Friday, November 28, 2008

The Power of Words

Last weekend's message at Vineyard Church of Columbus has been replaying in my mind. So I thought I'd share some of the statements that jumped out at me.
The tongue has the power of life and death. Proverbs 18:21
Our words are either building up or tearing down. Stephen Van Dop, Vineyard Church of Columbus (VCC), The Power of Words, November 22, 2008
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. Proverbs 10:19
Our character is revealed as much by what we listen to as what we say. Stephen Van Dop, VCC
A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much. Proverbs 20:19
Gossip - words spoken with the intention to cast a shadow on the reputation of another person. Stephen Van Dop, VCC
Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue. Proverbs 17:28
A wise person thinks before he talks - but he does eventually speak. Stephen Van Dop, VCC
A gentle answer turns away wrath. Proverbs 15:1
A soft, quiet answer helps tone down our own anger and helps the other person tone down the volume of their anger. Stephen Van Dop, VCC
The lips of the wise spread knowledge. Proverbs 15:7
A wise person considers the impact of their words by asking 1) Is it true? 2) Does it add value to the conversation? 3) Is it kind and full of mercy? Stephen Van Dop, VCC
An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. Proverbs 12:25
The entire Proverbs Series, Everything Your Parents Should Have Taught You (But Probably Didn't) has been very good. The series began September 21, 2008 with The One Thing You Need to Succeed in Life. You can listen online or download it to listen in the car.  Go to Online Sermons at

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Here and Now

"...the question of what happens to me after death is not the major, central, framing question that centuries of theological tradition have supposed.... The question ought to be, How will God's new creation come? and then, How will we humans contribute to that renewal of creation and to the fresh projects that the creator God will launch in his new world?" ~ N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope

Our individualistic culture has diminished the hope of Christ. It is too easy for us to say, that doesn't affect me personally. The hope of Christ is much bigger than individual concern. If life in Christ is only about what affects me personally, why would any who follow Christ accept suffering?

To experience the hope of Christ we must quit looking at Christianity as a ticket to a plush retirement spot. The hope of Christ is about here and now. 

God did not create us as something to look at like a lifeless piece of art. He created human beings in his image. Think on that for a moment. An artist creating a piece of art that can relate to - interact with - the artist. A piece of art that - with the blessing and through the life source of the artist - can contribute to restoring his masterpiece to perfection. 

Human beings are not the only part of his masterpiece. All of creation is the masterpiece. 

I saw the Mona Lisa in the Louvre several years ago. Not being an artist, my purpose was simply to say I've seen the original painting. Some time after my "been there, done that" moment at the Louvre, I learned that one of the significant elements of that painting is that it was "one of the first portraits to depict the sitter before an imaginary landscape." (

I missed it! I was right there, standing in front of a well protected masterpiece and I missed what the artist wanted me to see.

God is inviting us to see the beginning of something very new and different. Jesus was just the first to be fully transformed from a body that we are familiar with to a body that is like nothing we've yet experienced... but we will someday. 

Don't miss this. If you are just looking to make it to a place you've heard of as heaven, you're missing the significance of why it is seems so greatly protected. God's kingdom is here now for those who know what to look for. 

It's real and it's as physical as Jesus eating fish on the shore of the Sea of Galilee after his resurrection. His form may not be familiar to you but his kingdom is here. He is with us. And we have exciting work to do here and now.
Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have. Luke 24:39

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cultural war and child-raising

Many Parents have become numb to the culture because they are over-saturated by it. ~ Lorie Kaufman-Rees
Rees has some good thoughts on her blog that go along with child-raising. Read the Colla Voce post titled "sitting on the couch while the cultural war rages on: why parents do not engage."

The Goal of Child-Raising

"The goal [of child-raising] is not primarily to protect our kids."
Rich Nathan, Vineyard Church of Columbus, spoke this weekend on Raising Wise Children in a Foolish World. The series, Everything Your Parents Should Have Taught You (But Probably Didn't) has been insightful and challenging. You can listen to the messages online at This series began September 21, 2008.

Being a mother and spending a lot of time volunteering with a child-focused prayer ministry, this weeks message was particularly encouraging. Here are a few points from the message:
  • Parents are responsible for impressing God's Word on the heart's of their children - not Awana, not Upward sports, not every VBS you can get them to, not even the children's ministry at your church. These other things are good but only if they are reinforcing what is being taught at home. The parents have the primary responsibility to disciple their children - and that doesn't mean seeing that someone else does it. (Deuteronomy 6.6-7)

  • The goal of child-raising is not primarily to protect our kids. The goal is discipling and developing children who are wise. Too many of us live the Christian life in the defensive mode - wanting to protect our children and ourselves from "the world". This isn't what Jesus did. His work was to bring the kingdom of God everywhere he went. We are to carry on his work. We can't extend the kingdom if we hide from the world. We need to put on the armor and get out in the world in the name of Jesus. And, we need to be training our children to do the same. (Matthew 28.19-20)

  • Discipline is more than spanking (or any other punishment).
  • Discipline confirms love (Proverbs 3.11-12). 

