Sunday Debrief: Pervasive Grace (1/12/14)

Life ran away from me over the past month. I’ve failed to give an update on our Sundays for over a month!

In talking with a friend, I mentioned that this Sunday people at the second service will likely remember three things: (1) that I said “have a drink”; (2) that I said “dork”; and (2) that I am a selfish and meticulous person. I told him that that was not my goal in the least. What I hoped people heard was that God’s grace is relentless, and that we all need it.*

Yet somehow, we miss it more often than we find it. Like we don’t even know the song that is sung to us morning by morning.

 

(For more info on this experiment, read here.)

The grace of God is the thing we have to offer people in this world. It’s the most unique thing about our faith. It changes entire villages. It restores broken souls and resurrects dead lives. Nothing is more important. Nothing is more satisfying. And it comes to us through what Christ did on the cross. 

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Reverse Repentance

Forgive my silence from posts other than Sunday debriefs. Things are bubbling up in my heart that I, unfortunately, have not given the time to write. I hope to have a few next week on the subject of my inability to talk openly about Jesus with strangers; but for now I wanted to share something that I’ve been giving some thought to: repentance (or lack thereof).

Most of our community groups have been studying The Gospel-Centered Life this fall. I’ve loved every meeting my group has had. The simplicity of the gospel–and the effects it should leave on our daily lives–should be revisited by every believer every moment from now until forever. This week’s lesson covered repentance; and, like a goof, I missed it. I was up at the church building meeting with some folks, but I did keep up with the work.

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Talking about repentance reminded me of a big problem that we can tend toward if we aren’t careful. I am calling it reverse repentance, though I’m sure you have a better word for it. Let me explain. . .

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Family Worship from the Peanut Gallery

A few years ago, I joined a buddy from staff, a friend from seminary, a few friends and family from a church in Texas, and about 1,500 people I didn’t know in Minneapolis for the Desiring God Conference for Pastors. (OK, truth be told, there was at least one other guy that I knew from seminary. But I intentionally avoided him. I’ll apologize for that in this life or the next.)

The topic: prayer. One of those topics: leading family worship. It struck a chord. Actually, much of that conference struck a chord. And I haven’t been the same since, nor has my family. Well, this year I have attempted to bring family worship into the Googer house with more regularity. It’s been. . .fun, to say the least, to sing songs like this in our house:

So for those of you who think that only superheroes lead family worship, let me share with you family worship from the peanut gallery.

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So. . . are you too busy?

Hat tip to Kevin McKee for sending this to me yesterday. Are you busy? Are you hurried? Do you feel that you have to keep up? What’s worse: If you like to being seen looking busy and keeping up, you’re doing it for the wrong reason. Jesus died to free you from that.

Enjoy your Friday; and don’t be hurried.

Give What You Can, When You Can, for as Long As You Can. Then Change.

Courtney laughs at me because I’m always tinkering with things, changing my schedule, trying something new, and then changing it again. I admit it: I’m fickle. But with the addition of a third child (and now three children under the age of four [but praise God, one of those is out of diapers]), I am again evaluating what I can give and for how long.

A pastoral confession (maybe not for everyone, but for me): I talk to a lot of people who work a lot of hours and often wonder if I should keep up. I don’t know how they do it. Twelve- and thirteen-hour days, five days a week, weeks on end. Yes, I do try and live in the rhythms of the people around me, but there comes a point where I simply throw in the towel. I can’t run that fast or that long (even after going to Exerfit for almost two months).

So I wanted to share just a little about what God has been teaching me. Here goes. . .

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Four Thoughts Four Years In

Four years ago today I got out of bed at Courtney’s cousin’s guest house in Dallas. It was early, and mornings and I are not always on the greatest terms. I had a trek ahead of me. The first stop: drive close to the DTS campus and pick up my friend, Jeff. There was no issue at all figuring out which vehicle was mine. I rolled up in the 17-foot U-Haul, loaded up the night before by some great friends (and, if I remember correctly, we ate pizza that night as well). Our six hundred(ish) square-foot apartment had been emptied, our U-Haul packed, and our sights set on Baton Rouge, Louisiana–where I had just accepted a job doing Lord knows what.

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 Toby and I doing what we do best: not moving boxes and looking tough. (PS-Toby and his wife had twins about a week ago.)

A lot has changed in those four years. We’ve added two children (with a third coming August 12th) and endured the first one staying in the hospital his first month. We’ve done big kid things like plan for our future and the inevitable end of being gainfully employed, buy a house, get life insurance (well, I [Hans] have), pay bills, and gain weight (though Courtney has an excuse, I don’t). We’ve developed an entirely new network of relationships out of the church. And I (Hans) have had I’m not sure how many job changes (when you don’t have a job description, you aren’t really sure what is and isn’t your job). But I’ve been in my role as teaching pastor of The Oaks for over a year now.

I have many thoughts on the past four years, but, for your sake, I’ll limit them to four. . .

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