Showing posts from September, 2015

Pray to Know

This Sunday I preached on Romans 8:31-39 . It is a pretty amazing text and I was feeling it. It is the inseparable love of God in Christ. It is ours in faith and there is nothing that can get in the way; there is no chance that we would fall out of it. In that love, God protects us, provides for us, and justifies us. It is the glorious gift of grace in the gospel. In the declaration of the love of God, what I pray the Spirit drives home is a sense of, an experience of, that love. Not in some contrived, human determined way. But in a spiritual, heart-awakening way. So in a counseling session this evening I challenged a friend to commit to asking for that experience of the union with Christ that is promised in Scripture. Maybe over the next week or few days or longer, you want to pray in this way too. You could pray some iteration of the following: "God, I believe your Word is true and your promises are sure. Please give me an experiential, emotional, external and real knowledge of

Few Minutes of Fantastic News Episode 3

[audio] God protect us. Feeling like you face a lot of accusation and opposition in life and your Christian walk? You do. But the fantastic news is that God protects you. He declares it in Romans 8:31.

30 Free Seconds of Rain

The week is coming to an end and you deserve a break... probably. So take 30 free seconds and enjoy a soft late summer rain. Take a breath an see if you can smell it, the refreshing scent of rain on parched ground. That is what rest does for us. Make some time to have some this weekend. [embed][/embed]

Let Me No More My Comfort Draw

'TWIXT gleams of joy and clouds of doubt Our feelings come and go; Our best estate is toss d about In ceaseless ebb and flow. No mood of feeling form of thought, Is constant for a day; But Thou O Lord Thou changest not; The same Thou art alway. I grasp Thy strength make it mine own, My heart with peace is blest; I lose my hold and then comes down Darkness and cold unrest. Let me no more my comfort draw From my frail hold of Thee, - In this alone rejoice with awe; Thy mighty grasp of me. Out of that weak unquiet drift That comes but to depart, To that pure Heaven my spirit lift Where Thou unchanging art. Lay hold of me with Thy strong grasp, Let Thy Almighty arm In its embrace my weakness clasp, And I shall fear no harm. Thy purpose of eternal good Let me but surely know: On this I ll lean let changing mood And feeling come or go; Glad when Thy sunshine fills my soul; Not lorn when clouds o'ercast; Since Thou within Thy sure control Of Love dost hold me fast. John Campbell Shai

How I Plan to Pastor

I wrote a post that is on For The Church today on pastoring in the shadow of a predecessor. I haven't shared much publicly about the situation of the church before I arrived, but I have learned that it is never far from the lives of those I pastor. Prayerfully, my desire is to love them, preach the gospel to them and look to the future with them. My goal is to humbly share this reality that others may be encouraged. Check it out.

A Few Minutes of Fantastic News: Episode 2

[audio ] What does God think about you? If you are in Christ, he is ecstatic about you. This is good news we can savor from Zephaniah 3.

All Glory Be To Christ

[embed][/embed] "Unless the Lord does raise the house, in vain its builders strive..." I am comforted and stirred by these words that we sang as a church yesterday during our worship gathering. All glory be to Christ.

Basis is back

A couple of years ago I wrote a little book to be used in discipleship at our then church. It is an easy and quick read, meant to be consumed in community and point you to nothing other than the gospel. Today I want to make Basis widely available and free for you to download for reading on your ebook device or app of choice. If you are looking for a guide to talk through with your friend new to the Christian faith, or those interested, check it out. If you realize you always need a reminder of the good news of Jesus and his finished work for you, then take a minute and read. The book includes questions to get you thinking and stir up conversation. It also has some testimonies from those that have been awakened by the goodness of Christ to encourage you in telling your story. The gospel really is the foundation and the fullness of the Christian faith. Dig in, share it and be free. Download the free Kindle version here , and the free iBook version here . Or throw 99 cents my way on Amaz

A Few Minutes of Fantastic News: Episode 1

[embed][/embed]   We are all in need of some good news. This is my attempt to share some with you, that you can take with you when you only have a few minutes. Glory, as told in Romans 8:18-25, is so much better than suffering, we are actually able to live through difficulties now.

Finished Product

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." (2 Corinthians 3:17-18 ESV) Whether we can articulate it or mentally get our minds around it, we long for freedom. And not some political or gluttonous freedom that society says we should long for, but Spiritual freedom. Freedom in front of the Creator of the universe, freedom from fear of punishment that we deserve, and freedom to live a new life. In Christ, this freedom is yours. Freedom to worship with abandon. Freedom to breathe deeply and relax. Freedom to see the glory of the Lord. Then, in this beholding of God's glory, we are transformed. Into the image of Christ from one degree of glory to another. Notice it is not one degree of behavior to another, or one degree of intellect to another. But

When Clubhouses Were Free

This weekend my kids "built" a clubhouse for themselves behind our garage. It is just little nook under a tree that they brought a camping mat to and put some things in the branches to make it feel homey. They dirtied themselves with the fun of having a clubhouse, their very own place to laugh and play. It wasn't much of a clubhouse... it is what you might imagine the five and three-year-old architects/builders would assemble. But it is theirs. And for them, those moments in the clubhouse were free. Unencumbered by worry and without bills to pay. It reminded me of some of the forts and clubhouses I enjoyed as a kid. One in particular always comes to mind. It resided on an island in the creek of a neighborhood park. With my friends, we built an indestructible space with different floors and rooms for us. Indestructible until some other neighborhood kids found it and dismantled it! It was adventure, built with our own hands. Nowadays, as grown-ups, clubhouses cost. Especial

30 Free Seconds

It is late on a Monday, but it is a holiday so you  probably didn't work today. So perfect for you to kick off the work week, take thirty seconds and chill. Take a thirty-second break. Before you start anything. It will set you up for the rest of the week. These seconds are totally free, you could probably find some of your own if you start looking around... Now onto the week ahead! La Jolla cove in SoCal. I recommend HD! [embed][/embed]

Life in the list

A while back I came across an old notebook with a few sermonettes I preached to a small group I once led. I remember those meetings. We had such a big vision of what the group could become. Young Christians, with vibrant and visible faith. Faith that worked. I think it was more works for faith and the way in which I viewed Scripture was as proof texts for adventure and right behavior. I looked to the Bible as a book of clues as how to gain life, how I could secure myself in faith. Verses helped me build a list of things to do. I was all law and little gospel. The Lord has done much in bringing me to a different view of Scripture as the revelation of Christ and if I am honest, I can get angry about people that use Scripture in the way I used to. Today, as I read from John's Gospel I was reminded of the real purpose of Scripture. "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to m