Category Archives: Interests

The First Draft is Done!!!

writeabookGood news everyone – I have finished the first draft of my book on Kingdom Theology! 😀

Ten years of research, hours of reading, tons of books, and years of applying Kingdom concept to real life all  boiled down into 81,244 words making up 13 chapters plus an epilogue. It has been quite the journey from the first glimmer of a thought of writing the book four years ago to finding the time to actually write it.  But it is done! Well, the hard part is done…I still have some tweaks and rewrites to do before it goes to print – but the first draft is complete!!

As far as the topic, the book seeks to answer two questions:

  • What is Kingdom Theology?
  • How does it affect my life?

All too often, we in the Vineyard will take about Kingdom Theology and how central it is to our theology and practice. Yet, very little has ever been written about Kingdom Theology and how it changes our worldview. It is true that there have been some books that mention Kingdom Theology or use it as a starting point; however those have typically been books about healing and/or signs and wonders and not about Kingdom Theology per say.

The only two books that I know that have been written about Kingdom Theology itself from a Vineyard viewpoint has been Derek Morphew’s book “Breakthrough: Discovering the Kingdom” and Robby McAlpine’s “The Genesis Cafe: Convesations on the Kingdom.” From outside the Vineyard, there have been a few other books – but even those are rare and sometimes carry with them viewpoints that I don’t think go with an Enacted Inaugurated Eschatology worldview.

It was this lack of resources that first led me to start thinking about writing a book about Kingdom Theology. Rather than focusing on a particular aspect of the theological viewpoint, I wanted to see if I could capture the full breath of the worldview and its practical application in one book. I also wanted to make sure that the material was presented in a manner that the average person sitting in a Vineyard church could understand (and yes, the Vineyard is my target audience). Time will tell whether or not I have accomplished this lofty goal or not…  😕

For those interested, below is an outline of the book as it stands today (who knows what will happen before it goes to print). If you are interested in helping with the review process, please let me know as I am sharing the content with a few select people. I figure the more feedback I receiving during the beginning stages, the better the final book will be. 😀

 Table of Contents: 

  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: Our Perspective
    • What’s your “theology”?
  • Section One: What is Kingdom Theology?
    • Chapter Two: Jesus of Nazareth
      • The Message of Jesus of Nazareth
      • Understanding the Kingdom of God
      • The Mystery of the Kingdom
    • Chapter Three: The Story
      • In The Beginning…
      • Knowing Good and Evil
      • “Being” King
      • The Calling Out Of A People
    • Chapter Four: The Story – Part Two
      • The Disgraced Shepard
      • The Results of The Plagues
      • Crossing the Red Sea
      • The Song of Moses
      • Called for a Purpose
      • Holy Nation
    • Chapter Five: The Day of the Lord
      • A Human King In Israel
      • The Exile Dilemma
      • A Few Odd Items
      • Wrapping Things Up
    • Chapter Six: The Time Between
      • The Maccabean Revolt
      • Wiping Out Judaism
      • The Rise of the Roman Empire
      • Under Rome’s Thumb
      • 1st Century Jewish Factions
    • Chapter Seven: Jesus and the Counterfeit Kingdoms
      • Caesar versus Jesus
      • Untwisting the Kingdom
        • Twist Number One: Defining Who Are The People of God
        • Twist Number Two: Ushering In the Kingdom
        • Twist Number Three: The Coming Of The Kingdom
      • Why Should We Trust Jesus?
    • Chapter Eight: A New Way of Living
      • The Kingdom Message of the Lord/Disciples’ Prayer
      • Eternal Life
      • St. Paul and the New Testament Writers
      • The Language of Paul
  • Section Two: Applying Kingdom Theology to Our Lives
    • Chapter Nine: Reducing the Kingdom of God
      • Reduction One: The Kingdom of God Becomes The Church
      • Reduction Two: Humans Can Create The Kingdom of God on Earth
      • Reduction Three: The Spiritualization of the Kingdom
      • Reduction Four: The Kingdom Is Already Here
    • Chapter Ten: Embracing the Tension
      • Embracing the Suffering
      • Embracing the Victory
      • Salvation
      • Normal Christian Living
    • Chapter Eleven: Symbol Metamorphosis
      • Circumcision
      • The Temple of God
      • Kosher Meals
      • The Promise Land
    • Chapter Twelve:  Experiencing the Kingdom
      • Experiencing the Kingdom Through Work
      • Experiencing the Kingdom Through Rest
      • Experiencing the Kingdom Through Environmental Stewardship
      • Experiencing the Kingdom Through Spiritual Rebirth
    • Chapter Thirteen:  Walking in the Kingdom
      • Tools of the Trade
      • Understanding the Different Types of Packages
      • How do we deliver the packages?
      • Go And Do It
    • Chapter Fourteen:  Missional Living
      • Being Missional
      • Realms of Influence
      • Local Gathering of Jesus Followers (i.e. the local church)
  • Epilogue
  • Appendics
    • Appendix A: Enacted Inaugurated Eschatology
    • Appendix B: Kingdom Theology Resources
    • Appendix C: Biblical Covenants

Dreams, Hand-Crafted Book-Related Gifts, and Bible School

Once of the cool things that came out of this past seven month ministry sabbatical was a renewed passion to go back to school. As such, I am taking another stab at getting my Masters of Ministry degree through St. Stephen’s University.

