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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

THE END IS HERE

Tonight at ikon we finally reach the end of our walk through 1 Corinthians. (I think it's been seven months of study?) Brian will close the book tonight after teaching an overlooked passage about an offering.

Paul was the father of the church not only in Corinth but also in Philippi, Galatia, Ephesus etc. And he didn't view them as separate entities but as households in one family. This aunt lives there. That uncle down the road. You get the picture. As the Pointer Sisters once sang, "We are family."

And one of the duties of family is to share - to take care of those inside the family who don't have enough, to help each other out, to sacrifice for each so we all stay alive...no matter how far apart your house is from mine. If my sister were to call me and say she couldn't feed her kids I'd sell everything I have to save their lives and hers. I'd rather do without than lose someone I love. That's family.

So Paul writes to every household in the family of God asking them to begin saving up for an offering he'll come by to collect on his next visit to them. The offering is for a church far away who's more than a little needy.

Weeks ago Brian and I began asking those of you who come to ikon to save up and prepare yourselves for an offering to be given to a household in the family of God today in need of our help. We'll take up that offering tonight and tell you who it's going to and why.

Also, tonight will be the last ikon ever. This is the end. If you've been coming to ikon lately and reading your e-mails you know why but we'll talk about it again tonight and field any new questions you may have about it all.

See you tonight.

-Shaun

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

IKON SERIES FINALE

Last night at IKON we talked about the ‘what’s next...’ plan for IKON. A few months ago The People’s Church hired William Guice as the NextGen Pastor(that’s you and some people a little older than you.) We met with William to discuss the ministry and where his vision was leading. After a few months of being at the church he has built a large number of relationships, talked with countless people, and prayed about what steps to take in ministering to this group. We trust his vision and leadership and think that he is the right person in the right place for this ministry.

As part of the new direction of the NextGen ministry we are discontinuing IKON as of next Tuesday, August 8th. That makes next week the IKON Series Finale. Our experioence teaching and leading IKON has been a great one and we will miss the community, conversations, and free pizza that David brings. However, we have voluntarily stepped aside so that new things can happen and the vision that is being laid out for this group can move forward.

There are some great opportunities for discipleship, connectivity, and community happening right now and more of this is on the way this fall. In October, a new corporate worship gathering for the NextGen ministry will be launched on Sunday nights.

You may have questions, comments, parting shots, etc. for us and we would love to answer those. Shoot us an email (ikoncommunity@charter.net) or come next week and let’s talk.

In short, next Tuesday at 8ish will be the last IKON and the last night of the 1 Corinthians study. So grab a friend and hang out with us for a while. We may even partake in a little Steak and Shake or something after it is all said and done.

Have a great week.

Brian and Shaun

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

WHAT IF IT'S NOT TRUE?

IKON72506We're STILL reading through the apostle Paul's letter to the early Christian church in Corinth at ikon. Tonight Brian's going over chapter 15 and asking us, "What if it's not true? What if Jesus didn't come back to life after he was crucified? What then?"

Here's some of what Paul says in chapter 15 of his letter...

Now, let me ask you something profound yet troubling. If you became believers because you trusted the proclamation that Christ is alive, risen from the dead, how can you let people say that there is no such thing as a resurrection? If there's no resurrection, there's no living Christ. And face it—if there's no resurrection for Christ, everything we've told you is smoke and mirrors, and everything you've staked your life on is smoke and mirrors. Not only that, but we would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits we passed on to you verifying that God raised up Christ—sheer fabrications, if there's no resurrection.

If corpses can't be raised, then Christ wasn't, because he was indeed dead. And if Christ weren't raised, then all you're doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. It's even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they're already in their graves. If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we're a pretty sorry lot.
(1 CORINTHIANS 15:12-20 from THE MESSAGE translation)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

MONEYBALL

If I ever had any doubts about whether I was a full on sports geek, they were shattered this weekend when I read Moneyball by Michael Lewis. The book is essentially about baseball statistics and the fallacy that is the world of traditional statistics and how this new way of analyzing baseball statistics is more accurate. I know, I have a problem. But I love numbers and I love baseball - this book was meant for me. It actually is well written as a story of one baseball organization, the Oakland Athletics, and how they used this new way of statistical analysis to build good teams on a low budget. The author tells the back stories of the principle characters and walks through parts of the season to keep the book from turning into some boring accounting textbook.

