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Starting and Finishing

Starting and Finishing

“Its the job that’s never started that takes the longest to finish.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

Whats most difficult about reading the Bible daily is taking it off the shelf.

Conversely, I’ve started plenty… But sometimes I’ve not known how to finish.

What have you started in your life? Did you finish?

Baptism

Baptism

“Baptism is coming out of the closet for Christ.” – Rick Warren

I just experienced an incredible scene of genuine missional life. A young woman who works for Exponential, whose mother was baptized by Rick Warren many years ago, trusted in Christ as her Lord and Savior a week ago and requested that Rick baptize her. He did that here at Exponential Conference 2011.

4,000 of us sang “Jesus Paid it All” as a result… wow. Powerful.

What gets Celebrated gets Reproduced

What gets Celebrated gets Reproduced

This is true in our households as well as church. Whatever we celebrate in others gets reproduced.

Remember the last time you praised your child when they were first learning how to walk? Did you clap for them, say “Yay!” with an excited voice?

What about the last time your child obeyed you? Did you encourage and celebrate that?

If you’re a leader, what about the last time someone in your organization did something that which you have been directing or encouraging them to do? Did you celebrate them?

What gets celebrated in your household? your church? your neighborhood? your company?

Exponential Conference 2011

Exponential Conference 2011

I’m here at the Exponential Conference 2011 in Orlando, FL with my friends from Christ Fellowship and loving every minute of it! Beyond the workshops and main sessions we will be experiencing, I’m grateful and rejoicing in the time we have to reconnect. The only thing that would make this week better is if my family were with me!

Are We a NOUN or an ADJECTIVE?

Are We a NOUN or an ADJECTIVE?

of·fen·sive
noun /əˈfensiv/
offensives, plural
  1. An attacking military campaign
    • – an impending military offensive against the guerrillas
  2. An organized and forceful campaign to achieve something, typically a political or social end
    • – the need to launch an offensive against crime
adjective
  1. Causing someone to feel deeply hurt, upset, or angry
    • – the allegations made are deeply offensive to us
    • offensive language
  2. (of a sight or smell) Disgusting; repulsive
    • – an offensive odor
  3. Actively aggressive; attacking
    • offensive operations against the insurgents
  4. (of a weapon) Meant for use in attack
  5. (in a game) Of or relating to the team or player who is seeking to score
Protesting… The Church Offensive?

Protesting… The Church Offensive?

Ok… Is Christian Protesting such as this, an example of The Church Offensive? Or is it The Offensive Church?

I’d say the latter. Although these brave people are bold and proactively taking action against evil, they are in fact, going about it in ways that not only bring shame upon other Christians, I wonder what God thinks of this style of aggressive evangelism.

Evangelism is sharing the good news the Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead with a person who does not yet believe in Him. It is most effective when it’s a conversation between two people, and usually not in a shouting match.

Does God “HATE” people who fit into categories outside of a Judeo-Christian morality?

What happened to “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Take the Offense Without Shame

Take the Offense Without Shame

After Jesus spoke to his disciples about storming the gates of hell, he also gave them a word of caution: “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory” (Luke 9:26).
Jesus knew that His followers would face ridicule and anger as they tried to confront evil. And His words came as a sharp challenge: no matter how fierce the resistance, His followers should never shrink back and hide their faith in God. His followers weren’t made to “Circle the Wagons.”
Jesus taught with passionate concern, even when bystanders may have thought him a total fool. Jesus continued his short lesson, ‘calling’ (In Greek, literally meaning shouting at the top of his voice; better translated, “Yelling”) to the crowd and his disciples right there in Caesarea Philippi, he challenged everyone within hearing: “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very soul?” (v. 25). This begs a few questions: 
  1. What crowd did He call to himself?
  2.  Could it have been the Pan worshippers? Any crowd from this region would NOT have been religiously Jewish.
  3. Was the last statement aimed at his disciples, who might have been embarrassed at the spectacle Jesus was creating?
In a city filled with false idols, Jesus asked his followers to commit to the one true God. While false gods promised prosperity and happiness, they would ultimately fail to deliver. Jesus didn’t promise an easy life, but He delivered on the promise of salvation—the only kind of prosperity that really matters.
Today, Christians must heed the words of our Rabbi King, especially when we are tempted to hide our faith because of embarrassment or fear. Our world is filled with those who have “gained the world” but lost their souls. If we hide our faith, they may never find the salvation they need.