Monday, December 29, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
As we entered the theater we were invited to a march against prop 8. Every time the movie showed a shot of the church or religious community (which it did often to show the way that church had opposed Harvey Milk and the homosexual population in general) there was open animosity shown. People booed, gasped, etc... you could feel the disdain for the church. At one point Anita Bryant was shown (actual footage from the 70's) making the statement "We love all people, we just don't approve of the homosexual lifestyle." When she said that the theater nearly erupted with laughter. I was caught off guard. I was surprised because I think I have said nearly the same thing before. It is interesting to know that taking that viewpoint is laughable to the homosexual population.
I left the theater pretty impacted by the movie, but deeply impacted by the experience. I am convinced that the church has a very long way to go in order to make inroads into the homosexual community. Unfortunately, the passing of prop 8 didn't help that journey in any way, shape, or form. We have a lot to overcome, but as always our hope is that the light of the gospel might shine in the darkest of areas and that it might bring hope to those who need it most. May the church make inroads and show love in such a way that when we say we love... it isn't laughable.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Last week I had the opportunity to go hear a few lectures by Dallas Willard. He is the author of The Divine Conspiracy, The Great Omission, and a bunch of other great books. While some many find lectures like this to be a bit boring, it was seriously like a massage for my soul. His central point is that Jesus calls us to discipleship... not believership. I won't go off here about how the church has gotten that backwards (especially the evangelcial church), but he did share one comment that really stuck with me. He said, "What you really think about Jesus will show when you realize that you don't have to do anything."
Today I want to spend time with Him, learning to be like Him.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Par from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent and often even vocal sanction of things as they are.
But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it vi lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.
This week i am teaching on Revelation 3:14-22 - the passage where Jesus tells the church that he would rather them be either cold or hot, but because they are lukewarm he is going to spit them out of his mouth. Harsh words. Words that demand that we ask the question... "Am I hot or not?" As I was studying this passage I started to develop a sense of gratitude that this is the kind of God we have. A jealous God. A God who gave all of himself and in return wants all of us. What would it say about him if he didn't? It would be like a husband saying to his wife, I really don't care if you cheat on me and have other lovers... We would have to question whether or not the husband really loved his wife. So, because we have a God who loves and gives passionately, we also HAVE to have a God who is jealous for our affection.
Unfortunately I think because of the comfortable nature of religion in the States, we have become a church where Jesus is more like a hobby than a way of life. This passage demands that Jesus be more than a hobby. More than a Sunday morning activity and a nice ideal. This passages begs that I ask the question, I am I HOT or NOT?
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I would love to say that I am surprised, but it seems as though Christian leaders (not that he was a leader, but a prominent person) have a habit of letting us down. I guess this should serve as a reminder that only God is worthy of our worship. Often times we elevate people to that status, maybe unknowingly or unintentionally, but in case you haven't notcied there are definitely Christian celebrities. I guess in that sense it's a good thing that people continually remind us that they are unworthy of our worship. May we fix our gaze on the only one worthy.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I BELIEVE that YOU’re my HEALER
I BELIEVE YOU are all I Need
I BELIEVE YOU’re my portion
I BELIEVE YOU’re more than enough for me
JESUS, YOU’re ALL I NEED
You'll see on the video that he is still singing - even while still on oxygen. While we know that God doesn't always heal our physical aliments (anybody who believes that he does must be ignoring the staggering statistics on the % of people who eventually die), at times he does still choose to heal. Better yet, he is constantly healing and softening and drawing the hearts of people... an even greater miracle. Anyway, check out the song and video. They removed the best one (the one about the story), but this still gives you a great idea. It's a great song!
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated."
- D. A. Carson
Friday, July 18, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
It has been so encouraging to see the way that people outside the church view Jesus. In fact this is very consistent with what I have seen at CSUSM and Palomar. Every Wednesday I go to palomar and talk to people about fauth, they are very willing to talk about Jesus, they are very interested in who he is and open to those discussions. I am excited to pursue that further next fall!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
(1). Let the peace of God rule in your heart
(2). Let the word of God dwell in you richly
(3). Be thankful
Those are the three commands that Paul gives. now, I understand that these still leave much potential ambiguity when it comes to decision making, but I am starting to fully believe that is the way God designed it and exactly the way he wants. See, this ambiguity forces us to stay constantly connected to the vine.
