Saturday, September 28, 2002

Whistlestops? As our lives barrel down the high-speed rails God predestined for us, what are some of the mile-markers along the way... the 'whistlestops', if you will? Perhaps they're the only things we have much time to journal about anyway, huh? This morning's 'stop' occurred at a little place here in the Broadripple area of Indianapolis, sitting on the old Monon railbed-turned-trail. Not surprisingly, it's known as... "The Whistlestop".

We met for coffee and hammered out the precise mission and key functions of a brand new 501(c)3 organization...

Perhaps to be called the "Christian Collaborative Network"... we share the historical mission of the Church of Jesus Christ -- to "Glorify God and Enjoy Him Forever... Together". Our particular emerging role & unique purpose is... "to model & accelerate God's message of reconciling love & justice -- by intentionally facilitating collaboration in diverse settings during an increasingly digital age."

Naming Names? (Stay tuned... )

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Thursday... How many people have an occasional morning like this, I wonder... We WANT to do God's will today, we say. But we oversleep... we don't feel like doing early-morning Bible reading & pray... and when we click on our computers (instead... **rolling eyes**), the darned thing is all haywire. That's the way my morning has gone today.

But did God change? Nope. Was He surprised? No. Did He cause my computer to screw up? Maybe. LOL. My point? He wants me to "Glorify God and enjoy Him... Together", anyway. Rejoice in all things -- even when I don't feel like it. He is good, and He's looking out for our best interests, always. Even on these "bad days".

Just checked... My name's still written in 'the book'. And that's the main thing today.

Btw, it was FrontPage that was giving me fits -- but that's another story.

Naming Names: Evelyn Cosby. Neat lady. She's been involved in a number of urban-related things I'm in touch with, here in Indy. May God bless her this special day.

Now... back to FrontPage... Why was it so important this morning, anyway?

Back-log: (circa 1997) Decided to acquire a new capability -- to publish on the WWW. Why? ...because I had concluded that the capability to publish... at the speed of Light... would help accelerate the Church... and thus, to change the world for Christ. Why FrontPage? Because I have a Microsoft 'tatoo' of sorts -- because when it comes to profane things, I like to leverage the existing COMMON technologies rather than chronically swim upstream against the flow. I've never intimated MS is the best -- it may not be -- but it's the most common, and that serves our higher purpose, Christians, when it comes to COLLABORATING in love & unity.

Future-log: So whatever is the most common techno-playing-field, let's use it -- and let's sharpen each other. That being said, anyone want to advise a better overall publishing software for Christian webmasters? Email me.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

Sunday.... If I had but 3 wishes today...
#1. I wish everyone could enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
#2. I wish I was more Christ-like.
#3. I wish everyone could go to River Oaks, if for no other reason than to someday be able to say, "I was there the day Marcus' streak came to an end and he inadvertantly preached his first bad sermon." [It's what gets us all out of our beds on Sunday morning... we don't want to take a chance on missing that day. LOL]

Fact is, Marcus is a great teacher & model... and it's a neat place. Btw, what makes a good church a "good church", anyway?

Naming Names: I'll even name the name-namer... Tim Voorhees, the first person mention the name "" for the Christian web-portal I had just started for Greater Indianapolis. I also credit Tim with a profound statement about our collaborative internet strategies. To this day, I remember the conversation in a restaurant parking lot, when Tim hit the proverbial nail on the head as we parted... "You go long; I'll go deep." [Hmmm. Stay tuned...]

Tim, as you'll come to know, is one of the innovative Christians who truly grasps the potential of this great gift God has given the Church today, to change the way we live personally... and "do church" corporately.

Other "malcontents" **LOL** ...dissatisfied with just "doing church" here in Suburbia... were Jeb Gaither, Grace & Peace. Jim Furey, Trinity PCA... guys driven to "do church" better than we've been doing it. They dared to pose the question we've all pondered at one time or another.... ie, "What is a MODEL church?". But thinking back, we not only pondered....

Back-log... (circa 2000) Setting... a "Bob Evans" restaurant in suburbia... any suburbia, really. 6:00am. Hoosier roosters hadn't even had their coffee yet. But four of us met monthly at this ungodly hour.... to discuss the question, and hope to build a (clickable) "model" of the MODEL church.

