Latest Thoughts

Face Your Doubts

Posted by on Apr 17, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

It was only natural that when I first launched into leading people to follow Jesus, I dug into learning about the bible and the Jesus it promotes.  Because after all, you’ve got all of these people—billions throughout history—who have embraced the resurrection as true, and Jesus as the Son of God sent by God the Creator to redeem His creation, a creation that still retains the fingerprints of God all over it but is no longer on the course originally set by the Creator.  You have all these people who believe The Creator originally set the Creation – that would include you and me – on a course to glorify Him and bless others, to love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves – but we have been sucked into a selfish eddy that spins and spins us around on our own needs, stuck in self-centeredness, worshiping our own selves.  You have all these people who believe, then, the need for a perfect God/man Jesus to keep a foot in both worlds of divine and human and pull those worlds back together, to reconnect them you might say.  Billions of people believe this about Jesus and His purpose and seek to extend that message throughout the world. And they base their faith on the words of the Bible.

Now while I was one of those people, I realized my faith was based more on how I was raised and what my peers did than upon what I believed and I knew to be true.  So since I’m the kind of guy who’s wired to not take things at face value, and I love the intellectual, I decided to bring all of my doubts to my study and see how the God of the bible stood up.

If you want to talk theological terms, you and I can learn a lot about God by simply studying His creation.  This would be called “General Knowledge of God.” But the Bible teaches us what Creation cannot.  That would be “Revealed Knowledge of God.”  They’re not at odds as much as they are they are “discoverable on your own” vs “discoverable only with God’s help.”

And that’s what I’m challenging you to do.  You owe it to yourself to bring whatever doubts you have about Jesus and His claims to the forefront of your wrestling.  Don’t wrestle with them in silence.  Don’t lock them in some closet, thinking they’ll die in the dark.  Darkness breeds doubt.  Bring them out.  Introduce them to my doubts.  Set them a place at the table.  Because that’s the only way you’ll move beyond them.

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Searching for meaning….

Posted by on Apr 8, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

We all want to matter. We were designed by our Creator to change the world, at least our little corner or cubicle or cul-de-sac.  We were created to contribute. We want our lives to matter.

But we also  know that a life that matters isn’t just about making a difference, We all want to matter to someone. We want to belong, to be cared for.  We know how each of us matter to God.  The life, death and resurrection of Jesus testify to that. God loved the world, including you, so much that He sent Jesus as a sacrifice for the world. You are now a friend of God.  You no longer bear the label “enemy.”  Easter irrevocably gives you that, and your baptism irrevocably guarantees you that.  You matter to God.

And if that’s true—if your life truly matters to God—then the only way to live A life that matters is to follow the One who makes life matter, namely, the resurrected Jesus.  The resurrection of Jesus is the single-most life-changing event in the world’s history.  This Jesus is alive; He is walking alongside of you on whatever journey you’re on.  And His heart for you is to realize that and to learn from HIM, to listen to HIM, to live with Him on that journey.

So A Life That Matters is a life that follows Jesus.

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No Death, No Resurrection. No Resurrection, Just Death.

Posted by on Mar 29, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Easter arrives in 3 days.  But before you open that package, remember Good Friday.

Good Friday – the day all hell broke loose – is the Tim Lincecum to Easter’s Sergio Romo.  A biblical Yin to the happy Yang.  The carrot cake that demands cream cheese frosting.  A ‘step 1’ that leads to ‘step 2,’ without which ‘step 2’ would be meaningless.

Good Friday makes sense of Easter.  No death, no need for a resurrection.

Good Friday at our congregation  equals somber, joyless, and dark.  No happy.  No clapping.  No laughing.  Just an incredibly vivid depiction of the crucifixion that fuses the ancient shadowy service of Tenebrae with modern imagery and music.  Your entire being experiences the breaking of Jesus’ body, the pouring out of His blood.  And then your same being receives both as you leave in silence.

It is by far the most powerful service you will ever attend.  And it deepens your love for Easter because you now understand how you got to the end of the game and why the frosting needs to be so sweet.

In a divinely ironic way the darkness of Good Friday makes Easter’s brightness even more so.  Death enriches resurrection.

Easter undoes all of the death in the world.  Be sure you worship on Easter.

But I also hope you gather with other Jesus-followers for Good Friday.  It is the reason for the resurrection, the why behind the empty tomb.

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Are you a follower?

Posted by on Mar 25, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

I’m a follower of Jesus. Followers follow, and they have no problem saying why they follow or who they follow.Jesus wants us to follow. And to say why. You’ve publicly said you will follow Jesus unto death. That no matter the persecution, no matter the attacks, no matter if there were hoards of people encircling you, ready to eat you alive if you smell like Jesus, you’ve publicly said, “I will suffer even death rather than fall away.” You were baptized into the name of God the father, son and Holy Spirit. You don’t follow your congregation.  You weren’t baptized in the name of Bill Woolsey–at least I hope not. You’re a child of God. You follow Jesus. Children just sit and receive. Followers take action. We’re children of God, yes. But we’re called to follow, to take action.

So what are you afraid of when it comes to being labeled a Jesus follower?

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In Jesus’ Name…

Posted by on Mar 21, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

We are dying. Our bodies will die. We know that.

But we also know that with the final verse of the song, the final beat of the heart, the final episode of our lives, rather than the stage going dark the lights will all come on. What Jesus did millenniums ago He did for us. When He hung on that cross He didn’t just die for everyone in Malaysia or Madagascar, He died for me. He didn’t just save everyone in the Urals or United Kingdom, He saved you.

And because He saved us then, we are saved now. Because we were baptized years ago–or just yesterday–we are baptized now, which means we have the Spirit of Jesus in us forming and molding us so that more and more we look like Jesus, act like Jesus and will one day totally be with Jesus.

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The “Nones” Are On The Rise

Posted by on Mar 18, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Over the past 70 years, the number of people in the US who claim “no religious affiliation” has risen from 5% to 20%.  Men are more likely than women to be a “none.”  Read the Huff Post article for more.

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“I Know the Meaning of Cross”

Posted by on Mar 15, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

It’s a quote from a powerful 1:30 video found here.  A pre-assasination testimony of Shahbaz Bhatti, former Pakistani Minister of Minorities.  Show your kids. Watch it once a week.  Remember it the next time you’re too afraid to tell people you follow Jesus.  Remember it the next time you read Jesus saying, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

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The World is Becoming A City

Posted by on Mar 14, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The world is going to the city.  Literally.  And if you live in one, the world is coming to The Church, which is you.  Check out this cool vid (the second one on the page) from Mashable.  

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That’s what makes #murica great. Just sayin. #rela…

Posted by on Mar 12, 2013 in Tweets | 0 comments

That’s what makes #murica great. Just sayin. #relatedbymarriage // My grandpa told us how to make a spanking tool. #murica

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Back home after two weeks of @five2 traveling and…

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Tweets | 0 comments

Back home after two weeks of @five2 traveling and speaking. Focusing on home stuff today.

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