Like yesterday… gone

If you’re looking for me here, all you will find are vestiges of the past.

As of December 6, 2009, I’m now frolicking at my new location: www.joecarr.us.

Come join me in the present!

BTW

Why is the church so second-rate when it comes to reaching and impacting society?

Doesn’t the Bride of Christ deserve the attention that Whoppers’ generates? So, what are we waiting for?

Dichotomy

I sat up later than normal last night watching a live broadcast of a man I admire.

Since I last saw and heard him he has met with multiple calamities. Among the more significant, his wife of 30+ years died a horrible death due to cancer and he is now fighting cancer himself. He has lost weight, seemed frail and was much grayer. As he came up on the podium, he was actually assisted so he wouldn’t stumble.

The moment he opened his mouth I realized that appearances can be deceiving.

He opened up a portal to heaven.

He was always a powerful speaker previously. Now, though frail in appearance, I knew he’d been in the presence of the God-of-the-Angel-Armies. As he stated, “I understand now that the thin veil which separates us from the heavenly realms is indeed thin. I am ready to part it but He wants me to stay a while longer.”

He became a giant-killer, transformed into a man thirty years younger, and spoke with such power and angelic presence that I was transfixed to my little screen. He wove a tapestry of a Being so immense that we can’t even fathom, who is desperately in love with us and pines like a lover awaiting his love to come to him. That love is surrounded and interwoven with imagery of peace, war, desire, accomplishment and fulfillment. He aches to transport us to His lap.

Oh, that I might experience His presence in that manner…

Me? You’re kidding?

I’m always amazed at the things God expects me to do.

I know he uses people to do amazing things. I have a list of “heroes” who are doing the almost impossible and the impossible; I get a vicarious thrill from watching their successes, and failures. On many occasions I’ve found myself wishing that my life could be as significant as theirs.

I find it very easy to think that God will use someone else to accomplish his purpose. I have great difficulty thinking that the “someone” he has in mind is me. I’m not as qualified, as visionary, as courageous, as smart, as well-backed financially, as [you fill in the blank] as so-and-so is. It’s obvious, and makes good sense, why God would use that someone to do great things; it isn’t obvious, nor makes good sense, why he would even consider using me.

Then I make the mistake of reading something like this:

It was the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king. At the hour for serving wine I brought it in and gave it to the king. I had never been hangdog in his presence before, so he asked me, “Why the long face? You’re not sick are you? Or are you depressed?” That made me all the more agitated. I said, “Long live the king! And why shouldn’t I be depressed when the city, the city where all my family is buried, is in ruins and the city gates have been reduced to cinders?”

The king then asked me, “So what do you want?” Praying under my breath to the God-of-Heaven, I said, “If it please the king, and if the king thinks well of me, send me to Judah, to the city where my family is buried, so that I can rebuild it.”

The king, with the queen sitting alongside him, said, “How long will your work take and when would you expect to return?”

I gave him a time, and the king gave his approval to send me.

This fellow was a waiter. In a very nice establishment, granted, but still a waiter. He became the individual God would use in an incredible manner. He would experience terrific risk and danger; he would see the impossible unfold before his eyes and under his hands; he would become bold, courageous and powerful… but he didn’t know that on that particular day. He was merely a waiter serving the President and given an opportunity to become who he had always dreamt he might be.

The God I’ve met likes to do that. He enjoys putting you at the threshold of the incredible and giving you a shove. He thrills at placing the impossible in your hands and telling you to make it a reality.

He knows you are the hero and wants to make it a reality.

Yeah, you…

Choosing Ground

A simple meeting room at a hotel, right?

Actually, it isn’t.

This is the scene of an event that will begin a process of bringing a new church to Leland, NC. River of Leland will officially make it’s public debut on December 6 at 6:00 p.m. at the Comfort Inn in Leland.

Birthed from a desire to see people fully living the life of a Jesus follower, River of Leland hasn’t been the result of a moment of fancy; rather, it is the result of years of experience with what church wasn’t. We all have our stories of the failure of the churches we’ve been a part of, visited and associated with. Many of us were harmed by the experience; many of us left it behind — left church, Christianity and Jesus. The bitter taste that remained in our mouth inoculated us against ever making that mistake again. Even if we weren’t radically turned off by the experience, we accepted that church could never live up to its purported fame.

That is the negative side of our vision. The positive—and driving—force is our understanding of the biblical presentation of the church.

River of Leland is born out of a desire to know her and a confidence that the church is indeed the Bride of Jesus, a supernaturally powerful entity that is able to move both heaven and earth. She is the reason that Jesus came to this earth, the power that will destroy hell, the vehicle by which Satan will see his destruction and the relationship that prepares us for our heavenly reality right now. She is our inheritance that is to be spent here, on this earth, not later, one day, in heaven.

The church of Acts is the church we desire to see in Leland. A church embodied with and walking in the full power of the supernatural being who planned her and brought her into existence. Anything less is an insult to Jesus.

Tough choice

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx–Delos McKown

Intellectual Arrogance

I’m coming across authors who wrote some pretty good stuff.

The interesting thing is that they wrote it when I was in grad school and they weren’t much older than I at the time (I suppose they still aren’t much older than I now). I even vaguely remember hearing their names while in school and in full-time ministry but simply dismissing them because they weren’t in my “politically correct” (“church correct” is more appropriate) circles that I followed, read or associated with.

Now, almost 30-something years later, their writings and ideas have finally found my desk again. This time, I’m listening.

What’s irritating is that this is really good stuff. It is having a profound impact on me. Had my brain not been so full of mush way back then, how might these ideas have influenced me over the three decades that have passed? How might I have been able to influence, help and encourage countless others during that time?

I’m not crying over spilt milk; I am upset at my intellectual arrogance. I thought I had it all figured out and that caused me to tune out the very folks who could have propelled me forward in significant ways. Instead, I took the intellectual equivalence of sticking my head in the toilet and flushing. Not a good thing. Not only did I suffer, but I robbed others as well.

In a day when the internet is full of innuendos and attacks on people’s character and gossip is traded as a legitimate currency of truth, it is my desire to not stick my head in that toilet and flush. There is no place for arrogance, ever.