Showing posts from September, 2013

Desires from #HiddeninChrist

I am continuing my reading of Hidden in Christ by James Bryan Smith.  He will be at Faith and Life Bookstore in Newton, KS on October 12 from 1-2 p.m. signing Hidden in Christ.

Here are thoughts from his devotion on desires:
Desires expand when we give them a place in our lives that they do not deserve.
Many of our sins are the result of disordered natural desires.
Desire becomes sin when it moves from being something we enjoy to something we seek as our main desire.
But when God is not the center of what we do, then we must fill that void with something, and when we do, we find that the desire is insatiable.
As we express our longing for God, God meets us, and our heart finds what it is looking for. All of our other desires are consequently transformed. They are seen for what they are (things to be enjoyed), not invested in for what they are not (things to find our ultimate meaning in).
Desires are not bad. It is only when we try to fill a void that desires destroy us.

Know God's Love

Today in our Sunday School class, we looked at Ephesians 3:14-21.  I love these verses!  What a powerful statement of the importance of prayer and experiencing God's love.  Mark Driscoll has great thoughts in his book, Who Do You Think You Are? I encourage you to read Ephesians 3 and then think and meditate about the verses and then these quotes:
Paul didn't doubt that God loves you, but he did doubt that you'd truly know it, really believe it, and deeply receive it in a passionate, experiential, and personal way. The truth is that there is one answer to all our problems--a full understanding of God's love for us. The true test of your theology is not just what you say, but also how you pray.

You Are A Servant

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,24since you know that you will receive an inheritancefrom the Lord as a reward.It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24)

Quotes from Lead ONE-Part 3

Jana Hildebrandt and Kim Bontrager  "Removing Barriers. . . Connecting Dots"
What are barriers that keep people from coming back or keeping them from God?
Environment, Communication, Worship Services
Public Space-parking, nursery, classroom, worship space, lobby, etc.
Connect the dots: 
Evaluate each environment. . . what is the purpose of this environment? who will use this environment? what do we want people to experience? what do we want people to leave with? who's responsible for quality control?
Our communication should not be louder but smarter.   Who is accessing information?  
Don Morris-"Multiplication: A Matter of Factors"
Four Multiplying Factors
Multiplying requires everyone to have an apprentice.Multiplication is proactive not reactive.Multiplying is not about size; it's about leader readiness.Multiplying isn't about our kingdom, it 's about God's Kingdom.
Three "must haves" for apprentices:
Relational intelliegenceSpiritual VelocityTeac…

Quotes from Lead ONE-Part 2

Ed Boschman-"Leading for Impact"
Biblical/Christian Leaders Are: Followers of Jesus first-Mark 8:34 "Good leaders are followers most of the time." Compelled by Christ's love-2 Cor. 5:14 Elder Qualified-1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9 Decidedly Prayerful-Philippians 4:6-7 Servant Motivated-Matthew 20:25-26 Exemplary-1 Peter 5:1-3
Leaders tend to be either: transactional or transformational (handout)
"The only power that can control you without destroying you is God."
Jon Wiebe-"Aligning Budget with Mission"
Reasons for Aligning Budget with Mission 1. Increased vetting of giving options 2. Portfolio management perspective 3. Reducing debt is popular 4. Transparency about finances 5. Evolution in American church 1950's-1990's-Christ, Community, Cause 1990's-2010's-Community, Christ, Cause 2010's-           -Cause, Community, Christ
A Five Step Process Step 1-Review Values, Mission, Vision, & Strategy Step 2-Project Next Year's Income Examin…

Quotes from Lead ONE-Part 1

Tim Sullivan-"Soul Care"
Leadership is all about influence. The church is losing its influence because of a lack of leadership.
Philippians 3:12-15-Even if we are not perfect, we can ask others to follow us in the steps of Christ.
Todd Franz-"Teamwork:Lessons I Learned in the NFL"
FOCUS Big Picture/Small Picture (Fundamentals) Go With the Flow (or not)-"Be who you were made to be." Thick Skin (Accepting criticism w/o being offended)
ATMOSPHERE Create (changing)-fear, watch me, Spirit-led CHARACTER Caring for a Response (initiated, know names) Everybody matters! How do you make them feel important and part of the team? Reaction to Adversity-Are we prepared?
TRUTH Eye in the sky don't lie (accountability, evaluate ourselves?) Attitude toward criticism (how to be better teachers, leaders, etc.) Big Picture (Discipleship)

Check back on Thursday and Friday for more quotes.

New banner at church

Based on our reading of DiscipleShift, Pastor Brad wanted a new banner for church sanctuary. Thanks to Brittni Rhodes for the design!

You Are A Priest

“But you are a chosen people,a royal priesthood,a holy nation,God’s special possession,that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

New Book

I just started this book on Thursday. This would be a great book to go through with a group of men. Here is a quote from the introduction:

"In other words, we have a choice to anchor our masculinity in either the defining values of the culture or the defining values of God."