After all, when congregations want to build a new building, what do they do? Early on, some of them get together over coffee and start scratching it out on a restaurant napkin first, right? LOL. Then what? An architect draws it officially. And often they have to build a scale model for people to really catch the vision, right? Now imagine if that little model has tiny swinging doors, windows that open & shut, moveable furniture, a little bell in the tower that really rings, and some life-like little figures to go with it all. A "life-like model", you might say.

Future-log: Someday soon, we'll share our 'clickable' collaborative model(s) out here on the net. In the meantime, you thought-leaders out there might want do Tim's online questionaire about the model "Covenant Community"... ie, use the net today, to make a difference tomorrow. Encourage your blog-roll to do likewise?

Saturday, September 21, 2002

Saturday... Thank you, Pam Kemp, for the perfect quote to go with the "Got Change, Baby". Too perfect to pass up when I saw it. LOL.

This was a great week. I enjoyed the opportunity to teach a segment re "Finances & Stewardship" at Crossroads Bible College... where they "Train Christian Leaders to Reach a Multiethnic Urban World for Christ." Great mission. Great school. Great young potential leaders.

Another huge milestone event this week: Our vision is starting to meet reality. The 'virtual world' hits 'the ground'. Ian & I were approved for a most unique setting as we launch the long-awaited "Urban Tech Centers" ministry here in Indianapolis. It's been a long wait, but we praise God for supplying exactly what we dreamed about as a sign to 'get going'. Lord willing, we will do our share to "Bridge the Great Divides"... ie, the Digital Divide, the Multicultural Divide and God's Eternal Divide... and utilize the technologies & trained workers there, to provide the future digital needs of Greater Indianapolis Christian initiatives.

One such venture that is also just now starting to take shape now is the "Transform Indiana" initiative among Greater Indianapolis churches & ministries. We met Thursday night for the 5th monthly meeting, and have finished hammering out some of the necessary organizational items, and are now ready to get down to work making a difference, Lord willing. We're greatly moved by the "Transformational Video" about change occurring in other cities. Not coincidentally, our monthly meetings fall on the same day as Mission America's (Lighthouse Movement) teleconference calls to a 100 city-reachers across the U.S. [ represents Indianapolis, of course, and would lead you to many other such web-portals hoping to stimulate and support change in their cities, through Christians coming together in love, for prayer & action in the name of Jesus.]

And last but not least, despite having tornadoes hit in several places across Indy yesterday, not a life was lost. The IndyStar called it a "miracle". Certainly one lady believes in miracles, as she & her son were spared their lives after riding in a funnel cloud and living to tell about it. Hmmmm.

Even 'ol St. Nick dodged the bullet. LOL.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

Sunday... It's been a good & busy week. Thanks Lord, for creating a special day per week to deliberately take a break and be able to spend time together with others, reflecting on you. Really enjoyed worship this morning with other believers in our community. That's one terrific part of living here in the Greater Indianapolis area -- there's no shortage of Christ-honoring churches to become a part of. River Oaks is no exception. But the list goes on & on.

Naming Names: Had coffee yesterday with one of my "Monon Trail" friends. Steve Ellson has a heart for networking among likeminded believers. Accordingly, he's involved in a number of church/ministry/business activities around the city. He always seems to be helping one of them or another -- and very capably at that -- putting good people in touch with other good people he knows. Example: CBMC Indiana -- he's helping get a "Communications Team" going which will have impact all around the state of Indiana. And he's actively involved with some Christian 'singles' initiatives around town. But when he's not doing something for others, he's out looking for his next (real) job. Steve has a resume filled with HR & training experience -- but with the job market being soft right now, personnel departments often seem to get hit first. I keep trying to talk him into taking on a collaborative development of a city-wide Christian jobs network. He knows it'd be a great thing, but to date, it hardly appears that it could pay its way. Could it? Would area churches support such an endeavor? Any ideas, anyone? I continue to pray that God will place my good friend Steve in just the right situation next.

Back-log: (circa 2001) Wanting to see e-connected Christians start networking more easily in real-time (via chat presumably), I started as a gathering place. Remember Anyway, I co-parked it with in hopes of 'cross-pollinating' Christians from one school of web-thought to another nearby school of web-thought. Btw, I had previously started as an encouragement to other webmasters who might start a city-portal in their area, as I was trying to model at The vision for "LiveChristian" (also an alias on AOL, so add us to your Buddy-list) was/is to enlist 7 e-capable, C-centered Christians in each of the 24 time-zones around the world, to man the AOL alias "LiveChristian"... and thus post a "friendly doorman" for the Church, online 24x7... capable of cogently sharing our faith, referring people with heartfelt needs, and just generally directing traffic among driven, 'collaborative Christians'.

