If you have been following this blog, I appreciate it enormously. I have decided, however, to move the operation over to WordPress. Here is a link so you can find it and join me there. This will likely be my final posting on blogger.




I am an Accleist

WARNING: If you believe yourself to be a religious person or are a church-goer and/or have high blood pressure—please, for your own mental health—stop reading. The following words may be detrimental to your view of what you're doing and, consequently, your spiritual status quo.
I just realized it the other day. It's official. I've become AN ACCLEIST. That's right. An accleist. (But, before you run to look the word up in a dictionary, you won't find it there. I'll need to help you out.) In my circle of work, I run into a lot of ATHEISTS—people who say they don't believe that there is a God. Well, here's how the word 'ATHEISM' breaks down:

'a'—no /// 'theo'—God /// 'ism'—distinctive belief, system of thought, theory.

So atheism is the distinctive belief that there is no God.

Now, as I said at the outset, I realized that I have adopted an ACCLEISTIC view of things. Like before, the 'a' part of the word means no. But the last half of the word is a modification of another word—ecclesiology. Ecclesiology is the formation of a theology about the church. So, if you are ecclesiological, it means you have some kind of thoughtful view of what the "CHURCH" is and how it ought to be. That being the case, almost everybody is ecclesiological. On a larger scale, for every church you drive past, you have a different ecclesiology.

So, yeah, back to my discovery. I've become a-ecclesiological: ACCLEISTIC. I've given up on "church." Now, if you pay close attention to the details, you're aware that I am a pastor…of a CHURCH. It's just after having grown up in church, grown up in a culture with every possible variation on church—the big box church up the street that can make the best and greatest number of people with McNugget-level-quality spirituality possible, the tiny little congregation out on a street I've never heard of, the church made up of people who all came from the other church just down the street, the church that shouts and dances when the music cranks up, the church whose congregation thinks it's sacrilegious to crack smiles inside the 4-walls of a church building (or emote in any way about God, for that matter), the church who thinks they hold the moral high ground, the church who thinks they own the secret password to the vault holding God, or the church who puts out a vibe that they're the only church there is—ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

I realized the other day that I am done with that stuff. I am an accleist now. No more views of "church." As a pastor of a community of spiritually-curious people here at Grace Fellowship, I am committing to stop trying to build the "church" box—and signing on to simply follow my Savior Jesus and the truth expressed in the Word of God. Jesus once told a classically-confused religious guy, "I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE" (John 14:6). Jesus is my Way to discover the truth about God and the life He desires for me. That's Who and what spirituality and Christianity should be built around.

So, all of you accleists, interested in trying something fresh and honest? We're meeting in a "church" building with the word "church" as the suffix to the 'Grace Fellowship CHURCH' that's painted on the sign, but we're trying to do something different than squeeze ourselves into another itsy-bitsy box.

Accleists, unite!

Hey, all you Malcom Gladwell fans, check this article out about him and his book, Outliers, that's coming out. If you're not a fan...by all means...ignore this.




A friend returns from vacation and tells you about this new place she has experienced, and to you--at this point in your life--its intrigue sounds captivating. You've always been more or less satisfied with where you're from as it's the only thing with which you're familiar. But her stories make you notice things you never noticed before. Compared to the new place your friend has described, your homeland suffers from stifling air pollution and the scenery is pretty much blah. And, if your culture isn't altogether boring--it is, for sure, crude and un-creative. Plus, if the stagnancy of the economy of this place you call home isn't bad enough . . . the truth of what it is driven by when things are going "good" is even worse. Scary, actually. Truthfully, the more your soul replays the scenes and stories described by your friend--stories of exciting people, vibrant culture, beautiful scenery, and a healthy way of making a living--the more restless you feel.

One evening, your dinner is interrupted by four successive calls from telemarketers selling air filters for your home so you can breathe more easily on high-pollution days. This insanity is piggy-backed with several text messages and a couple of e-mails from people who are telling you how people are talking about you behind your back at work. (You bet if the truth was untangled, those giving you these "warnings" are probably in on the whole stupid brouhaha, too.) Something in you snaps. "That's it! I've had it! I'm leaving!" your soul screams. "I'm going to start a new life in this new place my friend has told me about."

