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5.29.2007

internet church?

One of the most creative churches around right now is LifeChurch, which has a campus not far from here in Mesa. One of the things they've begun is an internet campus. You can watch a video about it here.

What do you think?
What are the strengths and potential weaknesses?
Other thoughts?

Post a comment below.

5.26.2007

excuses

Tomorrow I'll be preaching at EVBC for the 4pm and 6pm services. My good friend, Tyler Johnson, will be preaching in the morning.

One of the quotes I will use is from J.C. Ryle, regarding how it's not always the really bad things that keep us from God, but often the good things that crowd out room to pursue Jesus. In his Expository Thoughts on Luke, He writes:

It is not open [wickedness] that fills hell. It is excessive attention to things which in themselves are lawful. It is not avowed dislike of the Gospel which is so much to be feared. It is that procrastinating, excuse-making spirit which is always ready for a reason why Christ cannot be served today...Infidelity and immorality no doubt slay their thousands; but decent, plausible, smooth-spoken excuses slay their tens of thousands.

5.22.2007

family photos

Okay, indulge me a little. My family (wife Molly, daughter Abby) went to Denver this past weekend and spent some time with my family. Here are some pictures from our trip. This is mostly an excuse to show off Abby. If you want to see more, go here.

Me and Abby at the Zoo

My Girls

Abby and Grandma

Abby's favorite activity - ripping paper

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accountability

Our Men's Fellowships are currently going through a study on what it means to be a Band of Brothers. This week we're studying the idea of accountability. Obviously, accountability is only good if we feel accountable to God and if we are motivated by a desire to love him and not by a desire to impress people.

Part of accountability is confronting and encouraging one another to pursue the things that we really feel are important. How are we to do it? I'm calling the men to point each other to the cross and to the grace of Jesus rather than just to pile on guilt. This produces obedience that is motivated by a genuine love for God rather than just a fear of letting people down. So, with those motivations in place, I think it can be helpful to list some questions that Christians (I'm focusing on men, but these could be adapted for women)can use to sharpen each other and help each other be accountable to God. Here goes:

A Man and His Brothers
•What has God taught you this week?
•What are you trusting God for? How’s it going?
•What areas of your life are you most encouraged about? Discouraged about?
•What one thing can I do to encourage you most?

A Man and His Integrity
•What have you done this week to fulfill your role as spiritual leader in your home?
•Have you been honoring, understanding and generous in your important relationships this week?
•In what way have you been a testimony this week to the greatness of Jesus Christ with both your words and actions?
•Have you broken any promises to God or anyone else this week?

A Man and His Battle
•What are you asking God to give you power to overcome?
•What area of your life do you feel you are most vulnerable to temptation?
•Have you recently done anything, watched anything, looked at anything or said anything that you would want to keep a secret?
•Where are you winning the battle?
•Have you been completely honest with me?

In conclusion, I like this quote: "We judge others by their actions, we judge ourselves by our intentions." So true.

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5.14.2007

the majesty of God

I long to be constantly in awe of God and who he is. I find myself often caught up in the necessary, urgent, and (in the big scheme of things) unimportant details of life. But what I crave is to be swept up in the majesty and wonder of God. I don't think I'm alone. I think all of us - because we're made in the image of God - long to be amazed by true majesty.

I recently heard the following quote from Charles Misner, a scientific specialist in general relativity theory, about why Albert Einstein probably never became a Christian:

[The design of the universe] is very magnificent and shouldn't be taken for granted. In fact, I believe that is why Einstein had so little use for organized religion, although he strikes me as a basically very religious man. He must have looked at what the preachers said about God and felt that they were blaspheming. He had seen much more majesty than they had ever imagined, and they were just not talking about the real thing.

Oh, that we would be people who study creation and the Bible enough to know how truly majestic our mighty God is!

5.07.2007

freedom from email

I love communication.

My college degree is in communication, and I love thinking about how people communicate. There are such interesting mediums and methods of communication--verbal, body language, print, television, radio, public speaking, artistic, etc. People communicate in person, over the phone, through text messaging and, of course, through email.

It is this last form--email--that I want to briefly discuss today. I think many people, including myself, consider email to be a necessary evil. It can be either a wonderful or terrible method of communicating, depending on the nature of the communication. We've all experienced hitting "send" on an email that included things we would never actually say to somebody in person. But, we've also experienced the joy of hearing from people that you normally don't hear from because they came across your email address and dropped you a line.

Today I am not checking my email.
I am not sending email.
And I don't feel the least bit bad about it.

That's because our server is being transferred to another part of the church campus today and I can't get it. Perhaps that's why I'm writing more here than normal--to give my fingers their daily exercise. Incredibly, I feel an amazing sense of freedom today, knowing that nobody is waiting on my reply.

What about you? Do you like email? Hate email? Vote below and respond if you have any thoughts.

How do you feel about email?
Love it - I check it as much as I can
Hate it - Pick up the phone and call me instead
Necessary Evil - I'll read and reply only because I have to
Free polls from Pollhost.com

5.06.2007

gilbert baptisms a huge success

Last night, seven people got baptized over at Chuck & Kathi Bishop's house and about 100 people came to celebrate with them. The following people were baptized:
  • Kevin Carlisle
  • Jodi Dennis
  • Julie Patrick
  • Lisa Ahnen
  • Nicole Roehl
  • Dennis Roehl
  • Ron Taylor
It was a fun night and a powerful time of hearing real stories about how God saved these friends. One of the highlights for me was getting to meet Ron Taylor's dad, who had been faithfully praying for his son's salvation for 40+ years and flew in to celebrate his baptism.

The Scripture that I've been thinking about since last night is 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, which says "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

5.02.2007

avoiding sin by clinging to Jesus

This past weekend my good friend Tyler Johnson was teaching at a Men's Training Day, where three ministries (Praxis Church, Vital Impact, and seven:ten) gathered for a day of teaching directed at men's issues. You can get the audio here if you want it.

During Tyler's session, he said this:

"You don't avoid sin by avoiding sinners. You avoid sin by falling in love with Jesus."

May we all fall madly in love with Jesus more and more every day.