same stuff, just different link.
hoping to update more often at –
Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen God move in our midst in mighty way. This is the fourth time I’ve sat down now to simply try to put into words what the Holy Spirit has been trying to teach me. Every time I do I find myself without word. Today while reading for a while before anyone was in the office I read from the Message and came across this. I don’t know that I could describe it any better this.
We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment.
And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body. He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross. You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message—just this one. Colossians 1:15-23 (The Message)
So my prayer is this…
May we be reminded that He is in control. May I rely on You for strength and direction. Without You, I have nothing. At least nothing that will truly last. You hold everything together. You are in control. Father, help me hear you more clearly and not be led to believe this is something I’ve done. I would hate to ever get too big headed, doing something that may screw up with you had in mind.
Do less, so you can truly make a difference in someone’s life.
I’m not sure about you, but I love Christmas. It has to be one of my favorite times of the year. I know that at times it may feel somewhat chaotic. Christmas parties, shopping, decorating and the list goes on and on. In the end we get a chance to celebrate the reason why we gather each week. It’s a time to rejoice and celebrate the birth of Christ. However in the midst of it all we must also remember many feel alone, in the dark without hope.
I love the way John puts it –
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:1-5 (NLT)
Light comes into the dark and the darkness cannot contain Him.
There are many in this community that are in the dark and we are called to be a light to them. This season is a great time to invite someone to come and know Him.
I pray that each one of us during this season will take time to do just that. Take time each day to pray that God may bring more and more people into your life, that He may use you as a light to those in the dark.
A good friend of mine Matt works at a church in Dallas where they recently did a spoof on the show The Office.
We recently started a new series on missions, talking about what it means to make a difference in our communities. Sharing ideas on how we can love others and truly carry out the great commission. Today, something I’ve been wrestling with is becoming a bit clearer, so I thought I’d share it with you. It’s a little long, so hang in there…
It seems as if what started out as the great commission for many has become the great challenge. What do I mean? It seems like its okay to take out the part of the great commission we find difficult to carry out and just stick to what we do well. We’ve often justified this concept of having a few good Christian friends exempts us from having to go, disciple, and lead others to Him. I’m not passing on blame, because I’m just as guilty of it. Why? Here’s why. I love being around other Christian people. Having them over to our house. Going with them to a movie. Watching a ball game with them on the weekend, yet still believe I’m doing what we’ve been called to do.
If fellowship was all the commission was about, then I would say I’m doing a great job. Somehow I don’t think this all He had in mind.
Recently in an article by Geiger, he says that church has too often become like the movie The Village. This movie, for those of you who haven’t seen it, is about a group of people who have been hurt by society, so they do all they can to build their own community. They move away from society deep into the wood, away from everyone. They create a self-sustaining environment secluded from those who may try to corrupt them. They hope to never leave their safe place, desiring to be self-contained far away from the real world.
It seems like as Christians we often do this. We listen to our Christian radio, because its safe for the whole family. We go to Christian bookstores, where we can buy mints with scripture on it. We shop at Christian stores, hoping to one day score a job were we can work in a Christian environment. If there is a Christian fitness class, it’s got to be better than the one at the local gym, right? We home school or send our kids to a private school to protect them for society. One of my favorites is the Christian coffee shop. A place like all other coffee shops with free wifi (because we are so generous) where we can surround ourselves with Christians no matter where we go. We often try to replace something that already exists with a Christian version, like Godtube instead of youtube. In doing so we often tend to seclude ourselves from society all together, creating our own little Christian village, full of Christian people.
What interesting is that you see Jesus hanging out with sinner and tax collector all the time. So if this Christian village is really what He had in mind for us, why does He said things like:
– i’ve came not for the healthy, but for the sick
– i’ve come to seek and save the lost
– i’m here not for the righteous, but for the sinner
– i’ve came to seek and to save the lost
– i’ve come to serve and give my life away
– be salt and light to the lost
– go to the ends of the earth and tell others what you’ve learned
He was living something out 2,000 years ago that as Christians we still haven’t totally figured out. Carrying out the great commission.
Question – Are we truly carrying out the great commission He called us to? Truly? Nothing against all of my Christian friends, because I love everyone of you. However, there are people who are still lost and the commission hasn’t change.
Our mission, to reach out, love and help those who are lost come to know Christ.
Stop by and help however you can. Make a difference in someone’s life.
This recently rocked my world…
Soren Kierkegaard is quoted saying “a saint is someone who can will the one thing.”
We all have one thing we are passionate about. One passion that deeply burns inside each one of us. The problems is that we also want so many other things as well. Thus, we want to be a saint, but we also want to feel every sensation experienced by sinners; we want to be innocent and pure, but we also want to experience and taste all of life; we want to serve the poor and have a simple lifestyle, but we also want all the comforts of the rich; we want to have the depth afforded by solitude, but we also do not want to miss anything; we want to pray, but we also want to watch television, read, talk to friend and go out. Small wonder life is often a trying enterprise and we are often tired and pathologically overextended. – The Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser
The different between good and great leaders.
Being able to will the one thing.
One is your one thing?
Well the new campus in Roanoke is now 6 week old. Here are my top 6 highlights to this point.
6. Challenge by Trevor while chaining himself to a chair, for every person to unchain ourselves from their comfortable seats and go out and reach more people for Christ before we opened to the public. Powerful!
5. 247 people showed up opening week. 200+ ever week since.
4. Our amazing team of 60+ volunteers that transform a school it to a place where people can worship, feel loved and accepted each and every week.
3. 47+ new families who have come to visit us during this time. Many who are getting involved and beginning to serve.
2. 22 new people have joined the church in the last 5 weeks.
1. 4 people who came to Roanoke since we opened were baptism last Sunday. We had an amazing time with 70+ people at a picnic / baptism rejoicing with those who said yes to Christ for the very first time.
Much more to come in the months ahead…
Last night I had to a chance to speak to 40+ high school guys at a retreat. The theme “covered.” A reminder that we are covered by the cross and that His grace is bigger than anything we could have ever done. We need to remember He has paid the price for us and we must look forward to the life He has planned for us and no longer dwell on the past.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 – Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
The sunset was the background while I was teaching. Just one more reminder of how great He truly is.