Thursday, April 30, 2009




Seth Godin is my favorite marketing blogger. His ideas shape the bleeding edge of social marketing and social media today.

This article from today's blog really hit me. Keep in mind he's talking about businesses and marketing, but the application to the Body of Christ is also very relevant:

Infinity--they keep making more of it
by Seth Godin

If you had a little business in a little town, there was a natural limit to your growth. You hit a limit on strangers (no people left to pitch), some became friends, some became customers and you then went delivered as much as you could to this core audience. Every day wasn't spent trying to get bigger.

There's no limit now. No limit to how many clicks, readers, followers and friends you can acquire.

I don't think this new mindset is better. It shortchanges the customers you have now (screw them, if they can't take a joke, we'll just replace them!) and worse, it means you're never done. Instead of getting better, you focus obsessively on getting bigger.

You're at a conference, talking to someone who matters to you. Over their shoulder, you see a new, bigger, better networking possibility. So you scamper away. It's about getting bigger.

Compared to what? You're never going to be the biggest, so it seems like being better is a reasonable alternative.

The problem with getting bigger is that getting bigger costs you. Not just in time and money, but in focus and standards and principles. Moving your way to the biggest part of the curve means appealing to an ever broader audience, becoming (by definition) more average.

More, more, more is rarely the mantra of a successful person.

There are certainly some businesses and some projects that don't work unless they're huge, but in your case, I'm not sure that's true. Big enough is big enough, biggest isn't necessary.

What I love about this article by Godin is the paragraph about how "growing bigger costs you, not just in time and money but in focus and standards and principles"

As our house church is growing; in both quality and quantity- the temptation is to remove the obstacles to this numeric growth and continue the sprawling of our Body. However, the health of our Body is adversely affected by our "weight gain" (as it were).

If we were to continue growing larger (gaining weight) we would eventually have to compromise our core value of giving 100% of our offering to the poor. We'd also have to give up our value on transparency, community, and making disciples because as already know, once a group starts getting to be 50 or 100 or 200 people the ability of that group to really know and interact and love one another deeply diminishes or vanishes completely. Soon the focus is only on getting larger and the sea of people become strangers to us.

What our Body needs is to give birth to a new Body of Believers so that more churches can be established in the community, more new people can find a safe place to be themselves and enter the fellowship of Christ, and so that we ourselves can stretch and grow in our practice of making disciples.

I'm praying that we can hear God's voice and step out to plant new churches as He leads us. I am not going to manufacture this. I am not going to set a date or coerce people to plant churches in their homes. Instead, I am going to continue to pray that God would lead us and that Jesus would be allowed to reign as the head of our church.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick

In case you don’t know, Philip K. Dick (PKD) is one of the most prolific and unique science fiction authors of the 20th century. He's also one of my favorite authors of all time. His novels (36 of them) and short stories (121 of those) explore philosophical themes and metaphysical concepts including the nature of reality, and the questions of sanity, perception, identity and spirituality.

Several of his novels have been made into films since his death in 1982. Most notably, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, (which became the basis for the film “Blade Runner”), and “Minority Report”, as well as “A Scanner Darkly” and “Total Recall”. However, his body of work has yet to be fully discovered by Hollywood just yet, and that is fine with me seeing as most of his ideas have been ruined by film and not particularly enhanced by it.

As a resident of Orange County, California, I am also interested in the fact that PKD lived and died here. His novels include streets and restaurants that I am familiar with. The library near my house includes several first editions of his books with authographs on the inside front cover. This is the very place that PKD lived his life and wrote most of his stories.

I recently read (and reviewed) his book “Radio Free Albemuth” (HERE) which was discovered and published after his death. In the book, Dick incorporates many of his own spiritual, political and philosophical views into the story, even going so far as to include his own personal experiences as well.

The book is about PKD himself as a main character and also a fictitious person named Nicholas Brady who begins receiving messages and visions from a being who may, or may not, be God Himself.

At one point near the end of the book, PKD encounters a former pastor while he is imprisoned for crimes against the fascist dictator of America. The pastor, Leon, and PKD engage in a dialog about several of their friends who have died and entered a better, spiritual reality.

“Did believing that, about a heavenly father, get them anywhere?” Leon asked presently.

“Not in this world, maybe,” I said.

“Then I’m going to tell you something you maybe don’t want to hear. If your friends were here I’d tell them too. It’s not worth it, Phil. It has to be in this world.” Leon nodded firmly, his lined face hard. Hard with experience.

“They gained immortality,” I said. “It was conferred on them, for what they did, or even what they tried to do, and failed to do. They exist now, my friends do. They always will.”

“Even though you can’t see them.”

“Yes,” I said. “Right.”

Leon said, “There has to be something here first, Phil. The other world is not enough.”

I could think of nothing to say: I felt broken and feeble, my arguments used up during all that had happened to me. I was unable to answer.

“Because,” Leon continued, “this is where the suffering is. This is where the injustice and imprisonment is. Like the two of us. We need it here. Now.”
I had no answer.

