Friday, September 11, 2009

Last time you hit the gym?

When was it? Many people hit the gym three times a week, some as many 5 or 6 times. Some spend big bucks to get fit... people get in shape at home gyms, some pay monthly dues at the club, some even hire a personal trainer to get better, faster, and professional expertise. Disciplining themselves, training, and getting stronger.

How many workouts did you get in this week? Before you answer...know this...I'm asking about the spiritual gym.

I have a few questions about your "work out" regimen...

How many spiritual workouts do you get in this week? Three days or are you a spiritual gym rat maybe 5 or 6 days? Did you get three sets of Bible, a super set of prayer, a circuit of fasting, or maybe you did some cross training and combined a few this week?

Where do you usually work out? Home, at a club (the church), do you hire a personal trainer those being a mentor, small group, or accountability partner.

When is the last time you seriously hit the spiritual gym?

It's time we get in shape...

Time to hit the gym...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Grapple: to engage in a struggle or close encounter.

We just finished a 13 week series on James called "Rooted" @ Revolution our worship service for middle and high school students. We took it apart verse by verse, but I wonder where many of us are in our thinking about it or doing something about what we have studied. What made me think think about this was what I read the following in this old bible commentary...

"The Book of James can polarize those who grapple with it, leaving groups pulling in opposite directions. Which way do you find yourself leaning:
  • Guilty or inspired?
  • Resistant or repentant?
  • Wavering or single-minded?
  • Passing the buck to the rich or passing out bucks to the poor?

Are you grappling with it at all? I know I have...I'd love to hear your thoughts or comments if you traveled through James with us.

When is the last time you have grappled with scripture?

My challenge to you...Get in the ring, octogon, street corner, or wherever you engage in struggles or close encounters and...grapple.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

For years we have been asking the wrong question...

What would Jesus do? That's it...that is the wrong question. The braclets, the bumper stickers, the t-shirts, (add in any trinket here) they are all wrong in my opinion. Asking that question only helps us for that moment that we need guidance or direction, then it's over and we don't need Jesus till next time we have an issue.

So what is the right question? So glad you asked...

What did Jesus do?

I know it's similiar. I know it's one word difference, but it makes a huge difference. As I'm getting ready for our next Revolution preaching series "Ripened: The Spiritual Disciplines" I'm realizing that if we would do what Jesus did then when we have an issue or questionable call to make it would be easy. A few examples...

Jesus practiced solitude...
Jesus fasted for a month and a half...
Jesus served the disciples and those in need...

If we would do what Jesus solitude...then the "what would Jesus do?" questions would be null and void. Because we would know what He would do.

Simply a rambling in my brain the last 24 hours..but thought I'd share it.

Read the Gospels again and see what He did and do it.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Dropping like Stars" by Rob Bell book review

I pretty much read everything Rob Bell writes, so when I stumbled on his new book "Dropping like Stars" in Barnes and Noble, I did a double-take. For one I didn't know it was coming out and two it's an over-sized book, not your normal book shelf-type or size. So I grabbed it up found a comfy chair in the corner and thought I'd check it out. We'll about 30-45 minutes later it was finished. Not sure if I owe Mr. Bell or Barnes and Noble or Zondervan some money or not?

Here are a few things I took away from the book and a few things that stick out
  • Whenever I read Bell I can hear him say certain lines, maybe from NOOMA videos, maybe listening to him on podcasts. Does any one else hear an author speak? (That last sentence really makes me look crazy,but I'm leaving it in.)
  • The book is about the topic of suffering, so right away Bell captures you, cause you have been there.
  • Opening illlustration of a hospital hallway...some hallways in a hospital are filled with joy, while others arer filled with tears and pain.
  • Suffering unities us. We hear a story of suffering similar to ours and we thinkon say,"I've been there."
  • Suffering eleminates the unesscessary and shows us what matters.
  • God wastes nothing.
I took home this that we need to look at suffering differently. Rain looks like dropping stars to a little boy, and Bell says he never saw it that way....much like suffering when we realize it unities, elemintes the unesscessary, and shows us what matters.

Overall it was a good stuff, a nooma video put into words and art, but too pricey at $34.95. B+, not for content, but for the price of the book.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Are you Hungry?

I was talking to a good friend of mine just yesterday who was dealing with a person saying the excuse "I'm not being fed at church." Mark Batterson is pastor in DC that I follow had this to say about the subject and I think he nailed it.

"Permission to speak frankly?

