Friday, August 29, 2014

Pre-modern vs. Modern Man

“For the wise men of old, the cardinal problem of human life was how to conform the soul to objective reality, and the solution was wisdom, self-discipline, and virtue. For the modern, the cardinal problem is how to conform reality to the wishes of man, and the solution is a technique.”

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

First Love

"If you love your mission more than you love Jesus, then Jesus will have no part of your mission."
                                                                                                              -Pastor Matt Carter

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Spirit of a Disciple-Maker

Love this little poem that describes how God uses people as the conduit to draw and grow people into disciples of Christ.

“Not only in the words you speak,
to you so dear, to me so dim.
But when you came to me you brought a sense of Him 

And from your eyes he beckons me
And from your lips his voice is spread
Till I lose sight of you and see the Christ instead”

Is it a beatific smile, a holy light upon your brow? 

No, I saw his presence when you laughed just now.”

Discipleship begins with a passion for Christ that so fills us that it radiates out to those we come in contact with.  And, it's radiance is infectious.   It spreads to others. 

Here's a great article on raising up disciples.  Enjoy...

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Winter Worship Blues

The doldrums of winter can be tough.  We become restless and negative. Inevitably the winter blues can sadly impact our worship together as a church body.  We get complacent.

Instead of entering into Sunday morning worship with "thanksgiving in our hearts" and saying "this is the day that the LORD has made", we can easily enter the assembly with hearts as frigid as the temps outside.  And, a pattern can emerge:  we enter cold and empty, and demand to leave warm and full.

The problem with this paradigm is it makes worship primarily about us.  What we need....what we get.  Yet it was never about us. Worship is about God.....about reminding ourselves and those around us of His great name.  

As people of resurrection, worship is ultimately about lifting up Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  It's about giving God all He's worth.    

Ironically, the person who worships to get "filled up" will never be filled.  Rather, it is the one who empties himself of all he has that walks away filled.  This is the way of the gospel.   

 A friend of mine recently shared with me that he used to come to church empty and demand of God and others that he walk away filled.  However, one day he decided to take five minutes in his car on the way to church to pray that God would fill His heart with the grace of Jesus Christ...that he would be filled with gratitude for all that God had done for Him. He prayed  that he might be able to focus on the Lord and empty himself in worship to God during the Sunday morning service.  Needless to say, this weekly prayer has radically changed his prayer life.  He no longer leaves the services griping and empty.  

The doldrums of winter can be tough.  And, it can impact how we encounter God.  And, we can shift blame of our inner emptiness on the church music or the preacher, or even the members of the Body.  But, the real blame lies within our own souls.  

Worship simply stated is "giving God what He is worth".  When we consider all that God has done for us through Jesus Christ, how could we ever come to church empty without something to offer the one who emptied himself for us?  How could we not desire, even hunger, to give God all that He is worth?

I challenge you to be in prayer in your car this Sunday that God would give you a heart to really want to worship Him.  And, that we walk away full on Sunday morning, not because we came empty, but rather because we emptied our selves out in praise, prayer and adoration of our great God.  

May God transform how we worship,

Pastor Heath   

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Make Disciples--It's just that Simple

Love Francis Chan. . .He cuts to the chase.  May we be people who don't blur what God has made clear and overlook the obvious.   God has called us to make disciples.  The command is simple and clear, yet too often ignored.  Do I. . .do you. . .do we take that command seriously?

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Sabbath, Solitude and False-fronts

     I just returned from sabbatical which was a time for me to purposefully think about what God is doing in my life, what the interior of my life consists of and why I do the things I do.

      If you remember the old westerns or have every been to one of those western "boom towns" you are familiar with those stores and shops that have "false front" architecture. From the front these places are built to look impressive, even extravagant. From Main Street, these buildings seem perfectly composed. However, upon from the side, rear or inside the building reveals that the architecture is not what it appears from the front. Closer inspection reveals that there is no interlocking relationship between the beautiful "false front" and the rest of the actual building. The inner composition of the building lacks integrity, and can often reflect downright shabby craftsmanship. 

      For me, the practice of sabbath and solitude is all about getting beyond the false front of our lives. Away from a life lived off of curb appeal and compliments of the crowd. Solitude and Sabbath with the Lord's help leads me away from the temptation to define my life by what others think about me, or by the way I project myself to others. In spending time alone with God, the false-front facade loses its luster, and I come to grips with the real "me". Behind close doors in prayer with the Father, I quit looking at myself through the shallow view of Main Street, and I begin to get in and around and underneath my life, discovering my true composition. 

      Looking at ourselves with "no false-fronts attached", can be humbling and without the grace of God, downright depressing. I discovered during my sabbatical that there are aspects of my life that are not composed as well as I would like to imagine. Once I got beyond the curb appeal that I project to the world around me, I began to see myself in a more truthful, sobering way. And, the truth is that I didn't always like what I saw, or who I saw behind the facade. Can you relate? 

      It was in discovering the lack of composition within my own life that I was able to reclaim the truths of the gospel. Because when the false-front is ripped away, and we see who we really are, we are either driven to despair, or are forced to reach out and grasp more tightly to the grace of God in Jesus. I can recall echoing the words of Paul in I Timothy 1:15: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst". 

      Far from devastating me, the real truth about who I am beyond the facade had power and gave me reason to lean deeper into my own need for a savior. I am thankful that Jesus sees deeper than my curb appeal, yet loves me still. He sees the ugliness and the disorganized mess within me, yet offers his perfectly composed life for my own decomposed life. Despite the messiness of my meager house, he desires to make his home  there! This truth leads me to love him and empowers me to worship and glory Him. 

      Pastor Loretta spoke this past week on taking time to look at ourselves and ask why do we do the things we do. Hopefully, this has been a question you've been taking inventory on this week. As you get alone with God, may the false-fronts you have consciously or sub-consciously erected come down, giving you insight into who you really are. And, in that messy place, may you cling to the grace of God in Jesus Christ who "came into the world, to save sinners--of whom I am the worst."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

He who has Ears

We are a people so desperately craving to be heard, that we have forgotten amidst our babbling, that few actually are listening. . .really listening to one another. Os Guiness says: "...The rarest commodity in the West is attention… because in the West everybody’s speaking, e.mailing, texting, tweeting, blogging, you name it. Everybody’s speaking. Nobody’s listening. And we think with better technologies we’ll get over to them. It’s not a technological problem, it’s a spiritual, moral problem. And if ever we needed the power of the Holy Spirit to say things simple and fresh that break through this barrier it’s today".