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Archive for September, 2010

Lessons from a boy named David

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment

I love digging into the Old Testament. It’s a great reminder of God’s promises, of God’s forgiveness and of the people God used. David is one of those people who I am often inspired by. Not necessarily for the great things that he has done, but more for the mercy that he was shown on a daily basis. I’ve found myself in so many situation where I thought my life was ruined, yet when I look at God I gain a sense of hope that I have not found anywhere else.

David was a the typical person that God used. Someone no one was expecting. He was the yo0ungest and smallest in his family. He was the last person anyone would have expected to be used in such big ways by God. During the episode of fighting Goliath, he is told the “he is just a boy.” Those five words sting. When I hear those words I think that I am too weak, to small, to inexperienced, not good enough, and can’t succeed. In otherwords, I am useless. They are the words that non one wants to hear.

David seemed to be inspired by what was goign against him. He seemed to thrive off of it. In an argument with his brother, he tries to explain all that he has done in killing  lion and how Goliath will be just like that. His brother tears him down though saying he is not good enough. That would have beat my confidence down enough to force me out, but not David. He kept on. He had the one thing on his side that could not be defeated. He had God. He knew that God does not lose and will never be defeated. He took that confidence with him and won!

A while later, when David was at his peak, we saw a different side to him. We saw that while he was King, he was still just a man. He failed God and failed those around him. The slippery slope got the best of him and he was on the road to isolation. He was alone in his struggles and quickly he was on his way to meet his doom.

By God’s grace, Nathan entered his life and saved him from himself. I think of those times that when I was most alone, God put someone in my life to help me up. David’s contrite heart helped him undertstand the hole in that could only be filled by God.

When you are feeling down and out, who do you turn to? When you feel alone are you responding to those God is placing in your life? Who does your contrite hear cause you to turn to?

David was a  great example of no matter are place in life, we need God. We need him at every turn. Nothing else can fill that hole but Him.

Categories: Discipleship Tags: , ,

One Month to Live?

September 24, 2010 Leave a comment

This weeks sermon series on One Month to Live has had me thinking. I think we all want to live a life of no regrets, but the issue is…where do we begin? How do we make our first decision, a good one? I struggle with this too. It’s hard to know what I need to be doing as opposed to what I typically do. Really, the only thing that makes sense to me is to look to Jesus. Now, when He began His ministry, he didn’t have one month, but He had about three years. So, what if I had three years?

Three years might be a little more manageable to stomach, but at the same time, the clock is ticking, pun intended. What would you do? Jesus began His ministry knowing how long He had, when it would happen, and how. Scary thought, eh? There in lies the difference between us and Christ.

He lived with passion, authority, purpose. What are you living for? We’re not guaranteed another breath, but often the next breath is wasted. What can we do to begin living without regret? It all begins with looking how someone lives with passion, authority, and purpose. Christ began His ministry by surrounding Himself with people who would intimately know Him and whom He would know the same.

One of His primary purposes was to know and be known. Are you known by anyone? Do you know anyone outside of office parties and family get togethers?

Christ also lived with authority. He taught truth in every situation. He stood up for what He believed and never backed down. He knew God’s word inside and out left nothing to question. He inspired people by how He lived and how He taught. Reading about Christ now, you or I would never question the authority in which Christ lived by. We know how He lived and who He lived for.

How do you live? Who are you living for? Are you standing up for your beliefs?

Finally, I can’t think of anyone throughout scripture that lived with more passion. Christ came to love and for that He was adored. His compassion for His family, His friends and those who would put their trust in Him was truly magnificent. Passion gives purpose to living with purpose and authority. It’s what completes us. Are we called to live passionately? We sure are!

When people see your gravesite and see those two numbers and the dash that make up your life, how will you be defined? Personally, I want to be seen as someone who has lived with Purpose, Authority and Passion. I want to be known by others and to know those around me. How do I do that? I surround myself with people who have the same goals, I immerse myself into the truth of the Gospel and I live a life of no regrets.

I challenge you determine what your next step is. How will you live a life a Purpose, Authority and Passion? What is the element that has been the missing link in your life? Starting today, live your life with no regrets. Start today and be known by someone and know somebody. Starting today, live a life that is defined by passion.

Make your years, your months, your days and every breath something you can look upon proudly!

Something I am really excited about…check it out!

September 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Family Life presents…

The Art of Marriage

Categories: Community Tags:

Two Events

September 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Hey All!

I want to tell you about two events right around the corner!

First, this SUNDAY, our first Group Connection Event. This will be held after services from about 12:15 – 1:15p in Room 4. We’ll connecting people to their first group! What an amazing thing! If you are already in a group, then tell those around you that aren’t connected yet to check it out! Childcare will be provided, but sorry, no lunch.

We’ll be forming all types of groups: men’s, women’s, couples, etc.

Secondly, OCTOBER 2nd, New Leaders Training. If you are a new leader or would like to know about leading a group, this is for you. We’ll be going over some “How-to’s” of group leadership, scriptural basis of group leadership, and choosing curriculum for your group.

