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Showing posts from 2011

Radical Together Review

Last year when I read David Platt's "Radical" one thing jumped into my mind at the end of the book... this isn't Radical, this is what a Christian is supposed to look like, that is according to what scripture has to say. However, the American Church has turned what the New Testament calls "Christian" into something that is unheard of, or radical. The book was fantastic and eye opening in many ways. I love his passion for missions and the push for global evangelism. I have listened to his sermons and have found that his love for God's word is deep and passionate.

Platt's second book, "Radical Together," is a lot like the first. While it's very good, it nothing really that different from Radical. I found myself thinking, "nothing new here."

The first chapter, "Tyranny of the Good" is a chapter that every church leader should read. I believe most churches struggle because of this. I'm a firm believer that you have …

More Contradictions

Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?


Why are there flotation devices under plane seats instead of parachutes?


Why are cigarettes sold in gas stations when smoking is prohibited there?


Do you need a silencer if you are going to shoot a mime?


How does the guy who drives the snowplow get to work in the mornings?


Why do they put Braille dots on the keypad of the drive-up ATM?


You know that little indestructible black box that is used on planes, why can't they make the whole plane out of the same substance?

The Most Humble

A few weeks ago we were finishing up a series called "Will Power." We were talking about the need for embarrassment, how it's good for us to experience embarrassing situations. Most of the time we do everything we can in order to avoid being embarrassed. The main passage of scripture we used was 2 Samuel 6:12-22, in which David (the king) strips down to his linen ephod and starts dancing before the ark of the Lord. Though he was mock by those around him, David's response to his self embarrassment was simple... "I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes." Simple translation, "You ain't seen nothing yet." 

David viewed himself with very humble eyes, he knew that God was far greater than himself. And time after time he told others about it, including God himself. But one thing he never did was say how humble he was. David never said anything like, "Hey everyone, come and look at how humble I am!&q…

7 Times

Most of us know the story of Elijah and his bold rebuking of King Ahab's idolatry. Elijah, being God's obedient prophet said simply "there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except by my word." So unless Elijah prays for rain there will be nothing.
For three years it didn't rain. The land was suffering and Elijah was a wanted man. On Mount Carmel we remember the great showdown between the lone prophet of God and the hundreds of false prophets that Ahab had been turning to. Long story short, the false prophets are slain, Elijah stands victorious, and rain comes back to the land on the words of Elijah.
I know that when I read that passage I think that as soon as Elijah prays, enormous rain clouds miraculously roll in and the heavens unload on a barren land. I see it as that immediate. But was it?
Most of the times we miss small details that provide deep insight into God's workings. In 1 Kings 18:43-46 we see that in the wake of Elijah's victory…

Why Do We Have This?

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Every Thursday I give Dana the Core Group Material to proof, he gives me the Bulletin to proof and we sit down and check for errors. I know what your thinking, "why are two guys that can't spell proofing each others work?" Good question, I don't know.
Anyways, moving on. I noticed a mistake in the bulletin so I grab a red pen on Dana's desk and go to correct it. To my surprise, the pen begins to leak. Now I have red ink on my pants. I go to the bathroom to clean it off and the next thing I know there is another red mark on my pants that has mysteriously appeared. Where did that come from? I start to clean that off and as I look in the mirror I notice now I have red ink on my face. How did that get there? At this time I feel like it's an infectious disease that spread rapidly. Like I'm in the movie "Outbreak" with Dustin Hoffman. So I have red ink everywhere and I need something to help get it off and to keep it from spreading anymore.
Dana and I …

Lost Faith?

In 1991 the band R.E.M. released the single "Losing My Religion." It was a huge success. Granted it was a catchy tune, but what I think happened was that the title and theme of the song gave everyone an excuse. Have you ever heard someone say "I've just lost my faith." Think about that statement for a second.
How do you loose your faith? The answer is that you can't lose your faith, you can lose your keys, but not your faith. If you could loose your faith then my guess is that you will find it in the last place you look. If you could loose your faith then that means that your faith can be stolen to. "I put my faith on the edge of this desk just a second ago and now it's gone, someone must have stolen it." That's ridiculous!
Your faith can't be stolen and it can't be lost. It can however be given up. You can choose not to believe in God or the Church or His people. For what ever reason you can think of you can choose. You can choose …

The Living Document

I read this quote the other day, "the Bible is no mere book. It's a living document." Now the first part I had no problem with. There is no other book that can compare to the Bible in all of history, so of course the Bible is no mere book. But the second part struck me as odd, "It's a living document."
At first I thought it was odd, but then I thought about how the Word of God works in our lives. Without the Word we know nothing about Jesus and His work on the cross. Without the Word there is no way to respond in faith. Without the Word there is no way to understand God's ways and his calling. Without His Word we are simple lost.
But we do have his Word, and it is always relevant, always challenging, and always guiding. It never changes, never fails, and never leads us astray. We call it the word of God because in it God spoke-and still speaks today.

