This coming Sunday, I’m starting a short series on the subject of Worship. Lord willing, we’ll journey through the Bible to try and arrive at what a good definition would be of this oft-discussed subject.
Ok…been a slow blogging season. Here’s a summary. I was dragging, had a health scare, and ended up getting a week of spontaneous vacation in Florida. Got back and preached. But, last week was especially loco. I wrapped up Youth Leadership Reno County, a program I help facilitate, which helps equip 7-8 graders learn something about leadership. On Thursday and Friday, as YLRC was ending, Leadership Reno County, another program I’m privileged to be a part of, launched. Got back on Friday night and Meg was really sick. Saturday, my oldest child had a band thing in Wichita. Then, Sunday, YLRC had it’s graduation ceremony in the afternoon.
Left for church with all 4 kids on Sunday morning (Meg stayed home sick) and I had a flat tire. We unloaded the car, got in the van. I was privileged to have Kole Farney preaching for me and helping us wrap the series on The Church: God’s Plan with a sermon on A Prayer for Christian Unity. Yesterday was lots of digging out from all of this and prepping for a big Elder/Deacon meeting in the evening. So, finally to Tuesday. Wanted you to know what’s been happening. Hoping this week is more “normal” and that I’m able to keep making progress on the challenge of my own life. Thanks for caring for me.
My 2/5/17AM sermon, God’s Manifold Wisdom from Ephesians 3:7-11, is now online. This sermon continued our series on the church being God’s plan (not some extra that we can dial in to if we feel like it). This was also a deep dive into Gospel realities that are ours. So, I hope it encourages you and helps you progress in your faith.
My 1/29/17AM sermon God’s Mysterious Plan out of Ephesians 3:1-6 is now online. This is the 2nd in a few sermons on the subject of the church. This message was particularly meaningful because of where it ended up: the Gospel. That’s right. Church isn’t about any matter of secondary issues. The church is what it is because of her Lord, who loved her and came after her to make her right with God. Dive into God’s mysterious plan and fall into the wonder that is yours in Christ.
Ok…It’s been a wild ride this week and so the blog has been crazy…
On Sunday, my heart raced to 160 beats per minute for about 45 secs. This concerned many around me, so I went to the ER to get things check out. All the tests came back fine. Blood work, EKG and other tests showed my heart looked good. Met with my MD on Monday morning, and he wanted to pursue a stress test to keep ruling things out. That happened Tuesday. Finally heard on Thursday that everything was a-OK there. So, that’s the physical side.
The Youth Leadership Reno County program I help facilitate traveled to Topeka on Wednesday to tour our state Capitol. We got a picture with the governor, got to see the legislature in action, meet with our elected officials, and got back early evening.
Thursday, I went to Kansas City to get some studying in. Enjoyed some great fellowship and encouragement with some friends of mine and did some sermon work for the upcoming season.
Friday and Saturday, I met with students and sponsors from Crestview to take in the Ready Conference at MBTS. We heard some amazing speakers: Owen Strachan, Trip Lee, John Mark Yeats, and Jared Wilson, enjoyed some good fellowship, and were stirred to live a life that honors God.
So, it’s been a full week. Many have prayed or reached out to me with expressions of love and care. I’m grateful to have such amazing people loving and supporting me in life. Hope you have a great weekend.
At Crestview, Lord willing, I’ll be preaching tomorrow, continuing our short series on the church.
We launched a new series on the church yesterday. My first sermon was The Church: God’s Plan from Ephesians 2:18-22. My hope through this series is that we’d have our eyes on the Gospel and all the corporate implications that are hard-wired into its realities. I hope this sermon encourages you.
I’m thrilled to be a part of Leadership Reno County. We have an alumni engagement event tonight at First National Bank in Hutchinson, 5:30-6:30PM. If you’re an alumnus of our program, plan to join us.
This coming Sunday, Lord-willing, at Crestview, we’ll begin a new series on The Church: God’s Plan. Here’s the logo hot off the press. Some thoughts from the designer:
- Christ is at the center of the church. He founded her and is the goal of the church. So, you can see the cross over the circle.
- The church is made up of all kinds of people. The children’s song Jesus Loves The Little Children, speaks of “red and yellow, black and white” being precious in God’s sight. This logo incorporates those colors to remind us that it’s all kinds of people.
- The church is global. You can see the world hovering in the background. This reminds us that the world is not only the mission of the church but also composes her.
So, I hope you’ll come this Sunday and hear how the church is God’s plan for displaying His glory in the world as this series kicks off from Ephesians 2:18-22. Hop you have a great weekend.
I’ve struggled a lot with those who like the play “the Devil’s advocate” because I’ve often interpreted this way of thinking to be anti-progress. It’s felt more like an effort to squelch discussion rather than further the group. But, I’ve been working on this. Many years ago (now) I identified this as a trigger for me and have worked on how to respond to this way of thinking and use it to make progress.
I was helped, most recently, by Eric Geiger’s post 3 Better Alternatives to Playing “Devil’s Advocate”. In particular, he urged these three alternatives to taking up the mantle of “the Devil’s Advocate”:
- Anthropologist – thinking about how real people will be impacted. Take the discussion from heady, ethereal realms to the ground floor, boots on the ground, impact.
- Experimenter – consider how something could be tried on a small scale before you explain all the reasons it will fail
- Hurdler – quickly recognizing challenges that changes may pose and considering how they can be cleared for the good of the organization
You might drift into the devil’s advocacy. If that’s how you’re wired, consider these approaches for the good of those you are seeking to serve.
So Winter Storm Jupiter has come and gone here in Central KS. It certainly affected a lot of things over the weekend. Power was lost in certain places, snow, and travel difficulties happened. We even cancelled services on Saturday so that our people wouldn’t feel compelled to get out in the middle of the mess. In some ways, the storm under-delivered. But, the storm brought all kinds of benefits to me:
- I enjoyed my first Sunday out since the middle of June. That’s right. It’s been a long stretch of ministry on Sundays happening. And, being able to step away for a weekend proved fairly refreshing.
- We had some good family time at home. Now, there was no big agenda. Kids played on devices, watched movies, and read. We got out in the afternoon a bit to drive around and see how things were. So, that was a fun family time.
- All things considered we made the best decision. I tend to beat myself up at times when a decision is made and can be second-guessed in hindsight, but the reality is that we were warned and asked to not travel unless it was necessary. The storm could have packed a wallop that would have been problematic for us. Using that data, we stepped into a decision with all the info we had to serve our people in the best way. And, it was good.
I hope you survived the weekend. And, I hope now that it’s ended, you can take time to consider ways that God extended kindness to you through it. Have a great week.