It has been a very busy season around The Glades this fall. Sugar cane harvest, sweet corn and vegetables are being planted and harvested, fall sports of every kind, and of course, lots of activities at church. When things get so hectic, I know I tend to slack off on my relationship with Christ. You know the drill (or maybe you are one of those “disciplined” people, and therefore you don’t)…late getting up and around in the morning because I was up too late the night before because I was trying to finish up the things I didn’t get done during the day. Rinse and Repeat. This turns into a cycle of loneliness and isolation from the Father. I have to be very careful or I end up in “a funk.” Read more
Here is a great interview of Bob Kauflin with the Desiring God guys on the Theology and Practice of Worship. If you have a few minutes it is well worth the time to watch the interview. I have been preaching on worship for the last month or so and opened up our Christmas series talking about worship as well. It has been said that “worship is the activity of the human soul.” Everybody worships…the question is not “do we worship?,” but it is “what or whom is the object of that worship?.” We have found ourselves in the American Church with a real problem because we have placed an extremely high value on form and not so much on the theology and “God” behind the worship. We have these crazy things called “worship wars” that should never happen in the Church of Jesus Christ. We fight over the style of the worship, the dress of those leading, the instrumentation of the worship…all the while, the object of the worship is robbed of His deserved glory. I believe that there is always going to be a battle going on for our allegiance in worship. The Bible is pretty clear that (1) we have an enemy; and (2) he is battling hard to get the allegiance and affection that Christ deserves away from Christ and to any other thing that we might worship. The enemy is working overtime to get us distracted from the True object of worship–Jesus. We have had several really good conversations and discussions about worship here in this local body on Sunday nights following the messages, which is so good to see. We need to have honest discussions about worship in “spirit and truth.” One of our senior adults said it so well last night and basically quoted Paul in 1 Cor. 10:31 in our discussion. He said, “when you get up in the morning and have a drink of water…that is worship. When you go to your job…that is worship. When you have time with your family…that is worship.” Amazing time last night! Paul couldn’t have said it better himself!
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV)
Ran across this yesterday and think it is a really cool concept! I love to watch these great stories of how someone was a blessing to another person. What I love about it is that they are seemingly small acts of kindness that make a lasting impact. I know that we have been the beneficiaries over the last several months of many people who simply gave to us no strings attached. I hope that we can do the same as we get our financial feet under us and be a blessing to those around us. I believe that generosity is the antidote to greed and I know that I want to be able to kill that greed my own life and teach our boys how to live a generous life.
On the same topic, I watched an amazing sermon last night from Andy Stanley and their series “Recovery Road.” Absolutely nailed it. He challenged every believer to use what we’ve been entitled, to bless and serve those around us. [pullquote]He challenged every believer to use what we’ve been entitled, to bless and serve those around us.[/pullquote] Spot on…hit me like a ton of bricks. I am going to go back and watch the entire series (I don’t think yesterday’s message is up yet on their site) because it was such a powerful message at such a poignant time for America as well as here in Belle Glade. We talk a whole lot about entitlement up in here, but we don’t often talk about using that entitlement to serve and bless others with that entitlement!
All of these things (coincidentally, because God surely isn’t trying to speak to me about my greed;-)) dovetail nicely with what I am learning in my coaching network as well as several books on missional living that I’ve been reading. There is a pastor in Springfield, MO that always says that “we are blessed to be a blessing” AND that the Church is “in the blessing business.” I hope that I can apply these principles in my own life and the Kingdom will be positively impacted because of Christians getting out and blessing others around them!
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
(John 13:12-17 ESV)
I am really excited about the Simulcast tonight of Secret Church taught by David Platt. Jenny and I are headed over to the BSU at MSSU to study “The Crucifixion, Salvation, and the Glory of God” tonight. Here is a sneak preview of the topic. The title of the video is “Good Friday,” written and performed by Chris Brooks. Good stuff indeed.
Theme: Identity: Who are you?
