“Through profound pain and loss, God has revealed his grace and mercy. The Transformation series has shown our family and myself that is is all God’s. Everything we have, everything we are is his. To God be the glory.” —One of our dozens of response cards from Celebration Sunday.
We’ve finished the Transformation 2014 series. Some are rejoicing that it is over. Others are saddened. The rest of you are in the middle and wondering what is next. 🙂 I’m grateful for all of you.
If you weren’t here yesterday, you missed out on a sweet Sunday—one unlike our usual Sundays. Stories were told, people were challenged, and everyone was given an opportunity to say “this is how God has changed/is changing me” (writing that I thought, “Wait, this shouldn’t be ‘unlike our usual’”). The board of response cards has more than I’ve currently counted—dozens, but I’m not sure how many.
To finish this series off I wanted to simply share four thoughts now that this is all finished.
Continue reading “Sunday Debrief: Celebration Sunday (4/13/14)”
Some people like outlines. I usually enjoy making them for preaching; but sometimes they get in the way. This Sunday was one of those times. And, while it may not have mattered much in the end, I didn’t want the outline to get in the way of the point. (For those of you wondering why, we usually make our outlines a few weeks ahead of the Sunday, so there may be some variance in the final product from time to time.)
Luke 16 and the dishonest manager is a parable that many of us don’t understand.
I, too, struggled to get why this parable was told the way it was and why Jesus said what he did. Luckily, it isn’t on me to figure it all out on my own. I asked a dear friend—one with decades of ministry and teaching people about Jesus—for his thoughts. Here they are. . .
Continue reading “Sunday Debrief: The Eternal Gamble (3/9/14)”
I hope everyone enjoyed their (very cheap) Chinese finger trap. I saw people breaking them right after the service. You’re welcome.
Getting rich (or dying while we try) isn’t just a trap that we may fall into, many of us already have. We fill our lives, or bank accounts, our homes, and our plates with things for us—with a constant need to gain more. Gordon Gekko infamously reminds us of this idea.
But not so for the Christian (or at least, we would hope it to not be so) . . .
Continue reading “Sunday Debrief: Caught in a Trap (3/2/14)”
I am amazed at the things in my own life that don’t align with what Jesus would want from those who follow him. None hit so close to home as the statements about worry from Matthew 6 (ok, a few actually do).
I’d love to think that it were as easy as simply being happy instead of not worrying (and Robin Williams makes me think that perhaps it is), but I know it is much more complex than that.
So what do we do if we can’t just “be happy?” . . .
Continue reading “Sunday Debrief: Dealing With Worry (2/23/14)”
If you were at our 10:45 service, you know that JP and Jennifer Harris are now at the top of the “People I Love and Owe a Few Lunches to” list. If you weren’t, then you’ll just have to wonder why.
On to Sunday!
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,” says our Savior. We say, “Yeah, but you don’t know what it’s like to own an iPad, iMac, iPhone, MacBook, or car.” You’re right. Jesus didn’t own a car (at least not that I can see from the four Gospels). Jesus also didn’t own a closet. So what would he know about stuff?
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15
So do we have a high priest who knows what it is like to be tempted with things? To have a place to lay his head? Tempted to find value in possessions rather than the father? Absolutely. And do you know what he says? Stuff rusts and disappears. . .
(From my science experiment Sunday morning—it isn’t sweet tea. It’s rust.)
Jesus has much to say about where our hearts are. . .
Continue reading “Sunday Debrief: Where’s Your Heart? (2/16/14)”
I’m grateful for Sundays like this past one. Where I feel like the sermon was a swing and a miss and somehow, by the grace of God, the Lord ministers to people through it and they let me know. (Tim Keller has mentioned that you need 200 sermons under your belt before you are a competent preacher, so check back with me in 2016 or 2017.) (Also, for all of the “Hans, you did fine” commenters [which don’t really exist], I’m really not looking for sympathy—promise).
Courageous Leadership. For you guys out there, here’s your clip. . .
For you Matt Damon fans, here’s your clip. . .
For everyone else. . .
Granted, those last two aren’t really about courageous leadership, but more just courage. Still, you get the idea. We pray and hope for a church of people courageous enough to lead out in this world for the name and fame of Jesus.
Continue reading “Sunday Debrief: Courageous Leadership (2/2/14)”