Shocking Math

calculator_and_money_515824A Math Lesson

I’m not a math guy, never have been. Give me history or psychology any day over algebra! However, I don’t have to be an accountant to understand that the little “x” button on the calculator has more potential to impact a number than the larger “+” button.

Humor me a minute with the following example: If you start with number “20” and you hit the “+” button and the number “3,” you will end up with “23.” However, if you start with the number “20” and you hit the “x” button and the number “3,” you will end up with what? That’s right! You will end up with “60!” Oh, the power of multiplication.

So…what’s the point? Why this review of elementary math? What does this have to do with a blog that focuses on the life available to those to love and follow Jesus?

Shockingly Normal

The short answer is, “EVERYTHING!” Multiplication is the normal way of functioning in the kingdom of God. Think about the characteristics of God that have multiplied in your life. When love takes root, it isn’t simply added to one small component of your life. Instead, it expands almost endlessly. As you come to know the love of God, you transform to be able to offer that same love in endless and sometimes shocking ways.

Question: What if Jesus intends to multiply his kingdom through you the same way? What if your transformation isn’t simply about you? What if it’s also about a handful of people in your life who will be changed because Jesus has taken root in you? And what if your task in the kingdom is more than to simply “show them Jesus” but to model for them what it means to become like him?

What then? Won’t you be amazed by the multiplication of God’s nature in them? And won’t they burn inside themselves to share this change with those in their lives? As a result, the kingdom of God is quickly multiplied beyond your ability to count.

No Longer Theory

Last week, this scenario moved from theory to reality for me while I was attending a Nexus church planting conference. Author and church planter, Ralph Moore, spoke with us over a three day period and challenged a room full of church planters to move from addition to multiplication. As he taught, he told his story that included him personally planting 3 different churches. Over the years those 3 churches directly planted over 80 more churches. And – that’s right – those 80 churches have all together planted over 2,100 churches!

Shocking math is right!

Question is…are we ready to hit the little “x” button?

Write an Amazon Review

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Reckless Pursuit hit Amazon last week and it’s gotten some chatter…over 11,000 people saw the announcement on Facebook. Pretty exciting stuff. But we’re just getting started and you can help!

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO: If you’ve read Reckless Pursuit, click on this link – WRITE AN AMAZON REVIEW! It will take you to the book page of Amazon where you can rate Reckless Pursuit and write a quick review. It will only take 2 or 3 minutes and it will help to put this story of God’s relentless love in front of people who need to hear it. Thanks for helping to get the word out!

TAKE A LOOK: If you’re new to Reckless Pursuit, you can take a look at the Amazon author page at: amazon.com/author/landoncollard.

If you have any thoughts or questions, let me know – I’d love to hear from you! You can reply back to this blog, message me on Facebook or email me directly at: landon@journeycs.org. I look forward to hearing from you.

Scary Love

Murray.Bears

My hobby and entertainment outlet of choice is the Dallas Cowboys. I know, that in itself is pretty polarizing but they’re my team and it’s the one addiction I will allow myself. On my days off, I’ll research their stats, read up on their opponents and do my best to project their future.

Last night, before the Cowboys visited the Bears – and utterly fell apart – I received a series of texts from one of my friends. Although he lives in Waco, Texas (and attends Journey), he for some reason feels an unnatural allegiance to his “home team” the Chicago Bears. He and I spent the next half hour sparing back and forth, explaining why “my” team was better and would ultimately come out on top. It was a lot of fun!

However, even as I made my case, I wasn’t convinced. I knew my arguments were hollow and I doubted that the joy of victory would be ours. The final outcome of the game, a 45-28 embarrassment, was all too predictable.

In response to yet another crippling defeat, I posted on Facebook my thoughts about why this keeps happening to the Cowboys. I explained some X’s & O’s and then made the case that the problem is deeper than any one player or even a ridiculously bad defense. The problem is deeper than that and can be summed up in one word…

INFLUENCE.

It’s the single most important word in football and is, I believe, in the top 5 most important words in life. Influence. Consider for a moment the power behind this word. This is the force that guides you, shapes your thoughts and your character. It impacts everything in our lives. Our relationships. Our professions. Our self-esteem. Our faith. What we invite to influence us directly determines who we will be, what we will do and how we will impact the world around us.

The problem with the Cowboys is a problem of poor influence. Poor influence in the draft room, possibly (although probably getting better – consider the last couple of drafts, emphasizing the offensive line – but I digress). Poor influence on the management of critical game situations…absolutely! I am convinced that if this one piece of influence was changed for the Cowboys, it would impact their win column by 3 to 4 wins a year!

In considering this, I can’t help but think about how this plays out in my life. I both celebrate and struggle with influence – especially as a dad. I realize the power I have to shape and mold my kids because of the influence I have over them and I don’t want to sleep walk through it. I want to use it intentionally and proactively. I know who I want my kids to become and I want to do everything I can to direct that. Sometimes I do a great job, sometimes I feel like I’m sleepwalking but I realize I am influencing regardless. And mostly, I am grateful for that.

