Showing posts from February, 2014

Prayer Power-Day 23


We can rest because of God's power

I encourage you to rest today because God's Word is true.  Listen to God's Word from Jeremiah 10:6:

6  There is none like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is great in might.

Once For All

I sang this song at Liberate 2014 last week.  It has been in my head and heart ever since.  What a great reminder that "It is finished!" I will be sharing more songs on the blog in the days ahead. You can purchase the CD here

Once For All

1. Free from the law, O happy condition,
Jesus has bled and there is remission,
Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall,
Grace hath redeemed us once for all.

2. Now we are free, there’s no condemnation,
Jesus provides a perfect salvation.
“Come unto Me,” O hear His sweet call,
Come, and He saves us once for all.

Once for all, O sinner, receive it,
Once for all, O doubter, believe it;
Cling to the cross, the burden will fall,
Christ has redeemed us once for all.

3. Children of God, O glorious calling,
Surely His grace will keep us from falling;
Passing from death to life at His call;
Blessed salvation once for all.

It is finished

His Be the Victor's Name by Zac Hicks & Coral Ridge Worship

Words: Philip P. Bliss, 1871, alt.

God's power from God is Able

I finished God is Able by Priscilla Shirer several weeks ago.  However, I am just now getting around to sharing some great quotes with you.  Do you believe God's power is available to you? Check out this thought from Shirer:
We were created to floor people when they see God's might power at work inside us. Our juiced-up spiritual engines were made to purr with the joy and strength He provides. We were meant to wheel into each day's traffic with His high-octane ability and supernatural power coursing through our fuel lines. . . We've got power.

Prayer Power-Day 22


Paul Tripp at Liberate Conference

Paul Tripp was last speaker for 2014 Liberate Conference.

His topic was "Who Am I? One Way Love and Personal Identity"
There is a plague that has infected the church of Jesus Christ. It has left us broken, discouraged, afraid.  It robs you of spiritual vitality, joy, & rest. It reduces you to timidity & doubt. We don't know we have it. It is identity amnesia.
You are in a constant conversation with yourself.  You are always assigning to yourself some kind of identity and potential. Who do you think you are?
Where will you look today for identity? In ministry, in relationships, in possessions, in achievements,  What does that do for how you live your everyday lives?
Psalm 27-where our identity can be found. A psalm of trouble written by David during two possible times: hiding from Saul in cave or David fleeing his son, Absalom.
This psalm does not begin with trouble, but with theology. 
True rest is rooted in sound, scriptural theology. The Lord is my light, my sa…

David Zahl at Liberate Conference

David Zahl was first speaker on Saturday morning.

His topic was "All We Need is (One Way) Love"
Website is
3 things came across his screen as he was preparing for his message: The Onion-love is unconditional, Depressed man tries to feed himself to tiger but was rejected, & effect of loneliness on 3000 older people-twice as likely to die
Why are we so lonely? The church is not immune from loneliness. It has everything to do with the Law. We are focused on self-actualization. The price we pay for ambition is loneliness. We are lonely because there is a shortage of love. There is a whole lot of law & not enough gospel. Sin isolates. It inspires hiding. We block intimacy. Hiding makes us even more lonely.
How do we deal with loneliness? We distract ourselves from it and keep ourselves busy. Everyone needs to stop.  The gospel allows us to do that. Another way we deal with loneliness is to buy people's love. We make it transactional. We work for it. We deal w…

Tullian Tchividjian at Liberate Conference

Saturday night, Tullian Tchividjian shared about One Way Love.
One of the greatest draws of Liberate is Ft. Lauderdale in February.
His topic was "Inexhaustible grace for an exhausted people"
What is main problem in evangelicalism? Most would answer related to cultural wars.  
20 years from now his hope is people will respond "forgiveness of sins."
We should be good news specialists.
When it comes to the gospel, there is no "and then."
Luke 4:16-21-May God use the mission statement of Jesus to blow our minds.
We live our lives under a banner that reads, "it is finished."
The church should be one place in all of society where people can find rest, but instead they get a to do lists.
Life places many demands on us. Life is long on law and short on grace.
Where does our exhaustion come from?    Often we think it comes from outside of us.  But it is not. It is from inside of us.     Robert Capon quote (further, better, more aggressive)    It is through these thi…

Scotty Smith at Liberate Conference

Scotty Smith spoke second in the afternoon session.

Romans 5:15-17-"The Revolution Continues"
4 Dimensions of the Depth of Gospel    1. I am discovering the much moreness of God's love           Contrast of guilt & shame           I have something to offer as a person not just what I can do     2. I am discovering the much moreness of God's laughter           Psalm 2-He who sits in heaven laughs           Love people without trying to fix them.     3. I am discovering the much moreness of God's heaven           All things--people, places, and things are made complete. We need a bigger view of God.           Everyone of us matters, but none of us are the point.      4. I am discovering the much moreness of God's Son, Jesus.           Revelation 4:1-8           We need to love and serve with hope.           Revelation 22:21 as benediction of his message.

