of her daily.

* My sons Dylan (almost 13) and David (almost 11). They're both such great sources of joy for me. I'm honored and humbled to be their Dad.

* Our house church family at The Mission - These people are gold. I could go on and on about how each person and each family blesses me and inspires me and encourages me. When Wendy and I stepped out 3 years ago to do this crazy house church thing we had no idea who, if anyone, would join us. God has brought us some of the most amazing people and I am very thankful for each of them.

* Coffee - Two cups every morning before human interaction. Two scoops of vanilla ice cream per cup to sweeten, cool and add cream. Thank you God for coffee.

* Music - Where would we be without it? The power of music to heal, to inspire, and to communicate emotion is so amazing. Thank you God for music.

* Art - Sometimes I crave some time alone to just sit and soak in great art. I'll never be a visual artist of any merit, but even the attempt at creating art is cathartic for me. I wish I had more time to focus on it.

* - Without this website I couldn't watch The Daily Show with John Stewart, or those episodes of "Fringe" or "Heroes" I missed. Sweet, sweet, how I love thee.

* My job - Looking at the economy makes me very thankful that I even have a job at all these days. Of course, after being out of work for over a year before this job I am very grateful to work as a writer for a great company in a creative capacity. Thank you Jesus!

* - Thanks to this free music streaming site I can build my own playlists, discover new music and share it with my friends. Seeqpod helped me find great new artists like Ray LaMontagne, Anne Nalick, The Fray, Secret Machines, and Flight of the Condor. Plus I've built great playlists like "Gr80's", "Spy Film Music", "Rage Against the @#$% Machine", "Nirvana/Foo Fighters", and every song by David Gray and Snow Patrol. Man, I love me some Seeqpod.

*Movies - This year I've been impacted by "Into the Wild", "What Would Jesus Buy?", "Under The Same Moon", "The Dark Knight", "Wall-E", "Quantum of Solace", and "Taare Zameen Par (Every Child Is Special)". Love my Netflix and the local dollar theater. Can't wait to see "Synecdoche, New York", "The Soloist", and the new JJ Abrahms "Star Trek" re-launch next year.

*Asian Food - I could seriously eat chinese food every meal, every day for the rest of my life and be happy. Especially love Thai, Mongolian BBQ, and Chinese. Not Japanese (hate Sushi) and not Vietnamese (at least not yet). I have had some amazing authentic Korean food locally thanks to a friend who speaks the lingo and knows where to go. Love me some Asian food. Mmmm….maybe we could do Chow Mein and Orange Chicken for Thanksgiving this year?

*Facebook - Never liked MySpace but this new Facebook thing is awesome. My actual friends from my actual life are on there and we correspond in various ways every single day. I get to see when they upload new photos, I get to let them know what I'm doing and see what they're doing. It's a slice of online heaven. I've actually started to make a long list of "Keith is…" statements to make sure I always have a great one to write each day. My faves so far are: "Keith is pinching a loaf", "Keith always gives 110% because he's not very good at math", "Keith is projectile vomiting", "Keith made you look!", "Keith is a south pole elf", "Keith would like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony". I can't wait to unleash the rest of my list! Oh, please send me more flair.

*My Parents - They constantly amaze me, really. I can't put into words just how thankful I am for Godly parents and for their unending generosity and love for me. They're awesome people and I am very grateful for them both.

*In-N-Out Cheeseburgers - For those of you who don't live in Southern California, who will never know the exquisite joy of eating a Double-Double cheeseburger and extra-crispy fries, I weep for you…or maybe it's just the awesome taste of burger perfection? I don't want to know. Pass the ketchup, please.

*Philip K. Dick - One of the most consistently insane and brilliant writers who ever lived. You owe it to yourself to read "Ubik", "Flow My Tears the Policeman Said", "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" and "The Man Who Japed". His short story collections are awesome too. Our local library has actual signed copies of his hardcovers on the shelf. I confess I've wondered how much the fee would be if I checked them all out and "lost them". He's a genius.

