Thursday, May 05, 2016

Design Your Day: Be Present

I don't know how you go about planning your day or what you'll accomplish.  I think about this type of thing a lot because I'm one of those people who plan and stuff.  I was helped by this acronym in Claire Diaz-Ortiz' helpful (and short!) book Design Your Day.  She calls it being present...

Pray (for guidance/direction)
Read (usually something spiritual or devotional)
Express (put some thoughts down on paper)
Schedule (sketch out an overview of the day)
Exercise (you'll feel better moving daily)
Nourish (do something for yourself)
Track (at end of the day, trace progress in how much you accomplished in your routine)

May you could try these elements to help you day be better designed.  Listen to present.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

He Will Hold Me Fast

This past Sunday, we introduced a new song to us at Crestview: He Will Hold Me Fast.  Here's a lyric video:

And a PDF.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Weekend Preview - Savior of the World

This coming Sunday, 5/8/16, is Mother's Day.  In God's providence, I'm reaching John 4:1-42 in my series through John's Gospel, so Sunday's message will deal with Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the well.  It's going to be a fun morning.  I love this passage, because it showcases that Jesus is for everyone...He's the Savior of the world.  We look forward to seeing you then.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Weekend Recap - 5/1/16

My 5/1/16AM sermon, Exalting Jesus from John 3:22-36, is now online.  This sermon unpacked John the Baptist's famous words: "He [that is Jesus] must increase and I must decrease" (John 3:30).  The point of all of this section of Scripture is exalting Jesus.  I hope this sermon helps you look to Him.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Gospel Friday - Jesus Is Exalted

I love the realities seen in Philippians 2:5-11...

[5] Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, [6] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, [7] but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. [8] And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. [9] Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, [10] so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, [11] and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Today, rest in the amazing truth that Jesus is exalted because of His work on the cross to make us right with God.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Seasoned Veterans In The Church

Confession: I've grown up in church from the womb.  My father was a pastor and BOTH of my grandfathers were pastors.  I've heard of the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to church life.  While there are blessed exceptions, I find that many "seasoned veterans" in church life (those who have been walking with Christ a long time) tend to be troublemakers, lacking passion, and those we have to work to pray some sort of commitment out of.  One faithful "seasoned veteran" in my church sent me this sermon clip from none other than John MacArthur.  You can listen to the sermon here, but here's what he said...

“You say, "Well, I go to church.  I do my part."  Well, remember 1 Samuel 15:22 where God said, "To obey is better than [What?] sacrifice."  Ritual will never replace obedience.  And in 1 Peter, chapter 1, Peter writes that, "We are to gird up the loins of our mind."  In other words, get our act together.  Pull yourself together.  Get your priorities right as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.  Don't live like you used to live.  You are to be obedient children.  Luke 11:28: Jesus said, "Happy is the person who hears My Word and keeps it.” Who hears My Word and keeps it.  Paul commends Christians in Romans 16:19, "For your obedience has come abroad unto all men, and I am glad."  That makes the heart of the pastor glad when the, the obedience of his people is made manifest.
Now, you know some things if you come here, because you're being taught them; but if you don't apply those things in an obedient way, you don't mature. I turned on the radio this week, and I was driving someplace, and on came Howard Hendricks, and he said some things, I thought, that were very interesting.  He said that Christians over 50 should be the most turned on, the most excited, the most committed, the purest, the most enthusiastic, and the most available for service.  Why?  Because they've been hearing the Word the longest.  They've been applying it the longest.  They've been maturing the longest, and they ought to be showing the fruit of that process, right?  I mean the most turned on, enthusiastic, excited, available, dynamic, and powerful people in a church, the very energy of that church ought to be the people who are over 50, over 55, over 60.  They ought to be the like, the joy, the thrill, the energy, the dynamic of that church.  They ought to be the people out on the cutting edge in evangelism.  They ought to be the people out on the cutting edge in prayer.  Why?  Because they've lived with God the longest.  They've applied the Word, so their obedience pattern has gone on longer.  Therefore, they're mature more so than those with fewer years, because of constantly applied truth.
But how often have you heard this?”

This is the question.  So, I hope we'll all strive for faithfulness and passion.  May God's Word richly bear fruit in all of our lives so that He is glorified through us.  I hope this encourages you and exhorts you to live today.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Exalting Jesus - Weekend Preview for 5/1/16

This coming Lord's Day (5/1/16), our church will be continuing to make our way through the Gospel of John.  Specifically, my sermon will be on John 3:22-36.  The point of this potent passage is exalting Jesus.