“It may be fine for them,” Leon said, “but what about us?”

“I—“ I began. He was right and I knew it.

Later on Leon concludes this conversation by saying:

“I’m sorry,” Leon said. “I can see you loved your two friends and you miss them, and maybe they’re flying around somewhere in the sky, zipping here and there and being spirits, and happy. But you and I and three billion other people are not, and until it changes here it won’t be enough, Phil; not enough. Despite the supreme heavenly father. He has to do something for us here, and that’s the truth. If you believe in the truth…well, Phil, that’s the truth. The harsh, unpleasant truth.”

While the rest of the novel is anything but an endorsement of Biblical Christianity, I read this section above and marveled at how close PKD came to the Kingdom. This is exactly what Jesus was proclaiming when he preached the Gospel of the Kingdom – “the Kingdom of God is at hand”, “the Kingdom of God is within”.

If even a sci-fi writer in Orange County, California can see the Kingdom and understand that it must happen here or it doesn’t matter, then perhaps there’s hope for the people of God to get it too?

“…thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven..”

The Church, the Body of Christ, the ambassadors of Jesus, the citizens of the Kingdom, must become agents of change in this world, in their own neighborhoods, in their actual workplace, so that people can see the love that defies logic and the peace that passes understanding. The followers of Jesus must not only proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom, they must (like Jesus) demonstrate the compassion of God for the poor, the broken, the outcast, the lonely, and the marginalized.

“Blessed are the drugged out, poverty-level science fiction writers in Orange County, California, for they shall see the Kingdom of God and publish it in their writings for people to read long after they are dead.” – kg

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


The New Testament church did not collect money to be spent on salaries, programs, buildings or itself.

The New Testament church was primarily concerned with making disciples and caring for the poor, the orphan and the widow.

The New Testament church did not elect a separate “clergy class” to perform special religious duties, instead everyone was “in the ministry” by default.

The New Testament church did not attempt to follow an old testament code of worship.

The New Testament church affirmed the priesthood of the believer and allowed every member to share, participate and take an active part in the regular functioning of the church itself- including baptism, sharing communion, preaching the Gospel and making disciples.

The New Testament church did not keep a bank account, instead it gave away all the funds laid at the Apostles feet in order to plant churches and care for those in need- both within and without the church body.

The New Testament church leaders were humble servants who waited on tables, washed feet, served others, laid hands on the sick, encouraged the persecuted and understood that true greatness was found at the feet of men, rather than at the top of the ladder.

The New Testament church did not segregate the body based on age, sex, race, music preference, ethnic background, or any other criteria. Everyone who named the name of Christ, regardless of age, sex or race, was immediately a fully functional and valued member of the Body of Christ.

The New Testament church did not verbally, politically or physically oppose the oppressive Roman government or pagan religions of the day. Instead they simply lived extravagant lives of love among their neighbors and served anyone in their path as Jesus commanded.

The New Testament church was not in favor of violence, nor did it participate in armed conflict, not even in self-defense. Instead, the early followers of Jesus quietly imitated their Lord and gave up their property, submitted to prison and went to their deaths peacefully.

The New Testament church allowed every member, male or female, slave or free, Jew or Gentile, to preach the Gospel, plant churches, teach the Word, and lead worship every single day.

The New Testament church had no one single location where “Church” was located. Worship was not seen as something that happened in a particular location or on a particular day or with the assistance of particular people. Instead, worship was seen as a life continually submitted to Christ as a living sacrifice for the good of others, to the glory of God.

The New Testament church understood the Gospel of the Kingdom to be about God’s Kingdom (rule and reign) being released in the heart of every follower of Jesus, not something that would come one day after the death of the saints or the return of Christ.

The New Testament church did not consider the work of the Holy Spirit to be weird or strange. Instead they accepted the moving of the Holy Spirit within the Body as the natural and continual ministry of Jesus being released in the Body to heal, teach, instruct, correct, rebuke, inspire, encourage and empower the people of God to carry the Gospel of the Kingdom and live a life of love for others.

The New Testament church was always being taught to love one another and to imitate the love of Christ and to humbly serve others as Jesus did. They were not concerned in any way with amassing wealth, getting healed, gaining status in the community, becoming politically powerful, being respected, changing laws, picketing the funerals of homosexuals, speaking out against pagan practices, or selling products with their church name, cross, or scripture verse attached.

The New Testament church did not have a name.

The New Testament church did not brand itself.

The New Testament church did not provide a salary or ongoing stipend to those within the Body who acted as Elders, Teachers, Pastors or Facilitators. The people who performed these functions within the Body did so out of love and were only compensated by the Holy Spirit with joy.

The New Testament church did not have a Bible, or even a copy of the entire Old Testament, yet this Body managed to preserve the teachings of Jesus, the doctrines of the faith, the creeds and Gospel of the Kingdom with only the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit to guide them.

