Showing posts from February, 2013

Prayer Coach

I have been a little behind in my reading of Prayer Coach by James Nicodem. We are using this book with our D6 Dads groups this year. Here are a few quotes that caught my attention today:

"You don't have to save your praying for something really, really big."

"What are you praying for these days, in vague generalities, that you need to express in more specific terms to God?"

"We can-obviously, with God's help-put an end to fear and anxiety when they threaten us."

"The second thing that praying does to my fears is take my focus off them and place it back on God."

"We pray for open doors-opportunities to engage in spiritual discussions. We pray for open mouths-boldness to speak up about Christ when the time comes. And we pray for open hearts-responsiveness to the good news we share."

Preparing for Adolescence

I will be leading a class entitled, "Preparing for Adolescence" this Sunday night from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Hesston Middle School.  It is open to the community. The class is geared for parents of 5th/6th graders.  The postcard is below.

Helpful resources as well as information will be shared on how to discuss this topic with your son or daughter.  Hope to see you there!

Date Night Hesston

Date Night Hesston is this weekend.  I hope couples enjoy their time together and grow in their relationship.  I am thankful to Watermark Church in Dallas, TX for the idea and resources.  Feel free to share pictures or comments below about your Date Night Hesston Experience.  Happy Dating!

Creature of the Word

I finished the first chapter of Creature of the Word on Thursday. I can already tell this is going to be a good read.

Here are a few quotes from authors Matt Chandler, Josh Patterson, and Eric Geiger:

"The gospel isn't just individual and cosmic; it is also deeply corporate."

"The gospel precedes the Church, informs the life of the Church, and sustains the growth of the Church."

"It is an absolute and unique teaching in all the world to teach people, through Christ, to live as if there were no law or wrath or punishment."

"So no longer should the fear of rejection and God's vengeance be the motivating factors in our pursuit of holiness, but rather the delight of being loved, pursued, and saved by a gracious Father whose "kindness leads us to repentance."

"Our motivation to obey the commands of Scripture can finally become a delight when we see the reasons almost always center around God's love and provision for us in Chr…

Final Chapter of Gospel of Yes

I have been sharing posts over the last several weeks from The Gospel of Yes by Mike Glenn. I recommend the book to you. If you want your life and the church to be known as a place of yes rather than no, this book is for you.

Here are some final quotes from the book:

"Over the years I've had to let go of a lot of concepts of God that proved too small to contain the God I was trying to follow."

"When you find your "yes" and it aligns with the greater "yes" of God to his world, things bigger than you always happen."

"No matter the circumstances, no matter how loud the "no" that I was dealing with, Christ would bring a "yes" that would give meaning and hope."

"If God tells us "no", then his "yes" has promoted the "no."

"So the people of Jesus have to find a way to be the "yes" of Christ to our wounded world."

"The church has to become a place of "ye…

Notes from "Check Yes or No"

Here are my notes from my message today entitled, "Check Yes or No" based on 2 Corinthians 1:18-22.

What did Jesus accomplish on the cross?

I mentioned in a previous post that I had read Operation Screwtape by Andrew Farley. It is a great fiction book with a lot of truth to ponder and live by. One of the things that the book has challenged me to do is during this time of Lent is to spend the next few weeks pondering what Christ accomplished on the cross.

We know our sins are forgiven. We grasp that death is defeated. But what else? The answer to this question will affect how you live the Christian life. I will be reading through Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came To Die by John Piper to help me in this study. I would encourage you as well to consider focusing on the "Work" (word used to describe the Cross in Operation Screwtape) during Lent.

Happy V-Day!

The title of this post is what I used to call the holiday we celebrate today. I had a rather cynical and unromantic view of Valentine's Day. But despite the commercialization of Valentine's Day and the argument that we should not just show love to those around us one day a week, it still has a place.

Husbands, we need to show love to our wives every day, but today share love that covers all five senses. Don't just give something, but also say I love you. How will you love your wife today?

In addition, dads, we have a great opportunity to show our daughters what a godly man is and does. My daughters need to see me express love to my wife through words, actions, gifts, hugs, kisses, etc. But I can also remind them of the great love God has for them, how they are special for who they are, and remind them daddy loves them.

Enjoy the day. Happy Valentine's Day!

Operation Screwtape

I don't read much fiction.  It is not that I am a fiction snob, but that I focus on reading other books instead.  This weekend, however, I picked up Operation Screwtape by Dr. Andrew Farley.  I had seen the book mentioned on twitter and decided to check it out.

