Archive for the ‘Missional’ Category


Parlez-vous français ? Sprechen Sie deutsch?

August 17, 2011

I took one year of French in High School. I barely passed. That was my reason for not taking a second year of French.

Our family moved to Germany in 1974 to be missionaries. Shortly after we were settled into our new home I spent 4 days a week at the Goethe Institute studying German. Within a few short weeks I preached (read by manuscript) my first sermon in German.

As I reflect on those two very different experiences in learning a new language I see a parallel as it pertains to Bible study. Like many of you I grew up going to church and attending Bible classes. We were there every time the doors were open so I heard a lot of Bible being taught. But I can’t tell you that I really knew or understood a lot of what I was taught.

When I got out of the army I worked for an aircraft construction company. I worked closely with two guys who professed to be Christians. Both of them lived like the Devil throughout the week but never missed attending church on Sunday. I began to discuss the scriptures with them. They would make an argument and I would go home and study to prepare to respond the next day at work. I was doing a lot of Bible Study. But I was studying the Bible with a specific purpose. Bible study became an adventure and I could not get enough.

How many of you can relate to sitting on a plane and listening to the instructions from the cabin personnel about the seat belt and the flotation devise under your seat. You “heard” what was said, but did you really pay attention? Why not?  Because you did not expect to be in an emergency landing or crash over water where you would really need this information.

The moral of the story?  We learn more and pay attention to what we hear when there is reason or need to do so.

Can you imagine how exciting it would be for Christians if they understood their vocation as disciples as not that dissimilar from their heroes they read about in the Scriptures. What if they could see themselves as a part of the continuing story being written today? Instead of Biblical truths going in one ear and out the other, Bible Study would be seen as preparation for their mission. What if they saw themselves as a part of an incredible adventure with other Christians and learning was critical to the success of that mission.

If you have ever taught a Bible class you understand that the one who gained the most was you…the teacher. Why? You were learning with a purpose.

Unused truth is often lost truth. How many times have we heard, “Use it or lose it!” So let me encourage you to put yourself in a challenging situation. Deliberately put yourself in a place where you need to know and allow yourself to be motivated to learn with purpose. You will be so glad you did.


The Attractive Jesus

August 29, 2008

I happened to be channel surfing last evening and happened upon a clip from the independent film, “Bella”. It is being promoted among Christian circles as a “pro-life” movie, though I have not seen it yet, others say that is not its major thrust. The trailer I watched has a scene it which the staring couple happens upon a blind man sitting on the side walk in New York City with a sign beside him that reads, “God closed my eyes…now I see. The sign alone carries a powerful message…but I digress.


The blind man senses the couple’s presence and says, “Today is a beautiful day…right”?

Then without hesitation he says, “Describe it to me.” The young lady responded, “Just an ordinary day in New York City…you know. People rushing back and forth, everybody’s got some where to go, somewhere to be. Nobody cares about nothing. Like a human driven clock…never stops”.


The blind man answers, “Oh…wish I could see that.”


As I reflected a bit on this brief portion of the movie I was struck with the feeling that her description could fit most any city of size anywhere in the world. Cities filled with people with places to go, people to see and deadlines to meet. Jesus came to a world, although separated by centuries from our own, that had pretty much the same mind set. But it was not long until Jesus not only stood out in the crowd, the crowd had assembled because of Him.


What was it that made Jesus so attractive? What was it that set Him apart from the” crowd”, so to speak? Some would say His miracles, others His radical teaching. If I had to choose just one it would be His compassion. Jesus was compassionate about people. He was not just conscious of the people; he was compassionate for the people. In Matthew 14 a multitude of people are following Jesus and the disciples tell Him to send them away to find food. Jesus responds by telling the disciples, “You feed them.” The disciples were conscious of people, Jesus was compassionate for people.


In Matthew 19 people are bringing children to Jesus to have Him bless them and the disciples told them not to be a bother to the Lord. But Jesus tells them to allow the children to come to Him and He blessed them. The disciples were conscious of people, Jesus was compassionate toward people.


When Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan He taught the lesson that often religious people are conscious of others and their needs, but often are not compassionate about those people and their needs.


Maybe one of the reasons that people are not interested in hearing us talk about Jesus is that they have not first seen Jesus in us. The problem with using words when talking about Jesus is a problem of communication. There are at least three messages that may be present in our words: (1) what I intend to say, (2) what I actually say and (3) what others hear. When we act with the compassion of Christ toward others they realize that we are more than just conscious that they exist, we are compassionate about them as well.


People who go around coercing people into “decisions” for Christ are not only doing a total disservice to Jesus (IMHO), they are presenting a distorted picture of Jesus. The Jesus that was “attractive” was not some “in your face” sort of teacher when talking to the non-religious. He compassionately touched, healed and met the needs of those who came to Him.


I am trying to learn to be more compassionate. I don’t want to just be conscious of people I want to be compassionate about people. I think the longer I hang around Jesus the more that will happen in my life.



June 24, 2008

You may not like the conclusions of this book, but you will have a hard time saying that they are not true. The following is a CNN interview with the book’s author. The interviewer is pretty savvy and I think fair in the questions he asks.

Take a look at this one also.


Final Push For Operation Dad 2008

May 17, 2008

WKRN Channel 2 in Nashville joined other media outlets in promoting Operation Dad 2008. After listen to the video below please read a personal message from Tom Haddon, our Involvment Minister (featured in the video) whose message is listed below.

5/17/08 Good morning,

We have one week to go – This is sorting and packing week. We have enough money to ship just over 4000 packages! That’s 2/3 of the way there.

Individuals: We need shipping on 2,000 more packages. Can you go to your friends and neighbors today asking them to contribute $ 5.00 to ship one box. The $ 5.00 covers the cost of the bag (small backpak with nothing in it) and the cost to ship it. For every $ 5.00 that you raise, that’s one more bag going to Afghanistan. Individual donations, for tax purposes, are treated like a donation to any qualified ‘church’.

If you own a business or know someone who does, can you ask for a corportate donation? Remember – every $ 100.00 sends 20 packages. Remind them that we will be sending out tax receipts to them the first part of June. Corporate donations are tax deductible.

Together, with our community, we can get over the hump. I thank you all for what you have already done. Let’s work together to make this happen for our men and women.

Thank you,

Tom Haddon for Operation Dad 2008



Steve Gill Takes His Show On The Road For Operation Dad 2008

May 16, 2008

Will You Be A Drop of Rain?

May 15, 2008

Operation Dad needs 25,000 drops of rain. One drop won’t accomplish much, but enough drops can turn a desert into an Oasis. We need 25,000 people to give 1 dollar by May 21st. It will cost a little over 5 dollars to send each package. (Yes we have checked with the Post Office and they won’t, and we have checked with the Military and they don’t have a plane).

Side Note! 500 of the 6000 packages being prepared with be for the ladies in the 506th Combat Brigade.

Here is the Fox Channel 17 report from last night.



Local Media Spreading The Word About Operation Dad

May 15, 2008

Most of the local TV Stations and a few of the radio stations are spreading the word about Operation Dad. Here is just a couple reports. One from local TV Report from WSMV Channel 4. and the other The Steve Gill Radio show with our own Tom Haddon and LaVern Vivio known on many radio stations in Nashville as U-Turn Lavern traffic reporter.