The New Testament church did not market itself or the Gospel. Instead the original followers of Jesus concentrated on loving as Jesus loved, giving and sharing as Jesus did, and concerned itself with the welfare of others in need; both inside and outside the Body.

Anyone else in favor of a return to a more New Testament form of church besides me?


Monday, April 27, 2009


My good friend Charles Pike shared something with me a few weeks ago that has continued to speak to me regarding our calling as the Body of Christ to suffer and serve others.

What my friend shared with me was how we are called the Body of Christ in Scripture and also how Jesus took the bread in the Passover and said to his disciples, "This is my body, broken for you".

Of course, we understand that to be "broken" meant that Jesus would have to suffer on the cross for the sins of the world. However, we also, as the Body of Christ in the world today, need to be "broken" as well. We need to be broken for others around us. We need to see those in need and experience their pain, we need to experience true compassion. In fact, the word "Compassion" actually means "to suffer with".

We are called "bear one another's burdens" and as another friend once pointed out, for me to bear your burden it must actually be a burden to me. This isn't about convenience, it's about love that is expressed in our actions.

We are also called to be broken so that the Gospel can be scattered. Right now, our house church, "The Mission" is growing; both numerically (outwardly) and spiritually (in depth). This is great news. Nothing could make me happier than to see people really loving the community, sharing their lives, experiencing the love of Christ and the Koinonia of the Spirit together.

But, as we grow in size we slowly begin to limit our ability to grow deeper. As more people decide to visit, or as more people desire to invite their friends and neighbors to experience this same joyful life in Christian community, we will soon reach a saturation point where no one new can come and participate. We will simply run out of available space in my den.

Some have asked (even today) if I would ever consider taking this group into a traditional church structure and allow it to grow numerically. My honest answer is "No. Not ever." Why? Because as we grow numerically we outstrip the ability to experience true fellowship. We make it easier to wear masks and "play church" and I will not sacrifice the core values of "being church" for anything like "going to church."

Not only this, but the very reason my wife and I felt called to start a house church was so that we could give 100% of our offering to the poor. Without this core value and practice of our faith we would cease to be who we are, and that is not something I am willing to compromise upon.

If we remain in one large group, week after week, we cannot truly branch out and reach more people, take more territory, invite new friends, meet new people, invest in more lives. In order for our church to grow, and to fulfill our God-given calling as the Body of Christ we, like Him, need to be broken.

I think that brokenness of the Body (the Church) is accomplished in compassion for the lost, the poor, people around us, our neighbors, etc. and it's also accomplished when we, the Body of Christ, are broken (in half) for the sake of others, and for the sake of the Gospel to spread like seed.

That final breaking is in the form of our Body being broken in multiple pieces so that we can multiply and continue the life of Christ in other homes, other neighborhoods, other lives, etc.

I'm praying that this happens in God's timing.

Pray for the Mission as we grow larger that we can also grow deeper and, eventually, outward.


Thursday, April 23, 2009


The other night I couldn't sleep so I went into our den to pray. It was around 3am.

As I sat there talking to God, I had to admit that lately I am more of a spy than I am an ambassador for Christ. I am a chameleon who changes depending on who is in the room rather than being exactly who I am every single day, no matter the situation.

This isn't a new revelation for me. I've had it before. In fact, I wrote a song about it called "Faded Chameleons" that appeared on the Elysian Skies Cd "Exquisite Whisper".

Here are the lyrics:

Faded Chameleons

This is the flesh that makes your spirit weep
I took the blame when it wasn't mine to keep
The one you created is falling apart
The one that you love just keeps breaking your heart

The shadow will never return to the flame
And I am forever reminded of shame
Like faded chamelons tired of change
Resigned to conform to the color of gray

With pencil and paper and wire and string
All of us tangled and dying to breathe
Coffee and silence and letters from home
I know I don't have the strength to be alone

One day to suffer my final disgrace
One day to enter and rise from the grave
One day to melt in your Holy embrace
I was the servant who was not enslaved

So, after being reminded of this truth, and this song, the other night I went back to sleep and the next day at work I get a call from my friend John Wahrmund, the guy who wrote the music for the Elysian Skies album.

When he told me that he had been re-working the music on that exact song lately, I couldn't believe it. Talk about being on the same wavelength.

John and I never really thought the overly upbeat music on the original version of the song quite fit the darker, more introspective tone of the lyrics. So, it appears that John has nearly finished re-working the music for a new version of the song.

He played it for me, over the phone yesterday. I listened and I knew it was God singing to me through the static.

As I was remembering those lyrics that night, God was helping my friend John to write new music to those familiar words. The music changes but the words remain the same.

I'm ready for the death of my own status quo. I'm tired of being a chameleon. I'm ready to have the reptilian skin peeled off my frame once and for all.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009


My dear friend Lolita is a gift from God. She has a rapport with Jesus that I envy.

This week she sent me an email that I wanted to share with all of you.

Trust me, I know this woman very well. This is not a fake. This is as real as it gets.

