This is a very well made video.
I’m using it next week as we introduce our new series about having a consistent identity, and I love at around 1:45 when he talks about his own experience living two lives and pretending to be a Christian. It also has some wonderfully poignant reminders of our fallen state, and the grace that God extends. In other words, this guy talks good and says good things too. Enjoy.
This summer I had an opportunity to share the message at my church a couple times. I always enjoy the chance. We did a series called “Greatest Hits” that was all about popular Bible verses. It was a lot of fun, and neat to see how people’s perspectives changed as they heard a new take on verses they’ve recited their entire life.
One of the weeks, I took on Jeremiah 29:11, the “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord” verse that you see on posters and t-shirts and Continue reading →
I had the opportunity to give the message last week at my church. It was 3 days after I broke my ankle, which was the first in a long line of frustrations and difficulties leading up to the message that day. If you want to mess up your week, pick a topic that exposes satan, he doesn’t like that.
Anyway, here below is the audio from that message for you to check out if you like. Also, one of my students gave her FaithStory as a part of the message and she did an amazing job. I believe it is the first time I’ve ever cried during a FaithStory, and of course I was up front for everyone to see.
I hope you enjoy it, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!
It’s construction season. I’m fairly convinced that there’s a conspiracy to slowly disconnect my home from anywhere I might possibly want to go with an elaborate series of “road repairs.” Their plan is working perfectly, I am spending a lot of time sitting in traffic, jockeying for position, and wishing I had been smart enough to utilize that last freeway exit.
Today was no exception, I was sitting in traffic and counting all the ways that it was frustrating. I was late for my appointment, the detour wasn’t clearly marked, and most drivers seemed to be inventing new traffic laws at will. I was annoyed at how inconvenienced I was, until I stopped to actually notice what the project was. They were resurfacing the road, tearing up old stuff and laying a new layer… all without completely shutting down the road. Sure, traffic was slower, but we were still all able to make use of the street, and the crew was directing traffic around the work. They were resurfacing miles of road without having to shut it down, that’s impressive.
I think it is easy to get frustrated with the church. There are so many things we can (and should) do better, and it can feel like there’s nothing but delays and detours in between our reality and our vision. The temptation is to look at the examples of how we are inconvenienced, where we can’t go as fast as we want, or where everything just seems like an entire mess.
But we’re in the life-change business. We specialize in helping people meet with Jesus, and in that we hope that they will be torn apart and rebuilt. We serve a God whose mission is to restore people to their original design. Why, then, are we surprised that it’s gets messy and difficult sometimes? If it’s amazing that they don’t need to shut down the road to resurface it, how much more amazing is it that the church continues to function despite the huge undertaking of soul construction?
It can be easy to look at all the ways that we’re frustrated by the church. But next time you’re stuck in a delay or helplessly following a detour, take some time to remember just how amazing the work is that the church is doing. You might end up a little less stressed.
People miss out on some great opportunities because they don’t ask. James knew what he was saying when he said “you have not because you ask not.” I don’t think he was talking about just prayer Praying is good, but we sell God short if we wait for things to fall into our laps like lethargic beggers. Prayer must be followed by action. Pray for what you need, then start asking.
Here are some recent things that have happened by following up prayer with direct asking.
- We were talking about justice one night, so I asked if we could use the city council chambers (closest thing to a courtroom in our city). They let us, I don’t think they’re supposed to. Talking about Job demanding a hearing was much more powerful when sitting in a room like that.
- I asked one of the parents to help me pick paint colors for the new youth space. Little did I know I had tapped into a powerful force of generosity. So far the whole space has been painted, the cost of finishing the floor has been paid for, and we have 8 chairs, 2 leather couches, and a giant sectional sofa… all donated.
- I hosted a meeting of youth leaders at a pizza joint and we got our food for free. I just e-mailed the owner and asked for a group discount, he said, “Sure, how does 100% off sound?”
If you believe God will provide, start looking around for where his providence will come from. Faith requires action.