Showing posts from June, 2016

Few Minutes of Fantastic News Episode 41

Jesus knocks and any one who answers will dine with him. [embed][/embed]

Grace to Worship

As we gear up to worship with others tomorrow, I am struck by our motivation for it. It is the joy of the grace we are given in Christ! This from Montgomery and Jones in Proof: "This joy is the fuel that drives Christian worship. When a church proclaims God's undiluted grace, the deadly delusions of human religion are drowned in a flood of gospel-fueled freedom and intoxicating joy. The response of the redeemed is to "sing and shout, teach and admonish, and experience the rich joy of God's indwelling Word. We sing with grace, and we sing because of grace." Let us sing!  

We Are Firmly More Star Wars Than We are Star Trek

Among my earliest memories as an idealist member of Generation X I have held some quiet hope in the back of my mind and maybe even heart for global unity. Unity that would lead somewhere, that would make breakthroughs in innovation, that would make diversity a must... that would boldly go where no one had gone before. I blame Star Trek. Around the Shradar home Star Trek was a fixture. We weren't the weird kind of trekkies but we watched all the movies and Saturday family time was around the tube watching Star Trek Next Generation. I even had an inclination to save the whales after the over-politicized Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. It was a world transformed by scientific advancement and the elimination of borders. It was the global, no universal, utopia. The Federation represented where we could head in the future. Diverse people and lifeforms serving together for the greater good. Maybe it gave me a taste of what life could be like as a global citizens where nationalism was a thi

To Really Trust

It is an interesting time of life. As a family we are coming close to "gotcha day" for our daughter Adia. The process has been an expensive one and without the generosity of others there is no way we could have made it happen. As a result I hind myself contemplating ways of saving, paying off debt or winning big by putting it all on black! So at home, and specifically when it comes to the family checkbook, I am learning more than ever to trust in Christ's provision to keep us and make us to flourish as he has determined. Then there is church life. Nearly two years into pastoring a wonderful group of people we see finances stable and direction more clear everyday. But this summer we have three key families that are moving out of San Diego (for a church of 100 people, three families is huge!) and I have been finding myself wondering where to put my trust. It is so easy to fall into strategy mode and come up with solutions or think that we need to do "this" or &quo

Few Minutes of Fantastic News Episode 40

[embed][/embed] Jesus gives those that believe in him kingdom security and identity. Let it motivate how you live today!

Guarding the Spirit-Let Church

Over the last weeks there have been a number of writers and speakers to come across my view that have interacted with the work of Jonathan Edwards on gauging the work of God in the life of a church. It is a question I have been asking (sort of continue to ask) as Grace Church exists to proclaim the goodness of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. For us this is being a "Spirit-led" church. Jared Wilson spoke recently at the Gospel Coalition LA chapter on the topic and translated that to a insightful piece on For The Church that I commend to you. Ray Ortlund also zoomed in specifically to how the church can know that something is of the Spirit as his church prepares for a week of waiting on the Lord. This is Ortlund conveying Edward's marks of the work of the Spirit: "In his book The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God , Jonathan Edwards pulled out of 1 John 4 the indicators of how God moves in a church, even if we introduce our own imperfections,

Few Minutes of Fantastic News Episode 39

If you believe in Jesus you are an overcomer. He also has for you some great rewards being made clean, being permanently tied to him and being advocated for before the throne of Heaven. It is fantastic news! [embed][/embed]

Let the People Sing

As we prepare for the gathering of the saints to worship our Savior together, let us think about singing together over and above being performed for. My buddy Seth sent the video of the singing of the national anthem in Cleveland this week ahead of game 3 of the NBA finals. Perhaps it should be required viewing for those that lead worship in the church! Let the people sing!

Surrendering to the Head

Recently I was struck by two pictures. Both were of churches in prayer, a model for all of us, to be prayerfully embraced with one another petitioning the Lord together. Beautiful. But the position of the pastors was different in the two pictures. In one, the pastor was one the floor with the church, close to them and occupying the same space - in it together. The second pastor wasn't close to the congregation. He was pictured high above the church as they huddled, he hovered as if looking over his domain. Now just because these tow pictures have different pastoral postures means nothing about the reality in each church, and we can't conclude anything about the pastors by the pictures. But the difference forced me to contemplate my own posture toward those I shepherd along with our team of elders. Then Jack Miller gave word to the reality in too many churches. "It's almost as though I try to act as the head of the church. I know that may sound silly. Who after all is s

Few Minutes of Fantastic News Episode 38

[embed][/embed] Jesus gives us opportunity to repent and that is fantastic news!