What To Do If You're Riding a Dead Horse: The Top Ten List

10. Buy a stronger whip.
9. Change riders.
8. Declare, "This is the way we have always ridden this horse."
7. Appoint a team to revive the dead horse.
6. Ignore the dead horse...What dead horse?
5. Create a training session to improve your riding skills.
4. Outsource contractors to ride the dead horse.
3. Appoint a committee to study the dead horse.
2. Arrange to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.
1. Harness several dead horses together for increased speed.

(anonymous, found in Get Out of Your Own Way)

Back from my break with resources

This post is from the defunct blog "Dying Church"

I'm sitting in Starbucks finishing my thesis - or at least the first draft of my thesis. It's time, I think, to get back to posting to Dying Church.

Some random items:

Dear Church: Letters from a Disillusioned Generation is out. I haven't read it yet. Reports I've read say that the author manages to rise above merely complaining about the church by writing "love letters" to the church. If you've read it, I'd love to know what you think.

Just came across Stupid Church People, although it's been around for over a year. Some good posts, and some controversy occasionally as well, as you'd expect with a name like this.

Also reading The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne. Some challenging stuff here. I've heard of people who agree with the book but can't bring themselves to do something about it. Some provocative arguments here on how we function as churches. Read at your own risk.

I continue to look for and love those who are calling the church to die to itself, while also loving the church. If you know of other resources like this, let me know.

Hoping that love does its work

One of the things my pastor said when growing up is that love conquers pretty much anything. I must have been pretty young when he said it, but it's probably one of those statements that shaped me. He said that people can be angry at you and you might make a lot of mistakes, but ultimately if you love them it usually wins out.

I think he might have got that idea from the Bible: "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."

Sometimes love makes you look soft. But it's actually tough, an act of the will, to love when you don't feel like it, especially with friends when you have the option not to love. You can just walk away and be done with each other. It's not like you're stuck. You can choose not to love.

Today I'm learning that love has its limits. Maybe that's why love has to be patient. I am frustrated today, but I hope that my former pastor was right. I hope that love eventually covers all the junk and the mess in which we sometimes find ourselves when nothing else seems to work.

It's not fun being left at home

Charlene and the kids are away visiting in Philadelphia visiting Char's sister and her new baby, and the house is QUIET. Man, I'm not used to this.

Today is Charlene's birthday and I should be cutting the cake or something right now. Instead I'm watching dogs sleep and making myself some Madras Chicken. I'm learning it's a lot more fun to be the one traveling, which is my normal mode, rather than the one left behind.

Did I mention the house is quiet? By the way, anyone want a sleeping dog? Or two?

At Risk: Bringing Hope to Hurting Youth

As a follow-up to Dr. Eugene River's challenge to Toronto last year, local ministries are sponsoring a conference called At Risk: Bringing Hope to Hurting Youth, featuring Dr. Scott Larson.

Who should come? Anyone who wants to make a lasting difference in a hurting youth's life, whether you are a grandparent, parent, guardian, relative, youth worker, volunteer, social worker, teacher, principal, or concerned adult.

Dr. Scott Larson is president and founder of Straight Ahead Ministries, an international faith-based organization working with juvenile offenders in more than 400 juvenile detention centers in 15 states and 3 countries with a myriad of aftercare programs.

Scott has authored 10 books on working effectively with troubled youth and has been a speaker to youth, parents, teachers, social workers, and youth workers since 1983 and is an adjunct professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary's Center for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME).

Scott is also chairman of Reclaiming Youth International, a strength-based movement providing training and best practice models to programs serving high-risk youth around the world.

When: Saturday, October 28, 2006. Registration: 8:45 am. Conference: 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where: Rexdale Alliance Church
Cost: $10 if pre-registered; $15 at the door