Primal dvd-based study

June 7, 2011

 

I just finished watching the dvd series called “Prima”. I read the book when I it first came out and I really enjoyed. I have not read a book by Mark Batterson that i don’t enjoy. He is very challenging and thought provoking. This dvd is the same way. Its full of information and also very good visually made. I am a youth pastor and i watch lots of small group videos and i would have to say that that this is one of the top on my list of videos. I love how he teaches from an actual destination; that its not from an office or a room, but that we is actually there. I love how He asks questions and is also very real about his own life. He tells you about himself personally and how God has challenged him. We are actually starting our discipleship program this week and I am going to use this study in there with them. I highly recommend using it for adults, college age, or students.

 

Acts

June 6, 2011

Acts 2:43-44  Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common”

Its called the book of ‘Acts’ not the book of thinking waiting, hoping so, someone else could do it, maybe, when i feel ready; it was the book of ‘acts’ because it was a book of ‘act-ion’. God moved because His people acted.

In our church today we have a lot of people who ‘act’ like a Christian but have not ‘action’. We talk a big game, we act out our facade but we have no true action.

The spiritual journey is designed to be an offensive force in the culture. We play only defense. We have been playing re-action and not action. We have been waiting to see what the enemy does and then we re-act to the situation. We live like we have no game plan on offense. We live like we have no action plan.

“…..and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it” Matthew 16:13-18

Pushing the gates of hell is not a defensive plan but an offensive one. It is pressing foward and not falling back. It is marching and not running. Its a life of action and not just re-action.

Live a life of action and not just reaction…Stop just ‘acting’ like a Christian and start walking out ‘ACTS’.

 

If you are going to re-act then know this wisdom, “What make you a Chistian is not just how you act like a christian but how you re-act like one.” We will be judged on how we Re-act and act. Watch how defenseive you are. be the first to act. Be the first to forgive, encourage, give hope, to serve….be the first to act.

Be a follower who works with “ACTS” not one who is an act-or!

“Domesticated” sermon preached on May 22, 2011

May 31, 2011


Introduction: The last few months

There has to be more.

I am not satisfied with the way it’s been.

Not satisfied with just getting by (by be ‘good enough’)

 

I want more; but to have more, you have to give more

‘I’m tired spiritually, I feel like I am chasing the wrong things.’

‘I’m tired of hearing stories and testimonies; I want to be part of a story and a testimony’

I want more!

 

I believe at times that we are ‘spiritually paralyzed’

We have domesticated the gospel.

Illustration: Domesticated (house trained) cats and dogs

                They are controlled and caged. (pee in a little box)

                                They at one time were wild and free.

Illustration: Show pic of cat and lion

He is not a domestic cat, HE is a roaring lion.

Which one is HE to you?

 

We try to domesticate God:

-hold Him back, cage up in our little boxes, we try to control Him

 

God is NOT ‘boring’

The way we live makes Him boring.

I f our lives are supposed to reflect God, then are reflecting Him as boring?

How are others viewing God through us?

 

Hebrews 12:29 (NASB) “For our God is a consuming fire.”

 

We feel at times that God is holding us back but I think it’s the other way around.

-I think at times we are trying to hold Him back, control Him; keep it our way.

“We are holding Him back from doing things through us.”

 

What if we really allowed God to be and to do what he wants?

-In our life, church, family, work, finances, heart,

 

How would that look? How would that change your life?

 

What holds us back?

 

  1. 1.       FEAR (worship)

What are we afraid of?  (Others opinions, made fun of, looking dumb, ect)

Fear cripples and paralyzes us”

Fear in scripture (describing God) is not the same as being scared.

FEAR=to stand in awe and wonder; to be amazed

Illustration: Sun

                -It could destroy us-so hot, it could explode-burn our skin and eyes

                BUT, it also gives us light, warmth and growth

 

This is like the fear of God-yes it could kill us ad destroy our lives; but He also gives us warmth, light and growth.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man”.

 

Deuteronomy 13:4 (NLT) Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.

 

Fear God and Keep His Commands!

                What’s the most frequent command in scripture?

Is it to be good? Moral? Holy?……

FEAR NOT! (Don’t be afraid)  Is a Command! (over 50 verses in scripture)

Most frequent in scripture (by God, angels, by Jesus)

That’s healthy fear: amazed by its size, what He can do: doing what He commands!