To help fund this dream, my wife and I have started an Etsy store (“LibrarsDonum”) to sell some of our hand-crafted book-related gifts. At the moment we have 9 different locking book safes and an embroidered book bag (for keeping books nice inside your backpack) displayed. Below are a few examples of these items:

The outside of a Mark Twain locking book-safe.
The outside of a Mark Twain locking book-safe.
The inside of the book-safe. The key has a magnet on it and when held over the right place on the cover, the lock opens.
The inside of the book-safe. The key has a magnet on it and when held over the right place on the cover, the lock opens.
An embroidered book bag my wife made - designed to keep your books from getting banged up inside your backpack. This one is for larger hardbacks (or several smaller books). She is planning on making some smaller one with another quote later on.
An embroidered book bag my wife made – designed to keep your books from getting banged up inside your backpack. This one is for larger hardbacks (or several smaller books). She is planning on making some smaller one with another quote later on.

Please take a look at our store and consider purchasing something – not only will get a really cool book-related gift, you will also be supporting me in pursing the call of God on my life.


Spirit Lead Me Where My Trust Is Without Borders

watersI heard a new song last week while at the Vineyard Big Sky Regional Conference in Dillon, Montana, that really connected to my heart. (A HUGE shout out, BTW, to Zane and Cathleen Springer and the Vineyard Church in Dillon!! You guys were the BEST hosts!).

In researching the song, I found out that it was released last year by Hillsong United and has been getting some serious airplay this year (it was on the Billboard Hot 100 last month) – so some of you will no doubt recognize it…

The song is none other than “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail).”

For those who have heard the song (and if you have not, please watch the video below), you know that the main focus of the song is passionately allowing Jesus to lead you out into the “great unknown” – to places were our “feet may fail and fear surrounds” us – i.e. it is a song about following the Wild Goose into unknown and untested waters.

As you can guess, that heart and theme resonated with both Emily and me as we have told the Lord to send us wherever He wants to send us and use us however He wants to use us. We are committed to following Him to the place where our “trust is without borders” – to that place where we have no choice but to trust Him.

Yes, that is scary…very, very scary as it could mean a lot of things… yet if King Jesus really is King then we must be willing to drop everything and go when and where He says to go – just like Noah, Abraham, Moses, Paul, John, and millions of other followers of the Creator. To NOT go is to basically tell God that He is nothing and that we are wiser and more powerful than He…and that, my friends, is not a happy place to be in. =/

So as we await our marching order we shall play this song over and over again – as a reminder that Jesus is King and that we will find Him “in the mystery.”

“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” Lyrics

Verse #1
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown, where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep, my faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours, and You are mine

Continue reading Spirit Lead Me Where My Trust Is Without Borders

Beer with Jesus

I just ran across this new single by Thomas Rhett and man does it hit a cord. To just sit and talk with Jesus over a cold pint…. that would be awesome.

Granted, my theological side says that we can actually do that today as He is alive and does, in fact, talk to us. We can know how He turned the other cheek, a question Thomas asks in his song, as the Scriptures tell us how – through the mercy, grace and strength of the Holy Spirit. A strength that is available to ALL followers of Jesus as demonstrated by the lives of countless Jesus followers throughout the centuries.

So yeah, it is a good song asking some good questions – only please, please know that those questions can be answered by a living Jesus (BTW – “trust me” is a valid  answer…)

Cynicism, Hope and Songs of the Millennials

sporadic cynicismTwo months ago Phil Strout gave a talk at the Pathway Vineyard Church in Maine about the spirit of cynicism that is so powerful in our culture today. It is really strong among the Millennial  Generation as we (and yes, I’m in that group – abet on the leading edge) have been betrayed by so many of our heroes and leaders – parents, teachers, political leaders, business leaders, pastors, priests, cultural icons, coaches, etc. This betrayal and lack of trust has led to a culture of cynicism where we are skeptical of the motivations of everyone around us… watch out for number one as no one else will…

For years I have felt that the song that best summed up my generation was  John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change” (and yes, I know that John is more Gen-X…but I think the song nailed us Y folks).  Some of the lyrics of the song reads (abridged with underlines added):