So as each day passes, you more and more deliberately begin to imagine life in this new place. Gradually, you can see yourself there--and envision a better experience of life. By degree, your heart heats up to this thing your heart has been daring itself to do. Still, you vacillate for a while. Do you have enough faith to pack your suitcase and head to the border? Do you really trust your friend enough to make a move of this dimension? So, you share with her your dreams--and your doubts--and she says, "If you go, I'll go with you. Ever since I first experienced it, I can't stop thinking about it myself." And that tips the balance. You sell your house and all your possessions. You keep just enough for the road that will take you there. And the two of you set off.

With some building apprehension, you approach the border. Signs begin to point out that you're getting very near to this moment your heart has played out in its quiet recesses. You present your papers and declare yourself an immigrant. They ask you ONE SIMPLE QUESTION: "Do you wish to leave your past behind and start a new life? Do you believe there is something more?" When you reply to this with a hope-filled sigh of 'Yes' that (truthfully) is just as much a question as a statement, they issue you a passport--no further questions asked.

And then they recommend that you take a bath. [Really? Well . . . alright, you hesitantly agree.] They explain that people new to this way of life usually find it wise to wash off the soot and smell of their old homeland so they can fully appreciate their clean start. In fact, after your bath, they encourage you to smell your old clothes . . . because it will be the first time that you encounter the scent of your old life. [And they're right.] You follow through on these few things they encourage you to do. And as you work your way through these things, it suddenly occurs to you that you are breathing in the fresh air of this experience. Your lungs feel as if you're inhaling new life for the first time. It's as if the air itself is inundated and alive with an oxygen of joy and purpose and love. You feel more alive than you ever remembering hearing was true of someone in your old land.

Now having finished this first stage of what you assume is your "customs" experience--you, your friend, and these handful of folks processing with you are standing there. There's one of those uncomfortable pauses. [The first one you believe you've experienced here in your new home territory.] So you--like any sensible person--break the silence with an important question. You ask where you're supposed to go to move into your new house or town or whatever/wherever people from this place live. And they sort of cock their head at you in a strange mixture of confusion and amusement: "People don't live here. The city of your old land is where you live."

You half-protest, half-ask, "But why would I want to go back there? I told you I LEFT THAT PLACE." "No, our friend. We asked you if you wanted to leave YOUR PAST behind, not YOUR PEOPLE. We asked you if you believed that there ought to be something more than what your old life offered. And there is. Only, you're bringing that fresh breath of reality back to those who don't yet have it, too."

With clean new clothes, a smell of freshness, your passport, and a little book, they shove you and your friend off. A few slow, reluctant steps back down the road, you look at your friend with a face that you never remember being able to form. (How you could furrow your brow, yet still be smiling perplexes you.) [You think to yourself: She knew I wasn't moving to a new city, just that I would have a new sort of citizenship.] You realize that she didn't trick you--and that's why you're smiling. But you also know that this is not what you expected--and that's why your face is filled with questions. Lots of questions.

But before any of these questions are able to be articulated or answered, real life resumes quite quickly. It's not long after you had set-off on your journey back "home" that you see your OLD city. Well . . . your . . . city. (It's not old. It's the same bustling place you just walked away from. And it's not exactly yours--in that you are no longer FROM there, but it's where you are supposed to be.) The closer you get, the greater everything returns to your view in a higher definition than you ever saw it with before you left. The smells, the frenetic pace, the choking air, the confusion, the poorly spent time, the misapplied priorities, the really bad "solutions" they were attempting. Mostly, you saw the people. For the first time.

In your re-encounter with of your city, your re-immersion stuns you with one mammoth conclusion: THESE EVERYDAY PROBLEMS OF PACE AND ENVIRONMENT AND PRIORITY AND HOPELESS SOLUTIONS ARE A RESULT OF ONLY ONE THING. They have never been beyond the borders of this place's soul. They need to leave this culture before they'll see it for what it really is. They need to encounter people who will help them smell it, feel it, recognize it, and then re-calibrate their life in light of it. This is normal to them--just like I once assumed. They have to taste what is REALLY real.

Like my friend helped me do.

They wouldn't choke our air with pollution if they considered something beyond the borders of their bottom lines. They wouldn't get hung-up on the wrong stuff if they traveled beyond the borders of the empty talk-show, pop solutions this city claims are the only ways of living. They wouldn't be so confused, if they had a direction that genuinely engaged them with what's most important. They need real friends who have been led beyond the borders of this place by their friends before them.

