Sunday Debrief: (Re)Discover Mission (7/27/14)

Phew. A busy Sunday. If you don’t know, we try and aim for a 75-minute service time regardless of the elements that go in it. I’m OK with it going five minutes over, but much after that and it messes with other things going on outside the sanctuary. (“How unspiritual”, you might exclaim. I disagree–but that’s for another time.) A look behind the curtain on Sundays like today and some of the silly logistical things we filter through while trying to keep our services at the agreed upon length:

  • Wildwood Video–We had the Wildwood playground build over the weekend, and Quinn Miller put together a great video of it. That needed time in the services.

  • Announcements–The announcement block was long. Poor Michael, he had to remember a lot (and did a great job at it). There were more announcements than usual, with some last minute additions.
  • Baptisms–I didn’t put them third on the list because they were third in priority, I’m just kind of stream-of-consciousness right now. Two baptisms at the 9:00am service and six at the 10:45. They needed the right time and space in the service.
  • Seek and Save Video–This was the humorous video that came during the service. Everything takes time. This took about two minutes. (For those of you looking for it, I don’t think it is available. We bought it from a conference we attended and aren’t allowed to freely distribute.)

All these things affect time, and we don’t want to be harbingers of frustration, so we try and accommodate where we can. Try. We sometimes become surgeons, picking and choosing where to cut–usually from the songs and the sermon. That’s OK by me in most instance, even though this passage was one of my favorites of the series (Col. 4:2-6). A short and triumphant passage about how we engage the world around us. . .

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Sunday Debrief: (Re)Discover Home (7/20/14)

Some Sundays have a lot of thing thrown into them—intentionally or unintentionally. When we mapped out the Colossians series, today’s passage (Col. 3:18-4:1) gave us some room to promote our Family Life Ministry. We made a video, I worked with our FL director (the awesome Kay Wallace) to get the right points, I coordinated with Chris Cook (preaching at Campus), an insert was made, books were bought. On top of that, I was trying to communicate that baptisms were coming and we hired Jonathan Madrid, new worship pastor at the Oaks (starting in August). It was a party, but it was a lot.

Then, at the eleventh hour, we stopped the video. It was made, we had previewed it; but it wasn’t sitting right with some folks, so we pulled it. Kevin, Sr. Pastor who often holds ideas together, was on vacation (this was pre-planned, but still), and thus a lot of things that we wanted to communicated got dropped. On top of that, we threw a child dedication in to the second service. It was a lot.

Today we spoke of the home. That the truths of Jesus–the good news of the gospel–saturates the most intimate parts of our lives, and transforms relationships between husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, children–everything. . . Continue reading “Sunday Debrief: (Re)Discover Home (7/20/14)”

Propping Up Our Growth

My friend has a home with beautiful oak trees. Big ones. The kind that are older than you or me. The kind that can handle tree houses, swings, target practice, and lots of children. The kind that keep you cool in the summer and dry in its rain. The first time I went to his house, they were one of the first things I noticed and spoke of. “These trees are beautiful,” I said as I admired the way they twisted and stretched out over the yard, caring for it like a mother caring for her children.
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I also noticed that the trees apparently needed a little help. Two support poles propped up one of the largest branches, kind of like a branch crutch. The idea being that the tree didn’t have the strength to hold itself up, so at one point in time, some kind-hearted people added a brace—just to help it a little.

In talking to my friend, I was surprised to find that the tree likely didn’t need the brace—at least not at first. Apparently, and this all comes through the words of the smart tree people (my new band name), oaks aren’t stupid. While it may have grown differently without the brace, the root system would’ve supported the weight and the sideways growth. The brace was just to mitigate against potential issues by well-intentioned tenants.

But now the tree needs it.

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Sunday Debrief: (Re)Discover Life (6/15/14)

Sometimes I like to watch preacher guys talk about preaching, which is essentially what these smart preacher guys are doing. This clip is on a few of the smartest current preacher/teacher guys talking about the issue of legalism and grace in their preaching/teaching.

South Louisiana doesn’t struggle with license as much as legalism, in my opinion. And established churches, such as my own, have the same struggles. I find that even in my own heart the war wages on against trying to set up false christs that are supposed to bring the satisfaction of a Risen Savior.

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Sunday Debrief: (Re)Discover Growth (6/8/14)

I’m starting to stink at these, aren’t I? It appears that Evan moves away and I lose all will to blog. Truth is, I have many things to write, but either (1) don’t make the time, (2) think they may stink, or (3) end up eating a bowl of cereal. Also, meetings. Lots of meetings.

Have you ever realized that your life is filled up with way more junk than you thought? I have. Even straightening up my house in the evening is anxiety-inducing. I usually just end up eating a bowl of cereal and thinking about that day when my kids move out of the house so that it will be a little cleaner.

Not this bad, but kind of. . .

The Colossians, like all of us if we are not careful, began adding to their faith in ways that could, in the short-term, harm it and, in the long-term, undermine it. Habits, behaviors, beliefs, and activities crept in just like that fourth toy school bus amongst the collection. The school bus, however, doesn’t condemn me. The false belief might.  Continue reading “Sunday Debrief: (Re)Discover Growth (6/8/14)”

Sunday Debrief: (Re)Discover Hope (5/18/14)

What drives you to do the things you do? What makes pain, suffering, and affliction worth it? Hope does. Hope drives people–and it frees them to endure much so long as what’s on the other side is–at least to us–glorious.

When Kevin Durant wont the MVP recently many were touched by the humility of it all. He thanked the team, coaches, family, essentially everyone but himself. It was the antithesis of “I earned this because I’m great” and more “Everyone else makes me great.” Most touching of all were the words to his mom. Below is part of that speech (fast forward to the 2:54 mark if you want to watch the specific attention he gives his mom). It might be smart to keep a tissue nearby.

As I said to the 10:45 service–if you can watch that and not tear up, you’re a robot. The world, or at least the world most of us live in, respects parents who go out of their way so their children can have a wonderful life (I mean, you’d be crazy not to)–but what about the Christian? How will a Christian–saved from death and restored to life–consider her suffering so that others might be found in Christ? I find myself more often than not simply trying to conveniently bring Jesus along with me in my life–rather than remembering that he is my life.

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