Hi you all,

Our dear Lord was glorious in His love and care to rescue a family in need yesterday and I want to share this with you for a few reasons. First, so that you will keep this family and us in prayer in what else He would like to do in His bringing us together, if anything. Second, to thank you all for keeping Freedom Ministries in prayer and to bring you a praise report of : He is answering your prayers!! Third, this story is an absolute lovely testimony of His Love, Intimate Care, and of His Divine Provision on earth.

Yesterday morning, I was in Wildomar visiting with friends and was so blessed as we spent time together over lunch after church. As I was leaving I made the decision to drop an item off to a friend in Corona which would require me to take the 15 Freeway. As I embarked the freeway ramp, the Lord prompted me to not go this way and instead to go to the next freeway down the road which is the 215 Freeway. I knew we (He and I) were going on a mission, that He wanted to touch someone. So, I continued down the road to the 215 Freeway.

As I was driving down the highway coming around a bend the Lord illuminated a car on the side of the road with the hood up. And He said, “Yes, this is who I want to touch.” I was unable to stop because of the bend and the speed of the freeway traffic and as I drove by them I saw a young woman holding a very young child in her arms next to the car…… It was close to 100 degrees, there was no shade, and as I saw this woman’s distress I heard the Lord say, “I want to rescue them.” So, I went up to the next off ramp a few miles down the road and exited to turn around on the freeway to their location. As this took time because the off ramps were several miles down the road on both sides of the freeway our dear Lord began to reveal His passion for this family and His desire for them to know His Intimacy, His Gentle Touch, and His Intimate Provision.

When I arrived I introduced myself and I asked the man if they would like to sit in my air-conditioned car until the towing company arrived. He went over to his wife. They talked a bit and he came back stating that they would very much like to do this, that they were very concerned for their little girl in the heat. She is one and half years old.

The mom and I got to know each other a bit as her husband was outside on the phone. He finally joined us in the car as they realized that they had given Triple A the wrong freeway location. We waited for about an hour before Triple A arrived which allowed us to get to know one another which I will share a bit about their lives so you can pray for them. And our Lord touched my car as we sat there with the engine running for the entire hour with the air-conditioning blowing full blast. My car temperature never rose above normal!

Additionally, our Lord asked me the night before to fill my gas tank to full capacity. I would have run out of gas out there if He had not filled the tank the night before! Isn’t He amazing, in His orchestrating each detail necessary to accomplish His purposes for His Provision in His Love and Care. He is so amazing and faithful!

During our conversation, the Lord asked me to share with them how I began to get on the 15 Freeway when He asked me to redirect to the 215 Freeway and He began to give me words for their hearts. He wanted them to know that He had heard their distress and cries for help and that He saw them and their need and He wanted to bring His Help. That He heard her, saw her, and heard her concern for her child’s distress and He was moved by His compassion for her and was adamant to bring His rescue. She began to weep in our Lord’s touching her heart deeply. She was very moved by Him and by His Touch as He was revealing His Intimate Heart for her through His words.

When the tow truck driver came we went out to meet him and it was discovered that the closest service dealership that could handle the car repair needed would be about 40 miles away and they only had basic towing coverage for seven miles. I had Triple A Plus (I thought, anyway) and stated that they could use my card.

The tow truck driver, Jason, was very touched by this and touched by Mike's account of the shelter a complete stranger gave them in an air-conditioned car. Jason just kept shaking his head in what he saw happening for this stranded family. I said to Jason that we are brother and sisters in the Lord. Jason was so overwhelmed by this, continuing to shake his head. The Lord was all over him and the Lord revealed His heart that His intention was to touch this man’s heart too this day.

Jason called his supervisor telling him this story and the supervisor was moved to authorize the use of my card to tow the extra distance which is normally denied. This couple and their little one rode with me as we followed Jason to a convenience store so Jason could get a cold drink because of the heat and as we were waiting for him he received a call that my Triple A account no longer had the plus coverage. I stated that Freedom Ministries (Lo's ministry) would pay for the towing fees as I knew that Mike and Kristy were in financial distress due to his being laid off and her hours being cut back at a private home schooling company. They are both teachers.

Jason was so taken back by this when I handed him the ministry bank card, shaking his head in amazement, saying this is unbelievable. I said this is Jesus taking care of God’s children. And then I said you must be Christian. He said he was not Christian, and I heard the Lord say to my heart that He loves him. So, I said to Jason, really the Lord is all over you and you seem to know who He is. Jason’s eyes grew large in awe of what he just heard and he looked at me and the Lord said to tell him He loved him, which I told Jason, the Lord loves you.

Jason shook his head saying that he had been saved a few years ago and guesses he was a Christian but he had fallen away into sin and that he did not want to be a hypocrite and say he was a Christian when he was not following Jesus. The Lord said to tell him again that He loved him and Jason bowed his head and began to weep shaking his head. Then he turned around to get in the tow truck.