 

What you ‘fear’ is what you worship.

-whatever consumes your mind, thoughts, stress, money

Fear nothing but God!

 

You Worship what consumes you.

Some people worship ‘worry’ and ‘stress’ (that’s what consumes them)

Does God consume you?

 

We are told more than any other command in the Bible NOT to fear!  It’s over and over in scripture.

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Isiah 41:10

 

  1. ‘Worst case scenario’ mode.    

You are lifting your stress and worry higher than your trust in Him

Worry does not change the outcome. (Just gives you a negative attitude-does not help)

Worry is the opposite of trusting in God (Atheists worry)

Most of the things we worry about do not even happen.

 

I don’t believe as Christians that we are called to live in “worst case scenario”

Many people live in “What if’s” (negative)

I believe we are called to have ‘HOPE”

HOPE says, Rom 8:28 “That God causes all things work to together for the good for those who love God”

 

->Not living in ‘doom and gloom

I believe we need to be “aware of what’s going on” (news, around the world)

-We are not supposed to be ignorant!

God wants us to be aware but not living in worst case-not stressed!

 

Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”.

 

  1. 3.       Over thinking

                “Over analysis leads to spiritual paralysis”

So many think it through so long and try to figure it out but don’t end up doing anything.

-Imprisoned by their thinking

If we think and worry too much about the outcome, we will become too afraid to take the step (risk)

Peter walking on water: He just stepped out towards Jesus (He not over thinks it)

Illustration: Waiting and thinking (building up worst case) before jumping

                -off a diving board, out of a plane, on a fun ride….we build up our worry.

 

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”.

                Don’t focus on the problem, focus on the solution (the answer)

                                The answer is Him!

We need to pursue Him!

 

We need to be people of prayer

What if, instead of talking, complaining and getting stressed, we started praying?

Illustration: Nehemiah

                All his prayers were answered. He prayed before he did anything.

                                (seek ye first)

We need to renew our minds. We need to change our ‘what ifs’.

I don’t think Jesus lived in ‘worst case’

                 “Pray like it depends on God and work like it depends on you”

 

Imagine the possibilities

What if your friend was healed? (Lowering them through the roof)

What if God showed up in all the churches in the area and revival broke out?

What if Miracles did happen?

                What if your prayers were answered?

What if your prodigal child came to the Lord? (Imagine them worshiping next you)

                What if your co-worker gets saved?

 

What if? Imagine!

 

Is this spiritual life real to you? (Like a fairy tale)

Illustration: kids playing life: wedding scene and church scene

                It was cute.

Lord said, “A lot of us are just playing church.”

 

I want more than just playing church.

Are you really living like He is real to you?

 

What you ‘worship’ will consume.

-does God consume you?

“If you are not burning, then we are drying”

I want more.

“Not just more games, more services, more programs…..I want more of Him”

 

Many of us have settled for “Imitation” (cheap grace)

-accepted the easy grace theology and easy Christianity.

-does not cost much

Many people just want a ‘good’ ‘happy’ life

 

Jesus did not come for us to “Just” make it by.

“Good enough”

 

There is more.

Lay it down, break it-learn to trust Him.

What if you gave it all?

Mary and the alabaster:

Mark 14:1-9 Jesus the Anointed

 

“Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him. [2]“But not during the Feast,” they said, “or the people may riot.”  [3] While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.  [4] Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? [5] It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.  [6] “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. [7] The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. [8] She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. [9] I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” (Mark 14:1-9)

 

She believed in the ‘what if’ (possibilities of hope)

 

She was a young lady-It was her life savings (her inheritance), what she got from her parents

-It symbolized her past life and future hope.

 

She is the only one that believed what Jesus said about His death.

She is the only one that prepared for burial (disciples did not)

She gave all she had! (it was her future and past) Lay your life down.

She SMELLED like Jesus

“In order to have more, you have to give more”.

                She desired more of Him….Her commitment to Him was greater than anything else.

This was one of the greatest acts of worship

WHY NOT? (approach)

What would happen if…..?

What would happen if we had a prayer meeting and God came suddenly?

What would happen if we met at a certain time and said we are not leaving until God does something?

What would happen if I was really on fire for God?

What would happen if I laid every single thing down? I am going after you!