Thoughts on finances and prayer from #circlemaker

I was only able to get through one chapter of this book on Thursday because of other meetings.  But this chapter had several quotes that jumped out at me.  Here are some thoughts for you to chew on:

"I'll never forget that phrase: vision beyond your resources. . .We refuse to let our budget determine our vision. That left-brained approach is a wrong-brained approach because it's based on our limited resources rather than on God's unlimited provision. Faith is allowing your God-given vision determine your budget. That certainly does not mean you practice poor financial stewardship, spend beyond your means, and accumulate a huge debt load. It does mean that you take a step of faith when God gives you a vision because you trust that the One who gave you the vision is going to make provision. And for the record, if the vision is from God, it will most definitely be beyond your means."

"A second lesson learned is that no doesn't always mean no; sometimes no …

You Are His Child

You Are An Inheritance

“For this reason Christ is the mediatorof a new covenant,that those who are calledmay receive the promisedeternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”  (Hebrews 9:15)

Worship Today

As you worship today, be reminded of this truth and the title of a new book.

The Circle Maker

On Thursday, I began reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.  The subtitle states, "Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears." I have never read anything by Batterson before, but so far would recommend this great book on prayer. Here are some quotes from Chapters 3-5:
"You've got to define the promises God wants you to stake claim to, the miracles God wants you to believe for, and the dreams God wants you to pursue.  Then you need to keep circling until God gives you what He wants and He wills. That's the goal." "We talk about "doing" the will of God, but the will of God has much more to do with "being" than "doing." "In the grand scheme of God's story, there is a footnote behind every headline. The footnote is prayer." "You need to quit asking God to do something and start praising Him for what He had already done. . . Prayer is asking God to do something, future tense; praise i…

You Are Sealed by the Holy Spirit

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firmin Christ. He anointedus,22 set his sealof ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

Thoughts on Grace

Today, I am sharing some quotes on the topic of grace that I included in my Sunday School class on Sunday.  Enjoy meditating on these thoughts from various authors!

Jesus (Luke 15) is striking at the heart of the problem we have with grace: we don’t like it. It seems unfair, but in reality it is perfectly fair. God is gracious to all. It smacks against our performance-based-acceptance narrative. (James Bryan Smith in Good and Beautiful God)
Real life is long on law and short on grace—the demands never stop, the failures pile up, and fear sets in. Life requires many things from us—a stable marriage, successful children, a certain quality of life. Anyone living inside the guilt, anxiety, and uncertainty of daily life knows that the weight of life is heavy. We are all in need of some relief.
Bestselling author Tullian Tchividjian is convinced our exhausted world needs a fresh encounter with God's inexhaustible grace—His one-way love. Sadly, however, Christianity is perceived as being a …

Winning or Losing?

Mark Driscoll reminds us we are in a spiritual battle in the final chapter of Who Do You Think You Are? But the good news is that we are winners not losers.  Be encouraged by these quotes about our victory in Jesus.
Have you ever wondered why life is so hard, suffering is so painful, agony is always near, and God seems far away? It's because there's an enemy who hates God, hates you, and has set his army against you because you're in Christ. The trouble in our life is sometimes partially the fault of our sin or someone else's sin, but it's never the fault of God, as he is good and does not cause sin. Behind all sin, however, is Satan. People are not ultimately your enemy; rather, they're held in captivity by your enemy, and they need to be set free. You must never forget that you're saved and assured victory in Christ. Remind yourself daily. You're saved from Satan, sin, death, hell, and God's wrath. The last thing the church needs is cowards that t…

You Are Forgiven

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darknessand brought us into the kingdomof the Son he loves,14in whom we have redemption,the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)

You Are Redeemed

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the lawby becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus,so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.(Galatians 3:13-14)

You Are A Servant, Friend, Alien and Ambassador

I finished two books I have been reading on our identity in Christ.  They are Who Do You Think You Are? by Mark Driscoll and Identity by Eric Geiger.  Both have been great summer reads.  I quoted from Driscoll last week so today I am sharing quotes from the last four chapters of Geiger's book which are the titles above. 
Unfortunately many Christians forsake the serving high to sit and observe. Statistics tell us that the majority of "Christians" never get in the game. Instead they choose to be spectators to the work of God. The bottom line is an intimate relationship with God. Being a Christian has always been about following Christ. . . We have confused information with transformation. The law of the Spirit requires the discipline to seek God, the sensitivity to listen to His voice, and the faith to be led by Him. As an alien and stranger, you have a new law, which is simply to heed the language of the Spirit of God who lives within you. To abstain form sinful desires,…

You Are Adopted

hepredestinedus for adoption to sonshipthrough Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasureand will. . . (Ephesians 1:5)

I am gifted, new, forgiven, adopted, loved

These are the titles of several chapters from Who Do You Think You Are? by Mark Driscoll.  Here are some quotes for you to consider as you think about your identity:
Rather than complaining, it's better to humbly start serving to meet a church's needs and invite others to also help.  In this, we have imputed righteousness and imparted righteousness. In the former, we are declared holy in the sight of God. In the latter, we are empowered to live holy lives by the Spirit of God after being born again to live a new life in Christ.  Sadly, we often forget this wonderful benefit of regeneration and instead try to change our outward behavior,forgetting that change begins deep inside us and works its way out into our daily actions.  Anger, when rightly harnessed and directed at true injustices (not our perceived injustices), can be a powerful force for justice, goodness, and love.  The only helpful answer to our bitterness and anger is the gospel.  In Christ alone we're adopted a…