Saturday, July 30, 2005
My committment for preaching in Clarksville is a year. Next summer I should be wrapping up seminary...where from there? Clarksville, Cleveland, or Canada...(not excluded to those) Where-ever He leads we'll go.
Needless to say...come August we are boarding a wild ride. While I am sure some tired days are ahead, I have never been more convinced my greatest joy is knowing God and being spent out for his church, kingdom, and glory! We hope to see and have sweet time with many of you along the way.
While I thought I would be ready to hit the ground running when we got back...I've been a little drudgy. I'm finally feeling back in the swing of things now...so be looking for more blogging to come.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
1) In the first part of your testimony you want to include what your life was like before you met Jesus Christ. If you can't remember, ask those who knew you then. If you were really young, search the scriptures to see what they say about your heart before you met Christ.
2) The second portion should communicate how you came to know Jesus Christ. It needs to be very clear about the work God was doing in you, explaining how you came to hear the gospel, and how The Holy Spirit brought you under conviction. Be sure to include the simple gospel found in 1 Cor 15 for we know that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation.
3) The last part of your testimony should communicate how your life has changed since you met Jesus Christ. The differenece He has made in your life.
Work on your testimony. Have a 45 second version, 2.5 - 3 minute version, and a 7-12 minute version. That way you will be ready to share the great news of how God has changed your life. I'm looking forward to our last few Wednesdays together!
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Friday, July 15, 2005
I thought today that I'd be preaching in a clean shirt and deoderized armpits, brushing my teeth with real toothpaste, and whitewater rafting for the first time. Sometimes things don't always go the way we think they will.
My flight arrived in Knoxville about 10pm last night. It was a great flight with good reading. I found my way down to baggage claim and positioned myself right at the mouth of belt where the luggage rides down. I stood and waited while passenger after passenger happily found their luggage. 7 minutes later, I'm still standing at the mouth of the conveyer belt, waiting, hoping, praying, that someone in Charlotte who will probably get paid today for putting my bag on the plane, did indeed put my bag on the plane. 2nd time in a row US Air has lost my luggage. He'll probably get paid, but he did not put my bag on the plane. Yes I'm assuming it was a he, because females would have no problem putting the correct bags, in their correct locations. However, it could have been that my bag was transported on a trolley over to the Charlotte plane and did not make it over there for the man to put it on the plane, because the trolley was being driven by a woman. Either way, I trust that God was providentially working through his sovereign plan through his limited people. I made my way up to the next level - I parked on the roof of the parking garage - about as far away from the gate possible. It was the only thing open. Unfortunately I did not pack an umbrella in my carry on book bag and it was pouring down rain. The rain felt kind of nice actually, everything except the wet part...exactly. Interestingly enough, I found a joyful humor in it all, kind of. Perhaps the US Air folks are just trying to get back at me, since the last time I flew I managed to come home on my originally scheduled flight, while so strategically working the system attaing 3 free round trip tickets in the continental US. Yea...they found me out and are losing my bags on purpose. Nevertheless, I drove about 1.5 hours and crashed at the hotel outside Ocoee, TN. The toothbrush the front desk gave me had a gel capsule inserted in the head of the brush that I had to squeeze to get toothpaste that rose up from the bristles. I then made my way over to the camp, with no deodorant, hardly brushed teeth, and the same rained on shirt I had on the whole day before. This morning was my first time to be with the High School bunch from the church. A thrilling first impression. But just like God, He used all of these circumstances to dissolve my concerns about any impression and prepare myself to preach. He blessed. It was a great first morning. I also found out they changed the white water rafting time to Sunday when I will have already left. I'm sure there is another wonderful purpose in that too. I'm now back at the hotel. And my luggage has arrived. Some times things don't always go the way we think they willFor he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. Psalm 33:9-10
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Fox News published an interesting article on Michael Jordan's son Jeffrey yesterday. Some of it made me think about how the world watches Christians. See if you know what I mean from this sample of the article:
Jordan is under scrutiny. As Michael Jordan's son,
expectations are higher than normal, reporters are already asking about his vertical jump, and it's virtually impossible to
hide even when he's playing with 120 other top junior players.
"That's the greatest basketball player's son," said Jai Lucas,
Jordan's roommate this week.
Just two days into the weeklong camp,
Jordan has already become the camp's darling.
