It is not unlike us to stand or sit around a crackling fire with a group of friends, smoke wafting up and down and through the nostrils of each individual, sometimes one or two people at a time. And many times we are spending recreational currency with a group of people who may or may not care about Jesus or his death. There are people who stand at our side, or sit next to us drinking a beer or cooking a s’more, who care little for the things of God. In fact, it could and should be argued that as the church, our calling is not to sequester ourselves for the whole of our lives, inside of a group of people who all think and act the same – at least in public.
It is no problem to step outside of those guardrails and talk and be with the world. THe Atheist, the critic, and the skeptic all have something in common with us – we are all made in God’s image and we all are loved by the same God who gave his life for us.
The evil Empire has been defeated. The Rebels have established a new Republic and are working to repair the galaxy for a better, shinier future, including hunting down anyone who fought for or supported the fallen Emperor. Whether these people were evil or not, whether they’d been tricked or fooled into giving support, doesn’t matter.…
When revitalizing a church, your temptation is going to be to do it like the big dogs. You want to be the next Andy Stanley, Rick Warren, Steven Furtick, Craig Groeschel or whoever else is popular at the time. Your church, however, should be different. It should be different because you are different, your members are different, your community is different, and your calling is, therefore, different.
I have a question for you. What part of Jesus’ story is the good news? Is it the way he was born? Is it the way he lived his life, perfect and loving? Is it the super cool miracles he performed for those who stood around him, sometimes asking him for healing and change? Is the good news the things that he taught, making him not only the very nature of God, like we talked about last week, but a prophet speaking into the lives of Israel and those who listened? Is it the fact that he has created some of the greatest holidays we have today, and we get amazing food as a result?
I am different than my grandpa “Chuck”. I am talkative and energetic and love to have a good conversation. My grandpa has always been quiet and reserved, preferring to read and study over talking. Yet he’s always been a man to be admired. With my grandma Judy He started the Grace Baptist Church in Birmingham…
There are a lot of advantages to living in the world where we live. We have technology and we have nature. In one day we can read a book on our phone, talk to a friend in California, make something with our hands in our backyard, and walk up a mountain or on a sandy beach or in the middle of a great wood, depending on where you live in the world. But at no point in history have we been able to realize the importance of real relationships than now.
A king born in a manger. You know the story. But considering that at the point the story was written there was nothing like it, it is an astonishing tale. Kings were all about power and riches and big armies. Even the nation of Israel, a thousand years before Jesus, complained to the prophet Samuel that “they wanted a king, like other nations.” Power, riches, Big armies.
Today we’re talking about elements of the Nicene Creed and what we believe as a church. Last week I told you that the Bible is not for information, its for transformation, and that only comes through application. But transformation happens when we apply the information. So you need information. This series will be informative.
There’s a strange injustice in the music business. It is a cruel temptress. It doesn’t just break your heart, it builds you up. It gives you a false sense of security. It lets you think that you actually have a shot at being something. It makes you confident, and it feeds your identity. Dangles the carrot until you are starving. Just when you think you can finally take that bite..
In 2014, as a church we frequently sang “Oceans” as an anthem to what was ahead. We decided to move forward with selling our possessions, building, and land and move to Showcase North Cinemas Three miles away. We lived out the instructions of the song, and I am thankful that we did. Over time that band separated, moved on to different locations, churches, and even belief systems.