Monday, February 28, 2011
* Was so excited headed into worship yesterday. Knew that God was going to move and change/transform people when we entered into His presence yesterday! Could just "feel" it. Others felt it to before we even started. Awesome stuff!
* Music is SO POWERFUL. Did a new song yesterday by Jesus Culture called "Your Love is Everything" and I was so impacted by that song! Singing to Jesus that His love is everything to us - whether things are good or bad -- His love is everything!
* I just love our band and the way they serve God and our church community through their spiritual gift of music/worship! They were incredible yesterday.
* Hearing a TON of feedback about the message yesterday. Preached 2 Cor 10:3-5 about capturing our thoughts/words and making them submit to Jesus Christ. That message got in me this week and I just had to release it! So glad that many many people heard the message. Now let's let it CHANGE and TRANSFORM us! Can you imagine life where we don't listen to what the world says about us, but only to what God says? Imagine it.... it can happen!
* One more week on the STICKS AND STONES series. Been a very practical and life-changing series for me and so many others. So thankful that God led us into this series!
* Met with the Imagine Team Leaders yesterday to discuss future land/property options. Pray for us - this is an incredible team of people who take very seriously their responsibility to be sensitive to God's leading as it relates to facilities. More information will be coming soon....
* Great Worship Design Team meeting yesterday. What an incredible group of people who meet and plan and design worship! So thankful to them! Things are changing in that group - but it's all good and God will use it to grow Quest even more!!
* Had a couple premarital counseling sessions yesterday. I absolutely LOVE meeting with these young couples and speaking into their lives as it relates to the incredible covenant they are making. What a privilege!
* So thankful for the 40 something people headed to Belize in a few weeks! They met again last night and the excitement is growing as they look toward GOING to Belize in April. I'm praying for you all and look forward to what God is going to do!!
* Had another "GroupLink" last night at Quest. Several folks and families showed up to learn more about community groups and connect with groups. I LOVED being able to spend a few minutes talking to folks. Love the relationships at Quest. GroupLink nights are always great!
Big week and month coming up at Quest. Lots of stuff going on, missions to prepare for, weddings, etc.
Love our church community! Honor to serve as the pastor of this incredible community!!
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Tomorrow I'm preaching on "gossip." Defining it as --- "speaking or hearing anything that can hurt another person" --- and of course, that person is not in your presence when you are speaking or hearing something that would hurt them if they were.
I've realized this week that this one issue is so TOXIC to both our relationship with God, and with others. Gossip erodes our intimacy with our Creator because it is a SIN. It is listed in Romans 1 among sins like murder, etc. Obviously, when we say or hear things that can hurt others, God takes it very seriously (even if we don't). In addition, it erodes our relationships. Certainly with the person we're speaking about (or hearing about - as we begin to think differently about them after hearing negative things about them), but in addition - it erodes our relationships with the whoever we're talking to or listening to (the gossip itself). Think about it - when you hear someone talking about someone else - don't you realize that they will do the SAME THING to you? So we put up walls, etc ... to protect ourselves ... when God would have us taking walls down and striving for more depth and intimacy in our relationships.
I cannot think of one positive reason to gossip -not one. Yet I have participated in it - by speaking about and hearing about others. In doing so, I have sinned against God and people.
I am resolving to NOT gossip. I will not speak hurtfully about others. I will not listen to conversation that could be hurtful to others.
Won't you join me in resolving to NOT GOSSIP? Can you imagine what kind of world we could live in if we made the resolution?
The tongue has the power of life and death....
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I've always heard that, but didn't practice it. Decided to change that and really get into reading over the past year. Love hearing what others are reading, and sharing what I'm reading as well.
Here is my completed list so far for 2011:
1. RADICAL by David Platt
2. COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE by Andy Stanley
3. THE HOLE IN OUR GOSPEL by Richard Stearns
4. BLINK by Malcolm Gladwell
5. THE NEXT CHRISTIANS by Gabe Lyons
6. CHAZOWN by Craig Groeschel
7. THE MILLENIALS by Thom and Jess Rainer
8. NECESSARY ENDINGS by Henry Cloud (actually in middle of this one)
-----What are you reading these days?
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
As a United Methodist pastor, I'd like to host this event, but make it ecumenical in approach. Meaning I don't just want people to come who have an interest in the Methodist Church. In reality, those who come could be called to many different denominations, missions, para-church ministries, or secular vocations where ministry is lived out every day.
Been thinking on this for some time and hoping to launch later this year or next year.
Monday, February 7, 2011
* Was back in the preaching "saddle" yesterday. Great to be away the Sunday before with my wife for a wedding and some sabbath time, but I always miss preaching! Was busting to share the message yesterday as we began our new series called "Sticks and Stones" ....
* Our band was incredible yesterday. They always are, but just really felt the energy yesterday as they led us in worship. Such talented musicians who share their spiritual gifts with our church community. We are so blessed to have such great worship leaders!
* Record attendance the last 4 Sundays at Quest. On average, largest worship attendance we've ever had 4 weeks in a row. Love that people are connecting with God and relationships in this community. That's why we exist.
* Had over a dozen new folks come to "Starting Point" yesterday - a one hour "get to know Quest" lunch thing after worship. Love love love being able to sit down and talk with visitors about their experience at worship. They have such valuable things to say and we have things to learn from them!
* A highlight for me personally was my oldest daughter being in the first 30 minutes of worship for the music. She and the other "tweens" sat right behind me and loved hearing them sing and be a part of the worshiping community before they headed down to the Tween Extreme space for spiritual teaching.
* Had a couple other great meetings yesterday in the afternoon. My favorite part of the church environment is getting to know people and sharing life together. Such a privilege!
* I LOVE our church community. It is such an amazing group of people who come together to love and serve God and our community and world. I and my family are so blessed to be a part of what God is doing at Quest!
Thursday, February 3, 2011
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."
The reality is that words hurt much more than we realize, and cause long-lasting pain and destruction in someone's life that can paralyze them from becoming who they were really created to be.
Ancient wisdom literature challenges us by saying:
The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
What a challenge! To think that every word I speak bring death or life (and I would say in our tech-savvy culture - every word I write, text, email, blog, facebook, etc).
Starting a series this week at The Quest to explore this idea - that our words are powerful and can build up or tear down. Very practical series. One that we all need to hear and grow from.
May our words be words that build and heal and encourage. May our words be filled with love and compassion. May our words challenge and convict, but not condemn. May our words be His Word.