Saturday, June 24, 2006

Arijaan in Amesterdam

We've sent college students all over the world this summer. . . close to 10 to 10 different places I'd say (I'll work on an exact number.) Arijaan Bulk is one of them. She left for Amsterdam yesterday to go work in a Christ-centered Youth Hostel where she will share Jesus with those who come through the house. Sounds like a very exciting ministry.

Arijaan has started a blog to share her adventure . . .Arijaan's Adventures in Amsterdam!

So since I'm on this "Flat World" kick and thinking about self-organizing social networks, I had an idea. . . . we ought to have a College Mission's Blog where all those who are on trips this summer can log-in at one place to share their "what's going on" with the larger church family. Rather than everyone creating their own blogs, let's create a shared space. . . . Wouldn't you love to hear what's going on in all these places among all these peoples?

A College Mission's Blog would build community by connecting travelling college students with one another and with the church back home. Extended friends and family might log in too and others on the internet, might stumble on to the site and recognize that God is at Grace and throughout the world. Would this not support our mission to Celebrate, Proclaim and Live the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the Central Coast and beyond?

Sure, not everyone traveling will have internet access, but my understanding is that internet access is more prevalent in other areas of the world. I bet most of the students traveling will have access.

This is, at least, one way to take advantage of a Flat World . . .

I pitched the idea to Pastor Steve. Let's see what he does with it. Time is of the essence, since many of the students have left or are leaving soon. (No pressure, Steve!)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Business 2.0: 50 People who matter

Interesting list of business people who matter to go along with the last "Flat World" post.

50 People who matter

Take a look at #1 & #7 in particular. Much of the list reflects the flattening of the world.

Here also is a list of 10 who they say don't matter much in the business landscape today. . .

10 Who Don't Matter

Any thoughts?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The World is Flat

On the way to Stockton the other day, I listened to an audio version of Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat.

Has anybody read it? If so, what did you think?

In the book, Friedman describes 10 World Flatteners. Here's the list, but you'll have to read/listen to the book to understand them. . .

(1) 11/9/89 The Fall of the Berlin Wall

(2) 8/9/95 The New Age of Connectivity: When the Web Went Around and Netscape Went Public

(3) Work Flow Software

(4) Open-Sourcing (In 2006, retitled 'Uploading')

(5) Outsourcing

(6) Offshoring

(7) Supply-chaining

(8) Insourcing

(9) In-forming

(10) Amplifying technologies, or "steroids."
Friedman makes much of how these "flatteners" are lowering the barriers to entry for new markets such as China, India and the former Soviet Block countries.

One of the things I appreciated most about the book is that it's not all analysis, but also corrective. Friedman offers some helpful suggestions for surviving/thriving in a flat world.

As I listened, I thought about three issues:

  1. What does a flat world mean for world missions? Huge implications here. God, "who works all things after the counsel of His own will," will work a flat world for His good purposes. How can we take advantage of the circumstances of a flat world to join Him in His work?

  2. What does a flat world mean for Grace? I got an email from someone in deep China who was encouraged by "The Fig Tree Withered" message from a couple weeks ago. Blew my mind. That's a flat world phenomenon. How do we go further and deeper?

  3. What does a flat world mean for San Luis Obispo? I think those who are trying to live and work in SLO should read "The World is Flat." A flat world can make it possible to survive and thrive here or whereever. We need more flat world businesses here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Welcome Eli Allshouse

Mike & Katie Allshouse just returned home from Ethiopia with their new adopted son, Eli. Welcome to Grace, Eli! Be praying for the Allshouse Family as they integrate one more. . . they're up to four. . . so far.

Grace is starting to get a bit colorful with all these new additions . . . it's about time . . . Who's next?

On the subject of Africa, I just watched this 35 minute NBC News Special called Bono in Africa.

(It's available for free on the iTunes Music Store . . . the link will take you there. . . iTunes required.)

Dude is the real deal and he's making it happen. Attacking the roots of the problems in the name of God. He makes a great point about how the West needs to be involved there to show the world our values and our care. It's good public relations. It's the right thing to do. It's a good investment.

Check out Bono's website at . . .make poverty history.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Theule Family Photo of the Week: me & her

Isn't she lovely? Clearly my "better half!" Lucky guy.

Cousin's Camp

On Father's Day after our full and fun services, I headed up to the Stockton area to drop off Sage, Eden, Zeke, Kyle & Julianne for a week long "Cousin's Camp" that my mom and stepfather put together for the week. Looks and sounds like they're having a great time.

