ABCs 4 Retooling Church 2 Reach The 21st Century 4 Christ:

The ABCs 4 retooling church 2 reach the 21st Century for Christ:


* Avoid autocratic agendas.
* Base it on the Biblical command in 1 Corinthians 14:26.
* Connect with Christ as our contemporary rather than confining Christ to the First Century.
* Draw out dialogue rather than maintaining monologue.
* Exchange extended explanations for expressive engagement.
* Facilitate don’t dominate.
* Give control to God.
* Have open sharing.
* Increase interactive involvement.
* Jettison one man control.
* Keep in tune with both the living Word (the Spirit) & the written Word (the Bible).
* Let leadership oversee the meeting like sports official to assure no one person takes over.
* Make meetings mutual not monolithic.
* Nourish new ideas.
* Obey the New Testament “one another” commandments.
* Put the people in places where they can see each other’s faces.
* Quit watching the clock.
* Rock the routine.
* Show lots of love.
* Train people to hear God and obey what He tells them.
* Utilize the talents and gifts of many people, not just one.
* Value people enough to listen to them in the meeting.
* Welcome the Spirit’s promptings
* X-ray the meeting by looking beyond the ordinary and beholding the extraordinary.
* Yield kindly to one another.
* Zoom in on the living, resurrected Jesus.

See the ABC’s in action at The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry St., Nashville, Tennessee 37207 on Sunday mornings at 10:45 am.

Posted in Christian meetings, church collaboration, church experiment, church furniture, church meetings, church programs, church revitalization, church roles, church rules, church seating, church structure, church without a program, effective meetings, holding meetings, how to, interactive church, meaningful meetings, open church, organic church, rethinking church, simple church, Spirit-led church | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Things Are BAN (Beyond the Ability of Nature)

If nothing can’t do anything, how could it make everything?

Some things are obviously beyond the ability of nature (BAN).

* A turtle on a fence post? BAN.
* Cave wall writings? BAN.
* The origin of life? BAN.
* The Egyptian pyramids? BAN.
* Human consciousness and intelligence? BAN.
* A beer can? BAN.


Things that are beyond the ability of nature did not create themselves.  They could only happen with outside help. BAN things are outside of natural causes.  Otherwise wars would be natural disasters.

So many things in your daily life are beyond the ability of nature.  You are continually in touch with the supernatural, even if you are unaware of it.  The truth that someone put a turtle on a fence post is not dependent on the turtle’s awareness or acknowledgement of the fact.

Posted in Big Bang Theory, cave wall writings, creation, creationism, Egyptian pyramids, intelligent design, It's Supernatural, miracles, spirituality, turtle on a fence post | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Being Spirit Led Is Like A Ship Sailing (Louis Lallemant Quotes)

French Jesuit priest, Louis Lallemant, taught how to be led by the Spirit in the 1600s. Here are come quotes from his book La Doctrine Spirituelle (The Spiritual Doctrine).

ship sailing

“We may compare those who are led by the gifts of the Spirit to a ship running full-sail before the wind.”

“In almost everything we are led by nature and human views. We follow but little, if at all, the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”

“Few abandon themselves to the leadings of the Holy Spirit.”

“The spiritual life consists in the operations of God in the soul, and following the movements of His Spirit in whatever direction He may impel us.”

“We must regulate our behavior by the Spirit of God, conforming ourselves to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”

“We seize upon every manner of thing without being to satisfy ourselves.  God alone can make us happy.”

“Our happiness consists in the subjection of the heart to the empire of God.”

“The more we renounce ourselves to unite ourselves to God, the more we cease to be miserable.”

“Few have sufficient courage to reach the point of grace and of glory which God desires for them.”

“Some think they do wonders because they preach powerful discourses, well composed, well prepared, and delivered with grace.  They deceive themselves.”

“Pay great attention to divine inspirations.”

“The reason why we are so little illuminated by the Holy Spirit and so little guided by the motions of His gifts is that our soul is sensual and full of a multitude of earthly thoughts, desires, and affections, which extinguish within us the Spirit of God.”

“We are so full of illusions and so little on our guard against them, that we deceive ourselves continually.”

“Enter into the things of God by a submissive love rather than by the force of reasoning.”

“Consult the interior voice of God’s Spirit in all things, lest the human spirit should prevent its operation.’

Posted in book, Christianity, Doctrine Spirituelle, hearing God's voice, Holy Spirit, Jesuits, Spiritual Doctrine | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 , , , , , , | 1 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