A digital commonplace for a Regular Guy called Charlie Pharis

Month: June 2006 (page 1 of 1)

Sunday Night Unwind, Father’s Day…

I’ve really been in a jazz mood lately for some reason. Tonight’s Unwind is courtesy of MusicMatch Jukebox‘s On Demand feature. You can listen by artist, by album, by track, or by genre, which is what I’m doing tonight. I clicked on the Jazz genre, and hit the Bebop section. My cup is running over with a wide selection of great jazz!

Right now, for instance, Miles Davis’s original sextet is cookin’ with “Mr. Jackle” from the Milestones album. Immediately prior was “Brazil” from guitarist Grant Green’s The Latin Bit project, and a couple of tracks back was Horace Silver’s classic “Song for My Father,” which became more well-known when Steely Dan stolesampled it on “Rikki, Don’t Lose That Number.”

Anyway, you get the idea…great Unwind stuff!

About Father’s Day…

  • I knew it was Father’s Day because of the all the new Hawaiian shirts that made their debuts at church!
  • We got home and burned a couple of pieces of dead cow on the grill. Throw that on the plate with a cool salad with my original creation honey mustard vinaigrette, a baked sweet potato, and some grilled peaches (don’t waste those precious chunk charcoal-fired BTUs!) – and you’ve got a Daddy’s Day feast that even a formerly fat guy who’s shed 52 pounds can appreciate!
  • Share that fantastic feast with the lovely and gracious “Mrs. Just Charlie” and “The Boy” and it makes the feast even more fantastic! Thanks, y’all!
  • Top that off with a three-mile stroll here, phone calls to both dads, and that pretty much sums up a super Father’s Day!

Hope yours was all that and more!

More Unwind notes…it doesn’t get a whole lot better than John Coltrane’s “In a Sentimental Mood,” thank you very much!

If You Ask the Wrong Question…

…you’ll probably get the wrong answer.

I’m in the middle of Ed Stetzer and David Putman‘s Breaking the Missional Code.

I was talking to my buddy, Gary Lamb, about the book Thursday night. Gary made a couple of interesting comments that I thought were right on track vis-a-vis the book. Gary said, rightly, that the book really is a lot common sense stuff, stuff that we all ought to know already. He also commented that every pastor ought to read the book, but the ones that need it the most probably won’t be inclined to read it.

Right there in the middle of the common sense stuff, right in the middle of the stuff we ought to know already, right there in Chapter 4, “The Missional Church Shift,” Ed and David throw out a challenge to all of us who think our “preferences” are the main thing…

Scripture teaches that we are to ‘consider others better than yourselves’ (Phil. 2:3). This includes the truth that our preferences should never become more important than what our church needs to be and do missionally. For that matter, the church’s focus should not be the preferences of other church members either. A truly biblical church will ask, ‘What will it take to transform this community by the power of the gospel?’ not ‘How many hymns do we have to sing to make everybody happy?’ (p. 51)

That question hit me right between the eyes for some reason! Gary has said more than once – and he’s right – that church planting is the extreme sport of ministry. But there may be nothing more dangerous in ministry than trying to transform a church that seems to be old before its time, a church that needs a turnaround. We’re probably getting the answers to the questions we’re asking. And we probably need to start asking some better questions.

The question for me – in the current church I serve, and in fact, in the one I left to come here – has changed. And it should have changed long ago. The question is not…

How do we grow our church?

The question has to be Ed and David’s question…

What will it take to transform this community by the power of the gospel?

Commons sense stuff? Yep. But we have to choose. And the choice starts with the premises, the presuppositions, the questions.

What will it take to transform this community by the power of the gospel?

Tuesday Night Unwind…

It’s been a long time since I posted an “Unwind.” Usually “Unwinds” happen on Sunday nights, but lately, Sunday nights have been way too unwound already to even think about unwinding.

Anyway, it’s a breezy summer evening here in northwest Georgia, and I’m out on the back deck with my obsolete laptop and a wireless connection. I’ve got a big ol’ honkin’ glass of ice water and a small bowl of almonds.

I’m reading Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life, and jotting some really good thoughts in my Moleskine.

My “Unwinds” usually include some good music and tonight is no exception. I first discovered Mark O’Connor on the video for “The Devil Went Back to Georgia” (featuring Johnny Cash as a preacher…very cool!). Some time last week, our local NPR station had a feature on Mark O’Connor and his Hot Swing Trio, doing the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. I had forgotten about that program until I read in Twyla Tharp’s book about how she used one of O’Connor’s works in a major dance project. Talk about synchronicity!

At any rate, you could do a whole lot worse than Mark O’Connor’s stuff for an “Unwind.” Oh, did I mention that the CD also includes Wynton Marsalis and Jane Monheit?

I Feel Like I’m in School Again…

I’ve set out a pretty extensive and intensive reading plan for the next week or so. Some are oldies that I’m just getting around to finishing. Some are oldies that I’ve had on my list for a long time. And some are fairly new.

At any rate, I’m in a reading mood. And I’m diving in!

What are you currently reading?

One Thing…

One of my all-time favorite movies is City Slickers. You know the one scene among many that makes it that way, don’t you? Yep, the one where Curley talks about “the one thing”…

Curley: You all come out here about the same age. Same problems. Spend fifty weeks a year getting knots in your rope – then you think two weeks up here will untie them for you. None of you get it. Do you know what the secret of life is?
Mitch: No, what?
Curley: This. (Holds up his index finger.)
Mitch: Your finger?
Curley: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean sh**.
Mitch: That’s great, but what’s the one thing?
Curley: That’s what you’ve got to figure out.

How ’bout a little help from you Curleys out there?

  • When your personal rope’s got knots in it, what’s the “one thing” you do that helps you untangle?
  • What about when your organization/church/family/company/whatever is all tangled up? What’s the “one thing” that raises the energy, re-focuses the team, and gets big wins?