Like many Americans I’ve been frustrated by the attitudes and actions of my fellow citizens since Donald Trump was elected and took office. But yet my somberness is not the same as the political angst being flooded throughout the media waves and coffee houses across the land. My frustration has to do with the body of Christ.
I love these videos of Matt Harding dancing around the globe. The videos from 2008 and 2012 are probably my favorites. Below is the clip from 2016 and while I’m not stoked on the tune, I’m still enthralled by the beautiful folks from all over the world. Each video is a reminder of how big God’s creation is and how huge HIS love is for that creation. It is also a clear picture of the ultimate Kingdom of Heaven which is not about geography but people in whose hearts God rules. They are an ever present reminder of Revelation 7 that speaks of not only the present, but the future fulfilled Kingdom where a “great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, was standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.” Also, they are an additional reminder of one of the most famous verse in the Bible; John 3:16 in which Jesus proclaims that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that WHOEVER believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” That statement by Christ is such a great proclamation of God’s grace and also the diversity of HIS love. All of mankind is included in the offer to respond this amazing grace. And that, along with Matt’s videos, just makes me smile.
What about God’s creation makes you smile?
One of the things that I’ve been looking forward to as we kick off 2017 is reading through the Bible again devotionally. I don’t always get the whole book read in a year as some passages are missed because of interruptions in life. But I’ve found that a daily practice of systematically working through the Bible has been just as important spiritually as eating a healthy diet is physically. The objective is one of simply coming before the life changing Word of God on a regular basis and allowing HIM to change us.
In my occupation it’s easy to check out and simply look at the Bible as a text book. By this I mean merely studying the content for sermon preparation, teaching, and the like. Actually, that’s probably not too far off for many of us. In other words, it’s easy to take it for granted. Somehow we know there’s something different to this book and we have at least one laying around our house even if it’s just the white covered gift Bible we got from our grandmother at High School graduation; but we ignore it. Thus many times it just sits next to the Webster’s Dictionary until we hit the wall emotionally and seeks an answer from the Divine.
A lot of folks question the validity of scripture and speculate whether it can be trusted or not. Many people suggest that “because the Bible was written so long ago and was translated so many times” that it just can’t be reliable for us today. If that is true, then the Bible rightly should be questioned.
They did it again! It’s just another reason why I’m proud of Cypress Crossings Christian Church. This past weekend volunteers from the C4 family reached out again this year to bless children and families in our area. For a church family of our size; they did an amazing job in providing just under 150 children and families in our region with Christmas presents. The thrilling part is that this outreach project was not something pushed by the lead minister. It actually grew up organically from within the body and that’s what Christmas and real Christianity is all about.
Jesus clearly noted that he came to seek and to save that which was lost and to give his life as a ransom for many. Jesus came to give. The folks of C4 have not only experienced the life changing grace of Christ but have turned around to bless others. They are giving.
People have pointed to John Lennon’s song, Imagine, as a hope for humanity. As for me, I like imagining a world, not with or without religion, but where more people truly know Jesus Christ and are radically pursuing Him. Such a place might actually do what politics simply cannot accomplish. Change the heart and thus the world. To indeed bring “Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men.” Yes; Imagining a world with more Jesus, more Christmas.
But for now . . . I’m stoked at how C4 is giving it an amazing shot.
God has a story and He has called you to join Him in it. In fact, you were created to be an integral part of the drama that HE has prepared and is now playing out today. The only question is whether or not you’ve taken Him up on the offer. Join us this Sunday after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday as we welcome our special guest, Rick Rusaw, to the show. Rick has an amazing story of growing up without religion but then finding God along the way. Thus finding God’s plan for his existence. Life now finds Rick leading a strong externally focused Christian Church and helping others make an impact for Jesus across the globe. Sharing the story of Jesus and making the most of the life God has loaned Rick are the passions of his life.
So make plans now to join us for the live webcast at 8p Central. We will also be giving away a copy of Rick’s book, “Living A Life On Loan” toward the end of the webcast. You can catch the live webcast here at 8p Central or even engage Rick though our Sunday Nigh Discussions Google + page. You can also send in questions early through the blog here.
