Monday, December 7, 2009

Seeing the Gospel in a new Tv and Home Makeover

I started working for integrity roofing and exteriors in July of this year. After the May 8th storm there was a great deal of work that needed to be done and companies were running around hiring lots of people just trying to keep up with all the work. I landed with a great company who does quality work and really takes care of there employees. This last weekend the company took us all up to Branson Mo for a few days of training, food, and fun. So now that you have the back story let me tell you why I am writing.
When I think of company Christmas party I immediately think of the episode of the office when they all played dirty Santa. Parties like that come with a few desserts and lame prizes with the possibility of maybe a small holiday bonus. Well this party was far different. When I got there I got handed a raffle ticket and was told to keep hold of it because there would be some good prizes given away. Well in true form to myself I proceeded to lose the ticket in about two minutes. Luckily they gave me another ticket. Well long story short my ticket number was drawn and I won a 32 in Phillips LCD HD tv. Awesome! What guy does not want HD? So already this party was top of the list, best work party ever. If the day would have ended there it would have been a great day. However it was not over!
Our company is a nationwide operation. We have offices in several different locations throughout the Midwest. One of the goals of the company is that in every market we are in there would be one major project in that city that would be similar to the Home Makeover show on tv. The idea of the boss man is that they would find either a older pastor about to retire or a younger pastor just getting started and completely renovate the inside and out of there house for free. Well the announcement came and the first market they were to do this in and the first person to get the home makeover would be me! To say I was blown away would be a huge understatement. I am sure I did not look all that excited because I simply did not know what to freakin think “I just won a tv, and pretty much an new house” aka “73 Upgade!”. What a huge blessing!
So what is the proper response to this? I think there are several different responses to this, but I am only going to write about two. One response I think sells God short and the other “I humbly hope” will lift Him up. The first response that I could come with is the typical American Christianity response which would sound a lot like this “Look, God is so good! He is so faithful to bless me like this! God is a rewarder of my faithfulness. See if you have faith God is going to bless you, then He will bless you more than you can ever think or imagine. If you would just trust Him like I have you would get what I get”. You might think that sounds ok or maybe even like a good and right response “Praise Him for blessings!” However I think that in this response we miss the whole idea of it all.
When I got the tv and found out about the makeover I was extremely excited. If you were in my shoes just imagine how you would feel! How could someone not be excited about God making this happen? I drove home today and just thought about how huge this is going to be for Jordan and I. I thought about laying on a futon (Just kidding apparently married people cant have those, haha) in a new house watching my new tv! Would you not be doing the same?
Mathew 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure (Jesus) hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” I have been learning over the last year of my life about how the Gospel applies to every area of my living. I have often wondered how that is. How can I see life through the lenses of the Gospel? Here is what God is showing me. The excitement level about my new possession was out the roof. However the Bible says that the realties of the Gospel are so huge that it is worth abandoning all my possession to get the real treasure. The joy I got from “Stuff” was awesome, but the real “Treasure” is Jesus! You see if I were to say “Look God is faithful because He just provided” I would be implying that His faithfulness is about blessings or that I was not living blessed two days ago. I think the proper response to what God has provided is to not praise the gifts but rather praise the true treasure! The joy from blessing is nothing compared to the Joy of Christ giving me a new heart. So Mathew 13:44 teaches us that the joy that comes from blessings and possessions is incomparable to the Joy of knowing Jesus. God thank you for the cross! Thank you for Grace! May these blessings stir up my affections for what You have done for me in giving me your very self!
I believe that is how to see blessing through the lenses of the Gospel.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Been missing writing Midweek Thoughts so i thought i would drop a line. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving yesterday with plenty of food and fun. It was a great day for me with lots of fiance, food, football, scrabble, and mafia (the game)haha. Last Sunday was a great night for us, and hopefully a great night for the other churches that were in attendance with us. I pray that the people that were there were awed by the Gospel.
These next 5 Sunday nights i am going to be preaching/teaching on the Holy Spirit and the fruit/gifts of the Spirit. I have been having a fun and sobering time in study and prayer as I have been preparing. So what is the importance of the Holy Spirit? Why are we in constant need of Him? Well if you look at Luke 24 and Acts 1 we can see that if not for the Holy Spirit, we need to do nothing but sit and wait. Jesus said "Wait! Do not go until you are clothed with power from on high". You see, it is essential to talk about and understand the things of the Spirit. The church has always and will always be dependent upon Him to do anything. We are clothed with power from on high! Its going to be fun!
See ya Sunday.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Jesus the True and Better (Midweek Thoughts)

Hope you all are having great week.

Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us.

Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood now that cries out, not for our condemnation, but for acquittal.

Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void not knowing wither he went to create a new people of God.

Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us. And when God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love from me,” now we can look at God taking his son up the mountain and sacrificing him and say, “Now we know that you love us because you did not withhold your son, your only son, whom you love from us.”

Jesus is the true and better Jacob who wrestled and took the blow of justice we deserved, so we, like Jacob, only receive the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us.

Jesus is the true and better Joseph who, at the right hand of the king, forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them.

Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant.

Jesus is the true and better Rock of Moses who, struck with the rod of God’s justice, now gives us water in the desert.

Jesus is the true and better Job, the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends.

Jesus is the true and better David whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves.

Jesus is the true and better Esther who didn’t just risk leaving an earthly palace but lost the ultimate and heavenly one, who didn’t just risk his life, but gave his life to save his people.

Jesus is the true and better Jonah who was cast out into the storm so that we could be brought in.

Jesus is the real Rock of Moses, the real Passover Lamb, innocent, perfect, helpless, slain so the angel of death will pass over us. He’s the true temple, the true prophet, the true priest, the true king, the true sacrifice, the true lamb, the true light, the true bread.

The Bible’s really not about you — it’s about him.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Post from last May.

Here is a post from last may. Just thought i would repost it. Next week we will be in Psalms 135. Read ahead and check it out.
Jesus, Community, Demand of the call, Rest

Last Sunday night our Ecclesiastes study lead us to Mark chapter 6. Mark 6 tells us of how Jesus gives authority to the 12 and sends them out without all the things that would typically be needed for a trip. Jesus sends them off but with no resources. If I was one of the 12 the first thing that would have gone through my head after Jesus told us we were being sent, was that I need to go pack my north face as tight as possible with plenty of underwear, socks and money, with maybe a power bar in the front zipper pocket. But Jesus does not tell them to do what I would think would be obvious. He tells them to take no bag, no money and take no extra tunic. What a call, and what a promise that Jesus would send them with nothing but a staff. Well as the chapter unfolds we fine that they were provided for on the journey and returned safely. I can only imagine how tired they must have been after such a long grueling trip. I know that when I get back from vacation all I want to do is hug my pillow for about 16 straight hours. The crazy thing is that the 12 get no relief upon return. They come back to large needy crowds that were so demanding that they could not even eat. They were surrounded like dead meat by vultures. Can you put yourself there. The frustration that they must of felt when Jesus brings up the thought that the 5 thousand deep crowd had grumbling stomachs. The 12 just wanted rest so they suggested that Jesus would send them home to get some food then they could finally wind down from there long trip. Jesus however tells the 12 “You give them something to eat.” The 12 must have been at a loss of words, just wanting some rest. This is when Jesus steps up and provides. Jesus works a miracle with five fish and two loaves and uses the 12 to help distribute.

This has so many implications of the source of true rest. True rest can be experienced in the midst of the needy sucking the life out of us or the busyness of a job and family. The 12 had each other and they had Jesus as there provider. With our faith tuned deeply into the saving grace of God through Jesus we can find rest in Jesus and the community of 12. The twelve saw something incredible that day. We to must see that Jesus is providing.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Acts 29 Quarterly with Jeff Vanderstelt

Had a great day with Andrew yesterday up at the Journey St. Louis. Acts 29 puts on free one day mini conferences for church planters and leaders. This time Jeff Vanderstelt from Soma Communities spoke and it messed Andrew and I up. I tried as much as my ADDness would allow to make a bunch of notes so here ya go. Have fun making sense of these.
-If your staff is the only one making disciples then we are missing it.
-Live your whole life around Jesus
-"If everyone in your church lived like you would your church look any different?"
-How many of you have developed a church where your people don't have to die?
-They wont grow if they don't do
-Learn by doing it
-Plant a church that plants churches
-Just because you say it to your people that does not mean they get it
-Do they know the Gospel?
-Do they believe the Gospel?
-Let kids see the Gospel in action
-The Gospel critiques everything
-God with His people is the attraction
-Mission is not events its lifestyle
-Missionaries don't go in and jump out they go in and stay
-We should be the most rested people
-We should make the party better
-Live a life of the Gospel that demands an explination
Needless to say there was a lot to think about. I have to say i have experienced little frustrations over the last few months over some things that are not happening in our church and communities. Yesterday God pointed some things right at me and He got my attention! Looking forward to sharing more. Love ya.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009