Blue Haven Pools & Spas Supplies Direct, my day job, is located in downtown San Diego. As part of the San Diego community, we have decided to offer help to those who suffered loss in the recent fires. We will be scheduling a volunteer work day to assist with clean up. In addition, we've created a page where people can purchase basic pool cleaning supplies that will be donated to homeowners who need them. You can find the page here.
Just a quick note to let all my friends out in the blogosphere know that we are OK. Several major fires are burning throughout San Diego County but we are a safe distance away. With Santa Ana winds, that could change rather quickly but we feel very blessed. Over 500,000 people were asked to evacuate their homes. Please keep our friends and neighbors in your prayers.
Ready or not ... it's true ... the Christmas shopping season is already upon us!
I just wrapped up the holiday redesign of Blue Haven Pools & Spas Supplies Direct -- and it's not even November. We "flipped the switch" yesterday morning.
This coincides with our first-ever Holiday catalog, set to hit mailboxes starting this week. We've added an array (I've been looking for a way to say array) of diverse and fun products.
Take a look for yourself ... who knows ... you might just be inspired to buy me The Tingler!
Buy Me One!
"Divine appointments." That’s a phrase I first heard several years ago and it immediately made sense. A divine appointment is one that God places in your path. It may be an unexpected phone call, a question from a stranger, or even the reason behind why you went to Coco’s instead of somewhere else to eat.
I enjoyed a divine appointment last Friday night as I was leaving work. Our parking deck is less than a block from our building and I had just crossed over Broadway on my way to go home. Looking over my shoulder, I see Steve Denney walking up behind me.
Steve is the pastor at CityWalk Christian Church, the downtown church that LifePoint supports with our missions tithe. We’ve had the blessing of helping Steve establish a different type of church for the ever-growing downtown community.
Rather than hop in the car and head home, I ended up taking an hour’s walk with Steve through his neighborhood. I got to see and experience what makes Steve so excited about CityWalk and the opportunity to impact downtown San Diego for God. It was the best way to end a day of work!
Some would say that it was only coincidental that Steve and I crossed paths. Others might say that it was mathematically just a matter of time before we stumbled across each other. Steve lives downtown, I work downtown -- it was just a matter of time.
I’d rather believe that God knew we needed to connect and placed us both at the same intersection at the same time.
Have you had an divine appointments lately? It’s very likely that you have but may not have thought they were. Many of our divine appointments are less obvious than bumping into a good friend in the midst of downtown. They may even come from someone you’ll never see again.
A key part of our spiritual growth is simply being aware of what God is doing. Keep your eyes open -- you might have a divine appointment scheduled.
Why are most people OK with Jesus but not too hip about the church?
That’s a question that modern-day followers of Jesus need to wrestle with. Many pre-Christians and non-church-going folks are attracted to Jesus -- but not his church.
In some cases, it stems from a lack of truly understanding Jesus. In my own life, as I’ve learned more about Jesus, it often challenges me to change something I’d rather hold onto. I’ve discovered that Jesus is far from a soft and cuddly action figure. He’s a cultural and moral risk-taker who challenges his followers to do the same.
That might be enough to unsettle a few of those who claim to like Jesus but not the church.
But that’s only part of the answer. The other part of the answer lies on the inside, not on the outside. It’s a call for the church to practice self-reflection.
It’s too easy to say we’re just misunderstood. That’s a defensive answer that will win no one over to Jesus. The Bible places the burden on the church to paint an authentic picture of what life is like within the faith community. If we are misunderstood, maybe it’s because we’ve allowed it to happen.
Being a part of a church should be noticeably different than attending a business meeting or hanging out at happy hour. There should be the unmistakable spiritual atmosphere that brings to live true priorities, true purpose, and true meaning.
In a culture that is shifting away from Christian influences, churches may be tempted to change
things politically or rely more on marketing to attract crowds.
Neither is inherently wrong. But when they become the dominant identifier of the church, perhaps we’ve lost our way.
Wouldn’t it be much better if a non-believer could say, “If Jesus is like that church, then sign me up!”
As I have said before, I will say again: I am big fan of all-things Google. One of the many things I enjoy about Google are the little surprises they throw your way ... like the ability to do math by typing it in the search bar. Try it sometime: type “2+2” and hit enter. Or put “half a cup in teaspoons” and hit search.
In an age when corporations are all about protecting their “brand,” Google again stands out. Have you ever visited Google and seen a different version of the Google logo? (Visit the archive of Google logos).
Churches lose their way when they become concerned about their “brand.” It’s easy to fall into the image-driven trap of our culture -- to worry more about how you’re perceived than what you’ve become.
Jesus had brand identity: love God and love others.
I started a weekly Q&A at LifePoint last Sunday. We began circulating question cards a few weeks earlier and the response has been really good. It's open to any questions about God, Jesus, the Bible, LifePoint, or the SETI project. OK, maybe no questions about UFO’s.