Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Discover a Path to Happiness by Doing the Following....

In Jesus, I have found JOY.  Jesus said,
 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full —John 15:11 
 In Jesus, I have inward peace and contentment = JOY.  I have to fight for happiness everyday as the cares of this world try to impede my journey in joy (At this point click the play button in the video below as you read the rest of this post).

What is the trick to getting happy.  There is no trick.  Happiness is often connected to daily experiences. Specifically, these daily acts or experiences:
1.  Make good friends (chord of three is not quickly broken).
2.  Actively express thankfulness (thank the Lord and thank others).
3.  Actively pursue your goals (take one small step everyday toward that goal).
4.  Do what you excel at as often as you can (play toward your strengths and delegate so others can play toward their strengths).
5.  Give (be a cheerful giver).
6.  Don't single-mindedly chase "stuff"  (stuff = cares of this world which is < than HAPPINESS. Chase experiences).
7.  Live the life you want to live (be true to you).

As we seek to make disciples and lead them to JOY, I would encourage you to actively pursue some of the actions above to make you and your neighbors HAPPY!  Fight for it day-by-day.  Our world is looking for inner peace, rest, wholeness and a little happiness.

Okay.....Here is the Happy song:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Need Help Planting a Church?

Here are some resources offered by Lifeway to help you along the way:

For churches in their first two years of operation, LifeWay has a variety of free offerings to help get a few of the foundational aspects of ministry in place. This includes helps for:
  • Bible Study Groups (6 months of digital curriculum for all age groups)
  • Church Website (Free website design and 1 year of hosting)
  • Leadership Development (1 year access to Ministry Grid, LifeWay’s new web-based training platform)
  • Plus, $500 in free printed LifeWay resources of the church’s choosing
Here is the link to get started:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Portland = The Distribution of Urban Fabric

These comments from Jeff Kovel, an architect, are helpful in understanding the difference between the city of Portland and other western cities, like Denver and Seattle:

"What Portland has going for it is the distribution of urban fabric. Everywhere you drive around, people are investing, trying to make their neighborhoods better.  Try driving around in Denver--there's like one neighborhood doing that. In Portland, we have great decentralization. You have a more vibrant city. A lot of cities, you don't know where to go. In every direction in Portland, you run into an interesting neighborhood. In Seattle, you need a tour guide" (Portland Monthly Magazine, April 2014).

Pray for Portland. Pray for these Portland neighborhood in need of disciplemakers who will make new disciples which may become a new church;
1.  Portsmouth/Kenton/University Park (North Portland) = First time home buyers.
2.  Richmond (Southeast)  = urbanites
3.  Sellwood/Moreland (Southeast) = Investors
4.  South Waterfront (Southwest) = empty nesters.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Homes are Moving Fast in These Communities

1. Denver
2. Austin
3. Seattle

Homes aren't on the market long, demonstrating the desirability and livability of these cities.

Pray for more new disciples to be made in these cities which will become new churches.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Jesus: Changing Opinions of Christian Music

A Deeper-Well is expanding the range of Christian Music....
READ the print edition of the A&E section of the Oregonian - April 4, 2014 or the online version at:
And, checkout the Gospel collective's website for music, artists, concerts, etc.:  

Here is a sample of music:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Building A Viral Community

How you answer these questions will determine how viral the crowd you are building might be:

1) Do you know your crowd? Describe them.

2) How are you conversational with your crowd?

3) What expectations do you have for your community?

Read more here from Gunnar:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

How Will They the Pearl District and in the North Pearl?

Housing is booming in a North Portland neighborhood called the Pearl, specifically the North Pearl. The North Pearl lies just beyond Lovejoy Street.

Currently, there are 6 multi family projects totaling more than 1300 units being developed. This will bring an additional 2,000 people to the central city. We as Northwest Baptist and the North American Mission Board have no churches in this high density neighborhood. What an incredible opportunity for those not faint of heart!

The Barry Apartment Report estimates 10,000 to 14,000 new apartment units in the Portland metro area this year and next--half of them in Multnomah County. How will we go and make new disciples among these urban hipsters?

Who will go and join God in His work in the North Pearl? What team of disciples willing to push into the darkness and make disciples will go? What partners will stand in the gap to pray, support, and serve this band of brothers and sisters in order to see God's church expand to these neighborhoods?

Want to read more? Find the Portland Tribune article here:

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Where Did Jesus Gather people for Teachable Moments?

Jesus was amazing in his ability to turn the everyday and everything into opportunities.

He didn't wait for the perfect conditions or try to get people to a certain preaching point. He met people where they were.

He met them in their environments and used their stories to reveal truth.