Everywhere he goes, fans and reporters follow, hoping to get a sneak peek at the younger Jordan and gleam any clue they can about whether he can someday approach his father's
The world often watches, wondering if we are the real deal, if there is anything to our “talk” or to our religious church attendance. It makes sense that Jesus said, “Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light so shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:15-16 Many unbelievers watch Christians like reporters (sometimes vultures) waiting to “report” to the world when we drop the ball or step out of bounds. Sometimes though they are watching like a team scout who’s really interested. They may be very close to believing in Christ, and our love for other believers, joy in our sufferings, or good works shine in such a way that they do indeed believe and give glory to God. Either way, many are watching. The article goes on:
would rather just be one of the guys...But wherever Jordan goes, he still
has the target on his back...Jordan even acknowledges there have been times he's
felt opponents have wanted to "take him out" so they could brag about it to
Maybe you've felt like as a Christian, you have had a target on your back. Being dialed into the reality that others are watching is sobering and healthy, yet should not be our motivation for holy living as Jesus warns in the Sermon on the Mount - Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18.
I love the way the article ends:
But wherever Jeffrey Jordan ends up, he knows this: He will
never escape his father's image. "I'm as competitive as he is, I'm just quieter
about it," he said. "But that's my dad and it's pretty easy talking about
Think about what they said of Jeffrey Jordan. "He will never escape his father's image." The same is true for us. Genesis 1:27 informs we are the image of God. Though our sin has terribly marred us as His image, God is commited to molding us into the image of Christ, and He will not quit until He is done. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. Romans 8:29-30 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Phillipians 1:6 Reflect God today where you are. Grow in his image. Just as Jeffrey Jordan works long strenous hours in the gym to reflect his dad, the greatest basketball player ever -- Let us labor and strive with all God's power to grow in the image of Christ reflecting Him to the reporters, vultures, and interested scouts. Maybe it will be as easy to talk about our heavenly Father as it is for Jeffrey to talk about his dad.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Cornelius “the Commodore” Vanderbilt began by borrowing $100 from his mother when he was 16 years old. By the time he died, he had made such successful ventures in the steam boat and railroad businesses that he was the richest man in America, worth over $100 million. His son William Henry inherited the business and doubled the fortune in less than ten years, making the Vanderbilt’s the richest family in the world? So I ask, what kind of inheritance do you get when your dad is the richest man in the world? What kind of house might you live in with this inheritance? George Washington Vanderbilt was one of eight children belonging to the world’s richest man. You are looking at a picture of the kind of house you live in with that kind of inheritance. In 1889, four years after his father died, George began work on The Biltmore Estate. It took 6 years to finish the 6 story mansion. My sister and brother in law recently visited the mansion and provided this picture for us. They were absolutely in awe at the stunning estate. Think about a home with: 250 Rooms, 438 Employees, 185 Paintings, 170 Rugs, 75 Acres of Gardens, 65 Fire places, 43 Bathrooms, and 64 Chairs in the Banquet Hall with a 40 foot table. On the fourth of July in 1896, folks at the Biltmore celebrated by eating: 22 chickens, 28 pounds of leg and loin mutton, 52 pounds of beef prime rib, and 2 baskets of peaches! At the 1899 Christmas party at The Biltmore, attendees were treated to 11 gallons of ice cream, 30 dozen cakes, 200 cornucopias, and 100 pounds of candy! Read more about the Biltmore here. You may daydream with me, “How could I ever receive an inheritance like that?” Or dream, “How could I ever get that rich?” Oh my dear friend, if you are a Christian, I have wonderful news for you. Meditate with me on the following scriptures and think about how rich your dad is and what kind of inheritance you have.
Is our Dad worth over $100 million? The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it. Psalm 24:1, “For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills.” Psalm 50:11, The heavens are Thine, the earth also is Thine; The world and all it contains, Thou has founded them. Psalm 89:11,
How long has Dad been working on our inheritance? Read Matthew 25: 31-46 focusing on verse 34.
Has and will God really given Christians an inheritance? And now I commend you to God and the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. Acts 20:32, In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will…Ephesians 1:11, Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or covetous (that is, and idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ in God. Ephesians 5:4-5, He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32
The Biltmore Estate will one day burn up…what about our inheritance? Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5
What an incredible meditation for those who are trusting in Christ! We’ll unpack some of this later…stay tuned!
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
The video clip is edifying, just in a unique way.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Today my wonderful wife Susan and I have been married 10 months. It has been an incredibly full 10 months. My conclusion thus far...She's Unbelievable! It is indeed a rare thing to have a wife who is so supportive of radical visionary leadership for the sake of the Kingdom of God. I'll share just a few highlights with you to let you in on why she is so unbelievable. Susan is a champ in the hospitality/housewife realm as so many are - she cooks delicious meals, decorates our home so warmly, keeps clothes clean and stocked, not to mention scratches my back every night. While I know all of this is sometimes is a challenge for Susan in addition to her full time job nannying a 20 month year old who has never slept in her own crib/bed, Susan seems to make it look like a piece of cake. It is the extra-mile stuff that causes observers to see that she is supernaturally enabled by our strong God. To honor her today,