I look forward to maybe seeing some of you at one of these events and am really excited to get you and many other plugged into LIFE Groups!

If you have questions or would like to attend one of these events, please contact me at adults@thirdcitychristian.org or you can call 384-5038.

all boxed up..

September 21, 2010 Leave a comment

If you haven’t ever read through 1 Corinthians, I encourage you to do so. I will challenge your socks off! That is, if you were socks. Last week, our guys group read through chapters 8 & 9. I’d like to talk a little about chapter 9 today. The title is “The Rights of an Apostle”. First, who is the apostle? Paul’s letter is to the church in Corinth. The church was made up of many small group churches that met in homes and underground for their own protection. In fact, this letter would have been read at one group meeting, then delivered to another group, and another, until all had read it. The letter saw many homes.

The the word apostle is derived from apostolos, which means one who is sent with a message. Look carefully at this word. Can you think another word that might  come from this? Think postal, like postal carrier. One who delivers messages or mail.  So the apostle has a message that needs delivered. It’s almost as if the job is not done unless its delivered. This is the purpose of this chapter from Paul. He speaks of a farmer of who is most effective when he shares his crop. Imagine if a farmer hoarded all he produced. Would he be an effective farmer? Not at all.

Paul writes in 9:10-12, “10Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. 11If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more?”

Do you see what he is saying? Paul is telling his readers that they have been brought up to share this message. “Spiritual seeds have been sown..” He is asking, are they hoarding what is reaped? To be an apostle means that we are sharing a message.

Paul is painting a picture for the church in Corinth that this message is not something to be sat on and forgotten about. People have died getting this message out, why are we hindering the spreading of the gospel? Further down in verse 16 he says, “Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.” What are your thoughts when Paul says, I am compelled to preach?

He is saying that there is something about this message that needs to go out. If you had just discovered sliced bread, you probably wouldn’t keep it to yourself, you’d spread the message about it. How much more important is a saving relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ? Paul understands that there is danger and hardship when it comes to spreading this message. He says at the end of the chapter, comparing apostles to an athlete, similar to one that would have competed in the Olympics, “Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone goes into strict training…I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

Take it from Paul, don’t box this message up. Be the apostle you were called to be. Take the message out, and like and athlete run like you are running for the prize!

Group Connection Event

September 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Hey all! I am really excited to tell you about the TCCC Group Connection Event coming up on Sunday, September 26th. Just as the name implies, I want to be able to connect you to a group. If you are not plugged in yet, I’d love to have you join me to experience group life! I can’t say enough how incredible it is to participate in something like this.

We do group life, not only because its what Jesus did, but even earlier, God created us with this need that many will go their whole lives without filling it. The need is for community. Some of you say that coming to church is your way of participating in community. Well, yes, that is one form, but let me ask this…when you come to church, how much time to spend building into the life of others and allowing others to build into your life? I’d guess its pretty small, unless we’re talking about a conversation over a donut between services.

Here is your chance to allow others into your life, and for you to get to know others in deeper more personal way. Christ’s example was that he spent great amounts of time knowing and being known by the twelve men he surrounded himself with. There was great teaching and great relationships forming.

So join me on Sunday, September 26th for 1 hour from 12:15p to 1:15p and I promise, you won’t regret it! See you there!

Categories: Calendar, Community

in sickness and in health

September 15, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s a hard decision when a spouse is faced with an ailing husband or wife. It’s one thing to care for your spouse when he or she has a cold or a flu, but what happens when you are watching the love of your life coming dangerously close to making an appearance in next weeks obituary. I think about this as I am watching my mom deal with the harsh reality of my dad’s heart condition. In fact I am writing this while sitting in a hospital hoping that my dad will be soon leave this place to live out the rest of his years.

While marriage, I am certain, is a gift from God, the traditional vows we speak in a ceremony are man made. The words we know so well, “for better or worse, in sickness and in health…” these first came from the ‘Book of Common Prayer’ published in 1549. So, while the words are man made, the value in these words are given to us by God. What happens when we stick things through in both the good and the bad? What happens when we are able to properly handle sickness and health? There is no doubt, that something incredible happens through the times of trial that we face.

I can’t seem to say this enough, but it is when we find ourselves living in isolation that it begins to become almost unmanagable to live any type of quality life. We tend to give up more and we find ourselves becoming more cynical on just about everything around us. So, those vows that we have been repeating since the mid 16th century, those are more than just common words. They are the glue that ties us to God. They are what gives us the hope of living a life worth living. It’s what brings us into the community of God and other people.

When the trials of life come at us, its incredible when we are able to call upon the strength that we have access to through Jesus Christ. Through those trials we are given this encouragement from James 1:2-4..

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

So, while you may be facing trials of your own, allow God to complete the work He has begun in you. Allow perseverence to finish its work. This is the promise that whether you are facing the ugly in life or the failing health of your spouse, you will not be alone. Christ is with you, and He will never leave you. This is the type of companionship you cannot live without.