As we followed Jason to the service dealership we (me and the family) continued to get to know each other. As Jason was unloading their car and Mike was in the dealership taking care of business the Lord told me that He wanted to touch Jason in prayer. During the prayer time our Lord touched this man’s heart in His mercy, grace, encouragement in how our Lord saw Jason’s heart in His love of him and in His invitation for Jason to receive His love and care.

I then drove Mike and Kristy to their home and we continued to get to know one another. Mike was laid off last year. Kristy hours were cut back and they are struggling financially. They say they are Christian but the Lord revealed to my heart that He desires to reveal more of His Intimacy to their hearts and that He desires for them to know more of His Love, very personal. Please pray for this. They occasionally attend a Christian church in Redlands. I understand in our conversation that this is probably the extent of their relationship/fellowship with our Lord.

Please pray for what the Lord desires to do next with us. We live 15 minutes down the freeway from each other, they are very close geographically! Isn’t this amazing, we meet as complete strangers on the freeway forty minutes away from our homes and we come to find out that we live 15 minutes away from each other, is that the Lord or what?!!

Kristy gave me her business card and I told her that I would be in touch Tuesday to find out what the repairs were going to cost and our ministry would help financially in any way we could. I also extended the invitation for help for anything else they might need and extended an invitation to get together if they would like to hang out a bit more.

She also asked if I knew of any home schooling families which needed support with their curriculum to please let them know about her expertise and her company. I said that I would put the word out that she is looking for more contracts as an education specialist. So, if any of you know any families that need this kind of support, please contact me and I will get you her contact information.

Both their biological families moved out of state over the last couple of years so they have no family in this area and from the conversation I gathered they do not have much friendship in this area either as they moved out to Yucaipa a couple of years ago.

Please pray for Jason (tow truck driver) too. I believe our Lord desires for me to contact him in a few weeks to see how he is doing.

Thanks for praying. And thank you Lord, for your precious love and never ending faithfulness!

Love, Lo

Friday, April 17, 2009

Confessions of a Selfish Mind

There are nights when I look into the bathroom mirror, really look, deep into my own eyes, confessing truths to myself that never come through my lips or over my tongue.

I am weak. I am powerless. I am completely unable to love as I know I am called to love. My selfishness consumes me. My pride, like gravity, pulls me to the ground and holds my feet to the cold, hard earth. I am unable to fly.

Deeper still, I admit my inconsistencies. I desire to be great in the eyes of men, and yet I know that true greatness is found at the feet of men, washing in humility.

I have a spiritual gift to teach others, but I fear the celebrity associated with the title of "teacher" and so I sit silently. I bite my tongue.

In my pride I secretly hope that one day I might be recognized for my expertise asked to speak at large conferences and join the spiritual giants on the big stage, and yet at the same time I loathe the empty hype of events and the vanity of religious experts.

I am torn. But not yet in two.

So, now, God has asked me to allow His Holy Spirit to probe into my dark, sinful heart. The Great Physician has me on the table, the gleaming scalpel in his hand, and He is asking me to lay back and relax and trust Him as the surgery begins.

Oh how I need this circumcision of the heart. Oh, how I need to be made more like Him.

To do only what I see the Father doing is to love others, because that is what He is doing every moment of every day. Yet, I realize that I am powerless to love. Love is not my native tongue. Selfishness chokes on my best intentions. Only Jesus can make me like Himself. There is no good in me. None.

So, I lay back. I close my eyes. I whisper a prayer that God's hand would move swiftly and cut deeply and remove the rotten, infectious flesh from my heart.

I have tried to make these cuts myself, but my hands are not steady enough. My sympathy for my own comfort restrains my ability to fully complete the surgery. So, I nip here and tuck there. I choose a careful section of flesh and slice around the sensitive nerves where pride and selfishness thrive. I hold up the small tumor and wave it like a trophy. Look at what I have learned to live without. Look how I am willing to sacrifice.

But I know it is a lie. Better still, God knows it too. And when I look into those eyes in the silent mirror I cannot pretend any longer.

Only God can make these necessary incisions. Only the One who loves me more than He loves His own life can find the place where I hide my selfish dreams and drive home the knife and cut away the infected flesh and remove every last ounce of pride from my heart.

Only God can heal the wounds, sew me together, wipe my tears away and kiss me where it hurts.

Let it begin.

"Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love can heal such a scar" - U2, "Magnificent"

"...circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code." - Romans 2:29

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Re-Post: Raging Against Your Own Machine

It was nearly 15 years ago that Shepard Fairey began his subversive, counter-cultural sticker campaign based on the face of Andre the Giant and a single word, "Obey".

The original vision he had was to create an underground movement designed to provide a counterpoint to the thousands of corporate advertising images assaulting us on a daily basis.

Fairey wanted to create a logo for a company that didn't exist and plaster it all over the city (and eventually the Nation and now the World).

Essentially, Fairey wanted to help people see advertising and media as propoganda aimed at our pocketbooks. He made his image imposing, like "Big Brother" looking down on society and commanding everyone to "Obey" the messages on billboards and in the media.

