Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Free Donuts


Support your youth and get free donuts. Our youth will be selling punch cards from Krispy Kreme. Each punch gives you a free dozen with the purchase of a dozen. The cards are only $10, which means with the use of just two punches, you get your money back. You can bless your coworkers by bringing in a couple of dozen.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Church Being the Church

The primary function of the church is to be a visible display of God's wisdom (Eph 3). A place where different people of different backgrounds and preferences love each other, serve one another and partner together to finish what Jesus started.

Most people can point out when the church seems anything like God's wisdom on display, but I want to tell you about someone at Jubilee who I think demonstrated why the church is a great place to be.

I recently heard of one of our single women gather together a bunch of moms and their toddlers for a brunch and toy giveaway. Seems like a simple thing, but let me tell you why it was a great thing. 1) It was unselfish. She put something together that wasn't intended to serve her, but served those she invited. She doesn't have kids. She's not a mother, but she wanted to serve them and build friendship regardless. 2) It was inclusive. It wasn't just her close circle of friends. There were people there that are close friends of hers, but there were also people she barely knew (not for long). 3) It was not initiated by the elders. For the church to do something, it doesn't have to happen in our four walls nor does it have to be leadership initiated.

This is not the only example floating around out there. Several others are taking an active interest to build into one another lives with a serving a loving attitude. Way to go church!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Developing a Heart of Worship

Worship is seeing the glory and wonder of God and responding to it. I believe the more we respond to God with a heart of worship (expressed in variety of different ways), I believe the more God reveals to us about who He is, which ignites an even greater response. I think that is what you see in the life of Paul - both a growing desire to know God and a growing desire to empty himself (worship). Paul arguably had received more revealation of God in recorded history (by virtue of his writings), but effectively says in Philippians 3, "I want to know more." Paul saw God as someone who can do more than we could ever hope or imagine (Eph 3:20); who firmly saw our salvation as God's doing an not ours (Eph 2:8) and lived with the complete assurance that nothing could ever seperate him from the love God (Rom 8:38-39). This propelled him into a life of worship. A life of emptying himself (2 Tim 4:6-7). He was quick to say that his present sufferings (they were many - see 2 Cor 11:23-28) weren't worth comparing with glory that will be revealed (Rom 8:18). So he forsook everything else (worship) and kept his gaze on Christ. I think the more he let go of what would steal from God the worship due His name, the more he was able to see the beauty of Christ. I think this was the pattern that grew like a snowball in the life of Paul and can be the pattern of your life if you " on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me" - a wild-eyed, child-like pursuit of Him!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Bible Reading Plan

If you're looking for a Bible reading plan, you can download a free sample at this Link.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Why Reading the Bible Doesn't Work For You

For years pastors have pounded on people to read their Bible and pray, which is great advice - perhaps the best advice you'll ever get. But it always comes off like "eat your vegetables and floss your teeth." Both are things you know you should do, but few actually look forward to it.

In the future, I'll address prayer, but for now let's talk about why the Bible isn't working for you.

You Don't Do What it Says
When I talk to some Christians, I am amazed sometimes how little thought they give to what the Bible says. I'm not talking about the little nuances of Scripture, but the big, obvious stuff like forgiveness. I don't have the time to recount all the places in scripture that directly point to both the benefits and the need for us to forgive other people. Jesus preached about it in the sermon on the Mount, he told parables on forgiveness, and instructed a disciple to forgive someone not just seven times in one day, but 7 times 70. Here's the point, if Scripture is coming at you at all angles telling you to forgive, but yet you don't forgive, reading more Scripture doesn't seem to help because your heart is hard to its truth. What you have done is built up a "resistance" to scripture. Months and years of not doing what it says leads to layers and layers of pessimism, skepticism, guilt, shame, anger, pain, and legalistic attitudes toward scripture that encases your heart. Outside a work of the Spirit, truth has a hard time making it where it needs to go - not the head, but the heart. If you want Scripture to work for you, you have to do what it says. Who hires a high priced lawyer and ignores the counsel? Who goes to the doctor and throws away the prescription? Friends, we have a gift from God that is a "lamp unto our feet". It is priceless advice, yet even more a love letter from the throne of grace, the lover of our soul and the creator of the universe.

You Only Listen to Part of It
Many people find that Scripture doesn't work for them because they only listen to part of it. This is closely related to the first reason. This happens when you bend Scripture around your worldview. If you are from an Eastern culture or you're a conservative Western, you embrace verses that support the family and speak out against moral failure like sexual immoratlity. However, the idea of "turning the other cheek" can almost sound preposterous. "Eye for an eye" you say. If you are liberal in your worldview, you love the "turn the other cheek" stuff and tolerance, but "no sex out of marriage? How regressive!" When you listen to all of what scripture says, you find that it attacks all worldviews that are counter to the Kingdom of God. And when you realize that, you find that Scripture provides a source of wisdom like none other and you begin to crave what it says.

Your Flesh Resists It
Galatians 5 says that what is flesh is opposed to what is spirit. Your flesh resists the reading of Scripture, but your spirit cries out for it. Your flesh would rather watch TV, mess around in the yard or play golf. It is important, therefore, to strengthen your spirit and not your flesh. Don't starve the spirit in your life. Feed what your spirit craves. But know that you are in a battle with your flesh who will fight you on reading scripture. Don't give in!

Terry Virgo has some great Bible insight on his website. Link.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Is Your Summer Too Short?

Growing up I was convinced that in the summer the clock moved around the dial a little faster than normal. The school year lasted forever, but the summer went by so fast. I always wished there was something I could do to make them last a little longer. While there's nothing that can be done to extend the actual days, there is something that can be done to extend the memories - share the love of Christ.

The summer offers amazing opportunities to interact with others. Host a bbq with a few friends from church and a lot of neighbors. Build bridges with people. Strengthen relationships. And as the Holy Spirit guides you - speak!

Bring Christ into the picture of someone's life and will extend your summer fun into eternity!