Future-log: Now fast-forward that concept to today's "blogging" craze! today introduced the first in a series of up & coming 'syndicated' Christian bloggers. It's a collaborative effort initiated with the Harambee team hiding out at Urban Onramps. The vision is not terribly unlike "Leap-Blogging", as coined by Bene Diction, hoping to accelerate this new capability among Christians. But how would I have heard of it but for one of my favorite internet evangelism bloggers... Andrew Careaga? Our vision version is to rapidly build a network of solid born-again, well-connected, thought-leaders to provide fresh content to city-portals such as . By providing this new capability, we desire for Christians to be able to readily 'connect' with other Christians in their area, for impact in the name of Christ. I guess we'll see where it goes, huh? Pray that God may bless all efforts in faith around the world, at the speed-of-Light.

If YOU'RE one of us -- or as we say of Christians in Indy, if you're living "New Life In The Fast Lane" and would be interested in joining this syndicated effort, we'd be glad to have you join the race. Just email us.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Wednesday... Sept. 11 -- a big day for all of us. At today, our special "Site of the Day" was primarily a poem, "9/11 Before and After", by a Christian web-log author and friend of mine. It's beautiful.

I spent the day as a volunteer chauffeur, driving an ex-NFL pro around to schools in Indy, to talk with the kids. Sports World, Inc. provides pro athletes as speakers for public and private schools around the country. At 6' 6", 315, John Earle was not only fascinating to me as an adult, but these kids were spellbound, listening to this powerful giant of a guy. Sept.11, 2001 had special meaning to him, as a native from N.J... just outside NYC. This big fella could hardly speak of it at first. He then energized these kids to dream and set goals, to learn every day from wise people around them, and to persevere in hard work. He gave them hope and inspiration. Then he shared his personal experiences, including some rough spots and the wisdom and eternal insights given to him by some very godly people in his life. Every kid left with a football card... and a dream to (truly) succeed in life.

Along the way, we also met Roy, a young African-American teacher in the public school system. He too is a Christian who has succeeded in his own right, and also is revered by these kids. He's is a professional in his field... impacting his kids with solid values and backing it up as a role model himself.... every day of the week.

I was honored to have encountered them both.

Future-log: So who will impact our future the most? Terrorists? Or solid Christian leaders like these two men? I'll bet on the Johns & Roys every time. Terrorists are unusual... so they make the news occasionally. But way more prolific are the effects of Christians, past and present, as evidenced when we drive by our hospitals, missions, schools and churches, on our way to our productive jobs, and back to our (usually) peaceful neighborhoods and safe homes. Yeah, I'll bet on the Word of God and those who will learn from it, and teach others to set goals based on it.

Monday, September 09, 2002

Monday... Got a big week ahead, huh... what, with 9/11 nearly upon us again. Think back to 9/9 of 2001. It's hard to even be able to remember our pre-911 naivete. And then suddenly, 2 days later, a quantum-leap in "learning" -- we're aware of so much more. Is this the way we humans are forever doomed to learning, or isn't there something in between? Is "shock-value" our only teacher?

Saturday, September 07, 2002

Saturday... Gotta love Saturdays, huh? After updating in a few moments, I'll be heading out to the trail to log some time with friends. But first, the site update. Today's the kick-off of a new syndicating technique we're developing in order for city-webmasters like myself, to easily feature a different blogger each day. The technique may be ours, but the programming subroutine is borrowed from DynamicDrive. So in the upcoming week, we'll be featuring some different faces daily... stay tuned.

Naming Names: He jests that 'great minds run the same channels', but Rudy Carrasco, Urban Onramps, scares me. Yesterday, as I theorized about a "day in the life of a Christian student" blog, he emailed me the link to his "Harambee Diaspora", where we're introduced to a number of Harambee students... Von, Deon, Rebecca, Donald, Brandon, Kariem, Flo, Victor, Jamaal... oh, and a teacher... Rudi's wife, Kafi... and last but not least, Derek Perkins -- Harambee's director. Did you know Harambee Center was founded by Dr. John Perkins? Btw, Rudy has a few other friends around the country... here's one...

Btw, the guy on the right is Rudy. Can't really tell who the other fellow is with his back to us.