His message was meant to be ironic. His hope was that when people saw the overt command to "Obey" there would rise up within them a sense of individualism and personal identity that might make them say, "No. I will NOT obey!" and perhaps people would begin to think for themselves.

In a recent issue of PRINT Magazine (Jul/Aug, 2006), there is an article about Fairey and other street artists who have a desire to send a counter-cultural message via stickers and posters posted illegally on the sides of buildings and the back of street signs.

One book, "The Design Of Dissent" by Milton Glaser, makes the observation that today's society is immune to outrage. We read the newspaper, we watch atrocities on television and we move on with our lives.

This social apathy, in the opinion of Glaser, calls for an escalation of social protest " overcome the endless assault on our sensibilities by the official voices of the government." In Glaser's mind, what is needed is "..100 times more dissent that appeals to people's intelligence."

This may be true, or it may not be true. What I find interesting about this theory is that most modern advertising appeals to the lowest common denominator of intelligence, at best. At worst, the overall tone of advertising seems to pander to, and even to encourage, the ignorant majority.

Even more ironic to me is that Fairey's creation, "Obey", has now evolved into a full-blown corporation. The Obey logo can now be found on t-shirts, hats, skateboards and toys. Recently a $60 coffee-table book of Fairey's art was published to chronicle his exploits and rise to fame and fortune.

Here is a lesson for us. A single person has a vision to subvert the system, and in time his success lures him to join the enemy and to become exactly what he was raging against in the first place.

Now the Obey Giant logo is trademarked and used to sell products, not to make a commentary on the media-saturation of our times and the consumer-oriented society we have become. Now the symbol is used to promote consumerism, not to rebel against it.

I wonder if the Church has fallen into the same trap?

Have we been lured into thinking that, to be effective in society we must become exactly like the world around us?

The Church began with a single vision. Our founder, Jesus, was a revolutionary with a subversive message that we could all begin to live in The Kingdom of God today. His message was a threat to the Pharisess and the Roman Government. It threatened their authority structures. It called into question their defintions of righteousness, equality and holiness. It was a message that got our founder arrested, tortured and ultimately put to death.

From the earliest days, the followers of The Way continued this subversive, counter-cultural movement. They met quietly in homes. They re-defined family. They called one another brother and sister and loved and cared for one another as if they truly were of one family.

The early Church was persecuted for such counter-cultural behavior. People saw them as strange and treated them with disdain. Yet even though followers of Jesus were met with harsh persecution, hundreds of people continued to join their ranks. The radical lifestyle of these "Jesus People" caused people to wonder, "How can they give so much to strangers?", "What makes them so different?", and they wanted to know more.

Even the message preached by these people, that their founder Jesus had actually come back to life, seemed to be proven true by the radically changed lives of His followers.

In time, the followers of The Way actually did "turn the world upside down" (Acts 17:6-KJV). They endured horrific persecution and preserved the teachings of Jesus by living them out and sharing them with their new spiritual family for over three hundred years. That's longer than America has been a Nation.

Today, the Church looks an awful lot like the world around it. We do not stand out from the crowd. We are not known for our acts of kindness, love or compassion. We have aligned ourselves with a politcal platform and allowed figures in the media to speak for us.

In many ways, we have become the machine we intended to rage against. We have joined the system we were created to subvert and overthrow.

How this happened is another issue (and another article), but the solution for us is not to justify our slow transition into a more palatable option. The solution is to return to the way of life modeled by our founder, Jesus. The solution is to embrace, once more, the loving, yet counter-cultural, way of life modeled by the early Church.

Maybe the place we need to begin is to repent of our blindness and to return to the teachings of Jesus Himself.

"If you love me, you will obey what I command" - JESUS (John 14:15)


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

50 Ways to Love Your Neighbor

Call to Action: 50 Ways To Love Your Neighbor

A compelling list of tangible ways we can love others as Christ has loved us.
Read it all

Some highlights from the list:
13. Look up the closest registered sex offender in your neighborhood and try to befriend him.

26 Organize a prayer vigil for peace outside a weapons manufacturer such as Lockheed Martin. Read the Sermon on the Mount out loud. For extra credit, do it every week for a year.

29. Go through a local thrift store and drop $1 bills in random pockets of the clothing being sold.

32. Go to an elderly home and get a list of folks who don´t get any visitors. Visit them each week and tell stories, read the bible together, or play board games.

34. Create a Jubilee fund in your Church congregation, matching dollar for dollar every dollar you spend internally with a dollar externally. If you have a building fund, create a fund to match it to give away and by mosquito nets or dig wells for folks dying in poverty.

35. Become a pen-pal with someone in prison.

41. Cover up all brand names, or at least the ones that do not reflect the upside-down economics of God’s Kingdom. Commit to only being branded by the cross

43. Eat only a bowl of rice a day for a week to remember those who do that for most of their life (take a multivitamin). Remember the 30,000 people who die each day of poverty and malnutrition.

