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Friday, January 31, 2014

Part of the Process

“I know this is short notice, but I was wondering if you would be up for driving out either tomorrow or Saturday to meet and pray over the area we’re considering starting a church?”

I stared at these words on my phone’s screen for a few moments, fighting the impulse to groan.

Except for two words, everything about this text seemed exciting to me. It was the opportunity of a lifetime. Literally, it was a text from my dream job.

See, I’m a church planting major. I want to plant churches. From scratch.

When I first heard about this idea of church planting, it sounded difficult, mysterious, and strange. It sounded like the perfect adventure. So when it came time to choose my career path, I asked God to use His imagination on me. That might have been a mistake, because God’s imagination made church planting the logical choice of major.

Then I started taking classes on church planting. I learned about all the theories, all the strategies, all the philosophies, and all the models. I heard story after story and visited church after church from around the country, trying to figure out how to “do church” in its various and effective forms. I was a church planter in my heart, and I became a church planter on paper.

Then came the gaping problem: I had never actually done it.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Let Us Be Mindful of Him

“It has been testified somewhere,
“What is man, that you are mindful of him,
    or the son of man, that you care for him?
You made him for a little while lower than the angels;
    you have crowned him with glory and honor,
putting everything in subjection under his feet.”

Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”
-Hebrews 2:6-9 (ESV)

What is mankind that he is mindful of us?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Force To Be Reckoned With...

“Christians were never persecuted by Rome because of their religion.”

I perked up in the middle of my 7 AM church history class. I frowned, waiting for the teacher to explain further.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Redefining Beauty

Something I really appreciate about the Dove organization is their push for this re-definiton of beauty.
Because it is highly affecting the way we see ourselves and the way our world thinks.

Girls are believing that guys are only attracted to the Playboy model or the woman on the cover of Cosmopolitan.

Guys are believing that all girls are superficial.

Maybe that isn't you, but I'm sure there is some other lie that you believe about yourself.
Maybe you don't care about what a guy thinks of you... but are you hiding something of yourself because you care what the other girls think?

Maybe you don't think all girls are superficial... but do you think you are?

Most guys are just as insecure about their bodies, looks, and appearances as most girls are.
This isn't a female problem or male problem.

It is a human problem.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Death Bed

“I preach as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men.”
-Richard Baxter

I was once asked by a friend, “If you were on your death bed, what advice would you give to people who asked?”

I never really knew how to answer that question until recently, because it was not until a few days ago that I realized I am already on my death bed.  We all are.  Every person who is still alive as I write this (and as you read it) are on their death bed...they just may not realize it.

I guess now I can finally answer the question my friend asked me...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Moving beyond a concept

Has anyone ever asked you if you’d like to go bungee jump off the Golden Gate bridge? To go skydiving?

They're usually vague questions; the person isn't asking you to go skydiving tomorrow, just if you might possibly like to go someday. You have nothing to lose by answering "Yes," imagining the valiant courage you’ll have at 10,000 feet in the air, braving the drop without even being tempted to bail or lose your lunch. Yet when you’re finally suited up, leaning over the edge of the plane looking at cars smaller than Hot Wheel cars, doubting how trustworthy your parachute is, and shaking your head empathically at the instructor telling you to jump, that’s when your concept of skydiving meets reality.

Lately I’ve been really wondering why, in our faith, we often never make it past the vague promise of skydiving. What is it about people that are so much more intimidating than a concept? What is it about stepping beyond what our minds believe and stepping into action that threatens to make a coward of us, that compels us to disown the beliefs we claim to hold dear? It’s a simple, familiar concept, but it's also one of our biggest roadblocks.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Rubbernecking: watching people fall in love

In his book Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller lays out one of my very favorite concepts.
“‘I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn’t resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.
After that I liked jazz music.
Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself.’”

This isn't the jazz player in the book, but it's a great representation.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

"Walk more closely with God. Get nearer to Christ. Seek to exchange hope for assurance. Seek to feel the witness of the Spirit more closely and distinctly every year. Lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily threatens you. Press towards the mark more earnestly. Fight a better fight, and war a better warfare every year you live. Pray more. Read more. Subdue self more. Love the brethren more. Oh that you may endeavor to grow in grace every year, that the end of your Christian course may be better than the beginning!" 

~ J.C. Ryle