Let me say that I loved it! You need to pick up this book.  I am a big fan of Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis and Lord Foulgrin's Letters by Randy Alcorn and this book is similar in many ways.  It is a "sequel" to Screwtape Letters in the sense that it occurs after it.  But the premise is that communication has been intercepted from demons. 

What I loved about this book?
A quick & entertaining readA message that challenges how we view God and ourselvesIt's organization around steal, kill, destroy from John 10:10 Several quotes that could be tweeted and contain valuable truthsIncredible insights about the church, grace, cross, relationships, etc. I have already given my copy away or I would share a few …

God made you!

This truth we understand from an early age. However, as we face the world around us, do we forget our identity? What happens when family, business, culture tries to pressure you to be something that you are not? Mike Glenn in The Gospel of Yes has some great thoughts on this in Chapter 10. You need to pick up this book. Here are some quotes:

"What if Christ's top priority is not to convince us that we are abject failures but to reveal how beautiful we are in him?

"If Jesus is not as interested in hammering us about our sin as in restoring us to the people God created us to be, would we act differently? live differently? be different toward others? Would we find in this truth a way to change, to live differently, to become a new person?"

"No experience or encounter, no outside influence can tell you who you are. Only Christ can do that."

"The Christian teaching is that people are extremely valuable indeed. But our value is not based on the promise…

Your Journey to Yes

Who Am I? Who does Christ Say I Am? How does my identity influence how I live? These and other questions are discussed in The Gospel of Yes by Mike Glenn. Here are a few quotes from a chapter on our Christian journey:

"the faith pilgrimage begins with God's declaration of who you really are and why he made you."

"Believers need other believers to encourage us, confront us when necessary, and to remind us both of who we are and whose we are."

"The more fully you know your yes, the more you will understand and appreciate the uniqueness of who you are. Knowing that your yes was given only to you will free you to pursue your destiny without concern for how it might compare to anyone else's calling. You are the only one who can pursue the unique yes that God gave to you."

February Family Night

Last night, we had our final Family Night of the year.  Our theme was "Top Secret."  Families enjoy a meal together then participate in fun and learning together.  The night included decoding a secret message, finding clues and a scavenger hunt.  We looked at ways to encourage members of our family through God's Word.  We even sang a few songs.

I am thankful for my girls who are my great helpers each Family Night.  They set the tables, fill up drinks, put dessert on tables and even help me get the supplies on the tables.  Thank you Molly, Megan, and Kenzie!

Why Your Identity Means Everything by Steven Furtick

Here's another video clip from Steven Furtick of Elevation Church on our identity in Christ.  Be reminded about who you are!

I highly recommend you picking up his books, Sun Stand Still and Greater.  

Forgiving Others

I am continuing through the book, The Gospel of Yes by Mike Glenn.  Today's post ties in well with Pastor Brad's sermon on January 27th on forgiveness.  Here are some thoughts regarding forgiveness:
"Forgiveness is how we get unstuck.  Anger, left unattended, becomes bitterness. Grudges, carefully nursed over the years, produce a hard heart. Our pain blinds us to the needs of those around us and isolates us from others." "First, making someone else hurt doesn't take away your pain." "One of the things that makes following Jesus so difficult is that we are never given permission to disobey, regardless of the circumstances." "Our God is so good and so powerful he can produce good out of even the worst things people do to us." "You can hold on to your anger, or you can hold on to Jesus, but you can't hold on to both. Forgiveness is how we let go of anger and hurt to get a firm hold on the "yes" of God offered to us in…

Do I believe the yes?

Yesterday, I wrote a post about "Check Yes or No" based on the book, The Gospel of Yes by Mike Glenn. I am continuing some thoughts today based on our identity in Christ.  Glenn shares these quotes:
"Jesus came to offer a life of more to all of us, no matter what happened before." "Hearing the word but removes everything before it from our memory."  "Sin is the great negation, the "no" that attempts to blot out the "yes" of Christ." "Sin has a way of making us forget the goodness of God. Sin denies the presence and power of God in us and our world." "For a total transformation of a person's life, the mind as well as the heart must change. We live the way we do because we think the way we do. The mess is in our heads before it is in our lives, but it moves from the mind to daily life." "And part of thinking differently is letting go of old assumptions and preferences and accepting the preferences …