The result that follows is... do whatever you want! If you let the peace of Christ rule in your heart, dwell richly in the word, and are thankful... do whatever you want and give thanks a glory to God. What a freeing message. I'm stoked to teach it this weekend.
Monday, May 19, 2008
I have been thinking a lot lately about a quote by Saint Augustine. In talking about God's will and knowing what to do in order to follow Him, he wrote, "Love God and do what you want." Is this too simplistic? Is it true to scripture? I'd love to know your thoughts.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I thought about this quote as I was preparing for a message that I am going to teach this weekend on Colossians 1. It is sucha rich passage and I was reminded by Tozer how important it is that we truly grasp and understand what Paul is saying. If Tozer is right, than it may be the most important thing about us.
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.
For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like. We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God.”
–A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (New York: HarperCollins, 1961), 1.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
I just watched it this John Piper youtube video. Interesting. I thought it was interesting that he added to his “catch-phrase" in order to make his point. His catch phrase is “God is most satisfied in you, when you are most satisfied in Him,” and in order to make his point he changed it to “God is most satisfied in you, when you are most satisfied in Him… in the midst of loss.” To be honest I agree more with his first statement. Why is God more glorified in me in the midst of loss than he is in the midst of joy? His illustration of the girl flying through the windshield was way over the top and obviously made for dramatic effect…
To be honest with you I think Piper may be reacting to a beast that he helped create. His book Desiring God has the subtitle “Meditations of a Christian Hedonist.” While I have read the book and understand his point (I’m not saying that I agree with his point, but I understand what he was saying), I wonder how many people took it out of context and equated Christian Hedonism with Prosperity Gospel. It’s really not too far of a jump is it? What do you think?
Monday, March 31, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
- Steven James
Monday, March 17, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
- Polluting the environment
- Genetic Engineering
- Being obscenely rich
- Drug dealing
- Social Injustice
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Well, it's that time of year again... spring training. The baseball season is right around the corner and I personally I can't wait. While the Rockies won't be a surprise this year, I am going to go out on a limb and say that they are going to win it all this year. Go you ROX!
Monday, February 18, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
I agree with Bell that we should be involved in these issues, but we can't leave out the fact that Jesus called us to make disciples. Last time I checked that was the great commission. Otherwise will end up propagating the powerless social-gospel all over again. I like Bell because he is such an innovative thinker - but let's always measure what everyone says against scripture. I don't think that Bell is unscriptural at all, but I just don't think he is teaching the whole counsel of the word.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Being rich toward God means loving and enjoying the people around you.
Being rich toward God means learning about your gifts and passions and doing good work to help improve the world.
Being rich toward God means becoming generous with your stuff.
Being rich toward God means making that which is temporary become the servant of that which is eternal.
Being rich toward God means savoring every moment of every day.
- John Ortberg
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
I saw the movie Dead Poet Society a few years ago; what a powerful movie. The whole movie revolved around the idea of carpe diem (Latin for seize the day). I wonder why the church hasn’t gathered around this idea with more vigor. I wonder why we aren’t on the lookout for more opportunities that God might be bringing our way. I guess I’m writing this because I have seen the way that I have hesitated to respond to kairos moments that God has brought my way… today. I want to respond with boldness and walk into what God has orchestrated, with great confidence.
So, our college ministry has had the doors opened as widely as they could be to start a service at Cal State San Marcos. For a college pastor this is the ultimate kairos opportunity. I want to step into it boldly, but I feel myself holding back because I know the reality of the cost. More thoughts to come on this…
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
10. "You know you're the only one for me!"
9. "Do you come here often?"
8. "Trust me, this was meant to be!"
7. "Look around, baby. All the other guys around here are animals!"
6. "I already feel like you're a part of me!"
5. "Honey, you were made for me!"
4. "Why don't you come over to my place and we can name some animals?"
3. "You're the girl of my dreams!" (Gen. 2:21)
2. "I like a girl who doesn't mind being ribbed!"
And the number one pick up line from Adam is:
"You're the apple of my eye!" *
Saturday, February 2, 2008
This weekend I am going to teach on the story of the prodigal son, but I am going to take a different angle. I wonder if the story should really be called the Story of the Generous Father. The Bible doesn't call that story the story of the prodigal son... we do. I wonder we missed the point. I wonder if even that goes to prove and illustrate how truly egocentric we are. When we view that story through the lens of the father, we see how amazingly generous God is to his children. Giving (his inheritance to his son), then running (toward his son), then forgiving, then throwing a party... but at the heart of the story God is always giving.