  • Discipline is a two-way street. We can't force our child to learn from the discipline. The child is responsible to accept discipline.

  • Discipline begins when they are young.

  • Discipline must be individually tailored. Don't expect everything you hear or read in a popular book to work for your child. You can't even expect the discipline that works with one of your children to always work with another one of your children.
Have you ever wished there were a child-raising handbook? Well, there is. Look at Proverbs 1.4. The book was written to give "knowledge and discretion to the young." You will find in the opening of chapters two through seven and scattered throughout the entire book that Solomon is speaking these words of wisdom to his son.

Do you want to protect your child or teach them to be wise so that they can stand up to the foolishness in the world? Christian programs can give your children knowledge but only the parent or a caring one-on-one mentor can foster wisdom.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hope for Reconciliation

Follow the below link for an excellent post regarding hope and the results of the presidential election.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

a laugh and a prayer

I have a coffee mug that says "Start each day with a laugh and a prayer." My prayer wasn't going so well so I went in search of a laugh. God provided.
A magazine article said that the way to achieve inner peace is to FINISH things I have started. -- Today I finished four bags of potato chips, a cherry pie, and a small box of chocolate candy. I feel better already! Laughter from Heaven by Barbara Johnson

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Ok, I did it. I couldn't imagine it being a good thing but I did it. It's actually kind of fun. It's like Facebook except you don't have to go to Facebook to see what everyone is up to if you use twhirl. It is also a motivator for me because I'm following someone I consider I mentor. Uh, I've never met this person but his website, blog, posts to writers groups and now his tweets have motivated me for nearly four years. 

Terry Whalin and other productive people posting on tweeter motivates me to be productive so that I can tweet about what I'm doing.

Follow my tweets at

Does anyone remember an old network site by the name of MySpace??? :) I'll probably close down my MySpace soon. Haven't added to it in a long time. Seems somewhat boring now. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How to be a Great Cell Group Coach by Joel Comiskey

When the pastoral coordinator offered this book, I thought it was just another book on how to lead a small group. No, this one is for those who Coach or oversee small groups. Great little sidebar tips, insights, and strategies. Very practical.

Strategies include "How to Encourage Cell Leaders" and "Reasons to Ask Questions" which both give not only guide in what to do but point out the intent of each task.

The first part of the book addresses the "habits" of the Coach - things you do for the group leaders. The last part of the book looks at the issues of being a coach - authority, diagnosing problems, visiting the groups, coaching meetings, and, my favorite, the coaching stages.

I've already applied the concepts from this book as I prepared a training session for leaders in my care in a para-church organization. I'll give it a 4 1/2 out of 5 star rating and recommend it for those new to coaching or in the middle level of supervising ministry.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yippee! The Election is Over

For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted. ~ Romans 13:1-2
Throughout the campaign, I encouraged people to consider character over issues, race, or gender. This morning I read the reactions of several black Americans regarding their perspective of Obama's win and I saw something new.

As much as I don't want to admit it, Obama's race was an issue. Although I did not vote for Obama, I see the potential for his presidency to influence future generations for great good. Maybe in political issues, maybe not. More so in unifying our country. 

This campaign has opened my eyes to the racial and gender prejudices that I - as a white suburban female - was able to live without seeing. 

A friend told me recently that a white man would not allow her to draw his blood in the hospital because she was black. Another was pulled over in a white suburban neighborhood because he was black. I'd heard of stuff like that but didn't realize it was happening to friends of mine. My heart is broken not just because these things happen but because I have ignored these prejudices because they didn't seem to affect me personally.

The slams on Palin have also revealed our continued stereotyping of women.

It all comes down to this, we have to look at the Creator or whatever your perspective of how we all got here. Whether through intelligent design or a big bang, the human race is in this together. We all live and breathe and communicate with words. We all have the ability to love.
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:5

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Janine Turner

Listen to the comments of this woman. Great stuff. Lots of wisdom for everyone.

"To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."

"America is like an Eagle. We need a right wing and a left wing to fly."

"Partisanship is poisoning America."

the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

Copyright 2005-2010 Lisa Biggs Crum
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