J. D. Greear at #2014Liberate

"Grace From Beginning to End" was afternoon session with two speakers J.D. Greear & Scotty Smith.

J.D. Greear spoke first on "Recovering the Power that Makes Christianity Revolutionary"

Author of several books and lead pastor in North Carolina.
What does gospel mean? How does it change us?
Genesis 3-conditions sin left us in: spiritually dead & naked
Human heart became an idol factory.  
God's law on our hearts makes us respond in one of two ways: when law no longer present, we go back to old way of doing things or spiritually snap (I can't do this!).  
Good works are done for self-justification.
Every religion in world teaches "I obey therefore I am accepted." Christianity teaches "I am accepted so I obey."
Three things the gospel does that religion cannot do    1. Gospel reveals to us God is more glorious than our idols (2 Corin. 3:18)    2. Gospel overwhelms us with grace (1 John 4:19)    3. The gospel imparts to us actual pow…

Paul Zahl at #2014Liberate

I attended a luncheon with Paul Zahl whose topic was "Preaching Grace from the Pulpit"

The opening of your message will be entirely forgotten by your congregation.
Two preliminary points in making connection with others: you have to get to the end of law (sanctions don't work with kids, spouses, or others) & the name of the game is healing.
"If you are trying to find God, go back to where you lost him." 
3 pointed star of communicating with others.       1.   Healing work of the preacher (everyone needs a Savior)
You are absolutely nothing until it gets into your system as a preacher. You have to get deep enough in yourself that it connects with others beyond gender, history, etc.
       2.   Sermon Illustration from life
People are altruistic in the pew.  It's about me. It can be the heavy lifting. 
        3.  Humor
It cuts down the resistance.

Sally Lloyd-Jones at #2014Liberate

I attended breakout session led by Sally Lloyd-Jones entitled, "Communicating Grace Through Story"

She is the author of several books including the "Jesus Storybook Bible"
There's no ifs and maybes with God.  To show God loves us no matter what she wrote "Just because your mine."
A story slips up on you and catches your heart. 
A picture book tells us a story in two languages: words and images.
What I knew about America came straight out of the movies.
Home is not a place to settle, but a place to set out from.
How do you choose the 44 stories in Jesus Storybook Bible? Need stories to help explain the plot, those with good illustrations like Noah, and then stories that moved her.

Steve Brown at #2014Liberate

Steve Brown started Day 2 of #2014Liberate.

"Everyday Grace" was his topic.
If you don't live in God's grace when you spill water, you won't be able to live in God's grace when you get cancer.
Grace isn't just a doctrine. It's 24/7. It's a pool where elephants can swim and children can play.
It's not following in the mud that is terrible.  It is staying there that is.
Grace doesn't define us in church, but in every place we go and everthing we do.
"He's not what you think."  That's how I feel about God sometimes.
Jesus is very fond of you.
God is good & He is sovereign.
Sometimes I say this to God, "I don't want you to fix me.  I want you to hug me."

Matt Chandler at #2014Liberate Conference

Matt Chandler was up first at Liberate 2014.

His message was from Romans 8.
"The older I get, the busier life gets."
The tendency, if I am not careful, is to take my relationship with Christ and add it on to my busy schedule rather than let it be the defining relationship.
If God is an add on, then we are saying we are own god.
How does our relationship with God function and work?
His focus: those he called
If you got saved by saying the prayer, we are witches.
God was wooing me, but it was not because I was trying to get better. It was when I was at my worst.
To those he called, he also justified. We as a culture should get this doctrine. We love the law.
Justification means to be pardoned. Galatians 2:15. 
Our story is not I helped myself.  I pulled myself up by my bootstraps. 
The King has banged the gavel and pardoned our past, present, and future sins.  If you don't get justification, you will run from God not run to Him.
We never make the turn to understand we hav…

Liberate Conference, here I come!

I am so excited to be leaving for the Liberate Conference tomorrow.  The line-up of speakers is amazing!  I look forward to soaking in the Word of God and grace over the next 3 days. 

An added bonus is the conference is in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  So, I will be taking advantage of the ocean, beaches, and warmer weather too.

Check back over the next few days for notes from all of the speakers.

Jesus Paid It All

What did Jesus do for you?  Be reminded as you listen to this song today.