Back-log: (circa 1999) I was considering going on staff at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church here in urban Indianapolis, as Administrator. I had just founded, expressly to help the Greater Indianapolis church community negotiate change during the 'paradigm shift'. And as one of our 'racing team' "Sites of the Day", I had featured I remember to this day, that one particularly cool element of their site at that time was a VRML controllable fish-eye view of their historic old gymnasium at the church. Among other good reasons to accept the position, I really appreciated the fact that apparently there were some innovative Christians who hung out there. And I was right. After I joined the staff, Jeff Koenig -- Tab's webmaster -- became a good friend and a chronic encourager of 'new paradigm' thinking. Drowning in a sea of historic traditionists there **LOL**, we huddled monthly with the few other off-beat bravehearts of innovation and enjoyed brainstorming about how God had gifted the Church of Jesus Christ with this new-found capability of spreading the Gospel at the speed-of-light. Jeff & I have since moved on, but our impact at Tab was felt... Now they're REALLY terrified of change! LOL.

Future-log: However, the internet continues to develop as a change-agent's best tool. has blossomed and spawned several other new sites... such as to do outright evangelism... 24x7. In fact, I'll hope to participate in the upcoming, first of its kind, Internet Evangelism Conference to take place in Chicago later this month. How cool is that? The internet and its daily impact on lives, continues to flourish; while traditional churches stagnate and dwindle. So what is the future of the Church? Does it take a prophet to predict it.... or just a good mathematician? (Thoughts anyone?)

Friday, September 06, 2002

Friday... Man, where did this week go?????? I love "(new) life in the fast lane", but when it's going so fast you don't even have time to write down the significant elements, that's what you call a race! **smile**

Monday, September 02, 2002

Labor Day... I just finished updating -- "Starting-line for Greater Indianapolis Christians". We feature a different local ministry every day. Pretty typically on holidays, I do what everyone else does... get outta town. LOL. So our featured "Site of the Day" isn't locally-driven today. I took everyone to's special Labor Day page. Interestingly though, one of their articles is on "God's Contractor" -- Millard Fuller, Founder, Habitat for Humanity... who is coming soon to Indy to pray with our city leaders at the Indianapolis Leadership Prayer Breakfast. I'm on the prayer breakfast committee... as if you couldn't tell from our chronic promos at IC of the breakfast. LOL.

Naming names: Btw, the committee also includes Eldon Kibbey, my good friend and the Indiana director for CBMC (fka/ Christian Businessmen's Committee). He's been a great friend and helpful networker in the business-professional community... and a godly example for me. Gotta love him. Thanks God, for Eldon.

Back-log: (circa 1987) When I first came to Coral Ridge, a gentleman with a disarming smile, Mr. Charlie Hainline, (another CBMC'er, btw -- a great organization of leader-builders) immediately took me under his wing and greatly influenced my life in the area of goal-setting. To know him was to know humility -- a self-described 'poor Kentucky farm-boy'. Yet not a person of low self-worth or direction, his worth was found in where he was headed and the 'checks' he could cash or better still, give away. His winning smile endorsed his challenges, and we listened. While there's so much that could be said about him, I believe his final set of annual goals -- at age 78 -- speak most eloquently for themselves.... (click)

Future-log: From that moment on, I've started understanding more & more about the value of having a godly mentor. The times I've failed the worst, are the 'vacation-years (lapses) from setting goals and exchanging them with an accountability mentor to pray for me. [Maybe I'll introduce you to some other mentors in the near future.] "We make it our goal to please Him." Lord willing, I intend to set goals, as Charlie did... til I reach my goal... of being with Christ. Thus the motivation to start I wonder if anyone else sees the value?

Sunday, September 01, 2002

Sunday... Gotta love "Punky" (littlest family member). No bother; loves to love & be loved at just the right times; did I mention "no chewed-up glasses"? She's great. On the other hand... ahem... Mr. "Scout" ... well that's a story for another time. Anyway, we just got back from church. I couldn't help but be moved by worship today. One of the songs we sang this morning took me back a few years and really sums up my sentiments to this day...

"Knowing You, Jesus... There is no greater thing."

Back-log: (circa 1996) I sat on the back row of a South Florida church... mortified at how I could fly in the face of God... and yet still He loved me... and forgave & forgives me. (II Tim 2:11-13). Knowing Jesus, there is no greater thing... indeed.

Future-log: How can I NOT want to know Him better, respond to His love more obediently, walk more humbly, and truly 'love my neighbors as myself'... starting by keeping Jesus and my closest "neighbors"...well, closest.