And it is just this moment, as this epiphany is taking shape in you, you remember that they had tucked a small book into your hand as your parting gift. Your friend sees this movement in your soul on your face, steers your eyes to meet hers, gives you this most amazingly holy grin you'll never be able to erase from your memory, and taps that book in your hand twice with a thumping sound that captures your heart. She walks off with a contagious smile on her face--leaving you now, knowing that you will be together again very soon. For the next thing.

That thump that she had tapped into the little book keeps on resounding in that moment's experience until you realize that its the throbbing of your excited heart. You jerk your head down and the book in your grip up.

What does that book say?

Much recognition needs to be given to Brian McLaren for the provocative parable he shared in his book, The Secret Message of Jesus (2006, p. 112-113). The beginning of his parable, which you saw represented in the opening environment of this allegory, provided a wonderful platform from which to share with you this more expanded one.



Of all men, I am most blessed. I have a beautiful wife whose heart is deep. I have wonderful young children who are beginning to find their own character and sense of self. And I have a God who loves me.
A part of this profound blessing I feel is the great privilege to live across the road from a Forest Preserve. There is not a day that goes by that I fail to look over at God's amazing creation there--and, at times, enjoy the advantage of taking time there. Usually, my family and I will walk in the Preserve. Sometimes we'll bike it. And there are a handful of moments when I make my way there alone. Today was one of those occasions.
As I sat reading a good book in a grove of trees, I chanced upon an interesting convergence. There, in that grove of quietly invincible oaks, my eyes discovered that the tallest tree was also the most beautiful. It occurred to me that many eyes and many legs must have looked at and walked past that old tree. I wondered how many had noticed its amazing color at this time of year. (As I am fashioning these thoughts in the middle of a Midwest October, it won't take you long to ascertain why its beauty right now exceeds even its loveliest green when spring and summer shake hands in their passing of one another.)
Now, in my color-blindness, I am attuned to my limitations at being able to certify the color I perceived it to be, but I'll still stab at it. Taken as a whole, I'd have to say that the tree's leaves were the most attractive shade of amber, but that's not to say that I failed to see the hues of gorgeous orange and scarlet highlights. From top to bottom, this old oak was mesmerizing. Awe-striking, really.
And it's just as I had taken the whole tree in that a deep truth occurred to me. What is it about me that is most drawn to this tree NOW--as the season brings something about it to an end. Shouldn't a sensible person most admire it when it is at its greenest--when it is its most ALIVE? And while meditating on this last thought, I stopped to reconsider why I had not taken note of the tree during any one of the hundred other times I had been there.
You see, it wasn't until I saw its color that I would end up taking notice of its character. From the same vantage-point of where I sat in October, the same tree exists as only one among about a million in June. While I could have probably seen that it reached further into the heavens than the rest, it's just that at its greenest the oak doesn't STAND OUT, it just stands up. Yes, it's when something in it is dying that I begin to realize how alive it is. While I am no arborist, I would bet my neighbor's last paycheck that that tree has stood in that spot for 80-100 years. Slowly but certainly, it has grown into the patriarch of all the trees around it. But in order for it to be the wisest and strongest of those trees, it has had to abide and persist through many dozens of deaths. It has had to steadily give up a part of itself.
The turning of those beautiful amber leaves were a striking display in nature of a God principle. The principle of turning. Jesus once said to those who might want to follow Him: “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must TURN from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow Me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it" (Matthew 16:24-25--nlt). Turning displays life more than any human action or event. While it certainly is emblematic of the release of the past; more than that, it is only by giving up the things we have had hanging about us or on us for too long(even if we consider them beautiful) that we can make space for new life.
Some of you are at an amber point in your life. And while it may be difficult to freely release what you've known for a while, know that WE ARE OUR MOST BEAUTIFUL WHEN WE ARE MAKING SPACE FOR GOD'S NEW LIFE. It is then that we are most alive and most striking. Then--and only then--will we know that we have turned. Our amber will display our color and our character.



