My wife has...had...this sign in our kitchen for everyone to read every day.  It simply said...SIMPLIFY.    I'm not certain what she had in mind by that, but in the last week we've gone from ...
*2800 square feet of living space to 1200
*Several sets of dishes, and silverware to 4 cups, 4 plates, 4 bowls, 4 spoons, 4 forks, 4 knives, etc.
*A huge closet that would barely contain all our clothes to 3 pairs of jeans, 6 or 7 shirts, 2 pairs of
  shoes, socks and underwear
*The furnishing we've accumulated over a lifetime to some rented stuff
*Downstairs and upstairs to just upstairs

I could go on, but you get the picture.  I'm not sure if that was her idea of simplifying, but we've SIMPLIFIED.  Not by choice, but success none the less.

The lesson?  Life is all about PERSPECTIVE.  We don't see ourselves as going "down" from all we had.  We see it as moving "up" from the Holiday Inn to a place of permanence.  A KITCHEN!  A REFRIGERATOR!  A COUCH!  Nirvana!!!!!

In our case, we had everything taken away in order to see that there is great joy in little.  Hopefully, you'll just trust me and believe me and find joy in little and skip the blazing inferno.

The word for today:  SIMPLIFY



1.  If the fire is on the first floor and wienies or marsh mellows are available, you may consider roasting
     (however, if the fire is on the second story, roasting is contraindicated)

2.  You can play "Pass the Hat", saying something like, "Come on people, we really need to help these
      poor, unfortunate folks".

3.  You can start singing, "Saw varsity's horns off" while swaying back and forth.

4.  You can slip into the cab of the fire truck, engage the loud speaker system and yell, "OK, we've got
     the place surrounded.  Come out with your hands up!"

5.  (Suggested) You can stand in the street and thank God that you own your stuff, rather than your
     stuff owning you.

(Hint) #5 changes everything.



This past Sunday we had a rapper at Crosspoint.  His name is Ray and he was awesome.  He sang with our Worship Team, and then, a couple of times, he just busted loose.  He was great.  OK, I have to preface that...I do not claim any expertise in gauging the art of rapping.  I own a total of 0 rap albums (unless you count that thing that LL Cool J does with Brad Paisley on Accidental Racist).  I just thought he was good.  In fact, I wanted to keep him.  We couldn't hire him, so I offered to adopt him.  The offer's still good.

I read the Communication Cards from last Sunday.  Lot's of really good stuff...LOTS...except for a few.  So, why do I even mention the few?  Because they were insightful and puzzling at the same time.
Here was a puzzling one:  "I'm sure he was very good at what he does, I just don't like rap".  I'm not sure what to do with that.  If someone writes, "I'm sure all the donuts are good, I just don't like donuts", then do we get rid of the donuts?  Or just make a mental note that there's a member who doesn't like donuts?  Maybe offer a Vegetable Tray?

OK, that's not my point.  So, what is my point?  I found the responses puzzling, but more than that, I found them extremely encouraging.  Here's what I read:  "Your musical choices weren't all about me".  BINGO!  We did it!  That's what we've been shooting for.  We finally are getting there.

Here's what hopefully is driving this church:
1.  Our strategy is not to win the won, but win the lost
2.  Therefore, if you're a Christ-follower, you're really not our target
3.  Which means, to the Christ-followers in the audience, "It's not about us"
4.  If we are to reach other races and cultures, we must speak their language
5.  The universal language is music

Please memorize the 5 things listed above.  It will help everything we do make sense...even rap!

Peace Out!



Most people know what an IQ is.  Some even know what their IQ number happens to be.  But, CQ, that's a little odd.  Well, if your IQ is your Intelligence Quotient, then your CQ would be your Church Quotient.  Do you know what yours is?  Look at the scale and see where you fall:

ESSENTIAL:  The Church is an essential part of my life and health and is a necessary element in my spiritual growth, service to God and to others.  It is a place I both receive and give.

IMPORTANT:  The Church is an important part of my spiritual life, growth and health, and I place it on the priority list of my life.  Though not essential, it is important, and a priority.

OPTIONAL:  I see the benefits of my Church life, and place it on the list of beneficial activities, yet it is one of many and would not be categorized as a priority.

UNIMPORTANT:  Although I believe Church is a beneficial thing in theory, practically speaking, it is not particularly on my radar as something of importance in my life and is only an option when there are no other activities available to me at that particular time.

Where do you fall on this scale?  What is your CQ?  What do you think it should be...and does that match up with what it actually is?  Have you made any correlations between your CQ and your Spiritual Growth?  Spiritual Health?  Personal sense of fulfillment?  Family stability?  Personal joy?

Unlike your IQ, you can decide what you want your CQ to be, and make it that.  Just do it!