Titus 1:5-9 :: Elders

Over the past year and a half, I've grown to appreciate the role that elders have in the church. Growing up, I went to and then served in churches that had a senior pastor model. The senior pastor was the boss, and what he said was the final decision. He made decisions that were best for the church and could seek out input from other staff in making those decisions, but he didn't have to. I've come to the conclusion now that a plurality of elders is both the most biblical form of church leadership, but also the most wise. While a senior pastor model is never prescribed in the bible, it is also never described. The elder model is similarly never prescribed, but is described. Ultimately, I think senior pastor's are arrogant if they choose not to move to an elder model. They care too much about their ideas and making sure that they are implemented, even if it's not the best idea. This kind of responsibility was never asked by God for any one man to burden, so why would we choose to embrace it. I will, so long as it is in my power to do so, only be part of churches that have an elder model and will make it a non-negotiable in advice I give others as they pursue a body of believers with whom they will worship.


Day 2

After several days off building a streak of not running, I ran on Saturday and Sunday. Both times I didn't take my phone or even a stopwatch. I know where my turnaround is for my 5k route and I ran out and back on both days. I definitely prefer doing it this way with throwing in a run once a week with my phone to check progress and such. Although, my wife likes it when I run with my phone because she is always scared that I'm going to drop dead.


Day 0

My running streak died last night. I was tired, my left ankle hurt, and I just didn't feel like running. But here's where thinking in the terms of streaks helped me, I didn't finally decide that I wasn't running until around 9:30 PM. Without the pressure of a streak, I would have decided around 6 PM last night. Thinking in streaks helps me want to do things that I would typically try to get out of doing. So today will be a new day 1.


Day 4

Today was day 4 of my 5k streak. I'll probably post more about this later, but I'm trying to run at least 5k each day for as many days as I can in a row. Time: 9:15 PM Weather: 51 degrees winds 10 mph Clothing: Shorts; Undershirt, Long sleeve t-shirt, T-shirt, Windbreaker jacket Distance: 3.17mi Pace: 9:48 I was tired tonight and would not have gone if I wasn't focused on building a streak. Running always feels good though and I was glad I went. JM


Daily Thoughts

Daniel 2:27-28 Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these
Daniel had every opportunity to look great in the eyes of the king and yet he continually deferred to God. His whole point that he starts out with is that nobody can do what you are asking, but God can. Daniel knew what it really meant to give God all the glory. A great example of humility that we can all strive for.
God, may I never use any position you put me in to build up my own pride, but, rather, to glorify your name.


Daily Thoughts

1 John 2:3, 6 - And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which we walked.
Knowing Christ is so much more than being saved. Full-life commitment is what the scriptures command. We can't have a moment with God and expect that to warrant a different eternity. I've been thinking about bin Laden's death and how some have chosen to celebrate his demise, being thankful that he is in hell. Yet, when compared to God's standard, there is no difference between bin Laden and myself. We all fall short. I read this today on another blog:
There was something unsettling about watching giddy crowds bounce around beach balls and climb telephone polls last night, as if they were in the lawn seats at a rock festival. Solemn and somber appreciation that an evil man is gone seemed like the more appropriate reaction.

I think what's scariest to me is that if I'm really honest with myself, I'm a lot more like bin Laden than I care to admit. We all are.


Daily Thoughts

Psalm 97:10a - O you who love the Lord, hate evil!
I love God. I really do. But I don't hate evil. Not all the time. It should be easy to hate. Evil is what has separated me from God. Life is the journey back to restoration with God. Evil is what makes that journey difficult. But I tolerate evil. I accept it into my own life.
Psalm 115:10 - The heavens are the Lord's heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man.
I hate it when my kids abuse the gifts I give them. When they don't understand the value of it. They leave dolls outside, bang baseball bats on the ground, and generally have little to no concept of the value of things or the sacrifices made so that they can have things. I think that's how we treat the earth. God's gift to us, we abuse and use for our enjoyment with no thought as to how it makes God feel when we abuse it.
John 15:3-4 - Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
I'm already made clean, all I have to do now is rest in Jesus. Yet I'm constantly consumed with doing instead of being. Being who God made me to be. Being who I am. Being with Him. I focus instead on the doing. On behavior modification. On trying to do better instead of just be better.

God, may I see myself for who I am in You: clean. Whole. Restored. May I hate evil, respect your creation, and may I rest in your presence.
I love you.



I've been thinking a lot about adventure lately. Part of it is coming from reading Donald Miller's book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, part of it is coming from what I've been reading in the Bible, and part of it is coming from just realizing how amazingly blessed I am. I think the danger we slip into when you get into your 30's is just the monotony of daily life. That's why so many people have mid-life crises where they go out and make dumb purchases, or get hair implants, or have an affair. They realize that their life has no element of adventure, and so they try to manufacture some.
I'd rather embed adventure into my life. So I'm planning out what that will look like for me. I'd like to make 2011 a year of pursuing adventure for me. I want to pursue my wife intensely. To demonstrate to her just how much I love her. I want to enjoy my kids intensely. To demonstrate to them just how much I love them. I want to know God intimately. To demonstrate to Him just how much I love Him. And I want to love people fully. To demonstrate to them just how much God loves them.
Because I'm a details person, I'm not sure how I'll quantify it yet, but I know that I want to journal the experience. To discover adventure within the monotony. To cast off the pressures of the consumer culture in which we live and instead follow the sermon on the mount and become less. To fully serve. And, hopefully, to fully live. Adventure awaits. JM

Being Like God

If you want to be like God, then you have to be willing to sacrifice. Luke 6:35 talks about how we should love our enemies, do good to them, lend to them without expecting repayment so that we will be sons of the Most High because that's who He is. He loves me even though He knows that I will not love Him back. He blesses me even though He knows that I will not be able to bless Him back. JM



If I want to be a good Biblical teacher, and I so desperately do, then my teaching must have the authority of God (Luke 4:32). Anything else relegates me to the role that the Pharisees had where I present my ideas for discussion. Or my interpretation for debate. With God's truths there is no debate, just contextualization on how best to present them to the demographic of the audience that He has provided.
God, I pray that you would help me to constantly craft messages that are rooted in your authority. May I be a teacher and a leader who constantly strives to honor you with everything that I am and teaches/leads out of that striving.