A couple of days ago I was working from a coffee shop. It was very busy that day when a couple of men walked in. The only place for them to sit was across the counter from me. So they sit down and start to talk business.
Then after they finish with their business transaction the conversation drifts towards church.
The one man said, “You know, the reason I go there [his church] is because of the teaching (he made sure to really emphasize the word “teaching”). When I sit down with those guys we’ll all bring our concordances and references books. We’ll cross-reference verses and look up the Greek. You know [name of friend] went to Multnomah Bible College and [name of another friend] went to [name of some other well-respected Bible school].”
The conversation continued like this. It was all about how good they could analyze the Bible. There was no talk about God or people. No mention of the friends this man had at church or the bond they had in the spirit. No discussion about how his life had been changed. read more…
No. There are lots of great programs out there (i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous) that help you change your behavior. I don’t know many Believers who would claim that the Gospel is behavior modification. It’s not about trying to get us to just act a certain way. It’s the story about someone else, Jesus, who did everything for us so that we could become sons and daughters of God.
Does our behavior change?
Of course it does. When someone is born again they act different. When someone just starts “going to church” they might try to act different to fit in with the new church culture but just “going to church” will not change you on the inside. read more…
My spell checker just told me “wantless” isn’t a word. Apparently over the last hundred years we’ve not only lost the ability to be without want but we’ve also lost part of the language that describes such a foreign state of mind.
An Archaic State of Mind
Noah Webster reminds us what wantless means in his 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language:
WANTLESS, a. Having no want; abundant; fruitful. read more…
Do you think God loves you more when you’re busy doing “kingdom” work? Does He get upset when you spend too much time watching TV or hanging out with your friends? Is He just so frustrated because right now you’re reading a blog about God instead of standing on the street sharing the gospel?
You probably don’t ask yourself these exact questions but I’m willing to bet you’ve had some variation go through your mind. I know I have. read more…
I think it’s important to answer the “why?” question before we go out and form covenants with people. Should we form a covenant because we go to the same church or because we’re part of the same ministry?
Should it be based on proximity — if you’re a Christian in my town is that enough to form a covenant relationship?
Or are these foundations too shallow to build such meaningful relationships on? read more…
Have you ever started going to a new church and “tried” making friends? Perhaps you’re one of the lucky few who’s never had to experience this process.
Or maybe you’re weird and actually enjoy attending groups where you know that the not-so-hidden-agenda is to “make friends”. Many of us would admit, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to make new friends at church. Acquaintances, yes – that’s easy – but friends, not so easy.
We claim relationships and people are what really matter in life. It’s not money, cars, houses, or businesses. Our relationships are the most important part of our lives. We all agree on this right?
Then why do we spend so little time learning how to have healthy relationships and so much time learning about everything else? That doesn’t make sense. If people are more important then work why do we spend 60 hours a week working on our business and just a few left over hours on our relationships?
I heard a local business owner, who is an amazing man of God, share something profound last week at a business meeting. It was about covenant relationships and biblical community. Sure, I’ve heard about these subjects before but there was something different this time. Something happened during that meeting and I can’t stop thinking about.
I’m not writing this because I feel like I have a solid grasp on the matter. I just feel like I had an “ah-ha” moment. Like a door was opened and now I’m walking into this new room and exploring it. Writing helps me explore.
Hey, I just wanted to let everyone know why I haven’t posted anything new in the last couple weeks. I have not abandoned this blog, I’ve just been real busy building my copywriting business (joshuamonen.com) and I’m launching a hyperlocal website for the town I live in (Battle Ground, WA).
The hyperlocal site will be called The Battle Ground Buzz and it’s launching next week on Sept 1. The website will be battlegroundbuzz.com. Check it out next week! After the launch I should have more time to get back and update Beyond Cliches on a regular basis.
I recently heard a sermon preached about storms. More specifically, it was about God ordained storms in our lives. I agreed with most of what this man of God was preaching but when he started talking about God sending storms into our lives to shape and mold us I just couldn’t say amen to that.
I’m not going to mention any names I disagree with because it’s not a fight against flesh and blood, it’s the thoughts and ideas that spread like cancer that I want to confront. These ideas infect people’s souls like a virus and they paralyze the church.