The struggle comes not because of what my influence means but because of what it doesn’t mean. Think about it…with all that influence can do there is one thing it can never and will never do.

CONTROL.

I influence my kids every day but I will never be able to control them. I can not “make” them “do” anything. I can guide. Teach. Direct. Shape. Mentor. Challenge. Correct. Discipline. And on and on. But I will never be able to control them nor anyone in my sphere of influence.

And this is both freeing and troubling at the same time. It allows me to be critically important but ultimately puts the responsibility fully on their choice. As I consider the depth of such a dynamic, I am highly aware that this where our God chose to live with us.

That’s scary love!

Reblog: Don’t Mix Colors (or Words)

Is there a difference between transparency and brutal honesty? I love the simplicity at which children approach the world. Don’t always love the sting that it brings and want to coach the pursuit of love over everything but honest, transparent living is SO GOOD!

May you live free today!

Stuff Kids Write

honest.art.eval

Melanie asked her 5th grade students to “be honest” with their assessments.

This artist received an A+ in Not Mixing Words.

View original post

Reblog: Eyes of Christ

It’s incredible the impact we can have by simply living in a way that reflects Jesus. It’s what authentic Christian community promotes and reproduces. It’s what “church” is all about! Live well today. Live with the eyes of Christ. Live in love!

Morning Story and Dilbert

He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes
in it, jeans, and no shoes.  This was literally his
wardrobe for his entire four years of college.

He is brilliant.  Kind of profound and very, very bright.
He became a Christian while attending college.

Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed,
very conservative church.  They want to develop a ministry
to the students but are not sure how to go about it.

One day Tim decides to go there.  He walks in
with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair.

The service has already started, and so Tim
starts down the aisle looking for a seat.

The church is completely packed and he can’t
find a seat.  By now, people are really looking
a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything.

Tim gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit,
and when he realizes there are…

View original post 240 more words

TQ Music

TQ

I love seeing those I love succeed! I love celebrating with them, giving them a high-five and bragging about them fearlessly. If you’ve ever been at Journey, there’s a good likelihood that you’ve heard me do this. I tend to regularly brag on my God, my three kids and our church family. It comes from this overwhelming emotion that can’t help but be shared. It’s what drives the new father to relentlessly post picture after picture on Facebook of his newborn, simply because it’s the most amazing thing he’s ever seen.

So…let me tell you about my friend Tquan. I have had the joy of calling him my friend for about a decade now. In that time, he has taught me, cared for my heart, modeled Jesus for me, and inspired me to live more authentically…more radically in pursuit of Jesus. He is truly a treasure, a man I would trust with what is most sacred to me. And on top of all of that, he is simply the coolest person I think I have ever known. He just has this thing that makes you want to be around him – to be a part of whatever it is he is doing.

What Tquan is doing and doing well is music! A few years ago, he walked away from full-time youth ministry and dove headlong into pursuing a life of leading people to the throne of God through music. God is blessing this, bringing many opportunities for him to perform, lead worship or simply play at local coffee shops. A couple of summers ago, The Passage youth ministry here at Journey invited him to lead the worship at their Disciple Now event and it was amazing!

If you haven’t ever heard Tquan, you need to! His music and ministry will touch your heart and challenge your life. Recently, he was invited to an event that could continue to open new doors for his ministry and you can help.

Click on this link http://www.tquanmoore.com/music and check it out! If you like what you find, consider joining him as he pursues furthering the reach of his ministry and the advancement of the kingdom. Here’s what you can do…

On the music page of his site, you can download Tquan’s NEW CHRISTMAS SINGLE “Let the World Rejoice” and GET %50 OFF his album “ALL I NEED”. The proceeds will go toward travel expenses for Shine, an event held by Actor’s, Models and Talent for Christ (AMTC) in Orlando in January 2013.

Check out TQ Music & Ministry. Spread the Word and celebrate with us!

 

Preserved vs. Repressed Sexuality

Sex plays such a dominate role in our culture. It drives our advertising and our entertainment. Whether it’s overt or subtle, it seems to be everywhere.

Question: How do we deal with this as followers of Jesus? How do we participate in this sex saturated culture and yet live differently? What boundaries do we place in our lives?

And possibly even more important…how do we guide our children and our single adults through this extremely difficult maze? This is a question we really need to spend some time on. What we teach here really matters. It will influence not only their actions but their hearts. It could directly impact whether they receive the gift of sex truly as a gift or as something else entirely.

Last week, I ran across a tremendous post about this. It directly addresses how so much of our Christian community has dealt with sexuality and the potential struggles we create within the hearts of our children and single adults. Take a look, it’ll be well worth your time!

Preserved vs. Repressed Sexuality.

Jacob’s Dream…Our Reality!

A few years ago, Abilene Christian University commissioned this sculpture to be constructed just outside of their School of Theology building, called “Jacob’s Dream.” It depicts the dream Jacob (Abraham’s grandson) had in Genesis 28, where he saw a stairway reaching from earth to heaven and angels climbing up and down on it. It was in this moment that God reconfirmed the promises he made to Abraham…to give his descendants the land he was on…to multiply his descendants like the dust on the earth…that all the peoples of the earth will be blessed through him…and that God will not leave him.