Now we see everything that’s going wrong
With the world and those who lead it
We just feel like we don’t have the means
To rise above and beat it

So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change

And when you trust your television
What you get is what you got
Cause when they own the information, oh
They can bend it all they want

So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change

It’s not that we don’t care,
We just know that the fight ain’t fair
So we keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

Yet in the midst of all the pain, sorrow, heartache and doubt there is one voice calling us forward with hope. That is the voice of Jesus the King of Kings! As the author of Hebrews said long ago:

Continue reading Cynicism, Hope and Songs of the Millennials

Love the Way You Lie

No matter the genres or the artist, I always love songs from the heart. Songs about real life – the pain, the joy, the sorrow, the happiness and the struggle of living day to day in a twisted world. Perhaps this is why I have gravitated towards more singer/songwriter genres along with a bit of classic and alternative rock, alternative folk, classic bluegrass and traditional Celtic throw in for good measure.

A few years ago I stumbled upon the song “Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem and Rihanna and was stuck by the passion and emotion of the song. For those of you have not heard it, it is a song that explores the internal struggles and emotions of a couple caught in the cycle of domestic violence. Like real life, the song is raw and includes some hard theme and words (listener be warned) – yet it is honest…and for that reason it is a song I keep going back to over and over again.

One of the most powerful moments of the song is when Eminem raps the lines:

Now I know we said things, did things that we didn’t mean
And we fall back into the same patterns, same routine

This is an admission that the things that they wants to do they don’t do and the things they don’t want to do, they do. It is a re-stating of St. Paul’s words in Romans 7:15-20 – which, in turn, is a picture of the struggle between the coming Age To Come and the injustice, evil current age. Our spirits and souls know that we were made for peace and love, and yet we all seem to fall short of that goal…

Don Williams in his book “Twelve Steps with Jesus” states that everyone on the planet is an addict in the fullness of the word. Each of us have something in our lives that leaves us craving for more, which leads to that something controlling us and forces us to continue to use that it. This addiction may not be a chemical (i.e. alcohol, illegal or legal drugs), but could be an unhealthy dependence on people, something more like a masturbation addiction, a need to shop or to cover up pain with food – to name a few addictions.

So what is the solution?

Well there is no silver bullet or easy way out of this messed up world. Yet, there is a path that leads to wholeness and healing – a path that can only come into view once you acknowledge your addiction and give up control of your life to Jesus the King. He will take your broken life with all of its messed up pieces and not simply help you manage the sin – NO!! He will breathe new life into our body and lives – moving beyond repairing it beyond the point that it is better than when it began!

Continue reading Love the Way You Lie

Lindsey Stirling, The Hip Hop Violinist

Like a lot of folks I was first introduced to Lindsey Stirling through season five of “America’s Got Talent” where she made it to the quarter-finals. However, I, like most of America, soon lost track of her as the show went on and the planet kept spinning around the universe. Happily, though, she has popped back on to my radar though a geeky site humorous named “Geeks Are Sexy.”

By now you all are probably wondering what Lindsey does… well, she is a violinist, dancer, performance artist and composer who is simply amazing! Not content to stay within the classical music genre, she plays a variety of musical styles including video game soundtracks (hence her geeky connection).

Knowing that words do not do her music justice, I have posted a few of her video below for your enjoyment. 🙂

“Skyrim” with Peter Hollens (this is by far my favorite video!)

“Lord of the Rings Medley”

Continue reading Lindsey Stirling, The Hip Hop Violinist

The Hobbit Trilogy

On Monday this week Peter Jackson dropped a bomb shell on the world with the announcement that there would be a third  “Hobbit” film. While there have been a ton of thoughts and articles about what this means – along with lots of accusations of him wanting more money – folks have forgotten what this news really means within and without the film industry.

Consider this for a moment, movie studies are huge corporations with business plans, marketing teams, and stock holder to please. Adding a third Hobbit film means radical shifts in the licensing, marketing and publicity arms of each of the studies involved (there are three of them). As senior staff member Larry D. Curtis wrote, the ground has “shifted under the feet of hundreds and maybe thousands of people.

Consider also WHEN the announcement was made (i.e. July 30th).  There are now approximately 90-days left before the world premiere of the first Hobbit film in November. So yeah, this is not really the best time to tell one’s investors that you want to scrap all the current plans and add a third firm, which, by the way, will require a few more months of shooting…

In a nutshell, the decision to add a third film was not an easy nor a very wise political move.  To quote Larry Curtis again,

“This change is not only bold and daring, it is coming from the right place. This isn’t a money grab. This isn’t the studio stretching out a franchise. This is team Jackson feeling that a story, a complicated one with multiple threads and characters, needed more time to tell.”