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Posts from November 2008

We Need a New Toolbox

I'm no carpenter, but I do have a couple of toolboxes in my garage.  One I inherited from my grandfather, who was a carpenter.  The other I was given when I got married and have been adding tools to it throughout the years.

The frustrating thing when little home repairs or needs come up is needing a tool and discovering I don't have the tool designed for the job.

Church is like this.  For years, we have been trying to use tools in an old toolbox, not designed for the job that needs to be done.  This results in frustration among churches and leaders.

For example, for years we have relied on older evangelism strategies designed for a modern culture that presupposes such a thing as truth.  Dr. Voddie Baucham made it pretty clear in one of his studies that we need to shelve many of our traditional evangelism strategies and engage in pre-evangelism first.  Now, the plan of salvation has not changed, but in this postmodern world where there is no agreement regarding absolute truth, new strategies must be used.

I truly believe that the traditional Sunday School organizational structure that has been used for decades is needing an overhaul.  I am a religious educator at heart, so I know how Sunday School should be organized, the rule of "Flake's Formula" and have even led the training in these strategies for churches throughout the state of Florida.  However, with the culture shifts we are seeing, it appears that small groups meeting in homes, restaurants and other locations have the potential of growing in popularity.

I'm not for getting rid of Sunday School, but I am for broadening our understanding of when and where it can be done.  I'm not sure how all this is going to play out.  For new church starts, it's easier to start with home groups.  With traditional churches with organizational structures already in place, the shift in thinking is more difficult. 

Our church currently is in the midst of this shift.  At our main campus, the traditional Sunday morning schedule prevails.  At our new satellite campus, the potential for a new way of ministry is evident. 

I'm not sure how this is all going to play out.  I could name many other tools that seem dated and ineffective.  The danger is "throwing away the baby with the bath water" which is not any church's desire.

Truly, these are exciting times to be the church of God.

1 - Let's Go - International Treasure

This is the first message in a series about missions.  Yet, this series is a little different than most I've heard regarding the call "to go."  This global mobilization is upon us and we have a great opportunity to get in on what God is doing.

Here's the quiz mentioned at the beginning of the message:

1.       The United States is bordered by how many nations?

a.       3

b.       2

c.       1

d.       4


2.       The most populous city in the world is. . .

a.       London

b.       Mexico City

c.       New York City

d.       Tokyo


3.       Which is farthest from the North Pole?

a.       Orange Park

b.       Juneau

c.       Fernandina Beach

d.       Atlanta


4.       What continent is Afghanistan in?

a.       Europe

b.       Asia

c.       Africa

d.       South America


5.       What is the world population according to the latest data (2007)?

a.       5 billion

b.       1.5 billion

c.       20 billion

d.       6.8 billion


6.       What is the closest estimate of Christian missionaries serving overseas?

a.       97,000

b.       120,000

c.       250,000

d.       123,000


7.       Which country is not one of the top four most populous countries?

a.       China

b.       India

c.       Russia

d.       Indonesia


8.       What is the fastest growing religion in the world?

a.       Christianity

b.       Buddhism

c.       Islam

d.       Mormonism


9.       What is the shortest direction from Orange Park to Jerusalem?

a.       North

b.       South

c.       East

d.       West


10.   Which of the following does not border Iraq?

a.       Iran

b.       Kuwait

c.       Turkey

d.       Israel

Download 1_lets_go_international_treasure.mp3

What's Your Travel IQ?

I'm beginning a new teaching series this Sunday about the global mission.  It's titled "Let's Go!"  Just to get you ready, I've posted this Travel Quiz.  Give it a shot.  The only problem is the game is too big for the blog.  So, to see it the right size, go to

This Traveler IQ challenge compares your geographical knowledge against the World's First Travel diary's other 3,303,943 travelers who have taken this challenge as of Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 01:00PM GMT. (TravelPod is part of the TripAdvisor Media Network) 

Saluting Our Veterans

Every November 11 we celebrate Veterans Day here in the United States.  While the reality is that many see this is a day off from school, no mail delivery and possibly an excuse for a sale at the mall, the true meaning of the day should not be overlooked.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs has discovered that most Americans confuse Veterans Day with Memorial Day.  Even more, most Americans do not know why this day is celebrated on 11-11 (November 11) each year.

Originally called Armistice Day, this federal holiday was set aside to honor the end of World War I.  This "war to end all wars" ended officially on November 11, 1938.  In 1954, after being through World War II and the Korean War, Congress was urged by veterans to amend the details regarding this holiday.   So, the name was changed with the striking of the word "armistice" and replacing it with "veterans."  The new holiday was officially put on the books in June 1954 and thereafter November 11 has been known as Veterans Day.

In 1968 the Uniforms Holiday Bill ensured three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays:  Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day.  Under this bill, the last Monday in October became Veterans Day.  This confused many people and some states outright refused to celebrate it that weekend.  Finally on September 20, 1975, President Ford signed a law that returned the celebration of this day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978.

So what's the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?  Simple - Memorial Day honors the servicemembers who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle. 

Deceased veterans are also remembered on Veterans Day, but the day is set aside to thank and recognize those living veterans who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime.

Last Sunday we recognized our veterans.  What a sight it was as many men and women came forward to stand near their service flag.   (We know the flags weren't in the "right" order, but we also knew that here in Orange Park the Navy flag would have the most standing near it, so that was why the flags were placed as they were.)

So, while you're at home today, enjoying the holiday, don't forget to pay tribute and honor those who have served faithfully.  While you're at it, say a prayer for them and their family as well as those in active duty now serving both here and overseas.

God bless America, and may America bless God!

Oldest to Ever Score in a College Basketball Game

Did you see this story? In the midst of page after page of election stories, I discovered this story from the AP.  Ken Mink, a 73 year old full time student at Roane State Community College dressed out and scored for the school's junior varsity team in a game against King's College.

Here's the AP story:

Capt.1d60d54e327041cdbb4bef3708c4c930.73_year_old_player_basketball_ny284 Ken Mink, a 73-year-old full-time student, scored two points Monday night in Roane State Community College's 93-42 victory over King College's junior varsity. Mink entered the game with about 16 minutes left in the second half and attempted one shot in about three minutes. Seven minutes later, he went back in the game, was fouled and made two free throws.

"I found myself on the free-throw line 52 years after my last college game," Mink said. "I said, 'Just relax and shoot it like you know how to all day long.' I just floated the shots in there. I'm in the books now. I can relax a little bit."

Mink, of Knoxville, last played college basketball 52 years ago at Lees College in Jackson, Ky. After someone soaped the basketball coach's office, he lost his spot on the team and was expelled. Mink still says he didn't do it.

Last year, after shooting baskets at a neighbor's house, he wrote to several area colleges, and Roane State coach Randy Nesbit agreed to give him a chance. Mink has practiced regularly with the team since school began in August.

What a great story.  This, along with the story of 59 year old linebacker, Mike Flynt of Sul Ross State University shows that it's never too late.

According to my calculations, I have at least two years of college eligibility left for basketball.  My last game was in 1988.  So, if any local colleges find this, give me a call.  With a lot of Ben-Gay and Advil, I think I could pull off a game or two.