The series is going to be about living a generous life, but that really starts with understanding that God is a generous God. He has given us everything... and he asks us to do the same. ALL IN!
Thursday, January 31, 2008
This was one of the best messages I've ever heard on leadership. It was powerful. If you are a leader (of any sort) I highly suggest buying it and watching it with you team. It was really powerful and convicting. Here is a link to the site where you can buy it if you want. Well worth the $.
- The people. I get to work with great people and we fun together. What a huge blessing.
- I love the mission that we have - to help college students find and follow Jesus Christ. Our desire is to introduce people to the beauty, truth, meaning, and community found in Jesus. The more I have though about, the more I am convinced that there is nothing else that I would want to dedicate my life to.
- God is working in my heart through the calling that he has given me. I am growing as a person, as a pastor, as a husband, etc. God is growing me right now at a rate that has been unprecedented for me for a long time.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
I long for the day when we have a president who thinks what he is going to say is really important and asks the audience to hold their applause until the end. Just my thoughts. Did you watch it? What did you think?
Monday, January 28, 2008
- Gaelic Wars – Julius Caesar – no one refutes it – less than 10 manuscripts written 1,000 years after original
- Aristotle poetics – less than 5 copies– written 1400 yrs after original
- Iliad – 643 manuscripts, earliest 13th century – 2100 years after the original
- NT manuscripts over 6,000 copies - earliest copies 120 AD - 25 years after the original
Pretty amazing when you look at the Bible in relation other books. I was encouraged as I studied. There is just so much information out there. My hope is that that body of Christ would be well prepared to give a reason for the hope that we have (1 Peter 3:15). If you want to listen to the message head to www.thewellefcc.org.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
I was reminded of a line from a Rich Mullins song the other day. He wrote, “I’m not sure where you’re leading me, unless you’ve lead me here, where I’m lost enough to let myself be led.” I have realized lately that I love to have control of the reins. I know all the rhetoric and the verbiage to make it seem like I really trust God, but when the rubber hit the road I wanted to do everything myself. For me it took getting to the place of being lost to know that I needed to be led.
I have heard it said that we often see God’s hand leaving - not coming. It’s so true for me. I want to grow in this area and get to the point where I am sensitive to His Spirit and sense it’s leading… without having to be lost.
But, if that’s you today… if you are lost, maybe it’s a gift. Push in.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Over the past few months I have learned a lot of things - most notably, I want His timing and His plans. They are so much better than mine. Remind of that next time I start complaining... I have a short memory.
Monday, January 21, 2008
I was glancing through the new headlines today and I noticed that Sir Edmond Hillary died last week. For those who don't know, Hillary was the first (known) person to climb Mt Everest. He did so in 1953 with the now famous sherpa, Tenzig Norgay. Hillary optimized a life of adventure. May we be inspired to follow his example in whatever context we find ourselves in.
Recently I have been reading a new book called unChristian. This book talks about the different reasons that current 20somethings are turned off by Christianity. Some of the reasons they state are: the perception that Christians just wanted to 'get people saved', are hypocritical, judgmental, homophobic, sheltered and too political. The book is a fairly in depth study of the aforementioned topics. I recommend this book if you work in a church, especially if if you are working with young adults.
One of the things in this book that I found interesting was a section they had on measuring transformation that is taking place in people who are involved in the church. I have often times found this to be a difficult thing. Taking something that is so subjective (transformation) and making it objective and qualitative is nearly impossible. However, I was intrigued by the measuring tools they used. Here is what they stated:
- worshiping God intimately and passionately
- engaging in spiritual friendships with other believers
- pursuing faith in the context of family
- embracing intentional forms of spiritual growth
- serving others
- investing time and resources in spiritual pursuits
- having faith-based conversations with outsiders
Thursday, January 17, 2008
"Our ultimate goal shapes our each and every step. When humans live without goals, they get lost" - Scot McKnight (The Jesus Creed)
I am teaching on meaning this week and I think this quote summarizes the importance of meaning beautifully. It makes me think about the actions that I have taken in my life and the goals that were driving those actions. After coming back from New Orleans I have new passion to live as an outflow from the goals that I have - that His kingdom may come. I don't want to get lost. I want my life to count for what matters most.