49. Serve in a homeless shelter. For extra credit, go back and eat or sleep in the shelter and allow yourself to be served.

BONUS: Come up with your own list of ways to love your neighbor. Do at least one of them before the end of the week.


Someone in Norway (and in France) loves me!

Thanks to the people at Google Analytics I can see who is reading my blog on a daily basis. One of the most surprising things to me is that, for some reason, I have a very large following in Kristiansand, Norway and in Noisy-le-Grand, France.

If you're reading this blog from one of those places, or near there, please leave a comment below and let me know how you found this blog and share a little about yourself and your walk with Christ.


Monday, April 13, 2009


Once again we met in El Camino Real park near our home with our Mission House Church family to worship, share and read God's Word together in celebration of our Risen Lord.

It was a bit sad that Mary Anne wasn't with us this year, and a few other families were out of town, but for those who did gather together, it was a blessing to be together.

I'm reminded of how we are called to be the ambassadors of Christ to the world. I'm not so good at it, frankly. I'm still learning how to love as Jesus loved and give and forgive as He has forgiven me.

This is the journey, I guess... and I wouldn't want to be on this journey with anyone else but these awesome people.



keithgiles: Peace is subversive to our culture. Forgivness is radicalism. Selfless Love is foolishness. Jesus still uncool.

Friday, April 10, 2009


We as Christians have an unusual fascination with the death of Jesus. I know that what Jesus did for us, on the cross, is an astounding act of love and sacrifice. Without this, none of us would have any hope, and yet Paul the Apostle declares that, "..if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins." (I Cor.15:17)

I wonder if our fascination with his death has something to do psychologically with our view of what it means to be a Christian?

For instance, the modern church, especially in America, can't seem to go on enough about the death of Jesus. It seems that all the television preachers can talk about is the fact that, "Jesus died on the cross for your sins".

When a Christian person is interviewed on television or stands to talk about Jesus, inevitably the only thing they can find to say is that, "Jesus loves you and he died on the cross for your sins".

At times it all starts to sound monotonous and cliche. I can almost hear the lost saying, "So what?"

The message we send most loudly to the world is the idea that Jesus died.

Even the most prominent media message in our lifetime, Mel Gibson's mega-evangelistic "Passion Of The Christ", which was dubbed "The Greatest Evangelical Message in Two Thousand Years", was all about the death of Jesus. The resurrection scene at the end was so vague and quick that most of us, even those of us who know the story, were left going, "Huh? What just happened?"

At Easter this overt focus on the death of Jesus is most noticeable. For me, when we spend those two weeks before and after Easter talking about the irrefutable fact of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, it almost seems strange. Like, "Oh yeah! He DID rise from the dead, didn't he?", as if this most historically provable event is something we need to be reminded of, but only once a year.

This has got me thinking. Why is it that we focus so much on the death of Jesus and very little on the resurrection of Jesus? I mean, why isn't the resurrection the main thing we talk about? Why don't we go around proclaiming that "Jesus is Risen!" and argue with people about the fact that there's no refuting the fact of Easter?

Here's my theory:

We, the Church, are the Body of Christ. We are the physical representation of Jesus in the world today, and I think we're more comfortable being the "Body at Rest" than the "Body in Motion".

As the Body of Jesus, we're more comfortable in the dark of the tomb, wrapped in our own shroud, meditating on this death of our Lord, with the stone rolled shut across the door.

We ignore that what we are called to do, as the living Body of Jesus, is to go out and proclaim, demonstrate and testify with our lives the awesome miracle that "Jesus is Alive!" and that we are living examples of this fact.

What I long for is the day when we are bold enough to declare, as one people, with one voice, that Jesus is Alive, and that our conduct in the world would bear witness to this fact.

Our inactivity, our apathy, our aversion to serve others and live out the compassion of Jesus, sadly proclaims that Jesus is dead.

It's when we live for Him, when we continue to love the way He did, when our lives are in sync with His, that we proclaim by our actions that, yes, indeed, Jesus is really alive!

Is Jesus really alive? Has He really come to live in your life? And how would anyone know this to be true if you never actually demonstrated the life and love and ministry of Jesus in your own life?

Do we, as individual followers of Jesus, feel safer within the quiet of the tomb? Or are we willing, even eager, to roll away the stone and begin to live the truth of the power of the Gospel?

If we, the Body of Jesus, do not act as a living Jesus would, within this world, loving those He loved, sharing with those He spent time with, continuing His ministry of transformation, then we do not demonstrate that Jesus is alive, we simply testify that He has died.

What we must do is to wake ourselves from our slumber, shake off the apathy, and begin to proclaim, with our own lives, that Jesus is truly alive.

"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing."- John 14:12

"Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did."- 1 John 2:6

He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!