I'm taking the week off and it's just me and Susie and Haak. . . .trying to catch up on the business of life this week.

Friday, June 16, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Have you seen this family?

Perhaps you've heard the rumors or perhaps you've already met this friendly family. It's true, my brother Chad and His family have made the leap to the Central Coast. He hung up his VP tech job and he's starting a company called One Source Home Solutions, with another buddy of mine.

Would you believe it? They're renting a house just 7 houses up from us. The cousins are loving it. It's like summer camp.

From left that's Chad, Julie, Nate, Kyle and Julianne. When you see them around, give them a great big Grace welcome.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


It's sinking in this week that Pastor Scott has really left our staff team. We had a pastoral offsite today and he wasn't there. I looked in his office today and it was nearly empty. He wasn't in the worship service line-up this last week. I miss his smiling face.

I read a quote today that caught my attention. . .

Change is hard. Change is hardest on those caught by surprise. Change is hardest on those who have difficulty changing, too. But change is natural; change is not new; change is important.

I agree. Change is hard. Blessings to Pastor Scott & the whole Peterson Family as they seek and serve the Lord beyond Grace.

Nehemiah Borland

Mike & Kristin Borland welcomed Nehemiah into the world and into their family on Sunday, June 11th. Mom & baby are doing well. Congrats to the proud parents and grandparents!

Monday, June 12, 2006

75th Anniversary Road Ride?

So I just got wind that there was a low profile 75th Anniversary Road Ride on Memorial Monday. What's up with that? No one invtied me. Here's the evidence . . .

from left. . . Mark Ernstrom, Steve Leonard, Michael Grainger,
David Leece, Dean Hampton, Rick Wolfe, Scott Morton, and Greg Keough

Now I've heard that David Leece is the man to beat out there.

Lots of cycling going on these days at Grace. . . both road and off road. Give me a holler if you want more info.

Friday, June 09, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, June 08, 2006

It's been a while since we've thrown a Life Together quote into the mix. Here's a thought-provoking one. What's your reaction?

He who loves his dream of a community more than the Christian community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter, even though his personal intentions my be ever so honest and earnest and sacrificial.

--Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, page 27

discouraging note of the week

Surely you don't think all the feedback is positive, do you?

Last Sunday between services, somebody handed me a worship tab that they had found lying around. She said, "I think this is note for you." Here's what the tab said. . .

Length of sermon isn't as important as getting the message across to the people. On average people can only hold their attention for 30 minutes.

Your delivery is excellent. Very animated. Its a good thing!

Nice. Of course it was unsigned. Why do I read unsigned notes?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

encouraging email of the week

Here's another college student that Scott Morton and Steve Leonard have been investing their lives in . . .

Greetings Men of God,

My name is Greg Keogh and I'm a Cal Poly student attending Grace. Since I have finished finals (praise God!!) I've had a few moments to reflect on the past quarter and decided to take the time to tell you all what I have learned and seen this past quarter specifically to the 75th anniversary.

I first want to start off by thanking all of you for giving me the opportunity to experience this anniversary even though I have only attended 3 years and will only be around for a little over 1 more year. I am so thankful I got the chance to sing in the 75th anniversary choir; I sang in high school which was an amazing experience. But there is something to be said about singing with a group of people that believe the words they sing, it was amazing to worship God by making a sweet sound to his ears and proclaiming at the top of our lungs how he is worthy of praise!

I was also very challenged at the banquet to hear the stories and see the people that have been at Grace since the beginning. I was blown away to hear that Leroy Persson was only 22 years old when starting Grace and had no pastoral training. I pray that I might have the same confidence in God's will that Leroy had in starting a church with 3 people and pushing through all the trials with prayer and submission to complete God's very evident will for a church on Pismo and Osos. God has been so faithful in providing for Grace, just like it says in Hebrews 11 that "He who promised is faithful" and Grace is another testimony to that. I have been challenged to seek God's faithfulness in my own life and to celebrate and remember that as I walk with him daily.

I finally hope to encourage you in saying that I accept the challenge you, Pastor Tim and Pastor Steve, have been giving us to take the baton and move into the next generation of saints. I prayerfully hope to do this as I serve on College leadership and desire so much to see my fellow students serve their crucial role in the body of Christ. I want them to see how they make Christ's bride even more beautiful by serving Him throughout their college years and continuing beyond by pouring into others. Again, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to experience this anniversary and for so lovingly welcoming college students in the body at Grace. I thank you for pouring yourselves out for the sake of Christ and pray that my simple words bring encouragement to you.