How do you embrace people in their context and how are you using their stories to point them back to God? Don't worry about the size of the crowd. Focus on revealing the wonder of the Kingdom life. He went back to teaching by the sea. A crowd built up to such a great size that he had to get into an offshore boat, using the boat as a pulpit as the people pushed to the water’s edge. He taught by using stories, many stories.

What Big Jesus Opportunity Is Moving You (the collective you)?

"When a person has a true sense of urgency, sparked by a significant opportunity, they are moved by that thought and feeling literally every day."

Check out the full post here:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Allowing God to Unlock the CREATIVITY in ALL of Us -Guided Mastery

God is creator and therefore very creative.  God has given us the responsibility both to steward and to create.  We join Him in stewarding the creation He has entrusted to us and we co-create with Him to bring beauty into His creation.

If you follow God into creation, you will become creative....step-by-step-by-step.  God will guide you into your creative mastery.

Unleash your creative nature.....
Unleash the artisan contained in you....

Regain your creative confidence!

Check out this book:

Check out this TED talk:

God has made us naturally creative.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Portland is America's #1.....

The following is post is taken from my friend George Bradley....Thanks George for following Christ and making disciples in Portland!

If you live in Portland, you know all about our town. If you don’t live in Portland, let me share some of our cultural context. The information that follows appears this week in the Portland Tribune and Willamette Week newspapers.
·       Best City (Motovo)
·       Unhappiest City (Business Week)
·       Most Unbelieving (Irreligious) City (US Census)
·         Most Strip Clubs per Capita (tuscl)
·       Best Beer City (Travel & Leisure)
·       77% identify as Liberal (Values & Beliefs)
·       Top City for Casual Sex (OKCupid)
·       Top City for Book Lovers (Livability)
·       Best City for Movie Lovers (Motivo)
·       Best Bike City (Bicycling)
·       Most Green City (Popular Science)

Some are saying that the TV show Portlandia is not a comedy but a documentary! Portlandia - Forgot My Grocery Bag

Jesus is asking you and me to invite others to fall under His loving discipline. He asks us to make disciples. I have a yearning to be a follower of Jesus in Portland and to make disciples here. Maybe you do too. 

Jesus doesn’t ask us to convert Portlanders to Christianity. Converts change religions. Jesus is asking us to be disciple makers. Disciples change masters. Converts follow a system. Disciples follow the Person of Jesus. Converts build a religion. Disciples of Jesus build the Kingdom of God. Converts adapt rituals. Disciples of Jesus embrace His entire worldview, character, teachings, way of living and dying. Disciples baptize others in the context of “teaching them to observe all that I command you.” Converts love numbers. Followers of Jesus long for transformation

Jesus has allowed me to share Him with people from every continent. Then, together you helped us send missionaries from here. In recent years I’ve worked to make Jesus followers in Portland. You and I belong to Jesus. We are sold out, whole route. The people of Portland are wonderful and this town is amazing, despite our ambivalence about Jesus. Portland and I need your prayers.

Thank you for helping us share Jesus in Portland.  

Yours for transformation,
George Bradley

Friday, March 7, 2014

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Be Good at This

Be a good communicator!  If you want to be a good leader, AN INTERESTING FRIEND and effective church planter, learn how to be a good storyteller.

"...the best leaders, the best marketers, are the best storytellers"

In the northwest, you will not start a new church because you are just a good communicator from the pulpit. can grow a new church by learning to be a good storyteller in the marketplace of ideas, in the neighborhood, and in the "backyard" of your home with friends.

So, learn to be a better storyteller in your everyday, going about life as a follower of Jesus.  Study how Jesus told stories and parables. Practice writing your own modern day parable.  Read this article and others like it:

And, read books like this and others like it on public storytelling:


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Who is My Neighbor?

Jesus said, "LOVE your neighbor as you love yourself."

He doesn't give us a list of prohibitive actions which void this command (i.e. If we "catch" our neighbor in non-Christlike behavior, this command is void).  He says love them.  Serve them.  He says, "let your light shine before them in such a way they see your good work and glorify ME in heaven."

Jesus loved societies unlovable.  Jesus affiliated with sexual deviants, lepers, thieves, the marginalized, the outcast, etc., etc. (and, such were some of you the Bible reminds us).

Jesus would even go out of his way (travel through Samaria a place and people hated by his brothers) to love his neighbor.  Actually, he left heaven to come and live among ALL of us.  He became our neighbor.  He loved us.  He made a way for us to be reconciled and restored to the Father.

If we rationalize who we can love and who we can't love, we become just like the Pharisees in the N.T. And, when I read about them, it saddens me.

So church, who is your neighbor?  It is probably the person who lives next door or across the street. How do we need to act more neighborly in these days?