Originally sent to the faithful subscribers of the [subversive underground] newsletter on Monday, March 20, 2006

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Last night we gathered to celebrate the Passover Seder. It always amazes me that God instructed the Israelites to observe Passover on a specific date every year, and on that date to blow the shofar at 3pm when the passover lamb was slain, so that roughly 6,000 years later when His Son was hanging on the cross, ON THE SAME EXACT DAY, and they blew the shofar at 3pm, Jesus would say, "It is finished."

On Friday we will celebrate Good Friday together in my home. We will enter quietly and move silently from station to station as families to tear cloth, drive nails, taste vineagar, touch a crown of thorns, tumble dice, and leave our red handprints on the same paper curtain.

Afterwards, we will sit around a low table and light our candles, sing worship songs, share communion, and one by one voice thanksgiving for what Jesus has done for us, blowing out our candles as we go. When the room is dark we will leave as silently as we have come, or perhaps revisit one of the stations to reflect more on the love of Christ for us.

On Sunday morning, we will meet in the morning, on a grassy hill, under a tree and surrounded by passing cars and sunlight we will raise our voices to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, read scriptures of the events and experiences of that first Easter, and share our thoughts and open our hearts to one another on resurrection and what it means for us.

Aftewards, we'll return to our home and help the children create resurrection rolls and continue to share and worship and love one another as Christ loved us.

I love Holy Week.

Discover the Journey

My friend Jonathan Olinger and his friends have started an amazing non-profit ministry called "Discover the Journey".

Jonathan is a talented film maker who has documented the suffering of child soldiers in the Congo.

I'd like to ask you to take a few moments to watch this beautiful, yet brief, video clip of Jonathan's work which is online now.


After you've watched the video, if you feel compelled to help in any way - make a donation, purchase a t-shirt, or post their info on your own blog and share this with your family and friends, I know they'd be very blessed to have the help.


SPEAK UP for those who cannot speak for themselves by creating story, media and art about children in crisis around the world.

ENSURE JUSTICE for those who are suffering by engaging people across cultures through education and advocacy to respond together in Love.

Find out more at

Read their blog

Friday, April 03, 2009


I woke up this morning in Orlando. It's my third and final day here. In a few hours I will catch my shuttle to the airport, pass through security in my socks and (eventually) line up to board the first of two flights back home to California.

It was my hope that, while on this business trip, I would be able to relax and take time to hear God's voice. Specifically, about what I might do with my time, talent and energies now that I've laid down my weekly e-newsletter after over 3 years. My cry has been, "What's next?"

So far I've been able to watch a lot of cable television, eat some great food, and meet a lot of new people. Yesterday afternoon I had about 40 minutes time in my room to power down and seek God's face. I sat in the darkness of the room and waited. I listened. I waited some more. Then I got dressed and went back downstairs to keep working.

Maybe, I wondered, maybe all I needed to do here was to take a break? Maybe all that I needed to do was to rest and cleanse the pallete and take a deep breath? Maybe...

This morning I laid in bed, the early morning light barely softening into the room, and I heard this simple thought: Being about the Father's business and doing what the Father is doing is simply about loving people wherever you find them.


I got up before the alarm went off. Got dressed. Packed my bags and went downstairs to grab some coffee and a doughnut.

Maybe it really is that simple? Maybe my next big project is actually just a simple, daily decision to look for people who need to know the love of God and attempt to show them that love, or encouragement, or hope, as best I can? Maybe...

So, today that's my goal. I will do my best to keep my eyes open for what God is doing wherever I am. In the general session of this corporate conference, in the shuttle on the way to the airport, in line at security, on my flights back home, and in my own home and family when I return home tonight.

God is always doing something, and the main thing He is always doing is loving people and blessing them and encouraging them. If I am to be about my Father's business, if I am to "only do what I see the Father doing", then this is also what I will be doing today.

It's pretty simple, in theory. Let's see how it works out in practice.


Thursday, April 02, 2009


I wanted to publicly thank God for healing me. Last Saturday my wife Wendy rushed me to the Emergency Room at 3:30am. I was breaking out in cold sweats and nearly lost consciousness before we could leave the house.

After an ultra-sound the Doctor released me and said that I would either get worse (and then need emergency surgery) or it would get better on its own and I would be fine.

My biggest concern was having to take a business trip to Orlando for four days. What if my problem flared up while I was halfway across the country?

I asked our house church to pray for me the next day. They laid hands on my wife and I and prayed for healing and for God to increase His favor over our home. I was reminded that God had already opened so many doors for this trip to be a blessing to me and I was suspicious that the Enemy was trying to fill me with fear before I even left.

The next day I felt better. On the morning I left to fly out to Orlando I was feeling ok. The next day, and today, I have felt back to my old self again.

I wanted to praise God for healing me and for removing my pain and for allowing me to take this trip. After stepping away from Facebook and Twitter and laying down my weekly e-newsletter and even fasting from this blog I felt that God really wanted me to seek His face. This is part of what I believe the Enemy wanted to prevent.

If you get a chance, please continue to pray that I would be healthy and that I would have time to really listen to God's voice during this sabbatical time.

Thanks for your prayers.