Prayer Power-Day 21


Sweet Little Jesus

Here are notes from my sermon at Hesston MB today.
Opening Illustration- Casting Crowns “Sweet Little Jesus Boy”
Background- Jesus first sign was turning water into wine in vs. 1-11. What was the purpose of the miracle? To prove his power and that He is God & reveal His glory.Reminder of who Jesus is (chart from Brad’s sermon 1/9/14)
(Vs. 12-17) Jesus & Sacrifice (His Love)
Vs. 13-What is the Passover? Refer to Brad’s sermon last week- Lamb of God-Exodus 12:26-27       Vs. 14-What did Jesus see at the temple? Men selling cattle, sheep and doves & others exchanging money-Other Gospels write about a different cleansing during the final week of Jesus life whereas John writes about a cleansing during his early years. Most scholars agree he begins and ends his public ministry in this way.Leviticus 1:3-9 (burnt offering-make atonement-bull, sheep, doves); 4:2-21(sin offering-bull)-necessary for people’s sacrifices and forgivenessIt was a convenience …

Psalm 145 and the Power of God

Great Is the Lord A Song of Praise. Of David.145 I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable. 4 One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness.
7 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. 8 The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 The Lord is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made. 10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your saints shall bless you!
11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
and tell of your power,
12 to make known to the children of man yourmighty deeds,

Happy Valentine's Day to my beautiful wife!

Happy Valentine's Day, Bethany!  I am a blessed man to have you as a wife.  You are a wonderful mom and a great manager too.  I look forward to our date night this weekend.

New books I started today

Here are two new books that I am starting this week:


If you walk into Hesston MB Church, you will find these posters.  This is our challenge to our church family in 2014.  I thought I would share what I am doing individually and as a family.  I struggle with memorization so we as a family are using games such as Sparkle to help us memorize verses from the book of John.  So far, we have completed John 1:1 and John 1:14.  I have also encouraged the kids to be reading through John and sharing a Life Book with someone. Because of my personality, I love to meditate on God's Word so I am continuing on that as well as reading through John in 2014.  My focus this year as it was in 2013 is not to read through the whole Bible, but instead to let God's word sink into my head, heart and hands through reading smaller sections. I am also praying for opportunities to share God's Word with others. How are you going deeper in your relationship with Jesus in 2014?

Tis So Sweet

Be reminded of Jesus today.

Prayer Power-Day 20


In God's Hand

and said, “O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you. (2 Chronicles 20:6 ESV)

Last Word by Elevation Worship

Are you struggling today?  Do your circumstances seem overwhelming?  Remember, Jesus has the last word.  Listen to this new song by Elevation Worship. 

Condemnation, Sin, and Gospel

We are wrapping up a six week Bible study on Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler.  It has been a rich study and I would highly recommend it.  Here are a few thoughts to think about today:
Sealed in my heart that day was the truth that unless the gospel is made explicit, unless we clearly articulate that our righteousness is imputed to us by Jesus Christ, that on the cross he absorbed the wrath of God aimed at us and washed us clean--even if we preach biblical words on obeying God--people will believe that Jesus' message is that he has come to condemn the world, not to save it.We must abandon the idea that there is condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! We must abandon the idea that our sins pile up on some scale that will earn God's punishment when tipped, as if Christ didn't take this wrath from us already on the cross.  We must also abandon the idea that our good behavior somehow rubs the spiritual lamp that inclines God, like a genie, to emerge and give us the thin…

Check out my post at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting

My post is appearing over at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Today.  It is for husbands to encourage their wives.  Check it out here

From Snow to Beaches

I know the Liberate Conference is two weeks away, but I need to focus on the warmth on this cold day in Kansas.  I will be posting notes here from the speakers during and after Liberate which is Feb. 20-22, 2014 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  Below are pictures of several of the speakers at Liberate.

Prayer Power-Day 19


My Word: Power

My word for 2014 is God's power.  This one comes from the Hebrew word, gebuwrah.  Here is a verse to remind us of His power today:
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. (1 Chronicles 29:11)

The Discipline of Personal Prayer

In Authentic, by James MacDonald, he discusses several disciplines for the Christian life.  I am sharing a few thoughts from him about prayer today.
Get this: the secret to prayer is prayer in secret.God loves you and me, yet do we approach Him like we believe it? Prayers do not inform God. Prayers exercise faith in God.The essence of the Lord's Prayer is an attitude of expectation that God does hear, He draws near, and He does answer. Practicing godly anticipation is one of the disciplines of a sincere faith.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Today, we look at a favorite hymn through the years.  Be reminded that God is faithful!

Prayer Power-Day 18


The little and big things

We know God is able.  However, sometimes when we ponder His greatness and power, we feel we cannot bother God with the little things in our day.  Have you felt this way?  You go to God for the big things, but don't even consider asking for help with daily tasks or needs.  Ponder these quotes from Priscilla Shirer in God is Able:
I don't waste time anymore feeling like my little problem might be too insignificant to bring to God's attention.God knows about the little things. . .The things that trouble you, no matter how unimportant or trivial they might be to your spouse, children, friends, or parents, are important to God. . .He cares about the big things, the small things, and everything in between.In other words, sometimes our problem is not that we won't believe Him for the supernatural and amazing, but that we don't believe He cares about the routine and everyday.