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Showing posts from November, 2009

The Blind Side

I like Thanksgiving. I could overly spiritualize my position at this point, but instead of glossing pastoral I would like to gloss selfish. One reason I like Thanksgiving is babysitting. I am thankful for babysitting. We live some hours away from our families, so for Thanksgiving we are usually out of town with parents/grandparents. In my mind this translates, “You haven’t seen your grand babies in a while, Shannon and I are going to the movies.” I like Thanksgiving because it is about the only time of the year in which we get a chance to go to a movie that isn’t a cartoon. This year’s Thanksgiving kidless date movie was The Blind Side. The Blind Side is about the rise of an impoverished black teenager who is adopted by a wealthy Christian family. This unlikely adoption gives young Michael Oher opportunity. Taking full advantage of the chance he is given, Oher eventually becomes a first round draft pick in the 2009 NFL draft. Yes, this is a true story. Even before the mov

Prayer Guide

Over the past few weeks I have been sifting through Dr. Gregory R Frizzell's book, Returning to Holiness, A Personal and Churchwide Journey to Revival. Here is an outlined gleaned from pages 78 - 81 on Five Practical Steps to a Powerful Daily Prayer Life. He lists five practical steps, I managed to stretch it into six. 1) Make an absolute commitment to consistently spend significant time alone with God in uninterrupted prayer (Luke 11:1). 2) Approach your prayer time as a relationship with God rather than a required ritual (Luke 10:38-42). 3) Listen first (1 John 5:14-15). 4) Make a commitment to a balanced prayer life by regularly practicing the four different types of prayer (1 Timothy 2:1). a) Praise, thanksgiving, worship b) Confession and repentance c) Petition and supplication d) Intercession 5) In your daily petitions, focus more on issues of personal character and holiness than on temporal needs (Matthew 5, Romans 8:29, Galatians 5:22). 6) In your daily intercession, f

Sports on Sunday

I love sports. I was an athlete in high school. I appreciate the discipline it takes to be successful on the field. I believe people need to have the experience of being on a team because it builds character and teaches a person many skills that will help them in life. I also believe when it comes to sports we have gone too far. Our replacement of the sacred aspects of Sunday with sports is yet another indicator that we are a secular culture. God commanded the people of Israel to keep the Sabbath day holy. [i] Their activity on the last day of the week, Saturday, identified them with their God who rested on the final day of the week. For Christians, the principles of Sabbath apply, to some extent, to the first day of the week, Sunday. Because Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week the early church set a new precedent by purposefully gathering on Sunday to identify with their risen Lord. [ii] Whether it was the last day, or the first day, it was a matter of identity.

Call of Duty

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8) On Sunday nights I spend a few moments teaching a group of men, grown up boys, and then I peal away to teach a group of boys, little versions of men. This past week, in the course of our conversation we talked about video games. I bragged that I have finished every conceivable level of Mario Kart. I thought I would immediately become, in their eyes, an icon. I was wrong. For the most part several of my little men were way past Mario Kart, they were triumphant in the game Call of Duty. I could make a good case that Christian men should stay away from Call of Duty, but is there any debate that little boys should play Call of Duty? I could go a step further and ask why a Christian man would allow his little boy to play Call of D

Off the Edge

“And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 23:22 One of the ways God secured the welfare of the people was to command the farmers to stay away from the edges of the field. Live off of the center. Allow the needy to reap the edge. We are living on the edge. Every penny is spent. We have no time. Life is demanding and at the end of the day, there is nothing left. Leviticus 23:22 is a call to pull back, to live off of the center. Determine what you need. Determine what is truly important. Leave the rest alone. Allow the needy to reap the edge. When life becomes hectic we grow self absorbed. We use every ounce of energy, every penny, and every moment to serve self. There is no time to serve others. There is nothing left to give. When there are no edges left on our field

Mission Poverty (Sermon Audio, Sunday A.M.)

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852 million people are living in poverty. Secular humanists, naturalists, and environmentalists say one cause of poverty is an overcrowded planet. The solution is birth limits, the redistribution of wealth, and socialism. This will be the course of action if the church does not reenter the conversation about poverty. The impoverished were Jesus’ primary audience. The church, to a large degree, has changed the channel. The gospel is good news to the poor. If the church shares the mission of Jesus it will have a strategy to engage the problem of poverty. Listen to audio

Mission Life (Sermon Audio, Sunday A.M.)

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Everyone is tribal. We all have our clusters of people with whom we share common interest. They are our people groups. Life is a mission. As we are living we should also be working to spread to the glory of God within our people groups. On a global scale we should be working to spread the gospel to all people groups. Whether at home, the ball field, or overseas life is a mission for the glory of God. Listen to audio