What an incredible story! What would it do to someone to see a glimpse of the eternal so clearly? And to hear the voice of God, loving you and promising to use you to bless the entire world! How would it change the way you would think of God? See the world? See people? Could you ever go back to the way things were?

The two girls standing underneath the ladder are my daughter, Reagan, and her friend, Sidney. They were just finishing their week of camp at ACU and had to have one more look at the sculpture. They had an amazing time and shared their experiences with — well — enthusiasm. They told us about their friends and all the fun they had. Then they talked to us about God, his promise to come back and that he will recreate a place for us to live with him forever. As they talked, I couldn’t help thinking that we were, in that moment, experiencing some of God’s promises spoken during Jacob’s dream. That these two beautiful little girls have received a taste of the kingdom of God!

In the camp’s closing ceremony, they showed a camp video for the parents to enjoy. Then, in their final act of camp, they asked all the students to stand and repeat a pledge that grew out of their week. It was a tremendous site, seeing a couple hundred elementary students declaring who they intend to be as they participate in the Father’s kingdom.

Here is that pledge. As you read it, consider how different our experience in this life would be if we commit to living this way with every breath we take. If we declare that we have encountered the God of Jacob, been invited into his kingdom and there is no turning back!

Kingdom of God Pledge

Because I have been invited into the throne room of God

Because I have been adopted into the family of God

Because I want to be a citizen of the Kingdom of heaven forever

I hereby renounce any allegiance to the kingdom of earth

and any other god other than the One True God who created me and loves me.

I hereby declare that it is my heart’s desire to do God’s will on earth

just as it is done in heaven

So I will work to heal those who need healing

I will seek to know God’s will and obey it

And I will seek to fight injustice wherever I encounter it

Until God calls me home or Jesus returns to take us all home to heaven.

To the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Do You Want to Make a Differnce or a Point? – by Pete Wilson

Hey Guys! I was reading Pete Wilson’s blog (author of Plan B and Empty Promises) a couple days ago and really enjoyed this post. I love his thoughts about making a difference instead of making a point! It reminds me of a life-changing and ministry-chaning struggle I went through a dozen years ago as I wrestled with the difference between success and significance. It doesn’t always come with applause but I want to position myself to choose significance and faithfulness. Take a look at what Pete wrote…

Do You Want To Make A Difference Or A Point?

July 2, 2012 in Leadership with 33 Comments

There’s an article in the July issue of Church Executive that just came out last week entitled “Who Speaks Up?” I was skimming the article nodding along with most of what the author was saying until I saw my name. Then all of the sudden it became personal and I stopped to reflect.

Ron Keener wrote,

“I have to wonder: Who speaks for the church now? Billy Graham is 94 in November and we miss his presence in the pulpit. Franklin Graham has a strong message but his attention is rightfully overseas and focused on the parachurch.

When CNN’s Larry King wanted a point of view from the evangelical church he went to Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson, as if either of them really spoke for the church-at-large. Occasionally John McArthur, now 72, showed up at the “Kings Table,” and one or two other well-known preachers.

Many of the best speakers for the faith, and for the church in the world, keep busy with their own congregations and avoid the national media scene. Chuck Smith Sr. is 84 and ailing. Charles Stanley is 80. Chuck Swindoll and Jack Hayford were born in 1934.

He continues,

“Where are the “young bucks” within the church who bring it fresh thinking? And I don’t mean universalist Rob Bell. Such as David Platt, Pete Wilson, Mark Batterson, Randy Frazee or Rick Rusaw? They are so silent.

The church is under attack like no other time, and if responsible church men and women don’t speak up on its behalf int these turbulent social and cultural times, other, not so well meaning, will.

I appreciate Ron Keener and his concern even if he did somewhat call me out. :) I understand what’s he’s saying and he asks some valid questions.

Here’s my thoughts on this.

I’ve never felt called or led to be a talking head for the evangelical church. My understanding is that talking heads make points. I don’t want my life and ministry to be about making points.

To borrow a line from Andy Stanley, “I rather make a difference than a point“.

Sure, I can go on television and make some “points”, maybe  gain a few fans, get the applause of some church people. But in the process I alienate the very people that are far from God who I want to reach through my ministry.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve seen very few lives changes with preachers engaging the media and making very well crafted points. I’m not sure anyone cares about our points. I’m afraid that in making our points we forget about the very people we’re trying to reach with our points.  There’s nothing wrong with making points, I just think we might have a greater calling.

I’ll make some points in a message.

I’ll make some points in my books.

Along the way I hope some of my points may make you think, question, or even take action.

But more than anything. I want my life and ministry to be focused on making a difference.

So if the evangelical church is looking for a talking head that will cruise the media circuits trying to make points… I think I’ll pass.

If the evangelical church is looking for some pastors that want to go out and make a point by first making a difference… then you can count me in.

*If you’d like to visit Pete’s blog and see the original post, just click the link below:

http://withoutwax.tv/2012/07/02/do-you-want-to-make-a-difference-or-a-point