Church Orbiting The Son!

(I wrote this poem this morning about 7 years at Berry Street and [to my surprise] it made the shape of a “leaning 7″ on the right hand side. The 3 plus signs at the end [+++] represent the 3 crosses.)

–Celebrating 7 Years @ The Salvation Army Berry Street

For 7 years we’ve orbited the Son,
The living, resurrected Jesus Christ,
Present when we gather in His name,
And shifted our attention to His leading
And away from our structure and program.
Ordinary people have obeyed His promptings
And shared amazing, anointed, heart-felt words.
Joys, victories, insights, fears, tears, & heart-breaks,
Have all come together, revolving around the Son,
Gloriously reflecting Jesus’ radiance and Light.
Now, humbled in His awesome presence,
And called to be a Joshua generation,
We cry “Down with the walls!”
Let all our Jerichos fall
And Jesus reign

7 years around the Son

Here is what 2 people have said about Berry Street:

“Wow! Think of all the people who have come in and out of those doors and experienced the unhindered presence of God.”  –Lara Landon

“The ministry has made a difference in the neighborhood and the city. Where the Holy Spirit is free to move, lives change. Souls are saved.”  –Phyllis Clayton

In the Bible, Joseph spent 7 years preparing Egypt with grain and bread; and then they spent 7 years feeding the world.  At Berry Street, we’ve spent 7 years learning to flow with the Spirit’s promptings; and now may God use Berry Street as a prototype to help feed the Bread of Life (the living, resurrected Jesus Christ) to the world!

Come, get a taste of Berry Street, every Sunday morning @ 10:45–225 Berry St., Nashville, Tennessee 37207.

Posted in alternative church, Berry Street, Egypt, Jerrico, Joseph, Lara Landon, promptings of the Spirit, Quotes, simple church, Spirit-led, testimonies in church, the walls fall down | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 Reasons 2 Read The Blog “Free Gas For Your Think Tank”

Here are the top ten reasons to regularly read my blog Free Gas For Your Think Tank:


10) It is written in Nashville, the city with the hit ABC TV show named after it.

9) Free gas is better than cheap gas.

8) It’s outta the box and off the chain!

7) You will be exposed to fresh views and unique ideas.

6) It will challenge your concept of church.

5) You will be uplifted and encouraged mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

4) You see lots of quotations from diverse authors.

3) It will “jog your mind and unclog your heart.”

2) It is fun to read, out of the ordinary, and sometimes funny.

1) It’s a great way to keep up  with spiritual innovation in America’s “Red Hot City” — Nashville, Tennessee!

Posted in America's hottest city, creativity, finding cheap gas, hot city, innovation, Nashville TV show, price of gas, spirituality, Tennessee | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

I C God N U! (I am totally convinced that Christ is alive and real and living in people today!)

Christ is as real and as close to me as my own consciousness. Even though I can’t “prove” that I am conscious or that Christ is real through a science experiment; I am totally convinced of the reality of both!

Too often
We settle for
Lite Christianity,
Instead of courageously
Shining the Light of Christ!

One reason that I’m so convinced is that I see God working in and through ordinary people.  I C God N U!

As people at The Salvation Army Berry Street share from the heart about what Christ is doing in their lives, you can see the light of God in their faces! And you, too, will want to say: “I see God in you!”

Here’s a link to a music video that was partially recorded at The Salvation Army Berry Street — an interactive, participatory church in East Nashville located at 225 Berry St., 37207 and meeting at 10:45 every Sunday morning.  The song is I See God In You by Lara Landon.  Check out the link and then come visit us one Sunday at 225 Berry Street.

Also find out what Lara is saying about Berry Street here.

Pics of Berry Street people from Lara Landon's music video -- "I See God In You."

Pics of Berry Street people from Lara Landon’s music video — “I See God In You.”

Posted in Music City, music videos, Nashville | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CDC says: If you lose snooze, you lose. (7 Original Ways To Soak Up Sufficient Sleep)

If you lose snooze, you lose.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site says:

“Sleep is increasingly recognized as important to public health, with sleep insufficiency linked to motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters, and medical and other occupational errors. Unintentionally falling asleep, nodding off while driving, and having difficulty performing daily tasks because of sleepiness all may contribute to these hazardous outcomes. Persons experiencing sleep insufficiency are also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), calls  lack of sleep in the United States an “epidemic.” They say that it affects about two-thirds (63%) of American adults. sleep

Perhaps it’s time to learn how to get sufficient sleep.  Here are my 7 original ways to soak up sufficient sleep.

1) Give yourself permission to snooze.  The old saying, “If you snooze, you lose,” is a lie. The CDC has proven that daily getting enough snoozing is vital to your physical & mental health.

2) Schedule your snoozing!  In this busy society we schedule everything else, why not schedule sleep?  CDC says that adults need 7 to 9 hours daily so get it on your calendar.

3) Make sleeping fun.  Too many people see sleeping as drudgery — as a boring waste of time. But it doesn’t have to be.  Rather than being board in bed, use your mind to calmly entertain yourself by reliving peaceful, meaningful experiences from your life.  Your mind can be more entertaining than a iPhone, if you make the effort to learn to use your brain’s peace releasing apps.

4) Fake out falling-asleep frustration.  One of the problems with getting enough sleep is that we get frustrated while trying to fall asleep and this induces insomnia. So here’s how I fake out my sleep frustration.  I read somewhere that lying still in bed is 90% as restful as sleep. Now I can’t prove that statement is true, but continually reminding myself of it while I am in bed waiting to fall asleep, produces peace in me.  I tell myself:  “Hey, it’s no big deal that I’m not asleep yet, I’m still getting 90% of the value of sleep by just lying here and enjoying some of my minds peace producing apps.”