Because He is good,

Greg Keogh

Here's a neat shot of our 75th Anniversary Banquet at the Madonna Expo ... that's a whole lot of people. . . . an evening to remember. Click to see larger.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Drama of Doctrine

Today, I read this great interview with Kevin Vanhoozer, a prof at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and the author of The Drama of Doctrine, which I now would like to read. (Though the cover might just be the most boring book cover I've seen in a very long time!)

Here's a link to a PDF version of the article and a few quotes that caught my attention. . .

The imagination is our means of perceiving a unified drama in the diversity of the Scriptures. What holds the various books of the Old and New Testament together is their testimony to the speech and action of the triune God and to the drama of redemption. The imagination allows us to grasp as a meaningful whole what those without imagination see only as unrelated parts. . . . But we can go further still. The imagination also enables us to see our lives as part of that same meaningful whole. Christians don’t need more information about the Bible, trivial or otherwise. What the church needs today is the ability to indwell or inhabit the text, the ability to make the Bible serve as the framework through which we interpret God, the world, and ourselves.
(This is exactly what I mean when I often say that we need to "place ourselves in the text, see ourselves in the story.")

I think a picture of doctrine as theoretical information has held evangelicals captive for too long. We believe the right things and sign on the dotted line of our confessional statements, but too many of us are unable to relate our offical theology to everyday life. There is a tremendous disconnect. We know how to profess, but not to practice the cross.
(We believe the gospel, even proclaim it, but don't know how to live it.)
The church is a company of players who have become in the words of the apostle Paul, a "spectacle to the world" (I Cor. 4:9). Christians are "costumed interpreters," clothed with the righteousness of Christ and charged with being the “theater of the gospel.” To be precise, the church is to perform the in the power of the Spirit. The most important form that our biblical interpretation takes is not the commentary but the community: the church is to show the world what the gospel means through the way it shapes its life together. When the church performs the gospel, it becomes an enacted parable that exhibits the kingdom of God before a watching world. For example, the church performs the atonement by exercis- ing its ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18). The church does not bring reconciliation about—only the cross can do that—but witnesses in word and deed to the reconciliation already achieved in Christ. The church participates in the cross, then, when it becomes a theater of reconciliation. Or, to put it somewhat differently, the church demonstrates her understanding of—performs—the doctrine of atonement by living as though the “dividing walls” (Eph 2:14) of racial and ethnic hostility really were broken down.
(I like that term "theater of the Gospel" to describe the church. This quote is all about "living the Gospel," isn't it? We perform the atonement by practicing reconciliation! That's a great concrete example of how we can apply the gospel to our everyday lives.)

Read the article and share your thoughts.

(HT: my father-in-law who gave me the article)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

update your contact info @ now

If you worship with us at Grace, you can now access and update your personal information online from our website. Give it a go at . . . .

Click Here!

The earliest days of Grace were characterized by creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, and cutting-edge use of technology to advance the Gospel here on the Central Coast and beyond. We're committed to the same. To that end, we are pleased to announce the launch of our New Secure Online Congregational Database. We believe this will help us accomplish two important aims:

1. Congregational Care & Shepherding: The growing size of Grace requires that our leadership redouble our efforts to provide care and shepherding for the Lord's people. We believe this is our Biblical charge and we are not satisfied with the level of care we are currently providing. We want to do this better and we recognize this new database as one of many tools to help us in that task.

2. Improved Ministry & Body Life: Our desire is to see every believer at Grace using their time and talents to serve the Lord. Its pretty mind-numbing to keep track of it all. Our new database is a tool to help us do that better by facilitating communication, ministry oversight, event registration and data management. Our database will allow us to broaden and deepen our ministry in exciting ways. Here are some of them. . .
  • It will enable you to update and manage your own personal information from our church website.
  • It will move us toward a realtime, almost current Pictorial Directory by allowing you to upload personal and family photos.
  • It will enable online event registration for picnics, conferences, dinners, services and other special events.
  • It will provide ministry leaders a snapshot of who is involved in their ministry where.
  • It will allow Growth Group Leaders to quickly and easily reach out to their Growth Groups.
We're rolling it out via an email to the the congregation later today, but you "life together" readers get an early sneak preview.

What do you think? Your feedback is always welcome.