It's been a busy last couple of weeks for those of us who pay attention to national issues in America. As a closet fan of politics, I've been all eyeballs on the two political conventions over these last two weeks. And as a not-so-shy American, I closely followed our Olympic team's efforts and victories in the Beijing Games a few weeks ago. Events like these--that only come every four years--always energize me and remind me that there is a larger world beyond me, my beautiful village of Mokena, and MY WAY OF DOING THINGS.
National and global events quickly shrink what I've ridiculously magnified as colossal in my own life. It reminds me that MY struggles are slight in comparison to the everyday struggles of those in the larger world. Example: my annoyance at recent gas prices should be a reminder to me that I don't have to walk miles to bring home water and food for my family since I enjoy the blessing of owning a car. Example: the starving and orphaned African child on the run from wicked rebel armies who are trying to conscript him ... or the fears of his sister who has encountered violent rapes daily from her birth 10 years before remind me that I haven't had to experience real heartache and hopelessness. It reminds me that when my "bills and budget challenges" demand me to eat salad instead of steak, I don't really have problems. I have full use of my eyes, my hands, my legs, my hearing, my taste, my ability to smell, and the full faculties of my mind and soul. I have a beautiful wife and children who mirror their mother's beauty, I don't have problems. My faucet always brings clean water to my cup. I live in the shade of beautiful trees.
National and global events remind me that to be an American is a blessing. It's a blessing with a responsibility. Our impressive Olympians reminded me of how important excellence-in-endeavor is a part of the American spirit. Something that has always made Americans unique in our world. (This is not to say that we are above the rest of the world--just that we are blessed and have often rightly-used that blessing for others through our history.) It's when we TURN THE BLESSING INWARD that we as individual Americans begin to sour and spoil that heritage. Our rich heritage as Americans--but specifically as people who share God's love with the larger world--is a critical role with which we have been entrusted. If we don't live as generous, loving, and godly Americans, our profound richness will leave us with the only other qualities left to be claimed: greed, discontentment, self-protectionism, unsatisfiable hunger.
The author of the New Testament book of 1 Corinthians, says that "whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value" (3:10-13--nlt). In other words, we have the daily choices to offer our God and our world (1) our golden best or (2) our bonfire kindling of self-absorbed living. The pushback we receive from others in our personal lives and the outcry against Americans we hear from the larger global family often are associated with whether we are sharing our gold or sluffing off our leftover hay on others.
The safest and most blessed America is possible when we are the most self-less versions of ourselves. Our global and national challenges will never be overcome by governments, political parties, presidents, legislatures, blogs, or newspaper articles. Personal and global life will be rightly handled when blessed Americans like you and me start living differently towards the neighbors we encounter in our backyards and in Berkot's as well as the ones we rarely see in Belize, Bosnia, or Bangladesh.
How much anxiety would we feel about being robbed if we had already given all of our things away? There is a reason we as Americans are the anxiety society. We have so much blessing, but we have kept the gold and pawned off the scraps. We don't know what to do with all of the extra time, money, and possessions but to worry about them. About how to maintain them, protect them, preserve them. Jesus didn't have His own bed, because the world and the people of the globe formed His home. He never gave anything but His absolute all--His gold--to every single person and every single moment. Americans used to remember that. I still have hope that we will again.

Over the past few weeks, my daily personal experience in listening to God speak through the Bible has uncovered a great deal about national leadership. Most of my encounter with the Bible over this time has centered-in upon the lives and leadership approaches of two kings—a man named Saul and another one named David who both led the nation of Israel over 3000 years ago.

Of course, I’d be the first to recognize that the political environment they lived in and the one we see in our own culture are two very different worlds. Saul never had to get elected and David never ran a TV campaign ad. Neither of them had to come up with a catchy slogan or pick a vice-king for their administration’s ticket. They didn’t arise out of political parties or ever experience tracking polls. CNN and Fox didn’t exist—so the scrutiny on these leaders was of a whole different sort.

