Be Rich Toward God–John Piper

What an amazing message that John Piper preached to his congregation last week! Interesting that we preached on a similar topic (money). This subject has been right “up in my grill” lately (as it has been all my adult life, really). I think that money and the love of money has been an issue in my life is because it is a discipline…and in general…well, I’m not good with discipline.

I have been preaching over the last five weeks about “Recovery Road.” I have been using the art and outlines of Andy Stanley’s message series he preached last fall at Northpoint Community Church in Georgia. His series is online with several other resources on “The Great Recovery” website that is the brain trust of Dave Ramsey and his ministry. The hope is that God’s ways of money will be embraced by all believers and then start a movement in this nation that will spread all around the world.

In addition to those resources, this sermon here has really taught my heart this week. Enjoy!


I am a Church Member–Thom Rainer

Great post from Thom Rainer…simple, and the truth.

I am a church member.

I will seek to be a source of unity in the church. I know there are no perfect pastors, staff, or other church members. But neither am I. I will not be a source of gossip or dissension. One of the greatest contributions I can make is to do all I can in God’s power to help keep the church in unity for the sake of the gospel.

I am a church member.

I will not let my church be about my preferences and desires. That is self-serving. I am in this church to serve others and to serve Christ. My Savior went to a cross for me. I can deal with any inconveniences and matters that are just not my preference or style.

I am a church member.

I will pray for my pastor every day. His work is never-ending. His days are filled with constant demands for his time; with the need to prepare sermons; with those who are rejoicing in births; with those who are traveling through the valley of the shadow of death; with critics; with the hurts and hopes of others; and with the need to be a husband and a father. My pastor cannot serve our church in his own power. I will pray for God’s strength for him and his family every day.

I am a church member.

I like the metaphor of membership. It’s not membership as in a civic organization or a country club. It’s the kind of membership given to us in 1 Corinthians 12: “Now you are the body of Christ and individual members of it” (I Corinthians 12:27). Because I am a member of the body of Christ, I must be a functioning member, whether I am an “eye,” an “ear,” or a “hand.” As a functioning member, I will give. I will serve. I will minister. I will evangelize. I will study. I will seek to be a blessing to others. I will remember that “if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26).

I am a church member.

I will lead my family to be good members of this church as well. We will pray together for our church. We will worship together in our church. We will serve together in our church. And we will ask Christ to help us fall deeper in love with this church, because He gave His life for her.

I am a church member.

This membership is a gift. When I received the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, I became a part of the body of Christ. I soon thereafter identified with a local body and was baptized. And now I am humbled and honored to serve and to love others in our church. I pray that I will never take my membership for granted, but see it as a gift and an opportunity to serve others, and to be a part of something so much greater than any one person or member.

I am a church member.

And I thank God that I am.

What would it be like if ALL of us who were followers of Christ lived out these statements? Powerful. Revival. Movement.

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Missouri State Bears upset Creighton

I know I’m late to the party on this deal, but my alma mater, Missouri State University BEARS had a huge road win in Missouri Valley play. I love college basketball! Here is an ESPN update.


Prayers for Revival in Belle Glade

The Glades have been through a really difficult week or so with the murder of local business owner, Jimmy McMillan, followed by the armed robbery of a jewelry store the very next day. This is on the heels of an extremely bad 2011 with far too many violent crimes including a Saturday in December with two homicides in less than 12 hours. We are praying for a revival in this place and an end to the violence!

Here are some videos from just one of the news stations that were camped out in our church parking lot for the last few days at the visitation and funeral on Thursday and Friday as well as Monday night as we held a prayer walk for the Glades that went from our church to the Community United Methodist Church.

We are praying for an end to the senseless violence in our community. We are praying that there will be real revival here in the Glades that will be rooted in the true Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What is beginning to happen here in the Church community is truly amazing! We are beginning to see true revival and repentance in the Christian community here in the Glades. The last three nights have seen three very powerful prayer events at three different churches in our community. What has been absolutely amazing is the start of an amazing unity that is being formed that goes far beyond race, economics and denominational affiliation.

We had a really good crowd on Monday night (which you could see on the video.) I was praying that we would not have a “let down” in attendance tonight as many of these things have a tendency to wain over time. I was absolutely amazed to see EVEN MORE people there tonight to go from Community United Methodist Church, past the Alabama Georgia Grocery (where the store owner was murdered), to St. John’s First Missionary Baptist Church. It was beautiful to see all races and ages gather together under the name of Jesus to beg God to touch our community. As pastor Robert Reese, pastor of St. John’s, said tonight, “this is a picture of what heaven might be like!”

Please be in prayer for Belle Glade and the communities of the Glades as we try to minister to this hurting community. We are having a prayer walk or prayer vigil each night through MLK celebration on Monday. I am feeling like we are going to have larger and larger crowds each night. I hope we can maintain this momentum and that the people will see a unified group of Christians here in the Church in the Glades.

Here are some pictures from the last several nights’ prayer meetings… (quality isn’t great…iPhone 3Gs…waiting for the iPhone 5 and Siri 🙂