*Charlie Kauffman - Can't say enough about "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" or "Adaptation" for sheer creative and emotional brilliance. Can't wait to watch "Synecdoche, NY" soon.

These are just some of the many things I'm thankful for. What are you thankful for?


Monday, November 24, 2008

What Do You Want From Me?

Yesterday at house church we did an art exercise led by our own Heather Wright.

After everyone had closed their eyes, Heather asked us to imagine being in the crowd as Jesus taught the Beatitudes on the hillside. She asked us to imagine the feel of the ground beneath our feet, the smell in the air, the warmth of the sun on our face.

As Jesus taught she asked us to think about how we felt as we listened to him speak, to imagine what his voice sounded like. To look at the faces of the others around us and to gauge their reactions. Then Jesus stopped teaching and turned and walked over the top of the hill with his disciples. Where was he going? Would you follow him?

Suddenly Jesus returns and walks straight towards you. He takes your face in his hands and looks directly into your eyes. Do you look into his eyes? Do you look down? Do you look away? He asks you, "What do you want for me to do for you?"

Everyone then took a scrap of paper and spent time writing or drawing what their response was to this question, or just what they felt or saw during this exercise.

As I sat there with the paper in my hand I could feel a burning deep in my chest. Earlier that morning a good friend had called me to ask if there was anything I was praying about. I told him about something that was on my heart for possible ministry opportunities at the motel where we serve. My friend corrected me, "No, I mean is there something personal that you're asking God for? Is there something for yourself that you want God to answer for you or to do for you?"

I couldn't come up with anything but I told my friend I would let him know if I thought of something.

Now, here I was, sitting on my sofa in house church and Heather was leading me to Jesus and he was looking directly into my eyes, and Jesus was asking me once again, "What do you want me to do for you?"

I was overwhelmed with emotion. Twice in the same day God had directly asked me to tell him what was on my heart. What was it I wanted from him? Why couldn't I answer this question?

After praying about this and searching my heart deeply, I knew in that moment, standing before Jesus with his hands on my face and the question in his eyes, I knew that there was only one answer I could give.

What would your answer be?


Friday, November 21, 2008

So far to go....

As I've been reading more about the Church that God prophesied about and that Jesus inspired and the Apostles promoted and planted and modelled I am realizing that there is still so much to unpack and understand. More than I ever imagined.

I'm currently reading a great book by G.K. Beale called "The Temple and the Church's Mission" which is so full of mind-blowing exegesis from the Old Testament and corrolation in the New Testament that I can hardly grasp all of it at once. My brain hurts a little each time I read it. But it's a good hurt. A very good hurt.

Hopefully I will be able to fully digest all of what this book unpacks for me about God's promise to pour out His Spirit on all flesh, about his promise to build a temple "not made by human hands" and about a Church which fulfills all of this and more from Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel through Matthew, Mark, Acts, the letters of Peter, the Revelation of John and the teaching of Paul.

I pray that I can understand it all well enough to communicate it back to others both here and in my book-in-progress. I really feel that God has been urging me to dig deeper and deeper into this subject, but the deeper I dig the more I uncover.

It's profound.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


My book "The Gospel: For Here Or To Go?" has been downloaded 513 times to date.

"Nobody Follows Jesus (So Why Should You?)" has been downloaded 434 times to date.

If you haven't already, be sure to click the link below and download a FREE PDF copy of both today.


My third book (in progress now) should be available early next year. It's about God's specific plan for His New Testament Church according to Old Testament Prophecy, the words of Jesus and the practice of the early church as lead by the Apostles.

Working title: "Jesus Called. He Wants His Church Back"


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Love, Less Politics

American Christians will always be frustrated by a desire to see our laws correspond with the Bible. The truth is, it never will. Why? Because our laws are built around a document called the Constitution, not the scriptures.