All that being said, these recent biographical studies in Israel’s first two kings have been a profound help to me as a backdrop to what’s going on in our culture today. (Remember the old saying: Fail to learn from history and you’re doomed to repeat it.) For the first time in my lifetime, the political world is touching full force on things beyond legislation, policy, and political platforms. The societal and spiritual ramifications of this year’s election are obviously higher than I can recall. Faith—a once taboo topic in the American cultural dialogue—is now very much at the center of the conversation. The issue of race is one of the driving forces behind the choices Americans face. Gender is a chief point of discussion. Generational issues form debate lines as to what is better—older ways or newer approaches. Even the political parties themselves—while seemingly energized—are at a crossroads since unquestioned party loyalties have almost become a total thing of the past. (This is a good development in my opinion, by the way.) People seem to be making choices less because of a party label and more because of what a candidate or movement represents in belief, conviction, and character. (Insert your own “No Duh, that’s the way it’s supposed to be” reaction to all of this.)

In Saul and David's cases, neither were Republican, Democrat, independent, or Green. Both of them entered their role in national leadership like rock stars. (Sen. Obama wasn’t the first.) Both of them were bold mavericks (Sen. McCain wasn’t the first.) Both of them began their leadership roles at young ages. (Gov. Palin and Sen. Obama weren’t the first.) Both of them were war heroes. (Sen. McCain wasn’t the first.) Both of them were swept into power because of the people’s concern over national defense. (Sen. Biden and Sen. McCain weren’t the first.) Both of them started out quoting the ancient sacred Scriptures as a guiding force to how God held a leader and their nation responsible for living inside His ways. (God's ways pave the pathway to the best versions of our lives and our nation. Both Saul and David were anointed as a savior of sorts to a nation in profound turmoil. (Sound familiar?)

In 3000 years since the two kings, some things haven’t changed. While we are seeing history in the making here in 21st-century America, it’s not new stuff. America is just following the generational trajectory of what happens when cultures make right or wrong choices about what's most important. We feel it currently only because this kind of reality has always existed in human affairs. You see, when things feel not-quite-right in the lives of everyday people just like you and me, we begin looking for a leader to march us out of the morass that will engulf us if we don’t move out soon.

Neighbors, we’re at a cultural crossroads today. Our tenuous dependence upon the resources of those who don’t love us out in the wider world make some of us nervous. Our fears that our planet's ecological sustainability is deteriorating as we speak because of the speed of our culture lead us to a crossroad. Race and gender realities are no more removed from the national soul today than in the intense days of the Civil Rights movement. We just use a different language about it all, today. The involvement of the faith community within the public square is at stake. We are not at a Democrat vs. Republican crossroad. We are at the crossroads of who America is going to become. As a pastor, I don’t say this to scare or for the purpose of hyperbole, but to simply state a truth.

The two different leadership trajectories of Saul and David led their nation to two drastically different outcomes. Saul was a miserable failure--a man who relied upon his own wisdom and strength--and ended up destroying the most sacred values of that people. David--albeit an imperfect man--restored the things that were most sacred to God and the people. And brought that nation and culture into a whole new reality—even adding immeasurably to the moral and cultural beauty and traditions that he had been handed at birth. He made his world better because God was free to shake him up inside of the inner world of his soul.

Just moments before David’s meteoric rise to leadership would begin, the Scriptures explained what the most critical ingredient inside a person is such that GOD IS FREED TO CHANGE THE WORLD THROUGH THEM: “Don’t judge by appearance or height…the Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but THE LORD LOOKS AT THE HEART” (1 Samuel 16:7—nlt).

The heart.

A leader’s heart. A nation’s heart. YOUR heart. And mine.

This year’s election represents something deep and important about our culture—but only because it represents something deep and important about you and me. And that’s not a political reality—it’s a soulful one.

Who are you becoming? Who is your family becoming? What kind of culture is Mokena fashioning in our classrooms, bedrooms, halls of justice, and churches...on park benches, judicial benches, and the athletic benches of our children? Who are we becoming? What are we calling important that really doesn't matter? What are we ignoring that will save us from becoming one more culture among many who litter history books with their slow demise instead of becoming "a city on a hill"? WHO ARE WE BECOMING?

The voting booth in November won’t determine the final answer to these questions—you and I will. God looks at the heart of things—so, then, so should we. Imagine a political party built on the platform of the heart. God's heart. That's where God establishes His party.