What would happen if I did not care about the world’s opinion of my life?

What would happen if we did not worry about the clock or our lunch or our schedule and we just wanted to meet with God?

What would happen if the children’s church starting having kids give prophetic words and lay hands on friends and be healed?

What if we really took God seriously and laid it all down and took up our cross and followed?

 

“Life Without Limits” By Nick Vujicic

April 1, 2011

Life Without Limits

I got this book in the mail on Monday at 5pm and I finished it by 1pm on Wednesday. I really enjoyed it. I did not know anything about Nick Vujicic before I got the book, but after reading about his life, it definitely inspires me.

Its not just a book that talks about his limitations but it talks about his opportunities. It’s not just about his disability but also all the things that he is able to do. I love how he shares about the disadvantages he had growing up and how he developed ways to move forward and make the best life possible.

I love how he not only talks about his life but he shares nuggets of wisdom about what he has learned in life. On page 29 he says “Life is not about having, it’ about being.” That is awesome and true. It’s not about having and accumulating more stuff; it’s about becoming a better person. Life is about the ‘who’ more then its about all the ‘what’s’. It’s about who we are becoming daily and not what we accumulating.

I also love the thought he had about our actions. He said that  ‘action brings reaction’. I love that thought. That we need to do something for something else to happen. That we cannot just wait around and hope for change, but we need to become the change.  We need to change the way we think. If we can change the way that we think then we can change the way we live. He said in the book, “by changing our attitudes, we can change our lives.” That’s amazing coming from a man with no arms and legs.

I really enjoyed this book and I loved how it challenged me to become more positive to the world around me. I need to be more grateful for what I have and to be more open to opportunities. There is more for all us, we just need to change our mindsets.

“Reggie” by reggie dabbs

March 25, 2011

“Reggie”

by Reggie Dabbs and John Driver

 

I finished reading this book a week ago and I really liked it. I am a youth pastor and a very big fan of Reggie Dabbs. I have heard him speak many times and have heard his personal story a few times, but this book takes it so much deeper.  I love how honest, real, and entertaining this book is. Its just like Reggies character to make difficult situations feel a little lighthearted.  I love it that he shared so much about his past and how it affects him today. His story is a story of inspiration and courage.

He made many points in the book that made me think.  I love what he says in this book a few times, “You cannot change your past, but you can face it.” I love that. That we cannot ignore it, but we can take it and learn from it”.

I also loved what he said about discovery truth.  ‘We are not a quest to create new truth. We are on a quest to discover the truth.  The new world has always been there, yet it has remained hidden from our sight.” He explained this bys using Columbus as an illustration. How North America was always here, it just needed to be discovered. I love that. We are in the process of discovering what truth really is. We are all seeking it out.

I really enjoyed this book. It was an easy read with many nuggets of truth and also challenging topics. Reggie inspires you to love others and to seek the down and out. I love his heart and his inspiration. I recommend anyone to read it.

 

“Slave” John MacArthur

March 2, 2011

“Slave” by John MacArthur

“We don’t hear about this concept in churches today,” MacArthur says. “Slavery is a distasteful concept to modern sensibilities. So we hear that God loves people unconditionally and wants them to be all they want to be. Personal ambition, personal fulfillment, personal gratification–these have all become part of the lexicon of evangelical Christianity–and the essence of what it means to have a `personal relationship with Jesus Christ.'”

I just finished reading the book “slave” by John MacArthur. I loved the idea and the thought pattern of the book but it was not an easy read. I felt like I was theological book from Bible College. It was not a book that I read before I went to bed or just to relax. I really have to pay attention to what I was reading. You can tell the depth and research that the author put into the book because of all the work cited point that he put into the book. Just wasn’t not what I expected but it does have some really good points.

The book begins with asking the question, “What does it mean to be a Christian?” It then goes on to explain the difference between a ‘slave’ and a ‘servant’. I thought that this was very thought provoking. I loved how he talked about the greek translation of the word and how it changes how you look and understand it. “Why is the literal word “slave” not seen as often as he states? “That’s because,” says MacArthur, “The Greek word for slave (doulas) has been mistranslated in almost every English version–going back to both the King James Version and the Geneva Bible that predated it.”
The book begins with the examination of the original language of the terms mentioned above, in relationship to both Old and New Testament writings. It also takes a historical look at the life of a slave in Biblical times and how it compares to the scriptural definitions and expectations of a follower of Jesus. “ . This was taken by another review which I really liked how it explained.