One of the common complaints people make when leaving a church is this: I’m not being fed. As a preacher, my goal is to nourish our congregation via a well-rounded diet of sermons. And I try to preach every sermon like it’s my last, but let me push back. My kids learned to feed themselves when they were toddlers. If you’re not being fed, that’s your fault. I’m afraid we’ve unintentionally fostered a subtle form of spiritual codependency in our churches. It is so easy to let others take responsibility for what should be our responsibility. So we let our pastors study the Bible for us. Here’s a news flash: the Bible was unchained from the pulpit nearly five hundred years ago during an era of history called the Middle Ages.

If you are relying on a preacher to be fed, I fear for you. Listening to a sermon is second-hand knowledge. It is learning based on someone else’s words or experiences. A sermon is no replacement for first-hand knowledge. You’ve got to see it and hear it and experience it for yourself. It’s not enough to hear the truth. You have to own it. Or more accurately, it has to own you. Honestly, I’d rather have people hear one word from the Lord than a thousand of my sermons. And that happens when you open your Bible and start reading.

Mark Batterson is the pastor of National Community Church in Washington DC. He also the author of Wild Goose Chase, and In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. Check-out his blog at"

Friends, you can't just eat on Sunday mornings, and maybe a meal on Wed. nights spiritually speaking. The question is....Are you hungry?

Monday, June 08, 2009

TEXT idea

I tried something new this past week in Revolution our student worship service...We are going through the book of James and one thing about James is it's very much like a Text message or like Twitter. He hits a topic then, BAM.! He hits another topic, very short and concise.

We used a FREE text message device and sent the 4 verses for the sermon to students and when they recieved it they stood up and read it...My guy Ben sent the message from our tech computer so we could just copy and paste the scripture in. It was a great idea but cell reception is kinda bad there sometime. 3 out of the 4 went through. It's was a good idea and we may do it again but maybe send them the morning of instead of direct during the service. Maybe something to try for you youth/student ministers out there. Any other ideas?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Three reasons you’ll love the next series ROOTED: The book of James.

1. It’s intensely practical. The book of James is super clear and super direct.

2.. It’s like a text message or twitter tweet. James talks briefly about something then bam, he’s hitting something else. It’s short and sweet wisdom then James moves on to the next thing.

3. It’s full of metaphors, illustrations, and word pictures. He uses them to help us understand and remember. The waves in the sea, a withered flower, your face in the mirror, the bit in a horse’s mouth, the rudder of a ship, a destructiveness of a forest fire, pure spring water, arrogant business men, rusted metal, and moth eaten clothes. Everyday items that helps us remember everyday truths.

Beginning this week in Revolution 10:30 am in the Chapel.
2191 Galilee Chrsitian Church Jefferson, GA. 30549.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Original Social Network...

I saw a Coleman camping gear commercial this past weekend that claims they "gave birth to social networking" and it got me thinking. You know sitting around a campfire or camping was social networking. Social networking is a big deal from the old Myspace days, to Facebook and Twitter and who knows what is next. Millions of people connected everywhere they go by phone or computer.

But I believe Jesus gave birth to the greatest social networking tool, it's called the church. It was way before Coleman and Twitter. We connect today through status updates, texting, posts, blogs, and #(something-creative-here). Here is a few ways they networked and stayed connected.

  • They meet together Acts 1:6

  • Prayed together Acts 1:14
  • Sold things to help the ones in need Acts 2:45

  • Served together Acts 2:45

  • Ate together Acts 2:46

  • Hung out in each other homes Acts 2:46

  • Praised together Acts 2:47

  • One heart and mind Acts 4:36

  • Shared everything they had Acts 4:33
Are you connected?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Book Review: Understanding God's Will by Kyle Lake

Understanding God's Will

This is the second book I have read by the late Kyle Lake, the first being Understanding Prayer which I loved. I feel much the same with this book, loved it. I picked it up for a few reasons, one as I said I loved the last book I read by him, two as research and study for a upcoming Revolution message, and finally understanding God's will is something I'm always trying to get my mind around. Students, friends, and probably the person reading this are always wondering and asking about His will. Kyle has a great way of making difficult theological truths seem like a conversation over a cup of coffee.

The main theme of the book is God's will is not some recipe, blueprint, formula,mantra, there's no 7 steps to knowing God's will for you life. So many pastors like myself give the recipe or blueprint; such as pray, seek wise counsel, listen, etc. etc. Lake states understanding God's will doesn't fit the recipe,blueprint, or formula.

He uses three illustrations to describe God's will...a disciple...a father...and a kingdom. They all expand to really explain God's will for our life through those lenses.

Random and final thoughts...
  • The first part of the book is the strongest, great hooks.

  • Quick read, easy read.

  • Many great "That'll preach" illustrations that I'll preach someday.

  • If your looking to crack the blueprint or find the recipe to understanding God's will grab this book.

Grade: A-