Exalting Jesus, for many in the church, is one of those "duh" things.  We assume this.  We all affirm that this is reality.  Most wouldn't dare say we shouldn't.  But, tease out practicalities and we'll quickly loose sight of Him for our pet issue.  So, this passage is an amazing corrective and focus for us to not lose sight of the point of the Bible: exalting Jesus.  I hope you'll join us Sunday for this.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Weekend Recap - John 3 and Eternal Life

My 4/24/16AM sermon, Eternal Life from John 3:1-21, is now online (including some small group questions).  This section includes what might be the most well-known passage of Scripture in the Bible.  It has to do with someone who has a deep, religious background coming to Jesus for clarification about who He is and why He does what He does.  Jesus redirects Nicodemus to see that this is all about eternal life, telling him that you must be born again, you must believe, and you must do what is true.  I hope this sermon and the small group that went with it encourages you.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Gospel Friday - Jesus Paid It All

Here's a video I linked to on Facebook last week from T4G.  It highlights how Jesus paid it all.  I hope it helps you marvel at Christ today...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

LRC 2016 Wraps Up Today

I wrote an email to the alumni of Leadership Reno County explaining all the different ways they can connect to our program.  I love this program.

The backstory is that in 2010 I didn't know what was happening in the community in which I pastor.  I was in a meeting with other pastors and was shocked to hear about some big issues plaguing our community.  I knew I had to do something.

So, I used the Leadership Reno County experience as a time to learn and refocus on the community in which I live and serve.

Fast forward to today and I get the privilege of serving as a facilitator of this program.  We are working for the common good of Reno County by trying to do something about the leadership behaviors of people.  I love this work.  We wrap up another class today.  There's a celebration tonight of this group.

Leadership is an activity, not a position.  I'm hoping I continue to model and live this reality out through our local community leadership program.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

T4G 2016 Recap

Last week, I posted that I was at T4G 2016.  Here's a post in which I recap some highlights/reflections...

T4G is an amazing event in the circles I run in theologically.  This year, over 10,000 pastors assembled in Louisville, KY to think about matters of eternal significance and to encourage one another.  Here are some random reflections:

1) It's about people -- The content, which I'll say more about in a second, is usually stellar.  But, T4G is about people.  There are lots of friends with whom I connect.  Also, there are people who usually come from our local church.  Getting unhurried time with them on the road and around this conference makes the experience for me.  This time, in particular, we were happy to have friends from India with us.  T4G is about coming together with others around these truths.  That's what always stands out to me about this experience.

2) There were some outstanding talks -- I thought Mark Dever's sermon was one of  the best I've heard at T4G.  Piper's sermon gave an amazing picture of mankind and how we need a Savior.  Platt's usually on point and his sermon was the right call at the end of this conference for application.  Resources will soon be up on the T4G website.  I'll let you weigh the content for yourself.

3) Books -- You get many free resources at T4G and this year didn't disappoint.  Some I had already and I've passed them on to others.  But, many of these works will have a lasting impact in my life.

4) Singing - Hearing 10,000 people sing is always something I remember.  This year, the song He Will Hold Me Fast especially gripped me.  We'll probably be teaching this one soon.

I'm blessed to have a church that allows me to participate in things like this.  I hope this helps you see what I appreciate about events like this.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Weekend Preview - John 3

This coming Lord's Day (4/24/16) is going to be full of a lot of amazing things...

1) My sermon will cover John 3:1-21, the famous story of Nicodemus coming to Jesus at night.  In this narrative, we have maybe the most famous verse of the Bible (John 3:16).  I love how Kent Hughes meditated on this and I had Elizabeth Wood develop some artwork on it (see the pic above).  So, I'm excited to think about eternal life in this passage.

2) Related to this, we will be having small groups and discussing John 3:1-21.

3) We'll be taking the Lord's Supper together.  We will be using the Ligonier Statement on Christology during this portion of our service.  

So, I hope you plan to join us.  It's going to be a great gathering to worship together. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Weekend Recap - 4/17/16

My 4/17/16 sermon, Cleansing The Temple from John 2:13-25, is now online.  This particular passage shows an amazing picture of Jesus cleansing the temple.  I try to make sense of this and at the same time help show why Jesus did what He did related to signs.  To put it simply, He pointed to His life, death, and resurrection in what He was showing.  I hope this sermon encourages you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

T4G 2016

This is happening now in Louisville, KY.

You can enjoy the livestream here.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Gospel Friday - Gospel Propulsion

As you think about the amazing good news that God loves sinners and has made a way for them to be right with Him through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, remember that this message is meant for all people.  Praise God for the Gospel and ask Him to use you for the nations.