My life as I follow Jesus Christ, and live life as a husband, father, friend, pastor, runner, coach, and sinner who found forgiveness and favor with God.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Where are you?

"And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him..." Matthew 17:14

Wow, the very first phrase that I read from the Bible today lept out at me...go back and read that simple verse again, and focus on the location of Jesus...if we're not amongst a crowd of people, it is impossible for people to come up to us, and it is only in the crowd that we see God's miracles performed.

Where was Jesus? Amongst the crowd.
Where are am I? Amongst the four walls of my comfortable life - secluded from the crowd.

We must...I must...not live my Christianity inside the four walls of my life - I must go enter the lives of other people. It's ironic that as a pastor I find myself going days without encountering anyone in "the crowd" because I'm too busy spending time with other believers talking about and dealing with believer stuff. Ick. Why are we so good and repeating the words of Jesus but so bad at repeating the steps of Jesus?

How about some help here...

Jesus was amongst the crowd...Where are you?
How do you get into the lives of "the crowd"?
How can believers re-prioritize and find themselves in the same place Jesus would be?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I-Heart Film: Christ is the Cure, Compassion is our Cause

Last night we took about 20 people to Clackamas Town Center Cinema to see "We're All In This Together" a feature film documentary from Hillsong United about reaching a wandering and wounded world with the action of love and the message of Jesus. This movie was revolutionary for this reason:

For too long Social Justice advocates have left out the necessity of Christ as the cure, and for too long Christians shouting "repent" have left out the necessity of compassion as the cause.
The I-Heart film blended both, giving us a clear picture of how our message and our actions must be seemlessly tied together.

Here are my favorite quotes:
  • The future will be written in the way we respond to the moment in front of us
  • The church does not exist to meet our needs but to meet the needs of the world around you
  • "You can choose to look the other way, but you can never say you did not know." - William Wilberforce
  • You don't have to travel across the world to make a difference, just walk out your front door!
  • The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved. - Mother Teresa
  • history will never be made till you recognize where you fit in HIStory, see a need do your part & meet it the best you can
  • If what happens inside the walls of church doesn't make an impact on the streets around it then maybe we r missing the point
  • "5 corporations control 90% of what is seen in the world"
  • Jesus is the ultimate expression of God's love to humanity.
  • The love of God cannot be measured but it can be demonstrated.
  • If you are not part of the solution you are a part of the problem.
  • “I can’t stand your religious meetings. I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals. I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes, your public relations and image making. I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. When was the last time you sang to me? Do you know what I want? I want justice—oceans of it. I want fairness—rivers of it. That’s what I want. That’s all I want.” - Amos 5:21-24, The Message
  • What we are not, He is
  • Isaiah 58:9-10 - ”If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”
  • Injustice and indifference walk together hand-in-hand.
  • Talk is cheap, put feet to your vision

We're headed to our leadership retreat today - this film and our response will be much of our discussion - yet what we truly need to do is talk less and "be" more. We need to "be" the sequel to this film. God help us.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Viper Bites give us only ONE option

Continuing from last week's post about VIPER BITES...

Viper bites are not good...there's no way around it. If you asked 100 people if they would choose a viper bite over being "bite free" we'd have a 100% consensus that nobody wants to be bit.

But vipers do bite.
And we do get bit in life.

"Bites" happen in this world, because it is a fallen world...if you want a reason for all the tragedy, it can be traced back to one man's (Adam's) sin. Nothing can change the fact that this world is full of "unfair viper bites". Yet, though this world is fallen and full of viper bites, there is a plan of redemption that has been fulfilled with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He has made all things new, and he is our only option.

Sometimes viper bites can cause us to look to the ONLY option we have - and that is to be rescued by the power and might of Jesus Christ.

There are things that are constantly "biting" me. Don't get me wrong - I live a totally blessed life. I have more than I deserve. I'm overwhelmed at the provision and grace of God in my life. Yet, there are things that disturb me. Things that shouldn't be. And today I'm reminded to turn to the One who can heal every disease, who has conquered death and the grave and who makes all things possible.

The youth of our nation have been bit - and I don't like it.
Too many people are unfazed at the peril of their destiny without Christ - and I don't like it.

I don't have answers.
I can't change it.
I have no idea how the tide can turn.
I've been bit.

So, now I get to do what Paul did...shake it off. Paul couldn't fix the viper bite, and neither can I, so I turn to my ONLY option and ask the divine power of God would bring redemption to not just a fallen world (big picture) but to my fallen situations (small picture) that people would be amazed at the One who has crushed satan beneath our feet.