5) Just say “whoa” to afternoon and evening caffeine.  That simple behavior change, alone, will increase your sleepiness by bedtime.

6) While in bed, use affirmations to download joy-producing, positive, & peaceful ideas into your mind.  When my head hits the pillow I begin to run positive affirmations through my mind.  (My favorite five are:  “I am peaceful,” “I am content,” “I am thankful,” “I am healthy,” “I am extremely happy.”)  Pick a few of your own, and think them over and over. Soon the routine will put you to sleep.  And you will wake up on the morrow feeling better on the inside.

7) Get rid of guilt!  Benjamin Franklin said:  If you want to have a good sleep, go to bed with your clear conscience.” To rid yourself of guilt: ask and receive forgiveness from God.  (It also helps to ask people we may have offended for forgiveness.) And then daily do your best to avoid guilt producing behaviors.  (Then, every time you slip into a guilt indulging behavior, ask God’s forgiveness.)  Also forgive others.

Peace! Enjoy your snoozing.

Posted in Benjamin Franklin, epidemics, getting enough sleep, If you snooze you lose, Quotes, sleep epidemic | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life Works Better When Ego Is A No-Show

Life works better when your ego is a no-show! When you set aside your ego, your soul can flow and soar in the Spirit.

To follow Christ is to say no to ego. It is to bring your thoughts, desires, words and deeds in line with His word and His will!

So why is there so much ego in religion?  Why are church services so often focused on one man’s personality and control needs?  And why do people name “ministries” after themselves?  You don’t see “Apostle Paul Ministries” or “Peter The Rock Evangelistic Association” in the Bible.

Here are some wise quotations about ego . . .


“That joy-stealing ego will try to do you in every chance it gets.  Get your ego out of the way and let the love shine through.”  –Lynn Namka

“The ego is the false self–born out of fear and defensiveness.” –John O’Donohue

“The ego clings to negative thoughts and feelings and, as a result, magnifies, intensifies, and sustains those emotions while the ego overlooks the subtle feelings of joy, gratitude, excitement, adventure, love, and peace.” –Gina Lake

“The ego says, ‘Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.’ The spirit says, ‘Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place.'”  –Marianne Williamson

“Ego is just like dust in the eyes; without clearing the dust you can’t see anything clearly; so clear the ego and see the world.”  –unknown

“The ego is a veil between humans and God. In prayer all are equal.” –Rumi

“If someone corrects you, and you feel offended, then you have an ego problem.”  –Nouman Ali Khan

“When you allow your ego to control your thoughts, everything you believe becomes an illusion.”  –Rusty Eric

“Ego stops you from getting things done and getting people to work with you.  That’s why I firmly believe that ego and success are not compatible.”  –Harvey Mackay

“Leadership is not a popularity contest; it’s about leaving your ego at the door.  The name of the game is to lead without a title.”  –Robin S. Sharma

Posted in defensiveness, ego in religion, Harvey Mackay, inferiority complex, Marianne Williamson, naming ministries after yourself, positive thinking, Rumi, self-esteem | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Worship’s new normal!

A new normal for worship is coming!
–Society is moving beyond the old normal of passive spectators politely listening to the same religious expert every week.
–Our culture is going interactive and participatory–worship will too.
–The first normal (lost and forgotten for many centuries) of lovers of Christ meeting together as equals to love, encourage, exhort, help, pray with, instruct, and inspire one another, is being rediscovered around the world and is gradually becoming the new normal.
–Don’t be left out! Read about the first normal/new normal @ 1 Corinthians 14:26. Experience the new normal at The Salvation Army Berry Street Worship Center in Nashville, TN.


Posted in how to be more interactive, new ways to worship, trends in society | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Streaming Jesus–Enabling Christ-Followers To Develop Their Full Potential (General André Cox Quotes)

The Holy Spirit wants to work through each believer, not just through one “ordained” person. “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” –1 Corinthians 12:7

Streaming Jesus keeps Christ-followers beaming!  Perhaps we could let the living, resurrected Jesus stream through anybody present in a church meeting! It’s an incredible thing to see everyday people streaming Jesus! Paul of Tarsus put it this way: “Christ in you, the hope of glory!”

Quotations from General André CoxInternational leader of The Salvation Army:

General Cox 2

“When we look at our history, particularly the early days, the Army readily adapted innovative and unorthodox ideas.”

“Our leadership model is not about personal elevation, but how we enable others to develop their full potential.”

“Jesus clearly did not like the prestigious titles used by the religious leaders of His day and declared: ‘But none of you should be called teacher. You have only one teacher, and all of you are like brothers and sisters.'”

“‘Beyond spectatorship to discipleship!’ The Salvation war requires total mobilization, belief and commitment. Building for God’s Kingdom is the responsibility of all who know Jesus as Savior, living as salt and light just where we are.”

As Salvationists (soldiers of The Salvation Army), we are keenly aware that our places of Christian worship are not retreats from the world for a select few. Rather, they are bridgeheads of God’s Kingdom into the world – Jesus-centered, grace-filled communities serving others selflessly. Our churches are places in which Christ’s disciples can be resourced, empowered and enabled to fulfill the Great Commission – in word and in deed.”

“Moment by moment, day by day, we can know the power and the victory of Christ’s resurrection in our life!”

General Cox displays this:

“The mark of a mature leader is not how many people that they can control, but how many people they can release into ministry.” –Jeremiah Johnson

Posted in church, International leader, Jeremiah Johnson, organic church, priesthood of all believers, servant leadership | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment