Showing posts from June, 2014

The Righteous One

Studying Stephen's sermon in Acts 7 [soundcloud url="" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Grace as an Intoxicating Drink

Daniel Montgomery and Timothy Paul Jones have written a book unpacking the doctrines of grace in such a way that the reader will want to drink up and swim in the goodness of Christ. PROOF: Finding Freedom through the Intoxication Joy of Irresistible Grace has been a joy to read and revel in the truth presented. The authors walk the reader through five aspects of the gospel of grace following the Canons of Dort but don't for a second think that this is a theological tome beyond the grasp of the average reader. Jones and Montgomery have presented thick doctrine with ease, comfortable wit and relevant language. From boozing to zombie analogies, the truth of the grace of Christ will come alive to you in this great book. Planned Grace, Resurrecting Grace, Outrageous Grace, Overcoming Grace, and Forever Grace make up the new acronym I imagine we will see a lot more of in Evangelical circles. But regardless what the acronym is or the savvy language, the gospel truth declared of the pages

In Christ... We Are Being Built Together

"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in The Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God by the Spirit." Ephesians 2:19-22 Of all the benefits of union with Christ, this is my least favorite. Can I be honest? Thanks. I don't always "like" other people in the church. I realize that many don't like me either so we are probably all on the same page with this one. There are many days I wish by fellow citizens in Jesus were still strangers and aliens. But in the same way that I now have a place, in Christ, you have a place and we are being built together. I occasionally think that I could built a better church than God but alas he humbles me and shows me his way is bett

Ready to Pardon

"My Master has riches beyond the count of arithmetic, the measurement of reason, the dream of imagination, or the eloquence of words. They are unsearchable! You may look, and study, and weigh, but Jesus is a greater Saviour than you think him to be when your thoughts are at the greatest. My Lord is more ready to pardon than you to sin, more able to forgive than you to transgress. My Master is more willing to supply your wants than you are to confess them. Never tolerate low thoughts of my Lord Jesus." - Spurgeon Forwarded as encouragement from my friend Seth Hanson .

The Enraging, Unstoppable Message

Tonight's sermon in Acts 5:17-42.  [soundcloud url="" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]

Why you so mad Bro?

" When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them." (Acts 5:33 ESV) The council was miffed. Enraged even and ready to kill. How dare these punks come into the temple and challenge us. They just haven't behaved and keep preaching the name of this Jesus. There is a lot of this type of tension in the Bible. A message is proclaimed, it makes people jealous or just plain nervous and they set out to kill. And what was it that they heard and became so enraged? "The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” (Acts 5:30-32 ESV) Did you catch that? Sure there was that piece about killing Jesus, but that was true so what could make the council so angry? Repentance and forgiveness. Turning from the old ways of rebelli

Dog People Over Cat People

Recently when I was asked how I and another leader differed in personality and style all I could think to say was "He is a cat guy, I am a dog guy." Surprisingly, the comparison was understood. But this thought has been rolling around in my head about how relationships form our "God experience" and what we can learn even from our preference for cats or dogs in relating to God. So what follows is an attempt to find something true (and make half of you mad because you are cat people). When I was a little kiddo my mom wrote a song called "unconditional" and she had a friend record it. As I listened to the tape of that song I had no idea what unconditional meant. My mother graciously told me that unconditional love was the kind of love my dog had for me. Click. I got it. My dog (Ellen at the time I am sure) loved me without regard for how I treated her or how much attention I gave her. She was ever ready to give me licks of assurance and comfort and let me use

The Truest Thing About You

Key among the devastation of a broken and hurting world is mass identity confusion. But it is not only a problem for those without faith; those in the church can be just as confused about who they are and what defines them. David Lomas has given a call to those that follow Jesus to realize and trust in their identity in Christ that is well worth a read. The Truest Thing About You should drive us that call Jesus savior, to celebrate and be emboldened to live fully from our identity in him. Approved, claimed, righteous, holy; we are his. Jesus has worked to establish relationship with us and it is from this relationship that we work out, actually, live out who we are. Lomas does a masterful job of presenting the important reality of our true identity in Christ - the thing that is truest about us. It is not the things we do or the desires we have that define us but instead the gospel truth of our standing in Jesus that gives us identity. The book is a quick and comforting read and Lomas

Redeemed by God's Grace

Ben Brophy is a man fully redeemed and covered by grace. The Lord is using him in big ways for the glory of Jesus. I am glad I could be used as the tool I am to drink a couple beers with a guy and talk about my savior. [vimeo] Who are you sharing your savior with?

Leading by choosing what is right

"Let us choose what is right; let us know among ourselves what is good." Job 34:4 The book of Job has a lot from which we can learn. God's sovereignty. Suffering. Comforting the afflicted. Wisdom. And even a few clues on how to live and lead. The words above are from Elihu. The youngest of the group counseling Job and the only one not corrected by The Lord. While we could camp on the piece of the story where those boasting in their "wisdom" actually have none and it is the young man that speaks truth, instead let's look at how these words give us great guidance for life and leading. Choose what is right and know what is good. Seems easy enough. But we know it is harder done. Thankfully we have grace given to us through the work of Jesus when we mess things up, but we are still to pursue what is good in all situations. Not what is expedient or even expected, but what is good. How would this change how we lead? Our families? Our ministries? In our relationship

In Him Alone

I know my blogging has been lame lately... getting into a new rhythm. In the mean time, enjoy another sermon! This is continuing in our study of the sermons in Acts.  [soundcloud url="" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]

In Christ You are Sealed

"Signed, sealed, delivered, I am yours!" "In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory." (Ephesians 1:13-14 ESV) Christian, do you hear this? Upon belief in the gospel, at your belief in Jesus, you have been sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. Maybe we don't often think of "sealing" in the context of faith but we should. The Spirit seals you, closes the case, keeps you, maintains you. You, in Christ, are guaranteed to acquire your inheritance in heaven . Read that again. And again. Wow. The Spirit keeps me and does so by reminding me of the truth of the gospel and the finished work, effective and complete work of Christ for me. Do you get the weight of this? You are his. Nothing can change that. You, in Christ, are sealed by the Holy Spirit for the pr

Peter's first sermon

Tonight's sermon on Acts 2:14-41 [soundcloud url="" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]


"Every other hope is based, explicitly or implicitly, on how deserving we are. Only the Christian gospel is based - clearly, boldly, and insistently - on how loving God is to the undeserving." - Ray Ortlund   Photo: Lynn Hopwood revealing the beauty of Central Oregon

The Gospel of Faith and Fitness

I enjoy running. Well actually, I prefer shuffling. Of course the type of running I do as this stage of life is much shorter and slower than when I was younger. If fact I vividly remember how often I would use running as a metaphor for succeeding in life. I even had a Successories poster in my office with the word "strive" or something else ridiculous. On one occasion I was on a run with a good friend and we talked about "hitting the wall" and I used the moment to prove to him that in life we would face many "walls" and it was how hard we ran through them that would prove our worth. I have since learned a better message but still think we have to push through physical walls when pursuing fitness. In the church we too often merge theology with areas of life that end up ruining our faith. Faith and fitness is one such area. Recently, as a family we ran a church sponsored 5k. It was a great race that raised a ton of money to combat sex trafficking in Asia. Bu

Who Pastors the Pastor?

I am so thankful that I get to be part of encouraging and resourcing other churches and pastors. The kingdom is bigger than our brand... [vimeo]