The first three chapters of this book was really good. They were thought provoking and very insightful. The first three chapters are worth the book, but like I said in the beginning, the rest of it was hard to digest.

I would suggest this book to you if you like theology books and deep reads, but for the casual reader I would just read the first few chapters.

 

Chasm by Randy Alcorn

February 22, 2011

I just finished reading the book Chasm by randy Alcorn. I first want to open up by saying I have really enjoyed his other books that he wrote. I have about several others and I have enjoyed each of them, but this book I had a really hard time with. I am not sure I was expecting something different or if it was just written different. I could not really understand or get into the characters. There was just so many different characters and people coming and going at first. I respect and enjoy what he tried to do with the story (parallel to Jesus), but I feel like I have read better ways to describe it. I kept thinking the way CS Lewis describes it in “Lion Witch and Wardrobe” and how much more I enjoyed that. I would not say it was a complete waste, because there were a few things in there that I enjoyed reading. I liked toward the ending how he was able to talk to the Woodsman. I liked this comment from the Woodsman, “At moments Charis will seem close to you; sometimes it will seem impossibly far. But as you walk the red road, at every day’s end you’ll be one day closer to Charis. One day closer to me. One day closer to home.” I really enjoyed that thought.

Sun Stand Still Book review

February 7, 2011

I just got done reading this book and I will have to say that I am mostly excited about it. I was not the best book I have ever read but the main point of the book has really challenged my thinking. Before I picked up this book to read, I have been reading through the book of Joshua. I have been challenged by the stories in that book, but I must have skipped (or not paid too much attention) the story of Joshua declaring the sun to stand still so they can beat the army. What a great and challenging story. The thought of believing in that kind of miracle is amazing.

One of the ideas in the book that he had that I really like is. “when you get down to it, you’re not the one holding onto Him, He is the one holding on to you.” I love that thought. That we need to remember that God is stronger and bigger than us. That In the midst of me trying to contain and control Him, that I am actually not letting Him be himself. That when times get tough, that I am not just clinging to Him, but He is holding me. Great thought from the book.

The book really did have some really good challenging nuggets in it but I seemed to get distracted while reading it lot. Even though it had great points, I just thought it took a little while to get to them. That is the only negative I have.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to be challenged in their faith and who wants help believing in the bigger things. God is the God of miracles. Read this book and be challenged in your walk.

Same Kind of different

December 1, 2010

“Same kind of Different”

By Ron hall and Denver Moore

What a great book. I started it and finished it so fast. I was excited when I got it in the mail because a few people said that they read it and loved it so I had to give it a try. The book was really good. I was a little confused in the beginning while I was reading it because of the two story lines going on at once, but after a few chapters and getting to know the characters it ended up being an simple read. I was very challenged and inspired by hearing of all the stories about how he grew up in the harsh conditions and about all the things he learned along the path. I was also inspired by the family that reached out and took a chance on someone. That in the midst of tragedy that they still thought of others more then themselves. I was challenged and since I finished reading the book I have recommended it to others and loaned it out. I highly recommend this book for a Christmas gift for anyone. It will help your persepective and also want to help others. Read it.

Lead like ike

June 26, 2010

“Lead Like Ike” by Geoff Loftus

I was actually really nervous to get this book. On one point I thought it looked very interesting because of the leadership ideas, but on the other point I thought that it could get boring really fast. I was kind of right on both point. It was really good with leadership ideas and mindsets. It was amazing how Ike was in charge of so much on the hardest day to make decisions and what his thought pattern was. It makes my decisions on my leadership team less important. The Author does a really good job of taking these decisions and how Ike made them and making them simple for any business or leadership position. If you love to read about history and war then this is also a great book. I don’t mind reading history books but they are not my favorite and I just thought it took a lot of stories to get to the point that it was trying to make. I thought the stories did help solidify the point. It’s a great casual read but not a good book for speed reading. If you love to read about leadership, history, and war then this is a great book to read. I loved the points of leadership in this book but it just a little bit to get to them; I would love to see a paraphrased edition. I loved the fact that I learned more about war and the frontline of battle. I will buy it as a gift for a few family members who love war books.