I can really only think of one other person I know that would enjoy this book - but I am just fine with being that odd guy.

- Brian

TONIGHT AT IKON: AMAZE or AMEN?

Tonight at ikon we're looking into 1 Corinthians 14 - the 14th chapter of the apostle Paul's letter to the church in Corinth. They have a lot of problems, not the least of which is figuring out whether or not they should be "speaking in tongues", what that means and how important it is? Is it more important than teaching, for instance? We'll try to get to the bottom of Paul's answer to them and learn a little something about that way-too-familiar word "amen" along the way - something that could make a big difference in how we look at church and ourselves.

See you there.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

YUMMY

Nothing says 'Happy Independence Day' quite like a hot dog eating contest. In case you missed it, a world record was set today by hot dog eating star, Kobayashi, when he ate 53 and 3/4 hot dogs in 12 minutes.

Read the rest HERE.

In case you were wondering how I did. I ate 2 veggie dogs for lunch in about 8 minutes. Maybe next year!

- Brian

Friday, June 30, 2006

NO IKON on the 4th

Due to the giant birthday party known as the 4th of July, we will not have IKON next Tuesday. Take the time to eat something good, get some really cheap fireworks, and relax with friends. Or just watch reruns of FRIENDS. I don't know - just take some time off and we will see you on the 11th.

-Brian

Thursday, June 29, 2006

AND THE WINNER IS...


If you own this shirt, take the following steps:

1) Take it out of the drawer and burn it
2) Apologize to all those around you for wearing it
3) Ask for forgiveness - I am not sure it is a sin but you should probably ask just to be safe
4) Pretend like you never bought it and make fun of people who did

-Brian

REDNECK THEORIES OF ATONEMENT


It might be possible to have a blog solely devoted to bad Christian t shirts. I am still tracking down the winner of my 'worst Christian apparel' award. When I find it, I will post it.

-Brian

ALCOHOL EVANGELISM

I was talking to my friend, David, at IKON last week and he told me about his experience at the Bonnaroo Music Festival last weekend. It seems David and a friend of his wanted to go and evangelize (in common terms they just simply wanted to tell the concert attendees about Jesus) to the thousands of people that come to Bonnaroo. So these two guys hatched an 'evangelism plan' for the weekend.

On Thursday, David and friend packed their tent and headed to the grounds where people from all over the country had come to enjoy some good music. Now while there was plenty of driking of alcoholic beverages, no glass bottles with said liquid in it could make it past the front gates. So, at the gate boxes upon boxes of bottled beer, whiskey, and other fermented drinks were confiscated. To make sure these drinks did not go to waste, David and friend stole, yes stole, several of these boxes and then set up a booth where they gave away these contraband boos to anyone who was willing to take a Jesus tract (flyer type piece that usually walks through how to be saved) and maybe talk a bit about God.

I was impressed with David's creativity but quickly questioned him on a few aspects of his plan?

Do you relaize that you could have been cited for stealing the boos, distributing them, and for being a minor in possession of the stuff (David is several years under the legal drinking age)?

Were the people you talked to during the illegal alcohol evangelism even sober enough to comprehend the message?

What did your parents think of this (David lives at home)?


We talked about all of these issues and then I got his permission to tell this story and get reaction from people. You would have to know David and his personality to fully appreciate the story but it brings me to my greater question: is there a limit to what we do to spread the gospel? I have linked here before to the former strippers who set up a booth at porn conventions just to draw guys to the table so they can them hit them with some Jesus.

Is there an acceptable evagelism line - and if so, how do we know when it has been crossed.

I like David and applaud his desire to tell people about Jesus but when, or should, common sense and certain laws keep us from creative evanglism?

- Brian