More to come on this…



I am coining a new term that will be the root word of a new brand of religion. The new religion has already kicked off, but will be officially launched with our new Web site: http://www.togetherlinessism.com/. We—the founders of this new religion—are choosing to break this news, here, in Mokena's paper—the Messenger. You can say you heard it here first! (I hope without seeing my face that you can pick up on the fact that my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek. There is no new Web site. And while we aren't starting a brand new religion, the tenets of this spirituality are very much in the initial stages of being put into practice.)At the printing of this article, our church—Grace Fellowship Church—and a sister church to us in Mokena—Missio Dei Church—will be three weeks into an experiment. The public part of the experiment will last 7 weeks—but the behind-the-scenes part of it will have lasted even longer. From mid-July through the end of August, Grace and Missio Dei will have spent 7-weeks "doing church together." Our experiment is to test whether or not two churches can work intimately TOGETHER. And, the thrust of my words in this article will be that TOGETHER is a big difference from side-by-side. To illustrate the difference, I'd have you put the palms of your hands firmly together—pressing in, palm-to-palm, with both sets of fingers sticking up parallel to one another. It would take a little bit of strength, but someone could pry your two hands apart if they grabbed your arms and pulled in opposite directions. This is an illustration of side-by-side.Togetherliness is a different story. To illustrate this, put those palms back together, and then slide your fingers down into one another—where the valley of each finger and knuckle cradles its corresponding fingers in the other hand. Together. It would be much harder for these two hands to be yanked apart. In fact, something would probably get broken if force were used to try and break the lock—or what I would term togetherliness.The book of Ephesians talks about this kind of togetherliness: "Speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church. He makes the whole body FIT TOGETHER PERFECTLY. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love" (4:15-16—nlt). That phrase in the middle—fit together perfectly—really pops out at me. Even the apostles say that Christianity is just another name for Togetherlinessism.The wind-up on this experiment is that it's not always easy to do things together when it would be easier to do them side-by-side—within a much smaller framework of risk. In other words, there would have been no way we could have inter-locked our fingers and hands if we had not let loose of some of the smaller stuff that we had previously been holding on to too tightly. Like our personal ways of doing stuff. Much like a marriage, both husband and wife covenant to adopt one another's ways. In a marriage, two people blend their ways of life together—endeavoring to keep the best of both.Now, a number of weeks into the experiment, I have to be honest with you. I never realized all of the extra work involved and complexities of blending two churches' personalities, approaches, styles, leaders with turf, liturgies, missions, ministries, people and a whole host of other things. It's turning out to be much more than holding worship gatherings in the same building at the same time. And I am so happy to say—much, much better than I even wished. The way that these two churches' people and ministry leaders have comported themselves and blended together with one another will go down as LEGENDARY in the religious history annals of Togetherlinessism. This experiment has been both a blast and a success—at least from one guy's vantage-point. I would bet my last paycheck that God has been beside Himself with joy as He gathers with us and sees us work this stuff out while we do our best to glorify Him. I think He laughs with us when we see the humor in our own idiosyncrasies and approaches. Sticking our stuff out there has been an exercise in trust and humility. We're not perfect. (Their pastor, Paul Vroom, would tell you the same thing about them.) Sometimes the experiment has forced us to see each others' junk. And that's been the most encouraging and re-assuring part of it all. Christians aren't perfect. Far from it. God's got a long way to go with us. But, by doing life together, we help God in His refining process of turning us into the best versions of His dreams for us.Our 7-week experience has been punctuated by doing a study of the Bible's David. The shepherd. The giant-slayer. The warrior and king. The psalmist and musician. The sinner. The repenter. One of the great stories behind David's greatness was a life-changing, destiny-altering friendship of Togetherlinessism he shared with his best friend—a man named Jonathon. There would have been no David without Jonathon. (Read the scriptural accounts of the poet-king's life and you'll see what I mean.) I wonder if we'll ever fully realize how important it is for churches and Christians to practice our religion of Togetherlinessism—even when it forces us to leave our assumptions, our routines, our normal ways of doing and seeing things, and our self-serving benefits for the larger values of discovering the real and living God and encouraging others to do the same. If we don't model it, who will?


Pastor John Morlan is togetherly with his wife of 10 years, Julie, and three kids—Jack, Cameron, and Eliana. He has been attempting to practice Togetherlinessism at his church—Grace Fellowship—for over 15 years, now. Join him and them in this effort if you believe togetherliness is the heartbeat of God. Check Grace out on the web http://www.gracelife.cc/ --or e-mail him at john@GraceLife.cc.