I am starting to be convinced that is right where God wants us; in the midst of over whelming situations because it is in that place that we realize that we need God. We need him to show up or we will be left hopeless. God places us there because he wants us to know that it is him doing the work.
There is another side to the coin though. God often answers seemingly hopeless situations by sending his people. I can’t count how may times in scripture this is the case. God listens to his peoples’ lament, says that he hears them, and then commands them to go. I leave New Orleans today with the conviction that I must go.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Today I had the chance to take a tour of New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29th, 2005. That's about 2.5 years ago. You would think that the city would be well on its way to looking the way it did before the storm, but as you drive through the city, the streets are still eerily deserted, the houses are still destroyed, and it looks as though Katrina could have hit yesterday.
The devastation that hit this city is hard to comprehend. As I drove around today I was reminded of a quote I read in a book by Bill Hybles called Couragious Leadership. In this book Hybles states, "the local church is the hope of the world." As we drove today, the truth of this statement sunk in on me like it never has before. The church truly is the hope for NO, and there is NOBODY else stepping up. The church was the organization that fed people the week of the storm, they were the people who gutted houses, helped rebuild, etc... You name it, the church has done it down here, and the way that the church has stepped up and served has had great spiritual impact on this city.
For all the blunders the church has made over the years (crusades, etc.), I do believe that the Church is the hope of the world. I have never been as proud to be part of the church of Jesus Christ as I was today.
Monday, January 14, 2008
One of the statements that he makes is that in order for true reconciliation and even the desire for it to take place, our allegiance must be to the Kingdom of God above all else. If this is not the case, than restoration, forgiveness and reconciliation are impossible. This got me thinking about churches that display US flags in the sanctuary. I wonder what message this sends. Isn’t it true that Christianity is often tied up and encompassed by a western mindset? If our allegiance is truly to the Kingdom first, should we fly flags in the church?
I also got to thinking about elementary school. Remember in elementary school when we had to say the pledge of allegiance? The pledge starts out, “I pledge my allegiance to the flag…” Is that true? Do we, as followers of Christ, pledge our allegiance to the flag (a country) or do we pledge it to a crucified savior who purchased us with his blood? Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I am unpatriotic, it’s just that I think we need to be careful who and what we align ourselves with as followers of Christ. I’m grateful to live in the US. My brother in law fought in Iraq. I understand what our freedom has cost and I am grateful for it, but that doesn’t mean that my highest devotion goes to a country. My highest devotion is directed at a God who paid everything to purchase me… and it’s to others who are followers of His, no matter what country they live in. I’m not sure that I’ll say the pledge of allegiance anymore, not because I’m ungrateful to live in the US, it’ just that I am pledging my allegiance to a cause much greater than a country and to a people far more encompassing than US.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
I am convinced that worship happens when we see God for who He really is... in all his beauty, purity, holiness and majesty. Another thing that I am convinced of is that worship is so much more than a song. For Isaiah, worship realizing who he was in relation to God and his sinfulness. For Isaiah worship was say, "I'll go, send Me."
Worship is serious business, because we are all worshippers. It's the way we were designed and we innately do it. All of us. It's serious business because worship determines who and what we will become. Ralph Wlado Emerson wrote this:
"THE GODS we worship write their names on our faces, be sure of that. And a man will worship something —have no doubt about that, either. He may think that his tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of his heart—but it will out. That which dominates will determine his life and character. Therefore, it is to our benefit to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming."
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Thursday, January 3, 2008
"The human mind is a factory of idols. When all idols are stripped away, ultimately it’s worship of itself. The big me. The capital me. But when we choose to follow God we commit to something much larger. We enter liminality with each other as we are transitioning from the old to the new, from death to life, as we grow in a common purpose; to become more like Christ."
I'm excited to teach on community because I think that it is such a vital part of what it means to be a follower of Chirst and yet it is something that is so lacking in the church today. As I studied there is one truth that stood out to me; true community forms as a result of mission and purpose. The early church had such strong community because they were united and passionate about the purpose that they had - speading the message of Jesus Christ and becoming more like Him. Maybe the reason we don't have the same community is because we don't have the same passion for our purpose and calling. Just a thought.