Everything

This past Sunday I shared the following journal entry written by an African Pastor who gave his life for his faith. The words reflect a life that is totally abandoned to following Christ."I'm a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of His and I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
 My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure. I'm done and finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.
 I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, or first, or tops, or recognized, or praised, or rewarded. I live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by Holy Spirit power.My face is set. My gait is fast. My goal is heave…

Losing Everything

Over the years I have seen a trend, people losing everything before they realize their desperate need for God. It's a sad trend and my heart breaks every single time I see this. But never the less, the lost don't realize they're lost until they've lost everything.
My prayer is that before you lose everything that you hold dear, that you would make Jesus your everything. Only by making Him your "everything" will you be able to keep from losing everything.

Redeemed!!!

So this is how my week went.
Sunday morning on my way to church I notice a loud noise coming from my automobile. Given the fact that I am paying my truck off this week I thought it would be wise that it actually works. So I take it in and of course I have to drop a huge chunk of money on it to pay it off.
Later that night, actually early morning, my younger son Toby (6 months) starts coughing and comes down with the ever pleasant Croup. So Toby gets his first ER visit at 6 months. Fay was with him in the ER until 6:30 am Monday morning. I was at home with my son Jonas but couldn't sleep one bit. So mark up about two hours of sleep a piece for the two of us.
The next day, Monday, my babysitter quits. Effective immediately.
That was the start of my week. In less than 24 hours I am an exhausted and an emotion mess. But I have to remind myself of how "God works for the good of those who love" (Romans 8:28). Well guess what, I love God and I have been redeemed.
Wednesday my wi…

For The Beard Challenged

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Whoever said nothing good comes out of Canada? I give you the hand-knitted bearded beanie, also known as the "Beardo." The playoff beard is typically a hockey thing, players will grow beards during the playoffs and so will fans to show their support for their team. Like I said, it's typically a hockey thing but it has been seen in baseball as well.
In 2009 a Canadian company released the "Beardo Bearded Beanie." Each Beardo retails for $39.95 and is the perfect birthday or Christmas present for women or the beardedly challenged men.

Comparable to an Animal

I love it when I'm just reading along and come across a little gem like Proverbs 12:1... "Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid."

Let's not miss the translation of 'stupid.' The Hebrew isba'ba and means "senselessness, stupidity, and ignorance." Oh, and don't forget my favorite translation... "comparable to an animal."

So let's break it down now. If you embrace discipline and correction, your on the right path, way to go. If you hate discipline, well then you might as well let your dog take your SAT for you. Because you are stupid.

p.s. please let me clarify to all of those that might be offended at me calling people "stupid." These aren't my words, they're God's words.

Even The Devil Believes

Are you a believer or are you a follower? What's the difference? There's a huge difference, let me explain. First of all, before you can every be a follower you have to be a believer. However, what happens when you stop at just believing?We will do whatever we can to get people in the Church. Get people in the church, get people in the church. Do whatever it takes, just get people in the Church. And while the urgency aspect is correct, do we water down the gospel to make it easier to accept.We ask questions like, "Do you believe your a sinner?" and they answer "Yes." Then we ask, "Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins and do you accept Him?" Once again, they answer "Yes." Congratulations! Welcome to the kingdom of God! Theres only one problem, Satan can answer 'yes' to both of those questions too.And while we are making the gospel easier to swallow, Jesus is pleading... count the cost of true discipleship.Luke 14:33... &qu…

Half-Built Towers

When I do a home improvement project, once every 5 years, I am horrible at considering the cost. I spend more time driving back and forth to home depot than actually doing the project. At the end of the day the people at Home Depot know me by name and chances are the project isn’t even finished. One time I tried hanging a ceiling fan. Not that big of a project, shouldn’t take too long. Only took me 8 hours. I kept having to stop and get more supplies. After eight hours the fan is up and my project cost is doubled, and the fan doesn’t even work. Than I have to call Donald to come and fix my new fan. He’s up there, “who hung this fan, looks like a Monkey did it?” Yep, I hired monkey to do it, a really dumb one. Had I sat down and considered the cost of the project in the first place I would have just hired Donald at the very beginning.In Luke 14:26-33 Jesus tells us to consider the cost of discipleship. He uses an illustration of a builder that plans ahead before he start to build so to…

A Chandelier in a Haunted House

I have committed to reading through the entire Bible this year, actually I started last year. I'm on day 72. As I have been reading through God's word I am amazed at how He can speak and challenge me through a verse I have read hundreds of times.
2 Corinthians 4:6-7 says "For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."
The "treasure" is the Gospel and the "jars of clay" are the apparent worthlessness of the Gospel's ministers... us. Trusting the treasure of the gospel in the lives of the fragile followers is kind of like hanging a chandelier in a haunted house, it just doesn't make much sense. However, that's the paradox of the Christian faith, that something so important is trusting in the hands of somethi…

Painful!

Painful! That's the only thing that comes to mind as I prepare for this upcoming sermon series that we are starting this week. Here I am sitting in Barnies, writing my sermon through tears as I break down Luke 9:57-62. If your not familiar with the passage, this is where Jesus speaks to three different men and seemingly talks them out of following Him.
To one he basically says, "if you want to follow me then you'll be homeless for the rest of your life." To another he tells "Let someone else bury your father." And yet to another he says "don't even say goodbye to your family."
The message is simple, the cost of discipleship is high. So here I am hurting under the painful demands of the gospel, but fully realizing the necessity and beauty of this call. And as I write this, thinking of the high cost of discipleship on my part I am reminded that my God didn't hold anything back, but rather gave his only son. He paid an even higher cost than I e…