I preached on the Disciple’s Identity: You are “in Christ” out of Matthew 11:25-30 on being “yoked” with Christ. It was a really good night with a great group of people. What I love about my friend, Steve Snider’s leadership for the weekend is that he wanted to it be for both students and their parents as well. They are really trying to partner with the parents and families, not just minister to the students only. It is a very D6 kind of thing going on…very cool. Read more
I have several friends who live in Birmingham and attend The Church at Brook Hills, where David Platt is the pastor. Dr. Platt is an unbelievable Bible teacher and preacher that is passionate about the Word of God changing hearts all over the world.
It is so interesting that so many people in the US believe that President Obama isn’t a Christian, but a Muslim. I wonder where those beliefs come from? In an age of so much information, there is also a ton of mis-information as well. Here is what the President said this week at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C. You can see the full article By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor, in the link below. Read more
I am coming along pretty well with my Memory Moleskine to memorize the entire book of Philippians. The following video gives me encouragement to continue my memorizing!
In a sermon a last January on “Holding Fast the Word of Life in 2010,” Pastor John Piper modeled scripture memory by reciting the entire book of Philippians to his congregation. Pretty cool how powerful and poignant the Scripture is to us today, especially when it is presented in one sitting as the 1st Century hearers would have received Paul’s letter.
He did warn in the later part of his message (not in this video) that it is important to have the correct motives when memorizing scripture:
memorization alone doesn’t guarantee spiritual life or growth to any of us. Satan himself could quote the Bible, just like he did when he tempted Jesus. What is needed is both God’s word and his Holy Spirit, who works through that word to bring us spiritual power.
Check out the link below for the full article and some other examples of pastors “preaching” long passages or books to their congregation. Very cool.
Monday is for . . . Scripture Memory. I have started a new Scripture memory endeavor that I am really excited about! I have been reading Tim Brister’s blog on my reader for quite a while now and decided to take the plunge and memorize the Book of Philippians with him with the “Partnering to Remember Moleskine.” Read more
Wow, I really needed to read this post from Kem Meyer this morning. ?I have been pretty discouraged lately for a myriad of reasons. ?I don’t want to simply use this blog to whine to the 3 1/2 people who might read it, but I have been in a particular whiny mood lately.
However, I have been trying to immerse myself in the Word lately to combat the negative thoughts out of my mind. ?Several of the tools I use are on the iPhone…pretty cool…and I have it with me pretty much all of the time.
Bible Reading::I am using YouVersion from the LifeChurch.tv guys to read the “Professor Horner’s Bible Reading Plan.”
It is very similar to the 5 Lane Reading Plan I have used in the past.
Hear the Word::Another cool app that I have on my phone to listen to the Word while I am working is Bible.Is from Faith Comes from Hearing. ?It is really cool. ?There are several versions of audio Bibles that you can listen to through your phone. ?I have found that to be a great way to really immerse my life in the Word rather than immerse my life in sports talk radio. ?(That doesn’t mean I don’t still get my share of talk radio, however.)
Memorize the Word::A fellow pastor friend of mine showed me this app and how it has helped him so much to really live out the Word and it has been a great thing for me as well. ?I am using Bible Verses to memorize Scripture. ?There are several different versions out there, but I like this particular app because I can choose which translation and it is also put together like the old Navigators Bible Memory System with different categories, etc. ?There is also a cool feature that allows you to make the verse all blanks and you can click each blank to reveal the correct word to help you memorize better.
Reading books::I am currently reading The Land Between by Jeff Manion on my Kindle. ?I saw his talk at Leadership Summit a couple of weeks ago and it really resonated with me while I am waiting in this “Land Between.” ?It is based on the story of the Israelites and the Exodus. ?Great stuff!
We also got a “well-timed” letter from some great friends that was a photocopy of a chapter in A Gentle Thunder by Max Lucado. ?One of the key passages in the chapter that really spoke to me was a summary of the Exodus in Deuteronomy 8.
2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.?3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
So tell me, how do you deal with discouragement in your life? Feel free to leave a comment.