So, for example, if our courts have to determine whether or not it is legal to enforce a law that gives one set of rights to some people and a different set of rights to others, they will look at the Constitution and see that everyone is considered equal under the law and rule against that law.

Under the law of our land people have the right to enter into marriage with one another. Any law that gives this right to some people and takes it away for others will be considered unconstitutional.

Christians will always want those laws to be interpreted primarily by the Bible and secondarily by the Constitution, but since these two documents have different authors, and different purposes, they will not agree on most issues, including homosexual marriage.

When our nation was founded and our Constitution was written, they did not feel any need to write down laws which reinforced the morality and the common practice of society around them. It was a given. Therefore they wrote laws which, in tandem with their existing morality and observable societal norms, combined to create a harmonious nation of free people.

What has changed? Our Constitution is fundamentally the same, but the morality and practice of our society has changed. The laws we write cannot hope to touch our inner person. Laws do not change hearts.

If you hope to write and create laws to govern society you look to politicians and lawyers and presidents. However, if you hope to influence behaviors and change the heart of a person you look to clerics, priests, teachers and parents.

Our society has failed to live up to the ideals of our past because our churches have failed to pass on the morality and the practice of hospitality and brotherly love. We have not loved our neighbor as ourselves. We have not been known for our love. Our laws have stayed the same, but our Churches have gotten off track and lost focus.

American Christians have become so disillusioned with the world around them, and yet they have no one to blame but themselves. For the last several decades the Church in America has been embracing a mentality of retreat. We have created a neat and comfortable little version of the world with a cross on top where our interaction with "those unbelievers out there" is minimized as much as possible.

Because we have refused to be salt and light as Jesus commanded us, the society around us has slowly become more and more "un-Christian" and really, what else should we expect it to become like? If we have reduced our interactions with others, focused all of our time and energy on ourselves, built larger and more expensive buildings to hide in, and invested millions of dollars building empires of entertainment, fashion and communication to occupy our time and tell us what we want to hear, how else should our world have developed in our absence?

In our frustration we have now turned to politics to create the change we have failed to create by avoiding contact with unbelievers. Now we hope to dominate these people politically and have our way, regardless of whether or not they agree.

In some ways, I wonder if it's too late for any of this. Too late for us to get back to our original calling to love and serve and live out the selfless beauty of the Gospel. Too late to attempt any sort of dialog with people we have avoided for so very long. Too late to be the Church that Jesus intended for us to be.

The solution to the problems facing American society is not found in changing our laws, and even if it were that would be a job for a lawyer or a politician, not a follower of Jesus.

Our only job is to love and to serve and to model a society where all people are equally important in the eyes of God.

Let's do our best to obey our Lord and Savior when he commands us to be known for our love.

If it's not too late....


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Happy Birthday (To Me) - November 9


Yes, forty two years ago the fabric of space and time pulled back to reveal this fragile and yet strangely troubled soul.

It was a day of wonder and tears. Cigarettes were burned. Laughter echoed down the hallway. A mother's heart slid into gear.

The angel's sighed, and one of them farted, but no one knew which one it was so they pretended not to hear.

It was a day of love so great it hurt to breathe.

Glad to be here, friends. Hope to be here a bit longer before I join the flatulent angels.



Monday, November 03, 2008

Not My Church

Yesterday at house church God reminded me of something pretty important: This is not my church. It's His.

Seems like I would have figured this out already, and of course I "knew" this, but in practice I have been acting as if The Mission House Church were mine. It is not. It is God's Bride. I am blessed to host the weekly gatherings in my home, but it is not mine. I am only one member of this awesome family of God, and I am very grateful for each person who contributes their time, energy, talent, gifting and resources to this living organism.

Needless to say, yesterday was a significant day in the life of our house church and I was very blessed to sit at the back of the room and observe the Spirit of God as He lead us through the conversation and taught us from His Word.

More later...