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Showing posts from October, 2009

Meandering

Larry Osbourne talk about how many time we are ignorant to the fact that as we meander through life we grow spiritually. It's not always a Bible study or a sermon. It's not always through singing songs or memorizing scripture. All those things are amazing in their own rights, but sometimes we forget that as we live life that grow happens.

Larry says it this way, "When life happens, growth kicks in."

I know that this is true for me and I have talked to so many people that would agree. Some of our best growth comes from living life. It's been a hard week for me personally, but I wouldn't trade it for the best week ever. It's because of this week that new things about God have been revealed to me and my relationship with him has grown.

So I thank God for the rough week and learn from it as I meander through life.

Yours

Justin

What I'm Reading

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I started ready this new book the other day called the naked GOSPEL. And the answer is no, I didn't just buy the book because it has the word "naked in the title, although it did make it easier to buy. So far from what I've read I am extremely excited to finish this one. It caught me off guard at the beginning and now I'm anxious to see where the author goes with it.

By the way, I would really like to know what other people are reading. Let me know, I'm always looking for a good read.

Yours

Justin

No More Cages

Our God is a huge God and there is nothing that can hold Him back. Tonight at InsideOut we are finishing up the series Wild Goose Chase. I think this series has been extremely challenging for the students. Truthfully it's an extremely deep series for a youth group. But in the end I think we can all easily understand what it feels like to be caged up in life. Tonight we end with the question we asked at the beginning...

What Will You Choose, the Cage or the Chase?

We have a great night planned. Jenna and Donna are both leading songs for worship tonight. I am constantly amazed at the amount of talent that God has blessed us with. We're also learning a new song tonight called Rise and Sing, better get you vocal chords ready for that one. And finally, we are challenging all the students to skip a meal today, bring your extra money to church and buy a bracelet to help support Rapha House. I'm pumped for tonight and I look forward to hanging with everyone tonight.

Yours

Justin

Beer Delivery Guy

Last Sunday night in Connections I was taking communion and when I was finished I looked up and say a guy wearing a jacket that said "Beer Delivery Guy" in huge letters on the back. I thought to myself... "That is Awesome!" Only in Connections will you see that. I remember that there was a time in our church that people would be going crazy if someone wore a hat in the church. I think we're finally past that.

Vince Antannochi (author of I Became A Chrstian and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt) wrote in his blog about measureing church health...

Here's a few quick random thoughts on the idea of how we measure if our church is healthy. What about: (1) The number of people smoking outside before or after the service? (2) The percentage of couples who, when they first start attending, are living together? (3) What percentage of people are in small groups, or actively serving in the church or community? (4) The percentage of people who, when they first start atte…

Take Out Night

So we started our Tales From the Fortune Cookie series this week and a few people came up to me and my wife asking if we were going to start ordering take out instead of our typical cookies and treats. Well, I do love some lemon pepper chicken. We'll see what we can do for the last night. If you think this is a good idea, let me know.

Yours


Justin

An Awesome Connections

In case you missed it, we had an awesome night at Connections as we launched our new series... Tales From the Fortune Cookie. The whole night was great. The band was awesome as usual. I had a great time with the sermon. But the best part of the evening was at the end when a new friend of mine (Nick) came up after the sermon and asked to be baptized. Before we stepped into the water I looked back at him and said "You know that you picked the coldest day of the year to do this, and we didn't turn the heater on today?" That didn't stop him though, we jumped in and as he stood there shivering ( I was wearing waiters so I was just fine) I strolled down memory lane of others I had the honor of baptizing. How thankful I was to be apart of their life and experience with God. How thankful I was to be doing God's work and how I would never give it up for anything. Then I looked back and saw Nick slipping into hypothermia, so I baptized him and welcomed him to his new life …

At Least...

So right off the bat I would like to say that this blog might sound a bit mean, but the truth is that I don't care. Sometimes I feel kind of down, especially when things don't seem to go my way. I get down, I'm a little sad. I think to myself sometimes, "I'm really stressed out and life stinks right now." Whenever that happens there always seems to be someone that comes along to make me feel great about my life again. I draw your attention to the comment below, the guy that made me feel better about myself.

"Today, I learned that the excessive groin sweating I've been trying to deal with for weeks isn't groin sweating. It's a slow and steady stream of urine that I have no control over." -The Spastic Bladder Guy

Yeah, things might not be perfect in my life but at least I'm not this guy. Maybe I'm broke again, at least I'm not constantly peeing my pants. Maybe I got a mean comment at work today, at least I don't have to wea…

Standup!

As Peter looked down he saw this man kneeling before him, kneeling in reverence, kneeling in honor, kneeling in respect. Cornelius more than likely thought there was something supernatural about Peter, so he bows down in reverence. Peter looks at him and says “Stand up, I am only a man myself.” Peter was saying, “Hey, I’m nothing special, I’m just like anyone else.”

I really love that because the truth is that we know stuff about Peter that the people in that day didn’t. The truth was, Peter had some prejudice in his life, even though he was an Apostle he was only taking the Gospel to the Jews, anyone that wasn’t a Jew he didn’t go to. Now a few days earlier Peter had a vision that he went back and forth on with God. God showed him this sheet that had all kinds of different animals, clean and unclean. God says to Peter “Get up, kill and eat.” But Peter won’t because he adhered to the basic dietary restrictions found in Leviticus 11. Peter was appalled that God would ask him to kill and…

A Shipwreck and a Snakebite

So last night I was talking about Acts 28, where Paul is a prisoner on his way to Rome to go before Caesar. Unfortunately the plans get a bit sidetracked due to a storm that causes the ship Paul was on to sink. Paul and the rest of the people on the ship survive and make it to a small island of Malta. While getting warmed up next to the fire a viper snake jumps out and bites Paul on the hand (it should have killed him however Paul survives thanks to God).

I was thinking, shipwreck equals "Bad Day." Shipwreck plus venomous snakebite equals "Worst Day Ever!" Myself along with my good buddy Jesse likened "Paul's Worst Day Ever" to a few different situations. Here's what we came up with.

1. That’s like surviving a deadly ninja attack, only to get an infection from an ingrown toe nail and die from it.
2. That’s like getting hit by a semi while you’re on your scooter only to walk away and get hit by lighting.
3. That’s like surviving a confrontation with …

No-Risk Faith

We can be certain about who God is, who God says He is. We can be certain about our relationship to him, but the way our life unravels is full of uncertainty.

Jonathan was certain about who God was and his relationship with God. But when he looked at his shield bearer and said

"Come, lets go over to the outpost of the uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the Lord with act in our behalf."

First of all he's referring to the Philistines when he says "uncircumcised fellow." I never thought of referring to a person on the basis of that general area, anyways. Jonathan says "perhaps" or maybe God will help.

We see that he wasn't certain God would actually help them. Jonathan couldn't control the outcome, all he could choose was how he was going to live. He chose that day to fight for the Lord and his people without the assurance that God would see Him victorious.

Kind of risky huh? I don't think you can have a vibrant faith without some risk involved. A …

We Become What We Worship.

If you worship money you become a greedy person. Worship sex you become a lustful person. Worship power and become a corrupt person. Worship Jesus, become a Christlike person. We become what we worship, so we gotta be careful.

Yours

Justin