BTW One of the biggest reasons to catch Rick live this Sunday is because he gave up tickets to the Broncos vs Patriots game to be on the show. Yup, he’s committed to SND this week. So you know it’s going to be a GREAT show.
Are you in? Are you living the life that God created you to live in such a way that eternity will be changed? Isn’t that spiritual and evangelism stuff just for preachers and professional missionaries? Or is there something more? Is it possible that we can all get in the game? Join us for the Discussions this Sunday night at 8p Central as we welcome our special guest, Tim Harlow, to the show. Tim is the senior pastor of Parkview Christian Church in south Chicago-land and author and creator of the Life on Mission Project. Over the past 25 years Christ followers from Parkview have become an indispensable part of the south Chicago community. As a team, they have touched former gang leaders, business owners, ex-strippers, and soccer moms alike. Because these simple Christians were living a life on mission, their community and world have been transformed.
How can God use someone like us to make a difference? How can regular people without a Bible College education touch their immediate sphere of influence and eventually the world? Is it really possible? Be sure to tune in here or on our Google + Sunday Night Discussions page for the live webcast. Feel free to send in questions early as we explore what it really means to fully live a life on mission. As usual, we will be giving away free resources toward the end of the show.
What does it mean to live Glocally? Like me, pastor and author, Bob Roberts Jr. has a way of creating new words and Glocalization is one of his best. I love that word and what it represents. Thinking glocally is that healthy neighborhood between touching those locally around us and those who live on the other side of the globe. What was once a near impossibility is now a present reality in our modern early 21st century world. Yes, it really is possible to engage the world no matter where we are.
What is God doing in the world today? How can we engage a globe that has gone flat with modern technology? What is the vision of Christ for his disciples in our modern times?
Join us as we look at these and other questions for the Discussions Sunday night at 8p Central. Our special guest, Bob Roberts, will be with us to answer your questions and talk about living the life of a Glocal Christian. Bob has written a number of books and we will be giving away a copy of one of them to someone listening or watching our live webcast. The show can be viewed here or on our Google + Sunday Night Discussions page. Questions can be sent in live via Google + of through email here.
So make plans to join us then and feel free to send in early questions.
World Evangelism, Global Outreach. I love those words. The truth is that I have been transformed by Jesus Christ and I have the privilege of being part of His team which makes the message of God known to the world. The truth is; we all have that same privilege and that’s exactly what we’re going to be talking about in the discussions this Sunday night. What is the real need in the world? What kind of opportunities do we have for global outreach in the early 21st century? What is the actual responsibility of Christ followers to convey that message to others? How can we see that mission carried out in our time and in the lives of those who follow us? Join us live Sunday night at 8p central as we welcome one of the big mentors in my life, Max Goins, who has served as a local pastor and foreign missionary around the world for almost 50 years. World Evangelism – Global Outreach is the ministry that Max formed in 1991 with the purpose of reaching the lost and training disciples and I can’t wait for you to meet him.
Join us here or on our Sunday Night Discussions Google + page and be sure to send in questions early. As always we will be giving away a free recourse toward the end of the show.
Many of you know that world evangelism and discipleship holds a huge place in my heart. While Deb and I continue to financially support foreign missionaries and projects, it has actually been over 10 years since I’ve been out of the country. Debi has served on a couple of teaching trips to Honduras over the past few years but I have not used my passport since teaching in Nagaland, India with Australian missionary, Doug Willis back in 2003.
Can the Kingdom be saved? Obviously the answer is yes as the true Kingdom of Heaven will never fail. Jesus said so and history has demonstrated such throughout the nations and ages. However there has been much writing over the past decade about the growing number of millennials and gen Xers who are leaving the Church every year. Panic has been the path of some while others have pointed to new music and tech as the golden ticket to reach this ever growing generational question. But could it be that sometimes the issue is simply one of misunderstanding how different generations think and why they process life as they do?